Monday, July 30, 2012

Busking and other things

This cinemagram thing is fun

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I wasn't able to finish my Gail shawl tonight after all... I met up with Bok, Pen, Lei and Dara at TK instead! :D Good times.

Man, this weather. It should be legal to opt not to go to work in this weather. A valid excuse would be "preferred to stay in bed".

My iPod is telling me it's 26 degrees. I don't believe it!! It must be at the most, 24! Brrrr. Now where are those cuddling cats when you need them?


Friday, July 27, 2012

WIP: Gail Shawl (Nightsongs). Some progress!

This first shawl is challenging me in a good way. I like how I'm slowly getting the hang of the lace pattern (this is also my first ever large-scale lace project), and I find everything less confusing now.

The rows are going by faster, but still not as fast as I expected it to be. I have a feeling that the final product will be a bit heavy for a shawl in the Philippines, given the fact that I did not use laceweight yarn. I know I'm still gonna love it though!

So purdy! And unusually girly for me.

I've already gone through 4 and a half repeats of the pattern. The description on Ravelry for this shawl is 7 repeats before the edge, but I think I'm gonna keep it at 6. I'm still deciding.

I'm also still on the fence about how to block this and whether I should even try to block it the standard way. The yarn I'm using is 100% cotton so I may have to make sure it dries in the right shape... But I do not have any blocking mats and I'm pretty sure our cats are gonna sunbathe on it while it's blocking! Hmmm.

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As for that Turtle Track hat WIP, it's been definitely put on hold since I did run out of yarn. I've even gone so far as to slip the stitches onto waste yarn so I could use the needles for something else :( sad. If I can't wait til 2013 to finish it, I might just use different yarn from my stash. And this means getting my lazy ass to make more gauge swatches. LAZY.

But to replace that WIP, I've begun another project: My second pair of socks! Once again, indecisive me still hasn't chosen a pattern, but the toes (I'm working two at a time on two circs) are coming to life! I don't know yet if I want to follow someone else's pattern to practice more, or to actually jump in and create my own with what little experience I have. Hmmm. The toes are making slow progress, giving me more time to decide.

What I'm using for these undefined socks:
  • Two sets of circular needles, US 1/2.25mm. Luckily, one's shorter than the other and have different colored tips, so no confusing needle-changes.
  • Blue Tramonto yarn, 55% wool, 45 % acrylic. I used violet Tramonto yarn for my first pair of socks, and they came out REALLY soft and not scratchy at all :)
  • WhiteHariri yarn that I bought from Bheng. 100% acrylic, but I'm hoping it won't be scratchy at all. *crosses fingers*
Also, 'cause of my newly-bought sets of needles from Bheng, my mind is on overdrive, planning more projects! I think I wanna try top-down socks after the above-mentioned pair.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

After-hours

After work last night, Marc picked me up so we could go to his band's gig in Makati together. They were trying out another drummer 'cause the one who replaced Fred left for the States a couple of weeks ago.

Their set was really good, though the tempo of the first two songs was a bit different from the original versions, but it still sounded good.

Nick and Marc


Drummer for the night

I don't know why I insist on posting dark and blurry photos from my iPod. Let's just say that's how the world looked to me last night!

Here's a video from one of their gigs last year, with Pat on drums:



I told myself I'd just have one bottle of beer since it was only Wednesday night. With two more workdays ahead of me, I was afraid I'd be too lethargic if I drank more. Surprisingly, I ended up drinking one more... And then another, thanks to the beer stub that Marc got for playing. lol. I didn't feel affected at all, just relaxed after a long day at work.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Lily of the Valley Hat in blue : FREE PATTERN

So I finally wrote down the pattern of the blue hat I made based on the Lily of the Valley stitch pattern.I love this version of the Lily of the Valley, so I made this:
Needles: 5.0mmYarn: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in blueGauge: 4.5 sts per inch
The stitch pattern calls for 18 stitches and 12 rows. I knit 5 repeats per row, and in between each 18-stitch set, I knit 4 stitches = 110 sts.

Cast on 108 stitches. Join in the round.
Knit 2x2 ribbing for about 1-1.5 inch. Once brim is of the length desired:

Round 1 : k54, m1, k54, m1 (110 stitches)
Round 2: * k4, p2tog, k2, yo, k5, yo, k2, p2tog, k1, k4 *   repeat ** all around
Round 3: knit all sts
Round 4: * k3, p2tog, k2, yo, k1, yo, k2, p2tog, k6, k4 *    repeat ** all around
Round 5: knit all sts
Round 6: * k2, p2tog, k2, yo, k3, yo, k2, p2tog, k5, k4 *    repeat ** all around
Round 7: knit all sts
Round 8: * k1, p2tog, k2, yo, k5, yo, k2, p2tog, k4, k4 *   repeat ** all around
Round 9: knit all sts
Round 10: * k6, p2tog, k2, yo, k1, yo, k2, p2tog, k3, k4 *   repeat ** all around
Round 11: knit all sts
Round 12: * k5, p2tog, k2, yo, k3, yo, k2, p2tog, k2, k4 *   repeat ** all around
Round 13: knit all sts

Repeat Rounds 2-13 until body of hat is the length desired. For my blue hat, I did 3 pattern repeats before decreasing for the crown.

First decrease round: *K9, k2tog*    repeat ** all around (100 sts)
Next round: *k8, k2tog*    repeat ** all around (90 sts)
Next: *k7, k2tog*    repeat ** all around (80 sts)
Next: *k6, k2tog*    repeat ** all around (70 sts)
Next: *k5, k2tog*    repeat ** all around(60 sts)
Next: *k4, k2tog*    repeat ** all around (50 sts)
Next: *k3, k2tog*    repeat ** all around (40 sts)
Next: *k2, k2tog*    repeat ** all around (30 sts)
Next: *k1, k2tog*    repeat ** all around (20 sts)
Next: *k2tog*    repeat ** all around (10 sts)

Finishing: Break off yarn and, using a tapestry needle, insert tail through remaining 10 sts on needle. Tighten hole and sew in ends.

VoilĂ ! You can also find the project pages on my Ravelry or Craftsy account :)
NOTE: You can make and sell hats using my pattern, but please give credit where credit is due. A simple link to my blog would suffice! Also, please send me photos or any feedback if you have any. I'd love to hear from you! :)
ETA again: You can see a modified chart of the stitch pattern on this post. :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sad/sickening article + my quiet love for giraffes

Marc just showed me a sad/sickening article about how some people can pay thousands of pounds to hunt down giraffes as a holiday gimmick. :((

I can't believe how this is an existing practice. The article says that these hunts are legal and that "most of the money for conservation is generated from hunting". I won't go into a debate on animal rights and on what can be hunted down or not, etc, but I just want to say that in my opinion, killing "for fun" is really something I can never agree with, no matter if something "good" is supposed to come out of it.

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When I was a kid, I had a toy giraffe. It was about a foot tall and I used to consider it as one of my favorite playthings. In fact, I think I can still vaguely remember the smell of its plastic body haha! And mind you, I don't really retain a lot of memories from way back, good or bad. It was that memorable.

When I was 4 or 5, our preschool took us to a zoo here in the city (can't remember which one), and they had a giraffe on the premises. I remembered staring open-mouthed at the tall, graceful creature. Its coat wasn't as glossy as I had expected it to be (probably the conditions in the zoo, as in most zoos all over the world, weren't perfect), but I was still awestruck.

Lately, we've been passing by a certain street in our city named, of course, Giraffe street. I told Marc that I would LOVE to live on a street called Giraffe, and that street was perfect! But unfortunately, the street's situated in one of the most expensive areas of the metro! Libre lang mangarap! haha

I also recently read about Giraffe Manor in one of Joanna Goddard's posts. It's part of the Tamimi Kenya's efforts to "increase the positive impact of tourism on the social and physical environment" and to develop an Environmental Management Plan for each of their properties. Read more about it here. Sounds interesting!

All this giraffe love is making me wanna knit or crochet an amigurumi one! There's a free crochet pattern from Lion Brand, but I might just knit my own :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

WIP: Track of the Turtle Hat and Gail Shawl

What's on my needles at the moment?

1. Track of the Turtle Hat

I was trying out a cool pattern that I found in A Second Treasury of Knitting called "Track of the Turtle". There are 4 versions of it, and my favorite is the second version.
I'm not following any pattern for the hat itself, so I just took the gauge and decided to cast on 120 stitches using my gray Excel yarn and size 5 (3.75mm) needles. The pattern calls for 15 stitches per repeat so 120 / 15 = 8 pattern repeats per row. Hurray for simple math!

So far, I've completed the brim and one and a half repeats of the pattern. It's been super slow going because I had to frog to the brim twice! This is all thanks to my illogical conversion of the written pattern into a knitting chart.

The first time around, I transferred everything as I read it; meaning every right side row was in reverse! No wonder the pattern didn't look like the one in the sample swatch... So all I had to do was redo the right side rows in the damn chart in reverse.

It doesn't make any sense at all in this first wrong version.


This second version of the knitting chart was also a total failure as I accidentally put left-slanting decreases where right-slanting ones should have been. Another stupid mistake. I don't understand how I could've let it pass when the chart itself should have shown me something logical.

Accidentally put left-slanting decreases when there should've been right ones.


Man. Anyway, I'm glad to be kind of on a roll with this project since I've already gone past the first repeat mark and the lovely pattern is showing! My next problem is -- running out of yarn. I can't find my other ball of gray Excel yarn and this is sad. Sad because, after all I've spent on yarn, needles and a book from Bheng's sale, I promised myself (and Marc) that I wouldn't spend a cent on any more craft-related things til 2013.

Either I'll keep this project frozen til 2013, or I will redo it all using different yarn... Different gauge, different number of repeats. AUGH.

2. Gail (aka Nightsongs) shawl

The first project that came to mind when I received the Southmaid Cotton 8 yarns from Bheng was a shawl for me to use at the office. I've never knit nor crocheted one, so this will be a first. I surfed through a whole lot of shawl patterns online, finally deciding to narrow-down my search to free Ravelry ones. This Gail shawl (click link above to see it on Ravelry) looks so pretty and does not seem to be overdone in flounce and flair. The designer's other shawl designs are so beautiful too!

Anyway, I've begun working on this shawl using size 7 (4.5mm) needles and a skein of the Southmaid Cotton 8 in coral. I wasn't too sure about the color of this yarn at first, but it's actually growing on me. It really puts in mind a summery, beachy image.

I never thought triangular shawls would be easy to begin; I've always thought it was such a daunting task to knit in that shape, but it's actually simple! Just start in the middle, and gradually increase on each side.

I love how you don't have to begin with a set number of stitches to cast on. 
No risk for commitment issues here! lol

Can't wait to see how the pattern + yarn color will work out!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

This and that June-July 2012

Some photos from the past few weeks:


This photo is supposed to show how red I get when drinking rum and coke.



Hanging out with Russ and Selena



Traffic on the way to work O_O
Jeez.



Marc with Nona's dog, Berto.



Marc and I've started playing guitar together again.
We're trying to make this an every-weekend thing.



Old photo of Silvio :3

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Do I want to make this?

Last year, I was actually able to knit a whole hoodie. I haven't blogged about it in detail yet, mostly because I didn't work on it on a regular basis, and I kind of forgot some of the details of that ordeal experience.

When some of my friends found out that I was making a hoodie (pattern here), they kinda laughed at me... I mean, who wears a knitted sweater in the Philippines? And who knits a sweater in the Philippines? Well, I just wanted to try it! And I learned a lot from this FO and I'd like to think this upped my skills even just a bit.

Also, this sweater was really meant for Marc and I'm glad he was able to use it, even just once (so far) hah! He lost his favorite hoodie during his band's trip to Indonesia last May, so on our trip to Baguio for my birthday, he was forced to bring the hoodie I made for him. It proved to be very useful and efficient, in fact. It was bulky and soft enough so that when we folded it over, we were able to use it as a pillow on the bus rides to and fro. And also, it kept him toasty warm while in the City of Pines. The hood was quite useful too, during the evening when there was a light mist/rain.


 It doesn't seem like it, but he found it comfortable!

I feel so relieved that all those hours I labored over making that hoodie have not gone to waste after all. Hmmm, maybe we should make another trip up north as an excuse to have him wear it again. Kidding. During our Baguio trip though, I noticed that the ribbed edging seemed to loose, so now I have it back in my house for some re-knitting.

When I finished weaving in the yarn ends of that hoodie, I told myself I wouldn't ever make another sweater/hoodie again. It was really difficult. Knitting with a thick pile of yarn on your lap in a tropical country isn't exactly the most fun thing in the world. But the sense of fulfilment (naks) I got from making that hoodie also gave me a sense of confidence in my developing skills, and now I think I wanna try another big garment to knit.

What's also encouraging me is the very low temps we get in the office. I have two officemates who love air conditioning, so I usually have to wrap myself in something warm. Plus, I'm in a knitting phase these days (sewing machine is just sitting covered up lately) and I also stumbled upon an awesome sweater pattern on Ravelry that comes for FREE!

It's Neville Longbottom's sweater/hoodie during the Battle of Hogwarts in Harry Potter 7 part 2!


Some awesome person actually studied the sweater and came up with the pattern! The sweater looks sooo good and it's exciting to think about all the challenging motifs. Can I really make this? And do I really want to make this? That's something I have to decide for myself once I get through all my live WIPs.

In other, semi-related news, look how handsome Matt Lewis (Neville) grew up to be! haha!

That's him during the HP7 premiere... With a gorgeous lady at his side too.

*Click on the photos to get to the source.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

More goodies

Fellow Raveler Bheng (bhebeng) is having a major destashing and is selling a huge amount of her stash at discounted prices! Yay! And I, being the good fellow-crafter that I am, am helping her unload haha!

I've already bought two things from her:

1. Her copy of Knitted Sock Sensations

The patterns here are all top-down, something I've never tried before.
I'm not sure if I'll like it better than toe-up sock-making, but I'm looking forward to trying it.


2. 5 skeins of Southmaid Cotton 8 in coral

It wasn't as soft/pliable as I expected, but I'm still looking forward to
using it for a cardigan or just a shawl.

I've also reserved ten balls of hariri yarns. TEN. And a set of 12 circular needles of different sizes and lengths. TWELVE. Who is stashing now, eh? With these, I'm planning to make as many socks as I can. :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Wala. Nada. Rien. Zilch

I haven't crafted ANYTHING at all since the series of sicknesses and ill feelings I had after my birthday.

I have all these plans and projects in my head, but everytime I get home after work, the only thing I really wanna do is sleep.

But here's a photo of a tiny thing I made last year, to keep things feeling productive and stuff:



And, unrelated, here's a cute gif that I always look at when I'm bored at werk:



I wanna be that white cat. Everyday.

During this unwanted crafting hiatus, I've managed to 1) bookmark the next few garments I want to make from my Japanese sewing pattern books, 2) bookmark cool patterns from my knitting patterns book and 3) gather more inspirational images from the internet.

In the past couple of weeks, I've become more interested in these two other craft-related sites: craftsy.com and kollabora.com. This is in the hopes that posting my shiz on all three sites (including Ravelry afkarz) will keep me inspired. The possible downside would be me getting sick of it all haha. Anyway, find me there under EdwinaAU for both craftsy and kollabora.

Also changed my Ravelry username back to edwinaau. Getting confuzzled with all these online presences. :p


*I don't own that gif. But that first photo's mine.