Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday naaaa!

Last day at work for the week! Monday was a non-working holiday but it sure feels like I've been working all 5 days this week.

But yay, Friday na! I'll be going to Tide/Edit's EP launch tonight at 121 Bar in Makati.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hump Day and stagnant WIPs

It's Wednesday, another hump day, and I feel like nothing's moving forward much. Weekend please come sooner!

My three-way scarf is languishing in its 5-inch state. I can't seem to grasp why it's taking me sooo long to finish a row. :p




I realize that though I do love the thought of using thicker needles for faster results, I am really clumsy when I use them. I can't get the same mileage in an hour as I do when I'm on smaller needles. Or it may just be the dec + yo combo for each 170-stitch row. Not my cup of tea?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Trying my hand at calligraphy

I never had any handwriting classes. Ever! I went to 6 different schools growing up, and it was so unlucky that the school I went to in Grade 3 only had handwriting classes in Grade 4. When I transferred to another school the following year, I found out that they only taught handwriting in Grade 3.

A sample page from our handouts at the Crafternoon

WIP: Third pair o' socks! And how I frog tiny-stitched projects

Remember that third pair of socks I wanted to knit? Ravelry says I started them a week ago but now I'm back to the toe area!!! AUGH.

I tried designing my own lace motif, but it just wasn't turning out the way I wanted it to. :( I really can't wait to take that Craftsy class on lace knitting.

So, scrap original lace designs for now! I just decided to frog the sock up until the toes:

Normally, I'd just pick up the stitches in the round I wanna begin in, simply using my knitting needles. But these stitches are so tiny (2.5mm needles, hello), I "picked them up" with a tapestry needles and waste yarn in a contrasting color so I could just rip without frogging too much.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

And more despedidas T__T

Last weekend was Red's despedida; he left for Austria last Tuesday. His bf Bogs hosted a nice surprise party at his apartment.
Last Saturday was CK's despedida, though I wasn't able to go; she's leaving for Italy in a few days. Some of our blockmates got together at a restaurant for dinner.

Red and CK

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Knit where you can

Last night after work, Marc picked me up as usual. We went straight to Makati, to Nick's studio 'cause they had to go over their songs as a duo + beats. They still haven't settled on a replacement drummer, but I think they still play great with even just the two of them.

Marc on bass.
The dude behind him is from the band that Nick was recording that night.

Friday, August 24, 2012

WIP: Third pair o' socks

I designed my own pattern for the top part of this pair. I'm basing it on my favorite textures and lacy combos from other patterns I've tried before.

I also haven't written the pattern down at all, only charted it. But I think I'll be able to write it all down as well once I'm done with it.

A lot ripping and re-knitting happening around here, due to me experimenting with the design. And the yarn isn't even suited to that... It's starting to fluff up a little, ugh. Not good for the stitch definition. But I'll have to make do with that. I bought ten balls of this Hariri yarn and I MUST make something from them. :)

By the way, this Hariri yarn is turning out to be a lot better than I excpected from an acrylic make. The Indecisive socks are not itchy at all, and they're surprisingly soft. Woo!

In other news, my 3-way scarf is going reeeeeeally slow. I don't understand why I'm not getting that far with it, considering I bring it out to knit every evening while I watch those soaps on TV with Ma. Haha! Yes, fine, I admit it. I think I've gotten addicted to the two top shows on ABS-CBN primetime this season. Hey, maybe that's the reason why knitting has been slow... I tend to stop and focus on the TV when things get too exciting.

I'm hoping to finish one of these projects really soon; I feel like things are getting too stagnant and I'm already considering casting on a new project to shake things up a bit. I'm just really trying to avoid casting on too many WIPs at the same time 'cause I know I'll just start pressuring myself.
:p

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Project Gutenberg is the bomb

Work at the office is never consistently hectic. Which is a great thing, btw. Things can get stressful for me only during certain months... Usually in December-January, February, and a bit of July, with some odd weeks in between those two phases.

During my downtime, usually after lunch to mid-afternoon, I like reading the free ebooks you can find on Project Gutenberg. All the books in their catalog are those titles whose copyright has already expired; thus making all of them free for personal use.

Last May was a particularly slow season for me, so I decided to make a personal project of making a list of classics that I have never read in full before but have always wanted to, and I also included some childhood/teen favorites of mine in the list to make sure I didn't get bored or something.

On my list are the following titles (in the order that I originally listed them):

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Getting into lace knitting

At the moment, I have an inexplicable desire obsession to do a lot of lace knitting and designing. Well, I guess it's not completely inexplicable... I'm sure every knitter loves lace patterns (?).

After completing my Gail Shawl last month, I haven't stopped thinking about learning how to design my own lace patterns. But where to begin? I might not be experienced enough for it!

I really really want to take the Lace Shawl Design class by Miriam Felton on Craftsy, but I can't afford it right now. I asked Marc if he could "give" it to me as a Christmas gift this December. *sigh* That's 4 months away still!

For more information about the Craftsy class, here's a nice interview of Miriam Felton by Mercedes Knits; you'll see why I can't wait to take it.

In the meantime, I've been looking all over the internet for some introduction into lace knitting and designing. I came across some posts by Eunny Jang (pre-Interweave Knits) talking about knitted lace/lace knitting.

It's so interesting to think about the different textures and dimensions that you can come up with, just by experimenting with different yo-dec placements!

Some inspiring designs (please click on the images to see the source):







This last one is amazing! I wanna deconstruct it so I can finally make that design idea I've been keeping in my brain these past few weeks. Must. Find. The Answer.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Fresh Start. New WIPs!

For the first time ever, I don't have any WIPs that have been on my needles for more than 2 months! Hahfahv!

Last week's productivity had me complete all of my existing WIPs and it feels great! I no longer feel guilty about stagnant WIPs and I no longer feel the pressure that comes from unfinished work (OCD?).


Now what's on my needles now?

1. Three-Way Scarf

Yesterday, I cast on for The Sexy Knitter's Three-Way Scarf. I’m still trying to finish off the rest of my blue Bernat Super Value Solids that were left over from last year’s Saturday Morning hoodie, so I'm using that same yarn.

So far, I’ve made a hoodie and a hat from my stash, and now I wanna make this three-way scarf which looks amazing!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

FO Mania! Of socks, a sweater and a hat

When I say this week has been productive, I mean this week has been REALLY productive, for me.

I finally got around to re-doing the edging of the Saturday Morning Hoodie that I made for Marc last year (pattern free on Ravelry). And since I've finally finished fixing the damn thing, I am now actually able to make a real post on Ravelry about it.


Yay! A decent photo in daylight!

This and That: August 2012

This vacation week of mine has been surprisingly productive!

Aside from a couple of knitting FO's, I was able to help Marc with little things for his application to his new job. He has a new job! Yay! :D

We'll need to adjust to his new work schedule (3AM to 12NN, Tues-Sat, wow), and hopefully we'll still be able to spend some quality time with each other during the week. I know that he's doing this to save for our future together, but I still feel a bit sad that we won't be able to spend as much time together anymore.

We bought him new shirts for the office last Tuesday and we found an "interesting" new innovation in fashion:

I suggested this shirt to try on:


He came out of the fitting room with the sleeves all "juged" up like that ^^. It made it look too baggy on him so I asked him to pull the sleeves down.


Lo and behold, there is an actual 3/4 sleeve sewn in under that "juged" sleeve!!! HAHAHAHA



You CAN'T pull the sleeves down at all! They were made to stay that way.

Err, no flexibility in there? For a men's shirt? I think this would work better as a girl's "boyfriend shirt". XD


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This week, I was also able to spend more time with my sister:

Trying out my new phone's camera

With Stella, her boyfriend's dog.


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Our two younger cats, Liger and Boxer, caught another rat again yesterday morning o_O
And once again, they left it under mom's chair in the backyard as a "special gift".

It's almost as big as Liger's head!
 Manang Bel said that this rat was actually smaller than last week's catch.
Ugh, I don't wanna imagine it.



Looking so innocent...

Eek. Good thing I woke up so early yesterday... Early enough to spot it before mom came down and freaked!

I feel so bad for the rats 'cause the cats only kill them for fun/sport. They NEVER eat them. But then again... I guess it's good that they keep the rat population down? Hmmm.


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Last night, I went to the gig that Russ hosted for Kerplunk! Night. Marc's band was playing so I went ahead with Selena and Russ and waited for him to come after his shift at work.

The Bee Eyes set was really good. 
And Twin Lobster + Similar Objects (Jorge) killed it!!!


Lety brought two of her friends to the gig! She's leaving on an Asian tour with her boyfriend next week, and this was probably our last chance to hang out.

All in all a cool night. Still feeling extremely tired today though... And the weekend's only starting! XD

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"Practice Makes Perfect" and WIP: Indecisive socks progress

I have restored my faith in the old saying "Practice makes perfect".

For my WIP Indecisive socks, I'm knitting with two colors and I decided to take this opportunity to practice holding yarn with my left hand. A big step for me towards learning the Continental method!


One color in my right hand...

...another in my left.

I can't hold both yarns and take photos with my phone at the same time, but you get the idea.

I was also able to sneak in some actual knitting continental. I think I've gotten the hang of it already, meaning I've found a "comfortable" way of doing it. I just need to practice, practice, practice!
Tried purling continental as well, need a ton of work with that.

I tried knitting continental while I was redoing the edge of Marc's Saturday morning hoodie, but I seem to have more difficulty with bigger needles. Or maybe it's just 'cause I was "learning" continental with my tiny needles? Hmmm. PRACTICE.




 Lots of progress with the Indecisive socks! But I realized two things along the way:

1. Fair-isle knitting really makes wearables less stretchy and a bit tighter than expected... Or am I doing something wrong? Looks like I'll be the only one who can wear these. T_T

2. Knitting fair-isle designs with yarns of different weights makes the the heavier-weighted strands "bleed" through the lighter ones (see photo above). Foyn. These socks will not go to anyone but myself.


I've reached the heel already!

Instagrammed this to distract you from the ugly line on the side.

I want to finish these by this weekend, but I gotta start working on the beanie I promised Red. He's leaving for Europe next week!

Monday, August 13, 2012

First sunny weekend in weeks

Last Saturday was seriously sunny! 

Sat in the morning sun for about ten mins. Needed some Vitamin D!


I spent most of the day outside in the backyard with mom and the cats. 
And I can't seem to not take photos of them... This should turn into a cat blog soon gah!


Silvio stalking through the shrubs again...


...waiting for prey. Instagrammed this one to show off his beautiful color.


And Boxer appears from under the other leafy vines.


In the shade.

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On Saturday night, we had dinner with Marc's extended family. His brother, sister-in-law, and his niece all came to visit from Australia. Their cute little girl already has a very strong Australian accent and loves telling stories in as animated a way as Steve Irwin haha. Cute!


Marc's niece in stripes with her two cousins.

It wasn't anyone's birthday, but they all started singing Happy Birthday in front of the cake! hahaha

The cake.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Sunshine!

The sun finally came out today! AT LAST.

From my view at the office, I can see that the river level has gone down. It's sad to see all the mud and debris it left behind, but at least this means that everyone can start the clean up process and get everything back together. Bangon! :D



Though the floods were more devastating now than during Ondoy, everyone was more prepared this time around... And bayanihan is still very much prevalent all around!

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F is picking up her kids today. I wasn't able to say goodbye to them before leaving for the office, but it's nice to know that the worst is over.

I woke up to aching muscles today. It's been a while since I last took care of kids and I guess I wasn't prepared for it! A very talkative 7 year-old, a very curious 10 year-old and a teen must have been too much for me haha.

The very curious ten year-old made this out of Jenga blocks yesterday:

I wonder how he did it o_O

Also, there was a pretty funny exchange between me and the 7 year-old:

Bo (after seeing my Word Feud game with Marc): Tita Edwina, what's "cyst"?
Me: A cyst is an abnormal growth in a person's body...
Bo: Oh! Like me, before!

...I think she was imagining how she grew inside her mom's womb. HAHA! It was a bit hard to explain. XD

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hoping for better weather

I was woken up at midnight last night by my phone ringing. Selena was calling to tell me that F wanted to bring her kids over to keep them safe as the flood was threatening their house. Mom and I stayed up to wait for their arrival.

The kids arrived safe and sound, but F opted to stay at their house to watch over it. When the kids were all set up in their room, I realized they were pretty much awake with all the goings on, so I took them down to watch TV til they got sleepy. Went to bed at 2AM. Even that late, I still had to bargain with Bo about going to bed. She told me she wanted to stay up because she wasn't sleepy, but her cute little eyes were obviously betraying her.

When I woke up this morning, I saw that our house looked like a tiny evacuation camp as Bards had brought his friends to stay over after they helped in the relief ops in Marikina. They seemed so tired; they were all fast asleep on the sofa and chairs.

Bards told me that the situation in Marikina was still bad. It wasn't as worse as during Ondoy when there wasn't any electricity at all. Though the flooding is just as bad now, maybe even worse than before, the fact that there was still electricity brightened things up.

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I asked my boss if I could stay home again today to help mind the kids. There's not much for kids to do in our house since our house has been "kid-free" for what, 9 years now? Gotta find ways to keep them amused and help them not worry about the whole situation.

WIP: Indecisive socks

Because a lot of my time has been spent at home while this monsoon has been ravaging the Metro, I was able to make some progress on my second pair of socks. It's not much progress since I was also coordinating with friends and family regarding the various states of distress they were in.

Sock progress pics:


And a blurry close up.



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We have friends and family who are directly affected by the flood, and it is very important that we keep in contact with them to make sure they are still safe. 

I really appreciate how people have been using Twitter to quickly disseminate information to the public. It's really a big help. I see how very informative most of the tweets have been; from tips on traveling from one place to another, to even information on what are the best things to donate to the relief operations. There's even a Twitter account for quick notification about people who need rescuing.

Best/Most helpful Twitter accounts I've seen so far:
@MMDA, @RescuePH, @GMANews, @Inquirerdotnet

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

State of Calamity. :(

The view from my window at the office earlier today. 

Photo was from before lunch:

I never could see the river from my window before. And now I see it swallowing the surrounding houses :(


Second photo after:

Can't see anything anymore through the torrential rain. :( I hope it stops soon.


Up until today, I never even realized the river was that close to Eastwood. Now, because it's all flooded and overflowed into those residential areas, I can see it clearly. :(
It started raining again after lunch, not giving the water levels a chance to go down. Let's pray for this rain to stop.

Relief ops are underway. Various organizations have started organizing donation hubs and dispatching the goods to those in need. If I'm not called in to work tomorrow (like I was today), Marc and I will volunteer at the relief ops near our homes. 

Also, people have been putting social networking to good use and circulate very useful information such as:






Please click on the images for the sources of the photos.

For those who would like to help, it is better to help with the relief operations and leave the major rescuing to the experts. One of my friends on FB put it nicely: "By staying in you're already doing a big help. If you're not trained with rescue ops, or your job doesn't involve disaster field work, then your courage is nothing but folly."

Stay safe, everyone!!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

On changing numbers and scary weather

I changed my number over the weekend and of course, the usual upheaval of transferring contacts and such had to take place. I changed both my sim and phone, so that meant manually copying the contacts I had in my old unit. It was an oddly enlightening experience. The task of copying 300+ numbers didn't sound so appealing to me, so I just scanned my contacts list and only copied those numbers with whom I still keep in contact.

It was a bit of a realization to see how I whittled everything down to just a small percentage of the original number. I had built up quite a large database from college but now I realize, I only really need the few, more important numbers in my phone. As we grow older, our relationships mature and we only really need to keep those relationships that are relevant to your life.

I also noticed that I'd kept a lot of contact numbers of people I met from even way back in high school. Much as those contacts could be kept for the nostalgia, I realized that I didn't need to keep them in order to feel good about the past. It really feels even better to enjoy the present and dream about the future.

It feels like I let go of something, and I feel liberated. How crazy/funny is it that I found a deeper significance in the act of changing phones?! HAHA



In happier, more superficial news, my new phone has a better camera than my iPod! I can take slightly better photos than before! And also, Marc got the same plan and phone as I did, so we get to use Viber... At last, no more overspending on credit.

I made cellphone cozies for each of us (yes, something crafty still in here):

Yellow for Marc. Gonna embroider a design hopefully similar to that of their band's 3rd album.


Pink for me. Err, I seem to be having a lot of pink accessories lately. 
How very un-Edwina! But this was the softest yarn in my stash.

These knit up pretty fast, and I didn't follow any pattern. I just kept putting it up to the phone to check sizing.

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Since last night, the rain has been pouring down here in Manila, Philippines, and all other provinces around. It's pretty scary, seeing as how it is quite similar to how the Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) was 3 years ago. My Twitter feed is full of breaking news announcing floods here, there and everywhere. I'm sure the best decision I made this week was to decide not to go to work.

Our backyard. My phone is making it look it's bright and sunny, when in fact, it's a really gloomy day today. A mini-flood was brewing here earlier, but thank goodness it's gone down.

It's worrying me to know that some people I know are affected by the floods. I just got word from my friend that they had to evacuate from their home. :-(

I truly hope this won't be another Ondoy.

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In our home, everyone's home safe. I managed to convince Tad to come home... He'd already left for work by the time I woke up! I had to to call him and tell him to come home. I'm glad he did. We're still a bit worried though 'cause one of our four cats still hasn't come home. I know some of you may say that missing cats aren't as grave as missing people, but we love our pets like family. I hope she comes home soon.

The other three cats are home safe and warm. I kinda envy how content and worry-free they seem:

Liger on her favorite pillow.


Boxer on his favorite warm spot, the top of the TV.


And Silvio says, "Don't bother me!"

Friday, August 3, 2012

So looking forward to the weekend.

Things have been going crazy in my mind lately... Making me crazy?

We may have to move house soon and it's quite stressful. Mom is pretty particular about things and she keeps worrying about even the least important stuff. It doesn't help that she masks everything as a joke :p Let it be known though, that I love my family and I love living with them, but somehow, lately, I've been looking forward even more to next year, when I can move out and try living independently. Finally!

For the past few weeks, I feel like I've just been going through the motions... Moving like a robot. Going to work, going home, sleeping, eating. Going through the motions, yet feeling unusually stressed by anything and everything. The only times I've felt relaxed and at peace with myself was when I'd knit and/or I'd just quietly lie down next to Marc. Even the past few weekends haven't felt like weekends! Too many things to do, people to meet.

So yes, I am sooo looking forward to this weekend. I have decided that I will NOT stress out about how to squeeze everything in two short days. I want to just let go and let things happen.

Here are a few things that have made this week bearable:

A little paper cat peeping at me from behind my computer's monitor.


HAHAHA. I told you I'm going crazy.

I've been getting a few likes from my two lonesome Craftsy projects! Wooo!
Inspired to make more :D


I've been using my Gail shawl all week at the office! Yay! It's crazy soft and keeps me warm.
The bright color keeps me cheery too.

After this weekend, only one more week of work and then... My one week mandatory leave! It's summertime in France and things'll get slow here at the office, so we get to have a week off.

Oh man, I am sooo looking forward to doing nothing! I haven't even planned any out-of-town trips, but I'm still freakin excited!


**Edit! Just to be clear, I don't work in France. I do work for a French company here in the Philippines. :D