Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Giddy and daydreaming

I'm feeling pretty giddy at the moment, Laura Chau just added me back as a friend on Ravelry! Awesome! I know being "friends" on Ravelry isn't much; it doesn't mean I'll be rubbing elbows with my fave knitters/designers, but it's still pretty cool. Besides, I added her first!

It's safe to say she's my favorite knitter/designer. She makes things because she can. Most of her projects are practical wearables, but reading about how her progress with each project unfolds inspires me to knit more. And hey, she came out with a knitting book at the age of 24!

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I'm currently obsessed with the blog Hairdresser on Fire. I love her tutorials and her style. It's a fun and inspiring read. Now I'm currently obsessed with experimenting with braids in my hair.

I french-braided the two sides of my head, and then pinned the ends under each other. I wish I had actual hairpins; I only have bobbi pins, and they show too easily :p


When I told Marc about it last night, I'm pretty sure he got nervous for a moment there. He probably thinks I wanna turn into a haridresser/stylist. ...Why not? :D

I want to be lots of things. I remember wanting to be a chef, a filmmaker, a marine biologist, an interpreter, a seamstress, a make up artist, a travel show host. My pre-school yearbook even says I wanted to be a dentist. Talk about variety!

But where am I now? I work a regular 9-5 job where I sit at my desk and stare at my computer all day long. A couple of years ago, this felt like a nighmare. But now, I don't mind it at all! I realized that going to the office isn't the only thing in my life. I can still go out and do things. This job is just giving me the means to live.


THERE'S LIFE AFTER HOURS.

WIP: Psychedelic

After completing the House Targaryen Cowl, I had nothing on my needles except for the knit bikini that I was making for my friend. I don't think I can ever ask for a modelled photo, so that's not gonna be documented.

So yesterday, I cast on for a new project, using the yarn from Nepal that aforementioned friend gave me a few months ago. And because of the wild colors, I am calling it Psychedelic. So creative. :p haha

I’m basing my pattern on the logistics behind Laura Chau’s Simple Yet Effective shawl -- Work from the neck down, increase 4 stitches every other row to create a triangular shawl.

It’s practically the same, but I cast on a different number of stitches, and am using plain and simple stockinette stitch. Two stitches on each side, however, will be knit on both the right and wrong sides to create a garter stitch border.

Cast on 7 stitches. (It’s my first time to improvise my own shawl, so I’m not even sure if this is standard or not, or whether this is too much.)

Row 1: K2, yo, k, yo, place st marker, k, yo, k, yo, k2
Row 2: k2, purl to last two sts, k2
Row 3: k2, yo, k to marker, yo, k, yo, k to last 2 sts, k2

Repeat rows 2 and 3 til shawl is the desired size.


That's my progress so far. It's going really fast, and I think I can finish it before the weekend arrives. The fuzziness of the yarn makes the yarn overs hardly visible, but that's fine with me.



Man, I wish I'd borrowed someone's camera so you could see all those colors. It's such a mess, but I think the craziness of it all justifies it? I guess? I'm not even sure if turning it into a wearable is such a good idea; maybe I should have turned it into another bag/pouch.

This is a more accurate photo of its actual colors.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

FO: House Targaryen Cowl (includes my free pattern)

So last week, I cast on for a cowl for Marc to use at his uber cold air-conditioned office. And I was able to finish it last night, while crashing the recording session of my sister's band Slow Hello (Marc's her bassist, and I used to play guitar for her too).

It's supposed to be inspired by House Targaryen of the series A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin. Operative word: supposed.


House Targaryen Cowl

Needles: US 7 (4.5mm)
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver in black and red (the red looks a bit orangey in the sun). *

While the Targaryens aren't Marc's House of choice (his favorite is actually Dorne whose house colors are orange and yellow), we had to settle for this 'cause black and red yarn were the only available colors in my stash that didn't look too girly.

...Speaking of my stash, I should thoroughly be congratulated 'cause I haven't bought any new yarn since July! I think I can even make it til January. Hooray for me and my wallet haha. I can't say it's been easy though; trying to figure out what I can knit next is difficult with such a limited stash.

Anyway, moving back to this FO that I am explaining here. Initially, we decided to make it long enough for him to wrap it twice around his neck. But we also figured that it might be a bit too warm that way. Kept it short and simple instead.

I also opted to put in a cable-y texture to make it seem like there are flames going across the cowl.
Flames = dragons = Targaryen? Get it?

Does it look like flames are going across it? BOO! Say yes!


Here, does it look more "flame-y"? :D

I don't think I pulled it off really well, but at least I got the colors down pat.



It has been reported that it serves its purpose well. :D

*Acrylic yarns may not be the most luxurious (ok, I admit that they're, well, the most synthetic material for your skin :p), but I find that, given the fact that we're in a tropical country, it doesn't make the wearer feel TOO warm and that is a plus!

ETA: The Pattern!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Weekend fun and small joys

I posted last week about learning how to French braid my hair on my own. Well, I can do it now! Yes. SMALL JOYS.

A bit messy, but I'm getting there!

I also was able to make a cascade braid on myself:

Cute but simple.



Last Saturday, Marc and I went to two birthday parties. Both celebrants had asked his band to play at their events, so it was a pretty fun night. Free beer, fun fun venues to catch up with friends.


The first party was acually a debut. Here's the really cool debutante playing a few covers of her favorite songs.

The second one was a house party. This moment was just when the celebrant's friends brought out the cake for her to blow the candles.

A blurry photo of the guys. Looking tired after travelling 30 minutes to the second party?

And here they are, setting up for their turn onstage.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

FO: Cafe au Lait socks!

Another FO!


My Cafe au Lait socks are done, ready to be given to my friend :)

Needles: US 1 1/2 (2.5mm)
Yarn: Hariri yarn in brown and light brown/cream(?)
Size made: Fits a US size 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 foot

For this pair of socks, I deviated from my usual preferred method of knitting two socks at a time on two circular needles. I realized, with just simple stockinette stitch, things actually went faster when I knit one sock at a time using the magic loop method.




I also chose to knit a gusset + heel flap instead of my usual short-row heel. This is just a basic toe-up sock, no specific pattern was used. And for my first ever toe-up heel-flap sock (without following any patterns), I must say that the heel is just... Satisfactory.



The heel turn plus flap is obviously very tiny. I didn't distribute the stitches for short rows well, so that's what I ended up with. I guess this issue kinda stressed me out because I actually dreamt about short rows the night after I finished the first heel. But thanks to that weird stressful night, I woke up with a better idea of how to make heels.


I mean, who has pointy heels?!!?!? :(
I call this heel job satisfactory because it still works its purpose. The socks can still be worn comfortably at least hahaha.


I looove the colors of this pair, and I hope my friend is gonna like it!

In other news, remember that thrifted sweater I frogged whose yarn I and my mom had finished soaking and drying?


Well, my mom (yes, she keeps volunteering to do it all) has already begun winding them into cute little balls. I don't have a ball-winder so this is really a labor of love from my mom.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

WIP and what else is on my needles

Casting on for a new project -- a small scarf/cowl for Marc to use at the office.




Marc: I think I'm getting a sore throat again, it's so cold at the office...
Me: Maybe you need a cowl to keep your neck warm.
Marc: Maybe I should get myself a scarf or something.

..."GET" a scarf or something?!?! Your girlfriend can knit. >.<
So there, a new project for me to do hehe.

We took a look at my yarn stash and tried to decide on a good design. Can I just say that I haven't bought any new yarn in a while?! Amazing. Anyway, the only yarns that could pass Marc's judgment were these red and black skeins. I hope I have enough, though! I've had these since forever.
I'm gonna make a striped cowl, supposedly in the colors of House Targaryen. When he spotted my orange/peach yarn, he suddenly became all excited and asked if I could make one in the colors of Dorne: orange and yellow. Hmmm. First of all, the orange/peach yarn I have leans more towards the orange-pink spectrum. Second of all, the only yellow yarn I have is this novelty yarn that looks like they have tiny bumps. Errm, no more talk of making a Dornish cowl then. Oh... A holiday gift idea? Must find reliable orange and yellow yarns soon.

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An update on my WIP: Cafe au Lait socks, I've seriously gone on the one-at-a-time path. And I must admit, they do seem to go a lot faster.

Finally separated the two. One on each circ.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Something I want to perfect...

I can easily Dutch braid my hair, but French braiding has always been difficult for me to do on my own. I can French braid other people's hair, but not mine >.<


DUTCH BRAID
(click photo to get to the source)
Dutch braids look like they go outward.


FRENCH BRAID
(click photo to get to the source)
French braids look like they go inward.

I really like the classic look of the French braid. In my opinion, it looks more "grown up" and elegant. That's just my opinion, really. I've been googling tutorials excessively, but can't seem to find any that show how easy it is. But at last...

THIS is the simplest, most straightforward, most HELPFUL tutorial I've ever seen for learning how to do the French braid on your own.

Kudos to Ms.Sylvia Russell on eHow (I love the name Sylvia, btw).

Monday, September 17, 2012

Rainy afternoon in the garage

Yesterday, 4 of my oldest and dearest friends came over to hang out in our garage. I wasn't feeling well yesterday (still feeling under the weather today, in fact), so it was pretty cool that they decided to come over to my house.

Half of Arianne's face, Katte, Katty, Kate (on Skype on the iPod), and Kim.

First Rubber-cut Crafternoon

Last Saturday, I attended the first Rubber-cut Crafternoon hosted by Mansy and Alessa Lanot, held at Alessa's house.

It was a lot of fun! Despite the rain and the ACET traffic, there were quite a lot of us; 21 ladies showed up and spent a lovely afternoon together creating rubber-cut stamps.


There was a borrower's card on each rubber-cutting kit showing an inventory of all the goodies inside.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

WIP: Cafe au Lait socks

I cast on again for yet another pair of socks.


Simple stockinette stitch on size 2.5mm needles. No complicated stitch patterns, but I'm striping these with a nice brown color and a super light tan one.

I'm hoping I can make these without a hitch... Meaning near-perfect! My past three pairs of socks all seem to have some thing wrong with them. Well, wrong to me, I think. Uneven stitches at the beginning of the round, too-tight bind offs, etc. If this one goes well, I will give it to my friend, Isa!

I began these socks by casting on for two, on two pairs of circular needles. I've always thought this worked best for me (not that I've ever tried socks on DPNS haha), but while knitting up to the second stripe, I realized that though it's convenient to knit socks at the same time to avoid the one-sock syndrome, I find that transferring from one sock to the other on two circs actually takes time too. So I separated them and tried knitting them one by one, one on each circ (my 2.5mm circs are pretty long, so I don't know why I never thought of doing this before) and I actually think things are going faster!

To compare the two ^^

Hope I don't get one-sock syndrome though!!! I don't think I will, I'm liking the meditative stockinette. But yeah, maybe I should stick to my usual two-at-a-time method for socks that have lace or textured stitch patterns. Mustn't take any chances.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A few things


Sleeping Cat next to Marc playing Sleeping Dogs


Bright pink flowers along the highway!
The photo doesn't really capture it, but I like looking at it to bring up the mental image of it :D


BBQ. Interesting how the smoke in the grill all floats at a certain height only.


My recycled sweater yarn! All ready for a good cleansing soak.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday backyard bonding

...with mom, cat(s) and some yarn.

Mom is helping me frog my thrifted sweater and getting the hanks ready for washing.


The cats are out and about in the yard. Here's Liger sniffing around, looking for prey o_O


Boxer sunbathing.


Silvio sampling the citronella.


I guess the sun was too hot, Boxer moved into the shade.
Also featuring ma's feet haha.


Winding more balls of yarn for some future projects.


And a photo from Friday night, taken by my sister:

Marc and I chillin' after a day's work.

Free pattern! My Crocodile socks


Crocodile Socks


Size : US 5 ½ to 6 ½
The socks I made were only anklet socks, but this pattern can be used to reach about 2-3 inches above the ankle bone, just before the leg widens for the calf.
Also, you can probably make this to reach a size 7 foot if you use needles one size up.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

FO: Third pair o' socks AKA Crocodile socks

And they are done!!!

Anklet socks

I finally, finally, finally finished my third pair of hand-knit socks. It took longer than the second pair because I was experimenting with the design/stitch pattern. But I finally settled on a design that worked best with the yarn's color.





Check out that heel flap + gusset heel! My first ever!

This pair wasn't supposed to end at the ankles, I was hoping I could make 'em reach at least two inches above my ankle bone, but obviously, I ran out of yarn. Wanna know how far I pushed it?


See that yarn in between the two? That's how much I had left! Yikes.

I just used one skein of Hariri yarn which I rolled into 3 balls. I thought one ball would serve for each foot, but I had to tap into the third one for after the gusset. One sock got its yarn from the middle of the ball, the other from outside.

And, the cast-off had to suffer too! I used Jenny's Suprisingly Stretchy Bind-off for the first half... But then had to use the standard cast-off for the back of the socks T_T

Wow. Lesson learned.

But don't get me wrong, I loooove these socks!!! I'm so happy I got to make 'em out of my own head. I will post the pattern later or tomorrow. Yay!

More details in my Ravelry post.

Friday, September 7, 2012

1st Crafty Pantry-Party at the office

My friend Mansy is also my officemate and she organized a craft get-together at our office pantry yesterday:

Poster by Mansy!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Heel-turnin'!

I almost typed in "hell-turnin'" for the title. haha

I'm still on my third pair of socks aka Crocodile socks and I just finished the main part of the foot (feet, since I'm working two at a time).



For my first two pairs of socks, I used short-row heels 'cause I've always thought that it was the simplest method. (A good example is Cat Bordhi's Sweet Tomato Heel technique, check it out!). But for this third pair, I wanted to shake things up a bit and try the traditional hell heel flap + heel turn + gusset method for two reasons:

More yarn from Nepal!

Yesterday when I came to work, I found a surprise on my desk:

Odd looking plastic bag...

...Full of yarn!!! Variegated in color, varied in thickness.


Monday, September 3, 2012

More loot: Thrifted sweater for recycled yarn

I went to the ukay-ukay (thrift store) yesterday to look for some new clothes. I did promise myself that I wouldn't get myself any new clothes til next year unless I sewed them myself, or bought them from the ukay-ukay.

I managed to find a blouse for the office, a dress, a cool t-shirt (not included in my plan) and a really cute machine-knit sweater with a 70's-ish vibe for only about 500 pesos in total (roughly around $11). I was keeping an eye out for sweaters to frog for recycled yarn, but the sweater I got looked pretty awesome: