Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Moi!

 I tagged Catyanna for the Liebster Award last week, and though the rules say we shouldn't do any tagbacks, she tagged me back (I tagged Bheng back too! lol. So she's not the only one).

I liked the questions she posted for those she tagged, so I'm gonna answer them here. Also, this kind of question-answer thingy reminds me so much of my old blogs and the old Multiply days. Nostalgia!

Here goes:

1. Any amazing discoveries lately?
- I just discovered shadow knitting a couple of weeks ago. Check it out! :)

2. Day of the week you generally look forward to?
- Fridays!

3. Love having a routine or hate it?
- I love having a routine, but I don't go crazy when I deviate from it every now and then.

4. What did you want to be when you were younger?
- I wanted to be a marine biologist, a teacher, and according to my kindergarten yearbook, a dentist! (this last one I totally do not remember saying!).

5. One thing that's piqued your interest lately?
- Listening to audiobooks :)

6. Your best subject back in school?
- English. And also Filipino, at one point. In fact, I got selected as one of our section's representatives for a Filipino Quiz Bee back in first year highschool. LOL.

7. Your someday-I-shall project, craft or otherwise?
- One day, I hope to knit a very airy, lacy, epic, white shawl. :) Much like this one:

But with a lighter-weight, fuzzy yarn. Like mohair, maybe.

8. A hobby you thought you'd really get into but didn't?
- When I was a kid, I used to be into a lot of crafts like origami, bracelet braiding, quilling, clay-sculpting, card-making, etc. I thought I'd be doing that all my life, but now I just mostly knit.
I thought I'd get into water-color painting, but never took it seriously. I feel like I really don't have the knack for it. My mom bequeathed to me all her old water-color materials, as well as her old books, so there may be a possibility for it in the future?

9. If you were to be given a block of time to make something, would you choose to make something intricate to wear on a special occasion or something that you're likely to use on a regular basis?
- I'd probably choose to make something intricate to wear on a special occasion. And I'd probably use that thing on a regular basis too, I most likely wouldn't mind that.

10. If you could get a specific yarn/thread as a prize, what would you like it to be?
- I'd like to receive a few skeins of sock-weight wool. :)

11. If you could recommend a book, a TV show, or a film to me, what would it be?
- I know you haven't gone past the first book, but I recommend you continue the A Song of Ice and Fire series :)

C'est tout! I haven't much to say today, except that I am currently trying to decide on what kind of a cardigan I would like to knit for myself. I have new yarn! 3 new skeins of milk cotton, one of which was given to me by Catyanna (thanks again!).

I definitely want to design my own cardigan, since I have a limited amount of yarn. But I'm open to suggestions for inspiration or construction ideas. So far, I know I want a seamless project. :)

Monday, June 24, 2013

What's on my needles

Starting a new project from someone else's lovely pattern is really a breath of fresh air. There is no self-inflicted stress to turn me into an ogre. haha

Why do I even stress myself out trying to realize my own design ideas anyway? Well, the thing is, I don't really have any other outlet to "express my creativity", except for with my knitting. And always, at the beginning of each new project, I definitely start out happy and excited. But if there is any tiny detail that makes me rethink and decide to adjust anything, I tend to get all OC about it and more often than not, stress out.

But that's how I am and I'm content with being this way. I know I can't get things right all the time, and designing is a process, so all the mistakes or misjudgments I make are always something to learn from. Also, I think I half like getting stressed sometimes. lol

But for now, I felt like I needed to knit something not by me.

On my needles right now is the Yaprakli Baktus. And it's a nice and easy knit that is teaching me a lot of things. This is my first time constructing a shawl this way and each step is new and exciting. Again, thanks to Cory for the recommendation!


Of course, before blocking, lace usually looks like a mushed up piece of fabric. And that's another exciting thing about this... Imagine seeing this after blocking! :)

So far, I've done 14 repeats of the leaf-like shapes. And I have 29 more to go. Sounds like a lot? It goes by fast, trust me.


Finally, this yarn is getting used up!

-

Also on my needles is a slightly more slouchy version of my Undulate pattern.

There's a swap-a-stash thing going on between me and Imeng (though it's also open to those who are interested in our Rav group), and what it involves is her sending over some yarn for me to knit her an FO to send back (with extra yarn for me to use as I wish! Awesome!!!). We've also agreed that I would send her some small-gauge knitting needles since she is also learning how to knit, in return for her making me an FO too (as of our last exchange, she's thinking of crocheting me a purse. Exciting!).


She sent me yarn that has a similar color to the one I used for my sample in the pattern. The yarn she sent is a bit too thin too get gauge though, so I'm knitting this project with the yarn held double-- It's now given me almost the exact same gauge as my actual pattern, so this means I didn't need to alter the pattern too much.

To make sure it's slouchier than the original, I redesigned a few rows to make sure I increased the stitches by 20% after knitting up the ribbing. :)


Let's hope it turns out well!

-

I can't remember if I mentioned this before (too lazy to check me archives haha), but my nephew knit a hat for the blue bear I made for him!


Look at that! I hadn't taught him yet how to knit in the round, so he somehow managed to tweak the little back-and-forth knitting he made into a cute little beanie, with holes for the bear's ears!


I am one proud auntie! :)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Some blathering aka Brain vomit

I've really been neglecting this blog lately. But I know it's not going to help if I keep blabbering about the reasons why. So let's just use that go-to phrase "I've been busy".

One reason that I just realized a couple of minutes before beginning this post is the fact that I haven't been knitting much. And yes, that's also all I've been saying in the past few weeks. Anyway. There's no reason why I shouldn't blog just because I haven't been knitting, but there's a part of me that doesn't want to document everything else about my life on this blog.

I call this a personal blog, but I mainly use it to talk about knitting. Any reference to my personal or professional life is usually done in passing or with just a few short paragraphs. My old blogs used to be so personal, and so raw. And then one day when I re-read them, I was so horrified about reading all the nitty-gritty of my emotions from years past that I deleted them. I don't regret deleting the old entries; I'm not one to cling too much on the past. Just knowing and accepting that I've learned something from my experiences is enough.

Photos are a different story though. I rarely ever delete or throw away any old photos. :)

To get back to talking about knitting, my needles are currently idle, still. But only compared to how intense I was this time last year. There's only one project going on and off my needles, and that is the. Perfect. Shawl.

There's this thin red yarn that I got from Dreams last year (or rather, my friend bought it and she didn't know what to do with it, so I bought it from her to "help" her out) that looks like the perfect lace shawl yarn, but is languishing in my stash drawers.

I'm envisioning it in the. Perfect. Shawl. And this Perfect. Shawl. had to be something amazing that now I'm just being held back (by my own pressuring of course! What's new?).

My first attempt at the design was just these diamond-ish lace shapes that would make up a rectangular shawl. It was supposed to be my second shawl design attempt.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Birthday 2013

Oh, did I mention it was my birthday last week?

I totally forgot to post about it! haha. It's not because it was uneventful. In fact, it was one of the best yet! I guess I just forgot to post about it because I had to dive into work as soon as the work week started.

This week has been pretty hectic! I was asked to translate more or less 50 pages of our catalogue. Ugh.

Anyway, to take my mind off translating for a few minutes, let me share some photos from my birthday weekend:

Last Friday was my actual birthday, and I spent it with family. We had a nice lunch at home and played with the kids + teen until it was time for my sister and I to go on our beach trip:


All my nephews and nieces were present! (photo-heavy post!)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

FO: Blue bear

Guys,

I have an FO! Hurrah! Party time!

At last, after nearly two months of accomplishing nothing, I have an FO. Can you tell how happy I am? This has made me feel like there's a huge load off my back, and I can knit happily again.

I really don't understand what has gotten into me in the past couple of months. I think I pressured and stressed myself out unnecessarily back there and now I can breathe.

Et le voilĂ  the Blue Bear as requested by my older nephew:


And here he is, bothering Silvio the tiger-cat:


And here he is with his new owner:


And here are the two boys with their blue bear and green dragon:

Dolls aren't just for girls!

It took me almost a month to finisht his softy, but I hardly had time to knit. Things got busy at work, my commute became uber-tiresome, and home is not as quiet and calm as it used to be.

But here is the Blue bear... A sure sign that I have learned to adjust to my new living situation. I'm still adjusting, but at least now I know I'm getting there!

This bear was knit up with 3 balls of Red Heart acrylic yarn in blue and 2.5mm circular needles. I used the magic loop method and modified the pattern so much, I stopped using it midway through the project.

The pattern is the Diamond Jubilee Bear by Christine Grant, but really, I only followed her directions to a point. What I modified:

1. The pattern is written to be knit back and forth, but I knit this ALL in the round.
2. I made my own ears.
3. I picked up and knit the body, the arms, and the legs so I wouldn't seam anything at the end.
4. I knit my own legs because I had a hard time transposing the back and forth pattern to be picked up and knit from the body and knit in the round.

I'm actually quite proud of the legs I came up with:

Hee, so cute!

Also, I just embroidered the eyes and the nose, and did not knit up any paw pads.


Though this was knit at a snail's pace, I did enjoy the process. It's inspired me to knit my own softies in the future. :) Gotta do that now, while my nephews are still young!

Got tagged! Liebster Award

Thanks, Bheng for tagging me :) And thanks for the link that you shared in your post, I was able to understand what the award was.

Here are the rules for those who aren't yet familiar with the Liebster award:
1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Answer the questions that the tagger set for you plus create 11 questions for the people you’ve tagged to answer.
3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
4. Go to their page and tell them.
5. No tag backs!

First off, I'll write down 11 facts about me:

1. I have three given names and their initials spell out the word "water" in French.
2. None of my close friends really crochet or knit (which is why I'm glad to have made friends through Ravelry and such).
3. I used to be an active member of a dragonboat team.
4. I love being at the beach.
5. I play guitar in a band and sometimes we play at our friends' prods. This is very rare now though.
6. I've always wanted to be able to sing, but can't.
7. I hate watching people clean blackboards/whiteboards, or windsheilds. I feel weird when I see them miss a spot haha.
8. I always carry a nail clipper, some thread, a needle and a pair of scissors with me.
9. I've recently learned how to read while in a moving vehicle. And this has made my daily commute less of a hassle! You should try it.
10. I prefer circulars over DPNs.
11. I like running, but don't do it often enough.

And are my answers to Bheng's questions:

1. What is your best crocheted or knitted project  to date?
My Undulate hat, I think :) Check it out! My first ever pattern for sale haha

2. Which time do you want to travel back in , if given a chance? I'm not one to feel regrets about the past, so this question is a bit difficult to answer. If I were to go back, just to remember what it feels like though, without having to change anything, I'd probably like to go back to 3rd or 4th year highschool. I miss that feeling of having your dearest friends around you everyday during and after school.

3. Sweet or Sour?
Sweet!

4. Will you wear a crocheted wedding gown ?
Probably not... I sweat easily (TMI?) and it might make me uncomfy.

5. When was the last time you told your mom that you love her ?
The other night, I said it when I said good night :)

6. In the workplace, which employee will you choose? The always punctual so and so or the brilliant one who is always late?
This is hard! haha. Because I am somewhat a stickler for rules (at the workplace, at least), I would choose the punctual so and so.

7. Quality or Quantity?
Quality!

Thanks for the questions, Bheng!

I don't really know a lot of bloggers to tag, so I'll just tag those I regularly read and/or have spoken to in real life :)

1. Bheng (I know, no tag backs dapat, but what the hey :)
2. Catyanna
3. Imana
4. Mimi A.
5. Imeng
6. Fats
7. Mansy
8. Jonette (I believe you tagged me before, but I never got around to posting my answers, sorry! T_T)

And that's all I can tag for now! Please don't feel pressured to answer, but just know that I tagged you because I love your respective spaces on the web.

Here are my 11 questions:

1. Where's your favorite place to craft?
2. Do you have a dedicated space in your house for your crafting?
3. Do you like listening to music while crafting? If so, what do you listen to? :)
4. Are you an output or process-based type of person?
5. If you were given the chance to be the one to choose the name you were given when you were born, what would you have named yourself?
6. Cats or dogs?
7. Ice cream or cake?
8. What are three must-haves that you keep with you at all times when you go out?
9. Do you work best during the day or night?
10. Spaghetti or pancit? (I'm obviously running out of questions to ask lol)
11. If I had the time and the yarn to knit you something, what would you want me to knit for you?

That's all! :D