Sunday, December 28, 2003

The Fan Club?

Colour me bemused.

My two cousins (aged 12 and 15) came back to visit for the holidays with my aunt and uncle. They came over to my house and raided my room of course. Girls do that.

That's how they found my drawings.

The upshot of it is that they pounced on them and now they want me to draw things for them so they can hang it in their rooms. And they want the webpages so they can print out the ones they like.


They're acting like fan girls. They -want- to see my drawings whenever I complete 'em.

It's kind of weird, having my -relatives- so squealy. They -really like- my work.


Maybe I'll have to post one or two to see if they're just hallucinating.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003


It is a sign that it's going to be one of THOSE days again when the 240 stitch piece that you've been working on for four laborious rows turns out to be - not flat as it SHOULD have been - but a mobius strip.


Monday, December 15, 2003

A Victory, Three Quarters and a Triumph

The Victory:
I've FINALLY finished knitting the Booga Bag, i-cord and all! It's ready...

First Quarter: be felted, except I can't because our washing machine's dead. Absolutely dead. It trips the fuse every time it's used so the house electricity completely dies. It'll take about a week to fix. So in the meantime...

Second Quarter:
...I've started on my Broadripple socks. Except I had to cast on eight times. Why? Because I tried it first with the circulars I have, but they were hideously difficult to use and the cable was all twisted up (three cast ons). So I switched to double points. That was even worse. So after casting on twice there (that's five) I switched back to the circulars. And got halfway around the first set of divided stitches before I realized...

Third Quarter:
...that I'd knitted it the entire thing WRONG on the wrong circular and thus things were chaotic - and to make matters worse the cables on the needles were intensely kinked thanks to being stored for over 10 years coiled up in its packet. I ripped the thing out and cast on again, only to have a HUGE ladder appear in the join. Ripped it out yet again, turning the air blue in the process and of course, all the stitch markers dropped out while I was trying to hold everything in place so I had to redo it yet again before getting so annoyed with the kinked cables that I ripped it out for the eighth time...

The Triumph:
...and grabbed the circulars and took them to the ironing board. And by golly it WORKED.

So now I have two perfectly straight circulars with no kinks whatsoever, and a partially cast-on set of stitches.

I think I'll be able to make it through the night without Sudden Death due to Recalcitrant Cables.

In case anyone's faced the same problem, I present to you:

Shuku's Kinked Cable Solution
1) Take circulars to ironing board. Stick one needle somewhere on board so that it is point down, with the end that's attached to the cable facing up. Try and make the cable flush with the ironing surface so it can lay flat when you stretch it out as described below.

2) Take free end of cable needle. Stretch out the cable so it's laying flat and nicely straight on the surface.

3) Set iron to low heat - setting 2 or 3. Any higher and the cables might melt.

4) Keeping the cable taut, iron it several times. It may take a little longer to get out particularly nasty kinks, but persevere. Believe me, if it worked for mine it ought to work for anyone else's.

Let me know if it works!

And now back to casting on...*mutter*


And here is the promised picture of the yarn!

Pretty isn't it? Must finish up my i-cord for Kiwi Splash so I can concentrate on trying to knit the socks. I think I might try these absolutely gorgeous Broadripple Socks next.

The fact that I've never knitted any socks before and that my circular needles in this size suck doesn't weigh with me, oh no, oh no...

I'm a masochist. This probably proves it.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Baaaaack Agaiiiin

It's good to be home again, I'll say that much. I had to go for an interview in another state quite suddenly. And I return - with job! Yay! (Hey Consomme, you may be seeing a whoooole lot of me come January. Ffffear.)

I also had the time to go yarn shopping. It wasn't cheap but I suspect it could've been a lot worse if it hadn't been for the fact that these yarns are apparently going to be discontinued. So I treated myself. Hee. If I'm going to knit socks, I'm going to knit them in colours I like, dernitall. 3 balls of Filatura de Crosa's Millefili Fine. I'll post pictures of 'em tomorrow when the SO has had a chance to save 'em for me.

Aside of yarns, I visited Kinokuniya bookstore and came away with a Japanese art book and a lovely book on making bags. I've been waiting for this chance for about 4 months. Not enough time for all those boooooooooks...never mind. Soon enough, soon enough.

Watercolour paper and brushes were next on my list and I did manage to visit the art store I was recommended. Unfortunately their paper selection was pretty dismal for a university store! Someone did suggest a place for me to go next time though, down in the city center. I mean...there's got to be SOME place that stocks non-photo blue pencils here! Fortunately I brought back some extras from Boston when I came home so I'm set for at least a couple months.

Now to go and gloat over the yarns, maybe work a bit on the i-cord for Kiwi Splash, and maaaaaybe some drawing.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Way Hey Away We Go!

The main body of Kiwi Splash is finished! I'm working on the i-cord now - it's a trifle tedious but it works up fairly fast. I might have to get some more yarn for it, actually. I might see if there's time to drop by the yarn store after visiting the doctor (yes, I've an evil sore throat which I suspect is a throat ulcer, and it's starting to hurt like the dickens). I also need to see if they'll exchange a defective double point needle - while I was knitting with it earlier, part of the tip slivered off and kept catching the yarn. It really shouldn't do that; I suspect there must have been an improperly finished bit there. They better exchange! I paid quite a bit for those blasted things...

All of a sudden there's so many gorgeous, interesting projects that are getting my attention. I'm going to need to start whittling through them to see which ones are realistic (and affordable, more importantly).

Oh, and Consomme? You may be getting your wish to go craft shopping with me pretty soon if all goes well! There's a good chance I'll be moving to your neck of the woods if this job offer comes through. Now that is an incentive for me to move, let me tell you. :) Knitting partner!

Socks, Bonne Marie's absolutely swanky bucket o'chic hat, the Folly sweater in the Winter issue of Knitty...Yeah, I really need to get this job then I'll actually have the money to feed this desperate yarn addiction...

Monday, December 08, 2003

Booga Booga Boogie!

55 rows on Kiwi Splash, 9 more to go! After that it's just knitting up the i-cord and then it's Felting Time! I'm really excited to see what it'll look like after that. Incentive to get the main bag finished today, certainly.

As promised, here's pictures - well ok, a picture, since I haven't been able to stuff the bag into the scanner successfully. Pretty, pretty bright yarn! The colours are much nicer real time, and the pale greenish-almost-white yarn actually has colour flecks of yellow and pink which you can't see so well in the scan.

The Sweater of Doom is on hold for a little - I've got to get over the psychological intimidation of the thing, I think. However, my -next- project is probably going to be the cuffed socks Camwyn gave me directions for. Now if I can just find some nice cheap cotton/acrylic yarn that gets me interested enough to knit it...

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Heatstroke Aiee

Up to 30 rows on Kiwi Splash. I did no knitting at all today because the heat was incredible and mohair on the lap is not very conducive to keeping cool in the tropics!

I've combined the mohair with touches of rainbow merino roving that was a gift from the SO. Makes me wish I had my drop spindle still - it broke in transit when I was flying home from the US. Gah. Handspun is the most beautiful thing to knit with, it's so soft and the satisfaction of knowing you're knitting with something you practically created from scratch is hard to beat.

I wish they sold spinning wheels here now!

And yes, I'll get pictures as soon as possible. (No camera means I have to jam whatever I can into the scanner, and for something as big as this bag it's not -quite- the thing.)

Friday, December 05, 2003

Westward Ho! I Spy Yarn!

The Booga Bag is off to a fabulous start, amazingly. Knitting is addictive - I'm convinced they put crack in the yarn or something, because I was so stuck on finishing the bottom of the bag that I stayed up till 3am to do it. And today, so far, I'm on row 24 of 64 when I've worked on it in between errands.

The yarn colours are so pretty! I've nicknamed the bag 'Kiwi Splash' because that's exactly what it is - kiwi green, sunshine yellow and bright orange. Just in case you're thinking that's a trifle garish, it actually isn't - it looks surprisingly summery when it's all put together. I've dug out a couple of remnants of cotton slub yarn from my ancient stash and knitted it in as well. It should be interesting to see how it comes out after it's been felted. Pictures later, I promise (I need to request the SO to host the scans on his website first).

I've shelved the Sweater of Doom at least until I've finished the bag. I honestly can't work out the directions, and I'm usually fairly good at doing that. I'm considering taking them to an old family friend to get translated - she's a Japanese whizz anyway.

If I can manage to drop in at the yarn store again I might pick up some eyelash yarn or the pretty fuschia chenille that felt soooo soft. We'll see.

Anyways. Must knit! Must knit!

Thursday, December 04, 2003

*Mute Disbelief*

Today I rediscover just how expensive knitting as a hobby can be.

And it wasn't the yarn either - it was the needles. They made up 3/4 of the price, and that wasn't cheap certainly.

Needles! Good gravy, they're bamboo needles! How much can they possibly cost?

A lot, apparently. I did, however, get some lovely fluffy pure mohair that will be used to start the Booga Bag. I also discovered this place sells beads and crystals a lot cheaper than where I used to frequent before this.

So all in all, it was a productive visit at the yarn store.

But those NEEDLES!

Mohair Mohair

So I cleaned out my closet tonight and came across:

a) 8+ balls of mohair I’d bought years ago while I was in college, intended for

b) 2 patterns, one of which was nicknamed the Sweater of Doom from its inception, and

c) the beginnings of 2 sweaters and a sleeve, the original intentions of which have been lost in the mists of antiquity.

The Sweater of Doom was given its name because it took several dozen unpickings and much creative invective before I discovered that it was an advanced pattern. The girl whom I’d bought the yarn from had neglected to mention that one tiny detail when I picked out the design from one of her Japanese knitting books. It was promptly relegated to the closet. I hadn’t gotten more than 6 inches of it done at any one time, anyways. Bearing in mind that I live in Malaysia in the tropics, knitting with mohair is fairly suicidal on very hot days (that’s almost every day). I have no idea what I was thinking at the time. I still don’t.

Aaaand...I’m thinking of starting That Sweater up again. It’s a beautiful garment even if it’s inundated with cables and embroidery inside the diamonds. The ribbing is gorgeous, like mock cables ( for a peek).

Oh, I must mention here that I can’t read a word of Japanese except the kanji. And since it’s a photocopy I haven’t got any of the stitch shortform breakdowns either.

I’ve gotten hold of a Japanese knitting/crochet stitch encyclopaedia (bless my aunt who left it in the bosom of my family all those years ago), and I will attempt stitch translation.

On another note however, I have finally found a Yarn Store in my hometown that sells imported yarns! They don’t have Noro Kureyon, which is what I was looking for, but no matter. This means that I can finally get started on that gorgeous Booga Bag I found the other night, if I can get a self-striping yarn that’s pure wool. And thanks to Consomme, I now know where to get yarns, books and beads when I go out of state!

Now back to that pattern. My head already hurts just looking at it. Oww oww oww.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

This is the Great Adventure...

(aka, What One Does When Creativity Lapses)

...and let's hope the creativity continues, instead of fading out like it's been doing for the past few months.

The purpose of this blog is, hopefully, to stir myself into some form of disciplined creativity where fibre arts, artwork and other crafty-type-things are concerned.

We'll see where it leads from here. Having been inspired by several people's blogs, let's see if I can (with the help of the deities of ISP Connectivity) make something worthwhile from this thing. Who knows? I might learn something!