Thursday, August 31, 2006


I haven't updated in a while because, well, I've been busy. (Ahahahahaha the first two times I tried to type busy, I typed busty.... You know you've got the sense of humour of a two-year-old when....) Since my last post, I've packed, flown to Hong Kong, applied for my new Hong Kong ID card, gotten my visa for China, and (get this!) gone to the gym 3 times. Did I mention that my family is very concerned about fitness? Talk about being the black sheep....

Because I've been busy, I haven't had time to take many pictures. But Eric's been asking so I'll be taking the camera out with me today. However I do have an FO.... May I present the Paisley Lace Shawl!

Paisley Lace Shawl

Pattern: Paisley Lace Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark, Interweave Knits Spring 2005
Yarn: Jaggerspun Zephyr in Mulberry, less than 2 2oz. cakes.
Needles: 3.5 mm Inox circs

This took me a while despite the fact that it was a fairly easy knit. Or maybe it's because it was an easy knit that it took me so long. That centre portion? Had the chart memorised by about the fourth repeat. The border wasn't that complicated either. And there was no fussy picking up of stitches or anything. It was just straight-forward knitting.

The blocking was easy too. (Please excuse the crookedness of the shawl in the above picture. This was taken after the shawl had already been blocked and used.) I just washed the shawl and then pulled it a bit. However the finished shawl was a little small. I like how the stitches look at this level of pulled out-ness (I'm sorry I'm getting technical here... ;) ) and didn't want to make it bigger. Thus the shawl looks small on me. However, it is perfect on its petite recipient, my six-year-old sister. Heh.

Close-up of paisley pattern

Paisley detail

Somewhere on the shawl

Near the border, with the little one's leg thrown in for good measure.

I have to go swimsuit shopping today. Yesterday was unsuccessful. I got some wicked shades though. Eric would say that I looked like a bug.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Eric's socks, some handspun and some fun

I needed to make something for Eric. He wanted a sweater... until I told him about the sweater curse. Then he didn't want that anymore. But socks would be okay. So socks it was.

Eric's socks

Pattern: Stockinette toe-ups. I winged it.
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock in Pinstripe, 2 hanks
Needles: 1.75 mm Inox DPNs

This paragraph is more for my own purposes (because I really have no note-taking system) than for anything else so this paragraph can be skipped. I used the magic cast-on to cast on 12 stitches, increased to 60 stitches and continued to knit in stockinette for 89 rounds. A short-row heel was then worked, wrapping 8 stitches on each side. More stockinette for 65 rounds and then one by one ribbing for 15 rounds. Finished with a sewn cast-off.

I love the Lorna's Laces and am fairly happy with the way they striped up. I love the base yarn that they use, but I find the way the colours often pool annoying. The next Lorna's Laces sock I make might have to be in feather and fan, if I can be bothered to check gauge in feather and fan and compare it to stockinette gauge, to alter my pattern. Maybe it's just me, but I find a sock whose pattern extends from the leg to the foot much more attractive than one whose pattern ends at the foot.

I've also got some pictures of handspun to share. These will look familiar because they're mates to handspun that I've already posted but....

More handspun

I've finished (tragically) spinning up the Danielle No No Kitty Corriedale, on the left. It's all fairly fine and very dense, so hopefully it'll make something longer-wearing. I was thinking socks but I love the colours so much I might make something else a little more flashy. Who knows?

On the right is some 100% wool, from some sprinkle-dyed sliver purchased at the LYS. Slightly heavier in weight. I have some more to spin up then maybe a warm hat?

And lastly, Eric and I are really splashing out for our last week together. He's taken the week off (sweet, sweet man) and yesterday we went to the Aquarium with a little friend and his mummy. Here he is, touching the sea anemone. He's such a cute kid. The Aquarium lady mentioned how the anemone was hooking on 'cause it thought we were food (talk about biting off more than you can chew!) and Keith started to get worried. When mummy put her hand in, he pulled it away. "No, mommy!" And when I did, he did the same. Awww....

Aquarium trip

Monday, August 21, 2006

We went out!

Seeing how I'm flying out on Saturday, Eric's taken this week off to spend time with me. (Awww!!! *swoon*)

Warning: Today's post is a lengthy-ish one, and mostly not fibre related. There's some fibre-related content at the very bottom though if you're desperate though. ;)

Today, we drove up to Whistler. And of course, when I say 'we', I mean 'he'. We stopped in Whistler Village, walked around and had a nice lunch. And we checked out the Great Glass Elevator Candy Shop, which is one of those places that I could drop a lot of money in. Me? Sweet tooth? Never.

Outside the Great Glass Elevator Candy Shop

I got a sweet haul too. I'd say that I was fairly restrained. I stayed away from most of the Cadbury because it was more expensive than I'm accustomed to paying in Hong Kong, and I'm going to Hong Kong in less than a week (it's my mini trip before the big Beijing trip). I could not resist the Jacobs Club Orange though.


I saw it, and the first thing that came to mind was
mikomiao (from Knittyboard). Why? Because she's lovely and RAK'd me with a book and a bar of the Jacobs Club Orange. Brought back memories of sneaking them out of the cupboards when I used to live in Hong Kong. And later on, I remember blowing the money earned from tutoring on snacks from Marks and Spencers. Also in the bag was some Pop Rocks for my sister, taffy on a stick and a Whatchamacallit. Yum!

Neither Eric nor I are big shoppers, so after wandering through Eric thought we ought to drive up to Pemberton. I fell asleep... (naturally... does anyone else have a HUGE problem falling asleep in moving cars? I know that's how my parents used to put me to bed when I was being a stubborn baby.) ...and when I woke up we were at a lake. We went outside to look around. I ate a Jacobs Club Orange... (BTW I'm really proud of what I named the photo in flickr. ;) )

Eric likes it when I pig out

And I pulled a face.

Somewhere between Whistler and Pemberton

Afterwards, we stopped by Squamish on the way home. I don't know if I've mentioned mentioned it before, but someone up there has the most genius idea. A yarn store and a little gelato place in one spot. The gelato place even serves soup! Unfortunately, there wasn't any yarn that called out to me, but some gelato did. Seriously the largest single cones I've ever seen.

Last but not least, I picked up my new spinning wheel! Ta da!


It's sweet. I've spun up and plied some more yarn but pictures will have to wait...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Are you ready to go yet?

That's the phrase I've been hearing more and more often.

"Are you ready yet?"

"How's the packing going?"

In all honesty, it hasn't. Until today that is. I finally got my act together and started sorting through the clothes. I've got a nice pile of wintery things going in front of the telly and a few bags of things that either need to be thrown out or donated. But I'm somewhat at a loss when it comes to what I need. I've obviously decided I need the parka thing, the down vest and sweaters, but what else? I can obviously skip the sandals. Did you know it gets cold in Beijing? Something about the winds from the desert. I'm a wimp and I'm scared. And how much fibre-related stuff will I want to bring? How much will I need?

Alice came over the other day. She went to Beijing last winter. And she filled me in. Apparently "The Bookworm" is the place to be. And apparently my school is waaaay out there. :) Alice! I haven't lost any of the stuff yet! See?

Alice's Beijing stuff!

In other news, I sold my wheel. And my new one isn't here yet. See the void? Yes I haven't been able to put anything where my wheel used to live yet.


Just before the wheel went bye-bye, I frantically plied up what was left on the bobbins and got this.

Corriedale handspun

It's from a corriedale roving beautifully handpainted by Danielle. It's tightly spun and plied and sits at about 145 metres. Socks maybe? I have to finish spinning the rest of it up though.

Today will be spent thinking about wool and babysitting Alex. Alex is my sister's tamagotchi.

Babysitting Alex

He's looking rather happy.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I am lame (excuses, and buy my spinning wheel... or not)

So apparently I've been busy. But soon enough I won't be! This week is my last week of work and today is the first morning I've had to myself in a while.

In my absence from the blogosphere, I have been knitting and spinning. I still don't have a picture of the paisley lace shawl, but I do have pictures of the socks I'm making Eric. (Psst! E! I forgot how to put borders on my pictures...)

Eric's sock

I've also been spinning...

Spinning progress!

I'm also gearing up for China. I was a dolt and neglected to mention what I'm doing there. I'm going there to work on my linguistic skills (i.e. learn Chinese, though 'working on my linguistic skills sounds better!). Yes, I've finally gotten tired enough of my illiteracy to do something about it!

I've cancelled my Medical Service Plan coverage (after a 15 minute wait on the phone... grrr), but I've also got to get my visa, cancel the phone, cancel the gym membership (HA! Like that got used!), take the blood test, physical exam, etc. In short, I've got my work cut out for me. I seriously need to make up a schedule, because between that I also have to go to Playland with Eric and another trip with the little one, spend time with some friends that I won't see in a while, and drive down to the States to pick up my new spinning wheel!

I was feeling mopey because I wasn't going to be able to bring my wheel with me to China, so I ordered a new Lendrum. I'm getting it shipped to my Aunt's house in the States and it should be there on Wednesday. I'm also trying to sell my Ashford Traditional in order to justify the splurge, particularly since I'm going to be unemployed shortly. I
posted it to Craigslist and I just got an email about it. That makes me nervous. Because, although I have posted it for sale, I don't really want to sell it. It's been an awesome wheel to me. I love it. It's my first wheel. A bond was formed between the two of us and I think it'll be hard to break. Though I suppose it won't be too worried. It's a cutie, see? (Click to be taken to Flickr, where I have pics of the flyers, the lazy kate and the distaff.)

The Ashford Traditional!

I hope someone wants it. And they'd better take care of it! *sigh*