Letter from nowhere

I haven't blogged for goodness knows how long.

There was a time when I had all the free time in the world, where deadlines did not have to be met, and where crafting was always right there. In recent months, I have taken on a bit too much. Undertaking 2 qualifications, and 1 certification program has gotten the better of me.

Gone were my nights of sitting in front of the tv knitting.
Gone were my weekends of going out or of staying home to do some sewing.
In its place was long nights in front of the laptop. Weekends spent at libraries.
Gone was the CHOICE to decide what I wanted to do.

I've been on auto pilot. Trying to get through one deadline, or course, or assignment after another.

3 down, 2 to go.

When I had the choice to do things, I wanted to blog.
I enjoyed writing about the process of crafting , and I especially loved showcasing the latest project. However, in the past few months, I've felt obliged to blog, rather than it be something I wanted to do.
I'm physically and mentally exhausted at the moment.
But I've started crafting again.
I've started sewing, and I've started to knit again.

Hopefully, I'll also feel the urge to blog again.
Not because of obligation.
But because it's something I want to do.

Twinkle Sews

I got my Twinkle Sews book in the mail this afternoon. Overall, a few cute tops and dresses I'd make and some very blah skirts. Given the price to pattern ratio though, I think it's a pretty good buy. I haven't actually made anything or read the instructions etc, but here's an overview of the patterns in the book for anyone whose interested. (Not the greatest, but i'm in a rush to get to netball)

Friday night football knitting progress

It appears the only time I knit is when Friday night football is on.. (or that Friday night football is about the only time I watch tv nowadays). Usually, I would watch my beloved Grey's Anatomy, my indulgent Gossip Girl, as well as following the heartache of various korean drama series (current: Cain and Abel). Unfortunately, with the advent of summer season tv , all the good shows are currently taking a break and hence too, the knitting progress.

But anyways, Friday night football was on last night, and with it came some progress on the Phildar Grandpapa Cardigan (I think i shall name it Pops from now on). I managed to finish the whole back, and get started on the front left panel. It's pretty easy so far - just mindless reverse stockinette stitch. I'm a little worried that it's a wee bit small compared to the schematics but i'm hoping that blocking will fix it all..

I think the reason why I'm making "okay" progress with this one is that it is something i'll actually wear ! Too often, I knit things because they're cute, or interesting but knowing full well that worsted weight yarn often makes things ( and as a consequence, me) look bulkier, or knowing that the colour of the yarn doesn't suit me, or that I'm just knitting because I "need" a project but have no interest or love for the actual pattern itself... and yet, i never learn.

Could it be?

Could it be? I've actually managed to *almost* knit my second Thermal sleeve?
This friday night footy sure does wonders for thermal knitting...

Getting back into it

As you could probably tell, I haven't been terribly crafty in recents months due to having to move and settle back into city life. One of the more pressing things on my to do list however, has been my assignment submissions which have one after another dominated my free time. I finally handed in my second assignment yesterday, and while I'm not yet done with assignments (have got another one due in three weeks, worth 40% of my total mark eek!), i decided to give myself a well earned break this weekend and get back into crafting.

I went to spotlight yesterday afternoon (approx. 1 hour after submitting my assignment) and picked up some black jacquard for a tulip skirt I'm hoping to start today, some gorgeous black polkadot tulle to use as the skirt part of a dress (somewhere down the track) ...

and some more merino yarn to start on a Phildar long grandpa cardigan...

At the moment, the space I have for crafting is pretty limited given that I'm not in my own house at the moment, so everything's a bit piled up, in boxes and a bit messy.. this was the neatest shot i managed to get ;)

Something beautiful and colourful

Guess what arrived at the door step today?? .. in season, beautiful, and not completely bloomed meaning lots of life and love to be had!

*Grins something silly*

There's a bird on my feet and I like it!

I went to a masquerade ball recently , and in typical me style, I picked out a dress, the matching shoes, and a mask with lots of feathers on it only to change it all four hours before the ball. In the end, I bought a new dress, forgot to bring my mask (doh indeed!) and wore different shoes.

Nonetheless, I do think that the shoes (and mask) deserve a little page on shoeday tuesday. Afterall, it's the one pair of shoes I own that always generates lots of compliments.

Handspun: Magenta Merino/Silk

Amidst the lack of knitting lately, I did do a wee bit of spinning while I watched Geelong almost lose to the Sydney Swans. I started off fairly evenly, but as I squirmed in my chair thinking that Geelong was going to lose, my spinning became a little more haphazard. (ps. for those who don't live in Australia, I am referring to AFL or aussie footy).

Anyways, three skeins lately , I ended up with two at about DK weight, and one fat one at about worsted weight. This was my first time spinning up batts , and also my first time spinning a mix (merino / silk) and I quite enjoyed it . The silk was left unddyed so it came up in little flecks of white . Not quite tweedy, but interesting enough for me :)

I'm thinking I might make a little beanie/beret type hat out of it - as I do like a little bit of colour to brighten up the dull gray days!


Oops. It has almost been one whole month since I last blogged. And what do I have to show for it? Nothing! In the past three weeks, I started my Masters, I started working back in head office, and I also developed an interest in the Twilight series ...

In three weeks, I've knitted maybe 8 rows of the rose shoulder shrug, completed one sleeve on Thermal, and have spun a wee little bit of a merino/silk yarn. That said, there are no photos of my 8 rows (not a lot has changed), I'm so sick of looking at Thermal, and the weather is so bad that my merino/silk yarn in languishing in the rain.

So there.

However, Shoeday Tuesday means shoe photo posting. I have bought about three new pairs of shoes in the last three weeks, but it's rather dark out so I will have to use a photo I already had in my album...

I bought these sparkly green ballet flats when I was in Singapore. They were a bargain at $35, and I love them to death. Yes, they are a bit worn in these photos, but as long as there is such thing as a shoe cobbler, I will do my best to preserve them ;)

of tulips and roses

(Apologies for the blurry photos - I'm having a bit of a hard time with my lens at the moment!!)

The other day, I tried to hint to my other half that I hadn't received flowers for more than a year... and that it was coming up to tulip season (my favourite) , and that perhaps it would be nice to get a little surprise. Of course, I didn't get much joy out of that conversation but i'm secretly hoping that he didn't respond on purpose so that he could "psych" me out to think I wasn't getting any flowers when really I was..

Yes I know how that sounds. But I shall ignore it :)

So anyways, thinking about flowers and the like got me to cast on for the Rose Shouldered Shrug, from Knit1 Magazine Fall 08. I had originally bought some Classic Elite Cotton Bam Boo for it but decided that the lack of variegation in the yarn would make for a somewhat "flat" looking shrug. I wanted this one to *pop* - to have depth.

To my rescue came that strange sparkley yarn I bought the other week , that appeared to do the trick..

So I cast on for the main shoulder shrug part...

Then I got bored of stockinette, and separately cast on for the first section of the rose..

I like the sparkley contrast, but I think the contrast might be a bit much so I'm thinking of dyeing the whole thing when I'm finished. Maybe an wine coloured red, or a blue of some sort..
But we'll see :)

(until then.. i'm hoping there's some flowers waiting for me when I head home this weekend..)

Swimming in fruit punch

Apologies for the lack of posts lately! I've been a bit unsettled with the move and not having half my stuff with me, as well as having to head back out to site for a relief stint.

But in all honesty, there hasn't been much knitting. I've cast on for the Rose Shoulder Shrug but haven't made much progress. I also tried to do some sewing the other day but haven't made much progress there either because I forgot everything I learnt in class..

So, the only project photos I can show is some spinning..

The 22 micron merino was dyed in yellows, greens and pinks, in something that I like to call "Swimming in fruit punch".

It was then spun up as singles on my Majacraft Pioneer.

And to keep the colour runs intact, I navajo-plied it (first time). I'm quite pleased with the final outcome, though it is very yellow heavy. The navajo ply was fairly easy to understand, but I had a lot of yarn breakage as I had underspun it in several places.

In the end, I ended up with approximately 300 metres of between fingering and sportweight yarn. Think i'll make some colourful socks out of this one.. (i mean, what else would you make in something this cheerful?!)


Since coming back to Perth, I haven't had much motivation to do any spinning or knitting. There's something just not very inviting about not having all your wool, needles, yarn, magazines, patterns and books with you , and having everything packed in boxes because there is no room to put anything.

Moving back has been rather disruptive. I'm still trying to find my feet again , but I'm also about to head to site again tomorrow for 11 days to relieve someone on annual leave, so the whole process has become a bit of a headache.

I have however *tried* to get motivation. I picked up 10 balls of Jo Sharp DK Wool , 4 balls of something really interesting looking at Spotlight (hey, it cost me $7 after the 40% off so it can't be a total loss even if it does knit up terribly. It's one thread of wool twined with one thread of silvery stuff) and some DK weight charcoal merino wool which i'm thinking might be cute as a little vest for work.

I also bought a new Drum Carder and have done some tinkering with it, but no spinning. Maybe it's because I don't have all the comforts I'm used to having (ie. the big chaise lounge, the open space, the home theatre set up for me to spend hours in front of..) but I do hope to get the motivation back soon!

PS. I finished CPH, and sent it off to my pal and she's got it! Yay. Unfortunately I don't have any pics to show of the worn FO but i'll try and post an FO post shortly.

PPS . Sorry about the mess of a blog at the moment. I accidentally deleted my layout, and hastily grabbed another one but the alignment and links are all wrong. I will fix it up when I get back from site.

Shoeday Tuesday

Exactly 16 hours after reaching Perth , I decided that the wardrobe that has pretty much stayed the same since I moved to the country needed a bit of a restyle. I needed to kick out the country bumpkin mentality and take back that city style. So, I headed out for a big shopping day and didn't come back all too satisfied except for two pairs of new shoes, a high waisted skirt and a shirt for work, and a black lace dress for those nights out ;)

While I'm 1 month away from recommencing my former life in the Corporate World (i have one more stint on site, training and some time off) I thought I'd christen city life back by adopting Shoeday Tuesday as on Michelle's blog . Being a fellow junkie (owning over 70 pairs of shoes), I'm not ashamed to say that shoes are my weakness and something that a girl can never have too many of ;)

Here's a pair I bought together - delectable black suede round toe stiletto pumps (to match that little black lace dress I bought of course!) .

The one with the boring sweater, the waiting and the RIP

I'm moving back to Perth next week, so I have been hesitant to order new yarn and start new projects. Instead, I've been trying to use this time to finish up loose ends, clear out those spinning bobbins, and pick up any hibernating projects I currently have.

At the moment, I'm working on Thermal, which has been languishing for what feels like an eternity. I've only got the sleeves and finishing left to do on it, but it is very slow going and just plain boring. After two days of knitting, I've got perhaps a third of a sleeve which is putting another damper on the whole project.. *sigh*. Just keep plugging away I guess?

And how is CPH going? Well, the weather hasn't been all too friendly lately so CPH is still blocking but is fairly dry to touch so I'm hoping another two days and she'll be all done.

And completely off topic, but I was rather shocked to hear about Michael Jackson's death this morning. So, in his memory and for nostalgia's sake, I've been listening to his tracks all day(well, his number ones anyway).

Regardless of his personal life and scandals, I thought he was a fantastic musician who did so much for the music industry. RIP.

Finishing touches

Just putting on the finishing touches of Central Park Hoodie... (apologies for the underexposed photos... it's fairly dark and gloomy at the moment, and I don't have a tripod to keep the photos sharp)

Seaming up the hood and finishing bands

Knitting up a little belt to match

Sewing in the ends

And now for blocking!

Like a kid on crack in a world of colour

When I was was younger, I developed a fascination for glitter pens, high lighter pens , gel pens, sparkle pens, all those fancy pens that cost upward of $3.00 a pop.

As a teenager coming from an asian family, my parents would never question me when I told them I "needed" something for school. To them, it was all an investment towards a brighter future, and anything that I required, they were happy to pay for.

My dad used to pick me up from school most days as we lived three bus rides away from the central private school that I attended (It wasn't always the case.. it was only after we moved houses that it turned into such a distance), and once a week, we used to stop by at Bookland to purchase new school items.

I was clever in those days. I knew that if I picked out 20 glitter pens at $3.00 a pop, my dad would surely question my "need" for them. So, I would pick out about 3 pens each week and hide them amongst the awesome spiral notebooks and wicked unnecessary tape dispensers and sharpeners I would also covet and never was I questioned about these purchases.

At the end of term 2 in year 8, I remember looking at my vast pen collection and realising that I had amassed approximately 70 gel/glitter/sparkle pens over the 6 month period. I must admit, I did feel a tad bit guilty after tallying up the expense in my head, but the colours and the sparkles just won me over. I was like a kid on crack.

Many years on, I no longer buy sparkle pens. I discovered the gel in them would often freeze up after non-use over several months. But I do still love colours.

So, like a kid on crack, and regardless of my lack of "end product" for them, I just love playing with the world of colour and dyes that I have found myself in...

(My other half calls this one: Buzzing through the lilies)

(Swimming in fruit punch!)

(Some more strawberry jam)

Spinning yarns

A little bit of spinning that I did last week but wasn't able to photograph because the weather was so bad, and because the yarn was out to dry.

#1: Terracotta became this:
Singles Yarn
100% Merino
Approximately 127 metres to the skein, 50grams
Thick and thin still (still trying to get consistency!) , but average of 14wpi, or fingering weight

#2: Strawberry Jam became this:
Singles Yarn
100% Merino
Approximately 178 metres to the skein, 80grams
Thick and thin still, but approx 13wpi (sport weight).
I didn't like this one when I first dyed it, but it has grown on me. Plus, it's super soft!

A letter to knitting karma

Dear knitting karma,

I have been good lately.

I have worked hard at finishing my friend's birthday sweater (now fairly overdue...). I have finished knitting all the main parts - both sleeves, both front sides, and the back.

And most importantly, I have been monogamous in my knitting and haven't strayed from the one project.

So I ask this kindly of you.

I ask that the pictured 1 and a bit cakes of yarn is enough to finish my project.

Enough to knit a hood, a little belt , and to do the finishing bands.

Please knitting karma, I hope I've done enough to deserve some good karma my way...

Yours faithfully,


New play toys

I love receiving parcels - even if it's me paying for them and expecting them! There's something exciting about opening up the package to see if what you've purchased is exactly what you thought it would be .

I came home the other night to a whole lotta new things to play with :

3 new books: "Start Spinning" by Maggie Casey, "Teach yourself visually Hand-Dyeing" by Barbara Parry, and "The intentional Spinner" by Judith McCuin-MacKenzie

Inwood - Smith Handcarders, 90ppsi

Ashford Competition Lazy Kate - I found out that the Ashford LK was able to fit the Majacraft bobbins (normal and jumbo) , was tensioned, and was a lot cheaper too!

1kg of Chocolate Coloured Finnx fleece from a hobby spinning farm in Adelaide

And this is what I did with my handcarders .. turned roving into rolags..

Spin spin spin

My first handspun , all plied and set: 100% Merino 21micron, thick and thin, dyed a spotchy red, 76.5 metres from 100grams (dismal spinning effort). But my first all the same .. :)

And this is what that Terracotta dyed fibre is spinning up like:

It's interesting - I dont like multicoloured items at all.

I've always hated the variegated yarns that i've seen - i mean, they're pretty, but what are you going to make from them besides socks? So I've found it particularly interesting that I've enjoyed spinning multicoloured fibres. Will I ever knit anything out of them? Probably not, but I do enjoy the randomness of the colours that come up, and the way the singles work up. And after all, isn't this what venturing into a new hobby is about ? Getting out of your comfort zone, exploring new things, and doing something you've never done before! I think so.