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Knitting in the Far East
Chie's Crochet & Knitting Blog
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little purl of the orient
Sunday, 7 March 2004
Weekends are usually not productive for me knitting wise as these are precious parenting days. Saturday, Ji Yuan was out with her Daddy for a playgroup and I had some time to work on the Sampler Afghan while Chung Yi slept.

These yarns that I've been waiting for to finish the afghan arrived, along came some lovely Jo Sharp Silkroad sample cards too. I was eager to see what the finished blanket will look like, so I lay down the squares on the floor and started to arrange them. I managed to assemble two rows together but it is indeed going to be a tedious process. I'm also half way through a new square in Tilting Ladders that Cindy recommended. It is an interesting pattern incorporating both cables and openwork. I took pictures of some the squares but the colours came out terrible but haven't got time to figure what went wrong.

Today, we brought Ji Yuan for her roller-blading lesson in Mong Kok. For those unfamiliar with HK, Mong Kok, which literally means busy corner, is quite the centre for buying anything under the sky. While she is having her lesson, we went shopping. Wai Lung, my husband, went looking for a MP3 player while I went after the yarn stores. I wanted to find some all seasons cotton but was out of luck. I did find a store that sells the discontinued Rowan Designer DK and I bought this book at a reasonably good price compared to ordering online, and it made my day.

Posted by yscmama at 10:58 PM WST
Updated: Sunday, 7 March 2004 11:35 PM WST
Thursday, 4 March 2004
Thinking Knitting
I've not felt so worn out since 2 years back when I had chickenpox. Months of interrupted sleep since Chung Yi's birth must have taken its toll. I had to take the day off from work yesterday. Sleep I did, no knitting, no computer, no taking care of children (thanks to my in-laws), but it was a restless kind of sleep, my body and mind didn't feel rested. I did some thinking of knitting, though, which eased my fatigue a little bit.

The Rambling Rows Afghan has crept back into my thoughts again. I've been wanting to do that since last year but haven't gotten around to choosing the yarn. A pack of 10 All Seasons Cotton in Kiss should be dispatched from the UK in a week's time. I plan to knit the Thinking Dress in the Rainy Days book for Ji Yuan. I would have 6 balls left which should be the right weight for this afghan. Why, I could choose 4 more cheerful colours from ASC to make a baby-sized rambling rows. I shall go search for the colours.

This is the second sleeve of the Pee Wee sweater I'm knitting for Ji Yuan in cream Rowan Chucky Chenille at the request of my husband. I really dislike this yarn. It's terribly inelastic and magnifies my uneven tension even more. The pattern says to cast on loosely. Knowing that I'm a tight knitter, I used 10 mm needles to cast on (the body is knitted in 5 mm). I've tried several cast ons but still, an unsightly pucker appears. I guess I'll trudge on, make the sleeves a bit longer and fold them up.

Posted by yscmama at 2:42 PM WST
Monday, 1 March 2004
Welcome to the house of fever. The children are taking turns having a fever. I'm feeling under the weather too and have promptly gone to see a Chinese physician during lunch. I prefer tradition Chinese medicine. TCM is supposed to help your body achieve its natural equilibrium. I badly need some rest, sans kids type of rest, that is.

The log cabin square turns out to be a rectangle, so the last side has two rows less to make it square. This garter stitch knitting thing is really addictive, so much so that I'm ignoring my other projects. I used to dislike garter stitch as it is really boring to me, just knit, knit, knit, and no purl. I wanted to start a new square for my sampler afghan but another garter stitch square for MDK Afghanalong is calling to me. It is the Parquet Square from Barbara Walker's 4th treasury. Its construction is along the same principle as log cabining, knit, rotate, pick up stitches, knit, etc but in squares instead of stripes.

Saw this great site at Da*Xiang. So grassroot, so authentic, so Singapore. The first photo `Havelock Road' is just across from where I lived. I could have been in that photo, you know. It really made me homesick.

Posted by yscmama at 5:56 PM WST
Updated: Tuesday, 2 March 2004 9:07 PM WST
Thursday, 26 February 2004
All about Afghans

This post is all about afghans. First of all, four patchwork squares completed for the MDK Afghanalong. They will be sent out to New York on Monday where they will be assembled with counterparts from other nations, how exciting! I've started a fifth one last night on the bus. It's my first attempt at log cabin using Kay's notes, and it's really lots of fun.

Secondly, I've joined the Sampler Afghan-A-Long organized by Cindy at the Knitting Park!

Inspired by this beautiful afghan at Page by Page, I embarked on knitting one of my own last spring. It's the first time I take on such a big project, and I'm enjoying every step of it. This afghan is my security blanket in its truest sense right from the start of its construction. Last spring was a harrowing one for people of Hong Kong and my hometown, Singapore. Cities in this part of Asia were then plagued by the dreadful SARS. I was expecting my no. 2 and was really worried sick. Knitting the squares and experimenting a host of different stitch patterns provided me the refuge and diverted my attention.

These piles are some of the completed squares. I was about 2/3 of the way when I ran out of yarn. The Jo Sharp DK was bought from Down Under and the appreciating Australian dollars kept putting me off from buying the remaining yarn. I also wanted to spend more time with my newborn, so the project was stalled. The vendor, Ozeyarn informed that prices will be increased from 1 March and I promptly placed my order for the remaining yarn last week. I hope that by joining this knitalong, the project can be revitalized. Details of the afghan are as follow (I'll try to create an Afghan page if I manage to figure out how to do it) :

The Design
No particular design, just using different stitch patterns from Barbara Walker's knitting treasuries. To be made up of 42 8-inch squares (6x7 layout). The squares are in 2 colours, 21 light and dark ones respectively, and the crochet border in a third colour.

Jo Sharp 8-ply DK in Lilac (324)-Light, Mulberry (325)-Dark, Smoke (339)-Border

Light sqaures - 19; dark squares - about 15

Posted by yscmama at 10:21 PM WST
Updated: Monday, 1 March 2004 10:31 AM WST
Where is my Spring Interweave Knits?
While I was taking off my shoes after coming home from work last evening, I caught a glimpse of a big `AIRMAIL' glaring out of the mail basket. Ignoring the prattling of my children, both clamoring for my attention (Gee, as if I'm so popular with them), I opened the letter only to find a slip from IK reproducing an advertisement that was bisected in the magazine and a free capelet crochet pattern. No magazine yet. This would be the third IK issue I'm receiving as a subscriber and knew it would probably arrive in Hong Kong mid-March, I was just keeping my hopes up. Lots of nice things have been said about the Spring IK and I do want to examine this design on the cover by Debbie Bliss. Do you think it would be the right one for the Jaeger Chamonix (Colour 901 Lille) I bought last June? I've been on a quest for the ultimate comfort sweater pattern for this yarn that I've revered so much. The balls have remained intact in the original packaging as I haven't dared to `disturb' them, until now, that is, for this photoshot. The colour in this photo is not true due to the lighting in our flat. It's more light brown than orange. Next time I shall take photos in the daylight. Should I stick to Chamomile instead?

Posted by yscmama at 9:44 PM WST
Updated: Thursday, 26 February 2004 10:18 PM WST
Sunday, 22 February 2004
Needles issue
You are bamboo.Warm, cozy, and thoughtful, you take your time and
enjoy how things feel, smell, and taste. You
love the craft and beauty of traditional
things, and you value the comfort and
experience of knitting as much as the results.
But while you are reveling in your warm cozies,
don't get stuck. Warm is wonderful, but so is
the whole wide world!

What kind of knitting needles are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

This quiz was spotted off At my knits end. Quizilla has really cool quizes, go check them out.

This weekend has been a busy one and I could only finish 1 square for the MDK Afghanalong. Figured out I could make 3 more of this from my earlier 3x3 garter stitch squares. My target is to finish them this week.

Posted by yscmama at 7:58 PM WST
Updated: Sunday, 22 February 2004 10:27 PM WST
Thursday, 19 February 2004
I'm all squares!
A great charity/community project is on-going at Mason-Dixon Knitting. Kay and Ann are organizing an Afghanalong, collecting 8-inch handknit squares from all over the world to assemble into blankets for Afghanistanis. I'm sure every knitter/crocheter has some stash or remnants somewhere, why not make good use of them for people who really need them?

Back in November last year, I was busily knitting the leftovers from Jiyuan's Sweetness sweater into 3x3 garter stitch squares to make a pair of squares slippers but never got around to assembling them. The sweetness sweater turned out too big despite my re-sizing it to a child's size that it'll fit her in another few years time.

Anyway, the other night while I was knitting away on a square, the thought struck me that I could actually assemble 4 such smaller squares and whip a garter stitch border around them to make 8x8. I began sewing the squares but found that the cast off edge created a stiff and unsightly seam. So I unpicked the cast-off rows and grafted them together. Now, I'm a novice grafter and had to repeat "Ridge, valley, ridge, valley" in my head in order to get the garter stitch right. For the sides, I used a sort of mattress stitch. The final product is a bit wonky but at least there are no seams except for the picking up for the border which I've yet to do. Let's see how the squares'll turn out.

Posted by yscmama at 2:55 PM WST
Updated: Friday, 20 February 2004 1:53 PM WST
Tuesday, 17 February 2004
Of roses and scallops
The crochet scarf is finally finished. Looks like I can only get to wear it next winter though, as spring has arrived in full force and the temperature broke above 20 degrees Celsius this afernoon. The colour is actually duskier than it appears here.

The sun is also shining on our family today as Chung Yi has gotten much better from her bronchiolitis and is willing to drink her milk again. That really gave me a break from my worries and some mood to fiddle around with the digital camera.

What else did I crochet recently? This. It's a coin purse from a Japanese pattern, work in close scallop stitch. The yarn and snap used are Hamanaka from Japan as called for by the pattern. It's a sturdy yarn well-suited for the purpose. I've made a longer one to hold my lipsticks and stuff more than 3 years ago and am still using it.

Posted by yscmama at 9:53 PM WST
Updated: Tuesday, 17 February 2004 11:44 PM WST
Saturday, 14 February 2004
How can I tell people that I knit when Ji Yuan has not a single handknit wool sweater to wear to school this really cold winter? I forced my fickle self to focus, put down all the other 'just started' and 'half dones' to work single-mindedly (well, almost, except for the crochet scarf) to work on the Cookie Sweater from Miss Bea's Rainy Day. Whew! Finished just in time for last weekend's cold weather but Ji Yuan still caught a cold. The sweater took 6 skeins of Steinbach Wolle Thick Merino.

Posted by yscmama at 10:50 PM WST
Updated: Tuesday, 17 February 2004 6:24 PM WST
Friday, 13 February 2004
A better tomorrow
Both my children are sick. I hardly slept a wink last night as my baby, Chung Yi, kept dozing off but woken by her own coughing. The 3 year-old Ji Yuan fell twice in school, probably felt drowsy from the medication. She bruised the right side of her face and cut her lower lip with her own teeth during the fall. My poor children. As the Chinese saying goes: being a parent for a 100 years entails 99 years of worrying.

Needless to say, I work not a stitch after coming back from the office yesterday. I did manage to work a few rounds on the rose motif of the crochet scarf on the bus journey home. I'm using Anny Blatt Merinos in a dusky magenta colour. The pattern, from a Japanese pattern book, starts with 2 rose motifs, then worked all the way in treble/fillet stitch followed by 20 cm fringe. For symmetry's sake, I'm going to work 2 more rose motifs at the end.

Thanks to Chie who left a comment that I could post photos on this blog. I still haven't figured out how to do it though. Let's hope I can sort it out and post a picture of the scarf when done.

Posted by yscmama at 11:06 PM WST

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