I decided to knit an argyle scarf in the hope of making it a quick Christmas gift in 2007. I remembered spotting a stylish argyle scarf from the (then) just-published Son of a Stitch n’ Bitch and decided to take that as a reference to knitted one. But soon after I realised that it was far from the right project to suit that purpose! This was what it looked like before the end of 2007:
argyle scarf take 2

Occasionally, I was carrying this scarf with me, trying to finish it off for different important dates (V-day, b-day and those alike). But more than often I was playing catch-up with it after those dates, such as the post-b-day effort captured here:
knitting the double-knit argyle scarf

Fast forward. One year and one Christmas passed, and it remained unfinished. I put the blame on me disliking the double-knitting technique! When I returned to London in January, I decided to tackle it again for yet another important date. The date was in mid-January, so it means I had to knit the scarf on the move. To accomomdate to purpose, I replaced the pair of Surina rosewood needles that I used for the project to a pair of Lantern Moon circular. To my surprise, the change of needles made huge impact on my progress, and the scarf got lenghtehed quickly!!!

Argyle scarf

I was so glad that finally I’d be able to keep my words and got it ready for Dr Wang’s graduation ceremony at Royal Festical Hall! 😀

The scarf is handsome and warm, and I would recommend knitting it as a scarf for me. However I won’t do double knitting in the near future I am sure.

One day after 228

I have a blog entry saved as a draft here, dated on 7th November last year. The entry is entitled “An Eventful week.” I didn’t finish it, because, as suggested by the title, I was quite occupied then, and, more important, I didn’t want to blog anything other than knitting here, especially my political viewpoints.

However, reading about a news today reminds me of this particular draft:

The most exciting news this week for many people must be that of American presidential election. But this week the geopolitics also has its foul play in Taiwan, where I lived for some twenty years. What a good timing for Chen’s visiting, and what a good timing for Mr Ma (who, with a benighted supporting rate of less than 20% as of Oct, does not qualify as the choice of people to my mind) to show the world about his nice policy of his people (news 1news 2)?

Watching news from afar, that week reminded me of the 228 incident 62 years ago. Chen should pay his visit to Taiwan, and people in Taiwan would have their rights to protest against his visit. Their freedom of speech should be protected by the Taiwanese government, not the other way around. Taiwan used to be one of the most liberal countries in the world, but it was no more from that week on, degraded by Ma’s KMT government.

Some of my friends believe that Taiwan would be benefit from the election of Obama, an opinion I saw no evidences (it would be long to argue why, and I certainly don’t want to go deeper here). Certainly I hope I would be proofed wrong, but if this news is true, I must say I am utterly stunned by this choice of Mr Obama, who assigned one of China’s and Saudi Arabia’s mouthpieces in America [to write] intelligence reports for the White House.

Exercising my initial understanding of geopolitics, the future of Taiwan is unfortunately tied to decisions made by hegemony of the world, which, is not at all a bad thing. However, the reigning government had already slammed the idea of democracy and Obama’s new personnel appointment would probably make it worse…

(You cannot comment on this entry I am afraid.)

Cuteness overloaded

On my way home Thursday this week, I saw one endearing object, an object that belongs to a category that I had nearly no interest in it:

Bitter-chocolate cube

This is the latest Cube from Nissan, and the colour is “Bitter Chocholate.” But what I saw in person is one more enticing colour, Irish Cream:

Irish cream Cube 3rd

This photo from Wikipedia is the closest I could get of the car, though I believe what I saw is of a buttery colour! It looks like a limited edition, and must be bought directly from a showroom, because Irish Cream is not listed on the Nissan website, and it shouldn’t be seen in the UK just now!!! This is not a no-car-fan like me would know.

Look what an expert says:

And perhaps that’s the main plus point about the Cube, it’s unlike anything else you can buy. To look at, to drive, even to sit in, it’s different and fun…

Certainly I should add it to my wish list, something I would buy in a remote future perhaps!

It’s been months since the last time I visited my own blog, and it’s quite amazing to find out there the blog was read!  Lots of things happened, lots of things can be talked, blogged, and shared.  (For example, I’ve officially got the Dr title–though occasionally I’ve been using it beforehand….)

But knitting? Regrettably I don’t have that much time for it.  It’s nearly the end of February by now, and only one item could be identified as a FO (which no picture taken for it so far)! Ravelry isn’t a place I should/could visit, and my eBay yarn victory dropped to one only. In addition, my most favourite knitting magazine Vogue Knitting (or Desigher knitting) isn’t that enticing. Seemingly irrelevant, but this lead me to buy Rowan 45 as late as mid-Feb, only to be puzzled again by their choice of models (albeit there’s an East Asian looking girl, but I am the one who cares not ethnic or cultural identity and certainly not buying this marketing strategy, AT ALL!)

Notwithstanding, I am blesed by the warmth of one beautiful knitware, which I’ve been wearing since late November last year, and my must-have layer during the snowy week in early Feb: the Winter Wonderland Coat (what a wonderful name!).

Winter Wonderland Coat
Winter Wonderland Coat

Back in the summer last year, I bought ten hanks of organic undyed yarn in DK weight, and they are what I knitted with for the coat. I would say these yarns are among my best yarn finds from ebay, and for sure I’ll get more from them. For some, these hanks might reak of gaminess, but the smell reminded me of the rural idyll of lake districts! I’d been pondering for a long time for what to make out of them, and it was almost instantly decided when I saw the pattern of Winter Wonderland Coat.

This is the biggest project in my knitting life so far, in terms of the amount of yarns I was using. All hanks were wound, left only 30g when the coat was done, and this was because I made my sleeves MUCH narrower than the pattern! The coat is so heavy, so I decided to saw seams with back stitches, rather than do the kitcher’s stitch, in order to give the coat a better support. It was a pleasure to knitted with these hanks, and the pattern is interesting to knitted with: not a complicated pattern but the combination of laces and cables makes it an engaging knit. I always admire patterns with lace and cable combos (something I yet to designes myself!), that’s why I adore Michele Rose Orne’s designs and have knitted the pink capelet from the VK amd have the lacy blouse on the needles. 🙂 (links later. ^^)

Though I am writing this much about the Winter Wonderland Coat, the thing that brought me here was intrigued by a minor incident happened today.

I am knitting something for a friend (something of my own design). The project is at the point that I can no longer see it as a WIP and need to have it done as soon as possible (a semi-OCD probably and a good boast to let you finish a WIP). I may count myself an experienced lace knitting, however, I have never ever memorised any lace pattern that is beyond some pairs of yarn-overs and decreases. Well, I never tried: what’s the point to memorise it when a handy instruction is by your side? Why not save the RAM of my brain to remember something more, mmm, sensible (such as who says what in which paper for example)? Why trust my constantly falling memory, even risking the relunctancy of ripping back, when you can choose not to trust? So I always knit with a piece of paper, with some lace patterns. True indeed you’ll automatically know what to do when numerous repeats are done, but I’d like to have that piece of paper to serve as insurance against erros.

So I ended up writing one with the knitting fonts installed for the first time on my working computer (something I’ve tried not to do for months)!
A sneak preview.

It seems my knitting appetite comes back for now, and I ended up blogging about my lovely coat! ^_^

(to be edited…)

I’ve been a convert to mineral makeups since August this summer and can’t stop buying them since.  How exciting I will be when I got a new packet?

This photo may say a bit:
Mail hail!!

I’ve got the latest Vogue Knitting (the “International edition” which has different cover from the American edition—or shall I say “non-international edition” if there’s the “international edition”?).  I flickered through it quickly, pleased to see tons of beautiful photos and patterns, but that’s it. But for the batch I got from Lumiere, it’s totally different! I squealed!

You know, I wasn’t too keen in makeup before this summer.  Though wearing makeup is a must, as I am aging and feel the urge to hide wrinkles and imperfections here and there, I always felt reluctant to wear it.  But now, I must play with my new toys every morning even I am staying home! Guess what, now I’ve got heathier skin compared to months ago, thanks to the switch.

As for the latest VK–if we have to compare likes to likes, then I’d say I like last Holiday issue more. It doesn’t mean I won’t knit anything from it. I am not allowed to think about it anyways.

ps. Edited the funny typo in the title! I should read rather than depending upon spellcheck! 😀

The pattern went live yesterday, and I am adding extra photos on my flickr, too. 🙂
At Kew Gardens

Then, I couldn’t add these notes on the ravelry pattern page, so I add a note on the pattern (hopefully an editor or the pattern would be able to add it) and also put it on my project page.

The last stage of the pattern writing was chaotic–I’ve done the chart in June, but I’d like to check carefully with my original manuscripes before sending it off to Popknits. However, I was travelling in 3/4 of July and, the worst of all, lost my documents, so I could only check it when I was back in the UK. I hope, there is no errata, but I’d like to add more notes that I just realised haven’t included in the pattern…

Further notes

For those of you who aren’t familiar with chart reading, please do read the very practical guides written by Eunny Jang: Majoring in Lace Part ii and Part iii.

To highlight:

1. The lace chart in this pattern is reading from the right side.
2. The blank square represents k on the right side (odd number rows) and p on the wrong side (even number rows). This will form the stockinette ground for the central pattern.
3. However, in the central spiderweb pattern, it does not matter what directions your stitches are slanting. K2tog is used in every row.

And another photo showing me with the stole, knitting one of my longest WIP: the double knit argyle scarf I started in November last year….
knitting the double-knit argyle scarf

gossamer garden-forthcoming in popknits

To say the least, I am so thrilled to find that so many fellow knitters faved the Gossamer Garden Stole! The pattern will go live on 1st September on PopKnits. Before that, I think I shall talk a little bit about my yarn choice.

As it is shown on my project page, the stole is knitted with both Rowan Scottish Tweed 4ply, and Rowan Harris Tweed 4ply.  For those of you who know this yarn, you know they are essentially the same yarn, and they have the same shade number, the same shade name.  That’s why only Scottish 4ply tweed is put as yarn used for the project on the pattern page. However, as you can imagine, yarns I have used are in two different dye lots, and have slightly different shades.  The colour differences are almost not shown from any photos I took.  I’d like to clarify that it is not my intention to use different dye lots, just that I couldn’t locate Harris Tweed anymore (for obvious reason!) when I run out of yarns, so I subbed with the Scottish Tweed.

And why Scottish Tweed? The simplest answer is, I love the shade! I’d claim the lavender my favourite purple of all time.  It may not be a conventional choice for lightweight stole/shawl, its fuzziness makes me consider the best match for this particular stole, reminds me of seeing spider web in a hazy day.  Indeed Rowan’s Kidsilk Haze will yield a similar image, yet, I’d like to work this stole on a more easygoing yarn, because I know I’d knit and reknit for numerous times, before I settled into this pattern.  In addition, I’d like to knit a stole with extra volume! Moneywise, KSH/KSN could be cheaper for this project than Scottish Tweed.

If you want a warm yet airy stole like me, go for any 4ply wool blend yarn that pleases you most. If you don’t like hazy outlook, and prefer a clean touch, go for Zephyr silk-wool or any laceweight/cobweight yarn you like. 🙂

Thank you for your kind words.

That’s it for now.