Saturday, November 28, 2009

What are you knitting lately?

I'm still doing my hand towels :-) What about you?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What have you finished lately? Me: A Yellow and Green Hand Towel

Haven't been knitting much, nor have I been blogging much lately. Just thought I'd show off my little FO, a small hand-towel in yellow and green mercerized cotton.

I love this simple slip-stitch pattern. I'll make more hand-towels in this pattern with other colors, all in mercerized cotton.

What have you finished lately? Show it off in Pinoy Knitters in Multiply :-)

Monday, July 27, 2009

The writer is taking a blog break

Try not to miss me so much :-) it'll just be for five to seven days, I think.

I've just finished my third article for Educator magazine, but still have to write my second piece for Cocoon magazine, plus my AnamCara piece about studying "A Course in Miracles" using the multiple intelligences theory. Oh, and I just gave a new list of articles I can write for Educator magazine's future issues.

For the meantime, I'd rather be knitting plus giving readings... and attending to personal stuff :-) have a great week, everyone.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Knitting updates: Two colorful hand towels

I'm designing my own patterns for hand towels, for use by guests, using my stash of mercerized cotton crochet thread in myriad colors.

My main design goals were to produce well-done small and pretty hand towels in lively colors.


I decided to go for slip-stitch patterns which produce a dense fabric. Slip-stitch knitting requires using slightly larger needles than usual, for example, for the variegated Linen Stitch hand towel, I'm using a US Size 7 (4.0mm) and for the two-color combo of yellow and green, I'm using US Size 4 or 3.5 mm. Usually for knitting with one strand of crochet thread, a US Size 2 or 3 (2.75 mm or 3mm) is enough.

I'm loving my slip-stitch knitting, even if they do not produce reversible cloths. I like the density and the texture.

For this yellow and green venture, I found the slip-stitch pattern online, simply called "slip-stitch pattern" and uses two colors. Yup, I have some errors, but otherwise, I love how it's turning out. The pattern can be memorized easily.


Linen stitch, another slip-stitch pattern, had been a bane for me, when I tried it before with my tencel yarn. For some reason I would dislike the growing output and would end the project.

But with this variegated crochet thread, despite the challenge of knitting cotton even with metal circulars, I loved how the colors were turning out, as shown in this 'right side".


But I also like how the "wrong side" is turning out, below.


Linen stitch is like knitting "seed/moss stitch" but stitches are slipped every other stitch, instead of knitting/purling accordingly.

I also had another hand-towel project in yellow and violet, using Barbara Walker's Tanbark pattern. However it wasn't turning out nicely so it's now frogged. I'll probably need to use maybe bigger needles or something next time I try Tanbark.

I'm halfway through these two hand-towels, and that's another thing I love about my current knitting focus. Hand towels in slip-stitch knit fast, and maybe if all I did was knit all day, I'd probably finish one a day.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lunar knitting: starting projects in the light of the new moon

After I finished knitting a hand towel in basketweave a few days ago, I decided not to start another hand towel until today. I wanted to make the most of the fresh lunar vibes, because the Moon has some say in my creative efforts. Saturn, which is smack in my House of Creative Expression, rules my 4th house, which is Cancer's natural domain, and not only is the New Moon in Cancer, this sign is ruled by the Moon itself. Luna is plainly powerful today until Thursday.

This also means that my efforts at producing anything artistic is best focused on home and family, or in making others feel at home, or secure. Which is why I've got more energy knitting for my family, and people I consider to be family, including charity recipients, rather than for myself. And it also means I like knitting at home :-) although I do have projects that I bring along in case I have some waiting to do elsewhere, e.g. the bank.

While waiting for the New Moon, I printed out new patterns that had been saved in my Knitting files. Amazing how much stuff I have in my computer just for knitting!

My recently finished domestic creations include two hand towels and a bath mat. Works in progress include three hand towels, with two of them in slip-stitch patterns, and one in ripple pattern. I also have two bath mat projects.

I just started a woven pattern for a hand towel this morning, and tonight I plan to cast on another hand towel project, in two colors, using slip-stitch. If I remember, I might record these stuff in my Ravelry project notebook, and take pics of my finished projects. Otherwise, let this blog post be my record :-)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Enjoying my blog break

Because I'd rather be knitting, that's why :-) anything I want to blog about these days is about my knitting. It's a particularly creative dance I'm enjoying lately in the Silence, when the only sounds I make, aside from breathing, are the knitting needles clicking against each other.

I am very much at a lull, a necessary phase before things pick up again. I find it refreshing that I do not need to work at my PC all day. I love it that I'm knitting useful and practical stuff for the home. The tropical shawls have been set aside, including my sweetie's red scarf, for the meantime, in favor of the functional yet lovely bath mats and hand towels. None will be for sale, and it's been amazing how my knitting flows when I take out the monetary aspect and focus on domestic beauty.

I want to buy more white natural unmercerized cotton yarn, in cones, the sort used to crochet curtains and tablecloths. That means a trip to Divisoria's Tabora street soon, since I don't know where else I can buy them. The rainy weather however is making me rethink this desire. I have loads of colored mercerized cotton anyway.

This post technically ends my blog break... but it might also extend it. A lot depends on what Spirit whispers in my heart that I simply must share it online. Let's see what comes up as Mercury goes direct by tomorrow.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Two shawls and one scarf on the needles

At the rate I'm going, I'm just gonna have maybe about four or five shawls to sell in Boracay when I go there early July. Well, I estimate that if I were to do nothing else but knit, I might probably finish one shawl in one day. But since I don't knit that way, i doubt if I'll ever find out if that's possible.

Sorry, no pics yet, but here's just a list of what I'm busy knitting lately:

1. Red scarf I call "half-half basketweave". I've got about a third done, but since this is being done with only one strand of tencel, which is laceweight, on size 2.5mm needles, I think this might take more time than expected.

2. Garter stitch triangle shawl, combining purple and peach mercerized crochet cotton thread, 1 strand each, on size 11 (US) needles. An intriguing color combo and coming out nicely.

3. Seed stitch triangle shawl, royal blue mercerized crochet cotton thread, 1 strand only on size 8 (US) or 5mm needles. Elegantly simple.

I decided to use up my sizeable mercerized crochet cotton thread for the shawls I'm selling. Cotton would be more attractive since it's machine-washable, whereas tencel is handwash, although they say using gentle cycle on the machine works.

Pics coming up soon. Still need to finish one magazine article first. As it is I only get to knit a few rows a day for each project.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Shawl knitting in da Pinas

I have a feeling I already mentioned this in my knitting blog elsewhere.... but anyway, it's been a major challenge for me to look for shawl patterns online that do not involve lace knitting, since i've decided that lace is not my major passion as far as knitting is concerned.

Much of the shawl patterns online are designed either for "heirloom" show-off lace pieces, to be worn on formal occasions such as weddings, or for warming the body like a huge blanket. I suspect that no knitter living in a tropical climate, like me, has ever posted a non-lace shawl pattern online. Just a suspicion.

So I've had to make my own patterns in which I come up with triangular shawls that can be used on cool summer nights, or when one has to go out into a hot sunny day and beat the heat inside an airconditioned refuge. When i finally finish one such shawl I'll write up the pattern and post it online, although I doubt if there are many takers for such patterns :-)

For now, I'm being mindful of Saturn Retro making me seek closure in creative projects I've long wanted to do (technical details: natal Saturn in 5th House of Creativity, retro in 11th House of Hopes and Wishes). This means setting aside my plans for knitting tropical shawls for Bora, except... for me! I had long wanted to knit myself a shawl, though I do have one already using Laines du Nord's Zahir--in fact, to use up my remaining yarn, i'm making another one, rectangular this time, in seed stitch.

But I have no shawl yet in tencel yarn, so that's what I'm doing. Tencel or lyocell is like rayon, made from tree cellulose, and is absorbent like cotton but soft as silk. I'm planning to knit myself at least 2 triangular shawls in tencel, one in black and the other in red.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tropical shawls, this time

Inspired by my forthcoming foray to Boracay, I decided to knit up my lovely ribbon yarn Zahir, by Laines du Nord (pic). Finally. it's now all done and it turned out unexpectedly well.

I had long wanted to use this Spanish shawl pattern in an old knitting book called "Knitting for the Home". Apparently for the author, the Spanish shawl can also be used to drape over a piano or sofa... her triangular shawl had drop-stitches which are the best to use to show off ribbon yarn.

And so, instead of doing an easy rectangular shape, I gamely went into knitting my first-ever triangle shawl. I'm just too lazy to take pics. Someday when I'm wearing it over my string bikini...which means, never. Ha ha ha. I still have some Zahir yarn left, about 3 balls more...maybe for a rectangular piece this time.

Anyway, having been done with the shawl, and happy with the result, I had a brilliant flash of inspiration ...why not knit more shawls for tropical weather, and try to sell them in Boracay in June? I can also sell them to anyone anywhere who wants a nice light cover-up for the tropics.

I decided to use up my stash of tencel yarn, since it drapes well, it's soft and absorbent... perfect for tropical shawls. I'm starting with the dark green yarn cone, and I hope to finish it in a week. I've experimented with patterns that can use either stockinette seed stitch in the body, with a nice lacy border. So far so good.

Will I actually want to sell these shawls? They could all be mine, in various wonderful colors.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Two pics of G's chemo cap version 1

Version 1 of the chemo cap: cast-on of 100 stitches, stockinette body, and 2x2 ribbing for the brim... covers almost all the ears.

I'm now doing Version 2, started it March 15 Sunday night... the body would be 2x2 ribbing, and cast-on is just 80 stitches. I'm varying the number of cast-on stitches because i read, belatedly after finishing Version 1, that tencel stretches even more than cotton. So I decided to reduce the cast-on to 80 stitches for Version 2, which is gonna be stretchy already being pure ribbing (except for the crown). My plan for Version 3 would be stockinette body with roll brim.

Tencel in itself being a shiny yarn is not easy to photograph even when it's cloudy natural lighting. Sorry for how my pics do not do justice to the sheen of the yarn.



Friday, March 13, 2009

Knitting updates: chemo caps and more wool beanies

Frankly I wish I didn't have to be knitting this. This weekend I'm aiming to finish one chemo cap for my friend G who has had her second chemo session, and now sports a bald head. I'm combining one strand of black tencel with one strand of multicolored tencel, with blue and purple shades. She wanted her cap in indigo which I don't have in tencel.

It's done in stockinette with a spiral top and 2x2 ribber edging. No pic yet...maybe when it's done. I'm gonna do another chemo cap in 2x2 ribbed. Hope they fit my friend G and I hope she likes them. She's somewhat of a design doyen in her field, so it's a big deal to actually give her anything handmade.

Many thanks to Punay who had recently given me the circular needles I exactly needed for this project: a metal pair, 3-mm thick and 40-cm long. The smallest needles I had for 2-strand tencel knitting were US size 4 (3.5mm) bamboo dpns and circulars, and i used the dpns for the spiral a way, I was glad they were bamboo so they "grabbed" the slippery tencel. It's a major hassle knitting with FOUR thin bamboo needles and I probably wouldn't have lasted with metal dpns. Still, despite being able to "grab" the tencel, the bamboo needles kept falling off... so I immediately changed to the metal circs the moment I could. The metal circs were heaven-sent.

After I finish this couple of chemo caps, I'm planning to knit again woollen beanies. First dozen were already sent to the US a few months ago, and I might have a chance to send some more around May or June...

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy news for my charity knitting

I found a way to send at least 6 woolen hats from the Philippines, where I'm based, to the US, where one charity knitting organization collects woolen items for kids and teenagers. Yehey! I just need to weave in ends :-)

Happy new year everyone!