Purple Knit

I love purple, anything with purple... 最近迷上編織瘋狂的織,織,織... 阿亮說過,"凡走過必留下痕跡",別忘了在我的comments box留下您的痕跡喔!

Lilypie1st Birthday Ticker

December 28, 2006

Look what I got!!

Look at all these!! The LYS Wool & Company was having a super sale on 12/27; all yarns are 40% off if you get there between 7~8am, how can I resist that?!
I got there about 6:50AM, there were already a long line! Around 7AM, the owner started to hand out numbers, I was number 34. They let 10 people in first, then wait it about 5~10 minutes, another 10, another 5~10 minutes, I got in, this time they only let in 5 people, lucky me! I went to the store a week before the sale to scout what they have, so I pretty much know what I want. I got Silkytweed, Ultramerino 4, Karaoke, Kurayon and some pattern books. When I was at the register, the owner was pretty clever, he said "you saved one hundred some dollars" (can't remember the exact amount), that made me feel less guility, I saved a lot of money not spent a lot of money...big difference when I use the same phrase when I brought the big bag into the house. ;-)
Just received email from WEBS, they are having close out sale too...oh what should I do???


December 26, 2006

Yarn Dyeing Class

I took a Yarn Dyeing class at TLD Design on 12/21, yup, the same time those girls called me while they were stranded in Boston Logan Airport. But ENOUGH about that, this is for my yarn dyeing!

In this class I dyed 2 skeins of different textured Cotton/Rayon blend yarns. The teacher Tammy Deck herself is an artist, seems like she's into all kinds of arts and crafts. She carries all the supplies needed for yarn dyeing. She also does weaving, her finished scarves are very beautiful, the materials (fibers) to make the scarf isn't too bad, but the class itself is a bit pricey for me right now, I think it's about $140 for a beginner's class (6 weeks). She was on one of the HGTV show once with her Felted Silk Chiffon Scarf, very interesting too.

About dyeing yarn; we first soaked the yarns with Soda Ash and luke warm water. Then while we were waiting for the yarn to take its "bath", we mixed up the dye powders with water, we then wrung the yarns pretty dry then put it on top of a piece plastic (18"x36" is prefered). We used foam brushes for each color and started painting. Paint it anyway you want, that means most likely you won't get 2 skeins of yarns exactly like each other. After painted the whole skein, use that plastic (I used clear garbage bag cut open) to wrap up the yarn, put it in a basin so it won't leak, then keep it in a cool place and leave it for 48 hours, then rinse it.

Here are the pictures of me giving them a shower. The left one is my first try, I think I used Raspberry, Sapphire Blue, Lilac, Deep Purple, and Chartreuse. The right one I used Turquoise, Chartreuse, Deep Yellow and Sapphire Blue.
Doesn't it remind you the Caribbean?

This is after another 48 hours, completely dried, the colors are more accurate after it's dried.
Which one do you like? I'm pretty happy with my first Yarn Dyeing class, I hope she offers this dyeing class again soon, I would love to try it using wool/silk yarns (according to the teacher, it needs to be "cooked"), it'll be super fun!!


December 23, 2006

What are the odds!!

I'm not so sure where to start. A friend's daughter came (from Taiwan) to US to study, she is in a small town (total population of 2000) high school, this holiday she and her friend decided to stay with us. The plan was for them to go on a East Coast tour (12/16), the tour ends in Boston (12/21), then they will fly to Chicago on 12/21 and stay till 1/2.

We've been very happy with this December's weather, not much snow and not too cold, perfect for traveling! These two girls are only 16 years old, don't really speak English, first time flying by themselves, so I made them promised me to call me at every stop/transfer city (me being paranoid). Nightmare starts here! This is gonna be a LONG LONG LONG post. ~sigh~

On 12/16, they called me and told me that they got to Chicago alright, but their connecting flight to Newark got cancelled, the airlines (AA) has arranged for them to take the next flight which will depart 2 hours later. Okay, I contacted the tour operator and gave them the new flight number for pick up. Whew, no problem, they will monitor that flight and pick them up accordingly! An hour and a half later, got another call, their flight has been delayed for another hour. I asked them if they know what the problem was, they had no idea, they tried to ask the gate agent, the agent told them that she was busy, don't have time to talk to them!! What the....! I told them to be patient and just wait, there were still time, worse case scenario I'll pick them up. One of their question was what if the airlines cancel this flight again (that was the latest fight to Newark for that night) then they would miss the tour. Well, we'll worry about that later, I said. That flight delayed for another half hour, finally headed to Newark. Everything was fine till the 21st.

12/21, first phone call, the fight was delayed for 2 hours (not again, I thought), then the 2nd phone call, the flight got cancelled, and there was no next flight, that one was cancelled too! WHAT ARE THE ODDS!!! I mean, if it's snow or thunder storm I can understand, there was NOTHING going on (after talking to AA, it was heavy fog)! Hubby called AA (he being a "great" negotiator) try to figure out the whole situation, the reservation agent was able to find them two "first class" seats for coming in the next day. I thought, okay, that wasn't so bad. Then hubby yelled, no, you booked them on 12/23, Saturday (he was online checking the girls' reservation at the same time) not 12/22! The agent apologized and checked again, those were the only 2 seats available, because the holiday all flights were sold out and possibly over booked, and they still need to take care all those passengers whose flights had been cancelled. Fine, we got the picture!!

Hung up the phone, called the girls back let them know about the new flight. Now, problem is, where will they stay? Go to a hotel (checked, around $110 + tax per night)? How are they going to get to the hotel? They are only 16, can they even stay at the hotel by themselves? I was pulling-my-hair frustrated!! The girls are exhausted, don't really want to move, they don't have credit cards, don't have a lot of cash on them and they rather "stay" at the gate area so they can save the money for Chicago! Do I really want to let them do that? I'm assuming my "host family responsibility" starts when I actually "picked" them up, so I shouldn't worry too much right?! Ahhhhh...but she's friend's daughter! The search for a solution goes on.

We checked all other airline for available tickets, none, zero, nada; while doing that, found out all other airlines flew to Chicago either on time or delayed, no cancellation (I'm keeping this information to myself, can't let the girls find out)! We also checked Amtrak and Greyhound. Amtrak's schedules didn't work. So we focused on Greyhound, we checked the route from Boston to Chicago, it takes too long, and bus won't leave till Friday night which means they won't arrive until Saturday. We checked other destinations, Detroit, Akron, Cleveland, Toledo, Cincinnati...based on the bus fares and number of transfers, we thought Cleveland ($96) was a reasonable choice, we should be able to drive there pick up the girls turn around and drive back to Chicago. We offered this option to the girls, they liked it. Now they just need to find someone to get them their baggage (checked-in already); find a taxi to go to the "South Station" (after a few phone calls to the Greyhound, finally got the name of the station); all these sounded easy for us, but it's kinda hard for the girls. I've been on the phone with them the whole time try to walk them through everything and make sure they didn't get lost.

After they got to the bus station, bought the tickets to Cleveland, I told them to call me once they're on board the bus (12:30AM EST), and at every transfer city, New York (4:50AM EST) and Pittsburgh (3:10PM EST); did I mention that this is their first taking the bus and they have to transfer at 2 cities!

We knew it would take us about 6 hours to get to Cleveland, but with holiday traffic we decide to leave around 11AM just to be safe. We were on the road, tried to enjoy the "drive", expecting to receive a call around 3:15PM, I didn't, I thought, okay, maybe they want to wait till they are on the Cleveland bound bus then call me; 4PM, still no call. Finally around 4:20PM, they called, they said they are still on the road, not yet arrive Pittsburgh, there were lots of traffic, and heavy rain, so they are a little late (and they couldn't tell me where they were at the time). @#%$^$& I want to scream!!! That means they missed the bus to Cleveland!!! I have to be calm, I can't panic, the girls depend on us! Told the girls, we will check with Greyhound and let them know "whatever"...basically I'm speechless. How can this be???

Okay, don't panic! Hubby started to call Greyhound. Can you believe the Greyhound people said they don't have this schedule on their system, they kept asking what was the bus number, what was the "carrier", was it really "Greyhound". We printed out the schedule directly from their website, and they are telling us they don't have that schedule! We must've tried at least 3 different agents, finally the last agent told us that once the bus is enroute, they can't see the schedule (really?). That agent said we can get more information from the departure station or the arrival station; we tried, we call Boston, got transfered, then click, got disconnected; tried calling Pittsburgh, went to voice mail, and the voice mail box was full, click, disconnected. Whatever, it looks like we won't get any help from Greyhound.

Then, the unbelieveable thing happened, the girls called again said the bus now has broken down, the bus driver already called it in to have another bus to pick everyone up and drive them to Pittsburgh. I don't know how to react anymore...Really, WHAT ARE THE ODDS?!!!

While this was "happening", we already drove passed Cleveland, it was only another 2 hours to Pittsburgh. What to do? We'll drive to Pittsburgh to pick them up, so nothing else can go wrong!

We got to Pittsburgh around 8PM EST, I've never been to Pittsburgh before, I just have to take some pictures. I don't know where we were at, but it's Pittsburgh!! This is the proof that this really happened! We picked up the girls and headed home. All 4 of us got home around 3AM Chicago time. Exhausted, but safely home!

What a day!!

We are determined to have a very very Merry Christmas (we need it)!!!


December 20, 2006

My Sock Advanture

While I'm waiting for my sis to get her yarns for the Sahara (our mini KAL), I decided to try knitting my first sock. I bought Knitting Korner's Sock I & II a while back with Joann's 40% coupons, I like the idea I can always go back to the dvds if I forgot how to do something. In these dvds, Nenah Galati uses 2 circular needles which is easier then using dpns (I think), and you can even knit 2 socks at a time, how great is that?!

And then I saw this booklet "Magic Loop" uses only 1 long (32"~40") circular needle. Hey, I like it even more.

I was going to start my sock with 40" addi #1, but I couldn't find a pattern (I liked) written using Magic Loop. I found some patterns uses 2 circulars, but no luck with Magic Loop :-(

Since this is my first sock, I'd better follow a pattern, I went with Diamante. I started it using 2 #1 KP 24" circular, this is a toe-up pattern (so I can try on as I knit), I used Judy Becker's Magic cast-on, I did it just one try, and it looks great! Hey, it's a good start!

I knitted for about 2", figured it would be a good time to try it on, OMG, it was big! How can it be? Then I realized that I miscalculated the stitches, my gauge was 32sts=4", but somehow I had 36sts=4" in my mind...I increased too many stitches! Ok, let's try again, I ripped and re-knitted. Still too big! Why? Why? Why! I read the pattern again and again and again...well, it says it's for women size medium, could this be it?! At this point, I had no idea what size M means anymore! When I decided to knit socks I thought if I just follow the pattern (using same gauged yarn) I should be ok. Well, lesson learned!!

I took time to measure my foot this time, and used Knitty's Universal Toe-Up Formula to calculate all the numbers that are needed to knit a pair of socks that will fit me. Now I got all the numbers, I also found Anastasia socks has the Magic Loop instruction in it, perfect! At first I wasn't sure how to apply Magic loop, after knitted with 2 circulars, I kinda got an idea how it should work. It was easy! I just keep pulling each "ear" (the 2 loops) at the end of each row instead of pulling the whole circular needle, and it worked like using 2 circulars!

See the picture on the left, I was so happy that I can start my heel soon, then of course, I found a boo-boo, one set of the k2tog and YO was messed up. ~sigh~ I put in a life line, it's all ready to be ripped...oh...do I have to? Or can I just drop that stitch and pick it up use crochet hook?


December 13, 2006


Cast on: 12/13/06 1:56AM
Cast off: 12/13/06 4:00AM
Yarn: Patons SWS Natural Geranium 1.2 oz. (1/2 ball)
Needle: KP #8 24" circular
Finished Measurements: fits my head just fine :-)

The new Knitty winter 06 issue was up few days ago, I already found my favorite the Eiffel, since I still have a whole list of knitting projects to go through, I'm in no hurry to knit that one. Last night, I saw there was a Calorimetry KAL, it looks pretty interesting and "fast", maybe a perfect X'mas gifts for my 3-year-old's "teachers" (3 for his totschool and 1 for his Chinese school). So I took out 1 skein of SWS and KP #8 and off I went...couple hours later, the "Calorimetry" was born. Since there were only 9 pages of posts (as of last night), I read through it fairly quickly and followed some of the modifications those "super fast knitters" suggested. I casted on only 80 stitches (not 120 as pattern stated, some said it came out "huge"), it's knitted in rib sts, I figured should be able to stretch it to fit me or I'll just give it to friend's daughter if it doesn't. I didn't even do swatch, the idea of being able to finish it within couple hours (I also wanted to find out how SWS is), I just started to knit.
The pattern is easy, I followed row 1~5 and did the repeat row 5 for 11 times more (actually, I lost count...it's was weally weally late ~yawning), did row 7 for 13 times more, then finished it as the pattern says. It looks like I still have about 1/2 ball of SWS left, I wanted to know if I can make another one out of it so I weighed it using a post office meter (in my office), and it weigh 1.6 oz, hey, for $5 a ball and I get 2 Calorimetries, great deal! Now I just need to buy a button and I can say it's officially finished!! You like it?


December 12, 2006

Clapotis Finished

Clapotis is finished!!

Cast on: 11/9/06
Cast off: 12/11/06
Pattern: Clapotis
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb Black Purl 3 skeins
Needle: Denise #8 circular
Finished Measurements: Width 18", Length 60"
Modification: Section 2 (increase rows) for total of 6 times; section 3 (straight rows) for total of 14 times; section 4 (decrease rows) for total of 6 times.

I'm surprised I actually finished it in about a month. Usually with this much St sts, I would get bored and set it aside and forgot about it. But that drop-st action kept me going, it was really fun knitting this, I already have other "yarns" line up ready to make a lighter one for Spring. The Clapotis KAL helped a lot, I read through the whole 100 pages, picked up couple tips that made the whole knitting process easier; like k tbl before marker and on 2nd st after marker; and how many increase rows they did to make it narrower or vise versa, I mean it's all in the pattern, but see someone actually did it makes big difference. There was one gal did the drop st in Purl so she didn't use any markers, I like this idea, too bad she didn't post until I almost finish mine.

That KAL also gave me ideas what yarn to use for my next one, I saw quite a few people used Noro's Silk Garden, it's just GORGEOUS!! Some used Blue Heron's Rayon Metallic, also breath taking!! Everyone needs to have their own Clapotis!!!


December 11, 2006

Hooked on Lace

I joined the Victorian Lace KAL today! I ordered Victorian Lace Today and the Options needles from Knitpicks last week (free shipping). I've been flipping thru the pages, love all the projects in this book, I'm having trouble decide which one to make first :-p.

I don't have too much lace weight yarn in stash, my stash yarns are like between 400 yards and 630 yards, that means scarf only. The blue scarf on the left seems easy enough, not too complicate; the purple scarf on the right is more lacy look, probably the easiest in the whole book.
I'm thinking I should start with a simple project, get familiar with reading the pattern/charts before I tackle the 100,000 sts projects, just the thought of the 100,000 sts, scary. Emm...this triangle shawl is yummy too... it would look great with SweetGeorgia's hand dyed yarn.

Enough about the lacy stuff.

I'm very happy with Knitpicks, great customer services. I got my Options needles set on Dec. 1. I unpacked it and put all the needles in the organizer, each size/pair in their own little space/pouch. It was all nice and tidy.

Tuesday, I took out the size 9 to knit, somehow, it feels weird, like one is bigger than the other. The Options needles are great, the only thing that bugs me is that there is no size marking on the needle tips. So I took out my needle sizer, measured the 2 needle tips in my hand, one is #9, one is #10. Ok, I must've grab the wrong one. I went and got the #10s. Ha! Guess what! The #10s are #10! Ok, measured all the needles, turned out I have 1 #9 tip and 3 #10 tips. Frustration!! I called Knitpicks the next day, explained what happened, the lady was very polite, she told me I can keep my "extra" #10 tip, and she will send me another set of #9. And I got it today! Another great experience with online store!

December 05, 2006

LYS closing

Another LYS is closing (sigh), we just had one closed at the end of August (got a lot of bargain back then). The LCYs are like the "ToysRus" to me, I know I can't have all the yarns, but I still like to see it, touch it, and hope one day I may win lottory and buy as much yarn as I can (keep dreaming).

I picked up few skeins of Manos del Uruguay (40% off) for the cutest felted slippers (from Knit 2 Together).
Here is another cute pattern Novella Socks from the same book, I don't know if I will ever wear leg warmers, but I'll make an exception for this baby!

I also found some Berroco Denim Silk (I may use this to make a short sleeve or sleeveless Sahara); the red yarn is the Karabella Breeze, maybe for Tiger Eye or Dayflower lace scarf; and the pinky yarn is the Rowan Cotton Tape, it's for this version of Circular Shrug. These are the 40% off yarns, I'll probably go back later to see if she offers more discount on the rest of her yarns. Instant noodles for the rest of this month....


December 01, 2006

First Snow

I thought it would be worse, not too bad at all, looks like only 4" vs. 6~12". We will take the little one out to play later in the afternoon. Snowman, snow ball, snow angel?

Here is the WIP report, Bubble pullover on blocking board, I'm only doing the neck and armhole areas for now, so I can sew the sleeves on. And the Clapotis is moving pretty fast, love the drop stitch effect.