afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
My mom has commissioned me to make a vest for my grandpa, so I am searching through ravelry for suitable patterns (male or unisex, forgiving fit, separate down the middle so you can shrug it on rather than pulling it over your head)

In the process, I have fallen in love with a lot of the for-female patterns and I think I would like to make vests -- lots and lots of vests.

I applied for a new credit card a couple weeks ago, one which supports double currency billing, which means that when I buy stuff in dollars, I'll get charged in dollars, rather than in pesos. :D Process was surprisingly painless! Not as painful as my first card was, and applying for one meant I didn't feel skeeved about about it the way I do preapproved cards (what's the catch? I still haven't figured out what they'll get if I accept, so I just reject them.)

So I haven't been buying anything online, because I know that I'll get a better conversion rate pretty soon -- but looking at all these patterns I am so very tempted *_*

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the LYS to learn crochet. It was awesome! I managed to catch the owner, and she helped tweak my handling of the hook so that I'm no longer fighting the stitches as much. Turns out that I was crocheting too tight, and that I was insisting on turning the hook around with every stitch so of course my wrist got sore quickly.

She also helped me figure out how to count my stitches -- I tended to alternate between skipping a stitch, and adding an extra stitch because I wasn't sure how to count. I'm getting much better at it. Ummmm. I need to pick a more interesting pattern soon, though. I'm getting bored with the sc-only pattern I picked out as a beginner, so I keep putting it off in favor of knitting.

Right now, I'm finding that with crochet, I love the finished product more than I love the process, so I really need to venture out and pick something cute but fast that I'll love at the end rather than something to teach me stitches, which will only seem like a chore.

Note to self: find time

Knitting projects are chugging along well:

I finally finished the magic mirror mittens, eeeh \o/

pictures behind cut )

One good thing I got out of having to do and redo (and redo) the mitten was that I got to practice the technique of cabling without a cable needle. It's gotten so that I'm reluctant to pick up the extra needle, except when the stitches are really tight, or the yarn is really slippery.

(Hmm I can't find the tutorial I actually used though, which led me to leave alone the crossed / temporarily dropped stitches while I knit the next stitches, and then putting them on the cable after, instead of putting them immediately back on the cable the way that was done in the tutorial from knitty).

Besides the convenience and the reduced number of needles to juggle about, doing cables without the needle made it much clearer how the stitches are oriented when cabling, and why holding it in the back leads to a right-leaning cable while holding it to the front leads to a left-leaning cable. It's kinda like -- instead of focusing on the cable needle, I was forced to look at the stitch without anything else in the way. That alone is worth the cost of an extra mitten's work.

I... after finishing the mirror mittens, I may have cast on two more projects to make up for it. Oops?

Having fun with Summit, a very hole-y shawl, which I'm knitting in a glittery slinky black yarn.

So far I've learned patience backwards purling. My backwards purling is a lot tighter than my forwards one, but it doesn't matter as much for this pattern.

I also just signed up for my first test knit *glee* It's a mitten with a flap, it's really nifty, and it's really challenging me to figure out ptbl / ktbl when I'm doing combination knitting which twists the orientation of the stitches for me already half the time. I found a couple of minor typos, so I don't feel useless (or like I'm freeloading) already :)

Last step in this pair of mitts, though I'm very far from it, is to add buttons. Why did I never know that buttons could be so pretty? :O Today I went to Carolina's (beads, buttons, sequins, ribbons, feathers, etc) and bought buttons. Lots and lots of buttons :D Lots and lots of different colored, different sized, buttons. Nothing that's perfect for what I need, but a bunch of them that are really interesting and that I think might work (if not for this project, for the next one).

Oh! Also my LYS is being helpful and is asking one of their other regulars (sort-of-employee?) to see if she has any of the yarn I need for. I may finally be able to finish the english driving cap, and knock that project off of my list *g*

Something not knitting related: I'm watching the concrete examples of accessibility problems that [personal profile] deborah linked to. Fantastic idea, really useful resource, awesome videos.
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
I stumbled this designer of geeky shawls, some patterns being references to books such as: Threadfall, Talia, Shipfish Circle Shawl.

And then some are just completely random but wow are sucking me in (I have great hopes for Starlight on the Waters).

Most of them are beyond my ability/time/patience right now, but I'm really enjoying looking and plotting.

About a month back, I knit my sister a fluffy red/pink/violet scarf to replace the fluffy red scarf she left on a bus back in Australia. I think maybe she liked it \o/ I wasn't sure if she would, because we both agree I have no fashion sense to speak of, so I'm always scared of giving clothes and clothes-like-stuff to her, but I'm glad that I did, this time \o/

I missed knitting in the round, so I got on a beret kick. I was too lazy to take pictures (some of them I can't take pictures of anymore because I've given them away, :D), but let me talk about some of them!

description of three berets under the cut. no pics, alas )

I'm currently knitting two scarves and a bag. The bag is a clever windmill pattern, which is boring to knit (in a soothing way). The first scarf is a lace scarf, which is my first "big" lace project. All my other lace projects have been dishcloths, or were only a very small part (which I tacked onto) a larger project. It's a simple eight-stitch repeat pattern from The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns, and I love it.

The other scarf I'm doing is a Noro Scarf, which [personal profile] synecdochic introduced me to, and which is simply magic to knit up. I love how mindless it is, and how you can basically stop after every two rows, if you need to. It's like magic, and eating candy, and eating magic candy.

I've bought two books! Buying books is a big step -- in my mind, it feels like a commitment to knitting, to go beyond the free patterns and into paid stuff (I'll have much the same reaction the first time I go for a paid pattern).

Both of them were recommended by [personal profile] synecdochic: The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns, and Socks from the Toe Up.

I've only had time to dig into the handy book of patterns, and I can tell you right now: it lives up to its name. I have only been doing the basic patterns as written in the book -- time enough to do fancy variations later, but I love the explanation behind the algorithm behind the measurements, and the way you can put things together from several sections. It makes me feel suddenly more like a grown-up knitter *G*.

I ended up in three yarn stores while in the USA, and picked out enough yarn to keep me occupied for a long time. There was so much choice! I opted for yarns of lighter-weight because these are rarer in Dreams Yarnshoppe (the yarn store in Glorietta, which is where I usually get my yarn), and (secondary consideration) should be easier to squeeze into a ball and transport home. I shall probably need a second yarn bin, and also shall want to knit faster, but I'm loving my yarn collection right now ♥ How can I not? It's glorious and makes me happy both by simply being yarn, and by being potential to be made into something else.


Saturday, June 12th, 2010 01:33 pm
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Last week, I picked up my last paycheck from the old workplace. (It had been sitting there a while! I was just too busy to drop by)

I didn't take into account sick leaves and the tax refund, so I got back more than twice what I'd expected to be able to obtain.

So! I shall be disappearing for the afternoon into my local yarn store. Wish me luck ♥
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Passed by National Bookstore in Podium on the way home from work, and managed to snag a couple of cheap books (of the bargain/sale kind): three Redwall books (which I haven't read, but I might as well give it a try at the price), and one crochet book.

First time I tried to crochet a couple of months ago, I think I was using a too-small hook for my yarn, because my wrist started aching horribly when I tried to push the hook through the loop. IT's much better now; of course I'm trying this with a cotton yarn, instead of the stiffer acrylics, so that might have also made a difference.

I'm finding crochet very hard, though. I keep missing loops or something? My chains inexplicably keep shrinking as I go on.

Got a little bit (a very little bit) of commit work done, but I was mostly distracted by setting up a local dev installation. No more lag, when trying to do dev work! No more twiddling my thumbs while waiting for my changes to be sent remotely! No more having to give up a productive coding session because my connection has suddenly decided to slow down or my router has gone wonky! At least, that is the general idea. I am excited, and I think that the couple of days I've spent on this will pay off :)