afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
I've recently started doing more crochet to do more color-based / character-based stuff (e.g., a BB-8 toy and beanie), but you can tell that knitting was my first love, because of the long tails everywhere.

Similarly, I've not yet gone over to the poi side, but I've at least started playing with it a little bit, and you can tell that I started with hoops because I have yet to convince my body that the thing at the end of my arms is going to be floppy if I suddenly try to reverse direction.

(no subject)

Saturday, January 31st, 2015 08:11 pm
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Have learned the hard way to not put lace near the heel of a handknit sock.

Nope nope nope. Nope nope :(

Happiness is...

Monday, March 12th, 2012 10:48 pm
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Finishing a project with just 3 grams of yarn left.

(I'd been wondering whether to do another repeat of the main pattern before heading into decreases. I'm glad I didn't. VINDICATION)
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Nice things that have been happening lately:

  • I've discovered liquid eyeliner.

    I've learned to put on just a thin line along my upper lashline (it just takes a few seconds whoa), and the definition makes my eyes stand pop, but in a very subtle way that doesn't make it obvious I have makeup on. I love the way it looks. And so, for the first time, I own eyeliner ;) I even own two: one basic black and one sort of dark iridescent gray.

    So awesoooooome.

    Still haven't figured out eyeshadow :)

  • I recently realized that makeup is a way to hack my physical appearance, and that's turned it from an annoying thing that I couldn't understand to being a fun puzzle. Combination! colors! non-obvious but effective hacks!

  • I lost my USB but my mom had a spare 32GB which was way more capacity than my old one (also 32gb usb? and 4gb USBs are now cheap? technology is weird and also awesome)

  • I really love our users ;_; Damn, but I could just cry.

  • I also really love our sysads <3 They make me do the opposite of cry :)

  • I fell in love with the idea of a second monitor when I tried my brother's setup (had guests, long story short). Now that I've moved back into my room, I've been missing the ease of use -- code / logs on one screen, browser on the other, I'm just...

    incoherent. I'm incoherent. okay.

    So anyway, I made myself get over my stinginess and buy a secondary monitor because it'd be worth it and okay I just steeled myself for a massive wave of buyer's remorse, but you know what? the monitor is awesome, and the setup is fantastic and I can afford it and while it's a bit of a luxury, it's really helpful in my line of work. And so, it's worth what I spent, yay.

  • internet is stable! and my ISP finally upgraded wiring in our area, so it's even fast now :)

  • I've been knitting socks of my own design

    I feel a bit weird saying I designed it, when it's just a stitch pattern I chose out of a book, super-imposed upon a basic sock template, and surely design must be more than that? but it feels like mine, and I did choose which pattern would go with the self-striping socks, and I am making decisions for how the pattern will shift when I get to the leg, and I've had to undo it thrice already because I decided to do something differently from before, so I guess that it is turning out to be my design after all ♥

  • And I had a hot stone massage the other day with a friend who I haven't talked to in ages and \o/

  • my aunt visited from the US, and it was a nice visit (she's a fantastic person, really generous and warm. And she knits!). She's gone home now, and it's also nice to have some space and privacy back. So all good

  • I finished knitting a sweater! My first thing with sleeves. I'm excited to try it on post-blocking, just haven't had the time, but oh it's there calling to me :)

(And then there's a bunch that's not so nice but the good is overwhelming the bad at this point in my life. That is good)
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
The owner of our LYS went to the US for a couple weeks, and came back with a huge shipment of sock yarn. I...I meant to hold off for the Cascade yarns coming in next shipment, but Austermann is so squishy, couldn't resist *whimper* I glommed onto them and bought most of them up /o\

There were also half a dozen balls of sock yarn with a cotton/wool blend, and I got some of that too, because I have this vague idea they won't be as hot as pure wool.

I meant this to be my last shopping trip for a while, but that was when I thought the Cascade would be in this shipment :) So I'll just make one more shopping trip next time, and I'm crossing my fingers there will be more heathered and tweedy stuff. I really need to stop buying soon, though, because I'm fast filling up all the storage space I allotted for yarn.

It may get to the point where I have to look through the books I've read and give away the ones that I'm not head-over-heels in love with. I don't think I've ever reached this point before.

But, but, but. Sock yarn! Eeeh! :) I never thought my LYS would ever carry sock yarn. It's been a pretty low priority: I've only seen sock yarn in the LYS twice in the two years I've been frequenting it. So, it turns out that that was only because the owner had never knit socks, so didn't know how great sock yarn could be, and now she's planning on having more! and better quality! sock yarns. I think my stash is in ~trouble~.

(the one sad thing, there's only one 100g ball of each color in this shipment, so I'm limited to socks; can't do garments or scarves, etc. OTOH socks! Yes)

So anyway, I am tempted to do just socks for a month :) I just need to finished this one cardigan I'm test-knitting, and uhh, well there's still one of a pair of gloves to do, and a Clapotis, but those can wait.

Oh! And I also bought a set of wooden interchangeable needles! I've been looking for wooden circulars that I can use for travelling, and I'd given up hope on ever finding any, but (for the first time ever), the LYS got a set of wooden KnitPros, and after finding out how cheap they were -- much cheaper than my set of Boye interchangeables, which I've lent out to a friend who's learning how to knit, I couldn't help myself /o\ They are gorgeous, seriously gorgeous, seriously seriously gorgeous, I can't wait to hold them in my hands *_*
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
I meant to type "miss you, love you"; instead my fingers typed "miss you, love mine".

Which... works I guess! The keys are right next to each other and all that.

Have been having lots of summery-salad stuff: lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots as a base, and then whatever is on hand. I'm all out of the sliced almonds, but I did manage to find some cheese that's actually cheddar, and not velveeta! That has been adding some nice salty-sharpness to my salads. So good :)

I also managed to snag some Red Leicester. I don't know what that is like, but I'll find out soon.

Today's special ingredient was golden kiwi. I though the sweet acidity would offset the cheese, but it was too mild and the salad was overall blah. Green kiwi might have been better. Probably best though, would be some nice pineapple or orange chunks. Maybe apples, to go into an entirely different direction, as well.

I have discovered the hard way that sliced tomatoes keep for only one or two days, so I must now make sure we only slice one at a time instead of a couple.

Have been doing so! much! knitting :D I got my in-progress projects on Ravelry down to five for a time, but now I'm back up to seven (ahahaha /o\), with two more that need weaving in of ends / attaching of handles, that kind of thing. Sometimes I wish I could pay someone to finish my projects for me /o\

My latest project is a summer vest made with a linen/cotton blend. I am super in love with this yarn: it's smooth and light; like cotton it's not flexible, but it's much easier on the hands than kitchen cotton. I bet that it'll feel nice and light on the skin as well. I hear that linen gets softer with washing. I don't know if this blend will act the same way, but I certainly hope so.

I don't know if it's easier on the hands than cotton because I've only ever used kitchen cotton, or if it's because linen is somehow more forgiving than cotton and imparts some of that quality into the blend. It might even be because this is DK weight, and the kitchen cotton I've used is worsted? Noooot sure, but whatever the reason, I do love it, because with this it's much easier to knit garments that are suited to my climate.

I feel like my life right now revolves around IRC, knitting, my dogs, food (and cooking shows), and Dreamwidth. And well, I'm happy. So. Life.

(no subject)

Thursday, July 14th, 2011 09:18 pm
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
I'm trying to finish all my current knitting projects before starting a new one, because it seems that the longer I knit, the looser my gauge gets. At first I thought that the recent looseness may be caused by my switching over to the combined method of knitting from continental, but no:

I knit the left hand of (what I'm now calling) Double-Mistake mittens in March, and the right hand in July, both using combination style knitting, but the July mitten looks substantially bigger than the March one.

It even looks the same length, despite the fact that I accidentally skipped four rows in the middle of the pattern. (that's mistake #2)

I'm a bit nervous about how the mittens will measure compared to one another post-blocking, but I don't want to redo all that knitting. And I definitely don't want to do what I did when I made mistake #1 (made two left mittens rather than one left and one right), and make a mate for each of my mistaken mitts. If I did that, I'd have made six mittens in the same design on the exact same yarn! (I'm getting sick of this project)

Down to seven projects now! Bonus: the table at the foot of my bed where my half-knit projects stay now has space for other things (like say, books). Other bonus: the finished projects are no longer weighing on my mind, so I'm gradually getting rid of some of the finisher's anxiety (not an actual term) that has been lingering over me whenever I look at a new pattern.

I have three scarves, one shawl, two (crocheted) bags, and one half of a pair of fingerless gloves. I need to figure out whether to finish the fingerless or not. This is a pair I started in late October 2010, and my gauge is so different, I'm not sure that the second one will still look like it's for the same size once I'm done.

I need to make a larger pair anyway, as the first glove I made was too small for the person I was supposed to gift it to. So I'm beginning to think about undoing the half a pair for yarn in case I really need it, but I hate the thought of undoing all the work I've put into it! The gloves are Nereid Fingerless Gloves, which look really complicated, and which I'm very proud of having finished as a wee beginner.

Hey, I'd even be happy to just have that half a glove. Hang it up somewhere or frame it or something, hah.

(OH MAN. Also I was anxious about something that's now irrelevant, but talking about knitting has calmed down that anxiety completely. I love knitting <3)

Oh I forgot the original reason I had for writing this entry! I managed to pick up some bamboo DPNs while I was in Wales, and I finally had a chance to try them out :-D Much lighter than the metal ones which means they didn't have the ability to twist the stitches around as much (the last time I tried knitting with DPNs, I ended up doing something like:

three needles with some stitches on each: 1-3 | 4-6 | 7-9
k 1-3 4-6 7-9
k 1-3 6-4 7-9....

because the needles were so heavy, the unused ones would twist around as they dangled.

Um okay I'm not sure whether it's because the needles are heavy, or whether it's because there were too few stitches. Either way, this set of DPNs is working out for me better. I just need to figure out how to use them without feeling so disconcerted that I'll stab myself in the eye with one of the currently waiting needles.

UNfortunately, they didn't seem to help with the finishing on the fingertips on gloves. Still as pointy and annoying as ever; I'll need to see what TechKnitter says about this, before I do anything else with fingers. (that includes mittens, which have thumbs, and also closed ends).
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
There's certain questions I want to ask, but there's a huge thread going on in Ravelry right now that makes me feel a bit scared that if I do ask, people will look down on me for not being smart enough or else think I'm being too lazy to dig things up on my own /o\

The problem isn't that I can't figure out what to do, it's that I can see two different ways to do this thing, can think of a reason for having each be better than the other, and a third reason besides that basically means it doesn't matter which one I pick. And if I explain my thought process, maybe I'll come across as overthinking, or if I don't explain maybe I'll come across as under...thinking.

Guh social stuff /o\

So I'm promising myself that I'm going to stay away from the forums (except free pattern testers <3) and switch back to using Ravelry to keep track of my projects and stash. (<33 projects and stash pages)


I just finished a pair of fingerless gloves just in case I need them for the trip :D I am excited because it's cooooooold over there (though I get the impression that it's getting warm, or at least not chilly. But I'd prefer to overpack rather than underpack, assuming I don't break my suitcase trying to stuff everything in...)

I'm just, look okay , I'm completely ridiculous when it comes to cold weather. I LOVE IT and also I end up shivering uncontrollably because I overestimate my capacity to handle the cold. I feel that 25 degrees is nice: slightly chilly but nice, and anything below 23 degrees is for bundling up or hiding under a blanket. So, yeah scarves and vests and sweaters and... stuff. I will look ridiculous /o\ BUT AT LEAST I WILL BE WARM. (I hope)


I've been packed and ready to go for almost a week now. That's kinda amazing because I usually put off packing until the night before any trip :D

But then again I don't usually take trips that are over two weeks long on my own money and with everything planned by me....


SO NERVOUS IT ISN'T EVEN FUNNY. Except for how I'm spending a lot of time grinning in anticipation. Four days! Or three plus travel time plus change.


I have withdrawn dollars and have converted some to pounds and my credit card company rushed me a card in the nick of time (who was careless and accidentally lost her credit card the week before she was leaving the country? THAT'S RIGHT). I've done some research (not all, there's still time for that later), and have a tentative plan for what to do with whom where and when ...assuming I didn't forget to get back to some people O_O I wouldn't be surprised if I did. Didn't? Planning is not my strong suit /o\ Neither is not losing things /o\ /o\


I intend to relax and enjoy this trip, treat it like a low-key meet-friends kinda thing rather than a stressful must-see-all-the-sights whirlwind tour. So um. ummmm (if applicable): HI






Geeeeeeh ;_;




I'm promising myself to only buy a couple balls of yarn from each country I'm in rather than trying to single-handedly bring the entire yarn inventory of the UK back home. :-D Since I only have limited luggage space and I'm on a budget, this should be an easy promise to keep.

(until I actually walk into the store. Then all bets are off)


Geez, I'm all ready to go, why can't the weekend be over yet? But also I'm nervous, and I'm kinda glad that there's still three more days to get ready.


I'm slightly anxious about customs. A friend of mine was telling me about how she was pulled aside while entering another country ( not England ) for a very pointed interview, because she was travelling alone while single, female, and holding a Philippine passport. (oh hi there)

I mean I'm almost certain that I'll have no issues -- there are so many other people going through customs every day, there's very little chance they'll have time for me, you know? Plus totally different country altogether, and also going to a different country is a privilege not a right so if necessary they do have the authority to turn anyone away blah blah blah it's not like anyone is guaranteed to be able to enter any other country: I'm not unique in that. It's just. I'm anxious.

What if I look suspicious? or say the wrong thing? or give the wrong impression? and get kicked out before I so much as even set foot outside the airport? What if I'm shifty-eyed or too I dunno. SUSPICIOUS. Whatever. eh. It's not going to happen (most likely!). I'm still anxious.

And there are the other things, but I like to pretend that they don't exist as considerations because if I think about them my head will explode I'll be so nervous I'll start looking more worthy of suspicion.


INSTEAD I will think about the other side! and getting past paperwork and bureaucracy! and being somewhere cold! and meeting friends! people! other friends! and concentrate on not losing my passport or my visa or my money or my credit cards or my clothes!

Just, stuff.


Suitcase is really heavy now, but a lot of that is stuff that I'll be giving folks when I get to the other side. I should be able to free up space and weight for the trip home :D


I love flying. I mean literally just everything about it, even the long lines at the airport and the ridiculously tight seats in the economy section. (It helps that I have really short legs). Just something about the whole process that I love *_* I go really hyper the day before a flight, and just before the flight too. Though thankfully not so much on the actual plane (other than grinning like an idiot and peering out the window even though I've seen similar things many other times before *G*). If I were as hyper on the plane as I am in the airport, they'd have probably kicked me out an emergency exit a long time ago >_>


I have one knitting project in my carry-on (an unstarted Noro scarf), half of another in my luggage (half-finished Clapotis), an iPad, a phone, Jim Hines' Goblin series (which I haven't started yet or even read any reviews about, but going off of his fairy tale princess series I think I'll like it).

I'm considering whether to bring along C. Valente's Palimpsest novel. On the one hand I do have plenty of ebooks so I shouldn't need to bring so many physical books. On the other, I have that ten-hour layover in Bangkok, and I don't remember if they have wall sockets for passengers to plug in there.

One weekend + one day + one travel day left...

Finished the vest!

Saturday, May 14th, 2011 12:25 am
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
I finished seaming together the vest for my grandpa today (SHINING MOMENT OF HAPPINESS)

And then I realized that I forgot to block the pieces before doing the edgings and the seaming. (OH CRAP)

I am hoping that it will still be okay. It's a bit, er, oddly misshapen when it just hangs loosely or when I put it on, but the flaws aren't as noticeable when I get my dad (who is similar to my grandpa in build) to model it.

Next vest I make I'm making for myself though. Then I can try it on and play with it and experiment and take accurate measurements and try it on all throughout and stuff >_>

Overall, though, I'm really happy. Even when it was just endless rows of stockinette, I was too busy enjoying the softness of the yarn to get bored. And now it's a garment! And the fabric hangs heavily and yet pleasingly from my hand! And it drapes! And it's super soft! And super warm!

I think I foresee more tops in the future :) I wasn't bored through any of it at all: the plain parts were soothing and suitable for mindless knitting, the shaping parts came at regular enough intervals to be interesting, but not so often that I couldn't have my bouts of mindless knitting, and it's just. I mean, it's just I mean it's a piece of clothing that I made from scratch, and it's like *flail* magic. Ridiculous woolly magic.

Now to improve my finishing skills :D

(no subject)

Friday, May 6th, 2011 11:23 pm
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Went dancing again today!

Today was hiphop abs, zumba, and ballroom. As usual, I still suck at moving around. And as usual, that just makes the whole experience that much more awesome.

We were supposed to do street dance, but it got rescheduled so I missed it. Sad.

This is the sweatiest I've ever been :D Hopefully I haven't stiffened up by tomorrow, because I want to try the Saturday classes again.

At the end of the class, as I was changing clothes and preparing to head out, someone offered to buy my hat off my head, because she'd been looking for something like that for ages.

I am tempted to sell it to her! I feel like it would look gorgeous on her. I just don't know if it's okay/how much to offer *G*

(I am really charmed by the fact that she was so enthusiastic about it ahahahha. She's a teenager though so, man, I'm not going to ask for much or anything. But still, really charmed. And fighting the urge to go "no I can't sell it because I'm no good at this DON'T YOU SEE)
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
So it turns out that when I'm nervous, I end up organizing stuff. When I'm really nervous, and happen to have supplies on hand, I end up doing something like this:

needles )

Since I posted pics of my needles, I guess I should post some of my stash too! Or rather my stash containers :D I found these really nifty boxes: six partitions (removable partitions), each partition just about wide enough for two balls of yarn, about high enough for two layers of yarn, and coincidentally at the perfect size to be able to squeeze four such boxes under my bed (eight if I stack them two high, but I haven't needed to go past four yet...)

The hardware store is surprisingly good for finding useful stuff that can be adapted to crafts. So are bookstores/office supply stores.

Anyway, box/stash pics:
stash )

ETA: I just stumbled across the abuntant yarn blog via one of the Ravelry forums. Lots of good techniques I'm bookmarking for later.

BUT but look at their very first entry. So many boxes of yarn *_*
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
We have a temporary wall left over in our house from the time we were undergoing renovations. For reasons of SUCKITUDE on the contractor's part, we didn't renew their contract, but they didn't come back to take down the wall.

Now every time I pass by that area, I am stuck by this urge to side-kick the wall (not to be fancy or anything, just less likely to hurt my toes). It would make a satisfying sound, I just know it.

Anyway, to distract me from things I shouldn't be doing, let me post a couple of links to things I would like to check out, but know that realistically I don't have the time for:

  • Making and decorating your own DPNs

    In particular I think it would be cool to be able to label them as #1, #2, etc, based on the stripe pattern

  • Making your own circular needles

    I love my Addis, but I am tempted to make a pair of wooden ones with a really dull end for airplane use. If they were confiscated, would that be less painful because it wouldn't have cost much, or would it be more painful because I'd need to make another set from scratch?

  • Circular needle holder

    Besides the advantage of having the needles cataloged this way, I wonder if this would help relax the cables of some of my circs! I'm currently storing them curled up in their original packaging which means the circulars never have a chance to relax from their original curve...

  • Knitting Aid

    Uhhh okay random product and not something oriented towards making on your own but it falls under clever and crafty I think!

(no subject)

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011 01:40 am
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
I've been volunteering as a pattern tester over at the Free Pattern Testers group in Ravelry, and while my two experiences thus far have been lovely, I am beginning to feel the blah of being obligated to meet deadlines, so I'm promising myself that won't volunteer for anything unless it's:

1.) a hat AND
2.) it has no cables AND
3.) I'm absolutely head over heels in love with it

(I kinda want to say yes to arm warmers / gloves too, but there's the dreaded second-sock syndrome, so.)

Mostly though... these days, while knitting, I find myself wondering what would happen if I were to tweak $x ever so slightly, or add $y or remove $z or adjust or... YOU KNOW, and with the deadline plus the fact that I'm knitting to test other people's designs rather than to make any random finished product for myself, I can't indulge!

So here's to indulgence (and a copy of Debbie Stoller's Stitch N' Bitch Superstar Knitting); hopefully after this current project I can indulge myself more :-)

I don't know what's up with me and knitting/crocheting these days though. Right now I have ten projects in progress, only one of which is because I don't have enough yarn. About a third of what's remaining are suffering from second $stuff syndrome, and the rest are things like a tank top where I need straps, or scarves I'm saving for when I'm in queue or... mmm. I guess when I look at them as a bunch they look like a lot, but each project has a reason for not being finished so :D

There's only one in there that I absolutely hate. I started it because I thought it would be quick to knit up in a bulky yarn and huge needles, but the yarn feels like it's actively fighting me. It makes me want to bite something.

Meanwhile, my crochet learning continues. I've decided to space things out a bit by doing only crochet at my LYS where it's easy to turn to people when I get myself into trouble (:D), and doing only knitting at home when I'm trying to relax or need to zone out.

Because I'm only at my LYS rarely, the crochet project is going really slowly, but that's okay: better than stopping completely (which it would if I were at home. I've done knitting for much longer, so it's a lot easier, and it's a lot more tempting to turn to knitting when I'm relaxing, rather than struggle with learning crochet). However! Last time I was at the LYS I got into the zone and the motions for sc and dc started feeling natural which *fistpump* yay! Apparently it helps that I'm using appropriately sized needles and that I occasionally switch the way I'm holding my needle to reduce the stress on my wrists.

Things I want to try next in knitting:

* Travelling Loop (one-circular; variant on magic loop, with less adjustments required)

* some form of color-knitting, using the tips that I'm picking up from books to hopefully make it easier

* playing with the effects of various increases and decreases

* um. stuff. anything. everything. stuff!

I have at least tried out the interlock bind-off from the latest knitty; it's pretty interesting, and also really flexible! Not very pretty, but since I think it's going more for invisible and useful than pretty that's all right.
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
- Wondering what it would take to make a simple iPhone client to catch up to my reading list with ReadItLater integration ([personal profile] exor674 has the Android client well in hand so I'm not going there!)

It took me a week and a half to download 4.33 GB... and then the download failed and now it says it'll take me another 15 days to start from scratch D:

+ update page, chugga chugga chugga

+ a surprise, but I don't want to say anything about it until it's ready (more chugga chugga chugga)

+ getting the dog groomed, so he no longer looks like a rat with a mop on its head :-)

- dog's vet called reminding us that their vaccinations need to be renewed, but I don't feel comfortable with this guy because he doesn't seem to know how to handle the dogs properly...

+ dropped by Zentea again, tried out their almond milk tea (mmm). The naicha is still better, but this is good 'nuff

+ lots of mangoes and singkamas. SUMMER IS HERE

- perhaps too many mangoes; mom bought two kaing (big baskets) worth, at 60-80 pieces in each... :D

+ but this means that we can have mango float / refrigerator cake (layers of mango slices + cream + graham crackers, leave in the refrigerator for a couple hours so that the cream soaks into the graham, serve cold)

+ getting to sit down and talk with someone local who loves knitting, who is close to my age!

- only because she's moving to another country for a couple years and needs to sell off her current yarn stash

+ (from the perspective of my stash) buying said yarn stash off her hands
- (from the perspective of my wallet) buying said yarn stash off her hands

+ she's lending me all her knitting books while she's away! (needs someone to keep them who'll take care of them since they're too heavy for her to lug everything across an ocean)

+ she also recced the Fully Booked in Fort which has a full shelf worth of knitting / crochet / sewing books *_*

- having to leave behind some of said books because of budget

- having to drive at night on EDSA

+ overcoming my fear of driving at night

+ overcoming my fear of driving on EDSA (main thoroughfare)

+ remembering to gas up the car yesterday so I don't have to deal with it today

+ making plans to meet up with friends for merienda or lunch (some time in the future)

+ family stuff

- other family stuff

I believe that all leaves me ahead by a couple thousand ;-)
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
I stumbled across the TECHKnitting blog and whoa, wow. I wanna knit like that when I grow up :)

Have gone through most of the entries, and even the smallest tips (such as this one which gives advice for pushing the left needle back when moving stitches around, without hurting your finger.

Equally awesome, she has an entry where she lays out how to fix a dropped stitch down the side, especially pointing out why the dropped stitch down the side looks so hard, and not twenty-four hours after I read that entry, I'd used the knowledge to fix something -- thrice!

Saved me having to undo and redo several hundred stitches each time :)

Got the second backup drive finally. She's Western Digital, 2TB, USB 3.0 and not too expensive. She also hase a name.

naming system )
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've recently been introduced to random cheap items for knitting/crochet. Which is perfect: more money for yarn, yay \o/

  • Gigantic safety pins for a stitch holder, as recommended by [personal profile] yvi.

    I was initially reluctant to try this because I thought these would be expensive -- the way that gigantic paperclips are! (about Php 200 / 5 USD for five pieces) -- but these were only Php 10 / 0.25 USD for ten pieces at my LYS :D

    One safety pin is about two hundred times cheaper than a regular stitch holder

  • foldable twist fans for blocking hats (link goes to a Philippine classified ads site)

    I've been having trouble blocking my berets, because the ribbing stretches when I try to wrap the beret around a dinner plate. But a friend of mine pointed out that foldable twist fans are:

    a.) cheap
    b.) easy to find around
    c.) small when folded so it doesn't stretch the ribbing when you put it in
    d.) the perfect size to stretch out the body of the beret once its unfolded

    Perfect for blocking, and (if you don't have a friend willing to serve as model or cameraman) also perfect for laying out a hat flat for taking pictures.

  • crochet yarn for making amigurumi

    leads to much smaller finished products, and easier to get appropriate colors (much more choice than even acrylic yarns). Plus really really cheap, which is perfectly fine by me

So I've now saved hundreds of pesos, enough to buy a couple extra balls of yarn (or buttons -- but that's an entry for another day)
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Just finished the body of the right-hand mitten, and the thumbhole is on the right side \o/

(Technically, the thumbhole is on the left side, which is finally right).

I will probably stay well away from any cables for the next $x projects. Well well away -- I had to redo rows several times, more often than I've ever had to redo them before. Doing cables is hard enough: undoing (and then redoing them) is so much more pain. Was trying to finish the mitten by March 18, which is probably why I ended up having to undo and redo several rows' worth of cables over and over again (oh row 48 *fistshake*)

See, this is the mitten for my friend who asked me for one, and I wanted to finish it by March 18 because that is the day she discovers whether she's going to make doctor (she did).

I just need to knit the thumb, which is barely anything, and block it and then arrange a time to meet up and celebrate. I am going to be a day late, but \o/ anyway.


Wednesday, March 16th, 2011 12:45 am
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
I was near the end of the right mitten, had begun decreasing, and was rejoicing because I was so! close!

...and then I realized that I'd made a second left mitten, instead of a right mitten.

Hmmmmmmmm. I'm actually so close to finishing that I may actually just finish this one, and make two right mittens to match instead of tearing this down to the thumb section. There's a whole lot of cabling, and I don't want to let all that work have gone to waste.

ETA: Oh gosh, but the pattern is different on the right mitten vs the left mitten. I think it can be made to work but GRAR.
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
About a third of the way through my first mitten :D It's a bit scary; I'm just about approaching the point where I'd stop if it were a fingerless glove. So far it's been pretty similar though.

I need to see if I can find some soft wire to use as a stitch holder. That way, I wouldn't need to dig out a tapestry needle in order to thread scrap yarn through the stitches to be held. And I think (though I haven't tried) that it might be easier to transfer the stitches from wire back to a knitting needle, rather than from a soft yarn -- plus you can scrunch it out of the way while knitting the rest of the mitten.

The wire ties that you can find for bread or to organize cables almost work but I'm a bit nervous that the flat edges will rub against the yarn, weakening it. So, next thing to do is to find some spare wire somewhere *handwave*