Saturday, 31 December 2016

New Year's Eve

Hello!

Hopefully everyone is out celebrating or something! I'm spending today resting... Trying to get things together for the new year. Hopefully next year will be better. I want to be better. I want to try.

I achieved some of the goals that I've set for 2016:

  1. 12 pairs of socks for the year 
  2. Purlbee's Jasmine scarf
  3. Learned to do yarnovers properly
  4. Learned afterthought heels
  5. Learned Fish Lips Kiss heels
  6. Learned Kitchener stitch
  7. Learned crocheting
Goals for 2017:
  1. Be more active on Ravelry's forums
  2. Knit more shawls
  3. Knit a sweater 
  4. Knit Christmas Advent Mittens
  5. Knit 12 socks for the year
My main goal for the next year would definitely be sweater knitting. I'm excited about it. I can't wait! It would be great! Except I'm having some difficulty getting the gauge right because apparently I'm a very tight knitter, or I am measuring my swatches wrongly. 

Anyway, I'll be posting again soon! I aim to post yarn brand reviews next year too. 

Enjoy your new year! :)

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Boxing Day

Happy Boxing Day! 

What did you do for the holidays? It was the same as any other day for me. Except... my house was quieter than before. Mum baked cookies and christmas bread. My dad worked. My other sister was out celebrating with her boyfriend, and my youngest sister practiced for choir. And me... I wished that I was with my boyfriend too, except he was sick and he refused to be with me. 


I ripped my Future Blanket up on Christmas Eve. It was 94 inches on each side and nearly 3/4 done. It took 20 skeins, which I took months to knit. It only took 10 hours to destroy everything, and also, my arm hurt after that. I made the blanket using the PurlBee's Colorblock Bias Blanket Pattern. It feels very nice. I intend it to be on our (me and my boyfriend's) bed. Except... I guess life interfered. 

Have you knitted anything for anyone and then things didn't work out? 


Rainbow socks with contrast heels in grey. I'm really loving the colours. This is the twelfth pair for the year! I'm done! I reached my goal! I think I'll knit another twelve pairs next year. :) You know, on top of the sweaters and gloves and shawls that I am going to knit. I am making a list. 


Working on a new shawl for the new year. I'm using Debbie Bliss Rialto 4 ply for this, and I realised that is rather loosely plied, and sometimes it'll come apart between my needles. 

Right now, I'm dreaming of Starbucks hot chocolate. I've been drinking plenty of hot chocolate this December. Fortunately, it is rainy enough this month that I can enjoy a few hot drinks. It'll be 2017 soon, and everything will be better, right? 

Things will get better. 

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Pre-Christmas Mood

Things that happened:


  1. I made plenty of lists for 2017. There're 'things to knit' lists, 'things to read' lists, plenty of 'goals' lists.
  2. I switched my hobonichi weeks but not my hobonichi A5. 
  3. I am crazy about Starbucks Signature Hot Chocolate. It feels like the thing to drink for Christmas.
  4. I hate Christmas. I hate it. Sometimes I feel like holidays are things they cram down our throats  and demand we enjoy it. I think holidays are fine if we get to spend them with people we love, but otherwise, they just feel incredibly lonely and depressing. 
  5. I am past my heel of my rainbow socks. My knitting has slowed down and that's okay. 
  6. I've been eyeing a few knitting books on Amazon: pattern books, knit life books, stitch library books. 

Monday, 19 December 2016

The Week before Christmas

Still working on this sock. I'm also thinking of starting a sweater, and I've decided on yarns for a new shawl. 


Went to the Botanical Gardens with my family last week. I brought the last shawl I knitted for my photoshoot. Here're some photos. 



I really really like this one. 

Anyway, not feeling too chatty, so that's all for this week. 

Thursday, 15 December 2016

EatSleepKnit Black Friday Purchase and Freebies

My black Friday yarn purchases finally arrived, after two weeks. Needless to say, I have been waiting anxiously and I brought out my scissors asap I saw the boxes. 

The Black Friday promotion from EatSleepKnit is a little different from other promotions. The lowest discount you can get is 10% and the highest- you can get your entire order for free! The discount is random and only shown after your checkout, which was why I put in three orders. I got 10%, 15% and 20% respectively. Not bad after all. 

I had waited for the Black Friday sale for the shop for a long while. It was a good way for me to get Madelinetosh, Lorna's Laces and Sweet Georgia yarns (I tried getting them from Loveknitting, but yarns from those brands don't ship from UK, and my parcels always got lost on route. Those that were dispatched from UK did not have this problem.) 

First, let's talk about freebies, shall we?


Freebies! There are alot of freebies! Badges, and stickers... Candies... Pens (One of them is dry so I had to throw it away)... A notebook... Measuring tape... Notions kit... and my 10k club yarn. 

All the badges are super cute, and I love my notions kit. I've filled it with my stitch markers, according to size. 

I'm pretty happy with the yarn I got. It is Blue Moon Faber Arts Marine Silk Worsted in the colorway The Final Frontier. I've not had this brand before, neither have I ever knitted with silk (this one is 51% silk, 27% merino, 20% sea cell Rayon), so this will be a fun one to try. I think I'll knit it into a hat or something. There s a bit of halo to it that I'm not very sure about.. It feels rather nice though. With 222m, I'm thinking of making it into cowl... But I'm not too sure about short cowls. 


I put in a huge order of sock yarns. I prefer sock yarns because I like knitting socks. Plus if I knit shawls, fingering weight yarns means that I can use them in the tropical climate of Singapore, as opposed to bulky cowls and chunky scarves. 

The above photo are yarns from Madelinetosh in the colorway (from top): Rose, Silver Leaf, Candlewick and Sugar Plum. Rose is a light sweet pink while Sugar Plum is a lilac. Candlewick is a darker yellow than I expected; perhaps I should have gotten Sunshine or something like that. Silver Leaf is a pale silver with an odd green tinge. I wanted more monochrome colours in my yarn palette, such as brown, beiges, whites, greys and black, so I'm slowly building that up. 


Sweet Georgia yarns are definitely a delight. The above are (from top): Apricot, Dreamboat and West Wind. Apricot is a very nice pastel coral, Dreamboat a nice pastel lilac and West Wind a good mixture of blues and some greens. 

I really like the colours from Sweet Georgia. They have a huge variety, plus I'm not much for variegated yarns, so these are really appealing to me. 


Next: Malabrigo sock yarns. I've knitted with alot of Malabrigo before. They are very nice to feel and affordable too. Here I have( from top): Pearl and Water Green. The Pearl is supposed to be grey but it has an odd brown tinge to it. Kinda reminds me of pecan pie, I have no idea why. Water Green is a very nice light green. I also threw in a few more skeins of white in my orders, I think I have nearly 8 or so skeins now because I wanted to make Mirkfallon


Last, I have Lorna Laces. The top one is Solemate in the color Navy Pier, and the bottom one is Shepherd Sock in Tidepool. I wanted to try out the outlast material in Solemate to see if it really does maintain body temperature. I'm equally fascinated to knit with Tidepool- beach colours are really my kind of thing. It'll probably be the next pair of socks I knit. 

About the order: I am quite satisfied with the order. My yarns were all packaged nicely, and I really enjoyed the freebies. I'm a little disappointed with the greys I have, and the yellow, but that's fine. I also didn't realised that I have so much green in my order. I guess my subconscious wanted me to knit some greens (I really don't like green much). I'll probably try to throw in some worsted weight yarns next time and more light colours- blue preferably.

I'm still working on my 12th sock of the year, and watching too much shows, gorging on chips and hot chocolate. Hopefully I get to finish that pair when for my next post! :)

Monday, 12 December 2016

A Week's Worth of Hats and Socks

I've been busy knitting this week! In the last three days, I was really knitting all day, and watching shows all day. It is really nice to be relaxing and knitting, drinking hot tea in the cold weather. 

Pattern: PurlBee's Travelling Cable Hat
I made this hat with Malabrigo Rios. The colorway is Purple Mystery, but it looks more like a dark dark blue, with flecks of black. It is really pretty. I am knitting with Rios for the first time, and I love it. I'll definitely be using and buying more of Rios in the future. I also bought Malabrigo Worsted, but I don't really like it but it's not as tightly plied. It was also why I didn't really like Knitpicks Preciosa. However, I've noticed that Malabrigo Rios has less colours than Worsted. 

Pattern: Simple Boyfriend's Hat
This is a very quick knit, and it's rather small. I only used about 55g of Knitpicks Swish Worsted in Cobblestone. I used 4mm knitting needles. 

Pattern: Hermione's Everyday's Socks

Using 2.25mm metal dpns, and Knitpicks Felici Beyond the Wall. I used some Knitpicks Stroll Fingering in Ash to make the heel. It took rather long to knit it but it was still easy because it's merely knit and purls, no cabling at all

Pattern: Coopknits Budleigh 
This pattern is very interesting. It has two kinds of cabling plus it is a mirror image of each other as well. I'm not too sure about how it'll look on the feet though. 


I also bought a lot of knitting needles from Loveknitting as well, using the 25% off, and an extra 2.25 mm set of knitting needles. I've got plenty of 2.5mm needles but only 1 set of 2.25mm. 

Speaking of yarn purchase, my orders from Eat.Sleep.Knit has arrived. They're my first purchases  from the online store and I get to try out more yarn brands so I am rather excited. I'll be doing an extra post for it. 

Monday, 5 December 2016

The Climb towards Christmas

December is an important is an important month for crafters. For those rare breeds who prepare in advance, they spend months working on Christmas gifts. For the rest of us (and me), this is the mad scramble of sewing, knitting, crocheting and crafting. 

I've made a list, but there isn't anything fanciful on it. I don't really engage in any exchange of presents, although I am known for randomly giving away the things I made just because. So far, I have given away 6 pairs of socks this year, and some amigurumis too. 

For Christmas, I thought I would try to finish two pairs of socks, both presents. I am also working on some pillows, and some Christmas amigurumis or pouches for the rest. Plus, I also found this very nice Christmas tree socks that I'd like to make for myself before the year is done. That would be a really nice round up to the end of the year, plus, bringing the pairs of socks that I made in 2016 to a nice number: 12. 


Here's a look at the pillows that I made. I cut out two pieces of cloth measuring 15x9 inches and filled it with bursting with stuffing. It is meant to use as a back pillow, because my friend has a bad back and sitting in a chair for hours hurt his back. So these two are quite hard. 

I initially wanted to knit a cover for the pillows but I thought it would be a shame to cover up the fabulous fabric. What do you think? 

Don't you love the fabric? I got them from Taipei. It means these are good mementos of the trip too. I love it when I get to make things out of materials I got from a trip. 

FYI, the second one is mine because.... I simply love the first one I made. :) 

*Is the photo blurry? It looks blurry. 


I finished the first of both socks. Casting on the second ones tonight. I'll see if I can finish both by next week. That'll be really good. I've never knitted this much this quickly before. 

The blue/grey sock is so long that luckily I knitted the heel with a contrast yarn because I was left with only a bit of the yarn by the time I finished with the toe. Usually I have enough yarn from a 100g to work on a pair of mittens. But my friend wanted long sock and he has huge feet. :) At least he's a guy and doesn't really go for complicated patterns so it was a fast and easy knit. 

That's all I have for the week. I had to go out yesterday to buy more stuffing because I've used up about 800g of stuffing for my pillow. Fortunately there was a sale at Spotlight. (Of course, when I came home that night I found a $5 voucher in my mailbox...) 

Happy crafting. Hope you are making good progresses in your own projects. 

Cheers, 
Jennifer

Thursday, 1 December 2016

December Cold

Hi everyone! 

It's the month of Christmas- December. Are you working on your Christmas knitting? 

It is mainly cold, or as cold as it can be raining in a tropical country. I am wearing a sweater with a hoodie over my head as I knit. I am drinking warm soups and hot teas and chocolate. There's a scented candle burning in my room. 

This month, I decided to go crazy and knit two different pairs of socks at a time. I think the cold got to me. Or maybe it's Christmas.


First pair of sock is this: Budleigh pattern from my Coopknits sock pattern book. Budleigh is a sock pattern with two different pattern. Sounds like fun? 

Yarn: Knitpicks Felici Sprinkles 


I usually do a fish lip kiss heel because I hate to pick up stitches. My picked-up stitches are often too loose and I hate that in the heels of my socks. But I decided to give it a second try this time. Because the heel has slipped stitches, it made it easy for me to pick up stitches for my gusset. However, there are still a few stitches that are not snug enough for my liking. Still, there is something to be said for a heel that matches the pattern.


Second pair of sock: It'll be an easy pattern. Hermione everyday socks, I think. I really like this color combination: Knitpicks Felici Beyond the Wall. 


I've also decided to start on a new shawl. I'm using Debbie Bliss Rialto 4 Ply instead of fingering weight yarn because I've got 3 balls of yarn lying around, and have put in another order of two more so that I can complete my shawl. I have no idea why I like buying red yarns. I have plenty of red and blue colours in my stash. 

I just organised my stash and recorded everything I have so that I can make a decent stab at it. I have too many single ball of yarns lying around that I probably won't use. This is also partly to make room for yarns that I have bought on Black Friday. 

What have you been working on? 

Cheers, 
Jennifer

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Of Long Holidays, Year End, and Personal Things

Hi everyone,

*This is not about crafting, just some personal update going on.*

Another blink of an eye and November comes to an end. It's a month to the end of the year. This year has been really lousy to me, personally, and it seems like every time I thought I had gained a foothold on the shit that life has dealt me, another really bad thing comes along, and I get suckered down again. 

And yes, that was what happened when I disappeared from my blogs. 

At the start of the long period of absence from this blog, I was actually doing well. Sort of well. I was managing my life quite okay. I was working on my writing, and managed a few hours of studying every day. And then two weeks ago, I got dragged down under, and everything just stopped. My mind went crazy and I had to either watch TV to quiet it down or sleep it off. So yeah, I've been sleeping a lot. And crocheting quite a lot too. 

I am not someone who is motivated. I think of myself as a drifter. I don't get particularly attached to anything, or anyone- other than my current boyfriend. The result is, my life is a series of ups and downs, mostly downs, and I am fine with that. I tell myself that it is payoff that I have to make because I got extra credits in the creativity department. But the truth is, I suspect (and I didn't want to examine is too particularly), that I like my 'down' periods too, painful and agonising as they might be. The contrast makes life sweeter. Or as sweet as it is to someone who doesn't quite care either way.

Sometimes I think about what I am leaving behind. As in a legacy. Does anyone think about what happens after they die? Some do good deeds and spread joy around. I just want someone to love me, for who I am. Perhaps a few of my own published novels lying around wouldn't go amiss either. I'd like to inspire others, and touch a few lives. 

It really pleases me when others leave a comment telling me how much they love my Instagram, or my work. I cannot tell you how much it means to me. They always make me smile, and amaze me, that anyone could enjoy what I do. 

And holiday period seems the worst. Everyone just look so happy! Obviously, I am glad that they are. I am not that perverse to wish everyone to be as miserable whenever I am so, but it makes me  feel lonelier. Like the single person doesn't really want to hang out with all his coupled-up buddies. The thought of Christmas makes me shudder. 

But.... on a positive note, I had a good Black Friday. ;) You know what that mean. Plenty of yarn purchase. Probably more than I should have spent. It'll go under retail therapy, I'm sure. I can't wait for them to come so I can share them here! 

Love, 
Jennifer

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Shop Update!

Hi everyone! 

I've been so insanely busy studying and reading. I've also just taken on tuitioning my cousin too. I feel weary all the time, and I don't really have time for any crafts except for knitting and that was because I listen to audiobooks of my literature texts.  I feel so stretched out. 

But this morning, I took the time to photo all the new goodies that I got for the shop. The listings are already up, so do drop by and take a look! 








I'm really happy with these goodies. The memo pads are so beautiful, they'll add colours to any notebooks. And the new washi tape boards are good for my two ring binders. The stickers are so pretty I did keep some for myself. And bookmarks... I am an English major and a voracious reader, need I say more? 

Have a good weekend! 

Cheers,
Jennifer

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Halloween Batch is up on Etsy!

Hi everyone!

I've posted the Halloween batch up! There are only five types of cards so it is not as big a batch, but I promise you that they are loads of fun! I had such a wild time making them. :)

Visit my etsy shop here: thePenelopeCardShop






I also created a batch of bookmarks that I hand lettered myself! They're really cute! Just the right theme for October. Buy it for yourself or your friends...



Bonus: I crocheted this batch as photography props! Now they're just too cute! 


If you're interested in the bookmarks and/or cards, you may visit them here

By the way, I've also found the paperclips and will be putting them up together with this batch. ;) 

Love, 
Jennifer

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Hobonichi Weeks Review

Hi everyone!

I'm writing this up a few days in advance and scheduling it to post on Saturday. If you've been following closely on my instagram and blog, you'd know that I had a mishap with my computer (with water!) last week. I thought it was fine when I was able to turn it on on Tuesday, but now it appears that my computer couldn't work unless it is plug into the charger. Which also means, that my computer is no longer portable. As such, I thought I would bring it in for service before my school reopens so that I will be able to study outside of my house! I never really thought about how important a role my computer plays in my daily life until I couldn't have it anymore. 

Anyway, I wanted to post a review on my Hobonichi Weeks! I thought it was the perfect timing, since the 2017 Hobonichi will go on sale next Thursday Sept 1st (I, for one, am waiting eagerly for it). I have already decided what I wanted and one of the items I will be grabbing is a Hobonichi Weeks. I got one in April this year and it works out really well. 

Let me show you how I use mine. 


I got the blue hardcover one. It lies flat when I am writing. I have heard that the softcover ones doesn't do that. It's hearsay, since I haven't used one before. But a hardcover one works for me because I am not going to buy a cover for it. 


I have tried bullet journaling a few times, but mainly I am annoyed by the consistent and ritualistic need for updates. I don't do consistent very well, as you can tell. But I am trying to make it a habit to accomplish tasks everyday instead of procrastinating everything to one single day. (I hope to do one post on bullet journaling next time.) 

Here is some pages of how I use my weeks. One side of the page is weekly and the other side is just a plain grid. You can use it any way you want. I have only recently devise the pages above, as well as color coding my days, since I sometimes skip my tasks between days. 


Here is something I did when I just got it: use it as a food diary! I now do it on the calendar section of my Hobonichi cousin. I pretty much leave the calendar section of weeks alone... 


Here's my first written page in my Weeks. I soon realise that I am not someone who like hand lettering and embellishing my notebooks and journals a lot. I tend to just cramp as many words in. I don't even use much washi tapes or stamps at all! Stickers are good though, but still infrequent. The marker I used in this page is Pigma Micron markers. They're one of my favourites! 


Here're some of the blank pages in the book. 


About halfway through till the end, the book is filled with plain grid paper. If you look at the corners of each page, you'll see that they're all numbered! Which means that you can fill in a proper index page at the front of this section. I find such details amazing. 

I use this section to make notes, lists, and travel plans. I have a section on Travel Shopping, a reading list, a huge chunk on Taipei travel information followed by Taipei travel diary. It is such a thin notebook that I brought this with me to Taipei instead of hauling my Cousin, which is stuffed to the brim with notepads, bookmarks as well as a photo album. 


What I love most about Weeks is its size! It is slim and is about the size of a wallet. While I have tried carrying a Midori TN before, I find this even slimmer than that, taking up less space, which means I have more space for other things in my bag. This is great for planning on the go! 

By the way, the blue band I used is from Taipei. It is very useful in securing the sides so that they do not open in my bag and get all the pages wrinkled. 

As usual, the pages by Hobonichi is thin and can withstand lots of ink and fountain pens. I use them habitually in my Cousin. The paper is also the reason why I am hogging Stalogy notebooks like a fiend recently. I like that it is thin so a normal sized notebook has more pages in it than others with usual paper! 

--

Hope that you find this interesting! I am certainly a big fan of Hobonichi and have since made my two sisters converts as well. 

If you have not seen the 2017 lineup, you can do it here

On another note, I will have the Halloween cards up on my shop soon! This batch includes some adorable bookmarks. :) 

I would also like you to participate in a short poll on what things you would want to see on my shop. It would help me in deciding what to list in the shop! Any helpful comments are certainly welcome! There is also another one on the posts you'd like to read more on this blog. It would take less than a minute for both of them! :) You can find each on the sidebar. 

Thank so much for reading each post, and for participating in the polls :) 

Cheers, 
Jennifer

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Last Week's Knits

Hi everyone! 

There was a little hiccup (ok, it as a pretty big deal since it involves my computer being soaked in water) over the weekend so I couldn't put up this post, but now that the incident is over, I'm writing it up now! 

My school still haven't put up the study materials yet so I can't study anything, and last week was spent drooling over Stalogy notebooks (my new favourite, up there with Hobonichi), waiting for the 2017 Hobonichi lineup to appear on Friday (did you take a look?), lying in bed reading, and working on my knits. 

Here's a look at the cowl I'm working on. It's the Honey Cowl by Antonia Shankland. I doubled up my Knitpicks Stroll Brights in Hot Tamale and am going to use all four skeins I have. So far I've counted 12 repeats of the patterns (that is 2 skeins) gave me 6.5inches. I intended to have a thick cowl! 

Here's the front of the pattern. It's super bright on my computer! Hope you guys don't get blinded by it... The color is beautiful though.


And here's the back! It is just a lot of purls. It looks nice, but of course I prefer the front side. The pattern is very easy to manage, just knits and purls. Oh, did I mention that I made a mistake and my cowl has a twist now? I only discovered it after an inch or so into the knitting and by then, I  didn't want to cast on all 240 stitches anymore... so... 

Here's the second project I'm working on! Doesn't the cable look glorious? This is the first time I've tried such an intricate cable work and it takes a lot of attention. I call it active knitting.. you know.. when you can't knit and watch movies on your computer at the same time. Yeah. I spent last week working on five rows at a time. Yesterday I turned the heel, and I'll be trying all 10 rows in a day, split between morning and night knitting, of course. I decided not to rush this one. 

Here's another photo. I'm using Knitpicks Stroll in Duchess colorway. It is a very nice royal purple that showoff the cables perfectly. I made some adjustment near the heel, since I am knitting FLK heel... I'll say more when I am done with the socks! 


This pattern is Lady Eliza by Caoua Coffee. You can find the pattern free on Revelry! 

__

What happened with my computer? 

Well, as always I have a mug of water on my desk, and on Friday morning, I spilled it all over my Macbook. It was completely drenched. My computer went dark immediately. I picked up my laptop, and tried to get all the water out, but alot of it went into the computer. When I held it at an angle, there was water dripping onto the floor. It was that bad...

Anyway, I did what anyone would do. Use my phone to google what I should do. So for the last four days, I placed my comp at the edge of the computer, keyboard on the desk and the screen hanging off the side, and let it dry. I didn't touch it at all. And hope for the best...

And this evening, I decided to try it again. I pressed the power button. Nothing. I plugged in my charger, and then pressed the power button again. And the screen came on! I was so relieved!!! 
__

Lesson learned:
Be very very careful with liquids on my desk. This is a very very bad scare that might leave a huge hole in my savings. 
My computer is a huge part of my life! I was so bored without it. My iPad barely scratched the itch. 

Have anything ever happen to you like this before? Share it with me, 

Jennifer