Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Spinning Class

I have attended a spinning class some weeks ago at This Is Knit. Yes, it’s been some weeks ago and I haven’t been motivated enough to put all the photos on my blog.

Actually, they are not really my photos after all, I got all these photos from a fellow French knitter Lauréole.

I swear, I was very well prepared to charge my camera the night before so that I could take photos for me and fellow knitters / spinners in class. So what happened? I forgot the camera in the charger of course! Anyway, thank you very much Lauréole.

In fact, I have read some information on the internet about spinning already before I went to the class. I have even tried once after getting some tips from Lindy. But without somebody who actually tell you how all your fingers should move (in this case, fellow Dublin knitter Diane is the 'somebody'), it was somehow different.

Look at us, patiently listen to the instruction. From left to right, we have Laura, Yarncat and Lisa.

Soon after, I was spinning like wind!

We had tea and chat and so much fun. All in all, it was such a nice way to spend an afternoon.

Fellow Dublin knitters, if you are not sure if you should be joining this class, see what I got after the class?

Close up to see it more clearly how fine the yarn spun up? I am surprised I am able to make such fine yarn!!!

You might wonder what am I going to do with all these handspun? I think I am going to pile them and will try to see if it is enough to make a pair of gloves or something...Will definitely keep you guys posted.

Interested to get some handspun? Check that out with Lisa.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Fitted Knit: Book Review + FOs Show Off

Haven’t been updating my blog very often, bad blogger I am. But with my Spanish trip coming up in two weeks, my sister coming to visit, Larm larm the cat / king continues to destroy my apartment, sometimes, it is really difficult to find time to write though I love writing and I have actually seriously thought of being a writer one day…well, that's completely another story that I will tell some day.

Anyway, today, I am going to do a long entry, FO show-offs + book review all in one go! Are you ready?

Fitted Knit by Stefanie Japel

Stefanie Japel is my favourite designer so far since I picked up knitting again almost a year ago. (You might refer to the side-bar to see I have put her link as my favourite designer since the beginning). Her design is just so my style that I can almost wear any of her designs. They are elegant but sassy, modern but vintage, I just love every bit of it.

Fitted Knit is one of the few books I got that I have decided to make tons of things from the book the moment I flipped through the book.

Here is what I have made so far.

I made this tee with Sublime Organic Cotton and some left over Rowan Handknit Cotton for the edging.

You will notice I have changed the pattern a little bit. The original pattern has an opening as a split neck. I have closed it up instead to avoid the possibility of showing bra strap...

The hand of the Organic Cotton is very very soft that I have ALMOST decided that I will stick with Organic Cotton yarn from now on. I said almost because it turns out this yarn tangle together just by the touch of your finger! When I said tangle, I meant really really impossible to untangle it. I spent half an hour one day with my knit friend Carrie to un-do one ball. Then the other day, I ran into this ball that I have successfully saved half of it and the second half is still sitting here and I have given it up.

Though tragedy like this happened, I still have a strong belief that organic and consume locally is the way to go, I will hence continue my search for my perfect organic yarn.

Another thing to talk about for this project is the clasp. Can you believe how difficult it is to buy a cloak clasp nowadays? I have been searching all over Dublin (read consume locally above!) for clasps or clasp-ish button or fasteners. I gave up and ended up buying things on ebay again. It is sad to know many of these crafty stuffs will take so long to find and end up unavoidably on ebay or other online shops. Think about how much carbon footprint there is for buying this clasp? How much local economy we could have supported if people used to do enough craft to have their own trimming shop with abundant selection, etc etc. Don't want to dig into the 'consume locally' lecture too much, back to the tee...

The tee knit up wonderful and got a lot of compliments. Few days ago, my mum actually ordered one from me (first time ever being interested in handknit stuff in her life). This is a wonderful pattern, very easy to knit up, top-down pattern you can try on the go. 100% perfect.

The second item I have made from this book is Drop Stitches Top

(Sorry for the light washing out the colour on the close-up photo). The pattern is easy but not boring. I used Patons 4ply Cotton and it was such a joy knitting it up. This yarn has very clear definition which helps the sewing up process as well. It is also the first time ever I do eyelet button holes and it was fun though I don’t plan on actually using the buttons but it looks professional.

I find myself wearing this top very often to go to work. It brightens up my work day by being reminded by the top that I have a wonderful second life (craft life I meant) outside the cubicle-farm.

After showing my FOs from Fitted Knit, I have also a few quick points to make about why this book is excellent if you are wondering if this book is for you.

1. There are projects for all seasons in the book. From tee to cardi, suit to coat, you will be able to find something to knit in anytime of a year.
2. The projects are categorized into different skill level which helps you to choose projects that fit your knit-mood (wants something challenging, some TV projects, etc)
3. Since this book is called Fitted Knit, it is all about form-fitting. There is a little lecture about form fitting at the beginning of the book that uses the projects in the book as examples. You will be surprised that sometimes, form fitting doesn’t even involve calculations, you can simple use different stitch pattern to create a visual illusion and stuff. There are so much more information in the book that you will have to read it by yourself!

All in all, I love this book. I love the designer, the projects are great, what else can you ask more?

Now the hard part is waiting for her second book to release…

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Larmlarm the King turns into Irish

Our fellow Irish knitter Carrie has officially naturalized to be an Irish citizen, I am so happy for her.
I wonder what does it take to be Irish, here comes the stereotype: red-headed, Irish dancing, potato-eater, ah, the most important one, heavy-drinker.
Will being in Ireland turn one into Irish? Or you can never be real Irish?
Anyway, I think my cat Larmlarm the King understands one rule of thumb -- when in rome...
So he decided to learn to be a bar-standing, beer-drinking Irish cat...

I swear there is no Photoshop involved whatsoever, it is a real picture!!!

If you don't believe me, look at the second one while he is ACTUALLY drinking, I don't think you can Photoshop that!!!

So in your opinion, what does it take to be Irish? Can Larmlarm the King pass to be Irish?