Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year!

CNY 09 by you. CNY 09 by you.
Gong xi fa cai!
A silly (but so true) fortune & my cutest ang pao

Chinese New Year began on Monday. The year of the Ox. We ushered it in on Sunday night with the most delicious steamboat. In essence it's a Chinese hotpot style dish which basically consists of a big simmering pot of stock and a pile of chopped vegetables, seasoned meat, seafood, noodles etc which you drop into the pot and fish out when cooked. At the end of it all you're rewarded with the most delicious soup, flavoured with all the food that was cooked in the stock. Quick, easy and delicious, it's one of my Mum's favourite dishes and we have it quite often. No pictures of it this time round though, I was too exhausted from work and a weekend of slaving away in the kitchen cooking and frying food for my cousins CNY party at his deaf club on Saturday night! Next time round.

Knitting news: the wedding afghan is coming along nicely. Slowly.. but nicely. In a moment of ridiculously optomistic insanity last week I challenged myself to have whole thing finished by Saturday when I'm seeing the happy couple next, but I clearly came to my senses 30 seconds later and realised that was never going to happen. I have managed to finis the first flower panel and have started on the second tree panel. I'm getting a bit anxious that it won't be big enough, I may have to order another cone of yarn and add some more panel repeats, but I'll cross the bridge when I come to it! I'm even toying with the idea of picking up the side stitched and adding a cabled panel to each side, but that's a worse case senario! Must remember that the garter border will add about 3-6 inches to the overall width and length.

The Boy's Scarf Askew is coming along quite slowly too. I blocked it again and it feels a lot better than the first draft, I just wish it would grow a bit faster on the 3.5mm needles!

Hope you all have a happy and prosperous New Year!
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Thursday, January 22, 2009

January roundup

Over halfway through January already, can't believe it. Hope everyone had amazing Christmas & NY. It was a bit strange in our household this year, my aunt's not doing too well, and things just didn't feel particularly festive. It still managed to pass me by in a whirlwind of work, Christmas baking and home made marshmallows though!

Spent a cosy Sunday night snuggled up in front of The Mist with a big bowl of kettle corn. The caramel ended up being a little bit burnt, but it was deliciously crisp and sticky! It was topped up with a nice big mug of hot chocolate and home made marshmallows for me (I have an enormous pile of these marshmallows to get through!) and a soothing hot toddy for the Boy's cold, made with maple syrup as we were out of honey. It was such a lovely substitution that I hope we run out of honey more often.

Some finished projects from December:

Knitting gifts by you.

How to knit a flower corsage by Rachel Henderson
Yarn: Texere 100% wool plyed bute

Pattern was fun to knit. The trickiest bit was lining up the petals into a nice shape and keeping it together long enough to sew together. Love the colour too. It was one of my bargain Texere cones that I got from my big birthday haul thanks to the boy. Love the colour and the light blue that runs through it (looks more like white in the photo). All I did with the flower was sew a brooch back onto it. I meant to sew a button onto the centre but couldn't find anything I liked enough, so gifted it to her as is. It would look better with a button, but it's still cute as is!

Knitting gifts by you. Knitting gifts by you.

Bow-Knot Scarf by Katherine Burgess
Yarn: Boyes Aran dug up from about a 5 year stretch in my stash

Loved the pattern. Worked up super fast, simple enough to not need much attention but with just enough to keep things interesting.

Also finished was a feather and fan cowl for my Mum for Christmas in
some scrummy RYC extra fine merino in a lovely purpleyish burgandy
colour, but I keep forgetting to takephotos.

Chunky textured cowl by you. Chunky textured cowl by you. Chunky textured cowl by you.

Just a chunky cowl I worked up in the round using a diamond stitch pattern and some cheapo acrylic. My fingers were restless for some quick and selfish knitting after Christmas, and after seeing some out there on the blogosphere I really faniced a super chunky slouchy cowl. It's not quite a loose and slouchy as I wanted it, and the texture is barely noticeable when worn but we live and learn. Next time I think I'll make it wider around or just a lot longer so it slouches more. It also needs a much looser bind off, this one isn't tight but definitely isn't as stretchy as it should be. I might investigate alternative cast off methods or just use a larger needle.

I'm still not too sure if I've come around to the cowl way of life, as much as this one is cozy and warm and I love the slouch, I'm a hardcore scarf addict (I wear them all year round, with practically any outfit, indoors and outdoors) and a cowl just leaves me feeling a little naked from the neck down! We'll see. I'm off to Berlin in a few weeks, so have lots more chunky knits in the pipe line.

Scarf Askew by you.

It's not chunky, but I also cast on for A Scarf Askew by Emily Elizabeth for the Boy for Germany. Quite a fun pattern, and easy to memorise. I'm using Sirdar Balmoral, and while it's a yummy yarn, I keep feeling like it's just too thin for a cozy scarf. I've already frogged it and gone down needle sizes once, but we'll see. Think I might give it another block on the needles and see how it feels.

The wedding afghan is STILL not finished! How shameful. Progress is being made though, and I'm also going to have to get started on little bundle of joy gift for the happy couple too. I'm thinking it'd be quite cute to make a little baby blanket and gift it tied up along with the wedding afghan. I think after Berlin I'm going to have to get cracking full speed on that, I feel quite awful about how late this gift is!

And speaking of little bundles of joy, I finally found buttons for the February baby sweater:

February baby sweater - buttons by you.

and just in time too, adorable little Molly was born at 07:06 this morning weighing in at 7.3! Big congrats out to Gems and James.

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