Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Meeting Another Raveler

I actually met Jinky of Life As A Stitcher before I met Mimi. Jinky and her family arrived for a summer vacation on the first week of May, and were a bit concerned that the rainy season had arrived early. On the other hand, they were thrilled about the possibility that their daughters could experience walking in the soft rain. They are based in Riyadh, where Jinky's husband works as an engineer - the idea of rain suddenly added another dimension to their trip.

Some time before Jinky's trip, I informed her that my cousin was flying to Manila from the US for our family reunion, and if there was anything she wanted to order by way of knitting paraphernalia or pattern book. Two items were on her wish list:

Knitpicks' Options set of interchangeable circular knitting needles

and Nancy Bush's Knitted Lace of Estonia.

Jinky is an experienced, talented knitter. She collects paraphernalia, shares techniques and tips with friends, and has an amazing catalog of Finished Objects. She also loves lace, and in order to attempt beautiful shawl patterns like the ones you are looking at on the cover of Nancy Bush's book, you would need the interchangeable needles set. (The other needles and cables work as "lifelines" when you stretch out your work in progress.) Both items were quite light. The book is a trade paperback sized like a coffeetable book. When my cousin dropped them off, I realized that one day, I'd like to get both the set and the book for myself as well. The idea of making something that pretty is a challenge.

She gifted me with some Inox 2.5mm circular needles when we met - one of the most useful sizes for most of my projects. (Oh yes, it's funny how we knitters enable each other.) Thank you, Jinky!

Here is a photo of us outside Carolina's Megamall (we're smiling, not least because of the sign nearby that screamed "SALE"). With us was my sister Incredible Joie - they got along like a house on fire because Joy follows Jinky's crochet projects. Joy's blog is under construction and will soon cross-post in Knittipina. If you're a mommy, you'll understand why it's taking so long.

The crocheted item I'm holding is the camera case Joy made. I'll be seeing Jinky again soon before she returns to Riyadh, and destashing by giving her some pretty silky aqua Familia yarn I got in Divisoria (don't worry, I kept the silver).

This meeting fellow Ravelers is fun! I should do this more often! (I should also finish more projects, but then I'm at the mercy of my eyesight.)

Screen capture images courtesy of and

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Free Goodies from Knitting Daily!

I got this very interesting offer in the mail today, from Knitting Daily. Interweave Knits was offering the following pdf publications for FREE. Who was I to resist? My preferences:

7 Free Lace Knitted Patterns

5 Free Sock Knitting Patterns

Check out the other free patterns in the KD archive. Enjoy!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Dreams Relocated?

I attended the FPN Philippines pen meet in Glorietta 2 last Saturday and was hoping I could show Jenny and Erika my favorite source for knitting yarns and paraphernalia. I mean, I thought, after raiding the gallery where Rudolph Lietz was disposing of his NOS Lamy Safaris, we could go down the escalator and choose something for Ik to learn knitting with. No such luck. Apparently Glorietta 2 ground floor was being renovated.

I vaguely heard something about Dreams moving to a location within Greenbelt 5. But isn't Greenbelt 5 the hotbed of branded luxury items??? I'll ask Jenny again. I mean to try teaching Ik to knit socks.

This morning I tried calling their existing landline, but that's not in service. I texted Ma'am Lilli (de Leon) to ask about where they put their new store, but so far have not received any reply. Anyway, when I do find out, I'll let you guys know.


UPDATE: My Ravelry friend Bheng of All Stitch Bright and Beautiful noted in the comments that it's now in GLORIETTA 5. I had no idea there was a Glorietta 5! I bought so much yarn last year and I haven't actually used them all up yet, so I haven't been back since my last guilty pleasure purchase of baby merino.

Ma'am Lilli finally replied, "Nice to hear from u. Yes we moved 2 Glorietta 5 3rd flr. Please come visit us. Our new store no. 856-0741."

Bheng, if you don't know how to knit socks yet, I would gladly teach you. Just get yourself some US size 1 / 2.25mm or 2.5mm circular needles 32" or 40" long, and we're good to go.

Olive Green Slippers by Mimi Alelis

Last December I am sure some of you saw my blog entry about a pair of plain cappuccino socks I made for crochet designer Mimi Alelis, here and on Ravelry. She made this lovely and snug-fitting pair of slippers for me in exchange, from my favorite color of mercerized cotton.

Here are the slippers, folded flat.

Add ImageAnd here they are, on me:

Do they fall off when I walk? No. Are they comfortable? Yes. My feet are narrow and flat, and these manage to fit me EXACTLY. The amazing thing is that, after months of exchanging messages on Ravelry, Mimi and I met for the very first time at Chocolate Kiss coffee shop at the University of the Philippines campus last Wednesday, May 20th. I'd never met a needlecraft designer before! In my excitement, I forgot to bring a camera. *knocks head against wall*

Mimi arrived carrying a box of threads, and she showed me the front half of the kid's dress she had knit. I was knitting pen tubes, with small-repeat lace stitches. My mom joined us briefly. We chatted and chatted until sunset arrived.

One day perhaps our small group of friends should have a Stitch n' Bitch Diliman hangout. Nothing but knitting, crochet, needlecraft and talk. And coffee/tea/juice. Amy (Dreaming Knitter) wasn't feeling well that day, and new mommy Gene (geneinthebattle) was busy with newborn Una. Yes, I know, it's funny we can talk crafting all day without really noticing we're doing it. But I guess it's the same with guys and cars.

Wishlist items: A living room for 12. A clean bathroom. A coffeemaker. A shelf with pattern books. A plate of cookies. Friends, needles, fiber, chat.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Help Needed for Lorelei Henson

Three years ago, my childhood classmate Lorelei ("Lyeh") discovered she had a brain tumor. She was operated on, but a year later the tumor reappeared. Ever since then she would suffer periodic intercranial pressure (liquid in her brain would accumulate, and not drain properly), for which she would be medicated.

Two weeks ago, she suffered a sudden increase in intercranial pressure, which nearly caused a major seizure. Lyeh's mother brought her to the hospital in time for an emergency lumbar tap (removal of spinal fluid for testing and analysis). They discovered that she was suffering from streptococcal (bacterial) meningitis, as a result of her weakened immune system. For the first four days she was in critical condition and nearly died. She was put on a severe cocktail of antibiotics and steroids via intravenous feed, and thus was confined in Delgado Clinic in Quezon City for twelve days.

As a result of this treatment, including laboratory tests and a second lumbar tap, her hospital bills reached unexpected heights. Afraid that her bill would balloon unnecessarily, Lyeh had herself discharged today, May 22. She has paid about half of her hospital bills from all her available direct sources of funds (family members), and has a remaining balance of PhP 75,000.00. She needs to pay the Delgado Clinic by June 3.

Our high school batch, UP Integrated School Class of 1984, is helping her raise money for that recent hospitalization. Her family is taking responsibility for her daily care, but needs to clear that amount in order to move forward.

Lyeh Henson is a single mother, with three children, and is not able to work given her current condition. She is recuperating at home, and is a patient of neurologist Dr. Senna Lim of St. Luke's Hospital and Delgado Clinic.

Please help Lyeh by contributing any amount to

Branch: Aurora Boulevard Branch, Quezon City, Philippines
Account Name: Lorelei Henson
Account Type: Current
Account Number: 00-902-001584-2

before or by June 3, 2009.

Thank you very much for any help you can give. You can help by circulating this entry in your blog. Lyeh needs her friends at this time, old and new.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Knitful Thinking Wish Item: Vogue Knitbook

When I sign up to receive free patterns on sites, to post comments in their blogs, and to participate in their discussion boards, once in a while I get a very interesting email offer like this:

For a closer look at the fine print, click on the above image, which will take you to Vogue Knitting.

Occasionally I am lucky enough to find a knitting book on sale, but the average price would be around PhP150-250 for a softcover. Others (hardcover) would be discounted about 40-50% off from a retail price approaching PhP 1895. I actually ordered Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book at full retail price from Powerbooks, but then as it's supposed to be a lifetime "stitchionary" resource, I didn't mind. I also did not want to lose it in the mail.

(The US dollar's down to PhP 47.25, but I think I've spent too much on fountain pens. No new pens, inks or knitting paraphernalia for several months. You'll be proud of me, I have successfully avoided peeking on eBay and online marketplace for these things like I used to.)

I suppose once you get a Vogue Knitbook, a coffeetable-style Finished Objects glossy photobook from MyPublisher would not be far behind... (I'm a looooong ways away from that at this point.)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cable Rib Ankle Socks

I finished these 2x2 cable socks some time after I finished Mimi's cappuccino socks. Well... I started them before Christmas, lay them down, misplaced them, found them again and finished them in January when I was having my thyroid woes. Nothing like keeping your hands busy to get your mind off things.

The cast-on is 64 sts, and I used Monaco crochet cotton with a US size 1 (2.25mm) pair of bamboo needles 40" long. My cable needle - badaboom! - is a bamboo toothpick 2.25mm in diameter. Very very nifty to use a bamboo toothpick, the stitches don't fall off as the surface of the bamboo holds the stitches well. Great for small-diameter portable projects. It follows the standard sock pattern, only I realized (quickly enough in the middle of knitting the first sock) my design error.

You may notice that the last cable columns on either edge of the sock front sort of blend into the stockinette of the underside. I was trying for symmetry, so to fit the cast-on, I inadvertently left the P2 column out. Next time I shall try for:

P1, cable, P2, K2, P2, cable, P2, K2, P2, cable, P2, K2, P2, cable, P1 = 32 (front)

Yes, it's very pretty with clogs and certain sandals.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Knittipina Report 002

Sometimes people go off their favorite activities for different reasons:

1) An alternate hobby has become their obsession. In an effort to simplify my life, I divided my interests into 3 main areas: gadgets, knitting, and fountain pens. For a good while, fountain pen collecting took over my daily thoughts. Once I started winning auctions on eBay I was, for a while, on a roll. When I tallied how much I had spent on fountain pens and inks and paper since the start of this year, I realized it was practically the equivalent of what I spent on knitting needles and yarns and pattern books last year. Prudence made me decide to stop and enjoy what I already owned for the meantime. (Since all my gadgets worked fine, there was no need to add to them, or to their accessories.)

2) Health issues. My thyroid was acting up, and I couldn't really concentrate much on projects. Now that my cyst has lessened in size, I no longer worry about it as much.

3) Travel. I brought my lace knitting with me from Cavite all the way to Laoag (practically the left coast of Luzon island) and back, for an international family reunion -- and managed to knit ONE INCH of pattern. Happily, it was much admired by my aunties, who have been knitting and crocheting since their teens. A couple of weeks later I brought the lace with me to the beach island of Boracay -- and managed to knit ANOTHER ONE INCH. Oh well, I was trying not to get any sunblock on my knitting. I did manage to knit on the beach front, and elicited the attention and conversation of a German lady on vacation.

Check out how far those trips were here on Encarta. Cavite is near Metro Manila, towards the bottom of Luzon. Laoag is on the top left of the island. And Boracay Island is just at the northern tip of Panay, across the city of Kalibo.

By the way, the summer stole is now around 24" in length.

4) Eyesight. The ear piece of my sexy librarian glasses broke off. This is what happens when you wrestle with little children. Fortunately, I have gotten new frames, although not as sexy as my old ones.

Enough with the excuses already! Suffice it to say that I have regained some of my knitting mojo since meeting up with Jinky (a friend from Ravelry), who recently arrived from abroad. We visited one of our favorite fabric-threads-notions superstores, Carolina's Megamall, and Jinky went home with some Monaco Raylon (200gms in cones) in really pretty colors.

Tonight, while watching a dvd I shall attempt to knit another inch or so of lace.

TDM's ribbed boyfriend socks are still stuck at the heel flap. I happened to choose a dark blue merino that makes it difficult for me to see my own stitches!

In the meantime, am planning to make some pink baby socks for Gene's newborn Una. And planning to finally meet up with Mimi, whose cappuccino socks have been with me since December.

Incredible Joie suffered a theft - some guy broke into her car while it was parked in front of her daughter's preschool, and stole her crochet WIP bag! She lost a set of crochet hooks and several squares for a baby blanket, plus a crochet reference book. Fortunately, except for the baby blanket squares, we were able to replace everything, even the broken car window. This didn't stop her... she has beaten me with her number of crochet Finished Objects. I may add some photos later, when she's organized her hard drive.

Cheers, friends :) I am knitting on!