Sunday, 14 December 2014

KnitPro Waves Aluminium Hooks Set vs Tulip Etimo

Knitpro Waves
Tulip Etimo Rose
The test.  Who's the winner?
I bought the KnitPro Waves set for a hefty price, thanks to the exchange rate and the fact that it has to be imported to the country.  Packaging was ok, not flash, simple plastic window and zipper.  Nice colourful grip, very very light (aluminium) and nice sharp point.
Downside is when it was put to the test, it failed miserably.  Into row 4, I'm screaming in pain.  My wrist and the finger joints are writhing in pain wanting Tulip Etimo or a break altogether.  But I had to finish the test.  So I went on with it.  I have to admit, I did change a few times with the same size Tulip hook, but I found Tulip runs just a tiny bit "bigger".  Was it my imagination?

I'd say the winner is definitely Tulip Etimo Rose.  I bought it loose (without box and not as a set) probably second hand, as the grip on some of it was a tad dirty, hence the cheaper price. But I'm still in love with it.
I did the entire dress in the test with Tulip Etimo and I came out of it still wanting to crochet, I felt like an Energiser Bunny advertisement.  I can just keep going and going and going with Tulip.

Disclaimer:
This is just entirely based on the test and my opinion only.  Maybe it's different for others according to the size of their hands and their grip strength.  I like mine strong and steady, hence Tulip works really well since it's steel and provides a bit more weight onto my grip and I feel like I'm actually in control.  With KnitPro, I feel like it's too light to my liking hence I'm actually exerting more power on my grip that makes my wrist more tired.  It's a pity since I put high hopes on KnitPro.  Mind you, they do have other types available.  I'd label this Waves set "an expensive mistake" for me.

Free Pattern: The Owl (Dress) Pattern

The thing about crochet that my daughter always says is that it makes the wearer looks sexy.  That's why she's still opting to go with her plain T-shirt and leggings.
I have been wanting to find a great crochet dress pattern that is easy but not too easy that I became bored.
This owl (modified pineapple) pattern is just the solution for my need.
The person who made the pattern has a great youtube tutorial, although I did get lost from time to time, so I wrote down my own hack, especially for the underarm connection.  Instead of 23 chains, I made mine 33 chains.






My daughter did point out that after some time, I probably don't understand what I wrote.  So if you have any question, write me a comment and I'll see what I can remember.
 I used about 200gr of 30%Bamboo 70%Cotton yarn & 2.5mm Tulip hook.
The dress turned out more of a tunic.  A change to the pattern I'd like to make if I had enough yarn would be lengthening the sleeves.

Then I tried making a top for my daughter using the same type of yarn, about 100gr in ombre colour and a 3mm Knitpro Waves Aluminium Hook.
She doesn't wear blue, so I made another one in ombre yellow, about 100gr and I used a 2,5mm KnitPro Waves Aluminium Hook.
Given a bit more yarn in my stash, I lengthened the sleeves, stopping at the top part of the pineapple.
 As for the bottom part, I stopped at the eyes of the owl, since I was running out of yarn.

The verdict: Free pattern youtube tutorial helped a lot, but the crucial sleeves part need to be adjusted from case to case basis.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" (2013) Review

I finally saw Ben Stiller's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" as per one of the reader's recommendation (*wink*).

"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" is actually a short story written by James Thurber and was first appeared in The New Yorker in 1939.
A movie with the same name was made in 1947 with a plot line that was current for that time.
The 2013 movie was in the burner from 1994 with Jim Carrey in mind and somehow ended up with Ben Stiller cast in the lead and also directing.

It is one of those feel good movie for the zombies of this generation (i.e. 9am-8pm work time, no after hours bonus, go home, sleep, wake up, rinse and repeat generation) with breathtaking views of Stykkishólmur, a village on the Snæfellsnes peninsula in Iceland, Höfn, a village in southeast Iceland, Skogafoss waterfall and in Vatnajökull National Park.
The plot is current and simple as it revolves on the change that Walter Mitty is going through as an employee of Life magazine that is restructuring from print to online digital magazine.  As a negative assets manager, his job will no longer exists along with a bunch of others.

I would think that this movie would appeal to anyone who ever asks "What is their purpose of life".
The motto of Life magazine, inscribed inside the wallet given to Walter
It promises adventure and comedy, with a dash of innocent romance from a boring life of a negative assets manager going through restructuring.
This movie is certainly a graphical representation of what goes through the mind of a Mittyesque person.

With wanting love as the starting point, Walter ended up in places he never imagined before.  How many of us had really done that?  We often just say "NEXT" when the object of our affection presented us with a choice.

What I really love about this movie is the message that it carries.  Perhaps it awakens something in everyone differently.
Maybe the changes isn't going to be so rapid like Walter's but the only thing that's stopping the change from occurring would only be ourselves, as Walter clearly showed in the movie.


 

Friday, 28 November 2014

South Korea Plastics

I thought it was funny when my daughter saw that parody of what used to be cool then (during my time) and what is cool now.
For example, it was not cool during my time to wear glasses and have braces.  Now, they wear glasses without the actual lenses and wears stick on braces on their teeth because it means you have money to fix your teeth.

Back in my college years, I heard stories about how South Korean girls not recognising their friends after their summer holiday because they did the double eyelid job.  The emerging plastic surgery industry was just starting back then.  I thought it was a joke that teens and twenty something could be so unhappy with their appearance, they would drastically change it while still in the same community.

Now, that scenario is so real, I see the plastics everywhere on TV.  It seems like they come out of a plastic mold that has several variations only.
Not just on TV!!!  They are also everywhere in everyday life!!!
My ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend, I thought I saw her before somewhere.  I wonder why she looked familiar and why he was so angry when I was saying casually to him that this face that I have this lifetime is 100% original.    

What happened to drastic hair/fashion style change?
Perhaps piling on make up products is so passe that girls are now taking drastic measures.  I wouldn't be surprised of slumping sales figures of cosmetic companies.  In the future, the make up bottles would read: "Safe for plastics".

I cringed while reading one of the local paper's article today.  It read: "South Korea Surgery Holiday is Booming".  Hang on I thought, was that the agenda on free trade last month?
It talked about this girl who spent about USD 13,000 to go to Korea for holiday and 4 (yes, F-O-U-R) surgeries done.  No real name or pictures, of course.  However, the most cringe worthy paragraph was when she talked about how she doesn't mind walking around the malls after the surgery was completed with bandages on her face and thighs because she sees other "holiday makers" doing the same thing, too.
Whatever their motivation may be, I hope it's always for themselves to be a happier person.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

The Elephant in the Room


Last week, my daughter asked me what "Nobody talks about the elephant in the room." means.
Is there a real elephant?
Are there real people?
Is there really a room that can hold people and an elephant together?

This made me laugh, it reminded me of myriads of things I have been discovering as overseas born Chinese.

- Match Making
Love does not equal marriage, nor does the other way around.  You marry when she ticks all your boxes and she marries when you tick all her boxes, too.  Match maker gets paid, everyone leaves happy.
Love = something you have with mistresses
Marriage = boring old wife that once ticked all the boxes (nah, that's fixed with Korean face filling/lifting nowadays, so wife will always tick all the boxes, just gets a bit boring after a while.  We don't eat the same thing everyday three times a day, do we?  Huh?  Huh?)

- Mistress
Didn't the emperors from the Song Dynasty have a lot of concubines?  And two or three favourites because they would've bore sons for the emperor?
So should the men of today.  See, the first point of "match making", will eventually lead to this point of "mistress".
Since it is in woman's fate to either have a husband, or be a mistress, then the men will always thrive in this kind of tradition.
Give me a son, or else, I take in a "sister wife".
Give me a son, or else, I'll only make you as my mistress.
Give me a son, or else, don't call me again.
Then he says: "Sorry, you have a mistress fate, so I can never marry you.  But I will live close-by so we can stay friends and I can always fix your laptop even when your son in law is a computer whiz.   Because I love you, my mistress.".

- Calculating
If all of the above doesn't give away this third category, then I think you just never going to notice the elephant in the room.
You see, the one child policy (male heir) has proven to be burdensome to society now.  But back in the day, it was a much proven proud policy (discounting the endless case of female fetus found in soups or gutter).
See, if you have a female child, you'd feed her from child to adulthood, only to find her leaving to follow the husband's family.  In accounting, that's a big imbalance to the financial statement.  All these expenses, yet you lose the capital in the end.  That's why you need a son, then you'll gain another capital through the woman he brings in.
Don't forget the monthly installments to the parents for all the things they've done for you when you were young, jobless, wondering if you exists at all since you get praised for not speaking and smacked for telling them what's in your mind.

I pondered these points for a while now, since my parents had always been independent from my grandparents but yet they insisted on installing almost all points on me.
Did it skip a generation?  Because unconsciously their parents tried to force those upon them but failed as they got down to daughter/kid number 10?

So did anyone ever talked about the elephant in the room?
I did, I said, "Hey y'all, didn't you notice this thing in the room is huge?  Like maybe it's an elephant?  Let's talk about it!".

I tell you what happened next.  My mom shuts down (physically and mentally), my dad storms out of the room (almost all the time, even when I shut the door, it brought the Thor in him, out!).
Me, I took one look at this elephant, made it pink, and usher it out with me.




Monday, 29 September 2014

FREE PATTERN: Simple Kimono from Batik fabric


FREE PATTERN: Simple Kimono

This is a very simple kimono pattern from Elle Apparel that I love as my imagination can run like a wild horse if it wasn't for the Batik pattern fabric that I had to work with.
The pattern was too simple to work with plain fabrics as then I would itch to add belt, borders, pockets, collars, etc.
With batik, the challenge comes in lining up the pattern itself, or finding "the right fit" so as not to distort the beautiful pattern that already exists before cutting but enhancing it.

Taking Sides


Have you ever been in that situation where you had to choose whose side you're on?
Apart from the obvious family feud, let us accept the fact that even since birth, we've been forced to take sides.
Look at surveys, election campaigns, simple "pick the smiley/not faces at airport toilets",  society made sure we are so opinionated that they're willing to pay us for being just that.

Have we actually evolved much from our predecessors?
Do we know what to evolve to?
Yet the thing that matters is the journey, not the destination.
Are we constantly choosing what's best for us and not for the family or for the community, but for ourselves?
Yet again, to know what is best for ourselves, require our honesty towards ourselves.
Not to our spouse, not to any other people, but ourselves.
Then you'll be choosing for yourself and it'll be the right thing that you need at that moment.

So then, do sides even exist?
No, presumably not when everybody is choosing for themselves.
Will there be chaos?
No, presumably not when everybody is choosing the best for themselves.
And on what foundation will everybody be choosing?
Love, I hope.  The love that is of the source.  Our true nature.



Friday, 26 September 2014

FREE PATTERN: Neck Warmer



Karbonz size 4.00 mm with 40cm cable
Only 1,5 balls needed (approx.150gr)

My favourite way to wear neck warmer
  
 

 Materials:
- 1 ball + around 20 gr (leftovers) Zealana Tui Chunky weight (70% Merino, 15% Cashmere, 15% Brushtail Possum)
- size 4.00mm circular knitting needles with 40cm cable
- 2 stitch markers

FREE PATTERN: Snuggles

There are some changes made to the pattern because I realised there's not enough yarn to make what the pattern called for.
I was also worried about the end result looking like a bib because of the split at the sides, so I decided to just work with what leftover yarn I have and just wing it at the end.
The result was the front side had 4 rows of garter and the back side only got 2 rows and the entire thing only stretches to about 30+cm.

One thing I like working with chunky weights is that you get to see result so quickly, it makes you want to do another and another and another.

Happy knitting :)


Monday, 15 September 2014

FREE PATTERN: The Right Cowl

Short version of the neck warmer made with half of a 100gr hank organic merino, possibly lace weight. 
Long version of the neck warmer (hood-able).
3 balls of 100% certified Organic Merino
KARB@NZ
Armed with size 4.00 mm circular carbon fibre knitting needles
Materials:
- 3 balls / 150grams of Heritage 100% certified organic merino
- size 4.00 mm circular knitting needles with 60cm cables
- 1 stitch marker

FREE PATTERN: Always Lovely

I know this pattern calls for summer yarn (cotton merino blend) but I felt that the organic merino stash I have would just be perfect for it.
It was a very simple lace pattern with easy to follow instruction.

Just make sure you are not watching some really awesome action movie like Resident Evil Retribution because I ended up having to undo 13 rows the next day!  Ouch!  No lifelines either!  Very clever, don't try this at home kids.

Happy creating :)

Friday, 15 August 2014

Ksana Ksini means Travel


How was your summer holiday?  We hope you have just as much fun as we did.

If you ever need inspiration on where to go around Indonesia, visit this lovely blog Ksana Ksini.
It has a lot of information on Bali and the rest of Indonesia (which are a lot!).

One thing I really like about my holiday was the fact that I was so disconnected from the world wide web and started connecting with everything else.
Did you know that being connected all the time (emails, social media, etc) is actually doing you more harm than good?

So what are you waiting for?  Get off the net already!  Hahaha :)

Thursday, 31 July 2014

10 Ways to offend Asians

 1.  Talk about LOVE.  Guaranteed can of worms opener

 2.  Blaspheme money.  How exactly those food got on the table?  You stupid or what ah?

 3.  Tell them they have a choice.  Between love or money, of cos money lah what!  You can buy love easy liao, didn't you see the ad?

 4.  Ask why they got married.  My ma told me, go get a wife, what lah!

 5.  No such thing as elderly always right, filial what?

 6.  Tradition is outdated.  I get congested chest when incense are burning, let me go out for smoke first lah.

 7.  Give them an "enlightenment" lesson.  What lah, trying to make me Christian meh?  Buddhist also got camping and those sorts of social stuff lah!

 8.  During a family gathering, ask in detail of the absent husband's whereabouts.  Who cares?  Work or mistress place, no difference one lah!

 9.  Express your concern over their children's pack schedule.  So I need to pamper myself one lah, come on, let them do well at school ah.

10. Wear your outside shoes in their house.  Now that's just it, get out of mah house!


To undo the damages caused by the above, pour expensive wine into everyone's cups.

Kanpai!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

FREE pattern: Oh Baby Baby!

When I started knitting for babies, it was a shock to my family members as they think I'm hiding something.  
Fortunately, the factory has long closed and won't be producing till next life time.  
However, these baby projects are so much fun and they're so tiny you won't believe that we were once that small, too.

I am torn between knitting and crocheting.  I like the end result of knitting better and I think knitting uses less yarn, or it may just be my imagination.  Although, when it comes to the littlest thing, I think crocheting and tatting are easier method.

The FREE pattern for knitted beanie: click here.

Bamboo cotton yarn on KnitPro Symfonie 25cm circular 2.5mm needle
Premature size only used up 1/2 ball.  Boots are crocheted, my own pattern.
Crocheted boots, my own pattern.
Crocheted beanie, fit up to 2 years, my own pattern.  Used 1 ball for both boots and beanie.
 The happy uncle received it and was overjoyed that it will be the only one in the world.  


Monday, 16 June 2014

Lucy and Nuance



Lately I've been seeing movie clips with themes that focus on something unseen to the naked eye.
One example is the up coming Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy".
What if, we can really alter things by influencing the make up of the grid around us?  I think the answer depends on each individual human that will eventually influence the group as a whole.

Here's a short video clip of a dancer that 'plays' with the light he "created" (00:21).
"Nuance"

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Arctic Ready Meditation Poncho

When a dear one asked me to make a poncho for meditation, I never thought it was going to be a "project".  I thought, oh yeah, ponchos, what could be so hard about it?  No sleeves, no collars,  no pockets, no zippers, sweet....

I used 24 balls Zealana Kauri worsted weight (60% fine NZ Merino, 30% Brushtail Possum, 10% Mulberry Silk) in Red Tuhi.
With 2 strands, I needed 6.00 mm circular KARBONZ Knit Pro Interchangeable Needles (yes they do feel supple and light, far from the generic one I used to have).
This is for a large size so, I started with connecting 2 cables of 40cm with the connector (this is the part that I hate most because sometimes they come undone, even after I fastened it with the fastener).  It makes me curious about the ADDI click system.



The pattern is worked from bottom up and very simple, that's why I added the cable in the middle to add some texture.  It's just garter at the bottom, garter for the sides with stockinette in the middle.  Then hood has to be worked back and forth and garter on it's sides.  Sew up the mid section of the hood together.
Then I added a little button with crochet hook and some chains to hook it up.



This is too big for me but in this soaring heat, only I would volunteer modelling it.
The back
The front
Some knitters opt not to work with possum yarn because they kill the animals to take the fur as oppose to just shearing them.  NZ do have a problem with possum as they are pests.  I just have a problem with the steep pricing they have for these yarns.
Alternate use when stored: plush pillow
The evidence
Helping NZ control pests a stitch at a time
Till next time Zealana yarn