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

Monday, 19 May 2014

Gift for Mama and Baby

Few days before the double birthday party invitation, I decided that handmade gifts are the best.  Next time, I'll always decide handmade gifts are the best in order to have more days to make bigger things.
Hand sewn silk gift bag
The baby girl turning 1, gets a pair of booties and a hat (90% cotton, 10% silk, UV protected).

The mama gets a little purse (100% cotton) to sling her mobile phone in it while holding the baby in her arms.

Hope they're happy with the gifts.  It was fun smiling so silly at the baby booties after it was finished.  

Thursday, 1 May 2014

FREE PATTERN: Tsubaki Cotton Hat & Cute Bolero

Tsubaki Cotton Hat & Cute Bolero
Free Pattern for hat: Tsubaki Cotton Hat

Free Pattern for bolero: Cute Bolero

Word of warning for the Tsubaki Cotton Hat: it's not an adult size pattern.  Perhaps my head is on the big side (58 cm circ.) and it is genetic?  The picture in the free pattern clearly shows an adult but I followed the pattern and it fits my daughter.

I used 2 strands of yarn for the hat but only the bamboo yarn for the bolero since I didn't want it to be too thick.
Hat used up 1 skein each, bolero used up almost 2 skeins.

Overall, the patterns were easy to follow, although some self adjustments were made when it came to the hat's brim and the pattern of the bolero.
Knitpro Crochet Hook 3mm

Monday, 21 April 2014

"The Moment of Beauty" by Takayuki Sato

Still from "The Moment of Beauty"
A video made by Takayuki Sato called "The Moment of Beauty" captured my attention just now.

This video confirms my recent realisations about "words".
Words exchanged between one individual to another during everyday life's conversations, words in print form, words sung, words in different languages, etc.

They said be careful of what you say, because wounds made to the heart from your words are harder to heal than those made by the sword to the skin.
I went around thinking that the words carry powerful energies that certain ones when said, can heal or harm.  I thought the secret lies within the word itself.  That the difference between appreciation and gratefulness is actually within the words.

I was wrong.

There are no energies pre-attached with words.  We put the energies to words when we utter them with our intention.
Who would've thought 20 years ago that making a comment such as, "Wow, that's so sick!" actually means something really good?
Sick isn't green and pale anymore, sick has evolved.

Have you evolved?

Make sure you click "The Moment of Beauty" , the beauty is not in the long flowing thick hair brushing against her fresh rosy cheeks, it's within.



Disclaimer:  Still taken from the video is not mine, all rights reserved to the video maker.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Honesty


"Honesty is such a lonely word....honesty is hardly ever heard..."

Who doesn't know those lyrics from Billy Joel's "Honesty"?
Ok, how about Beyonce's "I Am...Sasha Fierce" album, Track #2.  Yes perhaps most of you recognise this chorus line there.

Why is honesty being called such a lonely word?
When one is honest with themselves, they find that the truth is their own truth and not anyone else's truth.
So, most people would rather lie to themselves and others in order to project an image or belong to a group.

Take this example.  A well known Metaphysics teacher, destiny reader, ancient knowledge teacher, what kind of life behind the facade he puts out, do you think he would have?
An enlightened one?
Think again.

When one is not in search of their true self, resorting into easing the pain and hurt of life in things like one's accomplishments and praise from others, one will not find true happiness.

"Happiness is the truth"  .... at least Will Pharell 'got it' in his current hit.





Tuesday, 25 March 2014

FREE PATTERN: Crochet Shawl

Professional photographer needed!
The little fleurettes
The edgings 
Finished, yeay!
Materials:
- 3 skeins of Bamboo Cotton (30%, 70%) anti bacterial yarn at 50g each
- 3.00mm crochet hooks

FREE PATTERN: Crochet Shawl
I love this Gyoso site because it has such simplistic instruction with diagrams that enabled me to simply whip up something really quickly.

This project is for mom who's suffering from Parkinson and Osteoporosis.
She leans around 45 degrees to her left side so I wanted her to have something small and light weight to just cover her neck and shoulder.

The working of this shawl is fairly straight forward with the body of the shawl first and the edgings to finish.
I would think the measurement can be adjusted, especially the length of the shoulder if one has a wider frame.
Mind you, this site is a Japanese site and Asian woman are mostly petite size, so, the picture do represent what it yields.
Get your measuring tape out before eagerly jumping into your project.

Have fun creating :)



FREE PATTERN: Frilly Scarf



Materials:
- unknown brand of yarn, fingering weight, use 2 strands at once, 4 skeins of approximately 50g each.
- 5.00 mm crochet hook

Free Pattern: Frilly Scarf

The thing I love about this site is that the pattern is pretty much self explanatory with minimum words and some diagrams.

I did reworked the scarf twice (yes, painful, but it was a self fulfilling prophecy) because the yarn colour I had bought from the same batch was yielding different shade!
Lesson learnt: be careful when selecting a presumably same coloured yarn in a bag, check it thoroughly that they are the same shade!
Restarted again using the different shade worked together, instead of same shade worked together and ending up with different shade at the tip.

This is a surprise project for a friend, which is now missing in the mail since November 2013, just like the flight MH 370.
I hope whoever decided to retrieve this gift in the end, appreciates and love it as much as I loved making it.