Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Picking up stitches

I hate picking up stitches.

This week I've had both a great and awful experience with it.

On the socks I'm working on, best stitch-up-picking ever. For the gusset, along a garter stitch edge, I followed some advice I read on ravelry and picked up a stitch for every row and then did a row of k2togs. It looks great, and solved the problem of the giant gaping hole I usually get at the top corner of the gusset. See?

It's beautiful. I got a lot of this sock done while hanging out with the Singapore Knitters group of Ravelry; a lovely group of really friendly ladies who are quite skilled knitters.

On the sweater I'm working on though, the neckline is a disaster. Or more accurately was a disaster, because I ripped back. The problem, I think, is that I cast on way too loosely. Picking up one stitch per stitch on the cast-on part made it look like this:

Holey, gappy, uneven. Very unattractive. Still working on a fix for this problem.

I have been a bad blogger this week and not used the camera much. But here are a few photos I remembered to take. I wandered around Chinatown with a coworker a bit on Monday, since it was a public holiday (Hari Raya, celebrating the end of Ramadan).

a Chinese temple - I like the contrast between it and the shiny new building in the background.

some shops in Chinatown, with a giant temple on the left, and a Hindu temple:

Friday, September 11, 2009

So, I broke my promise to myself a little bit and dug into my stash, but only to get some yarn to get my sweater off the needles. I have now used half the yarn (one of the two cones I purchased), and I want to get the neckline and sleeves done before deciding how long to make the body. Since I am using interchangeable circs (specifically knitpicks), I used a trick I read on Ravelry (sorry, can't remember exactly where so I cannot properly give credit). I screwed the waste yarn into the join of the cable and needle, like so:
then knit a round. Works like a charm! Here you can see the waste yarn being pulled through as I knit:
And then, the best part, I tried on the sweater so far and Holy Moly it fits!! I shouldn't be so shocked, but as you can tell I was positively tickled.

The back has a slight pooch to it, but not bad enough that I am willing to re-do it. Besides, I don't know how to correct the problem. Start the decreases earlier? This is something I will read up on before my next sweater project.

And, I cannot believe my restraint because that "waste" yarn went right back into the stash. Here is the photographic evidence (Coke can provided for scale, and yes this is it, the only other yarn I own is WIPs):
Look at that poor yarn, it's just crying to get out.Soon, my dears, soon.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The past couple days I have been ridiculously happy about my new bag. I got it at Muji - isn't it cute?

Okay, it's not exactly this season's "it" bag, but it's the exact size for what I need, and professional-looking without being stuffy. And the pockets are just right too. My purse was just too small for everyday use as a commuter bag, although it is a decent size purse, and my back was getting soaked carrying a bookbag around in all this humidity.

I am not really a bag girl, actually my current purse is several years old and I'll probably get another year out of it (unless the hole in the lining gets bigger). But, not only is my new purchase the perfect bag for me but it took so much trouble to obtain it, that I find myself overly attached.

I found this bag on Orchard Rd, an area entirely devoted to shopping malls. I didn't take any pics, but I hope to be forgiven on the basis of my complete inability to deal with such rampant consumerism. And we aren't talking about dozens of Claire's here. Anywhere with multiple Chanel and Luis Vuitton stores is not a place I should be. I find the malls here really confusing, but even in the States I think shopping malls are a pain in the ass.

I have been to the relatively small mall nearby my job several times now for groceries and still get lost. Also, the price of sneakers is ridiculously high, at least for any brand I recognize. I will have to ask someone about reasonably priced running shoes, or maybe just make do until I go home for a visit.

This afternoon I signed a lease on a room. It's in this building:

which looks pretty much like any other building in the neighborhood:

I am a little bit nervous about how things will work out. The other residents in the unit are Indian Muslims, and I have never lived with Indians or Muslims before. Also, the owner lady speaks english, I think, but her accent/dialect is so thick that I cannot understand a word that she says. I am looking at this as a cultural experience, and the lease is only 6 months so I can move if I can't deal. One of the great things about the place is that I can walk to work, and this is part of my commute:

Meanwhile, I've been chugging along on the sweater.
It's fun to just let my fingers do the work while listening to the news in the evening. I am still listening to NPR every night, just as I did in Cincy. I suspect that maintaining some of my daily rituals is what helps me deal with all the differences, and so far I haven't felt homesick at all.

Oh yeah, and I found the cheese - they are hiding it in the bread! Cheese prata is awesome!