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Matcha bear

Ok .. Im bad.  I ve been neglecting this blog.  Since my last post in May, many things had happened.  Most importantly, I found a place to rent (without any agents help) and I am back working.  So I wont be spending so much time crafting and cooking.  Besides, my new kitchen is very small and I really don’t have much utensils.  Just the basic stuff.

Living in KL this time around is a whole new experience.  I don’t drive.  Driving here scare the hell out of me.  I take the public transport to almost … everywhere.  Or should I say I only go to places accessible by the train.  It is very convenient.  I don’t have to worry about other road users and never have to worry about finding a spot in a car parking area.  The best part of it, H is enjoying it too.

So everything is going well here in KL except for one thing.  I never thought that too much walking; up and down the hill, up and down the steps put so much stress on my foot.  It is worse if one is not wearing the right footwear.  Unfortunately, I had stress fracture of one of my foot bone.  It is only a tiny little bone.  But I guess we all have that bone there for a good reason.

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Crafting wise, I haven’t been knitting/crocheting much.  I ve started a few projects, but so far … managed to finish only one.  This morning that is.  I called it “Matcha bear” because the yarn color reminds me of matcha, Japanese green tea.

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We try our best to make our dinner on weekdays.  Most of the time, H ended up making something very simple.  If I had to work late, we would meet somewhere and have dinner out.  But on Sundays, like today, I make our favorite simple dish like anchovies pasta.

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Im liking this new adventure very much.  I have made new friends and work is fun.

 

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I went to see one rental unit today with one real estate agent.  She is the least pushy one I ve met so far.  I think.  So anyway, I meant to take the bus to Bangsar Shopping Center but I did an hour run on the treadmill this morning.  By the time I was ready to go, I realized that I would be late.  I hate being late.  I took the cab instead.  That guy probably think he was in a formula one race.  Then I noticed he has photos of two sweet girls glued to his rear view mirror.  My impulse was to tell him what a pity those two sweet girls might grow up without their father.  But I just hold my tongue and hang on tightly to my seat.

As expected I was early so I waited for the agent to arrive.

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When she finally arrived, I hopped in her car and we went to see the unit.  This apartment is situated along a very narrow road shared by few other high-rise.  And guess what, another one is being built right across the apartment entrance.

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It is going to be a 17 storey apartment building.  Oh boy… I feel sorry for people on the other apartment.  They will have to suffer through the construction noise and later, have neighbors smacked in their face.  Well, I guess some people doesn’t mind.  1Malaysia is the country’s slogan anyway.

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I like the view.  And without the construction noise, this place would be quiet and tranquil.

I viewed only one unit today.  I was a bit annoyed with the agent.  I was hoping she can show me few units in a day like what the agent in Texas did with me.  House hunting in Texas was a whole day event it was so fun and tiring at the same time.  I lost count on number of houses I saw during that period.  It was so easy to choose which houses I wanted to see because everything was online, photos were professionally taken, agents have access to the house and best of all, the tenants or home owner wont be tagging along!  Oh well…. I cant change the world.  Just got to live with whatever….

Then later I went for lunch.

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H and I used to come here for dinner sometimes.

After lunch, I walked across to Bangsar Village and wandered around the mall, looking for a nice café where I can slowly sip a cup of tea and knit.

Look at what I found!  It is the flag of Texas!  Pssst…. this pillow cost a whooping RM398 (USD125), after discount.  Are they out of their mind?!  I sure do hope it is handmade in Texas.

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After looking at few cafe, reading all the menus, comparing beverages prices, I decided on Delicious.

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As I the waitress walked me to my table, I saw a friend whom I had not seen since I was 19!  Oh wow… what a coincidence.  So we ended up sharing a table.  Her little daughter is such a cutie.  They had their lunch and I had my tea and we chatted away, catching up on each other news.

When they were done eating, they went on to their next appointment and I stayed on at the café to knit.

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I don’t think the waitresses and waiters were too happy seeing me occupying the table for hours.  I don’t know what’s their problem.  The place was empty!

This whole month had been really hectic and stressful.  I had a good time just lepak-ing (hanging out) even on my own today.  Aaaah…. life is a bliss when one does not have to worry about getting a job!  LOL…

 

 

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I am currently based in Kuala Lumpur as I job hunt.  Life had been interesting so far.  I came across and learned about so many things I never knew before, for example, luxury spa requires a doctor to give consultation to their clients, certain establishment requires doctors to man their call center (or better term would be Assistance center) and of course I found out that doctors here work extremely hard and put immense effort to succeed in private sector.

As for KL, it has changed so much I could hardly recognized it.  There are tall buildings everywhere at every nook and corner and more are coming up.  The roads are busier and walks are crowded.  I don’t see any sign of slowing down.  It was terrifying initially.  But Im slowly adjusting.  I am learning to take the public transport to get where I want to go.  Surprisingly, it is pretty efficient and very convenient.  I don’t have to worry about getting stuck in the traffic nor finding a parking in the city center.

Our most famous landmark, Pertonas Tower

Our most famous landmark, Petronas Tower

I woke up this morning missing my home and people that left in McKinney.  I thought to cheer up, I should go out for a cup of tea somewhere nice and smoke-free  like what I used to do with my knitting girlfriends.  I skyped with H who is still back in Texas (he will join me in Malaysia later), had my coffee then went for my run.  By the time Im done, showered, I just felt like staying at home instead.  LOL!

Im knitting another shawl right now.  This time it is Leav pattern by Kitman Figueroa.  I am using a skein of yarn from one of her collection called Aubrey.  This will be my first time knitting with beads!

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I never thought adding beads to my shawl is this easy.  Although this shawl probably will take a while to finish.

Recent days are full of ups and downs and being away from H is not easy. Job hunting is very challenging but Im slowly getting used to being probed and questioned.  So I will press on.  At the mean time, I will continue to stay calm and knit :)

 

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DSCN0918Well folks, I finally made it to Malaysia and slowly recovering from jet lag.  I usually like to make my trip real quick (arrive at my final destination as soon as possible with short transits) but this time around I decided to see a bit of Singapore.

And of course, I checked out the local knitting scene.

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I was pretty impressed.  This shop has quite a collection of cotton Sirdar yarn.  I saw a group of ladies knitting at one corner of the shop.  The shop owner probably should have a nice little table at one corner so all the ladies could all knit together and chit-chat like we do.  Im thinking ….  Woolie Ewe now.

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It was just a one day short trip in Singapore.

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Diamonds and pearls shawl

Im finally done knitting this shawl.  It was an easy pattern despite the lengthy written instructions which I find very daunting initially.  However Im not too happy with the end product. :(

This pattern can be found in “The Knitter’s Book of Yarn” which I purchased maybe 2 years ago.  It is a good book if one wants to learn a bit about yarn.  Not very comprehensive (I don’t plan to become fiber expert now) just enough to understand all the yarn jargon.

DSCN0773So far I ve knitted 2 patterns written in the book.  And honestly, instead of using recommended yarn, I substituted the yarn using whatever I have in my stash.

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Isnt that a beautiful shawl?

This is how mine look like after I cast-off.

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Kind of dull looking.

I knitted mine using Lana gatto class yarn which is a merino/angora mixed yarn.  It is a very beautiful yarn and super soft.  It feels good on the skin. Unfortunately, it is no longer in production.  I bought mine online at a closeout sale.  It is probably not the most suitable yarn for this shawl as it has no drape.  Just lots of halo.

I learned a few things knitting this shawl.  Before I ever cast-on any project in the future, I should always refer to reviews by other knitters on Ravelry.  I could save myself from unwanted headaches and heartaches.  There were some mistakes in the written pattern, for example, missing YO!  Towards the end of the shawl I realized that (yeah… I finally decided to look up this pattern on Ravelry) there were corrections done on this pattern (and all the other patterns in this book) on a website call Knittersreview.  It is easier than trying to figure out on my own where to add the YOs.

Other knitters also advice that to make this shawl bigger and add body to it, one could knit another row of diamonds.  The recommended yarn was a skein of yarn that has 260 yardage.  I had 2 skeins of a 156 yardage each.  I was worried I wont have enough to finish the shawl.  Alas, I had more than enough I ended up making extra rows of pearls.  Hmmph… I sure do prefer to knit an extra row of diamonds.

The cast-off instruction for this shawl is very confusing.  Supposedly, the edging should look like a row of chains.  After re-reading and re-doing the edging as written, I just can’t get that nice chain!  I even tried doing it with a crochet hook.  Out of frustration, I finished using the usual cast-off method.  Now, my shawl edge curls upward!  Grrr…..

Overall, it is an easy pattern.  I probably would knit this again in the future using different yarn (something closer to the recommended yarn) and to make the shawl larger, I would add extra one or two diamonds rows but cast-off using other decorative edging.

I will block this shawl today and hope it would look so much better later.  Keeping my fingers crossed.

 

 

 

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This month has been crazy busy.  I have not been cooking much, although I did make some different types of chicken curry (you all ought to checkout this great blog Cooking and me).  Most meals nowadays are something that I can quip fast or huge salads.

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Despite all the hustle and bustle, I managed to finish 2 shawls.  Yay…

DSCN0734This one here is called Melissa’s scarf.  It was a very easy pattern.  This yarn had been in my stash for nearly 3 years.  I bought it from a lady at our local farmers’ market.

I knitted myself a lacy shawl.  I always thought that, it would take me months to knit anything with sock yarn.  But alas, this one took just under 3 weeks to knit!  Well, ok, I did spend quite a lot of time on it.

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Now, Im halfway, knitting another shawl.  I hope to finish it before I board the plane (that’s in another 3 weeks y’all!)

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Knit-palooza

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I had a wonderful evening!  Wait, that s not good enough.  I had a tremendously wonderful evening, hanging out knitting with a group of great friends celebrating a farewell party.  Yes… mine and another girlfriend who is moving to Atlanta, Georgia. I made meatball in orange sauce for the occasion. DSCN0706 So the party started at 1 pm however, I could only turned up after 4pm.  Bla..bla..bla..  But anyway, I was in time to catch the yarn lady, who were especially invited to showcase her yarn stash.  Well, a knitter can never have enough yarn.  I bought two skeins of cotton sock yarn.  Since she only had one skein of each color, I decided I have to be creative, went ahead bought two different color to make Cassis shawl (it is a free pattern on ravelry.com).  These colors remind me of sweet pea flower. DSCN0722 After we all had our food and wine and more wine, we sat around in the family room, knitted, played a game and did a lucky draw. DSCN0718 We played this fun game, where everyone is required to bring something from our past put in a brown bag and we all had to guess who the item belongs to.  The person who own the item then would have to tell everyone the story behind it.  There were some very exciting past.  I was thinking, wow… I read novels by writer who knits and they tell story about a groups of ladies from various background who shared same interest bound together by yarn.  And for a moment I felt like I was one of the character in those novels.  The boring one with not much to tell.  Hahahaha….

You know, people come and go in our life.  Some will stay, some are just passing through.  I can never express enough how grateful I feel having found this group of ladies who shared their craft and friendship with me.  I may be far away, but they are always close in my heart.  I hope we all can knit together again someday.