My Blue Carbuncle

Project: Shalder
Pattern: Shalder by Gudrun Johnston
Yarn: Cascade 220 Navy Blue
Needles: 4.5 mm

Completed 29 March 2015
Completed 29 March 2015

I love this sweater, the fit and especially the lace yoke. I originally chose this pattern way back when the first Hobbit movie was released. I loved all the dwarves’ costumes, and I noticed that there were a lot of geometric shapes. Shalder’s yoke pattern reminded me of that. It was in my queue since then, I only started working seriously on it this year. I think I had done about 7 cm of the body in 2013, I picked it up a little bit last summer but really got down to business this year. There’s a bit of a dye lot issue – one sleeve appears to be made from a different lot, so there is a bit of a colour line at the yoke, but it’s not too bad. I have no idea how it happened. I’ll put it down as some sort of punishment for letting projects linger for no good reason.

Back to Canada


Chart three of my Evenstar is taking forever. I looked at my chart, realised that I had a 4 row repeat for 24 rows of 560 stitches each, and died a little bit. I like it when the pattern changes every other row, it keeps me engaged in my knitting. But I’m nearly done, and hopefully I will be done soon. I signed up for an In Dreams KAL (a shawl by the same designer as Evenstar) that starts mid-September and my goal for Evenstar is to have at least finished chart three by then. The In Dreams shawl is so beautiful knitted with beads, I have decided to do my first ever knitting project with beads.

We are settling in well, still a little bit of jet lag, but definitely having fun around the house.


10 August 2014

Sunday 10 August

Guangzhou day twenty-five

Quiet day, so it’s just a knitting update. I finished chart two, after wasting many about 5 days correcting a very stupid mistake on my part. I’ve begun chart three, though these pictures are taken at the completion of chart two. I don’t think I will do the beading on this project, I don’t have enough shawl experience to tackle beads.

2 August 2014

Saturday 2 August

Guangzhou day seventeen

Dominic was feeling a little under the weather today, so I stayed home with him and Fei and Daphne went fishing and dragon eye picking. Dragon eyes are a fruit similar to lychee, only smaller and brown skin instead of red. They caught a lot of fish, picked a lot of fruit and ate at a countryside restaurant (where they will cook fish that you’ve caught). There was also a little dog to keep Daphne company.

Huge set back on the Evenstar knitting today, I began at row 43, didn’t pick up on the fact that it is a wonky marker row until row 50, when things just looked all wrong. Turns out row 43 and 49 are wonky marker rows, so I have to frog all the work I did yesterday.


Friday 18 July

Guangzhou Day two

Almost no websites work for me, so I find myself being a lot more productive. For instance, writing this journal, and I got some knitting done. Since it’s 45 C here, I thought bringing the aran weight sweater I was working on a bad idea. I brought my evenstar shawl instead. I’m glad that I did. I just began chart 1 and I love the yarn, blue moon laci in ghillie dhu. I apologise for the dark photos, we had the tail end of a typhoon today, so little natural light and my flash is so horrible that if I had used it, the photo would be of a very brightly glowing white blob floating in space.

Wednesday 14 August 2013


I finished this hat a few weeks ago, and promptly cast on for a second one since I have enough yarn leftover. It will be red hat with a grey dragon, though, since the yardage might be a little tight.


This hat is for my son, and I have been working (slowly) on his neckwarmer, I should be done before the snow arrives. If I actually get all the the winter stuff done before winter begins, that will a first for me!

The Hobbit, with SPOILERS

ImageI actually got to see the Hobbit in theatres last week. My not so quiet 7 year old boy actually sat through the whole film, with no fuss. In fact, he was play-fighting the next day with a shield, but he asked that I pretend it was an oak branch.

The film is completely different from the book, but is enchanting and mesmerising in its own way. I’d go see it again in theatres if I get the chance. The Hobbit is very different from the LOTR films, much less formal in tone, more relaxed and fun.

The Erebor/Dale sequences at the beginning are full of lovely design elements; hexagons, octogons, angular shapes abound. There are a lot of what looks like hand-knitted garments too; this is easily noted in the Bag End sequences, during the Unexpected Party.

All the ‘changes’ from book to film seem to be added on. There is not as much hacking and chopping (I’m referring to the absence of Bombadil in LOTR) at the book itself, just many many details added on top of it. Or maybe I need to re-read the book again to find more stuff to nitpick.

There is a lot of action, so it should be a good film even for people who haven’t read the books / don’t like  / don’t care about Tolkien, but it might be a bit long. I’ve read and re-read Tolkien since I was twelve, so I was riveted the entire time. My husband didn’t grow up with Tolkien, has no interest etc… (in his defence, he’s from China), and he found it boring, he had trouble following the story and he was truly shocked and disappointed when he found out that it was part one of three.

Watching The Hobbit got me in a knitterly mood, hopefully something will come of it and I will actually have some FOs.