Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Intarsia color change on vertical line for garter stitch

We create garter stitch by knitting or purling every row. It is an easy pattern in knitting. I like garter stitch because it is soft, cushy and reversible.  Anyway, when we make an Intarsia color work in garter stitch both sides wouldn't look exactly the same. In garter stitch, one side is clear-cut and the other not. If you knitted a vertical stripes in garter stitch, you can see the broken line formed between the two vertical stripes. Though it is not a reversible stitch, to me, both sides are equally attractive. How to change color on the vertical lines in garter stitch? Let's take a look at the steps below. I found that this is the most common and easier method which many knitters like to apply it on their knitting projects.




When changing color at the right side of the garter stitch knitting work, first of all, knit to the part where you want to change color. Then, insert the the right needle knitwise into the new color stitch. At the back of the work, drop the old color and pick up the new color from under the old color. Now, knit the next stitches or knit to the next color change with the new color.



When changing color at the wrong side of the garter stitch knitting work, it is worked differently. First of all, knit to the point of the color change and then bring the old color to the front between the two needles. Drop the old color, pick up the new color from under the old color and then bring the new color between the two needles to the back of the work. Now, knit the next stitches or knit to the next color change with the new color.




The photo shown above is a sample of  intarsia vertical stripes in garter stitch knitting fabric. Do you think both sides are equally attractive?




I had been thinking about how to knit reversible Intarsia vertical line in garter stitch for my project like a scarf. I had been searching from internet but it seemed nobody to do so. If many knitters believed that it was impossible to do reversible vertical line in garter stitch or it was not an good idea?  Why not have a try? Yes, I had tried several methods but I couldn't get any method that can be used to create a reversible vertical stripes in garter stitch. What I got only an almost reversible look on both sides. Why I said so? The reason is when the two different colored yarns being twisted would interlock with one another in an opposite direction compare to the previous row. As a result, the vertical stripes in garter stitch make a broken line and the broken line on each side is in different color. Here show you the way how I knit this almost reversible vertical line in garter stitch. Let‘s look at the photos and steps below.

  1.  Knit to the part where you want to change colors. Drop the old color, bring the new color up between the two needle and to the back of the work.
  2.  Insert the needle knitwise into the next stitch and then pick up the new color that you brought from the front of work just now from under the old color. Knit the next stitches or knit to the next color change.
  • Repeat the steps in every row, you will see the result after a few rows.




The above photos shown is a sample of my vertical stripes knitting fabric in garter stitch. You can see that the color of the two broken lines at both sides are different, one is blue and the other is brown.  Can you differentiate the two broken lines?


Although this method couldn't create a look that exactly the same at the both sides but it is good enough for me ......







Monday, 10 November 2014

Intarsia color change on vertical line or diagonal line for stocking stitch

A knitting style called "Intarsia color work" is very versatile and common. This is a style of knitting where you are making blocks of color and each block with their own ball or bobbin of yarn. To make this kind of work, basically we have to know how to cast on multiple colors of yarns, how to change colors on a vertical or diagonal line and how to join in a new color yarn.

Straight vertical stripes in multiple colors is the simplest Intarsia pattern. Before we start to make a vertical stripes for the knitting, we have to know how to cast on different colored yarns for each vertical stripe on the needle.

Today, I would like to show you the way I  do the above mentioned methods on stocking stitch (stockinette). There are some methods of doing Intarsia color work on garter stitch. I will try to post the methods later.


Casting on two colors

Here is a simple way on how to cast on two different colored yarns in order to create two straight vertical stripes in different color respectively.

  1. Cast on a few stitches with blue yarn by using the long tail cast-on method.
  2. Make a slip knot with white yarn and place it on the needle. Twist the white and blue yarns as shown in the photo.
  3. Now, pull the both ends of blue yarn backwards and start to cast on a few stitches with the white yarn.
  4. Done.



Changing colors in a vertical line

When changing colors in a vertical line, the both yarns must be twisted on every row so that they interlock without leaving a hole.
  1. At a vertical color change on the knit side, drop the old color and pick up the new color from under the old color. Now the two colors are twisted. Then knit the next stitches with the new color (or you might knit to the next color change according to how many color blocks you have).
  2.  At a vertical color change on the purl side, drop the old color and pick up the new color from under the old color. Then purl the next stitches with the new color (or you might purl to the next color change according to how many color blocks you have).
This is a sample piece of my vertical stripes knitting fabric. Stripes in stocking stitch make a clean line on the knit side and a broken line on the purl side.




Changing colors in a diagonal line

When changing colors in a diagonal line, the both yarns must only be twisted on every other row.

  1. When making a right diagonal on the knit side, insert the needle knitwise. Bring the old color over the new color, pick up the new color up from under the old color. This will twist the both new and old yarns as shown in the first photo. Then knit the next stitches or knit to the next color change with the new yarn.
  2. On the purl side,  insert the needle purlwise. Pick up the new color from under the old color and purl the next stitches or purl to the next color change with the new yarn. The both yarns shouldn't be twisted.



  1. When making a left diagonal on the purl side, insert the needle purlwise. Bring the old color over the new color, pick up the new color up from under the old color. This will twist the both new and old yarns as shown in the first photo. Then purl the next stitches or purl to the next color change with the new yarn.
  2. On the knit side,  insert the needle knitwise. Pick up the new color from under the old color and knit the next stitches or knit to the next color change with the new yarn. The both yarns shouldn't be twisted.



The first photo shown is a right diagonal line on the knit side; the second photo shown is the left diagonal line on the purl side; the third photo shown is a right diagonal line on the purl side and the last photo shown is a left diagonal line on the knit side.




Joining a new color 

I only use one method to join a new color for my Intarsia color work. It is easy, I use it to join a new color at the beginning or in the middle of a row.

First, insert the needle through the desired stitch on the left needle. Wrap the new yarn around the right needle and leaving a tail of yarn about 4 inches long. Normally, I will insert the needle through the stitch knitwise at the knit side and insert the needle through purlwise at the purl side. Then hold the both ends and pull the yarn out to create a stitch. Don't worry about the tail, just let it hanging there because you will finish off the tail by weaving it into the knitting piece after the piece is finished.

I use another method to join in a new color from the beginning when I make the horizontal stripes for other knitting patterns. Please click here  to visit the relavant post.





Sunday, 2 November 2014

Taiwan Buddhist Tzu-Chi Foundation Malaysia (KL & Selangor Branch)

Last two weeks, we had a short visit to Taiwan Buddhist Tzu-Chi Foundation Malaysia (KL & Selangor Branch).

Taiwan Buddhist Tzu-Chi Foundation Malaysia (KL & Selangor Branch) is located along Jalan Kepong, KL. According to one of the volunteers there, the KL Jing-Si Hall was designed as a green and eco-friendly building due to global warming. She also said the hall was specially designed in a way that it could get natural air and direct sunlight to brighten up internal space of the building in order to minimise the usage of air-conditioners and save electricity.

The volunteers there were so nice. A nice volunteer brought us to visit the whole building and patiently explained to us the histories and stories of Tzu-Chi.

The entrance of Taiwan Buddhist Tzu-Chi Foundation Malaysia (KL& Selangor Branch)


KL Jing-Si Hall


Outdoor scene


There were many huge posters hanging on the wall along the ramp walkway that led to the other floor.  The posters there gave us the information about the histories and the missions of charity of Tzu-Chi. I was interested in the histories of "The founding of Tzu-Chi" and  "The spirit of the Bamboo Bank Era".

According to one of the posters there,  in 1966, while Master Cheng Yen was visiting a patient at a local clinic, she saw a pool of blood on the floor. Master Cheng Yen was told that the blood was from an indigenous woman suffering from labour complications and could not afford the deposits. The overwhelming sorrow prompted Master Cheng Yen to make a great vow and establish Tzu-Chi in Hualien, Taiwan.

Another huge poster mentioned that Master Cheng Yen established Tzu-Chi with the concept of self-support, diligence and frugality. It began with Master Cheng Yen and five disciples, each producing an extra pair of hand sewn baby shoes every day; and thirty housewives each saving NT$0.50 (about RM0.05) from their grocery money in a bamboo bank daily. This was the charity fund to help the needy. This is how the spirit of the "Bamboo Bank Era" began.


Interior of Taiwan Buddhist Tzu-Chi Foundation Malaysia (KL& Selangor Branch)



Beside the Jing-Si Hall was the Jing-Si Books & Cafe. The interior design was modern and the decorations were beautiful. We enjoyed sitting there and having a cup of coffee, what a comfortable feeling!

Jing-Si Books & Cafe


Interior of Jing-Si Books & Cafe


Tzu-Chi Continuing Education Center



I have a feeling that the world is full of goodness and beauty of mankind....






Friday, 31 October 2014

Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur

Bukit Bintang is a bustling area offers almost everything in every taste and budget.  It is located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur within the Golden Triangle, a premier business, shopping and entertainment district.  I would be here a few times in a year but I had never stayed in any hotel here before. We had a fortune to stay in the JW Marriott hotel in Bukit Bintang by an invitation of  my sister in law last weekend. This hotel is adjoining to the prestigious Starhill Gallery and is just a few steps away to the other major shopping malls like Pavilion, Fahrenheit 88, Lot 10 and Sungai Wang. It is also nearby the popular Bintang Walk, a lively and vibrant pedestrian walkway where you can find a vast variety of restaurants, open-air cafes, entertainment outlets and shops. It will take about 15 minutes to walk the whole length of the walkway. This is one place you should not miss if you are in Bukit Bintang.

Bukit Bintang is really a good place for shopaholic and food lover. It is also a good place for night strolling. If you like nightlife, you will have many choices here. Anyway, I just like eating! haha!! Since we were staying in a hotel close to many shopping malls, restaurants and entertainment outlets,  surely we wouldn't miss the opportunity to visit the shopping malls during the day and at night. Of course we also seized the opportunity to take a night stroll and try out the cuisines in such a hotspot.

JW Marriott hotel in Bukit Bintang

Night scene of Bukit Bintang



Right opposite JW Marriott Hotel is the massive Pavilion shopping mall. Brands available here range from upmarket labels to mid-market labels. I like this shopping mall, it is beautiful and has a large number of restaurants selling a wide variety of international cuisines and drinks. To me, it is a great hangout. We had our dinner in a Japanese restaurant called "iciban boshi" here that evening.

Pavilion

Pavilion - The outdoor walking area



If you are looking for luxury labels, Starhill Gallery is the place for you with Gucci, Dior and Louis Vuitton. This is an upscale shopping mall where I almost afraid to touch everything. Apart from the luxury labels, the unique standout here is the stylish modern designs and decorations throughout the building.

Starhill Gallery



Sungei Wang is one of the most popular shopping malls among locals in Kuala Lumpur. Every weekend it is packed with visitors. To me, this is one of the places we can get good deals on ladies apparel in Bukit Bintang.

Sungei Wang



Lot 10 is located along Bintang Walk. There is a limited variety of stores. Anyway the popular departmental store called Isetan was our favorite shopping spot that night.

Lot 10



Berjaya Times Square is located along Jalan Imbi. What impressed me was the Asian's largest indoor theme park. The huge indoor rollercoaster really attracted my attention.

Berjaya Times Square



We had a great weekend and I would like to wish everyone a great weekend. :-)








Saturday, 25 October 2014

FRIM (Forest Research Institute of Malaysia)

Yesterday morning, we took a chance to go cycling and strolling around in FRIM ( Forest Research Institute of Malaysia). FRIM is located in Kepong, Selangor. It is a nice place for outing. We were so happy to explore the forest. We loved the fresh air, the green nature, the tranquil environment and the beautiful scene there.

Entrance of FRIM


After the entrance, there was a signboard showing the way to Taman Botani Kepong (Kepong Botanic Garden), that was our cycling starting point. Later, we had a look and took a rest at Timber Technology Centre.

The scenery of Jalan FRIM (after the entrance)

Surroundings of Timber Technology Centre in FRIM


Along the way, we found that there were many species of plant in the forest. One of the species that struck me was the Eucalyptus deglupta tree. It looked tall and the rainbow color of the trunk was so unique. From a distance, I thought it had been painted on, actually these colors were natural. To me, that was the most beautiful tree in the forest.

Green spaces of the nature in FRIM

Eucalyptus deglupta tree


Beautiful buildings

Fish pond

Information center and cafeteria


There was a picnic area called Sungai Kroh Picnic Area. Opposite the picnic area was a little waterfall called Sg. Kroh Waterfall. Walking up the walkway would lead you to the waterfall. Further up the walkway, there was a shallow pool where the children could wade in.

A walkway lead to the waterfall

A little waterfall

We were so happy to cycling and strolling around the forest. One thing that you have to keep in mind is remember to bring along a can of repellent because you will encounter some mosquitoes and insects along the way.




Thursday, 23 October 2014

finger puppets

This is another craft idea of using craft material scraps - finger puppets. I whipped up these little animal cartoons while my daughters were reading their new bought story books. These finger puppets are the right tool to transform a child to be a storyteller. I believe that their minds are full of imaginations and they could tell you a few imaginative stories once they put the finger puppets on their little fingers.

These finger puppets are very easy to make, what you need are a few scraps of felt, ribbon,glue, beads and embroidery floss. I have posted all these five finger puppet templates below, you are welcome to try out these simple finger puppets with the templates here.






Giraffe




Bear



Frog






Rabbit







Panda







Monday, 6 October 2014

Bow bookmarks

I had not tidied up my craft materials for some time. I found that there were a few scraps of ribbon kept in a little box. I didn't want to waste those scraps and thought for a while ...... "I better make some mini crafts than throw them away."  Yes, I got an idea in a sudden! I wished to make some bow bookmarks with these scraps of ribbon.









It is pretty quick to create this mini craft. What you need are some scraps of ribbon, some paper clips or some decorative items like buttons and beads. Here show you one of the way I made the bow bookmarks.


  1. Make a desired loop with a piece of wide ribbon and put the paper clip at the centre of the ribbon loop.
  2. Insert another kind of ribbon strip (a fine ribbon would be recommended) through the paper clip as shown in the photo and hold them firmly. The fine ribbon should be set at the centre of the ribbon loop.
  3. Tie a hard knot at the back of the wide ribbon and then trim the fine ribbon.
  4. Done.
If you found that this method is not easy to set a bow on top of the paper clip, you can just tie a bow at the top of the paper clip with the ribbon itself and then sew a button or bead at at the centre as a decoration.

I like these colorful bookmarks..... don,t you? They are simple but they would be a very cute and meaningful gift for girl.






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