Sunday, June 22, 2014

Yarn spinning service saves all my trouble ~ another visit to Nine Rubies

Hi knitters,

A few days ago I went to San Mateo for some sushi.  Then I walked to the very nice local yarn store, Nine Rubies, to pay a visit.

At that time there were a few ladies crocheting.  They were having so much fun knitting and gossiping.  I browsed around and picked up totally five skeins of yarn.  I knew I hated making yarn ball by myself, but...

The sales representative asked me if I wanted her to make the yarn ball for me.  She said, "it's out of courtesy."  What do you think I would have said?

She placed the first skein of yarn on an umbrella-like stand which was made of wood.  Then she pulled one end of the yarn to the other side.  That is the magical machine that saved all my troubles.  Once the sale representative (oh, I forgot to ask for her name) turn on the button of the machine, It started spinning.

It was fun watching the operation of it.  Totally it took about 18 minutes for making five balls of yarn.

If you wanna know what I bought this time, stay tuned and


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Hooks for Crochet Beginners~ Raku Raku from Hamanaka

Hi knitters,

These days I've been trying different stuffs.  I even tried crocheting.  Unbelievable... I finally get the idea behind crocheting double stitch and half double stitch.  Once you got the concept, everything will be explainable.  

When I was lost and doing trial and errors, my hands got really tight.  I got nervous.  Therefore, the way I hold the crochet hook made me very uncomfortable.  I tried several hooks before.  And I gave up and picked up.   In the picture below were the hook I tried.  

I can't blame the hooks.  It was totally my problem.  But things got easier when I started with crochet hooks with rubber.  Yes, rubber.  It's soft rubber. It's called elastomer.  And the hook is made of aluminum. They are all light in weight.   My fingers were more relaxed. To be fair with the hooks I tried, I will test again once I get more used to crocheting.  At this moment, I'm on cloud nine!!!

Therefore, I highly recommend this hook to crochet beginners.
What is the brand?  It's Hamanaka from Japan, the rival of Clover.  
Here is the link to the official website of Hamanaka.  I think it's called RakuRaku, not 100% sure.

I got the whole set from a local yarn store in Hong Kong.  But I think you can get one from eBay.  As you can see, there are two hooks in the tip of each needle.  And each one is 13.5cm long.  Totally there are 10 hooks!!!  Some people like the idea of economic spacing.  But I also heard a little complaint: you may accidentally hook on your piece of work when with the hook you're not using.  Well, I hasn't happened to me.  Let's see.

Anyway, crochet is like knitting: only by mastering the basic techniques, you can do a lot more than you think.  

I know, I need to practice in order to crochet neatly.  This is a good beginning though.  I'm getting obsessed with crochet.  But don't worry, I still knit.  Just finished Op. 22 toddler's hat.  Stay tuned for more news and my reports on yarn craft.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

What do you do to kill back pain?

Hi knitters,

Recently I've been suffering from back pain.  It's not only owing to knitting.  My back pain is caused by playing badminton, studying, and improper sleeping posture...

Anyhow, I would like to share some of my solution:

1. EMS (Electronic Muscle Stimulator).
My back is now as hard as a rock.  I often turn to high levels.  
Some people may not like the idea of having electricity running in your body.  Read the instructions before use.

2. Biofreeze.
Put on this cool ointment on the pain area.  Please do not rub it hard.  It's cool.  But don't over do it.  Always use when your body is clean.

3.  Heating pad.
My favourite.  It's very helpful.  But some people find it too hot. Make sure you don't wear anything metal as it's DANGEROUS.  The heat metal would burn your skin.

4.  Herbal heating pad.
Put it in microwave no more than 2 mins.  Put it on your shoulders while you knit.  It helps.  But don't place it on your body directly on your skin.  Always wear something.

5. Taking a shower.
It always help if you take a hot shower.  So refreshing.

Anyway, rest when you don't feel well.