Friday, 30 October 2020

Social Media Experiment

When I had to move country, decision to "unplug"  (take a long break from social media) was inevitable.

Not that I was an influencer or that sort of degree of approval hungry person, but I did post regularly and had "un-real" friends online whom at that time, I thought were quite real.  Never actually imagined that some of the people I'd be talking to were some fat old Indian techy sitting in cramped rundown concrete building in Mumbai.  I had such gullible trust in people online then.  Luckily, I know better than most to know it's never a good idea to post your face online, unless you're in real estate or film industry.

When I "unplugged" suddenly life became real, I'd call in on my friend at his shop, where he often had his friends around, so he'd introduce me to his friends and his friends became mine, too and we'd all chat and drink and be merry while listening to him tinkling jazz tunes on Friday afternoons.  I didn't miss my old way of socialising where it was just typing to overseas never seen before "friends" who'd then probably screenshot and distribute whatever I wrote to whoever they want to share it with.  There's no class at all, no craft, it's like a bunch of school kids copy and pasting homework.  Privacy?  What is that archaic form of priceless identity?  It doesn't exists online.  

So what was being "unplugged" for 4 years to renovate 2 houses in 2 countries and having 6 deaths only to find there's no such thing as real friendships?  The minute I don't log in to facebook anymore, it automatically filters out those "un-real" friends.  They never met me anyway so it never actually mattered.

Then there are those whom I actually shared school/uni lives with, who are mostly too busy with juggling their own problems of work, sick parents, autistic over pushed high achieving young children, and a too big to handle side hustle that promises big but probably won't come to anything if no time is invested on it.  Hence, you know what your friends ended up looking like, right?  Grumpy, pill popping, caffein charged toxicity, not so great to be around if you can feel all that.  The decision to unplug was best decision ever because not only I can feel it just by looking at their names, they pulled me upstream when all I want is to go downstream and flow.

It was unfathomable now to think about it that I would put up with having long distance relationship, over and over again, until someone dear to me once said, never have a relationship with someone that doesn't even live in the same country, let alone never met before.  That man had now become yet another "NZ male suicide statistic" because he imported a wife from China, thinking that she'll be the same person that she portrayed herself as when they had their long distance relationship.  Poor man, he'll never see his son grow up and it is a shame for this society to yet lose another useful productive member just because a woman just won't take her time to understand him.

In my absence online, I also switched off.  No TV, yes I actually dislike the sound TV emits even when they're off.  Bet you didn't know that appliances makes a very suttle hum when it's plugged in and the switch on the wall is turned on.  Yes, I'm those people who always turn off the wall switch because I feel the electricity being emitted by whatever is plugged in.  Spending time in the garden, cycling and having walks felt so much better than Chinese sitcoms marathon.

As time ticks on, it made me more and more aware that digital life is all shameful sham that others love to replicate but in reality not worth replicating for because it only shows how lonely one's life really is.  Just look at the abundance of influencers there are in the market now.  What are they actually contributing to society one might ask.  

I learnt that what you keep on preaching is actually what you do not possess and keep wanting to attain.  Be aware of those "wellness guru wannabe" who keeps posting the same agenda day in day out, whatever that may be, such as churning out Yi Jing hexagrams, clearly there's a software for that, please, or recirculating memes or daily quoted sage words that you can actually read if you bother to read the right books, they could be bots or an old lonely man with nothing much going on in his life.  If you find your feed cluttered by those type of things, you probably just need to "unplug" or brush them aside and quietly move on with your day.  

So what happens when your old friend became one of those type of things?  Two things, join her, or find a new friend, as eventually, you'll lose her anyway as she would probably be too busy for you as she tends to her online groupie.  Just hope, that in time, when circumstances change for her, she'll catch up with you and become a better friend.  Life goes on, friends come and go, relocate and croak, but your self, stays with you.  Cultivate and know your self, trust me, its value is much more than millions of followers.

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

The Return of the Lost Son

Quite often, I'd imagine the day when my brother would return.  What it'll be like, whether I'd be happy or sad, indifferent or angry, stand offish or all involved.  
Well, the day did come, in a way, I had an early birthday present.  Family back together again and best of all, now a month later, he's still around, happy and healthy.

It was as if he had been overseas somewhere for the past year and a half.  I thought I had forgotten what he looks like, but when that car that I bought for him signalled the right turn to go into our street, I saw the same old brother that once told me I was ugly, coming back home.

Happy tears and hugs were everywhere, I know it was not me that made him come back, it was his own determination and strength to get out of an abusive relationship that made him leave.  He was never destined for such dark relationship to begin with, as he came from a family that showed him love can evolve, it can never stay cold as how the Asian tradition had it, it can be gooey and warm as how Hallmark portrays it.

Like anyone who came out from being a victim of domestic abusive relationship, he came out damaged and at first, we didn't recognise who he was, but saw glimpses of him from when he was a 12 year old.  That's right, even he somewhat believed he was back as a 12 year old in the family home and that trauma was added on with new trauma that his ex girlfriend created through drugs, manipulation, control and threats.

Someone said to me a long time ago that it's not important how many fans you have, if you don't have one or two or three good mates that knows you back to front, even 1million followers won't make you happy.
Truly proven in his case as he thought the only way to satisfy his ex gf's need to own him, was for him to cut off his digital and real life in its entirety completely altogether and start a new life with her.  As if he was some sort of crim to begin with, which he wasn't, but her jealousy of his comfort zone, got the better of her and in the end, lost him completely.

As an outsider to this emotional criminal unfolding, I first noticed it when the "Single White Female" scenario unfolded right before my eyes.  Meticulous plan of overtaking his digital life into creating her own digital depiction of his digital life was the scariest to watch of all.  Almost to the point of disgust of how a person who claimed to love the partner they're with, would do such a shameless virtual copycat and expected the partner's family and friends not to notice the gradual disappearing of him and appearance of her as him online.

Now it is all over, she is the one feeling "dumped" and fear of being smeared, so threats were launched everywhere.  What a comedy when this is all her own doing.  It reminds me of a child that has her toy taken away and got angry for it because she thought she has been so "good" to everyone around her when all she has done was throwing up on everyone else's plates.

Life lessons that we all have to go through are so creatively made and planned by ourselves before birth, but trust ourselves that we always leave clues for our 3D-ness that is aware, to say "Hmm, this feels like a sign", or "Do I feel good about making this decision?".  
Our feelings are always right.  It wants to help us make the best decision at that time.  Trust it, know that everything will be all right when we listen to our own intuition.

Welcome home, we've missed you so much and love is here for you.

Thursday, 24 October 2019

End of Karmic relationship

I'm the smiling stone, undeterred by anything, will just keep smiling.
Every 12 years, the same Chinese zodiac sign comes
to visit us.
12 years ago, the year of the Pig came and changed my karma.  I got married which ended up in my divorce.

This year, I also ended a karmic relationship.  Deeper than a mere marriage on paper with someone I just met.
This year, my brother took off and never looked back.

I believe everything happens for many reasons I can't comprehend now, but later will reveal themselves.  So I'm not going to try anymore with this relationship either eventhough this karma is deeper, our bond was never that strong anyway having more than a decade difference between us.

When my mother decided to have him, I asked her why.  She had already the two of us, girls.  We thought we made her happy, after all, my sister was a star quality, always pleasant in other's eyes.  Maybe not I, but her, she made us a happy family.

Then my mother told me a story, about how Chinese families are.
Our responsibility as the women who give birth to the person who will carry the family surname into the future.
Our culture, that of women leaving her birth family to become the husband's family member.
The unwritten rules that everyone follow, discussed, disputed but never get resolved and becomes the source of gossip among communities.

This is why when my brother "ran away", I understood why he did that.
Being the man in a Chinese family isn't easy especially when the man is the youngest member of the family.
Had he been the eldest, he would've had enough ego to actually protect the family, afterall, since mother has died, we have lost our beacon.
He had to find a woman who can carry those burden of responsibilities that had been handed down generation after generations.
When he met someone who can never carry that kind of burden with him, of course, running away will be the only option that can be seen.
It is easier to run away from responsibilities than to man up and become responsible for his own actions.
It is even easier to use LOVE as an excuse to run away.  Something that cannot be seen or proven, but in time, it will prove itself.  Never underestimate the power of the universe in setting things straight.


This invisible wall that has divided him and us, is probably for the better in the end.

No regrets brother, everybody makes their own decisions.
I thank you for forcing me to make mine, I'm leaving you be.

Thursday, 21 March 2019

I'm Back!

After long hiatus from this space, I'm back with new things on my plate to offer, good old fashioned chocolate cake with blueberry icing, anyone?

I've finally decided to organise things, woop woop!

So, for my yarn stuff, follow me on Instagram & Ravelry @annapaigenzdesign, who knows there might be a free pattern to grab.

For my skincare concoction and daily cleaning materials, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Felt, & Etsy @annapaigenz.

For the interior design not specific to the house restoration project which is now have been completed, follow me on Instagram @_atfyd_.

For my close friends IRL, follow Instagram @_annapaige_ , Pinterest @_Meili_

And for those who are crazy like me singing in my wardrobe every so often, I Smule @_meili_.

There, it feels like I have organised something.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

New Life, New Beginning

Perfect moment captured

I often wonder what it would be like to have my own life.
Free from worrying about how I should behave in society just because of my colour, background and status,
Being able to just walk out the door and do an evening walk without being afraid that I'd get mugged or raped on the way home.
Just living and breathing the same air as everyone else and feeling the freedom that comes with being a human, no matter how bias it could be to my own perception as there are still bills and taxes to pay.

After a year of transition, I finally concluded that life is just life, it actually is so personal to one's own perception of it that no one, not even your twin, can ever give advice to you about how your life should be.
I like mine just the way it is now, with my own illusion of freedom which serves me well.

It is, after all, how one perceives it to be, isn't it?

Monday, 8 February 2016

The Intuitive Knitter

Happy Fire Monkey Year!
Cashmere sweater made by Zealana Air Limited Edition dyed by Koigu
Cashmere neck and shoulder warmer using Zealana Air
This post has no pattern, but it uses all the knowledge I gained from my own knitting so far plus new skills such a fair isle and exact body measurement, to create my own unique pieces.

For as long as I have been knitting and crocheting, I found that I go into a meditative state.  So I decided to really go with the flow with these Air yarn.  At $50/hank (Koigu dyed) most people would think I'm nuts, threading without a game plan.  But I am that crazy and unafraid, so I did.

I bought the Zealana Air Limited Edition dyed by Koigu online and was a bit worried about whether it was going to be enough for a sweater I planned to knit since I only ordered 2 hanks and the rest were Charcoal Zealana Air.

These are taken from Zealana website.
AIR A01 Charcoal copy2A01 - CHARCOALLace Weight
25g : 175m : 191y
32–40sts over 10cm
US 1 : 2.25mm

619#619Lace Weight
50g : 350m : 382y
32–40sts over 10cm
US 1 : 2.2
When laid out, it looked more comforting that there's probably enough yarn for half of a sweater.

Using a 5.5mm KarbonZ, started from bottom up, then mom transitioned and everything had to stop.
Finally, a fitting session, quite happy with how it fits.  Oh boy it was hot as! (30C midday)
Finished it within a day after the fitting session.

Garter stitches for the cuffs, borders and neck, stockinette for the body.  Cuffs has hole for thumb.
Testing fair isle method...not a fan, doubt will try more...somebody convince me...

Not a fan of getting the carry on thread parts being thicker than the rest...
I modified my "Big Sweater Pattern" for the Koigu dyed sweater.  Armed with the understanding of 2rows=1cm measurement, I embarked on a journey with my measuring tape close by to get the body hugging sweater.  My method may be the most unconventional way of knitting and probably questionable by pro knitters out there.  Please understand I am an energy reader and now an intuitive knitter.

The shoulder warmer is a bit more complex.  I think I have it written down somewhere and drawn, but it's somewhere under the pile.  I'm moving and everything's buried somewhere in the many boxes I have stacked.  Maybe someday I'll write a proper fair isle pattern when I settle in my destination.

Please ask me any questions in the comment or G+ me.  Thanks for reading my lovely readers.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Good News

This is what it feels like
29 days after mom left her body.  Last night, I was shown so much, I have no words to describe it.  Upon awaking, I went through my holiday pictures, and this is what I felt.

When we can bring forth what we love about someone, it inspires them to be their best selves.
When we feel regret and we feel bad about ourselves that we didn't do a good job, it brings out the worst in us.
So it's important to look at the positive in us first and then others.  Realise that when we've done our best in forgiving ourselves but the other party just keeps on condemning us, it is the hurt and pain in them that's causing it, it's not us.

Forgiveness does not equate reconciliation.
However, when you are able to forgive and reconcile with the same person that hurt you countless of times, it means you have forgiven and reconcile with yourself and you are the bigger person.
It doesn't matter whether the other person can do the same.  Most often they will not, because of their ego.
Life is too short to spend my time trying to help an egocentric person go through their growing up process.
Everyone is responsible for their own happiness.

Life is ... being happy on your own first and foremost ...
And if there's someone that resonates with your vibration, that person would say, "Hi ... can I come along for the ride?"
Then it's your choice to let him in or not.
Till that time .... I've got the world on a string, sittin' on a rainbow,
got the string around my finger, what a world, what a life, I'm in love ....

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Live Life Now

Mama on her wedding day, isn't she beautiful?
As 2015 comes to an end and we're all counting down in our own time zones for whatever that may come in the new year, I remember my mom always loved to stay up late past midnight for just one day of the year.
I don't.  I sleep as early as I can because my new year, as always, had already been celebrated, 6 hours earlier and I saw no point staying up late for this timezone.

Some may say I hold on to my past so much that I forgot to live my now.  Some may say I've so much anger, my love can't be felt.  Some may say I talk too deep, they rather not talk to me at all.
I say to all of you, I am how I feel.  What's the point of living when you don't feel the contrast?
Over there where mom is now, there's only love.  It's comfy and always is just love in its pure form, that's why we choose to come to this life and experience this flesh and body.
Now I have this chance to feel what it's like to have someone who truly loves me unconditionally, passing over, I like to linger for a while in this human emotions.  To feel what it's like being out of alignment and shaken.  As I move through all these emotions, it only makes me crave alignment even more.

I see the dramas and the variety of life played out in my mom and sibling's lives.  Nothing is wrong or right, everyone chooses their own path.  So when you judge, you're only pointing out the contrast between your own path and theirs.  I don't watch TV dramas anymore.  I look at how my parents interacted with their friends and family, that's already drama, or if I want some international drama, I turn on CNN.  It's real, it's now, it's raw.

I've learnt many things in my short life.  I knew mom would've slip away quietly that day, because the night before, I spent time with her and felt what she felt and got confused on why.  My innate knows why, hers knows too it was the right time.
My grief is for the living and the games they're still playing.  The ones I'm tired of dealing.  This is my exit from their dramas.  I am myself again.  Not defined by their judgments.

My life keeps getting better and better now because I have guidance within me.  Now that I'm able to communicate with mom directly without the confusing flesh desires, I know that human craving of relationships is only an excuse for wanting to be in alignment with themselves.
No more excuses because I have alignment all day everyday.

2016 onward will be the best times of my life.  I'll let you in on a secret, ... I may be the luckiest person on earth.  :) :) :)

Tuesday, 22 December 2015


Nothing ever truly dies...
Everything simply transforms...
Human emotions are so precious to have and to share...
They're there to be felt and can hardly be expressed in writing when not felt...

It's a free fall without a net...
Are you ready to go or do you have to be in control?

When you let go, you're ready to be freed...

Friday, 18 December 2015

...The Author...

The author who wrote more than a dozen books, knows nothing of emotions...
He understands ancient theories but misinterpret raw feelings...

The author who boasts of his followers, knows nothing of loyalty...
He compartmentalise marriage into different area from commitment...

The author who faces students every week, knows nothing of honesty...
He obligates at home and becomes a slave of "love" other times...

The author who thinks he knows the stars and planets...
Refuses to see inward towards his own galaxy...

The author who writes so much...
Does not deserve another word...

"You Don't Know What Love Is"

You don't know what love is
Until you've learned the meaning of the blues
Until you've loved a love you've had to lose

You don't know what love is
You don't know how lips hurt
Until you've kissed and had to pay the cost
Until you've flipped your heart and you have lost

You don't know what love is
Do you know how lost heart feels
At the thought of reminiscing
And how lips that taste of tears
Lose their taste for kissing

You don't know how hearts burn
For love that cannot live yet never dies
Until you've faced each dawn with sleepless eyes

You don't know what love is
You don't know how hearts burn
For love that cannot live yet never dies
Until you've faced each dawn with sleepless eyes
You don't know what love is
What love is

Monday, 7 December 2015

See you on the other side, Mom....

I woke up and remember, today I have a list of things to do.
Phone calls to answer, no one helps.
Not that any of these are important anymore.
Now that I'm on this side alone.

I don't want to live life like a zombie.
It certainly feels like so for now.
I have my meals with tears, it makes everything tastes the same.
Is this how it feels when you lose someone you can never replace?

As I crouch under my work desk, I ask myself....
What the hell am I doing here?
What life am I going back to?
I never had a life, I was always living hers.

Mom moved on to another form 2 days ago.
Dad's already talking about the new woman....
I have no one and nowhere to park my heart.
Mom, can I come with you?

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Love and Trust Part 2

While he's been playing his games with various girls, she has been on a quest to find herself.
She asks herself the important questions.  Why her relationships failed?  Why her mother's health decline so rapidly and has been reduced to a chunk of flesh that's rotting from inside and have her voice taken away?  What is the significance in her mother's exit from the scenario?
This is what he should've done, instead of playing the victim role and still blaming her for failing twice in his attempt to revive the relationship between them.

Another person, a new face, does not change the lessons needing to be learnt.  It is insignificant compare to the lessons they both have signed up to have in this lifetime.  The circumstances have made them met again for the third time to give them a choice whether to take up the lessons again or choose to go on their own path.

She had questioned many times and tested many times on why some relationship lasts, some don't, some stays true to their partner even through the difficult times, some stray, some finds it easy to stay together, some just drifts apart.  She finds the answer after much vulnerable moments.
It is not about who is the partner, the different faces, the permutation of conditions, the details of how, are just variations on how you can learn your lessons.
She finds that one can change partners many many times, you have no limit really, you set your own limit, you know your own lessons.  The thing that matter is whether you learnt your lessons.  Some partner gives you better circumstances, because they also change and grow with you, some tends to trudge and makes you feel like you're walking in a swamp, because he can't keep up with your change or he just chooses to never change hence the relationship breaks.

The question then becomes which variations do  you like best?  One full of people that keeps up with your change and vibrates on a higher frequency with you (to say it simply, being around happy people)?  Or one full of people that makes you feel like you're swamping through your day?
You may feel love and trust from both groups, but is it the real thing?  How do each define love and trust?

He said that the many years of his life were his greatest asset that he has given her and that she had lost his love and trust.  That she is not free of the deed of their past and he would not bet the rest of his life on her because he has been genuine and there's no regret in that.
Here lies a lot of what his lessons are, if only he took a second read at what he wrote.
He's still hurting and blaming her for all the actions he took after they went their separate ways.  The games he's playing are still the same.  It is called the "blame game" and no body can be the winner of that, but he thinks he'll win because he'll bet on someone else next time around, even after various attempts on that having to fail, he's still thinking betting on someone else is better than looking inwards like what she had done.
He said she only deserves being a mistress because of the deed of their past.  She knows better, a Ph.D. student would feel just as frustrated explaining her findings to a 9 year old.
What she deserves to be in someone's life, has nothing to do with other people and her deed of their past.  The most important thing about relationship and the love and the trust in it, is within you and how you relate to yourself.

Life is learning your lessons with someone that is willing to change their energy to keep moving positively.  It's not about betting on someone new just because they have not done anything to you, yet.
Relationships lasts when you both grow together, hand in hand, helping each other, not playing the games people play.  Maybe occasionally you want to play the game but you have to be conscious about it and not forget the lesson you're learning.
Keeping in touch with your emotional barometer is essential to check your place.  That's why it's no good to just "cope".  You have to get raw with your emotion and do the necessary steps to get back to your happy place.
The universe (or multiverse now) is always listening to you.  When you have love and trust in yourself, it won't leave you out of the equation.
We are all love, and from that, we can trust that we're always looked after.

Love and Trust Part 1

Love and trust, do you take or give them?

It's been a while since I find myself among people who thinks love and trust are give and take.
I'm thankful that I'm so good at sifting and sorting my own vibrations, so those who still thinks love and trust are either given or taken are nowhere around me.

Love and trust are owned by each and every one of us because we are love ourselves.  Once we know we are love, trust is abundant.  We will find love and trust everywhere we go. have this scenario below...

17 years ago, he met this girl of different nationality.  Same race, but different culture.  It might have been love at first sight, so he thought, as for her, she wished never to meet him again after their first meeting as she didn't understand why he threw a piece of paper to her when asking for her phone number.
He came off as rather cold and rude.  Man of few words and definitely, not her preference in a life partner.  He was persistent in his persuasion and even though he was a bit brash, his archaic gentlemanly style caught her attention.
This impertinent man was the only one to send her flowers 7 times in a row after each bunch withered.
Twice they tried to be together for life, but failed both times.  He blames her each time, thinking it's always the other person's fault.  As I said, he was a brash impertinent man with little understanding of himself because he never tried to pry open himself and face the real man within.
Many times, he tried to find someone else other than her.  Many times he failed.  Each time worst than the other.

Recent dumping scenario includes a -4 degrees celcius winter and cocktails of sleeping pills.
He was supposed to get married February 2015, instead, he flew to meet her in December 2014 to a confession that he was just too much for someone like her that craves a guy with warm heart and a monk's fate.  Enough said, when you're in your 40's, your choice of girls are limited unless you're Elon Musk, which he is not.
His life passes him by, the same lesson each time worst than the other, only to present him with the same girl that he met 17 years ago by chance.  Not the girls he met through dating sites, or exclusive dating clubs that he's been merry go-rounding.  They have gone to live their lives and he never made that good enough impression for them anyway to get him "remembered".

Yet, he refuses to look within himself.  Still blaming her for the two chances he had given her and failed.  Still blaming her for her past actions, never his, it was always her that's to blame.  Never looking at himself not even once because that would leave him exposed and that would hurt a lot he thinks.  Always pointing that one finger at her and not realising that four fingers are pointing back at him whenever he does that.
So he ages, his body taking the tolls of his negative beliefs and blame games.  The life he wakes up to becomes a series of unfortunate events.  There's always something happening in his life that causes him to curse the very existence of him and his lonely parents who are well aging into their 80's.  Sometimes the neighbours' cows wonders around into his paddock and being called home early from work for that, well, it sort of give the boss a not so nice impression.  Someone's gotta do it and who else is there?  No one but him.

This could've been a good life for him he thought, if only his plan worked.  Get a random girl from a dating match making, make some babies, get her busy with the babies and the old parents, while he continues to "work it" outside with a mistress.  Hey, everybody does it nowadays, a man has gotta "eat", right?

====Continue in Part 2====

Monday, 24 August 2015

FREE PATTERN: Tunic Gradient Length

For free pattern, click here.

- 3.00mm Tulip crochet hook
- around 8 balls of "Beauty Silk Cotton" 90% Cotton 10% Silk 30gr each
- Scissors
- tapestry needle

Back with added strings (chain about 300)

Sunday, 26 July 2015

FAZIOLI International Piano Recital Series 2015 Review: Nikolai Demidenko on Chopin

Courtesy of Sly's Piano New Zealand, I was invited to The FAZIOLI International Piano Recital Series 2015 that starts off with the legendary Russian pianist Nikolai Demidenko playing Chopin.
You can click here for the details.

The night started with me being seated next to the New Zealand Herald Music critique, click here for what he thought about the night.  
The stage.
LED lights reflection on the keys changes throughout the first section of the recital and turned off in the second section.
The first half of the recital, the "dancing" LED lights started to catch my attention as I noticed the colour projected off the ceiling was different to the colour casting shadows on the white piano keys.  When it was purple from above, it was green on the keys.  This, to the sensitive genius was a very distracting fanciness at the end of a 6 weeks long tour away from the family.

The second half of the recital allowed me to immerse myself in the reverie of the Ballades.  It is every single Chopin lovers' favourite.  Somehow, Nikolai told a complete story inside the complete Ballades.  I am mesmerised at the interpretation and the piano's support for the depth of contrast needed from what Chopin wrote.
This cannot be achieved on other pianos.  1 single note on Fazioli is enough to set its standard apart from the rest.  Let alone a breadth of repertoire from such celebrated composer.  I was romanced.

The night ended with 3 encores.  Nikolai was cheeky when he gave the popular Minute Waltz for the second encore.  Just a minute more I heard he says in his mind.

What a treat, definite moment of elevated bliss for the heart and soul.  Perfect instrument paired with the perfect maestro.
The programme

FREE PATTERN: Big Sweater Pattern

I had my reservation in posting this pattern I created because of the non-confidence in whether I made something worthy enough to be shared.  That is until two ladies from Masco Wools downtown Auckland convinced me that I need to even sell this pattern online as the end product looked good on me.  Of course I'm now inspired to write and make more intricate sweater with this pattern as a base.
Masco Wools downtown Auckland, NZ
What you need:
- set of circular needles, I used 3.00mm - 6.00mm set
- 2.50mm circular needles
- 2.75mm double pointed needles
- 3.00mm crochet hook
- about 2 skeins of 200gr 4 ply Naked Skeinz organic merino yarn
- stitch markers
- tapestry needles


- CO 216 sts on 3.00mm circular needles, put marker at starting st, join in the round
- K1 in the round for 1 row
- Next row onwards for 10cm: K2, P4 in the round (rib st)
- When you reached 10cm, change gradually to larger needles, going up from 3.00mm to 3.50mm for the next row, then 4.00mm for the next row, and so on until you reach 6.00mm.  This is all done in K1 (stockinette st)
- Put marker halfway at 108 sts
- Knit till 58 cm
- Bind off at armpit, 12 sts each side (6 sts before and after marker)


- Use the 2.50mm circular needles
- CO 42 sts, put marker at starting st, join in the round
- K1 in the round for 1 row
- Next row onwards for 10cm: K2, P4 in the round (rib st)
- When you reached 10cm, use the double pointed needles to go up from 2.50mm needles to 6.00mm needles in stockinette st
- K1 till piece measures 18cm

Shape Sleeves
-  Increase round: continue in stockinette st, kfb (knit into front and back) into last 2 st [2 st increased]
- Repeat increase round every 15cm, 2 more times (at 33cm and 48cm) - 48 st total
- Continue to work in stockinette st without increasing until piece measures 63cm (I have long lean arms, measure from cast on edge to underarm, unrolled, the diameter of your arms at 3 major points where you need to increase when folded)
- Bind off using 3.00mm crochet hook, 6 sts before and after marker - 12 sts

Transfer sleeves to the body

- Decrease every 6 sts making sure it's K2tog at the sleeves' junctions
- Put 1 marker, now measure from here - 232 sts
- K1 in the round for about 5cm (about 7 rows)
- Decrease after every 6 sts, K2tog - 203 sts
- K1 in the round for about 5cm (about 9 rows)
- Dec after every 6 sts, K2tog - 177 sts
- K1 in the round for about 5cm
- Dec after every 10 sts, K2tog - 139 sts
- K1 for about 5 cm
- Dec after every 10 sts, K2tog - 108 sts (divisible by 6 for ribbing)
- Start rib pattern K2/P4 for 10cm (while you keep changing to smaller needles, till you use 3.00mm needles again)
- Then work reverse rib pattern of P2/K4 for 15 cm (while changing back to larger needles till you use 6.00mm needles again)
- Loosely bind off with 3.00mm crochet hook

Does it look as expensive as the Fazioli?
The length it goes up to (disregard my sneakers, I'd pair it up with high heel ankle boots or flat knee high boots)

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Free Pattern: Simple Neck Warmer

7.00mm Pony bamboo straight knitting needles + 2 skeins Amuri 8 ply in Navy + 6 hours of alone time
CO 60st
*Knit till end of row, turn
K2 then purl till last 2st before end of row, K2, turn*
Rep. from * - *
Continue till desired length
Join both ends to make loop

You can CO 120st and get more yarn to make the loop bigger and turn the neck warmer into a snood.

Single loop
Double loop
Worn double loop

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Book Review: "1Q84" by Haruki Murakami

Front cover and binding
Back cover

 I read the blurb of this particular novel at the Hong Kong airport bookshop's rack back in April 2012.  That's right, I had to put the book on the rack for support as I read because it would just create too much scene if I had damaged it somehow by juggling my grip between my carry-on cabin bag and the 1157 pages thick novel.
So it was a pass for me.  I had a 6 year old girl that runs on solar power (and sugar fuel) with me, that was enough to occupy my entire time while waiting for the next flight.

Fast forward to 2015, that strange thick novel crept up in my head, it's been a while since "Cloud Atlas", so I ordered that 0.897 kg novel to be delivered.  Thank universe for technology.  

This Vintage International publication put the trilogy of 1Q84 into 1 "compact" book.  I agree with them that it is quite clever to do so rather than publishing it separately as Book 1, Book 2, and Book 3.  Which I have seen it done in other languages' publication.
That is right, 1Q84 was originally written in Japanese and has been translated into English (the one I read, if you have not yet established) and several other languages such as Chinese and Korean.
I must say that with each languages, translating such big works must have posed a degree of difficulty in emulating the Japanese emotion (or the non-emotion but the overflowing unspoken thoughts) and way of thinking.  Kudos to Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel for undertaking such mammoth task and executing with finesse.

This book is in a class of its own and is by no way in comparison to the much hyped "50 Shades of Grey" although the author let us in on some insight on what the 1980's Roppongi was all about, but not too much as to be classified 'trash' or not recommended.  If you could not pass chapter 2 of "50 Shades of Grey" like me, then "1Q84" is the book for you.  It has no fluff and carries a book within a book.

If you do get the same copy as mine, you'll find the page numbers rather odd looking.  Almost as if it tries to play with the reader's perception.  Which reality are you in now?
Then on page 512, you're posed with the basic chicken and egg question on love.  I reckon that paragraph itself, right at the top of page 512 is the crux of every human being's problem and solution.  This is quite amusing if you do get a copy like mine because you'll find that that paragraph is located sort of almost right at the balance of the book when opened.  

Overall for me, this book is a very good read and quite easy to just cruise by it on a long weekend (I started on Friday and finished it Tuesday).  Perhaps because not only Murakami describe things so eloquently but also the fact that I can relate so much to the 1980's that it is as if I was in the characters themselves.
No wonder it is a national best seller, how I wish I continued with my Japanese and so to read it in its original version.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Free Pattern: Shoulder & Knee Warmer

This project is based on the Free Pattern "Amelia" by Drops Design.
Knee warmer as wrist warmer (my knee is the same size as my wrist???  apparently so...)

I didn't follow the instruction religiously as I felt that 2 strands of the yarn I have would be too bulky for something lacey.
- 2 * 50gr Heritage certified organic merino 4 ply (for both shoulder and knee)
- 5.00 mm, 80 cm then change to 60 cm circular Karbonz knitting needle (for shoulder)
- 6.00 mm Tulip crochet hook (binding off shoulder)
- 2.50 mm, 25 cm circular Symfonie knitting needle (for knee)
- 2.50 mm Tulip crochet hook (binding off knee)
- stitch marker
- needle to stitch in ends

The set
On the knee, some on calf, all I need is the boots.
The alteration I did for the shoulder warmer was quite a lot because I realised as I'm only using 1 strand, it looked a bit small when going with their suggested stitches.  I added about 4 more repetition of the pattern only realising that it was a bit much and started decreasing on every knit row to keep the pattern looking as it supposed to be.
I added about 3 more repetition of the last pattern rows because I didn't want it to slip off my shoulder when worn.

For the knee, I casted on 68 stitches, and did the first pattern 6x instead of 4x as it was written.  Then I go on each pattern 1x and skipped pattern F.  I repeat G till the piece was around 25cm long.

Very simple project to do over a long weekend.  Enjoy!