[NOTE: I’m sorry to have lost the photos to this blog post, due to Multiply ending its hosting services.]

This is the cami front I started while watching the Federer-Roddick Wimbledon final.  Two more nights of tv knitting, and I finished it.  There’s no pattern – yet.  I’ll write it up afterwards. I just followed the shaping of one of Lilo’s t-shirts with an inch added to the width, so she can wear it up to next year.  I made the neckline a V to follow the pattern that just showed itself on the bottom panel.

Here’s the back panel started.  I ran out of variegated cotton so I had to return to the mall to buy another ball.

Anchor Lifestyles crochet cotton is pricier than my usual brands, Cannon and Monaco, about P52 (USD 1.07) compared to the usual P35 (USD 0.72). Mind you I’m comparing mall retail prices, since I’m not buying in bulk. Anchor, like Cannon and the local Red Heart, is made by Coats Manila Bay, Inc. “The only ISO 9001 certified thread company in the Philippines.”  This is the very lovely colorway KAM17 / 210783 / 65-PHHT.  It’s supposed to be a size 10 thread, but it’s just very slightly thinner than Cannon or Monaco.  Softer than Cannon, with more sophisticated colors.

I’m using US size 2 (2.75mm) bamboo circular needles, which give me a gauge of 9 stitches by 12 rows.  I think my Addi or Inox 2.5mm circular needles would give roughly the same gauge.  Again, it’s all stockinette and shaping.  No fancy stitches.  It’ll expand sideways to accommodate at least 10 months worth of child growth.

Stay tuned, folks, I might finish it by Wednesday.


Nanay just had her gall bladder removed because of a 1.2cm gall stone the size of a kiamoy (red champoy) seed. She was confined at the new Medical City for 5 days last week, because apart from the pain we also had to manage her hypertension levels. I stayed with her all week as she was confined, bringing my knitting and my Asus EEE with me to the hospital so I could both work and knit off the interminable waiting that’s par for the course at hospitals. Turns out Nanay took it like a trouper.

The procedure is called laparoscopic cholecystectomy, which has been done successfully in the country for the last 7 years. The surgeon who operated on Nanay is one of the top professionals with this expertise, so we weren’t too worried. Our other option was standard surgical removal, however we were informed that big incisions take a while longer to heal. The “lap-chole” involves making 4 holes in the abdominal area, and the surgery is performed with a tiny camera monitoring the actions of tiny robotic surgical implements. Yes, the sort of thing you see on Discovery Channel! (And yes, we have a dvd from the doctor, but nobody’s yet in the mood to watch it.) They told us that the entire gall bladder was removed, and that small titanium clamps were left inside to hold the rest of her in place. Nanay joked that after the removal of her appendix, her uterus and the gall bladder, her abdomen ought to get smaller. Several of her friends called us to commiserate and admit they also had their gall bladders removed.

Which leads us to the low-salt, low-fat diet. Before the operation she was served regular hospital food, which — surprise, surprise! — actually tasted good and fresh. (I know, I ate half her food. I think they have real chefs for this, because it’s FAR from carinderia food although quite simple.) The day before the operation she had the low-salt, low-fat food, which was rejuvenated by the fantastic new product Pan Salt, which has 43% less sodium than regular salt. This ought to be available at your neighborhood supermarket, in a blue box with orange letters. (Please take note that it is a TABLE SEASONING and NOT a cooking salt, because you might be adding a bigger quantity to whatever you’re cooking just so it tastes the way you remember.)

Her Medical City room was expensive and new, and had a panoramic view. If we had a choice we’d have chosen a less expensive room, but there was no other room available at all, and both her internal medicine specialist and cardiologist practice here. There was a sofa where I slept, and cable tv, daily newspapers and free wifi. The best thing about it was the bathroom, which was huge and had well-thought-of emergency access options (push-button assistance calls, arm rail and non-slip surface for the shower). It was cleaned twice a day by cheerful and efficient staff, who DO NOT use anything with the trauma-inducing smell of pine cleanser. (The cleanser smelled of flowers and citrus, like at a hotel. Which is definitely the point.)

I can see they’re really promoting Medical Tourism. I was astounded by the kind, competent, efficient, well-spoken and very attractive nurses. Even the male nurse assigned to Nanay looked like he could star in a local version of “Grey’s Anatomy”. I kid you not. Tatay was impressed. He didn’t mind the cost of the room if it meant it was a sort of forced spa vacation for Nanay (who multitasks so much she gets guilty if she’s idle). Her birthday’s coming up at the end of the month, and he wanted her to be in a good frame of mind. He appointed me as her, uh, spa attendant-cum-jail warden. It was actually pleasant for the entire family to visit her daily. Joy and Tristan brought Lilo to see her Lola Nanay every night after dinner. Lilo actually said, “Nanay, come home na.” How cute is that! What a way to cheer her grandma up. Then Lilo would gaze down at the cityscape of lights and marvel how high up she was in the air, munching on whatever she liked from the fruit basket.

There was cable tv at the hospital, but one couldn’t just sit and watch all day. I had to be productive. Unfortunately, the free wifi signal in the room was pathetic. So I used my Nokia 6120 and the Globe PhP5/15mins connection, and was able to work and send out an ad for a November convention. There’s 3G signal in the area, I got the ff. speed last Oct. 9:

I also brought some knitting, which kept me calm and relaxed all throughout the hospital stay. I started casting on stitches for Lilo’s hoodie cardigan that Saturday morning, and as the days went on, I went from this:

to this:

and by the time we checked out, I had finished the second sleeve and only had the hood to do. Talk about single-minded knitting! This project actually had a few fans among the nurses , who’d been coming in every 3 or 4 hours to check my mom’s — and the project’s — vital signs, hahaha!

Nanay was also in the mood for a little art, in keeping with her “spa” mood. Click on the image for a clearer view:

She has more sketches of me watching tv and taking a nap on the sofa, as well as the view from her hospital window… I love this particular one. It really looks like me.

So yes, Nanay is home and doing fine. I just make sure she doesn’t tire herself unnecessarily. We brought home her souvenir in a little bottle, and joke about having it set in resin and made into a pendant.

Thanks to everyone who sent prayers and get-well messages, and to Ta Ann who sent a fruit basket 🙂


This sock and its twin make the first successful pair of baby socks I’ve made since my informal apprenticeship to Ines J. of the Dreams Tuesday/Saturday Knitting Group. It’s made of locally available gradient colorway crochet cotton thread, using 2.75mm circular knitting needles in the Magic Loop Method. The pattern is from Tita Ting, a former member of the knitting group who is now based in the US.

How ADORABLE is that! These are for Etienne.

I’m also making socks for his brother Ethan, my cousin Ellen’s baby Jianna, my godson Inigo, my niece Lilo, my goddaughter Meg, and my friend Red’s baby boy whose name I can’t remember at the moment.

I started one sock from the beginning of the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony (8pm-11pm) and continued the next morning for another hour. The second sock I started Sunday afternoon and finished before dinner. Roughly four hours per sock: instant gratification!

At this point I must comment on something that struck me as really funny. Last Saturday I attended a high school alumni meeting at a mall cafe. When I showed the guys that first sock, their reaction was, “You MADE this? How?” The girls, upon seeing the sock, teased me, “Ano na namang ka-manang-an yan! (What, more old maid stuff?)” Upon which, they marched off and went shopping for clothes in Mango. Jopet and I looked each other in the eye and laughed.

Men, it seems, are interested in the HOW. As in “How on earth are you able to do it by hand without going nuts?” and “How can you make money from this?”. Women with children, it seems, are focused on maintaining the image of looking younger longer without making it appear they are doing a lot of work. Ergo as much as possible they would rather not do the work of making the sock if they can buy it with a brand. Makes life so much simpler, neh?

Why do I do this? Because I can. How do I do this? By making a lot of mistakes first. What’s in it for me? Creation. Women with children have one up on me there, but I have the the inclination and make the time for this. Will I make money from this? Who knows. Nevertheless, Etienne and all the children in line for socks have my love along with it.


I have been blogging regularly, but not here.  In my Knittipina blog, where I write about what’s on the needles, what I’m gunning for in terms of skill, and about the lovely frenzied-veering-into-zen mood that knitting brings on.

Ok, that description sounds strange to non-knitters.  For my airsoft friends, try replacing the word “gun” with “needles”.  For my computer geek friends, try replacing “lappie” with “needles”.  For my SFF & RPG friends, try replacing “book” or “movie” or “rpg” with “needles”.  For my diver & photographer friends, try replacing “equipment” with… uh, “equipment”.  We can talk specs and rules till the cows come home. And amount of investments.  And war stories.

I seem to have spent a small fortune on my German Addi Turbo needles (in different sizes!  with duplicates! the fastest knit evah!), winder, counters, markers, not to mention yarns.  I am not the only one afflicted.  It is dire, I tell you.  My sister the Kaizenmom dragged me out of our local yarn store (Dreams in Glorietta 2) having bought an insane amount of yarn for making crocheted baby blankets, saying, “I know I just received my order from eBay, but I couldn’t stop myself! Pretty soon I may need some intervention…”  Her husband thinks that all the yarn in her stash could make them an extra bed.  Hehehe.  Some of her stash is under MY bed.

Knitting is crack, and in the immortal words of Amy Winehouse, I don’t wanna go to rehab, baby.

Finished objects:

1.  Babydoll blouse for my niece
2.  Diaper panty, free internet pattern from Australia, practice item
3.  Horseshoe lace scarf, wool for Joy
4.  Horseshoe lace scarf, cotton
5.  Assorted granny squares for a cotton picnic blanket

On the needles:

1.  3.0mm – Baby socks, lesson sock 1.
2.  2.0mm – Adult socks, free internet pattern, attempt #3 (I ripped out the first two)
3.  2.0mm – Lace scarf-belt in gunmetal (I plan to add discreet beads and a fringe)
4.  4.5mm – Cable scarf for my dad
5.  2.5mm – Toddler tennis dress for my niece
6.  3.25mm – Toddler cardigan with hood for my niece

Upcoming projects: (not in any order)

1.  Orange and aqua bikini
2.  Coral cotton bikini
3.  Cami top, practice item
4.  Socks or car blanket – guy stuff
5.  Various thank-you projects

Skills am polishing:

1.  Cable stitching
2.  Lace stitching
3.  Following diagram charts from a pattern
4.  Shaping
5.  Assembly
6.  Finishing

Um, and did I tell you about the book I ordered from Powerbooks?  And the sock knitting book I asked Ning to buy for me when she goes to Hawaii next month?

Knitting is crack, I tell you.  Gotta go.  I’m capable of knitting straight through the CSI Sunday marathon and beyond.