Knitting again

I learned to knit in Australia where I spent 4 years studying a double degree in Finance and Economics in Canberra. I remember cold winter nights knitting around a fireplace or even a heater either at home, in a cafe or at a friend’s house and finding it the most soothing thing in the world. I was self taught but had plenty of encouragement from a friend who got into it before me.

Canberra, really Australia in general, had a lively artsy scene. Whatever you may be into whether it’s crafting, poetry, fine/modern arts, there’s a place for it and people to do it with. This was quite novel at the time compared to Malaysia, or at least for a relatively sheltered girl from suburbia KL who was living abroad alone for the first time in her life. I remember wandering through weekend markets and picking up the odd skein of handmade yarn to try out and admiring the wonderful works of art that people created. I developed a sense of pure appreciation for workmanship and talent.

Sadly, when I came home I lost touch with this side of me because I was keen to get on the corporate ladder and work hard to earn a living. It’s also never cold enough for knitting and having no one who understood the joy of it alongside me really meant that my interest faded very quickly. So I packed up all the yarn, needles and books that I had amassed during my time in Australia and gave everything away to a delighted relative of a dear friend.

IMG_6604About a year and a half ago I discovered that Daiso sold knitting supplies. I was shopping for costume ideas for Sofia to wear to an upcoming Harry Potter themed birthday party and suddenly was overcome with the thought of knitting her a Gryffindor scarf. Turns out, my muscle memory was intact despite the passing of 6 years without ever picking up a single needle! I got down to the business of making the scarf very quickly (my daughter made a very cute Gryffindor), and much more recently I finished two tea cosy projects – one each for my mother and mother-in-law for the coming Mother’s day.

 

Once again I am hooked (pun intended). But this time, I am determined to do it proper and deliberately increase my skills by taking on more complex projects. Eventually also I plan to learn to crochet which is sort of inevitable (granny squares here i come!). But mostly, I’ve forgotten how therapeutic knitting can be – I can sit anywhere in the house and indulge in a luxurious tactile experience with all kinds of wools and cottons.

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Ok not a knitting project but look at what fun these pom poms are!

I shan’t promise to post up more knitting projects but I will try my best 🙂 All I can say for now is that i have a baby due in about a month and seeing as how i’m now too heavy to do much standing and walking about (I am one unfit pregnant lady) I’ll definitely keep myself occupied by knitting up a storm. I’ve already got a few projects lined up, especially to coincide with our year end family holiday! Can’t wait!

Junkyard jewels at Hong Tat Enterprise

Our study room has been a work-in-progress ever since we moved into this house in 2015. In the meantime, it has become a holding room for clutter to accumulate instead of being the functional exciting space for our creativity to shine — me with my sewing and crafting and hubby with his computing. But since I just spent quite a bit on my new dining set, I needed to find the cheapest possible way best value for my money to pull this off.

After a trip to Ikea to refresh our work stations with new Linmon table tops (our old ones were looking rough after two house moves) and a couple of cheap Ekby Laiva wall shelves, I decided to look elsewhere for the other stuff I needed, which was a drawer unit for hubby and a sideboard or bookcase to keep our important documents and files.  I’d done some online research and decided that pre-loved office furniture was the way to go – there’s lots of them from offices upgrading or simply shutting down. One of the biggest dealers in town is Kedai Kaki Lelong and the closest branch to us is the one in Ara Damansara.

This place is literally miles and miles of used furniture at seriously affordable prices. However, conditions vary and the lovelier items are usually one offs or come in limited quantities – like these gorgeous trio of dining chairs going for RM80 each. If they had a full set of 8 I would have bought them in a heartbeat!

I thought these string stools were pretty neat priced at RM35 each but I didn’t have a particular use for them. I imagine they’d do great in a kindy classroom or kids play room.

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They had plenty of office drawer units but sadly, they were in pretty rough shape. The photos below were of the nicest ones I could find as many were missing handles and were scratched pretty bad.

So the journey to Kedai Kaki Lelong was not very fruitful for me. I’d still recommend it for people looking to set up their first home on a budget or to furnish a vacation rental though. Lots of bargains to be had here!

I still had one more place I wanted to check out – Hong Tat Enterprise, which as it happens, is just a stone’s throw away from our house.

IMG_7391This place has been around for ages but even though I’ve lived in Taman Tun all my life, I’d never set foot inside! To my pleasant surprise, it was my last stop – it had both the drawer unit and sideboard I was looking for. Truth be told, the prices are far from rock bottom but the quality is far better despite being second hand stuff.

We scored this beech coloured lockable drawer unit on castors for RM150. The owner cleaned it herself and changed the locks for us too with a smoother working one. I was most happy with the sideboard, which looked like it might have once belonged in an old government office like the ones my parents used to work in. Measuring 6ft long x 16 inches deep and made of solid nyatoh wood, I felt it was worth the RM580 price tag. Check out a similar set up but without doors from Ikea made up of MDF (I am so over the Billy bookcase but that’s a story for another time).

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And here it is in our study room! I’m so pleased!

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I’ll do a fuller post once the study room is fully set up but for now, I have so many ideas that need to be thought through! For instance, I might want to change out the handles of this sideboard to update it a bit, maybe also hang some artwork above it. Watch this space!