Holidays or not - I can't keep my hands from knitting for more than a day. So it came handy that the next patterns of the Supersock World Championship were released and I had something to do in the evenings. I went with the easier pattern this time, because I wanted a pattern that is easy to memorize, but I still needed way longer than I would have at home. But then, there are just so many other things to do on holidays and the drive back home gave me enough time to finish my pair of PB & W socks.
I hope, I don't already bore you with all the pictures of socks, but well, that's what I knit these days. Or rather, I work on a lot of different things, but the socks are the only items I can share at the moment, because all the other projects are going to be new designs eventually.
I've already told you that I participate in the Supersock World Championship, but I am not sure I told you that each 'lap' offers two different patterns: one is a bit more challenging one, the other is a bit more relaxed knitting. I went in both laps with the challenging, called the 'high octane' version, patters, but liked both 'low octane' patterns as much, that I've knitted them also. :)
The picture above shows the Easy Colorwork Socks that were the 'low octane' pattern in round 1. I used partial skeins from my 'leftover yarn box' and while my husband was a bit shocked first when he saw what I had chosen for them, he now agrees that the combination works very well.
There is no bright side, I hear you say and I absolutely agree. I mean, who enjoys to be in pain? Well, in my case it at least meant that I couldn't sleep, and what better thing is there to keep you busy and distracted than your knitting? Sock number 2 of the Supersock World Championship just flew of the needles.
The pattern is called Yellow Brick Road by Star Athena and it was interesting and varied enought to keep me going and distract my mind from the stupid tooth. I chose a happy and bright orange yarn by the Knitting Goddess and I think they turned out really well.
I'm afraid that was it with my speed knitting, because when pattern number 3 drops we'll be on holidays. And I so very much hope the weather will be summerly and we'll spend our days with outdoor activities. As much as I love knitting, in that case I'd be more than happy to not belong to the 'fast track'.
I own a ton of handmades and have zillions of skeins of yarn in my stash, but never, never ever have I had a problem with moths. Well, until now this is.
I bought this pretty skein of yarn during our holidays in the US back in 2014, caked it right away and I think I started to knit with it something like three times. But while I love the colour, the patterns never seemed right. But I wanted to knit it up, so it never got into a plastic bag, but instead wandered from the knitting basket in the living room into the kitchen, it went with me on holiday twice, sat for month on my desk in my office, wandered back into the craft room, sat another couple of month in the living room... until I picked it up again a couple of days ago. And somewhere along its travels, it must have met some moths... gah! The damage wasn't too bad, but I had like six or seven bits to cut out (and of course more ends to weave in), and believe me, I learnt my lesson: never ever let your yarn sit forever without a proper cover. Sigh.
So there I was, saying that I'd probably won't have the time to play along in the new sock knitting event on Ravelry, the Supersock World Championship. And what happened when the patterns for the first round were released? I figure you guessed right: Only a day later I finished my pair of sock.
I fell in love with the pattern, Amphitrite Socks by Nicole Simmons, the minute I saw it and started right away. Well, and then the stupid rainy weather kept me from doing the garden work I was supposed to do... so, ta-dah! I knitted my pair in my fave yarn Malabrigo Sock and I couldn't be happier with them. And to make things perfect, I even went straight to the podium and came in as third finisher. :)
Happy weekend, y'all!
As I already told you the other day, I am not really a fan of toe-up socks. One of the reasons is that I prefer my socks with heel flap and gusset and that I find it always hard to decide when to start the gusset increases. Although the main reason is probably that I dislike the sloopy look of the bind off at the cuff.
But recently I played around with sewn bind offs and I am quite fond of the invisible ribbed bind off. So why not give it a try with a pair of socks? Especially because in my Ravelry group our monthly challenge is 'I don't usually...' and I can fill the blank with 'knit toe-up socks'. So that's what I did.
Ulli had a pair of these, the pattern is called KawKawEsque by Yarnissima, and he literally has worn the socks to pieces, so I decided to gift him a new pair. And I really think these turned out well - including the not at all sloppy cuff. :)
Who would have thought: it's the sixth month of the year and I'm still on track with my ornament club. Okay, it took me a while longer to get started this month, but ta-dah: here's my June Raccoon.
I made some minor modifications. I added white next to the 'face mask' and knitted a bandana rather than yet another cowl and I am quite happy how it turned out. I think this one is my favourite Woodland Friends ornament so far.
I don't think I have, but sometimes I wonder... how else could you explain that the moment a new 'sock knitting game' started on Ravelry I had to sign up? I'm pretty sure I won't knit all the patterns, but somehow I couldn't resist to at least participate. And I did manage to knit the warm-up pattern.
The pattern is called Sea Scallops by SLM Design and I found it quite enjoyable to work. Not really what I would have chosen, because I don't knit toe-up socks very often and I don't like having to adjust the needle size to teeny-weeny because of the stitch count, so it was a bit of a challenge for me.
I used a partial skein of Malabrigo Sock in Indiecita that has been in my stash forever, so I'm quite happy that I participated and shrank my stash the tiniest bit. But as I said, it was only the warm-up pattern - we'll see how I do when the 'race' starts.
... finally on my Persian Dreams pillows. Phew! To finish these really took forever and a day. But now I couldn't be happier!
You might remember that these started off as hexagons for the Persian Dreams blanket by Jenise Hope. Well, I lost momentum after only four hexagons and this was the best idea I could come up with. I added some more rounds in colourwork, then corners in background colour, sewed two pieces together and added zippers to the bottom to make it easy to wash the pillow cases.
Well, the zippers probably explain why it took me so long to finish them. Sewing in zippers is one of the jobs I don't like at all... But now it's done and the pillows will make me smile whenever I walk into our living room. :)
Oh, and they are of course reversable and have two different sides. Here they are the other way round.
I've already finished them a few days ago, but I finally found time to take some pictures: please say 'hello' to my farm gang. :)
The patterns are once again by Esther Braithwaite and I've worked them as the jungle animals in fingering weight yarn. They are only about 9 cm hight and sSince these too are meant to be toys for a baby boy, they all have a tiny rattle in there head.
I admit, in April I almost lost momentum with my wonderful plan to knit all the patterns from the ornament club gifted to me by a Ravelry friend. But there was a reason for it - because I wasn't happy at all with the April bunny pattern. Cute, that's for sure, but really, to me (and it was the same for everyone I asked) there was hardly a difference to the llama pattern from March. Hm... So in the end I decided to knit a bunny, but I changed the pattern around quite a bit (made the body wider but not as long, added length to the ears, made a scarf instead of yet another cowl) and I think it turned out quite okay.
Anyway, I was a bit worried about the May pattern, because I knew I'd quit the ornment project if the new pattern isn't to my liking - so I was very happy to see that this time I received a fox pattern that I really said 'fox' to me. No need to say that I knit my foxy friend up right away. ;-)
With all the excitement about my latest pattern idea - Do you speak Knit? - and all the knitting involved, I lost a bit momentum with the mystery shawl I started at the beginning of the month. But to avoid that yet another WIP makes itself at home in my knitting basket, I picked it up last weekend and finished in one go. Of course, I ended up playing 'yarn chicken', even though I weighed my yarn and knew I should be fine. So knit like the wind it was, to make sure I'm done before I run out of yarn, lol. Less than 3 grams to spare, phew.
The pattern, called Cois Farraige by Carol Feller, is quite interesting with half of the shawl knit sideways and then the other half bottom to top. The colours are reversed for the second half and the two halves are joined while knitting. It was easy enough for me for relaxed TV knitting, yet intersting enough to keep me going. And I absolutely love how good the Malabrigo Yarn Sock in Eggplant and Azules look together. Quite happy with this project - and now back to my next Do you speak Knit project. :)
I can't even remember when I learnt to knit, but I do remember exactly the first a bit more pricey yarn I ever bought: Malabrigo Sock. And I fell in love right away - so it's no wonder that I always look forward to the yarn event held in the group for Malabrigo fans on Ravelry. It's called Malabrigo March and it is basically a huge knit along with any Malabrigo yarn. And since I have quite a bit of it in my stash...
... I started my first project on the first day of the month. :) This is going to be a shawl, but I have no idea what it'll look like since this is a Mystery Knit-Along by Carol Feller. I certainly love the yarn - Malabrigo Sock in Eggplant and Azules - hopefully I'll love the pattern just as much. For now I'm just happy to take part in the nice event.
... doing really good with my Woodland Friends ornament club. The pattern for March was released a couple of days and ta-dah, here's my March Mama Llama.
Okay, you probably need to know that it is supposed to be a llama, but that's the best I could do. Not really a friend of this fiddly stuff, I'm afraid. And therefore very proud I'm still on target. :)
Using odds and ends left-over from other projects for a pair of happy dotted socks. Because of the frequent colour changes (you know, the 'just one more colour change' effect that keeps you knitting) I find them really addictive to knit and I'm pretty sure this won't be my only pair. But I am so not looking forward to weaving in all the ends...
Ich war so begeistert von meinen Pippilotta Strümpfen und das Wetter war auch noch sooo kalt, da habe ich doch glatt gleich noch mal ein paar Kniestrümpfe genadelt. Ausserdem guckte der Göttergatte so neidisch, wenn ich meine neue Strümpfe getragen habe, also musste es so sein. Im Grunde sind sie ja auch fix gestrickt, denn man strickt ja hauptsächlich glatt rechts.
Ich musste natürlich so richtig Gas geben und die Nadeln zum Glühen bringen, damit ich fertig wurde, ehe der ganze Schnee verschwunden ist. Aber guckt: es hat geklappt. Natürlich wandern die Strümpfe jetzt erstmal in die Sockenschublade, denn der Wetterbericht verspricht uns für kommendes Wochenende frühlingshafte 16°C. Das nenne ich mal einen rasanten Umschwung.
I was so happy with my Pippilotta stockings and the weather was still so cold, that I started a second pair of knee-highs right away. It's quite funny, because these kind of socks were on my list of 'not my cup of tea' projects. But then, my dear husband was so jealous when I wore mine and they are actually a quick knit, since they are done mainly in Stockinette stitch.
I admit, I had to knit up a storm to get them done before all the snow was gone and ta-dah! Here they are. Ready to go into the sock drawer right away because the weather forecast promises 16°C this weekend - this is quite a sweeping change.
Remember the socks I started a while ago. I had started them toe up to make sure I use all the colours in the self-striping yarn... and while knitting happily away I realized that these turn into rather long socks. So why not turn them into knee-highs right away? No sooner said than done...
I used some leftover yarn from other project for the heel and the upper part of the leg. I did my best to blend in the yarn at the leg and I am absolutely happy with the result.
... procrastinate and worked on the second pattern of my Woodland Friends ornaments right away this month: Here's my February House Mouse.
Even though these small ornaments are done in no time, I am not really a fan of this fiddly stuff - so to avoid that I just print the patterns and leave them for another day, it is my goal to work on the ornament of the months as soon as it is published. We'll see how this goes...
I think I've told you lots of time that my favourite item to knit are socks. I love that there are so many pattern options, that you can go wild on colours and in my world they are also the perfect gift. However, there are some constructions I am not really keen on - like socks knit from the toe up.
It's not that I don't manage, but somehow I find it more difficult than knitting cuff down. Maybe the reason is that for my socks I prefer socks with heel flap and gusset and I always find it difficult to figure out when to start the gusset increases?
Well, there are some yarns that just call for a toe-up construction, simply because I don't want to waste any scrap of yarn. This is the case especially with gradient or colour-changing ones, when I want to make sure that all shades or colours get used. It isn't a poblem to make the leg longer in onder to use up all the yarn, is it? And since I don't want to waste anything of this precious stripy rainbow skein by KnitCircus... here we go: toe-up.
So, last week I complained about my lack of motivation for knitting - and just a week later I don't want to stop knitting at all... Last week I had the idea to work on some wee dolls to give away as gifts to my friends as pick-me-up during these difficult times and my, do I enjoy knitting these!
Above is a Flower Girl - I named her Hope and embroidered a clover instead of a flower onto her skirt - and she is a gift for a friend who has tackled the diffcult task to move in the midst of lockdown. Below is a Nurse Mate.and she will go to my niece who works at a hospital. I hope they'll put a smile to their face and they like them just as much as I liked making them. :) The patterns used are by Esther Braithwaite, available on Ravelry.
I did get a wee bit of knitting done the last few days. I admit, at the moment I really lack motivation, not only for knitting but actually most things. I try to concentrate and kick my behind to continue with my 'must finish' pattern projects (more or less successful), but I haven't spend a lot of time knitting 'just for fun'. But I did finish this wee ornament. :)
Emily, a Raverly friend of mine from the US gifted me the Ornament pattern of the month club by Amy Munson and this tiny bear is the January pattern. Love it - and I plan to knit all the others as soon as they are released as well. In case we don't have an ornament exchange in our Ravelry group this year, there'll be at least some new handmade ornaments on my tree in 2021.
Ta-Dah - after what feels like sewing in a million of loose ends, my x-mas shawl is done! And I am really happy with how it turned out!
The shawl was a kit from Garnmanufaktur that came with yarn and pattern. I might add tassels to the ends, but haven't yet decided. What do you think?
And as a side note: I might even make another shawl, because I think I've got more than half of the gradient yarn (which comes in 10 individual balls) left. That's quite a bit...
Just realized that I never shared a picture of the complete jungle gang, that my great nephew got for x-mas.
Totally in love with these little critters and I think there'll be a lot more in my near future. :)
... with the hook... crochet will never be my favourite but I had another idea for the baby and decided that crocheted fabric is the better choice. Why, you ask? Well, the penguin isn't meant to be just a toy -
- but I added a music box to the body that plays Brahm's Lullaby and I figured that for frequent pulling the string the fabric should be somewhat sturdy. Considering that I am not a fan of crochet, I think it turned out pretty good. Can't wait to see the wee ones reaction. :)
My, as always, x-mas approaches in no time and I finally started to work on the gifts I've planned for my brand new great nephew. I discovered the cute doll patterns by Ester Braithwaite the other day and the jungle anmals make a perfect match to the play bar I got for the wee one.
I decided to work them in fingering weight yarns so that they turn out small enough for the baby to hold and I added rattles to their heads to make them even more interesting for him. Now onto the zebra...
Not really motivated to start anything new, so I try to at least finish some of the stuff in my knitting basket. If only it weren't zippers I have to sew in... so not my favvourite task. So I am more than happy to report that at least one of my Persion Dreams cushion cases is now finished. Phew...
I really love how the cushion case turned out though and I think it's a perfect match for our living room - maybe looking at the picture will motivate me to tackle the second zipper before the year is over, lol.
So I absolutely love to knit, but when it comes to the finishing touches I am a demotivated loser. No matter if it is weaving in ends or blocking, usually stuff sits quite a while finished in my knitting basket before I get it done. And this time it was even worse, because I had to add a zipper... one of the things I hate so most, because I find it so hard to sew it in so that the fabric doesn't curl. Which is the reason that the colourwork pillow case I finsihed in August and that I really enjoyed knitting, had to wait until today before I got my act together...
... but ta-dah! It is finally done! The zipper is fine (the cushion might be a tad small), and I absolutely love how this turned out. I admit, it doesn't really work well with our terracotta-coloured couch , but I will find a place for it somewhere in the house. And who knows? I might knit it again in colours that work better in our living room... we'll see.
And once again is September 28th and once again it's DH's birthday! Congratulations, my love!
As some of you may know, Ulli always gets at least one knitted gift for his birthday, usually a pair of socks. And this year, I think I found the appropriate motif for his colourwork socks to remember 2020...
.. and I sure do hope that very soon all the craziness caused by the virus (or rather the measurements taken becaus of it) will be a memory only. Fingers crossed!
I've only finished the socks on our way to our holiday home, so they are not blocked and there still might be ends to weave in, but at least he didn't get his gift half-finished in a project bag, lol.
Look what I found deep down in my knitting basket: 4 hexagon modules for the Persian Dreams blanket (pattern by Jenise Hope ) in Cascade Yarn Heritage I started back in, hmm,
For once I was honest with myself and realized that I'll probably never finish it. But what to do with the already finished hexagons? To pretty to frog, leave alone throw away. So why not turn them into two pillow cases? No sooner said than done.
Since I want my pillow cases to be bigger and square, I added about 16 more rounds in a colourwork pattern and then added corners in main colour only.
Aaaaannnd - another pair of Chained Mittens jumped of the needles. This pair in Malabrigo Yarn Arroyo in colourway Pocion and I already know who is going to get these. Together with a matching hat and fortunately only for x-mas... since the hat is no more than a brim at this time and it already went on the 'must finish one day' pile thanks to some new pattern ideas on my needles...
... work, but not to knit. :) Really, the temperatures these days are quite something and we decided to not do any renovation work today. So I retired to the coolest room in our house and what else could I keep myself busy with than with knitting? I picked up this long neglected WiP and now that I get to see more of the pattern I can’t stop anymore…
I think I’ll really like this new pillow case and who knows, it might be finished before temperatures return to a bit more normal.
Phew... this for sure was a close call!
The aim with my new shawl design was to knit up as much of possible from the gorgeous skein of gradient yarn by Wollelfe and look...
... less than a gram to spare! I think I did well - but needless to say that I was in a state of mild panic doing the bind off, not sure whether I'd have enough or not.
Btw, the yarn doesn't look this way because I had to rip back, but that's how the yarn came here. Apparently the dye is applied to a sock blanks which after dyeing is frogged and wound to a cake. I admit, not my favourite kind of yarn to knit with, because I'm such a stickler when it comes to even stitches, But I do like the colour change and I can't wait to see the shawl blocked.
Somehow the stranded socks I made for Ulli for x-mas made me wish for a pair of socks with a geometric pattern for myself. And when it comes to sock knitting... No sooner said than done! :)
... in hand-knitted socks!
It took a while, but I finally finished my Gift Along project! In the beginning I wasn't sure whether I'd be happy with a pair with one sock knitted cuff down and the other toe up, but I decided to follow the pattern and I love how they turned out!
The trickiest part of getting my x-mas gifts ready in time? Find some leisure knitting time when Ulli is not around. My dear hubby absolutely loves to wear hand-knitted socks, so it has become kind of a tradition to gift him a pair every year.
This year he gave a pair of store bought socks with a tumbling blocks pattern to me for St. Nicholas' Day and joked that this would be a nice design wor hand-knit socks... well, his wish was my command... ;-)
Here's the handmade gift he'll find under the tree tonight and I'm really happy how they turned out. Pretty sure he'll love them. :)
Have you ever heard of the Indie Design Gift-A-Long? For me one of the events I look forward to every year during the holiday season. It is a five week long Knit / Crochet Along of holiday gifts made from patterns designed by a rather extensive list of independent designers. It always start with a 'sales part', in which all designers offer some of their patterns at a discounted price (and yes, the sales part is still running!), followed by weeks of fun with friends from the crafty community in said 'alongs'. What better way is there to get your gifts finished than while chatting and having a good time with friends? In addition there are lots of little games and random prize drawings, so there is even a chance of getting a little extra treat for participating in the fun. You can find all the details on Ravelry, here: Indie Design Gift-A-Long.
Well, and while I am one of the participating designers, it's usually the time of the year where I enjoy 'just for me knitting', using patterns by fellow designers. This year I started off with (ha ha, this won't come as a surprise) socks.
The pattern is called 'Partying it UP and Getting DOWN Socks' by Megan Williams and Ithink it works fab with self-striping yarn. Which, as you may know, I love, but usually find too boring to knit unless there is a chance to maniuplate the stripes; so this is perfect for me! We'll see if I really knit the second sock toe up or if I stick to a pair in cuff down, but I found a great pattern for my souvenir Yarn from Woollinn Dublin.
I'm not really a fan of the band Coldplay, but these days I can't stop humming the song 'Yellow', simply because of the first words: Look at the stars, look how they shine for you...
I realized the other day that I haven't yet finished all the ornaments I need for this year's ornament exchange, so the moment we came back from holidays I picked up my star knitting again. And now I'm somehow obsessed and can't stop making them...
Such a perfect project for small amounts of leftover sock yarn! The pattern is called Stjärna by Karolina Eckerdal and it is availabe for free on Ravelry. I made my stars a bit smaller than in the pattern, and my, I think I am addicted - I'd love to knit a star in each and every yarn in my 'scrap yarn box'. Don't you think lots and lots of them in a tall glass would be a stunning decoration? Hm... we'll see, maybe next year.
Finished the hat for this cutie only this morning in the nick of time and now our gift for my mum is already enjoying the wonderful weather we are having this easter: Heli, the Easter Lamb.
Why is she called Heli, you ask? Well, when DH first showed me what he made, her ears made me laugh so hard and I said she looks more like a helicopter than a sheep... so Heli she was named right away. ;-) Now that she is completed, I think our joint project turned out great and my mum sure loves her.
Happy Eater, everyone!
Once again my mantra 'keep calm and finish for next Christmas' did its job - I finally finished the third pair of mittens that were supposed to be an x-mas gift last year. Ooops. But better late than never and at least it's still cold enough to wear them.
The picture above shows the first two pairs I made - done, sent and received in time for x-mas - because I gave my last pair away without taking any pics. It looked basically the same, just with spikes in different colours rather than using one for all three.
The pattern is called Convertible Monster Mittens by Doreen Blask. What I found a bit disturbing is that the pattern doesn’t state a gauge or gives exact measurements, so it involves a bit of guessing work when knitting for a kid you don't see very often. It’s defininetly helpful to know the handsize of the recipient and also to make a gauge swatch to calculate the needed number of stitches and rounds. But apart from that it was a fun thing to knit and well received!
... my very own version of Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim's Daughter Longstocking. :)
I admit, she almost had me in tears because I am definitely not the one for fiddly stuff and that wire frame for the legs was just that: fiddly. But I love her and had a blast taking
pictures. I added bloomers so that Pippi can behave the way Pippi tends to behave...
... if you model wants to be goofy. ;-) Well, I figure I am lucky that DH models my hats and doesn't make me wear them, shudder. So not a person for hats. at least not when it comes to wearing them; I do like to knit them.
The hat is a gift for x-mas and I've knitted it during the Indie Gift Along now taking place. The pattern is Rib Run by Jennifer Dassau.
Truth be told, as cute as I find knitted toys and dolls, this fiddly stuff isn't for me. Of course, there is also nobody around to knit these things for, so I usally stay away from it. But when I saw this wonderful pattern by Irina Ferrer I had to buy it right away - how am I to resist a Pippi doll? Pippi Langstrumpf, definitely one of my most loved books when I was a kid.
And I'm determined to finish this project, even though there is what feels like a ton of yarn end for such a small project, lol.
Now onto assembling all these pieces...
Did a bit of spring cleaning in my knitting basket today and know now, why I always think I don't have enough needles... oops, quite a bunch of WIPs in there. And some are so close to
Why these Rockpool Mitts (pattern in Knit Now Magazine issue 62) ended up there, even though half an hour of knitting time would have been enough to finish them, I really don't know!?
! I really love how the pattern looks in this colour, so what made me stop working on them?. Seems I get distracted easily... Now to knit the last couple of rounds and free some needles and also
finally finish the pattern files... Time the pattern got re-released, don't you think?
I've got to admit, that this time coming back from holidays the 'weather blues' hit me really hard... From sunny and warm to day after day with depressing grey and cool temperatures is so not what I like. Not a big surprise, I haven't been up to much since we returned, so I decided it was high time I worked on a happy coloured me-project.
Since I worked on my sample for the Bargello Sock pattern, published in Love of Knitting Spring 2017, I've always wanted to reknit the pattern in a colourful yarn and I fell in love with this combination right from the start. It was a very addictive project, since I was all the time like 'just one more stripe' or 'just one more colour change', so no wonder these got done rather quickly. And I love how they turned out!
So there I was, planning to knit a gift and as always I had all the time in the world... because October is soooo far away when it is only January and you buy the yarn for the gift... So eventually I had to do some speed knitting, but ta-dah I finished in time. My Blue of the Heavens Shawl is done, blocked and will go straight into my suitcase. Better pics will have to wait until we are in our holiday destination and I can't wait for my friend to arrive next week to see whether she likes her gift. 'Gift giving anxiety', as always...
After weeks and weeks of 'must finish' knitting, I finally had some time to cast on a project just for fun. And even though I am not too fond of knitting a pattern more than once, I've decided to reknit Taevas, the shawl I designed for SweetGeorgia Yarns last year. When I came up with the design I always imagined it in blue and because one of the stitch patterns used reminded me of the blossoms of alliums called Blue of the Heavens.
So I am working on a Blue of the Heavens shawl now, which will be hopefully ready beginning of October. At least for now it's the plan to give it to my friend Maud then... we'll see. Not that much progress yet...
... at least not with the yarn that I went through so much trouble to find a pattern for. I finished the socks I started for Ulli the other day and he's happy with them. :)
What he wasn't happy with is that I made him model them right away - even though we had a sunny and halfway warm day, the grass was wet...
I used the short break we took from painting the house this morning, to sort through my the knitting basket in our living room and deep down I found this
Dornröschen-Wolle sock yarn, in 'Bitterkalt' (bitingly cold), a greyblue colour with greenish streaks. Quite nice, you say? Well, for whatever reason this yarn has been sitting in my stash forever and I started to knit with it at least three times. And just as often I frogged everything because I wasn't happy with the result. Meanwhile the yarn turned into my personal 'you failed again' memorial. Now, today I was just a second away from throwing it away (if only to get it out of sight), when DH said 'this would make a nice pair of socks for me'... and somehow he got me going. I cast on right away and this is my progress so far
Well, it is summer and you know what that means? Not much time for any crafty things, because a lot of time is spend outdoors, doing garden work, stuff around the house, go to events and all the things you do during the warmer season. But! I did finish a knitting project last night - after, hm, something like six months? You must know that there is always a knitting project in the car, which stays there at all times, meaning it is there 'just in case'. The ten minutes drive that turns into a 'stuck 2 hours in a traffic jam' trip? Right? Get this project out and work on it. Some get finished within a few weeks, others take forever. All I need to consider that it should be a pattern I remember when I pick up the project without reading through lots of instructions. And here is, ta-da, my latest car socks, if I reacall it right after a pattern called 'Bremen Socks'.
I had a pair just like these, in exactly the same yarn, and I literally loved them to pieces, so when I came across the leftover yarn in my stash I knew what I wanted to knit and made the project my car socks. And I still love the pattern and the colours of the yarn and I know I'll wear this pair a lot.
And because one just can't be without a 'just in case' knitting project, here' s the one I started and keep in the car for future 'emergencies'... :)
What have I been up to since I last posted about a project on my needles, you ask? Well, not much. The other day when I was looking for a particular skein of sock yarn in my stash, I had to realize what size my stash has and what a mess it is at present... So in a moment of zest for action I decided to sort through it and organize it a bit better. Hm. What an idea. I've worked on this for more than a week and I've got the feeling the mess gets worse. I think I'll have to look for a new home for some of my lovies, sigh.
Anyway, since I still haven't found the yarn I know must be in one of the boxes somewhere, I worked on a just for fun project. The other day I saw a post by Bijou Basin Ranch on Instagram and I really fell in love with the teddy bear. And snce my kit has arrived in the meantime, that's what kept me busy in the evenings. Here is my bear, half finished...
The yarn is Himalayan Trail, a blend of 75% Tibetan yak and 25% merino, and I really enjoyed knitting with it. The pattern is Teddy Bear Stripes by Frankie Brown, available for download from Ravelry. The pattern is easy enough, but all pieces are knit flat... so not my favourite activity to seam all the parts. So I gave it a try and worked my bear parts in the round and I think, the result doesn't differ at all from the pattern. :)
It has been once again a busy week, not the least since a leaking facett caused quite a mess in our bathroom and most of my leisure time was spent cleaning up and doing some repair work. Anyhow, today is Sunday, so finally some time for my knitting. I picked up a long neglected WiP, a pair of socks in a gradient yarn by White Birch Fiber Arts I bought in the States last year. So, so beautiful - I just love the slowly changing colours. Yes, it's hard to tell on this pic (of sock number two), but you'll see it once the pair is done. I only wish I had bought more than just this one set for a pair of socks. Sigh.
The socks are for another special internet friend I had the chance to meet last year. The pattern, which is almost ready for tech editing, will be my next contribution to my (No longer virtual) Friends collection and will also be available for individual download. Soon, I hope.
Now back to my knitting needles. :)
... there isn't much time for any crafty hobbies. It's garden season and our garden is huge - if you ask me it's way too huge for my taste and this year we've planned some major changes. Lots of conifers were cut down, we had to built a fence instead, resow lawn grass, bla bla... Lots of work, none of it enjoyable if you have to do it for hours and hours and it left me without any energy for new projects. The little time in the evening I had to spend on samples with a deadline. Sigh...
But it's Sunday today, I decided Ulli and I need a break, so no work today, but instead - just for fun knitting. :) I picked up this still secret project which has been a WiP for months and months. Maybe it was my pajama pants that made me choose this one to work on? Or maybe it was the fact that I know the pattern will be released on Thursday...
The other day, when the grey and dull winter weather was really getting on my nerves, I decided I needed a bit of colour in my life to cheer me up. And as always, I found what I was looking for in SpinningFates Etsy shop. The hardest decision was which yarns to order... Only a few days later these beauties arrived:
Wow! I love all of them and they sure brighten even the dullest of days. I had limited myself to three skeins, but my dear friend Laurel seems to be a mind reader and she send along a gift: the skein on the right, one of the yarns I had pondered whether to get it or not. What a fab surprise and I was tempted to knit that one up right away, but another skein told me it had to get knitted first. This one:
As I've told you the other day, I used most of my just for fun knitting time to knit up some ornaments for this year's ornament exchange. Most motifs are from the book '55 Christmas Balls to knit' by Arne and Carlos, but for a cat loving friend of mine I wanted to knit a Christmas ball with a cat motif. Well, my first attempt a while back was a fail...
... I spent a good deal of my Sunday working on it, to realize in the end that the cat looks more like an alien... Sigh. The tail was in the wrong position and also the eyes were way too big. So I gave it another try recently and this is what my cat x-mas balls now look like:
I've still kept myself busy with swatches for new designs most of the time, but I admit, I got addicted with the Christmas balls I started the other day. So whenever there was a minute for just for fun knitting, I've worked on these. I've already have enough for our exchange, but I think I'll have to go for the 'one for you, one for me' extra challenge. Some just have to stay here...
... for example the 'all Irish' one in orange, white and green. I really enjoy making these and I'm now playing around with my own patterns, like the one with the cat motif in the middle. We'll see what's next. :)
I've got to admit that all the grey and rain is really getting on my nerves and apparently my motivation doesn't like the weather either and has moved to some sunnier place. Not much to tell about my crafts, since all I seem to have worked on for nearly a week were swatches for new design ideas and a couple of x-mas ornaments for our ornament exchange. My creativity clearly has been in hibernation.
While searching for scrap yarn to use for the ornaments though, I came across some happy-coloured sock yarn. I was stumped when I realized it's the yarn I used for a pair of socks years ago. The socks no longer exist since they were a favourite pair and I literally wore them to pieces. And there was enough yarn left for another pair. So...
...I'm now trying to lure spring into arrving in Germany with these cheerful colours. ;-)
I'm using the Addi Sock Wonder needles for this; we'll see if with an easier pattern I like it better to work with them. At the moment I still feel pretty clumsy with this tiny circular needle. Oh, and even though I usually don't like to knit the same pattern more than once, I decided to go with the pattern of the 'original socks'. It's called 'Bremen Muster' by Kristin Benecken (free on Ravelry); it's fun and easy to knit and goes so well with a striping yarn.
... to start Christmas crafting, is it? I have to laugh while I write this, because I'm known to finish handmade x-mas gifts on Christmas Eve, if at all in time. However, I'm participating again in an x-mas ornaments exchange and last year I had to hurry a bit in the end, to get all ornaments done and shipped before Christmas. So... I try to be better organised this year and have started with my gift ornaments. Last year I went for lots of differet crocheted ones, this year I've decided to go for knitted Christmas balls with different motifs. The idea is to choose colours and motifs based on the likings of each participant. As a nice side effect I hope to make use of some of the leftover sock yarns I hoard, since there is only so little yarn needed for each ball.
Some time ago I received the book Julekuler by Arne and Carlos (english titel '55 Christmas Balls to knit') as a gift, so I had ideas at hand to get me started. The first two baubles are done - now to keep it rolling!
My start into 2017 was a really lame one, at least when it comes to my knitting. The stupid cold I caught last year already, came back in full swing just when I thought I was on the mend, and any itch to knit disppeared the same day the snotty nose was back... So apart from a few swatches, this is all I've managed since Christmas...
The start of a pair of fingerless mitts in my team's colours I had planned to wear to our first game in 2017 end of January. Ha, ha, at this rate I won't even wear them to our last game in 2017 in December. I'm not even quite sure I like the cast on round in green, but I guess I have to wait until I reach the main part until I can make a decision whether to frog or not. For now I'm just happy when I add a round or two to the corrugated ribbing once in a while.
Happy New Year, everyone!
Yes, I know, we are well into January, but it's the first time I'm around, so... not only were we away for new year, but I've also had a terrible cold and the little energy I had was spent on 'routine' things rather than being online. Or even knit. Can you believe it's the first day today I picked up my knitting since Christmas? Anyway, wishing you all a happy and healthy 2017, with lots of times for all the crafty things.
My first finished object this year is these pair of mittens (okay, I finished knitting them before Christmas, but it took me until today to weave in the ends) and with the darn cold we are facing in Germany they got finished at the right time.
And being the winter lover that I am (ha, ha), the mittens express perfectly what I think about the German weather... The pattern isn't my own, but it's a paid pattern called 'How Cold Is It' by Drunk Girl Designs , and I just made a few modifications to make the mittens perfect for me: a longer cuff, I changed the colours on the back of the hand, knitted the writing in different directions, stuff like that. However, I love my new mittens and I really hope I won't have to wear them for months. Already can't wait for spring to come along...
DH is a huge fan of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, so when a couple of years ago the One Ring Scarf pattern was published, I knew right away that a scarf like that would make a perfect gift for him. It's double knitting, a technique I like and when I started in August I was sure to have in done for Christmas. Hm, maybe a bit to ambitious? Because that was in 2011, lol. Even though it's not difficult to knit, you need some concentration for the pattern, so it's not a project for 'waiting room' knitting. In addition I only worked on it when I wasn't working on a sample and also only when Ulli wasn't around... When I noticed back in 2011 that I wouldn't make it for Christmas, I just decided to finish it for the next year... good plan, but ahem, I picked the project up again way too late with no chance of finishing it for Christmas and all that got added were a couple of rows. And the same happened in 2013, in 2014 and la la la in 2015 too...
This summer though, I couldn't stand the nagging feeling I always got when I came across the particular project bag any longer and made a 'deal' with myself (or maybe I should say I 'threatened' myself?): Finish for Christmas or frog the whole thing! Which would have been a pity, since by that time about half of the scarf was done. And obviously I really couldn't stand the idea of frogging it, because ta-dah, look:
Done, washed, blocked and already wrapped - just on time to put it under the tree tonight. Whoot! So happy I finally got this done! The name I gave the thing 'the scarf to rule my life for years' (referring to the inscription on the ring 'One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them') tells you all you need to know about how much of an effort it was. Now, Ulli better likes it when he opens his gifts tonight... ;-)
Lately I had to work on so many samples for publication, that there was hardly any 'just for fun' knitting time. So the same moment one of my big samples got finished, I really felt the urge to cast on something just for me. I already have lots of socks and fingerless mitts, but funnily enough no mittens that I really like to wear. If it is cold enough to wear mittens, then they should have a very long cuff, shouldn't they? Well, at least for always freezing me... so here's a start:
It took a while to knit the cuff in corrugated ribbing, but it's exactly how I want it to be: extra loooooong!
Now to see how long it'll take me to finish this pair...
The other day I told you about my latest design for SweetGeorgia Yarns, Penna, the triangular shawl in a material mix, but I haven't showed you my 'prototype' yet. When I started to work on this idea, I concentrated on different textures more than on different yarn weights, so I chose a smooth fingering weight merino yarn to go with a curly silk, mohair and nylon blend. The latter is a sport weight, but because of its structure it feels thicker than that.
I like the mix of smooth stripes and fuzzy ones as well as the fact that the Curly Silk is a variegated yarn with one of the greens in the colourway an exact match of the solid colourway.
The other day when I was looking for patterns for crochet ornaments I came across the most adorable Tetraeder Bird pattern by Tanja Osswald. I made one as a gift for a swap - and I found it so cute that I knew I had to use some of my scraps for more of them. So one morning, my breakfast table looked like this: bread roll, coffee in my fave mug, a boiled egg, a crochet hook and lots of scrap yarn....
Well, it didn't take long until my egg had disappeared and the next eggs cracked open...;-) The Tetraeder Birds have their own style of getting out of their eggs, it seems.
I started this project, ahem, back in 2009 already. We had a Great American Aran Afghan Knit Along in a German forum, with just one square per month, and I was on track until I had something like 13 or 14 squares and then, no idea why, I put it aside… and the project spent years and years in some dark corner…
Last year I picked it up again and knit the remaining squares (I knit and used all 24 for my blanket, including the ones used as pillows in the book), then it took another couple of months before I felt like assembling it and I started the border in April. Soooooo long and so, so, so boring to knit… The finished size is about 120 x 190 cm. But it’s finally done! Yay for the feeling of accomplishment! :)
As I already said the other day, I was amazed that during the busy summer I've had I managed to knit all of the Tour de Sock patterns. But apparently knitting by a given pattern instead of coming up with ideas myself was what I needed these past weeks.
Well, thanks to Sarah's idea with the supply list in which all materials were listed by 'houses' of Games of Thrones and my Ravelry friend Linda who raised the question whether anyone woud use the house colours, I now have a wonderful colleciton of socks... in the perfect colours, lol. Apparently I get easily obsessed with such stuff... but have a look yourself.
I am pretty amazed by myself, but indeed, I managed to knit all of the Tour de Sock patterns this year. The last pattern is Entanglements by Shayla Myst and her inspiriation were the creeping vines that seem to have no path in mind as they grow. The placement of the cables were set by a dice, to see which vine forms a cross and a coin to figure out which way the vine was to go. How fun!
My socks turned out pretty long, so I will store them in my wardrobe next to my longies - I know there'll be days in winter when I am happy I can wear them when we go to the stadium to root for our team.
Six Tastes, designed by Krysten Morganti, is a sock in mosaic knitting and by far my favourite TdS pattern this year. I love the idea behind it:
(From the pattern page)
This mosaic sock pattern is named for a problem described in a 2000-year-old Indian text. The author describes the six tastes of the Ayurveda (sweet, pungent, astringent, sour, saline, and bitter) and tallies up the numbers of ways one may incorporate different combinations of these tastes at once. In this way, he outlines one of the earliest known problems in combinatorics, a branch of mathematics dealing with the sizes and quantities of finite sets.
And the problem was addressed by giving knitters the choicse from three different patterns for the instep and four different patterns for the back. I love it and I think it works so well with the colours I chose.
Well, it seems that all I've worked on other than my samples for new patterns have been socks lately. Today I finished a pair of socks for a friend on the Canary Islands. I promised to knit him some when we met in April and even though I don't know when we'll go back, I've already knit them. A promise is a promise, right? Now only to make sure that they don't end up in someone else's sock drawer before we meet again.
The pattern is called 'Dawlish' by Rachel Cloopey and used wonderful yarn from New Zealand by Vintage Purls.
The next pattern in the Tour de Sock series was designed by the organiser herself, Sarah Bordelon, and it is called 'A Song of Beads and Lace'. Since for this sock the supply list entry was named 'Stark', I had to go with the colour grey. :) A quick knit and I just love the name of the pattern.
The third Tour de Sock pattern is called Diamondback Socks by Kirsten Hall. It's a fun pattern knit in short-row modules and it looks amazing in all kind of variegated and self-striping yarns. My yarn choice was very limited, since I wanted to knit from stash and I had to realize there aren't many variegated yarns green and yellow in my stash. So in the end I went with a yarn I received a short while ago in a 'travelling yarn box', even though it is a bit too light for my taste. Anyway, I really liked the pattern and how the socks turned out.
In one of the groups on Ravelry I'm in, we've run a round of 'travelling socks'. The idea is, that each participant starts a pair of socks, finishes the cuff and then sends the WiP on to a friend in the group. The socks travel from knitter to knitter, whoever wants to participate adds a bit, and once the socks are finished they are returned to the sock owner.
The 'sock owner' provides all details like sizes and construction preferences and also chooses the colours for their socks. It is al ways a fun activity and its fab to see how many beautiful pairs of sock are knit. Since it's only an inch or so everyone adds, it's a project even folks with little knitting time can participate in.
My socks started their journey end of January and I wished for them colours that make you think of faded jeans or the sea on a dull day. Today they cambe back home - and I LOVE them! So me! Many, many thanks to my friends all over the world who knit on them - these will be treasured!
... is the name of the second design in the Tour de Sock. A goregeous cabled pattern and a quicker knit than I had thought. The socks turned out great, but unfortunately a tad too big for me. Well, I'm sure I'll find a loving home for them.
The first of this year's Tour de Sock pattern is a lovely and pretty straight forward lace pattern called Twist and Turns and was designed by Adrienne Fong. A quick and easy knit and I am happy with the result.
Tomorrow is the start date for Tour de Sock, an annual speed-knitting competition named after the famous bike race taking place during the summer in France. During our two months sock knitting tour, six sock patterns are realeased and competitors race to finish each pair of socks in the given time frame, usually 10-11 days. There is a small registration fee and most of it goes to Doctors Without Borders - so this is not only a fab event for all sock knitting enthusiasts, but also helps a great cause. Oh, and there are prizes to win, too, not only for the ones fastest with their needles, but also some random prizes.
The patterns stay a secret until the day they are realease, but before the event starts, there is a supply list given to the pariticipants. Usually in the list the supplies are just called 'sock a' and 'sock b' and so on, but this year Sarah, the organiser of this terrific event, used the names of the houses in Games of Thrown as bullet... and for the pattern realsed tomorrow the supply under 'Baratheon' is needed... I already made my choice. :)
The even takes place on Ravelry, and it is still time to join the fun.
I wouldn't have thought I managed, but the other two pairs I started for our Stripemania challenge got finished before the end of May, too.
The ones in Stray Cat Sock in Revolution might be a new favourite of mine. So soft and I love the colour combination!
And my third pair, the lovely rainbow in SpinningFates yarn was finished, too. These socks make me smile whenever I look at them, so cheerful!
As always around this time of the year there's so much to do - work gets more in my 'normal' job plus plenty of stuff to do around the house - so there isn't much to share these days. But I did finish one pair of socks for our Stripemania Challenge... and apparently I picked the one to finish first that goes best with our garden at the moment, don't you think?
I am usually not a fan of afterthought heels, but to not interrupt the stripes I chose to go with one and I think I found the version that fits best when you have a high instep. Got to try it more often.
Obisously taking part in a challenge makes me wish to cast on all the stripey yarn I have in my stash... here is cast on number 3. The yarn is Toula, hand-dyed into a stunning rainbow by my friend Laurel, and if you haven't had a chance to check out here yarn, I highly recommend to do so. Such wonderful colours! You can find her shop on Etsy, here: SpinningFates.
The pattern is something I have tried a while ago for a pair of socks for my friend Yola and I hope that one day eventually I'll find the time to write it up for.
Well, I just realized that I withheld the second pair I cast on from you. Another self-striping yarn that told me to try and manipulate the stripes...
I love the colours and I'd love to keep these for myself. We'll see how I like the fit of the afterthought heel I've planned for this pair.
In one of the Ravelry groups I am in, we declared May the 'stripe mania' month and the goal is to knit whatever item with a striped pattern. No matter if the effect is created using self-striping yarn or by using several yarns and no matter what item, all that is important is stripes, stripes, stripes.
Well, I am not the biggest fan of self-striping yarn, but do have some in my stash and even received a beautiful skein in a swap we had to go with our stripemania challenge,
so this is the best opportunity to use them... For whatever reason I always feel the urge to manipulate the stripes created with self-striping yarn, so the socks I cast on with my Stray Cat yarn look like this so far
So for the past couple of days my ususal 'just one more row' was turned into 'just one more leaf' and the project I cast on last Sunday was done in no time: my Greenery scarf using this pattern. It really is a fun pattern for wildly variegated yarns and I am really pleased with the result. :)
And it makes me happy that for once I used a yarn that has been sitting in my stash forever... definitely something to continue with!
Remember that I said last year that I'd either frog or throw away all my long term WIPs if I haven't finished them by the end of 2015? Well, this did so not happen... Mainly, because I've worked on some of them, so even though they are far away from being done, I considered it reason enough to hold on to them. And this one, the Great American Aran Afghan, which I started years ago, is on the finishing line... I spent quite a while assembling the squares (the pictures shows half of the throw)
and at the moment I'm adding the border.
After a busy first week back at work after our wonderful holidays in the sun, I finally had some time yesterday to cast on a new project. The other day I got the pattern Optical Delusion: Conflagration as a gift and I was sure this is the perfect pattern to showcase wildly variegated yarn. And I had a yarn in mind I had wanted to use for years. The beautiful skein of Gaia's Colours - an indie dyer who isn't any longer in business - has been in my stash forever, even though I do love the colours. But whatever pattern I tried to use it for, it simply didn't look good - too variegated for most patterns for my taste. But with this one.... I am really pleased and I think the result will look great. :)
It's a fun pattern, easy to knit and very addictive... but instead of 'just one more row' it's now 'just one more leaf'. I'm pretty sure it won't take long until I can share the FO with you.
... hours in a day... Ah, well, 2016 really has done its best so far to be crazy and chaotic. Not much time for fun 'crafting adventures' and just as little to be around. Most of my knitting time is spent with samples - which is great because it means there are quite some new patterns coming later in the year, but it also means, there isn't much to share. Except for the next hexagon for my Persian Dreams blanket.
So happy with the colours, the dark background really makes the colours pop.
Oh my, it has been a while, but as so often times are really busy over here. I’ve worked on a bigger project that gave me a bit trouble, because I calculated and recalculated and was really
worried I might run out of yarn. In the end I didn’t take time for much else but finish it. Which I did yesterday and it was a close call with less than 1 gram of yarn to spare. So happy it’s
done, but unfortunately I can’t share pics yet.
Well, not all my knitting time was spent with said project, but a few other things got finished too. Socks for Ulli – and I admit these were hard work too, for the simple reason that I had to knit a pattern I had already knit twice before, my Paul the Penguin Socks. And that’s not very high on my list of things I like. I mean, there are so many other patterns, why repeat one? But Ulli mentioned more than once how much he loved the socks I gave away for Christmas, so he got his own pair…
and my 'reward' was that he modeled them in the penguin’s ‘habitat’. :) A small price to pay for new socks, don’t you think?
I also finished the second sleeve for one of my long term WIPs, which leaves me with the hardest part to attach them. Hm… we’ll see when I tackle that.
Oh, and for reasons unknown, since I am always complaining about my lack of knitting time, I started another big project: Persian Dreams. A beautiful blanket made up of hexagons in stranded knitting and the goal in our Ravelry group is to knit one hexagon per month. Sounds easy enough, but I was late right from the start and knit my January square only last week.
I was tempted to call the post ‚50 shades of grey’ but it is hard to tell how many there are in my new shawl. It’s just 4 colours, but looks so many more thanks to the fun illusion knitting technique. I love it, especially in this checked pattern and I am pretty sure I’ll have to knit something in this pattern again. Probably not a shawl, although I already know that my selfish knitting project will not stay for long in my wardrobe… my niece saw it and the only reason I still have it, is that it wasn’t completely finished when she went back home again… Here she is, modeling it
and yes, it suits her very well, so eventually she will get it. So much for my ‘knit for me’ plans…
Another family member was very interested in the new shawl and amused us with ‘Hm, I’m still tired but curious what that is’,
As you can see, I am not giving up with the hook. But then, I really have to say that I like crochet for small toys; so much easier to get tiny pieces in the shape I want than with knitting. Okay, the tentacles turned out a bit weird, but hey, there needs to be room for improvement, right?
However, this is Matilda, the Math Whiz (pattern from the German book Wollowbies by Jana Ganseforth). She’s a gift for my niece as a lucky charm for her math exam and since Matilda claims to be good at mental calculation, I hope she’ll do the trick and help my niece with her exam. There's even a tag on her snail shell that reads 'Du schaffst das' - 'You can do it!'. :) Now to hope that the snail mail is quick and Matilda gets to her destination before Friday.
Well, that's what I am doing, although I admit it was more of a guilty conscience that made me start my latest project. The other day when I was searching for the yarn for Jenny’s monster, I came across a pile of yarn in coordinating colours... still in the box it came in and that was when? In 2012? I know, I bought the yarn right away after the pattern I wanted to use it for was published, because I found the Illustriation Shawl so intriguing that I decided right away that I had to knit it. Well, at least that was the plan. So after stumbling upon the yarn – do you think it popped up on purpose to remind me? – I used the few minutes I had time on Christmas Day and got started. It’s the perfect ‘TV knitting’, interesting enough to keep me going, but mindless enough to work on with little concentration. And the effect really is stunning; Ijust love illusion knitting (or shadow knitting). Have you ever tried the technique? It really is so fun and one can create such amazing projects. Visit the Woolly Thoughts World of Illusion Knitting to see what you can create with just knit and purl stitches, it’s incredible. My ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ – created by the use of 4 colours only! - are about 1/3 done and I can’t wait to see it finished.
So after my first (more or less) success with the crochet hook the other day, I decided to crochet some more gifts. The first one is another gift for my partner in the Christmas swap who owns an Alpaca farm. So why not add a toy one to her real ones? ;)
It wasn't hard to crochet Alfie the Alpaca (pattern available here), but assembling the pieces took me forever. But I am pretty pleased how it turned out.
Now, for my dear friend Yola I was determined to crochet a sheep, because she collects anything sheep. And boy, this one... you can't even imagine how often I frogged the thing. I had a pattern from the German book 'Wollowbies' including instructions for the loop stitch, but no matter how often I tried, I didn't get it right and in the end my sheep looked like a sheepshearer had have a very bad day... No idea why, but it took me several attempts until I finally had the idea to look for instructions in the internet. Which I found and with the different way explained there, I still struggled with the hook, but I got the hang of it right away. And the sheep looked so much better. :) I hope Yola will love her Christmas gift too.
Well, embarrassing as it is, this thing
took me, hm, years to knit. But it was not the knitting that took me so long, but to get started at all. I have no idea what I was thinking when I promised my niece a couple of years back to knit her a monster (if I recall it right, it was her 23rd birthday and she's 27 now...), because I hardly ever knit toys. It’s usually not the knitting I don’t like, but all the assembling there is to do. In this case it was even worse because I promised to knit it in her favourite colour: pale pink, one of the colours I am so not a fan of… and even though it’s silly, it slows my knitting down when I have to work with yarn that I don’t enjoy.
Anyway, years ago Jenny chose the pattern – Bea the Basement Monster from the book The Big Book of Knitted Monsters by Rebecca Danger - and I had really meant to knit it that year for x-mas, but all I managed was to buy the yarn… which I re-discovered the other day when going through my stash. Well, Jenny still loves the colour and she’ll be here for Christmas this year, so tonight she’ll get to unwrap the promised monster. Let’s hope she still wants to have one…
Another gift I made for my partner in the Christmas swap was this hat with a snowflake motif.
The pattern is Double Feature Hat by Virpi Tarvo and it is availabe through Ravelry, here. The hat is knit in double knit technique. I really enjoy this technique that creates two right sides at the same time, but this was the first time I went for the 'extreme' form with different motifs on both sides. It requires a bit more concentration and in the beginning I found it a bit tricky to get the tension of the floats right. Well, as it is with any new technique you try. However, I am really pleased with the finished piece and I'm sure I'll knit another project using the 'extreme' form of the technique very soon.
Some other things I have worked on over the past few months have meanwhile arrived at their destination, so I can now share them here. :) For my partner in our Christmas swap I made a pair of Candlesmoke Mittens (Pattern by Barbara Gregory, available on the Twist Collective Website, here). It’s a great and easy to follow pattern, but I knit the mittens in size L and I admit, I was quite worried whether these would fit. My hands are rather small and these looked sooo big. But by now I know they fit perfectly and were well received. I might have to knit them again, love the look of them.
Another gift I finished a while ago is the Glimmer Beret (pattern by Erron Anderson, available at Ravelry, here), or rather I knit three of them, one for all the ‘girls’ in the family. It’s a bit ‘bead heavy’ for my taste, but I like the style, very 40ies. I used Wollmeise Pure and one skein was sufficient for three hats.
As always the holiday season is a busy one, and when not working I am frantically trying to finish my handmade gifts. With a little more than a week to go it's looking good for most, but I do admit not for all. Well, there is a reason why my favourite card reads 'Keep calm and finish next Christmas', lol.
Since I'd rather not show the gifts that are yet to be received or unwrapped, how about I show you some of the gifts I made in the past few months? My dear friend Laurel had a baby boy in October and I couldn't resist to make a funny frog hat and mittens set for him
Can't wait to see him wearing it, maybe I'll see a picture together with his big brother who got the shark set I showed you the other day. But the 'real' gift for the baby boy was a romper. The pattern is called Pepita by Martina Behm and it is for free availabe on Ravelry.
The length of my 'must finish quickly' knitting list still reminds me of the local phone book, so I try to stick to my plan to not add another 'just for fun' WIP. Well, at least not a knitting project. Now, sewing tiny pieces wasn't as much fun as I thought, so I looked for something else to keep me happy when I need a break from knitting. And found it. Well, Ulli's only comment was 'Really?!?' - and I can't blame him. After all he is the one who has to put up with my ranting whenever a project calls for the tiniest bit of crochet, so starting a crochet project, no matter how small, really is an out-of-the-way decision for me. I actually learnt to crochet before I learnt to knit and I manage okay, it's just that it feels 'wrong' not to work with two or more needles... You can tell by the colours that it's a christmassy project, so let's see how I do and if the crochet hook and I eventually make friends...
Well, I know that this is a very subjective point of view, but I've learnt that there is stuff that is too tiny for me to enjoy.
The past few weeks I've been busy with 'deadline' knitting projects - samples, swatches for new patterns, gifts I needed for a certain date - and I've realized that for me it takes the fun out of the knitting a bit when everything on my needles has to be finished at a certain date. So I decided that I need a project just for fun, but add another knitting WIP to my considerable pile? I wasn't keen on that either. Then I remembered about a sewing kit I bought a couple of months ago, so that sounded like a fun project to play around with when I needed a break from knitting. Ah, well... fun?! As much as I love to sew, these tiny pieces I had to stitch together weren't exactely my cup of tea... At one point I almost trashed the whole project and it was Ulli who saved it by telling me that he thinks it looks 'kind of cute'. Hm... He might be right if you don't get close enough to see my sloppy sewing... ;-). Anyway, I finished it and now to wait if the person who's going to get my flower fairy likes her.
In our Ravelry group, Cyclical Swaps, we often welcome new babies with a group project: a baby blanket made from squares knit from people all over the world. The last one was for Laurel’s Octavius (and the nick name is to be translated literally) and Laurel wished for a blue and grey colour scheme and the use of the wonderful animal motif patterns by Elaine Fitzpatrick, which you can see and download from her blog, Down Cloverlaine. I volunteered to be the ‘sponsor’ who assembles the blanket and it was such fun when all the squares kept arriving. But I admit it was hard work too… so difficult to decide which square to place where and also to even out the differences in size, thanks to all the different yarns used and the individual tension of each knitter.
Now the blanket is done and already winging its way towards its new home in the United States. Fingers crossed it’ll travel quickly and arrives at Laurel’s home in time for Octavius’ birth to give the wee one a warm welcome from her knitting buddies.
Why is it that birthdays just like x-mas always seem to come all of a sudden? Only last week it occurred to me that UIli's b-day was approaching fast... and although we've decided a couple of years ago that we rather spend our money on holidays or events we want to go to, there should be always a little something to unwrap. But what? Fortunately for me, Ulli lost one of his favourite mitts last winter and he had asked me several times to knit a new one (note: he wanted me to knit one mitt to go with the worn one he still had - as if that ever was going to happen...), so a new pair of mitts it was. I wanted them to go with his favourite scarf, the Wolves scarf (pattern available on Ravelry), but there wasn't much time and I couldn't come up with a nice wolf motif, so I went with this one, Siberian Husky. Looks close enough to a wolf to me (really, if I had told you it's a wolf you would have believed it, wouldn't you?) and I used the motif on the back of the hand and made up a paws pattern for the palm and then had a bit of speed knitting to do. But they were done in time and best of all, Ulli loves them. :)
Times have been busy at work and I've had a lot of travelling to do, so I decided to make the Pepita pattern by Martina Behm, a romper suit I've worked on for my friend Laurel's baby my travelling project. You know, easy to follow instructions, lots of stockinette in the round, so the perfect project 'on the go' one should think. And guess what? I haven't got much knitting done in all those hours travelling, because plain stockinette is sooo boring and makes me sooo sleepy... Well, it's good that wee Octavius isn't due before mid of October, lol.
Don't get this wrong: It's a wonderful pattern for babies and I'm sure it'll look great finished. The instructions are clear and well written - it's just that stockinette and I aren't the closest friends. I always wonder when people tell me they knit 'vanilla' socks to relax... for me it's hard work. I'm much quicker and a lot more motivated to continue knitting when there's a stitch pattern to follow, no matter how easy it is.
Well, to avoid that I fall asleep on the sofa as well as soon as I pick up my 'night time' knitting, I went through my long-time WiPs in my knitting basket. Why I had stopped working on my Criss Cross Cowl when I only had to bind it off I really don't know, but it came in handy after a long day at work. And since I had enough yarn left, I whipped up a pair of fingerless mitts to go with the cowl - and looking at the German weather it was high time I finished...
We had a rainy and cold weekend and as much as I regretted we couldn't continue with our renovation works outdoors, as much did I enjoy the hours of leisure time. To knit, or rather to cast on lots of new projects... I think it's my Ravelry friend Shelley who is to 'blame', because she announced the 'August cast-on crazies' mid of August and even though I tried to stay away from the event, in the end I started to cast on stuff. Okay, I tried to stick to my goal to get the WIPs out of my knitting basket so some of my cast-ons were squares for my long neglected GAAA (and I even finished them which means I'm up to 19 squares now, so just one more and I've got a blanket the size shown in the book, although I had meant to knit the other 4 squares too and add them to my blanket, we'll see), but I also cast on things just for fun. A while ago I was gifted a book with knit 'monster hats' and I had wanted to at least knit one of them since I got it... and I did. :) Including the matching mittens. So here comes a non-dangerous shark attack.
What a happy day! I finally made it and gave the finishing touches to the barn doors this afternoon. And it’s not just the one I showed you a picture of the other day – no, all of them are done! Finally! :)
Okay, they don’t look exactly as good as new as I said they would, but they do look as good as doors that are more than 50 years old can look. No idea how old they really are, because they were already there and weathered and worn when I was a kid. Anyway, happy I’m done with that job.
My knitting time was limited thanks to the doors, but I did finish something nevertheless and it’s actually something I was about to frog. When I was searching for a 2.25 mm needle the other day I remembered that there’s one in use for the doily, one of my ‘I can’t remember when I started this’ WIPs and I was just about to pull it out when Ulli said: You want to rip that out? Really? The colour is pretty. And well, he’s right. So I put the project on our kitchen table for an occasional round with my morning coffee and funnily enough I even enjoyed it. The crochet cast off not so much and we won’t talk about blocking the thing… but it’s done. And looks quite nice. Love the feeling of accomplishment.