Chevron scarf

This is going to be short and sweet.

I don’t know what it is with this Shetland lace yarn, but I can’t stop knitting with it.

So after I finished Nicoletta, I immediately had to start another project with it. Now, the weather here right now is hideous, and not looking like the shawl season is about to end anytime soon, but still my plan was to knit more summerly things now.

Chevron Scarf
Chevron Scarf

This is mainly dark brown Pure Fine Shetland wool, with some left-over Kauni and the same shetland wool in grey.

Chevron Scarf close
Chevron Scarf close

Now I probably should hope the weather does not turn summery (who wants that, anyways? Don’t you enjoy whipping rains and howling winds?) before I’m finished with this baby. Cross your fingers.

Crafting Balance

Another good one ๐Ÿ™‚

As much as I rejoice in the topics that inspire me, now I do feel a bit lazy for skipping the ones I didn’t have immediate ideas for. I reckon I’ll have to do this again next year, with a bit more preparation, maybe ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyhoo, I’m a girl to dance on many weddings. I knit, crochet, sew and felt. I used to make jewellery (out of bone, mostly), and have sorta gone back to that with my felted jewellery line here.

I love all sorts of fiber arts, maybe knitting a wee bit more than the rest, but all have their place. And I am secretly scheming for ways to combine them … one of my long-time plans is a knit and felted purse, with a needle felted dragon head on it. I’m light-years away from being able to do that, but I will make it one day. I even knit the purse already … it turned out too small, but maybe I can still salvage it, if only for practicing purposes.

My crocheting is mostly limited to blankets, but I hugely enjoy making these. They are not quick projects, my average output is one per year, but hey, each journey begins with a single step, right?

That was my first foray into the land of granny squares.

And this is the breaking bad blanket I’m working on currently. Don’t you just love the colours?

And here’s an example for my sewing: project bags. One can never have enough of those.

This was a fun experiment, and I’m really looking forward to repeating this – thank you, Eskimimi, what a lovely idea.

3KCBWDAY7ย  – see today’s other posts.ย 

Improving Your Skillset

Day 6 in the knit and crochet blog week, and this topic calls out to me. Other than yesterdays, the freeform … not only did I find out about this whole blog week only a few days ago, I’ve been suffering from The-Cold-That-Never-Ends. Hence my inspiration is running on an all time low.

But it will be a cold day in hell when I have nothing to say about improving my skills, and my laptop can come to bed with me, so here we go.

My first project when I picked up the needles after a nearly 20 year hiatus was a cardigan. I did not have a pattern, other than my favorite high street cardi, which was slowly falling apart. You know that feeling, right? It wasn’t expensive, it wasn’t even NICE, but it was my favorite cardigan. So I decided, having once been an avid knitter, that I’d replicate it.

I bought yarn – cotton, can you believe it? Clearly I had forgotten how unforgiving cotton is, showing the tiniest irregularity in tension without mercy! – and needles, took same rough measures, and started to knit.

And I knit, and knit, and knit … I actually did finish the cardi, I do love it, but you will not ever see me wearing it outside my apartment. It’s not a total failure, but it’s a testament to the level of skill I was operating at.

Now, this is not something that bothers me. I’m not good enough to make this? Well, then I’ll be in a month. Or a year. Sometime in the future. Maybe never. Won’t stop me trying ๐Ÿ˜€

Now, more than a year later, I have a much nicer cardigan to show for my efforts, the CP hoodie (sans hood, in my case), many very pretty lace shawls, and I almost exclusively wear handmade socks these days. I even purchased not one, but two pairs of Mary Janes to show them off.

Central Park Hoody
Central Park Hoodie

I’d say I’ve come a long way.

I’d also say that there is a long way to go still. And maybe it’s time to set some goals.

1) I want to make a felted cozy for my (soon arriving, I hope) new smartphone, and since I already told you about how I want to tackle fair isle, this will be it. Felted fair isle – it’s small enough to not drive me bonkers, and should be sturdy enough to offer some real protection to my phone.
I will give myself a month to achieve this.

2) Make yet another version of the cardigan, this time fit for public use. I’ll give myself a year to achieve this.

3) A “real” lace shawl. With, you know, lace pattern on every row. Which is something I shied away from so far.
I will give myself 3 months for this one.

Come back in 1, 3, 12 months, and see how I’ve fared! (Actually, it would be lovely if you came back more often to hold my hand. Really. I’m not scared of not being good enough, but that does not mean I don’t need your support.)

3KCBWDAY6 – see other posts from today.

Cotton socks, sort of

I probably mentioned before that I almost always have a pair of socks on the needles.

This week, it’s cotton socks – well, the yarn has ~40% of cotton, mixed with wool and nylon (for durability, I believe).

Cotton socks 1
Cotton socks 1

Continue reading “Cotton socks, sort of”

A knitter for all seasons

This “blog about a given topic” is beginning to grow on me. That might just be because I like the topic for the two days I’ve managed to actually participate.

Yesterday’s “Knitting heroes” gave me the opportunity to show you a photo I love dearly, and wax a bit about the historical necessity that spurred what I consider some of the most beautiful patterns in the knitting world.

Today’s post will investigate the question of seasonality in my knitting – which is quite fitting, as I actually thought about this quite a bit of late.

Let me circle back a few weeks, when I was asked if I was willing to move to Los Angeles for my job. Whoa! Hollywood (well, the studio is in North-Hollywood, but hey, close enough!), I’m coming. Then economy struck again, the role wasn’t approved, and I’m not going ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Such is life, I guess.

Thinking about this, however, also made me wonder what would I knit? Over here in the UK, it’s fairly easy to find a use for some woolen garments year round, you might want to shuffle the density and thickness of the fabric a bit, but there is a very real need of a jumper in July, and it’s never wrong to have a shawl handy you can wrap around yourself when the wind picks up or the rain’s falling.

And then there’s cotton, of course. You can never go wrong with cotton, it’s a pleasure to wear, even in hotter temperatures. There are a million of pretty tank and other tops out there one could knit, and a little blouse in an airy lace pattern would be just brilliant in cotton – like the lacy blouse out of A Handknit Romance.ย  It’s in my queue, kinda, actually ๐Ÿ˜‰

There will be more about cotton tomorrow, as it happens … stay tuned!

And just because I can’t have a post with no photos at all, and these guys love warm, too, here’s a photo of the my first chili harvest of the year (I grow them on my windowsill):

Chilies!

3KCBWDAY4 links to the Google search list for the other posts from today.

Knitting heroes

Twice a day, I hear you gasp? Yes, my dear readers, I have another blog post for today.

Eskimimi’s knitting and crochet blog week is in full swing, and even though I missed the first two days, I want to share a tidbit of what inspires me.

My knitting hero is not one particular person, it’s an idea. That’s just how I roll – if you’re familiar with personality typing, I’m an INTJ, and we are a wild bunch. Always on the roll to learn ALL THERE IS TO LEARN about any given topic. And not just for learning’s sake, we want to apply it. Keep what’s working, forget what we find doesn’t meet our needs.

So when last year I saw this photo, it struck a chord in me:

Source

In the 19th century, Shetland lace was highly sought after, and according to some sources, pretty much everybody knit any minute they had their hands free. Including on their way to and from work.

I cannot even imagine walking miles and miles, with a heavy basket full of peat on my back, and knitting an intricate lace or maybe fair isle motif. This is what I call impressive. This is why I am learning Shetland lace patterns, and hope to rustle up the courage to tackle fair isle one day, too. To honor these people, who made such beautiful things out of sheer necessity.

3KCBWDAY3

In one word: ruffles

Maybe you remember the shawl I made for mom’s birthday? You can find it here, if you want to have a looksee.

As it happens, my little sister’s birthday is just a couple of weeks before my mom’s, and even though we usually don’t make a huge deal out of it, it feels wrong to send my mother something and not my sister.

So I embarked on designing a shawl for her, too …

I used my now favorite yarn again, Blacker’s Pure Fine Shetland, and decided on a dark gray as base with some natural/off-white stripes.

Blacker pure shetland
Blacker pure shetland

Since the shawl is still a WIP, I can’t show you too much of it, but I can tell you this much:

  • it features a garter stitch body
  • of course there are eyelets
  • it will have ruffles

The latter is driving me slowly insane at the moment, as the edge rows are now (guestimated, I can’t be arsed to actually count the stitches … ) well beyond 600 stitches.

Sneak peek ruffles and eyelets
Sneak peek ruffles and eyelets

Stay tuned, as I intend to publish this pattern at some point, too.