So… it’s May, spring came to Ireland and it seems to be here for good, with more sun than rain to the point that if the weather stays as it is now, we’re planning to go to the beach on the weekend. I mean REALLY to the beach, to lay down on our towels in the sun, which I’ve only done once in Ireland before, because usually it’s just too windy or cloudy. Yay! However, as you can see on the photo above, this lovely weather doesn’t distract me from planning ahead and preparing for autumn 😉
The thought process that made me knit a hat and a neck warmer in may was simple:
a) I have leftover yarn from my first cardigan project and it doesn’t really match with other yarn colours in my stash, so I should use it for something small;
b) I really want to try knitting more cables and perhaps some easy lacework;
a) + b) = c), where
c) I have to knit a cabled hat! and if there is enough yarn left, then also gloves or a cowl!
I bought Conway + Bliss Lolli yarn as a part of my Wool Lotto shopping spree. I’ve had my eye on it for a while, even though it’s apparently designed for kids projects 😉 I like the structure of the thread – like an airy tube, a bit thicker in its colourful parts. And I like the speckles too, and the fiber content (cotton with some polyester)… so I decided to give it a try, and use it for a summer top. I chose the grey version as I like how the bold neon speckles work with this calm, neutral background.
I’ve been knitting a lot recently. After my Morning Glory cardigan, I finished a sleeveless top which still needs to be blocked before I can take some photos and write about it (spoiler: I’m really not sure what to think about it). I have a lot of free time now, since my work is less intense these days, but it also keeps me at home as I have to be close to the PC most of the time. This, of course, is a perfect crafting situation 🙂
After all this knitting I felt the sudden need to crochet something. And it was a brilliant opportunity to clear up my cotton stash a little. I have a lot of cotton yarn that I’d bought long ago for amigurumi, and then I focused on other projects and never crocheted those toys. I also really needed new coasters and cotton yarn is perfect for that.
It took me a month, during which I had a two weeks long break for holidays, to knit my first cardigan, but it’s finally finished!
The cardigan is based on the Morning Glory pattern by Pam Allen and knitted with Louisa Harding Colline in deep raspberry pink. It’s worsted weight cotton and alpaca yarn and I love it: the addition of alpaca makes it a little more soft and stretchy than pure cotton, but it is still good for spring and autumn knits, when the weather is warm but not hot.
I spent last two weeks in Poland, visiting my parents. It was a no-crochet and no-knitting time, so there is no new project to show here unfortunately. Instead I’d like to share some memories from my visit home, even if it’s not strictly the topic of this blog.
But first: before leaving, I had received my Wool Lotto yarn! There’s a lot of alpaca (Stylecraft Alpaca DK) – enough for two big jumpers and maybe additional hats of scarves; and some cotton with polyester for a summer top (C+B Lolli yarn). My stash is more than full and I had to find additional place in the wardrobe for the yarn. I’m not complaining, it feels good to have all this yarn waiting for its turn to be knitted or crocheted!
The photo only shows the top layer in the big plastic box, there are three such layers in total plus some single skeins of cotton that are stored in another room.
So the previous photo shows my future, and my most recent past looked like that:
Life’s been busy recently, mostly because of work. Being a consultant and working as a subcontractor, sometimes I have way too much free time, and sometimes almost no time at all. At the moment it is something in between, closer to “no time at all”. I wish I could spend more time crocheting or knitting, but it’s not working out too well when I try. The only thing I managed to finish recently is probably not very surprising:
That’s right, socks! I decided to knit them in 3×1 rib and I think it’s a pretty good idea, they fit even better. I’m thinking that with my next pair, I could try a single cable, because the remaining 2 skeins of sock yarn in my stash are still self-striping and I don’t want to make anything too ornamental, but it’s also time to try to knit something slightly more complicated that what I’ve knitted so far.
Last days have been keeping me busy with work, so my crochet and knitting projects were easy and fast, not to distract me too much.
In practice, it means two more pair of socks, this time one pair for my Dad (his birthday is soon so I have an excuse to knit them for him) in black and white, and one pair for my Nephew, mostly in blue. Both are, again, knitted with Drops Fabel (have enough of it for 3 pairs more) and based on Ann Budd’s basic socks patterns. I can’t believe I actually consider knitting socks “easy”, but in case of this basic pattern it really is, once I understood how it works and what exactly needs to be done.
This beautiful wool arrived by post as a gift from a dear friend. This is Kauni yarn, a Danish lamb wool brand manufactured in Estonia. It’s gorgeous and the colours make me want to keep it on the shelf just to look at it whenever my mood is low 🙂 I’ve been thinking to order this yarn for ages now but I never have, because I was worried that it would be too coarse, as natural 100% sheep wool tends to be. And let’s be honest, it is coarse, but not as much as I thought, and I think a good soak in Eucalan will help it a lot. Each of these 24 gorgeous skeins is 175 metres, and I would say it’s probably sport weight – not as thin as fingering but not as thick as DK either.
It happened: my first pair of socks is knitted! 🙂
I thought that socks were so complicated and that I wasn’t ready for them. But I decided to try and, with the guide of Ann Budd’s book ‘Getting started knitting socks’ I made it. It was much easier than I’d expected and I enjoyed knitting them so much!
I have mixed feelings when it comes to doilies. I appreciate their beauty and all the delicate, subtle details. I have no idea how can anyone write a doily pattern – I think it requires some mad skills, experience, patience, and amazing visual imagination. At the same time, I don’t really like the vintage ‘granny’ style associated with doilies and I don’t have much use for them at my home. This is actually strange because I don’t mind the ‘old-fashioned’ look of granny squares and I really like my Bavarian stitch cushion, but somehow doilies seem different, I think they really require special environment. Even the only doily I’ve crocheted so far is grey not to look so classic. Thinking about it, I have maybe one friend who actually likes this type of vintage home decor and would certainly appreciate some hand-made doilies in her living room and they would suit it – all the others prefer more modern style too. All of that means that I need to think hard before deciding to crochet a doily: is it really something that would be used? Or would it just stay in the closet without any purpose?