A little warning: this is going to be a post with my random rambling about anything crochet and knitting related. No finished projects to share except a small pair of baby booties:
That was a very quick project based on this lovely pattern by Sarah Zimmerman. A friend of mine, who used to be very close but now we only talk on Skype sometimes (which I really hope to fix once our lives are sorted – she’s a migrant like me and not settled anywhere at this point either), has had her second baby recently. She waited with notifying me until the baby’s birth and well, I just wanted to make something very quick to send instantly and welcome the little guy to this world – hence the booties. I am actually excited that I now have the reason to make some baby stuff, as there are so many nice patterns and all the family and friends kids are already older. So I guess, small booties now, but something bigger for him and his brother for Christmas 😉
About the colours… confession time: I don’t love pastels. For some projects, some of them are lovely. But the typical baby pastels just… kind of remind me about an overly sweet meringue. Plus the obligatory pink/ blue thing… which reminds me that in my country in the past pink was for boys and blue for girls. That’s a catholic thing I’m guessing, since on the traditional paintings Jesus wears pink and Mary wears blue. My grandmother for instance was always surprised with the modern baby clothes and how the colours had been switched between the genders. Anyways, I like bolder colours so I decided to use the “boy-ish” blue and just add some purple. I wasn’t sure about this combination but in the end I like it. It’s very cheerful even if not quite typical and definitely not pastel.
Other things that I’ve been working on recently are either work in progress, or frogged. I crocheted nearly half of lace shawl and decided that it didn’t look good with graded yarn so I frogged it and I’m going to come back to it one day.
I’ve also been struggling for a few days now with a dog sweater. I planned to make two of them, for my parents’ dogs, who are both rescues with rather short and thin fur, that doesn’t keep them warm outdoors during Polish winter. And I am so frustrated with this project! I just can’t get the right size, no matter what I do. I asked my Mum to take their measurements and they fit almost perfectly size “M” in the pattern I’m following. I made a gauge swatch, thought that everything was great… and then time after time, the longer I crochet, the more narrow the made piece becomes. Like it… shrinks? First 10 rows or so are great and then it only gets worse. Currently I lost about 5 cm! I have no clue what’s going on. Is it the yarn? I go with acrylic, Paintbox Simple Aran, since I don’t think wool is very good for a dog sweater – it must be something easy to wash and shouldn’t absorb water if it rains. I usually avoid acrylics because they tend to get ugly fast, and so I can’t tell, perhaps it’s just how they are…
Well, if I ever manage to get it right, the first sweater will be in such shocking colours:
Which is as it should be – it will make them visible for bikers in the park and for other dog owners, as not all dogs are super friendly and it’s always good to be warned before meeting another canine. Another one will be more in blue/ green, maybe some purple too, but also rather neon colours.
Last but not least is my knitting training 🙂 5th project in my book is a baby cardigan. Sounds a bit ambitious and at first I was scared to even start it, but the book is really written for complete beginners. The idea is that we don’t care about gauge, size, just learn to follow the pattern, try out some basic techniques and generally become familiar with knitting. I am a painfully pragmatic person – I need to have a reason to create something. A purpose. Whether it’s a gift, for myself, for charity – doesn’t matter, as long as I know why I’m making something. That’s why knitting this baby cardigan didn’t appeal to me too much… especially that I knew the quality wouldn’t be very stunning with my level of skills (to put it gently). But I decided that the purpose in this case was simple: to learn 😉 And I don’t regret it. Already it has taught me a lot:
- that I definitely need to change the cast-on method as the one from the book just looks bad
- that cotton yarn is not as scary in knitting as I thought it would be once you get used to it
- that knitting in general is not as scary as I always thought!
- that it’s true – knitting is a bit more yarn-efficient and the knitted fabric is so much softer and stretches more than the crocheted one
And here is a photo of the work in progress with a bonus kitty paw in the corner:
I made mistakes in the rib, I dropped a stitch, the sleeves are strangely short and wide (kimono, anyone?), neck opening is too small for any neck to fit in… also, it’s taking forever to knit with DK yarn… but it’s a great learning experience and a very good project to feel more confident and less intimidated by knitting. Plus, it lets me use up this yarn which is just… weird. It’s Sirdar Summer Stripes, I bought it online months ago and the colours on the photo looked so great, like sunset sky. It was also on end-of-the-line sale which made it even more appealing;) Then it arrived and it was so much brighter and I hated the colours, especially the pink which looks either dirty or so… fleshy like a freshly healed wound. But at the same time the quality is really good, it’s cotton with some acrylic addition which makes it super soft and great to work it, and I imagine it must be very good for summer projects. I wish it looked different! Anyways, because I knew I wouldn’t use it for any real project, I could sacrifice it for this exercise painlessly 🙂
And as for the yarn-efficiency of knitting, look at the photo below:
It took twice as much yarn for the placemat on the right as for the piece of cardi. And the placemat is ironed and the yarn is stretched in it, while I could still stretch the cardigan a lot more to look bigger and probably match the placemat in size. So yes, definitely there is something to it…
And here I will finally stop this post that was meant to be about the general state of things but kind of turned into colour-talk 😉 Anyone working on something that you’d like to share? 🙂