general ramblings · knitting · life

Bits and Bobs

I guess challenging myself with trying to defeat my summer knits anxiety has made me bolder than usual, and I decided to give a try to my other usually avoided type of projects: made with bulky yarn.

Maybe you noticed reading my posts, that I mostly knit with thinner yarns, preferable fingering weight. Fingering or DK is my favourite, with worsted or aran weight reserved for hats (sometimes) and an occasional sweater. I’ve only tried to knit a jumper with bulky yarn once in my life, and I found it such a pain that I promptly unravelled the few centimetres I made and swapped the yarn for something lighter in my knitting group, promising myself never to do that again. It just felt so awkward! The needles were large and uncomfortable, and they felt like paddles in my hands rather than crafty accessories meant to create a garment (even though I LOVE kayaking πŸ˜‰ ).

Well, since it’s time for crafty challenges and (hopefully) small victories, I dug out some bulky multicoloured wool and acrylic yarn from Ice Yarns in the shades of peach, light brown, pink and grey from my stash, and decided to give it a try.

Of course, I wouldn’t be as bold as to jump straight to sweater knitting; instead, I decided to make a chunky winter hat and a cowl. I ended up with two hats because I still had one skein left and the first hat was a little too tight, so instead of unravelling it and knitting again, I thought I could just make a second one and donate the first to someone who needs it.

This is the result: two Perky Little Hats and one cowl in fisherman’s rib, no pattern used. It was not the most pleasant knitting experience, but also better than the previous attempt. I struggled a bit while knitting the hats, and the needles (8 mm) felt awkward, but I persevered, and I’m glad I did. The cowl was much more enjoyable to make because fisherman’s rib is a such a loose, relaxed stitch. I can see why people like bulky projects: they fly off the needles in no time. But I think I will mostly stick with my thinner yarns, as they are so much more pleasant for the fingers and I feel like I have more control over the needles.

All in all, I’m happy I decided to break this “curse” too, and who knows, maybe one day I will knit a chunky sweater? That’s a plan for a very distant future, though.

Alright, that’s all I have to share when it comes to knitting. I noticed on a few other blogs that people show the photos of their home working areas as they shelter-in-place and I thought I’d join the fun.

As I always work from home, nothing has changed for me, and I still work and knit at my desk ( I prefer to knit here, and it’s, in general, my creative space). At first, after moving, I wanted to use the spare bedroom (where we keep all the books, and I could have a separate working area separate from the more personal space) as my home office, but the Boyfriend insisted on using the living room instead. It may seem a strange choice, but if I used the spare bedroom, we would hardly see each other during the day when he returns from work late, as I tend to stay stuck to the PC from morning till late at night each day when work is particularly hectic. So being in the shared room together would make us a little closer even while I’m busy. It turns out that this solution works well for us. The living room is large enough to give us both a lot of space; we have our desks in two distant corners, so we don’t get into each other’s business all the time; and there’s still space for the TV, coach, and the dinner table. And cats’ furniture, of course! We are not overly social people, so it’s not like we’re throwing constant parties here and inviting people over, and it’s nice to have someone I can complain at when I’m particularly frustrated with my work. Or share something positive πŸ™‚

Anyway, here is my desk. I have everything I need here, with some books and documents I use for work on the shelves under the desk. I mostly use online resources like GIS maps and some species and habitat databases, so I don’t need many physical objects for work.

The shelf above the desk is the only place where I dare to keep feline-toxic plants (two first plants on the left), as my cats can’t reach them.

I sit right by the window where I keep my current WIPs and some other stuff (it’s covered during the day as it faces south and the sun wouldn’t let me see anything on the screen otherwise).

This is the picture my nephew painted for me when I was leaving my country.

Behind me, there’s a dinner table and balcony door (bonus point if you spot both cats on this photo).

And across the room is the Boyfriend’s desk.

Stella and Ciri also have their own cosy places πŸ™‚

So this is where I spend my days and where I usually knit. It would be awesome to see your crafty/ workspace if you’d like to share!

Last thing I wanted to share today: I made some face masks! The stitches are terrible because I had to struggle with several layers of fabric and couldn’t care less about the neat look. It was good enough that I was able to push the needle through al these layers! They all have filter pockets and hopefully help a little keeping the community safe, together with using gloves, washing our hands like maniacs, and keeping the distance. I’m going to make more soon!

12 thoughts on “Bits and Bobs

  1. So many good things in this post! I love the cozy knitted hats and cowls. And your home is so beautiful! What a cozy workstation, and two very cute little coworkers πŸ™‚ My husband works across the house in a separate room, but it’s really nice to be able to go to his office and get a quick hug if work is getting overwhelming. I’m definitely going to miss that when we have to go back!

    What pattern are you using with the face masks, and are you making fitted masks? I started making a face mask last weekend going all out with the bias tape, fitted mask, but my sewing skills are not great…so it’s unfinished D: I like yours, I think I’m going to dig out elastic and give up on the bias tape!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I looked at several youtube tutorials for pleated masks and combined them together to minimize sewing because it’s torture for my hands with all those layers. I’m planning to try sewing a fitted mask tomorrow, it looks like it has fewer layers so should be easier. I actually bought a pattern on Etsy for it from the store called NataPatterns, she has many mask patterns in different sizes and they are well explained and cheap.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t get the bonus points: where is no. 2 ??
    I really dislike big knitting needles and can’t manage them at all. I shall never make anything in bulky yarn; but I compliment you on your cowl and hats, Kat. s. [grin]
    Very pleasing work areas both of you have ! You’ve certainly made the best of your very costly newish flat, and I congratulate you ! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well I admit, it wasn’t easy, the second one (although in their own eyes each is No 1!) is in the background on the top of the cat tree, only ears are visible. But she’s there!
      The “costly” comment made me laugh, indeed I tried! Thank you! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m working on a shawl in bulky yarn, but I can’t work on it too long at a stretch as it tires out my hands.
    I worked from home for most of my working life, so I’m no stranger to the idea. I notice you have a rather nice yarn bowl. I have a collection. Can’t help it. I see a pretty bowl of the appropriate shape . . .
    I like those hats. They look nice and warm. Somebody will appreciate the one that didn’t fit you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, bulky yarn is not a friend of shoulders or wrist joints at all, and these needles, they just feel so… just awkward! Like I don’t really feel I have control over the knitting process, unlike with thin yarns where everything seems almost effortless.
      I never planned to buy a yarn bowl but then I spotted it super cheap while shopping for something completely different and decided to buy it, and it’s been such a useful knitting tool, I don’t know why I hadn’t bought it earlier! It’s my only one, but just as you can’t resist yarn bowls, I can’t resist new stitch markers…


  4. You’re getting pretty adventurous, lol! Your hats look great. I’m with you on the less-than-comfortable knitting, but chunky sweaters look so yummy! πŸ™‚ Good job hand-stitching those masks too – it must’ve been difficult managing all those folds.
    I like that you have enough space to maintain distance while working, yet be close enough to talk when required. And of course, be in the same room as the cats! (BTW I couldn’t see Stella in that pic either.)


    1. Stella hid well but she’s there… she’s always somewhere close to me, if not on my lap πŸ™‚
      Chunky sweaters look awesome and I’m thinking that maybe one in fisherman’s rib would be a nice thing to knit, because it feels great with these extra large stitches and it’s much easier to knit. Have to think about it… maybe… some day πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

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