When I first donated some of my items to the animal charity auction, I didn’t think it would end up with a commission request. I usually don’t want to sell my items because it’s strictly a hobby for me and I want to enjoy making whatever I choose, for people I love and for myself. I also think selling hand made items is not easy, especially those that require more work: either they have to be under-priced (considering how time consuming they can be) or too expensive for most people to want to buy them. But somehow I couldn’t resist this request, mainly because it was for a doll, and I remembered how much I’d enjoyed crocheting them!
My Stavanger jumper is ready! To be honest, it had been finished two weeks ago but life kept me too busy to update my blog and show you the sweater that brought me so much stress, frustration but also joy to knit. So here it is, my first real Fair Isle (or maybe just stranded colourwork, as it’s more Scandinavian tan Fair Isle pattern) garment!
My Stavanger Jumper is still work in progress. From the multi-coloured yoke, to plain beige body and sleeves, I keep knitting, unraveling and starting again. I actually lost count on how many time I had to do it!
The project on the photo above (forgive the strange colours, it was taken in the evening in artificial light) had to be undone up to the yoke because it turned out too short and just strangely shaped in general. And I kept trying it on while knitting, but everything seemed fine until casting off. Ugh.
Arizona blanket Crochet Along has started last Friday! The first part is a panel of 8 solid granny squares joined by a row of double crochet (I’m using the US crochet terms) and popcorn stitches.
Winter came to Ireland. An actual, snowy winter that put all the country on lockdown. Schools, workplaces, post, public transport of all kinds (from planes to buses and trains), shops and restaurants – everything has been closed since Wednesday. Today is the first day when it almost doesn’t snow and some shops are open again. And that’s what happens when people can go shopping again after a couple of days:
Life has been busy recently and I don’t have as much time for knitting as I’d like to. The only project I’m working on in the evenings is my first real stranded colourwork garment: the Stavanger Jumper. It’s a free Drops pattern and I’m knitting it with Drops Alpaca, which is just so amazingly soft and wonderful. I’m still feeling intimidated by Fair Isle/ Scandinavian patterns, but I think that the only way to change it is through practice, so I decided to give it a try.
It’s finished, blocked and it’s all I’ve wanted it to be! My Still Light tunic (pattern by Veera Välimäki) is my new favourite dress, perfect for the end of winter when it’s not so cold anymore, so fingering yarn is enough. And it has pockets! Seriously, I’m so proud of myself – I was afraid of knitting a garment with pockets but the instructions are so clear and the design so smart that it was very easy.
So it happened: I decided to join my first Crochet Along – Arizona blanket! I’ve never participated in any CALs or KALs, for two reasons: I haven’t found any that would appeal to me enough to get out of my comfort zone, plus I’m just too impatient for that. I still don’t think I could participate in a KAL – I’m not sure why, but just the thought of having on ongoing, long term project hibernating on my needles while I’m working on other things gives me anxiety and my obsessive brain just can’t handle this idea. It seems a little easier with crochet. I already have such project – my Swedish Popcorn Blanket (which by the way is going to take years to finish, if I ever finish it at all) and I’m really relaxed about it, so adding another one was an easy decision.
In one of her knitting books (and I really tried to find in which one, but wasn’t successful), Ann Budd wrote her advise about measuring gauge. She highlighted the importance of checking the gauge before each project, even if we’ve already used the same yarn before, and wrote how the gauge changes depending if we knit in the round or flat. She also mentioned that we should check the gauge if we’re sad or overly excited, or stressed out, because mood can change how we knit as well.
This free Drops pullover pattern called Wind Down has been in my queue for months, patiently awaiting its turn. Drops Alpaca Party this winter helped it move to the front of the queue and finally I decided to knit it, using two shades of Drops Lima yarn: light gray and sea green. My latest hat, cowl and gloves were made from the leftovers from this project. I’m not really sure why but I knew from the beginning that I wanted these colours to be used together as very simple, basic colour blocks, with the gray shade in the upper part. I couldn’t really see knitting this jumper in more colourful version, I wanted the lacy details to play the main role.