Hello! How are you doing my Friends? I hope everyone is fine, staying safe in self-isolation.
Who would have thought a year ago that this would be a common way to begin a blog entry? We live in interesting times, and I miss the good old boredom!
Here in Ireland, we entered the first stage of a 5-phase roadmap to reopening the country yesterday, and it seems that everyone assumes we’re already past the danger. I went to do my weekly grocery shopping yesterday, and I was baffled to see people without masks, gloves and approaching each other casually as if everything was already back to normal. But the 1st phase is hardly any change at all, the process is supposed to be a gradual (and slow – until August) transition into “business as usual”. Right now, some outdoor vendors and workers can reopen/ get back to work, and people from different households can meet up outdoors, but still keeping the distance. Meanwhile, all the neighbourhood kids are running around together in a large group today, and I just can’t see it ending well. I hope I’m wrong!
That’s right! After my first successful summer project, I decided to try again and knit another garment using a different shade of the same Lithuanian 3-ply Linen. This time it’s a summer cardigan designed by Ambah O’Brien, called Natsu. I’m not even sure if the word ‘cardigan’ is the best for it, it’s something between a kimono top, poncho and a summer light jacket, but whatever the name, it’s a perfect summer piece of clothing. Just have a look!
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 😉 ).
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.
I’ve written here several times before that I’m not that into summer knits. It’s not for the lack of trying – I’ve tried repeatedly, and I’m just not feeling it. Maybe it’s the summer yarns, mostly cotton, linen, or other plant fibre based? They are not as flexible and forgiving as wool, and very often the patterns for summer clothes call for thicker yarn, and I don’t feel comfortable in thick summer tops, even if they are made of “breathable” cotton. Of course, I could always adjust the patterns to thinner yarns, but I’m umm, let’s say not into that either.
Having tried and failed in the past, it doesn’t mean that I don’t keep trying each year as it gets warmer in the Spring! And this year, I decided to tackle two challenges at once, summer knits and linen. And feeling bold and brave, I ordered some Lithuanian linen thread on Etsy, in a variety of different pastel shades.
I mentioned here several times in the past that I’m sticking with knitting hats when it comes to knits for the Boyfriend. He never wears any scarves – neither those made by me nor any other – and he hardly ever wears the jumper I made, because it’s a thick aran weight sweater and he feels too warm in it. But he always wears the hats from me and seems to like them, or at least he’s kind enough to claim so.
Well, I’m taking it back: all it took for him to appreciate a good warm sweater was for his office to have long-term heating issues. Suddenly not only he started wearing sweaters (and got complimented on the one from me!) but also asked if I could make him another one. Well, of course, I could!
This is a post I’ve meant to write for more than a month now, and I could never find the time or mood for that, so I think it’s high time to present my Summer Carnival Bolero finally!
It’s the shortest cardigan I’ve ever owned (or knitted), and it’s a somewhat surprising addition to my wardrobe, as I’m usually more of a tunic kind of gal. But recently I’ve found myself knitting smaller and shorter sweaters, and it culminated (at least I think so, if I go any shorter, it’s not going to be a sweater anymore but… I don’t know… a cowl?) in this bolero. As it’s finally getting warmer, it’s a functional, lightweight, not too covering layer that I can wear below my spring jacket. That is, at least I could do it if I went out – my only trips are taking the rubbish out, going for short walks in the neighbourhood (we don’t have many places to walk here even though the area is rural and green, as there are mostly fenced pastures and there are no pavements. To have a proper walk we have to go by car first, a little farther than is allowed for non-essential reasons now) and rare grocery shopping, that we try to limit as much as possible. But in theory… the bolero is perfect for now 😉
Content warning: there will be talking about the pandemics so if you feel like you need to avoid this topic, skip to the part after the first photo.
Hello friends! I hope everyone is staying safe when all the world around is in chaos. Please remember not only to protect yourselves and others from the virus but also to take care of your mental health. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed by the situation, especially with the forced self-isolation and staying home. I’m an introvert who needs her alone time (and lots of it!) each day to charge my batteries, and it still feels wrong when staying home is not my choice. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for anyone social and outgoing.
Myself, I’m not taking the situation well. I’m not feeling anxious, and I’m not panicking, but my good old friend, dissociation, is having a field day (month?) in my mind. Hence the title of this post: I’m really numb, and I don’t feel real, as if there was this thick fog between me and the rest of the world, and even between my own body and mind. I’m trying to use the grounding techniques learned over the years in therapy but so far, no success. Somewhere deep inside I feel concern for my parents, my brother and my nephew in Poland – and the fact that I can’t see them and won’t be able to see them any time soon (even if I travelled there, I’d still have to be quarantined, and I can’t risk infecting for my not-so-young parents). I worry what would happen to my cats if we got sick and possibly hospitalised (I prepared a long list with cat-care instructions for the Boyfriend, as I’m in the higher risk group so chances are I might need to be hospitalised if I got infected), and I really worry about the economic situation and what happens when the recession strikes, because it’s always scary living abroad without a strong support network.
But all this anxiety is hidden, and mostly it’s this awful fog and derealization, which makes it extremely hard to focus and work – finishing some of the work projects in the last two weeks has felt like a herculean mental effort. I also miss the entire hours that I can’t recall, and my short-term memory is terrible. I literally get up and forget what I was going to do before I’m standing!
But we’ll get through that, too, won’t we? We just need to figure out how to adjust to this situation, stay vigilant and be careful to minimise the risk of contracting or spreading the disease.
I have a recent FO to show, but I honestly haven’t had the chance to take good (or at least acceptable) pictures yet to post it on the blog. The days have been busy with work and most of them it’s been raining and dark, so I couldn’t take any semi-decent photos to show here. It’s been better since yesterday though, and we’re planning to go to Ikea on the weekend to buy a bedroom chest of drawers (which we need to stop having to store the bed linens and towels on the spare bed, where they inevitably end up covered in cat fur. Luckily Ikea has some cheap and nice options as I’m hesitant to buy furniture here if we’re planning to move), so this can be a good opportunity to wear my new FO and snap a few pics.
And before that, let me show you two of my home decor projects. One is a work in progress (and will be for a while!), another one is a quick, easy sewing project. As I mentioned, it’s been quite dark recently with occasional bursts of the sun shining through the clouds, so the colours may vary from picture to picture.
Hello Friends! I’m still far behind with updating the blog, so today I decided to take a break from work and show you what I made during my sock knitting spree in January, and post some pictures of my cats adjusting to their new home.
I mentioned before that January was a stressful month, with the move approaching and my mood not in the best place. That’s exactly the kind of mood that demands simple, fast and comforting knitting – and what fits that description better than socks, right?
As I mentioned in my last post, I have some finished projects I’d like to show to you. The first one is a cardigan designed by Andrea Mowry; the pattern is called Little Yellow Sweater (LYS). It’s slightly similar to the Sweet As Honey cardigan that I had knitted in 2018, but the lace panel is different, and it’s shorter.
I wanted to find the right match for my three skeins of DyeDyeDone Alpa-Si-Li (an alpaca, silk and linen combo in fingering weight) in the Curcuma colourway, and as soon as I found the pattern, I knew that was that. This yarn is so great, it’s very, very light, and the cardigan weighs almost nothing at all. The alpaca fibres give it fuzziness, while the silk provides a slight sheen and sturdiness, and the linen adds the overall ‘rustic’ look. The colourway fits into the recent trend in my colour choices I think, and in general, it was such joy to knit it!