general ramblings · knitting · life

Silver Blossom Tee No. 2

First of all, I’d like to thank you all for your kind words under my previous post. Your encouragement and support means a lot!

I’m still working on digging myself out of the black hole and it gets better every day. I’m functional again, resumed my regular workouts, and they always help keep my mood up. I also keep knitting a lot and that’s why I already have another sweater to share here.

Remember the Silver Blossom Tee I’ve knitted in July for my Mum? Well, I decided to knit it again, this time in a winter version. I had a sweater worth of Drops Sky in my stash. It’s a super soft and light alpaca yarn that I’d bought during the last year’s Drops Alpaca Party. I didn’t have any specific plans for it, I just took the opportunity of a reduced price, because this yarn is really wonderful and so pleasant to work with. I’d used it in the past for my Mint Tulip Skirt and despite my worries that it might not survive too long (as the yarn is so delicate and seems very fragile), it’s still fine and looks well after being worn a lot during the last winter. I decided that Drops Sky will work well with this pattern, but I wanted to knit longer sleeves. I actually hesitated between full length or elbow-length, and eventually compromised with 3/4 sleeves!

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knitting

One Day Project

A quick update about a quick project – a new winter hat!

It took a day (well, not a full day really, I think maybe 2-3 hours total – a little bit in the morning, and the rest in the afternoon), I enjoyed it, and I like the new hat. Just good things!

I followed a pattern called Finlandia by Paige Buursma, and I suppose that it owes its name to the lacy Spruce trees repeated in three rounds from the rib to the crown, just like in Finland’s boreal forests. I liked it, in Dublin winters I don’t need very thick head protection, so adding these lacy elements makes the hat more suitable here. It was also perfect for that one lonely skein of grey Malabrigo Rios that’s been in my stash since forever. It’s going to match my lacy crochet shawl that I use as a scarf in winter. Last spring I bought a red coat on the seasonal sale, and I can already see it all together looking well and feeling comfy.

Nothing like instant gratification from a quick and enjoyable project!

And to finish this short post, just a sneak peek at my new stitch markers. I didn’t really need them, but I wanted something silly and cute to cheer me up, and what’s better than stitch markers with tiny rubber ducks, colourful macarons and come buttered crumpets with a cup of tea? They’re from my most favourite Etsy store. And indeed, it worked!

The project at the top is another attempt to improve my mood, and I’ve been enjoying knitting it so far. But I’ll reveal more in the next post ๐Ÿ™‚

knitting

Finished project: Kalaloch Pullover

I made it! My Kalaloch Pullover is ready and I’m really happy with how it turned out. I wasn’t sure till the very end if it would really fit me, with its funny short sleeves (just look above) and its wide circular yoke – it’s only at the end when the decreases are really made (it’s knitted bottom up) and suddenly the yoke starts looking like it should. But even with all those doubts I persisted and now I have this awesome loose fitting sweater that I’m going to wear as soon as autumn starts (which means soon!).

If I look awkward and tired, it’s because that’s exactly how I feel. But also happy because of the new sweater ๐Ÿ˜‰
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general ramblings · knitting

I’m still knitting…

…just not as much as I’d like to.

I’m buried in work and stressed out, but I can already see the light at the end of the tunnel month, when the workload should get a little more manageable, and I hope to get some “me” time again.

I manage to knit a few rows of my Kalaloch Pullover each day, and that’s about that, but even with such low speed, it slowly starts looking like a pullover more than like a shapeless blob. It’s really oversized, and the construction is particularly interesting, as the actual sleeves are very short, and about half of their length is in fact the oversized yoke (if it even should be still called a yoke?). Everything is knitted from the bottom, and sleeves are attached to the body at the start of the yoke and later worked together with the body. The armhole openings are grafted with Kitchener’s stitch at the end.

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crochet

Let’s pretend it’s winter!

I feel like I haven’t updated my blog in ages, but when I check the dates, it’s only been two weeks. I guess it feels this way because my days are super busy now, and I have hardly any time for myself. Turns out that new duties at work mean more to do, who knew…? ๐Ÿ˜‰ But speaking seriously, I find out that when I really have a lot to do and have to keep up the pace, I am suddenly much better organized than when I’m less busy. I prepare weekly and daily checklists, and I keep track of things to do and those I’ve already finished in my beloved Excel spreadsheets, and this helps me a lot (it also comes in handy later when it’s time to issue the invoice and pay my taxes). I’ve always been the type of person who works best when I can write things down, somehow the process or organizing things in my head and then putting the plan on paper (or more often, in a text file on my computer) makes me feel in control and like I can handle everything. And it’s really working!

Still, free time is scarce and it’s going to be this way until September, so knitting and crochet slowed down. And somehow in the middle of this hectic period, I felt that I absolutely needed to make a new doll, complete with yarny hair and tiny clothes made of scrap yarn.

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life

A different type of post

Hi! This is not going to be any kind of knitting-related update or a post about my cats – this time I’d like to share with you a fundraiser to help an indie yarn dyer in need.

Lise is an owner of TreLiz!, a business located in Athens, Greece. She was one of the vendors at Woollinn 2019 and although I didn’t get to talk with her much, her situation struck a chord with me, partly because I share her love for yarn and colour, and partly for personal reasons.

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cats · knitting

Sparkle and Shine

It seems that summer is finally in Ireland, after a very chilly and wet June (and a bonus cold for me, because who doesn’t want to get back to working full time with a runny nose and a fever, right?!). It’s a bit warmer and more sunny, and only rains on some days, which is a huge progress in comparison to June. Days are busy, I’m starting to feel more secure in my new duties at work, and everything is going fine – well, almost everything. Ciri has a minor inflammation in her eye (second time now), and following the vet’s advice, I keep applying chamomile extract twice a day on her eye area – just have to be careful not to let her swallow it as it may be toxic for cats when ingested. I really don’t want to bring her to the vet because those visits are extremely stressful for her and I’m worried she might get another stress-related UTI, so I’m happy to see that a chamomile home remedy seems to be doing the job. Even though she hates the application and I’m pretty sure she’s never going to trust me again!

My most recent knitting project has been the Kalaloch Pullover from the summer issue of Interweave Knits. I knew I wanted to knit it even before I received my issue of Interweave Knits, as soon as I saw the photos on Ravelry. I love this very oversized, relaxed sweater so much! But since it’s so oversized (I’m knitting size 48” whereas I normally wear 36” or 38”), and knitted with fingering yarn, it’s going to take forever to finish it. It took me days to knit the first 15 cm of plain stockinette stitch, and it’s definitely going to slow down even more when I get to the textured part… but before I get to it, I’m taking a forced break, because I broke my needle knitting it. Turns out that a wooden needle which is only 3 mm wide is just not very durable. Luckily it wasn’t a part of my new set, so all I had to do was order a new one online (and it’s aluminum this time) and wait for it to arrive.

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knitting

I actually finished a Summer Top!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you probably know that I’m not very successful with summer knits. I’m never really happy with how they feel or look, or just make so many mistakes during knitting that I finally give up.

Well, I think I found the key to successful summer knits: they shouldn’t be for me. Very often I like a pattern, but then I just usually feel awkward wearing it (that is, if I manage to finish the project at all). Yet when I scroll through the projects for the same pattern on Ravelry, everyone looks so great in their summer tops or jackets! So clearly, that’s a case of “it’s not you (dear pattern), it’s me”.

Dear Friends, let me present you the Silver Blossom Tee, summer top designed by Amy Gunderson, my first summer knit in two years that I’ve actually managed to finish and hey, I’ve even enjoyed knitting it! I also love the final result. It’s made for my Mom and I really hope it’s going to fit, as I haven’t asked for her exact measurements this time (but I know she wears clothes about 1-2 sizes bigger than myself, and I think this top should be fine). It’s the kind of garment I can easily see in her wardrobe, I think she’s going to like it.

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knitting

First Frost Shawl

A year ago I made a crochet lace shawl, using Exquisite Lace from the West Yorkshire Spinners. It’s a marvelous Falkland wool enriched with mulberry silk, and I’ve been looking for the right pattern to use another skein I’d bought last year, in light mint green. I’ve hesitated between many different shawls and scarves, but in the end I chose a Drops Design pattern called First Frost, because: 1) I liked it, 2) it required just under 800 metres which is exactly the length of 1 skein.

This pattern is rather simple – yes, it’s lace so it requires some attention and focus, but it’s also very repetitive so it’s easy to memorize each row after a brief check in the diagram. I’ve been knitting it while working (whenever I didn’t have to type), one row at a time, and it went much faster that it might seem. The yarn is very thin, but the needles used (3,5 mm) are larger than I’m using now for a fingering weight project, since lace looks better when it’s a little more loose and airy (after obligatory blocking of course!).

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