Winter Focus

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I’ve been feeling bad for the last couple of days, with swollen joints and energy-draining fatigue. Luckily, as I wrote in my previous post, I don’t have to work now, so I can allow myself to spend a few days snuggled up on the coach, with Stella on my lap, a mug of green tea, a book and some yarny project in my hands (not necessarily all at once of course).

Stella is my best medicine. She is such a loving, affectionate cat with the best purr ever! Every now and then she looks at me and very gently touches my face with her paw, as if trying to say “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine!”.

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Ciri, her younger sister, is not affectionate at all, but she makes me laugh with all the mischievous things she does. I really can’t imagine my home without them!

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Winter preparations

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So… it’s May, spring came to Ireland and it seems to be here for good, with more sun than rain to the point that if the weather stays as it is now, we’re planning to go to the beach on the weekend. I mean REALLY to the beach, to lay down on our towels in the sun, which I’ve only done once in Ireland before, because usually it’s just too windy or cloudy. Yay! However, as you can see on the photo above, this lovely weather doesn’t distract me from planning ahead and preparing for autumn 😉

The thought process that made me knit a hat and a neck warmer in may was simple:

a) I have leftover yarn from my first cardigan project and it doesn’t really match with other yarn colours in my stash, so I should use it for something small;

b) I really want to try knitting more cables and perhaps some easy lacework;

a) + b) = c), where

c) I have to knit a cabled hat! and if there is enough yarn left, then also gloves or a cowl!

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Back to crochet: fan pattern gloves

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I’ve been taking a bit of a break break from any crafts recently. Partly because of work, and partly because I’ve been busy planning the trip to Poland around Easter, buying and setting up the new working area for me in the apartment (finally! no more working at the kitchen table, yay!) and generally trying to figure out the plan for the rest of the year. Some things are still not certain, like my boyfriend’s employment once his current contract is over, so it’s a bit of transition time for us, which has been keeping my attention away from my hooks or needles. The only crafty thing I made is a pair of gloves for Mum – crochet this time.

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Knitting, crochet and colours!

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Can there be anything better for a beginner knitter with crochet skills and colour fixation  than a project covering it all? You are right, probably not 😉 That’s why my latest project, baktus scarf, has been such a joy!

I’ve had my eye on the Drops pattern (another one from their basic patterns collection) for a while. First – it took me some time and learning to understand it, as knitting patterns in general are still somewhat mysterious to me, and Drops patterns are written in their strange, specific way, which usually makes me want to give up instantly after reading them for the first time. Second – I really wanted it to be as colourful as possible, but I didn’t have the right yarn. I had worked with the recommended Drops Delight before and I didn’t like the feel of this yarn too much, especially for something to be worn close to the skin. It is a little too coarse and stiff and the nylon in it is too visible, so despite the beautiful colorways I knew I needed something else. When I added all the new yarn to my stash last week, Noro Silk Garden reminded me about this pattern and I knew it was time to knit it.

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Still knitting hats

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I made a decision to use up all, or at least most of the scrap yarn from my stash before I order anything new. I have some single yarn skeins or even lesser amounts that are perfect either for practicing or for very small projects, or both, and I need to get rid of them to make room for something new, but of course not by throwing them away. I made a lot of sample squares, trying to learn new stitches and to improve my stocking/ stockinette stitch (when knitting in rows) too. It’s still not good, no matter what I do, so I’m thinking of going to a few knitting classes in one of the Dublin’s yarn stores next month. Maybe someone with experience can tell me what to change to make progress, since it’s such an important stitch and one that is used a lot for clothing…

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Merino lace shawl

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Happy New Year everyone! I’m really hopeful that this is going to be a good year, or at least better than 2016 – and I wish the same to everyone. If it’s true that the first days of the year are a prophecy for the rest of it, then I’m lucky, because in the first week of January I finished the project that made me really happy. It’s based on the Izumi pattern by Bernadette Ambergen. If you don’t know Bernadette’s patterns and you like shawls as much as I do, you need to check her other designs – they’re wonderful. I’m definitely planning to crochet at least two other in the future!

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Hats and scarfs

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As my quest to crochet all the Christmas gifts this year continues, I’m feeling stuck in the world of manly hats and scarfs. These projects tend to be fast and easy, but sometimes… sometimes they’re anything but that. But let’s start from the beginning.

Men in my life, who are going to receive gifts from me this Christmas, include my boyfriend, my dad, my brother and my nephew. And at least two of them are difficult… I can never figure out what to give them so that they really like it. Those are my dad and my boyfriend. I don’t think it’s a coincident that they are both mathematicians too? 😉

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Rug and other mishaps

So… the doggie jacket was a project from hell. I frogged and restarted it about million times or so, and in the end it turned out so stiff and ugly that I felt sorry for the poor dog who would have to wear it. So I didn’t even frog it one more time, just threw it all away. And then I turned to an old, tried pattern to crochet a rug which would finally use up the long stored aran wool in my stash. This wool was just too coarse to use it for a hat or a scarf.

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That was both super easy and super fast and will replace an old similar rug, which was completely ruined by my cats (because it’s so awesome to wrap their toys in it and then search for them, using the claws of course). I hope it will last a bit longer than the previous one, especially that winter is coming quickly, days are shorter, and cats sleep more too – on their crocheted blankets and cushions of course 😉

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Long post about nothing in particular

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:

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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 😉

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