Over a year ago I wrote about my autumn placemat project. I love this time of the year and it always makes me feel full of hope and ideas. I believe it’s a remnant of my school and university years – school in my country starts in September, and university year in October, and new beginnings always bring chance for something new and good. Those years are gone, but anticipation of something new always awakes in me when summer is over and the air gets cooler. Just like a new beginning.
I really don’t know how to wear linen. Not even the modern type, which theoretically doesn’t require ironing – it always looks so folded and worn out on me. Unlike on my Brother, who loves wearing linen shirts in the summer and actually looks well in them. Apparently I didn’t inherit the linen gene from our ancestors like he did!
In the home decor however, linen is one of my favourite fibres. It’s so fresh, crisp, simple, yet at the same time luxurious.
But I swear I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I bought the cotton and linen Drops Bomull-Lin yarn on the July Drops Cotton Sale! I just wanted to try this different type of yarn, because I’ve never used linen in my projects before. I also really wanted to make something special for my Parents, who are in the middle of buying and moving to a new home. I wanted to crochet a big doily and a set of coasters for their new place and I figured that linen would be a great choice.
My life is still lazy and not necessarily by choice. Still not feeling quite well, so while I’m waiting for the new meds to kick in and do their job, I spend my days mostly at home and have plenty of time to read, binge watch Netflix and crochet or knit. Life’s not bad at all! And since the last week brought the so-called “Irish heatwave” (meaning temperatures around 26 degrees Celsius – crazy! 😉 ), I felt inspired to work on summer projects. Of course, as soon as I finished them, it got cooler, but I hope we’ll have a few more warm days during the summer months.
Last week I’ve managed to finalise the revision of my last work project in the 2016/2017 season. It’s official: I’m on holidays until late September! It’s both good and bad news: good because who am I to complain at having three months off to gather my strength before the new year of work begins, right? Especially that as usually, autumn is going to be very intense and stressful. But it’s also bad because it’s unpaid holiday time of course. Well, unless I manage to catch a short-term contract for the summer, but to be honest, it won’t be so easy. So at least at the moment it looks that I’m going to have a lot of time for crochet and knitting, because most likely we’re not going anywhere for holidays except maybe some weekend excursions to the Irish countryside. I have many ideas for my summer projects which include a jumper for the Boyfriend and a knitted dress for me. And doilies!
I’ve been knitting a lot recently. After my Morning Glory cardigan, I finished a sleeveless top which still needs to be blocked before I can take some photos and write about it (spoiler: I’m really not sure what to think about it). I have a lot of free time now, since my work is less intense these days, but it also keeps me at home as I have to be close to the PC most of the time. This, of course, is a perfect crafting situation 🙂
After all this knitting I felt the sudden need to crochet something. And it was a brilliant opportunity to clear up my cotton stash a little. I have a lot of cotton yarn that I’d bought long ago for amigurumi, and then I focused on other projects and never crocheted those toys. I also really needed new coasters and cotton yarn is perfect for that.
Last days have been keeping me busy with work, so my crochet and knitting projects were easy and fast, not to distract me too much.
In practice, it means two more pair of socks, this time one pair for my Dad (his birthday is soon so I have an excuse to knit them for him) in black and white, and one pair for my Nephew, mostly in blue. Both are, again, knitted with Drops Fabel (have enough of it for 3 pairs more) and based on Ann Budd’s basic socks patterns. I can’t believe I actually consider knitting socks “easy”, but in case of this basic pattern it really is, once I understood how it works and what exactly needs to be done.
I have mixed feelings when it comes to doilies. I appreciate their beauty and all the delicate, subtle details. I have no idea how can anyone write a doily pattern – I think it requires some mad skills, experience, patience, and amazing visual imagination. At the same time, I don’t really like the vintage ‘granny’ style associated with doilies and I don’t have much use for them at my home. This is actually strange because I don’t mind the ‘old-fashioned’ look of granny squares and I really like my Bavarian stitch cushion, but somehow doilies seem different, I think they really require special environment. Even the only doily I’ve crocheted so far is grey not to look so classic. Thinking about it, I have maybe one friend who actually likes this type of vintage home decor and would certainly appreciate some hand-made doilies in her living room and they would suit it – all the others prefer more modern style too. All of that means that I need to think hard before deciding to crochet a doily: is it really something that would be used? Or would it just stay in the closet without any purpose?
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.
I mentioned in the past that I’m not a fan of crochet clothing. Crochet is great for home decor, accessories, doilies and so on, but most of the sweaters or dresses I’ve seen look just… not quite right to me. Especially considering that crochet is not yarn efficient at all, usually the cost of yarn combined with the look of the finished project is just not worth it for me.
Having said that, I found a few patterns worth giving them a try. One of them was Amber jumper, a free Drops pattern. Mesh clothes are not my thing, but this jumper is made with cotton and has this nice summer look that convinced me to give it a try. It made me think about the summer evenings, when it’s too hot for a real sweater, but not hot enough to stay in short sleeves only. Plus the cotton yarn it calls for is very cheap, so there was not much risk in crocheting it.
OK, so I’m not a fan of crochet clothes, not a fan of mesh, and also – not a fan of this kind of yellow (the only yellow I like on me is pale banana shade in small amounts). And yet not only did I decide to crochet it, but I bought exactly the same colour as in the pattern. I don’t know, I just thought about this jumper as about a summer piece of clothing, something to wear on holiday, away from the everyday life… and so I wanted it to look different too.
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!
I blog about crochet, knitting, painting and other craftsy stuff. I love working with natural colors and materials, dark roast coffee and Cadbury chocolate :) You can find my items on Etsy or at Crafters Gallery, Saratoga Springs.