I came back to Dublin at the end of last week and I’ve been slowly settling into my normal life again. It’s never easy to me after a longer break and this time was not different.
I haven’t updated my blog in a while and there’s a good reason for that, as I’m on a short holiday in Poland. I decided not to bring any knitting or crochet projects with me. Honestly, it feels a little weird not to have my hands busy like I usually do at my own home when I’m sitting in front of TV or a computer, but I think it’s good to let my hands rest a bit. My right arm has been a little achy recently and I’m pretty sure it’s from knitting all the time, so I’m letting it rest and giving myself reason to miss the needles and hooks again 🙂 It’s definitely working!
While I’m busy meeting up with my family and friends, visiting some of my favourite places and eating (especially eating!), I thought I’d update everyone on Nika’s hoodie.
I’ve been planning to knit the Madigan top for my mother since… I’m not even sure, seems like forever. That’s because it’s exactly the type of sweater she likes, with short sleeves and ridged cowl designed to keep the neck warm. And it’s simple, no lace or fancy stitches – I just know she’s going to love it!
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.
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.
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.
It’s the time of the year when I visit Brussels again. Unlike in September, when I take part in the training at the beginning of each new working season, the winter panel meeting is filled with
arguing intense discussions and can be quite exhausting. We start at 9 each day (for 4 days total) and finish in the evening, in theory around 6 p.m. but it’s never true – we usually stay much longer. Plus we always have a “European party” one of the evenings when we eat and drink food and wine typical for the country of each person in the team. Since we have nearly all European nationalities represented in our team, it’s a very interesting experience! And as for me, I usually bring some whiskey-based Irish sweets – fudge or chocolates. They’re a nice change after all the cheese and hams and other salty snacks 🙂