general ramblings · life

Lockdown

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Day 1.

Winter came to Ireland. An actual, snowy winter that put all the country on lockdown. Schools, workplaces, post, public transport of all kinds (from planes to buses and trains), shops and restaurants – everything has been closed since Wednesday. Today is the first day when it almost doesn’t snow and some shops are open again. And that’s what happens when people can go shopping again after a couple of days:

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This is just the part of the queue outside of the supermarket, there’s a long line inside the building too.

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knitting

Stranded colourwork

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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.

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knitting

Still Light Tunic

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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.

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crochet

I’m joining a CAL!

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The best Quality Control 🙂

So it happened: I decided to join my first Crochet Along – Arizona blanket! I’ve never participated in any CALs or KALs, for two reasons: I haven’t found any that would appeal to me enough to get out of my comfort zone, plus I’m just too impatient for that. I still don’t think I could participate in a KAL – I’m not sure why, but just the thought of having on ongoing, long term project hibernating on my needles while I’m working on other things gives me anxiety and my obsessive brain just can’t handle this idea. It seems a little easier with crochet. I already have such project – my Swedish Popcorn Blanket (which by the way is going to take years to finish, if I ever finish it at all) and I’m really relaxed about it, so adding another one was an easy decision.

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knitting

Mood and Gauge

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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.

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knitting

Colour Block Jumper

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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.

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life

Home!

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My welcome committee. Waiting for their treats 🙂

Goodbye, creepy hotel room, and goodbye Brussels! I’m back home and it’s so awesome to be here again!

It’s been such a strange week. The work meetings were intense as always, but I think they went really well. There was also some socializing in the evenings which kept me out of my hotel room for a few hours after work. And all the nights I slept with the light on, which is something I never do – in fact I can’t remember leaving the light on even as a child. But look at these photos and tell me that you wouldn’t feel weird there? Especially considering that these 2-storey rooms are located in a totally different part of the hotel than all the “normal” rooms, and to go there you have to climb very narrow stairscase and walk through an old, isolated and dark corridor.

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knitting · life

Greetings from a spooky hotel room :)

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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 🙂

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knitting

Because it’s still winter…

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I’m not sure why but I can’t resist knitting more and more hats and scarves. There’s just something I love about it: instant gratification because they take so little time to knit, so many awesome and very different patterns and ideas, and how they can easily change the character of an outfit. They also don’t require large amount of yarn which makes them perfect de-stashing projects.

So yes, I knitted another set this week 😉

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