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.
Some time ago I bought additional crochet thread to finish my Pineapples Tablecloth, which had been hibernating for a while as I run out of thread (that’s what happens when you buy unusual thread size on sale!) and couldn’t find any more of it anywhere. And then I bought a different thread in the same size, which looked similar enough and it seemed that I’d be able to continue my project after all.
Alas, it didn’t happen. It may have looked similar in my drawer, but as soon as I started crocheting, the difference was just too visible to continue. The new thread will have to wait for a different project, some time in the future – but what about my tablecloth? Should I wait more, until (if) I find the right thread? I decided against it. I crocheted the last 3 rounds in the old thread, frogged the part made in the new one, and called it a day. It may be missing the final round of large pineapples, and it’s a pity, but it looks fine as it is, too.
So I tried, I failed, I’m happy anyway 🙂 This is going to be a gift for my parents one day, and in the meantime, it’s waiting in the box in my wardrobe.
At the end of the year I’ve started working on a new pullover in Drops Alpaca Bouclé bought during the end-of-the-year sale of alpaca-based Drops yarns. This yarn is very unique – the main thread is thin, but because of the loops it requires bigger needles and knits up like worsted weight, therefore it required a special pattern, suitable for a very lightweight (for its thickness) yarn. While browsing through the projects knitted by other users on Ravelry with Alpaca Bouclé, I found Redy Pullover by Ankestrick. I knew instantly that it was a perfect choice; with its relaxed fit and wide collar, and so I decided to knit it right away.
About two weeks ago I decided to resume my hibernating Pineapple Doily project. In fact I don’t think I should call it a doily anymore – it’s already a full sized tablecloth, and it’s not even finished yet. I decided that it will be a gift for my parents – they’ve recently bought a new table for their dining room and even though the table is rectangular, the tablecloth is big enough to cover it in full despite its round shape.
The title of my post may sound like I’m a little surprised, and it’s not without a reason. I’ve spent all October at home, with just a few days in the middle of the month when I felt able to go out, and having a whole month just pass me by feels weird. Suddenly the trees are almost leaveless, and the days are visibly shorter. My cats are a little more fluffy with their thicker, winter fur, and much more cuddly as it gets colder.
When I last updated my blog, I was on the mend from pneumonia, and able to go out again. Well, that didn’t last long (not more than a few days): the Boyfriend caught a cold and 2 days later I had a cold too. Just that, while his cold ended after a week, mine turned into another chest infection – and another round of antibiotics and feeling miserable. Maybe it wasn’t even another infection, just the previous one that hadn’t really had a chance to be fully cured.
Anyways, it’s finally better again, and I took my last antibiotic tablet today. I’m feeling well and even the fatigue is gone. I still need to have some blood work done, to check if all the medications haven’t done any damage to my liver, and because I’m losing my hair in chunks – but I hope it’s only going to get better and better from now on!
While I’ve been stuck at home all those weeks, I knitted another pair of gloves. I used the same purple yarn as in the stripey jumper, and I’m absolutely proud of them. Even though, when you have a closer look, you can see that I really shouldn’t, because I made a huge mistake in the pattern!
I wanted to title this post “using up scrap yarn” or something similar, but then I realised that calling all that cotton “scraps” would be an understatement. I still had about 5 skeins of Drops Safran from my never-knitted summer top, and I kept wondering what to knit with them?
My doily is a long-term, ongoing project that I take out from its project bag from time to time, crochet a few rounds and put it away for days again. It’s quite nice to have such a project whenever I need a change – crocheting with thread and small hooks really feels different than most of my other projects.
Last year I had started crocheting a cotton thread Swedish Popcorn Bedspread for my parents. From time to time I’d picked it from its project bag, crocheted one or two hexagons, and then put it away for longer and longer periods of time. As much as I love the pattern for this bedspread, I just didn’t feel that the thin crochet thread was the right choice. The hexagons seemed way too delicate, and I kept thinking that it wouldn’t be sturdy enough, especially in a house with a dog that is allowed to sleep everywhere. This bedspread is very time consuming, so I wanted to be sure that it’s going to last forever! 🙂
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 spent last two weeks in Poland, visiting my parents. It was a no-crochet and no-knitting time, so there is no new project to show here unfortunately. Instead I’d like to share some memories from my visit home, even if it’s not strictly the topic of this blog.
But first: before leaving, I had received my Wool Lotto yarn! There’s a lot of alpaca (Stylecraft Alpaca DK) – enough for two big jumpers and maybe additional hats of scarves; and some cotton with polyester for a summer top (C+B Lolli yarn). My stash is more than full and I had to find additional place in the wardrobe for the yarn. I’m not complaining, it feels good to have all this yarn waiting for its turn to be knitted or crocheted!
The photo only shows the top layer in the big plastic box, there are three such layers in total plus some single skeins of cotton that are stored in another room.
So the previous photo shows my future, and my most recent past looked like that: