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.Continue reading “Currently on my needles and other stuff”
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:
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?
After dealing with all the gift making, I decided to have a go at crocheting a doily. I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea, since I’d tried crocheting with lace yarn before and I hadn’t enjoyed it. But I know why now: wrong hook (not sturdy enough, feeling a little flexible in my fingers) and wrong yarn (mohair lace – not good for beginners!).
I chose the pattern which seemed rather simple, yet lovely: Penelope doily by Grace Faeron. I used 1,25 mm crochet hook – a good, solid one this time, which made crocheting really easy and pleasant – and crochet thread no 10. The thread is gray, for two reasons: I didn’t want the typical traditional white doily, and I wanted it to suit my kitchen table, which is made of glass and steel. The only worry I had with this colour was that it might look dirty – you know, like white things look sometimes after many years in use. But in the end I don’t think it does, and I’m happy with my choice. Crocheting it was fast and enjoyable, the pattern is very well explained, the thread is smooth and sturdy. I ordered the blocking mat on ebay, but since it’s still not delivered, I blocked the doily on the bed instead to open up the lace – and I like the result!