Hello! How are you doing my Friends? I hope everyone is fine, staying safe in self-isolation.
Who would have thought a year ago that this would be a common way to begin a blog entry? We live in interesting times, and I miss the good old boredom!
Here in Ireland, we entered the first stage of a 5-phase roadmap to reopening the country yesterday, and it seems that everyone assumes we’re already past the danger. I went to do my weekly grocery shopping yesterday, and I was baffled to see people without masks, gloves and approaching each other casually as if everything was already back to normal. But the 1st phase is hardly any change at all, the process is supposed to be a gradual (and slow – until August) transition into “business as usual”. Right now, some outdoor vendors and workers can reopen/ get back to work, and people from different households can meet up outdoors, but still keeping the distance. Meanwhile, all the neighbourhood kids are running around together in a large group today, and I just can’t see it ending well. I hope I’m wrong!
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.
A year ago I made a crochet lace shawl, using Exquisite Lace from the West Yorkshire Spinners. It’s a marvelous Falkland wool enriched with mulberry silk, and I’ve been looking for the right pattern to use another skein I’d bought last year, in light mint green. I’ve hesitated between many different shawls and scarves, but in the end I chose a Drops Design pattern called First Frost, because: 1) I liked it, 2) it required just under 800 metres which is exactly the length of 1 skein.
This pattern is rather simple – yes, it’s lace so it requires some attention and focus, but it’s also very repetitive so it’s easy to memorize each row after a brief check in the diagram. I’ve been knitting it while working (whenever I didn’t have to type), one row at a time, and it went much faster that it might seem. The yarn is very thin, but the needles used (3,5 mm) are larger than I’m using now for a fingering weight project, since lace looks better when it’s a little more loose and airy (after obligatory blocking of course!).
It’s official: my new favourite sweater is ready! In fact, it’s been ready for over a week now, I’ve just been lazy to update the blog and post some photos, so it’s high time to write about it.
I was super enthusiastic about the pullover in my previous post, and I still am. It turned out just as I hoped for: very soft and squishy, with a comfortable, relaxed fit. This yarn apparently stretches a little after blocking (I haven’t washed or blocked it yet as I don’t think I’m going to wear it anytime soon, it’s too warm), so I guess it will be even more relaxed once I decide to do it.
What do you knit when you have plenty of bright red and white wool that was initially meant to be a Christmas jumper, and when you are in festive, Christmas mood?
That’s right, you knit socks! And because you can’t decide if you prefer them white with red Scandinavian pattern or red with white pattern, you just knit two pairs. And then you like them so much, that you decide to knit more for your Mother and for your Friend, because you know they love warm, cosy socks just as much as you do 🙂
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.
It’s summer in Ireland, and quite an amazing one, with several weeks of sunshine and temperatures well above 20 degrees Celsius. Apparently it’s one of the warmest summers ever! Funny thing, in Poland that would be considered average or even cool summer weather, and as the Boyfriend says, in Greece that’s more like early spring or maybe autumn. But here it really feels hot, so much so that we’ve already spent a few weekend days on the beach and even went swimming a couple of times! In fact, since our living room has one glass wall (windows from ceiling to floor), it gets awfully hot inside and I’m looking forward for the weather to cool down.