Hello Friends, welcome in 2020! I hope you are all well and happy in this new year, and that all the days ahead will bring you happiness, many good surprises and even more great crafty projects 🙂
I’ve been sick for most of the holiday season, and generally spending a lot of my time at home, resting and trying to get better. Christmas was a quiet time for us, and so was the New Year’s Eve, which I always spend at home, as my cats get nervous with all the fireworks around and I don’t want to leave them alone at this time. To be honest, it’s also a perfect excuse to avoid going out anywhere, as I’m not the biggest time of New Year’s celebrations.
I haven’t updated the blog since before Christmas, but I kept knitting slowly whenever I felt like it, and it’s time to present my recent finished project – the Toruń Shawl. It’s a soft, squishy and beautiful shawl designed by Hanna Maciejewska and I decided to knit it with four different shades of Knit Picks Hawthorne sock yarn. The pattern is simple, and consists of four repeated sections (the last one is a little different but still uses the same elements), which are easy to memorise and can be knitted mindlessly while watching a TV show.
What does the name mean? Toruń is one of the oldest cities in Poland, and a very beautiful place with unique architecture, located by the Vistula river. Beside it’s gothic architecture, it’s known in Poland as a birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus and a centre of gingerbread production (the specific type of traditional Polish gingerbread is called piernik). And for knitters, it’s a place of an annual knitting meeting, which inspired this pattern.
Although I have never attended the meeting, I loved the look of the shawl and decided to knit it almost immediately after first seeing it. I haven’t changed a lot in the original colour combination, as I think that the variations of blue and white (with an addition of purple) work great with the design resembling the flow of the river.
I made a pair of fingerless gloves for my friend who lives in Dublin. I had no idea what size to choose and I picked the “one size fits all” pattern. It’s not exactly true – these gloves are definitely too big for me – but I think it’s a good average size and would indeed be right for most people. It was a very quick and easy project, and once the gloves were ready, I still had more than a half skein left (I used a skein of ruby yarn from my Wollinn festival haul).
This was a great opportunity to knit another pair, this time for myself, and here they are!
They look darker on the photo because sunny days are rarity now and the picture was taken on one of the typical dark and rainy November days. I’ve been wearing them a lot in the last week and they are perfect for this weather; they keep my hands warm and cosy. The yarn has some cashmere content (about 10%) and it’s really soft and nice.
It’s a very dark and rainy November day, I’m sitting wrapped in my blanket at home (cats are enjoying the heating pad, and I’m a little jealous of how warm and cosy they look) so I thought it’s an excellent opportunity to update my blog. The last few weeks have been quite eventful both with the good and the not so good stuff and I’ve managed to finish some small knitting projects and start a new larger one.
But first of all: my Scheepjes CAL – the Rozeta Blanket – is officially hibernating for an unspecified time. I managed to finish the first three weeks of the CAL and I had to give up because of shoulder tendonitis. I know exactly what caused it: I sleep on the side, with my arm under my head, and it’s been causing me shoulder pain for months now, but even when I try to sleep on my back, I wake up turned to the side again, and with the arm lifted up and placed under my head. Such repeated minor injury is a common way to get shoulder tendonitis according to my GP. I have to be careful, avoid lifting my arm and generally let it rest, which is quite challenging considering it’s the right arm, and I am right-handed. Not fun! Anyways, I noticed that it gets considerably worse when I crochet, whereas knitting, for some reason, doesn’t make the pain worse.
So for now – no more CAL and no more crochet, at least until I sort this problem out and get some physical therapy to learn how to improve the way I move and use my arm not to cause any more harm. So far the pain isn’t lessening, so I doubt that I’ll be able to get back to this project any time soon.
Almost two years ago I decided to take up the challenge of knitting my first dress in fingering weight yarn. I thought it was going to take forever and I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea, but as it turned out, I loved knitting it and didn’t find it boring at all, despite the amount of stockinette stitch I had to make. This dress had been a little loose, which was fine and I wore it a lot, but I lost some weight since then time and it has gotten too large for me at some point. It’s still safely stored in my wardrobe in case if I get bigger again (and sometimes due to new or increased doses of meds I quickly “grow” one or two sizes very fast, or lose just as much).
The pattern is called Still Light Tunic and it’s designed by Veera Välimäki. It’s really well written, simple, and smart in the way in which the pockets are constructed because yes, this dress has pockets! I absolutely love this detail as so many female clothes, including jeans, suffer from the lack of pockets. The dress is also very comfortable and just perfect for the autumn days, when it can be worn with boots (and a cardigan if necessary, since the sleeves are not full length).
After knitting my Citrus Dream cardigan last month, I knew that I was going to knit it again, with slightly tighter gauge than before, and in a more neutral colours. I find the shape of this design perfect for a lightweight, early autumn or spring cardigan, with larger neck opening and shorter sleeves that allow to easily adjust to the weather by adding a scarf and longer gloves if it gets colder.
This time I used Malabrigo Sock yarn in Piedras colourway, a nice, soft merino yarn in the shades of brown, green, and some hints of purple. I hesitated between three different colour options for the bands and cuffs: orange, mustard and light green. I liked each version, but ultimately decided to stick with the initial plan of knitting in more “neutral” shades, so I used some of the yarn bought at Wollinn – Live or Dye fingering merino in pale, muted green.
I think the result is great, and the colour combination reminds me of an autumn beech forest, with brown beech and green spruce and fir – exactly the kind of forest that is typical for the lower parts of the mountains close to my home in Poland.
So autumn is officially here, and it shows. The trees are turning red, brown and gold; the days are shorter, and the temperatures dropped. I like this time of the year, it’s my favourite; at least until the cold and rainy days of November start. I’m trying to take the opportunity of sunny days and go for walks in my neighbourhood, and I keep knitting to prepare myself for the colder half of the year.
Sometimes the walks are a good opportunity to make new friends:
And when I’m at home, I can admire my cats getting ready for winter, as they sleep longer and stopped shedding as much as during the summer.
First of all, I’d like to thank you all for your kind words under my previous post. Your encouragement and support means a lot!
I’m still working on digging myself out of the black hole and it gets better every day. I’m functional again, resumed my regular workouts, and they always help keep my mood up. I also keep knitting a lot and that’s why I already have another sweater to share here.
Remember the Silver Blossom Tee I’ve knitted in July for my Mum? Well, I decided to knit it again, this time in a winter version. I had a sweater worth of Drops Sky in my stash. It’s a super soft and light alpaca yarn that I’d bought during the last year’s Drops Alpaca Party. I didn’t have any specific plans for it, I just took the opportunity of a reduced price, because this yarn is really wonderful and so pleasant to work with. I’d used it in the past for my Mint Tulip Skirt and despite my worries that it might not survive too long (as the yarn is so delicate and seems very fragile), it’s still fine and looks well after being worn a lot during the last winter. I decided that Drops Sky will work well with this pattern, but I wanted to knit longer sleeves. I actually hesitated between full length or elbow-length, and eventually compromised with 3/4 sleeves!
A quick update about a quick project – a new winter hat!
It took a day (well, not a full day really, I think maybe 2-3 hours total – a little bit in the morning, and the rest in the afternoon), I enjoyed it, and I like the new hat. Just good things!
I followed a pattern called Finlandia by Paige Buursma, and I suppose that it owes its name to the lacy Spruce trees repeated in three rounds from the rib to the crown, just like in Finland’s boreal forests. I liked it, in Dublin winters I don’t need very thick head protection, so adding these lacy elements makes the hat more suitable here. It was also perfect for that one lonely skein of grey Malabrigo Rios that’s been in my stash since forever. It’s going to match my lacy crochet shawl that I use as a scarf in winter. Last spring I bought a red coat on the seasonal sale, and I can already see it all together looking well and feeling comfy.
Nothing like instant gratification from a quick and enjoyable project!
And to finish this short post, just a sneak peek at my new stitch markers. I didn’t really need them, but I wanted something silly and cute to cheer me up, and what’s better than stitch markers with tiny rubber ducks, colourful macarons and come buttered crumpets with a cup of tea? They’re from my most favourite Etsy store. And indeed, it worked!
The project at the top is another attempt to improve my mood, and I’ve been enjoying knitting it so far. But I’ll reveal more in the next post 🙂
I made it! My Kalaloch Pullover is ready and I’m really happy with how it turned out. I wasn’t sure till the very end if it would really fit me, with its funny short sleeves (just look above) and its wide circular yoke – it’s only at the end when the decreases are really made (it’s knitted bottom up) and suddenly the yoke starts looking like it should. But even with all those doubts I persisted and now I have this awesome loose fitting sweater that I’m going to wear as soon as autumn starts (which means soon!).
I’m buried in work and stressed out, but I can already see the light at the end of the tunnel month, when the workload should get a little more manageable, and I hope to get some “me” time again.
I manage to knit a few rows of my Kalaloch Pullover each day, and that’s about that, but even with such low speed, it slowly starts looking like a pullover more than like a shapeless blob. It’s really oversized, and the construction is particularly interesting, as the actual sleeves are very short, and about half of their length is in fact the oversized yoke (if it even should be still called a yoke?). Everything is knitted from the bottom, and sleeves are attached to the body at the start of the yoke and later worked together with the body. The armhole openings are grafted with Kitchener’s stitch at the end.