My plan to make shawls, scarfs and in some cases also matching hats as this year’s Christmas gifts for my loved ones is going smoothly so far. Last week I finished this thing of beauty, Lotus Shawl, by Yumiko Alexander (or DanDoh Design). I bought the Interweave book “Rustic Modern Knits” specifically for this pattern, because I fell in love with it as soon as I first saw it on the book’s cover online, and I knew I had to knit it one day. There are also other lovely patterns in the book and I’m going to knit some of them in the future too. I love Yumiko’s style, playing with textures, and unique way in which she makes vintage style look modern. Her designs are very feminine and flattering. She writes crochet patterns as well and there is a similar book “Rustic modern crochet” written by her.
It took me about 2 weeks to knit my scarf in the Old Shale lacy pattern. I could only knit a few pattern repeats each day and since I wanted the scarf to be long, it seemed to last forever. But finally I made it!
As I wrote in my previous post, I’d bought some gorgeous West Yorkshire Spinners wool recently to knit a shawl and a hat for my friend. The wool is very soft, but being a 100% sheep wool, it has these tiny fuzzy hair, which made me wonder if it would be comfortable to wear it around the neck, next to skin? Well, to find out I designed an almost scientific experiment (alright, not exactly, there’s no control trial and the sample is too small, but let’s say it’s enough for my home-based, yarny science) 😉
First I soaked one skein really well in Eucalan, which I love not only for its softening properties, but also because it’s no-rinse, which is great when you need to hand wash knitted clothes. I was a little worried that the wool would get tangled, but nothing like that happened.
Paying taxes is not the most pleasant part of my year. As a self employed person, I must send my self assessment for the previous year and cover the difference with the preliminary tax paid the year before. Oh, and pay the preliminary estimated tax for the current year. I have time to do it until the end of October but of course I try to send my assessment earlier, depending on the time when I am paid by the company I work with.
Happy New Year everyone! I’m really hopeful that this is going to be a good year, or at least better than 2016 – and I wish the same to everyone. If it’s true that the first days of the year are a prophecy for the rest of it, then I’m lucky, because in the first week of January I finished the project that made me really happy. It’s based on the Izumi pattern by Bernadette Ambergen. If you don’t know Bernadette’s patterns and you like shawls as much as I do, you need to check her other designs – they’re wonderful. I’m definitely planning to crochet at least two other in the future!
I’ve been looking for patterns for simple, “solid” shawls for long. And as much as I love beautiful, delicate, lace designs, I couldn’t find anything simple, that wouldn’t look too much like taken out of grandmother’s wardrobe at the same time. Not that I have anything against grandmother’s wardrobes, in fact, one of my grandmothers was an excellent tailor, another one a good knitter and a very elegant woman 😉
But I digress again. I haven’t found anything I really liked, and what’s more, many patterns are based on triangle which quickly gets too long, before it is wide enough.
And then I bought the Malabrigo sock yarn, and as I added it to my stash on Ravelry, I checked what other people made with it – and here it was: Foliose shawl by Cirsium Crochet. Made exactly with the colour I bought, too. The moment I saw it, I knew that this was the pattern I had been looking for.
Time’s flying fast these days and I’m stressed out with the deadlines hanging upon me even though I’m enjoying my work at the same time. But no matter how much there is to be done professionally, I just can’t stay away from crocheting. I’m completely addicted – hooked is the better word I guess.
I realise, looking back at the last year, that it’s been crocheting that kept me going. There have been some worse days and even months, especially summer was rough for me as I have a chronic disease and I was in a flare up then. Luckily not the real strong flare up, but still it wasn’t quite as pain-free and careless summer as I’d like it to be. I also didn’t feel very strong and couldn’t really enjoy the sunny days fully, even though I had a lot of free time, as summer is a work-free period of the year for me. But crocheting, the power to create, was something that gave me strength. I know it probably sounds like such a cliche, and I generally dislike such big statements and words, but it’s true. I’m so glad I re-discovered it after all those years! There is just something so special about turning the thread into a finished product with my own hands.
So, to keep on track of what this post was to meant to be about, I wanted to share my simple projects made while working. I used up nearly all of the aran weight cotton (different brands) that’s been in my stash for months and I had no idea what to do with it, as it turned out to be too thick for amigurumi. But it worked just great for dishcloths and hand towels that I can use to dry my hands after washing up in the kitchen. Cotton absorbs water well (mercerised cotton wouldn’t do the trick so well though) and it’s nice and friendly even for sensitive skin.
Some of the dishcloths and a towel made just this past week:
Hello! I hope everyone is fine and enjoying these first days of October!
Autumn finally arrived and it already feels colder. I started using one of the heaters and feel tempted to open another one, but I still feel it’s better to keep it for the real winter. Kind of silly thinking because hey, when it gets colder I could just adjust the settings, but for now I’m surviving with one heater on. And when it gets rough I can always use these crocheted legwarmers:
I made them many months ago, to use up the leftovers from the bulky star-shaped bedroom rug, and they’d been waiting patiently in my wardrobe ever since. But now is their time! Unfortunately, the pom-poms had to be removed, as they were too tempting for my cats who kept hunting them all the time. And as much as I adore my cats, I also prefer when my legs are not scratched.
I’m staying in the autumn land and keep crocheting cozy, warm accessories which will be so great to wear in a few months. From gloves I moved on to the shawl, following the pattern called The Virus Shawl, found on Ravelry.