For the New Year

I wish you peace.

I hope that you are happy, and that you are content with what you have. I hope that the people you love are well, that there won’t be many worries next year, that you sleep well, always have enough to eat and that you are in a safe place where you feel good. I hope that you stay healthy and that, if not, you recover speedily.

May you always have enough time for the things you love.
Whether you write, draw, paint, craft, knit, spin, crochet, or create otherwise, I hope that you find inspiration and joy in your work, and that you get recognised and praised for it. I wish you lots of good ideas, lots of Flow, and sleepless nights which are spent doing what you love and which leave you exhausted, but happy.

I wish you confidence – in yourself, in your work, in your life. I hope that the people around you treat you with kindness, and I wish you nerves of steel when you need them, a kind heart and inner strength if you have to forgive someone. I hope that, if you screw up, people forgive you, too.

I hope that you will find, that, if you are unhappy with something in your life, you have the strength and the courage to change it, and I wish you the power to look upon yourself with love and goodwill and with a sprinkle of humour, because sometimes we all need that.

2016 was a wild ride. I hope that we can show that hatred won’t win, that love and respect are not signs of weakness, but of strength, and that we will all look back on 2017 next year and say: “Wow, that was pretty good, overall.”

Happy New Year, everybody.

Kauni’s Arrow

I am in love. It’s been a week. I never saw it coming, but here I am.

I had almost finished the Colour Explosion sneakers and had discovered that my last yarn splurge had reduced my destash-o-metre from 615grams to 21 grams, when I realised was going to face an hour-long drive to a friend’s birthday party and wouldn’t have anything to knit on the way. I dug through my stashbox and unearthed one of the balls of Kauni yarn a friend at knitting group had given me approximately two years ago.

Kauni EP

A quick search through my queue provided me with Jenny F’s everday shawl (link to pattern page), a beautiful pattern perfect for yarns with long colour repeats. I scanned the pattern, asked Philipp to print it out for me and decided to give it a try.

Simple Shawl 01

The everyday shawl is a stockinette stitch shawl that starts off with an arrow-shape and changes directions after you have finished the increases, and the magic of the pattern – apart from the shape – is the fact that you alternate between stockinette and reverse stockinette sections (I love it when shawls are completely reversable).

Simple Shawl 02

I started with a 4,0mm needle and managed to finish almost two repeats on the drive to the party (it was midnight when we left and it was too dark to fuss around with increases and yarn overs and sl2sts k-wise, k1, psso without being able to see what I was doing).

Simple Shawl 03

Measuring my gauge the next morning made me realise that my gauge was two stitches off (too big) and since I do not have 620 yards, but rather 612y), I frogged it all and started anew, this time with 3,5mm needles. (I’m still one stitch off, but nevermind). Simple Shawl 04

I love this pattern. Somebody on ravelry compared it to a bag of potato chips (you can’t stop until it’s finished), and I can definitely relate to that. I don’t even know what it is that makes knitting this shawl so addictive (it’s pretty straightforward, which makes it easy to work on while I’m tired, that’s a bonus), but the colour changes definitely help.

Simple Shawl 06

Of course, Kauni isn’t known for its immediate softness. It’s 100% wool, and quite rough, and the last few days have been hot for a change (which makes knitting real fun when you have sweaty fingers), and the project is getting a bit big for taking it on commute, but I don’t mind. I’m really optimistic that washing the shawl will soften it …

Simple Shawl 05

And THEN, I will have one of the most perfect and beautiful accessoires in my wardrobe to date.

Prepare for updates with pictures.

 

Have a lovely Sunday, friends!

Love,

Julia 😀

Colour Explosion Sneakers

I have said it once, I have said it twice: I don’t think that knitting heavily-patterned socks while using colourful yarn is a good idea.

You just won’t get anything out of it. Every once in a while, I see folks using commercial-dyed sock yarn (say, Regia or Opal) and knitting intricate, complicated patterns, mostly with really fancy cables.

And all I can think of: “It’s naught.” You can’t see the cables properly, because the colours get in the way and the stripes (which are a big part of Opal yarns, usually) don’t work into each other harmoniously, so you cannot appreciate the pretty colourway either. It’s simply not worth the effort.

Now look at this:

Colour Explosion Sneakers 05

These socks were knit of a Regia yarn that is simply called “Regia 4-ply color”, and obviously, I didn’t stick to my own rule. I bought this yarn in June, after having bought two balls of it for last year’s Julklapp in our knitting group, and eyeing it ever since then. The yarn is really pretty:

Regia 4-fädig 01

It’s also really busy, changing the colour of the barberpoled-yarn every centimetre or so.

I took it to my sister’s birthday (which is at the beginning of August) and cast on 20 sts for a pair of sneaker socks after coffee (and cake).

Colour Explosion Sneakers 01

After finishing the toe, I started with the  Hermione’s Everyday Socks pattern, and, after a few rounds, showed my grandmother what I had done. She eyed the sock suspiciously.

“I don’t think it’s worth the effort”, she finally said. “Frankly, I wouldn’t bother, and knit it in stockinette stitch.”

Of course, I didn’t listen, and when I came to the point where I had to start the gusset increases (which for me is after 12,6cm), I added a bit of texture:

Colour Explosion Sneakers 07

I know that this is nowhere original, I have seen socks with garter stitch gussets a couple of times, but I have always found them to be very pretty. The fun fact about garter stitch gussets is that they look very fancy, but are easy to knit: Simply increase your stitches as you normally would, and purl all your gusset stitches when it comes to the second row (“knit all stitches”). I increased until I had 14 gusset stitches, but kept the first and the last stitch before and after the instep as a knit stitch, to have a smarter edge.

Colour Explosion Sneakers 02

The heel flap was knit with slipped stitches (I find that they make the sock really comfortable and sturdy – none of my socks had ever any problem with the heel flap) and then I continued the leg for about 7 rounds (6 on the second, because what the heck, the sock was long enough), and topped it off with 10 rounds of 1/1 ribbing for the cuff. I bound off using Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind off, and wow.

Colour Explosion Sneakers 06

I’m in love. The socks are colourful, the texture is lovely, and I really love the look of them, although you can’t spot a damn thing unless you’re near enough to see all the small details. They made a great travel project when I went to and from work, and the pattern, while keeping me interested, was not complicated at all, which allowed me to knit a few rows in between writing a huge crack-fic (a “crack fic” is a crazy, funny story, a crazy fanfiction story in particular) with a friend of mine in the evenings (yes, we are over 700 pages. After about 2-3 months of writing. We’re bonkers). Today, I bound off, sewed in the ends, and weighed the remaining yarn.

Regia 4-fädig 02

1 gram is left. I am a happy camper.
Have a great start into next week, my friends! Take care!

All the best,
Julia 😀
P.S.: OH, by the way? Last night, we went to Duesseldorf to celebrate L.’s birthday, and she got the pair of socks I knit for her:

Summerchild Socks 07

She wasn’t as enthusiastic as I would have hoped (she didn’t squee or say anything about the pretty colourway), but the socks fit and she was opening presents in front of all the guests. I’m biding my time, and hope that she will love them. 😉

So that was that. (featuring lots of yarny pictures)

At the beginning of the year, I was on a mission.

I had pulled out all of my stashand had finally realised that not only do I own 9,202kg of yarn (add 1kg of fibre to that), but also that I had hit the 500€ mark on my stash (not counting the stuff I had been gifted).

Just a friendly reminder of what our living room looked like ... Philipp wasn't so cool about it as last year. A-HEM.

Just a friendly reminder of what our living room looked like … Philipp wasn’t so cool about it as last year. A-HEM.

 

So, as I said, I said that I would use up stash, and that I would only buy yarn for presents or if I really, really needed it.

The year went really well so far –  I am a member of the “Stricken statt Klicken”-group on raverly, where we have a so-called “Stashtistic”, which is basically a post in a thread you can use to list everything that goes into your stash and out of it. To make sure nothing gets lost, I also have a second spreadsheet on my computer (I am a sucker for spreadsheets. And lists. And plans. And everything that gives you the illusion of being very organised. 😉 ).

The year started off really, really well, and then, in June, I stumbled for the very first time when I bought this:

Wolle im Juni

Okay, okay, the merino yarn in the bag was intended for the Meadow Baby Blanket (and to be fair, I only had 2 grams of leftovers – I have to sew in the ends and wash it and then it will be ready to show here!), but also the little ball of yarn in front. THIS was a completely unneccessary purchase (but one I enjoy too damn much to be concerned about it. More about it later).

These 350grams of yarn added to the stash of course, but since I used up 297 gram of the merino, I wasn’t doing so bad … I still had destashed 615grams of yarn, bringing my yarn stash to roughly 8,6kg of yarn (yes, yes … I know. The PROGRESS … 😉 ).

And then …

I blew it all.

You see, I am already making a list of who will be getting WHAT for Christmas (I will talk about that soon – so many things to share! ) and had made a list of what to get … And last Tuesday, Philipp was kind enough to drive me to Tinkus

Wolle im August

… and I managed to f*ck up seven months’ worth of stashbusting in 40. minutes. solid.

Now, bear with me, bear with me, I HAVE plans for this yarn! I promise! See, this:

awette classic weinrot

Is for my granddad, who will be getting socks for Christmas again. I haven’t decided about a pattern yet … Something manly, but not too plain. Right now, I am contemplating GladysAlluvial Deposits, or Monte Christo (which looks a tiny bit like the Bly socks I made for my gran last year … So they would have sort of matching socks … awww …).

20 Jahre Opal

Philipp picked this (I just showed him the Opal yarns and left him to himself to pick a ball of yarn he liked (or two), and this is what he came back to me with. This is a dark blueish purple, and he’ll be getting a pair of socks for Christmas out of it. I was thinking something along the lines of the Fidget Socks

arwetta classic erdbeere

This yarn is actually for me, and I want to make myself another pair of lace socks … Maybe Terhen?

Anina hellgrün

Now, THIS beauty is 100% Merino yarn in a wonderful, wonderful green. It’s going to be a shawl, I think … Something squishy and warm and … hach … 😉

Gotlansk violett

and I even have plans for this! Yes! These 300 grams of DK Gotland yarn will become my very first Gemini sweater! I can’t wait … I paid about 24€ for 810 metres of yarn, and I think that this isn’t too bad a deal.

isager Alpaca 1

I don’t have plans for this. But it’s 400 metres of gorgeous Alpaca lace yarn from Isager, and I couldn’t say no to it.

So! All in all, that makes 750 grams that go into the stash … which means that, after I sorted out three odds and ends that I couldn’t work up anymore, but had still in the “in stash” tab on ravelry, I have destashed a glorious 93 grams so far.

Ah well.

OH, and besides?

Box of Leftovers 8-2016

My box of leftovers if full to the brim. There are more projects to come …

Have a lovely, lovely Sunday evening, my friends!

Lots of love,
Julia 😀