Squares of Green

Hi all!:)

Wow, I sat down to write a blog post a couple of times already, but although I have finished some stuff, the words just wouldn’t come … So I am trying again tonight, this time with my current WIP.😉

As you may recall, I have made a few baby items for friends and family members (i. e. my cousin) who were expecting additions to the family!

This time … E. is the lucky one! I am really, really happy about this, because E. knew that she wanted to be a mother for ages, and she wants to have more than one child and now, the Little One is expected at the end of August!:)

When E. told me the happy news, I immediately said: “I’ll knit something for the baby, if you like. What would you prefer – a cardigan, or a blanket?”

We talked a bit about that, E. conferred with her husband (who is awesome, by the way!), and they decided that they would like a blanket.

I sent them a few emails with suggestions for a pattern and suitable yarn, and in the end, they settled for the Sunny Baby Blanket, a wonderful freebie on ravelry.:)

I went and bought yarn:

Merino Plus 02
As you can see, the yarn is called “Merino Plus”, and it’s a very, very beautiful Merino/Acrylic blend that comes at 125 metres per 50 grams ball. Yay!:) (I love the colour, by the way.)

I jotted down the basics of the pattern, knit a swatch with 3,5mm needles, got 17sts instead of 19 in garter stitch (without blocking) and took a ball of yarn, the notes and a 4,0mm needles to my monthly knitting group meeting.

Meadow Baby Blanket 01

I spent all afternoon happily casting on 321 stitches, and started to work on the bottom border, which consists of 16 rows of garter stitch (8 ridges).

I was just starting the pattern and wanted to check how the stitches were distributed, when the little voice that had been pacing around in my head for a while, forced me to look on the beginning of the pattern. “Co 132 sts”, it stated clear and simple.

Damn.

To be completely honest, I DID contemplate whether I should simply go on (because that’ such a great idea, right? … I mean, the baby WILL grow up and might own a kingsize bed one day … ), but then I pulled out the needles and spread the knitting out, and when I realised that it covered almost BOTH of our desks … I frogged it all, rewound the ball and started anew.

This time with 132 stitches.

Meadow Baby Blanket 02

So far, it’s going great. I love the pattern and the yarn. And with 132 stitches, things are going a lot more faster, too.😉

Enjoy your weekend, friends! Love ya!

Julia😀

Hearts of Ice

Did you ever see a pattern on ravelry and thought: “Yes, I am going to make this. I am going to use [this] yarn in [that] colour, and it will look beautiful and amazing and I will be very, very proud when I have finished it.”

Polly Jean 01

Polly Jean was such a pattern.

I queued it about two years ago, I think, when I was still newer to sock knitting and deemed heavily-patterned socks like these too complicated to be ever knit by me. But although I never knew whether I would make them at all – I definitely knew that I wanted to knit them in a soft light blue.

Polly Jean 02

Well, May 2016 rolled around, and I found myself sitting down with two 50gram balls of light blue sock yarn by Wolle Roedel and a set of 2,0mm DPNs, casting on the first sock of a pair of Polly Jeans.

Polly Jean 06

Now, I have found that there is a special magic to heavily-patterned socks. As you proceed from the cuff to the leg, you find yourself wanting to knit “one more pattern repeat”, or “another half of a pattern repeat”, and then, quicker than you thought possible, it’s time to divide your stitches for the heel flap, and before you know it, you have turned the heel and are working your way through the gusset decreases.

Polly Jean 05

I knit these socks exactly as the pattern stated. I even knit the cuff shorter than I usually do – normally, I go for about 5cm of cuff, because that’s what my grandmother taught me when she taught me how to knit socks, and that’s how I like them.

Polly Jean 04
The toe instructions of these beauties held an interesting surprise for me as well: While you decrease as you normally would on the bottom half of the stitchs, the top half sets the decreases within the pattern, shaping the last heart (or leaf, depending on how you see them), and thus making the socks a great fit.
Polly Jean 03
And so, after two years of falling in love with this pattern and putting it into my queue, I can proudly say that I knit these socks in the colour that I wanted and that they look beautiful and amazing and that I am very, very proud.:)


All the love, my friends! Take care.
Julia😀

Bark around my neck

Time flies.

I have no other explanation for this long absence, except that I have started to write again (and that I am still fangirling) and that I am exercising more. On top of that, since the middle of April, I have two jobs, plus the dissertation, and so my free time has become something I have to manage well, if I want to tend to everything equally (obviously, I haven’t completely succeeded yet).

But: Here I am!:) And I even have something to show you.

When I visited the handmade in 2013 for the first time, I bought this beautiful skein of sock yarn from the Ponderosa booth:

Ponderosa Birke 01
It was displayed as a singular skein, and I fell in love with the colours. It sat in my stash for three years, and now, due to my promise to use up my most beautiful yarn instead of staring at it, I have finally found a pattern that is suitable.

Meet the Oaklet Shawl. This is a freebie pattern by the wonderful Megan Goodacre, and I wanted to knit it for ages, so I figured that it was a perfect match. There is an updated version of this pattern now, for a bigger shawl and more lace, but I liked the old one and thought it good enough.

I cast on at the beginning of April and finished it at the beginning of May:

Birch Shawl 02

and, if I may say so, it came out really, really lovely.

Birch Shawl 03
The shawl consists of a stockinette body with a spine in the middle and a lace border that is simple, but beautiful.

Birch Shawl 04

I knew the yarn would probably swallow it completely, but I wasn’t going so much for the lace part, but for the yarn itself, and after trying garter for a bit, I decided that stockinette would be best.

I got gauge (22sts/10cm) with a 4,0mm needle, and the only change I made to the pattern was increasing to 249 sts instead of starting  the border at 233 sts.

Birch Shawl 06

This is neither the largest shawl I have ever made, nor will it fit each and every one of my outfits.

Birch Shawl 08

But it certainly suits my complexion, and I love the look of it, especially when I am wearing it asymmetrically …

Birch Shawl 07

… instead of pulling it up, which would not do it justice.

Birch Shawl 09
The best thing about this project is not only that I used up 97 grams of a beautiful skein and do not have that much leftovers, but that I tried to take a chance with a heavily coloured yarn, and took my time to find pattern for it that I could be happy with.

Because sometimes, yarn is too good to be hidden as handknit socks inside your sneakers.😉
Have a lovely, lovely start into your weekend, my friends! I have more to show you and more is yet to come!

All the love!
Julia😀

So, how’s it going with the Stash?

Hi there!:)

Woah, that was a long time … Again … But there is a ton of stuff going on simultaneously right now (I’ll tell you in a separate post).

So! The first three-and-a-half months have flown by (at least that’s how it feels for me  – anybody else thinks time is slipping away right now?), and I thought I’d give you a first update on my stashbusting plans for this year!

So, if you remember, I started out with 9,202 kg of yarn, and over 1 kg of fibre (you can read more about this here, if you want to).

For those of you who have already read that blog entry, or don’t want to read it right now, here is a picture of it all being spread out in January:

Stash 2015
And you might remember me saying that this was absolutely too much. And it was. I want to bust some serious stash, especially because I’d love to buy yarn again without beating myself up the minute I step out of the store, and it has worked quite well over the first three months!

I have several ways to keep track of my stash. First of all, I put it all on my ravelry stash page – this is a quick and easy way for me to link yarn and patterns, or to have a look if there are any great items I can make when I have leftovers (this is especially handy for leftover lace yarn).

I am also a member of the “Stricken statt klicken” (“Knitting instead of clicking” – referring to clicking on “buy” when you buy yarn online) group and have an entry in the “Stashtistic” thread there. The “Stashtistic” entry can be as elaborate as you’d like it to be – I simply state how much yarn I buy, how much I knit, if I gift some or if I sell some (this is rarely the case).  I do the totals for every month and for a total for the whole year – and to be able to compare numbers, I made myself a very simple spreadsheet where I only enter the totals for each year, so I can see how much I knit up from (or added to) the Stash in 2014, 2015, 2016, etc. Really simple.

So! How did it go?

Stash 2016 01
I am very proud to say that one of these bags in front of the two boxes is GONE. Yes. I used up enough yarn to transfer the yarn from one bag into the box. Don’t get too excited, it’s the smallest bag in the middle – but it IS progress, and I am really happy.

During the last three months (fueled by the House Cup), I knit

Now, I know that for some folks, this isn’t much, but it was enough to keep me occupied, and with all the other stuff going on, it was sufficient.😉

I only bought 200 grams of yarn during these first two months: 100 gram as insurance so I could finish the sweater (I didn’t use it and won’t use it and I still have the receipt and I will finally take it back, so I didn’t photograph it), and a ball of sock yarn of Regia Vermont Color:

Regia Vermond Color
Which looks simply stunning when it’s knit up (look here!) and will become a pair of socks for Philipp.

And then I splurged (well, you can’t really call it a splurge) and bought 100grams of a uni-coloured sockyarn for a change:

Sport- und Strumpfwolle_hellblau

I know that I have enough sock yarn (although the number of unused balls starts to dwindle slowly, but surely), I have wanted to knit a pair of patterned socks for a change, and I since I have wanted to knit the Polly Jean socks for ages now (and in light blue, too), this was too good an opportunity to miss.:)

Apart from that, I didn’t buy anything new, and thus, I am happy to announce that I lost 520 grams so far, which leads to a total of 8,682 kg. When I will FINALLY have the Amiga Cardigan finished, I will be able to add at least another 300 grams on top of that, which is cool!:) (I’m small, so sweaters don’t seem to take up that much yarn. On the other hand, it also means that I don’t have to buy so much of it)

The only department where I haven’t made any progress so far, is spinning:

Stash 2016 03

But I am optimistic that I will get to that as well.:)

 

Have a wonderful Sunday, friends! Love ya!
Julia😀

It’s done! :)

I  finished!

I’m so, so proud … I think it looks quite nice!:)

Iron-Wrought Cables 19
I am very happy to say that YES, I finished in time and NO, it wasn’t stressful at all. The rest of the body did get done very quickly, and since there was only a tiny bit of ribbing, I finished with enough time to sew in all the ends and close the seams under the arms.

Iron-Wrought Cables 20
Looking back, the hip increases proved to be unneccessary; they make the sweater flare a bit, and I may frog the bottom to the part where I started th increases and reknit it just the way it is. This will mean picking out a lot of seams, since I used a couple of scraps for the bind-off, but it will be worth it, I think …

Iron-Wrought Cables 21
Because it really would be nice to be able to lift my arms in public.😉 I have about 85 metres left of the yarn (i.e. the swatch), and I don’t think I can make this very much longer, but just a bit would be nice, maybe one or two centimetres!

All in all, I am very, very happy how this sweater turned out! I never thought I could knit a whole sweater – let alone in a three-month’s time span! This sweater has boosted my self-esteem, and I am already looking forward to knitting the next one.:) (Maybe I should finish that cardigan first, though …)

The yarn was Wolle Roedel’s “Misto”, a cotton/acrylic mix that sadly isn’t produced anymore. I knit the sweater on 3,5mm needles and changed only very little in the pattern, which is Sandhurst Jumper by Artesano. I put all the changes into my project notes, and if you’re curious, feel free to have a look!:)

Now I only have to wash this … And see how it comes out …😉

Have a wonderful, relaxing weekend, my friends! Talk to you soon!
All the love,
Julia😀

P.S.: For those of you who are wondering what I’m knitting know: Here’s a hint:

A Shawl made out of Birch 01

Wait and see

I’m so sorry my friends.

I have been incredibly tired for a while. This month has been filled with lots and lots of work – one of my colleagues fell ill, and then I had to work tons. Also, the job prospect I told you about and that should have gotten on stage in February is still not on stage, and I am curious whether it will happen in April … We’ll see.

I haven’t knit so much during the last few weeks, to be honest. I have realised that there are a few “meh” spots when I look in the mirror, and so I started to work out again last week, and I have been going on foot to and fro work for a while (I have tried to make at least one way on foot).

In the evenings, I was often too tired to write on my story or knit or blog, and I am really sorry that I haven’t been in touch with you and that I haven’t visited your blogs or commented. I will try to better myself.

Iron-Wrought Cables 17

The climax of this “feeling stressed out” phase was reached on Tuesday, when all I literally wanted was to curl myself up into a ball and hide under my blanket. The sad news about Brussels didn’t help making it better one bit, and I am still shaken about it.

I cancelled everything I had set myself up for Wednesday and spent the day at home, talking to almost nobody except Philipp, working on my dissertation, knitting the second sleeve and listening to a lot of rain sounds.

I have finished the second sleeve of the Sandhurst Jumper already, and despite my fear, I had a little bit of yarn left for each sleeve.

creative sport DK

Since the yarn is indeed not available anymore, I got myself this one instead – it is a bit lighter than the original yarn, and a bit thinner, too, but I thought I could use it on the bottom ribbing of the sweater and maybe, maybe it all will work out.

We’ll see.
I am sending you lots and lots of love – thank you so much that so many of you checked in regularly! The next project will be something colourful again, I think.😉

All the love, and Happy Easter!
Julia

Going Down

Slowly, but surely, this thing starts to look like a sweater …

Iron-Wrought Cables 14
This was the Sandhurstj Jumper’s state for a week or two, while I was busy knitting small dishcloths and tiny mittens and socks (I have knit another dishcloth, but this is not important now).

My stash of unused yarn grows smaller and smaller (let’s be honest, it would be weird otherwise), and by now, I am seriously growing anxious that … well, thatImightnothaveenoughyarn.

There. I said it. “Misto” is a seasonal yarn, as far as I know, and I bought it last June when it was on sale (I’m glad that I log stuff like that on ravelry. It’s damn handy). I don’t know whether they have it again already (I think it comes in anually), but even if not, I can ask whether they will still get it … Hopefully before June!

This is my current progress so far:

Iron-Wrought Cables 16
and I still think that it fits fine (I am a bit worried about the underarm seams, to be honest. I might pick up the stitches from the seams and knit a few more rows before closing the seams. Otherwise, I might not be able to lift my arms. While that may make me a great life-sized dummy for the sweater, it’s not really practical for work. Or … life).

This is the front:

Iron-Wrought Cables 15
And you can see the new “problem” that has emerged at the bottom of the photograph. I have hips. Not very broad hips, but they are there nonetheless. And that means that “knit 31cms without shaping” isn’t going to happen with this sweater. Thus, Philipp and me have looked at my upper hip measurements, and have calculated (well, to be fair – Philipp calculated it) that I have to increase about 40 stitches. So far, I am increasing every other row, two stitches left and two on the right, and then I have a mind to knit one or two plain rounds before I start the 4cm or ribbing.

BUT.

The yarn. I might not have enough yarn.

And so I took one of the two balls I have left and started one of the sleeves … And then I will see how far I get with that. I might have to frog the swatch, but that’s no real problem. If all else fails, I am going to increase in every round, that would safe me yarn and would be faster.

So far, it’s looking good! What do you think, my friends?

Lots of love!
Julia😀