Done, done, and done.

FINALLY, PROGRESS!

The next week will be superbusy, but I am glad that I did get a lot done this weekend, and a good part of it is knitting.

After the blanket desaster, Philipp and me had a look at our friends’ wishlist, searching for a gift that would allow me to knit them at least something, however small. We debated several items and settled on some fancy kitchen equipment in the end, and I decided that I’d make them potholders.

Fancy, eh? I’m not really sure how well they’d serve as potholders, to be honest, because of the lacey parts, but at least the motif is suitable for a wedding. The pattern is Heart Dishcloth: Knit version by Lily / Sugar’n Cream, a freebie on ravelry, and it knit up in no time. 54 grams, 91.4 metres (or 100.4 yards). Done.

To make it easier to store the potholders, I bound off all stitches knitwise, until there was only one loop on the needle – instead of snipping the threat, I crocheted 10 chain stitches and secured it on the left with a … single crochet or double crochet, depending on where you live. I still have to wash them and pat them into shape, and of course they do not hold a candle to a blanket, but at least it’s something handmade, and Laura will get socks for her birthday, after all.

Made from this yarn, to be precise (it’s a little too dark in the photograph; the original yarn is brighter and happier).

Before I made the wedding potholders, I decided to swatch for once (usually, I don’t bother for stuff like potholders), and make a simple dishcloth to use up my orange cotton. Of course I didn’t get the gauge I needed for the Heart Dishcloth pattern (that would’ve been 21sts and 28 rows to 10cm/4″, and of course I got 18.6sts and 25.3 rows on 4,0mm needles, so I switched to 3,5mm ones for the heart potholders), but the yarn is used up now, and that is all that counts.

The project was easy and fast – I basically cast on 34 stitches, knit 2 ridges of garter and then proceeded in stockinette stitch, with a garter border of three stitches per side. After 39 rows, I did another 2 ridges of garter, bound of and wham! Done. 19 grams out of the stash. Funnily enough, Lenka (who had asked to see the dishcloth when it was done) was so enthusiastic about the colour that I will wrap this little buddy up and send it to her. Sometimes it’s so easy to make somebody happy! 🙂

Last but not last … I finally made myself a pair of socks again.

I love them. A few weeks ago, when the stress was really getting to me, I found a website that had older Opal collections for sale (they also have other brands), and after debating whether or not to get some (my stash has grown to over 13(!) kg of yarn. Plus fiber), I gave in and treated myself to these three beauties:

All of them are from an older “Schafpate” collection – the blue one is “Huetehund” (shepherd’s dog), the rainbow yarn is called “Blickfang” (eye-catcher), and the green was is “Ruhezeit” (downtime). I love them all and was wondering if I should snag what’s left of the collection as well …

I knit the socks top-down, 64 stitches on 2,0mm DPNs (gauge is 32sts and 50rows to 10cm/4″ – I never get anything above 8sts/inch, and I am not willing to go below 2,0mm needles for it). The pattern I used is Heather Sebastian’s Chain Drive Socks, another freebie. I already knit it once, to make my mum socks for Christmas, but it worked fine this time.

As you can see, I repeated the pattern on the back of the leg, and I have to say that I absolutely love it. The cables put enough interest in knitting to prevent it from being boring, but, in my humble opinion, are not too busy for the absolutely beautiful colours.

This is the second pair of socks I have made for me this year (not counting the lavender ones, which are still hibernating), and I am totally smitten with them. They are everything I hoped for, and I am really glad I bought this yarn. I used exactly 75grams, and the leftovers will probably be used in the neverending blanket – we’ll see. So these are done as well.

Done, done, and done.

And now? What now? What shall I knit next?

Well, for one, I started another Curl:

This is Perfidy, another pattern taken from Hunter Hammersen’s Curls 2, knit from some of the Merino yarn that was intended for the blanket (I dubbed the ravelry project “Perfidy à l’orange”, and I find this très chic), knit on 4,0mm needles …

I wanted to make AJ (E’s daughter) a Little Sister’s Dress (I have to frog this, though, I made a mistake and can’t seem to find it) …

And then, I really wanted to get a headstart on granddad’s socks. He’s turning 88, after all.
Have a really great week, my friends! Take care!
All the love,

Julia 😀

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Three shawls, a pair of mittens …

The titel says it all: You will get shawls and mittens for this Sunday.

So far, this year hasn’t been really productive on the knitting front – 10 projects are currents marked with “2017” on my ravelry page (technically, there are twelve mittens, but since Philipp’s scrap socks and the lavender sock are currently in time out, I won’t count them).

Of these 10 projects, 3 have been for me – a fourth is currently on the needles (and, as I said – the lavender socks are in timeout. I might gift them, though. We’ll see.), but the rest has all been knit for wonderful people in my life.

After I had finished my father’s mittens, I got a lovely email at the beginning of February – Susanne from Nadelspielereien was throwing a birthday party, I got invited! YEAH! The email included the best invite ever: Bring your crafting! Now for those of you who read Susanne’s blog (if you speak German you should totally do it!), you know that Susanne is an avid cross stitcher, sews like a boss, and is incredibly talented at crafting and organising kids’ birthday parties, and upcycling, and decorating, and, simply, the best recipient for a handmade gift, because she knows how much time and love goes into it. Naturally, after accepting the invite, my first thought was: “What to knit her?”

I had gotten a couple of gift cards for bookshops for Christmas (which is the best, after books), and I had treated myself to Hunter Hammersen’s Curls 2, a wonderful book with a great collection of shawls that can be knit with any yarn in any size at any gauge you like. After going over the patterns twice or thrice, I settled on Subterfuge and bought yarn.

Susanne loves the sea, I knew that much, and I wanted to have colours that reflected the sky and the sand – which was exactly what the yarn did when I started knitting it up.

Subterfuge has two sides, on being a bit more subtle than the other one. I realised that I preferred the “wrong” side over the left one, but it is wearable either way, and really beautiful.

The yarn was a bit fuzzier than I would have liked it, but you could see the stitches okay, and so I powered on.

In the end, I ran out of time (the rows get long really quickly), and I would have preferred it to be a bit bigger, personally, but in the end, there are 460 metres of yarn in this shawl (that’s 503 yards), and I hope it is big enough.

I bundled it up, took the cake I had baked for dessert (food was going to be buffet-style, and I loved the concept, because everything was delicious and it went incredibly well together. I haven’t forgotten about the peanut soup, the apple crumble, and the puff pastries filled with salmon and/or bacon!!) and off I went. The evening was great – we were all women, mothers, colleagues, bloggers, Scottish Dancers, librarians, teachers, and I was incredibly thankful that I got invited!! Susanne said she loved the shawl, and although she is allergic to wool (AAAAAAAAAARGH!), I hope she can wear it despite.

 

During the party, I cast on for another birthday present. Anyone who has read this blog for quite some time surely knows that Monika, Little M.’s gran, is REALLY knitworthy – over the years, she has gotten an assortment of socks and shawls, and she loves everything dearly.

For her birthday, I had decided on making her The Big Skinny, a simple but fun pattern by Little Church Knits. The garter stitch shawl is knit in aran weight, and after spending a lot of time in the LYS, comparing yarn colours, I finally settled for camel and mint, which reminded me a bit of the 50’s, but seemed to be exactly Monika’s colours:

The shawl is big and uses up a lot of yarn for sure – the border instructions were a bit confusing, but with the help of a fellow raveler, I managed to figure it out.

Since this is 100% merino yarn, it’s wonderfully soft, but not too heavy – perfect for wearing it during Spring and Autumn in the evenings, or during winter time.

Since the ends of this shawl are really long, it even looks fancy when tied.

When Monika got the shawl, she looked at me, looked at the colours, simply said: “Mine!”, put it on and wore it for the rest of the day. YEAH! I have already considered making one for myself – with grey as the main colour and berry for the border.

The last project (before the great blanket desaster) was for a friend of mine. Lenka and I met … thanks to serendipity, I presume, because we “met” through a random post on tumblr. It was pure happenstance, but we have been getting on like a house on fire, and I could not be happier to have met her. Lenka is kind, caring, smart, has a great sense of humour, a sharp wit, and is as enthusiastic about all things Witcher as me (it’s her I have been writing the fanfiction story with. Just sayin’.).

Lenka wants to be a psychiatrist when she has finished her studies, and right before her first big medical exam last October, she got a package with something handknit from me:

This shawl was so much fun to knit, it was my summer project, and the pattern is Wendy’s Fern by Princesse Grenouille. I bought the yarn during my splurge at Tinkus last year:

And it is simply wonderful, 100% merino, a bit splitty, but so, so soft, and the colours this yarn comes in are amazing.

The shawl has a design that has been very popular for quite a while: A mixture of garter stitch and simple lace, and it was a pleasure to knit from start to finish. According to the picture Lenka sent me, it was also a big hit.

SCORE!

Since the shawl was met with so much enthusiasm, I thought MITTENS when her birthday came up, and set to work right away. The pattern is Fallberry Mitts, a knitting pattern, in size M, knit with some leftover merino yarn from Zitron (yes, I might have a theme going on).


These mittens were so much fun to knit, and, apparently, come in quite handy, too!

That’s all so far. Caught up with the most important stuff … Except … one shawl. But I will safe that for later.

For now, I am going to work on a pair of socks.

And yes, these are for me. 😉

All the love!
Julia 😀

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 😀

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 😀

Small Gifts

Hi there!Jule the Cat

Man, that took a long time. Don’t you hate it when there is nothing much wrong with you, but you simply feel worn out and sleepy? Last week was like that again – on Friday, I felt too tired and groggy to go to the library (!), so I went to the doc again to make sure I didn’t catch bronchitis. Good news: No bronchitis. Bad news: The cold simply hadn’t worn off yet. Argh … I didn’t have to call in sick again, though, and so I spent yet another weekend on the couch, with lots of knitting, a new game for my DS (“Golden Sun – The Dark Descent”) and (since I didn’t have any new library books) Elizabeth Gilbert’s “The Signature of All Things”.

Rest was only interrupted on Saturday, when we went to E.’s birthday party.

Apart from the book she had asked for (a crime novel – E. will read just about anything if it contains corpses, a detective and gruesome murder), I had a surprise present in store.

The Blueberry Shawl.

I do not quite know how much I have told you about Continue reading

Current WIPs: Variatio delectat!

Hi there!

15-stitch blanket 14

Somehow, I am seeming to fall into a bit of a hiatus, huh? Well, blame it on the cold I caught this week – it had been developing since the week before, I felt chilly every now and then, slept more than I usually do … So I went to the doctor’s on Thursday and he told me to stay home, drink lots of tea and keep warm. Next week will be in full swing with my French course starting again (yay!) and lots of work and a Birthday/Halloween-Party to go to … Lots of stuff to do!

Because I didn’t feel Continue reading