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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ร  l’orange”, and I find this trรจs 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 ๐Ÿ˜€

Against the stress.

I will take a deep breath now and focus on writing a nice, calm post about knitting. And yarn. And planning presents for wonderful people. Because I just read another news article (this time about the upcoming French election), and the nationalism shown in the comments make my guts turn. I cannot escape politics right now. I check the news several times a day and in 90% of the time, something new comes up. Some of it is good, but most of it leaves me sitting in front of the screen with disbelief and worry.

I could write more about this, but I won’t. Enough. I need some space to breathe and to relax. There are other things, good things, important things. I think it is wonderful that in times like these, act of kindness still happen, and we should show them more, and use them to remind us and others that not everything has gone down the drain.

Here we go.

1. Look at this.

geschenk-von-stacey-januar-2017

Last year, I found Stacey from weekendknitter on tumblr (or rather: We found that tumblr was another way to connect for us, as I have been reading her blog for ages, and she, as I am happy to say, reads mine, occasionally), and it’s wonderful to see her short postings about spinning and spindling and doing all things yarny there, and to be in touch. Stacey is a mother of two, a wonderful, strong person, an incredibly talented (fiber-) artist, and she is all kinds of awesome. We updated our addresses, and she spotted this at Joann’s and send it to me. It’s absolutely terrific. Not only are the articles interesting (what awaits you at a fiber festival, how do you spin batts, how can you play with colourful fiber and spin it up the way you want to knit it later), but the patterns in this magazine are great. Simply wonderful. Stacey, I love you, and you’re one of the best people! ๐Ÿ™‚

2. The mittens are done.

raucherhandschuhe-07 raucherhandschuhe-04
Knitting them was really interesting – I have only knit fingerless mittens before, and while I didn’t find knitting the fingers hard (it wasn’t even as fiddly, because I was knitting with aran weight yarn and 3.0mm needles), I changed the pattern a bit and measured my father’s hands thoroughly. I am really happy about the stripes (the original pattern has two, which looks nice as well), and, what is most important – my father loves them, and they fit him fine.

raucherhandschuhe-05 raucherhandschuhe-06


3. I bought yarn.

250grams of aran weight, to be precise.

shawl-fur-monika

As you may know (or not know – well, you know now), Little Church Knits (link to designer page on ravelry) has a Free Pattern Friday every week – this week, it’s The Big Skinny. (link to her blogpost, where you will get the code for this pattern).

Little M.’s grandmother will celebrate her birthday next month, and she wears mostly cold colours, so I thought that a nice garter stitch shawl would be a wonderful present for her. I am not 100% secure about the colour combination, but I like it, it reminds me of art deco somehow, and something else I cannot quite lay my finger on. But I hope she will love it as well.

4. I knit myself a new pair of socks.

wearing-my-greens-05

Last year, we were doing a Secret Santa at work. Quite a few colleagues joined us (we were ten people in the end), and the coworker who drew me got me – yarn. While I probably wasn’t the hardest candidate to get a present for (everybody at the office knows I love to knit), she really put a lot of thought into it, went to a LYS, asked whether the ball of yarn she selected would get me a pair of identical socks, because she was sure I’d prefer that (!), and made sure that one ball of yarn would be enough for a pair of socks at all. I was over the moon with joy, and at once decided that this would be the first sock project of the year for me.

wearing-my-greens-06

This was my travel project for January, so I put an afterthought heel in and did them in simple stockinette stitch. I love them! Yarn is Schoeller+Stahl Fortissima Color, knit on 2,0mm needles (64 sts). (Yes, I have worn them at work and showed her the socks. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ‘Course I did.)

5. Philipp is getting scrap socks.

When I weighed my “leftover” stash last year, I discovered that I had about 750grams of “leftover” sock yarn. This is quite a lot, particularly, because some of the balls are about 30grams. I put three colours together (the little ball at the top of the picture might not be used, I haven’t decided yet) and, after asking Philipp whether he approved of them (he did), cast on.

wolle-f-restesocken

The toe was knit in Opal Sweet & Spicey 2 “Weintraube” (the bright blue yarn), and now I am alternating the green yarn and the Regia yarn. Actually, I am on the second version … the first sock had really big ladders at the sides, but it’s better now.

10-for-31-02 10-for-31-01

There is more to share, I knit so many things for Christmas I didn’t get around to blog about, and I took pictures of my stash as well – guess I am going to write one big post about all the projects and show them off in one go. Meanwhile, keep your heads up, my friends, and your hearts open! We will get through this, I know it.

All the love!
Julia ๐Ÿ˜€

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 500โ‚ฌ 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 –ย  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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

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 … ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

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 contemplatingย Gladys,ย  Alluvial 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 hellgrรผn

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 … ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 24โ‚ฌ 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 ๐Ÿ˜€

So, how’s it going with the Stash?

Hi there! ๐Ÿ™‚

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 meย  – 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).ย  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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ™‚ (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. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Have a wonderful Sunday, friends! Love ya!
Julia ๐Ÿ˜€

Flash your stash 2016! (Pictures. Many Pictures)

I’m screwed.

Today, the weather was quite nice and we had a clear sky and even a bit of sun, so I grabbed the opportunity to flash my stash and pulled out all the boxes and plastic bags and WIPs and odds and ends and made a royal mess in the living room.

As a reminder, this is last year:

Stash 2014
And thisContinue reading

Resulting Resolutions

Happy New Year all! ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope the first few days of the new year have brought nothing but joy for you, and many relaxing, happy moments.

I, for my part, cancelled each and every single weekend plan – I found it irresponsible to spread more germs around than necessary. Thus, I have neither been at knitting group (grrr) nor at my grandparents’ today, which was a real bummer – but, as you might recall, my grandparents are over 80, and even if they were younger, I wouldn’t want them to catch that.

So … Resolutions! This will be a pretty standard “start of the year” post, and lots of others are doing it, too – but please bear with mine, I have lots of pictures! Promise. ๐Ÿ™‚

Stash 2016 01

Since I have started this blog, Continue reading

The Calm after the Storm

Merry Belated Christmas everyone! ๐Ÿ˜€

I hope you had a wonderful couple of days with friends and family (or alone, which can be a blessing as well), you got a bit of peace, good food and lovely presents!

SDC13906
Today was a very quiet day after three days of constant family company. On the 24th, Philipp went to see his father, brother and gran, while my parents picked me up at half past two to get to my sister’s, who had announced she wanted to do this year’s Christmas. It was Continue reading