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! 🙂

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. 😉 ‘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 😀

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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 😀

Ah, what the Heck …

Okay, y’all. I don’t care.

I don’t care that my stash is overflowing, that I have now 111 entries on my stash page and that I could probably knit for more than a year if I wasn’t allowed to buy yarn until 2017…

I had to buy some wool.

Sock wool, to be precise. I had seen the yarn on Cassy’s blog in action, and that reminded me that I wanted that yarn.

What yarn? This one:

Regia Design Line Arne & Carlos 01

Now, I know it doesn’t look like much – but look how it knits up!

Like Cassy, I bought the Fall Night colourway, and I am lusting after Summer Night and Twilight.

I already know what to do with this: I’m gonna knit myself socks, as high as I can get. I already checked out some patterns for knee socks on ravelry and I am really looking forward to casting on! Maybe I’m gonna knit the socks in the fall … Summer knit (the colourway Cassy is knitting herself socks with right now) would make a great stockinette shawl in my opinion. I am already thinking about getting more … Precioussss ….

Regia Design Line Arne & Carlos 02

To top it off, I still have that gift certificate my boss-boss gave me for my birthday, and I plan on spending a bit of it on Micro Classic (ravelry link). Yes, it’s 100% micro fiber, but my gran made me a sweater out of it a couple of years ago, and it’s warm and still keeps its shape and it can be thrown into the washing mashine with no problem … It’s great. Yardage is 260m per 100 grams, and it’s on sale for (brace yourself!) 1,49€ right now (that’s 1,65 US $). Love it!

I already found a pattern for it: I plan to knit Margot with it, a simple sweater, which will be chocolate brown, a colour that suits me. 🙂 I already did the math, and even with that-extra-ball-you-shall-always-buy-for-swatching, I will have material costs of 7,45€. If that doesn’t scream bargain! I don’t know what does.

There is other beautiful stuff right now as well in the shop … A great DK weight yarn, for example, 100% cotton … But winter is coming (TM?) and I’ll rather check out the winter collection before making too hasty decisions. Also, there might be some new Opal yarns coming along …

…. Raaaaaaaaawwwwrrrrrr …..


P.S.: As Philipp was proofreading the blog entry, he looked at me and said: “You could knit for MORE than a year …” Pff. MUGGLES.

… But what about the rest?!?

Hi there!

Thank you so much for your wonderful, kind comments about gran’s shawl! I am very happy that everybody likes it (and most of all, that she likes it too!). I am sure that I grew about 4 inch while reading them. 😀Christmas Socks 2014

I thought I’d give you a little heads-up about the next three blog postings I have planned, so that you have an overview over what is yet to come (I’ll link to the postings when I have written them, too, for convenience): Continue reading