WIP: Make a Wish

I have been knitting away on my Make a Wish, a gorgeous pattern by Joji. When I was swatching for it, I wrote about it here. This is my progress so far! And this time I have managed to edit my photo to get a pretty good likeness of the yarn (Garnstudios Drops Alpaca). With these two photos side by side, you can see the difference between the unedited photo (left) and the edited one (right).

wishcompareNow when I say “editing” I don’t mean anything fancy. All I did with this one was to up the saturation, and how much I upped it was determined by holding the yarn up to the screen and stopping when the colour of the photo matched the real life. I think it turned out quite well!

The part of the cardi that I am knitting now involves the lace border, which is a very simple pattern. It has ‘wedges’ or repeats, shaped through using short rows, and together the pizza slice shaped wedges start to make this lovely curve which you can see appearing in the photos above. I am a little more than half way through my wedge repeats, and now that I have pretty much memorised the pattern, things are progressing much more quickly than at the very beginning. It’s gotten to the stage of being a ‘stay at home’ project rather than a handbag project, which is always a good sign (but does slow down knitting time a bit).

Right – back to knitting… I can’t wait until this ‘flounce’ (as it’s called in the pattern) is finished and I can get on to knitting the parts that make it look more like a cardigan! It’s delayed gratification – with my previous large project (Dragonflies Jersey), it was a top down raglan pattern, which gives some jersey-shaped results after only a little knitting time.

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Darn it

I am spending my windy, freezing spring afternoon giving longer life to my socks… They definitely need it, since at barely above zero degrees Celsius, my feet aren’t yet accepting non-wool socks!

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FO: Stripes and Lace

I finished this shawl/scarf a few weeks ago, and it’s been keeping me very cosy in the cold weather here in the Netherlands. Luckily, the temperature has risen considerably over the past day or two, but it’s set to drop again next week. Cry. I loved knitting this – the endless rows of knit and purl were perfect for watching TV, and in fact I knitted quite a lot of it while flying back to NZ for Christmas break. My projects follow a curve – at the beginning I am very excited and knit a lot, then I slow down in the middle, and by the time I reach the point where I can see the end, I speed up and can’t wait to be wearing it! This is very helpful for a shawl like this, where the rows get longer and loooooonger the further you go – once you get to the “Oh my gosh I can’t wait until this is finished” stage, it doesn’t seem to matter quite so much that each of these rows is taking many many minutes (I never time myself) to knit….

Anyway, on with the ‘tada!’

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This is a super giant half circle shawl, with a lace border. Basically, it’s a combination of two free patterns: Citron (the circular shape) and Holden Shawlette (the lace). Once I got started with Citron (minus the ruffles), I just increased 24 stitches across the row,  in the middle of each white stripe.

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I used DROPS Alpaca, which I can highly recommend. It’s lovely and soft, and warm but light.  I even have one ball of the maroon/red leftover, I might make a matching hat!

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You can see here from the top view how the pattern is worked. It’s started, like many shawls, from the top centre, with the little semi-circles gradually getting bigger and bigger. Because of the increases in the lace pattern, I ended up with some little wings, which I quite like. I tie them together to make the shawl stay on while riding my bike, or tuck them into my coat.

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When commuting, I usually wear it over my coat as in the first picture – with the thick middle at the front, and the ends wrapped back around (and sometimes tied up). You can see them peeking out a little in this photo:

When I’m inside I like to wrap it around me like a blanket. It keeps my arms and shoulders so nice and warm!

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I’ll leave you with one last picture – even the “wrong” side looks lovely! You can see that the edge has rolled over, even though I used a 3 stitch garter border. It doesn’t matter though, it looks like I intended it to do that – and it means that I didn’t have to cut off all the little ends from my Russian joins  (Youtube linke) when changing colours!

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You know you’ve been knitting for too long when….

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Cable impressions on my chair…

Well… I wish that I could say I had been sitting in my chair knitting, but unfortunately I think I was studying instead when I took this photo. The last month or two have been so ridiculously busy and stressful with uni. Thankfully I handed in my last assignment yesterday, and now I “just” need to work on my thesis for the next few months and it is all over!

That isn’t to say that I haven’t been knitting; I have one completely finished object to show you, one small project which needs some frogging and resizing before it’s “finished”, and one project which I am very excited about, and which is 1.5 sleeves away from being done!

Echo Flower Shawl

I haven’t even shared a cheeky preview of this finished object. Over the past months, I have been knitting the most beautiful shawl for my Mum for her birthday. Finally it arrived in New Zealand, so now I can share photos of it here too!

I used the pattern Echo Flower Shawl, which is available free on Ravelry. The pattern itself is a little confusing, especially for me, who has never knitted a triangular shawl before. The beauty of Ravelry is though, every pattern has a built-in support community, and I found answers to many of my questions there.

I am so incredibly happy with the finished shawl, the flowers are gorgeous and delicate, and the edge with Estonian-lace-inspired “nupps” (the little bobbles) is just amazing. Anyway, fewer words, more pictures. These photos were taken at Park Sanssoucci, near my home in Potsdam. The temperature on this day was about 30 c, and it was very hot taking photos of a wool scarf! So you can see that the rest of my outfit certainly doesn’t match the cosiness of the Echo Flower Shawl.

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Infront of the Orangerie in Park Sanssoucci – I am so lucky to have such a photogenic location right around the corner!

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Packaged up and ready to send to New Zealand

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Flowers on the edge of the shawl

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The wingspan – I found these photos on Ravelry to be very useful in estimating how many repeats of the lace pattern I would need in order to get the size shawl I wanted. I did 15 repeats of the flower pattern in laceweight yarn.

Detail of the flower pattern

Detail of the edge with nupps.

 

 

Leftovers

Leftover sock yarn? Yes. Now, a pair of baby booties for my boyfriend’s sister’s soon-to-be new baby! I really have no idea how big babies’ feet are, so I hope that these fit her little girl by the time the weather gets colder in Iran.

 

 

 

 

I used the pattern Christine’s Stay-on Baby Booties (Ravelry link), but with a few modifications for using the sock wool. You can find the Ravelry project that I used for the sizing here (though I didn’t use the ribbed cuffs).

I also played with slipping some stitches to make things tidier/easier… I slipped stitches (purlwise) at the beginning of each row when working the garter stitch sole (to make it easier to pick the stitches up later). I also slipped the first stitch of each row (knit and purl) when working the top of the boot – I think it makes them tidier.

The yarn I used was TouchYarns Magic Merino Sock Yarn in the colourway Little Valley. The colours here are gorgeous, purple, pink and blue with a pop of bright limey green. I also just loooove knitting with the “magic” merino sock yarn, and equally looooooove the feel of it when I get to wear my socks! It feels like hot butter on my feet. There is always plenty of yarn leftover from the 100g balls, so these booties are the perfect little project to use some of it up!

For the tie, I twisted some strands of the wool together. Somehow I didn’t quite like the look of the i-cord that I see on a lot of these booties – it seems to overwhelm them! To twist the wool, cut a length 3 x longer than what you need. Fold it in half, and blutack one of the ends to a desk. Twist, twist, twist, until the wool starts to curl up into itself. Unstick the end from the desk, then carefully fold the length in half again. This time it will automatically twist up into itself, so you just have to smooth it out a bit. Tie both ends. Tada!

These were a super quick and easy project, and they turned out beautifully. I hope their new owner likes them and doesn’t kick them off! Now I need more friends to have babies, so that I can use up the rest of my leftover sock yarn!

Lacey Toes

My sister requested a pair of ‘white’ socks. Before now, I have been knitting LOTS of socks (I promise, even though I have not been updating my blog, my hands have been busy knitting!). I must say, that I don’t quite understand how people get obsessed with knitting socks, but somehow I have become addicted too! I think that it is because they are so nicely portable, I can take them travelling, on the train, to a cafe – wherever. By this stage I don’t really need a pattern (except for some parts of the heel) and the rhythm is soothing.

So anyway, on to these lovely socks. I chose the Mermaidia pattern through Ravelry, and it really is lovely. I got a bit mixed up on coming out of the heel (oh, I should point out that I always knit from the toe up now – I tried it for my second pair of socks, and I will never ever ever go back to top down!) because I substituted a slip stitch heel for the one on the pattern.

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I sent them off to New Zealand, where it is wintry and cold now, unlike Germany where the weather swings from tropical one week, to dull and rainy the next (it has done this fairly consistently for over a month now!). However, the weather is always a bit too warm for toasty feet. I sent my mum and my sister a pile of hand knitted socks to see them through the winter, with the added benefit that now I positively NEED to knit another pile to keep my feet warm for the coming European winter.

Good to be back. I will try to update more often than once a year now!

Back in busy-ness

Hello everyone (well, everyone who reads this, which might not be many!!).

After a 6 month break, I have decided that I will make an effort to start updating this blog again.  It isn’t that I have stopped knitting or cooking that I have been taking a break though!!  As you probably know, I have moved to the other side of the world, and am currently in Finland, moving to Germany in less than two weeks’ time.  I have to say, knitting socks was probably the best thing I ever did!  Today it’s snowing, and about -10 c here…

Anyway, now that I have this re-introduction message out of the way, I will try my best to take some nice photos of my recent knittings and post updates!

 

Updates in Wool

Hello!  I’m so sorry that I’ve been neglecting my blog lately – I’ve just looked at the date on my last post and it’s almost a month ago!

 

I have fallen into the trap again of forgetting/procrastinating putting my photos onto my computer!  It somehow seems like a huge task, even though it takes hardly any time at all really

 

However, I have been cooking, and doing a bit of knitting too, though not as much as I feel I would like to.  I’ve been having a few troubles with my toe-up socks, and have frogged the heels again and again, I just can’t seem to get them right!  Hopefully this time…  Though not a skill I really wanted to learn, this tutorial on Knitty has some excellent tips for frogging!  I was always slipping the stitch off the needle, hoping and hoping that it wouldn’t unravel before undoing it and slipping the lower stitch onto the other needle – the tips in the tutorial make it sooooooo much easier!

 

On Friday I went to the beach with my mum – she went kayaking out into the sea to go fishing.  My mum is a mad beach glass collector, but there isn’t a lot of beach glass on this beach…  She makes her own jewelry from the beach glass, and recently made her first sale from her online Felt Shop – how exciting!

 

So, because there were no beach glass hunting opportunities to be had, I sat in the blazing sun (which was sooooo warm for the middle of winter!), read my book, and did some knitting on my Stockholm Scarf, it’s a big project!  I ended up buying two (three?) more balls of wool, because the first one only made about 10 cm of scarf.  I want mine to be big and snuggly… I am really glad that I decided to go with the 4mm needles, it makes a nice tight rib-like pattern, but is anything but boring with the lacy detail, just what I was imagining when I was looking for a scarf to knit.  I really can’t wait until it’s done so it can hug my neck, but it may be a while yet!

 

Stay around, and I’ll update you on what’s been happening on the Spoons…

A Scarf for a Pilot

I have mentioned a few times that I was doing secret knitting with a deadline of last Saturday, and yes, I did finish it on time!

 

Here I have the lovely recipient of the scarf modelling on the golf course (isn’t it nice to have a willing model, usually it’s me trying to take a photo of myself!).

 

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He picked the reddish wool himself (I had to make him, because he’s very sensitive to itchy things, like my warm jerseys…).  Here is a close up of the pattern on the scarf:

 

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It was such a bright shiny day, I apologise for the glow on the photo!  Also, you can see that it is not yet cold enough in Tauranga for a scarf (a scarf and a tshirt?!), lucky us.  Today we climbed up Mount Maunganui, and it was so hot!  I can’t believe that it is already June, although I think that I will get a reminder when I go down to Wellington at the end of the month.

 

Happy Birthdaaaaaay!  (I have to admit that I did not bake that perfect Pavlova – it was my Mum!  Thanks Mum!)

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