If some of you are wondering – no, my disappearance has nothing to do with my new sharp double-pointed needles and bleeding to death. Actually, if we had a death match with these needles, I would probably win. They are not really good – they’ll bend the moment I pick them up. I guess I’ll have two things to show by the end of this knitalong: a new pair of socks, and two sets of needles of assorted shapes.
As for the socks, I have reached the heels. My knitting seems to a be a tad uneven, but I guess that is what I get for using such fine needles and yarn for the first time. My grandma was a very tight knitter, my mom is an impossibly tight knitter, but no matter how hard I try, the texture of my stuff is never getting anywhere close.
Tomorrow I’ll be meeting a childhood friend for dinner. She is living in a different country, so I don’t see her that often. And this time, she will be definitely more round than the last time I saw her – her baby is due in April. So, of course I can not go to meet her empty-handed.
The baby shoe pattern is created by an Estonian crafter Buffin. Even though the blog is in Estonian, scroll down and you’ll see a nice photo tutorial of how those shoes are made. They are so wonderfully easy and cute that I think it is hard to find an Estonian knitter who hasn’t produced at least one pair of these baby shoes. And I love the frog-buttons! I don’t remember the brand, but they came in a set called “At the pond” with different pairs of frogs, dragonflies and butterflies. Perfect for decorating baby-stuff.
I am also working on a blanket to go with the shoes, but the progress on that seems to go more back than forward right now… at least I have time until April.
I love the collective projects that the crafters undertake. I usually just observe (and envy ), because setting deadlines is a bit too scary. But sometimes I just can not resist the temptation – I mean, how cool is that almost 50 knitters from all across the world are currently working on the same thing, while reporting to and discussing with each other!?
So, when Sarah of Crafts from the Cwtch suggested a knit-along for socks, I signed up immediately. I have been practicing quite a bit during the past months (here, here, here and there is one more pair which has not made it to blogland yet), so I guess I more or less have a hang of it. But the idea of this knitalong was to try something new, to develop the sock-knitting skills.
I decided out the yarn stash inherited from my maternal grandma. She used rather fine yarn, she loved using different colours, and was quite a tight knitter… I loved the socks and mittens she made. Unfortunately there are very few of those left, and my granny isn’t around any more to knit new pairs, so I’ll have to take care of it myself.
So here you go, my plan for the upcoming knitalong – using 1.25 needles (never used so small ones before, I hope I won’t cause too much damage on my fingers!); finer yarns; and a three-colour pattern (I can sense a huge mess of yarn ahead!). This is just a trial patch, but I’ll have plenty of time to get started in the weekend!
No, the socks in question have nothing to do with actually tunning a marathon. I don’t think there is a pair of socks in this universe that would make me even consider running a marathon. But knitting theses socks was a marathon indeed.
It all started with a morning of a day where I had no plans whatsoever. And with some leftover yarn from these socks and some leftover sock-envy for my mother So, I picked a new pattern (this book is awesome!) and cast on my newest pair of socks. I started from the toe and decided that I will knit until I have no yarn left.
Boy, was that a literal promise. 9 hours later (lunchbreak and some phone calls included), I had stiff fingers and neck, no yarn left and a brand new pair of lace-y socks!
I was so happy I got them ready, that I started wearing them rightaway. Meaning, I was so traumatized about the work put into them, that I only managed to weave the ends in after weeks of wearing the socks.
Let’s be honest, I got a bit envious of my friend for the Bee Mittnes – knitting with several colours made them nice and warm. So, of course I needed a pair of my own. I’ve been on a bit of a mitten frenzy lately, haven’t I?
I used my acrylic leftover s- had a bit of pink left from the Pink Bubbles set, and a pile of brown from several previous projects. I chose an old Estonian pattern, which according to “Estonian Mittens All Around the World” comes from the region where I am from.
Of course, the old patterns were meant for much finer yarn and needles than I used. These mittens are not perfect, but I love them anyways!
Remember the scarf and hat with pink bubbles I made for a friend? I met up with her for dinner on Monday, and was happy to see that the hat and scarf are put to a good use. However, she has teamed them up with a pair of white-and-brown mittens…And seh is one of those persons who loves to colour-coordinate everything in her outfit. So, as I still had pink yarn left, and my friend has a birthday coming up next week, I decided to whip up a pair of bubbly mitts to complete the pink bubbles set.
I used double yarn – it made the bubbles much more defined, and they are nice and warm. We are facing temperatures below -20C for the upcoming week. I’d say, I got these mittens ready just in time
It was a lot of fun to go food shopping in the Netherlands – the smoothie bottles from innocent Drinks were wearing hats! Knitted and crocheted, striped and patterned, with pompoms or bells, and in many different colours. I think I almost screeched with joy the first time I saw that little army of hats in a drinks’ cooler. Of course I could not leave the country without getting one (pardon the half-eaten donut in the background, we were having breakfast at the airport).
The label on the bottle said that the hat campaign was held to collect money for the elderly. We could not figure out though if it was the elderly themselves who made the hats though. But it is still adorably cute, right!?
Owls seem to be very much in fashion… So, when I found this pattern on Hopscotch Lane, I decided immediately I want to try it out. Those owls are a great way to use up those little yarn leftovers – the doll-sized balls of yarn are usually just enough for the stripes, and I stuffed them with a variety of otherwise completely useless yarn bits from previous projects. And, because they are done by me, they are lovingly called oyles.
One of the oyles is blinking because I somehow failed to produce a fourth french knot. The original pattern includes a crocheted beak, but after the second oyle I decided to stitch the beaks on instead.
All four oyles have found happy homes, but my home is still oyle-less. I am really looking forward to producing more yarn leftovers now!
When one is blessed with friends who are fun and creative, then one can hardly do traditional gift-shopping. So, when I travelled to the Netherlands for a week to visit a friend (who among other activities, sings in a clown choir – I guess that characterises her pretty adequatly), I took along my yarn stash, let her choose colours and form, and then I knitted her a pair of mittens right under her own eyes.
I really love how colourful and warm those mittens turned out. I haven’t knitted with three different colours before, so that was a bit of a challenge. I mean, there were tangles that would make any respectable knitter faint. At some point I decided that it was easier to knit the right mitten in the lounge, and the left mitten in the dining room, just to keep the probability of a huge mess as low as possible
But of course, I was there for a whole week and could come up with more than just the mittens – my friend needed an actual bee to go with them. She found a crochet
bee pattern at Crochet N Play, which is pretty easy if you pay attention (wink-wink)
One of my resolutions for 2013 was to downsize my yarn stash to one box. Right now the balls of yarn and half-finished projects fill about two boxe and countless baskets in the corner of the living room. And the condition for the resolution was that there would be no new yarn-aquiring before I am down to that one box.
And as always, resolutions are made to be broken within the first week of the new year. This morning I was having coffee at a friend’s place, chatting and crocheting (because you know, I need to use up all that yarn). My friend looks at my work, and goes, “Hey, you know what colour would go well with that? Lilac.” I agree. She then asks me if I have lilac yarn. Well, I don’t. And then she digs deep into her yarn stash, pulls out a ball of lilac yarn and victoriously presents it to me as a new year gift! So much for not getting any new yarn…
However, somewhat later I managed to do some damage control. I made her choose something from my stash in return!