2/17/2018

So sweet

I keep claiming that I never like to work the same pattern twice but I'm starting to think you might not believe me. Especially as I once again have worked the same design twice.


How: Circular needle 4.0 mm
From: Qing Fibres Silky Merino Singles + PetrichorYarns Merino Single x 2, 84 + 88 + 73 g
Ravelryssa

Last summer, I knitted this amazing shawl from the first issue of Laine Magazine. I used the most delicious yarns I could think of: merino single, merino silk single and Donegal tweed. And the shawl turned out stunningly beautiful. And totally looking like it should belong to a dear friend of mine. So I gave to her as a birthday present. And that was that.


It was obvious I would need to make one for me as well. Since the yarn choices for the first version were so great, I stayed on the same path. For main color 1, I chose a pale lavender colored merino silk single with candy colored speckles from Qing Fibres. And then I paired it up with a merino single from PetrichorYarns that had the same candy speckles on an almost black base. The yarn had all the colors of the galaxy and it was just glorious. And a perfect match for the lavender. Somehow, at the same time, these yarns really match and yet, they're almost like a black and white combo.


Now, the only problem was the edge color. Since I had decided this one was a keeper, I wanted the edge to be perfect too. So, I asked the dyer from PetrichorYarns if she could dye me this galactic purple I was longing for. As an answer, I got a picture of three perfect little skeins to choose from. Pretty fast, I'd say! When the yarn arrived, it was just perfect. Had I kep describing what I was looking for and sent her inspiration images of the galactic, electric blue-purple I wanted, I think she would have dyed exactly this color.



Then, all I had to do was knit. Like the first time around, the project was a lovely knitting experience. Once you get the hang of the shawl, it's mellow knitting. I wouldn't recommend this to a brioche novice or as social knitting project (even though I once again took it to a knit night). Especially this second time around, even the triangles seemed clear and had a logic rythm to them.


And just as I remembered, the last two triangles took forever to work through. It's so deceiving to think you have only two left but they keep getting bigger and bigger.


First, you work the body of the shawl with garter stripes and overlapping brioche triangles. Once the body is finished, you pick up about a billion sts and work the edge with the third color. The two top corners have a beautiful brioche pattern on them. The edge is also shaped with short rows so that it's wider at the top corners than in the sharpest corner. And finally, the billion sts are bound off using i-cord bind off.



Sure, it took time but I loved every minute of it. I could even see myself making a third one. But this one is mine even though my sister keeps on insisting these are her colors. But hey, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. I'm not falling for the color argument again! And besides, I seem to have found my way back to brighter colors. It's a big deal if an uncolor specialist like myself doesn't hesitate to wear a galactic purple next the her face. We'll see if I'll be embracing these vivid colors in anything else besides accessories.

2/08/2018

Hip, hip, hurray!

It's a well known fact that I do not knit patterns twice. Or so I thought but now it seems I'm on a roll. Hubby wanted his own pair of Aada mitts so I made them for Christmas. Also, I cast on for another Nordic arrows shawl in November because the first one was so much fun and I ended up gifting it to a friend. And now, I've knit a second Hiplee. Although, Hiplee is just too nice of a sweater to not have two of them.



What: Hiplee / Own pattern
How: Circular needle 4.5 mm
From: De Rerum Natura Ulysse, 300 g
Ravelryssa

I designed this sweater for a local knitting club back in the summer. It was the pattern of October in a locely club with a new pattern each month. In January I got the rights back and put the pattern in my Ravelry store for anyone to buy. As there were so many eager knitter waiting in line, I thought we should have a KAL. And then, I thought I could take part as well because I've loved my firts Hiplee sweater so much.

Originally, I was planning to knit this second Hiplee in BC Garn Semilla Melange. Many people had found it to be a great yarn substitue for this pattern. But in the end, the gorgeous colors of Ulysse won the battle. I mean, just look at this divinly pale old rose. It took my heart at first glance.



For my second Hiplee, I worked the cowl with smaller needles to make it more sturdy. The pattern calls for bigger needles and I have a nice and loose cowl in the first version. But I felt it would be nice to have options. Both ways seem to be working great so the more the merrier.



Since my first sweater used up exactly six skeins, I didn't want to buy more this time either. I hate it when I have scrap yarns lying around the house. To make sure, I wouldn't run out of yarn, I worked the sleeves first. I adjusted the hem to make it just a few cm shorter to win at yarn chicken.


I'm so happy with how much others have liked the pattern. I'm not the only one with more than one Hiplee.

1/20/2018

At last

Some things take time. Or someone here isn't doing their part. But I have no idea who that certain someone might be.


How: Circular needles 2.75 mm and 3.25 mm
From: SnailYarn Merino Twist, 250 g
 Ravelryssa

Let's start at the beginning. I'm pretty sure it was back in 2013 when I fell head over heels in love with a lace cardigan design. At least that's the year it was added to Ravelry's data base. Unfortunately it was part of a book and I didn't want to buy the entire book just for this one pattern.

But no worries! In 2014 a friend told me she found the pattern in a knitting magazine and was just making one for herself. Once she finished it, she sent the magazine to me along with some super cute stickers - thanks dear! (2014 - never forget!)

So it seems logical that already in 2017 I managed to cast on, doesn't it? I'm fast that way.


So I had a pattern I had been hoarding for years. Now I needed yarn. In autumn, I got a lovely present from Snail Yarn's Valentina. She wanted to thank me for using her yarn in my Utu cardigan which made the cover of Laine Magazine. One of the yarns she sent me was this lovely fingering weight Merino Twist in the colorway Pistachio. I love the mix of the light minty green with darker bits turning brown. I decided it was about time to cast on for the lace cardigan as three skeins of this yammy yarn would be enough.


The cardigan is worked top down seamlessly. It has this gorgeous cathedral lace in the back and the front, and a simpler lace that goes down the sleeves and the sides. Actually, I had waited so long to cast on the cardi that I totally forgot, I was planning to omit the lace in the sleeves. It would have made for a bit calmer overall look but now it's too late. Oh well, it looks lovely this way too.


The cathedral lace looks amazing but it took a good while to learn. I don't think I quite remembered it at any point. Also, in the beginning, the raglan increases were incorporated into the lace so you had to keep an eye on the chart all the time.


The cardigan is quite short so it'll be something to wear with skirts. The pattern didn't have any waist shaping. Instead, a bit of the lace was knitted with smaller needles just before the ribbing - I guess to make the lace narrow down a bit before the rib which will pull together anyway.

The sleeves on the cardi were more than a bit weird. They were wide enough after the raglan increases and there would still be 13+14 sts cast on at the underarm. I have thick arms but these are way too big for me. Sure, the sleeve decreases were started immediately but there's still an extra bulk of fabric at the underarms.


The pattern had cuffs that were turned and fastened on the wrong side. I thought more is more and added a picot row to the turn. I just worked a row of (k2tog, yo). I hate sewing once I'm done with knitting so I thought I could fasten the cuffs with a three needles bind off. It was a mistake as now the cuffs keep turning inside out. Luckily blocking helped somewhat.


All in all, the cardigan is really cute and I love the yarn color. And yes, I do knit manically all the time so I know I'm not lazy. It's just that sometimes I can't seem to get it out of myself to do something I've been planning for years. It baffles me. Now that the cardigan iis done, I'll give the magazine to another friend who wants to make it. Let's see how long it takes her.

1/11/2018

Trumpet

The theme of this Christmas was knits for kids. And I don't even have any of my own. This sweater was a gift for my goddaughter.


How: Circular needles 3.5, 4.0 and 5.0 mm
From: Hedgehog Fibres DK, 325 g
Ravelryssa

First, there was the Indie gift-a-long discount and I browsed throught hundreds of patterns. Once I came across this one, I had to cast on right away. Then, there was the yarn. I originally was thinking of something less expensive but once I remembered that I've never tried the DK weight Hedgehog, the thought wouldn't leave me alone. And the yarn is good for machine wash as well. So that was that.


This pattern is a nice combination of stockinette stitch and brioche. The sweater is worked top down, starting a the turtle neck. The cowl is all brioche with a chart at the front. The chart is just increases and decreases but look like cables.


Once the cowl is finished, the rest of the sweater is worked in stockinette stitch with only the chart worked in brioche. The shoulders were shaped with short rows.


The hem had a slit and the back was worked a bit longer than the front. The hem was worked in brioche and had an Italian bind off. It was a bit laborous but well worth the trouble.


I love the design and it made me want to cast on another brioche project right away - this time in adult size.


The cast on was also worked in Italian style. The pattern had written instructions for but I don't know if there was an error or if I just could work it right. I managed to cross my purls and knits but thought that nobody would notice so I didn't go back to fix it.


All in all, this was a really nice project and I finished it quickly. I loved the yarn, it was so soft. If only I could capture the pinkish red in the pics. Oh, and the title! I don't know the story behind the name of the pattern but in Finnish, torvi means a trumpet.

1/06/2018

Last supper

As a knitter, there isn't anything better than having a totally crazy friend who dyes yarn. You know, the kind who's not afraid to try anything you ask her to dye. We were talking and thinking what paintings would fit a sock blank nicely. I said, I'd love to have a sock blank with the Last supper to make socks for my dad who's a priest. I never thought, she would actually paint it for me but se did!



Happiness is a friend with a set of acid dyes and artistic eye. <3


If the yarn artist was a bit crazy, I've heard a few times that I must be out of my mind to unravel this piece of art. But hey, that's the whole point of a sock blank - to make socks from it.


What: basic socks / own pattern
How: Circular needle 2.25 mm
From: PetrichorYarns Sock blank, 76 g
Ravelryssa

I truly did knit socks from the sock blank. And, this time I was smart enough to write down all the important info instead of having to calculate it all from the first sock.



Working with sock blanks is such a blast. I love seeing how the colors and patterns change as the blank turns into socks. This time it was even more fun, watching as yet another disicple had disappeared from the blank as to socks grew.



My knitterly friends were eager to watch the socks progress. Someone actually found a drunk cat from the sock blank if you looked at it from a certain angle. What has been seen cannot be unseen. Some were expecting Jesus to apper on the sole of the socks but He made these fun tiger stripes on the leg of the second sock.


What a pair these are. The colors worked such that you can only tell them to belong together from the toes of the second sock. But I guess that's the appeal of sock blanks - you can never know how the socks will turn out.

12/31/2017

Looking back

The past year has been full of knitting! I managed to finish 52 knits - that's an FO for each and every week of the year. I used 27.642 kilometers and 7.418 kilograms of yarn. And still, I'm trying to see if I could finish one more project before the clock strikes midnight.


In 2017, I finished 15 sweaters/cardigans/dresses. Three of those were kids' size and the rest adult size projects. I also finally finished two lace weight sweaters I had started in 2016.


I cast on and bound off 13 pairs of woolly socks. My favorites were the cute couple's socks and the rainbow socks that I worked with two different grey yarns.


I managed to knit eight shawls. The Nordic arrows shawl from Laine Magazine's first issue was such an entertaining knit, I already cast on for a second one.


I only finished seven hats and just six hand warmers. It has clearly been a year for bigger projects.


And talking about those bigger projects: I finished two blankets this year. The first one is this green baby blanket I made for a friend's baby boy. But the other one.. I've been working on and off (mostly off) on the Beekeeper's quilt by TinyOwlKnits for at least five years. In 2017, I finally bound off the last piece. I also managed to tie all the pieces together but I'm still waiting for the inspiration to weave in the gazillion ends. Perhaps next year?



2017 was not only a year full of knitting but also full of designing. During the year, I designed, calculated and wrote down instructions for 17 patterns! The highlights of the year were my Utu cardigan featured on the cover of Laine Magazine and the e-book, The Girl Who Said Baa, I just released in November.


And talking about my designs, once the clock strikes midnight, I can finally release Hiplee sweater for everyone to purchase. I designed it for a knitting club and now the rights are reverting back to me. I rarely knit the same pattern twice, not even my own designs. But I know there are a few of you who have been eagerly waiting for Hiplee's release and I thought we should have a KAL. I'm going to make another one for myself as well because who wouldn't need two of these. Come and join the KAL on Ravelry.


Happy new year of knitting to you all!