Big plans!

Before I start I’d like to say I just finished my vanilla socks, so even though I didn’t manage to finish them on Monday (as I planned), I did finish them this week, w00t! I also managed to finish another side project (for the second time) as well, but I’ll talk about those two project on the next post. I just wanted to put it out there haha.

So you may (or may not) have heard of the Baa-ble hat, it was/ is the official pattern for Shetland wool week 2015 and is free to download via the website (also on Ravelry I believe, just click on the linky). I think it’s one of the coolest hat designs out here, especially with a huge pompom <3. I’m not entirely sure how, (I think it was a featured project on Ravelry) but I stumbled upon this glorious version and an idea was born. I’m making my baby a Baa-ble hat too! But what fiber to use.. I was almost thinking about ransacking my fiber stash and taking matching colored chunks out of braids I have lying around when all of the sudden, like it was meant to be, Dutch Wool Diva posted pictures of these beauties on her Instagram.

(This image is “borrowed” from Dutch Wool Diva’s Instagram feed)

I believe it was on a Saturday evening when I decided that I wasn’t going to wait because these mini batts are perfection and they were exactly what I needed for my babies custom, handspun Baa-ble hat! So a little back and forth over Facebook resulted in me getting not only these gorgeous minibatts on tuesday, but I also got a little minibatt in black for the sheeps heads and legs, because she’s just that awesome <3 (I’m such a groupie lol).

Anyway, I’d only seen them on that picture, but I feel like they’re even better in real life. I took some pictures, but I can’t to them any justice, and capture the soft shades in the mini batts themselves.

my new minibatts!
I took this picture under my daylight lamp, but it might’ve been a bit too much haha. I love this idea of gradients, as it’s hard to keep the colors clear when spin from a braid. This way you have complete artistic freedom when it comes to working with the colors.
Love this gradient :)

In total it’s 100 grams, so it’s about 10 grams per minibatt, and there’s two minibatts of each color (except the black of course, which is not part of this gradient). Since I’m going to spin a baby hat, I’m going to use only one set of gradients to see how far I’ll get. The pattern calls for aran weight yarn and is knit using 4 and 4,5mm needles, which I think is a bit bulky for a 7 month old baby. Since I’m going for a soft gradient I’m going to spin the yarns into light fingering weight and hold them double while knitting on (probably) 3,5mm needles. This way I can achieve a nicer gradient by alternating between colors.
not so small after all
Even though 10 grams doesn’t sound like much, it’s a lot more than it seems when you open up the minibatt. 

Jumped right in and prepped some fiber
One of the things I always do before spinning is fiber prep. In my opinion, your yarn and your spinning is as good as your fiber prep, if you don’t spend enough time preparing your fiber before you start spinning, you’ll end up prepping your fiber while you’re spinning in the end. You’ll have to stop more often, you’ll have to draft a lot more and the process of spinning is overall a lot less enjoyable and less consistent. What’s also a lot less consistent is the yarn you’ll end up with. So prep your fiber before spinning people! I usually separate the batt into strips and then pre draft my strips into little balls. When I’m going to spin one, I’ll wind them around my wrist and spin away. This way I can spin one color in one go.

busting the kolibrie out again
Even though I love my wheel, some things are best done on a spindle. A spindle is by no means in inferior tool, mind! You might enjoy the book “Respect the spindle” by Abby Franquemont if you do haha. It’s a very good book! Anyway, I feel like I have more control over my yarns when I spin them on a spindle. One of the reasons being that I have only 10 grams of color to work with at one time. This way it’s so much easier to just spin on a tiny spindle, rather than to take out the big equipment. I also noticed that I spin a lot more on a spindle because I can squeeze a lot of spinning in between other chores. The wheel is more suited for longer spinning sessions (imho).

I really love working on this spindle. The balance is amazing and I noticed that it’s the perfect weight for the kind of yarn I’m going for. This project is spun using the ply on the fly method, in which you (as the title suggests), ply, while you’re spinning. This technique seems a bit slow at first, but when you’re out of fiber you’re done spinning and end up with a finished yarn you can use immediately. I personally love using this method with my dropspindles because I feel like I get results faster. I’m very careful obsessive about winding my cop and I feel like I get prettier cops and better results when I use the ply on the fly method. 

I also feel like I have more control over the final yarn. If I ply and I end up with a chunkier yarn than I intended I can still un-ply that piece of yarn and adjust the weight a bit until I’m happy with it.

In other news, this is what my “roll the bones” socks look like at the moment. I’ve been focussing on finishing my vanilla socks and I haven’t touched them yet, but I’m very happy with the way they’re turning out. I actually wanted to get a few rows in, but I forgot my dice at my moms place, so there will be no knitting for me haha. I really love the idea of having dice and a very interesting (and constantly new) pattern to work on. I thought it’d be a fun pattern, but it’s a lot more fun than I thought it would be. I may need to knit myself and DH a pair as well..

I’m going to blog about this (now finished) vanilla sock as well, but I noticed that I didn’t have any real progress pictures on the blog and I should have at least two pictures before I can post an FO. Otherwise it’s almost as if this project never even existed at all haha. I have to say I’m very happy with vanilla socks, even though I love a good, complicated sock pattern, a nice, brainless vanilla sock is all I need at the moment (since I’m seriously brainless lol). 

In non-knitting news my baby learned to sit on his own (when I place him in a sitting position that is, he can’t get up by himself yet), and apparently that’s all the excitement he’s willing to handle at the moment.

By baby can sit <3

He loves sitting and being able to play without being held upright all the time (because he hated lying down haha), but at the same time it’s all very scary and exciting and he needs to make sure mommy still exists in this sitting world. I can’t move away or he’ll panic, the poor cute thing. It’s really adorable, but it also means that I’ve had quite some difficulty knitting (or getting anything else done for that matter, my kitchen has exploded). I was planning on blogging last Monday, for instance but I spent most of Monday hugging Ma’iq (how horrible hahaha).

I feel it’s time well spent, because I know it’s just a phase and there’ll come a time when he’s going to be too busy exploring to cuddle with me, so I’m enjoying it as much as I can for now <3

This was a triumph..

I’m making a note here: “huge success..”

(Still alive – Portal)

So apparently focussing on one project at a time really pays off. Who would’ve thought. I’m actually shocked (it’s stupid, but I really am). Apparently I do knit a lot during my days, I just never focus so nothing ever gets finished. Or I work on blankets in light fingering weight yarn and get all disappointed when I don’t see any progress.

Today I’m showing off two FO’s! I finished my gramps cardigan and the mini skirt I was knitting for little Yara. On top of that, I also finished my closet business (I nearly threw all my clothes out), at the moment the working time is 19+ hours and I’m working on my vanilla socks. I guess all I need to do now is post 6 more times (after this post) and lose 1 kg of weight and I’m all set. Not bad for the first 5 days of the month right? :)

I guess the finish 3 wips was easy in this case because all three of them are small, a baby vest, a baby sized mini skirt and a pair of vanilla socks. Since everything is going so well I’m going to expand the list of wips to 5 wips this month. I have to push it (at least a little bit, because these vanilla socks are going to be finished before monday..). I’m adding the “roll the bones” socks and the “how cold is it” mittens to this months list. Both are smal projects, but they’re a bit more intense than plain vanilla socks, which means they’ll probably get finished even quicker haha.

Ma'iq

So here’s the first FO, the gramps cardigan in Madelinetosh Pashmina in colorway Thunderstorm. I really love this cardigan because it’s so serious. It’s extra cute on babies and toddlers, and it’s super easy to knit. The buttons are from a local wood working shop and are handmade.

Ma'iq

I didn’t actually have the time to properly block it (and I don’t really think it’s that important in this case), so the picture below is a bit weird (because of the raglan shaping), but that’s just because of the way it tried up. It’s a baby cardigan and babies drool and generally make a big mess of their clothes, so that’s why I just laid it out to dry instead of blocking it. This thing will (probably) never get blocked anyway haha.

Ma'iq

I love how they’re thicker than average buttons and that the holes aren’t always centered. These buttons have personalities and I think they work really well with the cardigan. As they come in 5 per pack I now have 1 extra in case we lose one. 
Yara's mini skirt

My little niece Yara is a very expressive young lady. She’s a little ball of cuteness, but she knows what she wants and she can be very bossy <3 So what do you gift this girl? I usually don’t mind buying stuff, toys and whatnot, but in this case I felt like this would capture her personality a lot more. It’s hand made with love and it’s made of scheepjes stone washed (cotton, acrylic so it can be machine washed). I didn’t have the time to properly wash it so the stitches are a bit wonky at times, but I’m confident most of it will even out during the first washing.

Yara's mini skirt
I guess now I’m going to finish my vanilla socks and then I’ll move onto the next project :) If I’m going to evaluate this experiment, I’m going to have to say that it’s a success and I’m going to make better goals each month. It also helps that Ma’iq is getting more and more independent, so I’ll have more time for myself from now on. <3

goals

While working on one of my goals for 2016 I stumbled upon a very good idea (not by me of course). The author of  this blog makes monthly goals, and at the end of the month she evaluates if and how she achieved her goals. I thought this was an amazingly good idea! Why only make yearly goals? (and fail to keep them because it’s such a long period of time). Monthly goals are that much better. A restricted amount of time is much easier to control and plan than the whole spread of 52 weeks.

So, February, I guess it’s you and me now. I have some goals I’m going to try to achieve this month.

  1. Finish at least 3 WIPS.
  2. Blog at least 8 times (2x a week is the bare minimum people..).
  3. Work at least 15-20 hours a week (average).
  4. Finish KonMari-ing my clothes.
  5. Lose 1kg.

So the first one should be easy. The first WIP I’m going to finish is the gramps cardigan 2. This is the second version and I’ve already joined the sleeves so there’s no much left. The second wip is Yara’s skirt, because this thing was supposed to be her birthday present (January 23d..), and the third project will be my vanilla socks. If I have more time I’ll work on other projects as well obviously, but these must be finished before March. I’ve been trying to take Andi’s advice and focus on one knitting project at a time, and lo and behold I’m actually finishing things! Who would’ve thought it’d be this easy.. 😛

The blogging is going quite well so far. I’ve blogged a lot more than I did in 2015 and I’m starting to feel like the old me again. Like I’m on top of things and I’m in control of my life (lol). I actually love blogging and I feel like it’s the most important ME-time. I love to over-share and I see it as my diary. I also love to read other blogs, and to see what you are all up to. It’s so inspiring to see all the other knitting projects and the yarns <3

Working at least 15-20 hours a week is actually sort of a joke. I always work at least 20-25 hours per week, but what I’m trying to achieve here is a bit more focus. I already have a to-do list of things that I need to finish and I’m going to make sure they get done. I’m not setting any concrete goals because I can’t work with a deadline at the moment, but I’m definitely going to try!

The fourth one is a very important one because I started and now I have to finish it. Last week I threw out a LOT of clothes and reorganized all my shirts, tops, vest, cardigans etc. Now what’s left is my leg-wear (lol) and accessories. I’m going to give the first series another serious look, because I think I can get rid of a lot more. I’m not saying I had a lot of clothes, but because of my pregnancy I couldn’t wear a lot of them, and now that I can I don’t really like them anymore. I’m also interested in creating a capsule wardrobe. It’s better for the environment, and I’m getting sick of being so wasteful. We are so used to just throw things away and buying things crazy cheap.. as somebody who makes garments herself I should give a better example both to myself and the people around me. Fast fashion is not only horrible for the people who work in the sweat shops, it’s horrible for the people who plant the cotton, spray the pesticides, dye the garments (think: stone washed jeans), the people who buy it (because the quality is rather sh*t), and overall it’s horrible for the environment, because so much clothing is thrown out. <end of rant>

Lose 1 kg may not sound like a whole lot, but in January I already lost 1.8 kgs :) I’m not on a diet, and I’m not going to go on a diet. I’m just drinking a lot of green tea (a 1.7 liter pot a day) and I’m trying to eat more veggies and less meat (simply because I love veggies and I get less and less excited about meat). Apparently my body noticed because this morning I had dropped from 66.8 to 65.0 (yay!). If I just lose 1 kg a month I’ll be 60-59 kgs  a year after giving birth. If I want to weigh 58 I’ll need to lose a tiny bit more, but I’m not in a rush to be honest. Just 1 kg a month is a fine goal :)

So today we went to my MIL and FIL and had a great time. I got to spend some time with Ma’iqs blanket and they got to spend time with Ma’iq. I’ve made quite some progress (it’s slow as you can imagine) and one half round is a lot of knitting to manage while keeping a baby sleeping in the wrap carry (lol).

The day started out gray and stormy, so we both decided to wear our knitted socks (supplied by yours truly of course). I have to say that I’m impressed with DH, he really rocks knitted socks like a champ! That’s also why he gets socks <3

I posted a picture of the new malabrigo hank, but I couldn’t find the other yarns to show the colors. This will be my next Oranje! The skein yarn in barley will be the main color and the butterscotch Dutch Wool Diva sock glitter and the Malabrigo will be contrast colors. I can’t wait to see how this knits up, but I’m washing the malabrigo first!

Sorry for the lack of original pictures (I linked these from instagram/ facebook), but putting baby in bed took a bit longer than usual tonight and I have less time than originally planned. Ohh well.

So let’s get back to the goals for a minute. I didn’t have any specific goals for January, but I can already say I’m on the right track when it comes to my “yearly” goals. I’m blogging, I’m posting, I’m commenting, I’m reading and I’m taking more pictures of knitting progress. I haven’t had time to be more active on the forums just yet, but that’s ok, I’ll sneak some forum time in as well. Even though I didn’t have any real goals for the month of January, I still think I accomplished a lot of what I really wanted to achieve. By setting monthly goals I’m hoping to have even more focus and to achieve even greater things each month! Down with mediocrity! *picks up pitchfork*

*puts down pitchfork*

*picks up knitting*

FO: Balsam

FO: Balsam

I think that one of the things I’ll never get tired of are FO posts. Meet my latest finished object: Balsam. I think it helps that I’ve already knit this at least twice, because it was quite a quick transition from yarn to fabric.

FO: Balsam

The pattern is clear and well written, so there’s actually not a lot of room for error (unless you misread it like I did the first time lol). It’s worked top-down and is adjustable to different sizes. So if you’d like the cowl to be wider or longer it’s easy to do so.

FO: Balsam

Even though I had some doubts about the yarn choice at first, I’m happy now that it’s knit up. I usually try not to knit with cotton yarns because they make my wrists hurt (because they don’t stretch and I strain my hands). I usually notice when it’s already too late and it’s hurting, but for some reason it didn’t really bother me this time. 

FO: Balsam

The yarn really shows off the twisted stitches and the spiral. I love the ‘denim’ look, but next time I’ll choose the single color version (the plus has these color changes, while the normal cotton-merino is just one color). I like the way it turned out, so I’m not going to bother with another one haha. Also: for a cowl it’s not as bad, but if you knit something with bigger shape changes you might get pooling and I’m not really a fan.

FO: Balsam

Overall, this is a very nice pattern and the yarn works the way I hoped it would. I now love the edges a lot because this yarn and garter rib go so well together <3 I hadn’t knit with this yarn before, but I think I’ll use more of it for future projects. I hope it doesn’t shed or pill, but I guess I’ll find out soon enough :)

Leftover yarn

I used four balls of 50 grams and this is all that’s left. I think it means I could’ve knit maybe 2 or 3 more rows, but I honestly didn’t feel like playing yarn chicken.. I’ve pulled the short end of the stick way too often.. 

vanilla socks in drops fabel
There’s another little project I completely forgot about: I (finally) finished these socks, gave them away and then completely forgot to blog about them. Well.. here they are :)

And while we’re talking about socks: I’m working on a new pair. These are for DH, so I’m keeping my word about not giving any socks away (except the ones I’m working on for my brother).
My garden thinks it's spring
In other news spring has murdered winter.
My garden thinks it's spring
Even though I love seeing green things grow, the knitter in me is a bit miffed about skipping winter. I look at my instagram feed and the blogs I read and I admit I feel jealousy. I get it. Snow is a lot of fun on the first few days, and after a while it just sucks (at least over here it does). It’s magical and awesome and the world goes silent, then you see the first tracks and after a while it becomes a disgusting, gray slush that will freeze into a solid mass of ice on the roads. Then there will be more snow and grocery shopping becomes very interesting indeed.. But I still get very jealous when I see those magical, snowy pictures <3
My garden thinks it's spring
I’m already excited about planting things in this (currently dead) garden.
Malabrigo sock in Chocolate Amargo
In other knitting news: I bought another skein of Malabrigo than I intended. Cordovan was a bit too reddish for my taste, so I bought Chocolate Amargo instead. This is a darker brown and is much nicer as a contrasting color for my Oranje (which will not be oranje this time).
Yokes by Kate Davies
And while I online shopping at Stephen+Penelope I decided to buy myself an early <insert favorite excuse> present! I’ve coveted this book for a long time, and it’s finally miiiine <3

re-do’s

Yesterday I found another reason why blogging is good for me. I must say I had my doubts about actually publishing the previous post. It’s really hard to face your failures, but what I found particularly painful is how many items I’ve lost due to negligence. I realized that I’d never give myself a knitted present. How awful is that? At the moment there’s a lot going on around artist getting their due and not working for free, but in all honesty I don’t respect my own art/ craft. I’ve been treating it very poorly and I was quite ashamed. How can I expect other people to respect my time and my craft when I don’t.

One of the main reasons is that I knitted it myself. The thought behind this is “if I ruin it, at least I’ve ruined it myself and nobody will get their feelings hurt”, but in thinking like this I forgot the most important thing: I’m the lead character in my life, MY feelings got hurt a LOT.

What also helped a lot is reading that Marie Kondo book. She writes about respecting your stuff because they work hard for you and deserve to be treated well. That one really made me realize that I don’t treat my knitted garments with any respect at all. I usually throw them in a box (or a drawer) and only take them out when I need them. I don’t let them air, I don’t treat them respectfully, but I do expect them to last and work for me. I’m a sucky knitwear owner… (I guess in this sense it’s only good I’ve been giving away my socks lol).

So now that I’ve learned this incredibly valuable lesson I decided to restart en re-do! There’s a number of projects I loved very dearly (and ruined), so much even that I’m going to re-knit them and cherish them like the original ones deserved.

I already started with Balsam. In the previous post I had named it Spiral Cowl (I don’t know why).

I bought these yarns at the LYS (which doubles as a LYS but is actually a dry cleaners..) and I was initially planning to knit something for Ma’iq, but in the end I decided that the yarn wasn’t suitable for a drooling, puking baby because of the halo. I’d be cleanin little tufts of fuzz out of his cute little drooling face all the time. Instead I decided to use the 4 balls to knit Balsam. I’d knit balsam twice before, the first time was the one with the mistakes. The yarn I chose was an acrylic boucle sort of yarn, and at the time I knit Persian style (in which you knit the back loops instead of the front loops), so all my twisted stitches looked odd, and the beautiful effect of the spirals was much different. It also didn’t frog too well, I knit way too tight back then, and the overall progress was really slow. One of the biggest rookie mistakes was that I never frogged when I made a mistake. It was too much effort to get where I was anyway, so frogging felt like wasted time (I know better know, thank you :P).

The second time I knit this project I forgot to knit the ribbing with smaller needles which resulted in flabby and curling edges. It was horrible and I hated it so much I frogged it and I never even added it to my rav projects (I think).

The other project I’m going to re-do is Oranje!

IMG_6895

While I was working on this post I was under the impression that I had written about Oranje in the previous post, but apparently I haven’t posted these pictures anywhere. After washing this project it bled. I mean, the yarn bled like a dying pig.. after the first time washing it the white yarn became pink and it’s gotten worse over time. This yarn STILL bleeds, and I’m not joking. Seriously Malabrigo, you can’t sell shit like this. But anyway, I should’ve washed the yarn in advance (and in future I’ll always wash the yarn (with vineagar) in advance to prevent such disasters..

IMG_6894

This was one of the hardest projects I had ever knit and I was so incredibly proud when I had finished it! It looked so incredibly good!

FO: Oranje!

Here’s what it looked like when I had just finished it and below is what it looks like today. I tried a lot of things, but none of them worked. The last thing I’m going to try is very aggressive (I’m going to soak it in vanish oxi action gold..) but since I’m going to throw it out it might be an option.

IMG_6898

In the mean time I’ve worn it once or twice (when I sub consciously want to punish myself for something), but it really needs to go. But before I can let it go I need to reknit it so my conscious is clear. This project deserved so much love. It was one of my first real big stranded knitting projects and I loved every bit of it.

I’m going to use these yarns for the main body:

breidag

I now have three skeins of skein yarn (I bought one in the same colorway later), I’m going to combine it with “butterscotch” a Dutch wool diva sock glitter yarn (pictured below) and a Malabrigo sock in Cordovan, which I’ve ordered and I’m going to pick up tomorrow. I’m really excited about this project and I’m going to make sure the Malabrigo yarn doesn’t bleed by washing it a few times before knitting.

Untitled

Third in line is the tangled yoke cardigan! I loved this one so much I’m going to make a handspun version! I have a lot of fiber lying around and by the time Balsam and Oranje are finished I should be able to start knitting away on this project. I’m planning to spin a 3 ply yarn of which 1 ply has different colors. I’m not sure if it’ll be suitable for this project, but it can’t hurt to try :)

undyed top

I have a lot of neutrals, but I’m not really sure what kind of yarn I’m going for. I was thinking of spinning some yarn first and then dye it in a darker tone before knitting. On the other hand I really love the oatmeal look, but again, I’m not sure just yet. I think this cardigan is so elegant that it would be even more awesome if the yarn was a bit rustic and showed some character.

The next project will be my Tenney Park pullover. I really loved this project so much I’m going to make a handspun version. For the body I’m thinking of using this Ashford alpaca/ silk blend (I’ll have to buy one more I think.
Ashford spinning fiber

I could also spin a two or tree ply using these fibers as well. I think a combination between the two purples would look really great as spinning usually mutes the colors a bit. The whites in the fiber will probably be a lot less prominent once the yarn is spun up.

I’m not really sure about the one below here because this one looks like it won’t be a good match. 
Ashford spinning fiber    Ashford spinning fiber 

Dutch wool diva spinning fiber    Dutch wool diva spinning fiberDutch wool diva spinning fiber    WP_20160128_13_14_50_Rich

Dutch wool diva spinning fiber

It’s really hard to choose which of the colors to pick. I think I’ll spin the main yarn first to see how the yarn turns out, and then decide which of these I’ll spin for the entrelac

For now this is going to be it. These are the ones I miss the most and if I make the list too long I might get distracted. By the time I’m done with these I might consider reknitting some other projects from the past. We’ll see :)

happiness

Sometimes the simplest things are the ones that stare us in the face. Unfortunately, it can take some time before we see them. Sometimes we don’t even see them at all. As I’m reading through Marie Kondo’s book, I’m starting to realize that her method isn’t just about cleaning up your house. She simply writes that you should surround yourself with things that make you happy. I’ve done a lot of things that I thought would make me happy, but in the end, didn’t make me happy at all. Some of those things only made me think that they’d make me happy, and in the end, they made me very unhappy indeed.

There have been a number of knitting projects that haven’t delivered. I decided that part of cleaning up (in the end) should also contain the blog, flickr and my computerfiles. I’m saving these for last, but right now I’m thinking about all the things that made me happy and blogging is one of the big happy things in my life.

garnstudio's yarn

Sometimes it’s easy to forget how you felt at a certain time, this blog has helped me to reconnect with myself over many good and not so good events in my life. When looking at this picture for instance I used to feel a bit sad. It was the first batch of non-acrylics yarns I ordered, during a time in my life when I was very depressed and overall very sad. When I look at these pictures I can almost see the dark clouds that hung over my head  haha. In a way, this batch of yarn saved my life :) I’ve become a very happy and postive person since I bought that batch of yarn. I guess that’s why I’ve been buying so much yarn… <3

Anyway, I was going to write about happiness in knitting and knitting projects.

I used to be a total project knitter, but after a while I transitioned to a process knitter. Now that I’m looking at my clothing (organizing etc.) I realize that I have hardly any knitwear.. What..? How did this happen? First of all.. I felted a lot of stuff. I’m stupid like that. I’ve cried over it, and I’ve come to the simple conclusion that I’m stupid.

Then there’s the projects I started (and even finished) using the wrong kind of yarn, projects that had mistakes in them which I lazily finished anyway. Guess what..? the mistakes started to bother me in the end and they were frogged. Some projects were simply knit with the wrong (kind of) yarn and were frogged.

Here’s a few of them:
Spiral Cowl:
spiral cowl by Ilga Leja

I’m not going to be hard on myself over this one. This one dates from March 2009 and is one of my earliest actual FOs. I used to knit Persian style back then, and as you can see I got twisted stitches when I knit in the round. I never knew about this until I started knitting in the round. How weird is this. Anyway, there’s obvious mistakes I was too lazy to fix. This one ended up in the frog pond (but will probably be reknit because it’s such an awesome pattern and nice accessory to have!)

Lelah top
lelah

This is one of those things I knit and frogged. I knit this using the wrong kind of yarn. At the time I didn’t have a lot of experience with different kinds of yarns..

This reminds me of this post…

Shipwreck
FO: Shipwreck

This is one of the few that isn’t frogged, only because it can’t be frogged. Apparently Malabrigo lace felts and shrinks after a while! This shawl is somewhat felted and it has shrunk a LOT… I really love this shawl but 1: the yarn wasn’t good for this project, and 2: the color was a poor choice. This is one of the few pictures that actually shows any of the lace pattern. Other than that it’s color vomit :(

Arisaig
arisaig back wip
This one belongs on the list of things I reallly regret frogging. I don’t even know why I frogged it. I knit this with 2.0mm or 2,25 and it was gorgeous. I guess I wasn’t happy with something, but I’m still not sure what. Blergh. 

Vaila
Vaila
I think I already mentioned felting Vaila.. still salty about it.. blergh

Hemlock blanket
Hemlock ring blanket wtfThis is also frogged because I chose the wrong yarn. From a distance it was just color vomit again. 

Deep V argyle
Deep V argyle vest wip

Looking back all I can think is: what were you thinking? an argyle vest knit with acrylics yarn. I was supposed to steek this thing. I also managed not to read the instructions right and not to make a good gauge swatch. It turned out a LOOT bigger than it was supposed to. Ahh.. rookie mistakes.

Corona
corona wip

Another acrylics fail. I love the Corona pullover, but not in acrylics. Frogged 

Hew
FO hewFirst handspun project ever was frogged because I don’t know what I did wrong but this one turned out to be a little too off the shoulder for me. It had trouble staying on (I think it’s because of the lace edging), so it went to the frogpond.

Tangled Yoke cardigan
tangled yoke cardigan wipThis one accidentally ended up in the dryer..

Tenney park
Tenney Park FO

The problem with this project is twofold. The first problem is that the grey yarn is cheap acrylics from Zeeman. The second problem is that it ended up in the washer because I thought “hey I used cheap acrylics anyway” and then forgot that the entrelac wasn’t acrylics. Sad face.

Altocumulus
Altocumulusfelted in the washer.. again.. How stupid can you be right? Careless, just careless apparently :'(

So why am I doing this? This long and sad list of felted and frogged projects. First of all: I don’t mind losing most of these projects. I learned a lot of different techniques and I learned one very important lesson: always choose good quality yarns for your projects. The simple reason is that I was careless with them because none of these projects actually made me happy. Surround yourself with things that make you genuinly happy. None of these actually did, otherwise I would’ve paidmore attention to how I treated them.

I guess that’s the most important lesson. At the time I used cheap acrylics yarns because I was a poor student, and because I felt I wasn’t worth it. I felt like I was only learning and should do so using cheap materials so I wouldn’t “waste” high quality products/ a lot of money. In the end I wasted a lot more than money, I wasted time (though I did learn from them). 

From now on I’m going to treat my knitting projects with a lot more care and love. I’m going to choose projects that make me really happy and excited, and I’m going to stop trowing them in the washing machine.. (lol). I’m also going to make a true effort to have a lot more garments I (or my family) can wear during the coming fall and winter <3

happy knitting :)

Stats

One of the things I really enjoy about blogging is the statistical data. It’s one of those awesome things only become awesome when you’ve been blogging for a while.
I’m usually not all that occupied with the number of vies my blog gets, but it’s always very interesting to see where my viewers come from and what they were looking for when they stumbled upon my little blog. I’ve already mentioned the number of people who found my blog because I mentioned something about space invaders once or twice (linky). But there’s something I’ve been trying to ignore for a very long time now, and I’m afraid I’m just going to have to give it some attention on the blog here.

Last post I wrote something about the Ninja mask of awesomeness. I knit this mask in December 2010, snapped some pictures, blogged and Ravved about it and then moved on to other projects. In the mean time these pictures have become rather popular on Flickr and are my most viewed photos. Ever.

Here’s my top 3 of all the images I have on flickr.

#1: 2,375 views and 14 faves
ninja m a s k of awesomeness wip

#2: 2,227 views and 14 faves
ninja m a s k of awesomeness wip

#3: 1,990 views and 18 faves
FO: ninja bike m a s k

and here’s #4: 634 views and 0 faves
FO: Dryad

My top 20 viewed pictures on Flickr:
Nina Mask of Awesomeness: 10x
Handspun Dryad: 9x
FO Vaila 1x

Just out of curiosity I decided to see what kind of people had viewed (and favorited) my pictures, and noticed that they all have one thing in common: a lot of masked (mainly) women in their favorited images. Preferably scarcely dressed. Don’t get me wrong, I have no intention of removing these images (lol). I took these photos to show a work in progress, and then I put them on the internet. I just find it really funny that these are my most viewed of all the pictures I’ve posted online.

Every year I read through the list of search terms that guide people to my blog and here’s some of the best from 2015:
Many people have been searching information about the bliss spinning wheel and how to make faux lags.
One of the search terms was “deerception.com” which I found really awesome 😀
Another one was “laryngitis sucks” which is also a title of one of my blog posts.. it does suck btw.
One of the search terms was “lilirious knittss” which means at least 1 person out there was looking for me <3 Thank you!

So I guess it shouldn’t be a shocker to see that my Bliss review post was the most viewed post of 2015 (not counting the home page). The second and third most viewed posts are about the Persian rugs and the fiber prep. So maybe I should make more tutorial style posts?

While typing this post I decided to search for “organize” and found 30 posts where I mention something about organizing either my life, my stash or something else that’s in desperate need of some organization. All my life I’ve been fighting the battle against clutter and total chaos. I hate having to hide behind the standard “creative people are messy” quotes, because they are simply not true. Creative people are messy because they spend time on a lot of things expect the organization of their stuff. Want to know why? because every thing takes a LOT more time when you have to keep searching for the things you’re looking for. Want to make a drawing? Need a pen? “Where did I put that particular pen…” “Now where could I have put this particular part of my airbrush” “Hey I’m looking for this and this part of my knitting”

or this one: “Honey, have you seen my keys..?”

I’m a creative person, but I’m totally done living in a world where I have to keep looking for stuff. I want my house to be organized. I want my flickr page to be organized. I want my blog to be organized. I wanted to write a post about socks and I spent a good 10 minutes scanning through my flickr photos of 2015 because I keep forgetting to tag my pictures (this is an example of how simple things take a lot of time if you use the “I’m a creative person, hence I live in chaos” excuse like I do).

NO MORE!

I bought a book by Marie Kondo named: The life changing magic of tying up. I’ve read most of it and it’s already changed the way I think about a lot of things. According to Marie Kondo it takes around 6 months to clean and de-clutter all of my stuff, so I’m going to post regular updates. According to this book the key to a clean house is surrounding yourself by things that make you happy. I’m going to try and use here method to finally declutter my house. I’m going to use her book as a guide and I’m going to follow through. How am I going to teach a kid to keep their room tidy when I can’t even keep the house tidy. I have these big clean spurts and then the clutter gradually comes back. It’s such an incredible waste of time.

I’m going to start on monday. Why monday? Because I have other plans tomorrow. Otherwise, I would’ve started tomorrow. As luck would have it, the day after tomorrow is a monday.

wish me luck.

oh brother

I know I said I was going to write about the fallen comrades, but I need to write about this guy first. Let me show you a picture :)

me and shiwi

So this is me and my little brother on vacation in France some 17-18 years ago. It’s funny how you can look at older pictures of yourself and still only see the chubby face and the things you didn’t really like as a 12-14 year old, but enough about me. This post is about my little brother Shiwi (whose name is actually Sherwin, but we all just call him Shiwi).

shiwi planking

So here’s the thing: my brother and I have an age gap of 10 years. While my girlfriends played with barbies and baby dolls I used to play with a real baby and have a lot of fun. But we both grew up and I guess you slowly start to forget how much fun you had as a kid. Now that I have a baby of my own all of the fun memories are starting to come back and I wanted to post about the awesomeness that is my brother (because apparently I’ve never blogged about my brother..)

shiwi playing

Now I know I may be biased, but my baby brother was one adorable little kid :) When he was little we used to watch Pokemon together and when we played video games he’d be Luigi and I’d be Mario. Nowadays (well.. for a ver long while now) he kicks my ass in every videogame ever made.. (but I still like him nonetheless).

me and shiwi

Shiwi has always had this amazing comedic timing. He always knows when to say something ridiculously funny to make everybody laugh. He doesn’t talk much (usually), but when he does you’ll want to hear what he has to say.

happy birthday shiwi (3 yrs ago)

Here’s a picture of us and Shiwi’s birthday cake (I made) for his 18th birthday. I also had a picture of him voting for the first time, but I decided not to post it here. I

shiwi

He was cute as a baby and toddler, but he’s pretty handsome as a grown dude.

shiwi

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I think my little brother is a pretty cool guy and I like him even better now that he’s grown up :) But I haven’t even mentioned the best thing about him yet: he really appreciates knitting <3

ninja m a s k of awesomeness FO

A (long) while ago I knit him the Ninjamask of Awesomeness, and he *still* wears it when it’s cold out! He’s also very careful (and he hasn’t lost it which really means a lot). He also wore this thing I airbrushed for him (remember the previous post?)

P141208_15.42

So a while ago I got my mom addicted to sock knitting and she’s been knitting socks for Shiwi for a while now (he has cold feet and really appreciates knitting like I said), so out of the blue I decided that I wanted to knit socks for him too. He’s been so nice about it and he even wanted to learn (but he’s very busy doing schoolwork so I tried not to push him too hard haha).

Anyway, I’m just going to post this picture because I don’t want to spoil the surprise (he may or may not read this blog post…)

OOooo soo exciitiiinnggg <3

yay!

I’ve been meaning to post another post, but since it’s the 19th today, I’ll post this one first instead. Today my blog is 7 years old! Yay! What a happy occasion! I feel a throwback tuesday coming up.. (I don’t know why I can’t ever get these posted on actual thursdays.. whatever..)

Seven years ago I went on a trip and caught the knitting bug by an aunt who knit one scarf after the other. She used the yarn with the bobbles and I was so inspired I decided to give it another shot. I used to knit and crochet a lot when I was a little girl, but I never knew what to do with it. I didn’t have any magazines or (obviously) internet back then, so I just made a few granny squares and that was the end of it.

Family visits were nice, but usually also very boring. I come from a huge family and some of them I don’t know very well, so you visit and do all the things a polite guest does (I did a lot of visiting between 14 and 21), but you’re young and the older people are talking so you just sit there and entertain yourself until it’s time to go. (Persian families.. nice. how well behaved I was..). Anyhoo.. I started knitting because I the difference between staring at your mobile phone and staring at your knitting is that the first one is rude and the second one is a conversation starter. So I bought some needles and some yarn and I went at it.

Back in Holland I found some online stores (because back then I was waaay too shy to visit an actual yarn shop..), and I started expanding my knitting. I relearned to knit continental style and I never stopped wanting to learn more and more.

My pink girly moods

Back then I did a lot of drawing and art related stuff. Here’s an attempt at art journaling.

dragon

I also did freehand airbrushing. When I think about it I still really like drawing and airbrushing, so who knows, I might get back to it 😀

P250809_19.50

But just knitting wasn’t enough so I started sewing as well. The first thing I’ve ever sewn is a reversible winter jacket. Because I can’t just learn something easy… I still don’t understand why I’m like this. Unfortunately for my I don’t have any pictures :(

Vaila

I knit, but I also felted a lot.. Like this one.. Still very bummed about it..

FO: Rosalie

Also felted.. never even wore it once..
P1010024
see..

FO: my kind of town cowl
This one I’m particularly salty about… It’s hand dyed and handspun yarn…

Commelina wip

Some were given away, like this one.

Girasole FO

and this one..

FO: Print o' the wave stole

and this one..

spinning first yarn :D

Then I started spinning and life got so much better! Behold my first alpaca yarn!

roving dye
My second handspun was also handdyed!

FO hew

my second handspun yarn <3

Dandelion n-ply
my third handspun yarn was also hand dyed and became these socks:
FO: skew

Weaving on my new loom

I gave weaving a shot, but in the end it’s not really for me I guess. It’s very meditative and nice, but I’m too impatient and the loom (I used) was too big for my house.

It’s real fun to look back every now and then. There’s been so much progress that I had almost forgotten about those firs steps. Looking through these pictures made me realize I actually lost a lot of those knitted projects along the way. They either got felted, or weren’t knit with the right yarns. I’m dedicating one of the next posts to the fallen comrades.