Secret scarves and Frankenyarn

So I just finished my secret socks and started on the secret scarf only to find out I wasn’t too happy with the pattern. First of all it took me three or four times to get the amount of stitches right for the cast-on… I continued and pretended that this was not one hell of a bad omen. So I had a knitpro cable through the cast on instead of a piece of waste yarn because I thought it’d be ‘smart’.. so I end up with a nasty pain in my wrists because of the stiffness of the cable… the slipped stitches, the nasty cast on (please note if you want to start Henry: it’s probably just me but the pattern is a bit annoying to ‘just knit while doing other stuff’…) the rather tedious Β pattern, the fact that the pattern would look really ‘not handknit but storebought’ and on top of that a stupid mistake on my part is what did henry in… There was no more hope because in a rather frustrated fit of rage I frogged the whole thing to shreds to protect myself from wanting to start over again once I was sober again…

I was right tho.. the next morning I felt a tinge of regret but that was just about the fact that I had spent so much time on redoing it.. this pattern is clearly not for me. I still think it looks great but it’s just not for me…

I thought about it some more and realized I don’t want anything that looks like it’s storebought. Even tho it’s handknit.. why would I want to make something that looks like I just bought it? Especially since I spent so much time looking for a spectacular sock like the Sheherezade slippers?

So I went looking on rav until I found something I really liked. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:Β Glenn’s scarf. The instant I laid eyes on this project I fell in love with it. This was exactly what I was looking for πŸ™‚ It’s manly and sophisticated, but also interesting to knit and to look at. There’s texture but also style. I love the textured squares and the lines ahhh πŸ™‚ So I’m knitting this up with a doubled drops alpaca yarn. I have 4 skeins but I might have to buy some more, I’m not sure yet πŸ™‚

Eric's scarf

Again, evening pictures make the color look a bit weird, but it’s the same navy blue as the other pix.

Eric's scarf
In the meantime there’s also been some experimenting with the new takhli spindle and cotton πŸ™‚ Did I mention I LOVE that thing? πŸ˜‰Β So I’m new to the whole cotton spinning and I’m not really sure what I can and can’t do with it. I got a whole lot of roving but I also got a lot of ‘raw’ cotton (is it fleece?). Fortunately I have handcards, unfortunately they’re not fine enough for cotton, but since I have no other option I just tried carding it with the ashford student handcards and it worked just fine! I was able to spin a bit quite neatly and I might even be able to make me some nice even punies to spin from πŸ™‚

cotton/ bfl handspun

So while trying some things out I plied a bit with the BFL roving I had spun up and I got some really nice yarn πŸ™‚ The problem is I don’t knit if it’s smart or not? Is it? can anybody tell me what kind of monster I just created? πŸ˜› lol

I understand if the tree of you reading this decide to ignore my calls πŸ˜‰

cotton/ bfl handspun

One thing lead to another and the cotton and wool created a swatch together… the colors reminded me of spring and autumn at the same time (wtf right :P) so that might be what the leaf stands for, but I like how the cottom seems to tame the explosive colors a bit πŸ™‚

will become haruni :)

For some weird reason I’ve become very organized in my knitting. I have an actual queue in my head of which project I will finish first. This one is for my aunt Shahin. She’s very nice and she’s the mom of my favorite cousin so I thought it’s time to knit her something pretty. I wanted to knit her socks but with size 41 I realized that this is really not going to happen πŸ˜› So I decided on the Haruni with beads. I don’t have the beads yet because they’ll be placed on the last row of the leaf pattern but I’ll have to get them soon because the deadline is somewhere halfway september because it’s her birthday πŸ™‚ busy busy!

FO: socks!

FO: Sheherazades slippers

The picture’s are a bit crappy but I thought I had already showed the pretty pictures so this is just the FO post of the both of them toghether πŸ™‚

I really loved working on these socks and they’re really nice and warm πŸ™‚ (way too warm for today, that’s why I took the picture in the evening).

FO: Sheherazades slippers

I’m not that tall so for me they’re quite big but the one who they’re for is taller than me so they might be actual ‘socks’ for her instead of stockings.. πŸ˜›

FO: Sheherazades slippers

ahhhh πŸ™‚ I’m hoping to finish my own soon but I do feel the need to knit some other things first before I start a pair of these again πŸ™‚

spinning cotton

I got my Takhli spindle today! I’m so excited! I ordered one via the webshop of ‘De Spinners’ in Den Haag on friday and it came in today πŸ˜€

takhli spindle with cotton :D

This is how it came in (yea there was a box and stuffing too but it didn’t turn out to be very photogenic), now that’s a lot of cotton πŸ˜€

takhli spindle with cotton :D

It’s a 150 grams, four different types of cotton roving (?) and cotton fluff and top. It’s so nice and soft I can’t Β believe it πŸ˜€ I wanted to buy a takhli spindle because I want to be able to spin my cat fur with it, but I had no idea that this cotton could be so soft. I thought it’d have the same texture as the stuff you can buy at the drugstore… it’s even shiny and it feels like it’ll come apart if you look at it the wrong way πŸ˜›

takhli spindle with cotton :D

The six types of cotton found in the box πŸ™‚ I love the soft roving things but I also love the rough, natural cotton πŸ˜€

takhli spindle with cotton :D

The spindle itself is also very awesome πŸ˜€ It smells like ‘new spindle’ but I love how fast it spins! Obviously I just had to try it at once and I’m very happy that I’m not a total noob anymore. Spinning on this spindle is actually very very easy. Maybe it’s because I’ve spun a fair bit on a spinning wheel and this is not as fast and scary but rather cute in comparison. But it might also just be easy πŸ™‚

takhli spindle with cotton :D

I made a little navajo-plied hank of the natural brown cotton and decided not to go further just yet πŸ™‚ I love how the miniature hank looks and feels πŸ˜€ Isn’t it cute? It’s my first cotton spinning πŸ˜€

takhli spindle with cotton :D

I decided to do some practicing with the spindle before I ruin the pretty cotton. I might actually be able to spin something very nice and it might be able to become something pretty πŸ˜€ I’m thinking two-ply lace? πŸ˜€ It’ll be my first anyway πŸ™‚ I might as well try πŸ™‚

The picture above is the BFL Dandelion roving I dyed as a test subject for the spindle. I was curious to see if I could spin anything else on the little monster or not. The spinning was quite easy but it went much too fast… My arms aren’t that long and after a while you’ll end up overstretching πŸ˜›

I’m hoping to have some pretty yarn to show you very soon, but I think there’ll be an FO post for socks first πŸ˜‰

The art..

of modeling socks… I’m really not there yet… πŸ˜› I need a lot of training and practice but It’s not half that bad for a first timer eh? πŸ™‚

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The kitty makes up for the self made picture doesn’t she? ahhh kittyyyyy (she just woke up so she’s a bit grumpy but she gladly (I think?) modeled my first finished sock πŸ™‚

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This is by no means an FO post.. this is me gloating over my first actual finished sock, knowing there will be at least one more to this pair and a whole new pair for myself… I know this for a fact… I’m getting sucked into this sock-knitting because of the highly addictive pattern made by Maia Discoe. This pattern taught me something really important about knitting socks toe up: At first it seems like the sock you’re knitting is too big.. .but it’s not…

I have tried a few times (in vain) to produce a nice sock that would fit my feet perfectly, but I have failed miserably over and over again.. I only managed to finish the ‘practice socks‘ but I think that was merely the case because I was knitting two at the same time.

Also these socks were too short before I turned the heel as you can see.. something that happened again a while later when I attempted my first pair in Malabrigo sock yarn. I had the idea that my feet were smaller than they actually are.. I fit a 37-38 (5,5/ 6 for US) shoe size, which is quite average I believe.. But I still manage to make the toes too small… and turn the heel too early.. πŸ˜›

1/2 FO: Scherherezade's slippers for MIL

This sock however is quite awesome πŸ™‚ ahh.. I just love the pattern πŸ˜€ I only used one skein for this sock and still have a lot left even after binding off.. :O I bought 3 skeins.. but I guess I won’t need one.. what to do what to doooo….

will become socks :)

You may or may not remember my Koolhaas, which I loved so much I knit 3 of (one for my grandpa and one for my dad). But tho I heard my grandpa only took it off to go to sleep, and my dad used his a lot too, mine was only worn about 2 or 3 times…

The shape of my head and this thing just don’t go together.. Well.. they might, but the yarn itches.. πŸ˜› So I’ll end up scratching my head all day which is not all that ladylike.. I believe it’s a huge waste to have 2 skeins of nice soft alpaca lying around and not knitting me a sock… that can’t be good right? so I’ll be reclaiming this yarn and knitting myself a pair of the Scherherazade’s slippers for myself… I might make mine a bit longer and I may add some stripes to the ribbing part.. I really like how the two colors work together πŸ™‚

kitties

Kiwi and Noodles approve.. πŸ™‚ (yes there’s two of them in this picture.. can u spot Noodles?)

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Here’s a little sneak peak at my Henry. I managed to mess up the cast on twice, and the third time I counted all the stitches and I counted 227.. when I knit the first start up row I ended up with 462 sitches.. (wtf?!). So I added two sitches to make it a repeat of 4 stitches and decided not to go for a fourth try.. I was really getting frustrated, and ahh well.. who’s gonna notice Β that in this huge thing anyway…. πŸ˜›

Super Secret Scarf Swatch

Henry Swatch

Swatching for Secret Scarfs today πŸ™‚ There’s not much to tell but that I found the right needlesize for this little (lol) project πŸ™‚ The above picture is swatched with a 3.0mm needle and the one below with a 3.5mm needle… yes I’m happy πŸ™‚

Henry Swatch

It’s a bit difficult to see but we’re getting there :D.. now to caston 227 stitches with some wasteyarn and we’re cookin’ πŸ™‚

FO: Hemlock Ring Blanket

FO; Hemlock Ring Blanket

Pattern: Hemlock Ring Blanket by Jared Flood.
Yarn: Schachenmayr Nomotta Livello (5 or 6 balls)
Size: 6mm/ US10

I love it.. I just love it πŸ™‚ You can hardly see the little mistakes because of the variegated yarn and it turned out to be quite big in the end (1,5m). I was reallly thinking about frogging the whole thing two days ago and now I’m happy I didn’t. This project deserved to be finished.. I frog a lot anyway.. πŸ˜› The reason I start talking about the mistakes is because I once made a huge one and had to rip back half of the whole thing. The little mistakes I’m talking about are really little mistakes πŸ™‚

Hemlock Ring blanket blocking

This is what it looked like before b locking, I just had to have a picture to compare. I really like the little waves in the blob of knitting and I’m sad to say not all of them left…

Hemlock Ring blanket blocking

I know you can’t block acrylic yarns the way you can block natural fibers, but I wasn’t ready to try my hand at ‘killing’ the acrylic just yet. I spent a good amount of time on this project and I’d like to try the process on a smaller scale first before I go all out on this one. It would really suck ruining the project before you have the chance to actually use it πŸ˜›

FO; Hemlock Ring Blanket

Because it’s acrylics I threw the whole thing in the washing machine’s 30 minute program and used the spin cycle to dry the fabric.. I believe there really should be a plus when knitting with this stuff, and I’m really not going to gently wash the thing if I can let the machine do it πŸ˜›

As you can see the blocking actuallly did do something and the whole thing has become quite drapey, but not nearly as drapey as natural fibers would’ve become after blocking..

FO; Hemlock Ring Blanket

See what I mean about the waves? They’re still there, tho they’re not that dominant anymore..

FO; Hemlock Ring Blanket

And this picture was made because it seems like everyone has a picture like this.. πŸ˜› I’m not really sure how I like the pictures tho.. the camera makes the colors rather harsh but in reality they don’t look that way. They blend in and become this brownish, cozy color.

o noes!

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This was going to be a bad day… what to do when you wake up thinking it’s going to be a lovely morning, come down and realize there’s only decaff left…. oh noes!

It didn’t turn out to be a bad day but it could have. Instead I just felt a bit weird and the caffein deprivation kept me sleepy all day. I don’t drink coffee just for the caffein, but I really enjoy my coffee because of the flavor. I’m in love with the capricio and the cosi (nespress) because of the way they taste. The decaff stuff isn’t too bad but it’s not that functional for in the morning… so meh.

Lucky for me it wasn’t all that bad. I’m planning to start two projects (I cast on for the first one yesterday) but they’re a bit of a secret. I don’t know if the recipients read my blog or not, but just to be safe I won’t say who they’re for πŸ˜‰

stash additions :D

Yesterday my yarn arrived! There’s something I really need to say about this company because these people are awesome! The yarn comes from Finlandia Import, and tho I’m not the proud owner of an actual stash and am still quite new to the knitting world, most of my yarn comes from them. I’m not the type of person to go look for yarn shops and then find out they don’t have what I want and then I’ll get suckered in to buying some other delicious yarn I have no money to buy. This is my way of keeping my stash small because I simply can’t afford it (yet). Let me tell you this.. the moment I stop being a student and land me an actual job I’m going to buy a ton of yarn… I mean it… πŸ˜›

So anyway, back to Finlandia Import. I ordered via their website on sunday and guess what… I actually received a personal (they always do isn’t that nice?) confirmation the same day. What company works on sundays?! I love them πŸ˜€

stash additions :D

Anyways, the three purple ones are going to become Scherherazades slippers and the four navy ones will become a Henry scarf. I’ve already got some progress on the socks as I’ve gotten familiar with the pattern πŸ™‚

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Yes the picture is a bit weird but it’s really the same yarn πŸ™‚ I took this picture on a sunlit table to see what it would look like in some harsh light πŸ™‚ The yarn is very soft and knits up to be a very stretchy fabric for the sock, but I’m really freaking out about the amount of wear this baby can withstand… πŸ˜› It’s so soft it might actually fall apart before this winter is over, but I really don’t care. They’re little princess socks imo and I don’t mind if the wearer wears them out πŸ™‚ (socks are meant to be worn right? πŸ™‚ )

reclaiming yarn

Remember this? Lelah has never seen sunlight since our last encounter… It makes me cringe a little when I see those old pictures… gahh.. I actually even forgot I had it lying around until I was cleaning out my closet this morning.. I wanted to throw it away but then I found the other half of the sweater it used to be and decided to just reclaim the yarn untill I had something better to do with it.

stash additions :D

So this is what it looks like now… πŸ™‚

little updates..

Spinning is taking over my life.. I’m not by any means a monogamous when it comes to knitting projects but I once decided I didn’t want to spend whole years on projects.. Right know I’m trying to prepare for winter knitting/ sewing because I might not be able to keep up when I’m busy doing my graduation year stuffs.. so I’ll need to be prepared (and warm).

The last few weeks I’ve been doing some rearranging in the house and we threw a lot of stuff out to make some space. After more than 3 years we’re starting to get used to the house and using it in a more efficient manner. It’s a difficult house people.. πŸ˜› we have no storage room…..

Anyway, while doing some cleanup rounds I encountered some interesting things:

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Remember this one? This is Balsam II, an FO from 2009. I loved the first Balsam but there were some serious mistakes in that one and I couldn’t see it anymore without wanting to burn it..

When I started out knitting I was very uncaring about what I knit. Everything was practice and none of the projects were made with seriousness… I have changed.. At some points I’m a little embarrassed at myself because all my experimenting and my practice knits are on the webs for all to see, but on the other hand it’s also very nice to see how I’ve changed and how this ‘hobby’ has completely taken over πŸ˜› I have a perfectionist in me but I’ve tried to lock her up because she’s a foul and judgemental little monster, but the more I knit, and the more I see my own handknits, the more tears I see in the iron cage locking my little monster inside.

It’s time to let her out I guess… Balsam I has been thrown out.. I seriously can’t look at it, and the yarn… omg.. I seriously can’t believe I BOUGHT this yarn… what was I thinking?? πŸ˜› Ignorance is bliss people…

So back to our subject: patient x (Balsam II) is not feeling well.. See the whole point of a cowl is to keep your neck/ face (and in this case shoulder) warm. I knit this project (mainly the first one) because I spend a lot of my time behind a computer (or a laptop) and I tend to get cramps in my neck. So the best thing was a long cowl that went from my chin to halfway my upper arm (to keep my back warm as well). The most important thing about this cowl is that it does NOT curl at any point…

The problems with Balsam II are the following:

– the top part curls outward;
– the top part is 2 repeats too wide;
– the top part is way too long, causing it to sag;
– the shoulder part is not wide enough;
– the shoulder part curls upward

The reason is that I actually knit this project with my mom in mind, but I gave her something else instead (I can’t remember why) and decided to finish it for myself, but I guess I forgot to change the measurements… πŸ˜›

The other problem is that there’s at least 3 balls left I don’t know what to do with…

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I still like the project enough so I think I might just reknit this one and this time make a (much) longer version but I can’t be sure yet πŸ™‚ I’ll keep you posted on this one πŸ™‚

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Remember this one? Here be the Hemlock Ring blanket by Jared Flood. I started this project with a lot of happiness and joy but made so many mistakes in this little blanket I just want this thing to be done and over with… Unlike the original this pattern is variegated and might take the attention away from the little mistakes left, but I can only be sure once it’s been blocked. It’s not the project or the pattern, this is definately me. The pattern was great and simple but for some reason I just can’t get the counting right. Obviously if I started over there would be no problem but this thing is HUGE.. and I mean really really really big πŸ˜› I tried stretching it a bit (as it would be once blocked) and it had a diameter of 2 meters…

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This crumpled little heap looks so innocent… so cute… I went over the ending row of the pattern (I believe with 18 or 20 yo’s in one pattern repeat.. I’m on 24 now) and I still have yarn left… enough for another 4-5 rounds… *le sigh*

I’m just so scared it will look horrendous once it’s been blocked so I’m not even sure if I want to continue and finish or just frog the whole thing and be done with this masochism…

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see what I mean… that’s a whole lot of yarn left and nothing I can knit with it once the blanket is done.. argh…

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On a much happier note I have a very pretty sock to show you πŸ˜‰ I cast on 32 instead of 28 but I’m not sure, if this one works out I’ll write up (go back and count) my modifications πŸ˜€ But so far it works like it’s working out πŸ™‚

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see? no ugly stretchy stockinette πŸ˜€

socks

As you know I have a weird love-hate relationship with knitting socks.. on the one hand socks are very easy to knit (I’m not there yet…) and on the other hand they’re very quick projects. I’ve only been able to actually finish one pair of test socks and two attempts (attempt 1, attempt 2). I wasn’t able to finish either, both because of a stupid mistake somewhere at te beginning. I was too stupid to correct either of them and as a result the mistake taunted me.. every single row.. everytime I tried to wear it… argh.. in the end I decided that starting over was easier than fixing the problem in row 5 (toe-up) and then I lost motivation..

But today is different πŸ™‚ A few days ago I found the Scherherazade’s Slippers, which are exactly what I need in a (handknit) sock. I need it to be interesting, and I need it to be very obviously handknit. Unfortunately for me the gauge recommended for my foot size was 7st/inch but my gauge was 8,5st/inch… not willing to be discouraged I cast on merrily and decided to just knit the thing up and see what would happen.

I was knitting with the orange Malabrigo Sockyarn I had lying around because I had no idea what to do with it, (I’m not sure if I’m a *real* stasher or not, but financial limitations make me want to use every single bit of yarn I have lying around here :P) and I wanted something really nice for my new socks.. see it as a sacrifice for the chance to learn something really nice and to be able to actually knit up a pretty pair of socks… πŸ™‚

socks :)

Hell yea! it looks nice for a sock.. but there’s a problem (duh).. So I’ve read that it’s important to knit socks rather tightly because it will be more resistant to wear and tear. Obviously they will in the end be worn out at some point but it might take a bit longer (and I’m all for that). So I’m knitting this little sock with 2,5mm dpns but for some reason its still not tight.. it’s actually quite loose….

socks :)

But there’s a much bigger problem.. it stretches too far.. there’s not enough stitches on the sole making it stretch even when my foot is relaxed… (darn..) the other part, the turning of the heel was my fault entirely.. I started too early, frogged it and restarted it (again too early…) πŸ˜› so that’s when I decided a needed a little break…

socks :)

I loved everything else about the sock and the pattern, but I didn’t want to finish something that was not mistake free.. I don’t mean perfect, but I don’t want to be looking at blatant mistakes…. πŸ˜›

So I decided to set this sock aside and restart with a 2.0mm needle.

socks :)

I had kept these malabrigo sockyarns to make other projects but for some reason they never happened and I wanted something nice anyway (even tho they might not live that long..)

socks :)

But once I started knitting the actual magic started πŸ™‚ This looks much much better than the 2,5mm version. My gauge was ridiculous but I guess I can live with it πŸ™‚ (11st/inch). I cast-on 28 stitches as called for in the pattern, but I decided to increase on the sole so that I wouldn’t end up with stitches stretched out so far…I now have 38 sts on the front and 44 on the back. I might add some more but I’ll have to see if it’s really necessary..

socks :)