FO: Skew

It took me a good while but they’re finally both done!

These socks were made using the handspun dandelion yarn from last year. The yarn is, unfortunately, quite overplied as the first 2 ply I had spun was severely underplied. Obviously I wasn’t aware of the dynamics when it comes to navajo plied yarns but I guess it turned out ok. I learned a great deal about spinning and about the consequences in knitting..

Though it might not be very visible on the pictures the right sock is softer and finer than the left sock. This is because of the changing weight during the spinning process. I started out thicker than I ended. Now the left sock is a bit ‘sturdier’ than the right socks. I haven’t worn it much but maybe it’ll soften up a bit.

It feels good to have an FO during these busy times, especially when it’s a sock I started in september 2010.. I’m really pleased with the results because of the learning process involved.

Avalon top wip

I guess once you start something you can’t just turn the switch off anymore. Today I learned I really like to crochet because it’s so different from knitting. I feel I need to explain myself.

What I love about knitting is that it’s a continuous process. One by one you knit (or purl) your stitches and you don’t even have to look at your hands in order to knit. Obviously there’s different types of knitting and when you’re working on true lace it’s not so bad to count and check on what you’re doing. But when you’re working on a simpel vest and you’re knitting stockinette all the way… well in that case you can knit whenever you want.

When I knit socks i knit them blind. I don’t have to look at my hands to know what I’m doing so it’s a great way to keep knitting while sitting in the car (as a passenger mind you) or while watching a movie.

What I dislike about knitting is cats playing with your yarn and consequently ripping out your needle.. this usually results in me crying (well not really.. just using some bad language) and picking up the freed stitches…

 

What I love about crochet is that it’s just one thing you’re holding. I firmly believe that first there was crochet, then there was knitting. And with that I believe crochet was done by hand at first, then someone thought something like “there has got to be some better way of doing this” and then they grabbed a stick. Next thing was the hook to make it all easier.. but ever since that last part of evolution the crochet hook has not been changed. I also find it incredibly cool that there area machines for knitting but not for crochet. Crochet is done by hand. always. Now I may be wrong but I still believe this to be true and you can’t tell me otherwise (so even if you’re right I don’t care *sticks out tongue*)

Crochet is easier on the hands and wrists. I should’ve realized this much sooner as I have often been plagued by minor pains in my wrists because of too tight knitting or difficult yarn (dandelion handspun bfl..)

What I dislike about crochet is it’s lack of direction. I love knitting because it has a way of lining up all the yarn in the same direction. For instance if you have silky yarn the direction of the stitches will define how the sheen will work out. Like this picture:

You can see how the silk bounces off the light going in a certain direction. Crochet doesn’t work like this and it automatically makes the yarn a bit rougher than knitting would. Don’t get me wrong I really love it either way, I just think crochet would be much nicer with softer yarns that work with the characteristics of crochet instead of working against it.

Long story short: I found cheap balls of 90% acrylic 10% mohair (from Zeeman) that works perfectly. I still suck at crochet and I’m still a broke student so I can’t afford more expensive yarn. And I need to knit/ crochet in between spinning, I cant’ just card all day long it’ll kill my wrists.

So tadaa:

Awesome no? I really like the way it’s turning out tho I should say that the yarn is really not forgiving at all. The slightest mistake and you’ll end up with a tangled mess and tug a little too hard and you’ll end up breaking the yarn.. ugh.. a bit frustrating but hey what can you do about it 😛

I finished the yoke and now I can start working on the body. For those of you interested: it’s the Avalon top by Doris Chan. I’d like to add that I really love most (if not all) of her designs. Because of the fabric issues I explained above I’m not a fan of crocheted jackets or tops but seriously she makes it look awesome either way. I guess now I’ll have to try to crochet a jacket/ cardigan and see how it goes 😛

make up your mind!

that’s what I tell myself quite often but I can’t seem to get the hang of it.. making up my mind.. Sometimes I can’t decide which yarn to use for what project. I’ll start out with a yarn, then halfway through I’ll decide I don’t like it as much as I thought I did and then I start over using another yarn. The problem, this time, is stitch definition. I feel the new yarn makes a prettier project, so I’m happy with the way it’s working out.

I started out like this.

Actually I didn’t.. I started out using this yarn while I was at my moms house, but then I frogged it because the yarn was making things a bit too fuzzy. It was the softest thing ever but really the yarn was way too thin for me to make it work. After all.. I haven’t touched a crochet hook in a few years and I really started out a bit rusty.

The Jaggerspun is working out beatifully but the problem with this is the stitch definition. The one thing I love and hate about crochet all at once is the way the stitches are formed. I love knitting because of the smoothness of the stockinette parts. It shines like straight or wavy hair does.. but when you crochet it, the fabric shines like braided hair does. I like them both but not all of them with the same yarns. I love the sheen of the silk in the Jaggerspun and it wasn’t working for me with this project. The soft sheen was getting fragmented so I needed something that would work with the crochet stitches instead of against it.

So here’s the wibra ella in olive:

Pardon me.. It’s really not arrogance, I’m just proud at the way it’s turning out. The stole will become a bit fuller and thicker because of the yarn, but really I don’t mind. I wanted to have something between a blanket and a shawl anyway and this is working for me just fine! The yarn is absolutely amazing! It’s acrylic but it’s nothing like the other yarns at all. It feels like you’re working with cotton. I do know that once ‘killed’ it’ll have a wonderful drape and sheen all over it so I’m really pleased with the way it’s turning out.

The biggest difference between this yarn and the previous attempt with the Jaggerspun is the fullness and thickness of the yarn. This makes the stitches ‘show’ more and it gives the whole thing a bit more character I think. The thing I really didn’t like about the previous attempt was the holes it created when you worked a row. Maybe it would’ve worked just fine with a smaller hook but I’m not going to work the stole with a 2mm hook when I’m trying to pick up crocheting again after such a long while.

I made the first part of the stole much smaller because I didn’t like the way it looked that much. I’ll add just about the same amount to the other end so I’ll have to make crochet more repeats than the pattern calls for. The only problem is that I’m running out of yarn.. I may need to go buy me some more but the problem is that there might not be any more left. Last time I checked they only had a few of these in different colors.

After trying out the wibra yarn I also made a small attempt at 100% silk but that became too rough for comfortable wearing. It really made a scratchy fabric so I decided this yarn would be the perfect match after all.

I’m really happy to be using a hook again since it’s really been ages since I last crocheted something I liked. The last two attempts (to which I’m not even going to link.. but you can find them here on this blog) didn’t quite turn out the way I had hoped so I just put it aside. But now I feel I really want to make some garments. I love the lacy look but I won’t use it for a sweater or something. I don’t like the fabric it forms, but I do love the lace!

I’de like to end the post with my kitties and tell you about the power of catnip. They HATE these… but now they love them… 😛

noodles

and kiwi

 

withdrawal symptoms…

in the knitting world is something that does not exist. I tried.. but I can’t.. the more I try not to start all kinds of things all at once the harder it becomes to resist the temptation. There are so many fabulous projects and patterns out there and every time I see one I just want to cast on. On the other hand I can be extremely difficult. For instance I still have 3 hanks of malabrigo sock in terracotta and one 1.5 hanks of malabrigo sock in botticelli red for which no project is good enough… ok except for the knotty gloves I knit myself this winter.

So let me show you what I’ve been working on:

In hindsight I think it would’ve been better had I spun a 2 ply instead of a navajo ply. I would’ve had more yarn and it wouldn’t have been so dense. But it’s all good I guess. Since the yarn’s a bit thicker than the malabrigo it’s a bit bigger, but that’s ok since I’m knitting this for my mom and her hands are a little bit bigger than mine.

I spun a bit of shetland (gray) to make the gloves a bit longer (because of the 3 ply I ended up with less yarn than expected). I’m happy with the way it’s turning out. It’s becoming a dense fabric which (in the Netherlands) is a very good thing because of the chilly winds we get here in the winter. It does, however, hurt my hands when I work on it too much. So it’s a good thing I’ll only need them in a few months 😛

I also worked on this here:

The pattern’s name is Elin and it’s awesome! I really like this pattern because it’s covers the areas I need to have covered when I work on the computer for long periods of time. Most of my work is either type work or drawings (mouse) work so I need something to keep my wrists warm without covering my fingers (because of the typing). This one is really great! Still need to knit another one and finish this one up but I already notice the difference it makes.

And then there’s this

I started the apple blossom stole last week when I was sitting in the sun with my mom without having any knitting with me. I’d already seen the pattern but the crochet part had scared me off good. I’m not really scared of crochet, it’s just that I grew up thinking that the only thing that works with crochet is pot-holders. Mind you this is a time when I didn’t know about ravelry and my mom taught me how to crochet pot-holders and granny-squares. Later on when I tried to crochet something it didn’t work out because obviously I had been taught something about crochet but I didn’t know the names of all the stitches and then there was the difference between US and UK crochet. Then I just gave up altogether.

So now I’m back and I’m absolutely loving it!

Oh yea.. then there’s this

Ok this one needs some explanation.. ever since I first saw this pattern I wanted to knit one.. then I did try and then I sucked.. I didn’t understand top down knitting so I tried toe-up conversion and ended up with a sock that would go on my foot but wouldn’t go off.. don’t ask..

Then I just gave up and forgot about knitting this pattern. After all this time (it’s been a year) I still thought this sock was a toe-up sock and therefore never started again. Until now.. this is the same yarn that wouldn’t work for me with the sidewinders (well.. I couldn’t make it work because I had the stupid). I’m really happy with how it’s working out.

Besides all of this I’ve been fighting with this little thing for over a week..

There was a ‘little’ knot… then I dropped the ball and it fell off the stairs.. then there was a tangled mess and there was no yarn… It took my mom and I a whole weekend to untangle the mess… had to cut it at 2 places because it wouldn’t budge and at one point the yarn just snapped… 100% silk.is.the.devil.

My grandmother gave me this yarn a few years ago but I somehow forgot about it.. that is.. until I had to pack my stashette to move into the new house.. obviously I chose to keep a few yarns with me (which is becoming all of these projects as we speak) and so I’m going through yarn withdrawal (which could be the cause of this startitis mess).

I’m obsessed with yarn and knitting.. omg.. when did this happen…? what’s happening to meeeee….

birthday gloves

So as you already know I’m spinning and knitting for my moms birthday knotty gloves. Unfortunately for me I ended up with 170m of red yarn which is not enough for (longer) gloves.

So I’ve put the gray matter to work and have found a nice solution to the problem.

Here’s how the yarn turned out. I’m pleased with the softness I must say.. the last time I spun a navajo plied BFL it turned out (way) overspun and therefore quite rough on the skin. This time it feels really nice and soft.

Because my mom loved the reds so much we decided it would be best to find some other purpose for the bright blues. It might turn out a bit too childish for her taste. So because I’ve already worn mine during this winter I noticed some things about the gloves and now I’m hoping to make sure hers don’t have the same problem. The first thing I noticed is the length. I decided to knit mine about 3cm’s longer than the pattern calls for because our country tends to be very windy. There’s nothing as bad as having a very cold wind up your sleeves… you’ll freeze.. brr..

The only problem is that mine aren’t really long enough. I intended to cover my sleeves with the sleeves of the gloves but the yarn is too slippery to hold the sleeve. So now I’m knitting a handspun shetland ‘base’ of 4cm. This will be a bit rougher and add some extra texture to hold the sleeves a bit better. I’ve also tested it and the yarn really isn’t that scratchy at all, so that won’t be a problem.

After this step I’m planning to card some extra purple and then make a transition of saturation. It starts out as grey and moves to a bit more color and ends with explosive reds. Seems like a nice transition to me..

Can’t really tell just yet but I like the effect.

In the mean time I’ve been spinning some singles for the BF’s tomten vest. So far I have 2 balls of singles.. 2 more to go and I can start some hardcore knitting action woohoo 😀 (I think I’ll do the plying on the wheel tho… that’s a lot of singles right there.. 2 oz. per ball.