regaining balance..

I feel like my hard work is paying off.. I’m still not done unpacking and I’m still not really settled in, but on the knitting field it feels like I’m back on top of things. I’m finishing off big projects while throwing in some mini knits to keep me happy. It took me a while to be comfortable with this knit again, but now that I’m finally working on it again it feels like coming home.

brunhilde wip
When I work on this project I feel the sunshine and the soft breeze. I remember sitting on the balcony on a carpet, listening to an audiobook while slowly hand carding the different colors together. I feel like ‘me’ again and not like some chaotic, stressed out person who can’t seem to manage to remember in which box she put half her living…

It’s odd how lopsided I feel when my knitting/ spinning projects aren’t organized or planned out. I feel like I can’t get anything done and nothing gets finished. Odd isn’t it? :p

But now that my stash is safely secured in boxes (and sorted again), and I’m picking up my old projects again I feel like I’m regaining balance 🙂

brunhilde wip
I wasn’t sure about the colors, because pastel doesn’t look good on me, but it’s not really pastel and I think it’s not half that bad. I haven’t knit much of my own handspun yet, but I feel like I’m working on a better comprehension of yarn because I’m a spinner. You get to feel the fiber in different situations. First the dry, clean state. You work with it when it’s wet while dying the fiber. Carding it and getting a feel of how slippery it is while spinning, and finally working with the yarn while knitting. I like it, and I’m already looking forward to learning more 🙂

Francie
Unfortunately I noticed some huge holes in my favorite socks and realized that they were beyond any form of repair. My red jaywalkers weren’t even that old, but I all but wore them every day… 😛

Time for some new ones and the first sock to be knitting is (of course) francie. I decided to learn from the Yarn Harlot and just knit a standard toe halfway the pattern. I tried, I really tried to make it work for my small feet, but it wouldn’t.

Francie
I used drops fabel in one of my favorite colors 🙂

FO: Deep in the forrest mits

They’re finally done! I started this project in July 2011, thinking I’d be smart to start the project in the summer. I finished it before this years winter so it worked out (somewhat) I guess. This project was great, but the process was horrible (in no way because of the pattern!). First I started knitting it with a 2.5mm needle, but felt like I could fit both my hands in it. It’s the first pair of mittens I’ve ever knitted, and I was afraid it’d end up being too big (and I wouldn’t have enough yarn left).

FO: Deep in the forest mitts
So I started over with 2.0mm needles. It was a very long and hard knit, again not because of the pattern, because the 2.0mm dpn’s I own are only 10cm long and they ended up digging in my hands constantly. I couldn’t knit for longer periods of time because of this and I ended up trying to spread out the knitting as much as I could.

FO: Deep in the forest mitts
They’re a bit snug around the thumb but I don’t mind because they’re toasty warm! I used the handspun singles I had left from this project and I used 1 (plus a bit) ball of drops alpaca. I think the colors look great together (if I say so myself) and I’m very happy with the knit. It’s not cold enough for me to wear them but it can’t be long now.

FO: Deep in the forest mittens
I’m very happy with the way they turned out, and I think I would knit another pair, but not with the 2.0mm needles…

I’ve also been working on some other things… I’ve been busy playing with food coloring and suddenly this happened:

Thistle
I wasn’t sure about the combination between yellow and undyed yarn for a stranded knitting project, so I dyed the white yarn as well.. I must say I like the effect.

Thistle
Such cute balls of colored yarn… I’m planning on making a thistle, but I’m working on another pattern instead of the flowers. Don’t get me wrong, I like the flowers, but I thought I might pick something a bit more geeky… I did knit a swatch just to see if the colors are okay together. The whole project is knit in the round but I knitted it ‘flat’ by using magic loop for only two repeats.

Thistle
That’s why the sides are a bit weird, but I like the way it’s turning out. I won’t be measuring my gauge because I don’t care if it grows or not. I’m looking for a blanket more that a nice scarf 😛

FO: Berét de Printemps

I guess this makes it official.. I’m either two seasons behind or two seasons too early, but I’m in the mood for spring. I have the spring beret to show you today, and some spring socks. This mood for spring might have something to do with the amount of gray we’ve had the past few days, but when the color drains from the world, I feel like getting some colorful knits!

As you might know I’ve been unpacking my stuff the past few weeks and it always feels like treasure hunting. I know there’s people out there who are so organized that they know what they put where and what the box looks like.. I have a few marked boxes and a whole lot of miscellaneous…. As you can imagine I felt pretty good about myself when I managed to, not only find my camera, but also find the charger and as an extra added bonus: the tripod. What I didn’t find however, and only noticed after the photo-op, was the missing cable. Well sh*t.

So back to phone pictures for me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind taking photo’s with my phone. It’s an awesome camera and I love being able to take pictures whenever I want.. it’s not, however, designed to function as (well.. mainly) a camera. So there’s some options missing and as much as I hate to admit it.. the pictures are mostly awesome during daylight.

That wouldn’t normally be a problem because there’s the magic word: photoshop (or any other awesome photo editing software). Unfortunately I’m working with the bare minimum right now and I’m not even able to adjust the color balance.. So this means that I’m either lucky and it’s a good day for photo’s, or I have some bad luck and it’s dark and gray out.

So I haven’t dissappeared again.. I’m just having a minor digital setback. I’m working on it tho and I expect to solve this issue very soon.. it bothers me.. I don’t mind being late with post because I’m busy or because I’m lazy.. but really wanting to post and not being able to because of technical drama..

This whole rant was about me trying to explain why the pictures are so crappy and.. well.. *le sigh*

FO: Berét de printemps
My berét de printemps! I love it. Or.. loveD it. See my mom happened to love it too, so I gave it to her. It’s such an easy pattern, I already feel like knitting another one. I made a few huge mistakes the first time during the first repeat. The pattern shifts a few stitches so the first time knitting it can be a bit confusing. I had made some other mistakes as well (and I misread the chart to top it off), so I spent a whole night knitting, frogging and reknitting only to frog again.

Anyway, I really love this pattern/ beret and I’m looking forward to knitting one for myself, because other than bit of confusion (which had nothing to do with the pattern.. it was all me) it was all very easy and a very quick knit.

I’ll take some action shots as soon as I find either some great daylight/ my camera cable/ photo editing software.

For now I’ll have some other spring object to show..

spring francie wip
I love fabel. It’s such an awesome yarn and it’s super awesome for socks. I’ve managed to walk holes into two of my favorite socks (key word: favorite.. I wore them too much.. like really too much). Well I don’t really own so many handknit socks, so the ones I do own get worn for too long and too often. The more handknitted socks I have,  the less they will be worn (per pair), and the longer I can enjoy wearing them.

So before I completely run out of socks I need to start knitting some. I found this (what I thought was) a little ball of drops fabel in green and I thought it’d be enough for perhaps the cuff. I had not expected it to go so far. I ordered 1 ball of green and 2 balls of 2 other colors and I can’t wait for them to arrive. As per usual Finlandia Import is absurdly fast (they even work in the weekends, I do feel guilty), and as soon as the yarn arrives I can finish my new pair of socks.

A little offtopic sidenote: I’ve never actually visited Finlandia Import.. isn’t that odd? I get nearly all of my yarn from them and I’ve never been there… hm..

Thistle..
You might remember that my mom brought 1kg of three-ply yarn for me when she came back from Iran this spring. Well, I saw this pattern and I knew I had to knit it. I have four hanks of 250grams (500m) each so I should get quite a shawl/ blanket I think. I dyed one hank yellow/ orange with safflower, but I’m not sure about the combination with white/cream. I want something different… I’m thinking of blue/ purple. It’s always a good combination with yellow/ orange..

hmmm…..

FO: Mini Na Craga & Erasmus

I have two FO’s to show today! I’m so happy with both of them! Let me tell you about my mini Na Craga first.

FO: Na Craga
I knit this on US6/ 4mm needles for the size of a 2-3 year old, so in order to make it fit I had to skip some charts. I tried to keep the ‘feel’ of the original Na Craga without giving myself a severe case of carpal tunnel syndrome. The yarn was part wool and part acrylics fiber (it was a deliberate choice; kids clothes need a lot of washing), but this meant that the yarn worked against me. It was very tight (even though I don’t knit that tight), and it came to a point where I had to put it aside for a few days.

FO: Na Craga
I’m very happy with the way it turned out, but I did have to take out the iron for a good steaming session. The yarn should’ve been knit with at least 5mm needles, so the fabric became very tight and somewhat rigid. It didn’t have a lot of give (any at all), and wouldn’t fit a child very comfortably.

FO: Na Craga
I sewed in the zipper before washing and ironing, which is not what I normally would’ve done. I’ve knitted a few things with this yarn, so I was aware of how it would behave. I stretched the fabric very slightly and sewed in the zipper. I thought about sewing buttons, but I think it’s much easier to use when there’s a zipper involved.

FO: Na Craga
The backside needed some ‘central panel’ to make it all come together. I made a very small horseshoe cable out of the four stitches I had left. I like how it turned out. It’s not too distracting, but it’s got some character too.

The other project I finished is the Erasmus. You may have seen the swatch in a previous post. I recently unpacked my stash and I organized it by weight/ type of project I intend to use it with. I bought them in January 2010 to make the French Press Felted slippers. I failed horribly and never tried again. So now I have 3 balls of Drops classic alpaca in magenta, and 2 in navy blue. By now the yarn is (unfortunately) discontinued so I can’t buy any more to make a bigger project. Instead I decided to try something out with the yarns I already have. I have the two commercial yarns, and the first handspun yarn I made. I decided for myself that I had to do something with it and this was nice, but not enough.

So I thought of the one thing I really need. Armwarmers. I have the coldest hands (and arms) ever, and because I work with my hands a lot I get annoyed with anything that limits my movement. I mean rings, bracelets, fingerlet mitts.. anything.. So I decided to make armarmers like legwarmers, but with much more shaping. Because the second thing I really don’t like is saggy knitting.

FO: Erasmus
I call it ‘Erasmus’, because the image is an abstraction of the Erasmus bridge in Rotterdam. Even though I no longer live there, I feel like I left a part of me in that city and I need to go back every once in a while sniff the air of ‘home’. Looking back, I had a wonderful time there, and I really miss it. So I thought it was fitting to use the first handspun yarn I made in Rotterdam, on a spinning wheel named ‘The Rotterdam’, and use it to make the iconic image that says Rotterdam: Erasmus.

FO: Erasmus
Now let’s be serious. It’s not a ‘design’, or worthy of being called a design. But I still like it. I’ll be using this in my home when I knit (and whatnot), but I won’t be wearing this outside :P. I realized that magenta isn’t really my kind of color. I like it, but I’m not sure how I feel about it. Nonetheless, I’m happy with my armwarmers. They’re warm, they give me fuzzy sentimental feelings without anyone knowing about it, and they don’t sag. YAY!

going for a walk..

Every fall I tell myself that I should go for a walk in the woods. I tell myself this almost every week until the first storms come around and there’s not a leaf left on the trees. I love to go for a walk in the woods because of the colors, the smell and the silence. This year I was on time. Maybe even a little early, but the trees were still not bare, and the colors were great.

fall :)
I love the colors in this image. Most of the trees were still more green than yellow, so I guess I was a little early. Others were quite far along and were yellow and orange and red. The trees in our street turned the most brilliant shade of yellow before they lost all (most) of their leaves. But none of them had a bit of orange.

fall :)
I don’t have much to say about these pictures. I just like to share them with you 🙂

fall :)
I love the colors..

Mushroom
The most fun part about having walks in the woods during this season is looking for mushrooms. Unfortunately, maybe because I was early, I only saw this one 🙁

Noodles being weird

Noodles being weird
I know I add a lot of kitty pictures, but this is one of those weird sleeping positions I can’t ignore..

plans for the weekend…

I have them. I’m not going to share them yet, but I will give a little sneak peek.

I just finished unpacking all my yarns and I decided that it’s time for a destashing. I promised myself two things.

1. I will only buy nice yarns from now one. I no longer want to knit with cheap acrylic yarns.

When I started knitting I felt like I needed to practice before buying yarns. I was still a student (which means I was poor), but I did like to knit. But as you gradually get better and make progress as a knitter, you end up at a level where you really shouldn’t knit with cheap yarns anymore. When I finished my truffle cardigan I still felt like I needed the training wheels, but I ended up with a garment that fits me perfectly, but is made out of crappy yarn. I’m happy to have come to this conclusion, but I’m still a little peeved.

2. I will not buy any more yarn before I’ve knit at least half of my current stash.

Which is good, because there’s a lot of weaving yarn in there as well. I’ve already started with this project, so I’m hoping to use all of the little swatches because they’re so colorful. But there’s a lot of other yarns that need to become FO’s.

I don’t want to buy any new stuff, so the colors may be a little odd. I’m going to use these yarns (in blue and magenta….) to knit arm warmers. I don’t like to wear vests while I’m crafting, but I do get cold hands/ arms 🙁

unpacking means: box party! Noodles likes boxes. Kiwi doesn’t care for them 😛