Where are they now?

2nd annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week

Day 4’s theme:

Day Four: 31st March. Where are they now?

Whatever happened to your __________?

Write about the fate of a past knitting project. Whether it be something that you crocheted or knitted for yourself or to give to another person. An item that lives with you or something which you sent off to charity.

There are a lot of different aspects to look at when looking back at a knitting project and it can make for interesting blogging, as much of the time we blog about items recently completed, new and freshly completed. It is not so often that we look back at what has happened to these items after they have been around for a while.

How has one of your past knits lived up to wear. Maybe an item has become lost. Maybe you spent weeks knitting your giant-footed dad a pair of socks in bright pink and green stripes which the then ‘lost’. If you have knit items to donate to a good cause, you could reflect on the was in which you hope that item is still doing good for it’s owner or the cause it was made to support.

Past projects – for me, they consist of gifts, WIPs, hibernating projects, and things that I’ve knit for myself. So let’s take a look back:

    • The Shaun the Sheep mobile for my nephew (see the Tale of Two Yarns post). It’s placed right over my nephew’s changing table, and has provided him with endless amusement. Originally my sister asked me to knit the sheep in different colors, but in the end the black and white of the sheep (apart from the sheep’s accessories) is better for babies, since they can see strong contrast colors better. The thing is, the mobile was so loved until Shirley, the big fat sheep in the middle got pulled off. Well, at least that’s easily fixed.

      sheep from Shaun the Sheep

      Shirley detached

    • Burgundy. This is a dress I knit for my goddaughter. It’s really pretty but the weight of the dress is stretching out the seed stitch section. So her mom asked me to fix that on the dress, and I’ve instead decided to frog the dress and knit up it up in a different design – the Kenna button top. I have the perfect buttons for this dress and I’ll be posting about them in the embellishments post.

      child's sun top

      Burgundy

    • Shades of Grey Wurm hat. This hat has gotten a lot of use this winter. I saw a few multi-colored Wurm version, so I decided to knit one in light and dark grey. I love it and wear it whenever it is colder. Plus this hat really fits me – most hats look silly on me or slide off.

      wurm hat

      Wurm hat

    • Amoroso. This is a cowl knit in Malabrigo Silky Merino in the colorway Amoroso for my mom. It’s soft and warm, and my mom loves it. Or should I say loved it. Cause she decided to wash the cowl, stuck it in the washing machine, and the result is a felted cowl that doesn’t fit over her head. Sigh. I’m working on a replacement cowl for her. And I’ve carefully explained how important the proper care is for handknit projects.
Amoroso Herringbone Cowl

Amoroso - pre-felting

So that’s it for today. As always, if you’re interested in more of my knitting shenanigans, you can find me on Ravelry, username anji. And if you’re interested in seeing other posts on the topic ‘A Tale of Two Yarns’ from other bloggers who’ll be blogging today on this topic, just search on Google (or another search engine) for the tag 2KCBWDAY4, and on Twitter #2KCBW.

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Tidy mind, tidy stitches

Alright, let’s move on to Day 3.

Day Three: 30th March. Tidy mind, tidy stitches.

How do you keep your yarn wrangling organised? It seems like an easy to answer question at first, but in fact organisation exists on many levels. Maybe you are truly not organised at all, in which case I am personally daring you to try and photograph your stash in whatever locations you can find the individual skeins. However, if you are organised, blog about an aspect of that organisation process, whether that be a particularly neat and tidy knitting bag, a decorative display of your crochet hooks, your organised stash or your project and stash pages on Ravelry.

I’ll first tackle the part of knitting tool organization, since that’s the part that I’m managing quite well. I have two sets of interchangeable needles – a set of Knitpicks and a set of Addi Click needles (btw, if you know anyone who’s heading to Europe, have them pick up the up a set for you, since they’re significantly cheaper there). And well, neither set of interchangeables comes in a particular practical case (Addi must have figured that out for themselves since the new cases are neat little leather envelopes). Anyway, I got so frustrated by my needles rattling around – both the interchangeables and the circular ones that I decided to invest in a knitting organizers from Sarah Kincheloe:

from Sarah Kincheloe

circular knitting needle organizer

crochet hook organizer

needle roll

knitpicks organizer

interchangeable Knitpicks organizer

I also have a knitting bag from Schroedinger Originals that I love. And in case I don’t have a knitting bag available, there’s always good old Ziploc. And I have a lace knitting bag from 3AM Enchantments for my bigger projects.

Apples bag

cube apples knitting project bag

Country Chic lace bag

lace knitting bag

I keep two small bags for my knitting notions – one that I can throw into my project bag and has the notions I always need – scissors, stitch markers, crochet hook, tape measure, gauge measuring thingy, knitting needle gauge, safety  pins, tapestry needles in various sizes, needle binder thingy, cable needle, knitting counter, little notebook, and a bit of string. The bigger bag holds everything else.

notions

small notions bag

notions bag

large notions bag

As to my stash, well, my organizing skills have been outpaced by my stash acquisition. I originally started out adding my yarn including photographs to my stash on Ravelry, but then it just got too difficult to keep up with the photos and the entries and so on. I do have a Excel master list that is lists most of my stash and is in urgent need of being updated. And the rest of my stash is organized as follows:

Ziploc bags

Ziploc bags

+

 

IKEA

IKEA

means:  

Yup, good old IKEA boxes. I have a few other boxes and a bit of underbed storage, but most of it is in Ziploc bags in IKEA boxes. And to be on the safe side, I’ve also included a few cedar blocks in my boxes. Yup, I’m trying to make sure that no moths decide to make a nice meal out of my yarn. The boxes are all labelled and within the boxes, the yarn is organized by dyer – that way I have at least some way of organization and can find what I’m looking for without plowing through my entire stash.

As to projects, I use Ravelry to keep track of my projects. I tend to add projects one I have some decent pictures of the WIP, and sometimes I only add a project once it’s finished. But I really like how you can log your entries in detailed ways, and being able to rate the pattern, yarn and difficulty is incredible convenient.

Even though I don’t like to look at the dimensions of my stash I did manage to tackle this post. Phew! If you’d like to look at my projects, stash, or queue, you can find me on Ravelry, username anji. And if you’re interested in seeing other posts on the topic ‘Tidy mind, tidy stitches’  from other bloggers who’ll be blogging today on this topic, just search on Google (or another search engine) for the tag 2KCBWDAY3.

Skill + 1UP

2011 Eskimi Knits

Alright, time for the topic of Day 2:

Day Two: 29th March. Skill + 1UP

Look back over your last year of projects and compare where you are in terms of skill and knowledge of your craft to this time last year. Have you learned any new skills or forms of knitting/crochet (can you crochet cable stitches now where you didn’t even know such things existed last year? Have you recently put a foot in the tiled world of entrelac? Had you even picked up a pair of needles or crochet hook this time last year?

I originally learnt how to crochet in school, with the result of a terrible short and itchy scarf. But when my sister’s baby shower came around, I decided on a handmade project, a blue baby blanket. And then I got started on knitting, since I wanted to knit a mobile for the new baby (see the Shaun the Sheep mobile in the Day 1 post). So my first year of knitting consisted mostly of crocheting amigurumi, knitting and crocheting hats, knitting toys and scarves. My next challenge became lace knitting. I started of with Ysolda Teague’s Ishbel, and then knit a gorgeous Girasole. I fell in love with lace and haven’t looked back.

Jared Flood's Girasole pattern

Girasole

I’ve since started to knit more complicated lace, but last year I decided to tackle garments and socks. Socks because I’ve started to accumulated quite a bit of sock yarn, and well, sock yarn means that I should at least try to knit socks. And garments since I wanted to expand my skills, and also tackle larger projects.

So, socks. I first knit a pair vanilla socks, to get a feel for basic sock construction, and then I tried my hand on Cookie A’s Monkey pattern. I never knew hov fun it could be to knit lace socks, and how superior handknit socks are to store bought ones. Perfect fit, warm, sturdy, and the feeling of really having accomplished something and seeing one’s project on a regular basis. And then I participated in Stephanie Linden’s Advent KAL, which was my first KAL. The resulting Gaudete socks are cleverly constructed, especially the heel, and these are the best fitting socks I’ve knit so far.

Cookie A's Monkey pattern

Monkey socks

Gaudete KAL socks

Gaudete socks

As for garments: Well, I still have quite a ways to go there. I still need to learn how to customize fit. And I have to admit that steeking scares the heck out of me. But hey, at least I dared to get started. I knit a Vesper for me – this project had it’s ups and downs – I finally got it finished and then I realized that I hada place the sleeves to low. So I decided to  detach the pleats, frog most of the short row section, and then reattach the pleats (I was scared that this wouldn’t work out and that I would have to frog the sweater and reknit it).

Spring is coming

Vesper

I also really like knitting garments for kids – it means near to instant gratification, and you can experiment with color that I just wouldn’t dare with adult clothes. Plus there are so many cute buttons for kiddie clothes! (I found the most awesome kid buttons, so there’ll be a post on that after the Knitting and Crochet Blog week). Anyways, here is an Owls sweater that I knit for my nephew:

Baby owls sweater

Owlet - Baby Owls sweater

So that leaves the question of what I’d like to try over the next year. I definitely want to want to try my hand at colorwork (I’m thinking of Spillyjane’s Swedish socks here), improve my sweater fitting skills, try beaded lace knitting, and maybe even dare to tackle my first steek (yikes!).

That’s my Day 2 post. Tomorrow’s post tackles knitting and stash organization. Stash explosion really challenges organization, but more on that tomorrow. In any case, if you’re interested in more of my knitting shenanigans, you can find me on Ravelry, username anji. And if you’re interested in seeing other posts on the topic ‘Skill + 1UP’  from other bloggers who’ll be blogging today on this topic, just search on Google (or another search engine) for the tag 2KCBWDAY2.

Hello Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2011!!!

2011 Eskimi Knits

Woohoo! I’m excited! So let’s move on to the main event. Today’s topic is:

Day One: 28th March. A Tale of Two Yarns.
Part of any fibre enthusiast’s hobby is an appreciation of yarn. Choose two yarns that you have either used, are in your stash or which you yearn after and capture what it is you love or loathe about them.

First I thought I would post about my love of Wollmeise. I just love the colors. I first got hooked on Wollmeise when I saw the color Rhabarber in someone’s stash. Rhabarber translates into rhubarb, and I love rhubarb – rhubarb pie, rhubarb and strawberry jam, rhubarb compote, and so on. Anyway, I’ve knit some beautiful projects out of that yarn, including one of my favorites, a little shawlette that just pops thanks to it’s color (colorway is Stella Polaris):

Azzu's shawl knit out of Wollmeise in Stella Polaris

Azzuro

But then I decided to post two other favorites of mine – both dyed by indie dyers.

Yarn #1: Yarn Chef Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse is her light fingering weight. The colorway is Kelp Beds, self-striping, and boy, these colors just glow. The yarn is soft but holds up well as a sock yarn. She has a number of different bases, and she really dyes up beautiful semisolids, but also gorgeous self-striping yarns.

Kelp Gardens

Yarn Chef Bouillabaisse in Kelp Gardens

What more can I say – gorgeous colors, gorgeous yarn, and I knit super delicious socks out the yarn.

Colorway: Yarn Chef Bouillabaisse in Kelb Beds

Monterrey socks knit out of Yarn Chef Bouillabaisse

Yarn #2: Sundara sock yarn (also not unknown in the world of knitting, I know)

Sundara sock yarn

Sundara sock yarn in Aqua over Limeade

This is another yarn I’ve really enjoyed knitting with. It’s sturdy and works up beautifully. I like this base better than her Aran Silky Merino. The color showed up beautifully in a scarf I knit (and which was immediately claimed by my Mom):

Aqua over Limeade scarf

A cool drink (aka Haruha scarf)

Honorable mentions go to Mama Blue yarns (unfortunately she has stopped dyeing), Hedgehog Fibres, and, surprise surprise, a great workhorse yarn for knitted toys – Patons Dk. I know, it might come as a surprise since I’m a bit of a yarn snob, but how can I not mention the yarn that resulted in this mobile for my nephew?

Shaun the Sheep Mobile

The sheep clan up close

Shaun the Sheep mobile

Shaun the Sheep and company, suspended

So, that’s it for today. If you’re interested in more of my knitting shenanigans, you can find me on Ravelry, username anji. And if you’re interested in seeing other posts on the topic ‘A Tale of Two Yarns’ from other bloggers who’ll be blogging today on this topic, just search on Google (or another search engine) for the tag 2KCBWDAY1.

And thanks go to Google Chrome and WordPress for almost eating my post but then allowing for a draft to show up. Phew!

Moody trees

I was out for a walk last week with my camera, and although spring is almost around the corner, and flowers are popping, the trees don’t seem quite ready for spring. I took quite a few black and white pictures, in which the trees looked like they were in a November mood.

weather-beaten

Gnarled and twisted remains

This tree looks like it is one of the trees of Fangorn from Lord of the Rings, gnarly roots and all.

tree roots

Welcome to Fangorn

I liked the play of shadow, and it seems as if the tree is lonesome, as if it’s the kid last picked in gym class. Hence the title “Lonely”

Sunshine and shade

Lonely

No knitting mojo

I’ve been meaning to put up a post on last week’s knitting, but alas, I currently have no knitting mojo. Instead I’ve been putzing around on my computer, and going on photographing excursions. I’m getting the albums uploaded so there should be few posts on photographing over the next few days. And of course I’ll be blogging about my knitting over the course of the next week.

Until then!

Monterrey

IMG_6434

I just wore these again yesterday, and they’re so soft and comfy, yet still durable. The yarn is self-striping and it’s Yarn Chef Bouillabaisse, in the colorway Kelp Beds. Kelp Beds always make think of Monterrey and the sea otters – so it’s easy to see where the socks got their name from.

More info on the Ravelry project page.