Erin Go Bragh

green color affection shawl

Finally! My Erin Go Bragh shawl is finished!!!! Actually, it’s been finished for a long time. I think I finished it in August last year – or maybe June? I know that my plan was to finish the project during the Summer Olympics, but I’m not sure if I managed. That’s the problem with not writing down pattern notes. But, I know the project has been lingering for a long time since the pictures are from August 2012.

stripes close up

The pattern is Veera Välimäki Color Affection shawl. I jumped on the Color Affection bandwagon, planning to make a green and grey version. The lighter green was so bright, it made me think of Ireland. Hence, the Erin Go Bragh title. But, I wanted the shawl to be a bit bigger to max out the use of the yarn, so I added a few extra wrap & turn sections. Unfortunately I don’t remember the details since I didn’t write down any pattern notes. Apart from that I made the final green border a bit wider, and then finished with an I-cord bindoff. I like the clean look of that bindoff and I made sure to avoid any puckering along the bindoff by using a 4.5mm needle (compared to the 4.0mm needle for the rest of the shawl).

wearing Erin Go Bragh

I really like the finished shawl, although it’s a really big now. Oh, the irony – it’s my own fault after all. The question now is who will get it? It’ll probably end up a gift since I want to give a handknit gift to a friend of mine, and I don’t think I’ll be able to whip one up before I meet up with her next week.

These KALs (knit-alongs, for all you non-knitters out there) are a lot of fun, but they’re mostly fun when you knit at about the same pace as most other people. It’s fun to see how everybody’s projects move along with their different color section. But if you’re really way behind, well, then the temptation to knit something else is just too great. At least for me. Which is why it took me almost 4 months to finish the project, and why I’m only now putting up this post. But now this monkey is off my back. Yay!

Source: etsy.com via Courtney on Pinterest

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Peppermint Princess

Glaubst du an den lieben Gott oder an Guevara
ich glaube an die Deutsche Bank denn die zahlt aus in bar au
Liebling lass uns tanzen hast du noch ‘nen Pfefferminz ‘nen Pfefferminz
so und nun gib mir ‘nen Kuss mit Pfefferminz bin ich dein Prinz

– “Mit Pfefferminz bin ich dein Prinz” by Marius Müller-Westernhagen

Clapotis in Wollmeise

You know how you sometimes just fall in love with a skein of yarn due to its name? Yes? No? Well, that was the case with me. When I’d just discovered Wollmeise yarn, I was looking at colors on the Wollmeise website, trying to figure out what colors I’d like. That was before I discovered how challenging it is to order Wollmeise yarn, and that you won’t easily find the color you like in stock. No, you just have to hope that the color you want will be available at that update, and you’ll have to hope no one snaps it up before you can checkout with it.

Wollmeise in blue-green

Pfefferminz Prinz above, Tiefer See below

Well, I was looking at the blue-green color family, and I immediately fell in love with two colors: “Tiefer See” which is the blue-green as ‘the blue and green of a deep mountain lake,’ and “Pfefferminz Prinz,” which must be inspired by the song above that is titled “With peppermint I’m your prince.” Well, I like that song, so I just had to like the color. The skein is lighter than the Tiefer See colorway – a very pretty turquoise and light green.

Thankfully I managed to score a skein of Pfefferminz Prinz thanks to a fellow Raveler. And when you finally get ahold of a yarn color that you’ve been hoping for, oh, forever, you of course have to find a project that will show off the colors.

One of the most frequently knit patterns using Wollmeise is the ubiquitous Clapotis scarf/shawl, second only behind the Hitchhiker pattern. I wanted more of a skinny scarf that would be light enough to wear during the summer, so I modified the pattern into a narrow scarf. It’s super easy to modify the pattern to the desired width and length. So many Ravelers have already done that, there are many many helpful project notes out there. In fact, there is an entire group dedicated to knitting your own Clapotis.

The best suggestion is to weight your yarn skein(s) before casting on, to then weight it again after the increase section, before knitting the straight part. Then you know how much yarn you can use for the straight section, and not run out of yarn. The scarf itself is knit on a bias, and stitches are dropped at regular intervals to created the lacy effects. You have to get used to dropping the stitches – normally I’m so super careful not to drop any. It’s a really fun scarf, and I understand why many people knit multiple Clapotis scarves – but that endless straight section is somewhat mindless. I’m not a huge fan of projects that are endless. I’ll be knitting a bunch of other scarves, but I can see myself knitting another Clapotis again sometime in the future.

Clapotis knit in Pfefferminz Prinz

This was not how I was planning to get more knitting time in…

I was having a lovely dream. I won’t bore you with the details (partly cause I don’t remember them all), but it basically encompassed the life story of this old woman, whose husband had died a few years ago. She missed him, and wanted to go visit their favorite place, on some little island, and she’d asked me to take her there. And then she wanted to leave a la Titanic (the movie) style, but suddenly she was trying to convince me to move on with her. With a big serrated bread knife that she was trying to stab me into my stomach with. Grandma had turned into a deranged little lady. Which was when my dream turned into a nightmare and things evolved into all kinds of horror scenarios with this sweet little old lady trying to use various means to kill me while ranting at me. Yeah.

I should add, I’m not the horror movie kind of girl. I have a way too active imagination. I end up freaked out with nightmares. If I end up trapped in a situation where I just can’t leave – I really hate those horror movies, no matter how well they’re done – I end up sticking my fingers into my ears, closing my eyes and mentally singing lalala. I can’t read stories with horror elements either, much less full-blown horror stories. I was translating the beginning of Stephen King’s “It” for a friend (she was reading it to improve her English), and I was so freaked out by that damned clown that I started to imagine it in all corners whenever I was walking home late. Ugh.

I know that some people love horror stories, and there are some really funny campier ones out there too, which should be totally up my alley, but no. I can’t do horror. And there was no reason for this dream either – I’d been blogging and planning recipes to try out and reading, So this came out of nowhere. But hey, thanks to the dream I woke up at 4am and didn’t fall asleep. I mean, what’s a knitter to do – there’s no reason this shouldn’t be knitting time, don’t you think?

I continued knitting on my Indian Red scarf, plugging away at sections D & E. I was all proud of myself, feeling righteous when I realized I’d made a mistake. I won’t bore you with the details, but basically, I needed to go back to section C and redo sections D & E. Grrr. So instead I thought I’d work on one of my Arts & Crafts projects, a decoupage picture frame made with paper napkins (my Father’s Day gift). I did a base coat, and after I’d finished with the various parts, I got up to wash my hands – and manage to put my foot through the glass. Yay. A huge mess of glass, and a puncture and a cut. I threw in the towel.

So, there’s not much progress to report on. Sigh. But I will finish my Erin Go Bragh shawl before next Wednesday. I’ planning to work on my Indian Red scarf, and the blanket, well, it’ll have to take a back seat for a while. It’s just to warm to work on it. Here’s a peek at my Erin Go Bragh – I just need to finish the last few short rows, the final wedge of color and the bind-off. That’s manageable, I really should have this done by Wednesday.

Now for the blog hop part: I’m linking up with this week’s Yarn Along, this week’s Tami’s Amis WIP Wednesday, through Ambassador Crochet’s Wip Wednesday and Frontier Dreams’ Keep Calm and Craft on (KCCO) blog-a-long. See you next Wednesday!

Something different – but it’s still Wednesday

Another Wednesday! It’s once again time for a yarn along, but I also want to talk about last week’s Knitting and Crochet Blog week.

I’m still working on my Erin Go Bragh shawl. I know, I’m almost done, and I should have finished this project before the end of the month, but I’ve been so busy blogging this past week that I really haven’t made any progress. But, I have a new wip! Yes, even though I already have plenty of projects on my needles (I think I need to make a collage of my wips!).

But actually, I’m not the one who decided to cast on for a new project. Noooo, my knitting needles decided. In fact, my knitting needles decided to cast on a Windward scarf and have a little battle over the yarn for this project (Wollmeise 100% in Indisch Rot). Don’t believe me? See for yourself:

There is a good reason why I made this video. Remember the Knitting and Crochet Blog Week? Well, Friday’s topic was all about creativity:

Day 5: April 27, 2012. Something A Bit Different It’s back, and this time it has the most amazing of prizes (look for the prize for ‘most creative post’). This was a massive success last year, and for many it was the highlight of the Blog Week, so this year you are challenged, again, to find a new way of blogging. This is an experimental blogging day to try and push your creativity in blogging to the same level that you perhaps push your creativity in the items you create.There are no rules of a topic to blog about but this post should look at a different way to present content on your blog.

Wednesdays are the days with the most traffic for me, so I thought I should spread the love and share some of the other awesome creative posts out there. Here are my favorites:

  • A Pile of Sheep created a Yarn Personality Test! I’m Madeline Tosh Vintage – I’m an “easygoing person with just a touch of wild child for spice!” What are you?
  • PumpkinSpins used mind mapping to draw up a chart to answer “Why I create” – really interesting, and now I want to think more about why I myself create
  • Knit One, Stitch One, Save One drew a series of images, and created a quick animation out of the gif images to show what her hands look like while knitting. So creative – and the drawing are just beautiful.
  • Stitched Together is planning to knit a shawl with stripes, and the color of the stripes will be based on the comments that people have left on the blog, and in the end she’ll hold a random drawing where the winner will get the finished shawl. Awesome!
  • All She Wants to Do Is… created a knit/crochet version of The Onion website, call Crafting News Network. How hilarious!
  • When Did I Become a Knitter: It’s a post from the perspective of her Roan sweater, a wip of hers, at a self-help group called Unloved Knits Group. I have a few nominations from my wips for that group too.
  • Sanday Spinners put up a Knitting Riddle – I’m still trying to figure out the answer on my own. And you can win a knitted item from her!
  • Wickedly Artsy created a visual knitting timeline with images of the different stops in her knitting life
  • Fidlstix has a great post titled Something You Should Know About Me (no, I’m not going to tell you what it is, you need to play the video yourself)
  • Laylock‘s animated gifs of her knitting techniques (cast on, knitting, purling and cast off) are really interesting – my version of those techniques look different. Plus they should be really helpful to new knitters
  • KellPattsBlog‘s contribution is a crytoquote. How cool!
  • AStashAddict made a Hexipuff Evolution vlog. I haven’t made a Hexipuff yet, but I foresee a Hexipuff blanket in my future.
  • Frog-Soup‘s funny drawing (naked sheep in need!) made me giggle
  • and a ton more more…

And then there’s of course my stop motion animation – I’m ridiculously proud of this video. The family is already discussing whether we should do a video for my grandmother’s 90th birthday.

I hope you liked all of these different, creative takes on the something a bit different topics. I had to stop adding posts to the list or it would have been unendingly long. You can find more posts on this topic by googling 3KCBWDAY5. If you’d like to nominate any of these posts (or any others!) for the creative award, click here to go to Eskimimi’s nomination post. Of course, if you’d like to, you can also nominate my post too 🙂 If you cannot submit your nomination even though you’ve filled out all the fields correctly, then that means that someone else has already put in a nomination for that post. Nominations close on May4th, at midnight British Standard Time.

That’s it for this Wednesday. I’m participating in this week’s Yarn Along – there are links to other great Yarn Along posts there, with information on how to participate yourself. You can also find a link to this post through Tami’s Amis, through Ambassador Crochet’s Wip Wednesday and Frontier Dreams’ Keep Calm and Craft on (KCCO) series.

Improving Your Skillset

Day 6: April 28, 2012. Improving Your Skillset
How far down the road to learning your craft do you believe yourself to be? Are you comfortable with what you know or are you always striving to learn new skills and add to your knowledge base? Take a look at a few knitting or crochet books and have a look at some of the skills mentioned in the patterns. Can you start your amigurumi pieces with a magic circle, have you ever tried double knitting, how’s your intarsia? If you are feeling brave, make a list of some of the skills which you have not yet tried but would like to have a go at, and perhaps even set yourself a deadline of when you’d like to have tried them by.

Phew! After the amount of work that was Day 5, Day 6 should be comparatively easy. I mean, I don’t have to hunch over my photo setup, making minute adjustments – I shot at least 1400 frames, plus a few still, plus all that time music editing – so I ‘just’ have to take a few pictures, and write. I first thought that blogging really takes a lot of time, particularly blogging about a specific topic. I tend to take a lot of time taking photographs and crafting my posts… but this, this has been the most challenging part of any blog post that I’ve put up since I’ve had this blog (granted, this blog is just over a year old, but still)…

So, today talks about skills. I kind of talked about skills I’d like to acquire in last year’s post, so lets review how my goals measure up to my actual achievements. Hmmmm…..

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!).

Well, I have certainly knit  a whole bunch of projects since last year – 39 to be exact. That includes 11 hats, 8 shawls, 4 pairs of baby booties and 5 different children’s toys. There are three items of clothing in there:

Yup, all three items of clothing are for kids. Not a one for an adult. But apart from the cardigan for a girl, they were already in the planning last year – I had already ordered the buttons and showed them off in last year Knitting and Crochet Blog Week’s embellishment’s post. I did make a few modifications to the dress and the baby cardigan – you’ll find more information on those on the individual pattern pages.

See? I did do some shaping work! I’m planning to knit a cardigan for my Mom, and for my sister (both Connie Chang Chinchio patterns), so there are two opportunities for garment shaping right there (plus I can knit a matching baby Austin hoodie for my sister’s kiddo!).

As for colorwork – well, I still haven’t knit the Swedish Fish socks – yet. Maybe I’ll knit them during this summer’s Ravelympics. For all of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m talking about the 2012 Ravelympics games where people knit/crochet simultaneously along to the Olympics, competing in our own categories. Really, it’s lots of fun. Anyway, I’ve seen awesome versions of the Swedish Fish socks where the fish charts are used to make awesome versions as sweaters or vests, too. So that’s on my to do list, but I have made a pair of fingerless mitts that have been well received.

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On to the next goal: Beaded lace knitting. Yeah, that hasn’t happened. It’s in the plans, but other wips have been intruding. You know, people having babies. People needing birthday gifts. People getting married. That kind of stuff that interfers with your wip list. Plus the occasional knitalong, and if there’s a pattern that catches your attention and you just HAVE to knit it right then and there yes, Color Affection, I’m looking at you!) I do have beads, and the matching yarn, plus the pattern – Haruni – or maybe Simurgh? – already planned out…

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Steeking. Eeek!!!! Yeah, I haven’t yet done that yet. I mean, who would feel good about cutting their knitting? But it’s such a great skill – makes it way easier to knit cardigans, or you can steek armholes and so on and on. It’s a skill I definitely want to acquire, and I think I have a good idea how to acquire it. I came across this awesome Missoni inspired chevron blanket pattern. Well, I’d originally bought Wollmeise Lace in a few different shades of red to create an ombre effect blanket, but now I’m thinking I’ll make the blanket with those different shades of red, plus black and white and grey thrown in too. And to make my life easier, I think I’ll knit the blanket in the round, and then just steek it in the end. That way I’ll hopefully be finished this decade. Now I just have to decide whether to hold the lace single or double….

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Given that I have enough on my plate – my queue is 43 pages long – I really don’t need to add other goals. Sooner or later I’ll come across a pattern or design that requires a new skill or a new technique, and I guess I’ll have to decide whether to sink or swim.

So that’s it for today. It’s almost tomorrow, and then I’ll have a post on my crafting balance. And then this year’s Knitting and Crochet Blog Week will be over. Wow, this week has flown by!

a brave heart

Hello, hello!

I hope you haven’t abandoned me yet. I know that I said I’d blog more frequently, and I will, really, I will – especially with the Knitting and Crochet Blog Week around the corner. There should be a yarn along post tomorrow. But for today, I thought I’d share a few pictures of that mystery KAL that I’ve shown you a few glimpses of in past posts. The pattern is now up – it’s called Impavido, hence my project name cuore impavido which translates to Braveheart. I’ve finally finished up my project pattern page, with all its notes. I added extra pattern repeats, so there are quite a few modifications in later parts of the project.

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I really really love this finished object. It’s so pretty, with its geometric elements, and I’m really glad I chose the green contrast instead of the light blue that I’d originally planned to use. And I used up a 1770 yard skein of lace, plus about 300 yards of fingering weight yarn. If you’re looking for a different pattern instead of the lace shawls, then this should be perfect. I love it.

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