Well, at least some things are a wrap

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Today I finally got a little Christmas feeling. I was wrapping gifts and with a lit candle next to me while eating Christmas flavored chocolate (I guess cinnamon is Christmas). Not everything is wrapped but everything brings me one step closer to that dream of sitting calmly knitting for me, or at least not knitting for Christmas, all of last week before Christmas (and for some reason I’ve decided that dream requires whiskey). But there are things to do before that happens. More wrapping, some last minute knitting, some things still need to be purchased and cards need to be written and sent. If I could take a turn with the vacuum cleaner that wouldn’t hurt either.

Also, I need to buy whiskey.

Two repeats

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I am finally on the end lace of the last MKAL of the year. So far I’ve made two repeats of 17 so I guess this will take a while. I’m making progress though and that’s the most important. It’s a clever pattern and I like it a lot. The color worked better during fall than winter but there will be another fall soon enough, and the yarn is yummy!

What month did you say it was?

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Photo by Agnieszka.

I’m telling you, I do not have my sanity these days. I knew yesterday was the last day of November and I knew that after November comes December but it still came to me as a total surprise to find out that today is December 1st. I forgot the beginning of November and now I sort of forgot that it ends too. The month of sleeping is here and I’m not sure how I will attack that problem but I will. I have a wryneck (hello stress! luckily I also have a drawer full of woolen shawls) and today I forgot what the month following December is called. January. Where will this end?

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To solve this insanity I will sleep more and knit (and I’m grateful don’t have to count my stitches anymore). Knitting is a perfect form of meditation all the same as productive. I made these wristwarmers for Agnieszka since she sneakily mentioned that the pattern was pretty and there was yarn which was all the incouragement I needed. Also I thought she could do with some cheering up and what could be more cheerful than handknits? Both to make them and to and have them. A perfect combination, stress release for me, warmth for her.

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Pattern: Fountain Mitts by Andrea Jurgrau. Yarn: Drops Alpaca from Garnstudio, color 7815 green/turquoise. Mods: did one extra patternrepeat before starting the thumb gusset.

Sleep is the new pink

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I did it. I don’t know how but I did. It was probably a bad a idea, no, let me rephrase that, it was definitely a bad idea but now it’s done. As usual Agnieszka was right and I shouldn’t have pushed myself but well, as soon as I noticed was half way through on November 15, I just had to go on. It’s been a bit of pain but well, here we are. I’ve finished six projects, two shawls and four pairs of wristwarmers, all of it gifts except one of the shawls. Now I have some serious blocking and finishing left.

The goal for December is to sleep more than in November.

If you see it, let me know

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This is a sad story about about yarn and a lost brain. Or perhaps the other way around. Yesterday a new MKAL started at my LYS (local yarn store). Now I know I said I don’t need more yarn but I wanted the right yarn for the project so on Friday afternoon I went to said LYS to pick up yarn for the project (it was on sale). I had a lot of bags to carry and I tried to go on quickly with my errands. After the yarn store I went by Agnieszka’s to give her a well-deserved cupcake and after that I went on to my favorite coffee shop to get some pastries for a get-together that same evening. I left the coffee shop and 200 meters further down the side walk I noticed that my yarn bag was missing. I looked on the street but couldn’t see it so I went back to the coffee shop to, where I was sure I had left it. I was sure because I had actually looked for it while standing there and I can swear that I saw the plastic bag in my hand.

I went back and asked the staff if they had found a small bag of yarn. I had to repeat myself because they didn’t understand me and then it happened. They giggled. They giggled at the thought of someone carrying yarn and assured me they hadn’t seen anything of the like. I left, feeling sad at being laughed at and devastated that my yarn was gone. I hoped I had left it at Agnieszka’s (I know I had it when I was there) but she couldn’t find it either.

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When I got home I found yarn in my mailbox. Not the missing yarn but other yarn that I had ordered. It’s very, very pretty yarn and I love it very much but I still can’t get over the fact that I lost yarn on my way home from the yarn store – I’m not sure where my brain is these days but as long as I have a functioning body I guess I should consider myself happy - and that my yarn habit was laughed at.

The next morning I went back to the coffee shop but they still hadn’t found any yarn and to fix it all, especially the feeling of loss, I went back to the yarn store and got more yarn. So, the sum of the yarn is constant, it just turned out a little more expensive than I thought. Now I will be careful with my purchases until I know my brain is working properly again, aparently I can’t be trusted around yarn right now.

Bright lights in November

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Every other year in November there is a light festival in my town. It really brightens up the dark on an otherwise often dark and rainy month. Some years have been excellent lightwise and some has been… not so good. This year the cathedral was the best installation where the towers were lit up in different colors. It has really been a sight this month and I’ve seen it almost every day. It’s been both scary and pretty. The bright red lights have been like evil eyes searching for you while other colors have been like little friends twinkling at you.

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Another good one was this one. It’s bright, it’s light and it’s pretty. It caught you and kept you. It had something to do with busy people, if I remember correctly, and it spoke to me. Bright lights are key when we enter the last month of the year, to keep us going till winter solstice. November lights and Christmas lights. Maybe we should invent February lights as well?

I really should cast on another one, like, right now

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This fall has seen the arrival of two new little friends and I tried to make them open to the wonders of woollies right from the beginning. (I actaully haven’t seen any of them wearing their woollies yet but I’m sure that’s just a question of time, the sweaters might be too big yet. If the babies themselves doesn’t like their woollies (now, why wouldn’t they?) they can always use them as dolls’ clothes when they get older).

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I started with a green sweater. I had already decided very early on that I would go for DK weight. I’m all for fast projects this fall. I had some trouble finding a DK sweater pattern for a baby but in the end I did find a very pretty and useful one.

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It was almost too quick a knit since I made the smallest size. Once I had finished the yoke and was ready to knit the body, the body was already finished. I just blinked and there it was. So weird. I really should make each friend another one for their first birthday, just to get a chance to actually get into the project before it’s done. On the other hand, by next year I will probably have found some other delicious project instead.

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Since I made the smallest size I got a lot of left over yarn. So I got cheap. I’m not proud of it but it’s what happened.

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For sweater number two I opted for a cheaper yarn that I had in my stash. I could have just used the leftover green but the recipient’s mother prefers red over green and since she is my friend and she’s the one who is going too look at the recipient in this sweater, I let her preferences guide me.

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Getting cheap is not always the cheapest alternative and I got fairly punished for it. First I had to buy another ball of yarn because I ran out mid-sleeve.

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Then I thought I was clever and started alternating balls to not show the difference in dye lots. I just forgot that a baby sleeve is not that big and it took me the entire sleeve of alternating balls Before the the first ball was finished. It was fiddly to say the least.

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(I want to add that there is nothing wrong with this yarn, nothing at all, and I’ve knit in it before with excellent result. It’s just that my plan was something else from the beginning and I opted for a cheaper yarn.)

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It’s obvious the knitting goddess wanted me to learn a lesson here. On the other hand, I still think my decision not to use the quite expensive yarn was… economic… and made sense. The red sweater is for a baby that I will meet quite often, I hope, and I will probably knit more in the years to come, this will most likely not be my only contribution to the wardrobe.

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Now the baby doesn’t have to worry about getting this particular cardigan dirty and can spit up as much as necessary. It’s machine washable and baby won’t be able to wear it for that long anyway. These are all very valid points.

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I still feel bad about being cheap though.

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Pattern: Coming Home Cardigan by Aimee Alexander. Yarn for green cardigan: Comfy DK from Martin’s Lab, color Bull’s Eye. Yarn for red cardigan: Drops Lima from Garnstudio, color 3609 red. No mods.

Happy body, happy knitting

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Another one off the needles. Today I took a break from studying in the evening. It was necessary since yesterday I feel asleep while studying and lost almost an hour so today I took a break and went to the gym and then I sat on my couch knitting without feeling bad about it at all. The result was a very happy body, endorphines flying all over the place, and one project blocking and another one bound off. It was definitely necessary. Tomorrow I’ll hopefully start a new book and pick up a new project. But let’s worry about that tomorrow.

A little like the candy

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So, I mentioned that I don’t need more yarn. And that it still true but that doesn’t mean I don’t want more yarn. I do. I really do. Life without yarn is boring. It’s exciting, a surprise and something you can play with, like a kinder surprise. The surprise is usually about what it ends up being when I’m finished with it but sometimes the yarn itself is the surprise. That’s what happened to me today when a dear co-worker came by my office with a yarn surprise. They will turn into a little shawlette and it will be super cute.