That went by quickly

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I have waved my magic knitting needles and look what happened! The body of a little baby sweater fell off the needles. Just some sleeves, three buttons and voilà, a finished sweater. Before I knit my first one I read that it was a quick knit but the first one went quite slow. This second one though, that one actually did go fast. There are sleeves left so I shouldn’t get ahead of myself. But still! Also, it looks so cute!

All is well that ends well

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Of course I wasted last night. Instead of knitting a single stitch I browsed through 74 pages (I’m not kidding) of sock patterns without finding anything to my taste and I went to bed in a bad mood. This morning I woke up and decided to just pick a pattern from the ones I had favorited and rejected the night before. I did so and I’m fairly happy with my choice. I worry I don’t have enough yarn but let’s see to that later.

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For the baby sweater I looked at the yarn I had picked out before and… I got ungenerous. I was going to use the same pattern as with the green sweater, for a baby the same age, and as it turned out I only needed one ball of yarn instead of two, as I had planned for. Since I have two skeins of the yarn I initially intended for the new baby sweater a part of me thought it unwise to waste split the pair on a baby sweater that would only use up less than one skein. Another part of me looked at the color again, in daylight, realized it was rather pretty and remembered that the yarn was actually quite expensive and I selfishly decided not to give it up. It’s intended for me and no one else. Instead I found two balls of a much cheaper yarn and used those instead. I doubt the baby will care but yes, I feel ungenerous with my yarn. It’s my yarn though, it’s understandable (and I try to tell myself that I had gone with the original plan, no matter how pretty the color was, had I had only one skein instead of two. Yep, that’s what I had done. Unfortunately I had two skeins and you really shouldn’t split a pair, they are quite fond of each other from what I hear). I might have to make it up to the baby by knitting two sweaters instead of just the one though.

It’s also obvious my stash could benefit from more… bulk yarn instead of only the rare and pretty luxury ones that now inhabits it. I should really do something about that.

An evening to waste?

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I’ve got the weirdest kind of knitting stress. I have a nice long evening of knitting, the first in a long while (yesteday I didn’t knit a single stitch, can you imagine!?) and I am like the donkey between two stacks of hay, I can’t decide what to knit. I’ve had the highest of hopes for this evening and now, I don’t know. I have finished my at-home-knitting and my on-the-go-knitting, both of which were almost done. I should start another baby sweater but I think it’s too late to wind yarn (or is it?). I could weave in ends or try to block something but the printer is still in the way and really, weaving in ends? Right now? When I haven’t had a decent knitting evening in forever? I could just continue with my other work in progress, but there is no hurry in that one, and I could tend to the unruly sock but that one is in no hurry either. I can’t shake the feeling that there is something urgent I should cast on but I think that is due to my resolution to have all Christmas gifts done early so that I can spend the last week before Christmas sipping whiskey, knitting for myself, and I don’t want to “waste” a knitting evening knitting the “wrong” thing. There is a vest I need to make but I haven’t bought the yarn for that one yet and I guess I should either wind yarn, do something about the sock or just knit on that work in progress.

Either way, I should really make a decision right now before it’s too late to knit at all because that would really be a waste of a perfectly good knitting evening.

Navy blue, white and raspberry red

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Every fall I get a little obsessed with a color. It doesn’t have to be a huge obession, although sometimes it is, and sometimes it comes to me quickly and other times it takes a while before the color shows itself. Over the years we’ve seen deep purple (2009), a warm orange (2010, I know, even I was surprised on that one), lion yellow (2011), bright red (2012), orange again but this time paired with lime green (2013), hot pink (2014) and purple again (2015).

This year it’s not so much a color as a color combination and a style. Navy. For some reason this fall navy blue is all I care about, combined with white stripes or polka dots and raspberry red. I’m weraing stripes and right now I think the navy style might be the most sophisticated ever. Paired with my new raspberry red glasses I feel very chic. (I had a lovely pair of raspberry red glasses before, I loved them deeply but they broke in 2010 and I had to get a new pair very quickly. It was actually quite traumatizing. The new ones were green and okay but that’s all it was, they were okay, and I truly missed my red ones. Of course the green ones never broke and this summer, six years after I bought them, I finally had enough, I was going back to my true self, back to raspberry red and once I did, it was like coming home. If I ever mention that I should get something else than raspberry red when it comes to glasses, please stop me.)

The irony in that I spent most of the 1990′s taunting my mum for her navy blue preferances is not lost on me (to my defence, she did not combine it with white, stripes, polka dots, and raspberry red. Also, I was 15 when the 1990′s ended and for most of that decade, my opinions were based on how much pink was in it. They still are, come to think of it (ey, raspberry red!)).

Since navy blue is a fairly new color to me, I don’t have many knit gaments to match. I’ve simply almost never knit in navy blue. We have the Beatrice shawl and the Color Affection (which works well with the theme but could do with a serious re-block). I do knit in blue but I rarely keep it for myself. Therefore I have started planning blue socks, shawls and wristwarmers. I need to look through the stash as well. Winter is coming and I want to be prepared.

Bigger than expected

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Photos by Agnieszka.

Earlier this year I got a message about a yarn sale where I found out this yarn, that I had been ogling for a few years, had a discount. I ran to my LYS and got what I needed and a few weeks later I sat down to knit this sweater that was the reason for the yarn crush. It looked like the perfect summer sweater, slightly oversize, comfortable and not super warm. I looked at the pattern, thought the writings for the sizes were a bit weird, it said “upper width” instead of chest size but I took that to mean that since the sweater was oversize it meant the widht around the shoulders was more important than the chest size, and cast on. I knit and knit and knit and worried about measurements since it had a lot of stretch and it was difficult to say when both front and back were the same size. Eventually the sweater was done. Sewing it together was pain but I managed in the end.

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Just about the time I had finished the sewing, I cast on a tank top from the same designer. The tank top pattern also said “upper width”. Now, a tank top, being a tank top and all, doesn’t have sleeves, hence it was ridiculous to measure the width around the shoulders to find out the size I needed. Slowly the realization dawned on me, “upper width” simply meant chest size and that my sweater, fresh off the needles with every little seam painfully done, was 8 inches too big. That was a sad, sad day.

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Since this sweater is suppsed to be oversize it’s still okay but the yarn is also very heavy and so every time I wear it, it gets bigger and bigger. I doubt I will ever frog it, it wasn’t that fun to knit after all, and I’ll probably wear it but not as much as I had hoped. This experience has taught me… well, to not trust patterns and that if something looks weird it probably is. I’m not sure what I could have done though, besides googling or asking someone, but it wasn’t easy for me to figure it out by myself. I don’t think “upper width” is the best way of describing what is really the chest size, since chest size is neither the upper most nor the widest part of the garment.  Yes, I’m still bummed and I’m going to stay bummed about this a little longer. We’ll see if I re-knit it one day, but not yet, the wound is still fresh.

Pattern: Mi from Yllotyll. Yarn: Colinette Giotto, discontinued, color Peaches and Cream.

Just a few rows here and there

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It seems I haven’t had a proper knit night in forever. Just me and my couch and a good movie without any disturbances. I usually have a lot to do and now is no different but this time I have added quite a few things that absolutely cannot be combined with knitting. Instead it includes typing and driving and you really shouldn’t knit while you’re driving. This all means that the only knitting I’ve got done in the past days is a few rows on a sock. This has never happened to me before, not being able to find knitting time, and I’m not sure what to do. Since the printer is still in place I can’t even block the things that are finished and there is simply no progress anywhere (especially since I had to frog that pink sock). There has to be a change soon because, well, because I need my knitting to keep me sane. And what about the Christmas knitting if I can’t knit?

Right, I still have a few minutes to knit tonight and I’m going to make the best of it. Knit on!

As delicate as a rose

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I spoke too soon. When my sock was almost done I did the fatal mistake of trying it on (or well, it was a mistake not to have tried it before) and I remembered why I don’t like lace socks. It feels weird with all those holes on my feet, somehow. Apart from that the sock was also a little too tight to pull over the heel (it worked but not as smoothly as I would have liked) and I’m not a fan of that either. Simply put, it just didn’t look nice and the yarn is way too lovely to be knit into socks that I’m not going to wear.

Instead I’ve browsed about 60 pages of sock patterns on Ravelry and I can’t find anything. Nothing screams my name, nothing wants to become my adorable Sugar Roses socks. It might be that I have quite some demands. The yarn is, as mentioned several times, lovely and I want to show it off, not hide it behind a busy pattern (did I mention the yarn is lovely?). Lace is not for my feet and intricate cables won’t show off the yarn as much as I hope. On the other hand, plain vanilla socks won’t add that little something extra. I want a delicate pattern, not too busy so that the yarn disappears but not too plain either so that the socks look unintresting. A pattern that makes me and everyone else look twice and think wow! A pattern that works in perfect harmony with the yarn where they complement each other (instead of working against each other). As it turns out, that’s not as easy as one would have thought. I want these socks to be elegant and delicate and cute at the same time because the yarn is worth it.

Sock patterns like that are hard to find. So I’ve come to understand. There is a lot of busy lace out there and very intricate cables. I’ve seen quite a lot of ribbing and surprisingly many pattern pictures in bad lighting. I will have to continue my search and, if nothing else works, I guess there is always Business Casual.

There were no delays

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When I go to the movies, which sadly doesn’t happen that often, and if I bring candy or popcorn, I have a rule that I can’t start eat it until the movie has started. Not during commercials or trailers but when the actual movie begins. I know others who has the same rule and I know people who thinks it’s a stupid rule. I can’t tell when it started, it just feels right.

Yesterday we went away for the weekend and on Friday evening I prepared my travel knitting and I picked it up yesterday morning on my way to the airport and I felt that it might be the same as with the popcorn at the movies. The train to Stockholm pass the airport on its way and therefore it’s not really travelling until you are at the airport, since I go on that train quite often. The question is, is it okay to start your travel knitting already on the train to the airport? Since I did it it must be okay but it still felt a little wrong. I ‘m okay with starting it before I leave your home (you might need to swatch or change the needles or bring extra markers or something) but the train ride to the airport didn’t really feel like travelling, more like means to get to the actual travelling, if that makes sense.

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I guess it felt wrong because I was worried I was under-yarned and I didn’t want to knit up too soon in case there would be delays and such and I would stand there with nice socks in my project bag but no knitting. As usual that didn’t happen, and I visited a yarn store later in the day and then all of a sudden I wasn’t under-yarned anymore, quite the opposite. Funny how that works.

I got a decent amount of knitting in this two day trip and on the train back from the airport I had a big piece of a sock with me. The leg was done, the heel was turned, the gusset was finished and half of the foot was knit. It was a good companion, on of the better I’ve had but I’m back to my original knittings, the ones before the travel knitting and since the trip is done, and my travel knitting will eventually become something else. Pretty soon, I hope, because those socks are yummy.

P.S. The huge printer did get my message but still hasn’t moved out.

Dear Huge Printer

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Dear Huge Printer,

I know it is a blessing that you have found your way into my home and I understand that it is so despite the fact that you can only print in light blue. It’s a fashionable color and I like color so that is not a problem with me. As you may have noticed, you have come to a home where we take hobbies serious and I know that since you are part of one, you will be loved as long as there is a need for you (and if I were you I would check that only-print-in-light-blue feature quite soon, even though I like blue, you are a photo printer after all and I know that most people, especially your owner, likes their pictures to come out in multiple colors, and if you won’t collaborate I’m not sure for how long there’s actually going to be a need for you, I can’t save you forever and truth be told, since you do nothing for my hobbies I’m not sure how keen I am in the first place) and you work as you are expected to (here the only-print-in-light-blue thing might also be to your disadvantage).

I admit that curvy front of yours could be considered elegant and I guess, considering what you are able to accomplish (again, and I can’t stress this enough, let go of the only-print-in-light-blue thing, for both our sakes), I should be happy you are not bigger than you are, and I try, I really do. I’m glad you cost almost nothing, I thought that was very classy of you (but since you only print in light blue, I guess it would have been unforgiveable if you had also cost a fortune) even though I had to drive in the dark for an hour to pick you up. I assume it wouldn’t have been very nice of me to suggest you take a taxi and I’m sorry if you accidentally heard any words not becoming of a lady (or anyone for that matter) while I drove you home. I’m sorry about that, but you didn’t do much to help the situation either.

I doubt there is anything you will ever do for me but someone I love really likes your company and that is enough for me. I’m thinking that if you fix that only-print-in-light-blue thing we can eventually find a relationship built on mutual respect, but as long as you’ve taken up residence on my livingroom floor that won’t happen. You see, I’m a very productive knitter – the yarn stash probably gave that away – and the livingroom is the yarn room, not the printer room. Printers go in the study or the studio and sure, I can lend you some room in the hallway or under the dinner table while you get your… things sorted, but you really, really need to move out of the livingroom. This is essential for whatever relationship you want with me in the future, remember, I can just as easily drive you to the transfer station for waste management, as I drove you to my home (that’s right, I opened my home for you). Move away from the livingroom floor, I need my blocking space back as I can now only block small items like wristwarmers and I have plenty of shawls waiting. If you move, I won’t point out that only-print-in-light-blue thing quite so often. Do we have a deal?

Love,
Yours sincerely,
Best,
Regards,

/Ina

Two rows in

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Have you ever known that a knitting will work after just two rows? This happened to me tonight. I have just cast on a sock in a nice yarn with the lovely color name Sugar Roses. The color is amazing, it has my name written all over it, and I think the sock pattern might work as well. It’s a new pattern that I’ve never tried before so that will be interesting. The expectations are high now, if just two rows look promising the rest must be great, right? We’ll just have to wait and see.