Life’spice?

A day filled with contrasts, or variations. Or not just a day but a weekend so far. Yesterday, straight after work, the bobbin lace guild’s board members put together the laces for today’s lace exhibition opening. It wad exhausting and took a long time but the end result was lovely. This morning I went for two workout classes and then to the opening of the exhibition. From sweat to lace, so to speak. Then Julle helped a stranger with his printer (yes, I married a very kind man) and I left for dinner with friends who are also gamers which was one if the topics for discussion. Sweat, lace, game. I hope tomorrow will be calmer because this is just crazy, even though it’s in a very good way.

Autumn song

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5oEfBH3hg-I

Today has been a very warm day but I missed most of the heat due to preparations for the bobbin lace guild. When we went home late in the evening it was still warmbut very windy and leaves were blowing around and I  couldn’t help thinking fall is coming. It’s like line in the song above, “Now there is a storm outside, closing the summer’s door”. It’s been a good summer, and I would have liked to enjoy today’s heat but I think I’m ready and I think it will be a good autumn.

Inspiring but insane

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Last week I mentioned that Christmas is coming and we’d better prepare. I have started by borrowing a book with Christmas inspired knitting patterns. 55 knitting patterns and they all look very pretty if perhaps a little overly and unnecessarily complicated. I’ll let you know more when I’ve knit something from it. All in all, a pretty book. There is just one thing though. The authors, who has written a bok with Christmas inspired knitting patterns, advice not to knit on Christmas Eve. Are they insane? A day without knitting is a bad day, why would I want Christmas Eve, of all days, to be a bad day? Christmas Eve is reward knitting time, all the gifts are done and I can finally knit on whatever my heart desires. And they tell me not to knit? Clearly I need to take what they say with a pinch of salt.

Pft, not knit on Christmas Eve, pft!

Cheering me on

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I’ve been working out a lot this summer. Knitting and working out. A small little goal I’ve had is to be able to run 10 kilometers. I did it without blinking six years ago but since then I haven’t been running a lot at all but this summer was it, I thought. Today it happened. The weather was perfect, I got a little friend or cheerleader (a very uninterested cheerleader too) as you can see in the picture, I was slow as a snail and my legs hurt and were so stiff by the time I had finished. But I did it and now it’s done. I need to lay down now.

The best part? I could snuggle up on my couch in my new socks when I got back home.

Maybe if I add chocolate to the process?

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I’m sure you don’t believe me when I tell you this, considering how much I actually knit (or, if you’ve been reading the blog the past few days it might not come as a surprise to you at all), but lately I’ve really had a hard time coming up with ideas on what to knit. Or, coming up with projects that I actually cast on. This is unusual even to me.

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It used to be that as soon as I cast off something I immediately picked up a new project an went on. I had so many Projects in pipeline that it was almost (but just almost) too much and I always seemed to have the right yarn lying around, or something close enough. That’s why I keep a stash, so that I always have some yarn in the house when I feel an urge to cast on a baby sweater at 2 pm on Christmas Day. I’m not sure I can do that right now (well, I probably could, I still have all the materials, but it would involve so much more effort).

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Now I almost dread the end of a project because I have no idea what to pick up next. I get an idea and then I toss it because there is something wrong somewhere. I might not find the right yarn or the right pattern and nothing tempts me and everything is too difficult to pull off.

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I think it’s a question about time. I dont have much time and more than that, I don’t feel like I have the time. There are just too many steps in finding something to knit. There is winding yarn, something that requires a smaller refurnishing as I don’t have an easily accessible place to put neither swift nor ball winder. There is also picking a pattern and that’s just not so easy as it sounds, I’m getting pickier and pickier it seems. I have demands on how it’s written and it’s just hard to tempt me right now. Once that is taken care of there is finding the needles for the project. I really should do something about the way I organize my needles but I just simply can’t figure out a system that would work. Any suggestions you might have in that area are more than welcome.

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This is all becoming ridiculous. I have the yarn for a great shawl pattern that I know will be perfect but there is something that stops me from casting on. What it comes down to, I think, is that I’m just too stressed out to take in something new, like a complicated pattern. It’s not a question about time, it’s about stress. I need simple patterns, or rather, simply written patterns, right now. I’m not sure what to do with this insight, nor how to solve the issue but I’m glad I’ve figured it out. Now at least I have something to work with.

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Pattern: Vacillate by Cindy Garland. Yarn: Stunning Superwash from Stunning String Studio, colors Charcoal, Cotton Candy, Natural, Dutch Coral, Fog, Linen, Dove, Petal Pink, Yellow Pear. Oh, so pretty!

I hope this is the last one

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I’m sure you are sick and tired of looking at this sock right now but it’s all I have on the needles right now. I’ve highly underestimated the time it takes to knit them and how much knitting time I actually have now that summer vacation is over. I didn’t turn the heel yesterday but I was almost finished with the heel flap when I called it a night and now the gusset is done and the foot awaits. So, sock it is a little while longer.

Hands and feet (foot?)

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Last week I talked about my plans hopes for this week, a week that must have felt like an ocean of time because in retrospect, I had very ambtious plans for this week. I wanted the wristwarmers to be done, and sure, that was a reasonable expectation since I only had half of the second one left. I also hoped to have my MKAL finished and also the socks. Now, the socks, that really wasn’t reasonable at all but you never know with socks, sometimes they fly by like the wind and sometimes they take forever. This time they flew at a reasonable speed and I have one finished and I hope to turn the heel on the second one tonight (that might be ambitious too). the wristwarmers are finished, blocked and ends woven in except one that I’m going to use when sewing on buttons. So, buttons needs to be added before they are completely finished. The MKAL is blocking but I need to weave in the ends on that one (so many ends…). All in all, if you are the-glass-half-filled kind of girl, it’s been a good week and I nearly finished what I had set out to do.

Tomorrow I hope to wind yarn for a new project, I was going to do that tonight but between laundry and a really hard core work out I just don’t have the energy. My back grunted when I bent forward to fill the laundry machine so I think a calm evening knitting on the couch is just what the doctor ordered.

Deliciously decadent

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Earlier this morning I finished my MKAL and now, all I have on the needles is a sock. Somehow it feels very decadent to knit on this sock at home and to not have a bigger project to attend to. Aren’t socks onl for when I leave the house? Sure, there are ends to weave in and projects to block and other useful things to do but I’ll take care of that tomorrow. It’s Saturday and I’m just going to sit here, delicously frivolous and knit on my sock. I’m not sure why a sock feels decadent, it just does. Maybe it’s because I’ve knit a lot of big projects lately that a small one seems frivolous and maybe it’s because the sock is for me and not on a deadline or anything, it’s simply pure pleasure. Is that really allowed? (Hint, yes of course it is!) It makes me think of my grandmother who enjoyed reading a lot, but reading wasn’t considered productive enough so she usually had her knitting close by so that, if she saw someone, anyone, coming through the garden gate, she could put the book down, grab her knitting and pretend she was being useful and productive when the visitor entered the kitchen. (Compare that to today when it’s probably the opposite, reading is considered productive, an entertainment that means something, whereas knitting is sometimes considered unproductive and a little dumb – why knit when you can buy much cheaper clothes in the stores.) I guess my sock is the equivalent to my grandmother’s book, except I’m not going to pick up my tapestry needle if someone comes in the room. Me and my sock are going to have a lovely day!

It might be that I want more socks

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I’m not the only one knitting socks right now. Christine is making socks as well and they look lovely. She uses left-over yarn to make them and that got me thinking about the stash (I often think of my stash, several times a day actually) and how it’s organized. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s divided into color and then weight for the most popular colors, which are red, pink, purple, blue and green which each have their own spots. Those colors are then divided into lace and fingering weight on one shelf and sport, DK and heavier weights on another shelf. Yellow has one shelf in total and so does the black and white span, including grey. Brown has it’s own shelf too. Then I’ve tried to give left-overs their own shelves divided by color but there are some sharing there. Then, in the lower shelves I’ve put all my project bags, yarn kits that I don’t want to split into different shelves, things I’m not sure what to do with and so on. It’s a bit of a mess really, those lower shelves.

I can’t throw away any yarn, you never know when you need two meters of something. Left-over socks would be ideal but due to my system it’s impossible to find yarn in different colors without turning half the stash upside down. Maybe I should re-organize and sort by yarn brand instead, that would be easier when I want to find yarn that could work together for something striped or, as mentioned above, to take care of the left-overs. That sounds kind of awesome. The downside is that it won’t be as artistic as it is now. I like when things are sorted by color. My bookcases are sorted by for example. I guess the only reasonable thing to do is to do a little bit of both. Yarns that I have a lot of, like Drops Muskat, should go together on their own spot on the lower shelves, whereas yarn where I only have a skein or two could be divided by color on the top shelves. Left-overs could be divided by weight instead of color. This might work but it’s a huge task that will take forever and I’m not sure I have the time right now. A pair of left-over socks would be nice though.

Cookies!

Ever since we moved in to our condo there has been something terribly messed up with my baking. I used to bake a lot, complicated things that were delicious. I love baking (even though I often find myself doing it late at night when I’m really way too tired). But in this new kitchen there has been something that doesn’t sit right with me. I thought it was that it is so small. All my former kitchens (except the joke of a kitchen I had while living in France, one would think a sink in the kitchen might be a good idea, right?) have been big enough to accept at least one other person in there with you while you do your magic. This one is not. It’s a kitchen where the rule walk-in-and-back-out has been applied since there is no room to turn. I thought that was what bothered me and I tried not to care since there is wpid-dsc_8745.jpg

It took me longer than I care to admit to realize this wasn’t the problem, or at least not the entire problem. The biggest problem has been that the oven doesn’t understand the concept of temperature. It being an oven one can see that might be a problem. When I turn it on at a certain temperature, the oven does not reach that temperature which means all my cookies and cake are saggy and soft. That is often something you do want in a cake or a cookie but it’s nice when the baked goods hold together long enough for you to lift it from the plate and put it in your mouth. My oven is now perfect for drying apples and baking meringues but don’t you want more out of an oven than that? I know there are things that could be done, I could put a meet thermometor in there to make sure I got the right temperature and there are other things to do as well but the whole debacle just took the fun out of baking and so I stopped. After all, there are many nice coffee shops in my town, all with delicious cookies and cakes.

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After a while though, I started getting cravings and when I found myself walking around hissing “cookies” at regular intervals an dreaming of chewy chocolate chip cookies melting in my mouth, I knew something had to be done. I couldn’t get a new oven but I had to have cookies, soon. Cookies! Luckily I have the best of friends and Agnieszka invited me over for a little baking party. During the Days leading up to it, it was all I could think of (cookies!). We were going to bake cookies and I was going to eat all of them because I needed them, I deserved them, I wanted them.

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In the end I didn’t eat all the cookies. I managed three, then I was full. Agnieszka, lovely person as she is, gave me eight (!) cookies (cookies!) to bring back home with me and now, whenever I’m not in my house, I start loning for those cookies. Cookies! I really have it bad and although the cookie party was a success I think it only enhanced my cravings in the long run. I got a taste of deliciousness and now it’s so utterly obvious I can’t make it come back myself at any time I want.

We have started looking into buying a new oven. It’s the only reasonable thing to do at this point. Cookies!