Sunday evening

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It’s been an intense weekend during which we’ve barely slept at all. We are exhausted but happy as we finally go to bed at eight pm. It’s been a weekend of family, yarn, chocolate, languages, new experiences and love, all the things you need in life. Later this week I’ll tell you all about our new jetset lifestyle but for now this will have to be enough because I need to get that highly sought after sleep (I’m not 25 anymore) so that I will actually have the energy later on to tell you about this weekend.

Good night!

Back to the beginning

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Yesterday was my bobbin lace class. It’s so much fun. We’re sitting around the table, eight ladies and a teacher, bobbin away and talking about grandchildren and retirement and handcrafts and such. It’s very lovely.

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This time for my new lace, I decided to go back to basics. In early 2013, when I first started taking bobbin lace classes, my very first lace was a lace called Udd och stad (point and selvedge). It’s only six pairs of bobbins and is therefore a fairly quick lace. I bobbined and bobbined in my mother’s kitchen and the next class I could show an 8 inches (20 cm) long lace which my bobbin lace teacher praised adequately. (Considering how life was in February 2013 I needed a lot of praise, it made me childishly happy (I responded well to gifts too). Not that I didn’t want praise before that, and after too, but spring 2013 was something exceptional, and bobbin lace was perfect: something I turned out to be fairly good at almost from the start and a very enthusiastic teacher.)

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I wish I would have filmed my work and my progress with that first lace, it would have been fun too watch and see if there has been any development in skill (there must be) in comparison with this attempt. I think it’s beneficial to go back to basics every once in a while, as a reminder of the progress and development. I know I can make much bigger and more difficult laces now but it isn’t until I go back to that first lace I can truly feel that I’m a better lace maker now than 18 months ago. If nothing else, I’m definitely faster.

Blank spaces on the map

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It’s been obvious to me these past few days. Fall is here and the mornings are cold. I have switched my cardigan for a jacket when I take my bike to work. It’s getting more and more clear though that there might be a need for some kind of fingerless mitt to finish the ensemble (and prevent me from freezing).

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In times like these, when there is an urge and something needs to happen quite fast, the easiest is to just turn to the already known. A pattern I’ve already made and are familiar with. It happens so easily. Sometimes I just happen to like the pattern and therefore enjoy knitting a lot from it to get it out of my system. Sometimes I suspect it’s pure laziness. Like that shawl pattern I used for three Christmas gifts in 2010 (sure, I was a much less experienced knitter back then but how would I have learned more if I only ever made one type of shawl?) or the Cupcake Cutie Caps in 2013.

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Now with the evident need of a pair of fingerless mitts (and of course I don’t care for the ones I already have right now (granted most of them are mere wristwarmers and I’m looking for something a little more “covering” and that I made most of them in 2005 which means they are kind of worn out (and by worn out I mean that some of them are literally falling to pieces))) my first thought was to go the pattern for the ones I made in late May and early June.

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I have, not a rule, but a goal, an aim. I have plenty of pattern books and magazines and booklets and to sort of advocate to myself the need and necessity of all these books, magazines and booklets I try to knit at least one pattern from each item in a sort of “If I’ve used them it wasn’t an unnecessary purchase”. This has prooven a bit difficult at times when the rate of my pattern purchases exceeds my ability to knit.

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When I first cast on wristwarmers in late May I was happy, it was a new pattern from a book that was in my book case and I could tick off another book.

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Now though, these are already done and I’ve made something from that book and why don’t I try something new? What’s the fun in making something I’ve already done? Why should I wear the same kinds of fingerless mitts as everyone else? Sure, it’s easy, but should I go for easy every time? No, I’m going to search my pattern library and pick something I haven’t knit before. (I can at least pick another pattern from the same book.) Surely I can do it!

(This means that The Sweater Committment will be a little less committed for a week or so but I believe that the question of warmth should be a priority this time of the year.)

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Pattern: Rosa Rubiginosa Mitts by Hunter Hammersen. Yarn: Malabrigo Sock, color 204 Velvet grapes and Drops Baby Alpaca Silk from Garnstudio, color 6347 blue purple (I think).

CO stands for COmmittment

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I have started. After much contemplating (or actually, I just did what the pattern said I should do with the swatch and I measured but didn’t really make any decisions or learned something from it) I have cast on. We’ll see íf my two color plan will work (it better, because I don’t have enough yarn in either color). Now I have a small part of the right shoulder done. We’re doing this in small steps.

Level of committment

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I take this sweater committment seriously, you might even say that I’m committed. I have swatched, see, only there you have proof of my committment. But that’s not all. I have blocked the swatch and I have even hung it to see what happens when there is some pressure to it. I have read through the pattern and it seems its going to be hard to do what I’m thinking. I want to use two colors but the construction of the garment makes it hard to do what I have planned. I will not give up though, I will try and eventually I will succeed. Or just cast on something else.

Some day you’re the dork

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Today, or rather tonight, it’s the Culture Night in my town. I’ve been to many Culture Night’s throughout the years and it’s usually a good time. This year though, I’ve tried to tempt me to go out do something, but I just can’t be bothered. I know there are a lot of fun things going on in town but I just want to sit in my chair, have a cup of tea and a cookie and knit. Knit, knit, knit. Later I will make an attempt of making some kind of tote bag for my bobbins, lined with lace, and a card for next weekend’s wedding, that we are attending. In short, I just want to potter around with my things and what better day to do it than a Saturday? My knitting, my sewing machine and bobbin lace pillow are all here and that’s where I want to be. Not going out looking for fun, I have my fun around me at home and what more could I ever ask for?

How about a date?

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I’m generally good with dates. I know when people’s birthdays are and I know when things happened (yes, Kennedy was shot November 22, 1963, my grandpa was born November 22, 1908, I got my driver’s license August 24, 2004 and the last cousin reunion I attended was May 29, 2011 (me and my aunt, who is also good with dates, once had a discussion about which date it was. I was right)). This particular skill frightens people sometimes, especially when I can tell the birthdays of people I’ve barely met (come on, Diana’s older brother told his friend what date his sister was born while I was standing next to them in the ticket line to the movie theatre and I just happened to remember it) but usually it’s a really good skill.

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That is, till you want to trick me. Or you just want to change things. If you want to celebrate your birthday three months later that’s okay, but don’t make me pretend like I don’t know when it actually is, oh no, you will get your gift on the actual day or close by and then maybe a card when you choose to celebrate. Also, you can’t trick me into believing that a party is for a birthday when it really isn’t since I know your birthday is eight months away.

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Of course I think that people can celebrate their birthdays whenever they want, I’m just going to be a bit confused when you tell me you’re having a birthday party in May when we both know your birthday is really January 14.

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The bad part about being good with dates is not when things happen after they are supposed to, but when they happen before, as was the case this past spring. An old friend of mine had a big birthday coming up, I knew about it because I know her and I’ve known her and her birthday for more than twenty years. I was prepared and somewhat planned, I knew I had five weeks left before the actual date because I knew that date for sure.

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That’s when it happened. My friend had a late decision about an early celebration and instead of five weeks to knit something I all of a sudden only had two weeks and a pressing deadline in front of me. (One would have thought that given all the children’s birthday parties I attended at this friend’s house as a kid, I should have remembered that since her birthday was after the semester had ended, she usually had her birthday party in late May and so this shouldn’t have come as a surprise, but it did. After all, I’m good at remembering dates, not logical plans from two decades ago.)

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In the end it all turned out well. I rushed to the Internet to choose a pattern and to order some yarn, it arrived quickly enough, I put every other knitting project on hold and when the party day arrived, I could present my friend with a brand new hand knit shawl (granted that I had to buy the gift bag and wrapping on the way to the party and do the wrapping in the store, but that’s not the important part, it was done before the party, that’s the important part).

I think she liked it very much.

Pattern: Holden by Mindy Wilkes. Yarn: Malabrigo sock, color Candombe.