These days I don’t ask for much

Today I was smart. It’s a bit embarassing that I consider this to be a sign of intelligence but I do nontheless. For one of my projects I’m using beads and the beads came on a string with the kit. It quickly became clear that keeping them on the string while knitting would prove to be difficult. That’s when I was smart. With the yarn kit I also got a small tin with stitch markers. By this far along in the knitting all the markers are in the knitting so the tin is empty. My light bulb moment made me realize I could take all the beads off the string and put them in the tin instead. So I did. I’m extremely smug and pleased with myself.

Shhhh, just let me have it, will you?

The finest yarn

We need to look at this again. I saw a picture of a lovely shawl on the internet a while ago. It was gray and had an edging in several colors and it was simply gorgeous. I loved the colors and I knew instantly that I have to make one. The yarn company made kits and I didn’t hesitate for a moment. Just look at it. It’s amazing!

The yarn arrived yesterday and it’s even more amazing in reality. It might be the most beautiful yarn kit I’ve ever seen. To make that shawl will be a treat and I can’t wait. Maybe I’ll cast on in January to celebrate my graduation. That will be an occasion worthy of this beautiful yarn.

I also got a second kit with colors in a cooler shade. It reminds me of impressionist paintings of the sea. I don’t have a plan for it yet but I’m sure it will be just as amazing, whatever it decides to become.

I think they are related

While I knit on the next pink cardigan, I figure I might show you the last cardigan I finished. Once in a yarn shop about two years ago I found this yarn. It had a gray base and some balls had a pink contrast and some had a blue. I bought both colors and they have now resulted in two little cardigans. Me Made ended up with the pink one and now that I found out that a friend of mine is having a baby in August, she will get the blue one.

I thought the blue one wouldn’t be as fun to knit as the pink one (indeed I do love pink much more than I love blue) but that wasn’t the case at all. The stitches just flew off the needles and the cardigan was done in no time, despite the attention being shared with Me Made as well as other knitting projects (Me Made is obviously not a knitting project but more of a receiver of knitted items).

I chose the same pattern as for the pink one and I think they turned out very pretty. Too bad Me Made and the new little baby won’t be able to wear them next to each other, that would have been adorable!

Instead we’ll have to settle for the two cardigans next to each other. That’s pretty darn good too. The only difference between them is that I chose buttons in different colors for the blue one.

Pattern: Peanut Warmer by Taiga Hilliard Designs. Yarn: Austermann Merino 105 Color, color 305. Mods: No contrasting purl rows, just plain stockinette stitch and I also changed the increases to a M1 instead of kfb.

Cheap versus expensive

Today I got inspired and got the idea to cast on a new cardigan for Me Made. I was going to use stash yarn but the question of which yarn arose. Since it’s for Me Made it’s silly to use something super fancy, the cardigan will be covered in spit or worse and will be outgrown in just a few weeks. But the feeling of fancy yarn though, oh man.

That got me thinking. I know and I’ve met a lot of knitters who prefer cheaper yarn. Who either go for the 10 SEK per yarn ball at the cheap warehouse (which mostly means non-natural fibers) or the cheaper brands of natural fibers. There is nothing wrong with that and I admit to sometimes use the cheaper brands of natural fibers myself, as long as the yarn company is a an honest one, but I don’t get mad when yarn costs money (yes, I’ve met people who get mad when the lovely hand dyed merino costs more than the bulk yarn from the cheaper brand), and I don’t like it when people say I’m crazy for buying more expensive yarn or try to bully me into going for the cheap acryllic.

So why don’t I always knit with the cheaper stuff? Why have I knit baby cardigans in hand dyed merino? Well, the answer is pretty simple. For me, the process of knitting is more important than the finished object. I love knitting, not just the finished item. I love knitting more than I love the thing I’ve knit (which I also love quite a lot) and that’s why I go for the more expensive yarn. I love the feeling of it in my hands, the softness of it, the certain flare it adds to the project. It’s a wonderful feeling to work with great materials, that is true for both yarn and needles and all other stuff. I don’t want to spend hours and hours working on a cardigan that doesn’t feel good in my hands. That’s not a good start for a relationship and I probably won’t like the finished cardigan.

I meet a lot of people who knit out of obligation. They don’t want to knit but they feel that they have to. They go for cheaper yarn, which I can totally understand, but I can’t help but think that they might enjoy it more if they worked with other materials. Of course, expensive doesn’t necessarily equal better but when it comes to yarn it often does. Not always but quite often. To me, the yarn quality is really important and the feeling of using yarn that is a delight to work with can’t be described.

So, for this cardigan, which yarn should I use? I’m not saying that the pink yarn to the left in the picture is bad, absolutely not, but I am saying that the yarn to the right will be nicer to work with. However, this time I will pick the pink, cheaper yarn. I’m thinking of making quite a few different versions of this cardigan if Me Made likes it and I figure I can make a first prototype in the pink yarn, just to see if it works and if it will be worn and evaluate if I like the pattern. I have also rubbed it against Me Made’s belly to see if it’s acceptable and I believe it is. If it turns out to be a success, I will bring out the merino though.

The pleasures of summer pt. 2.5 – knitting of course!

This must be the most color coordinated knitting meeting ever. Everything was in blue and green, from the hostess dress, to the drinks to the yarn. It was a great meeting in all other aspects as well but the non-planned color code really made my day. Me, Jenny and Helena knit and crochet and all of us made good progress on our projects and enjoyed a lovely summer afternoon, all the while Me Made watched us with interest from a blanket by our side. It was all very idyllic.

But what color should I substitute with?

Today I got this delicious set of yarn. Simply amazing. (I’m not sure about the orange one but me and orange have a complicated relationship. I figure I can always change it.) There is only one thing possible for a set of yarn like this – Vacillate. A candy colored Vacillate with a crisp white as the main color. It will be so much fun to make, whenever I get around to make it. I have other projects but it sure is time for another Vacillate, it’s been two years since the last time. Anothr Vacillate. The mere idea makes me giddy!

An unexpected designer issue

Next in line is the lace shawl. I made a list of things to knit – a cowl, a baby cardigan and now a lace shawl. I have the yarn and I have the idea, I just need to find a way to execute it. I must say though that I’m not sure how smart it was to make a debut as a designer when the only knitting time I have is when Me Made is napping or otherwise occupied. It’s hard to keep track on what I do or plan and I’d rather not frog and re-do it so I figure I’ll just knit and accept the result. I think it’ll work out. If only I get some time…

Under-yarned? Never!

If you ask any knitter what’s the worst thing that could happen to them knitwise, one of the things they would say is to be under-yarned. Me too, I’m also constantly afraid of being under-yarned, either in the aspect that I get a lot of unexpected knitting time or that I underestimated the amount of knitting I could accomplish in the time I had. What if I run out of yarn? That would be horrible. Therefore I, and most other knitters, bring an insane amount of yarn with us where ever we go.

The thing is, I have actuallt run out of yarn once. I was at a conference and I knit socks and by the second day I had one and a half sock done and no more yarn. It was horrible. Since then I bring so much knitting with me all the time. Today I had an apointment where I knew I probably wouldn’t  be able to knit a single stitch but that didn’t stop me from being so worried that I cast on a pair of socks yesterday, in addition to my other projects. I put the sock in my project bag and then I looked at the second yarn ball for the second sock. I had an entire sock with me, I had a baby sweater and my crochet shawl as well, that’s at least ten hours of knitting. I did the only reasonable thing, I brought the second yarn ball.

In the end, I didn’t knit a single stitch.

And again!

I’m on a roll here! Today I blocked the next finished item, the gradient shawl. I love how it turned out. I think it look like a set of pink wings. It will be nice to try it on later.