Bring the bonnet back

It’s getting cooler and it’s time to start put on your hand knits. Last fall I made three hats, or rather helmets. They are the funniest shape but a quick knit and fairly fun to make.

Once you finish the knitting you have no idea how on earth that will transpire to a hat. When you sew the head seams you get a better understanding but the helmet still looks super weird until you put it on, then everything makes sense.

Hats have a tendency to drop off a baby’s head but these helmets stay put and they really cover the ears, something other hats might have trouble with. It’s tricky for a ht with a round brim to cover both ears while not covering the eyes.

This helmet has a brim in a zigzag pattern and therefore the ears are covered and they eyes are not. A very good feature in a hat.

Pattern: Hjälm from Nordiskas stickbeskrivning. Yarn: Mandarin Petit from Sandnes, color 4621, Drops Safran from Garnstudio, color 01, and Baby Cashmerino from Debbie Bliss, color 340018 Light Pistachio. No mods.

Purty!

There is not much knitting going on right now. It’s like I’ve forgotten how to take advantage of the opportunities that arises. I simply forget to pick up my knitting. Or even worse, I forget to bring it. This will not be good for me in the long run.

Today I did manage to squeeze in a few rows though. I’m slowly moving forward with my shawl design and let me tell you, I love it! It’s turning out great! I can’t wait to see its progress. I probably should try to squeeze in some more knitting…

Optimistic was the word

September 1. The first day of fall. Summer is over. On Monday I start school again. I’m looking forward to it. It’s been a long and hot summer and fall feels like a relief after this heath. The last couple if weeks have been rough, not heathwise but… well, lifewise and I’m sure September will change that.

It started extremely well. I was at a “finishing feast” (or fäst in Swedish, pun intended) at my friend Annelie’s, we had tea, freshly baked bread and chocolate and we wove in ends and sewed and so on. I had a million ends to weave in (what’s up with all the ends, crochet?) and I did them all. Now two shawls are just a block away from being finished.

  • Since this was one of the rare occasions where Me Made wasn’t present, I had high expectations of what I could accomplish and I brought an insane amount of projects. Three knitting projects, one crochet project and of course the two projects for weaving in ends. Well, no surprise but I was a little optimistic. I did finish weaving in ends though and most importantly, I had a wonderful time.
  • 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.