The difference of a millimeter

See, I told you I would swatch for my next shawl! Tomorrow starts a new Mystery Knit Along (MKAL) and I want to be prepared. Especially since my pollen allergics is quite bad right now and this is the only green I dare to go near.

The only problem is, I simpy cannot get gauge! The designer must be knitting extremely loosly since she can get 10 cm on 16 sts and 24 rows. On my first try, on 4 mm needles as the pattern calls for, I only got 6 cm on 16 sts.image

On my next try, I used 5 mm needles and got about 7,5 cm on 16 sts. Also, I found the knitting looking sloppy and untidy, the needles are too big.image

Sure enough, I haven’t blocked the swatches but I’m still a bit concerned. To solve the problem, I will simply have to knit a few rows longer and at the same time increase a few stitches to make it a bit bigger. I also need to try to avoid making the edges too tight and then I should be all right. What’s the worst that could happen, that I end up with another shawlette? That doesn’t seem so bad.

Damage

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I’m sorry for this short post but I just arrived home only to find that there has been a water leak in my area and as a result of this, we have no water. I kind of need to deal with this (physically by sorting out some practical stuff and mentally by knitting) so I’ll be back tomorrow instead.

Looking forward

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I’m really looking forward to summer holiday now. Just over a week left and then five glorious free weeks. I’ll fill them

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with knitting and cross stitch and swimming and good food and sleeping in and a lot of other lovely summer holiday moments.

It seems as if everyone else is looking forward to the holidays as well since it’s a little crazy at work right now. I had to stay a few hours extra today which cut into my working out hours and by extension to my knitting time. Now I’m all curled up in my armchair though, with some cookies from last Sunday, my knitting and a good show on the TV. Now it’s me-time.

Right on time

I was right! I love being right. It’s a wonderful feeling that beats being wrong any day of the week. In this particular case I was right about it being possible to make the baby bonnet in less than a week aside from all other knitting I have going on. Actually, it only took two days.

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This oddly looking piece of knitting actually turns into this.

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This is the Wonderchild baby hat from Garnstudio. Yarn is some kind of cotton in light turquoise and white. I must say that the weaving in ends and sewing together took ridiculously long time in comparison to the actual knitting. Also, I didn’t care for the tube knitting so I twisted yarn to make the cords. I think it works just as fine.

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I think the colors make it look like a popsicle. Perfect as a summer hat for a little baby.

Sunday visits

I’ve had a domestic day. I’ve done laundry and vacuumed the apartment. I’ve also made some cookies.

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These are Chocolate and caramel slices.
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The recipe calls for some icing but I didn’t have the time so I put decorative sugar on them instead.
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When I was a kid my mum let me “paint the buns” whenever she was making cinnamon buns. It’s still just as fun to brush cookies and buns with whisked eggs and then sprinkle sugar on them. And the result, wonderful.

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So why all this? Well, I’ve had some special guests visiting today.

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Shrimp! And Shrimp’s mother Emelie! We had a lovely time together, me and Emelie having tea and cookies and Shrimp having fruit purée. It’s been over six months since Shrimp visited the last time, then only three weeks old. Now, almost eight months and happy as a clam during the entire visit. Shrimp has the most contagious smile I’ve ever seen and it’s completely impossible to be sad in Shrimp’s presence. Before Shrimp was born me and Emelie made a deal that I would

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teach her, Emelie, to knit if I could use Shrimp as a model for my baby knits. It’s been great! It’s also perfect for finding out whether a sweater intended for a six months old baby actually fits a six months old baby.

I hope you’ll come back soon, Shrimp and Emelie!

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Peekaboo!

A change of plans

Everything is a mess here. It started yesterday with me being weak and abandoning the plan to finish my spring knitting before I start my summer knitting. I was sick of the yarn behaving badly and how I had to look at the chart all the time. It just made me mad and I realized that was helping nobody so I cast on something new.

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This is exciting even though I’m a bit sceptical towards the pattern and have so far already modified it a bit. We’ll see where I end up. Hopefullt with a baby sweater.

Then things got worse. Remember this?
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This sock, together with it’s partner, was supposed to be for a baby who was born in early April. Today I found out that the person who was responsible for sending them to the newborn baby (or actually the baby’s parents since a two weeks old baby can’t open an envelope by him/herself) forgot to do so and even though the socks might still fit (though I doubt it, I believe anything when it comes to newborns growing) it’s June and no baby should have to wear wool socks. That could be straight up cruel (or super nice if it happened to be a very cold summer (last summer, wool socks would have been perfect) but I’m not going to count on that).

There are plenty of other babies coming around soon, so it’s not a problem of what to do with the baby socks but this little problem gives me a week to come up with something else (and by that I mean knit something else). It has to be something small since I also have my lace to think about and this week will be busy as it is without having to knit a baby sweater in five days. It also has to be something not too warm so wool is kind of out of the question. I’ve decided on a little baby bonnet. That should be fast enough.

Now, it just so happens that my yarn stash consist almost exclusively of wool. No cotton in sight. Instead I have ransacked my mother’s yarn stash and found a plastic bag with some leftover light fingering cotton (or so it seams, there is no ball band in sight) in white and a lovely springy turquoise blue.

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Now, I have this on my needles and

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not that I want to jinx it in anyway but I’m pretty sure I can finish before Midsummer, next Friday. Baby bonnet, here I come!

A way of celebrating

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One of my favourite writers is Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. She writes knitting humour and she’s simply great. I’ve read almost all her books and I know a new one is not far away. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee also writes the popular blog yarnharlot and she inspired me to start my own blog. She has taught me a lot about knitting and through her blog has introduced me to a lot of new yarns and knitting techniques. She has also taught me to not be ashamed of my stash.

Today is Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s birthday and due to some difficult things she has cancelled her birthday. She only wishes that her blog readers and fans donate to the Friends for Life Bike Rally, which she will enter at the end of July. It’s a bike rally from Toronto to Montreal, 660 km, in six days and the money goes to the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation (PWA). Each participant need to raise 50 000 Canadian dollars in order to participate. So I’ve donated to the rally and now I just hope that Stephanie Pearl-McPhee will have a great birthday despite the difficulties and that she raises enough money to be able to participate and manage to go through the rally without bad weather or too much pain.

Paradoxes

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It’s really weird. I very much enjoy cross stitching. I have plenty of finished pictures, plenty of unfinished pictures and plenty of unstarted kits. I usually cross stitch in the summer, it’s not as warm and sticky as wool can be when it’s really warm weather. It’s soon cross stitch weather and I’m feeling it. I have sweaters I want to make but there are pictures I want to embroider. Luckily I go on summer vacation soon so that will give me some more time.

Now to the weird part. I love doing cross stitch but I find it kind of boring to weave in ends when knitting. Why? And, the most tedious of it all is to sew lace, or whatever it might be, onto fabric. It’s slow and finicking (and I am usually good at finicky stuff) and I guess that’s where the problem is. I happened to inherit, among other things, my dad’s meticulousness. I dislike re-doing things and if I do it right the first time, I don’t have to, but that means that I’m so meticolus that it takes a long, long time to do it in the first placec.

Aparentely there are boring and not boring sewing. It’s the same paradox as in that it’s fun to knit but it’s terrible to have to unravel something and re-knit it. Maybe it’s the novelty that’s fun, the new previously non-knit thing or the picture-making sewing.

So yeah, I have some tedious sewing to do. Fortunately the attaching of lace is much easier to carry with you than the actual lace making. Another little paradox.

Changes

I just had to share something that I saw today. Remember how thiswpid-DSC_0337.jpg

turned into this?
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Well, know it has become this.
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It’s pretty amazing, right? (Yes, I cross that bridge several times a week, I notice changes. I’ll probably show you this view again. Someday I might even show you the view from the other side.)

On a totally different level, I was blocking a shawl yesterday. I am a somewhat tight knitter so I picked a yarn that’s thicker than the yarn the pattern suggested. Also, I wanted the shawl to be big and warm to comfort the recipient. Well, it turned out much longer than expected and now my apartment is a little crowed.

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I even had to move the coffee table to make room for it and the uttermost ends couldn’t even fit on the carpet and are only slightly blocked. Luckily it’s almost dry now, I’m getting kind of tired of having to jump over it everytime I need something on the other side of the apartment. Ah, the things you do for knitting…

Fall in June

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We have had some some cooler days mixed in with the sun and warmth and I’ve taken to opportunity to finish my Fall colored baby sweater.

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Once I had finished the sleeves it got pretty fun. It started as a different sweater but along the way I changed it and made a version of the Maile sweater by Nikki Van De Car. I’ve used the cables before, in another version of the Maile sweater.

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This time I tried to make it a bigger size and I also skipped the lace pattern at the bottom and made it straight instead of A-shaped.

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The yarn is Silk Blend fino from Manos del Uruguay, color 6263 Rust.

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Hopefully a little baby will be very warm this fall all the while matching the falling leaves.