Spring in Search of Colors

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Lately it seems like this have become more of a gardening blog than a knitting blog. But it is spring and I’m constantly amazed about all the lovely things growing everywhere. This past weekend the lilacs started blooming. If you remember what I’ve said about bird cherries and lilacs, I can tell you that this year was a good year for our shoemaker. I saw the first bird cherry blossom on April 29, very early I must say, and then the temperature dropped and the first lilac around the corner from my building didn’t blossom until this past weekend. The shoemaker could rest for almost three weeks.

I hadn’t realized this before but when I smelled the first lilac I noticed that it’s a smell that I for some reason associate with my dad. I’m not sure why but he did have a birthday in the beginning of June, prime time for lilacs, so that might be it.

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Another reason why there is not much knitting going on in this knitting blog right now is that there is not much knitting going on in my life right now. I keep working and I keep studying for my exam (Friday to Saturday, then classes are over for the semester). If I ever get a chance to do anything else I try to go outside to enjoy the remarkable weather (and the lilacs). But, just because there is no knitting (there isn’t no knitting, that’s absurd, there is just not much knitting, I don’t think I could ever do no knitting) doesn’t mean there hasn’t been any knitting and therefore I’m going to bring knitting back to the knitting blog by showing you some finished knitting.

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Back in February I only knit in dark blue it seemed so to add a little color in my life I cast on this little baby cardigan. Back in February it seemed hugely colorful, I realize that now, in mid-May, it’s a little pale. Especially since the pictures were taken in early March. That landscape compared with the view outside my window right now – the only word that springs to mind is pale.

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But apparently in February I thought this the height of colorfulness (no wonder it didn’t give me as much knitting peace as I thought it would) and I cast on. It all ended up in a small and lovely cardigan for my then unborn nephew. It became his on the babyshower I attended in March. Don’t get me wrong, I totally think this cardigan is lovely, just maybe a little paler than I thought when I cast on. It’s nothing wrong with pale, hey, in a few days I’ll be casting on something in a pale yellow, but pale is perhaps not the correct medicine if you are urging for colors.

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I think I’ve talked so much about colors this spring that I will probably remember it as the Spring in Search of Colors. I think it will be a lesson learned, next year in February when I start craving color, I will go for the neon immeadiately, that will be the only way.

The pattern for the pretty cardigan that is now Eliott’s, is something I’ve made up myself. The yarn is Fin from Du store alpakka, color 221 Håndmalt i grønn/beige toner (handpainted in green/beige) (had I bothered to look up what the yarn company called this colorway, instead of just going with the number, I probably would have realized earlier that this might be a little pale. There is a lesson in there too somewhere, I’m sure).

A mountain

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It was totally unexpected but ran into a mountain today. A mountain of flowers. Isn’t spring marvellous?

In the Dead Hydrangea Bucket

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Last year I got a tomato plant from my friend Emelie. It was an indoor tomato and we had a great time together, men and that tomato plant. It gave me a total of eight delicious tomatoes.

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Since me and that tomato plant had such a good time together, Emelie gave me another tomato plant this year. This plant needed a bigger pot though and I looked through my very limited pot supply and came up with the bucket that the previous owner of this apartment left on the balcony, containing a dead hydrangea, when they moved out in December. We have thrown the hydrangea away but kept the bucket. Now we could make good use of it.

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I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it again, I do not like to get muck on my fingers. I don’t like them dirty of sticky. Dirt sadly has the little side effect of very often being dirty, which means I don’t do dirt. This in itself means that someone else has to handle the dirt. Luckily my mum has a garden and dirt and came to my rescue. I took the small pot with the plant and the bucket and biked over to my mum’s house. She helped me replant the tomato plant and home we went, me and my plant in the bicykle basket. So today, we had the first of what I hope will be many great times (and tomatoes) together, me and that plant.

Duped

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A few weeks ago we went and bought geraniums. They were pink and we felt it was quite important that they were pink. It’s like a thing we have going, a small piece of a bigger picture. There were buds and they were just about to bloom.

 

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Well, I think we must have been duped somehow. Or, the geraniums aren’t comfortable at our place and are showing their discontent. You see, the new flowers are not so much pink as they are white. The previous ones were perhaps not a hot pink but they were a clear and decent pink. These new ones, they are very light pink, and now I’m being nice. I don’t know if the color will deepen or something but right now I’m a little confused.

We’ll see how they turn out, we can always put them in another window (maybe that’s exactly what they want) and get new pink geraniums if this continues. But yeah, duped by a flower, that’s not something you hear about everyday.

 

 

Rummaging

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Ah, the button problem. What to use and are there enough? I’ve looked through my button jar to see what would fit the little slipover I’ve finished. I don’t want something plain, I think the slipover is too cute for that, but I don’t want anything that takes too much focus either. And then we have the question about color. Similar colors to the garment or do I want some contrast? If I do choose contrast, it needs to be contrast that matches. I can’t really have buttons that mismatch, that would ruin the garment. And when I do decide on something we’ll just have to keep hour fingers crossed there are four of them, because four, that’s what I need.

When this is done, twelve out of twelve  buttons are done. I like the sound of that.

Use of many colors

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Lately the weather hasn’t been at all what one would want for mid-May, it’s been rainy and cold. For me that’s okay since all I’m doing (well, not all) in my spare time is study and that would have been just horrendous had it been 20 degrees C and sunny outside. But, with all the rain comes a want of color and therefore I though it appropriate to show you my Lichen.

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In February I was in a badly want of color and when I found this gradient yarn I could not resist. I had to make something from it.

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What came was Lichen by Larissa Brown.

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When I had cast on and knit a few pattern repeats it all resembled a chanterelle, which is not at all bad, but not really what I had in mind. It was rather cute though. Sadly the chanterelle look ended as I made progress and added more repeats.

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The yarn is EQ from Kauni.

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We took the pictures on a rather windy day and when the wind got hold of the shawl it looked like people in bright skirts dancing in a line next to each other, taking one turn each.

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I finished it on the plane ride over to the States in back in March and I don’t know if people liked my knitting or not but the ones around me kept sneaking peeks at me when they thought I wasn’t looking. The lady to my left reached over the two empty chairs between us to touch the end of the shawl that was resting on the seat beside while I was working the last few repeats. She didn’t say anything, she just touched it (as much as I like talking to people, especially about knitting, I was acutally happy that she didn’t say anything. I find it incredibly hard to hear what people say on an airplane, especially if they are seated a few seats from me and none of us are speaking our native language) and I hope she did so because she liked it and though it pretty.

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The only thing with this shawl that requires a little creativity is the usage. If you wrap it around your neck there is a good chance people will think you are playing non-existing type of flower #1 in your Elementary School production of pretty much anything (I highly recommend this pattern though if you are a parent and you have about 48 hours to come up with a flower costume for your seven year old’s school play, just make it big enough to wrap once around the neck and make if in the color of assigned flower). Also, you can’t wear much color beside this shawl or it will just disappear or simply be too much (if that is ever possible). A black dress and put this gently across your arms and behind you, without putting it on the actual shoulders, and I think we have a hit.

A party that requires a black dress, anyone?

Right side of luck

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Look! I was fasst enough! I knew it was a close call, my skein had five metres (5,1 yards) less than the pattern stated but I decided to walk a little on the wild side and wing it. There is usually yarn left, right? Why not this time? I wasn’t as cocky when I was knitting the last few rows and it dawned upon me that I was slowly but steadily running out of yarn. The binding off had more than 500 stitches and I wasn’t sure I would make it until the very end. In this little ball of yarn there is 5,54 metres (about six yards). Lucky for me there were no more rows. Sometimes you deserve som luck, right? This shawl wouldn’t have worked at all if I had been five meters short instead. But now, I’m just a block away from a lovely shawl. Yay!

So, what to do with the five meters that are left?

Fasst!

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My darling little niece narrates everything she does. When she goes on a slide she says “slide down”. When she falls over she says “fall down” and when she finds a step to play on she says “step up”. When she runs somewhere she exclaims “fast” and she is very fast. It’s also a good way of making her go in the right direction, offer to race her, fast. She has a way of lingering on the s-sound for a while before the -t comes and it’s just the cutest thing, like everything she does. Fasst!

I only have eight rows left on my shawl-in-progress but I don’t know if I’ll have enough yarn and as many knitters before me I believe that if I could only knit fast enough I will be finished before I run out of yarn. Now I can hear my niece calling “fast” when I sit down (“sit down”) to knit to make sure I remember to knit faster than then the yarn is out. Fasst! A few rows back I wasn’t going fast enough but I’ve sped up and right now I Believe I’m ahead of the yarn. Unfortunately the last row is over 500 stitches and the binding off is a complex yarn-eating one that will just gluttonize the yarn before I can even blink. The yarn is a rare one too, it resembles minced My Little Ponies and I’ve never seen anything like it before so I can’t substitute it either. The store where I bought is on the other side of the world. There really is no solution to this except knitting faster. Fasst!

Boredom continued

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The routine from last week continues. Work, study, finish knitted projects. This week it’s the buttons’ turn to get some attention. And really, I’ve made progress. Eight out of twelve buttons are attached and I feel very pleased with myself. Tomorrow I think it will be time for the remaining four buttons, if I can find something suitable in my button collection (my button collection is depressingly small. I should really try to do something about that), and also I think I’ll have a go at attaching ladybugs to a sweater. If I have the time, that is, studying is still prioritized and will so be until the exam next week. Last week I read about history, this week the history continues but seems to be mostly about economy and I’m sorry but that’s not really up my alley. But since the weather is also mostly cloudy and rainy I figure it’s okay to be a bit bored. I must admit though that it is hugely satisfactory to see the finished garment, no loose ends, buttons attached, ready to wear. I guess the biggest part of that satisfaction is that it means I get to cast on something new. That’s always fun.

Short notice panic

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So here we are. An invitation in the mail that gives me only a few weeks to knit something very nice to someone close. I thought I had at least the double amount of time, over a month from now, to make a decision, order yarn and cast on, but no. Just a few short weeks. And I really want to finish a few other things before that. So what to do?

First off, I need to decide what to make. Usually a shawl is my go-to knitting for gifts for bigger occasions. They are less work and less yarn requiring than a sweater but usually more elgant and bigger (and more all-year-round) than a hat. Hence, I think I’ll go with a shawl this time too. But which one? A lacy, pretty one for elegant parties or a more sturdy, warm thing to snuggle up with on a chilly evening? What yarn? Easy to wash or more delicate? One color or many colors? So many decisions to make and so little time to make them.

Luckily I usually get a pretty good feeling of what I want to make for someone, and I usually get that feeling quite fast. And until my yarn order arrives I will try to make as much as I can on Project Baby Love so that I can send things off to the different recipients. Twelve buttons but only a few ends left and hopefully I can make that happen before the yarn arrives.

There is just no end to the busy times. But then again, what fun would we have then?