Just a sneak peak of my latest MKAL. It’s a pair of socks, knit from the toe up. Yes, that toe is a sparkly toe. o far I like this MKAL, I’ve never knit socks from the toe up before so this is quite new. I reckon it will be even more interesting when we come to the gusset and heel flap.
With the risk of being redundant and write a blog post about something I’ve already shared my thoughts on (for the record I want to add that I did finish all the projects shown in that blog post) I just have to talk a bit more about why I keep multiple knitting projects. A few days ago the question rose again amongst the non-knitters – why keep multiple projects on the same time? I answered like I usually do that it’s a hobby and something I do for me in my spare time and therefore I get to do it on my own terms which sometimes (most times) mean multiple projects on the go. I also answered that a
n addiction slightly biased attitude towards yarn is much healthier than a lot of other addictions. Also, yarn might be expensive but if you look upon how many hours of fun you get with each skein of yarn compared to, I’d say, most other hobbies on the more pricey side, it’s actually quite cheap.
I have, as mentioned above, discussed before why I have many projects going on at the same time but yesterday I found yet another reason. I was catching a train late in the afternoon and just before leaving home I finished my blue shawl. I love knitting on the train so I had to quickly find a new knitting. That wasn’t a problem, I have a baby cardigan on the needles, I could just pick up my project bag and go. Now, what if I hadn’t had that option, what would I have done? Well, I would have had to quickly come up with a new project, someting that didn’t really need a pattern because I wouldn’t have time to find notions, like stitch markers and scrap yarn, in a hurry. Socks would have been a good option, I’ve knit enough socks that I can churn out a decent pair of socks even without a pattern. For that I would need yarn. I do have a lot of yarn but can I just grab a yarn ball in a hurry? Most of my yarn is still in skeins. Second, the yarn ball would have had to be in the right weight. These are slight obstacles but manageable and would only slow me down a minute or so if I think fast (and is really inspired). The really hard part would have been knitting needles. I do not have a good system for knitting needles. Ever since we moved in here they have just been in a small moving box in no order what so ever, or hidden in different project bags. I don’t see a solution either, I just can’t figure out a way to keep them, a way that is efficient and helps me easily find what I’m looking for. Right now, finding five dpns in a hurry, preferably in the same size, is a challenge. That would have slowed me down for several minutes. Then yarn and needles would have had to be put in a project bag, or any kind of bag, and all in all it’s a good chance I would have missed my train or, if I had cought the train, I would have find out that I had tre dpns in size 2,5 mm and two in size 2,75. Or, if all needles were the same size, that my gauge was totally off and I needed a different size altogether. Sure, if I was a more organized knitter, who kept yarn prepared for moments like this and needles in a certain place, this would work out easily but then again, if I was a Knitter prepared for these situations with, like a prepped project bag just to grab (to be really sure everything would work out I would have had to also swatch when I prepared the project bags), wouldn’t that be almost the same as to have multiple projects going on? The only differece would have been if I had cast on the actual project or not and that difference is so tiny I can’t really see that it matter. Therefore, I like my system, I grab the next project bag and off I go. That’s, also, why I keep multiple projects.
The blue knitting continues, slowly but steadily. The rows are not that long but with all the beads it takes a long time to knit. Still, I hope to finish during the weekend. It’s been a fun knit but I think it’s time to move on. Knitting is only as interesting as the next knit and I think me and the blue knitting has travelled well together but it’s time to say good bye, it’s time for it to be finished. That’s the goal for this weekend.
Friends are the best and a knitter should have both knitters and non-knitters as friends. Non-knitters make for great recipients of knitted gifts and knitters, well, let’s just say that they understand that you are sometimes overcome by a deep desire to discuss the pros and cons of plied yarn versus singles. Knitters are also intrigued when you have bought new yarn and they are also willing to share the shipping costs with you on a joint yarn order. And, most of all, knitters have stashes.
After my unfortunate yarn trouble the other day I couldn’t wait to tell my closest knitter, Jenny. We spend at least six hours a day in each other’s company so we know most about each other’s knitting; habits, projects – finished and unfinished-, mistakes – and their solutions-, and yarn. After we had looked thoroughly at my yarn, the mistaken main color, the contrasting colors and other yarn on the yarn company’s website, we agreed that a warm brown would be a good main color for this project, the colorway Coffee beans to be more exact, and lo and behold, Jenny had a skein of that exact yarn in her stash. Today she brought it with her and we examined my contrasting colors together with this aspiring main color, we let it marinate for a few hours and by the end of the day it was clear that I will be able to start this KAL on Tuesday after all. That is nothing but pure knitterly kindness. I might also have seduced Jenny into start thinking of making this same project too. And that’s one of the many reasons what knitter friends are for.
Look at that. 39 pairs of sweet little bobbins prepared with green thread. 39 pairs, that’s 70 bobbins that’s I’ve wound. I’ve never made a lace with that many bobbins before.
They look like something on an old typewriter or notes on a note sheet. It looks very neat and it didn’t take too long to do it. Now, let’s hope the lace I’m going to make will be just as easy and that it will be worth it.
This isn’t my yarn year. It really isn’t. First it was that super ugly brown-yellowish yarn that I ordered back in January (I thought it was apple green) and then it was missing out on all the MKAL:s and when I finally thought I was back, it was the green that made everything look dirty and now, now I was absolutely sure I was back in the game. I ordered my yarn, it was shipped much earlier than expected and I thought this was my time, finally. No more white shawls, just knitting for fun. Today my yarn arrived and I was super excited, yarn in the mail, could it be better? Well, it turns out it could have been. I have ordered a yarn kit with a main color and eight contrasting colors. I ordered the main color in a deep, autumn-y red. What I got was the same beige white that I tried in that green shawl mentioned above. I also got a little yarn sample in the color of my choice of main color. This is disappointing, of course it is. I don’t want more of that beige white. It’s a nice color, sure, but it’s not what I wanted and I already have one skein. I liked my choice of main color (even though I realize now that it might not have worked anyway, it was too dark). Sure, I can send back the one I got and get my main color instead, but really, what’s the point? It will take at least a week for my yarn to go back to the US and it will take at least a week for the store to send me a new skein. The KAL starts September 1 and my yarn won’t be here in time and I really wanted to be on top of this. I don’t want to just keep the yarn and go with it either, I already have an un-used skein of yarn in that color and I don’t want another one and even though this beige white might work with my contrasting colors, it won’t become the shawl I was hoping for. I’m disappointed, mostly because shipping takes so long. Everyone makes mistakes, that’s nothing to argue about, but with shipping this will take forever to sort out. No KAL cast on on September 1, that’s for sure, and that’s what disappoints me the most, unless I resign and decide that the white beige will be amazing. I don’t know, it’s probably best if I go to sleep and think about it in the morning instead because right now I can see no satisfying solution. Sleep might help, I’m going to at least try it.
Today has been yet another beautiful day and we spent it taking pictures of knitted things. Better to make sure we do it now while the weather is nice and the days are long than later in the year when it’s basically just gray outside. To take picture of knitted stuff you need to prepare. You need to find a big lawn that you can use undisturbed. You need to find a good spot to put your knitting, you need a camera, someone to handle the camera and… apparently a ladder. This particular piece of knitting is huge (I can’t wait to show it to you but the pictures need to be processed first) and the only solution was a ladder. Luckily this particular lawn comes with a house that has a garage where you can find pretty much anything. That might have been one of the reasons we picked this lawn. It also comes with food, another great aspect.
When you’ve found all the things listed above and you’ve displayed your piece of knitting in a way that is satisfactory to you, let your favorite photographer work her/his magic, in this case by adjusting the white balance, while you sit down in a comfortable chair in the sun by a birch tree (it doesn’t have to be a birch tree, or a tree at all, come to think of it) and knit.
When the photographer claims that s/he’s done and has photographed the knitted piece from every possible angle, don’t believe her/him but look stern and ask for some more pictures, preferably with you yourself posing with your piece of knitting. Then go on for some more (this part is sadly not compatible with knitting itself as you need to hold your finished object while posing) until you think you’ve got all you need and some more. Fold your finished object, store it, or whatever you intended to do with it, while your photographer packs up her/his equipment and then go back to your chair in the sun by the birch tree and knit, you’ve earned it.
About a week ago I cast on a new knitting. It will be a shawl in a soft blue merino yarn and I want it to be perfect. It’s for someone who has helped me a lot, someone who I have the deepest respect for, someone who knows about color and fabric and isn’t afraid to tell. With this shawl I want to say thank you and I want it be a token, even if it’s not even close to enough, of my gratitude and I want this shawl to be loved and appreciated and worn and therefore it needs to be perfect. This someone made me something really special which will always be remembered throughout my entire life and I want to give something, however small, back.
So, perfect is what I’m aiming for. For it to be perfect I had to find the perfect yarn in the perfect color. That was sort of easy. Malabrigo sock in colorway Azules was the obvious answer. Then I went searching for patterns. That was a little more difficult but I managed without to much effort. I bought the pattern and realized it called for beads. I Went into my bead stash and dug out two kinds of blue beads. Neither of them was perfect. I thought that if I just try them out it will be fine. I picked the one I thought closest to my yarn and proceeded. I started knitting, using the beads but it didn’t feel right. I Went online and searched for better beads and I found them, or so I thought. Turns out I needed eight different types of blue beads to find the right ones. While I waited for the beads to arrive, I put my knitting aside and knit on something else. Yesterday the beads arrived.
Five of the eight types of beads turned out to be wrong immeadiately and I had only three choices left. I sought knitterly advice and expertise and discussed which ones would be the best, the perfect bead. I knew I wanted the beads to highlight but not to take over and therefore it had to be elegant but discrete.
The first contestant, first one from the left, was decided to be a little boring. Not enough glow. Very pretty indeed but a little boring. I still find it kind of elegant though.
The second contestant seemed good at first but was later, after a test run they turned out to be too dark. Just, the wrong shade of blue, which was a little unexpected.
The third contestant I initially thought too light and too, I don’t know, disco? It didn’t feel elegant enough. Too much popsicles and beach walks if you get what I mean (it’s totally okay if you don’t, people rarely do when I try to explain these things).
Turned out I was wrong. The disco popsicle ones were perfect for my project. The same shade of blue, not showing themselves too much but instead making the whole thing pop. I think this will be really good.