A little rotation is of need

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I told you earlier about how I was in need of emergency knitting, yarn and a pattern that where quick and easy and that I could make to stock up on knitted gifts. Well, so I have except that it also made me give away much more knitting that I usually do. This means that out of fours pairs of simple wristwarmers, I have given away three so far and the fourth pair already has a designed receiver. These four pairs, all of them finished in March (for a total of 11 finished projects in March – 11!) were everything I could have hoped for, quick, easy and fun and great as a small gift to someone.

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A problem has now appeared though. I’m in need of a small project because my new shawl is a little too complicated to bring with me and there are no new babies in sight, I have already made birthday gifts and I don’t want this new project to take over too much, the shawl is still the main Project and I have plenty more shawls to knit when that’s done. A new MKAL starts tomorrow and I just want something quick and easy to make. That’s where these wristwarmers should come in the picture but after making six pairs in three months – I’m done with them for now. I want something new.

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Don’t get me wrong, I still like the pattern and the ones I’ve already made a lot but I need something new. I need to be a little challenged. Not too much, they are still supposed to be quick and easy, but they also need to be something else. And I can’t really see the harm in having rotating go-to patterns for when I stock up on gifts. So off I go in search for something new but I will be back, this pattern is too good to give up on for good.

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Pattern: Winter wrist warmers by Kim Sanborns. Yarn: Drops Karisma from Garnstudio, colors 48 wine red, 30 light denim blue, 74 lavender and 13 cerise.

Spellbound

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As promised – pink in March. I’ve been wanting to try this pattern for quite some time now but it was impossible to find the right yarn and right amount. Nothing in my stash was right, I had high hopes for a red yarn but it wasn’t not enough. When Sharelle went to the states though, I had a plan for my yarn purchases and, among others, I ordered three skeins of pink sport weight. On Monday evening they were ready to come out of the freezer and yesterday I cast on. The pattern is lovely but terribly complicated in the sense that I have to pay close attention all the time so I don’t mess up. This is obviously not the ideal grab-and-run-out-the-door knitting but very good sit-on-the-couch knitting. I think it will keep on being interesting for quite some time but I’m also sure this is not something I can whip up no time. If the shawl is done by the end of April I’m pleased and it will work so well with May. I’m even knitting bobbles and I appreciate them (I usually don’t) so this pattern has really cast a spell on me.

Toad of Toad Hall

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A lot of people love spring. They love it, they want it, they crave it. Me, I do like spring but not in the way other people do. I don’t want spring to start January 2nd and I keep in mind that what people mean when they talk about spring and what they actually get is not necessarily the same thing. Where I live you don’t get leaves on the trees until very late April, if you’re lucky, but probably more likely early to mid-May. We do have some early flowers now – snowdrops and eranthis hyemalis and I did indeed see some croci the other day – but other than that it looks like the picture above (and that’s on a sunny day and I couldn’t even find a single coltsfoot even though I kept looking). I doubt this is what people mean when they say they love spring. I don’t love spring. I love the light and I love the month of May (despite that May is usually my busiest month and I rarely get a chance to enjoy the greenery as much as I want), I love bird cherries and lilacs and walking around with only a light coat on and all of that could be called spring but that’s not now. This is still spring though. Brown, a little ugly. In need of color. That’s why pink is such a good color for February and March knitting projects.

When I see pictures like the one above, of a brown river surrounded by yellow grass, I quite expect to find Mole and Rat out on a walk back to Rat’s house or perhaps Toad waterskiing on the river while Badger looks at him sternly. It’s what I imagine the setting for The Wind in the Willows to look like just after winter is over when Mole loses patience with his spring cleaning. I loved that book when I was a kid and I think a part of my fascination of holly comes from that. When I think of Mole and Rat it’s much easier to appreciate the brown river with its yellow grass. And soon enough it will be green again and because of this yellow and brown I will appreciate the green so much more. I think it might be time to re-read Kenneth Grahame…

Bubblegum shawl

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My shawl is finished and it’s lovely! The yarn is beautiful and perfect for spring and the pattern is elegant. It’s supposed to be in garter stitch but I liked the colors better in stockinette even though that makes it curl a bit in the edges. I guess I have to reblock it every once in a while.

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It turned out bigger than I had expected and I only had eight metres of yarn left, that’s only two grams. Perfect use of an entire skein of fingering weight yarn. I was worried the yarn would be too busy for the pattern but it turned out very well.

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The pattern kept being interesting all the time and was surprisingly quick. I kept on knitting and had it finished just before midnight on Saturday. I blocked it in the morning and I could wear it to Easter lunch yesterday. I felt very pretty and since spring is still in that boring state of sunny days but absolutely no greenery, it’s nice to cheer up the environment with some bubblegum colors.

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One feels a little out of place wearing lots of colors in March but nothing in this shawl will feel out of the place come June. In fact, it might be the perfect camouflage given the right flower field.

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I think I will try to brighten up the office this week, people might not be used to this much color so it’s good to help them prepare for brigther times. Or, rather, it’s just because I think it’s pretty.

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Pattern: Antarktis by Janina Kallio. Yarn from Viola Schavon. Mods: knit in stockinette stitch instead of garter stitch.

 

Easter Mitts

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Happy Easter! It’s been a lovely day, everything has been in Easter theme. We had a great lunch at my mother’s together with Julle’s parents.

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We even had yellow desert – lemon curd – and had yellow earrings. I wore my shawl and we had chocolate sheep, eggs and bunnies.

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I must say I very much like the mixture of Polish and Swedish traditions. These are Easter palmtrees, so beautiful and lovely. I got some of my own too and they are wonderful. I also got Polish tea and apple chips (delicious!), which I had after my workout this evening.

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Even my knitting is very Easter-y, yellow and soft. I really like this yarn and it goes so well with the table cloth that my great aunt Vera made. I will wear these wristwarmers at other times than just Easter though. I can’t walk around with a table cloth in my arms all the time, that would be weird.

I told you I would knit

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I have been knitting like a maniac all evening because for some reason it felt very important to finish the bonbon colored shawl tonight. Now it is finished and I am very, very tired. Blocking first thing in the morning and I might just be able to wear it for Easter lunch at my mother’s. But first, sleep. Good night!

Buttons again

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I’ve sewn beads. I don’t like to sew beads but I’ve done it anyway. It took forever. (Shawls! Shawls don’t require buttons. Let’s knit shawls!) It took forever but now it’s done. It’s done and I don’t have to do it again in a long time. Now, let’s move on to more interesting stuff.

Colorful Easter

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Easter break is here! I celebrated by wearing yellow feathers in my hair to work and my only yellow shawl. It felt very suitable. I also helped a friend understand her knitting pattern and discussed knitting and crochet with my hairdresser and basically, the day has been about knitting. Except for workout, there was no knitting there unless you count the wristwarmers I’m making for my Sh’bam trainer. I didn’t knit during class though, dancing is one activity that I have so far failed to combine with knitting. Biking in another one (unless you mean an indoor trainer bike). I have also decided on a knitting plan for this Easter, I need some structure, otherwise nothing will get done. First of all, the weekend will be all about colors. I mean, just look at the shawl above (I frogged the first attempt because I didn’t like it in garter stitch and did a new version in stockinette stitch). I will make an effort to finish this but first I will catch up on the year long MKAL that has a new clue released the first of every month. I haven’t started on the clue for March yet so it’s about time. Second I will try to sew buttons to the purple and the sweater once they are blocked, it’s incredible how long it takes for cotton to dry. So, buttons, MKAL, colorful shawl and then, if I have time, a pair of wristwarmers (for me this time) and after that I will pick up a UFO again. That’s my plan, it’s all about colors and I think it will be great. I hope that by Monday evening I have a little pile of finished things and some on blocking while I knit away on my UFO. It should be possible.

Countdown

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I’m counting down the hours till I get my Easter break and my very much deserved knitting time. I’m a bad planner which means all my new delicious yarn won’t come out of the freezer (I put all my new purchases there for a week, it has nothing to do with the yarn store, it’s the cheapest insurance I can get for my stash) until after Easter, which is obviously too late for Easter knitting. I have other yarn though. Lots of it in fact so I will manage. Four days of knitting! Soon, oh, so soon. I have a very unrealistic idea on how much I will be able to knit, based on the fact that three years ago I cast on a baby sweater on the morning of Good Friday and it was done by the evening. After that I think anything is possible, especially during Easter. We’ll see what I end up with.