Hands and feet (foot?)

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Last week I talked about my plans hopes for this week, a week that must have felt like an ocean of time because in retrospect, I had very ambtious plans for this week. I wanted the wristwarmers to be done, and sure, that was a reasonable expectation since I only had half of the second one left. I also hoped to have my MKAL finished and also the socks. Now, the socks, that really wasn’t reasonable at all but you never know with socks, sometimes they fly by like the wind and sometimes they take forever. This time they flew at a reasonable speed and I have one finished and I hope to turn the heel on the second one tonight (that might be ambitious too). the wristwarmers are finished, blocked and ends woven in except one that I’m going to use when sewing on buttons. So, buttons needs to be added before they are completely finished. The MKAL is blocking but I need to weave in the ends on that one (so many ends…). All in all, if you are the-glass-half-filled kind of girl, it’s been a good week and I nearly finished what I had set out to do.

Tomorrow I hope to wind yarn for a new project, I was going to do that tonight but between laundry and a really hard core work out I just don’t have the energy. My back grunted when I bent forward to fill the laundry machine so I think a calm evening knitting on the couch is just what the doctor ordered.

Deliciously decadent

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Earlier this morning I finished my MKAL and now, all I have on the needles is a sock. Somehow it feels very decadent to knit on this sock at home and to not have a bigger project to attend to. Aren’t socks onl for when I leave the house? Sure, there are ends to weave in and projects to block and other useful things to do but I’ll take care of that tomorrow. It’s Saturday and I’m just going to sit here, delicously frivolous and knit on my sock. I’m not sure why a sock feels decadent, it just does. Maybe it’s because I’ve knit a lot of big projects lately that a small one seems frivolous and maybe it’s because the sock is for me and not on a deadline or anything, it’s simply pure pleasure. Is that really allowed? (Hint, yes of course it is!) It makes me think of my grandmother who enjoyed reading a lot, but reading wasn’t considered productive enough so she usually had her knitting close by so that, if she saw someone, anyone, coming through the garden gate, she could put the book down, grab her knitting and pretend she was being useful and productive when the visitor entered the kitchen. (Compare that to today when it’s probably the opposite, reading is considered productive, an entertainment that means something, whereas knitting is sometimes considered unproductive and a little dumb – why knit when you can buy much cheaper clothes in the stores.) I guess my sock is the equivalent to my grandmother’s book, except I’m not going to pick up my tapestry needle if someone comes in the room. Me and my sock are going to have a lovely day!

It might be that I want more socks

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I’m not the only one knitting socks right now. Christine is making socks as well and they look lovely. She uses left-over yarn to make them and that got me thinking about the stash (I often think of my stash, several times a day actually) and how it’s organized. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s divided into color and then weight for the most popular colors, which are red, pink, purple, blue and green which each have their own spots. Those colors are then divided into lace and fingering weight on one shelf and sport, DK and heavier weights on another shelf. Yellow has one shelf in total and so does the black and white span, including grey. Brown has it’s own shelf too. Then I’ve tried to give left-overs their own shelves divided by color but there are some sharing there. Then, in the lower shelves I’ve put all my project bags, yarn kits that I don’t want to split into different shelves, things I’m not sure what to do with and so on. It’s a bit of a mess really, those lower shelves.

I can’t throw away any yarn, you never know when you need two meters of something. Left-over socks would be ideal but due to my system it’s impossible to find yarn in different colors without turning half the stash upside down. Maybe I should re-organize and sort by yarn brand instead, that would be easier when I want to find yarn that could work together for something striped or, as mentioned above, to take care of the left-overs. That sounds kind of awesome. The downside is that it won’t be as artistic as it is now. I like when things are sorted by color. My bookcases are sorted by for example. I guess the only reasonable thing to do is to do a little bit of both. Yarns that I have a lot of, like Drops Muskat, should go together on their own spot on the lower shelves, whereas yarn where I only have a skein or two could be divided by color on the top shelves. Left-overs could be divided by weight instead of color. This might work but it’s a huge task that will take forever and I’m not sure I have the time right now. A pair of left-over socks would be nice though.

Cookies!

Ever since we moved in to our condo there has been something terribly messed up with my baking. I used to bake a lot, complicated things that were delicious. I love baking (even though I often find myself doing it late at night when I’m really way too tired). But in this new kitchen there has been something that doesn’t sit right with me. I thought it was that it is so small. All my former kitchens (except the joke of a kitchen I had while living in France, one would think a sink in the kitchen might be a good idea, right?) have been big enough to accept at least one other person in there with you while you do your magic. This one is not. It’s a kitchen where the rule walk-in-and-back-out has been applied since there is no room to turn. I thought that was what bothered me and I tried not to care since there is wpid-dsc_8745.jpg

It took me longer than I care to admit to realize this wasn’t the problem, or at least not the entire problem. The biggest problem has been that the oven doesn’t understand the concept of temperature. It being an oven one can see that might be a problem. When I turn it on at a certain temperature, the oven does not reach that temperature which means all my cookies and cake are saggy and soft. That is often something you do want in a cake or a cookie but it’s nice when the baked goods hold together long enough for you to lift it from the plate and put it in your mouth. My oven is now perfect for drying apples and baking meringues but don’t you want more out of an oven than that? I know there are things that could be done, I could put a meet thermometor in there to make sure I got the right temperature and there are other things to do as well but the whole debacle just took the fun out of baking and so I stopped. After all, there are many nice coffee shops in my town, all with delicious cookies and cakes.

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After a while though, I started getting cravings and when I found myself walking around hissing “cookies” at regular intervals an dreaming of chewy chocolate chip cookies melting in my mouth, I knew something had to be done. I couldn’t get a new oven but I had to have cookies, soon. Cookies! Luckily I have the best of friends and Agnieszka invited me over for a little baking party. During the Days leading up to it, it was all I could think of (cookies!). We were going to bake cookies and I was going to eat all of them because I needed them, I deserved them, I wanted them.

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In the end I didn’t eat all the cookies. I managed three, then I was full. Agnieszka, lovely person as she is, gave me eight (!) cookies (cookies!) to bring back home with me and now, whenever I’m not in my house, I start loning for those cookies. Cookies! I really have it bad and although the cookie party was a success I think it only enhanced my cravings in the long run. I got a taste of deliciousness and now it’s so utterly obvious I can’t make it come back myself at any time I want.

We have started looking into buying a new oven. It’s the only reasonable thing to do at this point. Cookies!

Any wishes?

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Today it dawned on me, September is close. That means, and I hate to break it to you, but as knitters you’ve probably already thought of it, Christmas is soon here and it’s time to start the Christmas knitting. I have started on a list of Christmas gifts, it’s very empty so far, but as soon as I start searching for patterns it usually clears piece by piece. It would be nice this year to not having to frantically try to finish something on December 21st that was supposed to go in the mail over a week earlier. I won’t cast on just yet but the planning has started. Some things are easy but others are ore difficult. Niece and nephew usually get a sweater each and why should this year be any different? Someone is probably in need of socks (not Agnieszka though, she’s told me as much) or wristwarmers. We’ll see what I come up with. I can’t take too long though, Winter is coming and with it Christmas.

With a hint of irony

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Photos by Agnieszka.

My cardigan is finished! That’s right, my pretty, sweet, lovely and precious little cardigan is done. My white store bought summer cotton cardigan of choice this summer disappeared somewhere in Warsaw and I knew I had to cast on a new one. And so I made a new one, despite it not being in heavy yarn and on big needles. And it only took three weeks during which I also caught up on my MKAL and made a pair of wrist warmers.

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I think the secret is in the sleeves The sleeves in this cardigan are not knit separately and you pretty much don’t know you knit them until they’re done. Also, they are in the beginning and then the rest of the cardigan is basically just like a big shawl, and I am used to knitting shawls. If I would make another one though, I would make these sleeves longer. I prefer them going below the elbows whereas these ones are just at the elbows. Apart from that, I think this cardigan is perfect and I’m sure I will wear it a lot – next summer as it seems fall has already arrived this year.

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The irony of it all is that while I wove in the ends Saturday and blocked it Sunday, Monday my father-in-law called to tell us he had found the one.

Pattern: Hitofude by Hiroko Fukatsu. Yarn: Mandarin Petit from Sandnes, color 1001 Hvit.

Plans for next week

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I know I said I was all about socks now that my white cotton cardigan is finished (blocking as we speak and yes, all ends are woven in, hehe) but I stuck a pair of wristwarmers in between. Wristwarmers in heavy yarn and thick needles that is. (I think you can imagine the content grin on my face right now.) One is finished and I have the other one on the needles. I will concentrate on that and on the sock and on the latest clue in the current MKAL this week and I have high hopes on having all of them finished by next Sunday. We’ll see how that goes.

I’m onto something good

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I have started my socks. It took me a while to think of a pattern, there are a lot of nice sock patterns out there, but in the end I decided on Business Casual, somthing I’ve knit before. There is just something with too much lace on a pair of socks that doesn’t sit right with me. A nice lace pattern feels a bit wasted on socks somehow, but at the same time I have knit nice lace socks and those turned out so pretty. I guess it all depends a bit on how you use socks. I mainly use them for warmth when I’m chilly at home or in someone’s cabin and occasionally when I wear my Wellington boots, and then lace might be nice but it feels like a little too much work for something that will only be hidden in boots on rainy days. I guess it might had been different if I wore handknit socks every day, but I don’t. That doesn’t mean I don’t look forward to wearing these socks, I just don’t find an elaborate lace pattern necessary right now.

The Business Casual pattern though, that is really something. It is the perfect pattern. It works with pretty much every yarn, solid, semi-solid or busy yarn, and it makes the knitting much easier as you can really see the progress. I’m not sure what I think about the yarn yet, dark green next to orange isn’t really my cup of tea, but it might still look good. We’ll see in a few rows.

There it is

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It’s done! I had hoped to have it finished yesterday but underestimated both the lenght of my meeting and the amount of stitches in the last lace repeats. Not only that but the bind off took forever. So many, many stitches. But now it’s done and I am going to bed. Blocking tomorrow. Good night!

You know I’m all about those socks

Still thinking of socks over here. I looked through my stash yesterday, especially the new editions from this summer, and a few things are very clear to me.

1. I need to knit more in pink. The designated spots for pink yarn is overflowed and the pink has now spread to the purple section. We can’t have that. I need to tame that part of the stash and start knitting pink.

2. The socks that I will hopefully cast on this weekend will not be pink. Instead they will be an interesting mixture of green and blue together with brown and red. Or at least that’s how it looks right now.

3. There might be another pair of socks in pipeline and that pair will be pink.

4. The yarn for these next pair of socks has recently been purchased, has not yet arrived and is therefore not yet part of the stash.

5. See #1 again and repeat.

This list is by no means an indication that my stash is getting too big or out of hand. No, it’s perfectly reasonable. Just listen to the song and know that by body we are talking about the yarn body, aka The Stash.

6. Although the pink section is totally perfect as it is, if you do have any suggestions for projects that would look awesome in pink, please let me know.