Sleep is the new pink

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I did it. I don’t know how but I did. It was probably a bad a idea, no, let me rephrase that, it was definitely a bad idea but now it’s done. As usual Agnieszka was right and I shouldn’t have pushed myself but well, as soon as I noticed was half way through on November 15, I just had to go on. It’s been a bit of pain but well, here we are. I’ve finished six projects, two shawls and four pairs of wristwarmers, all of it gifts except one of the shawls. Now I have some serious blocking and finishing left.

The goal for December is to sleep more than in November.

If you see it, let me know

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This is a sad story about about yarn and a lost brain. Or perhaps the other way around. Yesterday a new MKAL started at my LYS (local yarn store). Now I know I said I don’t need more yarn but I wanted the right yarn for the project so on Friday afternoon I went to said LYS to pick up yarn for the project (it was on sale). I had a lot of bags to carry and I tried to go on quickly with my errands. After the yarn store I went by Agnieszka’s to give her a well-deserved cupcake and after that I went on to my favorite coffee shop to get some pastries for a get-together that same evening. I left the coffee shop and 200 meters further down the side walk I noticed that my yarn bag was missing. I looked on the street but couldn’t see it so I went back to the coffee shop to, where I was sure I had left it. I was sure because I had actually looked for it while standing there and I can swear that I saw the plastic bag in my hand.

I went back and asked the staff if they had found a small bag of yarn. I had to repeat myself because they didn’t understand me and then it happened. They giggled. They giggled at the thought of someone carrying yarn and assured me they hadn’t seen anything of the like. I left, feeling sad at being laughed at and devastated that my yarn was gone. I hoped I had left it at Agnieszka’s (I know I had it when I was there) but she couldn’t find it either.

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When I got home I found yarn in my mailbox. Not the missing yarn but other yarn that I had ordered. It’s very, very pretty yarn and I love it very much but I still can’t get over the fact that I lost yarn on my way home from the yarn store – I’m not sure where my brain is these days but as long as I have a functioning body I guess I should consider myself happy – and that my yarn habit was laughed at.

The next morning I went back to the coffee shop but they still hadn’t found any yarn and to fix it all, especially the feeling of loss, I went back to the yarn store and got more yarn. So, the sum of the yarn is constant, it just turned out a little more expensive than I thought. Now I will be careful with my purchases until I know my brain is working properly again, aparently I can’t be trusted around yarn right now.

Bright lights in November

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Every other year in November there is a light festival in my town. It really brightens up the dark on an otherwise often dark and rainy month. Some years have been excellent lightwise and some has been… not so good. This year the cathedral was the best installation where the towers were lit up in different colors. It has really been a sight this month and I’ve seen it almost every day. It’s been both scary and pretty. The bright red lights have been like evil eyes searching for you while other colors have been like little friends twinkling at you.

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Another good one was this one. It’s bright, it’s light and it’s pretty. It caught you and kept you. It had something to do with busy people, if I remember correctly, and it spoke to me. Bright lights are key when we enter the last month of the year, to keep us going till winter solstice. November lights and Christmas lights. Maybe we should invent February lights as well?

I really should cast on another one, like, right now

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This fall has seen the arrival of two new little friends and I tried to make them open to the wonders of woollies right from the beginning. (I actaully haven’t seen any of them wearing their woollies yet but I’m sure that’s just a question of time, the sweaters might be too big yet. If the babies themselves doesn’t like their woollies (now, why wouldn’t they?) they can always use them as dolls’ clothes when they get older).

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I started with a green sweater. I had already decided very early on that I would go for DK weight. I’m all for fast projects this fall. I had some trouble finding a DK sweater pattern for a baby but in the end I did find a very pretty and useful one.

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It was almost too quick a knit since I made the smallest size. Once I had finished the yoke and was ready to knit the body, the body was already finished. I just blinked and there it was. So weird. I really should make each friend another one for their first birthday, just to get a chance to actually get into the project before it’s done. On the other hand, by next year I will probably have found some other delicious project instead.

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Since I made the smallest size I got a lot of left over yarn. So I got cheap. I’m not proud of it but it’s what happened.

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For sweater number two I opted for a cheaper yarn that I had in my stash. I could have just used the leftover green but the recipient’s mother prefers red over green and since she is my friend and she’s the one who is going too look at the recipient in this sweater, I let her preferences guide me.

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Getting cheap is not always the cheapest alternative and I got fairly punished for it. First I had to buy another ball of yarn because I ran out mid-sleeve.

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Then I thought I was clever and started alternating balls to not show the difference in dye lots. I just forgot that a baby sleeve is not that big and it took me the entire sleeve of alternating balls Before the the first ball was finished. It was fiddly to say the least.

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(I want to add that there is nothing wrong with this yarn, nothing at all, and I’ve knit in it before with excellent result. It’s just that my plan was something else from the beginning and I opted for a cheaper yarn.)

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It’s obvious the knitting goddess wanted me to learn a lesson here. On the other hand, I still think my decision not to use the quite expensive yarn was… economic… and made sense. The red sweater is for a baby that I will meet quite often, I hope, and I will probably knit more in the years to come, this will most likely not be my only contribution to the wardrobe.

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Now the baby doesn’t have to worry about getting this particular cardigan dirty and can spit up as much as necessary. It’s machine washable and baby won’t be able to wear it for that long anyway. These are all very valid points.

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I still feel bad about being cheap though.

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Pattern: Coming Home Cardigan by Aimee Alexander. Yarn for green cardigan: Comfy DK from Martin’s Lab, color Bull’s Eye. Yarn for red cardigan: Drops Lima from Garnstudio, color 3609 red. No mods.

Happy body, happy knitting

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Another one off the needles. Today I took a break from studying in the evening. It was necessary since yesterday I feel asleep while studying and lost almost an hour so today I took a break and went to the gym and then I sat on my couch knitting without feeling bad about it at all. The result was a very happy body, endorphines flying all over the place, and one project blocking and another one bound off. It was definitely necessary. Tomorrow I’ll hopefully start a new book and pick up a new project. But let’s worry about that tomorrow.

A little like the candy

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So, I mentioned that I don’t need more yarn. And that it still true but that doesn’t mean I don’t want more yarn. I do. I really do. Life without yarn is boring. It’s exciting, a surprise and something you can play with, like a kinder surprise. The surprise is usually about what it ends up being when I’m finished with it but sometimes the yarn itself is the surprise. That’s what happened to me today when a dear co-worker came by my office with a yarn surprise. They will turn into a little shawlette and it will be super cute.

Time to dive the stash

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I have sorted out some knitting today. Vowen in ends (!), sewn labels and bound off my shawl. Not only that but we have also taken pictures of finished objects. I was looking for some buttons and ended up in my yarn stash and I have to tell, and this is big for me, I do not need more yarn. I might want more and I might need something for a certain project but generally I do not NEED more yarn. I have a lot of yarn and even though I don’t believe in diets I’m almost seriously contemplating a yarn diet. The stash is growing and it has almost outgrown its’ designated storage space. The pinks flooded a while ago and now the blues and the greens are also out of control, not to mention the whites and grays. Something must be done.

The Christmas knitting is almost wrapped up (pun intended, or ironi, since I haven’t actually wrapped a single gift yet) and then I’m going into the stash.

We’re everywhere

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One (of the many) thing(s) that I love about knittng is that you can find knitting allies pretty much everywhere. You never know who will look at you project bag and reveal that they also love knitting. It’s the best ice-breaker I know. I’ve met allies on the train, on almost every airplane I’ve ever entered, at the DMV, through the Internet and in person, in waiting rooms and on the street, at the office and at parties. I was once at a Starbucks in Japan, sitting alone at a table happily knitting away when I woman came up to me a and told me that she also knit and it was like finding a long lost friend even though we had never seen each other before. We didn’t really have a spoken language in common but we understood each other perfectly through the language of knitting.

I have gotten friends pretty much everywhere due to knitting and today it happened again. I took my car to the mechanic to change to winter tires (few things make me feel so much like an adult as taking the car to the mechanic). While he worked on the tires, and I believe very much in not looking over someone’s shoulder while they work (it stems from my days as a cleaner and I always disliked when someone stayed in their office while I tried to clean it), I sat down to knit (a wristwarmer). When the mechanic was done he saw me knitting and expressed interest in it. He asked if I make sweaters and hats too and I showed him the hat I was wearing. He told be it was very pretty and he was very impressed by it and we had a moment of mutal understanding, craftsman to crafts(wo)man.

It’s a craft that builds bridges and I simply love it!

Piling up

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The worst thing about being stuck under a pile of books at the gym during NaKnitMo is that all the projects where the knitting is already finished, are sadly neglected. Why waste time weaving in ends when I can knit? Stitches that I need badly for my stitch count. Luckily I only have some buttons left, and some labels to sew, and that shouldn’t take too long, right? Well, it still have to wait, books, workout and stitches are my three top priorities. Come to think of it, that’s usually my top priorities and weaving in ends has so far never been a priority. I doubt it ever will.