Not too invested

My shawl is slowly progressing. I have an idea about how I want it too look but for the most part I’m making it up as I go along, should I stop here, should I do another one of these, should I change yarn here and so on. I’m not super invested in it though, which I think is a good thing – I won’t be too disappointed if it won’t work out. It started as an experiment and we’ll see what happens. It’s not super bad and I think it might actually work out fine, as far as an experiment goes. I really love that super hot pink though, and it contrasts well with the gray. Yeah, it’ll be fine.

When running out of yarn is a good thing

I’ve mentioned before the list of knitting goals I made for 2018 and today I got to unexpectedly tick off another goal on my list. I started to make this cardigan for Me Made (one thing on the list, a project for a baby) a while back, using stash yarn (another thing on the list, to use stash yarn (granted I get extra points for using light fingering, fingering or sport weight)) and today I finally finished the second sleeve. While finishing that, I also finished the yarn, which I didn’t expect. At first I was a bit worried, what was I going to do, I had a huge hem left to make. Then I thought that I could pick another ball of yarn, in a different color. I didn’t really like that idea since I only have purple and blue left of this yarn and both combinations would look a little too clownish in these shades, if you understand what I mean. Then I got it. I could use left over yarn! That’s another thing on my list, to use up some left overs. I went through the appropriate section of the left over part of the stash and found yarn of the same weight in a grayish sand color. It won’t be the perfect combo (this shade of pink is tricky) but it won’t look too much of a clown combination and the new yarn is soft so it will be nice against Me Made’s neck.

All in all I’m happy with the way things turned out: I got to use all the pink yarn, no left overs there, and I got to actually use some real left overs as well. Now, the only question is wether or not one single project is allowed to tick off multiple things on the list.

The best dough

I’m continuing my baking theme from yesterday. Today I made chocolate chip cookies for the first time in forever. Well, actually, no, I did some in August as well but they didn’t turn out nice at all. These did so I got my revenge.

I love to bake. A few years ago I baked often and a lot, I did complicated recipes and I worked on them till I got it right. I decorated and I made home made cookies for book club meetings and so on. Then a couple of years ago I realized there was something funky with my oven. Cookies and cakes were still sticky, cocholate fondant took more than just a few minutes to be done and so on. It turned out that the oven just wouldn’t heat up, at least not hot enough. I stopped baking, at least till I got a new oven. But then life happened and a new oven was never prioritized.

This summer I got my mojo back. I wanted desperately to bake and I decided to borrow my mother’s oven. I did and we baked and it was great. I’m not as good as I once was but I hope that I one day will be able to bake that often again that I get back to where I was. I’ve lost three years, it’s time to get them back. I won’t be the mother who cooks but I am the mother who knits and I’ll make sure I’ll be the mother who bakes too.

Donut! Do? Yes!

A little yarn package in the mail. It’s donut themed. The project bag makes me happy and the yarn is a lovely blue color. We’ll see what will come out of this.

Please let me have this

Despite what you might have heard, or want to believe, Christmas is coming this year too. I’m not sure I like that statement myself this year (oh, okay, I do. I love Christmas) since I doubt I will have the time to make even a single little Christmas gift, but that doesn’t change the fact. Christmas is coming. I know looking at the gray sky and the rain doesn’t make you think of snowy fields and frosty trees but even if that doesn’t come, Christmas is.

Last year I started on two pairs of Christmas socks but I didn’t finish any of them until January, when it felt a little bit too late. But that’s just one side to it. I was either too late for last Christmas, or very much on time for this Christmas. Right now I feel much better about the latter so that’s what I’m sticking with. I was well on time with my socks for this Christmas. (And yes, they are mine!) I won’t have time to knit much (or anything) for Christmas this year but at least I’ll have my socks.

Pattern: Improvised. Yarn is: Raggi Multi from Järbo Garn. Color: 15141, a Christmas glitter print.

Strategies for a yarn fair

Every fall I try to go to a yarn fair. I simply love it and I’ve become very good at it. I have developed a strategy and I know what I like.

2014  2015  2016  (I was there in 2017 too, I just never blogged about it.)

This year I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to make it, with everything going on. Then, during the summer, I started to get updates of a new yarn fair, not too far from my town. Two of my knitter friends and I talked about it and decided to go and one sunny but windy Saturday in September we went.

It was a lovely fair, and a lot bigger than anyone expected. So many yarn producers and dyers. I did what I usually do at a yarn fair and despite there being so many people I was in and out as quick as one could ever expect with a lot of goodies and I don’t regret a single one, this even without making any research in beforehand. That’s when I realized afterwards how much of a strategy I have developed over the years.

Here is my guide to a successful fair visit, using my strategies.

1. Know what you like – and what you don’t.

I like merino. I can spot it from far away and I’m drawn to it like a moth a to badly protected yarn stash. I don’t like single ply though so this means that I can skip anything that is single ply and not merino.

2. Know your vendors

This is tricky and becomes easier with experience, obviously, but I follow a lot of vendors on Instagram, I hear about independent dyers, I try to keep an ear on the yarn world ground, so to speak. This means that I know what I find interesting and what is not really for me.

3. Decide on a budget

It’s easy to get carried away so decide on a budget before you go, and remember, it’s cool to be able to buy food and pay rent.

4. Be systematic

This was a small marketplace and it was easy (especially for someone as tall as me) to get an overview of the place. I started in one end and worked my way trough, using numer 1 and 2 above. I stopped at the booths that I liked and skipped the ones that weren’t for me.

5. Think it through before you purchase

I have peviously made a guide on how to buy yarn and this applies to yarn fairs as well. You don’t have to have a specific project in mind but try to think of items a specific yarn could be used for. Compare colors, do they complement each other? Also, if the vendor is new to you, pick a skein or two just to try it out, then when you know you like it, you can get more at a coming event.

.6 Go by yourself

Of course it’s more fun to visit a yarn fair with your friends and I don’t say you shouldn’t (I do it all the time) but what I do say is that while at the fair it’s easier to browse by yourself. You might not want to go to the same booths as your friends and it’s neither fun to wait for someone who has trouble deciding nor is it fun to have someone waiting for you while  your are trying to make a super hard and super important decision on wether you need two or three skeins of bright yellow, hand dyed, merino sock yarn. Also, if there is a lot of people, chances are you will lose each other in the crowd so it’s better to pick a time and a place to meet instead of spending way too long searching for your friend who was last seen behind the DK wool in the far right corner. Once you’ve each done your tour around the fair, meet up for coffee and show off your purchases.

Yarn fairs are wonderful! These are my strategies and they have worked wonders for me so far. Of course there are other ways to work a yarn fair but this is how I do it.

I’m not organized but at least I’m a knitter

I am not one of those people who plan ahead and put my winter clothes in marked boxes in the attic in April and switch them with summer clothes in October. I wish I was but I’m not. Perhaps if it  was easier, if circumstances were different, I’d do that. As it is, all winter coats and hats and mittens are in the hallway all year round. It’s not a good system, let me tell you, because once the cold weather comes I can never find mitts, mittens and so on. At least not two of each. The other day I found one yellow mitt and one purple. They just simply wouldn’t go together.

Then I remembered! I had a pair of unused mitts that I made a year ago for an acquaintance. Then I realized she wouldn’t want them and I’m not the one to knit for someone who is not going to appreciate it, so I kept them and figured I would just give them so someone else. I haven’t though which turned out to be lucky. Instead of looking through the entire appartment (and who has the time to do that before you leave the house?) I just picked these up and off I went, as warm as ever. It’s not really my color but the pattern is beautiful and the yarn is lovely and I will just keep wearing them till I either find two yellow or two purple mitts or I finish the blue version if these mitts that I started over a year ago but never finished – which ever comes first.

Most likely I will lose one of these mitts before any of that happens, but hopefully by then I have made myself (or someone) another pair. Either way is good.