Another year is over. A year that changed life completely in many ways. A little baby was born, studies were more or less finished and the mood swings constant. We had the hottest summer in forever and not enough knitting but surprisingly enough some crochet. There’s been tears and joy and confusion and proud moments. I have mixed feelings about 2018 and I’m not sure I have very high expectations for 2019 either but we’ll see. Maybe I’ll be surprised.
If 2018 was a year of preparations, 2019 will be the year of when all will be tested. New jobs, new roles. I’m not saying I think it will be perfect and I don’t claim to be either, just good enough to be happy and perhaps make others happy too. I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions and I’m not making one this year either but if there is anything, I will try to have a motto for next year: good enough. I’m marching on to the beat I drum.
And also I’ll try to actually use gift certificates before they expire.
Pattern: Losely based on Raggsockar med bumeranghäl from Järbo Garn. Yarn: Raggi from Järbo Garn, color 15141. Mods: in the end I think I only kept the amount of stitches to cast on. I played around with a heel flap and just took it from there.
The December shipment of my yarn club was a really nice green one. I love that they didn’t go too Christmas-y on the yarn color but still embraced the holiday spirit by making the yarn package like a Christmas present. I haven’t tried the tea yet and I am a little skeptical towards the skin product (I have dry skin, I’m not sure the product will be efficient) but I really like the yarn. The color is great and works well all around the year.
This yarn club is really nice. This is the third shipment and I like the concept – tea, skin product and yarn in nature inspired colors. I like how the colors are not the obvious ones when one thinks of nature, but a little artful. The dyer really sees nature, if you get what I’m saying. October was pink, inspired by michelmas daisy and November was yellow, inspired by hawthorn. I’m already curious about January!
And here it is. My shawl. The huge one that I have had around since July, when I first started planning this design more seriously. Then I had it with me at various occasions during the summer, in September, in October, in November I was busy with other projects but in December I got back to it.
It actually turned out pretty much as I had hoped but a lot bigger. A lot a lot. It started as a wish to try out the pink lace yarn and then I had some grey yarn that I figured would go with it. I ran out of the grey yarn in the middle of the second to last lace section and thought I had to much pink yarn left to stop there. Luckily I had another gray ball and figured I could finish that lace section and make another garter section and then a last lace section and bind of in the pink yarn.
The plan almost worked. I had hoped to make 26 rows of the last lace section, as the other sections, but the yarn only lasted for 20 rows. I had also hoped to maybe make a little lace edge with the pink yarn but I only had enough yarn left to bind off.
Despite that I like how it turned out. As mentioned, it became a bigger than expected, and now I also understand why it felt like I would never finish it, it wasn’t that I don’t have as much knitting time as I’m use to but that the last rows where over 600 stitches long.
Now I just have to find an opportunity to wear it.
I still can’t get over the size of this shawl. It’s huge! It’s crescent shaped and Julle took out his yardstick to measure it. The top edge is 320 centimeters and it’s 80 centimeters from the top to the bottom edge at the widest point. I’m saying it again, huge! Julle is also fascinated by this blanket of a shawl and examined it closely, stating that it’s “close between the stitches”, comparing the stockinette part to the lace part. I can’t say that he’s wrong, if nothing else, it’s a lot of stitches. Almost three full yarn balls, I should have understood they would show somewhere. I’ve worn it and I think it might work, as long as I don’t have to lift my arms too high.
After this shawl, I’m thinking any project will feel like a dish cloth in comparison.
I finished the shawl a little earlier than expected, partly due to unexpected knitting time over Christmas and partly because I ran out of yarn. Now I totally understand why this shawl took forever, it’s huge, and by huge I mean huge. Gigantic! I’ve never knit such a huge shawl before, besides the Princess shawl but that was intentionally. This was not and it simply got out of hand. I used up all the grey yarn, two balls, and all the pink except just under five meters. I think I can live with that.
Blocking took forever and I used my blocking wires. I think I might need new ones though, these are a little too bendy. Also, I wonder when I might need such a big shawl…?
I couldn’t stop myself. I needed a Christmas themed knitting. I picked some left overs from last year’s Christmas socks and started knitting, loosely following a pattern. It’s been really nice to use some bigger needles, or at least some heavier yarn. Things move forward so fast, it’s incredible. It really gives me some perspective and it will be a long time before I pick up another lace weight project again. Also, this yarn is the perfect Christmas yarn, I think, without being too obvious. It’s white, it’s red, it’s green and it’s glittery, what more could you ask for? It’s just as much a winter yarn as a Christmas yarn and I really like it.
I might need to get some more perspective, don’t you think?
A calm day. I love Christmas day, it’s calm and cozy and you just sit around in your sweat pants and eating Christmas candies and cookies and play with your gifts. I love all my Christmas gifts and I really like getting useful things. This year I got tea, leather gloves and a pillow among many other nice things, things that are all really great. (As a side note, when I was in high school I had a newly married History teacher who, when asked, told us he was giving his wife a new pillow for Christmas and we thought it the most boring gift ever. Now I’ve got a pillow myself from my partner and I love it! It’s not boring at all, it means great sleep and I’m a big fan of that. Things really do change when you get older.)
As much as I love useful things though, I also like getting something that I can play with on Christmas day. Just like kids, grown ups like that too, things that are only for fun. A jigsaw puzzle for example, something to do to relax. (A jigsaw puzzle also has the advantage to be something that the entire family can do together.) This year’s Christmas day toy was this lovely embroidery called The Turtledoves. It’s cute, it’s Icelandic, it’s wool and the perfect size, not too big and not too much of a commitment.
Now it’s time to hit the hay, or my new pillow in this case. My neck will be so happy!
The day before Christmas. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and it’s when everything starts. I love the days before Christmas, there is just so much anticipation in the air, you know it’s coming and you have something to look forward to. This evening is probably the best, especially if everything is done and you can just sit down and relax and think about the wonders to come. This year I have lowered any standards ever thought of, we have advent decorations but that’s it. Me Made has started to move forward so it wouldn’t work out with a tree anyway and I think I’m fine with it. I’ll spend evenings with other people who has trees instead.
There are three things I have made sure to do though. I have baked gingerbread with my mum and saffron truffles, a tradition of mine. And I’m watching my favorite Christmas movie – The Miracle on 34th Street – the one from the 90’s. I love that movie, it’s just so lovely and Mara Wilson is adorable in every way. It’s a bit sad though but, as a Christmas movie should, it ends well. I don’t like watching Christmas movies after Christmas, I want the anticipation before, since most Christmas movies is set before Christmas and rarely after. That’s why tonight is my last chance.
Tomorrow it all begins and I look forward to it. It will be different form any other Christmas I’ve celebrated but it will be nice.
Wow! I don’t know if it’s because I’m feeling cold this evening but these two cardigans from the lastest issue of Interweave Knits (Winter 2019) look amazing. It’s not always that I like the patterns but this issue was great. Cozy cardigans in heavy yarn, that is something I always want but rarely knit, nor do I wear them, they typically don’t fit under a coat, but they are so lovely to have at work or on the couch, easy to grab when you are feeling cold.
The top one is called Stem Cardigan, designed by Allison Jane and the bottom one is Dionaea Muscipula Cardigan, designed by Sloane Rosenthal. Both are knit in aran weight and the top one is on 5 mm and 6,5 mm needles and the bottom one is on 4,5 mm and 5 mm needles. I’m leaning a little more towards the upper one but really, both are lovely.