Friday, September 28, 2007

Knitting on the train

Every day I sit on the train and knit socks. Every day (better, every train ride, which is twice a day) there is someone staring at me, probably thinking I'm crazy.

I don't care for the staring. I'm used to my knitting being something special, as knitting isn't that big over here, surely not knitting in public. It's always nice to see someone knit on the train. Doesn't happen very often though.

Anyway, every now and then someone will have the courage to say something about the knitting. Usually very positive. I like that more then the staring. Most staring is the "you are nuts" kinda staring. I guess knitting is strange, especially when someone in her 20's is doing it.

Remember that fair I went to last week? Twice I was totally ignored at a yarn stand as I think the vendors didn't think I was important and the old ladies there were way more important (I think I bought way more then they did, but who cares). Then once at this stand a lady was informing about KidSilkHaze for a shawl out of a magazine (which I think I already knitted). The vendor of course didn't have the yarn nor did they have something similar. I started talking to the lady and told her where to get the yarn. She was very rude and didn't seem the least interested in listening to me. :( It was very upsetting for me, as I just wanted to help and suggested her a few stores where the yarn was available. Oh well.

Anyway, I mostly knit socks on the train, though I might take some easy lace with me as well. I have been dedicated to my spiral socks though, which bore me to no end. I'm totally tired of them and don't want to knit them anymore. But I need to finish them so I'm putting my foot down and knitting. Here is the state of the second sock :

Spiral sock

(picture taken here at work with the webcam of my laptop, hence the bad quality. Notice the wood in the back? It's one of the windows of my workroom, and it's one of the better parts to look at! :S Horrible ha?)

I'm half way down the foot of the second sock and I might be able to finish it up this weekend. Though I usually keep my train knitting for the train only. But maybe I can finish at least one pair of socks this month!

So I don't need to tell you how far behind I am with my sock knitting! I don't think I'll make the 52 pair plunge (I don't know how many pairs I should have knit by now but I'm pretty sure I didn't knit half of them so far) and I think I already missed August for the Sock-a-Month-KAL. I might miss September as well. Now this weekend will be dedicated to non-sock-knitting (except maybe for the spiral sock) as I want to start Socktober to the best! I want to finish the felted booties this weekend (very fuzzy to knit, I hope they felt ok) and the felted bag (I started it last weekend but figured soon that I would ran out of yarn , so I dyed some more which will hopefully be close in colour, and I'll add it to the last part of the bag). And some more knitting in Lorelei. I'm starting the annoying part now, where I split for the arms and thus have to start knitting & purling again (no more knitting in the round - I would use steeks but part of the yarn is cotton-blend and I don't trust my sewing skills to steek that way). That takes me ages, especially those 4 rows with 3 colours in them!

By the way, my colleague asked me on Wednesday if I hadn't knit enough socks yet! :D Enough socks? Never!

Anyway, lots of knitting planned, let's hope I can get it done. I was planning a lot of knitting yesterday as I didn't make it to my LYS, but I have horrible back pains and I hope it'll get better soon!

Ok, I need to get a bit of work done now! :D

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Proove of knitting

I have been knitting quite a bit on Lorelei, but it's hard to see progress on that one. But there has been a bit other knitting as well.

Pea Pod + Candy Stripes 04

Pea Pod sweater and Candy Cane hat for a friends baby.

Yarn : Both 100% superwash merino wool (no brand)
Needles : 3,75mm for the sweater, 4mm for the hat
Pattern : Pea Pod Sweater by Kate Gilbert (available for free at Interweave), Candy Cane Hat from Handknit Holidays

Started : Sweater was started early September and finished today (September 23rd 2007), Candy Cane Hat was started and finished today.

These are both for the first of our close circle of friends who gave birth to a baby. It's a girl and she was born last night. It's a dual feeling for me. I'm very happy for them of course, but on the other hand it hurts for me as I so badly want a baby but I'm the only one in this relationship so it's no happening. :( But at least I have some knitted stuff to give the baby!

I knitted more Candy cane hats this week.

Candy stripe 02 + 03

Same info as with the other, only different colours.

These were started September 21st, finished September 23rd 2007. My mom asked for gifts for 2 grandchildren of a friend of hers. One was born in June but she has a sever heart condition (it wasn't sure she would survive, but she's doing quite well). The boy was born about a week ago.

I love these hats. They are so cute and a quick knit as well. I might be knitting more in the future, just to have at hand for new babies to be born.

I have been dyeing some yarn today as well. I have a huge headache though so I stopped dyeing after one batch of wool (I was planning on another batch).

Handpainted yarn

Can you see the pattern? Well, I plan on knitting a few felted pumpkins to decorate the house! They look so great (look here) and at least I can keep them till next year! ;D I wish there was a pattern for a bigger one (I know there's one at knitty, here, but I wan't one with less sewing!). I might invent/desing one based on the small ones, or I might just knit the one at Knitty. We'll see.

Half of the yarn is DK for felting, half of it is sock yarn for colour work I think. I'm very pleased with the orange! I still need to write down the dye-mixture if I want to be able to repeat it. Don't know if I actually remember it though. I don't know if I have enough yarn for what I plan, but then again, I don't know if I'll be knitting as much as I'm planning.

I'm still having a hard time getting solid colours. Not so bad for the felting, but the sockyarn should be more solid for what I'm intenting.

I will finally take something for my headache, it won't go away otherwise I'm afraid.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Hobby fair

Last Thursday I went to a hobby fair in Mechelen. It's the biggest in Belgium, and the best if you ask me (I have to add though that I only go to fairs in the Flemish part, so I don't know about the French part of Belgium).

I wasn't feeling to well and when I arrived there I started feeling even worse as it was crowded. Most people were in the older range (50 and up) and not so friendly. Pushing you aside and all that. I don't know why this is but at fairs these older people always seem to be so annoying. While I usually have nothing against these people at all!! The fighting starts at the entry to buy a ticket - like you wouldn't get in if you didn't push everyone aside - and it continues at all the boots. The amount of younger people on weekdays is usually quite smaller.

I had told myself I wouldn't buy to much. I'm always tempted to buy a ton of craft supplies but I hardly do crafts these days. And I have plenty of yarn to go by. Plus the boyfriend and I had a discussion earlier that week about saving money and all (to put on a savings account) and that kept going through my mind (I live by the philosophy that it all can be over tomorrow and I want to enjoy my life now - as long as I have nothing to save money for I won't do it).

So, I didn't really enjoy it. What's the use of looking at the boots if you can't get anything? I only needed some sewing thread to add buttons to a little baby sweater I knitted. Nothing else really. The only boot I really didn't want to miss was Klaziens Kreatie as she's the only one with decent yarns.

Basically there were a few yarn stands, but all frizzy acrylic yarns and nothing of real value. One stand had some 100% wool (tweed) at sale, but as I didn't have a project in mind and I couldn't think of a use at that point I passed it on. It was some old yarn they probably found in storage somewhere, because all the other yarn was the standard acrylic stuff.

You have to know I never liked these yarns for knitting scarfs or anything. I don't even like it if it's wool. And unfortunately we don't seem to move on from this. It's all acrylic.

There was some Regia yarn to be found, but Regia has no nice brown colours in their solids (what I was looking for) and I really couldn't bring meself to buy much but this :

Regia 6ply Polar - socks for the boyfriend

Regia 4ply - Kaffe Fasett collection in Landscape (I think).

Then there was this stand that had Gedifra at €3 instead of the regular €5,95 per 50gr ball, so I bought this :

Fashion Trend Sportivo - socks for the boyfriend (I already have some for myself from before)

See whom I tought of most? He does like his handknit socks and I had to throw one of his 3 pairs out lately as it was totally worn and I don't mend these socks.

Anyway, I got this for me :


Various colours of Shetlands Wolle as an addition to the huge collection I already have. The idea still is a top down pullover with a turtle neck and some colour work. It's based the the pullover of a friend of mine, which I really liked. I still need to work it out. I seem to a have a weird love for orange these days (I usually hate orange) but I think it has to do with fall colours. I like the more brown-orange anyway.

Arwetta Sockyarn (Merino/nylon). The green and pink are for striped socks, the blues and white for some sort of - yet to be determined - colourwork.

The newest addition of her collection : Softsilk (100% silk). 2 skeins to try out. Don't ask me about the green. It's normally not my colour but I kept picking it back up. We'll see what it becomes.

I bought a few other things but all in all I was pretty good in keeping myself from buying. I loved all the beads but I know I usually don't end up doing much with them anyway. So some beads, but the bigger ones for some knitting (I kept looking for suitable beads for Lorelei but nothing I found fit over the Wool/cotton. It's to late for the sweater now but maybe for something else that needs bigger beads).

Back to knitting now!

The good things about Ravelry

Given, it's as addictive as most of you think it is (and most of you know it is once you are in!). But I'm sure it'll pass again for me once I have put up all my projects - FOs and WIPs - and so on. I don't think I'll ever be able to add all my stash, and I don't think I want to as I'm afraid I'm about the one with the biggest stash. :S Even the thought of starting this scares the hell out of me!

Anyway, I've been slowly adding all the projects I finished since starting the blog. There is no use looking at what I finished before as I have no pictures or anything. I think I knitted a few scarfs and one pair of socks before starting the blog so I'm not missing that much.

Going through the blog to collect pictures of the FOs and information, I started realizing I used to be a fairly quick knitter. I usually finished one or two pairs of socks and one other thing during a month. Now months go by without me finishing anything, though I am knitting! Could it be I have to many projects on the needles at the moment? *hiding here*

I don't even want to count the ammount of projects I have going right now. There are - I think - 2 projects that will probably never get finished. But I just can't get myself to rip them (or throw them out, in case of one lace project I don't think I can rip).

The other projects are all ongoing, or stalled, but with the intention to finish them. I should do that.

So, good intentions. I want to finish a few things this month, or at least try. No socks though. As I like the idea of Socktober I'll save that month to finish all the socks and maybe knit a few extras. I have 2 pairs of socks that are in a quite advanced state (one sock done), one sock that I'm at the foot (for the boyfriend, so big feet), one sock that no longer has needles and I just need to rewind the yarn as I don't plan on knitting these socks with this yarn, and one sock that has just the ribbing started but I don't think I'll finish it. Oh, and one pair I haven't knit on in about 2 years. I remembered it when putting my list of at Ravelry. The thing is I already did the ribbing of the second sock, and it's plain stockinette, so I should just finish it.

I also want to start a gazilion amount of other socks. But no starting now, before other things are finished.

This weekend I need to finish 2 babyhats my mom asked. I might knit a third one for a friend who should be giving birth any moment now. I started one last night and I think I can finish this one and another one tonight if I don't turn on the computer. Thing is I would have brought them on the train if it wasn't for the huge balls of yarn (I get this yarn in big skeins of 400 grams and wind them in one ball, so those are huge!).

Then I want to knit some more on my Lorelei sweater and maybe finish a lace shawl. No rushing. Oh, and I need to knit a felted bag for my LYS lady. The bag I should do over the weekend, the other stuff is for the month of September.

Can you imagine I have one sweater - Raspy from Rowan Denim - that only needs sleeves and one sweater - Glee from Zephyr Style - that needs only one sleeve? Both are just stockinette! Oh, what to do?

They say we might have temps up into the 20-ies over the weekend. Not to happy about that. I want cold weather!

*Edit* I'm a big fat lier! :D I was on Ravelry again and I saw that I have a little more socks on the needles then I claimed. There are the pairs I started for every project spectrum colour-combination. The Winter socks in Blue, white and grey (barely at the leg of the first sock), the Vine socks in green & yellow/pink (just past the heel of the first sock) and the black en red sock (just pas the ribbing of the first sock). I might have other socks hiding in corners of my house. I'll let you know later ...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I got my invite 2 days ago and it was a total surprise! I had been waiting for this and checking every few days, but because I was so busy the last 2 weeks I didn't check at all. It was great to see the invite.

I have been browsing and looking and adding. I love it. I wish I had more time to get into this all. I share the enthousiasm of many about this little site! (Well, little, I wonder if it's still little). I now surely regret not signing up when I first heard about it from Adrian. But hey, I'm in!

Now taking all the picture of my stash will take me some time. First I thought I wouldn't do it - much of my stash is not labelled and such - but it might be a help for me. I like the whole setup of the site and all. So I might just start with the sock yarn and go from there!

If you want to add me, I'm Emily37 (not very original, but easy). If you are in, let me know so I can add you!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

It's almost Fall!

And my energy is returning big time! The last couple of weeks it has been quite cold out here. Like sweater and heat in the evening cold. We've been sitting in front of the fireplace quite a few evenings - and the older doggy and me sit quite close to it! :D - and I've been tempted to put the heating on more then once. I did yesterday evening and I forgot to turn it out again, so it's still on. Especially at night it gets cold!

But I love it! More and more I realize I'm a Autumn/Winter person more then anything! I hate Summer, and I feel so much more alive when the weather starts turning again. More energy and inspiration. I just love this period of the year. I realized it big time this morning sitting in a meeting (which was horrible) and just looking outside. The clear blue sky and the sun but the heating already on inside. Just perfect!

My fingers itch to knit more, to write letters, to read books and to take walks outside. Yes, take walks. I hate this in Summer, but the colder it gets the more I like cuddling in sweaters, a vet and a scarf and go out.

Now one big thing is that I need more hats. I started to take my bike to the station again (first time after my accident in July) and I had a crushing headache getting there, 2 days in a row. I just need to cover up my ears or my head splits. So knitting it'll be! But most hats I have don't cover my ears properly, like Shedir I knitted back in May. Many people need to cut a repeat in that pattern, I need to add one for the hat to cover my ears. So another one is planned soon. Will try to get the yarn tomorrow. It's Calmer of course, but it's still kinda "Summer" and it just needs to cover the ears, not warm them. Of course I might get some Felted Tweed for another one, 'cause I like the ones I saw in it so far. We'll see.

I also want more scarfs and gloves. And sweaters, and socks. Can I please switch to knitting full time then? :D Let's just get from behind the computer and take up the needles again!

On Rowan ...

This week I heard or read somewhere that Rowan was not for beginners. The person really complained about the books not having any instructions for beginners and that the patterns were quite difficult.

Now I disagree. Don't get me wrong, I really appreciate beginning knitters and I support books for them. I was a beginning knitter not long ago, and I'm still far from experienced. But on the other hand, I don't think every single book or magazine shouldn't have chapters for beginners. I mean, there are plenty of books out there who do have those chapters and are thus great for beginners, but also for knitters further along. Now isn't it normal there are book that don't have those beginners instructions? Should every book have these chapters?

As I said, I do think not every book should contain these explanations. I don't need them, so I prefer them not to be in books. I have enough books laying around with all kind of basic instructions so I can refer to those.

Now I don't think Rowan books are to complicated or for experienced knitters. Given, Rowan doesn't have many charts or stuff like that. It might be confusing, and some patterns do take a few reads. But apart from that I don't think the patterns are that difficult.

I like Rowan, a lot!!! I recently finished up Carolina from Rowan 39 as a custom knit. Not something I would knit for myself. But finishing that one I allowed myself to knit on other things again. Mainly to restart a sweater from Rowan I started last Winter.

Rowan 40 - Lorelei

Lorelei from Rowan 40

Last Winter I started it following the instructions, which means you start with the back and knit back and forth. There were 2 reasons I didn't like this. Purling fair-isle (and 3stranded knitting patterns) is not easy (me thinks) and I prefer knitting fair isle. Plus I didn't look forward to sewing in a ton of ends (most of the colour strips are uneven so you couldn't carry the yarn along the edge).

So I ripped it and restarted, knitting in the round this time till the armpits. I'm going to do the same with the sleeves. I do realize this might change my gauge, but I'll just pay attention a bit more.

The not so fun side about this is that one row takes ages! Last Winter I remember knitting 3 or 4 colour strips in no time, and now I'm only in the second strip on my third evening of knitting (keep in mind I have been quite tired and 2 nights in a row we went out so I didn't have much knitting time at all).

I promissed myself I could get myself yarn for another knit if I finished up Carolina. Because I can't make up my mind about which of the patterns in the new Rowan book I put it on hold. Maybe I'll try to finish up another project first (so many on the needles).

The choices :

Rowan 42 - Fyne Vest Rowan 42 - Fyne Tunic

Similar, right? On the left is the Fyne vest, on the right the Fyne tunic. The pattern is the same (I mean the fair-isle pattern), but of course the lenght and design is a bit different. And the colours are quite different. Colour-wise I lean more towards the tunic, but I think I'll get started with the vest. The ribbing is done in a dark purple, totally my colour.

Now you might ask why I keep the colours of the designs. First of all I like the colours. They are my thing (in both the Tyne and Lorelei). Plus I don't feel like changing the colours in such a complicated knit when I don't really need to. Like I want to knit Venezia in the future but in totally different colours! So it's not like I always stick to those colours. Though, like some studies say, many people stick to the colours. I guess the designers just pick nice colours.

Oh, and there are about 10 more designs in Rowan 42 that I want to knit, like in almost every Rowan magazine! :D


You might not believe me, but I have been knitting and spinning! There just isn't much to show, and due to being very busy with work I neglected to post here.

I have one FO that I can't photograph (I'll try tomorrow at my LYS) and there's one almost FO (a baby sweater that needs seaming and a collar, to be done tonight I think).

Now I have been spinning as well and the last yarn I finished I was very pleased with :

Lantern Festival 3

It's the July yarn from the Hello Yarn fiberclub, Lantern Festival.

Corriedale wool, 5oz. spun into a 2ply. It's about 650 yards total, so I think a nice fingering weight!

Lantern Festival

I recently spun the Spunky Eclectic yarn very randomly (it was similarly coloured) and I wanted to try something different here. So I spil the roving lenghtwise as evenly as I could and spun the singles like that. While plying I kept a close eye on the colours and when the difference was to big I cut out strands. To my amazement I had to do this only twice, and I don't know if it was because of inconsistent spinning or rather the splitting of the roving. I added those 2 lenghts at the end which gives of course barberpole. But apart from that I have a few nice solid places.

I normally don't go through this efford to keep the colour nicely even. I like barberpole effects on yarn. But this yarn is so bright. Now I did see an example of randomly spun Lantern Festival and the colours seem to tone down quite a bit. Oh well, I like it this way as well! :D

Lantern Festival 2

I normally spin with sock yarn in mind. It's an obsession, just like socks are. Now this yarn, not sure about socks. I mean, with the long colour repeats and not really any pattern. So I have been thinking about a scarf, or a shawl like this one, or maybe Argosy. Any other ideas? Of course the yarn is fine and I don't have much yardage-wise for a shawl. I'm not really sure about this yet.

That's it for now, back to the knitting!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Christmas Knitting

Yes, Christmas knitting. Not only am I think of it now - as opposed to cranking out a few things at the beginning of december, till about 5 minutes after gifts - but I am actually considering knitting gifts!

Last year I swore I would not do anymore Xmas knitting. I don't have the family to appreciate my handknits, so why knit for them? Well, my boyfriend loves the socks and keeps asking for a sweater, in his own not so super way. My aunt loved both the gifts I made here. She kept repeating how much she loved the felted "boots" I made her 2 years ago, and she was really happy with the scarf last year. My mom does wear the handknits though she never mentions it, and my youngest sister actually loved the pair of socks I knit her a few months back. She had brought the yarn back from Spain, that might be part of the liking.

Anyway, I have been planning the gifts but I'll see where I get. No obligations.

- Grandfather : as many handknit socks as I can manage :D
- Grandmother(s) : shawl out of thicker yarn (maybe for both, but for sure for one)
- Mother : socks? shawl? not sure yet
- Sisters : socks for sure, maybe a pair of endpaper mitts for S as she didn't get any last year
- Boyfriend : Socks, the promiss of a sweater
- Uncle : pair of hunting socks, most likely out of DK weight yarn :D
- Aunt : no idea yet

To conclude the list I would also like to knit gifts for the 2 ladies at my LYS, like I did last year. I know this list is almost impossible. To help me a bit I got this :

More yarn ...

Recognize the needles? I needed some more addi turbo needles (I have plenty but my obsession with starting projects and my lack of obsession for finishing them makes I'm always out of needles, plus I seem to have misplaces some ...), so I ordered some addi lace needles as well. Never enough needles.

I ordered the sock yarn for socks for the boyfriend and grandfather. It's all 6ply (and 8ply!) so it'll knit up quickly. And they both won't mind thicker socks. I also ordered some black 6ply (not in the picture) for socks for me, to use in colourwork. Again, thick and quick socks. I got Regia and Online to compare the quality, to get more in the future. I'll compare it with Dale of Norway Baby Ull, which I already used for socks. We'll see.

That being it for today, I need to get more knitting done! :D