Tuesday, October 30, 2007

An email

Man, has it really been 10 days since my last post? I didn't even notice! shows how busy I am! I do have an FO to show, but not now. I'm to tired.

I think I mentionned my quite negative experience test-knitting for the first time. It left me hurt a bit. Thanks to sweet BlueADT I got my hands on a copy of the magazine with my test-knit in it. Today I took the big step and emailed the person in charge of this all, and this is what I sent :

Hello ***,

It took me a long time to decide wether to email you or not, but after finally getting my hands on a copy of the YF magazine I decided to go ahead and see if I got an answer.

Earlier this year - I think back in February - I testknitted a pair of knee-high socks for the magazine (the second issue). I was never sure if I did a good job, but they are in the magazine so I guess it wasn't that bad.

When testknitting them I was promissed the socks back, a copy of both magazines up till then and some yarn. I never got any. And it's not even about the stuff. It's the principle. I never heard anything positive from you about the socks, nor did you let me know about the publishing. I just wanted to see the magazine, see something I made in print would be so neat.

It's not important, and it's not about the material stuff. Thing is I got a big blow in the face about my knitting skills and started to doubt myself big time. I'm scared now of volunteering to test-knit something for the simple reason my knitting might not be good enough.

I of course did not keep the emails you sent me with the agreement, so I can't hold you on that. I just think it's important if you want to run all this - a business, a magazine - that you should be more correct and more on top of things.

I do think I published her name before, but well, for now I won't. I just want to keep this as a record. I do hope I formulated it the right way. It's really not about the material things. It truly is about my feelings. I've always been very insecure and this didn't do me much good. :(

Let's see how she responds ...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Finished Objects - proof of knitting! :D

Yes well, it might not seem like it but I have been knitting quite a bit recently. I'm doing well with the sock thing, as I wanted to use Socktober to get some socks knitted (Christmas gifts I guess). Of course it could go faster.

I need some happy thoughts though. My work is getting to me. I'm at the edge of my sanity here and every time I have to get up to get to work I don't want to. Yesterday was a perfectly fine day and I felt really well. But it was Thursday, I don't work on Thursdays. Today on the other hand I was almost crying when I had to get out of bed this morning and the tears are still close at hand. I'm just so mentally exhausted about all the drama here, the heavy workload and more. I need time off. More then a bit. But there's no time off in the near future. The best I can do is convince my boss I need the 2 weeks around Christmas and New Year off or I won't make it very long into the new year without a decent sick leave.

Anyway, as I said, less knitting then I would want, but I am a bit productive in other areas, like cleaning up my house and organizing things. I organized big part of my yarn room last Friday and plan on putting in a few more hours tonight. I want to make a list of all the books I owe (so I don't buy books twice) and gather them all from the various spots in the house. I might even inventorise (sp?) my knitting needles. Who knows.

But you came here for knitting, right? Well, in order of finishing :

Baby booties ...

... pre-felting ...

Booties pre-felt

... post felting.

Booties post-felt 02

Pattern : Old world booties by Gryphon Perkins, free pattern at InterweaveKnits

Yarn : Unlabeled 100% wool in a wonderfull moss green (it's a bit tweed-like)

Needles : 2,75mm Knitpicks circs

Started : end of September 2007

Finished : October 7 2007

I love these so much! I had a hard time handing them over to my friend, but she was so enthousiastic about them I know her little girl will wear them! :D Though it was hard to knit them on the small needles it was all worth it, and I plan more of these in my future! They took about 1 1/2 50gr ball, and I have plenty more of that yarn! :D

Felted Red Bag!

Bag pre-felt Bag post felt 01

Pre- and post felting

Pattern : based on a Noni Bag pattern and Noni flowers
Yarn : 100% wool handdyed red (heavy worsted weight), 100% wool natural (fingering weight)
Needles : 9mm for the bag, 3.75mm for the flowers
Started : end of September 2007
Finished : October 18 2007

This was for a friend and she's going to attach some black plastic handles herself. I didn't have the time to do it before seeing her yesterday, but she doesn't mind.

This was another great felting project. I'm not a big fan of felting as I had a few projects turn out horrible. But these last 2 projects were really great!

And last, socks for the boyfriend!

Whitby socks

Pattern : Whitby by Nancy Bush from Knitting on the Road
Yarn : Regia 6ply tweed in light blue (2 balls) and white (a bit of a ball)
Needles : 3mm inox circ
Started : October 9 2007
Finished : October 19 2007

Modifications : the original version didn't even go past the ball of the foot of my boyfriend, so I had to add 8 stitches (to the back of the sock, in the ribbing). I followed the pattern for the rest of the sock.

Of course, me being me, I didn't believe it when the website said I needed 3 balls of this yarn for a pair of socks. I might have made it for myself, as I have smaller legs and feet, but the boyfriend has a size 42 and quite have ankles and legs. So I had to use the white for the toes. Boyfriend wasn't to enthousiastic about that at first, but who cares? It'll be in his shoes so who'll see? Well, his soccer mates probably. But they don't have handknit socks, do they?

My boyfriend of course had to put them on a couple of times ot make sure they fit. He has such strange feet I can't take the risk of not fitting them on. But they are a Christmas present so they are put away till then.

So now I need to get started on some socks for my grandfather and uncle and ... . I have a lot of Christmas knitting to go!

I will be getting rid of quite some stash. I took the pictures, will put it all online tomorrow or on Sunday at the latest! Come back because some of the yarn will go for free! :D

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Winter Knits - Part 2

So here's part 2, the gloves and mittens. I figured it was to much to do this all in one post as it would be huge, so I prefer posting a few days in a row! I might consider a third part with scarfs if I get around to it! I surely love this mosaïc thing! :D

The gloves and mittens are of course for riding the bike. The fingerless gloves/mittens will be for work purposes and computer time as well. My work place is badly heated and there is no proper isolation in this place so Winters are very cold (you can feel the wind running through the room!). Plus if it's really cold I often wear a pair of fingerless gloves first and then a pair of mittens! :D

Winter knits - gloves and mittens

1. Wine and Roses Mitts by JoLene Treace from Interweave Knits Winter 2006 - these have been on my wish list for a while now!
2. Composed Mitts by Michele Rose Orne from Interweave Knits Fall 2007 - all those colours!
3. Tiger Paws for typists by Ingrid Summers - I don't have the pattern but I'll use this as "inspiration"!
4. Tiffany by Sari - I love the detail on the cuff!
5. Latvian-inspired mittens by Jennifer Little - I blame Nancy Bush for my obsession
6. Herringbone Gloves by Tata & Tatao - these have been on my wish list since I saw them at Saartjes blog, I really want to knit them this Winter!
7. Smocked Gauntlets by Heather J. Spellman - quick, easy, and I think warm
8. Norwegian Gloves by Nancy Bush - No comments needed ! :D (and it's a free pattern!)
9. Roberta Gloves by Dawn Prickett - more as for the inspiration
10. Transition Gloves by Kerin Dimeler - I will probably knit them both in the same colours though
11. Fingerless gloves by Petra - Looong gloves for warm arms!
12. Keefely Mittens by JoLene Treace - I have the book and love the pattern, now the time to knit them!
13. Mermaid Gloves by Craftoholic - I love the Pomatomus socks, so why not gloves? Maybe regular gloves, or fingerless gloves (but no mitts I think)
14. Liidia's Gloves by Nancy Bush - I honestly want to knit every pair of mittens/gloves and socks out of her books!
15. Latvians for the Finn by Julie Ridl - Again, latvian ...
16. Snowflake Fingerless Gloves by Chris O'Brien - these would be great for working in the computer
17. Women's Lace Gloves No. 62 - Nice Vintage pattern, these would look great, maybe in black Regia Silk?
18. Sanquhar Gloves by Tata & Tatao - Without the lettering though ...
19. Whitewater Wristwarmers by Jennifer Meyer - Again, elegance and usefullness
20. 98-8 Wrist Warmers by DROPS design - quick and warm

The herringbone gloves are about first on the list. They have been forever, but I didn't get around knitting them. There is one more pattern that didn't make it to the list that I would like to make with some cashmere, but more about that if I get around to it. Anyway, the Nancy Bush patterns are always my favourites.

Next up : some FOs and yarn sale!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Winter knitting - part 1

Two weeks ago I started searching on Ravelry for Winter knits. The reason? There were words out that we might have a new car by the end of November. And as for getting that new car, I would no longer be allowed to drive to the station with it (ok, sounds a bit horrible but I do understand that parking a car at a station where thousands of students pass every day and were there is no supervision whatsoever is not the smartest thing). And end of Novermber = cold mornings.

Now the car we might not get as my FIL is not agreeing with the dealer (he wants a better price I think, I for one am so tired of the constant discussions about prices and good deals). But I still plan on going to the station by bike more often. I love the Winter to ride on my bike (I hate doing it during Summer, I'm a bit strange I guess). It's good for my health, good for nature and a lot faster then the car most of the times. The only negative issue is, well there are 2 : first of all I hate having the bring my laptop with my bike as I have a shoulder bag and it's heavy, and second I used to go to the store right after work with the car which was really easy, but now I'll have to bike home first and then return with the car.

But, with the plans on more Winter rides I started putting a lot of hats and gloves in my queue and faves on Ravelry. Those on there might check it out. For those who aren't on Ravelry I'll show you my favourites!

First are the hats (credits for the pictures to the designers, I stole them :D)

Winter Knits

From left to right, top to bottom (not in order of preference) :
1. Zizzou from Knitting Neels - a nice simple hat!
2. Syncopated Caps by Kate Gilbert (in Interweave Knits Summer 2007) - love this design!
3. Oslo Cairo by Urraca - Pattern is in Spanish but I should be able to manage
4. Diamonds and Blocks by Kimberly Lewis - Nice hat, might be the last one I knit
5. Inga Hat by Sheila Macdonald - Love this one!
6. Nautilus hat by Marnie MacLean - Have had my eyes on this for a while, still doubting between using cotton (summer hat) or wool.
7. Winter Sunrise hat by Elinor Brown - again, looks great!
8. Doubleknitski by Alison Hansel - nice and thick! Plus great hat for first time DK!
9. Anemoi Hat by Ann - great to combine with my mitten! :D
10. Leef's Ear Flap Hat by Leef Bloomenstiel - hats never cover my ears, but they should as I always get splitting headaches from riding my bike
11. Nordic Sweetheart Hat by Anne Featonby - I had the yarn for this but I never got around knitting, need new yarn for it!
12. Red Light Special by Jared Flood aka the famous BrooklynTweed - this will be the first one I knit, when I find the yarn for it (I plan on diving into my stash).

Of course there are preferences. I think I'll first knit the Red Light Special by Jared, though yarn is the issue here. I'm very motivated to knit from my stash, but I'm not sure if I have anything suitable, not even to dye myself. I've recently noticed a great lacking of sportweight yarns in my stash.

I also love the Inga hat! And I think I have the yarn for this one.

Now as for all hats, I'll need to make them about 5cm longer each. From experience I know that all hats are to short for my taste. You see, they have to cover my ears completely! I have a big head and a lot of hair, so as a result no hats fit over my ears. Especially when I ride my bike this is essential. I might need at least one hat with earflaps!

More Winter Knits inspiration to come!

Ps.: Thank you so much for all the compliments on my socks! I really appreciate it!

Thursday, October 11, 2007


This is just a quick note to thank those 2 people who let me know about the SAM-KAL.

To prove I really have been off the earth the last couple of weeks, I didn't even notice SAM3 ended and a new one was started. So meaning very well I posted my last 2 pairs of socks at the SAM3 blog.

Apparently the last month for SAM3 was July! The new KAL started in August but I never signed up and since the sign-ups closed I cannot sign up. I'll just have to skip this round.

Thanks for the compliments on the socks though!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I have been knitting, though not as much as I would want to. But I seem to have a quiet period ahead. Not really wanted to though. My horse had a weird couch last week and it didn't get any better, so after advise from my riding instructor he's on stable-rest for this week in the hopes it'll solve the problem. I don't want to call the vet for a simple cold (he has no fever by the way, so it's possible it's just a plain cold), though my medical book on horses sais a couch almost never dissapears without medical intervention.

Anyway, even if I go riding over the weekend it'll be slow. We'll see. Lot's of knitting time, though I need to clean a big deal as well. Unfortunately my cat got home last night ill and she wasn't looking any better this morning I'll take her to the vet tonight. That'll cut into my knitting time.

I have been concentrating on socks as it's Socktober, but I have to knit some other things as well. :S We'll see.

Anyway, the socks. At the last day of September I finished my Spiral socks :

Spiral socks 01

(Sorry for the lousy pictures but it has been overcast since Monday so this is the best I could get)

Pattern : Cornucopia Socks by Caroline Dlugy-Hegwer from SockPixie
Yarn : Cherry Tree Hill Sock yarn in Wildberries
Needles : 2mm addi turbo
Started : August 2007
Finished : September 30 2007

Modifications : the pattern sais to keep the eyelets going in the round on the foot after the heel, but I didn't like the idea of so much structure on the bottom of my feet, so I only did the eyelets on the top of the foot. They look great!

I was excited about this pattern, but I got bored quite quickly. I have to say I was a bit dissapointed about the yarn as well. It feels a bit strange and I had to get used to it. I'm sure this will be great socks to wear though!

Next up, my first Socktober pair :

Black & Red 01

Pattern : my own
Yarn : Textiles de la Marque - Laine Chaussette, one ball black and one ball I handdyed red
Needles : 2mm addi turbo
Started : July 2007
Finished : October 2007

I had a ton of ideas for these socks, ment for Project Spectrum. But I had to little yarn to do the actual fair isle patterns I had in mind. So I kept looking and got this idea while in Portugal. I started the sock on the plane back home but didn't get past the ribbing of the first sock. I picked them back up on October 1st 2007, doubting the pattern again. but I went along and got it done! They took me a week to knit and I'm actually happy with them, though I have more sock yarn left over then I planned. I was really scared of running out of yarn! :D

Black & Red close up

(close up of the toe)

I would like doing this pattern again but then knee highs with the change of colour half way up the leg. Maybe in sport weight yarn. I don't know. Not any time soon though as I have plenty of socks in mind.

I wanted to start a ton of socks for myself, but I dug up 2 pairs that are just past the ribbing of the second sock. I did give in to the urge to start a new sock by starting a pair in 6ply tweed for the boyfriend. I'm doing the Whitby socks by Nancy Bush, with with 8 stitches added (boyfriend has huge ankles and they didn't go past them in the original size!). These are actually a Christmas gift but he already had to try them on twice so he'll just get them when they are finished. It doesn't really matter that much.

So many ideas, so little time to knit! :D

Next up : plans for more Winter knits!

Friday, October 05, 2007

The dilemma

Well, the month started quite well for me. I did manage to finish the spiral socks last Sunday. I'm happy I did because I was totally bored with the pattern. I picked up my black and red socks which I started on the plane home from Portugal in July. I never got further then the ribbing on the first sock. By Monday evening I had finished most of the leg, and by Tuesday evening the sock was done. I started the new sock on Wednesday but didn't have much time to knit, nor did I have time yesterday (I spent the whole evening braking my head over the dilemma! :D). I'm now almost at the heel. I hope to do the heel before I go to the theater tonight, so that I might be able to knit on the foot (plain stockinette) while watching the show.

Anyway, I had a good start on the socks and knitted a lot on them because I'm stuck with another project. Remember Lorelei? I did mention her before. It's one of those projects I love so much, but then I don't love them at all at times.

My big "hate" for this project is the yarn. I really regret buying the actual yarn from the pattern, which is a combination of Rowan Felted Tweed (which I do like) and Rowan Wool Cotton (don't like it, at least not for colourwork!). I should have looked for a 100% (non-superwash) wool.

So I don't like knitting with the wool, but it also put me for the following dilemma. As I mentionned before I decided to knit the body in the round. I don't like purling as for colourwork (I did try as I knit part of the body as the written instructions before putting it aside last year), and the colour repeats were almost always uneven so you had a ton of yarn ends to weave in. So I knit the body in the round.

This is were I am now :

Lorelei in progress

I should be starting the armholes. Now at first my intention was to start knitting flat from here. But then I started thinking. My gauge will change if I start working flat from now. My stitches are already very wonky (I blame the cotton) so I don't think I would have liked the result. The other option was steeking. But it would involve a sewing machine as for the cotton and superwash wool. Big scare. I did steeks before, but I used a crocheted reïnforcement then.

I mentionned my issue at the LYS yesterday (they don't know steeking, I explained) and someone suggested turning this into a raglan. I'm a bit doubtfull as that'll change the design and I like it as it is, even if the patterning doesn't match on the sleeves and body. Then I mentionned my problem on Ravelry (on the Rowan group) and there someone suggested don't set-in sleeves like you would them top down, but then bottum up.

The last idea did appeal to me. So I was sitting on the couch last night with my notebook and the Barbara Walker bible "Knitting from the top". I read through the instructions for top down set-in sleeves and started to think if I could do it bottum up.

This is where my thoughts brought me. I can cast off the needed stitches at both armholes and then the next round cast on the needed stitches for the sleeves (invisible cast on of course)minus the the stitches you would cast of when starting the sleeve cap (when knitting the sleeve regularly). Then I would continue knitting in the round, decreasing stitches in the body and the sleeves as per the instructions. Now then I got into 2 problems.

First, when you read the instructions from Barbara Walker you will see that you first knit part of the body, then pick up stitches for the sleeves, knit about 1/3 of the sleevecap and then join with the body stitches and continue in the round. To do that bottom up is not really possible as far as I know. You could just stop knitting for the sleevecap and then knit the left stitches together with the stitches from the body, but then you can no longer knit in the round as you would need 22 rows to join the stitches properly.

The second issue is the shaping of the neck, which starts about 20 rows before the shoulder shaping (for the front). I would have to switch to flat knitting for those last 20 rowns no matter what if I want to do the neck as indicated (even Barbara Walker will knit the first part of a sweater flat shape a neck - how does she deal with changing gauge? - maybe I wouldn't worry so much it wasn't fair isle).

I hope you can follow me! :D So basically, as far as I can figure out, doing a set in sleeve from the bottom up without seems is not possible.

So that leaves me the steeking. I ditched the idea of knitting flat, though I'm not sure if my gauge would change all that much. But I will not do it in this project. I'm going to knit up a swatch (not to big, I don't know how much yarn I need to finish up the sweater) and try the steeking with my sewing machine (*ahum*). Then I will decide how to proceed with the sweater.

That all said, I won't be knitting on the sweater over the weekend. I'm having an incredible busy weekend ahead and I won't have time to knit. Let me show you :

- Tonight we are going to a theater show (we being my sisters and me). It starts at 8pm in Antwerp, and I'm home at 6.30pm, so we'll leave immidiately.
- Saturday I have an appointment at the hairdresser at 8.30am. I just can't stand my hair any longer. After that I'm off to the riding school to ride myself and then therapy. At 2pm my sister is coming over and we are going to a fair in Brussels together (more her field of interest, nothing crafty there!). When returning home I'll have very litte time to get ready to go out for dinner that nigh. I don't want to go as it's first of all at a place I don't like going (my fathers former sokker team) and secondly with the workmates of my boyfriend and some of his soccer friends, all people I don't fancy spending to much time with. Anyway, no free time on Saturday.
- Sunday it's an open day at the riding school. I promissed to help and I need to ride as well (there's riding the whole day to show the goings of the riding school - from previous years I know a lot of people like to come). I don't know when I need to be there but I think it starts at 10am (and I don't think I'll get up before 9.30!) and it ends at 5pm. No idea how much time I'll have at home!

So I think there won't be much knitting going on over the weekend. Nor blog posts. There will be more next week though, as I have an FO to show and I have plenty of ideas for blog posts!

Because of the lack of pictures in this post :

Blue 01

A few days ago I tried to photograph the big Blue :D. He hates it apparently as I got more pictures of his back (bihend, bu*, whatever) then anything else! And of course, as for the good pictures, I have the bad backgrounds. Oh well, it's better then nothing ,right? :D

Ps.: This guy is my big love! :D