Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lots of knitting

... but nothing to show! Yeah, I have been knitting a lot, but I have nothing to proove! I have a few projects nearing completion, and I'm looking forward to new things to start, but so far I've been pretty good about not casting on anything new till some of the old stuff is finished!

Actually, I did finish my second 4oz Challenge project yesterday. It needs a good blocking so no pictures yet, maybe later this week! I do need to get started on those patterns or I won't get them written up by the end of the month!

I hope to finish my striped cardigan this week, I have only about 1/4 of the sleeve left to go and then it's only the button bands. I'm also knitting on the sleeves of my Alexandra Hoodie. that's the last of the knitting I have to do after knitting the hood. Then there'll be a sewing party needed to finish the seems.

Now I have decided I want only 2 active sweaters on the needles. The next one I'm going to cast on - after finishing the striped cardigan - will be the Still Light Tunic by Veera Välimäki. I'm totally in love with this and I have the needles and yarn ready, already swatched so it's only a matter of casting on! I'll also be casting on will be Abalone by Beata Jezek. I custom ordered the yarn for that one and promissed it wouldn't end up in my stash. I bought it a few months ago so it already has been there way to long! I am excited to get this started though as I think I'll get quite a bit of wear out of it. And I am in love with the yarn dyed by Beata (find them at Hedgehog fibres).

There is so much more I want to knit! Yesterday I did spend a whole evening to find the perfect pattern for this yarn :


It's a discontinued yarn (the firm doesn't even excist anymore). I have enough for a cardigan, so that is what I want to knit out of it. I want a simple cardigan as the yarn is already quite busy at itself. So I searched Ravelry for quite some time, and here is what I came up with :


As you can see the one on the left is from Drops, the other one is from Rowan (Rowan Magazine 40). I think they will both showcast the yarn just fine. The issue with the drops cardigan might be that the expected gauge might be a bit to tight for the yarn. We'll see. What do you all think?

I've also totally fallen in love with this cardigan (sorry, I only found a Ravelry link). But it won't combine well with the yarn I have, so I have to search another yarn for the cardigan!

Oh, and it's almost October, and I decided to participate in Socktober. I'm not big into socks, like I mentionned before, but beside the Christmas knitting I also got a request from a colleague for socks for her grandson! So this might be a good reason to knit socks!

Monday, September 13, 2010

There has been a lot going on in my life, not all very good and though probably not very important it is very bad for me. It might result in a lot more knitting time in the near future. Right now it's already giving me a ton more time to knit and spin, which might be a good thing.

As I wrote before I finished the first project for the 4oz challenge. I wanted to take the pictures for the pattern on Saturday but didn't get around to it. If the weather keeps up I'll take them tomorrow and I'll write the pattern then if I can. Probably won't get it done in an evening though, but I'll get started. Here is a picture of the finished project :

4oz Challenge project #1

It might not be original but I'm very pleased with how the whole pattern turned out!

Here is a picture of the second pattern on the needles :

4oz Challenge project #2

I'm still completely in love with the colours of this and I hope to get it finished soon. The writing of the pattern should be easy as it's a really easy pattern. Really what I was going for, an easy and flexible pattern as it's not always easy to spin yarn to certain requirements and I wanted this to be something that even beginning spinners could knit!

I want to knit seconds of all the patterns, and maybe with commercial yarns. But I will try to write the patterns first before the end of September so they count for the challenge!

As for pattern #3, I spun the singles for the yarn, I hope I can ply it later tonight and then I can start knitting. Actually, I'm busy with some exciting projects. The fronts and back of the Alexandra Hoodie are blocking so I should be able to cast on for the hood tonight. And I noticed I only have half a sleeve and the button bands for my striped cardy left. It's actually nice to have a few cardigans so close to completion. There's a ton of things I would love to cast on. On the other hand, I should get started on my Christmas knitting 'cause I'm never going to make it. I just don't really feel like knitting socks this year, but as my family is already counting on them I'm going to try to start soon. Well, as soon as the 4oz Challenge projects are done!

Oh, and I wanted to share this with you :


This is my cat Ozzy. At the beginning of June he didn't come home. He had done that before, stay away for a few days and even once for 2 weeks, but when he hadn't come home 3 weeks later I started giving up. Of course I had completely given up by August, till I came home one evening at the end of August. It was raining like crazy and I got in after riding the horse, it was pretty late already. I heard a cat crying like crazy in the Summer Garden, but one of my other cats tends to do that every now and then. When I went into the bathroom (temporarely, it's actually the stock/laundry room where the cats also sleep) I was in total shock. Standing in front of me was Ozzy, thin and wet but totally my sweet cat. He didn't stop crying and asking for attention!

I'm still not sure if this isn't a dream, though he is there, in perfect health (the "skinny" is actually healthy weight, as he was a bit overweight before). Every night I'm scared he won't come in, so I'm always relieved when he comes wandering in in the evening. He has changed a little, only that he no longer seems to be scared of my 2 dogs. But beside that he's still the loving cat he was before. I guess every now and then a little miracle does happen!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

September, back to school!

September still has this very special meaning to me. I don't have kids but the work I do gets into it's steady shedule again once September is there and I like having a regular shedule. I used to love going back to school. New books, fresh paper, tons of new stuff to learn. Of course the older I got the faster I got bored with school again, but I still miss the learning of new stuff. I love information and learning new things. Some friends start new stuff in September and I've been thinking of a new thing to learn every September.

Well, this by accident comes together with the 4 Ounce Challenge put together by a few of my favourite dyers. The challenge is to design projects which use only 4oz of handspun yarn (or less). Though I've been getting double doses from most fiber clubs for a while now, I remember the dilemma of having only 4oz and not knowing what to do with the fiber. I still have to spin my first proper sock yarn, and apart from that I haven't knitted much with only 4oz of handspun.

So the challenge is really appreciated, I think many spinners with me are looking for more patterns to go with handspun. So I wanted to design a few quite flexible patterns. It's not always easy to spin the exact yarn you want (well, not for me at least) but in the end if you spun a yarn for a project you really do want to use it for the project even if you don't have the expected yardage.

The big challenge (and so my first real "new learning" for September) will be of course writing up the patterns! I am a bit scared of this as I always have high standards for myself and I want the perfect patterns even though I don't have the money to spend on expensive writing programs some use for this. Another problem will be getting some good pictures of the yarns. So all in all it's big thing for me to start with!

The first project is actually finished. I don't want to show the finished project yet, but here is the yarn I spun for it :


It's 100% BFL in the colourway Hidden, dyed by Amy of Spunky Eclectic. It's not as even as I had hoped for and less yardage, but it worked out fine with the pattern I had in mind so it's actually perfectly what I wanted!

Hunkered - fiber
(Hunkered, 100% SAF dyed by Adrian of Hello Yarn)

The second yarn is spun as well, and the third is started. I casted on the second project last night and I am quite excited. I hope to have some spinning time tonight (there's a soccer game on television so not much to watch for me). All this stuff needs to be done by the end of September to count for the challenge.

There's more to post, but I'll keep that for a following post. I've been neglecting the blog again, so I need to pick up!

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