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Updated: 2012-04-16T01:38:31.656+03:00

 



There once was a woman, who knit obsessively for five years, and lived to tell

2009-11-04T23:11:47.552+02:00

A few people have asked about my whereabouts, and I thought I would drop in and tell that I'm fine. Still knitting, but here's the thing: I don't live and breath knitting anymore. I don't really know what happened, but suddenly I just noticed that I could live without checking the knit blogs and Ravelry every night. I could watch tv without knitting. I could even knit something and give it away without taking photos of it. I feel… free. :-D

So I don't think I'm gonna blog anymore. I've used all my words, and cannot really find anything interesting to say about the umpteenth pair of socks I've made. It's been really fun though, and that's because of you! If you're interested, you can still find me on Flickr and on Ravelry. Happy knitting, and thanks for reading!



Peppermint stripes

2009-03-23T20:33:05.626+02:00

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Baktus Scarf
by Strikkelise
Pattern source: Strikkelise's patterns
Yarn: Elann Peruvian Baby Cashmere, about 50 grams of both red and white
Needles: 3,5 mm
Modifications: I moved the shaping from the beginning of the row to the end of the row, just to keep the edge where I changed colours neater


I'm ridiculously happy with this little gem of a scarf. It's just everything it needs to be – small enough to wear comfortably under the coat, yet very warm, and cute and stylish too! I feel chic wearing it. French, somehow. Quite an achievement from a simple little scarf don't you think.

I'm already planning my next Baktus(es): maybe a navy blue and white one, in cotton for summer… and perhaps one with stronger colours, like green and violet? Hehee. I'm in stripy garter stitch heaven.

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I want to thank all of you who left so nice and encouraging comments on my previous post. It's a good thing that there are so many of us worriers out there, just think if I had to worry about the whole world all by myself! Seriously though, your kind words meant a lot to me, and really helped too. Thank you.



All my troubles and some socks too

2009-02-24T19:05:57.927+02:00

If there's one thing I'm really, really good at, it's worrying. I specialize in worrying about things that I have very little to no control over, and if I'm not careful, I can bring myself to tears thinking about something that has not yet happened or is not even likely to happen. One time my husband found me crying, and let me tell you, he was very puzzled when he found out that I was crying over his untimely death.So, thank god for knitting! It has been a lifesaver for me – I can usually put a stop to my obsessive worrying by working a few rows. The last few weeks have given me the opportunity to research knitting's stress-relieving qualities in full measure, and the results are interesting, to me at least. It appeared that different kind of worries were eased with different types of projects. You don't necessarily need heavy garter stitch therapy to make you forget the six extra pounds on your waist.Gentleman's Sock for Evening Wearby Nancy BushPattern source: Knitting Vintage Socks / Nancy BushYarn: Yarn Workshop Footscray, dyed with food colouringsNeedles: 2,25 mmModifications: added decreases to both leg and foot to make the sock smaller, made a flat toe instead of star toeMore photosMinor worries (like those six extra pounds) can be easily forgotten with a good Nancy Bush pattern. This one was perfect – the need for slight modifications kept me glued to the sofa, which also made me happily forget the fact that I could have been exercising instead of knitting.Pigeonroof SocksPattern: 48 stitches (increased to 58 sts for the calf) toe up, short-row toe and heelYarn: Pigeonroof Studios handspun, in LichenNeedles: 2,75 mm More photosMedium worries (like work related issues that have made me grind my teeth in the bus all the way home) are best fought with the combination of a simple project and luxurious yarn. For some reason I had been saving Krista's beautiful handspun instead of knitting with it – stupid really, because knitting these socks on my commutes made me come home much calmer and happier. My husband and son thank you too, Krista!8-square SocksPattern source: Käspaikka Yarn: Sock yarn leftovers, held doubled Needles: 3,5 mmMore photosFor major worries (like anything that has to do with my son. If I'm worrying about him, it's always major. Even if it's actually something not that serious. I blame that love thing.) there's really only one thing that works: garter stitch. The ultimate garter stitch therepy: knitting small squares with brightly coloured leftover yarns, so you can feel thrifty too. The sad thing is that I've now used almost all of my sock yarn leftovers, so I better not encounter anything major before I have knit more socks.– – –Right now, I'm back to knitting some Nancy Bush socks, so all's well. Worrying is such a waste of time, and I'm actually really trying to learn not to let it ruin my life. Trying to think positive and enjoy my life. And knit a little too.[...]



Keeping the family warm

2009-01-26T20:37:53.336+02:00

The weather's been great for wearing handknits. Last weekend we went skating, and for the first time ever, I decided to wear my Norwegian Stockings. They are too thick to wear with boots, but just perfect with skates, and they kept my feet nice and warm. And stylish too, which is important especially when your skating skills leave a little something to be desired.

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Onni skated too – obviously we both need some more practice. :-)

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I've been on a smaller knits kick lately. I've knit a neckwarmer for mom (because she liked mine):

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Wham Bam Thank You Lamb
by Insaknitty
Pattern source: Insaknitty (Ravelry link)
Yarn: two strands of Rowan All Seasons Cotton and one strand of Lopo Xavier Phoebus held together
Needles: 7 mm

Little socks for my goddaughter:

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Kaffe Fassett Socks
Pattern: 52 sts
Yarn: Schachenmayr nomotta Regia Design Line Kaffe Fassett, 1 x 50 g
Needles: 2,5 mm

And a hat for my sister:

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Simple Pleasures Hat
by Whit's Knits
Pattern source: The Purl Bee
Yarn: Classic Elite Yarns Lush, 1,5 x 50 g
Needles: 4,5 and 5 mm
Modifications: cast on 86 sts

Hopefully these little knits keep my loved ones warm!



Let's get this sock year started

2009-01-21T16:36:20.427+02:00

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Loksins!
by Cassie Thoreson
Pattern source: Too Much Wool
Yarn: Koigu Premium Merino, shade 4000
Needles: 2,5 mm

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Mmm, Koigu... don't these socks look delicious enough to eat? I love Koigu. Our affair started with my very first pair of adult socks, knitted almost exactly three years ago. (The yarn for those first socks was sent to me by Cassie, who is the designer of these socks.) This is my fourth pair using Koigu, and our love is still going strong. I could even go as far as declaring that it is my favourite sock yarn.

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I think these are definitely among the prettiest socks I've knit. I just love how the stocking stitch panel looks with the pretty little cables and the lace pattern. I also like how there's no cuff – it makes the socks look more delicate. The only modification I made was to add two pattern repeats to the leg. I guess I wanted to live dangerously, because I was well aware of Koigu's skimpy yardage. Luckily I had just enough, with almost no leftovers.

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So, all in all, a good start for 2009! More to come soon, because I've been a busy little knitter, and I have three more FO's just waiting to be blogged. Happy knitting to all!



Simple pleasures

2008-12-31T21:29:39.808+02:00

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~ snow and ice, so beautiful and pure (and delicious to eat I'm told) ~

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~ sausages and rye bread with herring, eaten outside with cold fingers ~

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~ simple, soft bamboo socks for my beautiful boy ~

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~ and some chunky garter stitch goodness ~

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

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Socks gone wrong

2008-12-08T23:21:35.245+02:00

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I'm usually quite good at ripping. If the project doesn't feel right, it meets its end pretty quickly. But sometimes it just happens that I find myself having finished something that I'm not at all happy about. And there are times (yeah that means you, November) when that kind of thing happens twice.

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Exhibit A: Maarja's Socks from Folk Knitting in Estonia

This started out as a sock, but was quickly realized to be too small. Here, I should have ripped, but I was in love with the combination of the yarn and the pattern and the colours, and wanted desperately to make it work. Hence, a wrist warmer! Halfway through the second one I'm suddenly pretty sure that I would never wear these.

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Exhibit B: Two-Yarn Resoable Socks from Favorite Socks

Looking at this photo I actually quite like this sock. It looks cute! I was so happy with my choice of yarns: handspun for the cuff and instep, and commercial, sturdy yarn for the heel and sole. Works fine in theory, but somehow I ended up with a much tighter gauge at the sole, and that makes the sock fit quite oddly. I would perhaps still knit the other one, had the knitting not been so fiddly and annoying. Boo to this one too.

– – –

Thank you so much for your very kind comments on my Blanket Cardigan! I've worn it twice in public already, and that's two times more than most of my handknit sweaters get. :-D



Security blanket

2008-12-01T16:32:57.557+02:00

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Blanket Cardigan
by Sarah Dallas
Pattern source: Sarah Dallas Knitting
Yarn: Jaeger Extra Fine Merino DK, 14 x 50 grams for size S
Needles: 3,5 and 4 mm

Boy did I drag my feet with this one. But now that this ocean of stockinette is finally done, I couldn't be happier with it! (Happiness not pictured. It was so dark, that when I tried to smile, my face turned out all blurry.) This cardigan is everything I hoped it would be when I started: it's big, warm and cozy, and I think it looks quite stylish even.

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The reason it took me 6 months from start to finish was that I didn't like knitting with this yarn. Jaeger Extra Fine Merino DK is wonderfully soft, but it's just too stretchy for a tight knitter like me. I'm quite happy with the yarn now that all the knitting is done though, it feels lovely and looks beautiful, and it better wear well too.

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Modifications: I made the sleeves a bit wider, knit the collar in moss stitch (instead of garter stitch), and knit 6 rows of moss stitch after casting on to prevent the rolling. I ended up using 14 balls, which is odd, as the pattern says 10 balls for my size, and the Rowan Wool Cotton that's used in the book has less yardage than Jaeger Extra Fine Merino. Even with the wider sleeves, four more balls of yarn is quite a lot I think. So if you want to knit this one, I would recommend buying more yarn than the pattern states.

Another odd thing is the name. There are two almost similar cardigans in this book, the only difference between them being that the other one is knit with one strand of Wool Cotton, and the other with two strands. In my copy of the book, the name of my sweater (that's knit with one strand) is Wrap Cardigan. But in Ravelry (and as it seems, in some copies of the book), the names are opposite. Doesn't matter really, just thought to mention it.



My secret weapon

2008-11-27T20:54:19.721+02:00

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Flammegarn Socks
by Nancy Bush
Pattern sorce: Folk Socks / Nancy Bush
Yarn: Fleece Artist Merino Sock 2/6, in shade Moss
Needles: 2,25 mm

I don't really have much to say about these socks (I like them very much), so instead you get a handy tip. Here goes:

Everytime I wear these shoes someone asks me how I manage to keep them so white. The secret weapon is an eraser, people. After every use I erase away all the stains. Some of my friends find this very amusing. But I don't care – I like my shoes clean. End of tip.

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11 more days

2008-11-19T14:22:14.880+02:00

Oh November. One must buy yarn to get through you. Of course one could also eat a lot of chocolate (and to tell you the truth one has tried that too), but I recommend buying yarn. It doesn't make you fat and pimple-faced.

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From left to right: Sunnyside Ellen sock yarn in shade Mermaid, Malabrigo sock yarn in shade Eggplant, from Socktopus, and Squoosh Fat Sock in shade Goldenrod.

Shiny, pretty, good-smelling new skeins… they really make the gray, rainy days feel a bit easier.

Then, to keep my little Lutheran world in balance, I dug out the box of odds and ends, and knit my boy a pair of slippers.

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Onni hates them. He only agreed to model them because I gave him chocolate (miraculously there was some left). ”These are itchy and hot”, said the little ungrateful person. I blame November.

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8-square socks
Pattern source: Käspaikka
Yarn: leftovers of various dk-weight yarns
Needles: 3,25 mm



Obviously mom still thinks it's Socktober

2008-11-01T17:40:38.252+02:00

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"Mom, I want to go out."

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"Mom?"

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"MOOOOOM!"

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So out we went.

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And my feet were very happy in my new socks. :-)

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Bockstark Socks
Pattern: 40 stitches, toe up, short-row toe and heel
Yarn: Bockstark Knits handspun, in Chocolate & Raspberries
Needles: 3,25 mm

These socks are all about the lovely handspun yarn that I got from Kris. I love knitting with handspun, and I think these socks turned out so cute! Thanks again, Kris! The pattern is my standard toe up sock pattern, with short-row toe and heel from Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks. I used every inch of the yarn – I had to cast off the second sock with another yarn (the one that ends with raspberry colour) but I don't think it's too noticeable.

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The socks are knit with 40 stitches. I don't know if you can actually see it from this photo, but I made two increases on both sides of the sock before the heel, and then decreased the stitches after the heel. The short row heel is often too tight for me, and the increases made the sock fit much better.

I hope you all noticed that these are not Nancy Bush socks? I still have hope I guess. Thanks so much for all the lovely and funny comments in my previous post! I sometimes feel like I have nothing more to write about socks that would interest anyone anymore, so your comments really mean a lot. Thank you!



Billy and Nancy

2008-10-28T00:45:47.612+02:00

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(Heelless) Sleeping Socks
by Nancy Bush
Pattern source: Knitting Vintage Socks / Nancy Bush
Yarn: The Yarn Yard Hug, in shade Gaskell
Needles: 2,75 mm

Confession time: my biggest celebrity crush ever was Billy Idol. Oh was I sweet sixteen! Thousand times, over and over again, I listened to that song. At that time I was also madly in love with a boy who looked a lot like Billy. (That, surprisingly, didn't work out. I was too shy to let him know about my undying love for him.) Well today Billy Idol is 52 (yikes!), and I'm a knitting lady approaching her forties who is clearly in need for a more suitable celebrity crush.*

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I don't think Nancy Bush should actually be afraid of me, but I've definitely developed some sort of obsession for her work. Take these socks for example: is it healthy that I was more excited to have another one of her patterns done and added to my "I love Nancy Bush" album over at Flickr than of the socks themselves? I'm reluctant to choose patterns from other designers because that would take time away from Nancy-patterns. I'm collecting her socks – there are times when I think that knitting every single sock pattern she has ever designed is entirely possible and totally reasonable. I'm not kissing her photo every night before going to bed, yet, but I'm reading her sock patterns more often than I'm willing to confess.

… and now I've read that last chapter again and I'm thinking that maybe some hobby other than knitting would do me good for a change. Unless you all keep posters of Elizabeth Zimmermann and Kaffe Fassett on your walls and just don't tell. Am I crazy, or are we all?

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A few more pictures of the socks, and some information about my modifications, here on Flickr.

*I still have the hots for Daniel Craig.



SIPs and the Stash

2008-10-18T23:09:23.373+03:00

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I was trying my very hardest to have these socks done by this weekend, but alas, it did not happen. Almost there though. With bigger needles and yarn than what I normally use, these have been a breeze to knit. The pattern is Heelless Sleeping Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks, and the yarn is The Yarn Yard Hug. I got it from Lin – I won a contest on her blog, and she sent me the most awesome package ever. Thanks again Lin!

I could have had a finished pair to show today had I not cast on for two other socks at the same time.

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This is the Two-Yarn Resoleable Sock from Favorite Socks. I'm knitting the cuff and instep in my godmother's naturally dyed handspun yarn, and I'm gonna use a sturdier wool for the heel and sole. I'm pretty excited to see how the two parts of the sock are going to be joined.

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Here's the third project, Flammegarn Socks from Folk Socks, in Fleece Artist Merino Sock 2/6. Nothing much to say about this one just yet, except that I'm really loving how the yarn and the simple slip stitch pattern look together.

So, lots of sock knitting going on here! I've done 13 pairs this year so far, and for the most part I've been knitting from the stash. I was starting to feel like there's not that much sock yarn left anymore…

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… but turned out I still have yarn for 18 more pairs! It's funny that two years ago my sock yarn stash was about the same size as it is now – this must be a good amount for me. What do you think? What would be the ideal amount for you? And how much sock yarn do you have? I would love to know.



Let the festivities begin

2008-10-12T23:14:03.287+03:00

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Gentleman's Sock in Railway Stitch
by Nancy Bush
Pattern source: Knitting Vintage Socks / Nancy Bush
Yarn: Handarbeitskram by Selana Handpainted sockyarn (overdyed with food colouring), Patons Patonyle for the stripes
Needles: 2,25 mm (2 mm for the heels)

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It's Socktober, so here's a pair for you. I'm thinking about knitting only socks this month, but we'll see how that goes… every time I publicly announce something here in my blog, the next day I find myself wanting to do the opposite. Like, during the first Socktoberfest, while knitting a pair of baby socks with very little motivation, I wrote: "Now I know for sure that I don't like knitting socks. But I'm trying to finish these by Christmas, and then I can forget the sock knitting for forever." Tee-hee.

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These socks are for my dad. It's a good thing I love him so much, because otherwise I would be very tempted to keep these myself… but that would be kinda wrong seeing that I already have a drawer filled with unworn hand-knit socks. There's just something about those cute stripes that makes me feel very Gollum-like. I love Nancy Bush's gentleman socks, the simple knit and purl patterns are so beautiful, and the patterns usually have calf shaping which I think all sock patterns should have.

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The yarn was a Ravelry-trade. Although it was not the softest sock yarn I've tried, I really enjoyed knitting with it, and most importantly, my wrists liked it too. The more tightly twisted yarns, like Koigu and Jitterbug for example, though lovely and soft and bouncy, make my wrists act up pretty soon. And these socks definitely feel soft enough when worn. I love them! Let's hope my dad likes them too.

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The perfect weekend

2008-09-29T13:56:07.564+03:00

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Although I love autumn, the last visit to the summer cottage before winter always feels a bit bittersweet, and leaves you with a slightly melancholic feeling. Our weekend was lovely, the weather was cold but sunny, the sauna felt like heaven and the water in the lake was already ice-cold. Very refreshing!

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Garter Rib Socks
by Charlene Schurch
Pattern source: Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch
Size: 56 sts
Yarn: Sandnes Garn Sisu
Needles: 2,5 mm

Onni wore his new socks, which were very much needed and kept his feet all nice and warm. And I felt like a good mama. My boy has big feet – I think I have to cast on 60 stitches for the next pair I'm gonna knit for him.

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I never travel without my wool socks. Before we got the fire going though, the floor in the cottage was so cold, that I went searching for another pair to keep my feet from freezing, and found these old socks. Aren't they cute?

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My mom told me later that these socks used to belong to her own mother. I don't remember my grandmother that well – she died when I was six years old – but the thought of wearing the same socks that she did warmes my mind like the socks warmed my feet.

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And now we're back home again, doing the laundry and getting ready for another work week. Before we left, my dad gave us a huge bag of apples. I think that an apple pie is just what I need to get over this post weekend blues.

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Happy autumn, everyone!



One last bark

2008-09-17T15:13:14.700+03:00

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Bark #3
by Anna Tillman
Pattern source: Rowan 38
Yarn: All kinds of green, purple and brown yarns from stash, and Rowan Big Wool Tuft (1,5 x Rugged 058) for the edging
Hook: 5 mm


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There's nothing much about this pattern I haven't said already. This one's knit with finer yarns (roughly aran-weight) and smaller hook than the previous two, making it a bit more malleable. But crochet makes a sturdy fabric, so this is really more like a cowl than a shawl. A very, very warm cowl - although it's been cold here in Finland lately, I don't think I'll get to use this one for quite some time.

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Thank you all for your suggestions on what to do with Onni's socks. The reason I wasn't happy with that poor sock was that it looked somehow like a cheap sport sock to me. But in the end I was too lazy to rip the sock - as I said, the weather's been cold, and I just don't want to wake up one morning with snow on the ground and my little boy without warm socks because his mummy was obsessing about colours. So, I'm knitting the dang socks, and to soothe my apparently very sensitive colour sense, I cast on for another pair, pretty this time.

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Gentleman's Sock in Railway Stitch in Handarbeitskram by Selana



Pretty socks! And one not so.

2008-09-07T11:10:37.640+03:00

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Country Socks
by Nancy Bush
Pattern source: Folk Socks / Nancy Bush
Yarn: Mama Blue Knitting Goods Simple Merino Sock, shade Lagoon
Needles: 2,25 mm

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I'm so very happy with these socks! The pattern in it's simplicity appeals to me so much – I like the clean columns of stockinette with some simple patterning in between. Perfection. And Mama Blue's yarn is gorgeous! I just loved knitting with it. Aren't I lucky to have two more skeins of her yarn in my stash?

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I followed the pattern for the most part, just lenghtening the leg by an inch and replacing the star toe with a round one. Did I already say that I like these very very much? And yay, first Christmas gift done! 'Cause you know, there are only 108 days 'til Christmas.

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Speaking of socks, someone in this household is in dire need of a new pair for the winter. I decided to be thrifty and use the leftovers from my Norwegian Stockings. Didn't work out quite like I imagined though…

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Not that pretty, eh? And now I can't decide whether to just knit on and have an ugly but perfectly serviceable pair of socks for Onni to wear in his winter boots, or to rip and knit something nice instead. Hmmm. Good thing I have the whole day to make this important decision.



How the vest was won

2008-09-02T19:48:02.083+03:00

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Kaino
by Norah Gaughan
Pattern source: Norah Gaughan Vol. 1
Yarn: Rowan Kid Classic in shade Reed, 6,5 x 50 g
Needles: 4,5 and 4 mm

Boy it felt odd to block and seam something. Haven't done that in a while. But it also felt really, really good to finish something bigger for a change – I think the sweater mojo is finally returning, and I welcome it back with open arms. Those evil socks: they can really ruin your sweater knitting career if you aren't careful.

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This was a nice, straight-forward project. Would've been quick too if I hadn't abandoned it for months in between. But then I found a new sweater pattern to obsess over (more about that later), and decided to finish my hibernating projects before starting any new. This is only my second garment of 2008, and the funny thing is that both of the garments I've knit this year are vests by Norah Gaughan.

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The only modification I made with this one was with the collar: the back of the collar comes to a point, which looked kinda odd to me, so I decided to make it rounder. I could have made it even rounder – and I should have also used short rows and grafting to make it look neater. My seaming looks a bit clumsy. Luckily I can't see it myself, so it doesn't bother me enought to do it again.

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So, overall I'm pretty happy with my new vest. It fits, it feels comfortable on, and the colour looks good on me. It's just that I'm not good at all at wearing anything but black or grey or really dark colours – my inner goth girl writhes in pain in a green vest I guess. Another slight minus is the yarn. I'm not a big fan of Kid Classic – I find it very disappointing that a yarn that looks this fluffy, isn't actually soft. It itches! And I hate the shedding! No more mohair yarns for me thankyouverymuch.

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P.S. My yarn diet has come to an end. That's all I have to say about that.



The hermit holiday

2008-08-20T16:12:26.020+03:00

Oy. Can't believe my holiday is soon over. I'm so good at doing nothing – I've spent the last six weeks doing just that, and I'm not a least bit bored. Two things I love about holidays: I don't have to meet people, and I don't have to wear make-up. I hate hate HATE putting up make-up. Maybe soon I'll be old and courageous enough not to wear any and be the pale ghost that I am.1. Handarbeitskram by Selana, 2. Yarn Workshop Footscray, 3. Debbie Bliss Merino DKThere have been some productive days too. I've dyed some yarn with food colourings, and I'm pretty happy with the outcome. The two blue skeins were overdyed (the Selana-yarn was grey-blue, and the Debbie Bliss turquoise), but the green one was originally white, and I'm especially happy that I didn't ruin that one!Baby SocksPattern: 48 stitches, top down, short row heel, round toeYarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Watercolor, overdyed with food colouringsNeedles: 2,25 mmThis made me the happiest though. After dyeing the three skeins above, I still had some dye left, and I decided to overdye what I had left of this yarn. I think it turned out great! I had just enough yarn to knit these little socks for my cousin's new baby. I think I made too many short rows for the heel, but they seemed to fit fine anyway.(Pardon my dirty pants. I do occasionally change my clothes, even when on holiday.)I was thinking of saving this next one to another post, but what the heck. You never know when I get the urge to post again, so here:Bark #2by Anna TillmanPattern source: Rowan 38Yarn: Rowan Chunky Print (2 x Native 072, 0,5 x Corinthian 083, 0,5 x Pit 080), Rowan Kid Classic (2 x Thyme 826) and Rowan Big Wool Tuft (1,5 x Rugged 058)Hook: 7 mmYes, another! I used the leftovers from the first one + two skeins of Rowan Kid Classic in shade Thyme, held doubled. I was gonna give this to my sister, but now that it's done, I might even like this one better. I've started a third one (which makes me barking mad eh?), but I'm not quite sure about the colours I chose so I might rip back and start again.Here's a photo of the overall shape. It's not symmetric, which made me doubt my pattern reading skills when I did the first one. But the second one turned out to be the exact same shape, so I guess that's the way it should be.And last, thanks so much for all the lovely comments on my previous post, they really are appreciated![...]



More holiday crafting

2008-08-03T12:41:10.760+03:00

Weaver's Wool Mini Shawlby Peggy PignatoPattern source: KnitlistYarn: Garnstudio Alaska, 5 skeins (45 light green, 44 green, 51 dark green, 50 brown, 6 blackNeedles: 7 mmI know I've said this million times already, but garter stitch = ultimate knitting bliss. I wanted something mindless to knit during our stay at the cottage, so I went checking my Ravelry queue, and this seemed perfect. The yarn has been in my stash for quite some time now. I had bought it to make a striped scarf, but never got around knitting it. I won't be wearing this as a shawl though, so I guess I got my stripey scarf after all.This is a historical post for me, because: another FO!Jitterbug SocksPattern: 60 stitches, toe-up. Short-row toe and heel from Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks. Increased 6 stitches for the calf. The instruction for the Vikkel Braid is from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road (page 69)Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug in Summer Berries + some mystery yarn from the stash for the toesNeedles: 2,5 mmI now totally get the Jitterbug craze. It's a gorgeous yarn! And I really like this crazy colourway too, especially after I figured out a way to stop the pooling. Just before casting on for these socks, I had tried to knit the Spey Valley socks from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road. They didn't work out (they were too small for me), but I really liked the Vikkel Braids. So, when the Jitterbug started behaving badly, I decided to add some braids, and they worked like magic.I'm so happy with both of these projects. I hope your knitting's going well too – and if not, may I suggest some garter stitch therapy? Trust me, it works.More photos of both projects over at Flickr.[...]



16 squares

2008-08-02T18:26:17.619+03:00

ETA: Thanks so much for your lovely comments! I've added some more information about the sizing of the slippers to the end of this post.We are home again. But what a wonderful week we had at the cottage – this time the weather was perfect, so warm and lovely that most of our time there was spent in the lake. Onni practiced his swimming skills and did really well.While my boy was resting from all the swimming and jumping*, I was busy knitting my holiday project. My mom has a pair of slippers like these (her sister has knit them for her), and after some unsuccessfull attempts to figure out the construction on my own, I went a-googling and found the pattern here.8-square socksPattern source: Käspaikka Size: 8,5 x 8,5 cm squaresYarn: Sock yarn leftovers, held doubled Needles: 3,5 mmThese were done in no time. The only downside is that 16 different coloured squares mean 32 yarn ends… But, if you're like me and don't mind a little seaming and end-weaving, this is a great little project. Interesting too, it was fun to see how the strip of squares started to look like a slipper when I began to sew it together.The size of the finished slippers depends on how big you make your squares (the pattern gives you four sizes: from baby (vauvan) to mens (miesten)), and I chose to make my squares slightly bigger than in the womens' size. They fit pretty well, although the slippers are really stretchy and would probably fit smaller feet nicely too.* This photo is staged. 6 year old boys, it seems, do not need any rest.Ok, here's some more information about the sizing:Sizes: Baby / Child / Woman / ManSquare sizes: 4 x 4 / 6 x 6 / 8 x 8 / 10 x 10 cmThe diagonal of the square: ~ 5,7 / 8,6 / 11,4 / 14,3 cmThe widht of the slipper: 1 x the diagonal of the squareThe lenght of the slipper: 2 x the diagonal of the squareThe slippers are really stretchy. If you decide calculate the needed size according to the actual length of your feet, you can subtract 15 - 20 % of your measurement.I hope this makes sense![...]



My precious

2008-07-19T19:58:09.294+03:00

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Welsh Country Stockings
by Nancy Bush
Pattern source: Folk Socks / Nancy Bush
Yarn: Patons Patonyle 4ply, 75 grams of brown (1006), 35 grams of white (1003)

Needles: 2,25 mm


During the last few weeks, my knitting self esteem has sunk to an all-time low. All my bigger projects seem to hate me, even sweet Liesl was too small. Oh you should've seen me ripping it – knitting is clearly the new kick-boxing. All the other Liesl knitters were able to knit this little sweater in one afternoon with charming results, but not me. Maybe they swatched? (Crazy, I know.)

But when sweater knitting kicks you in the head, it's time to knit a pair of socks.

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Can you feel the love? I adore these socks – they are perfect in every way. I made a few modifications to the pattern: I left out the contrasting heel, and added the fair isle motif to the toe too. There's an old photo in the book on page 25 with socks like this, and I liked them better. I really like that tiny bit of colourwork – enough to make the socks pretty, but not enough to make you go crazy knitting it.

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The yarn, Patons Patonyle 4ply, was sent to me for my opinion by Patons. Luckily this was an easy job – I loved this yarn! It's incredibly soft, it's easy on the hands and knits up just beautifully. With 20 % nylon content it should wear well too. I even found a group in Ravelry dedicated to this yarn, so clearly I'm not the only one who likes it. It doesn't show on the Patons website just yet, but it should be available sometime next winter.

We'll be heading out to the summer cottage next week, so I'll leave you with a sneak peek at my next sock project. For the sake of peace and happiness of all beings, there won't be any sweater projects in my bag.

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On the needles and off the hook

2008-07-05T21:56:54.651+03:00

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Here's the first Welsh Country Stocking. I love it dearly. And look how nice it looks with my freshly painted toenails! A sign of a true lady: her nail polish matches her sock in progress.

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I was so fed up with the Blanket Cardi that I decided to cast on for another sweater. And cast on I did, 7 times! I'm knitting Liesl, a design by Ysolda Teague, and although I had some trouble in the beginning (it proved to be extremely hard for me to cast on loosely enough), it's been smooth sailing ever since. I'm knitting this as quickly as I can so it will be finished before I can figure out a way to mess it up too.

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G9 Stripes
a small pouch for my small camera
Yarn: Rowan Handknit Cotton
Hook: 4 mm

I finished my crocheted camera pouch. It's a silly little thing, and I'm not totally happy with it, (there's something unsatisfactory about the combination of colours and texture, I can't quite say what) but it's just for protecting my camera when I toss it in my bag, so it'll do for now. The ribbon is sewn into the bottom of the pouch with just a few stitches, so it will be easy to take it off when I don't feel this girly.



Yarn dieting made easy

2008-06-28T20:51:22.982+03:00

I don't know if you've noticed, but I've been on a yarn diet for six months now. That's half a year people! I'm very impressed by myself. I did get new yarn for the Bark shawl, but I don't think it counts because a) I traded the yarn for it and b) it's all knit up already. Knitting from the stash has actually been quite fun, and I've even been able to use up all kinds of odds and ends.Bockstark Knits Handspun, Handgefaerbt SockenwolleDespite the extreme funniness and reasonableness of using the stash, lists of dreamy yarns I'm allowed to buy next year have been made. I'm gonna buy Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light for Norah Gaughan's Kukka, and Rowan Bamboo Tape for Granite from the latest Rowan Magazine. I'm dreaming of all kinds of wonderful sock yarns: The Knittery's Slim and Chubby sock yarns, mamablue's Sea Merino, Madelinetosh's Glazed Sock, Dream in Color's Smooshy, Fleece Artist's Somoko... the list goes on and on and on. And I'm definitely gonna order some handspun from Pigeonroof Studios – I love her yarns! Oh dear. Six more months to go.Cleckheaton Country 8ply and Country Silk 8ply, Patons PatonyleMaybe I'll survive though, especially after receiving four packages of yarn during the last month. First I won a contest over at Bockstark Knits, and Kris sent me a skein of her gorgeous handspun yarn, and a skein of pretty sock yarn too. Yay! Thanks Kris! Then I got a package all the way from Australia – Patons (who are part of Australian Country Spinners) are relaunching a sock yarn called Patonyle, and they asked me if I would be willing to review it. (Doesn't that sound so professional? Teehee.)Welsh Country Stockings from Folk Socks, in Patons Patonyle 4plyI wanted to start my assignment right away, and cast on for a pair of socks for my dad. He has, in record time, worn holes to both pairs of socks I've knit for him so far, so he's an excellent test person to wear the review socks. Luckily for me, I like this yarn a lot – it knits up beautifully and is very very soft. The first sock is already finished, and I'm hoping to get the second one done before we go to see my parents in two weeks.Handarbeitskram by Selana, Yarn Workshop FootscrayThe third package was a Ravelry trade with Maverick, I sent her my unloved Kid Silk Haze balls, and I got a skein of lovely sock yarn in return. And the last one was a gift from Ingrid – she sells undyed yarns for hand dyers (check them out here), and she sent me a skein of Footscray, which is a fingering weight superwash sock yarn. This is a lovely yarn, and although I'm a bit afraid of ruining it, I'm gonna try dyeing it during my summer holiday. Wish me luck!In addition to all this severe dieting business, I haven't been up to much recently. The love affair with Blanket Cardigan has been on hold after I noticed that the green stripe in the front piece is two rows higher than in the back piece. This made me quite mad actually – there's one tiny little design detail in this whole stocking stitch desert, and I was able to mess it up. To cool my nerves, I switched to crocheting. I'm making a small bag for my camera, and also testing some colour combinations – I'm thinking about crocheting a summer bag with similar colours. We'll see just how much comforting my poor nerves need.Lastly, thank you so much to all of you lovely people who were kind enough to say nice things about my meh socks! You caught me on one thing: I never wash and block my socks. I've alw[...]



Mehhy Meh Socks

2008-06-17T16:56:31.018+03:00

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Fancy Silk Sock
by Nancy Bush
Pattern source: Knitting Vintage Socks / Nancy Bush
Yarn: Schoeller + Stahl Fortissima Socka
Needles: 2,5 mm for the upper leg and 2,25 mm for the rest of the sock

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Modifications: The scalloped edge was a bit too much for me, so I replaced it with k1 p1 ribbing, and added two purl rows to separate the ribbing from the leg pattern. The old photo in the book actually has this purl ridge, so it was surprising to find out that the pattern did not. I also added one pattern repeat to the leg, and made the heel a few rows longer. This is a nice, well-written pattern, but I don't know... perhaps a bit too fancy for me?

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So, feeling a bit disappointed with these socks, but mainly because of the yarn. It's not a nice wool, it's scratchy and sticky, and an especially bad choice for this delicate lace design. I should have stopped after the first sock, but I was stubborn and wanted this yarn out of my stash. And now I have a pair of socks that I'm not that crazy about, and I've wasted valuable time knitting something I did not enjoy knitting at all. Do you do this, or am I the only one? It didn't even occur to me until now that I could've ripped the first sock and tossed the yarn away.

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One thing's for sure: my next project will be knitted with something nice and soft and lovely. I think I've deserved that.

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