Final countdown

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This is it. The final stretch. This wednesday I’ll be on a train to Amsterdam and this shawl has to be with me, finished, cast off, blocked and nicely wrapped. There’s no room for failure. This shawl will be gifted.

You might remember me being proud of casting on this Wilshire shawl so well in advance and there being loads of time for me to finish this. I guess I know myself well enough to know it would come to this. Only a couple of days left and still 1,5 lace charts to go over 400+ stitches. It still seems possible, despite most of my weekend already being filled with sporting/social/working plans. And I was quite optimistic until yesterday evening when I spotted a MISTAKE (cue dramatic music). A yarn over mistake right at the spine a couple of rows back. Sorry for making this into a knitting confession but I am terrible at fixing mistakes! Sure, I can pick up a dropped stitch in stockinette, but that’s about it. I’m in awe when I see people fixing complicated lace mistakes by dropping stitches and just knitting them back up again. The only strategies I have when it comes to mistakes are a) don’t make mistakes; and b) if you spot a mistakes carefully knit back every stitch, until said mistake has disappeared.

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But here’s the thing, I don’t have time anymore to knit back so many lace stitches. The mistake was a major eyesore to me but I decided to put it to the test to see how bad it really was. I don’t know if this is a horrible thing to think or not but this will be gifted to a non-knitter. So I showed the shawl to my boyfriend (also a non knitter), explicitly told him one of the little holes right next to the spine was wrong and asked him to point it out to me. He couldn’t. So the hard decision was made to leave in the mistake and I’m desperately hoping that even after the yo’s open up after blocking it will still not be visible to non-knitters. Also maybe I overreacted just a tiny bit yesterday, because I also don’t find the mistake that disturbing anymore by daylight, it’s not even visible in the pictures!

I wouldn’t even be in this situation if I’d stick more to my plan. But after casting on I’ve been busy at work, I’ve flirted with cross-stitch and I’m ashamed to admit it but I also cast on a new project. In my defence, I’ve been wanting to cast on the rainbow wanderer socks ever since falling in love with my mini skeinbow. And realising that they would qualify for the September Sockdown fraternal pairs socks challenge I had no choice. And you can’t just cast on a pattern like that and only knit a few rows, I had to see the rainbow evolve a little!

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Anyway enough whining for now. I’m getting into full focus mode, no more mistakes and I’m not allowed to do anything besides knit this shawl today.Before wednesday there’ll either be a euphoric blog post about my amazing knitting skills, or a depressed one about how I need a time management course.

x marks the spot

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I’ve survived all the work deadlines and my life is slowly getting back to it’s less busy self. Which means I can pick up my knitting projects again! Despite not having any FOs to show you I did make some progress at least. But to be honest I got a bit fed up with knitting last week. I was working long days and when I got home felt pressured to knit, rather than feeling relaxed by it. I kind of have a birthday knit deadline for the Wilshire shawl, I really want to cast on something for the september sockdown, I want to start a project to tackle my cable fobia, I wanted to join in with the WIP crackaway etc. etc. This all took the fun out a bit for me so I was looking for something else to relax with until my mind was a bit more at rest.

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So I decided to finally learn cross stitch in the hopes of it being as easy as I imagined it and offering me some mindless activity to wind down. I spent one evening reading some tutorials, picking out a pattern and ordering materials. Two days later I was good to go and I actually really enjoy this! The pattern I’m making is called Glia Club, and although it feels like I’m just doing something random, it’s actually starting to look like it’s supposed to. Plus it did the trick for me, it was a great distraction and I feel like I have energy to knit again 🙂

Do you sometimes feel stressed out by knitting?

FO: New Girl

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These past weeks have been insane work-wise. I’m nearing the end of my first year as a PhD student, which means there are all kinds of creepy deadlines coming up for evaluation meetings, progress report presentations etc. And I keep thinking that it would be so nice if only I had a little bit more data to show, causing me to work too much and having sleepless nights overthinking things. Alas, next week will be the busiest and after that it will hopefully all calm down a bit. So despite all busy times I am super happy to be able to actually post an FO post!

Pattern: New Girl
Yarn: Schoppel Wolle Zauberball Stärke 6 in Dottergelb & Petrol

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All in all it took me little under a month to completely finish this skirt, including the time in which I pretended it didn’t exist because I didn’t feel like weaving in the ends. For me, that’s a pretty decent time for finishing a project like this. The biggest battle I’ve been having is second thoughts on the colour choice, and I still really don’t know whether I like the colours or not.. I change my mind about it every other day or so, my thoughts ranging from ‘this is a brilliant combination I should make everything in green and yellow’ to ‘what the hell was I thinking?!’. So if I’m ever knitting this skirt again it will be in nice safe colours, one of them being gray.

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The pattern itself isn’t the most exciting knit ever, there being so much stockinette involved, but with the hem, pockets and daisy stitch there is enough going on to keep the knitting interesting. As for the yarn I’m quite pleased with it. The green was splittier than the yellow (weird!) but not so bad that it was annoying. It became softer than I was expecting after washing, so it’s comfortable to wear. And bonus points for the yarn for having such a witty label (although someone should’ve told me this years ago).

It’s a kind of magic

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Let me start of by acknowledging that this is indeed a post about new projects, without there being a post about finished projects. I swear though that I very much finished my New Girl skirt, however my pure hatred for weaving in ends has led me to not blocking the skirt only until yesterday. As we speak the skirt is trying it’s very best to get dry as quickly as possible so that I can take some nice picture of it and post these to the blog.

So as you can see, my new cast ons are fully justified! And as soon as I weaved in the last end I immediately started with some new projects. The first one I cast one is a purple Wilshire shawl. Now usually I am a very very selfish knitter, and part of that is that I am rubbish at planning my knits. So 3 months before someone’s birthday I think, oh this would be so nice to knit for them! And then this thought disappears until 2 days before said persons birthday, when it is already too late for me to finish it on time and I run off to the stores to buy a gift.

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Not this time though! This shawl has to be birthday gifted at the beginning of october and I am super determined to get this done on time. I fell in love with this pattern and I really can see the recipient wearing it as well. And the yarn.. oh the yarn.. It’s Lana Grossa Lace Merino in the colour Lilla and it is so soft and a pleasure to knit with. It’s a good thing I am so bad at estimating how much yarn I need because I bought a whopping 1600 meters (1750 yards) with the idea of making one shawl out of it. But I’m fairly confident I’ll have more than enough left to make myself something nice with it as well.

I did have some big problems with this project so far, I already frogged it 4 times before even getting to the lace part. I think it was too easy at that point, and when something it too easy my mind switches of and I make unnecessary mistakes. So to get away from it a bit I started something that I’ve been meaning to do a long time, namely to learn how to knit socks two at a time toe up.

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I picked up this sock yarn (Maxi Ringel in 7735) while I was in Switzerland and since it came in two 50 grams skeins and I might possibly want to make knee socks if the yardage allows it, this seemed like the perfect time to learn. And guess what? It’s super easy! I had a lot of help from this tutorial, which explains all the steps very detailed and with clear photos. It feels so magical to me, I’m just knitting plain old stockinette but the combination of the striped yarn and the two at a time technique I’m getting two socks done at once that seem quite special. Maybe I will be converted from my top down DPN kind of ways.

New Project, New Girl

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My current number of works in progress is below 5, which in my world means that it is perfectly acceptable to cast on something new. As you might remember from my top 5 favourite skirt patterns I’ve been dying to cast on the New Girl skirt. And since the weather is still too hot for proper winter knits the timing seems perfect.

Pattern: New Girl
Yarn: Schoppel Wolle Zauberball Stärke 6 in Dottergelb & Petrol

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You might think dark green and yellow is a bit of an odd colour combination, and I fully agree. Somehow when I purchased this yarn a while back I thought this a very logical combination, but now I don’t see it anymore. But since it made sense to me at one point, I’m sure it will come back. The green is knitting up nicely so far, although the yarn is a bit too splitty for my taste.

As for the pattern, it’s the perfect mindless tv knit and it has been great for train and car travel. I’m nearing the bit where I have to start thinking about the pockets, but until then it’s just plain old stockinette stitch. Just what I needed after the constant counting and thinking required for my Stormborn shawl.