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.

Stormborn

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It’s done, it’s done! Yesterday I finished the Stormborn shawl from the Game of Thrones Mystery Knit Along and I am so pleased with it!

Yarn: Tibetan Cloud Fingering
Pattern: Stormborn Shawl

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Since this was a mystery knit along I didn’t know what the pattern would be, and I totally lucked out with my yarn colour choice. The green suits the dragon scales very well and in general I love the colour. After a wash and a block the yarn is also very soft. The only problem I had with it was that the thread thickness seems to vary quite a lot, and although that in itself isn’t so much of a problem, the fact that the yarn broke on me twice in the thin parts is. Both times it gave me a mini heart-attack, and in general I prefer my knitting without any kind of heart attack. I wasn’t sure how much yarn I would need for the shawl, and despite it’s name the weight does not seem to be fingering. So of the two skeins (a whopping 900 meters, 100 grams) that I bought I still have 43 grams left. Which is more than enough to do another project!

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The pattern is great as well, it’s interesting enough to keep you motivated up until the end, but repetitive enough to not have to constantly rip back because of a counting mistake. Plus the end result is huuuge, and I’m all for huge shawls. And I can totally picture Daenerys rocking this, of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men etc. etc. etc.

Back to reality

I’ve had two lovely and relaxing weeks of vacation and it is with a little bit of sadness that I’ve gone back to work, back to reality. First I enjoyed a relaxing week in France, after which I went to Ireland for a little more active holiday. And I’ve drawn some important knitting conclusions while I was away!

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First of all apparently I can knit in the car without getting car sick! For someone that already gets car sick from reading too many road signs this is an amazing discovery. Truth be told I only tried knitting hexipuffs, as I thought it’d be less likely getting car sick with an easy and memorised pattern. Mainly because of the long drive to France this resulted in 13 happy little puffs finished and my grand total now stands at 24 puffs!

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My second grand conclusions is that I am still too chicken to carry knitting in my hand luggage. I’ve read some stories online of people who had no problems at all with getting their knitting on a plane, but I am still left with the irrational fear that airport security will look at me disapprovingly while ripping out a beautiful piece of knitting, after which they will dramatically snap my beautiful knitting needles in half whilst laughing maniacally. This meant that for my second trip, for which only hand luggage was booked, I was to be without knitting. In other words, a week without sadly making any progress on any of my projects. Which doesn’t mean it wasn’t an amazing week, the beauty of Dublin and the Irish countryside left me speechless at times.

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As for the socks I was contemplating about whether they should be frogged or not, I have come to a conclusion. They will be frogged and I am sure the yarn will make another pair of beautiful socks. The little voice in my head kept on complaining that I would not be happy with these socks and the chances of me eventually finishing these was becoming smaller and smaller. In the end I think I made the right decisions, although it not being an easy one.

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So you might be thinking that 13 small hexipuffs and half a socks that will be frogged is not much knitting in two weeks. Luckily I’ve also been making some progress on the Game of Thrones Mystery Knit Along shawl, for which I am probably the last of the participants that has not finished this yet. But I won’t despair! The pattern is so pretty and the yarn I’m using (which I bought on yarn shop day) is a perfect colour for the dragon scale like look. Although it is not really a mystery anymore I’ll try to first make a bit more progress before posting a proper picture, but I promise it’s gonna be good. Almost done with clue 3 now and with 6 clues in total this can only mean that I am half way-ish. Plus it felt pretty epic when the weather of France decided it was time for some rain and I could work on the shawl with a sea view.

Meanwhile back in the Netherlands it has been raining for two days straight, and I’m not even exaggerating, there has literally not been one minute without rain for two days. This has made my hands itching to make something warm and wintery. However I must.. resist.. casting on.. wintery stuf.. because according to the weather report we will hop back into summer this friday.