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!

france

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!

hexipuff13
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.

trinitycollegelibrary wicklowmountains

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.

GotShawlFrance

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.

To frog or not to frog, that is the question

scentoflavender
It is a question knitters will often find asking themselves and the answer never seems easy. I have once again found myself in this position were I have already invested quite some time in a project, but am unsure whether to continue or not. So to frog or not to frog? That is the question..

Pattern: The Scent of Lavender
Yarn: Araucania Ranco Multy

In general, there doesn’t seem to be anything especially wrong with this project. The yarn is fine, there don’t seem to be any too apparent mistakes in the pattern, the size is working out as well. So why would I consider frogging this? Mainly because it is hard for me to keep myself motivated to finish this project, and there are several reasons for this.

scentoflavender2
First of all the pattern instructions. I am knitting these from a little Knitting to Go booklet, from which I have finished a pattern before. There are lots of lovely patterns in there that make my sock knitting heart beat a little faster. But as I also came to find with the previous pattern I made (Herringbone from Kiel), I am thoroughly annoyed with the instructions. In the case of the Herringbone socks the heel instructions were very unclear, I frogged the heel twice after ending up with huge holes in the gusset, before eventually knitting a heel from a different pattern. I don’t know if it’s the way the booklet has been translated but again I’m encountering frustrations regarding the directions. I’m sure that partially it’s my own fault, because I do dive into charts immediately without always reading the instructions carefully. But a lot of things in the instructions seem to be implicitly assumed and I generally prefer patterns that explicitly overstate things rather than assuming I just know everything. I’m sure because of the way it is written there are already a few unnecessary errors in my sock, which annoys me to no end.

And then there’s the problem of my yarn choice. I knew very well that this pattern would work best with a solid colour, but I thought I’d get away with the variegated yarn anyway. The colour is so pretty and it somehow feels as if the green would work nice for a leafy lace pattern (I’m such a sucker for leafy lace patterns). But here it is, the lace isn’t popping out as much as it should and in hindsight I should’ve gone for a solid colour.

So what to do? It’s not as if the sock is looking horrendous, I still love the way the pattern looks and the yarn is lovely, plus I’ve already invested quite some time in this (oh dear, sunk cost effect kicking in). But on the other hand, because of the reasons listed above, it is hard to stay motivated and finish this thing and what if I don’t like the end result? For now I don’t have an answer to my own question and I’m avoiding the sock whilst continuing on other projects, running the risk that I’ll forgot about it. What is a knitter to do..

FO friday: lakeside

lakeside
These knee socks have been a long time in the making (cast on was in april) but I have finished making the lakeside socks for my sister! Even though it was my second time knitting this pattern I still enjoyed making them. Still somehow I can’t manage to finish one of these completely without mistakes. But let’s just call that ‘personalised’ and ‘one of a kind’ (ahem).

lakeside3
 As for the yarn, I was pleasantly surprised. I was looking for sock yarn that would not be itchy but could still resist the wear and tear socks usually get exposed to. I ended up buying Rico Design superba cotton stretchOf course I don’t know yet how the yarn will last in the long run, but at least it feels super soft and was easy to work with. Plus, it only took me around 55 grams to make one sock, and since I bought 200 grams I still have more than enough left to make another pair of socks.


Now that these are done I can get back to some selfish knitting!

Breaking Cat

It’s a good thing that there was a deadline to the Mochimochi photo series contest, otherwise I probably would have spend another couple of weeks (or even months, who knows!) working on this project. So today was the day I set the deadline for myself to take all the pictures and upload my entry. It was a bit of a weird sunday, with sewing knitwork onto cardboard, making tiny desks and editing eyebrows. But here it is, weeks work full of brainstorming and lots and lots of knitting.

Breaking Cat! Just like Breaking Bad, but with catnip 🙂

The Mochimochi pattern featured are:
Stackable cats
 Gun shy
 Tiny pets
 Part of Cuter Polluters

Breaking Cat

Breaking Cat Breaking Cat Breaking Cat Breaking Cat Breaking Cat

Socks socks socks

tintern_abbey

My sock needles have been incredibly busy these last months. With so many tempting patterns out there and a reasonably sized sock yarn stash at my disposal, it sometimes is just too hard to control myself and not cast on yet another pair.

Usually it also doesn’t help that there is a sock knit along going on on Ravelry. So for the March challenge I cast on two pairs of socks. The first one is the gray pair of Tintern Abbey’s (pictured above, excuse my white pre-summer legs) in drops Fabel yarn. One of the challenge themes for the month March was architecture inspired socks, and as the name already gives away these socks are inspired by Tintern Abbey in Wales. This was actually my first time ever knitting socks toe-up. It was all a bit fiddly and I re-started the first sock a couple of times. The pattern called for Sherman toes and heels, and although I stuck to the toe I changed the heel to a fish lip kiss heel. I like that the sock looks so simple with only the lace part at the top, this way it really resembles the arches of the abbey.

storm

The second theme option for the knit along was nature inspired, so I went for the Storm pattern. I still had this yellow and gray Lana Grossa Meilenweit Bronx yarn lying around which is suited for a simple pattern. I aptly named my socks Thunderstorm and was happy to cast them on. Unfortunately the pattern gets very boring very fast (could’ve known that) and after finishing the first sock I realised I made a mistake in the pattern. Instead of two ribbed rounds after each cable round, I had only knit one, resulting in a different (less lovely) looking sock. But since the sock was already finished I decided to match the second sock. But it made me a lot less motivated to get these done and it was a lot of last minute work to still get them finished in time. In the end I am happy with how they turned out though, and the yellow is a nice addition to my hand knit sock drawer.

flockforyourfeet
Other than these two I still have three pairs that are currently in progress. First of all I’ve been working on these sheep socks (A Flock for your Feet pattern) for a long time now. The first time I cast these on was back in february but I ended up not liking the colour combinations. Quite happy with the colours now, but the progress is still a bit slow. Maybe May will see these finally finished (fingers crossed!).

lakeside
Also making some good progress with the Lakeside knee socks! And I’m really liking this yarn, it’s so soft! Finished the calf decreases on the first sock and the pattern is so easy and quick to knit, without it getting boring. I might end up with 10 pairs of these in all the colours of the rainbow.

araucania

And last but not least, for this months sock challenge I will knit a pair of The Scent of Lavender socks in this super pretty Araucania Ranco Multy yarn. Whenever I pick up this skein I just start squishing it instead of casting on. But I will cast on soon (I promise) and I’ll pretend that all these socks are the only WIPs I have lying around (subtly hides huge pile of other WIPs).