2015 in knitting

I hope you all had a lovely New Year’s Eve, spend with exactly the people you wanted to be with and exactly at the place you wanted to be at, whether it be at a big party or snuggled up at home. For me it was more of the latter, as I like to spend NYE at home, comforting my pets from all the hullabaloo outside if need be.

I wanted to do a little round-up of all my knitting this year and I already knew beforehand it would be less than I was hoping for. The sudden loss of my dear cat at the beginning of 2015 threw me off knitting for months, it being an activity so closely associated with a purring cat on my lap. Even though Dimmie will always be dearly missed, the hurt lost its edge and I rekindled my love for knitting throughout the year. 2015 was also the year in which Iva found her way into my life, and even though she’s just been living with us for 3 months now, I wouldn’t want to miss her for anything in the world.

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I finished 15 projects in 2015 (a little fitting, isn’t it?). I didn’t have any clear resolutions, other than that I wanted to knit more sweaters/cardigans. Although not an impressive amount, I did finish 1 sweater and 1 cardigan, so check I think?

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I only finished 4 pairs of socks, which I hope will be significantly more in 2016. Sock knitting always was ‘my thing’. I can get lost with other projects, but socks hardly ever fail me. So I want to reclaim my ‘addicted to sock knitting’ title in the coming year.

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Although I did work on a couple of colourwork projects throughout the year, none of them made it to a finished status. So one clear goal for 2016 will be to at least finish one of them. I do love stranded knitting, but I also do find it more tricky to pick up WIPs that involve stranded knitting for some reason.

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By far it is not all doom and gloom. I do wish I could’ve done more, but let’s be real, if I had finished 30 projects I probably still would’ve said that. Us knitters are probably always plagued by the thought that it is unlikely we will ever finish knitting everything we want in our lifetime, just like I’ll never be able to keep on top of all the books I want to read. Most importantly, knitting once again kept me sane. In a hectic second year of my PhD, knitting was my meditation. It brought me tremendous joy, from picking out patterns and matching yarns, to wearing my finished projects. I also knit two gifts that I know made people dear to me happy. So what more could I possibly be asking for? Here’s to more of that feeling in 2016!

A very happy Caturday indeed: meet Iva

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If you’ve been following this blog for a while you might know I had my heart completely broken at the beginning of this year by the sudden passing of my cat Dimmie. It took me months to get back to my regular self, my heart felt empty. Despite this, I was quick in making the decision to not get a new cat. The reason for that is that a couple of years after adopting Dimmie I developed a cat allergy. Getting rid of a pet you’ve grown to love was never an option after I got the diagnosis, but doing this to my body again seemed like a bad idea. Iva8
It was a few months later, I was still painfully aware of how empty my lap was every day, when a colleague mentioned he got himself a Siberian kitten. I had no clue, but apparently Siberian cats are hypoallergenic, and suddenly a whole new world of options opened up for me. I found a cattery that looked really good and registered for a waiting list for a kitten. No new litters were expected before mid-2016 however, so I was prepared to play the waiting game. Iva7

And that’s where Iva comes in. The cattery I registered with got one of their kittens back, in fact a daughter of Iva. Iva had had a litter of 7 kittens and had lost a lot of weight after this. They decided the new kitten would take over Iva’s role for further breeding, and Iva would get an early retirement (at the age of 2). As soon as I heard of her being in want of a new home I send out an email hoping this would work out.

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And I guess from this post it is pretty obvious that it did. We picked her up last Tuesday and we’ve quickly fallen in love. She is the sweetest thing, constantly asking for belly rubs and loudly purring. She also still LOVES to play. I heard before that Siberians can be a bit ‘dog like’ and it is so true! If you call her name she’ll come running to you and she even plays fetch, how cute is that?! It’s even funnier because our dog doesn’t know how to play fetch, and the confused look on his face while she’s bringing back a ball is priceless!

Iva

Back from Hawaii

It’s been awhile hasn’t it? Last month I had a conference to attend in Honolulu (the life of a phd student can be really tough sometimes) and I figured I might as well have a little Hawaiian holiday if I’m flying to the other side of the planet anyway. Here’s a small impression of what I’ve been up to! {image heavy post of course}

 

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Mending a broken heart and on new beginnings

It’s hard to judge how these things will affect you in advance, but in my case the sudden loss of my furry friend really had me fall apart. Some things and habits in your life are so strongly interweaved with associations, it is hard to keep your mind of the thing you miss so dearly. For me, my indoor hobbies like knitting and reading, I do on the couch, with a content cat on my lap. So the sudden hole in my heart left me without any motivation to do these things. I even almost felt guilty, weirdly enough. I guess these things must sound pretty drastic to some, after all it’s just a cat, but when you own a pet you know it is so much more than that. In the past 2 weeks I don’t think I’ve knit more than a couple of rows, and I haven’t read anything at all, despite having a good start to my year reading-wise.

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Anyway, no knitting ment no blogging, so I know I’ve been a bit silent around here. I think what I needed was something new, something association free. It was a coincidence that I’d already signed up for a sewing class last week. At first I felt like cancelling, but a new challenge might just be what I need to keep my mind distracted. So I went to my first ever sewing class, without any experience whatsoever.

There’s so many talented bloggers out there that have mastered both knitting and sewing, and I love the idea of a handmade wardrobe with additions of both of these crafts. I don’t have any illusions that I’ll be making my own dresses anytime soon, but my goal this year was to at least start learning the basics. Really just learning how a sewing machine works would already be an improvement to my current state.

During the first class I made a pillow case with a zipper. When I got home the boyfriend seemed very impressed. The thing is, the nice lady that taught the class put in the zipper, and all the seams I made were in the inside, invisible to the non-inquisitive eye. I’ll spare you pictures of these seams, but just imagine a drunken person trying to draw a straight line. Yes, it looks something like that.. Because you know what? Making a straight seam is HARD!!

apron
Anyways, lesson 2 followed this week, and the friend I was taking the class with and I felt confident we could make an apron. I selected a simple pattern and a nice fabric, but when we came to class the instructor suggested a different pattern, one with ruffles! Geesh, I can hardly do a straight seam, I’m not sure why she’d think I can do ruffles. Also the pattern required a contrasting fabric. My friend and I had by coincidence both selected a blue fabric. My thoughts at the time were ‘what a coincidence, this will look great!’. My current thoughts are ‘it’s a good thing I’ll learn a lot from this, because this apron is going to be an eyesore..’.

How much of an eyesore this thing is going to be remains to be seen, because during the last class I didn’t get much further than fabric cutting and one seam in the pocket. So if you like the idea of a dark blue apron with flower ruffles, stay tuned! In any case I’m learning, I’m trying and I definitely was distracted from my heartache, so the class has already been a success.