Sometimes there’s nothing like a spontaneous trip to an unfamiliar city. Last weekend I found myself in Riga, and my first visit to Latvia was so lovely that I’ll share with you some of the reason you should visit Riga.
You should most definitely go if you …
… love wandering and getting lost in cobblestone streets..
… if having drinks in the cellar of a place called ‘Black Magic’ speaks to you on a higher level..
… if the prospect of a Baltic winter doesn’t scare you off …
… if you want to admire magnificent art nouveau buildings …
… if big shiny golden domes on churches make you go ‘oooooh’ and ‘aaaaah’ …
But most of all, you need to get yourself to Riga if you want to knit like a Latvian (and buy all of the Latvian wool and mittens)…
And of course I could not leave one of the capitals of knitting empty handed…
Pattern: Asklöv hat by Nicolina Lindsten
Yarn: Geilsk tynd uld
It is still FREEZING outside so go me for finishing a hat! I got inspired for this hat by the last autumn issue of Pom Pom Quarterly. I’m so in love with this magazine, and have been a subscriber for over a year now, but still this is the first FO resulting from it (although many more project are in my queue).
But despite it being my first finished Pom Pom project this is actually my second FO by this designer! Remember the cute Saffran baby cardi? Yep, from the same brilliant mind. For both projects it’s very calming colourwork to knit, once you get that dreadful twisted rib brim done. But I can’t complain too much, because the brim does look lovely.
I used some Danish yarn for this, Geilsk tynd uld is a 100% wool light fingering yarn with a lovely natural palette. As the name says it is quite thin wool, but with the folded brim and colourwork making for a double layer it is nice and warm. The only thing I disliked a bit is that the yarn seems a little easy too break, so don’t put too much tension on it.
Oh and I also finished a pair of fraternal vanilla socks. The yarn is regia that I got for my birthday, accidentally they bought me mismatched yarn but I didn’t think it mismatched at all! A lovely pair and already the third pair finished this year!
How has the first month of 2017 been for you?
2017 is certainly giving me a sock-y start. Pair nr. 2 of this year again feels like it just flew off my needles.
Pattern: Home Grown by Jessica Gore
Yarn: Stranded Dyeworks Oasis in Naive Watercolour
I’m a little surprised by myself for knitting two pairs of toe up socks in a row, and you know what? I actually didn’t mind all that much. Sure, give me the option and cuff down is what I’ll pick, but having repeated the toe up way a couple of times now, at least it feels less wrong.
This pattern is very easy to memorise, so it was perfect for mindless after work knitting. Actually these socks accompanied me while blasting through all of the seasons of Orphan Black. Anyone else watched this show? I really loved it and cannot wait for the next season.
The yarn and pattern are a match made in heaven in my opinion. I adore the colours in the yarn and knew I shouldn’t let them be overwhelmed by a super busy pattern. I think the slice of stockinette running over the front of the foot is perfect for showing off the variegated yarn, and the lace and texture helped with keeping the knitting interesting. I’m one happy sock owner.
(here’s a bonus picture of Sibbe showing off her posing skills)
And now I’m finally doing what I wanted to start the year with; finishing old WIPs. This Asklöv hat was started in September I think so it’s about time I finished it. The twisted ribbed brim was a pain in the ass to knit, but the colourwork is more than making up for it!
So I didn’t have any strict resolutions for this year, but I did think it made sense to finish some old WIPs before starting new things. So I picked up a shawl I hadn’t worked on for a couple of months and the stitch count made NO sense at all. I swear I stuck with figuring it out for maybe an afternoon, but by the end of January 1st there was a new pair of socks on my needles.
Pattern: Flying North by Maria Montzka
Yarn: Spectrum Fibre sock yarn in Koi colourway
I think there’s no need for me to say that part of the attraction of casting on is this out of this world yarn. I’ve been discovering a wealth of indie dyers in the last year and I love how despite the fact that they all dye yarn, there’s still this signature look you can find back in the colours. I think when you’ll peep through some of the other colourways from Spectrum Fibre you’ll see what I mean.
Neon orange and green is not a bad start of a year right? Some brightness into this grey winter now that the Christmas lights have disappeared. The pattern is one that appeared on my list of a great match for speckled yarns and I love these two together.
Knitting these feels like a slightly more interesting version of a vanilla sock. The pattern is very straightforward and easy to remember. A relaxing knit which kept me company during the last week of my winter break.
The next pair is also already on the needles btw (two toe-up socks in a row, insaaaane!!). Another gorgeous yarn by an indie dyer, Stranded Dyeworks
and the pattern is Home Grown
This is it, the final FO of 2016, finished on the very last day of the year. I had a really good feeling when knitting this and luckily nothing went wrong on the final stretch, no weird issues with the sleeves and sizing stayed perfect after washing and blocking.
Pattern: Threshold by Melanie Berg
Yarn: Phileas Yarns Explorer in Wat colourway
I’m still pleased as punch with the yarn, the semi-solid gold is exactly what I was looking for. I didn’t do any major mods to the pattern, except for one extra round of waist shaping to get a more fitted sweater. The biggest love I have for this design has to be the neckline with the twisted ribbing running off the shoulder. It gives it a unique and elegant feel.
And with that I have finished 17 projects in 2016. I think one of my goals was to knit more sweaters, which didn’t really work out unfortunately. I did learn a whole bunch (like steeking and how not to do it). Most of the knitting was socks (yay!) and 5 were gifts, which is a very good ratio.
I don’t want to set any goals for 2017, as this is the year in which I’m supposed to finish my PhD unless I get an extension. So I guess my goal is to use knitting for what has first drawn me to it, namely to relax me and help deal with stressful periods (and I know I’ll be having plenty of those when finishing my thesis).
How about you, did you set any knitting goals for the New Year?