FO: Hyperballad cowl & pattern giveaway!

Hyperballad

Oh boy, this was such a happy project, I’m glad to be finally sharing it. The cabled green delicious project I was working on was a test knit I was doing for the lovely Julie from Knitted Bliss.

Pattern: Hyperballad
Yarn: Fyberspates Vivacious DK in Sea Green

Hyperballad9

When I was asked to do this test knit I didn’t have enough DK weight yarn lying around that wasn’t claimed for another project yet (with my stash size this is quite impressive). Perfect excuse to buy some new deliciousness. Given the relatively few yards needed for a small cowl I figured I could treat myself to some more luxurious yarn, which I’d normally probably pass on because of the price. I chose Fyberspates Vivacious DK, a new to me yarn. I am so glad I spent a little more on getting nice yarn, because it is really spectacular to work with. Not only the intensity of the colour, but also the softness and stretchiness of this yarn worked perfectly for a cabled cowl. I’m already imagining all kinds of new projects I could use this yarn for.

Hyperballad12 hyperballad11

Getting the yarn right was of course great, but it really came to life in combination with this pattern. As I mentioned before, it was a project I was actually hoping would never end, I enjoyed working on it so much. I loved the feel of this soft yarn between my fingers and seeing the cables come to life. The cowl is already getting a lot of wear, it’s perfect to keep the still chilly spring air away, but still being light to wear.

Hyperballad6

Hyperballad10 Now if all my gushing didn’t make you excited for knitting a cabled cowl I don’t know what will. And Julie has very generously offered to give away one free pattern of the Hyperballad cowl to one lucky reader of this blog! The pattern includes instructions for two sizes, the shorter one I made and a longer one (you can find examples of the longer version here). All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment on this post before Saturday 25th of April 12:00 CEST. In the comment let me know what kind of projects you like to work on in the springtime and be sure to include your ravelry id in the comment as well!

The winner will be announced next weekend, good luck!

 

 

Blogiversary!

SundaySperry Hip hip, hurrah! My blog turned 1 years old last week 🙂

And what a fun year it has been, although I realise how awfully quiet I’ve been this last month. Luckily I’ve been busy with good things, like being very productive at work. Last week I submitted my first ever scientific paper, to a proper scientific journal (fingers double crossed it will get accepted). Although it doesn’t decrease my workload, it does give me some sense of calm, making me feel as if I’m on track in my phd. I’ve been super busy setting up my new experiment, which is a major pain in the butt. So my knitting has been therapeutic, slow, and monogamous (the three things that make for boring blogging).

SundaySperry2

Albeit slow, my Sperry raglan sweater really IS growing. And in the proper size this time (I think..). I’m almost done with the body so hopefully next weekend I’ll be busy knitting the sleeves. Unless I try it on and figure out once again the size is off. NO! This will not happen. I swatched a billion swatches, I tried it on after separating the sleeves, this thing WILL fit me.

SundaySperry3

If all those rows of stockinette could speak, they would probably reveal how many episodes of Bob’s Burgers I’ve been watching while knitting this (hint: a lot).

Puffs

I’ve also managed to squeeze in a few hexipuffs. Even though math isn’t exactly my strong point, I figured that if at one point in my life I aim to have 400 puffs, I would never reach that goal if I’d keep up my average of 0 puffs per month. The current puffcount stands at 24,5, so I think I should aim to at least try to knit 5 puffs a month or so. Let’s not calculate how long it then still takes me to reach 400, ignorance is bliss after all.

Anywho, I wish I’d had more progress to show on my blogiversary, but this’ll have to do. I did finish my lovely teal cable project I blogged about recently, but it really deserves its very own FO post. I do want to thank all the fantastic knitterfolk (and non-knitter folk) I got to know through this blog, you lot are fabulous 🙂

 

Back on track

hyperballad
I’m in the zone. The house is filled with the sound of the clickety-clack of my needles. And it’s lovely.

Sperry

I did about a million gauge swatches for my sweater that doesn’t fit and I think I finally found the needle size that works for me. So very optimistically the sweater has been cast on again. I’m not quite as far as the point where I left off my previous version, but by happily stitching along I will get there.

apron2 apron

I’m still going to sewing classes, and although I don’t feel like my skills are drastically improving, the machine is already so much less intimidating. I’m very pleased with how the apron turned out, but my teacher helped me a lot, and without her it wouldn’t even look the least bit like an apron. I think for my next step I’m going to try and make some simple skirts and let some interesting prints do all the talking (it’s perfectly acceptable for a 26-year old to wear a skirt with foxes on it right??).

hyperballad3 hyperballad2

And then there’s this project.. It’s such a joy. I won’t give away too much about it just yet, but somehow the combination of pretty cables, perfect yarn, pretty needles and fun stitch markers make this so relaxing. I don’t even want to finish it, because I’ll be sad if I can’t work on it anymore. Have you ever felt this way about a project?

I knit sweaters that don’t fit

Before I start babbling about my latest knitting ‘adventure’ I want to say thanks to all of you for all the kind messages I received these past weeks. It means a lot to me knowing there are so many kind souls out there sending me virtual hugs. 🙂

The last week I’ve been in the search of my knitting mojo and tried to find it by trying to knit on several of my projects hidden in my big pile o’ wips. I put all of them away after just a few rows, until I realised what I needed most was endless stockinette. Somewhere I knew I had a sweater in hibernation and I had this vague memory that I was about to separate the sleeves, after which it would indeed be endless stockinette. Perfect!

Sperry

This post is full of life lessons I would like to remind myself of, and the first one is: please please please future self, make decent notes on where you left of in a project if there’s any chance of you putting it away for a long period of time. It took a lot of head scratching before I figured out where the hell I left off in this thing, and the fact that the pattern is written without any paragraphs (most of it is just a looooong piece of text) I felt like poking my eyes out rather than knitting. After lots of head scratching I found my way back into the pattern, separated the sleeves and was ready for endless stockinette.

As for the second message for my future self is one I expect to be ignored, because this isn’t the first time I’m reprimanding myself for this. It’s no secret at all that I’m lazy when it comes to gauge swatches. Making a gauge swatch requires planning and patience. By the time I get the yarn for a new project I feel like I’ve already done a lot of planning (picking yarn is hard work!!) and my patience has run out. I have to start the project, there’s no time for swatching. With this sweater I actually did a gauge swatch though.. kind of… I knit a swatch, saw it was off and instead of any smart decisions about it I decided to just go down a size and by the force of knitting magic this sweater would end up fitting perfectly!

Sperry2

Apparently magic is dead and when I got to a point I could try my new sweater on for size I found out it was way too big. I spent an evening in denial, thinking I could just do some extra waist decreases or maybe throw it in the dryer for a bit. But I think we all know this isn’t the way to go and the progress so far will be frogged. You’d think this would set back my knitting mojo entirely but actually that isn’t the case, because getting this far in the project I realised a couple of thing. Firstly, I’m still happy with the colours I chose! It happens quite often I think I chose the perfect colours but once I cast on I change my mind completely. So yay for me still liking the colours! Secondly, I feel like this sweater is going to be really really pretty! The design is simple, the colours are simple, but if I get this to fit I’m going to wear it a lot. With that certainty I feel motivated to start a proper swatch and then do my calculations before diving into the knitting again.

Next time I’m going to knit something that needs to fit without doing a gauge swatch please remind me of this post, because I know I won’t.

gauge_comic

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.

boneclocks

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.