Knitting Confessions #2

knittingconfessions

This post is a link up which was initiated by Brandy from the blog Stitched up in Toronto. As she so well described this idea:

Like most things in the world, knitting has a set of rules and conventions. Sometimes, we knitters break them. This is my knitting confession.

So here is my second knitting confession:

I make horrible yardage estimations

I get excited about picking out new patterns, I get excited about picking nice yarn for the new pattern, I don’t get very excited to do the maths for how much yarn I need. In dutch we would call what I do ‘natte vinger werk’, which means guesswork (but disturbingly would literally translate into ‘wet finger work’, don’t ask). I’ll see a pattern and think, “hmmm, this looks like it might need 4 skeins, so lets buy 4 skeins”.

It’s quite a vital part of planning your knitting, because if neglected you will end up with either useless leftovers or a shortage. And that is what usually will happen, although I have to say I am often quite lucky and everything works out. But I am trying to better myself and there’s been a few projects now where I first checked the pattern and actually did make careful decisions, so there is hope for me yet!

How about you, do you have any confessing to do?

Review time! Sockupied Fall 2014

sockupied2014

As you might already know I’m a bit of a sock knitting addict, so I’m very excited to be reviewing the Fall 2014 version of Sockupied!

If you are not familiar with Sockupied, it is an interactive e-magazine, which besides patterns also has other interesting articles, like for example a feature on how to knit long-lasting socks or a piece on wool washes. So even for an experienced sock knitter, it is still a very interesting read.

lidarose

The interactive format of Sockupied is really fun, you download the magazine as a program (for either windows or mac) and easily install it on your computer. You can hop through the different parts of the magazine in a more versatile way than a traditional pdf format would offer. Although a pdf might seem more easy access, there is no need to be intimidated by the application, because it is easy to figure out. It is also easy to print the patterns from the program, if you’re more of a paper kind of person. However I could also see the downside in having to install another program with every new edition of the e-mag, and I wonder if it wouldn’t be possible to make this format browser based or maybe to have one central program for multiple editions for example.

timetraveler

There are 6 featured patterns, by various designers and also varying degrees of difficulty, which can be found on Ravelry here. As you can see the patterns are really pretty. My favourites are the Time Traveler socks (pictured above), that got their name by being inspired by a vintage knitting pattern. And if you’re looking for a beautiful colourwork challenge, you will certainly like the True North socks, that come with some interesting construction techniques.

truenorth

One small detail that I really appreciate is that even in the patterns there are some interactive features. You can get some extra information on the designer or materials needed (with links to the used yarn), or you can view different pictures of the socks. For each pattern there is also the option for a pdf download, which I greatly appreciate!

daisyfield

The retail price for Sockupied is $7,99 (which is around €6,00) is in my opinion already worth it for the sock patterns alone, but with the nice bonus of having an interesting magazine attached to it. All in all I really enjoyed reading through the different features, the patterns are gorgeous and made my sock knitters heart beat a little faster. And I actually learned a thing or two, so I can only heartily recommend Sockupied.

Knitting confessions

knittingconfessions
This post is a link up which was initiated by Brandy from the blog Stitched up in Toronto. As she so well described this idea:

Like most things in the world, knitting has a set of rules and conventions. Sometimes, we knitters break them. This is my knitting confession.

I can already reveal that there are more than a few knitting conventions that I tend to break, but let’s start with one I am annoying myself the most with.

I am a lazy pattern reader 

Phew, there I said it! A good knitter would probably happily receive their newly purchased pattern and first have a good read through, thinking ahead of things that might come. My style in general is that I skim through most of it, arrogantly thinking that there will be no surprises for my surely superb knitting skills, only to later on freak out because ‘this is not what I was expecting!!’.

storm

Also I will tend to read repeats only once, after that relying on my memory and finding out after a couple of repeats that it is not really looking like the picture in the pattern. One example being these Storm socks, where I had only lazily read the pattern and after finished the first sock finding it too deviated from what it should look like. Turned out I forgot one row of ribbing between the cable rows. Stupid and completely preventable.

And more recently I was happily starting the daisy stitch on my (almost finished!) New Girl skirt. Again I read the repeat once, after which I happily knitted on from memory. Few rows further along I noticed my blobs weren’t lining up, because I had AGAIN, memorised the pattern wronly. I guess I’ll never learn.

How about you, do you have any confessing to do?

 

 

The ministry of silly hats

I don’t know about where you’re living but here the weather is slowly becoming more rainy and less warm, which must mean Fall is approaching. Not to alarm you or anything but it is almost September after all. And the beginning of Fall marks the beginning of knitting season starting again (unless you are like me, when every season is knitting season). Usually it is a good idea to slowly break into knitting season by starting off with some small things that will help cope with the approaching colder weather. In other words, it’s time to start knitting hats! And if there is one thing I really love it is silly hats, the sillier the better. So to mark this occasion I’ve compiled a list of the best silly hat knitting patterns. And let me start by saying that it is amazing just how many silly hat patterns are in existence. Major props to all the quirky knitters out there for letting their inner silly hat fantasies out into the open!

5. Fish (dead or alive) by Thelma Egberts
This hat is amazingly silly, yet still amazingly wearable (or maybe that is just me actually). The main thing I like about it is the many modifications you can make with it. Colour-wise you can go in any sort of direction. Maybe you feel like trout, or maybe like salmon, and you can directly work this into your new favourite hat. Oh and the pattern is free!

deadfish

4. Brain by Alana Noritake
Besides being a fanatic knitter I’m actually also a PhD student. And can you guess what field my PhD is in? Yes, it’s neuroscience. So anything combining my day job and my favourite hobby makes me super happy. If I’d wear this to work it’d get stolen within seconds. The only problem I would have with knitting this hat is that I would have to align the gyri and sulci correctly, which is probably impossible. So maybe I better skip on this one. Still, this hat is amazing!

brainhat  3. Duck hat by Emily Ringelman
Better not wear this during hunting season! I love that the earflaps are actually the little duck feat, very cleverly done. The only way to make this hat any better if is the duck would actually quack.

duckhat

2. Unicorn by Brittany Tyler
It has a rainbow coloured mane, it has a horn, what more can I say? This hat will keep your head warm and fabulous. And there’s even little horse ears, so cute! unicornhat

1. Bearded Viking Helmet by Holly Priestley
As far as silly hats go, this is the one that for me takes the cake. And besides the hat being silly I’d also like to point out the practical point of it, because not only will you have a warm head, you will also have a comfortably warm beard area, for those of us that are a bit challenged in the natural beard department (a.k.a. women). Plus, you will be feared far and wide thanks to your instant transformation into fierce viking.

beardedvikinghelmet

Alpine Knitting


AlpKnitting
I’m on a little holiday in the Swiss Alps getting in some relaxation time before it gets busier at work again in September. We’re staying in a wooden cabin on a lovely horse ranch right in the mountains and so far I’ve learned that apparently I am incredibly allergic to horses and/or hay. Alas, one very squeaky night, a trip to the local pharmacy and some antihistamine tablets later and I am finally able to fully enjoy some mountain air and sights.

And did you know there are so many wonderful woolly creatures in the Alps? I was expecting the cows, horses and sheep, but during a hike today we’ve met plenty of lamas, alpacas, donkeys and even reindeer!
AlpsHorse swissalpaca AlpReindeer AlpSheep2 AlpDonkey AlpsLama

I haven’t gotten a lot of knitting done yet, although that spot on the rocking chair in front of our cabin is absolutely perfect for it. There are supposed to be some rainy days coming up, so we’re trying to get in as much outdoor activities as we can right now. And then when the rain comes we can get cozy in the cabin and I’ll knit a bit more. Nonetheless my New Girl skirt has seen good progress since I cast on. I just started the bottom rim of the skirt, which is done in daisy stitch. Once I’m finished with that I ‘just’ have to knit the pockets, weave in the elastic band and weave in all ends and voila, I’ll have a skirt. Although I’m still a bit dubious about the colour choice (somehow it screams sports team colours at me) I cannot wait to see the end result.
AlpKnitting2