When all else fails, knit socks

See this here? This is a hat. A hat I knit as a Christmas gift for a friend. A hat I’d normally be tempted to keep for myself. A hat I knew would be very loved by my friend (I think the pattern and colour are right up her alley, which is why I picked this project for her of course), if only she could make her head grow maybe twice its regular size within the next week. Not because she has an unusually tiny head and I knit a regular sized hat. No, this is actually a ginormous hat.

I’m not a newbie knitter, but I manage to make all kinds of newbie mistakes all the time. Nothing wrong with that I guess. Whilst knitting this hat it already appeared way too big, but thinking I wouldn’t have time to finish the ONE Christmas knit I was working on if I didn’t just continue I ignored my gut feeling. Of course washing the hat made it even bigger. And there you have it, a pretty project ready to be ripped out and surely not to be gifted for Christmas. (if you know anyone in need of the world’s biggest hat get in touch)

So what do I do when I mess up knitting? I go back to knitting socks. Knitting socks is like crawling into my safe space. I never mess up socks! Ok that statement is a bit too strongly formulated, but I don’t think I’ve ever had to rip and restart a sock more than once. I guess there are multiple factors contributing to this..

One thing must simply be practice. Socks are so familiar! I know how many stitches I need, which heel to make, what toe I love to get to a perfect sock for my feet. It’s not like I don’t know my own head size or am baffled by the proportions of my torso (I do buy clothes for myself after all), but I simply make projects for my other body parts less frequently. I know socks. In fact, I bet if I leave a sock WIP on my night stand I would wake up in the morning to see a little bit of progress was made during my sleep (unfortunately for the boyfriend I’m a fanatic sleep talker, how much more difficult can sleep knitting be?).

Socks also have another dimension of added fun. I’m quite boring in the range of colours I wear in my clothing, with the exception of one or two green sweaters. But when it comes to socks everything goes! Despite how much I wish I was a person that wears rainbow sweaters on a daily basis, I’m really not. Rainbow socks however? The more the better, and preferably knee high!

So after messing up with the hat I crawled into my sock knitting safe space. I got some Regia sock yarn for my birthday that I’m making a pair of fraternal vanilla socks out of, plus the Drogon socks that have had WIP status for a longer time already now. And to end this ode to sock knitting, here’s a current picture of my sock drawer (I never tire of this view). I love knitting gifts but I always find giving away socks difficult, because adding a new pair to this collection is always such a joy.

Bonus: here are some pics of Sibbe & Iva taking turns thinking ‘if I fits I’ll sits’ (spoiler, they don’t fits, so they left disappointed).

 

 

FO: Saffran cardigan

Finally I can share the news that the little Saffran cardigan has been saved and gifted! You might have read my traumatising first experience with steeking which required me to do some serious sweater surgery. But I’m so happy to say the cardigan didn’t unravel and is wearable.

Pattern: Saffran cardigan
Yarn: Drops Karisma

After it turned out the yarn was too slippery for steeking and it looked as if everything would unravel, I decided that asking my grandmother to run the sewing machine over the loose stitches might be the safest option. She helped me out and indeed the stitches couldn’t move at all anymore, which was a big relief. After the sewing it left the edges a bit wobbly and my mom was kind enough to help with sewing the stitches into the cardigan (what a family effort it was). In the end all of this sewing didn’t exactly leave the inside with a neat finish though. I’ll show you a picture because I love you guys and I’m an honest knitter. But there’s nothing inspiring about it.

The thing is though that;
1) in knitting it’s actually the outside that matters, and these edges don’t mean the cardigan has a horrible personality.
2) I totally ran out of time to do this (the buttons were sewn on only shortly before I left to my friend who this was meant for) but simply sewing a ribbon over it will cover all of the Frankenstein-ish appearance.
3) as I say with all the knitting mistakes I make: it’s a design feature that makes it unique!!

So there you have it. And what matters most is that my friend loved the things I knit for her baby (this cardi + the Teddy sweater) and that the baby is super adorable and I finally got to meet the sweet girl.

Speaking of sweet girls, my own family has also grown a little, meet Sibbe, the cross eyed Siberian who is the new friend of Iva. Isn’t she cute?

The two aren’t exactly friends yet, but Sibbe has only been living with us for a week so I’m sure time will sort that out 🙂 Oh and just because here’s a pic of Iva in a Santa hat.

 

Travel & Travel Socks

hermionesocks
I’m back! I’ve done something way out of my comfort zone on this trip, I don’t know if you can relate to this at all, but the prospect was quite scary to me. I’ve had horror scenarios going through my head, but I gambled and the gamble paid off. I took the risk of taking my knitting onto the plane!!!! I was so sure airport security would snap the needles in front of my eyes but they didn’t, and I managed to get it through the hand luggage check 5(!!!) times! As a result, there’s now a finished pair of socks to show for it.

hermionesocks4

In other exciting news, after waiting for 3 months my new couch arrived. So happy with the colours I needed to capture it in the FO pics. Iva isn’t all that thrilled with my knitting (as usual) but seem pretty comfy on the couch.

hermionesocksiva2 hermionesocksiva

The pattern is Hermione’s everyday socks and the yarn is Manos del Uruguay Alegria (colourway Macachines). I love the pooling of the yarn <3

I did have an amazing time in both San Diego and New York, I can’t believe how incredibly lucky I was with the weather. It was so warm in San Diego that the seals felt comfortable enough to give a yoga show, and central park was full of the most beautiful colours in the autumn sun. I couldn’t have asked for more.

yogaseal sd cp bbridge

Now first thing on the agenda after my return is an effort to save the Safran cardigan from a future in the rubbish bin. Wish me luck and hopefully I’ll be able to bring some good news about it in the next few days.

One FO, one failed steek

teddy1 Let’s start with the happy news, shall we? I finished the Teddy Sweater in no time and it’s soooo adorable! It was such a lovely thing to knit, partly because of the pattern (well written, easy to follow, enough variation to keep things interesting) and partly because of the yarn (Malabrigo Arroyo is so lovely, I’ll definitely be using it again). I don’t even think I have much more to say about this FO, because I think these picture do pretty much all the talking. Cute, soft, fast, perfect. teddy2

Now let’s look at the opposite of this, the Safran cardigan I’m working on. It’s a teeny tiny baby cardigan but it’s already 1 month past cast-on now. I do have a lot of love for the project, but the colourwork was fidgety, the tiny sleeves with colourwork were fidgety squared. And in the end I was avoiding the project because I was avoiding my first ever steek, with good reason apparently.

See, when making decisions for this project I wanted to do it all, cute pattern, wearable cardigan, soft yarn, machine washable yarn, and because it was such a small project I wanted to try a new technique. Of course all of this is feasible but the most deadly mistake I made here; using superwash yarn, which I chose for many of the above reason.
safran_steeked

When securing the stitches for the steek with a crochet method I was so relieved at how easy it was. When cutting the steek I was so relieved how easy it was. When noticing the first stitches slipping out of their secured position, well.. let’s just say the neighbours heard a lot of swearing that evening. safran_steeked2

I steeked, I failed. The yarn is too slippery and simply will not hold. The stupid thing is I KNEW not to use slippery yarn, I did actually do my homework. But along the way factoring everything in I forgot I guess.

safran_steeked3 The good news? First of all the colourwork looks pretty neat on the inside doesn’t it? The fabric is actually really lovely after washing. Also, I think this might be salveagable. The current plan is to carefully bring the cardigan to my grandmother and have her machine sew over the edges a couple of gazzilion times. It won’t look nearly as neat finished as the pretty yellow crochet version I was going for, but I think it might actually hold (fingers crossed). As I’m leaving for the States tomorrow morning though it’ll have to wait until I’m back from my trip. I stored it away safely, so as long as the elves don’t stop by at night and start pulling it it should be fine.

And I guess if it won’t hold and it truly and completely fails, I will have learned a very valuable lesson about steeking.

Overspringshandling

saffran2_oct When I was living in Denmark I learned a beautiful new little word; overspringshandling (or displacement activity in English). In biology the term refers to the idea that when animals are faced with two competing behaviours, e.g. fight or flight, instead of doing either of them, they’ll start doing something completely unrelated. The Danes used this word more in the likes of ‘I should probably be studying for my exam, but instead I’ll start cleaning the kitchen’. I think I’m experiencing the knitting equivalent right now.

saffran_oct

See, I’m only a button band away from steeking this tiny cardigan. But bringing the scissors to this work that was in the end quite fidgety and a hassle to make, is giving me some serious fight or flight vibes. So even though I should really finish this before my friend gives birth (any day now), I started knitting snowmen in October. They’re chilling in my Bonsai until the Christmas tree goes up (still 1,5 months or so away from now).

tiny_snowmen

Oh and I finished the body of my Threshold sweater. But apparently I don’t have the correct needle size for the sleeves, so the project is have a little nap until the new DPNs arrive.

threshold_oct

I’ve also figured knitting a second baby present is less work than finishing project #1, so I’m making a Teddy Sweater in some super pretty Malabrigo Arroyo.

teddy

My stash is also not starving anymore, I won an instagram giveaway by Uschitita and boy did she spoil me with this prize.

uschitita_prize

Also, someone needs to delete the Etsy app from my phone already because I keep falling in love with new indie dyers and have some serious inhibition issues. These pretties arrived Lystig yarns in Finland recently. I love these two pale colours together. I was squishing and sniffing the yarn and I actually heard these skeins whisper to me that they’d like to be used together in a project, maybe a shawl with lots of garter stitch. I’m aware hearing yarn speak isn’t exactly normal, maybe it’s time for some vacation.

lystig4 lystig

Speaking of which, I’m visiting the US in less than 2 weeks (arriving on the day of the elections, talk about timing!) and I’ll be spending some time in San Diego and New York city. If anyone has any tips on things to see and do please let me know!