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!

The last FO of the year! Lorem Ipsum cardigan

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You may or may not have heard my endless whining about knitting this cardigan. I managed to make all the rookie mistakes but somehow still kept myself motivated just enough to get this thing done.

Pattern: Lorem Ipsum by Jennifer Dassau
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in Fresco Y Seco

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So this is the third version I knit. The first one was in the wrong size and was ripped. I was SO excited when the second version seemed to be in my size, but I got totally deceived how similar my different skeins were. When I nearly finished the body and had to switch to the second skein, the transition looked horrible and so, so obvious. The whole thing was ripped again and for the next version I got the size right and alternated my skeins to prevent any horrible transitions. And right when I thought it was done it turned out I had bought 13 buttons for a cardigan with 14 buttonholes. Let’s just say counting anything above 10 is difficult, so not my fault at all.

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Well I’m glad I stuck with this thing, it fits, the colours work out, and most importantly IT’S DONE! And right at the edge of 2015.

Wishing you all a wonderful New Year’s Eve!!

Spoiled Rotten

StashDec December usually sees me spoiled rotten, with my birthday on the 1st, Sinterklaas on the 5th and ending the month with Christmas. It’s no secret that I love being gifted yarnie goodies, so needless to say my stash has been well fed in the past month.

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Actually all of these are yarns I’ve never used before. I’m pretty excited about the colourful Snail Yarn skeins. If you’re not familiar with this brand yet, these pieces of art (I really think they are) are dyed up by Valentina in Italy. I’ve got nothing but love for these two skeins so far, they’re a pleasure to view and squish. I’m pretty sure I’ll make them into two lovely pairs of socks. The colourways are called Wildflowers and Hidden in Merino Twist sock.

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The soft green skein is actually dyed in the Netherlands (Wol met Verve). I love the subtle colour of this. I tend to go for dark green usually, so this is a nice change of my usual palette (yes I know, it’s still green..). The colourway is called Salvia.

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I’ve been so eager to try my hand at Hedgehog Fibres yarn. Maybe it’s just me but I feel like I see these yarns pop up all the time on my instagram feed, and gosh darnit I don’t think they are capable of dyeing ugly skeins, they just all look good. I liked this combination a lot and even have a particular shawl pattern in mind for them. The colourways are Seed and Canal House (a custom colourway for Stephen + Penelope in Amsterdam) in Hedgehog Fibres Sock .

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Last but not least, by far the darkest yarn I have ever owned. It’s about time I tried my hand at Wollmeise, and I wanted some yarn specifically to knit the Cicely sweater from the latest issue of Pom Pom Magazine. I do think I will like this sweater a lot in this dark colour, and don’t be deceived by the pictures, it’s not fully black. The colour is called ‘heavy metal’ which is an accurate description of the very dark grey. The yarn is Wollmeise Pure.

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Wollmeise2 Have you been spoiled in the yarn department this month? Hoping everyone had wonderful Christmas! 🙂

FO: Golden Leaves Socks

So my green little cardigan decided it needed another trip to the frog pond, and to cope with that disappointment I decided I needed to do something I never fail at: sock knitting.

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Pattern: Golden Leaves by Cookie A
Yarn: Sweet Fiber Super Sweet Sock in Spanish coin

Excuse the pasty white winter legs.. Oh who am I kidding, my legs look like this all year round. Although there might have been a day or two (at most) after my Hawaiian holiday when there possibly was a slight tan. Or maybe it was the sunshine that made it appear as such? ANYWAY.. socks!

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So maybe making a pattern titled ‘Golden Leaves’  in a golden yarn isn’t the most original idea ever, but if it fits it fits you know? This yarn is one of the beauties I picked up during my Canada trip and it’s a true Canadian yarn, which I think is pretty awesome. It is oh so soft that for a minute I contemplated making a shawl out of it. But my feet are certainly pleased I turned into a pair of socks.

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I don’t think I’ve ever knit a Cookie A pattern that disappointed, and the same goes for these. I just have such a soft spot for lace-y leaf-y sock patterns. I wouldn’t mind knitting/having a hundred socks like these.

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And now that I’ve finished my much needed sock therapy, it’s back to cardigan knitting for me. Although I never cease to amaze myself with how often I can make rookie mistakes, despite moving out of the rookie stage years ago, I think the 3rd time WILL be the charm.

FO: Grady shawl

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So the frogging fiasco of last week hurt my knitting heart a little, but nothing that the finishing of this shawl couldn’t heal.

Pattern: Grady by JumperCables
Yarn: Wollelfe Gradient Merino Twin in Kingfisher Teal

There’s something awfully therapeutic about knitting stockinette and garter stitch, no? I loved putting my frustrations into this shawl and watching the effect of the gradient unfold.

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I’d say this is a perfect pattern for showing off a gradient yarn. I think I’d certainly knit it again, but maybe next time make the shawl even bigger so that I can fully wrap myself in it. I am so so happy with the yarn as well, Wollelfe did such an awesome job dying this up and it’s bliss wearing this around my neck. An A++ project altogether.
 
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In the meantime I restarted working on my cardigan last weekend and have a feeling this attempt might actually be in my size, fingers crossed!