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Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

In September I finally finished a vintage cardigan that I started waaaay long back. I don’t even remember when I started it, but it must 4 or 5 years ago. It was fun to work on, but also very time-consuming, so I often put it away to work on something else. I’m quite proud that it’s finished and that it looks well! The pattern is called Blackberry Cardigan and comes from the wonderful book A Stitch In Time Volume 1 by Susan Crawford. (I recently bought Volume 2 as well, but didn’t like the patterns in that one as much.)

It is a short cardigan that is perfect for wear with vintage-inspired dresses, such as this King Louie dress. I was very happy to find buttons in exactly the same shade at a vintage market. I thought that sewing it together would be a pain, but I actually liked it. It was fun to see how the seams were neatly coming together. I found this video very helpful for setting in the sleeves (even though this cardigan has the purl side out). For sewing the sleeves and side seams, I used the proved method of picking up two of the bars in between the first and second column of stitches.

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Nymphalidea spring stripes shawlToday I took a walk into the forest to make some pictures of my newest FO, a shawl. Since spring is very early this year and the shawl has such bright colours, I named it Spring stripes.
It’s made using Schoppel-wolle yarn. The lime green wool is sock yarn named Admiral 4-ply (colourway Oliven) and the other yarn is Crazy zauberball (colourway Frische fische). The pattern is called Nymphalidae and free to download via Ravelry. Here’s also a link to this project on my Ravely page. For some tips and tricks on how to block this shawl, check this blogpost by the designer Melinda VerMeer.

Nymphalidea spring stripes shawl
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The next pic shows the back side of the shawl, which is actually also quite nice:

Nymphalidea spring stripes shawlIt is a present for my aunt, who will receive it for her birthday in May. I hope she’ll like it!

Nymphalidea spring stripes shawlNymphalidea spring stripes shawl

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In December I participated in a swap organised by the Ravelry group Ew-la-la. I received a very nice package from the US, that included 2 skeins of Malabrigo rios yarn. I had heard about Malabrigo before, how nice and soft it is, and I can only agree. The colourway is called Volcano:

Malabrigo rios volcano

Since the colour is very bright, I thought it would be prettiest to use a lace pattern to break it a little. I found a perfect pattern: the February Fitted Pullover by Amy Herzog (pattern for free here). It was a real pleasure to knit. The only thing that went ‘wrong’ is that the body before the waist decreases turned out too short. I should have added quite some length, but didn’t notice. But if I just pretend it was meant to be like this, and layer it with a longer T-shirt, it actually looks all right, don’t you think?

Malabrigo volcano February fitted pullover

Malabrigo volcano February fitted pullover

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Yesterday I finished knitting a hat my cousin had asked for. I made a very warm, double-knit hat with cables on the brim. It was designed by Dove knits (pattern here). It’s very clever, first you knit one hat, then you pick up stitches along the cat-on edge and make a second hat attached to it, like this:

Double knit hat cablesThe inner hats starts with a couple of cable rows that become visible as the brim is folded outwards. The result is a rather large and heavy, but very warm hat. The yarn I used is Garnstudio drops Alaska, 100% wool.Double knit hat cables Double knit hat cablesDouble knit hat cables

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New knits

I’ve been knitting a lot over the past weeks. My first finished objects were two pumpkin hats (Garnstudio drops pattern). The plan was to make one for a friend’s baby, but the first hat turned out so large that it fitted me. Never mind, I like to wear a pumpkin hat myself as well! Then I made a second hat in the right size for the baby.

baby pumpkin hat

This one is the baby’s hat.
I cut the washng instructions from the yarn label and attached it to the hat so that the parents would know how to treat it.

Label

The one below is my own hat. I wore it a couple of times and got the impression that people were watching it in the street!

pumpkin hatPumpkin hat

The second finished object I can show is a lace shawl. The pattern is called Arroyo and can be found for free here. I really liked it as a first-attempt lace shawl, because the lace chart is not too complicated, the shawl is relatively small, and the lace itself is only a strip.
As mentioned before, I used Rowan fine art for this, a sock yarn. I made two small mods to the pattern by knitting the plain part in stockinette instead of garter stitch, and repeating pattern rows 32-35 along the upper edge of the shawl. I think I will give it to my sister in law for Christmas.

Arroyo lace shawl Rowan fine artArroyo lace shawl Rowan fine artArroyo lace shawl Rowan fine artArroyo lace shawl Rowan fine artArroyo lace shawl Rowan fine art

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Just a short post to share some great patterns for last-minute Halloween crafting! There’s a nice selection of knitting and crocheting patterns on Yarnspirations:

Halloween knitting and crochet patterns

On the Garnstudio website there are a few cute things also:

Garnstudio Halloween patternsI love the pumpkin hat!

On the other side of the cute-scary spectrum: a shrunken head in a jar

Knitted shrunken head

For small quilts, wall hangings and table runners there’s plenty of inspiration and free patterns collected on the Quilt Inspiration website:

Free Halloween quilt patternsEnjoy!

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Recently my husband and I went on a short holiday to an island in the North Sea. It was really beautiful there.

The common sea buckthorn shrubs were heavy with fruits. They are used for fruit drinks but also for lotions and hand creams.Sea buckthorn fruitsSea

On the beach we found a small lobster. It was a bit dried out, but when I put it back in the sea it came back to life and ran off.
North sea lobster

There were some very nice forest fragments as well with beautiful ferns (I love ferns!).Forest with ferns

Of course I did a lot of crafting while on holiday. I worked a bit on my Tillie quilt top but also started a new knitting project: a lace shawl using Rowan fine art, a fine sock yarn. I probably never used such expensive yarn before (18 euro for 100 gram), but then it’s a hand dyed blend of merino wool, kid mohair, mulberry silk and polyamide. The colourway I have is called Waxwing.

Rowan Fine art Waxwing

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A few weeks ago, I saw on Ravelry that a knitting magazine would come out with patterns inspired by my favorite book series ever: Harry Potter! Then came the disillusionment: it would only be available in the US. But luckily, many Americans Mail from Canadaon Ravelry were willing to send copies to other parts of the world.
I myself got into contact with someone from Canada whose husband picked up a few copies in the US. She send me one (with a lovely Canadian bookmark attached to it), in exchange for some yarn from my country. It was such a treat when it came in the mail!

Harry Potter knits

There are many nice patterns inside. I like for example the two cloaks, the mermaids shawl and of course Ginny’s cardigan.

Mermaid's song harry potterFred George socks harry potterGinny's cardigan harry potter knits

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But before I start any new knitting project I’d like to have my Tillie quilt top finished. It’s nearly there: only two triangle borders left to piece and attach (I’m using this yellow dishcloth to pin the pieces in order). I like how it’s turning out:

Tillie quilt

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A few days ago I bought some new yarn and started knitting a sweater with it right away. Material: 100% bamboo. Colour: gorgeous, blinding pink!

The yarn is new in the Linea pura line of Lana grossa. I read on Ravelry that bamboo items grow a lot when worn, but I hope that my sweater will have less of that tendency as this yarn is some kind of woven ribbon. Anyway I choose a pattern with positive ease so that it wouldn’t be such a problem when it gets bigger. I already had to frog once and since my gauge perfectly matches the label I have to conclude that the pattern is completely off. Instead of 24 rows per 10 cm, the pattern requires 31 (44 rows in 14 cm)…that can’t be right. Also the nr of stitches to cast on for size 36/38 resulted in a HUGE sweater, I changed from 104 to 78 stiches!

I had lots of time to knit past weekend, when we were in a traffic yam for 3 hours on our way back from Hamburg, on top of the normal traveling time of 4 hours. Probably no one really understands why in Germany they first have to break up ALL the roads they maybe, possibly, some time in the future want to work on, and then leave it as is for some years…

I’ll post some random pictures that I took there that I like. The first one seems a very normal staircase, and it is, but I always have a soft spot for such old staircases. They seem to breathe the energies of all the people that over the years put their feet on the steps, held their hands on the handrail. Maybe it is the indirect light that makes me dreaming. The other pics are from a very cute little restaurant where we had breakfast.

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The viking dress that I mentioned in the latest post has long been finished, but I keep forgetting to take pictures of it. Well then, I’ll first show some small projects that I worked on recently.

First a pattern that has been made a zillion times before: Saartjes Bootees! I’ve seen them in so many colours on Ravelry, and they are always cute. I made them for a friend who will have a baby soon.

And then, for the first time in my life, I made a stuffed animal. No, two stuffed animals, because one looked a little sad. They are rabbits and derive from a wider family of Anything Animals. Meet Hunny and Sully the Bunny:

 

 

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Yay, my lace pullover is finished! It took me quite a while to knit, but I’m very happy with how it turned out.

The yarn was bought in Japan, and this pullover reminds me a bit of the women in Tokyo: classy, elegant, with eye for details. I’m not so much of the classy type, but I did my best for the pictures, haha. I actually wore this combination already to a birthday party and felt very smart in it! (-;

The blocking was a scary moment, because the label said that the yarn couldn’t be washed, not even by hand – probably because of the silk in it. I only found that out when I was halfway my pullover, as the label was in Japanese only (thank you Japanese knitting group on Ravelry). In the end I did soak it completely, but was careful not to let it stretch and -pfew!- it turned out fine.

This lace pullover was designed by Vera Sanon and the (clear and well written) pattern is free for download on the website of Cascade yarns. I used the yarn Silk et Soie by Nikke Victor. Ravelers, visit my project here.

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Cats and lace

Today I took some pictures of two of our cats playing outside. First, meet Bob, up to his belly in the snow. Only his green eyes and red fur show off against the white. Isn’t he beautiful?


The little one in the next pics was the latest addition to our family: Maggy. I found her in the fields as a kitten of only 6 weeks old, she had walked a great distance from the farm where she was born. The farmer didn’t want her anymore, so I took her with me. At first she was very wild (bit my finger nail in two when I caught her…), but now she’s a sweet little rascal.


Over the past weeks I’ve been working on my first lace project: a pullover with short sleeves. The body is almost finished and I like the way it turns out (except that yesterday I discovered a mistake in the armhole decreases, so I have to work back a couple of rows). The yarn I’m using for this project is from Japan, the only yarn I bought on our trip through Asia. The name of the brand -Nikke Victor-  doesn’t sound very Japanse, but it is.

Bob was willing to be my assistant, and show this wonderful yarn. In the last 3 pics some close-ups of the pullover-to-be.

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Today my DH and I were taking a walk in the forest, and the best thing was: he was finally wearing the pullover I made for him when we had our 5-year anniversary – THREE YEARS AGO. In all those years he only wore it twice, today and last winter. The thing is so warm that it can only be used outside, and only when it’s cold.

The pattern’s very basic, but I was proud of it since it’s the first pullover I ever made. I made one crucial beginner’s mistake: the bind-off around the turtle neck is very tight, which makes the whole turtle neck look weird. Oh well. The yarn is Drops Garnstudio Highlander (discontinued, so don’t go look for it) with a very special colourway: brown/orange at first sight, but it has blue, purple, yellow and green in it when you look closely.

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On our trip through Japan, another amusing habit that we encountered is to dress statues of buddha or shinto gods in cute clothing. Very common were bibs, mostly red, such as the one Inari is wearing here on the right. Inari is the god of rice, harvest and general prosperity, either depicted as an old man with two foxes beside him, or as a beautiful fox-lady. Most shinto shrines that honour this god have two fox statues on either side of the entrance.

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And what about this one on the left. Isn’t that cute, with his rabbit-bib? I have no idea who this statue impersonates, though. It could be a god related to children or birth.

But also knitted goods were applied. See for example these little guys on the picture below. All the same huh… grey…

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But not the special one behind the flowers! He has a nice yellow hat and coat:

Actually it is a sad story behind these statues, depicting the god Jizo. They were all placed here in memory of an aborted or deceased baby, mostly by the parents.
To conclude with, I’ll show a few pictures of a row of statues (not sure who they are again), all with their own assembly of bibs and hats.
It looks kind of cosy, hm? Maybe I should take some wooly things with me next time I go to church…


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As I mentioned in the last post, I used some leftover yarn for the baby cardigan. Today I’ll show you the other project that was made with this yarn. It’s a vest made for myself, and it’s a combination of two patterns. For the shape of it, I followed the directions of the Blush pattern by Kessa. The colourwork is from the Fresco colorwork wrap vest by Veronik Avery.

I like how it turned out, but if I were to knit this again, I would add some waist shaping and maybe start with a few less stitches. Now that I’ve worn it a couple of times, the fabric has stretched a bit and I liked it more with some negative ease. Nevertheless I would surely recommend the Blush pattern, one could do so many things with it when adding different colour charts!

 

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Finished the baby cardi today. It was my admirable intention to use up some stash for this project, because -as any knitter- I’m gaining more and more yarn. From an earlier project I had some blue and white Karisma left over, which I thought would be great for this baby shower gift. Long story short: with just half a sleeve left to be knitted, I ran out of wool and had to buy a new skein – so after finishing I ended up with the new blue skein still nearly complete and one white skein untouched. Well, let’s look at it from the bright side, that’s one skein less than I started with…

The pattern is from Garnstudio again. I’m really fond of Scandinavian knitting. Four little deer on the front, four on the back. It’s just cute!

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Buttons

A while ago I bought these nice buttons.

They’re about to be used on a project that I hope to finish within a few days:

Just one sleeve to knit and sew in, and the buttons to attach. Then it can be send to the brand new baby of my cousin!

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Heather

This weekend we went to the woods, where the heather is in full bloom.

It was beautiful, all that purple!

It reminded me of the jumper I made last year with heather coloured yarn. It was a free Garnstudio pattern and I made it with Drops Alpaca yarn. Garnstudio is one of my favorite brands, I really appreciate that all their patterns are free and so easy to search through.

In my experience, Garnstudio patterns are always a bit on the large side. I like fitted knits, so I made some mods to the pattern. To start with I used needles 0,5 mm smaller than indicated, I skipped 3 of 5 increases above the waistline, skipped 4 of 8 increases in the sleeves, and made the sleeves 48 instead of 40 cm long. Finally I made some short rows around the neckline, so that it wouldn’t be so wide.
The shirred pattern on the yoke was really fun to make. I liked working with the Alpaca yarn, but when wearing it I do find it quite itchy, so I’m always having a long-sleeved shirt under it. I’m very happy with how it turned out.

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