2013 dreams

In 2013 I dream of:
:: adding more knitted pieces to my wardrobe
:: reading 20 books
:: baking more breads
:: do more embroidery
:: spend more time with family and friends
:: make gifts for my parents and my man

I wish you a very great new year.

Christmas Swap

Today my swap package from the 1001 books you must read before you die group Christmas swap came and it is wonderful.
I have no chance of taking pictures, but I will describe it for you.
I got 4 books:
The Thirteen Clocks
The Wonderful "O"
Possessing the Secret of Joy
Like Water for Chocolate

And the most wonderful yarn from the Neighborhood Fiber Co. called  Maisonette DK in the colour Thomas Circle. It is a 50% merino 50% tussah silk blend and it is sooo soft.
pic. from their website linked above.
On top of that, there were some dried pears that I can't wait to taste. I have never had dried pears before, but I like pears in their natural state.
There were also 3 bags of teas, that I will drink when I need to relax after long days of studying next month.

I must admit that I was a bit scared I would get something I wouldn't want. I had never been in a swap before and although I trust and love the ladies over in our group, I was weary of the concept as such. I was blown away by the gift I got and by the kindness of one of the ladies who offered to pay for my postage. She made it possible for me to join in and she holds a special part in my heart because of it. 

Stash enhancement all around

Yesterday I did a little shopping in my hometown LYS. I like spending my money there since it supports a family friend.
I got this lovely linen yarn to make Kage by Kirsten Johnstone:
Linea:: colour skifer, Karen Noe

pic. from pattern on Ravelry
I'm very excited to make it and think it could become a new favourite. But I couldn't decide what colour to make it in, so I also got this wonderful linen:

dunlin :: colour 06

 And as soon as I came home I knew I wanted to turn the second colour into this beauty:
pic. from pattern on Ravelry
It's Insouciant by Julie Hoover, originally made with silk but I think it will be pretty in linen. 
I might have a thing for linen. The pattern calls for a 5 mm needle, but to get gauge and a fabric I liked, I had to go down to 3,5 mm holding to strands together. This is likely to be the next project on my needles.

The stash enhancement didn't stop there, I also got half the yarn for Array by Shibui Knits:

the yarn is less blue, much more purple than pictured
pic. from pattern on Ravelry
So now I have yarn for 3 things in my queue, that currently holds 11 items, which in my mind is a very doable amount to knit over the years. My stash is a little big for my liking with 4 yarns in it, but that will change soon enough.

WIP Wednesday

The unthinkable happened. I ran out of knitting! How did I run out of knitting? Well, I finished the top boarder of the shawl:

The top part will be folded over and sewn to create a double thickness boarder. The shawl is huge now.

Then I sent the remaining yarn home with my in-laws (I also sent our camera, so you are stuck with bad iPod photos this week). The next step is to steak the shawl, which I've done plenty of times, but this is one big shawl so I would like a big table. Then there is picking up 800+ stitches and knitting around 40 rounds.   
Getting the shawl done before 2013 still seems unattainable when you think of the ca. 32.000 stitches I have yet to knit on it.

Friday I was done with the shawl and needed a new project, especially as my SILs and I were having our monthly knitting meetup on Sunday. I had been looking for a pattern to do with the heathered pink Wool of the Andes from a dear friend in the States. The original plan was to knit the French Press Slippers, she had gifted me the pattern and all. But at least two balls of yarn had been cut into. My man, who opened the package, swears he didn't use anything but his hands to do it, so I'm suspecting it went through customs. Oh well, nothing you can do about it. Since I needed every cm of the yarn for the slippers I decided not to bother and simply find another pattern. And while I wouldn't mind having this colour on my feet to remind me of a lovely lady, it isn't really a colour I would wear elsewhere. 

When I found the Baby Sophisticate by Linden Down, I knew I wanted to make it. So Saturday I cast on for it and Monday it looked like this:

The body is complete. I then wanted to make the sleeves, but I don't own 5,5 mm DPNs and I dislike magic looping, so I went on to the collar, read the pattern for it and knit the first 4 rows, then it hit me, this little thing is supposed to have 4 buttons. There are no button holes in the pattern. By then I was slightly annoyed and decided to let go of the needles before some real damage was done.
I keep telling myself that one day without knitting is managable. I could read on the ferry home Tuesday, and today I can figure out where to place the buttons with my mum. I can steal borrow a pair of 5,5 mm DPNs, which I'm hoping she has and I can use her giant dining table for the steaking. And then magically I will have plenty of knitting again. 

I think I might go back to working monogamously on the shawl, because I'm so close to being done, that I can almost taste it. 

A WIP Wednesday

Over a month ago I was so happy to tell you that I had changed the cord on my neddles and the knitting was goign well again. Well, since then my cords have broken twice and I got very tired of this huge shawl and knitting the flowers over and over again. After 10,5 flowers I decided the shawl was big enough. It's getting difficult to measure it, but I would say it's between 85-90 cm, hopefully closer to the 90 cm than the 80 cm. it has gotten longer than our table is wide.

 Can you see that thing on the top of the shawl? That is the boarder and I might just think that is the prettiest part of the entire shawl. I'm about halfway through the top front boarder, i.e. I have knitted 1/4 of the top boarder and still have to two massive side boarders to go.

This little voice inside my head is trying to convince me that finishing the shawl comepletely before 2013 is doable. I however am not sure I believe the voice, so I'm aiming to have it done before my parents come to visit on January 25th-28th.

In other news this shawl has meant that I have been a monogamous knitter for almost 3 months now. I do like it, but I think it would be better, if I had one big and one small project at all times. Since I can't haul this shawl with me everywhere I go, I feel like I'm missing out on some knitting time. On the other hand, I tend to read during those times and when I wasn't a monogamous knitter, I would have difficulty finding the time to read. I'm staying monogamous, at least until this shawl is finished, then we'll see what happens next.

Knitting flowers in the frost

So I’m finally at THAT POINT in my knitting on the corn flower shawl, which I’m knitting for a family friend’s yarn store. I’ve just finished the 9th flower in the center and the body is now 76 cm. I still have 4 more flowers to add, but I just want to be done with the body already.
This may stem from a want to knit all the things for me. I have an actual need for hand knitted socks. I have an almost need for t-shirts and cardigans. I want to knit miles of autopilot stockinette stitches on tiny needles and in a single colour.
I also find that my taste in colours for knitting has changed.
I have never liked multi coloured or self striping yarns. I’m a solid colours and some times heathers kinda gal. But now I’m fascinated by greys and other neutrals.

The reason I have not cast on for the one project I have yarn for (by the way, I love not having a stash), is that I’m afraid I’ll abandon this poor beautiful shawl. It’s the 500+ stitches of fair isle on every single round that is killing me...

How do you go about this thing? The only solution I can think of is power through and hope I'll get to the end of the body sooner rather than later.