Weird Wool Wednesday: Steek Stack Stuck!


It’s too tight!

Steeking itself was easy though. These tips from Two Strands.com helped me gathering courage.

I ran two lines of sewing on both sides of the middle steek stitch. I reduced the foot pressure for this and chose a short stitch:


Then snip down the middle. I will be picking up stitches and knitting a border.

Ahh such happy colours these mushroom dyed Shetland yarn has ūüôā

But it’s too tight. I won’t wear this, not with pleasure, which means it will lay in my closet if I don’t fix this problem. So I thiiiiiink I’ll continue knitting this spencer vest all the way to the bottom, too tight as it is. Then I steek it down the middle (or perhaps down the sides) and add a strip of knitting.

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Weird Wool Wednesday: “no sweaters for you!”

That nice handspun Shetland was going to be a big comfy boxy winter sweater, with a thick cowl. Lots of wearing ease and promises of hot chocolate and hiding a cat underneath. That’s why I brought the wool with me to the cabin last week and knitted on it for hours and hours. I knitted up one big ball, attached the second one. Couldn’t find the third one.

Searched everywhere. No yarn. Must have left it in the city? My husband couldn’t find it there and he looked everywhere. O no! Did I lose it somewhere?? It could have been in the car which I took to the market and it might have tumbled out!

Can’t make more yarn… Hush hush, it’s very improbable that you lost it. Just knit on. You have enough yarn as it is anyway. Probably…

Turns out my knitting was more worried about yarn shortage than I was:

Too tight for comfort.

We returned home and straight away I saw the missing ball of yarn, on display in the middle of the room. If only my husband had grown a pair of functional eyes!

I couldn’t bring myself to frogging the sweater, undoing all those hours of knitting. And the happy memories of my time at the cabin. Perhaps I could salvage it, cut it open and knit additional pieces onto it?

My friend scoffed. “Anna! That will be at least as much work as reknitting it. Just frog it!”
Ah, the famous Dutch directness. Where well meant advice is said only once and it is up to you to take it or not.
I’m taking it. She’s right.

I’ve been getting ready to frog the past week. In that time I tried to knit on other sweaters. I wasn’t up to continuing with the purple Flower Cardigan because I still don’t know how to make a second puff sleeve. Didn’t work on Old Town cardigan because IDon’tKnowWhy. Denied all knowledge of other sweaters that may or may not live in my closet.

I worked on the mushroom dyed vest. This was happy knitting! I even had some little friends to keep me company:

And then the knitting wasn’t happy anymore:

There’s more diamonds on the left front panel than on the right front panel.

The steek in the middle is off centre?!? After all the spaghetti-wrangling I did earlier this year?!

Hmpf!!

That’s why, yesterday, I casted on for something I’ve been looking forward to for months now. A sweater that mimics the sun on snow in February:
 PLUS 
Pattern crazy stripes tee by atelier alfa

I knitted on it all day yesterday. Trying to see the Wintersun in the colours (instead of clown confetti…. does this look like clown confetti…. I’m afraid this is clown confetti…. please don’t be clown confetti)

Will be marvelous, right?

Wrong.

That shoulder width is way too small. My gauge is 26 st/10 cm instead of pattern gauge of 24 st/10 cm and even though I’m knitting a size L (because it was going to be a Winter garment, to be worn over something) this doesn’t fit me, not even as a Spring garment with only underwear beneath it.

This time I’m not knitting on in the hopes it will turn out allright. I will cut the yarn and start anew. (clown confetti)(clown confetti)

I may have to have a little think about it first. Nudge the colourwork more towards the sun on sparkling snow (instead of clown confetti, clown confetti).

Which is why I cast on a sock that doesn’t require thinking:

Free Impossible Girl Socks by Madeline Gannon in Sticks & Cups Sockstravagance in a liquorice colourway.

(clown spaghetti)

 

10 december: the wrong white

The white I’m using as a supporting colour is thicker than the main yarns, it got all ruffled around the x-mas balls:

It looks awful. The difference in thickness also shows at the bottom of the shawl:

An undesired hour glass figure.
I thought it was my gauge, but it’s this white yarn. It has 360 m per 100 grams and the Wolop yarn is 425 m per 100 grams.

I frogged the top part and am reknitting things. Today’s colour is a rich rusty orange:

I used it to catch the x-mas balls and it looks beautiful! Now I’m knitting the Norwegian Rose in yesterday’s royal blue on the teal from day ..

But things are getting a bit too colourful for my taste. I really want light colours in there too. Soothing white accents.

So now I’m frantically searching for an undyed sockyarn with the right meterage, 400 to 425 m per 100 gram, that’s soft enough to wear against the skin. I have some of the 2ply yarn left from Fir Cowl, that I will try for small specks of white. The problem with that particular yarn is that is fuzzes quite easily (because I’m a loose knitter). I noticed this on my purple stranded cuffs, they are 6 months old and already ratty.

I’ve found a webshop that sells BFL-Nylon yarn in the right meterage, undyed, but of course their webshop form crashed. So I’ll have to wait until someone comes into the shop on Monday. If they do…

There’s other wrong white around the house too. These daisies haven’t bloomed all year and chose mid December to be in flower:
white flowers bike
Weird white.

Let me show you THE RIGHT WHITE:
Rossling handknit socks
Rossling handknit socksRossling handknit socks
A gift from Nieslief, who knit these socks as part of Sock Madness 2016 and they were too small for her. They are a small 38. Which is just ok for me.
They are beautiful!
Such intricate knitting… Very lovely, very soothing. Something I really really appreciate today. Thank you, dear Nieslief.

Pattern Rossling by Leslie Comstock

Weird Wool Wednesday: Dragon Drapey.

Remember my friend and neighbour who’s going to crochet a Lillepoes-Lalylala doll for me? She’s going to do that right after she has finished Dirk the Dragon for herself, and she has:

Beautiful! She crochets so tight and neat.

She’s using Scheepjes Stonewashed and she said it was a daring case of yarn chicken. There’s only 15 cm’s of the green left, out of two skeins at 130 m each = 2600 cm’s total.

Next project will be my Lillirocco:

But first Dirk the Dragon needs a scarf, as per pattern:

and I’m knitting it. Coz that’s how we divide and conquer the world. She crochets my crochets and I knit her knits.

It’s a boring knit: “cast on 8 stitches, make stockinette stitch for fifty-five centimeters long, cast off, add fringe.”
55 cm. That’s a bout a foot, I think? A whole dragon’s foot worth of fiddly knitting¬†to and fro.

(at this point I’d like to deny¬†the fiddly¬†to and fro knitting I’m currently doing on the Fir Cowl… but I can’t… deny.)

Anyway. I was looking forward to experience Scheepjes Stonewashed yarn myself so I casted on last weekend. On needles 2,5 mm because I always need to go smaller than pattern needles.
But after a few centimeter I knew didn’t like the fabric much so I changed to 2,75 mm. You can see the transition in the fabric somewhere between my pink and ring finger:

I told myself I could get away with continuing as is. “The ends of a scarf are better when they’re a little firmer anyway.”

But then this morning I admitted¬†I still don’t like the fabric much, it’s just not Dragon Drapy enough. The original scarf looks so comfy and drapey. Mine just doesn’t.

So I changed to 3 mm. This looked way better and after a few more centimeters I knew¬†this is the right drape. I can’t get away with another change in gauge so I frogged the 15 cm I had and am starting anew, with the right needles:

Now I’ve got a whole foot of dragon scarf to wander through!
And it’s the last day of November and there’s no time and wouldn’t it be lovely of Dirk the Dragon also got some matching mittens for Winter? And what about a matching messenger bag, that would be awesome.

(Also I’m wondering if¬†3,25 mm wouldn’t even give a better dragon drapeyness to this scarf.)(drapeness)(drapiness)(drapability?)

reasoning with mittens: thumbs

I’ve got two sets of stranded mittens on the needles. Both are at the thumbstage.
Winter Snows Mystery mitten has a thumb I have not knitted before: a peasant or after thought thumb.

You knit a tube and at one stage you knit with a piece of (red) waste yarn. You then put the stitches back on the left needle and knit them again with the real yarn.
Later on you remove the waste yarn and are left with a set of live stitches that you knit upward in a thumb.

With this construction you have to think about how wide your hand is at the base of the thumb. There is no thumb gusset, the tube must fit by itself.

Luckily with me it does. Because as luck would have it I’ve learned to fit as I go and adjust.
The cuff is done over 56 stitches. Then decreased to 48 stitches. Because I have tiny wrists. Then I had to increase for the thumb/hand which is not so tiny: I went up to 70 stitches.

The tube fits. The mitten will probably too.
The only problem is: I went to the cabin this week and brought a lot of woolen stuff but not the rest of the white yarn. That’s the last of it:

That’s me done. No more knitting on this until I return to the city! Boo!
(I didn’t follow the pattern for the cuff and now it curls like crazy.)

An Enchanting Mystery mittens have a thumb I know: a thumb gusset.
Thumb gusset: increase in a nice way until the tube that fitted your wrist now fits your hand. Park gusset stitches and knit rest of tube until fingertips. Return to parked stitches and knit a thumb.

Since I have an inborn design feature called SWBP (Small Wrist Big Paws) I already know to increase faster and to a larger number for a thumb gusset than a pattern describes.
This pattern says to increase 2 stitches every other row until a total of 25 stitches. I increased 2 stitches every row and didn’t stop until I got 30 stitches. And I kept fitting. Now it’s comfortable and my thumb will not get throttled.

Yesterday the new clue came out and we’re now meant to park the thumb gusset stitches. I hadn’t thought we would. I’m not ready:

I need another 2 cm of knitting before I can park the stitches and resume the “hand tube”. What happened?¬†Row gauge happened.

Pattern says 34 rows per 10 cm (4″). I just measured, I’m at 40 rows.

oei oei!

Two¬†centimeters of extra length, that’s a whole extra pattern piece. More diamonds. Or more baubles. Adding a new piece will change the pattern. Which is scary because this is a mystery pattern, I’m flying blind here.

Well, not really. I’ve already seen the new clue. And in the chat thread on Ravelry I’ve seen how it knits up.¬†I can make an educated guess about what will work for the pattern and where to put it.

Or I could just knit the clue and delay parking the thumb gusset at a fitting spot. The extra length I will unavoidably need in the mitten will then get solved at the top of the mitten, when I’ve seen the whole pattern and can design something that will fit the pattern for sure.

For now I’ve presented my problem in the chat thread, hoping the designer may weigh in.

That’s row gauge for you.

Consequently there’s a shadow thread for this mitten for people who dare to taunt this beast. They work with thicker yarn and are amending the pattern accordingly. They get 24 stitches to 10 cm instead of 31 stitches. I’m looking at their row gauge at the moment….

…ah, educational (1),¬†they just remove some of the rows as they see fit. And the pattern still looks like the pattern, even with rows removed! That gives me courage that with rows added it will probably still look like itself too. I probably won’t kill it with my addition.

If you’re in the KAL: I’m thinking of adding extra diamonds in the middle of clue 3. There are 3 sets now, I’m thinking of interspersing 2 and do so in the colours green and grey because my mitten is turning out all purple and ochre and I miss the green and grey.

I suspect these colours will turn up at the top again, seeing as this mitten seems to have a mirror line running through the middle, but adding some around that mirror line will look good too, I’m guessing.

Sorry for the grainy dark early bird pictures. It’s Saturday morning at the cabin. Lillepoes has come downstairs and is now napping on the chair on a cushion filled with unspinnable wool. Outside the first light is starting. It’s rainy and windy and lovely green.

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Aw, how I love that cushion. It’s embellished with free style knitting from Mary Walker Phillips.
It’s free style but not without order:

You make it up as you go along. A lovely and creative way of knitting.project page here

Weird Wool Wednesday: Goldilock knitting

Too loose, too tight, just right?
Too small, too wide, just right?
Too long, too long, just right?
Tight brioche, loose brioche, no cloche?

I’m getting fed up with all the false starts in knitting I’m experiencing.

The stranded Wintertide wristlets were way too wide the first time. I started anew also because the colours didn’t work particular well and I wanted the stitches to run from bottom to top. But then it was too tight!
So I’m starting anew, from the bottom this time. Third time lucky?

I’m still tutting at the too-tight wristwarmer in the middle there because it had me cut my yarn and this is the precious handdyed reed yarn of which I only have a little bit left. Hmpf, so unpolite!

The Winterhat, in brioche, was reknitted over and over again. I didn’t take pictures because I was too frustrated.

First I was knitting too tight, then I was knitting the brim too wide. Now I’ve found the right combination of needle and width but I’m already bored with knitting Brioche in such a small round. Having to change needles and pulling them through the knitting every time you just get into a groove? Puhhlease.
As you can see the project is already in the closet of eternal wooly hybernation…

I feel really bad because that green mottled yarn deserves to be a beautiful project. Perhaps knit Brioche in the round, bottom up? If I chose so I now do happen to have a big gauge swatch on my hands…

(starting a new project and wandering into some other bears’ cottage all over again? Perhaps not the smartest idea.)

The heel of the Ladies socks were reknit over a larger amount of stitches:


Looking good, sitting well.
Or does it?


The heel flap is too long! This looks ridiculous! Ugh!
I chose the length because I have a high instep and this works with all my other socks. I don’t understand why this sock insists on having a shorter flap. The attitude of the thing!

Third time lucky? I’ve frogged and shortened the heel flap a bit.

But have I shortened it enough? I’m getting quite insecure now… How come I’ve forgotten how to knit socks??
Or hats?
Or wristwarmers?

The other things that has me grumpy is that I’m knitting the Wintertide on the same needles as the Swedish Advent Socks and the Advent Wristwarmers in some nice light yellow-green Shetland. All 2,5 needles:

(I didn’t tell you about those last one did I? It’s Little Secret from the Vienna yarn shop Laufmasche.¬†Knitting in a yarn that has spinning oil in it, which kept me awake the very night after I told you about spinning oil keeping me awake. Which is why I didn’t tell you…)

When I say on the same needle, I mean literally the same needle.
I only have one 2,5 mm needle in the house…
Yes, I’m rearranging and parking knitting whenever I want to knit on either of those projects which are my favourite projects at the moment. AAAARGH!

Knitting begins to feel like a stupid hobby, really.
Perhaps I should take up something else. Herding Cats sounds nice.

Reed dyed yarn, Estonian ribbing, Advent MKAL and laddering.

I’ve casted on for cuffs with the reed dyed yarn:

I’m going for some colourwork that only requires to change colour every 5 rows yet still gives stacked diamond shapes.¬†(The yarn is a bit sticky to knit with, this darkest green. Perhaps it’s the alum?)

The colourwork is¬†a new-to-me technique, called Estonian Rib or Estonian Spiral. It’s a way to make diamond shaped colours stack up without the need for short rows, entrelac, stranding or purl stitches.

I found inspiration on this wonderful blog by a Swedish knitting teacher and designer who loves to preserve the rich knitting traditions from Europe: Eva-Lotta Staffas.
She used Estonian Rib in this wonderful pattern that features 5 knitting techniques from North-east Europe:

Fingerless mittens pattern Alva, by Eva-Lotta Staffas

The Estonian rib is at the bottom, changing to a new colour after a few rows, cutting the previous colour. No stranding. So easy! Here’s another picture:

 pic by Staffas

It’s all knit stitches! Interspersed with k2tog and Yarn Over and suddenly there are slanting columns and checker board colours.

As an aside: Eva-Lota Staffas runs free Advent knit-a-longs on her other blog Jultalamod, in two languages, English and Swedish.

The advent designs are free and the one from last year were gloves featuring some of these wonderful traditional techniques. I asked and she runs a MKAL this year again.
But only in Swedish this year. But I think we can decipher that just fine because she uses lots of pictures and charts and¬†it’s fun to read knitting notation in another language.
Reading and knitting Swedish in the weeks leading up to Christmas gives a wonderful atmosphere for that time of the year.

Last year it was gloves, the year before a knitted mouse and before that Christmas stockings. The patterns are free.
I wonder what this year will be… a table runner? A shawl? I’d love it if it were mittens!

As another aside, do you know Bloglovin‘? It’s a sort of online index where you can collect blogs you like and then it keeps score for you to see if there are any new blogposts and gathers them in one place.
This is where I added the Advent-blog from Eva-Lotta Staffas and when she posts there in October or November¬†it will show up on the Bloglovin-button that’s now on my browser¬†and I don’t have to go check out the blog all the time to see if the MKAL has started yet.
Bloglovin is the site that has that awful logo you see on some sites:
bloglovin logo
Brrrr! I don’t like¬†art to be all artsy and in my face.
Or nude. I don’t need nude when it brings nothing to the table. What’s this nipple doing on people’s homepage? Why does a blog index need a prominent nipple? I’ve got questions.

I’ve also got knitting questions. We must prioritize.

I casted on 30 stitches and did the colours, thinking it would be a cuff or wristwarmers (love those, wear them all the time too!).
But this technique tightens the circumference of the work and my coloured cuff was too tight. 30 stitches gave barely 12 cm, not 20 cm. I did proceed to knit through all the colours because Estonian Rib is great fun to knit:

Nice diamond shapes without short rows, stranding or purl stitches. Hmm, that yellow green (ammonia afterbath!) might not contrast enough with the dark and the lighter geen,,,

I do have more pressing problems though:

Terrible laddering and a drunk stitch!
There’s laddering going on between 2 K stitches and the SSK.
In the middle column, going from right below to top left, and reading the stitches from right to left there’s one regular K stitch, one drunk K stitch and one SSK who doesn’t want anything to do with it’s cousins.

Left from the SSK is the magic part of Estonian rib: 2 K’s and one YO. This part “dives under” the k2, ssk part, allowing that part to look like a solid square of colour.
(Since I’m such a loose knitter I exchanged the YO for a “pick up strand and knit it” on the next row.)

The main problem is the laddering. I tried to pull it more tight as I progressed through the colours but it didn’t really help.

I spend half a day knitting up another swatch, over more stitches this time and on a bigger needle:

Hooking needle inserted in ladder.
It’s no good. That’s supposed to be a neat square of k stitches that shows off the colour of the yarn.
I tried different techniques to get rid of the ladder: pulling the ssk tighter; pulling the previous stitch tighter; knitting the front stitch of the ssk through the back loop; knitting the previous (drunk) k stitch through the back loop; swapping the ssk for a k2tog (right where the hook is).
Nothing worked.

I did get the drunk stitch to behave, once I knitted it through the back loop. But then I loose the uniform look of the 3 k stitches (a.k.a. k2, 1 decrease).

This morning I went onto Ravelry to consult the collective knowledge there. Having access to knitting database is marvellous!
I’ve looked at all the Estonian Rib patterns and projects and at all the ones for Estonian Spiral, seeing if anyone might have the same problem.
No one.

Then I looked at the forum posts, looking for “laddering” and “ssk”, and bingo. More people have this problem: laddering between knitted stitches and a decrease.
(this concerns a ladder at regular knit stitches before a decrease, not the ones after it or the ones around the gap between sock needles.)

It’s all loose knitters that have this problem and it’s all in the tension.

My laddering is caused loose gauge. I’ve always had a loose gauge, had to go down two needle sizes to any size recommended. Since my shoulder impingement I’m knitting even more loose, I now go down several millimeters at a time.

For solutions about tension and this kind of laddering I found this thread + photo tutorial by La Maison Rililie very helpful. She explains how the way you knit a decrease makes the stitch lying on top of the decrease bigger or smaller than the one at the bottom. This influences the look. Makes decreases every other row look like stepping stones (if you don’t resolve for this).

One knitter suggests that loose knitters might have to combine several solutions in one go:
“I think that the looser you knit, the more tricks you‚Äôll have to combine to get a good ssk. The methods I‚Äôve found are to yank the back loop; to slip the second loop purlwise; to put a full twist in the back loop; and to enter the stitches from the other direction (your way). A tighter knitter might only need to use one of these tricks, but a looser knitter may need to combine two or even three of these.” wise words by Earthnut

In the thread are discussion why and how the various solutions work. I love when things get all technical until a problem makes sense. Than you can apply sensible solutions and perhaps think up some of your own.

By the way, La Maison Rililie has several more photo tutorials on her site and an interesting blog about refined knitting (problems and) techniques called Knittingtherapy.com

Now that I understand my problem I have a choice:
A. knit a new swatch and try out the different solutions until I find the right combination that solves for my tension
B. do something else.

Looking at all the projects with Estonian rib I’m now fed up with stacked diamonds… My head is filled with too bright colours and jokers:

So:

Let’s see in what other way I can combine the colours of my reed dyed yarns. Estonian ribbing I’m keeping in my toolbox, for another day. Glad to have found it.

Skew Sneaking In + Bobmas Day

I have entered the danger zone by casting on for a new project…

It’s Skew sock pattern.
In a lovely Danish yarn that I received as a gift yesterday. Couldn’t help myself. Had to cast on with the yarn. And I love the Skew pattern.

Skew is a weirdly lovely pattern, a free pattern by Lana Holden:

It starts at the toe and skews selfstriping yarn before it works up to a swirly heel. It’s been translated in many languages and knit many times.
My project is actually the 4901st project of it on Ravelry!

I need some modifications from the original pattern to accommodate my broad feet and high instep so I was browsing the Ravelry database for notes that other people made for this pattern. It’s so very handy! The idea of a knitting database, filled and kept up to date by knitters, was a stroke of brilliance.

A stroke of brilliance that sparked exactly 10 years ago today, on the 11th of April 2005:

rav¬†screenshot from the blog of Jess in 2005. She’s the knitter girlfriend of Casey, now her husband, and together they developed Ravelry.com into the multimillion user site it is today.

That means that today is Bobmas Day! Go friend Bob, the Boston Terrier of Jess and Casey, and have a cupcake to celebrate.

Taking full advantage of the database I found my own Paprika Skew sock amongst the projects that people found helpful. That makes me happy, thank you!
It was my very first Skew, in yarn I dyed myself:

I only ever made the left sock because I had this other, more beautiful yarn, that I wanted to make Skews with asap. Here’s Lente Skew in progress:

It was finished quickly -and had different notes than Paprika Skew, no idea why- and it looks wonderful in this yarn! I wear it often.
Only the one though because the left¬†Lente Skew sock was a victim of Second Sock Syndrome. It’s half finished and I keep it as a WIP, carefully kept together, including needles, in a tote. I often see it in the stash or in my book cabinet and I fondly¬†think of finishing it. But somehow I haven’t. For years now.

That’s right, I’ve been wearing my sole beautiful right Lente Skew sock for about 4 years now and I love it. I wear it often. Either together with the Paprika Skew left sock. Or with the left sock of these Spring socks:

They match somewhat in colours. Or they’re both stripey. That’s what I tell people confidently anyway, when they remark upon my socks not matching.

I really like the Skew pattern. And now I’ve casted on for it again. In more subdued colours which happens to be my mood this Winter, Spring and probably Summer too.
Most of my socks are eye watering bright because those yarns are fun to knit but wearing them is not very practical, not when you want to be all sophisticated and ethereal.

This yarn is a Danish yarn called Hjertegarn. “Heart yarn”, from Denmark. I like it! ūüôā
These particular colourways are called “snake” and my colourway is 7715, the green variety.

 pic from artyarn.co.uk who sells this yarn

So these are to be my “Snake Skews”.
Yes, I plan to make both a left sock and a right sock this time.
I’m starting with the left one though so when I do get thwarted by second sock syndrome again I’ll at least have another mate for my one right Lente Skew.
Knitting is just like life: enjoy it but do provide for predictable eventualities.

Yesterday evening I cast on. And this morning I’ve been knitting merrily for a few hours.¬†And now I’ve made it too big. My feet are not th√°t broad, thankyouverymuch!
I don’t know what happened. I followed my pattern notes from my two previous Skews, even though the notes don’t match up. But both of those socks fit beautifully so ball park would work.

But at this moment I find I have 16 stitches worth too much of fabric. On a 76 total stitch count. Yeah, that’s a lot. A lot alot.
Let’s just say it was a slow Saturday morning and I was sleepy. It did take me some time to register reality didn’t adhere to theory. Again (2)

(again #1 = that reality doesn’t follow sound theory)
(again #2 = that I take my sweet time to realize this.)

This afternoon I need to rip back to where it was in the first picture and start again from there.
But that’s ok. There is not much else to do today but rest and knit. The plan was to knit on Spring Brioche (and I will!) and in the evening light knit on my green handspun Sprig (and I will!). In between, when I’m too tired to pay attention to brioche, I’ll knit Skew.

Or should I say: “reknit Skew…”

Accidental handspun cowl ‘n mitts

I’m working on tea cosies and Deco Cardi and felt dress and other things¬†but somehow also this happened:

A cowl/neckwarmer and two mitts. The mitts in my head are called: “tulips” for the wrist and for the part of the hand that rests on the computer keyboard. They are often in my line of sight so they need to look nice.

Knit in Brioche stitch on needles 4,5 mm. I used 157 m of aran weight yarn.

The yarn I spun myself, last October, on that¬†annual Spinners’ Retreat. The roving is handdyed by Wolop¬†and was bought at the annual Day of Wool & Fibres. Back then the roving reminded me of sun on snow and I wanted it dearly, even though I’m no fan of pastels or of roving with lots of white in it. But the pastels that could come from this roving… these would make me happy, I knew. I love the sun on snow, especially on a small contained scale (just your backyard, just a snow drop peaking through, just a snowflake in a macro photo. Small scale and smaller scale.)

But when I spun it it was glorious weather. We were walking barefoot in the grass.

It’s soft BFL wool. And ever since I spun it I’ve been thinking what to do with it.

The last few days my neck was cold and my aching shoulder prefers my knitting to be Brioche (why does that not hurt? Am I slower? More relaxed? I enjoy it a lot, the moment of knitting, I’m not thinking so much of the end product as I am when knitting stockinette stitch. Perhaps it’s that.).

And it’s January. The sun has become a little more bright than a few weeks back. Snow is a possibility. The skies are swept clear by winds. The land lays bare and I can look all the way to the horizon. All this makes me think of snow and mountains and little streams flowing under ice and caves with sparkling ice

I was rummaging through the stash in search of thickish yarn to make tea cosies from. And all of the above was going through my head and then I came across that beautiful skein if sunlit snowflake BFL¬†…. so I yanked the 4,5 mm circular out of the Deco Cardigan and just started knitting. In that Double Dutch Brioche technique I unvented. I knit from both the outside and the inside of the ball and I weighed the yarn carefully when I was making the mitts, so they both would be about the same size. I started with the cowl though, estimating the amount of stitches I had to cast on.

This is how I thought: well, it’s basically akin to ribbing. So I’ll just do the thing I do¬†for ribbing which is circumference x gauge – 10%.

Because I’m knitting with aran weight and my 4,5 mm needles so much I knew the gauge pretty well. (14 st/10 cm). For the cowl I cast on 4 x 14 = 56 – 5 = 50 (I needed it to be even). The cowl is worked top down and I increases + 8 once and + 16 on the second time.

For the mitts I cast on 20 st. (15 cm x 14 st = 21 – 1 = 20 st) and increases 4 once and then 8.

Ahh, so happy with this!

The colours, the softness, the brioche squishyness, the warmth. Yes, a fine in between project that gives fast results that are functional.

(note to self: I need to buy more 4,5 mm Red Lace circulars. It’s services both my default spinning thickness and all the Irish aran that keeps appearing in my house. One is just not enough.)(also: buy some more erasers. They keep disappearing.)

Wintertrui 2014: ripping out the sleeves.

Gauge on my handspun is not the same as gauge on the Donegal Heather yarn, these sleeves are too wide.

I also have no good idea how to knit this sleeve onto the armhole. The only solution I know of is knitting a sleeve shape flat -following perhaps the pattern of a sewing pattern or of a knitted sweater- and sewing it into the hole afterwards.
This does not particularly enthuse me.

It rather feels like it would become one of those things that needs to be done, to be pushed through. A chore. And I’m not particular good with knitting chores…
*UCHEpeabodysweaterUCHE!*
*ACHOOObuttonsonCocoberryshawlOOHOO!*

I’ve decided to change course to a more lu(di)crific path: rip out the sleeves apart from the two existing cuffs. Knit the sleeves topdown from the armholes. See if I’ll get there with the existing yarn and otherwise have a white band around the wrist.

… I also may have cast on a new cardigan with the blue Donegal Heather Yarn. Which uses the same needle as the sleeves do…

The last day of this year I will spend with Peabody Sweater to close up its shoulders. A technique I’ve never done before and I cannot visualize easily although I’ve tried:

but it didn’t work.

Which is why it’s been laying around for two years since I knitted it.
By now I have a sneaky suspicion I knitted that sweater too tight all over. That I won’t be wearing it with pleasure, once finished. That it would be better to rip out and start anew…

Oh and buttons for Cocoberry shawl: I’ve bought darling buttons in Utrecht. Mislaid them. Bought new ones on the market in my city. Have already sewn on half of them so there’s progress there.
(But I don’t like what I’ve done so far. Contemplate redoing them.)

Hmmm. Ripping sleeves, considering ripping Peabody, wanting to redo Cocoberrybuttons… I would do better to keep my inner knitter perfectionista at arms length for the remainder of the year:

(ooooh, this picture by Dennis Elema makes me want to continue knitting on my little Dragon Cardi!!)

(but no no no. It’s on small needles and they make my shoulder hurt more. Seeing the doctor about that on the 6th of January. A good little dragon I am.)