Saturday, February 21, 2015

A long winter seems to be ending soon!

It seems like I haven't written here in forever, and indeed, I haven't since September last year! The winter has seemed very long and dark, but now it's finally starting to get lighter and a tiny bit warmer. Thomas worked almost around the clock until Christmas, and this coincided with Ella getting her first teeth and being very cranky and clingy, so I didn't have very much time to do anything but take care of her. 

However, at the end of September I went to the sewing festival in BorĂ¥s, which was very nice. I haven't been in a couple of years, so it was a lot of fun, although this year I found it to be more focused on sewing than on knitting and yarn. I did come home with some yarn though:

Two skeins of The Natural Dye Studio Dazzling sock yarn (55 % wool/45 % silk, 400 m/100 g)), in colourways Lundy (the orange one) and Woody Bay (the green one).

Onion Knit Tussah silk yarn (66 % merino/34 % silk134 m/50 g)), in the colourway Red 210.

Onion Knit Nettle sock yarn (70 % wool/30 % plant fiber, 185 m/50 g), in the colourway Green 1006.

Arucania Puelo yarn (100 % Llama, 210 m/100 g), in the colourway Red 5004.

I also bought a kit for a Strawberry hat from Tant Kofta, which contained a lace weight merino/angora yarn dyed in three different colours, to make a hat from:

Then we went home to our parents for Christmas and New Year's, which was very nice, but there wasn't much time for blogging then either. Ella had a lovely first Christmas, and as she is the first grandchild of both mine and Thomas' parents, she got very spoiled! But it was a great holiday, filled with lots of friends and family, and good food of course.

In January both me and Thomas stayed home with Ella (here in Sweden we have something called double days, where both parents can be home with their child. I think it's 30 days that we can use during the first year), and that was exactly what we needed. We spent the whole month just hanging out as a family, making small outings and just enjoying ourselves. That month there was also some knitting getting done, but I'll get to that.

On the second of February I went back to work, after being home for almost exactly one year with Ella. Thomas is staying home with her this spring, and then we'll both be home with her during the summer, and in the Autumn she'll start pre-school. I think the timing for me starting work again was near perfect: I was starting to get a little bit lonely just being home with Ella for all those months, Thomas was fed up with his job and just wanted to spend more time with Ella, and Ella was starting to be a bit too "mom-ish", just being very clingy with me. She needed to be with another adult, and getting more used to being alone with her dad. So now we're all happy again!

I have managed to do a lot of knitting since I wrote last. I think I'll just show them off in chronological order. The first thing I finished, on September 24th, was a pair of socks. These are the Walk the Line socks, and I made them in Regia Color 4-ply sock yarn (75 % superwash wool/25 % nylon), in the colourway Ringel Clown:

I really liked them, and the colours were a lot of fun, but I ended up giving them to my mother-in-law, as she had started to wear out her previous pair I gave her. She loves them and wears them all the time.

Next up was a pair of socks for me, a pair of vanilla socks in Fibernymph Dye Works Bedazzled sock yarn. I managed to snag a set of Nyan Cat sock yarn in one of her updates, and I cast them on almost as soon as I got the yarn:

I really, really love these, and they were most definitely for me! I have a lot of yarn let over, and I think I'll make a matching pair for Ella eventually.

Then I started a winter set for Ella, a hat, a scarf, a pair of mittens, and I had yarn left over to make a pair of matching socks as well. I bought two skeins of Drops Baby Alpaca Silk yarn in an off-white colour, and made a set from a Drops pattern. I finished the set on October 18th.

The set is very cute, but she actually moves around too much for the hat to stay still (it shifts sideways, so she ends up with it over her face...), and I think she used the mittens twice before we dropped one of them outside and never found them again! The socks fit for a while but are too small now, but we still use the scarf a lot.

As she lost the mitten, I started a new set for her, which I finished on November 21st. I used the yarn I got from Tant Kofta at the sewing festival and made a hat and a pair of matching mittens for Ella:

I chose not to use the pattern that came with the hat, where the green leafy edge was at the bottom of the hat, but used this Drops pattern instead. I made the mittens as simple tubes, and to protect the small fingers from the colourwork strands I also made an inside lining with the red yarn, so they're double layered and very warm. Ella has used this set all winter, and gotten lots of compliments on them as well.

Then in January I finally finished the Minni cardigan that I started in August. It turned out super cute, and a little big, but Ella has worn it a lot anyway, and she will grow into it.

It's made with Fleece Artist merino sock yarn in the colourway Blush, KnitPicks Stroll yarn in the colourway Aurora Heather, and Gepard CashSoft sock yarn in a pale pink.

At the beginning of winter Thomas asked me if I could make him a new hat, and I chose the Weather the Weather pattern. I first bought a skein of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted, in the colourway Kerfluffle, but Thomas thought it was a bit too purple (he wanted black or grey). I then bought two skeins of Malabrigo Worsted in black (and boy did those skeins stain my hands when I knit with it!), and made the hat twice as the first attempt turned out too small.

The final hat is a smidge too big, but I just won't knit it a third time so he'll have to be satisfied. It was a fun and easy knit though.

I also got some yarn money from my parents this Christmas, so at the beginning of January I made two orders. The first one was from Garnkorgen, and contained:

Lorna's Laces Shepherd sock yarn (80 % wool/20 % nylon, 398 m/100g), in the colourways Childsplay (the multi-coloured one) and Envy (the green one). Both of these are destined to become socks for my mother.

Regia Color 4-ply in the colourways Zebra and Tiger (I think you can guess which is which). My mother claimed the white ones, and the orange ones will be socks for me.

I also ordered two skeins of Wollmeise Blend yarn (70 % merino/20 % cashmere/10 % nylon, 499 m/150 g), the new sport weight yarn, from Wollmeise, in colourways Ooohm (the teal one) and Krokodil (the green one), that I plan on using for a striped sweater or cardigan for me.

Ok, more knitting! At the end of September I started a little dress for Ella, the Little Sister's dress. I chose to use my two skeins of Koigu KPPPM yarn, and of course I ran out. I finally found more skeins in the same colourway at Webs, so I ordered them (even though the shipping was almost as much as the yarn). They were of course not from the same dye lot, and they didn't match. At all! So I ended up striping the different skeins to make them last.

I finished the dress on January 22nd, and I was so glad to be done with it! As I had to frog it back to nothing to alternate the skeins, I had knit it twice, and the yarn was a nightmare! I think I ended up having to weave in over 30 ends in this tiny thing, due to all the knots and breaks in the yarn! I will never buy it again, and I can't believe this is such an expensive and popular yarn. It is pretty though.

On January 30th I also finished a pair of socks, the MineCraft socks, that I made of a skein of Opal Surprise! sock yarn, in the colourway Leckerbissen. 

I honestly can't remember when I ordered this (it says December 9th 2014 on Ravelry, so maybe I got it when I ordered the yarn for Thomas' hat?). I was planning on keeping them for myself, but I ended up giving them to my mother-in-law as she's been going through some stuff this winter. She was very happy with them too!

One more FO for you! On Valentine's Day I finished another little cardigan for Ella, the Korrigan

I used MarigoldJen Yarns BFL/nylon sock yarn (75 % wool/25 % nylon) in the colourway Apple of Megan's Eye, and it turned out super cute! She has been wearing it almost every day since it was finished, and she seems to like it (although she doesn't really have a choice yet!).

I also have a lot of stuff on the needles, as I seem to have had a bit of cast-on-itis lately. In November I started a new shawl, the Twinkle Twinkle Little Star shawl, in some Chili Gredelin Geisha yarn (100 % silk), in the colourway Selleri.

I've made almost half of the first chart, but I don't get to work a lot on my lace projects right now as I spend most of my non-working time with Ella, and I'm too tired in the evenings after she goes to sleep. As I get more used to working again I'll probably not feel as tired in the evenings, then I can hopefully work some lace again.

I also have a pair of cabled socks on the needles, and these ones are for me. They are the Firenze socks that I got in the 7 Degrees of Kevin Bacon sock club back in 2013. I'm using my skein of FibroFibers Nightfall sock yarn in the Deep Purple colourway. They are also a bit slow going, but I'm really enjoying them.

Next up is another lace shawl, and this one I'm making with beads! It's the Fiori de Sole shawl, and I'm using some old stash Malabrigo Lace yarn, in the colurway Emerald. It's so much fun, but I'm not working much on this one either right now. It will get done eventually though.

A couple of years ago I made a pair of socks for my youngest brother-in-law, William, and he has finally worn them through. So I'm making him a new pair, the Porthos socks, in Regia Design Line sock yarn, colourway Herb Garden. They are so much fun, and the pattern is really easy to memorize. I was hoping to have them finished by the end of the month, but that's not going to happen. Soon, though!

As I finished the Korrigan cardigan for Ella, I immediately cast on for another one for her. I'm making the Star Bright cardigan (and I'll make the matching hat too, if I have enough yarn left over), in Cascade 220 superwash, in the colourway Marionberry. I'm using this as my break knitting at work, and it goes by really fast. I should be done some time next week, I think.

Finally, I also cast on for a new cardigan for me. I haven't really knitted much for myself, other than socks, for a long while, so I thought it was time. I had a couple of skeins of Cascade 220 in the Liechen colourway balled up, that I had started a Dark and Stormy cardigan with a long, long while ago. A couple of weeks ago I finally decided that I didn't want that cardigan anymore, so I frogged the five rows I had made, and now I'm using the yarn for the Krydda cardigan. So far it's going by very fast, but I haven't started the lace pattern yet. It should be fun though!

So, lots of knitting and yarn! Ella is growing fast, right now she's crawling around all of the house and exploring (and tasting!) everything. On March 5th she'll turn one year old, I can't believe it's been a year already! We're having our families over for her birthday party, which will be a lot of fun, so we'll have to bake a birthday cake!

I think I'll leave you with that, congratulations if you managed to get all the way through! I'll try not to take five months off until next time, but I make no promises :)

/ Jenny