Soli Deo Gloria shawl

At the end of last year, I suddenly felt an urge to knit lace, and some more complicated lace. I wanted something I needed to focus on and something delicate. I browsed a lot and asked for advice, but finally settled on the Soli Deo Gloria shawl and Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in a silvery grey color called Moonstone. I cast on around mid-December and now it’s finished!

It started out as a tiny little thing

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Then turned into a grey blob

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And now it’s a finished shawl :D

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Once it was finished blocking and I had taken pics, I changed my mind and wanted a pointy edge, not rounded. So now it’s blocking again… :)

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I love it! It’s airy without feeling like it’s made of air or spider web, it’s soft and cosy and the lace pattern is really stunning! I definitely need to knit more lace shawls. But maybe a cabled one first :)

Summing up the year

2015 has been a great year crafting wise. I’ve done so many fun things and tried new things and challenged myself a lot. Let’s sum it up in pics!

Of course I’ve made shawls. And cowls. I love them so much! Both knitting and wearing. You can see a few WIPs from 2014 finished here, a few pure 2015 projects and a few current WIPs that I hope to finish in 2016 :)

Shawls 2015 2

Shawls are still my biggest category in crafting, but handspun isn’t far off. I’ve spun quite a few skeins this year!

Handspun 2015 2

I’ve expanded my knitting horizons and started knitting sweaters! I made two this year, both a bit unusual. My goal for 2016 is getting into more conventional sweaters, hoping to find methods to make them fit :)

Sweaters 2015

And of course I’ve knit a few socks, hats, mittens and other miscellaneous stuff

Misc 2015

Apart from all the knitting (and maybe a little crochet), I’ve started weaving this year. First on my grandmother’s floor loom, and then card weaving aswell. Here are my first few projects in weaving :)

Weaving 2015

I plan to do a lot more weaving in the future! It’s fun and the results are great. The setup time is what stops me, generally :) And, also, if you set up a warp, you don’t make it 50 cm long. You make 4 m while you’re at it. It takes a while to weave 4 m!

Apart from weaving, I’ve also picked up sewing this year. It’s great fun and I really want to do more of it, but I somehow always get stuck knitting, spinning or weaving and never get to the sewing…. I hope to get there more this year, maybe for summer holidays :) You can never have too many project bags!

Sewing 2015

So that’s my crafting year in pictures. I didn’t catch everything, but most of what I made is in there somewhere. I’m really looking forward to 2016, it feels like it will be a good year in both private life and crafting. I’m not big on resolutions (once I make them, I never follow them) but I hope to make time for sewing and weaving, and expand my skills even more in all my crafts.

WIPs and plans, Week 51-52

My current most favourite WIPs include just a few things. Quite a few different shawls! The first is my failed OWL from Fall term this year, the Ley Lines shawl. I’ve found some new energy for this one now that several big projects are finished which makes me happy :) I’m into the fourth section out of five, but as this shawl is assymmetric, I’m just past 45% in stitch counts. Getting there :)

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The second is a proper lace shawl out of Tosh Merino Light. Despite my firm belief that I don’t like singles yarn, I love this one. Pfft ;)

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The pattern is called Soli Deo Gloria. It requires concentration in just the right amount for me :) In the pic you can also see one of my newest acquisitions, a needle holder for WIPs. Super smart and keeps your knitting on the needles! It’s from Kitchen Counter Crafter :) I got this one and a bag in the same fabric, love it so much.

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Those are the WIPs that get the most attention right now. Since I went on Christmas Break yesterday, I’ve also got some spinning and weaving done which is lovely. I’m planning/dreaming of future weaving projects with the lovely Finnish wool warp yarn I got for my birthday. I hope to use up more of my handspun this way, maybe even make a “mix-and-match” blanket out of panels of handspun. Or a ruana. Or both :)

Plans also include a crocheted blanket. I want to prove to myself I can do it and not abandon it like I’ve done with most blankets I’ve started. I’ve not yet figured out the magic word or project though that will keep my interest enough. We’ll see :)

Favourite podcasts – The Knitmore Girls

I have a new favourite past time, podcasts! I think I discovered them about a year ago but didn’t get really into them until recently. Now my podcast list has around 20 different podcasts and about 5-10 of those I keep up with regularly. One of my most favourite podcasts is The Knitmore Girls.

knitmore

They are a mother/daughter duo (Gigi and Jasmine) talking about knitting, spinning and sewing, and a little bit about life in general. What I appreciate the most is the honest and direct approach they have, talking about things as they are, good or bad. They are also technique oriented and often discuss and share different methods to achieve better results in your crafting (for example, buttons on knits). I love the geekery of perfecting my techniques and this is definitely the podcast for you if you also like that aspect of crafting.

Apart from being very technique-y they are also quite funny. Both generously share their mistakes and mishaps and their tone towards each other can be “feisty” but always with lots of love. As they are a well established podcast (they’ve been doing this for six years or more) they receive quite a lot of books and products for review, which is always interesting to hear. There are many times I’ve considered buying a book after hearing about it on their podcast :)

Give them a listen, I really can’t recommend them enough!

A new skill – sewing

I’ve acquired a new skill! When we visited my mum and dad, I asked mum to show me how to sew a project bag (with a drawstring, boxed corners and a lining). She did, and I sewed two! I’m so happy with them, I really like them and they were fun to do. It really isn’t that hard to sew when you’re not sewing fitted garments or intricate quilts :) I was kind of afraid of sewing before, requiring straight lines and precision and other scary stuff, but I’m slowly getting over that. I figure, things might not be perfect if I’m not paying attention to every little detail, but they don’t need to be perfect :) No one is going to see those mistakes other than me anyway!

So now I caught the sewing bug! I’m dreaming of sewing ALL THE PROJECT BAGS but I have my usual problem. “I know how to sew these bags now, give me something new!!”. But at the same time this is the design I like best, function wise. We’ll see. Maybe I can improve the design some to make it interesting while still keeping the basic idea :)

Luckily, my dear boyfriend has inherited his mum’s old sewing machine, so now I can sew at home! It’s an antique Husqvarna 2000 which is really cool and I can’t wait to get to know it better.

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I hope for many happy sewing adventures in the future!

WIP Wednesday

I’m just going to jump in and pretend everything is normal in the blogging world. *cough cough*. I don’t have any delusions in that this will actually be a weekly occurrence though! I’ll just try to write as I feel like it :)

My most active WIPs right now are a nice mix between big projects, small projects and spinning. The most loved (at this time) is a Hitofude, a lace cardigan with a really interesting construction. Without sharing too much of the secret sauce of the pattern, you knit sleeves and back first and then knit the body down. Really cool! I’ve just passed the “make sleeves” part and started to knit down the body. This is a pic from a bit earlier, but the difference isn’t huge. It’s hard to photograph. I’m using Sandnes Alpakka SIlke in a light blue/purple for this one.

Hitofude June 5

Apart from the Hitofude, I’m also knittng a Semele, which is a beautiful shawl pattern with leaf edges. This is meant for my sister for her wedding :) For this, I’m using Drops Alpakka, which is super soft and nice.

Semele

Those are the two big WIPs right now and both have a deadline at the end of July. I’m usually not good with deadlines but I really really want to finish the shawl for my sister so that will get prioritized if I lose my mojo.

And my other four WIPs that are semi-active are a pair of socks, a baby hat out of left over yarn and two spinning projects. I’m doing a self-striping pair of vanilla toe up socks, perfect mindless pattern for when the brain doesn’t work. I’m knitting these out of Fab Funky Fibres self striping in the colorway “Knightsbridge”. I’ve used har sock yarn once before and I love it! The base she uses is so so soft, you can hardly believe it’s not cotton based.

Knightsbridge

The baby hat is a simple cabled hat out of left over Hazel Knits Artisan which I used to make my Curling mitts. It’s not much to show yet, so I’ll leave that for when I’ve knit more. The two spinning projects are both from nunoco fiber, one is a simple spin-and-chain-ply from a lovely merino/silk/bamboo blend and the other will be a fractal ply from one of their color packs. It’s dark now but I hope to get pics soon :) If you want something well blended with a great color sense, nunoco is a great fiber source.

I went to knit night today for the first time in aaaages and now I’m super inspired to start yet another shawl.. I’ll need to do some pattern and yarn stalking :)

Spinning WIPs

My spinning WIPs aren’t near as numerous as the knitting and crocheting WIPs, so I thought I’d start with an update on those :) But first, a hightlight of some yarns I’ve finished since I last blogged!

Spinning collage march 15

From upper left and around: BFL from Three Waters Farm (TWF), Merino batt from Nunoco, Superfine Merino from TWF, my OWL spinning with fiber from TWF, Moods of Colors and Greenwood fiberworks, and last a Targhee from TWF.

I joined a fiber club from Three Waters Farm called Top of the Month, which is so much of my spinning is their fiber :) They have lovely colors!

Spinning is like my meditation, I spin mostly for the joy of it and not to have a finished product. Sometimes I want the yarn for something special, but mostly not. At the moment, I have three WIPs going, although one is very close to finished (it’s plied and resting on the bobbin). That is a merino and milk fiber blend from Nunoco, here it is resting

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The second WIP is a TWF braid of Corriedale, the first single is soon finished and then onto chain plying. I don’t have any pic of that, apparently. It’s drafting nicely and I really like Corriedale as a spinning fiber. It will be interesting to see how it is as yarn :)

The last spinning WIP is a superfine merino from TWF

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It is really soft but does not draft as easily as Corriedale or BFL, so it can hurt my hands if I’m not careful. This is the second skein I spin from this braid and I’m planning to use it for weaving a scarf later :)

I hope sharing my WIPs like this will get me moving on finishing them :D

FO – Yummy stripes socks

I thought I’d kick off my blogging a bit with an FO post, with it being Friday and all :) I’m quite proud of myself (if I may say so) because I’ve finished a pair of socks in just a month. It feels amazing to have knit them up so fast! I did them in 20 days, actually.

These are vanilla socks out of Stray Cat Socks self-striping yarn (colorway Aotearoa). The yarn is soft without feeling like it may wear out at once and the colors are great. It’s a bit on the light side for me, I’m a loose knitter and even on 2.0 mm needles (US size 0 I believe) my gauge isn’t that tight. But I still love them!

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As you can see, they are not perfect twins. If I can, I love to switch things around to avoid Second Sock Syndrome as much as possible. These are 68 stitch socks knit from the toe up, and the heels and toes are from Sock Architecture by Lara Neel. The left one has a short wedge toe and my first afterthought heel (Thumb Joint Hat Top heel, I definitely recommend it) and the right one has a medium wedge toe and a Half-Handkerchief heel. That one is gusseted and fits a tiny bit better but still stretch over my foot, so I might just bite the bullet and knit bigger socks. That way I can make the more fun (and prettier) afterthought heels instead :)

Close up of the fun afterthought heel:

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I have two more sock WIPs that I need to finish, but one is a very patterned sock which needs lots of attention (Pointelle) and the other is a sock for my BF in a less fun yarn (nice feel, boring color). I have a feeling they might not get finished in the next month or two…

A quiet hello

I don’t know if I should say “I’m back!” just yet, but I am here, writing. I’ve missed documenting and sharing things about my life and I’m quietly positive towards starting up blogging again :) Also, the blogging world is fabulous! So much shared knowledge and so much inspiration. I’ve “recently” discovered the wonderful world of podcasts (and videocasts) and they inspired me to think about and document more of my life. So here I am.

I’m hoping to slowly build up a routine which includes this blog, but small steps. One post at a time, no pressure and no ultimate goals. Just writing and sharing for the joy of it.