Sunday, 29 July 2012

Bedazzle Apron

I've been in a dire need of an apron, because [ I bake ] + [ my fine motor skills ] equals Enormous Mess. It also should be added that baking, and thus organising most exquisite messes, is one of my frequent hobbies. But now I have a proper blood-brain barrier between that mess and my cheap jumble sale clothes - hurrah. 

Pink and lace of course; the stripey fabric was the one I bought for myself as a b-day prezzie and the lace is from my grandma's attic (the woman can barely thread  a needle, why there are any handicraft supplies is a mystery to me).

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Maybe I'm Koigued

pattern: Excess by Anat Rodan
yarn: Koigu KPM, 50g
needles: 3.75mm and 4mm

And BOOOOM went my heart. I don't usually have yarn loves, the ones that really shake your knitting world and make you lie awake at night just thinking where you can get your hands on that new colourway. That kind of needy attachment to a certain yarn quality that you'll return to it project after project, (almost) never wanting anything else. But then it hit me, seriously, like a 3-ton log. Koigu KPM. And the ailment is so acute that it almost made me buy blue yarn. Blue, for Christ's sake! Luckily this gorgeous pink KPM saved me from any unlikely colour choices.

The pattern is designed for Koigu and it promises to take only a 50g skein, at which I scoffed contemptuously. By the time it was time to start the crown, I had an itsy bitsy ball of yarn left and I started to feel that bitter glee you feel when your yarn amount isn't going to really suffice and you knew it from the beginning. But pinch my titties and call me Phyllis, the finished hat weighs a shy 49g and there's still a minute tangle left. All in all, the pattern was wonderful; I'm not one of those slouchy hat girls but this pattern looks great even on my melon. Excess could resolve my bad-hair-day-every-single-day -problem for the rest of my life, of course actualised with various Koigu colours.

So there it is. The tightly spun surface, the squishiness, the perfect semi-solid colour. I'm in love.

Edit. Brought a new Koigu baby home today - and something really scary happened. The distinctly green yarn turned bright rust brown in front of my eyes as I was taking it to my yarn stash closet. And no, it wasn't my concussion, because my man saw it too. Apparently it was the odd lighting in our office. This is was quite an unnerving event but really awesome at the same time - we're not talking about just a subtle tonal change in different lightings, but a complete metamorphosis. Good god, I'm pretty sure I've never been so scared in my entire life.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

(Knitting) Bag Lady

When it comes to bags, I'm like a matryoshka doll: there's always a bag inside my bag inside my bag. My keys, wallet, change purse, cell phone, lip balm... everything is neatly stored in various larger and smaller purses and bags in my backpack or, well, bag. My latest knitting project also travels with me to most places I go and now these projects have an official small project bag too! 

The fabric is Marimekko's old Juhannusruusu and the bird motif is made with a stencil I did during my upper secondary's art classes years ago (btw, I used the same silk dye as with the silk top - apparently it works with cotton too). The bag can accomodate a sock or mitten project and a 420m yarn ball + a small accessories purse. The width is barely more than 15 cm so that the stitches stay on the needles during bumpy rides. The small accessories purse is a gift from my lovely friends, who are too aware of my matryoshka obsession <3

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Red Blood Cells

Kirjo-lanka 100g, 1 envelope Blastin' Berry Cherry.

I'm knitting Bex socks at the moment and am quite sure I'll graduate from Uni before binding off those. Phew, what a pattern. Anyways, I had to try how EAJ version of Kirjo-pirkka reacts to Kool-aids. The surface of the yarn is really silky and smooth because of the chemical treatment, but apparently the Kool stuck well as the colour didn't run when I washed the yarn. Victory! I was going for the semi-solidy look but was a bit too slow with the dipping, so now there are white blotches in the yarn. 

The red yarn is for Yu's V Junkies, which I already cast on with the Pirtin Kehräämö sock yarn dyed with Kool-aid (right), but the yarn was way too solid for the pattern. I can't believe I'm saying that... a year ago no yarn was too solid for me and now I frogging projects because of their lack of colour spectrum...

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Did Someone Say 'Pie'?

pattern: Mince Pie Mayhem by Alice Yu
yarn: Pirkanmaan Kotityö Kirjo-Pirkka, 80g
needles: 2.5mm

These socks have 80 sts and an eff-load of twisting. Yet surpringly the only part I cocked up was the heel and that's because I was knitting aboard a ship, really exhausted and chatting away with my mum and friend T. The heel technique was new to me and somehow I managed to knit one stitch wrong, which consequently threw off the whole pattern and thus the heel in its entirity. But instead of doubting my skills of following any pattern, which should already be established to be non-existent, I declared loudly that there must an error in the book. That's when my dear knitting friend T, who (on a side note) was probably stoned out of her mind because travel sickness meds and who in normal conditions would have remarked "Count the stitches again, harebrain", just said: "I know, right. It's shit.". Every knitter needs a friend who will readily concur that there's nothing wrong with your knitting skills and is unquestionably prepared to blame the pattern.

 Needless to say that the pattern actually worked exactly the way it was supposed to when I did the second sock.

Here's the heel in a close-up. I thought the technique was ingenious and fits really well for people with a tall instep. It's done by increasing sts as a wedge while knitting in round, so there's no separate heel flap or picking up sts. The heel turn is knitted normally with three needles.

A birthday present for my friend. The Crowleys are going for his girlfriend. 

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

King of the Crossroads

Crowley :What are you planning to do about Raphael? 
Castiel: What can I do, besides submit or die?
Crowley: "Submit or die"? What are you, French? 

Supernatural 6.20, The Man Who Would Be King

pattern: Crowley by Alice Yu
yarn: Araucania Ranco Solid, 90g
needles: 2.5mm DPNs

A pattern named after a demon. Yep. I should think that a normal, sensible person would steer clear from such a pattern when being tired and stressed out. But no, I just had to start knitting these while doing my annual Lord of the Rings marathon. And the one thing I can say about LOTR marathon is that not only does mess it up my hormonal balance but also screws up my ability to cable. So here we are, a couple of cock-ups along the way, but I'm still super happy about these. The cabling is really nice looking, truly worthy of Crowley, King of the Crossroads. Plus I think that Yu's patterns bring out the best in semi-solids like Araucania. Would do again, without Aragorn, Faramir, Boromir and Eomer.