Of WIPs, FOs and Birthdays

Since I last wrote an entry on here (like a month ago, erm), I cast on for loads of different things, finished others and turned 22! *sobs quietly*

I’m currently working on three different projects — two tops and a pair of socks (because sock knitting, as we have established, is life.)

I started knitting Waterlily from the 2014 Spring Issue of Pom Pom Quarterly. I’m knitting it in DROPS Baby Alpaca Silk, in a lilac-blueish colour. It’s a 70% alpaca and 30% mulberry silk blend, and it’s so soft! I got this while DROPS where having their Wool Supersale, so it was quite affordable! I started knitting this in early May when it was still possible for me to wear it, but since then we have entered full-blown, 30ºC summer weather in Portugal. I also got sidetracked with other projects, so this one taking a backseat for now. I’m up to the lace section, which I’ve already had to rip out twice because I got cocky and thought “Why, yes, I can knit a complicated lace section while watching TV! I’m such a knitting pro!”. Ah well.

Back in March I subscribed to Pom Pom Quarterly, and this year’s summer issue also arrived in early May. I love, love the cover pattern, Greco. I’m also considering knitting Michelada and learning to crochet just so I can do Azulejo! I kind of was unable to resist and like a week later I stopped by my LYS on my birthday, and kind of bought the yarn I needed — birthday impulse purchases are the best/worse. The day after that I immediately cast on, and this is where I’m up to. I’m knitting it in Fonty Bohème, a 65% cotton / 35% linen blend in a grey and denim blue,. I have a couple of issues with this pattern, the biggest one being the fact that it is knit according to rows. The pattern will say, knit for x number of rows, and if your gauge is off my one row, it won’t fit. It’s also a bit short for me, so what I’m doing is repeating the 3 and a half rows twice before separating the back and the front. The original design also features an open back, which looks amazing but I wouldn’t feel very comfortable wearing it, so I’m going to knit the front and back panels the same way.

Lastly, I’m working on some background socks which I take with me to knit at the café, or when I’m watching a movie or something. The yarn is Das Paar, which I mentioned in my last post. The skein is split into two skeins, which allows you to knit an identical pair of socks!

These super cute DPN holders were a gift from my boyfriend — after I pestered him for about 3 months to get them for my birthday. They came, as did the yarn, from Retrosaria. I love them! They’re made my Clover, and there’s also a bigger size for larger DPNs — these ones run from 2,0mm to 3,75mm, I believe.

Speaking of birthday gifts, my mom got me this little basket from IKEA for me to store all my yarn scraps in! I basically stuff all my WIPs and yarn in there, and then carry it around the house — the main reason I wanted this was so that when I’m knitting I can place the ball of yarn somewhere instead of having it catch all the dust on the floor.

As for FOs, I finished these cute socks — they’re Opal, from their Hundertwasser collection (the colourway is Der Weg von dir zu mir züruck, I believe.) The heel is DROPS Fabel. I haven’t worn them yet, it’s too warm for wool (and for shoes, I’m sporting my flip flops everywhere already), but they’re going to be very welcome come winter.

DSCN0157I knit another Moss & Deer Horns hat, this time for my mom and in DROPS Alpaca Lima. This one turned out much smaller, but it looks great on my mom so yay! DSCN0129

Remember my Hat for Belgium? I also knit a pair of mittens to go alongside it, and gave both of them to my friend for her birthday. She really liked them! They’re also knit in DROPS Fabel, and I followed Hannah Fettig’s 70-yard mitts — they’re amazing for using up leftovers! Everyone I know will start to get one of these on their birthdays. I don’t even care they that don’t use mittens.

And, finally, I finished the Gryffindor socks for my boyfriend — I wasn’t super happy with these, though. I need a lot more practice in knitting fair isle before I actually get good at it. But, he likes them, so that’s good.

As always, you can check my Ravelry projects page for more info on all these projects, the yarn I used, etc.

FO: Willard Pullover


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Can you tell I’m very excited about my first ever sweater? I am so happy with how this turned out! It’s very warm + soft, fits a lot more nicely than I thought it would and I am so sad it’s already too warm in Lisbon to wear it.

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A couple of notes on this sweater:

a) The pattern is the Willard Pullover by Hannah Fettig;

b) The yarn is DROPS Lima in Rost (for the fair isle) and Off White for the rest;

c) Measure your upper arm circumference and see if it matches the one in the schematic. I completely failed to do this, and was about halfway through the first sleeve when I realized it would look huge on me. I ended up decreasing 10 stitches, but the end result didn’t look as nice as I would have like. If I were to do this again, I would have kept the same number of stitches but used a smaller needle;

d) Before blocking, the sleeves were fine, but it was really noticeable that they were much tighter than the body, so I blocked them quite aggressively;

e) I skipped 2 or 3 rows of ribbing on the sleeves simply because I like them a bit shorter;

f) I bound off both the sleeves and hemline using Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off. A regular cast-on was too tight on my waist, and it caused the sweater to bunch up and look awful;

g) Markers between decreases cause a slight hole that is very noticeable in light-coloured yarn:

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All in all, I’m pretty pleased! The colourwork isn’t perfect and there are teeny tiny bumps everywhere, but I really like it. It’ll be perfect for next Winter. Knitting top down is kind of addictive, and I see a whole lot sweater-knitting in my future.

P.S.: The Ravelry project page is here.

P.P.S.: Simply because I always find this very useful when deciding which size to cast-on and am looking at other projects on Ravelry: I have a 91cm bust circumference (~37 inches), and did the third size on the pattern (104.5 cm = 41 1/4 inches).

FO: A hat for Belgium

Last week, after doing approximately 20357 miles of endless stockinette on my Willard Pullover, I decided I needed a break. I’m planning on knitting Meghan Fernandes’ Waterlily so I had already purchased Pom Pom’s 2014 Spring Issue and printed out which patterns I’d like to knit. The Moss and Deer Horns hat by Silvia Bo Bilvia was one of those patterns.

Dear reader, I knitted it.

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Ravelry Project Page

I used DROPS Big Fabel, which actually has a funny story behind it. When I got into knitting a bit more seriously last year, this was the first yarn I bought that wasn’t a 70% acrylic 30% cotton blend. I was walking to the subway station from class, and noticed a yarn store that I’d never realized was there. Everything was so pretty. So I bought about four skeins of Big Fabel, all set on knitting a cowl. And I did. Kind of. It was actually a big rectangle knitted at a too-tight gauge which I seamed (very poorly) at the edges. It was hideous. I never wore it — mostly because it was super scratchy. And ugly. But! It was the first time I didn’t drop any stitches, did unintentional yarn-overs (not that I knew what a yarn-over was) and I felt very proud of myself. Alas, there came a time when I had to face the fact that I had a huge amount of yarn which was completely going to waste.

So, I ripped it out. I had a giant 400 gram ball that I wound by hand, slightly bigger than my head. I’m slowly using it in other, prettier projects. It’s fun to see how far I’ve progressed in my knitting in less than a year — I couldn’t read a pattern, was afraid of working lace, of doing colourwork, of knitting a sweater! I’m glad I really pushed myself. Knitting is the first really creative endeavour I’ve stuck with, and I feel more comfortable in doing more challenging — and nicer-looking — things now.

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Yes, that mug DOES have a unicorn on it!

This hat is going to be a birthday gift for a friend of mine who is studying in Belgium in the next semester (it’s cold in Belgium, and she might need a hat!). It features this really simple lace pattern that looks like deer antlers but isn’t overwhelming. I really like it, and I hope my friend does too. It’s also a super quick knit — I had it completed and soaking in one afternoon — making a perfect project for when you’re tired of endless, infinite, stockinette. Besides, I used up old yarn, which means I’m being a good knitter. And that means I can buy more yarn. Right?

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What are you working on? Have you finished anything lately? Let me know in the comments down below!

P.S. Thank you so much to everyone who has commented on my wee little blog! Knitters are just SO nice!