Thursday, December 1, 2016

Wild Blueberry Suit For Theo.

Theo needed a woolen jumpsuit to wear under his overalls while palying outside now that the weather is getting colder. I tried to look for one for him (either new or secondhand) but the ones I liked were way too expensive and the ones that were affordable were ugly. So what does a crazy knitter mum do? Right - I decided to knit him one. Since this was something he needed ASAP I dropped (almost) everything I had on my needles and for once concentrated on (almost) only one project until it was ready for use.

I used the Wild Blueberry Suit pattern that is freely available on the Drops Design website. It is knitted flat until for the length of the buttonband, then joined in a round for the sleeves and legs. However, if I would knit this again, I would knit the whole thing in a round with a steek, and add the buttonbands later. First of all, it's so much more convinient to knit fair-isle in a round instead of back and forth, and secondly, it would have reduced the amount of yarn tails that had to be woven in. (although I still absolutey dread cutting steeks!)
This was my first time using Lettlopi, and I'm still having a bit mixed feelings about it. I loved the color and the look of it, however it felt quite rough and prickly to me and I do have doubts about how my skin woud react to wearing clothes or garments made from it. Luckily Theo will be wearing other clothes beneath it so it won't be straight against his skin. The rest of the yarns I used for the colorwork were leftover bits and pieces from my stash (the reddish brown was leftover from a hat I made for my husband's birthday, the light beige one was the same I used for my Snoqualmie and Porter cardigans, and the blue yarn was the rests from Theo's birthday Arlo cardigan.)

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Siri cardigan.

You know how sometimes a pattern comes along that just suprasses everything you already have in your queue and you just need to cast on it the first chance you get? Well, Siri was like that for me. Love at first sight. There's something about the design that is at the same time both simple and complicated, interesting and very everyday that really spoke to me. I happened to have enough yarn for it in my stash, so there was nothing really stopping me.

For a design such as this yarn with good stitch definition is essential. Especially if you want to knit it in black. I used Drops Cotton Merino which I think was perfect for this cardigan. I've had the yarn in my stash for ages and can't even remember what I orginally bought it for. I've been wanting to knit a black cardi for a long time, but somehow never got around to it before now.
The yoke of this cardigan has a complicated looking pattern of diamonds made out of rows of small 1x1 cables. The first few rows were a bit messy and it was sometimes hard to keep track which stitch you were at, but as the pattern started to emerge it got gradually easier. The rest of the cardigan was smooth sailing - plain old simple stockinette stitch.
I love this cardigan because it goes with everything: open or buttoned, with jeans or dresses, at work and at home. And not only because it's black. It just has the little something that makes it tick all the boxes. If you don't believe me, take a look for yourself.

Yarn: Drops Cotton Merino
Needles: 3.5mm and 4.0mm

Thursday, October 27, 2016

On My Needles.

First of all, thank you all for your kind words regarding my last post. The past year has been really hard for us like I wrote, but things are starting to look brighter. I personally believe that tabus don't help anyone so I have strived to be honest and tell people around me how things are with us. Our life is far from perfect and I don't see the point of pretending like it is. You don't get any help or support if you don't ask for it, and saying everything is fine with a fake smile serves no one any good. So again, thank you for being so understanding.

It's been ages since I last showed anything I've knitted, so maybe it's time to give you a glimpse of everything I have on my needles at the moment. You know me, never a monogamous knitter, so there's always a pile of WIPs waiting for me. I've been a bit restless lately, so I've been casting on for way too many things that I'm trying to juggle. At this moment I'm knitting two cardigans, one sweater, two shawls, a pair of socks and a hat for Theo, plus quite a many swatchees for various other projects I'm itching to start. But I do get things off the needles as well: yesterday was all about knitting buttons for my Siri cardigan and Theo's onesie. I'll show them as soon as I have time to take decent photos (the daylight is getting scarce and since I'm now back to work I don't have all day "free" to take photos as I please).

But back to everything I have under work. Let's start with the Loess shawl. I got two skeins of Hedgehog fibres Skinny singles in shade Teacup as a birthday present from my little sister and I started knitting the Tissé scarf by Julie Hoover with it. I spent literally hours working on it, quite a few road trips, many hours at the playground while Theo was playing with sand and multiple other occasions until I finally confessed to myself something I had known from the very beginning: I just didn't like the yarn with the pattern. Even though I really wanted to. So rip rip rip, back to a ball the yarn went, and I started again with a different pattern. Now it's becoming the Loess from Brooklyn Tweed's Wool People Vol. 10 collection. At the moment I'm waiting for my yarn order, because the two skeins I had weren't enough to finish it, but as soon as I get my yarn I'm back to working on this one.

The other shawl I'm knitting is the triangular Halligarth shawl that has been in my queue for two years. I'm knitting it in deep purple (fantastic color!) Holst garn supersoft wool. Triangluar lace shawls aren't really my thing to knit, but this design has something that I really really really love, maybe because it's a bit more minimalistic and graphic than many other lace designs, I don't know. Anyway, I'm reaaly excited about this, even though it doesn't really work as a TV time project. (I've fallen in love with audio books, yay for Audible app!)

The last two thing I'm going to show you today are the Valldal cardigan and my Speckled Space Socks. I've jumped on the speckled yarn bandwagon (thanks to the aforementioned Hedgehog yarns) and I've been so excited about the hand dyed Studio Meez sock yarn that I got earlier in the summer but just haven't dared to use until know. It's been sitting on the dresser where I've been able to admire it :) But now I'm turning it into socks. It's the softest sock yarn ever, maybe because it has some cashmire in it, and the colors are just very me, subtle, with light grey base and spots of dark green and navy blue.

I'm not very far along with my Valldal cardigan, but after knitting almost purely cables for the longest time I wanted to cast on for a stranded project. The cardigan has quite an interesting construction and it took me a while to understand what I was doing and if I was reading the instructions correctly. You start knitting the ribbing flat from the bottom up, then you put some stitches from both the edges on hold, cast on new stitches for a steek and continue the fair-isle part in a round. Later on you knit the button band stitches (the ones that were put on hold) and sew them to the edges of the steeked cardigan. Let's see how it turns out!

Here you can see the steek and the to-be button bands I have on hold.

Monday, October 10, 2016

I'm Back.

I'm back. I've been away for a long time, I know, but I'll try to be more active here from now on. The past year has been hard, harder than I ever thought it would be and harder than I care to admit. Being a mother should be the most natural thing in the world, but for me it didn't come naturally. I had a really hard time adjusting to the new role and I'm still not quite sure if I have really found my place. For an introvert to never be really alone is extremely exhausting.
For us this year has been extra hard because of Theo's allergies. The summer was horrible to be honest. My whole life revolved around Theo's skin and what he ate, trying to prevent him from scratching himself and putting everything he found in his mouth, to holding his hands while changing his diaper or dressing him, cutting his nails as short as possible, and writing down every single piece of food he ate. I had to stop breast feeding him at the age of 8 months, because it was easier to control what just he ate and not the both of us. Did you know that there are egg whites in Mars bars? Me neither, but I found that out while still breast feeding and wondering why my baby is constantly throwing up. Yes, he is that allergic to eggs. And no, I didnt eat more than just one Mars bar.
In the beginning of summer he had only 5 ingredients that he was allowed to eat: sweet potato, apple, pear, oats and organic beef as well as his baby formula. Later on we noticed that he is also allergic to milk protein and that he can't even handle beef, so we had to give up the formula and he's now growing stronger with the help of soya milk. My baby is a soya-milk drinking, organic and raw food eating hipster. How did this happen? At the moment Theo has almost 40 foods that he can safely eat, sounds like a lot but imagine restricting yourself to just that amount of raw ingredients, it's not that much after all. Also the list of things he can't eat has grown: eggs, milk, beef, corn and bananas.
His skin is so much better now. That also means he is calmer, less fussy, less clingy, happier and sleeps his nights much better. No more being awake in the middle of the night for hours trying to hold his hands so that he can't scratching himself until he bleeds. Sometimes his pyjamas had stuck to his skin in the morning because the skin underneath was so raw. It was horrible.
I became a bitter person during the summer. I started to compare our life to everyone else's, how other people's kids would run around the park in just t-shirts and shorts and I had to keep mine covered all the time to keep his skin safe. I also had to think if the skin was good enough to go to park at all or if I should be worried about it getting infected. Needless to say, we didn't go to the beach at all during the summer, Theo never go the change to swim in the sea. I also jealously watched how others posted photos of their kids eating strawberries or watermelon or icecream or sitting in a field of flowers or bathing in a tub on Instagram. Or just posting pictures of their kids whatever the surroundings, because at some point my baby's skin and face and everything looked so bad that I didn't even feel like taking his photo, let alone sharing it with anyone.
I started to shy away from social events and later even from going to the super market, because I didn't feel like explaining to everyone all the time what was wrong with Theo. His rash made me feel like a bad mother, like it was my fault that he scratched himself and I didn't know why. Instead of people commenting how beautiful my baby was, I was greeted with comments on how bad his skin looks, questions on what causes it and "helpful" stories about other people's babies that were allergic to strawberries, or milk, or peas or whatever. After a while I felt like I had heard it all. I just couldn't take the pity anymore. The comments were still better than the alternative: the people who just looked with poorly masked disgust, but not saying anything. This happened often at playgrounds, parents (and a bit older kids) who just looked at Theo but not daring to ask what's wrong with him. I could almost hear them thinking whether they should let their kids play with Theo at all, in case it is something contagious.
Everything is better now. We've found a way to live with his condition, and his skin is better now. Like I wrote, he is so much calmer and happier now, and so am I. But during this summer I was on a brink of burn-out, I was already so over-exhausted, sleep deprived and downright depressed that it took a long time for me to get better as well, still not quite there but almost. I decided quite early on that I didn't have the time or energy for this blog at the time and decided not to feel guilty about not writing. I would get back to it when I felt like it. I think the time is now. This blog post wasn't really knitting related or about anything I usually write about, but I felt like I needed to let you know what was going on in my life.
PS. How single mothers manage is beyond me. Respect.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Snoqualmie Cardigan.

You know how I love knitting cables. And cardigans. And Brooklyn Tweed patterns. And everything by Michele Wang. So I don't think it comes as a surprise to any of you that when the Snoqualmie pattern was released last January it was love at first sight for me. I just knew I had to knit it.

I must say it has been one of my favourite things to knit so far. I love the cables, I love the size and the fit, I love the collar, and I love that despite its HUGE size it was actually pretty quick and effortless to knit. I have nothing but positive things to say about it. I want to live in it and never take it off. 

I used Shishang Wool for this one. It was a souvenir yarn brought to me by my mum from China. It wasn't quite heavy enough by itself so I knitted it together with off-white Drops Baby Merino. The two yarns give the cardigan a nice marled texture.

PS. Thank you for all your condolences both here and via Ravelry concerning the passing away of our beloved cat Otto. He is very much missed and I think I have a permanent hole in my heart. But life goes on and we are all doing our best to cope with the situation. 

Pattern: Snoqualmie by Michele Wang
published in BT Winter 16
Yarn: Shishang Wool #nature's brown and Drops Baby Merino #02 off-white
Needles: 6.5mm