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

Friday, June 17, 2016


I took an unintentional break from blogging, it was not planned, it just happened. I just haven't had the time for computers. We've been busy enjoying the summer weather (even though it has been raining some days over here) and also my husband has had to work extra which has meant more mommy duty from and even less free time. Being a mom has been a lot harder than I imagined a year ago. I never thought it would be this intense and time consuming. A friend of mine said she hasn't had time to even touch the knitting needles ever since she went back to work some 4 months ago (her baby is 5 months older than my Theo). I really hope that won't happen to me.

Nothing much has happened around here, and at the same time a lot has happened. You know how it is. Let me sum up the past month for you:

  1. We were on a holiday in Turkey. I'll write more about it in an own post.
  2. I finished my Snoqualmie cardigan. This also deserves it's own post.
  3. I've been writing a couple of patterns down for you guys, one of them is a pattern for the Astrid socks (do you remember them? I've been meaning to write the pattern for a year now!). I will publish them as soon as they are finished. Yay!
  4. I have way too much stuff on my needles. I'm knitting a navy blue cardigan for Theo, the Gable pullover (from Wool People Vol.8) and the Arrow sweater (from Amirisu Fall 2015) for myself as well as test knitting a cabled sweater pattern for the lovely Ericaknits
  5. Theo has really gotten into playgrounds and that's where we've been everyday if it didn't rain. I've started to knit while sitting on the edge of the sand box :)
  6. My little sister is getting married later this summer, and it was her bachelorette party last weekend. It was also my first night away from Theo, but I still didn't get enough sleep, haha :)
Also. Some sad news as well. We had to say good-bye to our cat Otto. I've written previously that he was diagnosed with cat equivalent of Alzheimer's disease, and for the past two years or so we've been watching him slowly fade away. It got to the point that he didn't remember how to eat anymore, he just sat and stared at his food before turning around and running away to hide under our bed. The vet said there wasn't anything we could do anymore. We buried him in my parents' garden. It was one of the hardest days in my life. He was almost 12 years old and I feel like I had had him since forever. It broke my heart. But he had been gone a long time already, and weirdly it doesn't feel like he is missing, even though I thought it would be devastating to come back home and see he is not here. He had been keeping so much to himself for such a long time, sleeping in our bed rolled into the tightest little ball of fur, that I almost can still pretend he is there, sound asleep. I will always love him. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

10+1 Knitting Related Facts About Me.

  1. My favorite needle size: the one that i use the most would probably be 4.0mm, but I love knitting with small needles like 2.5 mm and 3.0 mm.
  2. My favorite yarn weight is sport (I guess this goes hand in hand with my favorite needle sizes)
  3. I almost only knit with circular needles (I knit with the magic loop method). I dislike knitting with straight needles because I think the ends always bump into everything (like armrests), they don't fit nicely into a bag and our cats find the ends waving in the air irresistible.
  4. I avoid seaming whenever it's possible and often alter patterns so that I can knit in the round (one more reason to prefer circular needles)
  5. I'm not very good at seaming and I think it's boring and takes forever. I also hate weaving in ends (doesn't everyone?). It usually takes me a further day or two to actually finish a piece after binding off the last stitch until I have finally seamed everything together, woven in the ends and attached buttons (if needed)
  6. I'm a sucker for tweed and marled yarns.
  7. I would like to learn to knit fair-isle with more than two colors at a time. I've tried it a couple of times but gave up after a couple of rows and an unsolvable tangle of yarns.
  8. I mostly enjoy knitting cables; lace is probably my least favorite. I have a weird twisted love affair with traveling twisted stitches (pun unintended), the harder the chart the better I like it (think Cookie A)
  9. My favorite fibre is merino wool. I try to steer away from synthetic fibres but I can live with them in some content in sock yarns as they need to be more durable than your normal wool.
  10. I purl tighter than I knit.
  11. My skin is really sensitive so I'm super picky about yarn. However I don't think alpaca is very itchy and can wear alpaca sweaters even though many say it's one of the prickliest fibres.
PS: We are leaving for Turkey tomorrow, so no blog updates for the next week and a half! Remember to follow me on Instagram if you want to see photos of palm trees and turquoise sea, I can promise even some knitting related photos! You can find me on Instagram by name sari_n_

I'm a sucker for tweed!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


I'm taking a short break from packing (we are leaving for our holiday in Turkey on the day after tomorrow) to show you my newly finished Breton sweater. This one was a long time in making: I started it last year and finished only now! I'm not quite sure why exactly it took me this long to finish, the whole pullover was fairly simple stockinette stitch with some stripes, so nothing too fancy there. It just took me ages.

There were a couple of things I changed about the pattern. First of all, I knitted it in a round, both the body and the sleeves (but separately obviously). I read on Ravelry that many had commented about it being a pain in the a** to try and line the stripes when seaming so I decided to skip that part as much as I could. There were the seaming of the inevitable sleeve caps but that went surprisingly well considering my not-so-great skills at mattress stitch. (I'm actually really proud of my seaming this time!) I used this tutorial from Knitty to make the shift from one colour to another when knitting stripes in a round less visible, and I think it worked out fine. Of course you can see the change of colors but it doesn't bother me (look at the photo below).

Another change I made was to add ribbing to the cuffs and hem, because I don't like when raw edges start to curl. I think it's fine at collars like on this pullover so I didn't change that part. I added 8 rows of broken rib to the cuffs and 16 rows to the hem and I really like how it looks.

The best part about this pullover in my opinion is the shaping of the back. I was curious to see how the shoulder seams would turn out, as I felt a bit unsure while knitting them but I really love the look and the fit is perfect.

Pattern: Breton by Jared Flood, from BT Fall 12
Yarn: Drops Baby Merino, #01 White and #21 black
Needles: 3.0mm and 3.5mm