My husband’s extended family is in baby making mode. I started making baby blankets for all the new babies in this latest crop. This is my 5th one in 4 years. I’m sure it won’t be the last. They are all unique.
This one is a pattern from Stephen West, Painting Honeycombs Blanket. I’m making the smaller version. I’m using smaller needles because the fabric is better using size 6US/4mm and this yarn. To compensate I cast on 10 more stitches (1 honeycomb) to keep it the same size.
I’m using Scheepjes Softfun yarn, which is 60% cotton and 40% acrylic. I bought the Jewel color pack, which is made up of 12 different colors in 20g balls. I added a yellow and orange to round out a rainbow. The background color is called ”Mist” which is just a hint of greyish white.
So far I’m zooming along knitting this. It’s easy tv knitting. I’ve knit a section with each color and it looks like I’ll have enough of the small balls to make 3 repeats of the colors. Yay! It will be a nice size then. My goal is to get it finished before the end of April. As you can tell from the fewer posts and less craft content, working has really cut into my fun time. 🙂
Oh yeah, I always like to post the back side of projects because, as a maker, the back side is always as interesting as the front.
I realized when I went to Ravelry to update this project that I had started it in DECEMBER. I thought I had started in January. No wonder it seems like a long work in progress. But now it’s done!
The pattern is “Sandstone Peak” by Irina Anikeeva. I knit it Cascade 220 Worsted Heathers, in color Galaxy. I knit is per the pattern EXCEPT, and this is a big exception, I knit it in pieces and seamed them together. This required a lot of notes and calculations to keep the sleeve/body decreases correct, but it all worked out.
I used 9 buttons. I hate a sweater that gapes open. When it came time to make the buttonholes I first made a test one by knitting the first row as written in the pattern, then knitting a few more stitches, turning the work and working back over the buttonhole, and turning to work over it again, just to see what it would look like and how it would fit with my buttons. I’m glad I did because the buttonholes were way too small and not very neat. I couldn’t remember how I made good ones in the past so I pulled out my trusty Vogue Knitting bible and looked up buttonholes. They explain how to knit 4 different kinds. I chose the 1 row buttonholes which I made over 4 stitches. They are perfect! Really happy with the results
I’m really happy with everything about this sweater – the fit, the cables, the buttons, even the high collar… EXCEPT – this yarn attracts my cats’ white hair like a MAGNET. I’m constantly picking which hairs off of it. I think I will wear it outside the house most of the time.
I really enjoyed knitting this sweater and highly recommend the pattern. Sorry it took me so long to finish it and write up a post about it. Next week will be a WIP post about my ONLY remaining project in process. Working and accordion playing has taken up a lot of my time and I don’t have as much left over for crafts. I’m feeling ok about that. My job is going well, I’m loving the accordion, and the weather is warming up so I’m also doing things in the garden. I’m cultivating a well rounded life. 😀
After the weekend’s glove failure, I’m happy to show you my new mittens. They’ve been finished for a week now but I was waiting for the sun to come out to take photos. No sign of the sun and I can’t wait any longer! I wore them yesterday on a walk and had toasty hands the whole time. Looking down at these pretty mittens made me smile in spite of the grey weather.
I’ve already talked about the yarn and pattern before, and you can see more info on Ravelry, so I won’t make a long post out of this. Just a couple more photos….
Coming up next week…. Experimental Spinning 2a. I’ve been busy blending colors on my drum carder, spinning samples and now I’m ready to knit swatches. Pretty interesting results IMHO.
I’ve also picked up my cabled cardigan again. I’m working on the body. It’s slow going with so many stitches and cables, but I’m definitely enjoying it.
In less than 2 weeks starts the Winter Olympics and Ravellenic Games! More about that next week. I’m going to be doing a lot of spinning and posting about my progress EVERY SINGLE DAY. Get ready!
Yesterday I quit. I gave up. I frogged this glove in process.
It wasn’t just that my needles fell apart. They fell apart because they are old and well used, but also because this stitch pattern was just too much for them, and too much for my hands. It was not fun. I was not enjoying it. (Here’s the pattern.)
I had persevered and finished the first one….
The fit wasn’t great, but I thought the second one would be better. I’d make it better. And then I got to the hand section and remembered that I could only knit a few rows every few hours because it caused my hands to cramp up. Ugh. The final straw was when DB, who was the recipient of the gloves, said, ”STOP and knit something else.” You don’t have to tell me twice.
I frogged (unraveled) the one in process but I haven’t yet unraveled the completed one. I might not bother. I think there’s still enough yarn to make gloves using a different pattern. However, I’m not going to start again until the time changes and there is more daylight and actual sunshine in the day. I need more light, and I need a break.
I’ve returned to my cabled sweater and am SO HAPPY to be knitting with US5 / 4.75mm needles and worsted weight yarn again. I’m working on Experimental Spinning 2a. Plenty of fun things to work on! Be the boss of your knitting!
The first of EJ’s gloves is finished. I think he will be as glad as I am when they are both done because I’m bugging him all the time to try it on. It is knit to fit!
The pattern is Seascape Gloves but there are instructions also for mittens or fingerless mittens in the same pattern. I used Zauberball Crazy yarn which EJ picked out himself at de Witte Engle in Den Burg, Texel. I used 2.5mm needles (2 circs) for the ribbing and tops of fingers, and 2.75mm for the hand and beginning of the fingers.
The pattern is easy to follow and in general I like the result. The only thing that didn’t go well is the shape of the base of the thumb. It was a big hole. When I picked up stitches for the thumb I did some short rows between thumb and first finger to try to fill in the gap. That worked ok, but I’d rather not have to do that. I’ll see on the second glove if I can keep that from happening in the first place.
I have started on my second mitten and once I’m past the thumb area I’ll also start on the second glove. I am really looking forward to getting back to my CARDIGAN!
I’m also spinning – working on Experimental Spinning 2, which I’ll be able to share next Tuesday. I’m already plotting ES 3. But before that I want to prepare an article proposal for Ply magazine. I hope they like it! If they don’t, well, you’ll see it here instead. 🙂
I finished the first mitten yesterday. Today I went out into the windy cold day to try to find some light to take a few photos. This group of statues stands in front of the public library in my town. In 2018 the library was voted the “Best Library in the World”, as judged by IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations). But back to the mitten….
I started working on this on Christmas Day so it has knit up very quickly, also considering other ongoing projects. It was a cold afternoon and I was glad to have even ONE mitten to put on.
This Estonian yarn is rough and tough and perfect for mittens. I used size 2.25mm needles and got the same gauge as the pattern (36 sts/inch/10cm). They fit me perfectly, but I have small hands. You could easily go up to 2.5mm for a larger size and still have a good warm fabric.
The pattern is Kainoruusu, which I knit as given except for adding the Latvian braid before and after the cuff. For that I used the instructions from the free pattern Warm Hearted Mittens on Knitty.com.
I’m knitting these mittens as part of the Yarniacs Self Indulgent KAL, which runs from the winter solstice to the spring equinox. The mittens are really self indulgent because I don’t NEED them. I have other mittens. I have mittens that I bought in Estonia. Mittens I’ve knit. Mittens I don’t wear often. But these are so pretty that I just couldn’t stop myself. And when you have the yarn in stash, there’s no reason not to!
I’m also busy working on the man gloves. I’m up to the fingers on the first glove, so you’ll be seeing it soon. And I need to get back to my cardigan!
As a sneak preview…. can you guess what I’m up to here?
In this year of stops and starts, ups and downs, open and closed, left and right, here are my best 9 projects of 2021. All of them are on Ravelry if you are interested in more details. From top left:
374 grams, 2670 meters of Shetland lace weight, spun on a Schacht Matchless; knit into 9.
Shark tank baby blanket made for the newest member of the family
920g of 2-ply Aran weight, 70% Shetland fiber, 30% sparkly merino/sparkles, spun on an Electric Eel Wheel 6.0
Canal Poncho, pattern by the fantastically talented Nancy Marchant
Exploration Station shawl, pattern by the also fantastically talented Stephen West
Sweater Spin 2021, knit with yarn from 8.
Best Vacation Ever sweater, my own pattern, knit with 10 colors of Holst Garn Tides
450g 3-ply BFL, fiber dyed by me, knit into sweater 6.
Shetland christening shawl, 140cm / 55“ square, 291g final weight, knit from 1.
If you know me, you know I’m a planner. On 1 January 2022 I’m planning my projects for the coming year…. Finish the 3 projects that are in progress. Make yet another baby blanket. Spin the next episode of Experimental Spinning. Send an article proposal to Ply Magazine. Knit another version of the Best Vacation Ever sweater and write up the pattern. Sew a dress with my own designed fabric. Sew a dress with all of our cast off jeans. And then we’re up to summer and I want to do some dyeing outside……
I have also been thinking about this blog, and Instagram and FaceBook and Twitter, and how to make this all work together and create things that others find interesting enough to come back to. I have re-opened the Under Dutch Skies FB page. I’ve linked Instagram to that page and also to my Twitter account. Today’s blog post will be a test to see if the link between WordPress and those accounts play nicely together and will post simultaneous updates.
That’s the technical side of things, but what about content? What am I trying to do here? What keeps the blog from becoming a chore instead of a fun creative thing? I have found that trying to write a blog post every week with a “big story” is really difficult. I am not that fast with my projects! I really want to write about the start, middle and end of a project every week. But, starting in 2022, as you are seeing here, I’m going to write more often, smaller posts, and at least once a month write a longer complete project (or technique) post.
I’ve been blogging for a long time (those old years are archived now) and I found that when I wrote something every single day for a month, my readership went way up. People have the attention span of fleas and if you aren’t creating, they aren’t coming back. I’ll start writing more. Please come back!
What are you planning for 2022? Are you planning ahead or do you just pick up what feels good in the moment?
It’s the Tuesday between Christmas and New Year – technically a holiday week here in NL – but I’ll still write a little something on the blog. I have no finished object to share, but I do have some new projects to show you.
Above is the first cuff of my Kainoruusu mittens. I’m making them per the pattern, mostly. I just can’t help but modify something in every pattern! I’ve added the 2 Latvian braids below and above the color work section (the red and white candy cane). The cuffs I’m making in red and white and the rest of the mitten will be dark grey and white.
The yarn is some Estonian yarn that I bought during my trip there in 2013. It’s not soft yarn but it’s sturdy and great for mittens. It should be softer after washing, but I wouldn’t want to wear it around my neck.
Here’s a photo of the inside, in case you’re curious what that looks like. I always like to see the inside of things. 🙂
I’ve also started a pair of gloves for DB. When we went to Texel a couple of weeks ago (to get our Christmas lamb) he saw this yarn and wanted to buy it for himself. Either for a hat or gloves. I was secretly hoping for a hat, but in the end he chose gloves.
You can see that I’m working up the hand, increasing on the right side for the thumb. I chose the pattern, thinking that it would be great for gloves – sturdy and long wearing. That is certainly true! But the stitch pattern used is hurting my hands to knit. The pattern is Seascape Gloves. Here’s a closeup of the stitches. This multi-colored yarn doesn’t make it easy to see, but it’s a 2-stitch twisted thing.
You put the right needle through the first stitch on the left needle, and knit the SECOND stitch on the left needle, bring your right needle back out, and knit the first stitch through the BACK loop, then slide both stitches to the right needle. I had no idea it would cause my hands so much trouble. But you know, the things we do for love.
Here’s the inside of the glove.
I’m trading off working on the mittens, then the gloves, so my hands get a break. There has also been a little spinning going on, for the next Experimental Spinning post. Hopefully I’ll have that ready to show in another week.
These dark days make photography so difficult! I spend a lot of time trying to get the colors to match what my eyes see. I think I’m pretty close this week.
That’s it for craft pursuits this week. I’m also practicing the accordion and cooking and baking and taking care of the neighbor cat while they are out of town, and visiting family. I hope you are having a nice holiday week and can find joy, even in the smallest of things, during these pandemic times. Til next week, happy end of 2021!
This past week I finished the 12 recipe tea towels/wall hangings that I started in November. WHEW that felt good to get those off my plate. I hadn’t touched them in several weeks and in that time I had kind of forgotten how I made them so I spent more time ripping out than sewing for the first one. But after that it went smoothly and I finished them in 2 days.
I’ve decided not to trust them to the mail. They’d have to cross 2 countries and 5,000 miles and probably cost a fortune because they are heavy. I will take them with me the next time I visit my mom and mail them from there. Hopefully this Spring. Everyone will just have to wait!
AND I started a new sweater. This one is a cabled cardigan that I could really use in my wardrobe. This is my second winter after returning from California and I need more warm sweaters. This sweater is called Sandstone Peak, designed by Irina Anikeeva. I fell in love with it the second I saw it.
I’m knitting it with Cascade 220, which I had in stash. The colorway is called “Galaxy” and it’s another one of those hard to capture colors. Most of the time it looks dark brown, but in some light it looks dark purple. On dark winter nights it’s just black and I need a neck light to knit.
The instructions have you knit this from the bottom up, seamless, then knit the sleeves in the round, then put them all together at the underarms and knit the yoke seamless. Well, you can guess from other posts that I am a fan of seams in such a garment so I’ve decided to knit each piece flat and seam it together. It just takes more teasing out of the pattern instructions, especially at the yoke, but so far it’s not too bad. The instructions are very clear and easy to follow, which makes it also easy to tear them apart and see the pieces separately. I added 1 stitch at each edge for a selvage for seaming. I’ve finished one sleeve and started the second.
My plan is to have this finished by the end of January, with plenty of winter left to enjoy it. I’ve also got some mittens queued up to start, and DB has asked for either a hat or gloves (he hasn’t decided yet), so plenty of knitting on the horizon.
And that’s my FO (finished object) and WIP (work in progress) for this week. I was hoping to post about my spinning project(s) but I’m not quite ready for that unveiling. Come back next week for some spinning experiments in color.