February 23, 2007

Too many projects...

All my knitting projects are on hold right now due to a serious lack of time... and it doesn't help either that all my WIPs aren't works in progress but works in planning. Wish I had a mindless knitting project lying around that I could simply pick up to knit a few rows whenever I have a few spare minutes!

Right now my main priority is spring cleaning the house -- even though it's not officially spring yet, the weather certainly makes me think of spring! So it's high time to get some fresh air into the house and make some space. I really need to throw out all the stuff that has accumulated over the last few months! (Months? Years! I even found some newspaper articles dating way back from 1998...) I have too much of everything: too many books, too many magazines, too many clothes, too many knitting and sewing supplies -- time to be honest and ask myself how much of all this I really want to keep. And it does feel so good to get rid of things that don't fit into my life anymore!

A few days ago I was at my parents' house and looked through some boxes that had been hidden away in their attic for ages -- most of what was in them ended up in the waste bin as well, but I did find some interesting things. First of all, look at this swatch I knitted when I was about 15:

I remember drawing some patterns during a boring school lesson and saying to the friend who was sitting next to me, this would be an interesting pattern to knit. She just looked at me as if I was mad and said, yeah, right, go ahead. And I did! I don't think I ever showed her the swatch, but I felt very good about actually knitting it. Compared to my standards today, the quality of the knitting is terrible -- my tension was way off, and I had obviously never given a single thought to being consistent in holding one colour above the other. Just look at this mess!

Nevertheless, it was fun to dig this up again. The design is a bit psychedelic, but who knows, I might end up using it for something one day. This swatch is certainly something that won't go into the bin -- if only for the sake of a big grin...!

There were some treasures, too, which I had completely forgotten about. I found four balls of this...

... which I will probably use for a Diamond Fantasy Shawl. I just love this design! I have never knitted lace before and I'd really like to try.

And finally, there was some lovely wollen fabric, which perfectly matches the Schilf yarn I bought in Austria. This will make a nice skirt to wear with the cardigan!

Now I really need to make a priority list of all the knitting (and sewing) projects I want to do. So many plans, and so little time! How can I decide what to do first???

February 18, 2007

To frog or not to frog...

It's not going to work. My stocking-to-be is just not going to fit. I have to face it, there is no use in trying to deceive myself any longer! I don't know if it's the pattern, or if my knitting is way too tight, or if my calves are too thick -- fact is, it simply won't fit.

So what do I do? Frog everything and start over? But more stitches means I have to recalculate the whole pattern. Which I suppose doesn't really matter, since I decided I don't like the cables my pattern uses anyway. I find them much too fiddly, especially when knitting with such thin needles. So I was thinking of ripping back to the ribbing and designing my own cable pattern anyway. But that still leaves me with the decision if I really want to frog those 12 cm of ribbing that were so boring to knit and start all over again? Right now that thought is just too frustrating to contemplate!

So... maybe my first sock will be just that -- a sock, and not a stocking after all.

February 10, 2007

It's a sock!

Well, not quite yet, but it's going to be. A stocking actually, to be more accurate. There's not much to see yet except for about 10 cm of ribbing -- knit on 2 mm DPNs this was NOT fun...! Luckily I only have 2 more cm to do before I can start on the interesting part: cables! I finally found a pattern that is interesting enough and that is written exactly for my size, so hopefully there will be no calculating to do. I'm a bit worried -- I tried to take one of those popular "I'm wearing my half-finished sock with the needles sticking out" pictures, but I couldn't even pull my stocking-to-be halfway over my calf. I do hope this is because the needles prevented the ribbing from stretching enough and not because I have too few stitches. I know my knitting is very tight, so it might turn out to be too small after all. (Swatch? What swatch? This is my swatch...) Compared with the ribbing on my skiing stockings the width looks alright, though. So I will stick to the instructions for now and see how it goes -- I can still rip later, or decide to turn this into a sock instead.

Wish me luck!!!

February 02, 2007


Yesterday two friends and I went on a little day trip to Austria to visit Spinnerei Jordan.

In a time when most yarn manufacturers seem to think in terms of soft-softer-softest and the shops are full of novelty yarns, it was so very refreshing to see a whole room full of sturdy traditional new wool! I am a rather conservative person when it comes to chosing yarn for my knitting -- I have tried all sorts of yarns, but I still like the good old solid wool best. A shop like this will make me happy any time!!! The only thing not traditional was their colour palette: who could resist buying yarn named Wildente (wild duck), Blutorange (blood orange), Erdbeereis (strawberry ice cream) or Kornblume (cornflower)? Very tempting indeed...

Now you might wonder... was this my first lapse in my resolution to buy no more yarn, with only one month of the year gone? Well, the trip was planned several months ago, so in my mind I had already added the yarn I was going to buy to my stash. Maybe that's cheating myself... but I like to think of it that way. [*VBG*] Besides, I was very good and bought only enough yarn for one cardigan. (The three skeins for a baby vest and two for a ski hat don't really count, do they? Ahem...)

The colour I bought is Schilf (reed) and the picture doesn't do it any justice at all, it is such a lovely pale green with just a hint of brown in between. I can't wait to see how it looks knitted up! I have no pattern for the cardigan yet, but I am thinking of some traditional Bavarian twisted stitch cables.

Talking about cables... I wish I could give you some news about my Aran slipover, but the planning for this has come to a complete standstill. I have been thinking about it quite a bit, but I just haven't found enough time to get back into the design process. This is not something I can do in a few "stolen" moments in between other jobs; I need some undisturbed hours to think everything through. (And I must admit, right now I am much more tempted to knit some swatches with my beautiful Schilf wool...) -- This project is still on top of my "To Do" list, though, so hopefully I will be able to report some progress soon!

The other thing that has been on my mind a lot lately is that sock knitting thing... -- thanks to Juliana and Sabine for your advice! Over the last few weeks I have been studying so many patterns and sock tutorials in books, magazines and on the internet -- I think my problem is that there are just too many possibilities! Do I knit from the top or do I knit toe-up? Do I want a traditional heel or a short row heel? What kind of toe... cables or lace... socks or stockings -- the decisions I have to make seem endless! So for now I am still waiting for the perferct pattern to come along, the one that just jumps at me and says "knit me as I am and stop thinking about it"...