Friday, 26 December 2008

I'll think about that tomorrow

The other day, in the middle of making-holiday-presents-fever I suddenly found out that some of the «future owners» of the presents I'm making will be away for the next 10 days. I thought, OK, no need to hurry, I can slow the pace down now; plenty of time to finish the presents.

So, with at least two projects still unfinished, I started making a long time promised “present” for myself- an entrelac scarf. Entrelac is great, you can stop working on it and start again any time with now fear you’ll forget where you stopped or what you intended to do with it. If I don’t finish it within the next few days, I’ll simply switch to working on my presents and finish it later. (Very clever, if you ask me! :D ).

The next day- my entrelac mysteriously ended up in one of my «magical baskets»! With a good reason too- I decided I should rather finish some other projects first. I managed to knit two or three rows of each one of them and then I realised- I wanted a new pair of gloves!!! You must admit- a pair of gloves in the middle of December is way more important than a Vogue bolero I probably won't be wearing before spring (again- one VERY clever decision!).

That same afternoon, after knitting about, let's be honest- not more than 7 stitches, when I was only half a step away from putting my “soon to be finished” doomed bolero in one of my baskets AGAIN, it struck me- each time I open one of these baskets to get a new skein of yarn, there are always at least 3 or 4 unfinished projects in there. And in just three days I must have increased that number to at least 7. So, the million dollar question was- how many unfinished projects are there in my knitty-land? I went over there, opened my mystery baskets and started counting (it wasn’t an easy thing to do!!!). The answer was- TOO MANY! Way too many!

When on Earth did I become do unorganized??? It's one thing to stop working on a project when you see nothing useful any good will ever come out of it and decide to think about what else you might use that yarn for tomorrow. But this!?!?!?

OK, so, I'm proudly presenting you all of my unfinished projects:

Nr. 1

My unfinished entrelac scarf! Now that I see it in this picture- I don't think it is ever going to be finished either! I simply don't like this combination of coulors. I wanted something natural and so I chose to work with beige tones but- it seemed too pale. I added a bit of pink- then it looked just a bit too odd for my taste. Anyway, this is my disaster nr.1!


Here it is, my doomed Vogue capecho by Norah Gaughan! Why isn't it finished yet? I haven't got a clue! I'm only one sleeve away from finishing it and, because of some unknown reason, I still haven't found the time to finish it. Maybe (just MAYBE) I'll have to add another edging to the bottom part of the capelet just to gather the outer borders of pentagons together into the same line but, even so- it would only be an extra hour or two of work. (Oh, yes, and I need to attach the button- another minute). None the less- it is still unfinished!


My Mermaid gloves! I already made one pair for my friend Sunny the other day and I thought I should make a pair for myself too. It's a very attractive pattern and interesting to knit. I'm not really worried about this project- I think I'll have my gloves finished by this Saturday but, than again- untill I bind the stitches off the needles these gloves are potentially endangered just like everything else!

(Now, when did I become a fan of gray gloves - that is a whole different story!)

Let's continue....


Do you know what this is??? It was supposed to be one of my
holiday presents- a mug jacket! (Yes, coffee mugs should be dressed for holidays too! :) . It's a cute design, easy to do, a great way to use your leftovers yarn and experiment with new patterns and, finally, people really like it. It's one weird present for your weird friends. Now, what fascinates me is- how can someone get stuck before the end of the second row when making a mug-jacket that only has 10 or so rows?????


My Lacy beige cardigan.

Oh, I was really thrilled about this project. I wanted it to be a part of a set: a cardigan, a pair of gloves, (maybe a scarf) and a bag; all made from the same yarn! So far, I only managed to make a bag!


My biggest disaster!!! I started working on this project at least 3 years ago. I'm not really keen on working with colours (too messy) but I liked this "Indian Summer" combination of colours so much- I just had to make something other than a plain striped sweater! I left it on side (for the first time, that is)when I was still working on the front part because I got all tangled up. Taking a short break seemed like the best solution at the time. I decided I should continue with some fresh ideas a year later, but after finishing both parts- I didn't really like the result and so I lost the interest for the second time. Finally, I did manage to finish it (3 years later) but it just doesn't look good! Now, I don't know what to do with it any more. I didn't even want to take it out of the plastic bag when I was taking a picture of it- I'm not sure if it bites after all this time.

(See the striped part in the bottom of the picture?It's a sleeve- I can't use this yarn for anything else anymore).


Oh, this hurts (just look at these braids)! I can't tell you how enthusiastic I was about this project! I was REALLY looking forward to having a sweater like this one- I thought it was going to be my favorite one. Guess what- I run out of yarn. For the last 2 years I've been desperatelly trying to find more. With no success! It's that same beautiful, soft yarn I used for my Green sweater , so, this time, not only did I find just the colour I wanted but I also knew that the yarn was great and how it knits. Unfortunatelly - I won't be able to get more yarn any time soon. If ever!

I had a few "B" and "C" plans for this one because I wanted to finish it so badly so, in the end, i decided to give it a try with another ivory yarn - the one I used for my poncho a few years ago, only now I had to double the strand- I thought it would do the trick. I did the trick! And... well, it ain't funny at all. You can see the result- it looks awful. I even made the second sleeve but, oh boy, do I look ridiculous when I dress it on. No- I don't look ridiculous; I look like a frog!!! And, having said that...

No, I won't frog the whole project- but the sleeves and the neck; they're gone! Time for my "C" plan!

Nr. 8

Do you know what this is? I don't! Not only did I forget whether the stockinette stichs was on the wrong or the right side of work (everything seems possible now), but I can't remember what this was supposed to be at all!!! A vest? A turtleneck jumper? A sweater maybe? Long sleeves? Short sleeves on a light spring blouse? A tent? A swimming suit?

I know one thing for sure, though- it is red!!! (And a beautiful red yarn screaming for a better idea! Or any idea for that matter!)

One sad way to become a Woman in red!!! I'm pathetic!


A neck wormer! Again- it should be finished soon. The only thing left to do here is to hide the yarn "tails" and add an I-cord decoration which has already been prepared. But, again- if it is only a 1m long Icord that needs to be attached- why haven't I already done that???


And there's one more THING! I didn't even want to take a picture of it! Why bother- the only thing I could do with that picture is to make a poll with this question: "Do you think a person who started making this 5 years ago and has been keeping it among her unfinished projects ever since is sane?"

OOOOOKKKK, time to do something about all this mess!!!!!! It's now or never! I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Cutting a hat in half

One skein projects: Episode Nr.2

My ONE SKEIN PHASE continues.
My hands have finally started dressing other people's heads. What a change! No sizes or numbers, no measures...just: big and small heads. :)
But this whole fascination with small projects now really does make a lot of sense- after a few years of knitting only big "projects" and spending days and weeks working on each one of them (not that I object! :) ), it's no wonder I became so addicted to this thing; it feels so great to get up in the morning with a new idea, grab the yarn and needles, start, knit, finish and go to bed under impression of making a new garment. It's quick and you get the chance to feel the excitement over finishing a project a lot more often.
But the fact is - I think I'm losing it! :) I've already started cutting my projects (and skeins) in half. And my expenses for that matter. :) I might end up knitting only rings and mobile-phone coats. :D

Ok, so, this time, I cut a hat in half! (A hat, not a head). And when you cut a hat in half, you get a headband, of course! :) I named it "Lazy Winter"! The reason? Winters here on Mediterranean can be very lazy. Sometimes too lazy to even be cold. But they can be ANOYING. Wind and rain can make you want to move to South Pole just to see what the real winter looks like. :D Umbrellas don’t help and, since winter months are so mild, people are simply not used to wearing hats. Hair easily gets tangled while ears wouldn’t really mind being hidden from the wind occasionally.

I planned on going for a seaside walk with my best friend last Sunday and I knew she was secretly hoping I’d make her a beret. But, just like Mediterranean winter, I became a bit too lazy so I decided to cut the beret in half and make her a cabled headband. :) She LOVES headbands! And so I did. I found a piece of yarn in my leftovers basket and it only took me about an hour to make it. I’m still under impression of making my Buttony sweater so I decided to play a bit with buttons here as well. It was a good call, I think, because now there’s no fear the band might get stretchy- it can easily be shortened and, finally, she can either wear the buttons-part so that it is visible (on a side or on top of her head :) ) or hide it under her hair. She’s a blond and pale beige looks good on her. When I tried it on I looked like my grandma! (Attention, please- don’t wear pale beige headbands if you’re a brunette!)

The headband was not for a seaside walk, though. We were too lazy to go after all! :)

You can download PDF instructions for "Lazy Winter headband" from HERE!

Thursday, 18 December 2008

My world is shrinking


I really got hooked on knitting ONE SKEIN projects lately (of all the things people get hooked on, I think this was the safest one. Though, knitting needles are a bit sharp. :) ). It's a big change for me because ever since I started knitting some 6-7 years ago (and by this I mean "knitting seriously", not the "5 year old mad kid running around the house with a pair of needles and using knitting and a 10cm piece of yarn only as an alibi in case someone gets hurt" kind of knitting) - all my projects were big. The smallest thing I ever made was a 2,5m (2 yards) long scarf (and I only made two). Cardigans, bags (big ones), coats, dresses, decorative pillows, wraps, sweaters and sweaters again... No socks, no gloves or mittens, no hats (not that I'd wear a hat even if I did make one!).

So, my first one skein project was actually triggered some 20 days ago when my sister took me to one of those accessories shops where you should always go severely sedated and with no money or credit cards in your pockets! Everything is shiny, striped and in colours in there- it is so hard to stay calm. The fact is, if you'd just concentrate a bit (which, again, could be a little tricky to do in case you really are sedated)- you would probably end up buying only a thing or two because, eventually, you'd realise you don't really need a felted necklace in lemon-yellow or a shiny-silver-disco pair of leg warmers (though, as for the last one, you never know! :D ). But the fact is also that, in the end, you would never wear at least one of these things. Now, knowing that my sister, just like me, is not really a jewelry fan (thank God for that genetic mistake!!!), I thought we were on safe ground. But then she showed me a pair of striped gloves. That pair of gloves was actually the main reason why we went there in the first place. I checked the price label and it said their price was a bit less than 50 euros! 2 gloves, 10 half-fingers, a bunch of stripes, less than one skein of yarn = 50 euros!!! And there was no "famous" signature on them either! Taking a knitting addict to see that is something you just don't do. I did tell her that, of course! :))

Ok, so, that was it- I decided to make my first pair of gloves. The moment I came back home, I managed to find all the needles from my 3,5mm DPNs set and gave it a shot. I don't really know
why I never made anything using a set of DPNs before- I guess I thought was too tangy and complicated and didn't want to bother. Well, the first row was a disaster, I admit, but, than again, first rows usually are because the gauge is still too tight no matter how loosely you cast on. But, few more rows and I began to like it. Knitting with DPNs is cool! :) The only "problem" was- I had no way of making preliminary measurements so I just had to knit and try on repeatedly. I had to frog and "TINK" some parts of the first glove for more than 5 times before I managed to calculate the exact number of stitches for each row and the right place to start the thumb gusset.

Once I finished the first glove, knitting the other one was as easy
as pie.And it only took me about an hour to finish it (it took me
more than two days to finish the first one! :) ). After finishing both gloves - the only thing left to do was to add caps/hats because the 50 euros pair of gloves that almost killed me was a pair of fancy convertible gloves and mine had to look just the same. Though one might think it's the easiest part to make- it turned out to be an extremely tangy process. I even managed to twist the 1st row stitches 3 whole times while making the hat on the first glove (I thought these IQ tests were more accurate than this, my spatial IQ score was high each time I took the test :) ). But I made it and I managed to create my first pair of (convertible) striped gloves
which I'm proudly presenting you!

The facts is - I didn't choose when to
get hooked on this type of knitting (do we ever chose when to get hooked onto something?!) but I don't think my timing could have been better. It's the New Year/Christmas time of year ie presents time and if you're a knitter then everyone expects you to make them a knit-gift. Now, I usually do make gifts myself instead of buying them but, mind you, knitting a sweater for everyone would be just a bit too much to handle. And I'd have to start making gifts a year in advance. J But one skein projects for everyone? - I can swing that. So, as you'll see from my future posts, that is exactly what I did- I continued making "small knit-gift" for everyone; cutting the hats in half and turning them into headbands, dressing coffee mugs into sweaters :) and finishing the scarves as soon as they reach the neck wormer length. For some of these projects I even used only 1/3 of a skein. I THINK MY WORLD IS SHRINKING!

But, I'll leave other projects for later - I think this is the right time to finish my first ONE SKEIN episode. What matters is that my sister's gloves are finished and that they turned out just fine. As a matter of fact, it all ended up great- it feels so good to make something for the first time, even better to learn something new, and it feels GREAT to save 50 euros. :) Though, if my sister shows me a broche the next time we go to that shop, I'll just have to take my credit card out because no way am I going to twist metal. :)

Finally, I like working with DPNs now (with special thanks to a pair of overly expensive convertible gloves!).
P.S. Oh, yes, and their name is "Lollipop gloves"! :D

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

First "HI"!

Hi, everyone!
I'm not really good in introducing myself or saying goodbyes. I'm here and I intend to stay here for a long time. :)
I'm not new in blogging but, having many friends in different countries can make you start a blog in English, sooner or later. Well, the sooner the better, then. :)

So, that is what I'm basically doing, opening my little knitting-crocheting world to everyone. I'm looking forward to sharing my ideas, works, working processes. There will also be some great opportunities for others to see what it looks like when I freak out over a non-successful project. :)

Knitting, crocheting, needles, hooks, yarn and how to use them- that is what this blog is about. I'm looking forward to meeting other bloggers with same interests and cool ideas and all those yet to be infected by these crafts but I'll also try to add as much material as possible for all the newbies seeking for "how to" informations about knitting and crocheting.

Oh, yes, and I do read books, watch films and grow plants- but I will control myself here. I'll write what I knit and knit as I speak! Fair enough? :)
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