Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Oh! The frustration, the pains of the new beginning and finally hopefully smooth sailing

And so it happened, I ended up in a deep, dark hole of "not-knowing-what-to-knit-next". I have been looking all over for the perfect, entertaining, interesting, fascinating and beautiful project. The search always seems to begin with an idea of not having to swatch, and finding a very easy and reasonably fast knit. The exhaustion of the previous knit affects the choosing at this point. All the last tools (stitch markers, darning needles, knitting needles, tape measures, yarn ends etc) need to be put away, but linger on the desk and create some kind of a chaos. If I had cleaned the plate from the previous project, I probably would have cleared my mind also and finding the next one would have been so much easier. I kept postponing the task and since my mind and desk were both so cluttered, I could not clearly see, what I would love to make. This went on for days. I kept casting on for new stuff, and kept tossing them away onto the same place where the previous mess lay, thus building a massive junk mountain. Last weekend, I realized that I needed to make clear, open, fresh space for the new knit. It would not happen in this turmoil of stuff.
Finally, I could hear my thoughts and ideas and could settle into something new. I seem to be in some kind of a Fair Isle mood or cardigan mood. I returned to Kate's designs and this time I chose a design from her Yokes book. It is a design called Foxglove and has patterning around the yoke - only... I think I will use the chart (it has three colors in some of the rows and that will teach me something new) but I will tweak the cardigan a little bit. I am not quite sure just how to, and I do not want to write the changes into a stone yet, because that would take some of the thrill off. So far, I will add some length and start with a corrugated rib. I am thinking of a looser and longer cardigan with pockets. However, this might change while the cardigan progresses. As you can see, I have just barely started.
The pains in the beginning: 
- Finding the design. I seem to base my projects on a design or on an idea rather than on yarn.
- Finding the yarn... I have a dream of always using some of the old yarn and combining it with some new, this way I will be checking the stash regularly. I tend to forget what I have and I have some lovely stuff.
- Finding the right needle that suits the yarn and the pattern and feels good in the hands. (Needle hunting is such a pain.)
- Being able to join in a round without twisting the cast-on edge - talk about it, this does not seem to get easier with time and experience.
- The worries of not being quite sure if the stitch count is correct. Even though I know my gauge, this always troubles me for a while, before I am able to take off the knit from the needles and try it on for the first time. I will need to check the fit and then I am officially off with this cardigan. Finally! This is good news.
Thank you for coming by and hope you have a good week.
Wool with you,

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Ursula Cardigan

I hope this finds you well. First of all, thank you for sharing your good reads with me, I have saved your list and it will keep me entertained for quite a bit. Some of the books I knew but there were many new ones.

Pattern: Ursula (Colours of Shetland) by Kate Davies
Yarn: Ullgarn (2ply) by Svarta FĂ„ret for white and greys (abt 400g) and Satakieli by Vuorelma for orange
Needle: 2,75mm and 3mm

Ursula was a good knit:
I learned something new. I had never before knitted set-in top-down sleeves. I highly recommend this if you have never tried it, it took out the stress of setting in sleeves.
It was challenging with all the steeking but not too much. There is nothing to fear, have courage and try it.
It was interesting with stranded body but quick with simple and plain sleeves.
It took a good amount of time, I could really focus on it without worrying to be done too soon but I could see the progress, as it is quite small.
I really like the way it turned out, the fit is good, it is light and I love the colors. They are perfect for my January, there is white snow and the world is full of shades of grey but there is also some orange, to remind me of the sun returning.
When Kate was designing Ursula, she was inspired by Shetland's summer wildflowers: "the pastel blue of spring squill and sheep's bit; the pale pink of moss campion and thrift; and the fresh, light green of sea rocket and sandwort".  By changing the colors to fit my landscape I continued in the same spirit somehow.
I could not think up a good way to line the sleeve steeks but left them with the crochet finishing. They seem to hold on well and I believe with time they will felt little bit and will stay neat.
So far lots of false starts; I have not been able to settle into any serious knitting...  No matter how hard I tried to avoid being trapped in "between projects", I seem to be there right now. Hopefully I can find something good soon! I know I will, for sure.

Wool with you,