Sunday, September 04, 2022

New socks, old blanket and cross stitch, maybe

So it is fall, no doubt about it. The wind has come from the Arctic the whole week and it has been brutal. I have build a fire couple of times and enjoyed the smell of wood burning and the sound of wood crackling. Talking about fire, we have been filling the wood shed up to the brim last week and the same job continues this coming week also. The shortage of energy and the price of it has been the topic of the last month and this coming winter will be a difficult one up here. Woolens and wood, both in demand.

I was going through my sock drawer the other day (thanks to the northerly winds), sadly to discover that many (most) of my socks would need serious mending, some are in such a bad state that I would really need to rip the foot part and only save the long cuffs (I do love my socks to have long cuffs) and knit new bottoms. What should I do as the sock mojo has been long absent, and I hate cold feet. 

While I was grocery shopping and walked past the yarn aisle in the store, I took a good look at the sock yarns there. I picked up three skeins of white with the thought that I would dye them - maybe knitting from my own hand dyed yarn would spark up the desire to knit socks.

I spent some time in the kitchen mixing colors and this is the result. I do like how the yarn turned out and immediately cast on for a pair of socks and finished them, but it did not spark my sock knitting, not much at least. I wonder if it would return if I just kept knitting socks… I did that, but knitting is so much more fun if you enjoy the project. However, another pair is almost done.

So, now that I know I need socks and should knit them, and have no desire to take that route, my knitway is blocked. I took another turn and returned to blanket crochet. If you follow me on Instagram, you have seen this blanket I crocheted last year I think.

I love the basic square (Tombola by Maria Gullberg) and I started another blanket almost immediately after the first one. I have crocheted squares here and there since and

I will add new squares until the knitting resolves its route blocks or finds a new path to proceed. I have eyed my quilting fabrics. I would love to sew something…  a project bag or something bigger…

But now a confession. I know I really don’t need any new yarn/thread adventures, but I have a serious hankering to do some cross stitch. During the past two years, I have made some small projects, and these two are my last ones.

I love to look at the colors of the floss, and make tiny crosses, it is meditative and slow. While I was making these two, I thought that the other one is for Piisku and the other for Väinö. They are best friends and love playing together, but do get into mischief a lot. These are Plum Street Samplers Olga and Boris. I cross stitched on Aida (16 count?) with my own colors, as I have plenty of floss but not the called for colors and just made the pictures with what I had. 

Ok, so those two above pictures are very me. I am very much an animal person, and a country girl who loves rough wool… so how can I explain that now I would really love to make a Mirabilia… have you seen those? I just love Red and Persephone … and the mermaids. I love the tiny crosses and especially the sparkling beads, I love how vivid the colors are. Just absolutely beautiful. Up till now I have not ordered anything, but I am not sure for how long I can resist… I am trying and seriously fighting the urge… but then…Have you seen this? And there is a lot more to see of Chris Dunn’s work at Painefreecrafts?

I am sighing. What should I do? Make a small Christmas ornament in cross stitch and then think again of the bigger projects…

In the meantime, hope you are well and as always,

Wool with you,


Saturday, August 13, 2022

Still in the square one

I have so enjoyed outdoors this past week. Mellow, soft light and pleasant temperatures, really good for dog walks. Just the right amount of wind to freshen the air and sunny skies with occasional clouds and rain showers. A bit chilly during the night, a bite of fall in the morning. Cold feet desire woolly socks, warm shawls at hand to pull on and an oversized cardigan to wrap around. No need to question whether to knit or not - as if I ever questioned it.

Ok, so the weather has been very inspiring, but even though there is a strong pull to keep knitting, I still have not found that perfect next project to work on. I have cast on for two new shawls, both have been ripped back; I have been knitting a sweaterdress but I have a feeling that I am going to rip it back tonight. I would love to have a knitted dress, but my yarn choice is not working. It seems to be a bit wiry and the stitches seem a bit clunky, no matter how I tension the yarn. But I did finish something, and I am very happy about this something.

I finished the shawlography shawl by Stephen West. I love the pattern, it is absolutely an interesting one, with all the possible color choices and different knitting stitches; nupps, i-cord loops, little welts, brioche, criss-cross stitches to name a few. From the very beginning I kept doubting the colors. I was not sure which route to take. At first I chose to have a pale color palette, but at some point decided that I did not like it and that it would need something. I would have ripped it had it been something else than mohair in the mix. 

Since the beginning was red, it was the obvious choice and route to take. Oh, but I was never sure of any of the color changes and at some point just thought that this was not going to be a good one. The colors kept bothering me and I did not concentrate on my knitting; just kept the thought to have it done. I made mistake after mistake, my stitch counts were off all the time and I had to keep adjusting them, thinking since the colors do not work anyway, I am not going to be bothered with the mistakes. 

Until, I soaked it and stretched it out to dry. I was happily surprised! I do love the shawl, I love the strong colors and I do think it did work in the end, way better than I imagined. I just need to remember, that the shawl is not done until it is done. That every new color affects the previous ones and the shawl will keep changing with every single choice. The light beginning really lets the border shine.

If you look at the original pattern, the final border of the shawl is knitted with stripes but I have done both of my shawlography shawls by picking up a variegated yarn to the border not to have to weave in all the ends. This border again with Hjertegarn’s old Kunstgarn. I do love that yarn, it had wonderful colors. I have, I think, two skeins left and then it is gone. It has rescued so many shawls.

Years back Noro used to have fingering weight beautiful sock yarn… need to see if that yarn is still available. Those colors were also so beautiful.

While I was stretching it and pulling here and there yesterday, it inspired me… maybe to knit yet another shawlography…  now only to figure out the color. So here I am, still at the starting point.

I sometimes begin a new Stephen West shawl adventure just by picking up one or two colors that I like and will trust that the process will lead the way and the shawl will tell what it will need next. I just might do that, just to get going.

While taking pictures for the shawl, the surface of the lake kept changing. Just had to share.

Hope you are fine, take care and wool with you, as always,