Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Yarn Along 16

It's Wednesday and I'm joining Ginny in her Yarn Along, why don't you join her and us all, too? Come on, it's fun!
I'm knitting another decorative star for my godmother and switched the colours so that red is now the main colour or the background colour if you will. I think I'm getting better at the colourwork, or maybe it's just wishful thinking - I'm not quite sure yet.
The first star is finished and despite some uneven stitches I'm happy with how it turned out. But I felt like something was missing somehow and after some pondering I came to the conclusion that it was the center of the star that was bothering me. So I added a red button on each side to make it look more "finished". Now I'm really happy with it! I sewed the buttons on nice and tight so that they create a dent in the center of the star. Without the buttons the middle part looked very puffed up, although I used only a very small amount of filling. And of course I take every opportunity to sew buttons on anything, I just love buttons =)
I also have something new to read for you this week: "The Subtle Knife" by Philip Pullman, which is the second book in the "His Dark Materials" trilogy. I finished "Northern Lights" and was simply blown away by the book. It's so original and ingenious, emotional, gripping and just wonderful in every single detail. The way the bond between humans and their animalform daemons is described made me cry several times. I'm so looking forward to what the second book will bring, I've only read a few pages yet. Is there anything as exciting as a new, fresh book? When I love a book I often read it more than once and you notice a lot more details when you read it for the second or third time. The first time I often rush through the book, greedily devouring the story. But even if I miss a thing here and there, the first time is the most intense and exciting. Thank God for people with such a powerful imagination and the gift of writing it down for others to enjoy, such as Mr. Pullman!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Yarn Along 15

It's been a little while but today I'm again joining Ginny in her weekly Yarn Along. No, don't worry - there will be no picture of the Surya shawl today. I'm still not done with it and let me tell you, that will be one giant shawl once it's finished and blocked!
Instead I'd like to show you the first finished stripy sock. I had to rip out the cuff because the rolled cuff I knit at first looked awful and was somehow uncomfortable on the leg. Now it's a simply ribbed cuff and I'm satisfied.
Furthermore I'd like to present a little bit of Christmas knitting. There are very few people amongst my family and friends who would be pleased by a handmade gift and would honestly appreciate it and one of those people is my godmother. I'm knitting a decorative star with a teeny bit of colourwork for her. Colourwork is a huge challenge for me. I'm a very tight knitter and the fact that I'm not allowed to pull on the thread until I nearly sever my fingertip if I want to have nice, non-puckering colourwork has lead to several fits and seething anger. And to too loose stitches - because it seems I'm quite digital. It's either nice and tight and EVEN stitches or floppy wonky ugly stitches with ridiculous long floats... But I have been told that it's all about practice so I might have to do a whole jumper of colourwork to get the hang of it.
Nothing new to read this week, but next week for sure as I only have a couple of pages left of "Northern Lights".
I'm off to make some tea now so I can enjoy looking at all your nice projects properly =)

Monday, 14 November 2011

The Art of Stashing

 ... has in no way been mastered by me but as of today my stash is a lot neater and more organized. I think I might have mentioned here that I have a fairly small stash. Well, I thought it to be tiny but now that I gathered all bits and pieces of yarn from all over the flat, I stand corrected. My stash is still small, especially compared to other knitters' stashes, but it is bigger than I thought.
Although I never had problems with moths so far *frantically knocking on wood now*, I always felt a bit uneasy about my yarn and projects lying about all over the place. Not only because of possible moths feasting on the skeins but also because of sunlight, dust and what not. Dumbledore and the piggies are living in our living room and the wood chips produce a lot of dust, so it's better to cover up or stow away precious things. So a few months ago we bought a couple of transparent plastic containers (a really nice and clear plastic, not so yellow-tinged as they look in the pictures) which are simply great. But - underestimating the size of my stash - I didn't take enough. 

On Saturday we went back to the store and bought more (a lot more). They're really great for storing anything and everything and I'm quite happy with them. I wasn't so happy when I had to wash them out first because they were a bit dusty and had a layer of some weird stuff on them (probably from the manufacturing process). I dried them almost completely with a towel and let the floor heating take care of the rest of the droplets over night =)
I organized my stash roughly by colours (solids and multi-coloured separately), except for the cottons I use for dishcloths - which I threw together into a big box. I still have the very old parts of my stash packed in cardboard boxes and I think I will leave them there. It's mostly stuff from my Grandmother and it's very old and thus has this weird "old" fabric smell. If I put it together with the newer stuff then everything will smell that way before long...

I still have boxes left but you can stack them together and they don't take up a lot of space, it's so neat! Maybe I'll use them for my cross-stitching stash, that too could use a bit more neatness and safety. And Sebastian wanted to have one or the other box as well for some of his stuff.

My current projects now occupy one of the larger boxes as well. It surely is prettier to keep them in a nice basket or in a nice bag, as I did before. I had all my WIPs in a beautiful colourful bag Sebastian brought back from Peru. It's a great bag for knitting stuff but it's not very safe ^^ One day I walked to the sofa from the kitchen, carrying a mug of coffee and I tripped, pouring most of the mug's content into the bag (which was open). So I'll now use the bag to take my knitting along with me on visits or travels and keep my WIPs safely in a plastic box when I'm at home and handle beverages =) And my needles are all organized now, too! See the little box on top? Ohhh yes, this is nice.