I failed in the goals I set out a mere two months ago. My summer holiday was fun, educational (more on that in a while) and desperately needed – however, it also made some bad habits resurface, threw off my planning and my home clutter being out of sight also meant it was out of mind. I’ve started new projects, bought new supplies and didn’t work a single stitch or seam on any existing projects. Let’s give you a rundown…
1) I knitted a hat
As I was going away for my holidays, I wanted a travel project. However, all the things I had in my WIP-list were big projects not really suitable for travel. So I decided to take two small knitting projects with me, promising not to start on the second one until I finished the first (a promise I kept!).
The first project was the Diamond cap by Meg Kealey. I made this with Garnstudio DROPS Alaska yarn of which I had three balls – I have no idea when or why I bought those, and I don’t recall them being left over from an earlier project. So at least I did a bit of stash busting.
So, it was an ‘illegal’ project, but at least it got finished!
2) I started knitting gloves
The second project, however, barely got off the ground. A while back I discovered the lovely glove and mitten patterns by Laris Designs (Julia Mueller). These original patterns have unique designs and construction and I am in awe of Mueller's designing ability. Because of the changes to VAT on digital goods within the EU on 01-01-2015, Mueller decided to close her pattern-selling business and focus on her day job – and as a farewell-gift, she made all her patterns available free of charge. I think this was incredibly generous of her, as these patterns were well worth whatever price she was charging for them. I made the Chimera mittens not too long ago and now wanted to try my hand at a glove pattern. I had some red Garnstudio DROPS Baby Alpaca-Silk left over from the two EZ 100th Anniversary Hearts Half-Circle I made, so I picked a pattern I thought would work well with that: Eddy.
Unfortunately, Eddy disagreed with me. These gloves are not knit from the cuff up or the other way around: the back of the hand and the palm are knit from the middle outward, then joined, thing fingers and cuff are added. I could not, and still cannot, figure out either the written or drawn instructions for the special cast-on method. And even when I decided to give up and use a different cast-on and then sew shut the hole later, the fiddly beginning made me start over. In total, it took me twelve tries to get past row 6 of this pattern, and as such, I got absolutely nowhere.
Now that I have managed it, I do understand the pattern and it’s not very difficult, but it is fiddly, labour- and time-intensive. I still think the Laris Designs patterns are great – they are so ingenious! – but I should definitely not
class them as ‘travel projects’ any more.
3) I weaved a cushion cover
That’s right, I finally got around to weaving! I spent most of my holidays on a weaving course, where I learned to weave on a Louët Jane table loom. Louët is a high-quality Dutch brand of looms, spinning wheels and accessories, which came highly recommended by our teacher (not affiliated with the company). As they are constantly improving the designs, they only make the looms twice a year, so sometimes you have to wait quite a bit to be able to get your hands on one!
We made two projects this week. The second project was a Finnish type of weaving called raanu, where you weave in such a way that you can only see the horizontal threads. I decided to make a brightly coloured cushion cover:
I also really like weaving! I am excited to continue with this craft. I can already think of several things I would like to weave. I have the use of a rigid heddle loom, but! Weaving is not getting priority over those crafts already in the WIP list. Any weaving project will have to wait until I’ve reached my goal number of WIPs.
4) I bought yarn
As a mini-excursion on the weaving course, we visited a local angora goat farm. Aaaand the shop, because of course angora goats means wool (no link because no webshop). I could blame peer pressure – everyone else bought something – or the fact that I felt the farmer should get something for giving us a tour of the place – which is true – but the reality is I had just learned to double knit from one of the other course attendees so was excited about knitting, this yarn was really soft and pretty and there was a skein with variegated green and a natural white one, perfect for a nice scarf. So I bought it. Unfortunately it wasn’t completely local, as the wool was shipped to Denmark to be spun. Apparently there are no options for processing such small quantities (24 goats) of wool closer to home. I have yet to pick a pattern, but as I’m still not at a place where I am ‘allowed’ to start something new that doesn’t really matter.
To prevent this blog post from continuing forever, I am dividing it in two parts. Check back for part two of my summer holiday tomorrow!