Sunday, April 30, 2006

Snow White finished!

Very sleepy day today! ^^

I finished my Snow White shawl on Sunday. ^^

Snow White Shawl
Started: 11th April
Finished: 30th April
Pattern: my own
Size: 132 cm x 73 cm
Yarn: 220 g of white mohair blend from old stash (no paper band on the skein so no idea of details)
Needles: US 6 / 4 mm
Notes: It has 282 rows. The pattern is very easy to memorise, so I soon after starting knitted without looking at the chart.
(black shadow underneath is my chair)

And now I'm left with Clapotis (not much to knit, in fact), and looking forward to two new projects: bag for Tote Exchange and felted bag for Bag Me KAL (yarn trip on Thursday! ^^).

Can you see the weather forecast for Warsaw for tomorrow?

What about my picnic?!... It's also cold and a bit windy today, and it's not supposed to change much till tomorrow... Well...
I'm still baking the Chinese ribs in honey and soya sauce, to be prepared for a sudden outburst of sun! ^^

On Sunday I swatched with the green cotton melange yarn (previous swatch is here), and as much as I like the fuchsia-violet toned I'm knitting Clapotis with (it's the same yarn), I just don't like this green one at all... I don't 'feel' this yarn, if you know what I mean. I've knitted 4 cm of a sock, and then about 5 cm of a Leaf Lace scarf, and frogged both. I'm happy I only bought three skeins (150 g), so it wasn't a big spend. Well, you can't have it all!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Project Spectrum April

This mornig, at 5:30, Ive been waken up by a bit muffled meowing and I knew what that meant!... My kitty brought me something from outside! I hoped it wasn't alive and I wouldn't have to chase it all over my house as happened several times in the past - birds flying in my kitchen, mice running along the floors, froggs... I got up and went to see what it was. Well, a
bird, a dead bird, to be precise (poor creature, but at least he died quickly without long lasting trauma when being played with by a cat...). I got rid of it, praised my kitty and gave her breakfast (not that she wanted to part with a dead bird so easily...).
But sometimes cat's gift is stronger and survives, and that's what happens next:

Yes, there is a bird in my living room, on my plant! (Just after that picture we opened the windows and it flew away! ^^)

I have finished two bags yesterday, now 8 more to go! ^^ (not counting those in plans...)

These are based on the same trapezoid pattern as Pilgrim's Bag, but I added an ornament - front panel hand painted by myself, with an Art Deco flowers. I have some more panels ready so expect more bags like that.

It's a really gloomy day today... It's raining and the sky is hidden behind the thick layer of grey clouds. I've been tryiong to cheer up myself by tking pictures of orange things around my house (April colour for Project Spectrum - the site has not been working a single day this month, btw...).
This is the corner of my bedroom. I have this bizarre lamp from IKEA, and orange and yellow walls! ^^

My everyday bag placed against the orange wardrobe! ^^

This is cheating I know, but it's almost May (and May is green in PS)! ^^ This is the orange shoebox with my green shoes in it! ^^

These two you've already seen - fabrics for bags!

As far as knitting, I'm still working on my Snow White shawl (around 120 cm - how long should it be? Any suggestions?) and Clapotis. And to be frank, Clapotis turned out rather... boring to knit!... (I share this view with Desi.) I thought that it will be more complicated, and dropping the stitches is fun, but it happens so rarely - every 12 rows... And 107 st is realy long time to knit (although it's across the whole shawl, so in fact it grows considerably.) I've dropped six st now and I can't wait to finish this piece, because I want to see it blocked and wear it, but it's still long way to go.

Yesterday I ordered the knitting book from Japan. No, I don't speak Japanese (apart from several very basic everyday phrases, and knitting terms rarely count as those... ^^), so it will be fun to use! Saartje recommended it as easy to understand because of clear charts and Yuki offered to help me with translation if need be (thank you very much in advance! ^o^), so I'm calm and hopeful. The Expected Ship out Date is 12 May, so I'm waiting patiently. ^^

The weather is a crap so I'm going to visit my friends tonight, have a glass of wine and a good meal. My Snow White shawl is going with me! ^^
I'm leaving you with my kitty sleeping! ^^

Friday, April 28, 2006

Knitted bits and pieces

Thank you very much for your kind words on my jewelery, I'm trying hard to work bravely with all those tools (gas soldering torch, creepy!...) not to spoil the silver sheets I am given and get close to what I have designed on a piece of paper! ^^

Last night on my belly dancing class we were practising new body movement, namely hip drops. And the teacher praised me! Me, me, me!... ^^ It seems I can drop my hips, if anyone needs a hip dropper, I am the man for a job! (well, a woman, to be precise... ^-^) Generally I can see that I have no problems with understanding the body and legs techniques (some girls do and they move totally wrong parts...), my hands are my weak point - they get tired very quickly so I started to work on my muscles - I have a funny device that has two blue handles and a red hinge in the middle, and I squeeze it often during the days with all my strength, I hope it will strengthen my poor shoulders! ^^

I feel a bit anxious, because I've been knitting for a long time now and haven't finished anything in the last few days...
I know that I'm knitting big pieces now (Snow White shawl - 115 cm this morning and will grow in the afternoon! ^^, Clapotis - five stitches dropped), but it's nice to finish a project every four or five days (like socks or mittens, they are quick)! ^^

I've created a word cloud from words on my blog, it's fun!

The weather is getting worse today, the sun is behind the clouds and it's getting noticeably colder. This coming weekend we were supposed to go for a medieval event organised by the group of reenactors who are our friends, but unfortunately my husband has a telephone duty at work which means he has to stay within the distance of max 30 minutes from the city if anything happens to the web servers... But, as I've seen the weather forecast, it will be raining continously till Tuesday, and it'll be cold and windy! So, maybe it's better we are not going. ^^ I planned a picnic for Wednesday in a park close to our district (I've already wrote that 1st and 3rd May are Holidays in Poland, so many people take 2nd May free and spend 5 days away), a real picnic with a blanket to sit on, boiled eggs, grilled chicken, cucumbers, orange juice and games! We'll see about the weather, though.

I totally forgot to show you this one: on Saturday I made a cute little swatch (6x6 cm) - this is the green mohair yarn from my frogged green turtleneck sweater and the pattern comes from a Polish knitting magazine I've bought lately (they are supposed to be two leaves, I hope it's visible).

Maybe I'll combine it with some other more lacy pattern and knit another shawl (use it as a border)? I shall see.

I was thinking about the Tote Exchange last night, namely about the following issue: we can send to our exchange pal some sweets and other gooddies prior to the bag itself. I, of course, have the whole list of such gooddies already, some specific to my country and I hope it will be fun and pleasure to receive them, but how can I send them to her without revealing my address on the envelope? I can't. And if I do this, she will immediately know, which person from the list is her secret pal, because I am the only one in this exchange from Poland, and secret won't be a secret anymore! Well, in this case I'll just pack it all together with a finished bag and send in one big parcel somewhere in June. ^^ I've picked the pattern and next week I'm going yarn shopping (for this and other projects). I can feel I'll be knitting those in pair, because I really like the pattern myself - I'll see how it turns out in reality.

Another knitted bag - Felted Bowling Bag (my May Bag Me KAL project) - will be my FIRST EVER felted product.
Okay, my first ever felted ON PURPOSE product. ^^ Because I happened to shrink my favourite Winter gloves in the washing machine some time ago... I loved them and just didn't think straight when I put them to wash, well... They got sooooo tiny!...

Enough said, off to knitting! ^^

FREE PATTERNS - Show White Shawl

Snow White Shawl
Started: 11th April
Finished: 30th April
Size: 132 cm x 73 cm
Yarn: 220 g of white mohair blend from old stash (no paper band on the skein so no idea of details)
Needles: US 6 / 4 mm
Notes: It has 282 rows. The pattern is very easy to memorise, so I soon after starting knitted without looking at the chart.
(black shadow underneath is my chair)


What you need:
- mohair, lace weight
- needles size 4/US 6

The pattern is worked upon the repeats of 8 stitches.

CO 108 st.

Beginning: Knit 6 rows.

R1: k6, [k, yo, k, k, sl 2, k, psso, k, k, yo] - repeat 12 times, k6
R2: k6, p till last 6 st, k6
R3: k6, [k, k, yo, k, sl 2, k, psso, k, yo, k] - repeat 12 times, k6
R4: k6, p till last 6 st, k6
R5: k6, [k, k, k, yo, sl 2, k, psso, yo, k, k] - repeat 12 times, k6
R6: k6, p till last 6 st, k6

Repeat these six rows throughout the whole shawl.

Finishing: Knit 6 rows.

Weave in all the ends, block and enjoy! ^^

Thursday, April 27, 2006

No knitting content

I don't think I mentioned it but since September I've been attending a jeweler's course. (I've been doing lots of jewelery up till then but only using wire and beads, and I wanted to learn how to make REAL jewelery ^^). Twice a week I'm learning how to make jewelery out of silver, copper or brass, with setting stones and other techniques. I've learned how to solder, how to make a simple ring, how to set different kinds of stones (flat cabochones, triangular zirconium), how to make a brooch clasp, ect.
Let me proudly present my creations (done with the help from a teacher, but according to my projects! ^^):

This is my first ring, it's silver with a silver wire, very simple project but I like the way it turned out!

This is my second ring, soooo complicated (but I wasn't aware of that in the phase of designing...). The base ring is slightly tubular, not straight like the previous one, and the silver butterflies are soldered one be one, and then painted with a mixture of a special resin glue and oil paints.

My third project - leaf brooch. It's copper, with silver wire, it's been punched with a hammer to get that texture and then the leaves have been curled a bit towards the central line.
This is the reason of my two-month pause in doing anything with my right hand - almost 5 hours of sawing through the copper plate 1 mm thick to achieve the shape of a acacia leaf hurt my sinew, and sent me into the hand stiffener and for rehabilitation!...
It's big, about 15 cm long.

My latest project - bat necklace (okay, it is a necklace, you must believe me, we couldn't finish it last night because my teacher didn't have any neclace clasps, so we will add the cord later.) It is a silver wire soldered together, with a milky amber set in the silver frame. It's also quite big, it's almost 20 cm long and 10 cm high.

The next projest is a ring made of silver, with a cube of a stone called "piryt" (I have no idea what's the English name for it, but it's a very hard, dark grey stone, a bit shiny). I have shaped the ring already, now I have to make two faux rivets, glue-in the stone and polish the whole thing (which will happen in two weeks time, because next week there is a Bank Holiday in Poland and the classes has been cancelled).

When the course is finished in June, I'll have to leave three pieces I'd made for display purposes in the class, but I'll be allowed to buy out the other pieces for the prices of the material (which will be very cheap). I'm very anxious what the teacher decides to keep, I'd love to have my butterflies ring! ^^ But I still have two months to make more jewelery, so I hope he'll have more to choose from.

Knitting content in the next post I promise! ^-^

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Project Spectrum Postcard Swap

I was coming home from a beauty parlour (feeling renewed for Spring! ^^), and I noticed something in my letterbox. Wow! It was an envelope from my Project Spectrum Postcard Swap pal, Evelyn! I immediately grabbed my knitting needle, size 3 (mind you, knitting needle! ^^) and opened the envelope.
Here's what I found inside:

A beautiful collage of flowers and angel, in yellow and orange, of course! And you probably cannot see it, but the angel is glued onto a painted fabric. Inside I found some wishes, thank you very much, Evelyn, I hope that my postcard gets to you soon! ^-^

I also have an update on Clapotis: I reached the stage when you drop the first stitch!
Frankly speaking, I was a bit hesitant to do it, because, you know, usually when you drop a stitch it is a small disaster for a project, and here I was supposed to do it on purpose!... But then I fought with my prejudice and just ... let it go! ^^
It looks like that:

It was fun and I can't wait to drop the following ones! ^^

(Can you see that I'm taking photos on my balcony? Of course, you can't, you can only see the sunshine, but this is my green table on my balcony. ^^)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The beginnings...

Let me tell you a story of a one poorly knitted item of clothing!

This vest was my first item knitted.
(Okay, I'm not counting the back of a vest my mother made me knit like 15 years ago... She chose the pattern and the yarn herself, and the vest was for me! I knitted the back in plain garter stitch, she did the front in cables. It was the fugliest shade of dark greyish blue I have ever seen!... And it was a disaster from the beginning, because when two people knit the same thing, they put different tension on the yarn - especially such an inexperienced knitter as I was..., so we ended up with a loose soft front and stiff like a cardboard back... I never wore it and that's why my knitting career froze for 16 years!...)

So, this green-brown vest was the first thing I ever knitted myself.

- yarn "Velluto light"50% acrylic, 50% wool, 100 g - 170 m, 4 skeins, $ 3 per skein (wholesale)
- straight needles 4, circular needle 3,5
- stitches: stockinette and 2X2 ribbing on the neck

One would think that a total knitting rookie like me would have chosen a scarf - a simple rectangle shape, in garter or in stockinette. But not me, of course! I decided I'd knit a sweater with a turtle neck. (yes, a sweater)
What's more, one would choose some easy to knit yarn, with even surface and even thickness throughout the whole skein - but not me, of course again! I saw this fuzzy, thicker-thinner mixed coloured yarn in a shop and bought it immediately for my first knitting project!

Well, what should be done better, if I knitted this one more time?...
Everything! (almost)

On the label of a yarn I read "needles size 4", so I took 4s and WITHOUT SWATCHING I started my project. (swatching is for sissies, I thought!...) And it turned out that I was a tight knitter and I should have taken 5s or 6s, because the final result was a dense fabric. It doesn't look that bad, but it could be a bit looser and I would have some more yarn left (I finished 4 skeins till the last cm! That's why my sweater ended up as a vest...).
I started without the rib, so the stockinette curls up like crazy. I even wanted to add the ribbing after I'd finish the vest, but I knitted up all the yarn supplies I had, (and I bought 4 last skeins on sale, so I couldn't just go and buy some more).
I tried to increase/decrease rows for armpits and neckline, basing my efforts on some directions for some other sweater in a knitting magazine, but I didn't grasp the idea correctly and it's very uneven (The same goes for the "opening" below the neck... which, btw, I started too high, it should be a bit lower.)
Shoulder slants are too steep, because it was done totally intuitively - you shouldn't do that!
There is no waist line accented, I just knitted staight line all the way up.
The front looks a bit different than the back. Why? Because while making the back I was purling the normal way, but then my mother showed me purling through the back loop and she said that's the easier way to purl (she didn't know the difference between 'p' and 'p tbl' and 'k' and 'k tbl', how on earth did she knit all those years?!...), so I used this stitch on the front.

With all those bad points, it's surprisingly nice and comfortable, and I wore it last Winter very often! ^^ But don't try this at home!


I read about the idea of "I'm fit and I knit" on Kimberly's blog today and I decided to grab the button and put it on my blog immediately!

Let me tell you about my fitness activities so far...


Well, that's how it was up till this Spring (really, I hated ANY kind of sport, well, maybe chess was a choice for me... ). I was known as the one who totally hates sports (although I did go to a swimming pool once or twice a year, or went for a bike trip, not a very long one...). I wonder how on earth I managed not to grow big and fat, with all those pasta dishes and cakes I love and eat a lot!...

But this Spring I finally decided it's time to move my body! ^^
I started bellydance classes and Hindu dancing classes (the latter I gave up, for reasons that can be see here.) After two months of belly dancing I can see that my level of fitness improved a lot! ^^ I tend to keep my posture straight most of the time, pushing the rib cage forward, which not only is very good for your spine, but also makes you look better! ^^ I started to walk like the Arabic women do - doing a small hip sways, which also helps the spine to relax, unlike our Western way of taking hard steps that is not very healthy for the joints and a spine. And my biggest achievement ^^ - a couple of days ago my husband looked at my thighs when I got up in the morning and was getting out of bed in full light, and he said that he can clearly see that my cellulitis got smaller! (*^-^*) Such words are worth every minute of pain in the gym! Bikini, here I come! ^^

Under the sea of plans

Yes, I'm still making bags, if anyone asks... I counted them yesterday - I'm making 10 bags at a time, so when I finish them all... there will be a lot to photograph and show you (of course, I won't keep them all for myself, I'll be selling them).

My Snow White shawl is growing, it's 102 cm this morning (the photo was taken yesterday morning, when it was 90 cm long), and I started to wonder, how long should it be? Any suggestions? Because it seems I can keep on going with this pattern until the end of the yarn ball (and it's still quite a while till it happens). I got so familiar with this pattern that my average knitting time has shrunk from 35 minutes per one motive (6 rows) to 20 minutes per one motive.
Somebody, stop me! ^-^

My Clapotis is also growing (although very slowly because of that multi-thread yarn...). I wasn't sure if I'm doing it right so I even checked the archives of the Clapotis KO KAL, but it seems that it should look like that on this stage - just a few more rows and I'll start dropping the stitches (I can't wait!).


I decided to list my near future projects, so I can have them in one place and check what's done and what's not.
So, in the next two months I'll be working on the following projects:
- Snow White shawl - not much to knit, I think I'll finish it in 5 - 8 days,
- Clapotis - still lots to be done, in progress,
- Tote Exchange project for my secret pal - I know her preferences, so I'm considering the pattern and colour choice now, I have some vague notion of what to knit but I must write down a pattern, I'm very excited because it'll be my first international bag swap ever!
- knitted bag for Bag Me KAL - I've just joined this KAL and I'm waiting for the May assignment, I'm very anxious and excited, since the May assignment will be a contest with a prize at the end! (but I'm doing it for the love of bags, not for the award, of course! ^^)
- I joined Poncho KAL - and I'm going to knit the poncho you've seen in red and black, but in green probably, but not according to the original pattern by Christine , but to my version of this. (In the orginal version you end up with a decrease lines directly on the shoulder blades, and I tried to "move" them on the central part of the shoulders, we'll see how it goes.)
- I also want to knit Twisted Float Shrug by Annie Modesitt, but still desperately trying to get the pattern. I wrote to Vougue Knitting in the USA, but they didn't bother to answer, I'm trying the UK branch today. Wish me luck! ^^
- Till 22nd May I have to finish the embroidered bands for my husband's Russian caftan - we are going for a medieval event then, so I'm starting it soon to be ready in time!
- Also numerous bags - I decided to get rid of the stash fabric I collected over the years, and what is the better way to do it than to sew bags (or skirts, I'll see! ^^).
- And I have some stash fabric devoted to summer clothing for me, inspired by the Gudrun Sjoden's designs.

Seems like a lot?
I'm sure I'm going to add more to it! (*^-^*)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

I got it too!

Yes, I've caught it like many humble and noble knitters before!...

I've got Clapotis!

In fact, I've got a few centimetres up till now, but it's growing! (I told you that I'd cast on for a new project soon!... ^^)
I started last night and slowly progressing. Why slowly? Because this new cotton yarn of mine is a real pain in the backside to work with! >< It consists of about 12 very thin threads and they split like crazy, so I have to be very careful while operating the needles (After some more swatching I chose size 3 eventually). But I'm pleased with the result and I cannot wait till I get to the dropped stitch rows (still long way to go, especially because I ran out of markers so this project will have to wait till Monday when I go and buy more of them!).
I still have no idea how the dropped stitch rows are supposed to be knitted...

Now, off to my neglected Snow White shawl! ^^

Friday, April 21, 2006

Bag-o-rama, prologue

WARNING! This post is bag-heavy! ^^

It is the prologue to a real bag-o-rama, that can be expected next week! ^^
Today let me show you three bags I made some time ago and two I have finished today.

First, there is a "Pilgrim's Bag" based on a pattern of a XIII-th c. bag carried by pilgrims to the Holy Land. As I mentioned before in one of the posts, I am a member of the historical reenactement society and we recreate two eras: X-XII c. Scandinavia and Russia and XIII c. Poland, and I sewn this bag for my XIII c costume. It's made by hand, out of off-white cotton and maroon linnen, embroidery on the handle done with cotton floss, tassels are linnen. First picture shows you my whole XIII c. outfit (blue wool dress with cotton underlining and embroidered linnen bands, all sewn and embroidered by hand) with unfinished bag (no embroidery on the handle). Later I finished it! ^^

Then, two everyday bags:
"Provancal Dream" - this one was made to accompany the skirt I've made of the beautiful Provancal cotton (second-hand shop treasure! ^^) . You can see the inside of the bag - there is a pocket there. I found the pattern somewhere on the Web.
I still haven't finished it though... can you see the safety pins keeping the handle and the bag together?... Shame on me! I'll finish this bag next week while sewing all the new ones!

"Jacquard Surprise" - This one was sewn to match the coat and hat I made of the beautiful flowery jacquard. I like this outfit very much, it makes me feel very elegant and vintage! ^^
The bag is my own design, lined with ecru fabric, it's closed with a beautiful rose-pink zipper and I put rubber pipes into the handles to make them stiff.

Now, off to the new creations! ^^
"Blue Bubbles" - it's the shape of a pilgrim's bag, the outer fabric is a very soft thick flanela, lining is a textured emerald green cotton. I put white lace on the handle. This shape and size is very comfortable to use everyday, for A4 notebooks, for example.
Or a pair of needles and a skein of yarn... ^^

"Black Widow" - the second pictue show the beautifully patterned fabric! ^^ The lining is a dark blue cotton with golden acantus prints. I sewn two white velvet bands on the front panel. Another roomy bag for knitting tools! (or books, I always carry books with me)

That's all for today, but lots more bags are on the way. I have many bags started, with bits and pieces done, and some parts to be finished, so when I sit at the sewing machine (which will probably happen on Monday) , I'll finish another bunch of them at one go! ^^

I have also sewn two skirts this week (I'll be selling them).
The first one is called "Gothic Lolita Rabu Rabu", it's made of cotton, with beautiful white heart-shaped lace. I even found a heart-shaped red button for it! ^^
The other is just a plain thick black cotton, with a separate piece that sits tightly on hips and the unevenly hemmed lowerpart, that looks like it's unsewn, with pieces of threads sticking out, but it really is, it's just the way this design works! ^^

I've also done some swatching with my new cotton yarn that arrived this morning (*^-^*).
This swatch has been done on needles 2/US 0. I think it's a bit too dense. It's 24 st x 40 rows = 4 in.
This swatch has been done on needles 3,5/US 4. I like it more and I think I'll knit with these needles. Or maybe I'll try some size in between, like 2,75 or 3.
It's 24 st x 28 rows = 4 in.

And last, but not least, my Snow White shawl! ^^ 69 cm today (and growing...).

And I bought another Polish knitting magazine this afternoon and found there some interesting lace patterns... They are shown on sweaters, but hey, who can stop me from using them in the shawl projects!... >^-^<

Thursday, April 20, 2006

To buy or not to buy...

I've been thinking about the possible savings to my home budget lately. Look at my monthly magazine shopping for example: I buy four magazines, three about fashion: "Elle", "Your Style" and "Avanti", and one with many interesting articles about art, life, body and soul, ect. called "The Mirror". The last one stays definitely, but what about the first three?
I pay $8 for three magazines with lots of pictures of movie stars wearing expensive designer clothing, models wearing expensive designer clothing and millions of new expensive cosmetics advertisements. Do I buy them? No. Do I even intend to buy them? Never. Do I feel better by just looking at them? No. Are there any interesting articles in those three magazines, about anything that interests me? No. I just flip the pages and eventually throw them away. They even make me laugh because... who, on earth, change the entire wardrobe each season?... And who says that something is trendy and something is passe?... That's ridiculous!
So, why do I spend my money on them?...
For $8 I can have two 100g skeins of beautiful wool from my LYS! ^^
So, my first saving starting in May: do not buy magazines you don't read! $8 stays in my pocket! (*^-^*)
I know it's not much, but when you look for small amounts to be saved suddenly they sum up into quite a substantial number!

I found this vest in "Elle" magazine today (one thing that caught my interest in this magazine...) and decided that I would like to knit one for me. Brown is totally not my colour, but I like the shape of this vest and I'm going to look for the pattern, or maybe I may try and design it myself. ^^

BTW, my Snow White shawl measures 64 cm! ^^
I am also sewing like crazy (skirts and bags), photos tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Bags on the way!

There's a photo of wool at the end of this post! ^^

I've just received (took out of my letterbox) a brand new Summer edition of Gudrun Sjoden's fashion. OMG!!! I love love love her designs and I would buy them in bulks (if only I could afford them!...). She uses only natural fabrics - silks, cottons, wools, bases her projects on folk designs - lots of prints, embroideries and colours! Go check her website, it's worth it!!!
And now I'm off to bake a chocolate cake, yummy!... ^^

I am evil!
I bought some yarn today!...
Although it was a bargain (it always is, ne?... ^^). I bought on-line some 100% cotton of a limited edition - two colour mixes: different shades of pink/fuchsia/violet and green with pink and yellow rays.

I want to knit Clapotis out of the first one, and a pair of socks of what's left, and socks out of the second one. It should arrive later this week.

BTW, SnowWhite shawl - 52 cm! ^^


I finally got myself to sewing - I finished a skirt today! ^^ In fact, first, I totally forgot about that skirt, and second, it was almost finished, but needed a hem to be done, but anyway - I FINISHED it! ^-^
One procrastinated project down, millions still to go.

I'm also sewing bags today. I dug out all the bags I cut out of different fabrics - they usually need lining and a zipper or a magnet.

I also feel the urge to finish the skirts for my friend Sylwia - she asked me last Autumn to sew some skirts of the fabrics she gave me, and it's Springtime so I feel a bit ashamed and I'm going to finish them soon! One is light green, one is light pink, there is a dark blue one and the black one. Photos soon!


I told you there'd be wool! ^-^
Two years ago we went to Borre in Norway for a Viking market and I took this photo of a beautiful 100% wool, hand spun and dyed, about 80 m/skein.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Snow White shawl

I somehow survived yesterday's family-visiting-and-eating... ^^
Although when we got back home at 22:00, I just had a cup of tea, knitted two (exactly: two) rows of my Snow White shawl and decided it's definitely time to go to sleep.
But, the good point of yesterday was a gift from my aunt Basia - she gave me about 10 pairs of different knitting needles she doesn't use anymore, including sock dpns size 2/US 0! ^-^

Talking about my shawl, the world is so small... I wanted to give you the pattern for my Snow White shawl (which is constantly growing, of course! ^^ I have 42 cm.) - I found it in some old Polish knitting magazine. But it seems the same pattern can be found here, under the name of a Fishtail Lace Scarf. ^^

Anyway, mine goes as follows (the pattern is framed with garter stitches):

What you need:
- mohair, lace weight
- needles size 4/US 6

The pattern is worked upon the repeats of 8 stitches.
CO 108 st.

Knit 6 rows.

R1: k6, [k, yo, k, k, sl 2, k, psso, k, k, yo] - repeat 12 times, k6
R2: k6, p till last 6 st, k6
R3: k6, [k, k, yo, k, sl 2, k, psso, k, yo, k] - repeat 12 times, k6
R4: k6, p till last 6 st, k6
R5: k6, [k, k, k, yo, sl 2, k, psso, yo, k, k] - repeat 12 times, k6
R6: k6, p till last 6 st, k6

Repeat these six rows throughout the whole shawl.

Knit 6 rows.

Weave in all the ends, block and enjoy! ^^


More news: I frogged the piece of light green sweater today.
Yes, I have.
It's called "Mistakes of the beginner knitter", also known as "The Wrong Assumptions".
I started to think about the project and looked carefully at the directions in a magazine. I was supposed to use the yarn sport weight 124m/50g. I didn't. I used the fingering weight 260m/50g. I was supposed to knit on needles 3,5. I didn't. I used needles 2/US 0.
But, I was wise enough to count the stitches and adjust their number to reach the required gauge, so I cast on 120 st instead of 90 st, and I thought that it would be enough to have the right size of a sweater in the end.
I was wrong, of course!
Because it's not enough to cast on more stitches. When you use thinner yarn and smaller needles, the stitches are just smaller, so you have to knit more rows and, in case of a sweater, which is shaped to fit the curves of a body, you have to adjust all the increases/decreses of stitches as well. And I cannot do this, I can only follow the pattern (at least I'm not capable of doing adjustments on such complicated raglan pattern).
So, I frogged the piece of 3x3 rib and now I have 200g (1120 m) of light green fingering mohair free to be transformed into something else.
Lace shawl, maybe?... (*^-^*)

I was browsing today and added some knitting books to my wishlist (they'll have to wait till the payday, as most of the things I want to buy, I guess...). I added Nancy Bush's sock books, Vintage knitting patterns, three Poncho patterns books, Vogue Knitting subscription - I wrote directly to the publisher to order it but they haven't answered for over a week now...
I am also going to be very brave and order some knitting books in Japanese from - Sartje says the charts published in the books are easy to read so I really do not need to speak Japanese, so I'm going to give it a try... ^-^

I feel a bit uneasy, because I have only two projects on the needles now - my for-the-next-Winter-checkered scarf and the Snow White shawl. So don't be surprised if I cast on for something new. ^^

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Christmas preparations ^^

I've added 100 things about me, just in case you would like to get to know me better. ^^

I know it's WAY too soon to think about the Christmas presents, but I already started to make plans for this year's knitted gifts list. I may change it many times on the way but at least I'll be prepared! (Me, being the Queen of Procrastination, should really start in April if I don't want to keep running on 24th Dec and buying last minute crap...).
I wanted to knit for my beloved ones last year but I had this serious right hand injury during my jewelery class (sawing a plate of copper for three hours hurt my sinew and I wore stiffener on the right palm and took lots of laser sessions to heal it), so I even had to give up knitting (and mostly all the things that you perform with your right hand...) at the beginning of December for over two months.
So, this year I'm definitely knitting for Christmas! Well, if I start now, I'll be sure to stock up all the items BEFORE I get another brilliant idea of hurting my hand in some interesting way... ^^

So, I made a list on the sidebar and I put there proposed gifts for three people so far:
* my father-in-law - fingerless gloves, and I may add some funny scarf or hat,
* my mother-in-law I (Yes, I have two of them! (Because Robert's parents are divorced and father has a second wife.) And both are really cool. ^^ This one is my husband's mother) - Feather and Fan shawl - as I like knitting lace patterns and I think she'll like it,
* my mother-in-law II - Clapotis - as I read on many blogs, people either knit this like crazy or laugh at the name of it, but I think it'll fit perfectly with the young nature of my mum-in-law II (she's 40, and I'm 31, that's funny! ^^)
More to come as soon as my knitting skills catch up with some new challenging projects.

My SnowWhite shawl is growing constantly. I have already 30 cm/12 in.
I made a mistake last night - I somehow managed to loose one stitch, I probably forgot one YO, but I found out two full rows later, so I decided not to frogg it. I know I probably should have corrected it but I couldn't make myself do it, and in fact it's hardly visible at all. It happened in a place where I had to slip two stitches (in this case I had only one stitch left to slip), then knit one st and pass those two over it. So, I slipped one, knitted one and passed one. And you would have to look really closely and with a magnifying glass to find it. ^^

I should switch to circulars because the shawl is getting heavy.

And I suddenly thought about finishing my green mohair sweater (although I don't like the way the turtleneck looks here, I may change it into 3x3rib).
Because my imagination showed me the picture of a beautiful green lace shawl!... And I need to finish the sweater first so I know how much of this gorgeous light green yarn is left. I'm getting lace-crazy!...

Also, my husband decided he doesn't want a 2-metre white scarf on needles size 2/US 0 he wanted before (he's really lucky I'm not in the middle of knitting it!... At least his explanation is fully satisfying: It's too much work for me compared with the amount of time he'll wear it, so I'd better devote this time to knitting something more useful for me. That's why I love him! ^^). But we also talked about black sweater for him, so as soon as the payday comes (meaning: in two weeks time...) I'm going to a yarn wholesaler to buy:
- black bulky wool for Robert's sweater
- copper brown worsted for my Bare Shoulders sweater (which I'm going to call "Swan Neck", since it hasn't got any name in the magazine)
- orangy copper fingering for Clapotis for me (just crossed my mind... I told you I get bored easily and just have to have several projects on the needles!)
We'll see how it goes (that is, what is really available).

Happy Easter to everyone who celebrate this holiday! ^^
Please keep your fingers crossed for me tomorrow because I'm going to go through the very heavy ordeal - whole day of Easter family visiting!!! (Breakfast at my parents', lunch at Robert's mother's, and dinner at his father's!...) And you know what that means - everybody wants you to spend most of your time at theirs, eat all that they bought/prepared/put on a table, enjoy and entertain!... Have mercy!...

I'll leave you with my cat. ^^
Barbie caught red-handed while trying to help with my knitting (and plotting to tuck the green pen under the sofa, like she did the day before!...)
Getting ready to run for her life...

What she of course did!

And finished in Robert's arms. Cat is not as happy as he is! ^^