Feeling Loved; Day 7

It started off really, really sucky, but the day really turned around and I ended up really enjoying myself.  This morning at 4.30am we waved goodbye to The Boyfriend as he went off through the international departures gate.  Destination; Rome.  Eventually… London.  For two years.  Two years.

That’s literally the other side of the planet.  12 hour time difference.  Northern hemisphere to my southern hemisphere.

And it sucks.

But all is not lost, and wallowing does not help!  So, I have 3 awesome, positive things to focus on instead;

  1. I don’t have a lot of friends, but the friends I do have are amazing, loving, totally-there-for-me people.  Quality over quantity, people!  I love them dearly.
  2. Phone calls with my mum, over a glass of wine, on a cold rainy evening.  Comforting and good for the soul.
  3. Dyeing yarn makes me smile.  Tonight I dyed some yarn in greens and browns for a handsome young man’s woollen sweater (and cast on for his little brother’s cardigan while the yarn dries!).

(For those wondering what happened to Day 6, I briefly mentioned in my last post that I wouldn’t be posting.  It was my last day with The Boyfriend, so he got all my attention.  You know, priorities)

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Smells Delicious; Day 4

Today’s 3 things are easy;

  1. My bathroom is squeaky clean and shiny to boot.  While the cleaning wasn’t exactly a highlight… there’s something about a job well done that feels really good.

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  2. I baked bread today.  And it makes my apartment smell amazing.  The kind of amazing that makes your eyes roll to the back of your head and your jaw jut out as you say it. It was delicious, too.  So tasty.
  3. I released my sock pattern on Ravelry; the Fidget Socks – and it’s a free pattern.  If you’re interested, you can download it here.

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All round, it was a really, really productive day.

On My Needles: Looking Back

A little while ago I posted about a cardigan I was looking forward to cast on for myself, using my own hand dyed yarn (you can see the post here).  Since finishing my Drachenfels, I have cast on and I’m going great guns!

Working in DK weight yarn is a great change – I work most of my projects in fingering weight – so the knitted fabric grows quickly and the pattern is interesting enough to entice biscuit logic.  You know, ‘oh, just one more won’t hurt’.

IMG_7870My gauge swatch showed what I’ve learned to expect from my knitting – I am a relatively ‘loose’ knitter, so I dropped down a needle size from what was in the pattern and dropped down a size.  From medium to small.  The thought was terrifying, but I had to have faith that the maths would not lie.

Was it the right decision?  I’m still not entirely sure.

Being a seamless pattern, I’ve been able to try it on as I go.  I think I’ll be okay in the bust because I added some extra stitches on those rows (I would’ve had to on the M size if I’d gotten gauge, too), and I’ve added a few for the hips too (what can I say?  I gots the curves).

The back worries me a little, though.  The logical part of my brain says that it’s fine, and it just looks bad when I try it on because the stockinette stitch is rolling up on itself and the button band isn’t on there yet.  Makes sense.  But, the emotional knitter in me just doesn’t know.  This cardigan is so close to being my best fitting garment yet, I just don’t want to jinx it.

The pattern itself is a joy to knit.  Looking Back by Joji Locatelli.  I am loving it.  The pattern document is clear, and well presented – I haven’t had any questions that weren’t answered by reading a few rows ahead.

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The lace pattern makes me smile.  There’s no simpler way to put it – I love how easily memorised it is, how pretty it is, and how it makes me look far more talented than I am when it comes to lace.  The large lace panel down the front, surrounded by stockinette, is really impressive.

I was a little worried that the colour variations in the yarn would detract from the lace pattern, which really should be the star of the garment, but it doesn’t look too bad.  The real test will come when the cardigan is finished and there is sleeve patterning, too.

So, watch this space!

Upcoming Project: Looking Forward on my Looking Back

Once my Drachenfels is off the needles, I’m casting on my next sweater project; Looking Back by Joji Locatelli.  This is a seamless cardigan that buttons up down the back and has a lace panel down the front.

I’ve never knit one of Joji’s patterns before, but I hear good things.  I’ve had a read of the pattern, and I think it’s going to be a good mix of thinking and mindless stockinette knitting.  Perfect.

I wanted to extend my dyeing experience, too.  So last weekend I did some dyeing.  A sweater load of dyeing!

And I’m really happy with the results:IMG_7816

An experiment of greens!  These are bright, deep colours which hopefully won’t pool on the sweater.

There’s 600g of this yarn – DK weight.  I should have plenty left over, so I can play around with shifting the place of the skein I’m working from if pooling becomes an issue.

Like most hand-dyed yarn, there’s a bit of variation between the skeins (there’s 3 of 200g each), so I will be alternating skeins.

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This was my first attempt at using powdered acid dyes – until now I’ve just been using food colouring – which was a pretty ballsy move… I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I hadn’t liked the results.  I’ll be doing some more single-skein experiments at some point so I can get wild with the colour experiments.  Because socks in any colour are always awesome.

All swatched and ready to cast on.  The yarn is superwash which will be helpful once it’s finished and, you know, life happens.  There’s still quite a bit of dye that runs out when washing, though… so it’ll be a handwash (and black underclothes…) until that’s all gone.

You live and you learn.

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I can’t wait to see how the final cardigan turns out!

First Post Goodness; Obligatory Introductions

Woah, first post.  The pressure is on.  I’ve got to be clever enough that you want to come back… let my personality shine through, so you feel like you can get to know me, and I should probably wow you with some pretty sweet photography skills, too.  You know, for good measure.

I’ll try my best, but promise me you won’t hold your breath – okay?

Who the heck am I?

I’m me.  Amy.

I’ve been blogging over at peonut.com for a while.  It’s my personal blog with a focus on my attempts at healthier living.  That blog’s still going, so if you’re after insight into my personality I recommend you head over there.  Expect sarcasm, disturbingly personal details and – at times – a scary positivity toward ‘fitspo’ that can only be described as ‘fake it ’til you make it’.

I’m much better at knitting than I am at sport, or anything that requires speed with my co-ordination.

Broadly, I’m a twenty-something female in Wellington, New Zealand (in the south Pacific) who has an accounting-based desk job during the day.  I turn to yarn and fibre to feed my creativity in the evening.

I also watch a lot of television.  A lot.  It’s best we don’t talk about that.
(But it also means I have a lot of knitting time, so really… it’s all a solid investment in my personal development and mental health…)

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So what’s going on here?

Right now? Not a lot.

Ultimately, this is intended to be my outlet for yarny adventures that just aren’t suited to my other blog (not all runners want fawn over my hand knits).

What are my ‘yarny adventures’?  At the moment, mostly knitting.  In the short term I also want to get into hand dyeing my own yarn.  And learn to crochet.  And design my own patterns.

Longer term?  I have my eye on weaving (mostly, I just want to weave a scarf… I’m not too fussed beyond that), and ultimately – when I win the lottery – I want to buy a spinning wheel.  I don’t know what kind yet… when I research something I tend to get carried away and my credit card suffers.  I’ll save for one first.

What am you supposed to do with that information?

Read or don’t read, all the power is with you – this blog is really just another creative outlet for me; a place to collate my photos, stories, planning and whims in a way that my Ravelry projects page doesn’t really do.

Sound like something you’re interested in?  Follow along!  And while you’re waiting for the next post, head on over to Ravelry and add me as a friend – I love seeing what other people are up to.

Not so sure?  That’s cool, but try to check in again later – things will keep getting better and better!