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Thursday, 28 March 2019

Finally!

Yes, spring has finally arrived here! it's still not exactly warm, and it looks like the temperature is going down again for the weekend, but even a day or two of milder and even sunny (today) weather is better than what we had before!

My camellia has been flowering for the last two weeks and I love the perfect flowers, even though they don't last very long. my smaller, red flowering variety is always much later! I see buds, but they'll need at least another week or two to open... the downside of those pretty blossoms - they have no scent whatsoever. it's like with some beautiful roses - the more special the flowers the less interesting the scent is - at least quite often... but there are very few insects about anyway - I only saw one bumblebee so far and no bees whatsoever, even though they are usually keen on the muscari flowers I have planted into pots and buckets in front of the house.
of course it hasn't only been gardening and flowers - I've been busy with textile stuff as well. an old project first - I thought I had forgotten to take pix, but I found one after all -  in a folder that I was moving. this is special, not because of the pattern, but because DS borrowed this hat - and lost it on the first outing:(
 
endless colour changes and just as many ends to darn in - and he just looses it after a single day of being worn:( that's not all - he also lost the handspun/handknit hat with reflective yarn in it!:( that finally pushed me over the edge - from now on it's only cheap bought hats for him, which oddly enough he never looses:( the pattern was a free one from ravelry - but I can't find the link just now. I thought about doing a replacement, but couldn't be bothered to do it all again anyway. given the fact that I am not a hat wearer.... and it's not exactly a very feminine pattern anyway! all sock wool leftovers....
 
 
 
 
 
 
I also finished the double knit harry potter cowl I had planned - and hope that he doesn't loose this as well! it was a good bit more work than the hat and I think I'd be beyond furious... it hasn't been cold enough to wear though - double knit with enough length to wind around the neck twice = quite warm, even on the bicycle:)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
the knitting was straightforward, essentially DK is just like knitting a rib with two colours, I think. the only thing I didn't like was doing the cast-on! I wanted an invisible one, but it is quite loose and twists every way, which makes closing the round quite difficult. eventually (after ripping out 640 sts several times:() I decided to knit the first row straight and only close the round after that.
the cast-on ends have to be darned in anyway, which makes closing the little hole very easy. the end with 640 sts of kitchener wasn't as bad as I thought - and I finished the other, shorter cowl at the same time. it was done with the leftover silk/wool yarn from the previous cowl, same colours, different patterns. on to the "gift" heap with it! I had less than 2 cm of black left after finishing the cowl - talking about playing yarn chicken:)
I also finished a pair of socks (for me), following a pattern of the "silk road socks" book by Hunter Hammersen - 2nd edition. the lace pattern is very simple, but quite effective. I've started another pair with it, in cotton, for the summer... 
 my friend has complained for a while that it's always too cold and windy, she'd like a hood, cowl etc... so I decided that I'd try to put both of them together. the yarn is a handspun merino blend. the make-up is quite simple, a large rectangle, which is put together along the cast-on edge for the hood. a ring knitted in the round for the cowl. attach hood to cowl, add drawstring - et voila, "howl" (hood and cowl:) finished...
the downside is pushing long hair inside it - but there's enough space, so it can be put up and the hood should still fit! I added the drawstring to make the face opening smaller in strong wind, and to bring the cowl part closer to the neck, if it gets very cold...
our textile group has another group project - a charity blanket for a children's hospice. we make granny triangles in bright colours to give a bit of joy - the families keep the blankets as mementos after such a difficult time. 
crocheting the triangles is very simple - the only thing that takes time is darning in the ends. because the pattern is so open, the threads are visible when crocheted in, so they all have to be darned in separately. and the triangles have to be steamed, because they are shaped like a bowl after finishing them:) I finished my batch - I am looking forward to our meeting on saturday to see if we have enough for one blanket - and how much yarn is left to maybe make a second one...  
this is the latest - and nearly last bit of my "favourite things" scarf. I have to finish the very last pattern, which will be the same as on the first bit, because the upper part will form the hood - and I wanted the sides to match where I put them together. still a lot to do though - I have to work the steek - and once that is done I have to knit a border... not sure if I'll line the hood to make it more wind-proof, but I do hope that I won't need the finished project during the summer:) no idea which colour to use for the edge though...
 
of course I need to spin as well - or I'll get very crabby after a few days without!
the plan is to work the hexa hap from Kate Davies' book about haps. I have spun enough lighter yarn to do the full hexagon, but I needed a second colour for the edge! I should have enough with the three skeins (300 g) of natural brown merino, I think. the white on the left is another skein of himalaya fibres with cashmere - and the yellow is merino....
which is in this photo as well - same yarn. these are the first three skeins of yarn for the "chestnut crescent" I want to knit for a friend. not sure if the golden yellow stays - I also spun a naturally dyed lighter yellow silk/wool blend that might be a better match.... most colours are green/blues and berries, but I'll finish all of them first before I decide which yarns I'll use. the hot pink will definitely not be a choice - it's too bright and would smother all the rest...
I've spun up 4 more colours by now plus the sari silk of the last post, which leaves another 3 or 4 100g batches to be finished....plus the knitting of course!
 
 

but I have to finish more of this as well! the deadline to spin and knit for the "rhodion" shawl by Elizabeth Freeman is end of june.... I bought 400 g of this mulberry silk, half of it is spun up now. but I think I'll need at least 300 g to knit the shawl full length - as a birthday present.... winding it into balls is endless - and also fiddly, because the silk is so slippery that the balls tend to fall apart...
 
I am also working on a summer dress for a child - another birthday gift that has to be ready mid-may! the fine denim yarn I tried first didn't look so nice, so I changed over to a medium dark blue - with pink little rose buds at the bottom of the skirt and across the top! the knitting of the skirt is quite boring, but perfect for tv knitting. the rhodion pattern however needs more attention and has a large chart to boost, so no tv while knitting lace.... and now - off into the garden, before the sun is gone again!






4 comments:

DelightedHands said...

Hello! Nice to see all that you have been up to! The cowls are fantastic-I like DK also but it is always a bit of an exercise to CO and BO!
Your spinning is always beautiful; the little girls' dress sounds so pretty!
The hat loss is too bad-no wonder it is a bit of a hesitation to knit labor intensive projects for someone who can lose them so easily! How well I know this! (my first real wool cabled mittens were knit for a niece who lost them on the bus on the first wear! I was sick about it!)

Woolly Bits said...

Cindy - yes, I agree - DK is fun, the CO not so much:) Kitchener to close is ok after doing the first 20 sts or so; once I get my rhythm again I'm fine... I still want to do a coat for myself, but there are always so many other things to do that I'm probably 94 before I've finished that one:)
and I know that loosing small bits can happen, but when it happens more than once - it looks rather careless to me:( we put so much time and effort into the stuff we make that it can be really disappointing when others care so little:( my only hope is that someone else might be happily wearing that reindeer hat!

Nina said...

I love that spring is there and you have flowers! I have little tiny sprouts of spring bulbs starting to push up, lots of mud and even ice left in areas of my garden. How sad that the gorgeous reindeer had was lost. It was a work of art for sure. The colours you've been spinning up are lively and pretty. They are colours which make me want to spin more.

Leigh said...

He lost the hat?!?!? Oh! that is so sad. I hope whomever found it realizes what a treasure it is. And the cowls! Beautiful!