AND WHAT ABOUT RESOLUTIONS?

Well, my resolutions were kind of thrown out of the window. There was so much I wanted to do and not do (like keeping up with this blog and not buying yarn…) and somehow it’s just not happening.
The blog thing I’m fixing now. The yarn thing will be harder.
So let’s recap quickly on what’s happened in this past month (and some) since my last post:
-I explored The Hague and visited the yarn shop there (again).
-I went to the beach (yes, in winter, yes, the north sea, yes it was windy cold but wonderfully sunny and nice to breath in a little sea breeze…)
-I was in Amsterdam and visited ‘Stephen and Penelope’ and didn’t do much else there.
-I got home and wanted to declutter my apartment and don’t know what else and basically just sat around knitting for a week?
-I might have been to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival… (pft, might. I was there and my backpack was considerably heavier on my way home…)
-There are some finished projects to document for my monthly review – which is now a two month review? Oops.

But in this instant here I’d really like to rave about something entirely else:
The Hedgehog Fiber Yarn Club.
I joined that on a whim while travelling and kind of forgot (or rather I put it out of my mind to quell the guilt at having so willingly ignored one of my resolutions?) I received the shipping notification on Wednesday, it shipped on Thursday and I pulled the package out of my letterbox on Saturday. Say what? While I live in Europe I’m not in the EU which usually makes quite a difference on the package border control. Usually that takes up a day or two or five. And I know that and don’t mind (why be annoyed when there is nothing you can do to change that? No, moving is not an option 😀 ) it feels absolutely luxurious to receive a package so fast and know I’m probably one of the first in that club to see the yarn. So cool.
I’m really excited for the next package and as I am very bad at keeping my resolutions I’m very much looking forward to the A Homespun House Harry Potter Yarn Club I will receive this month. Now I’ll have to weave in some ends and take some photos of my other finished objects so I can share my monthly review. I hope I don’t get too distracted with other things… (I cast on a sock yesterday and I’m just about to finish that, while there was other stuff I wanted to do it’s kind of awesome to say I knit a sock in a day, right?)
-With love, the queen of procrastination. (Prove to that? I wrote this post on the second of April and just forgot to post it… oops?)

p.s. for your enjoyment, a photo of one part of the duo of the cutest bunnys out there:

 

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Ermh yeah, about that.

Well, I wrote my next entry and it seems that it’s never been published. Don’t know what happened there. And anyways, why has it already been a month again?!?

Currently I’m on the ferry to Ireland for a two week roadtrip in a VW Camper Bus (new model, sadly not an old classic one but her name is Francesca and she’s faboulous!) with my sister.

Much has happened and somehow not much at all. I’ve been kind of active with my knitting but haven’t really talked much about that.

I finshed two pairs of socks (one for me and shortys for my sister) and I’m about halfway through the “Find your fade”. I get what a lot of people have said, there’s just a time when you’re done with it and I get it but it’s somewhat also why I enjoy it. After a long day at work when I can’t really concentrate on anything and just want to put my mind to rest but my hands itch to do something more it’s the project I pick up.

What’s next are my father birthday socks and then it’s onwards into uncharted teritory. I’ve got a cabinet full of yarn and I’ll just pick what strikes my fancy. We’ll see. I’d like another garment or maybe I’ll finaly rip the other one back? Or I kind of want to knit a Stephen West pattern and there’s a kit waiting for me at home. Time will tell.

More about my Ireland adventure in another post.

So, what have you planned for your first day here?

Oh.. uhm.. well. For my first day in The Hague? I’m going to Rotterdam.

Luckily nobody asked that and I successfully evaded the question what I planned to see and do in Rotterdam because I only had one goal there: Ja, Wol.

Yarnshop travelling has now taken over most of my travel plans and I really don’t care. I googled yarnshops in the Netherlands and looked at what they had in stock and Ja, Wol seemed like THE stop for me. Because I’ve been wanting a Field Bag for a while now and they stock it. And they’ve got Lettlopi yarn too! Perfect combination, right?
It is a very cute shop with a wonderful selection, you can tell someone took time deciding what they want to stock. My talk with the owner confirmed this later on. She was super nice, we talked quite a bit about caring where your yarn comes from and what yarns you start to use once you progress in your journey as a knitter as well as about only stocking things that are good and are useful to knitters. It was very interesting and I can only imagine how fantastic classes are at her shop. If you’re in the area I highly recommend visiting!

As for me, there were so many wonderful things and at first I wanted to get yarn for the Lesley sweater by Hannah Fettig but then I saw a pattern booklet for the Strokkur by Ysolda Teague so I bought the yarn for that because it was knit in Lettlopi yarn. Mine will be burgundy with the yoke in green and beige (“burnt sugar”). I only later on realized that this would be my second burgundy sweater… Oh well. Seems like that is one of my preferred colours? Never realised that.

Fieldbag wise, I was in for a grey or blue one. Or both to be honest. Turns out they were all out of stock which is too bad but there was one black bag left and that just had my name on it, right? So now I have a pretty black one that will get decorated with buttons and maybe if I come across one I’ll get another colour as well but first I’ll see how much I use the one I have now.

Train knitting and broken needles

I was never much of a travel knitter until I realized how time flies when you knit on a train ride. It’s fantastic and you’re mostly undisturbed as well.

My most recent train adventure was from Hamburg to The Hague, three different trains, about six or seven hours of travelling. I’m really glad that the trains were not late (as is almost a given in Germany) so I was able to make all the connections and it was wonderful weather outside. 

But while train knitting is fantastic and relaxing, it also bears dangers. Dangers that are not necessarily reserved for travelling but have happened to me quite frequently when I’m out and about. Dangers I was unaware of until last April but something that’s happened more often recently. And I don’t know if it’s just me or what but.

Why do I always break my knitting needles? Seriously! I have killed quite a few Knit Pro Symphonies, they’ve mostly broken right at the joint of the wood and the metal – and yes, it’s mostly my fault – but I’ve also killed a Hya Hya cable. Let’s just say my bunnies love yarn and plastic and everything you can chew on. So I’m trying really hard to just be ‘whatever live happens’ and not get angry about it but it’s slowly but surely getting expensive for me on the needle part of knitting. And that was not something I expected!

When I reached The Hague I went and checked into my Airbnb and then checked the way to the next knitting shop. Which I knew was close by. (I had the opening hours saved on my mobile, so I knew they were open till eight on thursdays which was just my luck because I arrived just around six so I did not have to hurry to make it there before closing.

I went to `Cross & Woods’ which was just a five minute walk away. They had a sewing class going on – it looked like fun – and the lady in the shop was super nice.

I did not buy yarn.

WHAT? Yes, I did not buy yarn because I did not have my list with me and the yarn that caught my attention was ‘The Fibre Co.’ and since I’m going to Edinburgh Yarn Festival I’m hesitant to buy something here when I know there will be an even bigger selection there.

But I’ll be going back to the shop while I’m here, this time with my list so I can try and find something project fitting. Because I need to buy yarn responsibly.

Goals and stuff for the next year

In my last post I mentioned that I had knitting goals for this year and that I’d share them. I wanted to share these yesterday but I’ve been fighting with the automatic spellcheck in the WordPress app. Today it seems to accept what I’m typing better but yesterday everything got jumbled up. (I’ve googled where to shut that down or change the language to English but I wasn’t very successfull…)

Why did I want to share these goals yesterday? Because it was my birthday (I share my birthday with Luna – yes, that’s my nerd showing) and I’m the kind of person that starts to think about what I’m doing with my live and where I plan to go in the future. So I’ve got my knitting goals, some stash goals and some general goals. The first two kind of go together and the general goals basically consist of things that irk me and I want to change or stuff that I want to do. So here goes:

My knitting goals for 2017 are:

Knit 12 socks for myself

Have the gift knits ready one month early

Knit something big for at least every quarter of the year (two skeins or more)

Note down what I knit (Project notes, skeins and meterage)


Stash goals for the year:

Only buy yarn while travelling and only for specific projects

Keep track of stash

Use more yarn than I buy (more out than in)
I count the moment of payment as the moment of purchase. (I’m mentioning this because I bought yarn in December and that has not yet arrived…) The while travelling thing is because when I’m somewhere and would have the chance to get awesome yarn that I can’t get at home or would spend a good amount on shipping it’d be a shame not to get it. And yarn is a great souvenir. And there are some pretty great yarn stores I like to visit when I’m travelling.

General goals:

Be neater – I’m a very messy person but I don’t like that at all. Often I don’t really feel at home when there’s a mess so that needs to change.

Be more adventurous and outdoorsy – If it’s a nice day don’t sit at home and think about going out and regret it in the evening when I stayed in. Go out and do something.

Craft more. I’m really into knitting right now but I’d love to do other stuff as well. Looking at you sewing skills wasting away somewhere…

Learn how to make good coffee. I started drinking black coffee last year and I really like it but I’ve yet to master the art of brewing black coffee for myself and actually like it. Mostly it’s too strong or bitter… Practice makes perfect, right?

Get a tattoo. Doing that today. OMG. Can’t believe it. Wow. This has been strongly influenced by a friend, I’m staying with her right now and when I arrived she went ‘What are you going to do for your birthday? Are you getting a tattoo?’ And I was like ‘Oh.. Uhm. Yes?’ And the rest is history. (Disclaimer: I’ve known what tattoo I want to get for almost ten years and the spot has been decided on four or more years ago. I just never got one or did much of trying to get one because that was the last hurdle to take. She knows this. My decision was not forced or influenced in any way. Maybe only in the ‘finally do it’ kind of way. But I feel good about that.)
I think that’s it for the goals post. These have been decided on a while ago but putting them out there might make them more permanent? I don’t know.

I’ve already taken steps towards my goals, I have a Yarn tracking spreadsheet where I’ve put in most of the yarn in my stash. Or all of the recent ones that I know and love. And I’ve added those yarns to my Ravelry stash as well.  But there is quite a bit of stash that has not been added to the sheet mostly because I have no idea what the meterage and wool content is. But I’m working on those.
If you want to check out my projects or find me on Ravelry, my username is DajaWinter – I like to talk and am nice (I think) but I’m somewhat awkward with online interactions because I think too much about what the person on the other side might be thinking. Anyways.

Enjoy the sun and happy knitting!

Let’s start a podcast! Or not…

In the beginning of this year I was highly motivated by all the awesome V-Logs swarming around in December to try my hand at podcasting. Just sharing what you’re doing and keeping the stats somewhere. And if you say something in public it has to be true, right? So if I did a podcast and told everyone about the things I wanted to do then surely I’d do them?

So I decided that I’d start a podcast. Can’t be that hard, right?

Well. I thought about the format, the schedule and such and came to the conclusion once per month would be good, for me at least. As I don’t have much free time with daylight when home that seemed reasonable and doable. So at the end of the month, I’d film and keep track of my stats and all. Well, I filmed and it was very rushed because I had to be somewhere and I lost all my words and felt super awkward and I didn’t really know what to say and rambled at the same time. Fail.

 

I haven’t watched the disaster that was my first try whole yet but I don’t think a podcast is going to happen for me, at least not in the foreseeable future.

So what else to do to keep a tab on my stats? Post them to my harshly abandoned blog, that’s what!

 

So, January was a rather dreary month. There was often sunshine in the afternoon but the mornings were grey and the days bitter cold. And because of the cold I spent most of my evenings cuddled up at home knitting. I finished my Christmas cast on – I only knit the cuff in December, the rest was done in January so basically the first pair of socks. I call them my “Getting my Glitz On” socks as I used Voolenvine Yarns on the Blitzed base in the Mooncusser colourway and its super sparkly and pretty. As a pattern I used my vanilla recipe but put in a Fish Lips Kiss Heel and used the “Mercury” pattern by Kim Drotar on the front. But that’s not all on the sock front, I finished another pair of socks that I lovingly called “Obliviate” because I was stress knitting on those to forget all the stuff that was coming up and had to be done and what not. Those were just plain vanilla socks with a Fish Lips Kiss Heel.

I also participated in the “Cozy Shlanket M-Kal “by Mina Philip and finished each clue by the Thursday of the week that it was published. I cast it off on the 25th and blocked it. I’m still waiting for a nice sunny day to maybe take a wilderness shot of it. We’ll see when that will happen.

The one thing I’m most proud of is my finished “The first few falling leaves” by Sylvia McFadden. I’ve cast this on in July and wanted to take it on my September holiday but that didn’t happen. It was my first lace project and in the beginning I was fine until a certain row and that was the row I ripped back four or five times. I put it away and that was that for quite a while. I picked it up again in December but didn’t make much progress because it took up so much concentration. Putting in a bunny load of stitch markers helped me out a lot, otherwise I don’t think I’d be done by now. I’ve done twelve repeats (I think, I’m suddenly not all too sure anymore) and it used up just three rows more than one skein of Malabrigo Lace. It seems small but I think it’s all right. I’ll see after blocking.

So four finished projects in January (the second of February counts as January) two shawls and two socks, I think this was a wonderful start into the New Year.

I’ve written down some knitting goals and all but I think I’ll share those in another post.

If anyone is interested, all mentioned projects can be found on my Ravelry profile. Not all of them have photos of the finished project but I’m working on those.

So woohoo for the first monthly status report on my knitting! (That is kind of horribly late) Maybe someday I’ll record a podcast and think ‘awesome, let’s post that!’ until then I’ll keep practicing.

 

Stay warm and knitty

Starting this blog…

Starting this blog I thought I’d just post about my yarn adventures, visits to yarn shops and stuff like that.

But I don’t actually visit all that many yarn shops. And as I work full time my knitting isn’t as fast as I’d like it to be. But right now, knitting is what keeps me going.

Starting this blog, I never intended to write rambling posts about what I’m doing, how I’m feeling what I ate that day or what sadness is eating at me. But somehow, that’s a way to remember the good days, the bad days and everything in between. And with the fast pace life is progressing, the year almost over again I have to cling to something. I need something to look back to and think ‘yes, that happened and that’s how I felt’ and not ‘I think that’s how I felt when something like that happened’.

Starting this blog I never thought I’d put something like this here: Tread carefully; this is a sad post about loss and appreciating your friends.

The past few days have been hard, I’ve slouched through my days with a heavy heart and I know it’s the season and the dreary weather. But I also know it’s because last year wasn’t a good one.

There were lots of changes, and I lost someone very dear to my heart. In medicine they say if you grief (are sad, unsocial, unmotivated, lose weight…) for longer than two weeks, you’re probably suffering from depression. A year on and there’s still a heavy weight on my heart and I don’t think it will ever go away.

I hope it will never go away.

Yes, it’s gotten easier and I’m not sad all the time but is the expectation really, that after two weeks it’s as if a person you loved dearly wasn’t just ripped from life? As if the person didn’t exist in the first place? That is completely ridiculous!

I want to remember my friend. Her laugh. Her sadness. Her stuttering when she tried to explain something we purposely misunderstood. I want to be sad thinking about what she missed. I want to see places in the world and think about how she would have loved that place. Always with a fondness in my heart. Certainly, linked with sadness but enjoying my life because there were so many things she wanted to do but did not get the chance to experience.

Two weeks ago we celebrated her birthday. She’d have turned 29 this year. There probably would have been jokes about how we’re looking forward to celebrating her 29th birthday again next year. Instead there were murmurs of memories, whispers of wishes.

L we love you and we remember you. I hope wherever you are is grand and you get to pity us for scrambling around on earth without you.

I’m not suffering from depression, I’m honouring a friend’s memory by remembering her and letting myself be sad for having lost someone amazing. And regretting not having told her enough how amazing she was. Feelings are not something we should hide. Not being able to smile shouldn’t be something that’s frowned upon.

I don’t have to feel bad for being sad. I don’t have to be embarrassed to still sit here and cry while writing this. I am proud to have known her and I am proud to admit that no, it’s not okay that she’s gone.

To everyone out there, appreciate the people around you and tell them how you feel about them and how fantastic they are.

 

 

P.s. Youtube knows my mood – sad music is my tune right now…

London Calling

loop-london

It’s been a while since I’ve been to London. I used to visit quite frequently but recently I’ve decided I wanted to explore other ‘new’ places. (As I love travelling…)

But when my best friend – who now lives in Hamburg just about an eight hour train ride away from me* – asked me if I’d join her in London for the “Welcome to Night Vale” show I just couldn’t refuse. At first we wanted to go to the Brighton show – we love Brighton – but I wasn’t able to take Friday off and that show was on Friday evening.

So I worked on Friday, caught the evening flight and arrived – two hours delayed – at 2 in the morning at my hostel.

I was beat on Saturday but my inner clock is pretty nasty. Sleeping past 6:30? Psh, in your dreams! I’m seldom able to fall asleep again. I’ve trained myself to idle in bed longer but I’m awake and my brain is working itself silly…

So I got up, sat myself down in Starbucks and knit a bit. I was there for more than an hour, and I have to say it was a very peaceful Saturday morning considering I was in the heart of London. I met up with my friend at 10; we got breakfast together and then walked through Covent Garden which is cute and luckily not too busy if you are there early. After Covent Garden we went to Loop London.

I’ve heard so much about that shop and I’ve ordered online twice from them so I really wanted to go there and my friend agreed to come with me even though she’s not a knitter. Her comment on Loop was “you only choose that yarn shop because it’s got a bunny in the logo, right?” which is somewhat accurate. If I hadn’t heard so much about Loop that definitely would have been a reason for me to go there.

I have to admit, I was somewhat overwhelmed, there’s just so much to look at! And what I really wanted to get was yarn for a sweater (and I decided I’d actually use the yarn it was designed with) but then I didn’t really like that yarn which was very disappointing. The look and structure just wasn’t what I expected. So I knew I wanted to knit a sweater but had no pattern or yarn in mind. Which is quite a bad combination paired with a huge selection of all the different yarns!

I ended up buying Madeline Tosh yarn in a pretty grey with crazy colour speckles on it. I really wanted to get yarn I never used before but I just couldn’t decide and those speckles caught my eye. When I asked how much of it they had left and the answer was ‘those skeins and then the colourway is discontinued’ I was sold.

I also bought two patterns, the book “Journey: A Collaboration”, Sock Blockers, Plane Scissors, a Hare Broche and spent quite the amount of money there. After the night I’d had thought I deserve a ‘treat yo self’ moment.

The show was fantastic, so so so many people! And then Sunday was exhausting. I spent more than four hours in different coffee shops just because I was so tired. And I was so excited for my bed too! And then when I arrived at the airport the screen said the worst thing possible: delayed.

I spent some more time at Starbucks and in the end the one hour delay turned into three which I think is absolutely ridiculous! When I got home I just fed the bunnies and fell into bed.

 

(* I could fly there too, but the flights are always rather expensive if you book spontaneously, I only took the train once and it was alright, exhausting but alright. Flight time from where I am at to London or Hamburg is about the same, just something over an hour. Living in Central Europe does have its perks…)

 

 

 

 

Yarnisco Part II

 

atelier-yarns-san-franAfter not being able to visit “Greenwich Yarns” I realised how desperate I actually was for yarn, for a new knitting project, for something to do with my hands.

As it wasn’t possible to visit another Yarnshop on Thursday I googled myself silly that night and made a desperate decision. “Atelier Yarns” was fairily close (according to google maps a 30 min walk or a 10 minute busride) and it opens at 11. We had to check out by 12 but I was desperate to make it work. I purchased the pattern from etsy and I was good to go.

I memorized where I needed to go, what bus rout I’d have to take and after breakfast I left my travelling friend and walked there. (I had time to spare, we always got up rather early, I don’t think we ever really adjusted to the local time in San Francisco).

On the way I stopped at a very cute bakery and got myself a cupcake. It was very delicious! (I only bought it so I’d be able to use the loo there but shhh!)

Once at Atelier Yarns I knew I needed fingering weight yarn, about two skeins, a colour I liked and preferably something soft. And if possible a yarn brand I’d never knit with before. I browsed and browsed and as I was on a tight schedule I almost settled for Madeline Tosh but at the last minute I spottet this gorgeous Sweet Georgia Yarn. It’s a silver grey colour and super soft (and as I’ve come to realize it leaves fuzz everywhere!) with Cashmere and silk contents but sadly I’ve misplaced the tag and can’t remember the exact info or colourway name of it. I think I lost the tag on the plane.

I bought the right needles (Clover Circular Bamboo) for the yarn, stitch markers and they let me wind the yarn there. The lady behind the counter was super helpful and tried to help us three knitters at the same time – there were two other ladys in teh shop, one was travelling as well.

I’d have loved to chat more with them all but I almost ran out of the shop and to the bus only to make it to the hotel with time to spare. But I always get very stressed before flights and I’m very often quite unreasonably scared to miss it.

I was a very happy knitter on that plane.

 

The pattern was “Sugarplum Shawl” by Mina Philipp.

Hello again, there!

I’ve been pretty bad with posting but my Yarn and knitting game has been strong, I took a break in July & August but otherwise I’ve been very consistent. I’d love to post some finished projects on here but first I need to photograph those. Also, I’m hoping on tracking my yarn usage. How many skeins I use and how many I buy per month. Or something like that. I’ve started a Yarn Journal (I got a pretty one from Paperchase in London) to track it and I thought I’d update my progress on here at the end of the month. But we’ll see how that goes.

Right now I’m working on a very big scarf for a friend. She’s been telling me since spring that she’d love a really big hand knit scarf and I told her that she’d just have to tell me what pattern she’d  like and I’m game. We finally got organized and I cast on two weeks ago. I might be about a 1/4th done with it. Hopefully I’ll be able to continue at this speed or even faster so she’ll be warm with her hand knit very soon.

 

The pattern is “Alma’s Scarf” by Mareike Sattler. It’s on Ravelry but you have to buy it through Interweave. (I sent my friend to Ravelry to browse so she could give me a few examples of what she likes because ‘a big scarf’ is a pretty open description…)

The yarn I’m using is Madeline Tosh DK in the “Cardinal” colourway. She wanted something ‘brick’ coloured and that was the closest I could find.

 

Now I’m off for tea and more knitting.