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