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:

 

Advertisements

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.

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!

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.

An influx of new yarn

yarnmylys-sml

I bought this yarn at Mylys in Hamburg. Fantastic shop, very cute and the people there are very friendly

The left one and the mini skein are Madelinetosh, the middle one is Malabrigo and the right one is Quince&co Chickadee. I bought a few skeins of the Quince yarn to make something out of the “Home and away knits” book. I’m looking forward to that.

When I saw that they were doing a fashion show on instagram I instantly wanted to participate but I set myself the goal to first finish the other sweater I was knitting. And when that one was finally done there were other more pressing things I had to do and now I won’t be able to finish it in time of april 10th. Originally I bought the yarn in February when I was in Hamburg for a wedding and even then I was so excited to start, but I think this yarn will get stashed and probably be used sometime in summer because there are a few things that I’ve signed up for that need to be cast on before that.

When I was looking for projects I wanted and needed to finish up I once again realised how much yarn I have and since I’m trying to safe up some money for nice holidays I’m going into stashbusting mode. I won’t buy any new yarn until I reduced my stash by one box of yarn. (I have about four or five rather large boxes. At least one has to go.) I’ll make an exception to this for when I’m travelling and discovering yarn I wouldn’t get at home and for super good deals I might come across. You never know.

[I’ve moved this post over from my tumblr and edited it slightly. Back when I wrote this I didn’t know about knitting podcasts and I didn’t know how seductive it would be to listen to people talking about yarn. I caved. I let myself be seduced by pretty words and pictures. I ordered yarn, from Madelinetosh (that’s just been sent off towards me) and from Plucky the knitter (that’s waiting at the post office for me to pick up) and now. I’m looking forward to that but the statement I wrote back in February is still so true and even more so now.

But I’ll try something new, I’ll do a stashbusting project. Each month I have to finish at least one project that will use up a skein/ball/hank of yarn from my stash. And my stash is not allowed to grow. That means if I do buy yarn I need to knit up more than what I’ve bought. (This month is going to be hard… There have been so many new aquisitions already!)

 

 

[February 2016 and heavily edited in April 2016]