Discovering Craftsy

Some months back Tove and I did a theme week with our best tips for where to find supplies, patterns, you name it. Doing our investigation we discovered things that were new to us too. Some new things just had to cook for a while. Suddenly I got a newsletter from Craftsy about their video classes and especially one about how to design your own lace shawls. (I don’t read newsletter too often. You know, just scrambling through before deleting them.) This time however I stopped eying it through carefully.

Craftsy is a learning platform with video based courses in not only knitting, but anything handcrafted. I’m looking at the knitting and yarn related courses (no surprise there I think).

There’s mini couses which are free and there are more extensive courses that you pay for. (Naturally I’ve signed up for Miriam Felton’s class Lace Shawl Design. Being a bit of a language geek (sometimes) I’ve also signed up for Edie Eckman’s How to Say It: Pattern Writing for Knitters.

You can find Craftsy online, but also easily accessed via their mobile app. (I’m especially fond of easy access and being able to view the courses on my mobile, on my apple tv or the computer just gives me all the options I need).

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All mine

So I thought I’d try to actually USE some of my handspun yarn for something. Mine and Helena’s first coproduction yielded a decent amount of mostly-even off white yarn:

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I plied most of it, but one bobbin’s worth I left as a single.

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I also had the brown and grey (one of them is Romney but I can’t remember WHICH) yarn from the spinning class Anneli and I took this autumn.

So this….

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… became this:

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It’s extremely funny looking when on its own, all lumpy and uneven. I didn’t bother with gauge; just picked 28sts because it seemed like it’d work and knit all the yarn on 4.5mm DPNs, regardless of weight. All the colour changes are based on 6 rows (6, 12, 18 etc) and while they may look misshapen off the hands, I actually think they look pretty good on!

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I’ve never really got the point of mitts before but I think these changed my mind. They’re super warm (a little itchy though) and one day as I was walking home, hands jammed in my pockets against the wind, I remembered I had these in my bag.

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Totally made a difference. I may be a mitt convertee yet. And I feel really proud of these, my first handspun knit! They’re very post-apocalyptic chic. Very Hunger Games. I’m calling them my Bad Wolf Moment mitts.

I kind of love them.

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Precious knitting moments

With the change of my situation the precious knitting moments have become a rarity. There’s lots of things you can combine: Tea and knitting; Telly and knitting; Telly and breast feeding… But knitting and breast feeding? Not so much. If the baby is contently eating and half asleep you might be able to knit slooowly depending on how entangled your arms are.

So mostly the knitting is just sitting there trying to stare me down. And all I can do is stare back.

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And sometimes the baby is fast asleep in her own bed. Then I can sit down with my knitting and the cat can occupy my lap.

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Well, until he discoveres there’s yarn involved. Then he completely looses it and I have to fight to protect my knitting.

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As for the project, I’m knitting a new version of my fingerless mitts to check the pattern. This time in the wonderful Malabrigo socks.

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And then they were two

I’ve finally finished mitten number two!

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Tove was happy to assist me in taking some lovely pictures of the finished mitts. With the mitts that nail polish is not too bad, without the mitts you kind if wonder if she went nuts with a highlighter… (I doubt a highlighter would stick and have the same gloss however. Just a random thought. That wage memory of trying it once must be my imagination…)

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Now I just have to finish the pattern notes (and sort out a question mark or two). All in good time.

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Oops.

I’m not really meant to be buying yarn (more on that at some later point) but, well. On Saturday I honest-to-God just stumbled upon a yarn store. It was kismet.

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Behold the yarn snob in her natural habitat, crouching on the floor with her hands buried in merino.

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I felt PROUD of myself for leaving with just this one skein:

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Malabrigo Rastita in Nomeolvides. No idea what it’s going to be, but I dug it out from under some other skeins, and…

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Thanks to Linn for the pics of the crime scene yarn store visit!

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Cheating?

I wanted to do the Brimstone butterfly in lace. My feeble attempts were mocking and I had to give it up. Either it came out kind if weird or just wasn’t really visible (just looked like a bunch of mistakes really).

That is when I sighed and decided to “cheat”. Googling embroidery stitches soon gave my mood an upswing.
Nervously I tried out the straight stitches for the petals and the chain stitches to form the butterfly (okay, so I had to redo them a couple of times before I got it right…). The latter looks as if they were knitted on.

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Feeling very pleased with myself I can now proceed with mitten number two. (Hmm, mirroring a pattern seems a LOT easier than it is. I’m just saying…)

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Out-cakes

Sometimes it’s hard to stay serious when posing in front of a cake.

You may be suddenly ravenous for the cake…

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…. or thinking you’re a cake salesperson…

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… or an even cheesier cake salesperson…

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… or Downton Abbey-esque proper ladies (because the lampshade looked like a parasol):

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And then when you go to post the photographic evidence you may come up with cheesy puns for your cheesy pictures. You’re welcome. ;-)

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Wheel “adoption”

Unlike Anneli, I didn’t have the luck of finding an “antique” spinning wheel (not to mention that it’d be very hard to fit one in my flat), which was one of the reasons I decided to go for a new, modern one. I ended up choosing the Fantasia because of three things: features, price, and design. Fantasia gives you a lot of wheel for a very reasonable price, and I really like the more modern look, and I think it goes well in my home!

Once I had selected which wheel to get I had to decide WHERE to get it. I ended up buying it from a Danish seller, Charlotte at Ægbækgaard. The reason I chose Charlotte’s shop was that not only did she have a great price (both the item AND shipping was cheaper than in the Swedish shop…), she replied to my email within an hour, and was consistently great in regards to correspondence.

Once I placed my order I had my wheel within a week, and Charlotte had added some lovely bonuses:

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Both the book and the undyed roving where “extras” that Charlotte added. Such a lovely gesture that really put the cherry on top of an already great purchase! I will definitely return to Ægbækgaard for other purchases – they have some really lovely roving in a variety of different fibres…

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