We do love green

Out and about to discover the amazing greens at this time of year. I can’t help but thinking of them i terms of madelinetosh color names…

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This one if with Tove in mind. I know she’s very fond of the rich varm greens.

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And this one is more for me as I tend to fall in love with teal and turquoise.

Just a couple images for inspiration!

 

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Trying Adobe Color

During half of december I’ve been trying out the mobile app Color from Adobe. It doesn’t always combine the colors you want (or mostly never), and you have to be quick capturing the beautiful themes as they alter constantly. I also miss a feature for saving the images on my phone as well as seeing the hex. But it can definitely work as an inspiration. Here are some december catches:

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(Did I mention that I like blue…?)

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Making time for inspiration

Once in a while my little darling is fast asleep and I’m not exhausted. Then I take the opportunity to make time for inspiration.

Happily I’ve managed to:

  • Dye a nice merino silk blend for a new project.
  • Get started charting according to Miriam Felton’s instructions (remember that class from Craftsy I’ve been writing about).
  • (Oh, and that other drawing is ideas for how to plant the raspberry hedges… I did make time for that too. Completely non-knitting related, but still.)

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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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BuBa – Turning hobby into business

Just the other day I had an email from a former colleague, Magdalena Balbous. She told me that she had started up her own business and that I could view her items on Facebook – BuBa. Currently the items are custom made for each order and ordered via Facebook or email. (I’m doing my best to promote Etsy to her as I’m sort of in love with Etsy if you hadn’t noticed).

The following pictures are from her Facebook page showing a selection of the cute things she makes.

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I love that she’s turning her hobby into a way to make a living from handcraft and yarn. I wish her all the best!

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Best thumb ever

So I’ve been knitting Sssstarter, and they have a bit of an interesting thumb construction. Where “normal” glove/mitten patterns tell you to place thumb stitches on scrap yarn, Sssstarter also tells you to provisionally cast on stitches. At first I was so confused as to why, because I’ve never really had a problem with just picking up stitches to close the gap, but I figured I’d follow the instructions to try it out. I’m glad I did, because I like it so much I think I may do it for all my thumbs from now on.

I followed the instructions in the pattern, which uses this way of provisionally casting on.

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Thumb stitches placed on scrap yarn…

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… wrapping around the needle and scrap yarn to provisionally cast on…

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… and after knitting a row.

Once you’ve decreased back down to your original amount of stitches it looks like this:

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And when the time comes to knit the thumb, you pick up all the stitches (the six by my finger here are the provisionally cast on ones):

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Then decrease the same way as you did on the palm:

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This gives you a little “diamond” between your palm and thumb:

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Whilst this diamond gives you just the tiniest bit of extra space which really makes a big difference, it’s pretty much invisible from the front:

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In addition, you have no bumpy bit where you picked up stitches, there are no stitches being pulled or stretched, and much less of a hole situation happening at the “corners”. Totally clever construction. Heartily recommend it. Two thumbs up!

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Yarns to fall for

(Pardon my terrible pun.)

I’m in a bit of a pickle at the moment, because while I’m working on several things, most of them are surprise knits for people who may actually ready this blog, sooooo I can’t really post about it. Bummer. Therefore, I thought I’d do a bit of an inspiration mini theme whilst on this secrecy kick.

Even though I’ve been in denial about it, autumn is on its way. While I’m a HUGE fan of summer, there is one thing I love about autumn: fashion. There is nothing better than cosy cardigans, coats, boots, hats, scarves, and, of course, handknits. There is no end to the amount of handknits you can pile on during autumn, and a later entry will cover my current autumn favourite patterns, but for now, here are some of the yarns that I’d like to wrap myself in this season.

Tosh Mo Light in Saffron. I am being SO restrained in not ordering one, because while Saffron is a retail colour, it looks prettier on Tosh Mo Light than on any of the retail bases and I really really reaaaaaaaally want it. Keeping my cursor firmly away from the order button. No, really.

Madelinetosh’s new grey Doctor Zhivago’s Sky. It reminds me of a grey autumn morning and just looks lovely. (I’m still amazed at how much I love Madelinetosh’s grey and brown shades, because I am NOT a neutrals kind of person.)

Malabrigo Worsted in Verde Adriana. I just today harvested my balcony lavender, and this shade looks EXACTLY like the stems and leaves.

Manos Del Uruguay Fino in Pocketwatch (what a Whovian colourway name!). Manos’s silk blends may be the most comfortable things EVER to wrap around your neck, and this is a lovely autumnal shade.

Fyberspates Scrumptious DK in Purple. Deep purples are very autumn-y to me, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want ALL the Scrumptious DK (Cherry! Olive! Teal! Above all, Jen’s Green! Oh, Jen’s Green….)

Malabrigo Lace in Paris Night. Looks like a cool, clear autumn night, Parisian or otherwise.

Madelinetosh Prairie in Firewood, to make a shawl with leafy motives. Lovely.

Are there any colours you find yourself extra attracted to as the nights start to get cooler? Share in the comments!

(Oh, and my birthday is exactly one month from today. Just gonna leave that here.)

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A stretchy shawl edging

I usually prefer to knit in wool as it’s stretchy and forgiving, but the “Liv” shawlette was made in silk/kashmir. I tried the knit together stretchy bind-off, but unsuccessfully. Instead I decided to turn the knit project 90 degrees and knit the edge. Many shawls use this trick and add an extra patterned finish this way. I didn’t want more pattern, just a nice framing.

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I’ve knit the top edge with 3 stitches in garter and decided to go for a 4 stitch garter edge at the bottom. I don’t really like the idea of casting on more stitches as in that new part I’d lose the 3 stitches garter edge. Like in this example:

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My 4 stitches garter edge:

Knit 6 rows of the 3 stitches which form the top garter edge, leaving the rest of the stitches live on the needles.

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Then bind off two stitches.

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With 1 live stitch on the right-hand needle pick up 3 stitches from the left-hand side of the garter edge (like you do for a garter tab provisional cast-on).

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Turn the project and knit the wrong side of the 4 stitches.

Then repeat the following rows:

  • Row 1 (right side): Knit 3, then knit the last stitch together with the first live stitch from the body of the shawl
  • Row 2 (wrong side): Knit 4

Repeat the rows until 2 live stitches remains on your left-hand needle. Knit the 2 remaining stitches. Then repeat the following:

  • Row 1 (wrong side): Knit 2, knit 2 together
  • Row 2 (right side): Knit 3

Continue until only 3 stitches remain and bind off on the right side row.

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Recycling beads

I just had an idea and today I went to check. Since I’ve started knitting with gemstones I thought why not buy second-hand jewelry and recycle the beads? I wasn’t sure I would actually find any, but I had to try.

You can usually tell if it’s real gemstones by the weight and that they’re really cold when you first touch them. If you separate the bead string and look between the beads you can see if the holes are hand drilled. Hand drilled holes are a bit uneven and vary in size. Gemstones quite often have hand drilled holes. I’m not an expert though, but these tricks come in handy!

I came home with a whole bunch of 4 mm Amethyst beads for about € 2.5 and a turquoise 4-5 mm something for € 1 that I’m not sure what it is yet. I’d say it was a successfull bead hunt!

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