I hang my head in shame…

Not only did I fail to finish the thing I initially meant to blog about, but I forgot to blog entirely. Instead, let me briefly tell you the story of my Saturday.

I got out of bed. So far, so good.
Went grocery shopping, because I had nothing in the house. Then proceeded to have pie for breakfast while watching Fresh Prince.

Then, finally, I sat down and began what I had planned to do: Make a couple of project bags. Having managed two of the same type, I was quite pleased with myself…

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So I thought, hey, why not keep going??? So I cut out some more fabric, pulled another zip, and kept stitching.

And then my needle broke.

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Create-a-fun

This past Saturday morning, I left my house to join fellow Belfast Knitters, Weavers, (Fibre-)Artists of all sorts, really, at the Ulster Museum for a great day of showing off  our Arts & Crafts.

Since there’s a couple of shared members, and because we could, Belfast Stitch’n’Bitch paired up with the Ulster Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers for the event, in order to display the process from the fibre to the spun singles, to the plied yarn, to crocheted/woven/knit items of any and all shapes and forms.

Add other crafty and/or cultural ventures such as the Big Sock NI, as well as a little additional entertainment like dancing, comedy and music, and you have yourself a fabulous day.

And yes, if anything similar is going on in Belfast, the chances that at least some of us can be found there are high… ;P

You know how it is…

…or maybe you don’t. Anyway, let me illustrate how the process of writing these blog posts usually works. For me, personally, at least.

I sit at work.

My phone vibrates.

Darn. It’s Nikki. I have to blog today.

What to write????

Luckily, on the odd chance that I’ve just about managed to dissuade myself from buying that 7-skein Star Wars inspired pack of yarn, a topic may present itself.

So, after my shift, I went home, and indulged in taking a dive into my already present stash instead. Namely, to dig out the yarn I want to use for the Stonecutter Sweater, which will be my to-wear project for the Edinburgh Yarn Festival this year.

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While I was neck-deep in my yarn anyway, I figured I might as well get to updating my Ravelry stash (only a wee bit, mind you, I have more…), and store the according yarn properly in the now free space. These were the lucky additions to my online stash overview:

Now, I swear I’ll be better prepared next time I get to blog, but that’s all for now, folks. (At least I’m honest about being a forgetful lazy bum… ;P)

Caught Red Handed.

Don’t worry, I have not murdered anybody. (Yet. But that’s a story for another time…)

What I am referring to is not the untimely demise of somebody who got on my nerves (that’s what Nair in Shampoo is for…), but rather the fact that I went, together with our dear Helen, to Whitehead this past Saturday, to attend a Yarn Dye Workshop. Of course, the gloves our lovely Terri provided were useless (I blame my hands, though, not the gloves.) and I ended up with the heel of my hand turned bright blue.

Naturally, my reaction to this was to forego the gloves entirely and just dip my hands into the dye directly when I went on to the next colour. With results everybody seemed to find quite entertaining.

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I suppose they had a reason…

The resulting yarn? Behold:

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These two are laceweight. There is a third skein in sock weight, but I did not yet take a picture of it.

 

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This mini was used to test the intensity of the colours. And then I threw some green at it. Because reasons.

And because Terri is a lovely person, she does not only offer a local pick-up option when you order yarn from her, she also brings it for you if you end up seeing her at a workshop.

Which means sometimes, you get to go home with 7 (and 1/5) skeins of yarn, but only have to pay for 3. (Well, you would have paid for the others earlier, but who’s paying attention?)

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First time for everything

I’ll keep this short and sweet, simply because I do not wish to distract from the point of the post. Which is, obviously, shameless self-advertising.

I have mentioned before that I designed a pattern for fingerless mitts last year, to be used as a sample item for Terri’s stall at the show in Dublin. I have finally put the pattern up on Ravelry, and yes, it is free. I’m not that presumptuous.

The pattern is called Twisted Heart.

There will still be a few adjustments to the description and more pictures added, but the pattern itself is correct.

Give it a try if you want, and don’t hesitate to let me know what you think.

The great WIP-pression

Come on, admit it. You know that feeling. You just finished that one project you were really excited about. It knit up way too quick. And now, you don’t know what to knit.
You have tons of WIPs. But they don’t seem all that exciting at the moment.

Okay, I might have made up the term, but the feeling can’t be new to any knitter. Or crafter in general, really.

In any case, it’s where I am right now.

The exciting project that knit up too quick? Libran, although I call mine Katy Perry. The reasons for that may or may not become obvious when you look at the project page.

The WIPs? Oh, so many.
There’s the MKAL from last fall, 8 clues, and I’m still stuck in the middle of clue 3. Every time I look at it, I just think ‘Meh.’
There’s the shawl I started just a few days before Christmas last year, and worked on furiously at the time because I had nothing else with me, but now I can hardly bear to look at it, because there was a death in my family at the time.
There’s the gloves, gorgeous pattern, but so detailed, my brain hurts just thinking about it.
There’s the second Yggdrasil Afghan – seriously, what was I even thinking when I cast on A SECOND ONE???
The CAL with only one block and the edges to do? I kind of don’t want it to end just yet, but I also kind of do.

So, yeah… Here I am, nothing to knit. Nothing to crochet. Nthing to stop me from biting my nails while watching that one heartbreaking episode of ‘Supernatural’ for the I-stopped-counting-long-ago’th time.

Here I am, smack in the middle of a great WIP-pression.

Frozen Fever

… has had a tight grip on me, too, for quite some time now. It appears, though, that this especially shows when prompted by others.

But let’s start at the beginning…

About a year ago, as talks and planning of our annual pilgrimage to the Dublin Knitting & Stitching Show slowly began to take shape, the lovely Terri of A Fine Fish Yarns was looking for willing sample knitters. It was, I believe, her first time at the show (she’ll be back this year, one hears…) and she wanted a variety of garments and accessories to display her beautiful colorways.

I jumped at the chance. Duh. I was Hermione Granger when Snape asks those random questions. My hand was so far up in the air it touched the ceiling.

To get rid of me (I am convinced that’s why), Terri gave me a lovely skein in her Frozen-inspired colorway “Anna’s Frozen Heart”, and asked me to knit a pair of finger-less mitts.

Off I went to Ravelry, but, alas, I could not find a pattern that suited. They were all either so plain they would have been absolutely boring, or way too intricate. I was looking for something simple, yet with an interesting touch, that still managed to show off the yarn.

What do we do when we can’t find what we’re looking for? That’s right, we make something up. Thus, “Twisted Heart” was born.

 

Now, this is the first pattern I designed myself. That I wrote down, anyway.

The name was Nikki’s idea.I just agreed.

I have since made a second pair, in order to retrace my steps and weed out mistakes. Tweaked the thumb gusset a bit. Put it into a readable set of instructions. It has been test knit and deemed appropriate for publication, but I have yet to find the heart to do so. I guess I should probably do so before the Dublin Show this year, right?

Right?

Thank you for joining us today…

… for a very special episode of…

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If you are intrigued by our cast go ahead and have a look at the Top Floor Art Gallery in Saintfield, Co. Down, where our lovely Jaele will be offering a Build A Boyfriend Workshop on the 20th of August.

You could build your own Cas, Sam, Dean, Crowley, or even Idris Elba. (There has been talk of Chris Evans as well…

So don’t be shy, head on over and check it out!

What to do…

… on the first weekend you have to yourself after a two-week vacation with your parents?

Why, Dye-Workshop, of course!

Throw a few friends into the mix, a couple of strangers, A Fine Fish Yarns‘ gloriously gorgeous (just like her yarns) Terri, and the lovely ladies of Framewerk Belfast, and you’ll end up with a lovely morning/early afternoon.

And some pretty yarn.

BEHOLD:

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What’s travelling?

The big question every knitter has to ask themselves when the go on vacation is, obviously, “What kind of knitting do I take?”

Something fancy (like a beaded lace shawl)?

Something simple (like plain, self-striping socks)?

Both?

Neither? (Kidding, we all know that’s never gonna happen…)

One project? Two? Three? FOUR?

Thus, we dive into the WIPs… The circular Fandom shawl that was cast on in a Mystery KAL autumn last year? Too big.

The CAL released in fortnightly installments? Too many skeins to take.

Meanwhile, we have started, and finished, a beaded lace shawl that was a disturbingly quick knit, and voilá, part of the decision has been made. We make another one. Different yarn, for someone else. Of course, this one project will not suffice. Not seeing how it has already been established as a quick knit. So, naturally, one will sit in the living room for half an hour, winding two skeins of lace yarn for yet another beaded lace shawl. And because we still need something stupid to knit, let’s also dig out that skein of sock yarn we’ve been wanting to knit forever.

Does that seem like enough for a week?

I sure hope so. the suitcase is full.

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