UK anyone?

Ok, so I am hoping to take a trip to the uk in june.
What should I visit?
Which yarn shop should I go to ?
I can’t drive so I will use trains.
My main interests are :
– Architecture
– History
– Plants
– Crafts of all sorts
– Libraries

I plan to go to London, Oxford and Manchester.
Any tips welcome!
( I am a celiac and poly allergic so any advice on local food appreciated!)

A Hitchhiker shawlette

Today I feel like a real knitter. And a real blogger.

I feel like a real knitter because I’ve just finished knitting a pattern from a designer. I feel like I belong to some posh knitting club now. It reminds me of some knitting clubs I attended back in the days, where knitters looked down on me for knitting improvised shawls and using acryl. Not that I care about what people say, I’m going to knit anyway.

This time, I paid for a designer’s pattern and used expensive yarn. Just because I fancied making something nice for myself for once. I must say the result is gorgeous !

Ho, and I feel like a real blogger because I borrowed a camera and went to the park and tried to take pics of the shawlette. I’m a lousy photographer, and self-stripping yarn makes it pretty impossible to have a decent image, but I tried !

Pattern is Hitchhiker available here. Pretty easy, quick and fun, I finished it in 10 days, knitting mainly in public transportation. I wasn’t able to learn the pattern by heart so I wrote it down on a piece of paper that I kept with me. Garter stitch feels so soft and the shape works well around my neck. I did 36 dents (Dear, dear Arthur…) and used the not-so-pointy ending.

Yarn is Cascade Yarn Heritage Paint in Seattle Blue. The self-stripping does all the fun, I’m not sure the pattern would be so entertaining with a solid color.

Have you tried this pattern ? How did you feel when you made your first posh project ?

 

Basic orange mitts

Funny how that knitting mojo is everchanging. My mum asked for some mitts, we went to buy wool, and I knit those simple mitts in two afternoons. Super easy, pretty fun, in the round, no head-scratching. Every project should feel that rewarding.

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Knitting pattern is Semplice Fingerless Mitts free here on Ravelry.

I stumbled upon another mitts pattern, much more technical this time : the Double Helix Mitts. I find the construction very interesting, but I don’t know if I’ll manage to keep focus enough to finish them. And I don’t want to start another project that may remain untouched for years in my drawers…  But they are pretty.

What do you think ?

 

Random spring thoughs

So, I’ve moved in again. I’ve moved places so often for years that I’ve lost track. Right now, it’s both peace and chaos around me. And like each time I feel I could be slightly panicking, I find myself tidying up. Then sitting down staring at the void. And all over again.

There’s a very inspiring post here just about that. Cleaning to give your life a fresh, new, hopeful start. Even though the dark clouds are still there, it’s the little things that make your day better.

I found an abandoned plant yesterday on my doorstep. I adopted it right away, and this morning I did a bit of gardening and tried to give it a decent environment. We’ll see if it thrives. It’s a Maranta Orbifolia I think.

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I haven’t done much knitting. For some reasons, I decided to knit myself another sweater like this one, with the remaining yarn of this shawl. But it seems like my knitting mojo faded completely. Then last week my mum asked me to knit her some mitts, and I found myself completing one in an afternoon. Maybe I just enjoy knitting for others, not that much for myself ? Food for thoughts for a shrink. Anyway, the sleeve is way too wide so I have to rip it off and knit it again. Which will probably take me another year.IMG_6058.JPG

I’ve spun a little bit. Not much. And of course, I’m a bit disappointed by the result, because spinning with a spindle produces very little yardage. That moment when I start thinking it’s not worth it, it’s the sign my brain is off again and I should just go back to sleep.IMG_6039.JPG

Sometimes it’s good not to set goals and just follow your instinct. Because I’m a crafter doesn’t mean I have to create stuff everyday. Or I can allow myself to jump ships and learn other crafts. I’m free.

Spinning project : The sylven elves of Mirkwood

I’m not very good at keeping up with chronology. Instead of publishing each FO, I just randomly pick up projects and write about them here.

I started this spinning project yesterday. I heard a very sad news, and I started spinning to keep anxiety at bay. I chose to spin Massan wool and I addded a bit of a green mix. I’ll write a whole haul post about the fiber I bought, but maybe it would be more interesting to also review each of them, so I’m not rushing it.

I’m a huge fan of the Lord of the Rings and of the Hobbit. Yes, I might be one of the very few people who actually enjoyed those movies so much they even have the extended edition of the battle of the five armies. Never enough dwarves, you know. Because of epilepsy, I can’t spend much time on screens, so I watch them bits by bits and it’s always a joy to go back to these sceneries.

In the book, I really liked the forest. Somehow, I think it had an heavy influence on this yarn. I didn’t decide that I was going to do an elvish yarn, it just came up this way. It means a lot both in reality and in fiction.

White can represent both the spiders cocoons and the winter we are leaving. For some reason, white has always been the color of death for me.

Green can represent the color of the sylven elves, but also the spring, and hope for a better future.

Anyway, here it is for now.

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Those are singles. I don’t know if I should tie them together and go for an andine bracelet or if I should twist them together. Given that I didn’t weight nor mesure them. And that I love it so much I’d love to have more quantity to maybe be able to knit something with it.

And, of course, some sylven elves. And dwarves, and spiders.

My gifts hats for those in need

When I knit for people who live in the streets, I try to go for quick, strechy and easy patterns. I want to be able to knit as many as possible, and knit something warm. No cobweb lace here.

For yarn, I try to avoid yarn that could itch or felt. Some yarns offer a good blend of acrylic and wool. Sometime all I have is soft acrylic. I’m still looking for the perfect mix.

So far, my favorite pattern is Jacques Cousteau Hat. It’s a ribbed hat, knit in the round, strechy enough, quick enough, but not too plain. It works well with numerous different yarns. I think I have done it 4 times already.

What yarn do you use ? What’s your favorite pattern ?

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Learning to spin

IMG_5215.JPGSo, last year I met the lovely blogger from All she wants to do is knit and she kindly showed me how to spin. I didn’t succeed, but I loved it and decided to learn how to do it properly, one day.

In december, I took a spinning lesson. Loved it. But I wasn’t too sure about starting yet another hobby. So I put it aside, but it kept creeping back. Into my dreams, during dinner, at the grocery shop, I found myself thinking “could I spin that ?”.

So last saturday I bought a spindle in a lovely yarn shop in Paris.

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 My very first homespun yarn rom spinning class and my brand new spindle !

And I started spinning.

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Fibers ! The white one adds texture, the grey one is so soft !

At first, it was really bad and I nearly gave up.

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Those moments it looks great on the spindle, but turns out lousy once you’re done.

I tried again, and it was a bit better but still disappointing.

And this morning, I decided I wouldn’t do anything (except breakfast, because I’m french and I worship food.) before managing to spin a half-decent yarn.

Yesterday’s yarn  was so loose, I spinned it again with a firmer twist. (Not very familiar with spinning vocabulary yet, you’ll have to help me out !)

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Spun it again and turned out better.

Then I spun another yarn with the rest of fibers, again it was to loose so I re-twisted it and the result was a bit better :

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Blurry picture of an uneven homespun yarn.

And then I spun those two yarn together with the andean method.

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Loved this !

Two hours later, here it is. My precious, lovely, yarn. I love the pearly aspect, the mix of white and grey. I know it’s far from perfect but that feeling you get when you finally reach your goal is priceless.

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Now, I’ve used up most of my fiber stash, so I need more fiber. Where do you buy your fibers ?