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 ?

 

A cloudy sweater

So in august I wrote about my attempts to knit myself a sweater.

I’ve knit countless baby sweaters, and cardigans for family members, so I was comfortable with the techniques. I wanted something I could wear proudly. Something comfy, easy to wash, and I knew I really wanted to use that variegated Scheepjes SoftFun denim yarn.

I finally used a free Drops knitting pattern, in the round, easy and very quick. Done in less than two weeks.

It feels so good to wear, not only because the yarn is lovely, but also because it’s a good reminder that I overcame many obstacles to finally cherish this.

You can follow the making of this on the ravelry project page here.

Happy new yarn, starting with Holst Garn sales

So, this year I decided to buy inspiring yarn. I avoid buying when in doubt, I only buy when I fall in love with the skein.

The Danese brand Holst Garn had their redundant colors on sale, I took a look and I was hooked .

I also bought skeins that weren’t on sale, but it really isn’t a pricey yarn, less than 5€ for 350m of excellent quality and exquisite shades.

Holst garn yarn in Noble and Coast

Holst garn Coast yarn in Vita 50g

Holst garn Noble yarn in Lichen 50g

Holst garn Coast yarn in Kingfisher 50g

Holst garn Coast yarn in Crab Apple 50g

Holst garn Noble yarn in Elderberry 50g

Holst garn Coast yarn in PassionFlower 50g

Holst garn Noble yarn in Pansy 25g

Are you familiar with this brand ? What do you knit with it ?
I feel like I’ve knit a lot for other people and sometimes knitting quick and plain patterns takes the knitting mojo away, so I really want to knit some etheral lace shawls this year. Weird how sometimes having a simple charity hat on one side and a more complex, personal piece on the other side helps you finish both projects faster.

Featured post on MadManKnitting

I woke up this morning to a lovely email from Gregory saying that my story was posted !

You can read it here. Please take the time to read his blog, his story, as it’s a huge inspiration.

About 6 months ago, I stumbled upon his story. A guy who was knitting teddy bears to survive and get off the streets. Freaking teddy bears. Who could resist that ? So I followed his blog, made a donation when possible, and then he asked for our stories. I put down the hat I was knitting for homeless people, typed a quick draft and emailed it, without really giving it much thoughts.

Now, a couple of hats later, my story is out there.

Many people just don’t understand how being sick can change your life. I’m never going back to who I used to be. And they don’t understand knitting was my life line. I gave up trying to talk about all of this. Nobody wants to hear about the pain. And most people have no interest in knitting.

But through knitting, I met so many wonderful souls. I feel incredibly lucky I can make people smile with just a bit of thread and some needles.