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And now, what ? (Knitting and crochet blog week 2013 day 7)

Today is about the skills I want to learn soon.

  • socks
  • crochet in the round (yes, sounds stupid I know, seems like most people learn crochet starting with a circle, but I just can’t manage it, so I go with lines and lines, but in the round sounds funnier.)
  • learn how to stop starting so many useless projects that I lost a couple of hours after starting them (those gems I find when I tidy up !)
  • stop buying yarn that I now I can’t really use.

Is that so different from last year’s post ?

I really want to thank everyone who joined in the knitting and crochet blog week 2013, it was really lovely to get to read new blogs. It will take ages to read and comment on everyone, but it will be a pleasure. And a big thank to all of you who made nice comments about my knitting song.

A lot of non-knitters believe knitting is about solitude, being old and/or having nothing better to do with our hands.

Thank you for beeing out there fellow knitters, proving them wrong every day.

We’re talented, creative, open-minded, often a little bit crazy, and it’s all for the best.

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No more bamboo needles (Knitting and Crochet Blog week 2013 day 6)

Ok, so today is about tools. The one we love and would recommend to knitters comrades, and the one we don’t like at all.

I must say I have been very disappointed with bamboo needles. Last year I was so please with them, believing it’s all good for environment and lighter than metal and so on. Yes it is light. But the thing is, it simply doesn’t last.

I bought bamboo needles from different brands, some double-pointeded, some straights, but they all ended up the same way. After knitting about 5-6 projects with them, and not even big super complicated lace stuf, the ends spilt into little pieces and gosh it hurts the fingers to have bamboo splinters into your fingers and hands !

And to be honest, knitting as always been about transmitting for me. I started picking up my mum’s needles when I was like 6 years-old. And we still have them, they might be a little bent, but I still use them sometimes. I simply can’t imagine having to buy new needles every 5 hats I knit in the round !

Now, on to my favorite tool. It’s a small 2,5mm crochet from my mother’s stuff. It’s over 40 years old, and still hasn’t budged. It’s perfect to pick up the stitches. It’s nothing too fancy I know, but I couldn’t have finished most of my projects without it. Thank you little crochet. (By the way, I love how english native speakers pronunciate “crochet” with the french accent !)

(thank you to everyone who took time to listen to my knitting song yesterday, I wasn’t too sure about it but now I’m happy I did publish it !)

A stupid knitting song(Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2013 day 5)

It was challenging to find an idea for this post. Something unusual… Last year I wrote knitting poetry here and here, and really enjoyed it so this year, I recorded a knitting song.

See, I even included the Bee ! Ok, it’s just a few garageband loops and stupid lyrics and me singing (badly). But it was fun ! Here are the lyrics  (imagine a dialog with a cat, a dog or a husband…)

Bring back my needles :

Bring back my needles,
I need to finish off that sweater before christmas
Or I will feel terrible to have to buy something else
I know my stash is too big
and you wish I’d stop buying more
 but Yarn is all I dream off and I can’t live without it
So Please bring back my needles
 I promise I’ll knit you something too
Someday when I find the right shape,
 the right pattern, the right color that fits you
Wow Please don’t chew that wool
It’s even more pricey than your food
It comes from the other side of the world
and I can’t let you ruin it
So please bring back my needles
Or I’ll have to buy some news ones
Maybe in plastic or wood
you know anything will do
I promise I won’t ever knit
anything pink again
 But please stop chasing the bees
they are just like me

Colors (Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2013 day 4)

version française

I love teals, golden greens, purples and aubergines. But they are not always the most flattering on me, as they make me look like a zombie. But I buy them anyway, stupid me.

When I look back on everything I knit since last year knitting blog week, I realize there’s a lot of pinks involved, mainly for baby clothing, and I’m not a fan of pinks, but anyway, it’s always pretty on babies. Proof that you can knit colors you don’t actually like. My stash doesn’t look goth anymore, doesn’t it ? I feel like having a little bit of everything, but it still not enough.

stash2013

That’s about half of my stash. Way too much. I think I’m knitting and buying more green lately, I made a green lonely tree shawl here, and right now I’m knitting a green sweater.

Compared to last year’s post about colors, I feel like I haven’t changed that much. I still don’t feel like I have a personal style or that my stash looks like me. I used to be a lot into rainbow colors, so I have plenty, but I found out I can’t really finish a project involving them as they really tire my eyes.

So I’ll have to de-stash, someday. Do you do it, sometimes ? How does it work ?

So, what are your favorite colors ? Do you also buy colors you can’t wear ?

Teal and black stripped hat (Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2013 day 2)

 version française ici

So my project related to the Mascot of the Bee is something for me. An improvised hat. When I finished off my last baby cardigan, I was exhausted, my hands hurt, and to be honest I was tired of the whole knitting thing. Having to finish a project in time because the baby is growing up faster than your project is somewhat stressful, because if the cardigan is too small, you’ve knit for nothing. So I decided to take a break from knitting.

I started tidying up my stash, and I saw those skeins. A black one from Bouton d’Or (very common brand in France, though pricy and average quality.), and a beautiful teal one from Bergère de France. I’ve missed knitting black for so long. The goth in me have been fading away for too long. Remember my post about it last year ? So, how could I use these colors, knit something fun, quick, joyful ? A hat, with stripes, knit in the round.

I based the project on the simple grey hat I published here. No pattern, no hidden catch, just free knit. The black yarn contains 50% wool and 50% acrylic, so I decided to have more black stripes over the ear area, to keep them warm. The teal yarn contains no wool at all, so I decided to use more teal stripes for the top of the hat, so the brain can breathe a little bit more.

I used bamboo double-pointed needles in 3,5mm, but I was very disapointed by these needles, the point kept tearing the yarn. I’ll explain more about bamboo during day 6.

bonnetraye2Choosing the colors : the black is pure black, I find that very interesting that even in real day light, it tends to look either dark blue or slightly purple with put side by side with the teal yarn. A trick from the brain, probably. I didn’t manage to get the right color of the teal yarn on the picture, it’s a lovely teal that I used in this lace attempt. Despite what the brand says, it really doesn’t work for me to knit lace with it, but it looks lovely for simple stockinette stitch. I don’t know why, but I find it softer on the skin when crocheted instead of knit.

bonnetraye1

Choosing the technique : I felt like knitting in the round, so I used doubles-pointed needles. I don’t know how to knit in the round otherwise I love casting on on multiple needles, it has something magical in it…And it’s easier than expected ! I decided to make a neat hem, so I used that lovely technique I discovered while attempted to knit the wurm bonnet. Do you know the name of that hem ? You knit in stockinette stitch (I used black, as this part was going to flip to the inside of the hat and not be seen), then a raw of garter stitch, then stockinette stitch again, making the real beginning of the hat on the right side.  I chose to use teal for the garter stitch raw to give more light to the face.

bonnetraye3 Then you knit together the cast on stitch and the one on your needle and you get a perfect edge ! The border is a bit thicker of course, but it’s cool not to have to worry about the cast-on method to use anymore, since it doesn’t show anymore.

Then I knit stripes, with no specific pattern, just the way I felt like. I love thoses moments when you don’t have to think, just improvise.

bonnetraye4

But sometimes, you do something that doesn’t work.

I decided to go for cables, teal cables between black, and it was and epic fail. My very first time trying a two-color cable anyway. Maybe some other times, when knitting flat and with a knitting book teaching me how to do it on my lap !

The teal yarn went ugly, holes appeared, it just wouldn’t work. So I decided to rip off that part and go back to the stripe idea.

I’m not a big fan of ripping of (I’m sure nobody really is), but experience has proved it’s better to unfrog than to knit something you really don’t like.

bonnetraye5

 So here’s the pink life line, in the stitches where I want the ripping off to stop. (That sentence didn’t sound good in french either, go figure).

It’s always a bit scary to take your yarn and rip off the project, you never know if the lifeline is well weaved into the stitches… Because if you’ve forgotten one, it makes a mess !

But this time it went well, and the awesome thing about knitting black is that you don’t see the twisted stitches that much. I don’t mind twisted stitches anymore, I’m trying to stop being a perfectionist anyway.

Now, on to the stupid thing. I lost the hat. I finished it, and lost it, like, the next day. Makes me feel like a squirrel you now, mountains of projects and forgetting where they are afterwards. Do bees forget stuff too ?

But luckily I found it under a pile of other projects, and here it is :

bonnetraye6

So what’s your project ?

Bee ! (Knitting and Crochet Blog Week Day 1)

 Version Française ici

Bee it is.

I might be too old to listen to emo bands and wear strippy black and white leggings and mitains, but it’s not just about strippes. I tend to accumulate tons of projects, most of them forgotten in drawers somewhere. And some others are finished in no time. Go figure.

It was a difficult choice, I like the quite and relax side of the Lamantee, and the intelligence of the Monkey (who doesn’t want to pretend she’s intelligent ?). But I’m not a peacock. I don’t really care about details. I’m trying to stop being a perfectionnist  and I’m doing well, so my knitting doesn’t look very good but I feel better and that’s the only important thing in the end.

I don’t think I yet have a personal knitting or crochet style. This year I received quite a lot of queries, and had to knit a lot for my baby niece, so not much personal stuff. It really felt like a bee, knitting all these baby clothes. Not that there was any pressure from the parents, but as the babies grow up so fast, you have to finish off before it’s too late, and it’s a bit stressful. So now I’m planning to wander around a little bit more and knit what I want. I already have so much going on…

Each day its knitting talk

Being still fairly new into the knitting blogosphere, I found interesting to make a quick summary of some knitting movements I know :

The knitting blog week by Eskimimi (edition 2013 of the knitting blog week starts on april 22nd ! Will you join ?). You can find my posts from last year’s edition in the section Special Events : knitting blog week 2012.

Some days of the week also have their dedicated movement :

Monday is Making Monday

Wednesday is Work in progress Wednesday (WIPW)

Friday is Finished Object Friday (FO Friday) :

Saturday is Inspiration Saturday : projets, yarns, designs that inspire you

Sunday is Squee Sunday :  why you are excited/squeeing over the contents of your post.

Do you use these ? Do you know others ?