Grautier

GrautierThis cute little guy is Grautier (grey animal, but also a name for a donkey). He lives somewhere in our neighborhood and visits us several times a day to get love and food. He has been doing this for several years already, and when I decided to make a cat-inspired collection of knitting patterns, of course I had to make one for Grautier as well. If Grautier were a human, I’d imagine him as an old-school gentleman with a hat and an elegant scarf, so I used the stitch pattern I designed for him for a scarf or, if you prefer, for a cowl.

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His cowl features simple lace and cables and I’ve used an awesome yarn we brought home from Sweden last year, Soft Lama by Svarta Fåret.  The pattern is on sale until March 15th, use the coupon code Grautier to receive it for 25 % off!

I’ve also received the rights back from Knit Now Magazine for my Japanese Lace Cowl. So if you have a Caron Cake lying around somewhere and haven’t found the perfect pattern for it, maybe I can help 🙂

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A beautiful Japanese stitch pattern inspired me to create this cowl. It reminded me of how beautiful leaves are throughout the year with their ever changing colours. The looped cowl cycles through the different colors
just like the cycle of seasons throughout nature.
Don’t be intimidated by the complex look of the pattern, it is rather easy to knit. No cabling required, these are mock cables, made by passing a stitch over another. That makes it a quick knit.

On March 15th, a KAL for this pattern starts in my group here, and I’d love to see you join! The pattern is also on sale until the KAL starts, with the coupon code JapaneseLaceCowl (my coupon codes are so creative, aren’t they?)

 

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Be careful what you wish for…

Remember the last photo of my temperature blanket where I wasn’t happy with all the turquoise?

Well, the universe listened and gave me a neverending streak of purple and cornflower blue instead.

That’s not only just as boring, it’s also much colder with temperatures down to – 3 °C.

But I’m proud that I’m still up to date and excited that I can already start the fourth row today! Someday, it will be warmer and I will get to use pistache and yellow and orange and red – and complain about the unbearable heat. I’m sorry, universe…

All the things that can go wrong while I’m crocheting

Last year in spring I started the Drops CAL for Spring Lane Mystery Blanket CAL. The beginning went well, with a lot less swearing than during the (still unfinished) The Meadow Mystery Blanket CAL.

Then some people who crochet a lot better and faster than I do and probably don‘t have 30 projects going at the same time complained that the clues were too small. Drops listened to them and shortened the timeframe for the CAL. The clues now were „Make one million patches in each of these three color combinations“. It was hard, but I still kept up more or less.

Then, after having crocheted together a handful of the squares, my mojo left me, other projects were more exciting and the blanket squares lived in a bag until Monday last week, when the random number generator told me to work on the blanket. The new project a day I started on new year is fun, but it doesn‘t really help finishing anything. So I decided to work on the blanket until it‘s done.

I spent several days crocheting squares together. It was a little strange that I seemed to have quite a lot leftovers, but I had followed the pattern, so everything had to be okay, right? When I was almost done with the first part of the outer edge, I realized I had messed up and crocheted a square instead of a rectangle. So I added more squares and had just two squares extra. That seemed reasonable, so I started the next round of crocheting the outer squares together. The middle of the two square outer edge was still unconnected.
When I was done with that, I wove in one million ends and cut off another one million ends that I had crocheted over. That alone took all of Saturday and part of Sunday. I also realized that some of the edges were really wonky. The edges of the 2 squares next to each other didn‘t always align, which got worse and worse until it was off by almost an inch. But I didn‘t want to care anymore.

When I was done with that, I put the inner rectangle into the outer rectangle to crochet them together, but something was off. One of the long edges was 13 squares long, the other one just 12. So I unwove the ends, undid the seam, added in the last two squares and produced more ends. The two missing squares were exactly where the wonky squares were, so I took that as a sign, undid some more of the seam and corrected it.

Hours later I was ready again to join the outer frame to the inner rectangle. I had realized long ago that I wouldn‘t have enough white yarn for the edge, but I also didn‘t have enough for joining. By maybe 30 cm / 12″.

Hubby said I wasn‘t allowed to cut that stupid thing and throw it away so I went searching for yarn and – I found one more ball of white. Yay!

So finally everything was joined and I spent Sunday the evening working on the edges. No new catastrophes happened, but at 11 pm I had finished three sides of the FIRST round of the edge.

The sentences I said the most this week were „Do you realize that this is NEVER EVER going to end?“ and „I want to cry!“

But I persevered, and lo and behold, it DID end. I found another ball of the jeans blue yarn that I needed for the last round of the edge and then, Tuesday at about 1 AM, it was done.

All’s well that ends well, isn’t it?

 

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I’m in love with the blanket again and hope it will take the cats a while to love it to death. I’m not sure if I should join the next Drops Along this year (if there is one)… I still have my Meadow to finish!

Turquoise

There’s something I learned about temperatures, temperature blankets and starting them in January. Temperatures don’t change much in January where I live. Neither from day to day nor from high to low on a given day. So at the moment, my temperature patches are mostly turquoise.

Turquoise for high, low, today, tomorrow. On lucky days, I can add a little cornflower blue or opal green. But I will persist, it takes me just 20 minutes a day to make a square and the more I persist, the sooner different colors will come.

So here’s an almost current photo of the turquoise thing – one day old, to be exact.

See what I mean?

But there’s also good news. The random number generator chose this tiny beginning of a sock as my WIP of the day.

Since starting this I’ve discovered that I like the idea of relief knitting, and I love what the designer does with the money she makes (check out the knitting here or the designer here if you’re interested), but I don’t like actually doing the relief knitting. So I frogged the sock and will start over knitting without the reliefs.

That brings my WIP count down to 33, so almost nothing – right? And I’ll have time to work on my January Aran Sweater today, the poor thing isn’t much more than a cast on. It’s January 10th and I’m slowly beginning to see the delusion of my plans for the year. Didn’t think it would take me that long!

It wasn’t meant to be…

First things first!

I have uploaded two new videos to my youtube channel – Provisional Longtail Cast On in German and English! Let me know what you think or what you’d like to see next!

And now let me tell you the sad story of the WIP of the day. The random number generator chose my Frog Prince for today.

Although I started it YEARS ago, I knew exactly where it was and looked forward to having a FO with just some sewing up to do. So I got the frog and began counting. Head and body, stuffed and sewn. Four feet, also stuffed and sewn. Two eyes, the crown and – three legs. Three!

Hubby said this was a sign that I clearly have enough stuffed animals and should toss the frog. But I wasn’t ready to give up yet. I didn’t remember if the pattern came from a magazine or was a download, but I found it in the very first folder I checked on the laptop. So close to victory, I checked my Ravelry stash for the yarn – only to find out I had thrown it away a few months ago. So goodbye, little frog prince, you clearly weren’t meant to be…

Instead of finishing the frog prince, I’ll work the next patch for my temperature blanket and then continue Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Aran Sweater for January.

Have you seen the new Challenge on Ravelry? You can sign up with a number of projects you want to finish in 2018. Maybe I’m delusional, but I signed up for 50. Given that I finished 46 in 2017, it should be possible, but then I didn’t make a million sweaters last year. Also, the temperature blanket won’t count. The website where I get the official high and low temperature is two days behind, so the earliest date to finish the blanket is January 2nd, 2019. But we’ll see. Just the other day I thought that I could make some bookmarks… Maybe I should get started!

Real quick

Just a quickie from me and my ever-aching head today…

Day 2 of the temperature blanket – done

The third big project for the year is to knit my way through Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitter’s Almanac. This is the interesting part of the swatch cap for the Aran Sweater for January. It’s currently taking a bath and then it will wait patiently until I know if the cap will be finished or if I need the yarn for the sweater. The yarn, by the way, is Cascade 220.

The WIP of the day for Finish or Frog is my Adventures in Yarnia double knit scarf. I definitely still want it, and I even knew where I had it. So I’ll find out where I am in the pattern and work on it for as long as my headache will allow tonight.

Maybe tomorrow will be a better day…

Tiny beginnings

A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. And my second big plan for the year begins with this 10×10 cm (4×4″) square. It will grow up to be a temperature blanket showing the high and low temperatures every day in the town where I live. On January 1st, that was 5.3 and 8.6 °C, which is not enough of a difference for two colors.

The yarn is Garnstudio Drops Paris and I’m more or less following this pattern.

If we ever decide to move to Sweden, I’ll make another temperature blanket in our first full year there so we can compare. Hubby is afraid we might freeze up there, but whenever I ask Siri about the temperatures in the South of Sweden, it’s about the same as here.

My Finish or Frog hasn’t been off to the best start. Shortly after yesterday’s blog post, my slight headache turned into a fully grown migraine and the blanket didn’t grow any further. Today’s WIP was Slinky Ribs by Wendy Bernard. It’s been in hibernating stage since forever and I want to frog (and maybe restart if by some miracle I’m ever going to lose 10 or 20 kg). The sweater must have heard me, it went into hiding and was nowhere to be found. So I marked the project page frogged and the sweater will follow when I find it. I hope I’ll finally make some real progress tomorrow.

If you’re German speaking and would like to knit yourself a luxurious cowl, head over to my Ravelry group, I’m looking for testers for the German version of my Red Wine Blue Grapes Cowl!

Stay safe if you’re affected by storm or weather, I’ll stay inside with a blanket, cats and knitting and let the Burglind storm stay outside!

Happy new year!

Happy new year, everyone! May you always have the right yarn and enough of it!

I have big plans for 2018, the first is a serious Finish or Frog! Rules: Every day I use a random number generator to choose one of my countless WIPs. It will either be frogged or I will work on it at least that day.

Today, my random number was 24 and the corresponding WIP is my Meadow Blanket, the Drops CAL from 2016.

Pattern: The Meadow

Yarn: Garnstudio Drops Loves You 7

Started: March 29, 2016

This photo is from this morning. It took some time to find out where I was in the pattern, but I managed and worked on it today. I just wish crochet wasn’t so crazy – skip stitches here, then work several stitches into one… My headache and crazy crochet patterns don’t get along nicely, but I’ve managed 1.5 superlong rounds and the day is not over yet…

Another challenge with this project is that it makes me so sad… it’s what I was working on when our Lena died and just getting it out of its bag almost made me cry. Isn’t it strange how feelings are tightly woven into projects?

But I’ll get there, just for today and then it can go back into the WIP pool until I draw its number again, or maybe I’ll try another round tomorrow. And now I’ll tackle that nasty corner that my brain doesn’t want to process!

P.S.: Do you want to finish or frog (or WIP or rip) as well? Arabianknits is hosting an event in her Ravelry group!

50?

Can you believe this – I’ve self-published my 50th pattern today! Unbelievable! This definitely needs to be celebrated, so until the end of the year, buy my anniversary pattern Fibonacci’s Great Grandmother and get one of my other patterns for free with the coupon code Fibonacci!

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The first idea for this design came into my head in 2014 while I was working on Betty’s Faroese Shawl – named after my great grandmother 🙂 While browsing stitch dictionaries and looking for a border for the shawl, I came a cross the gorgeous Great Grandmother Edging. It wasn’t the right border for Betty, but I have been wanting to use it ever since. The shawl took its sweet time, but it finally let me know how exactly it wanted to look, and I think it decided well 🙂

Fibonacci’s Great Grandmother is a crescent shaped shawl in two colors that are arranged in stripes following the Fibonacci sequence.

The garter stitch body lets the beautiful border, Great Grandmother Edging from one of Barbara Walker’s treasuries, shine. It’s perfect for snuggling into and feeling hugged by your (great) grandmother whenever you need to feel their love.

I’ll be back soon with a post about my favorite cowls in this year’s GAL, I’ve chosen all the patterns already but have been feeling a bit under the weather with a strange mixture of cold and migraine…

 

 

Sweater weather

Yesterday was a nice and sunny day, really warm for the end of November. Today, it’s COLD! And tomorrow we’re supposed to have snow. So today is the day to show you my favorite sweater patterns from this year’s GAL – are you ready?

Coronis

First, Coronis by Emily Ringelman – it’s the sweater I’ve chosen to make for me this year. Yarn and needles are in front of me, tempting me to cast on already, but I’ll be a good girl and make grandma’s socks first.

Sweater by ChristalLK

I love the look of sweaters knit sideways   – it’s so fun to see patterns like cables worked perpendicular to what we’re used to, isn’t it? This beauty is Isola by Christelle Nihoul.

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Geo Lace by Jenise Hope looks so cozy – I wish I could wear it right now.

The next two patterns are by Melissa Kemmerer, if you and your kid both want to be dressed in style 🙂

Are ewe knitting me on the left and Kid Ewe Knot on the right. There are a few things that always get me, and funny wordplays are definitely one of them 🙂

Columbine Tunic

Next up is Columbine Tunic by Beyenburgerin Design – I’d have to make it about a million miles shorter because I’m incredibly small and several inches smaller around, but that would only mean it would be done in no time, I guess… 😀

Stern

The Polar Star Sweater Poncho by Natalia Kononova makes me wish I could crochet better. And that I’d weight 20 kg less. And and and… Isn’t this pattern unbelievably awesome?

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Another awesome pattern that immediately caught my eye is Tesselation by Kiri FitzGerald. If you know anything about my knitting, you probably know that I love lace, so how could I resist? And in worsted weight it wouldn’t take anywhere as long as my beloved lace shawls… This series of blog posts is getting dangerous, I’m beginning to think I can totally knit all the things and be finished tomorrow!

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This sweater aptly named That Touch of Pink by Helen Gipson is a longtime favorite of mine… One of these days I’ll make my own!

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And another one for the category “If I were 20 years younger / slim / in any way fit to pull this off” – Hoodie Shawl Cardigan by Susanne Sommer. Please, please – if you are young and slim or more brave than I am – make this! Wear it! Be proud!

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Spring in her Path by Mary Annarella was on my shortlist for this year’s GAL sweater for the longest time – until I realized that it’s worked in fingering when I want to use DK. Also, my yarn is dark blue a nd wouldn’t do this beautiful, intricate lace pattern justice – but it’s definitely something for next year!

Rian

I usually prefer pullovers over cardigans, but for this beauty I’d change my mind (or just make it a pullover) – Rian Cardigan by Loraine Birchall.

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Ocean Wave Top by Ashwini Jambhekar has in my favorites for ages, in my library for ages and I have yarn upstairs reserved for it… What I don’t have is an idea why it’s not in my closet yet. Another one to definitely finally make next year!

I hope you’re still with me, the next one – last but not least – is another sweater that is incredibly  gorgeous!

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Flower Cardigan by Ewelina Murach. Just look at that flower in the back, the lace lines radiating from it, the beautiful color… It’s a good thing I’ve reached the end of my blogpost, because I just don’t have words for this beauty! ❤

What are your favorite sweater patterns in the giant GAL bundles of awesomeness? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear! ❤