kim

There is always so much excitment when you enter a new field (be it professional, academic, hobby, sport…): there is so much to discover and learn! At first you’re learning constantly, every single moment you’re finding out something new. Then it slows down. But if you keep at it, if you don’t get bored due to lack of newness (I know people who do!), and if you are a person who likes to be thorough, then there will always be something new to discover. Sometimes big, sometimes small. Sometimes something that everyone already knew about, but failed to tell you because they thought you also knew about it, and sometimes something that very few people know about…

Well, I’m the kind of person who likes to go deep into everything, I dislike people who dabble in many things without really learning anything properly, who study a language for one year and then go around saying they can speak it, who do a little bit of crochet and a little bit of knitting and a little bit of sewing but don’t know much beyond the basics in either of the three… I always say I’d prefer to be really good at one thing than ok in many. And there are real rewards out there when you really delve into something thoroughly. Like making big new exciting discoveries after doing something for about two years already! And that’s exactly what happened to me today: I discovered Kim Hargreaves.

How I had missed her before, I have no clue. But because I am still here, and learning more about knitting, I got to her eventually. And boy would I have regretted it if I had given up before this point! But enough about that, I invite you now to the magical world of Kim

According to her website, Kim used to work at Rowan, and then finally decided to strike out on her own, and are we glad that she did! Her designs are clean and modern, while the photography in her books is magical and seems to be telling a story. Even if I wasn’t a knitter, I could just leaf through her books for hours, for how pretty and fairy-tale-esque they are!

I tried hard to select the patterns I like most, but this is still going to come out as a gigantic post…

So many of my friends express surprize that things that I knit don’t look like unshapely potato bags and can actually be worn by young stylish people! I am so happy to find another designer who shows how amazingly modern and youthful knitting can be!

Whether you need it for work…

…or travel…

…or picnics…

…knitwear is clothes, and pretty clothes at that! Just like the ones you buy at your favorite store… only better!

I want all of these, and if they were avaialable in my favorite clothing store, I’d probably spend my food money for the month on them! The fact that I can make them myself, though, will make them even more treasured!

Click on the photos to go to Kim’s site. And click on the comments to let me know what you think! ;)

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resourcefulness

One of the things I really love about knitting is that it seems to develop a new ability of my brain – that of resourcefulness. I have already written about my makeshift sponge-armchair-turned-blocking-board. This week, however, I was faced with baby shoes in need of blocking, and since they were pretty shapeless when they came off the needles, I needed something to give them the right shape – flat blocking just wasn’t gonna cut it! So I thought about what I had at hand, and came up with this! I was so proud of myself for my silly little idea that I decided to share it with you, so here is my first ever DIY tutorial for blocking baby shoes!

You will need:

  • two socks (size will depend on the desired size of baby shoes)
  • one plastic freezer bag
  • some scotch tape

Before I continue I must add no socks were harmed in the making of this tutorial! And yes, all my socks are this silly.

Now, the first thing you want to do is roll up the sock. This is an almost automatic movement for me because it’s how my mom has always stored socks, but in case you’re not so familiar with the technique, here are the steps. First, roll, making sure the heel part is on the inside of the roll.

Then, turn inside of cuff out.

Don’t pull it too far so that you get some sort of solid shape, resembling this.

Now, put the sock inside the plastic bag (I used one plastic bag and cut it in half, because the rolled up sock is really small, and that way you really don’t waste much!). Wrap it all up!

Secure the little wrap with scotch tape.

It’s gonna look something like this. You can play around with some more tape to smooth out the edges and make them rounder, to resemble the shape of a baby shoe better. Since the sock is soft material, this is really easy to do.

Insert into knit up baby shoe!

Because the sock is made of fabric, you can actually stick pins in it as well, in case you want to make sure lacey parts spread out the right way or you just want to secure certain parts of it.

And voila, after it dries, this is what you get!

A perfectly shaped baby shoe! I’m very happy about the shape of the front and the perfect roundness of the heel. Trust me, before this process it wouldn’t even stand up on its own.

I hope this little tutorial may come in handy to you some day! I would also love to hear how you block baby shoes… Perhaps there is a much easier way that I missed, my brain tends to ignore obvious things sometimes… ;)

p.s. After you’re done, simply remove the socks from plastic and you can wear them again, no need even to wash them! (Mine remained completely dry despite being wrapped in wet wool, the plastic bag protected them perfectly! :)

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week

Just wanted to remind you that I’ll be participating in the Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, starting on Monday! I’m really looking forward to it, especially as there are now more than 100 bloggers signed up! How fun! You can still join, it’s really easy – all the instructions are here.

The topics that we’ll be covering are:

  • Starting Out
  • An Inspirational Pattern
  • One Great Knitter
  • A New Skill
  • Location, Location, Location
  • Revisit a past F/O
  • What a Yarn
  • All Tooled Up

Now, I’ve written something on each of these topics on the blog already, but this will be a great chance to expand on it and reveal some details which hadn’t come up earlier. You’ll get a chance to get to know me (and my approach to my favorite craft!) a bit better. :) I would love for that to work both ways, though, so even if you’re not participating in the blog week, do feel invited to share your thoughts on the same topic in the comments as we go through the week! Let’s make this little community a little more close-knit! (Heeeheee, no I didn’t! :D)

sunburn

Yes, that’s right! Birmingham was SO awesome that I actually got a little sunburn! I really had a wonderful and relaxing day and a half there and I feel emotionally regenerated. I hadn’t been out of London since January, and honestly I had forgotten how relaxed cities can be… Not that I don’t love London! But getting away is a necessity every once in a while…

In Birmingham, I was welcomed by sunshine and greenery.

I was starving so I headed to an independent cafe recommended by a fellow Raveler, the Urban Coffee Company. I love what a great resource Ravelry has become to me, I never fail to consult with fellow knitters before I go somewhere now, and I always come away with great recommendations. This time was no exception! My only regret was that it wasn’t Monday or Friday…

After regenerating a bit, I went off to explore… In the process, I developed a new crush! Romantic-looking headstones!

I also found myself quite impressed with Birmingham’s interesting taste in statues.

And this sweet tribute to a man I had never heard of.

I saw lots of charming old buildings.

And some daring new ones!

I haven’t investigated, but I’m sure opinions are split on the recently erected Selfridges building, as opinions always are when it comes to modern architecture. I personally loved it! And not only for its exterior…

On my second day, after taking care of the business part of the trip in the morning, I had a few hours left to walk around some more. I used them to explore the canal area.

As well as to do what I like best when it comes to travel: wander around more or less aimlessly. This method usually ends up taking me to the most interesting and unexpected places and events! Like these business people who took advantage of their lunch break to dance a bit… It was part of the promotion for the International Dance Festival which is currently going on.

I also stumbled upon some more yumminess.

And some unusual street signs! (Poor alley, must they put it down so?)

I finished off my visit the same way I started it – by taking up a Raveller’s recommendation. I had a delightful cup of Pearl Tea at Cha Cha Cha Tea Lounge, which is actually where the Birmingham Stitch’n’Bitch group meets!

On my way home (just like on the way there), I enjoyed watching flocks of sheep, horses and cows frolick around the meadows adjoining the train tracks. There was some uncensored lamb joy to be seen, I loved it! :) The train was going too fast, however, to catch anything better than this, so I guess you’ll have to take my word for it! :)

Well, that was my little local adventure! I hope you enjoyed coming along with me. As for myself, I’m ready for some new travels. I’ll have to be patient until the summer, but there are some long-anticipated adventures planned… ;)

wave

I’m off to Birmingham, my dears. My room won’t be without activity while I’m away, though…

Some things will be blocking, some things waiting eagerly to be started, and I’m pretty sure that yarn likes to bounce and frolick around my room when I’m gone… It always looks kind of dishevelled if I come into the room suddenly… ;)

But let them do what they like, while I look for some yummy cupcakes…

I’m back tomorrow evening, see you soon! :)

exciting upcoming stuff

Hello Monday, how are you? I’m very well, thanks for asking. Actually, I’m super, because I have some exciting news to share with my dear readers!

Exciting thing number one:

Eskimimi is organizing a Knit & Crochet Blog Week (April 26 – May 2), in which a bunch of bloggers will be posting on the same knitting/crochet related topic each day. If you want to join in, it’s quite easy, just head over to Mimi’s site where everything, including the list of topics, is explained.

As you might have guessed, I’m participating! As soon as I saw it, I couldn’t pass it up! I love blog community initiatives like this, they really make me feel like I’m a part of something here… :) Do join in, it will be fun!

Exciting thing number two:

I’ve been asked to do a guest post on The Mother Huddle, a very sweet site which is especially useful to young mothers but has loads of interesting content for all! The post will be on (hm, can you guess it? :))) beginning to knit, and it’s already in the works. When it’s published I’ll be sure to let you know. I am sooooo excited to be given this opportunity, I can’t wait to see it all come to life! :)

I hope you have a great week full of exciting news! :)

superquick shoes

It really doesn’t get much faster than this, my friends! A couple of breaks from studying, one election debate, and waiting for one breakfast to get cooked – and basically about 12 hours after I started them, they’re almost done! I knew this would be quick, but I really didn’t imagine this quick!

All that’s left now is grafting stitches and weaving in ends! Yay, I think this little sweater-shoes combo should be in the post by the end of next week… And there are so many other lovely projects waiting to get started!

I hope you have the sunniest weekend ever! :)