button love

I don’t make too many things with buttons, but when I saw the lovelies that Hilde makes, I couldn’t resist snatching some up for myself and saving them for when that perfect knitted item comes along… I grabbed the last of these:

But there are plenty more adorable ones here, if you’re interested!

giveaway winner

I enlisted the help of the two yarnballs in finding them a new owner…

And after loads and loads of mixing and shuffling, they came up with…

who had listed Kathy Merrick as her favourite designer.

By crazy coincidence, Tammy is the person in whose giveaway I won a few weeks ago! Talk about my idea to give back… So, no need to send me your address, Tammy, I already have it off the package you had sent me! Congrats and keep an eye on your mail! :)

Thanks to everyone who participated! Having to choose just one winner always gives me an uncomfortable pang – so you can definitely count on more givewaways to make up for that… Hugs all round!

for a male

A few months ago, I very rashly did a terrible thing: I promised an adult male to knit him a scarf. I had been horrified by the group of holes (that were beyond the repairing stage) in his old scarf and thought something along the lines of: “This would be a nice and easy thing to do for someone I love.”

Huh! This was in the summer months, and when the colder days came a bit later, the intended recipient inquired about his neckwarmer-to-be. I had sort of kept the thought but hadn’t thought it was time to act on it until that reminder. So I set out to find the yarn – we had agreed it would be gray (I had told him black was not an option, and gray was as ‘crazy’ as he was going to go colour-wise). I couldn’t find anything of appropriate weight in the shade I liked so I bought a fingering-weight intending to hold it double.

I picked a pretty pattern, even had it approved by him, but when I started knitting I hated the thing. I tried a different pattern and still all my stitches looked wobblier than ever before and all I could think was “not good enough, not good enough”. I ripped and restarted several times. Then I picked up the phone and said “Go buy yourself a scarf. I’m sorry, but I can’t work under this kind of pressure.”

A few weeks later we went to a yarn store together and bought a different yarn.

Side note: Men and shopping.
The first gray he noticed – “How about this one?”
Me – “Hmm, I don’t know, let’s look at some others.”
The second gray he noticed – “Ok, how about this one?”
Me – “Yeah, ok, this is nice, good composition as well…”
“Ok, so that one then.”
“What, don’t you wanna look at some more?!?!?”
“No, no, I really like this one.”
That’s it! We were done in 2 minutes! If only I could be like that when I’m shopping!

Anyway, I took the yarn home with me and didn’t dare even look at it for a while. I was terrified. Then the date of our next meeting approached suddenly, and I knew I had to face my fears. I did some sampling. More accurately, I made a swatch with 6 (six!) different stitch patterns and then asked three people to choose the one they liked best. After getting a consensus from them, I finally had to bite the bullet and commit to knitting 660 yards in this pattern and hoping it turns out ok.

As I knit, I really paid attention to my tension and making my stitches even, but they still looked super-wobbly and generally miserable to me. I despaired, but there was no turning back. I knit on the bus, on the tram, in the evenings, in the mornings, in breaks between work… I finished. I soaked and blocked.

And then the yarn rewarded me with the best of its magic – it bloomed and all the stitches turned from ugly ducklings into beautiful swans.

And he loves it. :)

it was about time! giveaway!

Lately I’ve been such a lucky blogger and knitter – winning in giveaways all over the place! Now, I’m not one to scoop up all the sweets and eat them on my own, so I’ve decided to give a bit back. :) Thus, here I am presenting to you the second fridica giveaway :)

The theme this time is designers, and I would like to present to you a very special young designer who has given me her kind permission to give away one of her patterns! Connie Chang Chinchio describes herself as a trained physicist who “works on environmental health science research between sweaters”. Just another piece of evidence that knitters extraordinaire come from every possible occupation and that, regardless what they were originally, knitting does not fail to take over one’s life. :)

My favourite in Connie’s designs are her cardigans, which are invariably simple yet interesting.

The squishy Metro

The intriguing Geodesic

And the feminine Printed Silk

Connie has also designed some wonderful hats and mittens, which brings us back to the giveaway! :) The Cayuga Set is a pattern for matching hat and mittens featuring cute bobbles. It rings very Christmassy to me and I think it would make a wonderful gift for your loved ones or yourself ;) And if you’re not into matching, then you can just make one or the other. The choice is yours – you get the whole set!

So, you can win a pattern for a hat & mittens set and as an extra, I’ll throw in 436 yards of aran weight yarn from my stash! The yarn should be sufficient to make the set, if you like, but of course it’s up to you to use it for whatever you please.

What do you need to do? Comment on this post, and in your comment, leave me a link to your favorite knitwear designer (it can be a website, blog or Ravelry link :) Please keep it to one link because otherwise my spam filter won’t let you through. Feel free, but not obliged, to tell others about the giveaway in any form you like.

It’s one entry per person, and you have until the end of the day on November 29th.

I’ll select the winner by random number draw and announce who it is on November 30th. Oh, and one more thing – I will ship anywhere in the world, so feel free to sign your name even if you are from Tasmania, Zanzibar, Alaska or Siberia!

Let’s take it away… :)

fit for an angel

When Camilla Babe by Carrie Bostick Hoge appeared recently, it was a heaven-sent. I had been looking for a sweet pattern to make for a friends’ baby girl who is expected to arrive in several months. So after I got hold of the pattern and realized I had a suitable yarn in my stash, this was a mere two days’ work.

The main stitch used in Camilla is garter – which means that it creates a squishy fabric which is sure to keep the little angel snug and warm on any outing imaginable. Interest is added by the central motif, which is easy to do but creates a nice cascading effect.

It also creates quite an interesting shape at the bottom of the pullover. (When you think about it, why on earth should the edge have to be straight? :)

One of my main concerns with baby items is practicality. When it comes to pullovers in particular, this usually means – having a large enough head opening. This pullover achieves this effortlessly, and I find that particularly pleasing. The fact that the whole thing is garter-stitch based also makes it extremely stretchy, so you can be sure you won’t have trouble squeezing the baby into it. And there will be room to grow!

The pullover is knit from the bottom up and it is practically seamless (there are a total of 8 stitches to be seamed in the underarms, that’s it!) – what more could you wish for? :) I really enjoyed making this, I love the look of it, and I highly recommend the pattern. :)

And for the end, here’s a gratuitous photo of a baby sleeve.

Does it get more adorable than that? :) Well, maybe once there’s a little angel hand sticking out of the sleeve… :)

repetitive?

I’m feeling a little repetitive lately, as all I seem to talk about are giveaways. But things lined up as they did, and after all, there are worse things in the world than giveaways, so let me go on for now… :) The thing is, I’ve won twice in this month! Is that crazy or what? Now, I’m not one to enter giveaways frivolously, unless the prize is something I would really like to have, I don’t bother. But I do keep an eye out for them, which this Ravelry forum topic makes much easier. And when I really like the prize, I put my name down…

And then, sometimes, sometimes, sometimes, something like this arrives to my front door.

Mmmm, candy! :) The culprit here is Ms Tammy G, of Life and Yarn or Yarn and Life, who had decided, as a celebration of her blogiversary, to reward someone with a goodie bag from the famous Rhinebeck sheep and wool festival! The Random Number Generator was on my side that day and I was ecstatic when I realized… :) To make things even better, it turned out that Tammy had once been to Croatia and she put together a wonderful post about her memories from there/here. What a cool connection!

The package finally arrived today (yes, when it comes to mail speed I may as well live on Antarctica :D), and it contained more goodies than I had expected! First off, the above pictured happiness squeezed into a skein, which is the Persimmon Tree Farm Pot Luck Yarn.

It’s a sportweight and I got about 250 yards of it – if anyone has pattern ideas I’d love to hear them! It’s so squishy and cheerful, I want to make something really special out of it.

Secondly, there was 200 yards of Hudson Valley Sheep & Wool Co. Shetland Lace Weight. Can you believe it’s the first laceweight yarn in my stash?! Well, it’s definitely a good beginning :)

I have no idea what one does with a laceweight, though. And can anything be done with 200 yards? If you’re a laceweight knitter, do enlighten me, please :)

And finally, there was a lovely project bag with a Rhinebeck badge on it, as well as the list of exhibitors and programme for Rhinebeck. It felt as if I was practically there!

I couldn’t agree more with the sign on the badge! And Tammy rocks too! :)

What is there left to say? Well, I’ve been thinking – we need to celebrate all this luck I’ve been having lately! So, very very soon, we’re gonna have ourselves a nice little giveaway here… Just give me another day or two to get organized. In the meantime, hugs all round! :)