malabrigo cloud

I’ve been sort of so-so the last few days, some general life concerns have been looming over me like dark clouds. Not to be defeated, though, I’ve been knitting my own cloud – a much brighter one!

What better material to knit a cloud than Malabrigo?

No storms here. Just gentle curves formed by the slight movements of the winds.

I’ll take this kind of cloud any day!

The thing has been flying off my needles, I think it’s going ten times faster than I expected it to! It’s basically just a lot of stockinette, with a cable row inserted here and there, so it’s perfect mindless speedy take-along-everywhere knitting. And being made out of Malabrigo, it’s quite difficult to put down. I think it’s only a matter of days before I have my cloud cowl to wear with me everywhere!

It’s actually folded here, so it’s about twice as long at the moment! I’m planning to make it long enough to wrap around my neck twice. (In other technical notes, the holes will be dealt with, I have a plan for that.)

Now, if you’ve just read my previous post, you might be thinking that I’ve been knitting very fast indeed (and possibly not sleeping) – but don’t fret, the photo I posted on Wednesday had been taken a few days earlier. It’s not that fast! :)

And if you feel over-bombarded with photos, sorry, I’m just loving this thing and all its different angles so much! And the weather’s been warm and sunny, allowing me to stay out a bit longer while taking my photos. Here’s a little photo-session out-take, just for fun… :)

I hope you have a wonderful weekend full of white fluffy clouds! :)

who’s scared of provisional cast-on?

I was! I always used to modify patterns to avoid it: instead, I’d mattress stitch the ends together, or pick up stitches from a regular cast-on edge, whichever worked for the given pattern.

Until a few days ago. When, thanks to a note on one of Croline‘s projects, I found this method. It requires your regular project materials plus a little bit of scrap yarn and a crochet hook. Now, if you’re a regular reader here, you probably know that crochet and I don’t go so well together. Which means that this method is perfectly suitable to absolute crochet ignorants, like me. Because, within minutes of watching this video, I had myself a perfect little non-fussy provisional cast-on.

It doesn’t like to lie flat, but you can see the little start of a crochet chain in the top right corner, as well as how the cast-on (in pink) looks from the right and wrong side. I’m so thrilled with finding such an easy solution to my provisional cast-on troubles!

A good start to a little something I’m making for myself as part of Malabrigo March. :)

a lesson in waffles

So, when I disappeared for about ten days at the end of February, it was because I was hanging out in Brussels again. This time, I took the opportunity to sort out some of the things I had missed out on before. Like waffles.

There are waffle vans like this one all over the place. They make the city smell yum!

They also remind me of London’s icecream vans (complete with the Disney characters!), and the nice memories, and make me a little sad… Which is ok, since there are waffles on the spot to comfort me! :) If you want to listen to Belgians, this is the kind you should not have.

Something about them being tacky and not how Belgians eat them at all and something something, I lost track of it from how much I was drooling over the waffles. But I managed to hold it together and respect local custom. ;) Though the whole ‘passing for native’ may have gone a bit down the drain when I later pulled out the camera to take photos of the approved waffle. As in, the one I was allowed to eat. This one.

Which I’m thinking wasn’t such a bad deal at all. :) It was all crunchy (unexpected but good!) and yummy. And worth the wait.

There. Consider yourself educated in Belgian waffles. Now go test your knowledge in real life. It is International Women’s Day after all. What better way to celebrate? ;)

hear me out

I ripped this.

C’mon now, before you start yelling, remember the title of the post… Yes, I know it’s a tiiiiny newborn pullover. Yes, I know it’s so cuuuute. Yes, I have seen that adorable neckline. Yes, I agree that baby raglan sleeves are the most precious thing ever.

So what’s my excuse? The pooling is fugly.

I tried and tried and tried to like it but once I got to the sleeves and on top of everything it changed too, I couldn’t stand it anymore. The yarn is nice, the pattern is great, but it’s a waste of two good things to try to put them together.

Please don’t yell? The good thing is, I now know my gauge on this yarn extremely accurately (talk about a big swatch! :D) and I think I like the way it looks on smaller circumferences (e.g. the sleeve) better, so that gives me good ideas for what to actually use it for (i.e. I’m thinking socks).

Ok, I’ll go crawl in my hole now, if you still feel like yelling… Go ahead.

cherry on top

A few days ago, I got a message from Ravelry asking if I would agree to having a photo of one of my FOs included on the respective pattern page. Boy was I excited! :) I’ve seen people’s project photos being included on pattern pages before, but I never knew how one got to that stage. I still don’t really know (does it have something to do with the number of favourites? does it depend on the wishes of the designer?), but apparently I made it! :) And what a coincidence it was that I had just finished another FO of the same pattern!

It’s quite similar to my first one, actually, but I enjoyed changing little things. This time I used two solid, slightly thicker yarns. They produced a lovely corrugated rib (I still need advice on making corrugated rib less tight, though).

 

The striping sequence which follows is a very simple trick that adds playfulness to the design. I messed it up a bit (by not counting right), does that count as a modification? I think with this kind of design you don’t have to worry about being exact too much, consider the pattern to be just a guideline.

The thicker yarn also resulted in a slouchier hat, but when has that ever been a problem? :) We’re slouch-lovers here at Fridica Knits! :)

All in all, I ended up with a lovely warm hat with lots of room for putting my messy hair away, and a nice item for matching – since many of my winter accessories seem to be cherry-colour-based! And it arrived at the perfect time, just as winter sent round some snowflake messengers to let us know that it was not ready to leave yet…

rip it again, Sam

There is this vest that has been almost finished for a very long time now. Not because I got bored of it. Not because I didn’t feel like working on it. Not because I ran out of yarn. My problem with it? The neckline. I’ve picked up stitches, knitted it, bound off, and ripped it all twice now. Let’s take it step by step.

I thought this would be the easiest part of the whole project. I love picking up stitches. What a great way to do a neckline, I thought! And I could test it and see if I want it a bit longer, to adjust just how much cleavage I want this vest to have. But then the knitting fairy decided to teach me a lesson.

I don’t have the photo for my first attempt, but the problem was that I ended up with weird holes in very undesirable places around my neckline. The kind of holes that would be the first thing that poked someone in the eye. They were on the neckline, after all! On the front of the vest! On my boobs! Even if I fixed them up with my scrap yarn (and I’m not an expert on fixing holes in knitting), they would be too unseemly. Rip.

For my second attempt, I followed clever advice from The Sweatshop of Love – and picked up the stitches a bit further away from the edge of my knitting. In order to be double safe, I used a slightly smaller needle. And in order to be triple safe, I picked up the stitches much closer to each other. Which meant that I ended up with around 90 stitches more than recommended in the pattern. Are you starting to see the problem?

No holes, brilliant, but I ended up with a, to put it nicely, ruffled neckline. Too many stitches, and in ribbing too, it just doesn’t work. Rip.

And here we are now. The plan for the third attempt is as follows: rip back to first row after picking up, then do one row of [k2tog twice, p2tog twice] to get set up for the proper ribbing. That way I get the benefit of not having any holes + get rid of my surplus of stitches. It seems like a good idea, for now at least. Any problems you foresee? Please tell me now, I don’t feel like another rip.

lucky

I can be very lucky sometimes. Like when I have nothing to write about and I get amazing photos of one of my knits on that very day. Or like when I have talented friends who have talented friends who are capable of creating those amazing photos and generously share them with me.

Which is all a very convoluted way to say: Look at this! Isn’t it amazing?!

My heart melts. The model is Masa, a 2-year-old who got the Little Girl Dress I knit as a birthday present this year. I’ve been told she loves it. As in, demands to wear it everywhere. As in, locks herself in the bathroom when her mom says she’s not allowed to wear it all the time. Melt melt melt. :)

The photographers are her wonderfully talented parents Sasa and Sara, who run DOF. – a studio for newborn, child and family natural light photography. Such talented photographers with a unique style are difficult to find anywhere, let alone in Croatia – and I count myself as extremely lucky for having been able to cooperate with them! I highly recommend that you peruse their portfolio – but make sure you prepare a good stash of aaaaaws before you start, you’ll need them!

I keep looking at these photos and smiling… :) How lucky I am.

Have a great day everyone! :)