what I’ll be doing this weekend

Oh, probably just… rewinding every single skein of yarn I ever bought! :)))

Oh yeah, Momma’s got a new toy! :) I’d been weighing the pros and cons of this baby for a few months now, looking at different online shops, investigating shipping policies, figuring out import taxes, getting annoyed with credit card issues… And then I just pop into a yarn shop today to buy a pair of sock needles and see this sitting right there on the shelf! It was not cheap, but it also wasn’t more expensive than what it would’ve cost me to get online + shipping, so when I calculated in the risk of potential import tax AND the fact that I could have it right now as opposed to waiting some more, the decision was made. This is treats week indeed. :)

There are limits to my treats spending, though, so no swift buying plans for the foreseeable future. I had spoken about this to the yarn shop owner where I bought the Malabrigo yesterday (not the same place as where I bought the winder today) and she tried to convince me that a swift was absolutely necessary. I disagree, actually.

This worked just fine. :)

Happy weekend everyone. :)

treats

I went to the yarn shop yesterday. And I treated myself. I could tell you all the reasons why I deserved a treat (and they would be true), but I don’t want to. I think the blogging world tends to justify itself and its yarn purchases far too often. We all seem to have fallen into this strange cycle of having to deserve the things we enjoy, or at least having to prove to others (and ourselves) that we do.

Well I’m not playing that game anymore! I wanted some treats. And I always deserve treats. Let’s all say it together… Because I’m worth it… ;)))

And now let me tell you about my treats. First off, I’ve been wanting to try some Malabrigo Sock yarn. Being a new sock knitter and all, and agreeing with Playful that Malabrigo is made out of buttered kittens, how could I not… I did look for it online, but any shade I was drawn to seemed to have been sold out. At the yarn shop there wasn’t a huge selection of colours, and I dithered around a few wondering if I really liked them, when this little thing popped out from the back.

Blue has totally been my colour for the last year or so (Do you go through these colour phases too? Mine seem to last forever…), so I was a bit cautious at first that I was just going for blue as usual. But then I saw the name of this colourway: Impressionist Sky. Something clicked in my head. Yes! I am a huuuuuge fan of the impressionists, when I lived in London I used to go to the Tate and just stare at the big Monet canvas forever… And as I read the name of this colourway, I could practically see it spilling over that canvas and filling in the sky colours. In my humble opinion it is spot on. There was not much dithering after that. (And the reason the skein is so messy is because me and my house-mates couldn’t stop playing with it :)

Second up is a colour I pretty much had on my mind on my way to the yarn shop. I wanted terracota red/orange for at least one pair of socks and I was delighted to find the perfect shade.

Even better, it’s a yarn I’ve been wanting to try out – La Droguerie Surnaturelle. It’s a fingering weight and seems perfect for socks, though strangely there is only one sock project made out of it on Ravelry. This is making me think that I’m missing something about this yarn, but I guess I’ll just try and see. The yardage is a bit on the skimpy side in comparison to the Malabrigo (383 vs. 440 yards) and the shop owner did not seem terribly optimistic about the idea of getting a pair of socks out of one skein, but I’m determined to prove her wrong.

She had many many shades of this yarn and once I had it in my hands it was hard to limit myself to only one. This one also called to me. And it was treats day! ;)

As you can tell, all my choices were very vivid colours. It’s not by accident. I’ve found that when looking at projects on Ravelry I tend to fall in love with those made out of vividly-coloured yarns, but when I am at the yarn shop I gravitate towards pastels. I am determined to change that a bit, thus all these wonderful strong tones.

And when I put the latter two together in the bag, I realised they don’t even look half bad next to each other! I did not buy them with the intention of combining them, but perhaps they’re telling me something…  :)

All in all – great day, great treats, great projects cooking up in my mind… :) Tell me, which one do you like best? And are you inspired to go treat yourself? ;)

Third Socks, second attempt

The second pair of Kai Mei is finished, just a few more ends to weave in and blocking to do. I’m feeling quite relaxed about that bit, though, since the recipient won’t get a chance to use them before the fall anyway, so I don’t have to rush. And obviously, casting on for something new is much more exciting. :)

My first attempt at my third official pair of socks did not go so well, so I decided to try something much simpler on my second attempt. I’m going for a toe-up construction again, with just a few very very simple cables to break up the monotony. The yarn I’m using is quite lively on its own so it doesn’t need much activity in terms of texture or pattern.

It’s Ancient Threads Sockittome Select. I think this may have been the first variegated yarn I ever bought in my life. I bought it in a small shop in London almost two years ago, and I don’t think I realised then that it was a very limited yarn by an independent dyer. Sometimes we stumble upon jewels completely unknowingly. I made a baby sweater out of it, and was amazed with how wonderfully the yarn behaved. The stitches look heavenly – they are perfectly even and pop wonderfully with cables. Luckily I had bought two skeins, so now that I am on my way to becoming a sock knitter I can put the second one to its “proper” use. I’m really looking forward to seeing how these come out!

WWKIP Day

It seems that Worldwide Knit in Public Day moved to June 11th this year, but I couldn’t make it yesterday so I stuck to the date I originally learned as WWKIP Day – June 12th. I had my little celebration in a public park today. Here’s the evidence. :)

If you squint and look in the top right-hand corner you can see the people, i.e. the Public. :)

I sat and knit on my Kai-Mei sock in a little peaceful section where several other people were sitting and reading. We were just within earshot of a big celebration of the culture of former Soviet republics, which provided a cheerful soundtrack. And after I fulfilled my “duty” of knitting in public, it also provided an opportunity to practice my Russian a bit, as well as some yummy Georgian specialties to try… All in all, a pretty good WWKIP Day! :)

What did you do?

anticipation

There’s been quite a lot of excitement in my corner of the knitting world lately about the soon-to-be-published Little Red in the City by Ysolda Teague. Now you don’t have to be a long-time reader of this blog to realise that I love Ysolda’s work. Accordingly, I pre-ordered the book back in December and I am waiting for it with glee. It should only be a few weeks now. Some advanced copies have already seen the light of day, and I wanted to point you to this lovely review, which also includes a review of the intriguing Knit, Swirl! by Sandra McIver. It’s good reading, even if you don’t buy the books it turns attention to some issues important to knitting… I hope you enjoy it! Happy weekend! :)

floral saturday

This weekend, I combined my traditional Saturday morning coffee with friends with a visit to a floral exhibition in a recently redeveloped park in Zagreb. The exhibition has been taking place every year for the last 20 or so, and to be honest it’s almost as long as I’ve been planning to go to it. The first time I heard of it was probably somewhere towards the end of primary school, when a teacher was organising a visit but I was unable to go for some reason. Every year since then, when the advertisements popped up around town, I’d catch myself thinking “hmmm, maybe I’ll finally go this year”. And finally, finally, I did!

As might be expected, after so many years of build-up, it was a bit underwhelming. :) But there were still some interesting flower installations. I wouldn’t mind having this airy flower-curtain somewhere around my house…

And I really liked this little bit of botanical art.

I thought the wellies were a nice way of reminding people of the hard work behind all those pretty flowers and plants.

What did you do this weekend? Fulfilled any small dreams? :)

could it be? yes, yes, it’s FO Friday!

If you had completely given up on me actually aligning the conventional blogging days correctly (WIP Wednesday, FO Friday), I have a little surprise for you (and myself)! I actually have an FO post to share on Friday! Yaaaaaay :) Furthermore, if you have been trying to keep track of what I’m knitting and got completely lost in the sea of WIPs, sorry about that. I’m trying to reach the surface again too, but I’ve dived quite deep, so bear with me please :)

But let’s get to the point. This baby has been blocked and finished for a few days now, and it deserves its moment of glory. I present to you: Hipster Hat.

Hipster Hat is actually Jane, by Jane Richmond, but once I put it on I just couldn’t call it anything else. I first heard the word “hipster” last year in London, and this type of hat was pretty much essential gear for the image of the prototype hipster that formed in my mind as I integrated the word into my vocabulary. Above is my best attempt at looking hipsterish. Hehe. But let’s take a closer look.

The pattern is straightforward and enjoyable. Which doesn’t mean I didn’t have to knit the whole thing twice, mind you. Simply put, I ran out of yarn close to the end, had to rip the whole thing and think of a way to make it work with less yarn. Luckily, there proved to be a very easy solution. Originally the hat’s brim is knitted to twice the required length, folded over and sewn together, to form a comfy, super-warm layer over your ears. In my second version, I simply ommitted that and knit a regular brim (half the length indicated in the pattern, as I wouldn’t be folding it over). Taddaaa! Problem solved. The brim is still longer than it would normally be on a hat, and I think that works very nicely here.

And best part? Completely unexpectedly, it even ended up long enough to fold over when you feel like a change! :)

A few words on the yarnQuince & Co Osprey. It. Is. Wonderful. Please, take a moment and observe how the faux cables pop.

And if you knew how smooth the fabric was, how utterly devoid of any hint of scratchiness (and we’re talking about 100% wool here, people)… I’ve said it all before. But I just thought I’d remind you… ;) Kudos, Quince, really well done.

The hat weighs exactly 100g, and it allowed me to use the last skein of the 400g I won in Hannah Fettig’s extremely generous giveaway a few months ago. It’s been a very well used 4 skeins, if I say so myself, with Honey and this hat, I couldn’t be happier with what I’ve turned it into.

So let’s do a few more yays: yay for successful FO Fridays, yay for projects that work out despite difficulties, yay for amazing yarn, and yay for generous bloggers! And I hope you all get a few more reasons this weekend to go ‘YAAAY’! :)