Millwater

Time to reveal some Xmas knits! Yay! :)

Well, there is not much to say about this one, except that it’s awesome. Millwater was fun, easy, addictive (and consequently – fast). The pattern is lovely and I recommend it very highly! I especially love the bouncy luscious cable…

Even though I finished it in the first half of December, of course I put off the weaving in of the ends all the way to Christmas Eve. So in the end the cowl joined its new owner unblocked. I just stretched it forcefully a few times, to even out the stitches, and I think it worked ok.

The recipient was thrilled! Thrilled I tell you! It was all I had been hoping for. This was a total win! :)

feel free to stop calling me fridica…

…and address me instead as The Little Xmas Knitting Factory.

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This year at least I started earlier. Though I’m not any more organised than I was last year. I am casting things on impulsively and haphazardly – but surprisingly it is working for now. It is making me realize that I have indeed matured as a knitter: two or three years ago, it would have terrified me to cast on for an Xmas gift on the 30th of November as it would have seemed an impossible task to finish on time! Now I am confident that there are a few projects I can finish in that time.

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At the moment I am working feverishly on this. One of my family members last year said that she would like “just a scarf”. “Just a scarf” is fine with me, but a bit boring (especially since I had to stick with gray as I’m really not confident about her colour tastes), and Millwater by Beth Kling seemed like the perfect solution. The knitting is still simple and fast (and highly pleasurable, I might add!), and the result will be more or less “just a scarf”, but with a little twist or two to make it more special.

After just a few days, I’m already more than halfway done. Which is good because I have loads of other Xmas projects waiting to be cast on impulsively!

wham – bam – done

Today, I took an exam and whammed one gigantic rock off my chest. I won’t know the results for a few months, but honestly I don’t care. All I care about right now is that it is DONE. Ever since August, it had been taking up every single moment of my free time, and when I say every single moment, I include in that lunch breaks, evenings and weekends. Every single day. But it’s finally finished, and today, I revel the time regained.

And you can bet I’ll use loads of that time for knitting! So you’ll be seeing more FOs in the near future. For now, here’s the last one in the series of old FOs finally photographed…

The wham bam thank you lamb neckwarmer had been on my list since the earliest days of my knitting career (and how wouldn’t it be, with such an adorable name?). Last year, when I started exploring cowls, it finally got its turn. It is a free and easy pattern which knits up in no time at all. The way you sew it up yields an asymmetrical shape, so depending on how you wear it, it can look like a bandana or a doubled-up cowl (see the pattern photos for a better illustration, mine are more on the artsy side ;).

Unfortunately it did not manage to convert me to cowls (hehe, see my diatribe on that here), but if you’re a Cowl Person, I do recommend it (and it would be a great pattern for beginners as well).

Off to enjoy my first evening off in months now… Ta-ta! ;)

(s)cowl

Cowls and I, we just don’t get along. I know they’re fashionable and cool. Heavens know they’re in all the shops. And I have tried to get on the bandwagon. I have tried on countless ones in shops, and I have knitted a few. But I still don’t get it. As far as I’m concerned, they mess up your hair when you’re putting them on, they never fit close enough to the neck to prevent the cold wind from creeping in there (naturally, as otherwise you couldn’t get them over your head), and if you double them over they create a big weird lump in the back, making you look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Case in point: look at the big gap between Maja’s neck and the cowl. And now imagine an icy cold wind resting on her exposed neck instead of the sunshine.

But anyway, I keep trying. And sometimes the patterns just look too damn cool to miss out on. And I always think: this might just be the one to finally reveal to me what all the fuss is about…

My latest attempt was the Serafina Cowl, from the well-established team of Carrie Bostick Hoge and Quince & Co. The pattern attracted me immediately with its interesting and original combination of garter stitch and cables. Nobody can deny that it looks lovely!

The pattern as written seems to be too big for most knitters, though, so following their advice I took out one pattern repeat (CO 140 st instead of 168) and went down a needle size. In retrospect I could have cast on even much less and still would have had plenty of width.

The execution itself was not particularly enjoyable. For some reason knitting this caused me physical discomfort. It wasn’t pain, but it wasn’t happy relaxed knitting either. It was probably the combination of endless rounds of knits/purls and a not-so-elastic yarn (Spud & Chloë Sweater, 55% Wool, 45% Cotton) that caused it.

In conclusion, the final result is beautiful and lush, but in my view still not very practical. So for now, my reaction to cowls still remains – a scowl.