Monday, November 30, 2009

last night ....

... an unforgettable concert ...

(even better than 3 years ago)

(not exactly a) Cloud

Another hoodie for my collection, it seems I cannot get enough of them. I really like this pattern, especially the puff sleeves and the i-cord bindoffs. It is a lot of stockinette stitch but it goes quickly, even in small needles.

At the very end I decided not to do the Cloud pocket, but maybe I'll change my mind someday (I'm keeping some of the yarn on stash, just in case). The front seemed a little empty without it, so I opted for some flowery embroidery instead.

Pattern: (Get off my) Cloud, by Kate Davies
Yarn: Wensleydale Longwool Sheepshop 4 ply (brown - 5.5 skeins, fennel - 1 skein)
Needles: 3.25/3.5 mm

Changes: added a bit more waist shaping, and slightly changed the sleeve decreases (I made a more gradual decrease than just the final k2tog).
Finally, I didn't like the way my hood hem turned out, so I sewed in a little bit of a lace ribbon to hide it:

Friday, November 27, 2009

reading corner (new prints)

A while ago I decided it was time to re-decorate our reading corner of the living room a little bit. The wall just seemed too empty, so when I saw these prints on sale at Hidden Eloise I couldn't resist the opportunity.

And that envelope, just too pretty ... I had to keep it, obviously.

All the prints turned out to be just as lovely when I saw them live, and with the right framing (IKEA, of course) I think they really look perfect on that wall.

Have a great weekend, everyone (and although we don't celebrate Thanksgiving here, I've always liked the meaning and symbolism of that particular holiday, so if you're out there celebrating it, then Happy Thanksgiving to you !)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hoodie Vest

Hoodie Vest

I really liked this pattern when I first saw it (give me cables and a hood and it's always going to win me over) but the smallest size in the magazine - a 35" bust - seemed a bit large to me. So I'd already decided to adapt and knit this by going down one size in needles when I spotted the perfect yarn in Tallinn which would give me a slightly tighter gauge than I had planned. So I got the yarn and ended up knitting one size up to get a vest for my actual size, and it turned out to be a perfect fit.

The yarn was also also quite pleasant to knit with (and it hasn't pilled .. so far), and I have two skeins left so I think a matching hat will come soon.

Other changes: added slight side shaping (about 4 or 5 decreases and increases), body was knit in one piece till armholes, added some length (a couple of inches), shortened hood length by an inch and a half and only made 4 buttonholes instead of 5.

Pattern: Heather Hoodie Vest, from Knitscene Fall 09
Yarn: Online Linie 157 Tessa (8 skeins)
Needles: 4.5 mm
Size: 38" (to get a 32")

Hoodie Vest

Hoodie Vest

Hoodie Vest

Hoodie Vest

Monday, November 23, 2009

crafty weekend

:: finally caved in and bought myself some interchangeable needles ... haven't tried them yet but I love the multi-colored look.

::almost finished with this one

::testing out something for Christmas

::cut out two new dresses for winter

::and thinking of the possibilities for these new alpaca yarns ...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

to do list

Today I realized that all the knitting magazine winter issues are coming out and I haven't even tackled half of my project list for Fall. For the past weeks I've been working relentlessly on both my Cloud and Heather Hoodie Vest, but got distracted when I decided it was time to start on some Christmas gifts. Nevertheless, I'm just this close to finishing them (ironically I'm missing half a hood on both) so next comes the difficult decision on what to start next.

Now, my knitting queue is probably 100 projects long (and I won't even bring up my sewing queue), so here's what's most likely to happen:

:: Vivian, because I happen to love hoodies and cables, and this combination is just perfect ! Plus, it looks so intricate and I love a good challenge. I already have the yarn for this one, so it's probably the next one on my needles.

:: Coraline (also by Ysolda Teague, I just love her designs), which is actually a work in progress since last year but has been hibernating for several months. I would really like to finish it, but I'm lacking the patience for what seems to be an infinity of stockinette stitch in tiny, tiny needles. Maybe during the holidays, I'm hoping...

:: Selbu Modern hat. I think I'll probably start this one at the same time as other projects, since I actually want to make it in a couple of different colors. The same goes for the Veyla mittens. These are my must have accessories for this winter !

:: Low Tide Ripples. I don't have a yarn choice for this one yet, and it's been difficult to find a suitable substitute online. Nothing I have on stash seems right, so I'm waiting to see what I can find on one of my next trips early next year.

:: Herringbone Pullover. I love herringbone designs, so this sweater really appealed to me when I first saw it. I want to knit the exact same colorway, it's just so pretty. I'm already picturing this with a pair of brown tweed pants for winter (which I still have to make, but that's another story)

:: Carnaby Street Pullover. Not exactly sure what it is I like about this one, but I just do. I'll probably make it full sleeved though. I'm thinking maybe dark blue or deep red with brown buttons ?

Finally, can I say how much I love this cardigan from the new Interweave ? And I just happen to have a bunch of icelandic yarn on stash, so I think this might jump to the front of the queue after all.

Enough to keep me busy ? I definitely think so ...

Friday, November 13, 2009

wardrobe considerations ....

Remember this blue dress ? At the time I confess I wasn't that in love with it as I am now. I don't know, maybe actually wearing it with Fall accessories makes it look so much nicer. I think I'll end up cutting the Lecien fabric for this pattern after all, but that's a project for next Spring, at the earliest.

In the meantime, I've been thinking about new dresses for this Fall/Winter season. A while ago I ordered a bunch of vintage patterns from this site, and lately I've been playing with possible fabric matches on my mind. Also, I have enough tweed and wool fabrics on stash to make quite a few pieces. A couple of trousers are my main goal, and I think I'll also start with a few simpler Japanese sewing patterns (dresses, of course !) before tackling these which seem more difficult (but so pretty, really)...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

the traveling scarf

More or less about a year ago I signed up for the Traveling scarves group at Ravelry. The idea was that each member would start a scarf and mail it to the next person on the list, who would knit another piece and post it to the next person, and so on, until it eventually got back to the original owner. This means I knit eleven scarf pieces throughout the year, and almost a year later, I got my completed scarf back.

Since we could specify certain requirements (like colors, gauge, patterns, yarns, etc) I only asked that mine be knit in somewhat darker colors (purple, dark blue, brown, ...). It turned out really nice, I think, but what I like the most is that each section was knit by a different person in a different place. This scarf in particular traveled to Spain, France, Germany, Poland, UK and Finland, and is now back in Portugal where it started. The other good thing was that I got to know all these incredible knitters, chat with them and be a part of their lives at least for a year, and it's these memories I'll be thinking of when I finally get to wear my fabulous new scarf.

Monday, November 09, 2009

lahemaa - day 9

The next day we started by visiting Palmse manor, considered to be the most beautiful restored manor in Estonia. The grounds are somewhat extensive, but perfectly explorable under a couple of hours. We got there early and in rainy weather, so it was really quiet and peaceful. My favorite part was the lake and the building below (the bathing house, if I'm not mistaken).

From Palmse we decided to drive all the way to Rakvere, outside of the National Park. I'd read the castle was worth visiting, and indeed it was a really fun and entertaining experience. Inside there are many activities you can try (from archery, to coin minting, pottery making, etc), there's a somewhat scary torture chamber and nice exhibitions to visit.

For lunch we tried the Art Café, located in central Rakvere. It's a modern and cosy small café/restaurant, and the food was quite reasonable.

One of the main reasons for going to Lahemaa was to visit the Viru Bog, something that A. was really keen to see. We did the 3.5 km nature trail on the wooden walkway and then returned to the car park using another hiking route through the woods. Total hiking duration was probably a couple of hours, and the landscape was definitely unlike anything I'd seen.

Last on our plans for that day was to see the erratic boulders by the sea near Kasmu bay. From previous photos I'd seen I thought they would be more impressive, so I was a bit disappointed. Still, it was a beautiful sunset and a lovely way to finish our last evening in Estonia.

More photos:
Palmse Manor
Viru Bog