Spring is in the air here in Rome, and I have been sorting out new and old yarns. The old: skein after skein that have not been touched for 20 years, except house moves. There are half-finished projects where a piece has gone missing, and some that might be useful for a different knitting item. I rescued what still seems knittable, and am now knitting my first Baktus scarf, from various leftover grey and black bits of yarn. Also in the mix is a mystery Chinese acrylic yarn with sequins which I found in Spain, we’ll see how this goes.
I confess, while using up old yarn I also ordered more Drops yarn on sale (twice: felting wool and sock yarn…) and have had to evacuate a bookshelf to make room. Fortunately I have a patient husband, who does not mind all the yarn (I have offered to knit him something, must think of something he would enjoy.)
Meanwhile, I am knitting away: a blue tuck-in scarf (smetteskjerf) in Drops Alaska, which I suspect is not quite as intended but might be wearable anyway. Also, red wrist warmers in Drops Alpaca, and Ellie’ s Gloves in Drops BabyAlpaca Silk, plus the Baktus. Slow going, knitting the wrist warmers on four needles, but I will learn.
Happy March knitting to all!
After years of knitting badly and then not at all, I discovered dishcloth knitting. Finally, something I can actually finish! Amazing! And these are small portable projects, so I can knit on the bus or at lunchtime seminars. It is so much fun. On my needles at present:
a) A simple blue dishcloth in Mandarin Medi, lovely to knit with.
b) The pink princess crown in Østlandsgarn, which I added sequins to last weekend while watching “Downton Abbey” (I am a few episodes behind). I need to measure the recipient’s head, and work out how much longer this should be, if it should be lined, and what additional necessary sequin density might be. Silly project but enjoyable, and I am getting better at increasing/decreasing.
c) Here is where I am trying a more ambitious pattern («På kryss og tvers» from Bittami), and I just keep getting it wrong. Best to try again in daylight. It’s from the new book “Kluter (strikking hele året)” by Bitta Mikkelborg (in Norwegian). Early Christmas present from my mother, excellent reading. Yarn is PT Petunia, also very nice to knit with.
New yarn to try: Grundl Cotton Quick Print (100% cotton). I wondered if a structural pattern might be too much, with the self-patterning cotton yarn. I also wanted an easy dishcloth to knit for morning commutes, pattern-free, and I liked the look of these diagonal cloths with edges. I followed (I thought) instructions from Ulla-Bella, in Norwegian. Nice explanation in English here too: Tea, Blankets & Full Hearts: Granny’s Dishcloth, just with larger needles. Really helpful to me, as my knitting vocabulary is all Norwegian and I am learning the equivalent phrases in English and Italian.
I got halfway (25 cm edges) and started to reduce. Now I have realized I was meant to increase every row, not every other row…… Oops! So this is not quite right. I increased beginning and end of uneven rows, and knitted across even rows. Still usable as a dishcloth, so I’ll continue!
What I did: Cast on four. Next row: Knit two, cast, knit across, then cast, knit two to end. I increased beginning and end of uneven rows, and knitted across even rows. To decrease: knit one, knit two together, cast, knit two together, , then knit across; last five on row: knit two together, cast, knit two together, knit one. At least I think that should work. If not, I will try again…..
A change from dishcloths: newest work in progress is a pink knitted princess crown. I have seen these online, and this is a small Christmas project. If it works out, and I can get the size right, I will embroider it with sequins, and possibly line it so it is not scratchy. This in knitted in Østlandsgarn (100% wool), circular needles 4mm. It is a yarn that could be felted as well, but this time I will just knit it.
First attempt: the tag on the crown was quite right, so I unravelled this and tried another way to increase. This is 15 stitches, increased to 20, which might be a bit wide. I need to measure (stealthily) on the possible recipient.
Second attempt, much better! I watched some technique videos, which helped. For the actual pattern, these were really helpful for me, especially as a novice knitter:
Grooo’s strikket kronnepannebånd
From vrangstrikk: kronepannebånd til små jenter
From strikkehikke: Kronepannebånd oppskrift
I am doing a mix between these: wool yarn on 4 mm circular needles. Knitting all the way, rettstrikk (that is Norwegian for knit, vrangstrikk is purl. These blog posts are also reminders for me for what worked, and what could be improved).
It is fun to be knitting something pink and silly, and think about how it might be embellished. Will it need an elastic lining? We shall see!
Greetings from sunny Rome. I am still knitting a dishcloth in Selje (Goat Willow) by Bitta Mikkelborg, with very little time to knit at home as we had dinner guests several nights and are getting ready for more visitors. Autumn in Rome is beautiful! This week I experimented with knitting on the bus, which went surprisingly well. I am lucky that I live near the capolinea, the end of the line, so there is always a seat in the morning. With 20-25 minutes to work, I would usually read an e-book, but knitting works really well so far, when we are not rattling over cobblestones for too long.
Now and then the bus gets stuck behind a double-parked car, so I can see what’s available of seasonal vegetables, listen to local gossip, and improve my Italian. Phrase of the week: farfalle nella pancia. Butterflies in the stomach, being nervous (this was said by a mother to her worried young daughter).
Voila! I might actually finish this with a few more mornings on the bus!
I am knitting a dishcloth in Selje (Goat Willow) by Bitta Mikkelborg. This week I have actually made some progress, I am so pleased! It is a gorgeous sunny September afternoon here in Rome, and I am home again after going to the market to get plants to revive the balcony boxes. Of course, I was tempted into also buying fresh walnuts, new shiny chestnuts and hazelnuts…… Mmmmmm, roast chestnuts tonight with red wine, I think. I am so looking forward to fall. Then I went off to cat-sit. I recently bartered catsitting for a sewing machine, which is super for me. With various boxes of fabric stashes away, I would like to start sewing again.
The cat in question was not this cat, who was snoozing in the shade, but Dolly, the elderly cat of a friend. Dolly is in her last weeks, but fortunately not in pain, and quite happy so far, so I fed and combed her, before knitting for a bit to keep her company. Sitting there reflectively combing and petting the fragile purring cat was rather nice, it was a simple thing to make her happy. I will look after her next weekend as well. I like cats, but do not want one at home, so catsitting is something I enjoy.
I am knitting a dishcloth in Selje (Goat Willow) by Bitta Mikkelborg. See, actual progress made the last three days! I have gone down to 2.5 needles this time, and the pattern is more visible. I was hoping to have some nicer dishcloths ready for Christmas gifts, but at this rate it might be Christmas 2015…..