Impasse

I found myself at a stalling point as I’ve been overthinking how to knit the lace border for my Nurmilintu (Little Bird Lullaby) shawl. Finally I have a plan.

Nurmilintu (Little Bird Lullaby) shawl

In the grand scheme of things, the way I finish a shawl is of infinitesimal importance, so I decided to just get on and finish it, one way or another (remember, “the cult of done”). I allow myself one more week to get this done, which should be more than enough. Not sure whether I’ll block it or when, as I don’t have a suitably large mat for it.

The original yarn, the fabulous Dragonfly shade of Dazzle by The Natural Dye Studio, is surely not enough to complete the three repeats in the lace section and that wool is sadly no longer produced. Shame because:

“Dazzle is an unbelievably soft wool, with an amazing sheen and really is “the Best of British”! This gorgeous yarn comes from pedigree British Blue faced Leicester sheep which is spun and then dyed by us here in the UK.”

One option would have been to use another yarn in three similar shades, but they are quite less intense and the texture is more sheepy, so they might not work well together. You can see the details in this post. What do you think?

Another option was to knit a different border.

Finally, I decided to call it a day: proceed with the original border, using the original yarn by making only one repeat in the section. Hopefully I will just have enough and I’ve not just put myself into more trouble! Living dangerously.

So finished object #2 is going to be the Nurmilintu shawl. Hold me accountable.

Leg warmers

On the background I’ve been working on a pair of leg warmers, perfect for the cold season and working from home: more layering, warmer, less heating used. I’m currently using some leg warmers I knit ages ago, but it’ll be nice to have another pair.

I just realised I never blogged them when finished.. these are the old ones:

and these are the new in-the-making ones:

While ago I made knee warmers for my elder father in alpaca yarn. The yarn is really warm, soft and nice, but it has very little “memory” (it will not bounce back as alpaca has little elastic properties), ending up not staying properly in place. I just had the idea to repurpose them as leg warmers too!

It’s nice to have woolly, own-made accessories to keep warm – a relatively green option to reduce heating costs.

“relatively green” because it depends on the materials used (natural wool vs synthetic yarn), their sourcing (local vs produced across the globe with huge mileage footprint) and producing techniques (more or less environmentally friendly).

I often buy vintage wool yarn (you can find plenty of unused vintage yarn on sale), so the yarn is from already used resources rather than using up new resources. Or vintage fabrics. Do you use vintage or upcycled supplies? What projects you made with them?

Today’s the day

Finished object #1

One down, let me present the next in line – you might remember from old posts: Little Bird Lullaby (the pattern is Nurmilintu by Heidi Alander). 

I want it done before this month moves on. It only misses the border, which is where I stalled because I wanted to make a different one from the pattern.

I’m not into lacy, pointy edges and found some more-me alternatives in one of the many knitting books in my library: The Complete Book of Knitting by Barbara Abbey. I want a knitted border, not too frilly but with a nice motif, perhaps something like a leaf or so (I love plants), that can be knitted on without sewing and follows the skewed shape of the shawl. Easy, she said.

The Cult Of Done

Let’s start with some confession and self-deprecation: I’m bad at completing things I start.

With that out of the way, what I want to talk about is how to get more things done. This is going to be a chat, not a how-to tutorial. It’s a long post – bear with me.. or click away now.

I usually worry too much, look too closely at details and stop short of getting to the end. Overthink?

On one of the occasions in which I reflected on the possible causes, I came across a cool “manifesto” : The Cult of Done Manifesto. I paste it here below.

THE CULT OF DONE MANIFESTO

In time these words have motived me to “get on with it” instead of wandering endlessly around the edges. Sometimes less-than-perfect-done is better than not-done, not-finished, half-done. Ok, the mantra doesn’t always work, but it helps. It’s a nudge.

“Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done. There is no editing stage.”

“Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.”

“Failure counts as done. So do mistakes. Destruction is a variant of done.”

“Banish procrastination. Done is the engine of more.”

Today it was a rather dull and annoying day, drizzly and cold weather, average work day with various little annoyance episodes.

I stood up and started looking at some things around. I wanted some of them to change. I had just read Kate Davies’ blogpost on on-screen knits, then checked related links, saw some great knitting patterns, one such made me think of some UFO of mine. I fetched it and also took a look at the bunch of unfinished projects closely located.

I don’t do New-Year’s resolutions. I find them demotivating and plainly depressing. It feels like I’m setting myself up for failure by listing stuff. I have countless lists.

But today I’m annoyed enough to make a statement: get your unfinished projects done or get rid of them. You can hold me accountable. Feel free, no grudge.

I need a clean slate. No more thinking about them. Other things will follow. Perhaps some books will go. Or something. Finish, be done with it, move on, let it go.

Today I present the first project that I will complete.

It’s a vest that has long languished in various corners. I knitted it, making up the pattern as I went. Average pure wool, simple pattern, nothing impressive. I quite like its V neck.

It languished because I couldn’t decide whether to knit sleeves or make it a vest. Jumpers are usually more useful in my wardrobe. But what sleeves to knit? how to make up the pattern? Roadblock. Overthink.

These days of working-from-home have changed my viewpoint – extra layers are a nice thing to have and reduce the fuel consumption, preserving the environment and one’s pocket. So a vest is nice to have. I don’t need to make the sleeves. Forget about them.

Today’s the day a decision is made. Get that bloody thing done!

Ravelry kindly reminds me that I started it back in.. 2014. It’s the Holiday Vest because it was started while on holiday visiting family. Project notes here. I pledge to finish it.

First thing: try it on. It fits well over my own-vintage tartan shirt. Win #1.

The fit is good if a bit comfy, but goes well with said warm shirt. And sitting at home. Win #2

When done, it will be out of my mind, in my wardrobe rotation and in Ravelry Finished Projects. Win #3

So 3 wins with little work. Only ribbed sleeve borders are needed.

If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.

Don’t forget to hold me accountable.

Happy and healthy 2021!

Normally at this time of the year we would be holidaying in Tyrol, Austria, spending time with old friends over there.

Sadly this year that’s not an option, but if life gives you lemons…. we stay in London and cook!

Nothing particularly fancy, a lazy night indoor, enjoying healthy food, drinking a glass or two, watching a new series (Barbarians).

I’m Italian, so there’s no escape from food talks 😉 please bear with me

I just put fish in the oven and about to prepare some greens, then simple cooked apples and yoghurt topping….

I hope you’re having a safe and good time. Next time we speak, 2020 will be history. All the best

Knitting projects

I made some progress on my In Stillness jumper as I was away. It got to a halt when the right DPNS were not available and an order has been placed for them; once I get the needles I’ll proceed with the sleeves. I really like the fabric and the colours. Because my gauge was completely off, I did some wild adjustments (read: guesswork) to make the yarn and the sizing work. So far it seems to have worked well… but let’s not challenge the Knitting Goddesses.

Given the cold weather and the hours spent watching programs from the sofa, I had the longing for a warmer blanket… so I casted one on with some vintage pure wool yarn, of which I had a sizeable quantity. This is the free pattern Pauli by Loona Knits. It’s in German (or Russian if you prefer!) but I can read it and also includes an easy chart. The result is pretty but the stitches are really basic – knit and purl. Here are my project notes.

img_8910

Original photo from Pauli by Loona Knits pattern.

I cast on almost double the stitches as in the original pattern to have a double-sized blanket. I just hope it’s not too large and the yarn will be enough! I know, I know… swatches… nope