Done

After a long radio silence, today I’ll share a few knitting projects that I completed.

I would also like to talk about art that I bought, but that’ll be for another time.

In my last posts I talked about getting things done, so this one is a follow up.

Nurmilintu (Little Bird Lullaby) shawl

After a long debating, the shawl was completed with the border as per pattern. The funny thing when I got down to work I discovered that all it needed was the last lace rows and bind off. So all the mulling over what yarn to use in case I ran out was for nothing! In fact, there is some left over. There you go…

I don’t have a blocking board to stretch the shawl so it’s not blocked. In my usual freestyle, it went straight to wearing when I needed something lightweight to add some warmth recently. I’m wearing it today too, and here are some crappy photos to prove it:

If you’re very impressed by my shawl (yawn), you can find the project notes here….

Leg warmers (Flashdance?)

Working from home in winter required added layers to keep warm, and this pair of 1980s style leg warmers were the result.

Made from stash yarn of pure wool tweed with a funky wool/mohair/nylon mix yarn. Flashdance leg warmers project notes.

Rib cashmere scarf

This one is another of those projects that had been in the making forever.

Made from vintage stash yarn (I purchased the yarn in another life, when I was still living in Italy), some pure cashmere that was reduced to clear. The yarn has been through a few reincarnations, until it became this scarf.

The scarf is deliciously light and warm, a delight to wear! As a bonus, it perfectly pairs with my brown tartan coat. Life is wonderful!

I created a project in ravelry but am not sharing as there’s really not much there yet. Let me see if I can unearth some image of it. (don’t hold your breath) I had none – so I just snapped a few..

Let There Be Peace (In Stillness) jumper

The sweater has finally come back from the limbo and the first sleeve has seen some progress. To be honest, it mostly stalled as I needed to order DPNS in the right size, then life got in the way, as it happens.

I’m now working through the decreases and am half way down the section. Enjoy some awful night pictures:

On a totally unrelated note, we bought a beautiful vintage wardrobe!

Time to go out for a walk… talk soon!

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.

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

Reusable bag for produce

I made a reusable bag for produce!

produce-bag-1produce-bag-2produce-bag-3

I follow Celia’s blog (Fig Jam and Lime Cordial) and she often offers interesting ideas to save the environment.

One of these is to make reusable bags for produce to avoid using plastic bags (VERY BAD for the environment) or paper bags (much better, but still why use unnecessary resources and cut down trees).

She used net fabric but I didm’t have any at hand. I didn’t want to use man-made fibre (= nylon = plastic = oil = BAD for nature)

The idea stayed in the back of my mind for a while, then one day it came to my mind that I had some vintage cotton (a charity shop from while ago) in my collection.

vintage-cotton-yarn

While cotton is a natural fibre, it is not necessarily good for our Earth: it uses a lot of water to produce the raw material and then process it. A LOT, like in

20,000 LITERS
The amount of water needed to produce one kilogram of cotton; equivalent to a single t-shirt and pair of jeans.

(source: WWF https://www.worldwildlife.org/industries/cotton). So I was happy to use some unwanted vintage one.

Pattern:
I went freestyle –  just did some filet crochet alternating sections of standard filet with parts of double-chain ((I think – whatever it is that it results in a “full square” rather than the “empty square” of filet).

Project notes with instructions:

https://www.ravelry.com/projects/ItWasJudith/reusable-produce-bag

produce-bag-4

produce-bag-5

produce-bag-6 The first side

The only thing to improve is possibly making it with a finer yarn to obtain a lighter weight; this one is about 20-25g for a small size (finished bag is approximately 19×24 cm).

The bag is now finished and is being carried in my rucksack for when I go food shopping.

It’s perfect for the small vegetables (mushrooms, beans, carrots..), nuts or fruits (kiwi, mandarines), etc.

It can store the items as long as needed and then reused. When dirty it can be easily washed.

I’m so happy to have made it!