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Saturday, December 31, 2011

End of 2011

It's the last day of the year today, which makes it the perfect time to have a look at 2011.
The first few months of the year were very cold and gave me the chance to knit some accessories for my class- and yearmates. The summer brought a new challenge, something I've very much enjoyed doing since: sock knitting. My sock are still knitted according to the basic pattern, so they're not at all posh. But they keep my feet warm. In September I started the fifth year Latin-Maths6+. I really enjoy the challenges this gives me, but it also means that my knitting time is under threat, and so are my blog posts. It also introduced me to the concept of yarnbombing, something I enjoyed and hope to be doing again next year.  December (finally) brought Belgium (and Spain) a new government and me the exams and then the Christmas holidays that will last another week. During these last week I have managed to produce some more knitting and crochet, so here we go.

First up: the rainbow theme. I knitted a black and multicolour set (hat-scarf-mittens) for a friend last winter and since I always take some sockknitting to school I could see that her interest in a pair of knitted socks was growing. That interest resulted in a knitted Xmas gift, some black and multicoloured socks. After seeing these, my mother decided that she wants some too, for somebody who previously thought that socks should be discrete... Those are one of my projects for 2012: rainbowsocks for my mother. It just sounds wrong...

The same girl asked me if I would crochet a blanket for her. The absolutely loved the granny square one that I'd made for my own bed. I'd been toying with the idea of making a rainbow granny stripe blanket for a while and had more or less given up on the idea because I had already made one for my room and I couldn't think of anywhere else for a blanket to go, let alone a bright rainbow-striped one. Thankfully, she gave me the excuse I needed to try my hand at making one. It's going to be rather big (about a metre 80 cm square) but at the moment I've just got one rainbow repeat left to make it square, then I'll have to weave in the remaining ends and finish the black border. This is going to be the present for her birthday in January.

Talking of presents:
I knitted this hat as a Christmas present for my father, who lost the one he used to have. The pattern is Dubois, which is supposed to have a liner hat inside it, but when I tried it on after finishing the fair-isle section I found it was rather tight so I just turned the border and sewed it to the inside of the hat. This has made the border curl a little, but that should stop once the hat is blocked. I'm getting better at two-handed fair-isle, but it's still a slow process...

 Like many knitters, I've been trying my hand at Arne & Carlos' julekulers. Due to limited time I only managed to knit one, but I think I can feel a tradition of knitted baubles developing at my house, because ;y father decided to take up knitting again and he has make quite a few nice ones. We'll see what happens next year...

 The only thing I've knitted for somebody at school this winter has been a slouch beanie, based on the Organic mushroom pattern. I hope more projects will come along in the next few months...

Next up: what is to be my new jumper. I picked up 4 skeins of rowan colourscape chunky last summer from the sale basket of a yarn shop in Hay (They were half price, otherwise I'd never have been able to afford them...) and hoped that those skeins would be enough to knit a cardigan with. Ravelry led me to Stanton, a classic blazer cardigan that didn't seem to require as much yardage as the others ones. I was rather nervous about it and thought I'd pick up another skein at my LYS back in Belgium, but when I realised what the real price of the yarn was, I decided not to do so, and I'm happy I didn't. The back and sleeves together used just under 2 skeins, so I'll have plenty. When I realised that, I decided to reknit the second sleeve, because the yarn had gone all thin around elbow height and it really didn't look very nice at all. It's only after that that I read the yarn comments on Ravelry to find out if it was normal that the yam went so thin all of a sudden. It seams that although everybody agreed that the colours are just fabulous, lots of people are having problems with this yarn... Apart from the inconsistent structure, it also comes with bits of straw/wood in it, which is not great. Other knitters find it scratchy , splitty and wound up in pieces, but luckily I haven't had any problems with that. I have to agree though with the fact that this yarn is vastly overpriced for what it is. The cardi looks great so far, but we'll see when it's all seamed up. Fingers crossed.

 Last but not least: socks.
These are the second pair I'm knitting from the blue mix skein I got in Hay last summer. They're also my first toe-ups ever! This is my first 'posh' sock yarn and so I wanted to make the most of it, and knitting from the toe up is the perfect way to do just that. I used the pattern 'round toe and yoyo-heel' in 'sokken van teen tot boord'. I also made some bedsocks for my grandmother as her Christmas present, but I forgot to take a photo of them. I'll try to get hold of one for my next post.


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