Still Light Tunic

Let me put some life back in here and what could possibly be a better day for this than today :-)

I have a couple of FO’s to show you, but I’ll do one at the time.

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First one is this dress I made for my daughter. Euuhmmm, didn’t I say (probably even in my last post!) I was going to do more S.M.A.L.L. projects??

Okay, let’s say any next project will be smaller than this one, haha!

I used DROPS Alpaca for it, just like Veera in her pattern. But when the yarn arrived I couldn’t believe I could get a dress out of this. It looked so thin and almost miserable.

I checked the pattern again because I really thought I’d made a mistake. I also checked others’ project pages having used the same yarn and their dresses all looked fine.

Never judge by the looks. This yarn knits up quite fluffy and it turned out to be just perfect for this pattern.

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It was a little difficult to determine a good length for this. Also, after blocking the dress had grown just a little too much, that is for my 16 year old girl who turned 17 today!

I would wear it at this length, but I guess it’s different for young girls.

The pictures still show the dress at the old length, but in the meantime I’ve shortened it and I have to agree the shorter version looks better on her.

Small projects

Here are my 2015 goals on the knitting front. It’s not a lot but I want it to be realistic, right?

1. Produce more small projects like socks, hats, slippers – check!!!
2. Practice my spinning and take an advanced workshop;
3. Try more dyeing;
4. Do more gift knitting and prepare for some Christmas knitting;
5. Keep my stash under control and only add what I take out. Right, I never said I would diminish my stash :-)
6. Think more about the wearability of my projects. In order to reach that I would like to make less shawls (I tend not to wear them) and I will try to stay true to my preferred color palette of blue, grey, golds and a tiny bit of red.

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Wow, it seems like I’ve already fulfilled my first goal with this great pair of slippers. I think the Christmas knitting could be a bit of a struggle, but goals need to be challenging so I’ll leave it in.

It’s so rewarding to make projects you can finish in a day or two.
Very often it are also the ideal projects for using up some of your leftovers. My slippers were made with Lopi leftovers from my nordic sweater.

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These slippers were so much fun to make. It’s a free download and you can find it here.

Happy New Year at the Mondsee

I hope you all had a very festive end of 2014! Happy New Year to all of you and I wish that life will treat you and your beloved ones kindly in 2015!

I finished my last knitting project of 2014 in that festive mood and once again the season strongly influenced my color choices. I’m quite sure I wouldn’t have picked those colors at any other time of year.

The pattern is called Mondsee and you can see more pictures and additional information on my Ravelry project page here.

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This was my second testknit for Monie, better known as Iscula as Ravelry username.

When I saw Monie’s latest wonderful design, I didn’t hesitate one second!

Well, the truth is that I did.

In fact I had promised myself not to accept another testknit in 2014 because I wanted to give myself the time to finish all my WIP’s. But it was already too late – I couldn’t resist this one.

Another reason why I couldn’t resist is that I had an excellent experience with her previous testknit, called Attersee.

I like it a lot when a designer specifically says that she wants her testers to enjoy it without stress, even though I’m very punctual on deadlines. It just makes it relaxing somehow.

I also met some wonderful and very talented knitters during that first testknit and we have been following each other’s work ever since.

Thank you once again, dear Monie, for this beautiful testknit and for your relaxing flexibility!

Such a Winter’s Day

I absolutely wanted to finish all of my WIP’s before the year is over. I know, sometimes I can become a bit of a maniac.

It’s a first Heidi Kirrmaier design for me and I have never followed a pattern that was so clear and mathematically correct. The fit is absolutely perfect!

I used Holst Garn for a first time. Next time I would wash it first before using because my hands came out blue everytime and I even had to protect my clothes. When this sweater was finished I gave it a gentle soak and the water turned totally blue.

But it’s just a miracle how my sweater totally softened up after washing it.

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My daughter is my favorite customer : she’s very grateful and she’s also critical about it.

She’s able to tell me exactly what she wants in terms of yarn, color, fit.

And last but not least she’s always a willing model :-)

Heidi Kirrmaier is such a talented designer and I love the perfectly designed details like the side slits and the shaping of the neck.

More pictures and more detailed information can be found on my Ravelry page here.

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Holst Garn Supersoft Uld
Nld 4,5 mm

Fortitude FO

I promised this one was coming in a previous post, I hope it didn’t take too long. So here it is.

I was so pleased when Hanna Maciejewska asked me to test this wonderful cardigan for her.

As soon as I saw the pattern, I knew I had the perfect yarn for it in my stash. What a delight to use Rowan Felted Tweed DK, it’s warm and really light and perfect for cozy projects like this one.

You can find more pictures and additional information on my Ravelry project page here.

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I was just a little worried about adding the pockets and thought it would be more complicated than that. No need for worries at all. Hanna’s explanations were perfect!

I’m very pleased with this one and right now I’m trying to prevent my daughter from stealing it – it can be a challenge :-)

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Ndl size 4mm
Rowan Felted Tweed DK

Modular Magic

This is the 4th time I’m making a project from Westknits design and again, it totally triggered my imagination. What is it you’re doing to me, Mr. West? What’s the secret?

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It’s construction is very unusual. Well, perhaps not so unusual for a Westknits design.

Forget about bottom-up knitting, forget about top-down knitting and start in the middle for a change.

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The fun thing is, and I think it’s rather genius, that you can pick up stitches on each of the 4 sides of the rectangular. There’s a provisional cast-on at the bottom of the rectangular and there are life stitches put on scrap yarn on top. Each row of the rectangular ends with a w&t stitch (wrap and turn) which allows you to pick up the stitches very easily afterwards.

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I mainly used Alafoss Lopi yarn, it’s really thick and warm, yet light. I love this yarn, no matter if it’s a bit itchy, and it comes in the most gorgeous colors.

The original design has no sleeves, but I could not imagine wearing anything that chunky indoors, even without the sleeves. I decided to make it an outdoor version and added sleeves.

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As I went along, I noticed that the fronts would open up a lot and so I added a button band with some short rows to avoid that.

Can you tell, I’m in love with this one? Or did I already make this clear?

I’m a very seasonal person and as I was making this one I had exactly this setting in mind. It probably explains my color choice.

You can find more pictures and notes on this jacket on my Ravelry project page here.

Ndl size 7mm
Alafoss Lopi

Natural dyeing: horse chestnut husks

I promised I’d show you some more of my experiments with natural dyeing.

Let me first show you the result and then I’ll tell you how I did it.

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Close to my home there are plenty of horse chestnuts. The fresher the husks are the better. I could actually hear – and feel- them drop while I was collecting these.

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Let’s number the skeins from left to right.

The recipes are for a skein of 100 grams.

Skein 1 and 2:
-Collection date and place: September 16 near home (center of Belgium); Depending on the time of year and the place, result can be different;
-No mordants;
-Boil 250 grams (skein 1) or 130 grams (skein 2) of husks with 1 table spoon of ammonia for 1h and let it cool down;
-Take the dyeing material out of the bath; that’s not essential for the recipe but I don’t like my yarn to get filled with dyeing material; this could become a problem when the dyeing material is tiny;
-Boil the yarn for 1h in the dye bath and let it cool down;
-Rince the yarn until the water runs clear and let it dry;
-Result: brown-red brick;

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Skein 4:
As above except:
-Mordant 15% alun;
-100 grams of husks and no ammonia;
-Result: peach;

Skein 3:
-As skein 4;
-In addition, afterbath with 3 grams of iron;
-Result: teak;

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