Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Breaking up

Yesterday I was in the store formerly known as Barka. I went with big momentum, I wanted to buy a bunch of yarn, but there was none from the colors I needed... I was really down, but I fell in love with a color combination, and somehow a sweater worth climbed into my basket... Only at home I started to think what exactly I should knit with it...
Of course once again a discussion ensued about how much I am addicted to yarn (very much so) and how muc does it bother me (very little)... and I closed the exchange with one sentence...

Once I broke up with a man, who (beside bringing me yellow flowers and dark chocolate) asked me if I really needed all this yarn...

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

In one sitting

I did the patterns on the shoulder of the sweater I am kniting in one sitting.
As long as you can call knitting, sitting up in my bed, watching TV, then fall asleep, wake up and knit a couple of more hours without getting out of said bed....

Monday, November 28, 2016

A new toy..

I have :-)
I really loved the Flora yarn, so as soon as I finished the kitty hat, I started something new...

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Poncho on a yarn diet

Even though I did not announce it loudly, at the beginning of the year I've put myself on a yarn diet (I should put myself on a food diet as well, but that is another story).
I know I have a surreal amount of yarn, and it got to the point when... No it does not bother me, nor does it frustrates me, only that there is really no more place to put them... yarn is everywhere in my flat. I did not made strict rules. Buying yarn to dye is alowed. Buying travel yarn is allowed. Buying yarn to weave with is allowed. I've been a really good girl, and kept to it with only two exception, Flora, and one bagful at the one of the very few remaining second hand stores. In both case I did used the yarns at a relatively short time.
 It is a great sadness to my heart that some of my favorite yarns (besides DROPS) are not available in Hungary. One of these favorites is the tweed yarns of Lana Grossa. Their sadly discontinued Lord was a joy to knit with, and I also dearly love their Royal Tweed. The balls I have I always picked up out of the bins and bags of second hand stores. Even if it was a half ball, and no matter what the color. No wonder that as soon as I saw that there was about 7 balls of dark red available I bought it without thinking. Only afterwards I started to consider what can I do with that amount as the yarn is to thick for sleeveless, or short sleeved anything, and not enough for a full sweater.
Going through the DROPS fall patterns as I translated them caught my eyes this simple and straightforward poncho that seemet the perfect choice to break the spell of the lost mojo (you might have noticed there were no knitting post all through the summer and then some- there was a reason for it, but it will be the subject of another post. If at all).
My poncho is loosely based on the pattern, I ommitted the very high, ribbed neck, and knitted it as long as my yarn held, adding a loose neck and an edge from garter stitch.
Pattern: DROPS Echoes
Yarn: Lana Grossa Royal Tweed
Knitting needles: Knit Pro Zing 5 mm.
Photoes: Christopher Laurent Deli

Monday, November 21, 2016

Kitty cat and the accountant

I was trying to figure out what to knit rom my brand new  Flora yarn, when my friend called this pattern to my attention. 
She also kind of implied (pretty strongly) that she'd like a kity hat, and since she is doing my accounts, and I do not argue with her when she says what and how should be done in connection to that, why would I argue, about a hat? Besides there is enough lavander-lemon cookies :-)
The pattern is up on Ravelry, free, but it is french. The charts and and the numbers are rather clear, I still asked the help of my Belgian friend Kim, to make sense of it. 
Good thing I did, as it uses tubular cast on, whch sounded pretty complicated, but this video helped a lot.
I love the yarn. I already had a feeling thet there will be love involved when I first read about ir, and I waited for it to be available, and available here too.
I really hope that it will have more colors in time, especially what they call MIX, and in English they are lovely deep heathery colors, but I think one can already put toogether a good fair isle from it. 
Bízom benne, hogy idővel még több színben lesz elérhető, elsősorban az általuk MIX-nek hívott színekből szeretné többet látni a palettán, bár azért már most is össze lehet állítani egy jó kis fair isle-ra val. 

The kitty pattern is not simple, there are pretty long floats to manage at places, which cannot be dealt with without weaving in, and it is not put together from small repeats but pretty large scale, it is easy to mess it up. For advanced stranded knitters and cat lovers, however, it is a great opportunity to 
pushing the boundaries of comfortable knitting.
Pattern: Lucette
Yarn: Drops Flora
Kinitting needles: Knit Pro Zing 2,5mm, 3mm

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Just one picture

From yesterday. This is how, when I only take the "small" portion".

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Cat tail

This is tubular cast on:

 And this is a cat's arse...Um, cat's tail.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Record

I wanted to show my weaving to you step by step as I have done them over the last few months, mostly in Judit's workshop and help, and I will do so... a bit later.
Now the record amount of likes on my Facebook picture showing the finished item of my friday's weaving promted me to post it right now.
I wanted a pink to purple colorchanging shawl for a while, but I didn't really want to weave it either in black or grey or even natural warps, as I knew it would throw off the color. However at the end of the summer I saw that in the "other" weaving workshop (Belvárosi Szövöde- Downtown Weavery) on one of the looms there was a pink warping. I wanted to go and weave there too for a longtime, but somehow time was never right... but I could not miss this opportunity. 
So here was the yarn I spun scpecifically with this long colorchange in mind... and I set a Friday aside to weave it. I will let the pictures speak for themselves (almost).


Weaving with yarn that was spun by hand from fiber that was also handdyes, has its own special charms... Like even if the yarn itself is rather uniform, it still has tiny changes in thickness, and the way I dye gives the colors sometimes run a bit wilde... so at the end the color is largely does get from purple to pink, there are suprise shades, of lighter and darker colors. So there is now to "row" now two thread is teh same, there is smaller or bigger change in each one.
And as I weave further sometimes a color pops up at suprising places, giving it a stripy appearance.
 A pink warp toned down the purple a bit, if I would do this again I would dye it to an even darker shade, but I am really happy with it as it is.
 Thanks go to Teri Tamási and the Belvárosi Szövöde. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Joyride tricks

Earlier this year I knitted the Joyride cardigan, a DROPS pattern, and I blogged about it here.
I changed bits of it here and there, I used DROPS Lima yarn instead of their Karisma, slightly changed the color scheme.  Note: the DROPS alpaca yarns are on sale until the end of december, so this is the best time to try something like this--- (this was the place for unpaid advertisement- :-) ) 
I have not posted much about the details, but recently I was asked to post some pictures of the backside. So here you go, added with a bit of advice on Fair Isle knitting
The sweaeter has a round shoulder, or yoke, decorated with a simple motive, and I think the color selectiona nd the simplicity of the shape adds up to its charm. 
 Here is the motive a from closer.
Even though it is bigger chunks of colors, and the colorful patches farther away, at some places there are as much as 14 stitches between colorchanges, this sweater is not knitted with the Intarsia technique, but the fair isle, Look at it from the backside. You can see that the strands colors, that are not used are on the back side, behind the live stitches. 
There are many techniques and gadgets to knit stranded or fair isle, I knit it with using both of my hands. To do this, you need a bit of practice to knit "English style" or throwing. Not only Google is our friend, but YouTube as well.  There are tons of videos on anything, this topc is no exception. Here is one that explains the beasic difference between the two. And here is one that demonstrates English style a bit more closely. (If you look for the search word "two handed fair isle knitting" or something similar, there are dozens of useful videos)
And here is one that shows you, how to knit two colors carrying them in two hands.
One thing that is important, that you don't change hands, in other words, you hold the base color in one hand, and always in that hand, and you hold the pattern color in your other hand and always in that other hand. Depending on which hand holds the yarn, it comes up from under or from the upper side, and this makes the given color sllightly rise up from the knitting, emphasizing the color more. This is even more important when you knit an overall fair isle pattern on an item.I usually hold the base color in my left and and knit that continental, and teh contraszt, or pattern color in the right hand, knitting it English style.
The "floats" those yarns that are carried behind the work are easy to handly until they have to cross about up to five stitches, for me six at the most. More than that they are too long, look messy and can get caught up in things like buttons, or jewlery when you take the item on or off. To make it look and feel tidier, and help keeping the tension more even, it helps if we "weave" these floads in, or catch them in out knitting. In this close up you can see the tiny gray spots that hold down the petrol blue floats of yarns. 
This is a pretty good video and this one is useful too. In YouTube using the keyword "catching floats in fair isle" or "weaving in in fair isle" will bring you tons of video results.
One thing that is important: do not catch the floats at the same place , it creates a column, that shows trough on the right side, always displace them a couple of stitches, n subsequent rows. 

Another problem I had with this sweater was: what to do with the button band, how to handle the colored yarns. The pattern does not have a ready answer to that, 
Here is what I did: I took the yarn to the stitch right next to the buttonband and twisted the base color (gray) and the colored yarn thightly togerher,just before or after the buttonband stitches, just like I would do, if I knitted Intarsia. 
 As I mentioned in my original post about this sweater, if I would knit this again, I would knit it without the button band and then pick up stitches across the fron edge and knit the butonbands that way.
This is a great sweater, I hope these little tricks were helpful.


Friday, November 11, 2016

No picture

Today I woke up, and not to the alarm, knitted, spun yarn, went to weave in a workshop, where I done a shawl/scarf, sold some yarn, had a late lunch with a dear friend and my son, who, when I saw that I won't finish my weaving in time to come home, to my phonecall dropped everything and brought my danceshoes to the workshop,  then finished the day with dancing french folk dances... and then worked, just a bit to make the day full.
The best day in a really long time. Thank you for eveyone involved. And the Universe.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Flora

Right, I am trying my best to post something almost every day, but I am not a machine and life, or sometimes work happens.
The first two days of the week I spent with the street foods of Amerika and trying to find a way to translate tricky, untranslateable business names, and figuring out different ways to translate "delicious"... I did think about posting, but I haven't even left the flat since I crashed in after the day of wool...
For today I can show you my "haul" from the wool of day... I got two skeins of the new DROPS yarn, Flora. I really like the yarn itself, I love Nepal and Lima, I already knit with both, and I like the touch and feel of Flora. I think it will be great for fair isle projects. I thought it will be great to use for products that originally uses Karisma, but now I see that it will be good substitute for their Alpaca yarn. I really like my knitted fabric more dense, than the average knitter (addig to this that I knit loose, you know why I start to knit swatches with needles that are two mm smaller than the suggested). As much I love the DROPS alpaca yarn, I always think it feels a little bit too... limp. The Flora has a denser feeling, so... we'll see. I find the colors a bit too pale for my taste, but I am sure a good combination can be put together even for a multicolored fair isle, and I am also sure I can find someone to overdye some yarn for me, if I really need a different color.
Here is the two color I got to try out:
I was thinking of a hat, much like the Selbu modern, but something else, as I already knitted Selbu a number or times.
I also know that this will blow over my self imposed ban of yarn shopping, but more on that later...
And this seems like a good idea... now shall I do it?

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The day of wool

It is hard to believe that I can't find words for something, isn't it? I could repeat what I said about the day of wool before, how close and dear to my heart it is, how I wait for it and how exhausting it is... This year I don't even have a lot of pictures, but I still have to say thank you to Gabi and Adrienn for their last minute help, and Marcsi for the life saving sandwich, and mention Judit, my favorite pupil, and how happy it makes me if others like what I do, and how happy it makes me when I see the smile on someone's face when they "get" spinning and enjoying, and I see the seeds of a lifetime addiction start to grow. The forst three pictures were shot by Gabriella Tóth, the other two came off my phone.



Saturday, November 5, 2016

Inspiration

I am often asked, where do I get the Inspiration for my colorcombinations... well, OK, sometimes, I do write to my friends on chat and nag them to death for ideas, of which in tehmselves, or combined I do use. But most often I get my inspiration from nature itself...like this:


Sometimes I am asked why do I collect/post/share those colorful bird pictures... like for because of this...too.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Sunglass time :-)

We have a saying in Hungarian about how man is planning but god is doing, or according to the dictionary man proposes, god disposes, or something at that direction.
I should have been suspicious when, arriving to the hospital with Chris, we've been told, that he is on the last place at that day's scedule, which meant he got out of surgery after 2 PM, and according to the rules he may leave after minimum of six hours... which appareantly was not enough as he was fast asleep for the rest of the afternoon, but upon realizing that he may have to spend the night, tried to fullfill the requirements of leaving, namely drinking a lot and peeing, and not puking, So we were all set, got the paperwork, and as he was ready to dress up, all the water and tea he drank came right out, so everything was cancelled and we had to resign to spend the night. Which is fine, his safety is more important than anything, and he is totally OK now, but it meant the next day going to the wasteland and getting our wits together.

However, I managed to loosen and braid up later in the evening all the wool, and today there was just enough light to make some pictures of some the colors and stuff  I am taking with me tomorrow to The day of wool. So here you go. 
Greens..


Silk yarns, mostly for weaving:


My favorites for this year: antique roses


Some impressionists:

 Colors mixed:



Drops lace based:



Blues

and some casmeere based stuff


And ispired by my accountant friend:

This is not all, by far, but maybe enough to entice those who are inclined to do so, actually come and see for themselves.