As I’m writing a set-up for this first ever knitting update post, I’m starting to wonder why I refer to my knitting as ‘objects’, ‘works’, and ‘projects’. Because podcasters usually do that? Because it sounds interesting? Because I’m too uncreative to think of some other proper term? Hmm. Anyway, in imitation of all those lovely knitting podcasts out there, I’m introducing this new category of weekly blogposts. In these posts I’ll talk about the ins and outs of my maker life. Excited? 😀
I’ve said before that I’d love to start a podcast myself, and I actually tried filming one a while back. But to be honest, I don’t have the time in my life right now to dive into the wonderful world of filming, video editing and YouTubing just yet. I know I live in sunny Gran Canaria, minus job and plus cleaning lady, so I hear you thinking that I should have all the time in the world right now… and I do. It’s just that I wanna focus on different things right now. Like finally opening that knitwear Etsy shop.
However, I do really love the setup of most knitting podcasts. They usually revolve around ‘finished objects’, ‘works in progress’, and ‘future projects’. I think those are very useful things to document in order to stay focused and productive. And since I still have this blog that deserves way more attention than it has hitherto gotten, I thought why not transfer that setup to a weekly blogpost category? Yaaasss! So let’s get started then.
To start simple and not too overwhelming, I wanted to design something small for Chain Twenty’s shop. Something that I can sell both as a physical product and (if there’s a demand for it) as a pattern. I decided to be inspired by the yarn in my stash, because 1) I haven’t found a proper yarn store here in Gran Canaria, and 2) I made it my life goal to reduce the size of my stash. I chose to work with my Drops Paris cotton, which is pretty soft and machine washable up to 60 degrees Celsius. Hurray for machine-washable yarns! Those two aspects make it perfect, I think, for facecloths.
I designed and finished one, but wasn’t completely satisfied (picture below for the inside haha). So I made a second one, using different techniques and needles. That second attempt hit the jackpot. I’m so happy with the simplicity of this design, it totally represents the style I’m going for with Chain Twenty. And even though I’m still far removed from the chunky, fashionable sweaters that form my ultimate knitwear-designer-goals, I think I’m making a good, humble start here.
yarn: Drops Paris // colors: white (#16) and black (#15)
pattern: by Chain Twenty (let me know if you’d be interested in it!)
Works in progress
Long Island Sweater
This has been a forever-project that I started back in March. But that’s fine, because it’s actually my first sweater on rather small (5mm) needles. And I’m the slowest knitter you’ll ever meet. That doesn’t mean I’m getting bored of it. On the contrary, I love working on this beauty and I’ve got the feeling it’s gonna turn out great. Even though the pattern (which is free, btw!) calls for Drops Paris — which I do own, see above — I’m using my favorite superwash merino wool, also by Drops. It’s gorgeous to knit with, very soft, and a real bargain too.
As we speak, I actually finished all the knitting and washed all separate pieces. The yarn comes out of the machine pretty fuzzy, which is unfortunate and I might handwash this sweater in the future anyway, but it’s still so so lovely. Can’t wait to sew the whole thing together (not my favorite part) and see how it looks on!
yarn: Drops Big Merino Mix // color: anthracite (#03)
pattern: Long Island Sweater by Drops
This is a rather ambitious design project for a boxy sweater with fitted sleeves — my to-go-to style when it comes to sweaters. The front and back panels aren’t the problem, they are finished, washed, and approved of. The sleeves are a whole different story though. I’m trying a new-to-me top-down technique, so I’ve done a ton of maths on the measurements and decreases.
At the moment, I’m finishing up the first sleeve and so far, it looks like the hard work is paying off! There is a series of adjustments to make in a second version though, so this will take a lot more time. But that’s just how it is, designing knitwear takes time. And I love the process just as much fun as the end result.
yarn: Drops Paris // color: black (#15)
pattern: Chain Twenty (under construction)
If you follow me on Instagram for a long time, you’ll remember an old pink seed stitch blanket I was knitting out of baby merino yarn. I started it when I was still a very beginner knitter who didn’t know how to fix mistakes. And mistakes there were. At first I thought I wouldn’t mind a mistake here and there, but a blanket on 6mm needles takes forever and yes, it started bothering me in the end. So I stopped working on it. Lately, I found myself ready to frog the whole thing to use the yarn for something new.
I chose Purl Soho’s Broken Garter pattern, because my yarn was actually suggested as an alternative for Purl Soho’s own Mulberry Merino. I couldn’t help adapting the pattern to something more spicy (even though I love the Broken Garter’s simplicity), so it’ll become something new after all. Since I’m knitting it on 3.5mm needles, it’s probably gonna take forever to finish this. I plan to do a lot of work on it at once, to prevent myself from getting bored with it.
yarn: Drops Baby Merino Uni // color: Old Pink (#27)
pattern: adjusted version of the Broken Garter Scarf by Purl Soho
Since I just decided on the facecloth as my first shop item, I’ve casted on a second one. And there will probably be a third, a fourth… and hopefully a whole stack of them. Oh, I can’t wait to fill up my shelves with knitwear to sell! I have no idea if there’s anybody out there willing to buy my creations, but the thought of those knitwear shelves alone gives me all the hearteyes. 😀
Facecloths #3, #4, #5?
The Facecloths are all over this post, haha. You get the idea by now, I suppose. Since they’re gonna be shop items, I do have to come up with an official name for the design, right? I’m thinking of naming all my designs after places in Gran Canaria, since this is where I really started working on Chain Twenty, but I’m not sure yet. We’ll see!
Oh, when I fell in love with Andrea Mowry’s design, I fell deep, haha. Even though not completely my minimalistic style, all her designs are so wearable! I often find that knitwear designs look handmade, if you get what I mean, but Andrea’s look as if they came out of some high-end quality fashion store. Can we all just take a moment to admire this tunic for example?! I’ve had this design on my Ravelry Favorites list for a while now, but I think I have finally gathered the courage to start it. I’ll be using the Drops Alaska I once bought to make a blanket with. Who needs blankets when you can knit this gorgeous thing though?
I still need to swatch for this pattern, but if my gauge is correct, I’ll need some new 6.5mm circular needles. I’ll have to buy those in The Netherlands though, because I don’t as yet trust the postal system around here. We live on a huge, closed-off park and I’m not sure if the mail man can actually get to our house haha. Anyway, I’ll find my way, I suppose!
yarn: Drops Alaska Mix // colors: Dark Grey (#05), Light Grey (#03)
pattern: Mae by Andrea Mowry
As I said, I don’t think there are quality yarn stores on the island, so everything I buy, I buy online. For now, I let it be shipped to my family or friends in The Netherlands, so I can pick it up when I’m there. There are, however, some China-Town-kind-of-stores around here that sell some acrylic yarns (no-go), some cottons (potentially interesting), t-shirt yarn (like!), and plastic knitting needles and crochet hooks (handy).
This week, I filled up some gaps in my straight-knitting-needles stash by buying sets of plastic 3mm, 4.5mm and 5.5mm needles. Plastic needles aren’t the most delicious to work with, but they work fine for me and they were only €0.90 per set, yaaasss. I also cheated a little on my no-new-yarn policy and bought one large skein of white t-shirt yarn that was only €3. I honestly don’t know why it is that cheap, because the quality looks perfectly fine to me. I’m planning on making a bathmat or rug out of it, we’ll see.
So pfft, that was a rather large post! I’m pretty sure I’ve covered everything for this week, so I hope you liked it. Now let’s keep my fingers crossed this will help me organize my maker a life a little better. 😉