This sweater took over 14 months. I started it earnestly when I was recovering from a surgery. However, due to a variety of health and personal issues, it was a long slog to finish it. By the end of it, I really didn’t really want to pick it up. I also became slightly frustrated and disappointed in the pattern. I think the arm circumference numbers are too small for the sizes. It just fits my arms since I am more of a Small. I also wish it had short rows or shaping recommendations for the lice stitch. I bought the pattern book in store during the pandemic and was really inspired by it at the time. I will still knit from it but I need a break from sweaters. Hopefully my sweater mojo returns when the weather turns cooler later in the year.Continue reading →
It’s been awhile since I posted in this blog. I had a difficult and stressful 2021. The start of 2022 has not been easy either. My life is undergoing significant changes so this blog and a couple other things in my life fell by the wayside.
On a good note, I committed from late 2020 to read more and I achieved this in 2021. Books have always been a solace for me. Even with the stress that I experienced, I managed to read 70 books in 2021. That is the largest number of books I’ve read since 2008. The books I read now are smaller and they are definitely lighter. For example, I use to read more classics. These days, I strive to rotate more comfort books. Personally, I’ve found children’s literature and young adult books to be a good way to take my mind off the world. I still try to read a lot of non fiction, but I do read less literary fiction than I use to. In late 2020, I joined a local monthly book club which has allowed me to talk about various books for the first time in my life. In the past, I only had this blog to discuss my books and now I have another outlet.
In addition to reading, I was knitting more again in 2021 including finishing and working in on a few small projects. Currently, I’m knitting a sweater and planning on more stashbusting sweaters. In late 2020, I also rediscovered jigsaw puzzling. I have collected various jigsaw puzzles. I am hoping to do 1-2 puzzles every month in 2022. I watch a lot less TV these days.
My resolution in 2022 is to continue reading, knitting, and puzzling. I will also go back to writing in this blog again. Starting later this month, I will try to do monthly book reviews. I’ve never been one for long book reviews and there are a lot of books which I don’t have much to say about. Part of is lack of energy. I still want to share my books so I will try to write one or two sentences for all books that I read now.
To start off, I’ll mention some notable books that I read at the end of 2021 here.
Books in Recent Months
Tender at the Bone and Comfort Me with the Apples by Ruth Reichl
I rediscovered Ruth Reichl and love her memoirs. She’s a terrific writing of food and people.
Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce
Very good English young adult fantasy novel.
Notes on Grief by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Very short cathartic memoirs about losing a parent.
The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers
Finally finished this after years of putting it on hold. It was fun in parts but I won’t continue with the series.
Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster by Dana Thomas
Another book which has been on my TBR list for a long time. I liked the reflection on consumerism and luxury.
Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao
I really should have written a full review of this book. I loved it. It’s like Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets anime. Looking forward to see where this series goes.
It’s the third of the three hats I planned this winter. It’s been awhile since I actually finished this hat and a lot of things have happened in my life the last couple of months. I don’t remember all the details. I think most of the knitting was done in March and then I forgot about it. I finished it in April, blocked it, and left the weaving in ends and the photos until recently because of my hellish May.
I love lopi yarn. I received this skein also for free from my local Buy Nothing group. I knew I had to make something with it. Great colour. I wish I had more yarn to do an additional repeat of the cables but I was running out at the end. I wanted a folded brim as well for the extra cold days. As in my recent hat projects, I also made it tall for my hair bun.Continue reading →
This took a few months to photograph and write up. There has not been a lot of opportunities for the recipient to wear the Christmas necktie. I finished this back in November as an early Christmas gift to my other half. He requested a knit tie and I was able to use the recommended yarn. Overall, I made the tie less long and wide than the pattern. It helped that I modeled after a tie he already owned. I made it less long because of blocking. If I were to do it again: make even tighter, use another decrease than SSK which did not look as clean.
Christmas Necktie, started October 14, 2020, finished November 21, 2020.
Pattern: The Wedding Necktie by Susan B. Anderson
Made for: Husband
Yarn: Chickadee by Quince & Co. (Sport – 100% Wool – 166 meters / 50 grams ) 1 skein in #133 Winesap
Needles: US 4 – 3.5 mm
Unblocked: 134 cm/52.5”
Blocked: 154 cm/61”
Modifications & Notes:
Overall, made the tie less long and wide than the pattern:
- CO first on US 5/3.75mm but it was not dense enough so I started over with US 4/3.5mm – could have gone down to US 3/3.25mm. US 5 only if are a tight knitter.
- Increased to 19 sts for the front so every seed st row is the same
- Slipped 1 st of every row
- Front: Knit to 19.5”
- Neck: Dec to 13 sts gradually over the course over 2”
- Decreased down to 9 sts for tail end
Cost of Project: C$18 in total: US$1.50 for pattern and C$16 for yarn
Would I knit it again?: Yes but tighter gauge (smaller needles) and a different decrease than SSK.
This winter has been a slower knitting one. I still have a knit tie that I haven’t posted about because the recipient has not been wearing it much. I’ll have to get that one out in the next few weeks.
After finishing my wedding shawl in September, I was inspired to plan for more lace shawls and sweaters in my future. I took stock of my large yarn stash and realized that if I wanted to buy new yarn for shawl pattern and jumpers, I need to knit the stash down more. As a result and a shift in my hobbies, I’ve knitting hats.Continue reading →
This lace pi shawl was my heirloom knit. How do I define an heirloom knit? I think it’s one that I wanted to invest a lot more in terms of the material and the time. I did invest more in the yarn and pattern, but I had to rush to finish it as my September became hectic. I was knitting it everyday for about a week to finish it. I even had a little cramping. I finished this two days before the ceremony and the blocking was finished drying the day before. I really wish I had more time to enjoy the knitting because it is absolutely beautiful.Continue reading →
Socks are a good projects. Very straightforward and useful results. I have enough sock yarn stash for more than half a dozen pairs of socks. Even though I’ve stopped making my Barn Raising Quilt, I need to keep using sock yarns. I wear them a lot when running in the cold months. I actually need to darn some handknit socks at some point.
The pattern is interesting with the Guernsey pattern. I did not memorize it until the foot though. It’s a well written pattern except for a couple of minor bits. I would recommend it.
Originally, I had bought this yarn for Sylvi, a big cabled coat. I started it, but it was on hold for years. In the end, I decided to frog it and use the yarn for other things. I usually think of sweaters first when I have an abundance of yarn.
I wanted a cozy, easy house sweater. This is an easy and straight forward pattern. It’s a top-down raglan with pockets. I even made it one size larger so it can have positive ease so I can easily throw it over anything in the cold months.
This project took me nine years to finish. I knew that it would take awhile going in as it’s made completely from scrap sock yarn that I either used myself, were gifted, or samples.
I made 57 squares for this blanket. I used 54 in a 9×6 quilt. Many of the squares were doubles and they are represented twice on the quilt. All of the yarn had a wool or alpaca percentage at 75% or higher. It weighs almost 1kg.Continue reading →
A fingering weight top-down raglan that took many months as I expected but could have been done faster if I didn’t have a lot of other things going this past winter.
I usually choose more fitted sweaters but I wanted to go out of my comfort zone and Veera is one of the few pattern designers I trust with sweaters. Originally, I was going to make a Featherweight Cardigan with this yarn, but I thought Pavement would be a more suitable choice for years to come.
The sweater was not difficult to knit, but I found it exasperating at the end. I didn’t like the look of the short rows and I didn’t understand why there were increases so I omitted it. The pattern does not allow for enough underarm room ether. The neck is wide as well, but that’s probably more me than the pattern.
The sweater is soft and I hope to wear it more often.Continue reading →
Books and Reading
My goal for 2018 was to read 32 books. 2017 was not a good reading year, but 2018 was much better. As of this writing, I read 45 books!
The following are books that I dumped:
- Georgette Heyer mysteries – I read the one that I owned then I tried to read one more from the library, but gave up. I enjoyed Heyer’s Regency romances, but her mysteries were rather flat.
- The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory – I was already prepared to dump this, but I read the first prologue and some of the first chapter. I did not like it and skimming through a coupe of chapters.
- Joy on Demand by Chade-Meng Tan – A book on meditation that I started and was then put on hold for months. I gave up and realized it didn’t grab me.
2019 Books and Reading Goals
- Read 42 books for 2019 – This was my old standard goal of 42 books. I think 50 would be pushing my luck. I want to go back to the old days of my youth when I did read 50+ books in a year, but I don’t think there are gurantees of it.
- Read more cookbooks – So many cookbooks, so little time.
- Read remaining 2018 New Yorker magazines – I received a promo subscription in 2017. I only have about five to read.
For 2018, I wanted to knit six projects. I finished three and am currently still work on my fourth. I am satisfied since my current project is a light sweater.
2019 Knitting Goals
- Finish three projects in 2019 including my current sweater
- Continue to not buy yarn – With the exception of travel (and even on my last few trips), I have not bought yarn in a couple years.
This year, I finally made kimchi. I continue to bake bread but always using the same recipe since sourdough is finnicky. I want to learn more recipes, but the most important is to keep baking bread.
Some ideas for 2019:
- Make stollen next Christmas
- Find another reliable sourdough bread recipe that works for my starter and me
- Cook and Bake from my cookbooks
I have many other small goals. I am continuing to work on writing more, meditation, and fitness. I have planned and booked a few races in the new year.
I am knitting a lot of socks lately and will continue too. I do have a lot of great sock yarn including this one that I one from a Ravelry group in 2013. The tweed and yellow colour is sweet. I do like some yellow socks.
Eternal Spring Socks, started May 1, 2018, finished June 18, 2018.
Pattern: Eternal Spring Socks by verybusymonkey
Yarn: Younger Yarn Shire String in Second Breakfast – 85% Merino, 15% Nylon – 401 meters / 100 grams
Needles: US 1 – 2.25 mm 100cm/40″ long circulars
Modifications & Notes: Surprisingly, very little. I did it two at a time on magic loop as usual. I did three leg repeats and a stockinette foot. I made the the foot a tad short. I stopped under 7″ but should have done a little over 7″.
Cost of Project: $0 because I won this yarn!
Would I knit it again? Maybe. I found the lace repeat a tad too involved for me but it does look good. Pattern is well written too.