Not a mystery anymore

(warning: spoilers ahead. Don't scroll down if you want to knit this as a mystery)

I finished the MMKAL!
Even though last week wasn't the best week for knitting, I caught up. By Friday I finished the fourth clue before the epilogue came out. The epilogue was a fun story and the pattern was a little bit frightening at first. I mean... over 78" of purled i-cord? Man!
But it turned out i-cord knitting isn't that bad. In fact the simple, repetitive knitting was just what I needed. So Saturday I brought my knitting to the garden (we had some very hot and sunny weather) and i-corded along.


Last week I showed close-ups of the first three sections. Here's the fourth section. A mystery lace.



As a final touch I had to weave the i-cord through the holes along the border. It's kind of hard to see. I guess this yarn should have been a more popping color after all. But I still like the result.



The final shawl is huge! I think partly because my gauge is off. That was to be expected, since I didn't bother to check it at all. Before I started I figured Mystery Knit Alongs should be fun and relaxed. So I picked up some very cheap acrylic yarn (the whole project cost less then 10 Euro), thinking I could always decide to knit it again in good yarn I I really, really liked the outcome.

I now believe this was the best way to go (for me) and I will probably do this again for another MKAL.
On the forums I've seen so many people being bothered by the thought of spending a lot of money to make something they weren't sure they'd like. I also know there are people waiting to see what the final results are before they decided to make it. But then you miss all the fun of the mystery and the knitting along. There was also concern about the time it took to make it (again, something they weren't sure they'd like), but I think mystery knitalongs really are more about the process than about the result. I hope next time I will be able to participate in the forums instead of just reading them, that would be even more fun.

Anyway, here it is. There are loops of i-cord at both ends, but those don't show up in the pictures.



Did I mention it's huge?


But it's wearable. I like wearing it like this. Maybe I'll actually use it (when it's colder).


Yep, that was fun!


Linking up with Jeannie Gray Knits' Makers' Monday and Frontier Dreams' Crafting on

Mystery knitting along



I'm still working on the MMKAL (Murder Mystery Knit Along). It's really fun. It's turning into something I'd never chosen to knit from a picture, but I even think I might use it every once in a while (I'm not really a shawl person). I learned some new techniques and stitches that I probably will use on other projects and I learned to read a chart.
The story accompanying the patterns is actually very good. Even if you don't want to knit this pattern, you should go and read the narrative. Especially if you're familiar with knitting terms it's a really clever and enticing read.

But... it's a. lot. of. knitting. Really. I thought this would be a side project and I would be knitting hats too, but truth to be told, I'm always behind on clues. I just started clue #4, that came out on Friday. This one isn't that much knitting though, so maybe I will be catching up now.

Anyway. Pictures. Spoilers ahead (so if you want to knit it as a mystery knit along - don't scroll down).


The shawl after I got three chapters done. The fourth chapter starts on the right.


The first section was stripes and wedges. My popping color wasn't popping at all (it's a pastel variegated yarn), but I like the way that works out.


The second section was a very clever basket weave. I would love to make a blanket, pillowcases or bags with this stitch.


The third section was an illusion knit. Horizontal stripes if you look down on it...


Vertical stripes if you look from another angle. Fun!


The fourth section is lace, but I've only got two rows done.


The big question now is: will it end with the lace section, or are the other colors (after every section one color "dies") making a last appearance in a border or something? And of course: who was the killer? Oh, wait, chapter four already gives that away, we just don't know how the story will end yet - chapter four left our friendly P.I. (Slip Knitwise) in a dangerous situation. Have to wait till Friday to see if it all gets solved in the end. Told you it's a fun read ;-)

Linking up with Jeannie Gray Knits' Makers' Monday

47 - lots of candles and other facts


I was out of inspiration for blogposts, so I decided to google the number 47. Why? Well, as of today 47 is my answer to the question: "How old are you?".  I do know that it would make a lot of candles if we did the whole birthday cake with candles thing...

It feels like a weird age. Fifty is getting closer and closer. I'm not young, but I'm also not old. That's why they call it middle aged I guess ;-)
I used to think by now I would be older and wiser, but well, I'm not. Older yes, but wiser? Hmn.

Though I am wise enough to:
1. not to be ashamed of my age
2. be just happy and grateful that I'm alive
3. gift myself a day off. I'm allowing myself to do whatever I want (like writing a blogpost about the number 47) and to postpone the things I don't want to do (laundry).


Wikipedia told me a few interesting facts about 47. I already figured out it's a prime number (I am a bit of a nerd), but I now also know it's a safe prime (that means it's the outcome of 2 times a prime number plus 1).

47 is the atomic number of silver. Rather fitting for this age, I guess. I had my silver hairs dyed last week, but I do have them.

47 is the number of the French department Lot-et-Garonne, which is the only place in France we actually like. We even spent a few vacations there (we have friends that own a chambre d'hotes in Lot).

47 is also an interesting number if you are a Trekkie. I sort of am, but I never knew (or noticed) this:


It turns out 47 is an inside joke at the school (Pomona College) one of the writers attended. He incoorporated it in a few episodes and the other writers joined the fun. It's all over the place.There is even a complete website about the use of 47 in all Star Trek seriesM

Maybe being 47 is going to be fun after all ;-)

So I improvised a cardigan

(affiliate link used)

Well, I never intended to go into a blog silence for almost two weeks, but that ear infection was a bad one. The minimal amount of energy and concentration I could muster had to go into a big editing project (somebody else's novel). I'm also really sorry for not answering the friendly comments you all left, but I just wasn't able to find the words to do so. I guess that was a combination of pain, fever, fatigue and probably also because my focus was on Dutch for the editing job. This week, I'll try to pick up where I left off.

Despite all that, I was able to knit a bit. So last week, I finished my cardigan.

It started as a completely different cardigan five years ago. Back then I thought it would still fit if lost weight, but it turned out it didn't. I wore that first cardigan a lot the first three years, but when I actually lost that weight, I just didn't feel good anymore. And so it just hung in my closet. Until I finally got my act together and saved that yarn from ending up in a thrift store. I thought that would be a shame, it was a birthday gift and rather expensive. So I frogged the cardigan last year and started searching for the perfect pattern. But I couldn't find one, so I decided to improvise it since I did have an image of what I actually wanted in my mind.

It worked. The lace pattern is from an old booklet and for the yoke design I used my favorite knitting book (Knitting without tears by Elizabeth Zimmermann). I love that book. It's just what I need to help me to improvise the things I make (I tend to prefer not using patterns).

I'm so happy with the result! It fits like a glove and it feels so good to wear. I've been wearing it a lot ever since I finished it. On to another three (or more) years of enjoying this yarn...




Linking up with Jeannie Gray Knits' Makers' Monday and Frontier Dreams' Crafting on

Yarn Along :: look at that!

(affiliate links ahead)
 
Well, that settles it. I'm definitely a one-project-girl. After I decided to focus on the cardigan while I make up my mind about the colors of the MKAL (I think I'm going to keep them), I got into a flow. And now... well, look at that:


Finished the sleeves, added a bit of length to the body and now I'm knitting away at the yoke (with a bit of help from Elizabeth Zimmermann, ofcourse). 


Since it's a lot of garter stitch, I manage to read while I'm knitting. Still working my way through The Kitchen Witch series by Morgana Best. I'm now halfway the fourth book and this one is the best sofar. Still not brilliant, but entertaining and easy to read. Just what I need for knitting. And for nursing myself out of an inner ear infection (yeah fun! It seems this weekend was only the start of it)...


Linking up with Ginny's Yarn Along at Small Things

52 hats :: 16 - Tweed stripes



Meet my new model. He and his girlfriend came from my daughter's "workcloset" that is stuffed with her materials (she's a make-up artist, but took several courses on hairdressing too). She was happy to part with them and I'm happy not having to take pictures of my own head anymore. Though I'm not sure I'll take them with me to CuraƧao so me and my wrinkles may pop up again later.
Anyway. Another hat. I've been working through my scraps, so stripes it is. But I do like it.

A long and lazy weekend




We had a long weekend here. Friday was King's Day, a public holiday.
We planned to stay home and work on the house, but we weren't really up to it (I had a cold and T. pulled something in his shoulder last week), so we ended up visiting Gouda for a few hours.
King's Day is traditionally the day we're allowed to have "free markets" all over the country and it's always fun to look around. We didn't buy anything though, partly because of the whole "moving to another country" thing (we're trying to get rid of stuff, not add to it), but also because there just weren't many treasures to find. Mostly toys, children's books and (boring) clothes. Maybe the good stuff was already gone, we were kind of late to the game.
We tried to find a place to have a drink after the market, but all the restaurants and bars were crowded, so we went back home.


The rest of the weekend I spent like this. Knitting, reading, browsing. I guess we needed a bit of a reset.
I'm reading a magical cozy mystery series (currently on book 3), The Kitchen Witch series by Morgana Best. Not as brilliant and funny as the Matchmaker's series, but rather entertaining and perfect for reading in bits and pieces while knitting (those were affiliate links).
I've also spent some time reading through the archives of Soulemama's blog. I love her blog and her writing, but browsing all thirteen years (!) of her blogging also gave me some perspective on my own life in that period (I've been reading along most of the time, found her blog in 2007). Weird maybe, but I'll take whatever works for soothing my crazy, worrying, emotional, perimenopausal mind ;-)

I'm almost done with the second sleeve of the cardigan and then I'm going to put it all together with a yoke.
The Mystery Knitalong is sort of frustrating. I'm not sure I like how the colors work out. I'm thinking about frogging the whole thing and starting over with different colors. I wasn't sure about the whole variegated yarn thing from the start (I never like it) and should have followed my instincts instead of the directions (those clearly stated two solids, two variegated). But that would mean I'd have to find time to go yarn shopping again. Hmn. It's not that I don't want to, but this week is an extra busy one - I have some editing (on someone elses novel) to be done on top of all my other tasks.
Anyway. I still have that cardigan to finish and I think I'll be focusing on that this week.

Linking up with Jeannie Gray Knits' Makers' Monday

p.s. did you make hats last month? Please consider joining my monthly Mad Hatters' Link party