The cardigan

Émilien cardigan knit with Katia Merino Aran.

It happened! One cardigan done! It was a super fast knit, with 5.5 mm needles, raglan sleeves and just stockinette stitch. I knit this one with quite a bit of ease, meaning it is definitely not a fitted cardigan, but that is what I wanted. I’m still unsure if I’m going to sew on buttons or sew in a zipper. But I’m considering it done.

Funny thing is, the body, sleeves and the hood knitted up so fast and when I picked up the stitches for the (button)band on front panels and the hood, I stalled. I ripped it out twice before finally telling myself that the wonky pickup stitches don’t matter. I usually twist them, so I don’t get huge holes but I hate that look on a plain cardigan. I considered knitting the band and then sewing it on, like when you steek a sweater (make a cardigan out of a sweater by sewing and cutting the front into two panels), but to be honest I’m quite terrified of putting my knitting anywhere near my sewing machine…

So it is done, and just in time for the cold weather to start arriving.

The cardigan

Preparing for winter

Scarf and gloves from hand-dyed wool.

Every year, around autumn, I start thinking “Man, I could really use a replacement for item X”. And like always, I start but don’t finish, loose interest in it and it ends up in the pile of hibernating items or it gets frogged.

This year, I’m aiming for a head start. While I’m still thinking about what I’ll make for Christmas, I’ll make everything else.

On the list are: a pair of light gloves, a pair of double knitted fingerless mittens for over the light gloves when it gets a little chillier, a hat, a shawl/scarf, a hoodie, pyjama pants, a pair of pants, a sweater and add to the never ending pile of socks.

As you can see in the picture above I’ve already started and finished: a pair of gloves and a shawl. Both items are knit from the same wool (undyed sock yarn, 80% wool/20% nylon), which I hand-dyed using acid dyes & my microwave oven. The colors didn’t exactly came out the way I wanted, but were close enough for me to still be happy. And since I’m not about to waste any yarn, I’m going to use it all!

I started on the mittens 3 times now, but frogged them… first I had selected the wrong yarn (it was gorgeous and handspun by my mother but the wrong choice for the project), then I tried out the double knitting and decided on a different tactic for the ribbing around the wrist, and then I wrongly decided I needed to cast on less stitches than last time, and it ended up too tight… so it’s frogged for a third time and I’ll get to it… after the hoodie.

The left shoulder of the hoodie in dark purple merino.

I found this hoodie on ravelry a while back  and I bought it and printed it a while back because I love the big cable on it and the hood… That being said, I’m heavily adapting the pattern because I don’t want the waist shaping & fit, I’m using a different yarn and I decided I wanted to use the measurements I used for my fisherman’s sweater (which I love and adore because it’s naturally dyed, handspun and knitted by me, and it was frankly totally uncomplicated to knit).

And when I was knitting yesterday, I decided I would go crazy doing the small cable on the front center and back center of the hoodie and traded it for moss stitch because I’ve got a thing for moss stitch…

The color though, doesn’t come up right with my awful phone camera… I already edited it a bit to reflect the colour a bit better but, honestly, it should be a dark purple/aubergine.

The yarn is merino from the sales bin, I grabbed 12 balls (miraculously from the same dye-lot) and dashed for the register… the label said 10 balls for a sweater and I counted two for the hood… and now I’m crossing my fingers hoping that I’ll have enough yardage. A part of me wants to go back and pick up two more… just to be safe. But then I’m thinking, what am I going to do with the leftover yarn?

So I’m knitting. I haven’t finished my sample piece on my drawloom yet (which I was going to this summer). I’m working on a pair of summer pants that’s another trial for the winter piece I’ll be making. And I’ve got spinning to finish. God knows when I’ll get it all done because school is starting again next week, but I’m hopeful.

Preparing for winter

The shawl that wouldn’t end

It took a long time. It was a struggle to finish it. And now it is done.

Isager Tokyo Shawl

I’m glad it is over. It feels like I’ve knitted for ages on this shawl but my first post on this blog tells me that it has only been a month or so, it definitely feels longer.

I blocked it sometime last week and I’ve woven in the ends this weekend. And now I’m contemplating on what I’m going to do with it. I’m partial to keeping it, since it feels warm and woolly but it’s stil very light and shawl-y. I’m 100% sure I will never wear it as a shawl, maybe I’ll hide in it when I feel chilly. But it -most likely- will never leave the house if I keep it.

I might try blocking it properly once I’ve found a surface that will easily let me do that. Maybe then I’ll consider giving it to someone who I know will treasure it for what it is worth.

Anyway, once you understand the badly written dutch pattern, the shawl is an easy knit, suitable for knitting meetups, tv-watching and whatnot. Zero concentration needed. The only thing I’ve done is put a stitchmarker  on every k2tog on the row, so I wouldn’t forget to do that. Not that I never forgot and never had to go back and fix it. But at least the stitchmarker made me remember that I had to do something at that point in the row.

But enough about this one. I’m definitely done with it. Now I need something brighter, like the sock yarn that’s been teasing me for a whole month or the better part of the last two weeks, since I’ve gone through my stash. You’ll probably understand that I couldn’t help my self and cast on: one pair of socks (to knit on when commuting), the start of my sock yarn blanket (long term, no deadline project) and a definitely more brightly colored shawl. It’s all fingering weight yarn and exciting! More on this soon!

The shawl that wouldn’t end


I haven’t written in a while, but to start off the new blog, I’ll talk about this new shawl I’m knitting. It’s a matter of rolling back into it.

Now, this shawl we’re talking about, was love at first sight. I was unsuspectingly visiting a yarn shop in Leuven, when it happened. I stepped outside, saw my mother -who had exited earlier- standing at the shop window looking up. And there it was the most interesting piece of knitwear I had seen all day, the Tokyo shawl from Isager.

Isager Spinni & Alpaca


I just had to bring it home! I had already three other projects on the needles (which is against my principles) but I just had to start this one. I opened the package, looked at the instructions and … frowned. The only instructions I had were obviously translated into Dutch, and aside from mentioning color A, B, C and D, which were obviously the Spinni colours, it lacked the information on what the Alpaca yarn was for. Clearly, for the amount of money I paid, a clear pattern was not included.

Ravelry saved me though, people who had knitted it before mentioned you needed to knit the two yarns together, the Spinni and the Alpaca. Eureka!

Now I’m quite a few rows into my knitting, nowhere near finishing, but enjoying it very much. It is quite an easy pattern, once you figured out what the instructions mean.

I can’t wait to show you the end result!