Call for Testknitters!

During past weeks I was working on a new pattern. I knitted a beanie for my baby girl and resized it for bigger children. I would like to publish soon, but the first step is to get it tested.

Hearts and Cupcakes is a girly hat featuring a really sweet theme. The stranded pattern is simple and easy to follow, uses only two strands at one time. 
I designed it for my baby girl and resized it for bigger children: /size 1: 6-15mo /17-18” 43-45 cm head / size 2: 1-2 yo /18-18.5” 46-47 cm head /• size 3: 2-3 yo /19-19.5” 47,5-49 cm head /• size 4: 4-10 yo / 20-20.5” 50-52 cm head 

Now, I am calling for test knitters in Ravelry Free Pattern Testers Group. FTP Group is a fantastic place for designers to get talented yarnies to make their designs, and it is a great opportunity for crafters to get round to next trends before everyone else. I am looking for one tester for each size. If you would like to join the group and try my pattern, visit the thread and apply there.

Wishing you a nice week!

Top 6 Things I Learned from my Knitting Mistakes {Part 2}

In my previous post I started to analyze my knitting mistakes hoping there is somebody who may learn from my faults. Some of you wrote that you'd recognized yourselves in the sentences. So after the less despererating three, now I am coming with the three worst errors I have ever made (or still making).

3. Measure twice, cut one - Yes, again, because this one must be considered in every aspects

Project: Summer Hobo Bag
Mistake: did not calculate yarn requirements

Okay, this one must be included in my daily meditation: 'measure twice, cut once, measure twice, cut one... ommm'  Usually I am so excited when something new is coming that I am not able to 'waste' the time for a gauge, I just grab my hook or needles and jump into. Otherwise when I work with a familiar yarn, this bad habit doesn't happen to be that big problem. If I had to give only one advice to a beginner knitter, I would say always make a swatch. Swatching is so essential in knitting. It is much more than checking the gauge, but you can see how your yarn actually works and how much you will need.
The analyzed project is actually a crochet one. I started to make a hobo style project bag and happened to buy not enough yarn for a yarn-eater round-shaped bag. The bag was unravelled and used up for a granny square bag - well, the squares are ready, partly sewed together and wainting in their project bag to be a project bag from ages. I promise, I am going to finish it!

2. Sometimes a great project and a great yarn have a bad marriage 

Project: Last Minute Bolero
Mistake: wrong yarn choice 

Well, bamboo yarn is stretching, so it couldn't work for this garmet. This wasn't the first time I used this yarn, but somehow I overlooked the 'stretchy' factor. This bamboo fiber may work nicely for tank top or a summer baby hat or anything that needs for a well draping material. By the way, the design was mine and completed it just in a few days before travelling to Naples.

1. Too much thinking

Project: Lace-back Hoodie & Purl Stitch Pulover
Mistake: being overinspired

Okay, this one is a complexed mistake I make. I am pretty sure that most crafters agree in that making things inspires to making more things. It is addictive and creativity is about practice. Plus, in these years we spend too much time on social media and they push great projects to try just into our face. So whenever I am (anti)socializing on my devices, pinning to Pinterest, rambling on my Instagram feed or watching what's new on Ravelry or visiting linky parties or busy with my own crafty stuffs, I am thinking on the next project.
Being over-inspired often means that sometimes I can't engage with my project. This happened with my Lace-back Hoodie and my Purl Stitch Pulover. I adored both pattern. First, I started the hoodie, but on the way it became clear that although I really love lace, I would never wear that hoodie, it wasn't my style. - Do not jump on the bandwagon, like I told in the first part. - So the project was unravelled and I started to knit the Purl Stitch Pulover. It is a lovely and sophisticated design, but I have lost my interest in a couple weeks and the unravelling was happened again. I was pregnant and the short sweater couldn't work with my growing belly. Finally the majority of the yarn got under its way in my baby's Idun sweater.
It is not easy to struggle against the creative to-dos. Some people have side projects to fix this problem, I have books. When I feel really stucked in, I leave all my projects and inspiring platforms behind for a couple days and pick up a book to keep my mind busy with something else. After a good read I turn back to my project with a fresh look. 

So, here you could read my confessions about the mistakes I make and what I learned from them. I might be guilty in a few others too, but knitting and crochet is about fun and every fail is a new opportunity to learn something, isn't it?

I am sharing this post:
Keep Calm and Craft On @ Frontier Dreams
Link Your Stuff! @ Annamarie's Haakblog

***Read the first part here.***

Top 6 Things I learned from my Knitting Mistakes {Part 1}

I was editing my Ravelry account the other day and realized that I have too much unfinished objects (UFOs), not talking about the ones that didn't even have a project page. Throughout the years I started several projects curiously and published the WIPs on the blog with big enthusiasm, but never finished them. Actually, I quite often cast on something that I never finish. Being the person who goes her own way and loves learn trough experiences I accept my mistakes.
There were different reasons why I made an irreparable error or why I lose my interest and placed the work aside. But even all these projects taught me something. After all, great losses are great lessons, aren't they?
I feel it is time to stop and summerize what I learned from my knitting mistakes. Now, I make an attempt to analyze the top causes of my project failures. 

6. Think before you act

Project: Felted Owl
Mistake: jumped in without a clear picture from the finished item
I started to make this owl years ago, I thought the leftover Lopi from my lopapeysa would be great for felting and I casted for an owl, but since I hadn't had in my mind what I exactly had wanted, I lost my interest quickly. This happens to me sometimes: I start something undefined and stop working to think over how to come up with it and never return. I fail, because I just have some unclear picture of what I would like to create and without drafting or calculating I just cast-on. Instant failure - we can say. The thing I learned from this bad habit that at the very least, I need to sketch it before. Now, I have a sketch book near at hand when I work on something. By the way, when I was writing this post I was searching for this project to take a better picture, but couldn't find it. I guess, I just threw away.

5. Do not jump on the bandwagon (unless you really like it)

Project: Toujours for me
Mistake: mindless, yarn-eater and time-consuming at the same time
Boxy shirts are my good-working friends in the wardrobe, they works with skirts, jeans and makes my belly look slimmer when I am not in my best shape. This fashion trend obviously quickly appeared in knit design too and it was inevitable for me to fall in love with a boxy pattern. My loved one is Joji Locatelli's Toujours. It is a gorgeous design with well-written instructions, by the way. I used up more than 300 yards yarn and I was feeling that it would never end. This is approximately just the 20% of the total lenght. The curved bottom edges were really fun to make - I always find short-rows interesting. But after this section there comes the yarn-eater stockinette part which couldn't engage me. I jumped into this project without the recquired amount of yarn and I haven't bought the missing skeins yet. But I haven't given up this one! I am going to order the yarn and finish it when I need something mindless. What did this one teach me? Well, I can't say that I don't like long-term knittings, because I had completed more. But if a pattern is mindless and time-consuming, plus a real yarn-eater, I will struggle to stay on the task.

4. Measure twice knit once

Mistake: too small
My saddest knitting fail ever was this striped cardigan. I completely finished this cardi from fingering weight yarn on 3 mm needles and it turned out too small. Very very small. I haven't followed any pattern, just worked from my head. Well, the scaling was okay - for a size 4 women, but I am wearing 6. Arrghh! I had at least 30 working hours on that project. What did I learn? Always make calculations before a new project. This one has been unravelled, yarn is currently being used up for a baby project.

Well, there you have it: three of the six main mistakes I made during my yarnie joruney. It is good to stop and think over our experience, isn't it?

I am sharing this post:
Yarn Along @ Small Things
Link Your Stuff! @ Annamarie's Haakblog

*** UPDATE: Read the second part of the post here.***

Monsters Can Be Friends

Monster movies are usually adorable with loving not-scary creatures and really helpful with unreal fears from sleeping. As a little girl, like most children I was afraid of them too for a while. My monster wasn't living in the closet, he was walking on the streets seeking for kids not sleeping, thus I always tried very hard to fall asleep quickly. An elder child scarried me with this story. When I talked to my mum about this beast, she unfolded the truth that this friend of mine had been probably a poor sleeper and someone had wanted to force him sleep with this horror story. So that was the end of my fear of monsters. 
The other day I got the silly idea to make a monster. I started this figure for a cat but the head hasn't turned out too cat-ish for me. So, I just kept on working the body without a concrete plan on what I have been working on. Just after I finished the arms and saw my creature in its full glory, I realized it would be a perfect monster. With three horns in his head this figure is a puffy lovely monster.

Materials: for the body Alize Cotton Gold Batik approx. 0.3 ball, for feet, palms and horns Catania in black approx. 0.2 ball
Pattern: improvised

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