Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sock to shawl

The only reason why I decided to knit socks to my mother for Christmas was the presence of the Cookie A's Sock Innovation. Since I waited for the book for almost a year, I was definitely going to knit something from it! My mother doesn't even wear woolly socks, but she was the only person who was without a present at the time. So I carefully chose Kai-Mei sock pattern and casted on...

Lovely pattern, poor adaptation.
The pattern was great and I really loved to knit the lace section. The only problem was the yarn, or the mismatch of the yarn and the pattern. The pattern just didn't work with the yarn I chose. Though I didn't technically choose the yarn either. It was just a random purchase I had made some time earlier, and it happened to be the only suitable yarn in my stash when I decided to knit the socks.

After I finished the first sock I realized that it was bad. It did not fit, the stitches were too loose, the yarn hid the lace... I had no other option that to frog the whole thing. I also realized that changing the pattern would not fix the problem. It was the yarn. The yarn didn't want to be socks, socks that were very likely to be unused.

I browsed Ravelry projects to get some fresh ideas, and soon I fell in love with a Haruni shawl made with my sock reluctant yarn. And it seems that Haruni and Regia Hand-Dye Effect are match made in heaven. The soft and natural color transitions really work with the lace, not against it like in my previous shawls. It also made me fall in love with the yarn. I want more of it!

Showing off some colors, unrealistically of course.
I was slightly intimidated when I first started to work with this yarn. Ravelry describes it as a "splitting hell" and apparently it was supposed to tangle really easily. There's also a thin black thread in the yarn which was supposed to cause lots of problems... but I had no problems with this yarn. It knitted nicely, didn't get tangles and it wasn't splitty either. I have absolutely no complaints. I wonder why all the others were so frustrated with this yarn? It can't be the needles alone, because I knitted this with aluminum DPN's, ebony DPN's and Addi Lace circulars.

Showing off colors, this time more realistically.
The only reason why I wanted to save this project to a separate post was the possibility to show off more puppy cuteness. Papu is my trusted model, though sometimes people complain that I'm making her to do it against her will. So not true. She likes to get wrapped in warm things and I don't have to force her to stay still. She's just a natural model.

Random Niila cuteness
And I'm pretty pleased with this Haruni shawl too. This was my second one, and this one doesn't hurt my eyes like the previous one ! I could wear this myself as well. I don't know if my mother is going to wear it, she's not into knitted shawls. I'm not sure if she's into knitted anything, really. It doesn't keep me from knitting her stuff, though.

My lovely girls chilling.
I made the shawl smaller than the pattern suggested because I didn't want to run out of yarn. And I did have limited time to knit it as well. Naturally I wanted to be able to finish the shawl before Christmas, which I did, by the way. And it felt really good to knit a shawl again! There's something magical in shawl knitting. It just makes me happy, happier than any other knitting project.

Papu is a beauty, isn't she? I hope that one day Niila learns how to model too. Right now she's just too eager. She wouldn't say still for a second. And she would probably try to eat whatever I'd make her to wear. Uh-oh.

Finnish Summary: Regia Hand-Dye Effect ei halunnut taipua sukiksi, joten tein langasta sen sijaan Haruni-huivin. Huivista tuli tosi hyvä ja langastakin tuli sen jälkeen uusi suosikkini.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The only thing I knitted for Christmas

I haven't blogged in ages. In about two months to be precise. Main reason is that I haven't had anything to blog about.  I've been knitting the Christmas present for my dad, so I haven't finished anything and I didn't have any babblish to blog about, unlike Amoena.

Anyway. When I saw the pattern pictures of Henry by Mareike Sattler , I really wanted to make one. I was a bit intimidated by the comments that it'll take forever to finish it, but I decided to knit it for Christmas anyway. At first the project progressed well. But then I guess I just lost interest. Mostly because of the repetitiveness of the pattern: one line had 452 stitches where you repeat the 4 stitch pattern over and over and over again, on every single row. It became boring quite quickly. I probably hadn't finished it yet if it hadn't been for Christmas.

And in the end I didn't have enough time. Well I did have enough time, I just didn't put enough effort into it. But it looked quite ok after binding off. I did that on the evening of 23rd so didn't really have any time to make it any bigger. It looked even better after wetting and blocking it a bit wider. But after my dad put it on, I saw that it should have been even wider and a bit longer. Length is something that I couldn't have done anything about, but if I hadn't gotten so bored with it and had knitted more often, it would have been better. If this and if that...

I hate giving presents I'm not happy with. It doesn't have to be perfect, but I just want to be happy with it. It just sucks so much to see that after countless of hours of work and effort I put into it, it still wasn't good enough. For me at least. My dad was happy with it and said that it's just fine. It's what's most important, but I know that it could have been better. Just if I had set aside that it's boring as hell and just knitted. But what's done is done. I don't have any interest of unraveling the bind off row and knitting more either. I've had enough. I'll just try to learn from my mistakes and knit something less laborious next year.

Finnish summary: Tein joululahjaksi Henry-kaulahuivin isälle, mutta siitä tuli liian kapea ja ehkä liian lyhytkin. Olisi pitänyt neuloa sitä ahkerammin, mutta sen neulominen oli vain ihan liian tylsää.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Things I knitted for Christmas

Time to reveal some knitted Christmas presents! Like I've said in my previous posts, I knitted most of the Christmas gifts for my family, but I didn't want to blog about them before Christmas because I was worried to spoil the surprise. I still don't know who reads my blog and who don't.

I knitted Wurm hat for my uncle. He complained that it's too thin and therefor not too warm. In Finland hats are supposed to be like 100% wool and like super warm, and other kind of hats just won't do. I wouldn't mind a nice comfortable autumn hat though, like the one I knitted for my uncle.

Uncle Euno's worms
For my aunt I knitted a Lyon ear flap hat . I changed the buttons right before Christmas though. The original buttons were way too small. Though the hat is quite small too, it could have been slightly larger. For some reason my aunt likes to tie the ribbons under her chin...

I can use my pom pom maker for t his!
My oldest big sister got a cowl and a pair of matching mittlets . I had to mend the cowl pattern quite a it in order to get it perfect. I improvised the matching mittlets and I was so happy with them that I wrote a free Ravelry pattern for them.
I hope these stripes keep my sister warm too
Stripey Arms
For my younger big sister I knitted Ashley hat . It was the first gift I knitted and the reason why I decided to knit all the Christmas presents this year. I really liked the hat, and it seemed that my sister liked it too. She put in in her head after she unwrapped it and wore it for a very long time. Today she said to me that her friend liked the hat too and wished to have one as well. I'm not going to knit another one though, not even for money. I have knitted enough hats now.

You better like it or I hate you and give you nothing next year
There's still one knitted gift left, but I'm going to save it for later. It's worth a full post.

Finnish summary: Neulottuja joululahjoja ei tarvitse enää piilotella: enolle tein Wurm-pipon, tädille Lyon-korvaläppämyssyn, vanhimmalle isosiskolle raidalliset hartioiden ja käsien lämmittimen ja nuorimmalle isosiskolle Ashley-pipon. Yksi joululahja on vielä esittelemättä, mutta sen säästän seuraavaan postaukseen.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Beware, there are crazy people at Ravelry too

An unbelievable thing happened to me during the weekend. I found out that a person in Ravelry was using my copyrighted pattern picture as her only wip project picture, and the project page had no notes claiming that she’s not the owner of the picture. Instead the copyright text under the picture said that she had the copyright. She also had many other copyrighted pictures in her other projects, without any additional notes as well. So I contacted the person firmly, but still very professionally, to inform her that she has infringed my copyright and that I expect her to remove the picture as soon as possible. However, I did not know that I had contacted some kind of a crazy person.

She replied to my message pretty much blaming me for not telling that I don’t want people do use my picture and that she was using them for some Ravelry group thing. The tone was really aggressive. She even said that she’s going to tell everyone that they shouldn’t bother to knit my design. I ignored the latter and kindly explained to her that copyright in fact means that people can’t use my pictures without permission and I don’t have to state that separately, and that it doesn’t matter in which context she wants to use them. They’re still my pictures and I have the rights.

And then I decided to check out what Ravelry group thing she was talking about. I thought I should warn the starter of the group thing or the moderators of that group that there’s a thing advising people to use copyrighted pictures without permission. I did not found a thing asking people to use copyrighted picture, but I found out that the very same person I contacted to, was trash talking about me in the forum.

In her forum post she claimed that I had contacted her in a “very, very rude way”. J.R. has seen all the messages I sent to her and all the messages she sent to me, and he agrees with me: the only one with rude messages was her. She also lied: she said that there was a capitalized text in the project page that said “I am not the owner of this picture but the designer” or something like that. It was an utter lie. I checked the project page carefully before contacting her. J.R. saw the project page too and he does not remember such text to exist either. I wouldn’t have mind her post so much... but she was pointing me out and making me look like an awful person.

So when I left a message in the forum to ask them to stop trash talking about me, she witched to other forum and used even nastier language there. She even said that she had reported me to Ravelry. For what? Asking her to stop using my copyrighted picture? And at that point I decided that she must be crazy. I just couldn’t come up with any other explanation. Why would anyone sane do that kind of thing? What did she benefit from doing that? You can only imagine how furious I was. I had done nothing bad to her and yet she kept on trash talking about me.

I am so disappointed with what happened that I’m reconsidering if I really want to share my patterns in Ravelry in the future. I didn’t share my patterns to be come a “designer” or to be seen as one, I shared my patterns because I loved Ravelry. I thought it was my way to thank all those wonderful people in the Ravelry whose free patterns I had used. But why share if that’s what you get? People exploit your hard work, trash talk about you, lie to make you look bad... I really don’t need any of that. I don't deserve any of that.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

How many options do we need?

I finally got my hands on Cookie A’s Sock Innovation ! I read about the book from Ravelry and I got curious because all the comments were so praising. It seemed like the bible of sock knitting. So of course I wanted to read it too! Since I’m not really into buying knitting books (thanks to Ravelry) I thought I could just go and borrow it from the library. What I didn’t think of was the popularity of the book. There’s only three copies of Sock Innovation in our metropolitan library and they were all borrowed at the moment. So I made a reservation so I could get it next. Too bad there was like 18 people before me thinking about the same thing. Each person can have the book for a month... so you can guess that it was a really long wait.

But eventually I got it, and I only had to wait it like... for a year. They should seriously get more copies, since waiting a year for one sock book is completely insane. The wait was worth it though.

I was surprised by the “how to design your own socks” section of the book. I expected it only to have sock patterns so I was really pleased by the technical content. There’s just one problem... Now I kinda want to own the book so I could go back to it when I want to design my own socks, which is not right now since I’m busy with the Christmas presents. I don’t want to wait it for another year! By the way, they’ve just published the book in Finnish, but according to Ravelry it was a really shitty translation and the publisher decided to pull it back from the market and to give a new copy to everyone who purchased the first edition. Finnish quality indeed.

The patterns in the book were pretty, and I really liked the complexity of them. I already casted on Kai-Mei , though I already had to modify the pattern due to resizing. The pattern calls for 2.25mm DPN’s but such things don’t even exist in Finland. I used 2.5mm DPN’s instead but the sock turned out way too big. I could have switched to 2mm, which would probably have been perfect, we just don’t happen to have that size yet. Uh-oh.

I don’t get the x.25 mm and x.75 mm sizes though. We only have x mm and x.5 mm here. Are they really necessary? We’ve been fine with what we got, but it bothers me sometimes when I see those sizes in patterns. I feel like we are missing something. I guess we could order some online, but do we really need that many size options?