Category Archives: Knitting

Spinning, pirates and kids

It’s been a while since my last post so I thought an update on what’s happening might be a good thing to do. Today I’m actually resting after a visit at my daughter’s kindergarten. I was invited by her teachers to talk a little about knitting, spinning and that sweaters don’t necessarily have to come from a shop.

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My visit wasn’t very long as obviously such kids get bored very fast so I showed them some things that can be knitted or crocheted (together with gorgeous toys made for my kids by Gosia), we spun a little bit of woolly yarn and wove a small blanket. The kids looked really interested and I bet it must have been pretty awesome for them to see a real spinning wheel (that most of them probably know just from Sleeping Beauty).

I wrote that on Thursday then life happened :-) Continued today…

Yes… I started spinning! I’ve wanted to have a spinning wheel for a while now but every time I said something to my husband he was like “not-enough-space-too-much-yarn-blah-blah-blah”. ;-) Until we went to Yarndale and he got to see lots of spinning wheels to realize that they are not actually that big and eventually he got me a gorgeous Ashford Traveller.

(Yarndale and Swiss Wulle Festival deserve a separate post soon!)

My wheel came in the post shortly after the festival, Marcin waxed it and put it together and I got down to work as fast as I could. Starting with pretty ugly and bulky “so-called-handspun”, I tried to practise very often (considering I need to knit too) and even attended spinning workshops with a very talented Polish yarnie/spinner – Justyna from YarnandArt. I learned how to control my feet and hands properly, how to use a blending board and came out filled with lots of passion.

My first proper handspun was a pomgranade blend of merino and Zwartbles purchased from John Arbon Textiles, which became a new Sand Bank for my son.

Then I made a crazy colorful yarn for my daughter. It’s so crazy mostly because I was still trying to learn how to make proper fractal and the result is… well, see it for yourself :-) I got it caked and need to make a new hat for Agnieszka, most likely a Wurm.

Then I finally spun something really pretty, I guess ;-) This time I divided the top properly to get a perfect fractal spin. The colors (dyed by Justyna again) blend so nicely in this one! The yarn itself is still not perfect (I sure hope I’m getting there soon), but I think it is good enough to go to a lovely home. This one will not stay in my stash but is destined as a prize in the upcoming mystery KAL.

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I got about 280 meters (per 100g) of 100% Corriedale. Cozy, woolly and purple :-) Perfect for a pair of mittens or a hat. blog3

The last time I held a mystery KAL was about 2 years ago. It was Fuego Hat and we had lots of fun while knitting it. At the beginning of this year some of my friends asked me if I’d have another mystery KAL, but I wasn’t really sure. I realized that some things just need to evolve on their own and not be pushed too much to become something nice and knitworthy, and that was the case here. Whenever I sat down to make a “mystery design” my mind went blank. I had some ideas but all of them seemed so… boring. Until Emily (from Rainbow Heirloom) and I decided to make a shawl. A colorful, wearable and really nice shawl. A perfect Mystery Shawl!

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The KAL begins on Monday. I can’t wait!

We are planning to send out clues in three languages: English, Polish (thanks to lovely Hania) and French (thanks to fabulous Marion) so I hope you can make it! There will be some cool prizes too and among them you can find my purple handspun :-) Additionally, till 23rd the pattern is at a discounted price so if you feel like having fun check for more info here!

See you on Monday then.
(Next time I hope to write a recap of my journeys to the knitting world with a really nice giveaway too so stay tuned!)

40 Minutes Away from Home

I think I can say I’m pretty lucky that I get along really well with my mother-in-law. She’s a really wonderful person with heart filled with lots of love and my kids are crazy about her. In June her husband died of lung and brain cancer – it was a really hard time for her (and my Hubby) and despite being disabled herself, she looked after him until his last days.

About a month ago we also started redecorating our flat. Well, we sure wanted to have a new bathroom, but you know how it is… new tiles with an old dirty door? If we change the door in the bathroom, others will stay different? No way! So if we change the doors everywhere, that means repainting the flat, right? And this is how I ended up spending my summer with kids at my mother-in-law’s and my Hubby staying home. Redecoration finished a while ago, but having seen my kids enjoying their time with Nanna when she reads books to them, tells fantastic fairy tales to sleep and gives them so much love, no way I feel the need to go back to Toruń. So we are here, in Inowrocław (which is about 40 minutes away from Toruń by car) spending lots of time in the playground with kids making new friends and me knitting on the bench. And my mother-in-law is having an easier time transitioning from being a wife to being a widow. I hope…

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While sitting on the playground bench, I’m also working on a couple of new designs, some just for fun, some with deadlines.

First design I’d like to show you is just a simple textured pullover with some positive ease and in variegated yarn. Yes, positive ease and variegation! I’m not really into a lot of positive ease, or a lot of variegation, but decided to try it this time. “Mira” (which is my MIL’s name) is worked in the new base by Malabrigo called Mechita. Every time I wear it, I will remember about her and how awesome she is :)

The second design travelling to the playground with me is a pullover I’m making for my son and as a part of Winter Yarn Club by Hannah from Red Riding Hood Yarns. It’s my first time doing a yarn club design and I couldn’t be happier as the inspiration behind this one is really cute. Do you know “Cat in the Hat”? I bet you do. And can you see the colors? Awesome turquoise and red, and… well, you will see when this baby goes live. I can just say my son is pretty happy with this one (I’m even cosidering upsizing it for me!) and I’m having a lot of fun.

This month Swans Island has also published two of my designs created especially for their new “All American Collection Sport”, which is a lovely 100% Rambouillet base. It’s a very nice lofty wool  offered by them in lots of fabulous colors. And speaking of colors… When we discussed the inspiration for the designs I was told “think colorwork” and this is how my Fiona Coat and Ella Pullover were born. The former with color blocks, the latter with fair isle :-)

Fiona Coat is a gorgeous blanket cardigan with color blocks and afterthought pockets. I admit this is probably my most challenging design as I don’t generally do seas of Stockinette. I worked on it for 5 weeks and had to watch a lot of episodes of my favorite series to keep me on track ;-)

I’m very happy with how this cardi came out with all the lovely details, like I-cord edgings that keep the cardi in shape as well as color blocked front bands. I hope you like it too.

My second contribution to Swans Island colorwork collection is Ella Pullover.

This pullover is so much “me”. I was really excited when we picked the colors – they are exactly what you’d find in my closet – brown, beige, a little bit of blue. And a round yoke with fair isle! What can a girl want more? :-)

If you look closely you will see my yoke is slightly different, showing version 1.0 of the design. The one on pattern page (fabulously modelled and photographed, don’t you agree?) has dark spots on both edges of the fair isle, which were added later on. But worry not, pattern instructions are version 2.0 :-) I love both these designs so much and was really sad to send the away to the headquarters.
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Hope you are also having a great time with your family. Try to enjoy every moment with them as they pass away too fast :-( Having said that, we are off to the playground again. See you soon!

Garter, Babushkas and Mad Max

Seems at the moment my blog should change its name from Lete’s Knits to Lete Travels ;-) Yes, yet again I’ll be talking about a festival – this time in Berlin.

We loved this trip a lot and I’m saying we as this time I was accompanied by my Hubby. I’m so grateful he was with me as thanks to him (and my car ;-) we could easily move around Berlin.

And I could focus on more important things :-)

I always have a big problem with what I should take with me in my WIP bag when I travel. In Edinburgh I learned a very important lesson. I took two WIPs with me back then, the first one were just sleeves, easy peasy but ehm I forgot they were attached to a sweater and that involved carrying a fairly BIG bag; the second was a cardi, a dark green one… well I sort of had to rip a little when I came back home. Dark yarn and pub knitting are not the best combination ;-)

So this time I took yarn for shawl designs that I’m asked to make – mostly in Garter stitch, and that means only knits! Clever huh? And no, I didn’t need to rip anything after coming back home :-)

In case you are wondering what the yarn in the first photo is going to be…yes, a triangular Masgot :-)

But the festival… It was so lovely to see all my friends and introduce my husband to many of them.

We tried to document all the people we met but I bet there are still some fabulous knittters missing in the pics.

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With Dieuwke and Fides <3
Big thank you to Mia for taking me to button heaven (or hell if you have problems choosing only one thing in the sea of choices like me) :*
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All of us petite girls ;-) With Rililie and Isabell (aka lilalu)

The trip to Berlin was also a treat to us as a couple as we could spend some time alone without worrying about our kids or curfew. On Saturday we had a really nice dinner with Victoria and David (the lovely crew of Eden Cottage Yarns): no rushing, just chatting, good food and… a little bit of rain on our way back to the flat which made us look in our shawls like Babushkas :-)

On Sunday evening we went to see Mad Max. I’m not a huge fan of this series of movies but I must admit it was one of the coolest action films I’ve seen in years (and it’s not only because I was focusing on the plot instead of knitting ;-).

The festival also introduced a new shawl design to my store. It’s called Silke and was created in collaboration with Cathrin from WalkCollection.

Silke is a traditional hap shawl, which means its construction is slightly different from other trangular shawls. First you work the Garter middle and then, once you pick up the stitches along its edges, you work the lace part. It uses only one skein of WalkCollection BFL Silky or any other fingering weight (400m).

It’s light, airy and will be reminding me of my German trip for sure :-)