13 November 2011

Not a cardigan but... well, a scarf, of course :)

In the previous post I said I only had half a sleeve to finish a cardigan. And I did finish it (at long last!) but you won't see any photos of it today because it is still in a sorry, unblocked state, waiting for its creator-cum-owner to find some time to wash it and block it and then find some more time to put it on and have it photographed by her husband-cum-personal photographer, who also has to find some free time to photograph it, preferably at the same time his wife has chosen to wear it and have it photographed. Which is going to be soon, I hope!

Meanwhile, another long-drawn-out project has finally been brought to an end. It's Wisp, a wonderfully delicate lace scarf, knit in amazingly soft Drops' Kid-Silk. A friend bought this yarn when she was in Manchester, UK but unfortunately, she bought only one skein. It was enough for a scarf but barely just so if you are planning to knit a Wisp in Kid-Silk, get two skeins.

30 October 2011

Images of autumn

I don't have much presentable knitting to show you. It's not that I haven't been knitting, it's just that it's all in different stages of unfinishedness and as such extremely resistant to photographing. Instead, I first give you some photos completely unrelated to knitting and then some fresh photos of old projects :) But please stay tuned, some new knitting is sure to follow, I only have half a sleeve to finish a cardigan :)

I really love autumn. Even with all the rain, and the cold, and this terrible wind that we have here, and the dreariness and everything. It has a certain charm, a certain poetic aura about it that gets me every year. And the colours, ah, the colours...

This year the beginning of October was so warm that you could  sit in the park in short sleeves.

But soon enough the windbreaks were up at the beach 

and the playgrounds were deserted.

And then finally it was cold enough to put on the February Lady Sweater I finished back in July (wool+alpaca at 40 degrees!), pack my camera and a willing photographer and head off for the river bank.

I paired it with two more projects that never had proper photos of them taken either: Travelling Woman shawl and Drops' 98-55 Bag with cable pattern in Eskimo

Aren't I lucky that autumn colours are in vogue at the moment? I had put on a pair of  Jaywalkers in matching colours too but we forgot to photograph them :(

02 October 2011

Images of summer

Goodbye, summer! I'm glad you're over so that I can finally welcome the long-awaited autumn, knitters' favourite season :)

Some very, very happy feet :)

Some very, very happy girls :)

Some very, very happy grass :)

05 September 2011

Why do I like reading?

Since that post on books I've been thinking why I like reading. What is it that has always drawn me so strongly and irresistably towards books?

The first thing must be the magic of the story, the yarn spun from page to page, drawing you ever deeper into the plot, the characters and events. It was impossible to resist the temptation presented by the mystery of the unknown and the thrill of the suspense was, oh so addictive.

Then there's the imagination, whole new worlds and universes, which provided backdrops against which I could stage my childhood fantasies and play with them, turning them this way and that, playing a hero or a victim, a savior or a villain, a sheriff or a vigilante, a cowboy or an Indian, depending on the mood. I must have been an avid daydreamer back then. It is from these stagings, I guess, that my power of visualization developed, a blessing and a curse that's been with me from a very early age.

And finally, I think that the seclusion that reading offered is what I enjoyed. Even as a child I liked being alone and was never bored. Reading offered an opportunity to be alone when I was not, an opportunity to set myself apart from the rest of the world. And it worked.

Then came university (and later work) and a different kind of reading that I needed to learn. Reading for study, dissecting, analyzing. I didn't enjoy that as much. I had a feeling that it stripped books of their magic. And that is, at least partly, why I did not go on to study literature but opted for a different line of work. And I'm not sorry because the magic is back :)

20 August 2011

Klika Klika

Kažite dragička! Otvorena je nova onlajn prodavnica vune, i to Dropsove, i to najbliža nam do sada! Zove se Klika Klika i možete je naći na ovoj adresi, ali i na FB. Jedva čekam da tamo potrošim malo para :)))

08 August 2011

Books et al.

I've always been a voracious reader. Don't you just love that collocation, 'voracious reader'? It literally means that you eat books. And that is exactly what I did. I ate them, devoured them. From a very early age, I read and read and read. Voraciously, insatiably, unremittingly. Now, I would also add, indiscriminately. As a child, I read everything I could lay my hands on. (Which, as you can imagine, meant that I read quite a few books I couldn't understand or fully appreciate.)

When I now think about my childhood reading, I see myself in the countryside, at my grandparents' place in the summer. I'd take a book and head off into their huge garden, find myself a spot under a tree (it was too hot in the attic) and spend hours there, lounging in the hot, motionless silence of summer afternoons. I'd get up and pick a pear or go and gorge myself on raspberries. Idyllic is the word that comes to mind and, although my grandparents' house did not have manicured lawns, rose gardens or breathtaking views, this picture always reminds me of English countryside. Must be all the 19th-century novels I read there :)

I've also kept a reading journal. Since 1985. No profound thoughts or enlightened observations there, just a list of books I've read. Ordered chronologically, all 20-odd years of my reading. The first entry is Alexander Belyayev's KEZ Star (Zvezda Kec in Serbian translation), a forgotten classic of Soviet children's science fiction. It seems unbelievable that it was a prescribed school text only 25 years ago!

And I've filled several notebooks into which I copied sentences and passages I liked, sometimes whole pages. I still do that. It may seem pointless nowadays, with all the online collections of all possible quotations from all imaginable books, but I find it difficult to connect to these. These are just heaps of texts, other people's texts, bland, expressionless, meaningless to me. Not my quotations.

These days I read much less. Partly because of all the work-related reading, partly because I have far less time to waste away under a pear tree than when I was 13. But the addiction is still with me. I don't go anywhere without a book, I can't go to sleep if I don't read at least half a page. I'm usually too tired to read more than that anyway, but that's a story for a different kind of post. This year I've set myself a challenge, over at Goodreads, to read 20 books. Not many, but I'm not counting work-related literature. And I'm 2 books ahead already, which I consider to be quite an achievement, as one of them is Murakami's 600+ page The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and another A. S. Byatt's 500+ page Possession. Not that sheer volume matters, but neither of them is exactly a breeze to read.

Now, if you've borne with me this far reading this pictureless post, tell me something about your reading habits. I won't ask you what kind of books you like or who your favourite author is (I've always hated these two questions!). Instead, tell me when and where you like to read and how your reading habits have changed over time.

06 July 2011

Manchester, England, England and the long wait for our girls to come home

No, our girls have not gone to war but waiting for them to come back was equally painful! Two friends of mine had gone to Manchester to a conference and I sent them to Purl City Yarns :) They came back with these beauties:

The variegated skeins are Malabrigo Lace and the mohair (argh!) is Drops' Kid-Silk, the latter bought at their own initiative, to be turned into... well, a scarf ;). Unfortunately, they bought just one skein of it, which is only 25g and 199m so not much of a scarf potential there but I guess I could whip up a skinny Wisp?

14 June 2011

A sweater, a vest and a tee

I've been waiting long for these photos :)

Drops' jumper with a cable motif and 3/4 sleeves, knit in A.P.D.O.O. Superwash Sport, bought in Leo klupko in Zagreb last year. Thank you, Lorna, for sending me that one additional skein! I finished it back in December but the photos were crappy.

Then I got a most wonderful New Year's present from pckristina, 6 skeins of Unitas's Ana, which in January were transformed into a Lace Saddle Tee.

And for the end of this eloquent post, something I've wanted to make for a long time but couldn't find a suitable yarn. Until some friends said they were going to Sweden :))) Garnstudio, of course :) I ordered Drops' Nepal and finally made Bramblewood. The yarn is fantastic and just perfect for this pattern.

07 June 2011

Fishing gear, continued

Another piece of fishing equipment finds its way into my project bag :))) A retro-look fish counter turned row counter! And it can count up to 9999, lol! It must have been made with a lying fisherman in mind :D

31 May 2011


I recently won a fantastic giveaway hosted by ButtonMad. I won 5 gorgeous handmade buttons manufactured by Incomparable Buttons, a company giving employment to women in South Africa. Thank you, Incomparable Buttons!

13 May 2011


OK, maybe 'epiphany' is too strong a word but you know that moment of clarity when, after years of looking at an object, you suddenly realize its true nature. In a flash you see that the answer to your problems has been in front of you all the time without your knowing it. This is what happened to me two days ago when I looked at the plastic tube in which my husband keeps his angling floats. He's had it for years and years and I must have seen it hundreds of times. And then two days ago, it spoke to me and its true purpose was revealed!

I mean, just look at it! I know that you know what it's actually made for! :)

The depth is adjustable so it can accommodate everything from 40 to 70 cm (that's 16 to 28 inches) in length. Perfect, isn't it?

And that's how an unruly, disgraceful sheaf of knitting needles got a pretty neat box :)

14 April 2011


I thought I was running late with this pair of fingerless mittens and a cowl but considering the weather we've had recently, they might get some wear before autumn :)

Pattern: Great Weekend Mitts by Thea Eschliman
Yarn: Troitsk Yarn Deluxe (red and white) and Troitsk Yarn Moscow Chic (grey)
Needles: 2.5 mm

I improvised the pattern for the cowl but I admit I was initially inspired by Veronik Avery's Redwork Cowl.

09 April 2011

and a post in which another thing goes from bad to good

You may also remember that not so long ago I got a gift token for Barka yarn from my friends. After much deliberation, I chose 5 órai tea (5-o'clock tea) in Lapacho. I had been on the lookout for an obtainable and affordable tweed yarn in worsted or aran weight for Bramblewood vest and this was a perfect opportunity.

The yarn is lovely, soft and squishy, 95% merino, 5% rayon. It knits very fast and does not split at all. Of 8 skeins I ordered, there were two knots in only one skein.

What I didn't like, though, was the colour. When it arrived I realized it was more brown than I'd expected. I'd imagined it to be more like pumpkin in colour. But, truth be told, when I put the actual skein of yarn next to the image on my monitor, there was hardly any difference. So it must have been me seeing the colour I wanted to see and not the colour that was actually there. Or it might have been that effect that you sometimes have when you decorate the house: it's one thing to see a small lime-green colour chip in the shop and a very different thing to see four huge walls of a room in that same colour. So it was perhaps seeing a big pile of brown that put me off a bit.

I knew I didn't want a vest in that colour so I repurposed it and turned these 8 lovely skeins into, why, a SHAWL, of course! I chose Mara, by Madelinetosh, and the yarn was perfect for it. Heavy, spongy and squishy in the garter section, rich and full of drape in the ruffle section. I'm very happy with it. I even remembered that I have a perfect pair of shoes to wear it with, once it gets cold again. A very warm, autumn accessory, it almost makes me wish it wasn't spring :)

I also got a shawl pin as a gift from Barkavuna, as if they knew I'd be making a shawl. Thank you, Karolina and Csilla, both for the gift and excellent customer service! Looking forward to some more yarn shopping!

A post in which one thing goes from good to bad

You remember that mohair scarf for which I had to trawl the whole country in order to find 9 different colours? Well, as it turned out, only about half of each skein was eventually needed so I ended up with 9 tiny feathery wisps of very thin mohair yarn, whose future, after the project was finished, looked bleak at best. They seemed destined to spend the rest of their lives at the bottom of one of those three plastic boxes in which I keep my stash. Nine sad little mohair wisps.

But as I'm trying to destash, they got lucky! (or so it seemed at the time...) The colours I had clearly fell into two categories: pastels and Christmas. So I took the five pastels (upper row) and started knitting a scarf... Yes, I know, I made a vow to cut down on scarves but what else can you knit with 5x8 grams of mohair yarn? As it turned out, you can't even knit this, but when I realized, it was too late, the scarf was already finished. And this is how it looked:

Soft and light like a breeze. I know it's a literary cliche but it really felt like a sea breeze against your skin. Fluffy and feathery and wonderful. True, it came out too short but with a clever knot or with a help of a scarf pin, it could have been worn. Could have been, yes, had I not turned it into this:

A jumbled, clotted mass of felted mohair! You can't even unfold it! What was I thinking? Where was my mind wandering while I was putting it in the washing machine? I'd really like to know because it must have been a wonderful place if it made me forget it's mohair, for goodness' sake! It cannot be machine-washed!

To make matters worse, it was supposed to be a birthday present for a little girl. Now, I know mohair is no yarn for little kids, but her Mum really liked it :) Now I don't have a birthday present either! What a sad ending for 5 little wisps of mohair...

29 March 2011

Needle felting

After the epic disaster last year, felting has been a no-go area for me. And understandably so, considering the miserable result of the aforementioned disaster! I reconciled myself to the fact that it was not my craft and that it would stay out of bounds forever. But then, some time ago, I could hear a little worm gnawing away my determination. Silently, gradually, out of nowhere, a thought was forming: how about needle felting? I mean, it's still felting but it's a completely different technique. And it involves needles. And I'm good with needles.... And then the right project came along - a plain, k3xp3 ribbed grey scarf for a girl that needed some but not much embellishment.

Now, although this is far from perfect, I daresay it already looks much more promising :)

11 March 2011

Yet another pair of socks

I don't have much to say. It's pretty obvious! I've been bitten by the sock bug... Well, at least socks get worn out faster than scarves so they're supposedly more in demand ;)

Pattern: Jaywalker by Grumperina
Yarn: Lion Brand's Sock-Ease in Sour Ball colourway
Project details: here

A great pattern, clear and well-written - enjoyed knitting it. A word of caution if you're planning to knit Jaywalkers: the zigzag pattern renders the socks very unstretchy so do follow the instructions and cast on the recommended number of stitches, no matter how scary the number may sound.

This is my first American yarn, I believe. Thanks to a friend, it travelled half the world, all the way from New York to Novi Sad, Serbia, where it was awaited with much excitement and impatience. And then it said on the label: Made in Italy! That's a heck of a lot of travelling for one little ball of yarn!

25 February 2011

Ekstremi(teti) / Extremities

It took me years to muster the will and energy and sort out my stash. And then, after I'd done it, my friends showered me with yet more yarn! It seems I'll need another 30-liter box after all! Ain't life a bitch? ;)

But before the stash event and before I got those lovely, lovely birthday presents, I managed to finish two very extreme knitting projects. Extreme in every sense. A pair of socks (my first ever, would you believe it?!) and a pair of mittens to cover both pairs of my extremities - hence the title. The former in light fingering weight, the latter in super bulky - hence, too, the title.

The socks were an adventure I've wanted to plunge into for some time now but couldn't find any suitable sock yarn. And then, when they got PEKA Salo at my local yarn shop, I knew my destiny was determined! I got down to reading about different construction techniques, various cast-on methods, etc. and opted for Stefanie Bold's Amy Lee socks as they seemed simple enough, suitable for a beginner sock knitter. Besides, I got a self-striping yarn and didn't want a fancy complicated pattern which would only be obscured by the yarn.

And let me tell you one thing, socks are faster to knit than you may imagine, I finished the first pair in 7 days of light evening knitting. And they are certainly easier than they look. But what these first socks really did for me was that they made me fearless - I now know that I can knit anything! I mean, if I can knit a pair of socks in fingering yarn, what is there out there in the knitting universe that I cannot do?! At least this is how I felt when I finished them.

The mittens were an upcycling project. Once upon a time there was a hat. A beautiful hat. A warm hat. A loved hat. Knit in a fabulous, colourful yarn. But made for a head that didn't get along with it very well. Now, I'll avoid frogging finished objects at all costs but there was no point in keeping a hat I didn't wear. So, after a lightbulb moment, I decided to frog it and make a pair of superbulky mittens by Drops. You can choose what they remind you of: oven mitts or astronauts' mittens, but let me assure you that with this snowmageddon outside, they were certainly appreciated and got many an envious look :)

20 February 2011

Birthday presents

The first surprise came on the day before my birthday so I was completely unprepared! And I still am! What I found in my mailbox was a gift token for Barka yarn!

Girls, you made me cry, that's how touched I was! Thank you for all the care and consideration and organization that you put into this!

And then, on the day of my birthday, while I was still at my morning coffee, the postman rang and these beauties arrived, a gift from Magrit and Olga. I was tempted to phone in sick at work, that's how much I wanted to stay at home and fondle the yarn!

Neizmerno ste me obradovale, hvala vam do neba! I nazad!

10 February 2011

Nagrade / Awards

Evo opet nagrada, ovaj put od Hobiholičarke Tenchee. Prosleđujem ih svima koji ovo čitate :) Osećajte se nagrađenima! Iako je tek četvrtak, lep vikend vam želim!

Award time again, this time from Hobiholičarka Tenchee. I'm forwarding them to all of you :) Feel awarded! And even though it's as early as Thursday, have a great weekend!

04 February 2011

Veliko spremanje u hrčkovom domu

Proteklo je, začudo, brzo i glatko, bez mnogo poteškoća i velikih nedoumica. Pobacah sve one male klupčiće, ostavljene za "zlu ne trebalo" ili za "poslužiće već za nešto" a ostavih samo ono predivo koje znam šta je i koje je marke, ili kojeg ima toliko da se od njega može nešto i napraviti. Bilo je teško, šta da vam kažem... ali vredelo je. Sada su zalihe bezbedno smeštene u kutije. Bezbedno jer im ne preti opasnost od moljaca ali bezbedno i zbog toga što ne mogu iskočiti i misteriozno se pojaviti na nekom neočekivanom mestu u stanu, što je do sada bio čest slučaj :)

Za hvatanje u koštac sa zalihama bila mi je potrebna estetsko-psihološka pomoć, za koju sam mislila da ću je pronaći u onim prelepim dezeniranim kutijama koje se prodaju po bolje snabdevenim prodavnicama za opremanje doma. No, videvši im cenu, brzo sam odustala pa su u pomoć priskočile jednostavne kutije od mlečnobele plastike, kupljene na pijaci za trećinu cene.

U jednoj je kutiji predivo koje zovemo opštim imenom "vunica", a u drugoj je pamuk. Treća kutija (koje ovde nema) rezervisana je za konac za heklanje, kojeg nisam ni znala da imam toliko mnogo. Doduše, on zauzima dosta mesta jer je namotan na kartonske kaleme. Sve u svemu, oko 80 litara prediva.

I pre nego što počnete da me kritikujete zbog gomilanja zaliha, a kritika bi svakako bila opravdana, moram vas podsetiti na to da živim u zemlji gde stalna isporuka neke robe nije zagarantovana, gde ako ne kupiš odmah svu količinu vune koja ti treba, sledeći put je skoro sigurno neće biti ili, ako je i bude, predivo neće uopšte biti istog kvaliteta ili će nit biti drugačije debljine i teksture, a o boji da i ne govorimo. Zbog toga, a i zbog godina nemaštine kad su se šećer, brašno i sl. kupovali na džakove jer ko zna kad će ga ponovo biti u prodavnicama, skloni smo devizi "Od viška glava ne boli" pa tako ni ja nisam izuzetak. A kad se to spoji sa već postojećom tendencijom da se ništa ne baca i sklonošću ka sakupljačkim hobijima, dobijete 80 litara prediva :)

Only Serbian this time, apologies to international readers. The post is about sorting out my stash, 80 litres of it :)

09 January 2011

2011. počinje sa... / 2011 begins with...

naravno, šalom :) Toliko o mojim novogodišnjim odlukama! No, mada nisam sigurna da je baš za utehu s obzirom na broj šalova koje sam napravila prošle godine, ovaj još pripada 2010. pošto je završen krajem decembra. Jedino je morao da sačeka lepo vreme da bi se slikao. Model se zove se Kernel i objavljen je u broju časopisa Knitty za jesen 2009.

a scarf, of course :) So much about my New Year's resolutions! Not that it should be any comfort considering the number of scarves I made last year, but this one belongs to 2010 as I finished it in December. It only had to wait for some nice weather to have its photo taken. The pattern is called Kernel, published in Knitty, Fall 2009.

A sad da pređemo na nešto što u potpunosti pripada ovoj godini, a to su rukavice Nereid. Predivna mustra, savršeno prilagođena rukavicama (prvobitno je bila namenjena za jedne čarape iz onlajn časopisa Knitty), vunica kao stvorena za njih. Vrlo sam zadovoljna!

And now for something that completely belongs to this year - Nereid fingerless mittens. A beautiful pattern, perfectly adapted to the mittens (it was originally intended for a pair of socks in Knitty), the yarn as if made specifically for them. I'm very satisfied!

01 January 2011

Recapitulations and resolutions, sort of

Things I managed to do in 2010:
  • lost 12 kilos
  • knit/crocheted some 60 projects (over 20 of which are scarves, but let's not go into that right now)
  • finished and defended my master's dissertation
  • kept my sanity during that

Plans for 2011:
  • write a proposal for my PhD thesis
  • do a sewing course
  • sew a Christmassy tablecloth for next Christmas
  • make a guitar strap for my husband
  • knit fewer than 20 scarves
  • knit a pair of socks
  • knit some soft, warm gloves
  • knit
  • purl
  • knit
  • purl
  • do some crochet
  • knit
  • purl
  • and knit some more...