From snow to snails

This has been a glum weekend. We were supposed to be away celebrating a birthday, but we couldn’t get out of Wales…

Usually I would be only too happy to stay at home, but missing spending time with my family, having posh afternoon tea, eating at a lovely brasserie and going to the theatre has put an enormous damper on my mood. Often I cheer myself up with creative activities, but it’s been hard this weekend. I have forced myself to start a new knitting project and to return to yet another long-abandoned crochet project, but progress has been slow and my mood has been low. It’s certainly not been helped by the weather improving, such that two days later, there would be no problem travelling.

Anyway, I have a pair of Nordic socks underway The pattern is Starry Night Socks and I’ve only modified it a little bit! I’m mostly using the wool I bought in Norway a couple of years ago, half of which was used for another pair of socks.

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warm socks now it’s warming up again

The ‘old’ project is a cardigan that I wanted to wear for a wedding 18 months ago! The wedding came and went and the cardigan was not finished. Then I discovered that the pattern was very poor and didn’t properly describe how to align the little flower motifs in the border – there being a point where the flowers up the front simply didn’t line up with the flowers up the back (they are off-set by a third of a flower and it would only get worse when you add the next row and the final third row):

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this is where I stalled – any additional flower would be in the wrong place in relation to one of the existing rows (both correctly placed according to the pattern)

I contacted the designer to get advice and she was unhelpful, basically telling me just to fiddle around with the flower motifs until they fit. I was so fed up that I put it to one side and didn’t pick it up again until a few days ago. By this stage I had decided not to follow the pattern (what there was of it) and instead to do my own thing. Since I was already glum, I started by removing the row of flowers up the front and weaving in all 248 ends that remained, then I added a simple border along the fronts and back of the neck that would be easy to attach other things to. Once these tasks were done, I felt a little better about the project.

As you can see, I left the row of flowers up the centre of the back, but I don’t plan to repeat them for the borders. So, it was a case of playing about with what I actually wanted. Initially I thought about paisley motifs and combining these with some free-form crochet, but then I had an idea: snails! Why not make it a snail of happiness cardigan? I’ve only just started, but I think this sort of thing might make a splendid border:

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a cluster of snails

I can join them as I go and shape the border easily… and it will be both unique and very personal.

So, the weekend is drawing to a close and although I’ve wasted lots of time being sad, I’ve also made some things and I’m feeling happy about a project that, until now, was something of a millstone. I hope you have been having a happier time than me.

 

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40 Comments

  1. Sorry it’s been bleak–we have that sort of thing here too, near Woodtock NY in the US, with electricity out for a day for us and no water since Thursday. Maybe 110,000 people had no power, and maybe 2/3 are back on. Good luck to us all. That ‘designer’ does not seem helpful, so good luck with the work.

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  2. Sometimes you have to work hard to salvage a positive outcome from a very negative time, and I think you have managed it here. The other positive outcome is that you made it happen yourself, rather than waiting for something external to lift your mood. Well done you πŸ™‚

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  3. Sorry you missed out on what sounds like a really lovely weekend full of treats. The down side of living where we do. I think the border will be fantastic and the socks look as if they will be affectively double thickness so very cosy. Luckily for me I had nothing planned for this weekend and made the most of being mostly stuck indoors by starting to read Sharon Blackie’s The Enchanted Life which is a brilliant book. Today I have dismembered 2 random patchwork quilts I made for the beds the grandchildren use in the cabin when they come. Orchid, the lurcher, had torn them when I used them briefly to cover the sofa so I have taken them apart and discarded the damaged pieces. Once they are washed I will add in new bits and put them together again. One of those jobs I have been putting off!

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  4. I think this cardigan is adorable! I would wear it!

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  5. Bummer. But what can you do when the weather is against you? Just couldn’t be helped! Good on you for revisiting the cardigan, which really looks lovely, and starting the socks.

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  6. Shirley

     /  March 4, 2018

    Sorry you missed out on a special weekend. I love the pattern on your socks. How frustrating about the cardigan but what skills you have to make up your own alterations for which a lovely cardigan will be created. Best wishes

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  7. I was like this on Monday when my FPA had to be postponed. In the end I went outside and took it out on some wood that needed chainsawing, then went round to a customers and did the same for him. I totally understand how you feel Glad you are a little happier now. Much love to you both. X

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  8. The flowers look wonderful – and why not celebrate an ‘unbirthday’. You can have as many of these as you like in a year too!

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  9. It’s always mean when you have something special planned and the weather makes it impossible to carry it out!! I’m happy to hear however that you were trapped safely at home and not out on the highway with those dire results. The cardigan is looking pretty good now with your modifications. Poorly written patterns and unhelpful designers are the reason I gave up on Ravelry (I may have told you that before) I hope your weather is on the mend and your coming week is a much much happier one – big hugs dear Jan! xoxo

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  10. Murtagh's Meadow

     /  March 4, 2018

    Sorry to hear that you didn’t get time to spend with your family. It looks like you had s productive weekend though.

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  11. WOW – that cardi is fab.

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  12. I love the cardigan so far and the snails you have planned for it β€πŸ’›πŸ’œβ€

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  13. I think your fed-upness is totally understandable, and I’d be sad too. It’d be miserable even if it wasn’t about a birthday. On the other hand, it’s given you some free time to rescue that very pretty cardigan, which is now going to be much, much nicer than the designer’s version, and so cleverly personalised. I hope you see some blue sky soon, and reschedule that brilliant outing, preferably sooner rather than later.

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  14. I’m sorry you missed your holiday, I hope it gets made up:)

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  15. So sorry that you lost such a brilliant weekend. And that the pattern writer was so unhelpful, but look what happened next, a lovely snail cardigan. An ill wind and all that…

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  16. Such a rare occasion to see you glum Jan, I’m glad you were able to work your way out of it and then the rain did the rest by clearing the snow. I hope the next family occasion isn’t too long away for you. What a very unique cardie it will be with your snails of happiness.
    xxx Mega Hugs xxx

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  17. You had plenty of reason to feel blue but, in your own special way, you pulled yourself out of it! I love the snail accents on the sweater–amazing save!

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  18. Sorry to hear you got stuck at home – that would get me down too! I’m glad you have been tackling your cardigan, though. Looks like you have succeeding in salvaging the work after an unhelpful pattern.

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  19. I would be bummed out about missing a family celebration too. We need the moisture but sometimes it can be such a nuisance. You did a wonderful job of resurrecting the cardigan. I think I gave up crochet because every pattern had so many mistakes and I was not proficient enough to over come them. It’s hard with sewing too. I have a shirt on the table with awful directions that will require me to do what you just did and make up my own. So it sits a bit longer. I love what you did with yours, hope mine turns out half as well.

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  20. I love the snow when I can see it on the mountains in the distance – not so much when it interferes with my plans! I can understand your glumness – but look what came out of it. A crochet project that looks like it will be better than the designer intended and how I love those socks ❀

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  21. You know what? I think your snails are going to look MUCH better than the flowers from the original pattern! I reckon the simple, elegant shape will be waaaaay more eye-catching. I’m sorry your weekend didn’t quite go as planned, hopefully you’ll get a chance to reschedule sometime soon! In the meantime, good luck with your new improved cardi πŸ˜€

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  22. Sorry to hear about the sadness. You have made such good use of your time, though.

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  23. Gosh I couldn’t sew in that many ends in a good mood, how did you manage when feeling sad?? The snail idea is brilliant, and how lovely to make it personal to you. Can’t wait to see the finished cardi πŸ™‚

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