Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Traveling in the time of Covid-19

Testing, testing, testing. 

Flight canceled. 

Flight delayed. 

Flight delayed, delayed again because of a thunderstorm.  

Connecting flight (missed twice) to Glasgow. 

Rented cars office.

Driving from Glasgow to Sterling. 

10 days in quarantine. 

Testing, testing, testing. 

While in quarantine - unpacking and moving furniture. 

Getting used to our new apartment. 

Finally free to go. 

Scotland. Stirling, shiny city on a hill. 

Why Scotland? Because there one can take a walk any day and any time without sweating and constantly drinking water to prevent dehydration.

There is no humidity and high temperatures during summer, and it is a perfect place to wear knitted clothes (albeit only briefly this year) in the fall.

Because it is a lovely country with lovely people where, strangely enough, I feel at home even though they have problems understanding me and I have problems understanding them.

Two years ago we bought a small flat/apartment in Stirling, Scotland. We became the actual owners of the apartment and got the keys to it two days before our flight back home. And then the pandemic struck and lock downs happened, and there were travel restrictions. We couldn't get back to Scotland for a year and a half. When we finally did, last June, we stayed in Scotland for four months.

Somehow I couldn't write any posts for this site while in Scotland. Things were happening. There were many walks and trips taken, books read, people and sites seen, yet somehow no time to sit quietly and process all that. 

I started posting videos and photos from Scotland to my Stories on Instagram, because some of my friends have never visited this country and most likely never will, and they asked for more details. I tried to film everything that I thought was worthy of filming. 

And I was knitting there, of course. Not as much as I do here, in Florida. For two reasons. The first and obvious one was the lack of time. The second reason was the yarn that I packed with me was mostly lace or fingering weight. It takes less space in a suitcase but it knits slowly on tiny needles.

I made 5 garments altogether in 4 months. Not too bad all things considering. Posted 4 of them on Ravelry

First I knit one more vest with Japanese/fully fashioned shoulders, in cotton this time.

I made it longer and bigger than my first vest. By the way, this last one turned out to be extremely useful in Scotland, I wore it a lot there, and got complimented on it numerous times (felt really flattered).

Then I knit a jacket for a one year old girl, daughter of a friend.

I used a pattern from an old Pingouin magazine without any changes.
This is the Pingouin magazine that I used
The yarn (one of my all times favorite) is Dream in Color Smooshy, repurposed from an old unworn adult cardigan. If I make this pattern again, I might knit ribbing instead of garter stitch for borders, but otherwise I wouldn't change anything because it is an excellent pattern. I'll definitely try more patterns from this magazine if one day I need to make more children's clothes.

I also made a short/cropped striped sweater from the leftover Rowan cotton glace. I wasn't extremely pleased with the end result - the sweater being smaller than I wanted. I took some pictures of it anyway but they got erased from my phone by mistake so now I cannot even show you my failure. Maybe it's for the best… Who wants to show off their failures?

Next, I knit this tiny pale pink polo neck which is also from an old Pingouin magazine.

I bought this pink Isager Tvinni yarn several years ago in a store on a whim, because it was on sale and because I liked the color. The pattern looked feminine and dainty, a good match for the yarn.

I picked the size 14-16 (4-6 sizes bigger than my normal size) thinking that it would give me enough room and look at least a little oversized. I forgot that fashionable clothes of the time were form fitting and tight.

My point is that I wish this sweater was a little bit bigger, at least in the shoulders. My shoulders are getting wider and wider from swimming, some clothes even don't fit me anymore. Yet, I am still not used to these changes in my body. I plan to knit this pattern again, in cotton, linen, or silk, with short sleeves, so I can wear it in Florida. It looks plain and simple, but I like how thoughtful the details are and how finished it looks.
The raglan decreases are done differently, so they are more visible and become an important part of the design.
I tweaked the button bands' construction in order to avoid a thick seam at its bottom. In the original pattern you just pick up additional stitches in the middle, and later fold both parts of the button band in half and sew on from inside to the front. I picked up the additional stitches from inside of the front stitches and knit them like I would knit in the round. 

The collar is knit with lots and lots of short rows, folded in half, and sewn on the inside.

This  is the last pattern in the magazine - # 80. Imagine that! 80 patterns in one magazine! Not all of them are difficult or fashionable from the modern point of view, but all of them are really well calculated, edited, and proofread.

And finally I made this sweater.

I didn't want to write the same thing two or three times, so I made a couple of posts on Instagram where I explained how I came up with this particular idea. And I copied the same text to the project page on Ravelry. My major problem was that I had very little yarn but stubbornly refused to abandon this project. 

I've always been saying that scarcity is the mother of creativity.

This is the original pattern that I used for the sweater.
The one in the middle. It is dark brown and difficult to see in details.
It is from the French version of Phildar 1984 (if you own a translated English version of this magazine, it is not there).

To finish it, I divided all the stitches of the front in two parts after ribbing and knit them separately, adding in the middle one stitch on each side for the seam.

The intarsia and fairisle parts have different tension, and I had to recalculate everything (many times) to make them look the same and fit with the monochromic back and sleeves. My first version of the collar was also wrong, and I had to unravel it and knit it again.

As the result of all these manipulations and unraveling, I hardly had time to wash and block the finished sweater before our departure from Stirling. When I was putting it on to go to the airport, it was still slightly wet. Most pictures (all the modeled ones) were taken in Florida. 

If you want more details, you can see them on Ravelry or IG.

As for what I saw and did in Scotland for four months, I'll tell you more about it next time.

Talk to you soon,


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