Stash busting (after-) holiday knits

In my last post I made a short list of my new year’s resolutions and the first resolution on that list was clearing chunky and bulky yarns from my stash. I have already started to accomplish this through the winter holidays, and now I have a considerably huge pile of knits waiting for weaving ends and blocking. Here is a summary about how I am progressing with this project.

I had a huge box of Garnstudio Drops Andes yarn which I didn’t need any more. I didn’t want to design something complicated because I didn’t want to spend time on calculations, so the easiest solution seemed to be a throw. I had a stitch pattern that I liked to work very much. Isabell Kraemer used it in her Lemmy K shawl design and I always knew I wanted to use that stitch pattern for something. So I knitted a throw for myself and I have to admit I love it so much that I put it in use before weaving ends and blocking… Unfortunately I can not show the throw to you here on the blog because some weeks later I realized that there is a really similar throw on Ravelry with the same stitch pattern made by a very popular designer… Though I see the differences too, they are indeed very similar and I wouldn’t like to get involved in any copyright issues, so I must keep the secret of that throw to myself…

When I was done with the throw, I still had plenty balls of Andes left. So I started searching for patterns on Ravelry and I found a very promising project: Autumn by Nazilia Zemdikhanova. I casted on one for myself in size S and I liked it so much I started a second one a few days later for my mother in size XXL.

It was a very mindless knit, I could sit and binge watch Netflix series while knitting, which is very rare for me (usually I knit according my calculation and taking notes, so following someone else’s pattern was really refreshing). Sizing is perfect, both for my mother and for me, I have a feeling that we will both love this pullover.

It seems Andes doesn’t want to leave me because I still have a smaller box full of it. Maybe I will do some calculations and do Autumn in the kids’ sizes as well…

The next yarn that took up many space was a box of Phildar Phil Alaska. My first thing was of course searching for projects in Ravelry but I didn’t find anything that I like, so I took measurements from my kids and cast on pullovers for them. These are really quick knits, I cast on in the morning and bind off in the evening.

The first one was for my daughter. It has a yoke with a simple colorwork. Before you watch the following picture, I have to mention that all my respect goes out to those designers who are designing circular yoke patterns with colorwork. It took me forever to draw a very simple pattern, and I was tearing my hair out all the way. I convinced myself that this was the first and the last time I’m doing this. And now here it is:

I know… it is not perfect. I have read many articles on circular yokes since then and I would make some modification on the pattern if I had the chance to start over (I would concentrate the increases in the upper half of the yoke around the neckline and take away increases from the bottom of the yoke), but I really don’t want to waste any more time on this. Neither knitting nor designing colorwork are really my thing plus I had to make this yarn disappear so I guess it will do for now. My daughter – who I knitted this for – likes it, it fits her fine and she will grow a size by next winter anyway so it will be worn for a few short months only…

The second project made with Phildar Phil Alaska was a raglan sleeve pullover for my son. When I finished it, I realized I still have a pullover worth of yarn and also I am not very satisfied with the raglan ratios so in the next few days I am going to frog that one back and knit it again. I will show the whole piece to you only then.

The third kind of yarn that I wanted to clear from my stash was Debbie Bliss Rialto Chunky. It is a beautiful and smooth yarn that comes in beautiful colors but it is too heavy weight for me, so I knitted a pullover for my son.

And I saved the best one for last… if you are paying close attention to the cover photo of this post, you will see something that is not a stash busting knit… It is rather a sneak peak to a design that I have been working on for a while. I started to work on it in 2018 but it has never made it to publication. Now that I have finally finished knitting the sample, I am starting to write the pattern, so hopefully it is one of the designs that will be published in 2022. Here is a better sneak peak:

I guess it will be a fun project… I will share more information on this one later and update you when it is ready to test knit.

That is all I have to show you right now. It may seem a lot but they are very bulky knits and I knit quickly anyway so it wasn’t that much to accomplish…

Next week I plan to weave end and block everything so I will probably be able to show you the final results in my following post… Until then…

Happy Knitting!

Mici

The Week of the Broken Needles

I don’t have luck with my KnitPro Symfonie and Nova fixed circulars. I don’t know what I am doing wrong but the cables keep falling out from the needle tips. I am not a big fan of knitting with wooden needles (though I love Symfonie for their color, I think they are one the most beautiful ones on the market). But Nova… it would be such a perfect needle for me… I am such a looser for doing this…

The same thing happened once with a Zing but never with Karbonz or any other circular needles of a different make. I wish someone could tell me why this is happening and what should I do differently to avoid breaking all my KnitPro circulars. I have quite many and it will be a financial disaster if I had to replace them all…

Besides the broken needles there wasn’t too much happening behind the scenes of Gynka Knitwear in the past two weeks. We are still working on the test knit for Tyche Hoodie, projects are coming together nicely. All of the ladies are really helpful and we made quite a few corrections by far. I am really grateful for their kind assistance. I also included two new tutorials in the pattern, both of them can be found in my Knitting Help Library, too: The Applied I-cord around the hood, and Joining in Round with an overlap. Both of the articles include video tutorials on YouTube as well.

I have started studying my knitting chart editor software which is not new for me but I didn’t have the chance to go in depth of its functions before. I have already created simple charts for my hat designs with it two years ago but my knowledge didn’t seem to be enough for creating a more complex pattern so now I threw myself into experimentation with the help of articles and tutorial videos provided by the developer.

As to pattern updates, I promised there would be an update to my most popular pixie hat design, and so here it is: Fauna is updated and available for purchase again! I am sure some of you are glad to read this :).

I have also updated Moth with the links to my tutorial videos:

Those of you who kindly purchased any of these patterns on Ravelry, you have probably already received an email notification about the update by now, and you have nothing else to do but to follow the instructions in that email to download the updated version.

If you purchased through Etsy, and would like to get the links to the tutorials, please contact me via thisย form, or send an email to gynkaknitwear@gmail.com (in this case I will ask for your Etsy user name and email address to be able to identify your purchase) and I will send you the updated pattern pdf ASAP.

These patterns are also available on Payhip and LoveCrafts as well from now on.

This is probably my last post this year, because as the holidays approach, I have less and less chance to get to my computer. I wish all of you a merry Christmas and a happy and successful 2022!

Happy Knitting,

Mici

Tyche test knitting has officially started!

After a long-long time of silence, the test knitting of my Tyche Hoodie finally went live ๐Ÿ™‚ ! I haven’t been running a test knit for 2 years now but I feel like it was yesterday when we finished the last one. I didn’t plan to spend such a long time away… But now that I am finally back to working, I continue where I left off, which is test knitting this hoodie with a kangaroo pocket at the front.

I have just sent the pattern out to testers, and I am really excited about doing this. As a designer I may think what I want about my own design but it is always the knitters who will tell if a pattern is a success or not. The first knitters of a pattern are the testers, so I always count on their opinion very much. As of today (December 8, 2021), Tyche has 5 sizes and 4 test knitters. Size 12-18 months is still open for testing, so if you like the design please feel free to join us, you should find everything you need to know about this test knit in my Ravelry thread. (*edit December 9, 2021 to update: this test knit is full but you may still apply for a future one!) If you are not able to join this now but you are interested in test knitting for future Gynka Knitwear designs, please read this page.

I will be knitting along with the test knitters, too, I am doing the biggest size with a heavier weight yarn and larger needles just to experiment in size differences (and also I have a 6.5 and a 5.5 year-old who need a new hoodie… :D).

Tyche is a seamless knit, you cast on at the neckline and bind off at the hem. You only have to use tapestry needles to bind off the top of the hood and to weave in yarn ends, so if you don’t like tapestry needles, this one is for you. Tyche has many details that makes it more special, for example the applied I-cord around the edge of the hood and the yoke, or the integrated I-cord edging of the pocket which merges into the hem:

It is not the easiest pattern on the world but it includes all the help I can possibly give you to finish this project successfully: there are written instructions, charts, photo tutorials and links to my tutorial videos on YouTube (and if these are not enough, you still have me at your back to help).

If we are already talking about videos, there are 2 new knitting tutorials on the GK YouTube Channel this week: one about The Kitchener Stitch an the other about the Provisional Cast on. You can find them in my Knitting Help Library, too.

This was a very busy week for me, I worked a lot to be able to perform the last touches on Tyche, so unfortunately there are no pattern updates this week. But next week I am going to continue with the one that is my most wanted pattern ๐Ÿ™‚ and of course I will write a blog post on that, too! See you in that one!

Happy Knitting!

Mici

This week on GK: test knitting a new-old design, new pattern updates and a new tutorial video!

This week I continued to update my patterns with the links to my tutorials: the next ones on my list were the GK Cowl and the Eryx Double Pompom Hat.

If you purchased any of the patterns mentioned above through Ravelry, you probably already have the email about the update in your mailbox by now. Please follow the instructions in it to download the new version.

Both updated patterns (and a third one: the GK Beanie which didn’t need an update) are available on Etsy, Payhip and LoveCrafts as well from now on.

There is a new video included in these patterns: how to join your work in the round. I show you 2 ways for joining: the easiest and the nicest (well, in my opinion, anyway ๐Ÿ™‚ ). You can read about it by clicking here.

I was really busy in the past week doing the pattern updates but in the meantime I also took some projects off the shelf that were left unfinished before GK was sentenced to a forced 2 years rest in 2019… I have a hoodie design that is really close to being published. You may remember the Tyche Hoodie, I wrote about it here.

When I wrote this post back in 2018, I had said I need a tech editor for this design but I struggled to find one eventually. After a while I got too tired of trying, I just neglected the topic and it slowly became forgotten.

Well, it is definitely not a beginner level design but I don’t think it is that impossible, so now I started dealing with it again. I am also thinking about extending the size range, because many of you asked for an adult version for this one. This may take me some time to figure out so please bear with me… I am trying my best to deliver.

I would like to be proactive on this design, so while I am working on updating my patterns that have been already published, I would like to start gathering test knitters for Tyche. I add some details for you below in case you happen to be interested ๐Ÿ™‚ :

Tyche has raglan sleeves and it is joined in the round after reaching the armhole. It has a kangaroo pocket and a hood both of which have an I-cord hem. The pattern is written in 5 sizes: 3-6 mos, 6-12 mos, 12-18 mos, 18-24 mos and 2-4 yrs and it includes both chart version and written instructions. It requires the following skills: knit, purl, increase, decrease, kitchener stitch, I-cord edging. Because of its complexity, it is a design for intermediate and experienced knitters. Application is open from now until Wednesday December 8. 2021. Deadline for the finished pieces: Monday January 31, 2022. Please only apply if you can meet deadline.

You find further information about this test knitting project by clicking here. If you are interested in test knitting GK designs in general, and would like to get ear-burned by me every time I have something available, please apply in my Ravelry Test Knit Ear-burn Group! I would be very happy to welcome you there as well ๐Ÿ™‚ !

Finally I would like to thank all of you, who are here and reading my blog – whether it is a one time read or every single week! I probably don’t say this enough but it really means a lot to me! I enjoy writing for myself, too, but it is definitely better if I have company ๐Ÿ™‚ ! I am really grateful for everyone of you โค ! Have a nice week!

Happy Knitting!

Mici

New video tutorial, pattern updates and the GK Payhip Store!

I have many things to share with you this week!

First of all, the next episode of the first GK Knitting Help series is live on YouTube! As usual I have written a few thoughts about it, which you can read here. It is about creating and joining an I-cord. If you are following me for some time, you have probably noticed that I-cord techniques are one of my favorites. They are the finishing touch of every garment that makes the whole thing perfect. This is why it became a bit longer video than usual, I guess… and it is probably not the last one on that topic since I use different I-cord techniques quite often as a selvedge for example.

You can find all of my tutorials in the GK Knitting Help library by clicking here. If you would like to be notified when I post a new video to YouTube, please subscribe to my Channel and click on the bell to set up notifications. I appreciate every subscription, like and comment.

The next thing I would like to tell you about is – as I promised before – I am updating all of my patterns with the tutorials, so beginner knitters can read and watch tutorials as they proceed with a pattern.

The following patterns have been updated with tutorial links so far this week: Cobweb, Fiona, Lysander, Titania and Puck.

If you purchased any GK pattern mentioned above through Ravelry, by now you have probably already received an email notification about the update (or you should in a few hours), and you have nothing else to do but to follow the instructions in that email.

If you purchased through Etsy, and would like to get the links to the tutorials, please contact me via this form, or send an email to gynkaknitwear@gmail.com (in this case I will ask for your Etsy user name and email address to be able to identify your purchase) and I will send you the updated pattern pdf ASAP.

The updated patterns mentioned are also available on LoveCrafts and Payhip from now on. Which brings us to our last topic for today, namely the GK Payhip Store is now up and running! I am very happy about this as it a huge milestone for me and I have been planning it for a long time. I just hadn’t have the time to set it up until now. I will upload all my patterns there as soon as I am done updating them which I hope to be done in a few weeks. I will keep you informed about it here and also on Instagram!

Thank you so much for being here and I hope to welcome you next time, too! ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Knitting,

Mici

Why I quit knitting for order? Part 2

A new GK knitting help is out now, in which I show you how I do the 3 Needle Bind off Method. You can read about it here or watch the video here. You can find all of my knitting helps here. I plan to make one more episode to this series about creating an I cord and joining it to another piece of work and with that a big part of my bonnet patterns will be covered with help, so I will start to update those patterns in Ravelry and in my Etsy shop before making any new videos. If you purchased your GK pattern through Ravelry, you will get an automatic notification about the update but I will keep you posted about the process here on the blog as well.

But the main topic of today’s post would be continuing the story from where I stopped last time. And that is what I had learnt from the two years when GK was on hold. Finally I came to the conclusion that I have to follow my husband’s advice which was working with my brain and leave my heart to my family and don’t try to be successful in both fields controlled by my emotions.

This is the hardest thing for me. So far I have been working in a manner that if I don’t do something with all of my heart, I am not doing it at all. Now I have to think first and decide if something is worth the time doing it or not.

I have very limited hours to work. Kids are in kindergarten from 8 to 12 in the morning, so after coming home I have about 3 hours daily from Monday to Friday until I have to go back to pick them up. That is not much at all, so I have to be really efficient. If I wanted to continue working, I had to peel down the most time consuming parts of the job. So I have broken my whole business down to tasks, and I gave every task an indicator according to how much time is it consuming and about how much revenue does it bring. It turned out that knitting for order and the administrative tasks that come with it took about 80% of the all the tasks in GK, and about 50% of the revenue. It would have been nonsense for me if I wanted to continue that part, so I crossed those tasks down from my list. And all I was left with writing knitwear patterns.

To be honest, I don’t mind it at all. As surprising as it may have sound, I find the designing of something new just as pleasing as knitting. It is definitely more challenging than knitting by myself in front of the tv. It has a huge advantage because I am free to decide when I do the work. And last but not least, knitting remains a leisure and pleasure activity for me and not something that is compulsory.

I mentioned last time that with running a business came the editing of a website, listings, studying SEO and stuff like that. And I had to admit that I love that part, too. I have learnt so many interesting things in the past yearsโ€ฆ

The only thing I had to get used to is writing in English. Originally, this blog was written in Hungarian, and I wanted to publish my patterns in my mother language as well. After a year I realized no matter how hard I had tried making it more popular, it was not working. Looking into the statistics of the blog showed that most visitors are from English speaking regions (but they were probably leaving without understanding a wordโ€ฆ). And I also knew that most of my Hungarian readers speak English anyway because we were already using English for communicating between ourselves in Ravelry, too (this way we don’t exclude everyone else from the conversation). So I woke up one morning, and guided by a sudden idea I archived all the Hungarian posts on the blog and started to write in English.

Long story short, GK has come a long way and is far from where I started. Everything has changed in the last 5 years. The theme, the language, the target, the materialsโ€ฆ meโ€ฆ But I guess this is what life is about. We have to let go of things that doesn’t bring us joy any more and turn to something that doesโ€ฆ I hope I answered all the questions that emerged in the past 2 weeksโ€ฆ and I apologize if any of the answers are disappointing for some of you.

And that is all I wanted to share about the topic in a “nutshell” ๐Ÿ™‚ . Now you know why I chose to close down the online shop of GK and also why I don’t have my patterns in Hungarian. I can’t say for sure that I will never write anything in Hungarian again but for now those times are definitely over for a while.

From next week on I am going to concentrate on updating my patterns with tutorial links and I will go through all of them one by one in a short introduction post, so stay tuned ๐Ÿ™‚ Until then,

Happy Knitting!

Mici

New week, new knitting help and a few thoughts about quitting, Part 1

I prepared another knitting help for today, this time it is about the Chain Selvedge Method. I advise to use this method in every flat knit pattern and it is causing confusion in my experience, so that is what I try to make clear in this tutorial. You can find the explanation here, and the tutorial video here. You can find all of my knitting helps here.

Another thing I wanted to talk about today is a few lessons I learned in the last 5 years about running a knitting business. This topic was inspired by a conversation with a dear knitter friend, Szila (please check her work out, she is amazing: Instagram: @szilacreativedesign Ravelry: Szilaa). We were chatting about the Hungarian knitter community, how non-knitting Hungarians perceive knitting and things like that and it made me conclude some things. I finally decided to share these thoughts with you because in the past two weeks, since I posted about shutting down the ready-made part of my business, I got questions every day from people about my decision. Why did I quit knitting and not designing? How could I choose between the two? So here are my honest answers for all those questions but first I have to take you back to the beginning of my story and tell you how GK was born so you can see the whole picture. It will probably be too long for one blog post, so I will split it in two. In the first part I am talking about the reason I quit selling ready made items and in the second about why I chose designing instead.

I started my small business 5 years ago just like most of us start it: I was a fresh mom of 2, I had no chance for a full time job but there was the social expectation around me to earn money, because “it puts too much pressure on a man to be the only breadwinner in the family” (actually and fortunately that was not the case for us, my husband is a system developer and he has never felt that making money would be too much pressure on him – on the contrary, he loves his work and he is good at it, so work always finds him – but everyone else around us was keep forcing me to do something for a living). I really loved knitting so I thought it was a great opportunity for me to strike two birds with one stone: do what I love when I want it and shut the mouth of society.

Little did I know by then that a knitter’s small business consists of all but knitting. I was naively imagining myself knitting and watching TV while children are in kindergarten… what a perfect picture of making an income! But instead what happened is in no time I found myself in the jungle of tax system, billing, website and online shop editing, social media platforms, SEO, creating marketing materials and such. None of them because I fancied the topic so much… It was rather because I wanted to run a successful business alone, so I had to learn how to manage every part of a business. Alone. And it was really hard for a creative person like me.

I soon realized I would have been better off working 8 hours anywhere else and then come back home to my family. That would have involved more knitting for pleasure, too, I guess… and much less stress… But by this time I was in the middle of it. GK was running, I worked basically 24 hours a day… I had the time for it, because our daughter had no need to sleep so I was awake with her through the nights, too (later she was diagnosed with ASD, I wrote about this in the same post – she is fine now). And I wasn’t making money. At least not the amount one would expect for working 24/7.

After 2 years I was really tired and burned out. And I know many fellow entrepreneurs running a small business feel the same way after a while. I know because I talk to them regularly. We have the idea of running the perfect business but it is not like that in real life and by the time we realize this, it is too late to turn back. We have put way too much work and money into something that is not working the way we imagined it, trying to change things for the better. This is especially true for knitters in Hungary. The market is really small here as most of the people still think knitting and hand knitted garments are out of fashion. But this leads to another thread of the story which I will write about in my next post.

When I realized my income was way too far from what I would have liked it to be, I started to blame myself for it. I thought there was something wrong with me. The more work and energy I invested in the knitting business, the more I took away from my family, so finally I was failing as an entrepreneur and also as a mother. I started to go downward spiraling myself into really dark places but then my husband jumped in and told me to observe things from another perspective (once again, he works on the IT field, so he basically sees everything as 0s and 1s… ๐Ÿ™‚ he uses his brain to work and not his heart like me…). And that perspective was:

  • declare how much money I want to earn in a month (I opted for the Hungarian average income which is less than what I had earned before I gave birth to my children. But you know, that is the life of an average woman who decides to have children… I was happy to be able to do what I love, at least)
  • count all costs of my business in a month (taxes, yarn, packaging, tools, online shop fees, marketing costs, table rent fees at design/handmade markets, the costs of designing new collections, price of photo shoots, etc.)
  • add together the two amounts mentioned above and divide it by the average price of my hats to get the number of items I need to knit/sell in a month to earn that money
  • decide if it was achievable or not

It turned out I should knit and sell over 200 hats in a month to earn that money. TWO HUNDRED. If I want to count how many working hours is that, I have to multiple 200 by 2 because I knit a hat in an average 2 hours. That means 400 work hours a month, 100 per week. And that is only knitting, it doesn’t include the time spent on designing and testing new items, marketing, website, social media and online shop editing times, all the other administrative tasks, standing in line at the post office to send packages, etc… And as I mentioned before, that actually took up even more time than knitting. Basically there is not as many hours in a week as I need for working if I wanted to run this business successfully. I could hire someone to do the administrative work but then I have to knit and sell twice as many hats to pay their salary, too. It was the moment I had to admit to myself what I want from this business is simply not manageable. And it is not my fault. Even if I had 100 hours/week to knit, there is no way I can sell 200 hats in a month in Hungary. This is not the country for so many handknitted hats in every month of the year.

If you are thinking about creating a small business that sells handknit hats, I won’t talk you out of it. I’m not telling you that the same applies to every knitter. Everyone of us is different. Maybe you are a faster knitter and knit a hat in under half an hour, so less working hours are needed for knitting… or you don’t have that many costs to your business because you don’t run an online shop. Or simply you higher the prices of your products because you live in a country where you can do that (in Hungary this was not an option. I had already been asking for the highest prices possible). Or you don’t have any children, one of which diagnosed with ASD, so the number of working hours doesn’t matter to you. It is different for everyone. All I want to say that it was my decision considering my own circumstances. I can’t manage a business 24/7 that is not making me satisfied 100% and even if it did, my family still needs me.

My moment of enlightenment actually was the same moment when we realized that we needed to start investigating the problem of my daughter ASAP because it was getting out of our hands, too. You already know the end of this story: I pushed the pause button on GK and started to sort out my family issues. I spent two years concentrating only on family and in my free time I was brainstorming about GK and how I can turn this into something that I feel more satisfying without taking anything away from my family. What I came up with will be the topic of my next blog post. Will you join me next time, too? ๐Ÿ™‚ Until then,

Happy Knitting!

Mici

The GK YouTube Channel is here :)

Last week I talked about making some changes to GK. Probably the biggest one after closing the online shop is I officially started the Gynka Knitwear YouTube Channel and I have just uploaded my first video! These videos will always come with some explanation which you will find in the main menu under the title tutorials. The explanation for this particular video is here.

If you check my channel on YouTube, you will see that there are two videos there (if you are reading this at the beginning of November 2021, of course…). That is because I had one uploaded about a year ago but that was quickly made for someone who asked for help and I realized the best I can do for her is to film how I do it myself… I don’t count that video to the series I am filming now but it was a milestone for me in a way that it was the time when the idea of a GK YouTube Channel first came to my mind, so I left it up there.

The reason for the YouTube channel and the video series is that in my experience, most of you, Lovely Knitters, are visual-minded like me, so I believe demonstrating a solution for a problem for you is a better way than just telling you what to do. After almost 5 years of experience in designing, writing and supporting knitwear patterns I know the points where almost every beginner knitter needs help with my patterns. All the questions I am asked are concentrating to the same part of a pattern and every pattern has its own “problem part”. Most of the time it is a knitting technique that knitters are not familiar yet. I tried to help to all of those who got to me for assistance with an already existing video on YouTube (there are plenty of fantastic ones) but in many cases they are not helpful or they not the exact technique I use in my pattern (for example I haven’t found a video that is using the exact same method for joining an I cord to a knitted piece that I use) and it can be rather confusing.

I also know that many beginners are not asking their questions, they try to find a solution on their own and if they don’t succeed, they put the project aside and probably never return. My aim is to go ahead of this problem and create a visual aid to all beginner knitters and link these videos into the patterns so they will be right there when they are needed. This way all the help I can possibly offer will be right there in the pattern without making it too long (or over-explained for the advanced knitters if that is a word…).

I struggled a lot about the structure of these videos. They would probably be more informative if I talked you through some parts but since English is not my mother language I believe it is better for everyone if I don’t talk :D… Let us stick to subtitles and you tell me if it helps or not.

For now, my plan is not to post videos on a regular basis but to publish them in line with the new patterns. So there may be no videos for a longer period but then there’ll be more of them at the same time when I release a new design. I am making a series now for my existing patterns and when I am finished with the series, I will update all of my patterns with the links. Everyone who purchased my pattern through Ravelry will get an automatic update when it is done but I will also inform you through the blog.

I really hope you will benefit from these videos. I am always willing to listen to your thoughts about them, so if you have something to say, please do in the comments and I will try my best!

Happy Knitting!

Mici

It’s been a while…

…since I last posted here. I am so sorry I have neglected all of you. But there are times when life puts so much weight on your shoulders, you must decide which to carry on and which to drop. I don’t want to make excuses because I don’t like them either but if you are interested in what happened to me, please go ahead and read the story of my last three years… If you prefer not knowing anything about me because you are so angry at me, I totally understand, please just skip this post then, I was struggling writing it anyway because I don’t like to take my family-related stuff out to public. Just know that I feel terrible guilt to neglect you.

If you decided to stay with me for the rest of this post and get to know the reason for my absence, let’s jump into the middle of it… About two years ago my daughter was diagnosed with ASD and it was quite a shock for my family. The thought that something is not right with her wasn’t new to us, life had always been hard with her, she literally never slept, someone (usually me) had to be awake with her through the nights, too and she hadn’t started communicating with humans like other children do (by communicating with humans I mean she didn’t even seem to notice anybody. But she did notice dogs… in fact that is how she finally learnt to speak: with the help of dogs… but let’s not jump that far ahead in the story just yet…). The year prior the diagnosis was extremely hard with more and more frequent meltdowns, therefore I had less and less time and energy to focus on work. We needed to do something about it so we started to investigate the problem. After about a year, at the beginning of 2019 she got the diagnosis. We started to search for educational possibilities immediately and we soon realized that we need to move to the capital city to be able to provide her with the help that she needs. So we packed everything – including my mother ๐Ÿ˜€ – and sold both our house and my mother’s house to buy one in Budapest. We found a house that had a small apartment attached to it (for my mother – this way she would always be around if we needed help…). They were cheap (by cheap I mean according to other real estates in the capital city. According to our budget it was the only thing we could afford) but they needed renovation badly and the previous owner had a huge amount of bank depth on the houses, so they were in a state before auction. We decided to make a deal with the bank and buy the houses even if that meant that we need to do construction works while we are living in the house.

A few days after we signed the contracts in March 2020, the pandemic reached Hungary and everything was shut down. I don’t know if you have ever tried to sell two houses and buy a third one at the same time with all the stuff being moved from the two houses to the third one. Top that with a pandemic, a renovation (during a pandemic), a child with ASD (who doesn’t like changes, during a renovation, during a pandemic) and the struggle with bureaucracy to clear the depth of the previous owner in the estate records (during a pandemic). This was the worst. There was a misunderstanding between the bank and the land registration office and even though we settled all payments towards the bank, the land registration office didn’t want to delete the mortgage from the papers. Oh, and I shouldn’t forget about the problem that the previous owner had nowhere to live anymore so he tried to stay in the house as long as he could with his daughter, two huge dogs and a huge cat… and we let them live with us in the smaller apartment for months because we couldn’t bear the thought that they haven’t got a home any more because of us (I know. It was not because of us. We payed their depth, and their depth was not our fault… the bank would have taken the house from them anyway… but still. We wanted to move in a house that we payed for – and that meant they have to leave at some point. By now they managed to find a small apartment nearby and took out another loan to pay for that apartment but they are not homeless at least…). All in all, I don’t want to say we have tough two years behind us but WE HAVE TOUGH TWO YEARS BEHIND US…

Some photos of the renovation for you to get a picture of what I was talking about… ๐Ÿ™‚ (the last of the works were finished in March 2021, that is when we could finally took over all parts of the house):

With all the above going on, as much as I would have loved to continue working on Gynka Knitwear, I just couldn’t manage. All my yarn, needles and even my computer were in boxes in a garage for months. At first I tried to read and answer all mails and Ravelry messages at least but after a while I had to let go of this too, because I couldn’t keep up and I was tired to excuse myself all the time for being so slow on reacting. If you happen to be someone who hadn’t got an answer to a question, I hereby apologize and please feel free to contact me again via email: gynkaknitwear@gmail.com. I will monitor this email daily from now on and start to catch up.

As to our struggles, we are over the worst part now and everything is settling down. We cleared the depths from the estate records, construction works are finished (inside at least. But before we start the works outside we have to take a deep breath to forget the hell of the last two years…). We were able to find a kindergarten for my daughter which she finally loves and she slowly starts to communicate with us (she is 5 now). She has also learnt the difference between night and day so she started to sleep 6-7 hours at night and we couldn’t be happier because if she sleeps, we can sleep, too.

Now that life is getting back to normal (if life can be called “normal” nowadays…), I would like to slowly get back to work, too. I decided to stop making ready-made items, so I shut my online store down. It is too much work for me right now and I had to choose between knitting and designing. I will continue writing patterns and I am currently working on something totally new to GK… I hope to announce it soon because I am very-very close to being ready.. I also hope you will like it. I am also planning to continue to write new posts to this blog biweekly or so, this way I can keep you updated about what is happening. It is hard to promise anything at this stage because you know… we have good weeks and bad weeks with my daughter… it is hard to tell whether I will or won’t be able to do any work regularly. But I will try my best, as I always do. I know some of you are relying on me, and I won’t let you down.

I also won’t spam you here with my private life anymore but in case you are interested in the end result of our new home, I have an Instagram account dedicated to my hobbies (creating our new home, indoor gardening and knitting) I would be more than happy if you joined me there, too! Please follow my account: @plantaknit on Instagram to see updates.

At last but not least I would like to say a huge thank you for being here, for reading my blog, for knitting my patterns, I can not tell you how much it means to me! You are the best! Hope to welcome you back next time!

Happy Knitting!

Mici

Putting the knitter to sleep mode – here comes the designer!

Last Sunday I was attending a craft show in Budapest so I’ve had a tense week before it. I’ve sold out quite many beanies and bonnets before Christmas and I was in lack of my most popular hats but was too tired to restock them in January. On the other hand I wanted to destash a huge pile of yarn because I needed space for the newly arrived ones which were lying all around the house in baskets like this:

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So I was knitting 24/7 for some days to catch up… The craft show went fantastically well, we sold almost all of the hats that I knitted the week before (only 1 hat and 2 cowls left…) which fully compensated me for my 7 days knitting-marathon with oceans of coffee and without sleep… ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s is our table at the beginning of the show (I’ve rearranged it later as we started to run out of things – but unfortunately I forgot to take photos of it…):

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My newborn props debuted at this craft fair and they were surprisingly popular. I was overwhelmed with kind comments, everyone stopped by to admire them at least. I was happy to find out that it had been a good idea to put newborn props on the palette.

Finally I think I can declare that the hat season here in Hungary is officially over. At least from the perspective of a knitter. To tell you the truth (and please don’t share this secret to anyone… ๐Ÿ˜€ ), I don’t mind it’s over. Knitting is my life but until January I was knitting 12-14 hours a day, often with my wrists in bandage to kill the pain… I was counting the hours until Christmas, I knew I have to hold on and it will end on Christmas Eve… ๐Ÿ˜€ Anyway, my inner-knitter goes for a well deserved and loooong vacation until August and my designer-self takes her place in the next few months.

I have many designs in progress but the one closest to publication is Tyche (Tike-ee), a textured hoodie for toddlers. The sample is almost ready and I am beyond satisfied, it turned out just the way I imagined:

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I will show you sneak peeks soon but I still have to write and edit the pattern and I need a tech editor for this one (since it is not at all a beginner-level, to be honest…) If you are interested in test-knitting this hoodie, please join my Ravelry group here: –>ย GK Test Knit. I would be very happy to welcome you in there! I will start a thread for Tyche test knitting as soon as the pattern was tech edited.

Until then, here’s a little history of the hoodie: I was knitting Rililie’s Diane cardigan (link to her Ravelry pattern here: –>ย La Maison Rililie – Diane) for myself at Christmas (it’s so embarrassing but I still haven’t finished it… two words: sleeve island…). I purchased the pattern because I really like Rililie’s designs and I needed to knit something other than hats. Diane was love for the first sight and when I read through the instructions, I found the techniques and implementations so phenomenal, I had to cast it on right away. As I was knitting, the idea of this hoodie struck me, so I started to draw sketches and along with the Diane cardigan on my needles, Tyche was born.

I named it after the greek goddess of good luck and fortune. Tyche has raglan sleeves and it is joined in the round after reaching the armhole. It is knitted mainly in seersucker stitch (which is one of my favourites at the moment) and it has a kangaroo pocket (which is my 3-year-old son’s favourite ๐Ÿ˜€ ). The top of the hood is grafted with kitchener stitch and has an icord hem, just like the pocket. I used Lang Yarns’ Merino 120 for this project.

More photos and details coming in the next few weeks! Happy knitting!

KNIT. WEAR. SHINE.

Mici