Wednesday, May 31, 2006 


I feel so stupid, yet relieved. The word "blogfeed" have been buzzing around my head for quite some time, and even though I've grasped the function of it I haven't really understood how to do it. When I finally asked Fi and she showed me Bloglines, it didn't take more than a minute to sign up and start subscribing. What a great idea! My blogging will now be much more efficient, both in time and coverage. Never again will a blog slip out of my mind and not be checked for a week!

I've cast on for the guernsey. The stiches are many and small, but the yarn, Lanett, is heaven to knit with. I'll post some pics soon.

Monday, I was "hostess" (standing by and smiling politely) during a seminar here at the authority. Somewhere around two o'clock it went from dull to boring, so creativity hit me and I came up with a great idea for a chic handbag. I did all the sketching and noting I could, and rushed home to cast on. Sometimes when you finish something, you get the feeling that it was a quick knit and that it just grew from your hands with the speed of, say, a walk around the block. When you cast on for something that you want to try and see if it works, what it'll look like, the speed is down at the evaporization of the Atlantic. Anyway, I feel like a genious. If it turns out as I'm happily imagining you'll be seing pics soon. Not as soon as I would want to, but soon.

Sunday, May 28, 2006 

I got mail!

What a weekend! It started already on Wednesday (since Thursday was a holiday here in Sweden and Friday is a "squeezeday" and hence also workfree), when I came home to a package from my very own secret pal. I can tell you're a darling, and I'm so happy to get cared for by you during the next three months. This is what the package looked like after unwrapping:

I got a little "appetizer" (good thinking, SP!) consisting of teabags (I really liked the apple), a notebook (already proven useful), a heart-shaped soap, dark chocolate and a cookie recipe I haven't had the time to try out, but I can tell it has all the necessities in it (chocolate, nuts, oat). And a pretty card loaded with kind words.

And from this good it just got better: My mum came to visit me from 650 kilometres away, and we had lots of fun. Thursday my boyfriend's parents and brother with girlfriend came for dinner. It was the first time our parents met, and I think it went very well. Friday we went to Stockholm and saw an exhibition of the queen's (yes, I live in a land of fairy tales) all Nobel dresses and some other of her fancy gowns as well. They were all so tiny! I thought she was kind of average/petite, but she's so petite I must have outgrew her before I was even a teenager. It was great looking at really gourgeous gowns though. After that, we went to an ancient silk weavery in Stockholm, to see how they made posh silk fabrics for the kings and queens of this fairy tale caountry, and also some commons, in the 19th century. It was very interesting, and exhausting too: it takes two weeks just to rig the loom! We had dinner at my boyfriend's parents' house, and stumbled into bed after eight hours of constant walking.

Saturday was another great day (and actually had something to do with knitting), because my best friend with husband and their three dolls also known as my godchildren came for a visit. It was the first time my mum met them, so that was also an important gathering. I got a beautiful brown bag labeled "Yll & Tyll" with five skeins of leaf green merino wool, to knit a guernsey for the youngest of them. (Actually a great deal for all of us; I get free yarn, they get a sweater. It's a win-win!) His second birthday is in July, so I've already cast on for it. Oddly enough I don't have the right circular for the part above the first 13 rows, so today I'm trying to finish (yeah right) the baby cardigan/former Deep V I posted about a week ago or so. It is actually horribly boring to knit, even after changing to a shorter circular for less cord tangling. It's the same thing, just back and forth, for probably a metre or so in the end. I did get some cute buttons though, but the camera is elsewhere today, so you'll all have to hold your breath for the documentation.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 

A finished object!

It feels as if it was ages since I last finished something, but I know that's not really true. It's a fact that my stack of WIP's just keeps growing, but yesterday I found the almost finished Lelah top, knit in the wonderfully soft Blue Sky Cotton, and I actually finished it. I really like the yarn, but it gives me such backpain it's ridicoulous. It seems it takes quite some armwork to knit this yarn, and it kind of gets to my back. Stupid cotton. Anyway, it's done, and after this and the shoulderette, it'll be some time before I knit anything but wool again...

(But why do I insist on shoulderless top, ball gowns etc? A C-cup just isn't enough to keep them in place. It always looks fab, and making straps is trouble whether it's knitting or sewing. You just can't move in it.)

Thursday, May 18, 2006 

New hangout

Sweet heaven, have you ever seen anything as lovely as this? I'm not even green of envy, I'm just pink of sheer awe. I don't think I've ever seen anything this inspiring, beautiful, classy, creative, sophisticated and colour-coordinated on the web. Just beautiful.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006 

Baby knitting and secret pals

I must agree with Pia that this secret pal thing makes lovely things take place within you. Just as you are bursting out in confetti inside, only out of the planning, spying, scheming for your spoilee, you get a little message from your very own secret pal and you're reminded that all the joy you're about to give away is coming right back to you, multiplied! Actually, it makes me think of something I learned during an economy course; when you use money to pay for something, the person you buy it from gets your money, and can buy something in her part, and so it goes on and on. (It's called "penningmängdsmultiplikatorn" in Swedish. It also gives you a hint of the flexibility of the beautiful Swedish tongue. Please note the "s" in the middle of the word, a letter you place between the second and third word in a compound of three separate words.) And secret pal is exactly the same thing! I know it sounds corny, but this is already such a lovely project. I'm so happy I joined, and especially right now! I'm having a summer of work and very little money ahead of me, my BF will be abroad for over a month, and during my four week vacation I'm going to have to finish a major paper I was supposed to have done in December (procrastination...). It's all good things, in a broader perspective, to have both a decent holiday work and vacation, a BF who's seeing the world and to be able to choose when to write my paper, but it might be tough when I'm in the middle of it. That's why I'm so happy I'm in this love project with all these astonishingly loving women who aim to please, literally. If only the world was ruled by them... *stroking my chin, gazing into the beyond*

On the knitting front, I'm one third into the cutest little thing for a cousin's baby due in mid-June:
It's a Garnstudio pattern, knit in their alpaca. (And you know what? The yarn is recycled! You can never guess what I frogged...) It's knit from the left side front edge to the right, sleeves and all in one piece. What you see on the right is the left side front and two thirds of the left sleeve. It's knit with short rows, I think, and I just can't figure out what colours the buttons should be. Any suggestions?

I took the photo using my new mobile camera. I know it doesn't take the best pictures, but I don't know why I always have to wait until late and dusk with immortalizing my WIP's. The colours are, as always, not accurate. It's baby pink and a greyish purple/dark lilac, a match made if not in heaven then at least halfway up.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 

Knitting in public and while watching football

Great stuff! I was going through my daily dose of knitblogs, and found this on Mia's blog: Fotbollsstickning! Just as good as the Knitting Olympics, apart from the fact that football is actually interesting to watch. It appears as the ambitions are a bit lower with this major sports event, since you don't have to have a specific piece of work to start and finish during the World Cup.

Another event, the same day as the football party begins, is the World Wide Knitting in Public Day. On June 10th, just take your stuff outside and show the world you're a knitter. To make it easier, some good people are actually organizing this locally. I don't know yet if I should organize something for Uppsala or just go to Stockholm and enjoy the event at Mariatorget. Hm... tricky...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006 

I'm this famous pinup

You are Betty Grable

The ulitmate girl next door
You're the perfect girl for most guys
Pretty yet approachable. Beautiful yet real.

Friday, May 05, 2006 

Secret Pal 8!

It's starting to happen now, so I best get ready!

Below, dear dear Secret Pal, are my answers to the SP8 questions:

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I love natural fibres, and my favourite yarn is Drops Alpaca. At least it’s the one I use the most. I don’t like synthetics. At. All. And I detest any multi-coloured, self striping fair-isle yarn.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

Ehm… plastic bags? My circulars are more fashionably stored: in a plastic folder.

3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I’ve been knitting for ten years, even though I’ve been fanatic only for a year or two. I’d say I’m intermediate.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?


5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

I don’t have much of that stuff, but I think anything goes. Rather fresh fruit than chocolate, though.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

No, not really. Although, I’ve never said no to a piece of chocolate with my coffee. Actually, I’m more into coffee and tea.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I’d like to start spinning, but I haven’t so far. Other than knitting I sew and make great cookies. I have felted, but not much (and it’s quite messy). I used to crochet before I became a knitter, since it’s much faster. But knitted stuff looks better.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

Jazz, pop, soul… things like that. And my computer can play mp3’s.

9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?

My main stash colour is different shades of pink, lilac, brown and maybe some blue/turquoise. My favourite combination right now is pink and green. I’m mostly a “summer”, and I deeply detest yellow/orange.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I live with my boyfriend, and we don’t have any pets, even though I dream of having a cocker spaniel.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

Yes, yes, yes, no.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

I like small things (hats, mittens, scarves, shrugs) to keep the happy knitting spirit up, and bigger things (sweaters, cardigans) to develop my skills and patience.

13. What are you knitting right now?

Scandinavian gloves in pink, pink and brown, a burgundy lace shawl, and I have a lilac “Lelah” top which awaits its final inches and summer weather.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

I rarely do, but it sounds nice!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Circular! And I think plastic is better than aluminium. Haven’t tried bamboo. On DPN’s I prefer wood, so they don’t run off.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

I have a swift, but the yarn winder is on the secret wish list of my head.

17. How did you learn to knit?

My mum taught me the basics.

18. How old is your oldest UFO?

If it’s very old and you don’t plan on finishing it, is it still an UFO? If it is, I’d say six years. Half a scarf that will never ever be more than half a scarf. Otherwise I’d say nine months, maybe. A vest that didn’t turn out as expected and now rests until I’ve calmed myself down enough to reconsidering it.

19. What is your favorite holiday?

It might be Easter. I like the Easter colours. Or maybe it’s just spring colours.

20. Is there anything that you collect?

Not deliberately.

21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I don’t have any subscriptions, and I never buy any magazines, but that’s just due to budget restraints. I’d love 700 metres of mohair for the Knitty “Lacey” in a nice summer colour, or something pink to knit for my two goddaughters, 4 and 5 yrs old.

I think I have two knitting books, “Family knits” by Debbie Bliss, and “Norsk Strikkedesign”. I’d love to have more, but books are expensive and I’m a student…

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

I’ve done cables and I’m doing lace. I probably should learn the magic loop thing. I don’t know what would be the next step, really. (And I don’t mean that in the arrogant way!)

23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

I have never knit a sock, but I’ve been giving it serious thoughts lately. My feet appear to be 25 cm long.

24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)

10 August!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006 

Photo galore

On public (Pia) demand, I now present more documentation on the shoulderette:

Slinky as it is, I might sew an elastic to the back of the garter stitch edge. Here's a back view:

For a pattern without gauge, specific yarn or needle recommendations, I think it turned out quite OK.

Next up are the gloves I'm knitting. Colours are nowhere near accurate, but you still get the picture. I'm using Drops Alpaca, which is just an excellent yarn. Perhaps not the most exciting, but it's awfully soft, has great yardage and is very affordable. Worth mentioning is that it's the same yarn I used for the Deep V Argyle Vest, but the gauge on the mittens is around 30, and the vest was 22. Yes, it was! I had the right gauge, it was something wrong with the pattern. (Seriously, I did.) My conclusion is that the recommended 23 for Alpaca doesn't apply when knitting with two colours.

Deep V Argyle? Have a look, this is the last picture of it. Ever.
I don't think I have ever knit anything as unflattering as this vest. (I do have a short memory, though.) It's just big and soft. I made the lower part longer, but only 8 rows, so it shouldn't really make a difference. I just want to say it wasn't my fault. My honest guess is that the yarn wasn't ideal for this project, and that I should have used something more conventional and maybe a bit more sturdy. As the glove above shows the stitches much better and is firm without being stiff, I say 22 is too big for Drops Alpaca and the closer to 30 the better.

Also, I learned yesterday that you can only frog downwards, not upwards. Say a last goodbye to Deep V Argyle...

The next big thing might be spinning. I have 0.5 kg of white gotlandish wool in the basement, useless for felting. According to Interweave spinning is very easy. I downloaded the brochures and read them thoroughly on the train yesterday, and I almost get it. I think practice will clear things up, but I have yet to find a spindle. Just have to figure out where to look.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 

Yet another ball

Yup, Sunday was the big ball night. Everything went unexpectedly smooth; the shoulderette was finished on time, the dress fit well and was updated with pink palettes and shoulder straps, and the stains from last ball caved in to the detergent. The ball itself was also very nice, although I think balls are just dinners with fancy clothes. People aren't very much nicer or funnier or anything, it's still just good food, and you get equally intoxicated as you would any other night. The dancing is different, with live music and evergreens, but that might be it. I think the best part is the getting ready, doing the hair and being ridiculously satisfied with your own appearance. Oh well.

The shoulderette improved enormously from the blocking (oh, the benefits of careful blocking!), and even the boyfriend thought it looked nice. (He still thinks the only thing I've knitted worth wearing is the Tärnabymössa. No fan of knitting, no.) I should have taken a better picture of the shoulderette, though, but I can tell you it's a nice little piece of garment, but it doesn't behave very well. It might be the cotton/viscose yarn, kind of slippery, but it doesn't stay put at all. No sudden moves allowed. Also, it might be kind of big, even though I made it slightly smaller than the pattern. That too might be because of the yarn, and my biggest conclusion from this is that wool rocks! Keep away from synthetics, it's a waste of valuable knitting time and experience.

Next up is the continuation of the gloves, still no bigger than a couple of inches. I do have a new mobile with a quite decent camera and a USB cable, so nothing should really stop me from being a better blogger, sharing every bit of progress. I don't know what it is. Might be the spring.

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