Monday, July 31, 2006 

On merino

I think I should know all this already, but I realized when asked by less knowing people that I could brag about a merino yarn but not explain what the heck merino actually is. One of my life's mottos is that "if I don't then they probably don't either", so for all of you who still don't know what merino is, here's a clue. Well of course it's a sheep! And a clue in Swedish (if you can access Nationalencyklopedin). Did you know that the first person ever to export merino from Spain was Mr. Potato himself, Jonas Alströmer? Quite a pioneer, I must say. Actually, he might be my new idol, since I'm very fond of both potatoes and merino wool.

And guess what! Today I got my Cabled Cardigan pattern in the snailmail! Iiix! I'm very excited
(and if I seem a bit over the top it's because I just had some coffee on an empty stomach), and have some problems deciding what colour I should go for. What is the colour of this fall? I'm thinking of Kid Classic by Rowan, but I'm stuck between Nightly, Battle and Smoke. I might have to do some fashion research before I set to work.

Saturday, July 29, 2006 


Yes I did.

It's a bit long/high/deep I think, but on the other hand it was a very quick project. And cheap! The tuft (is that really a word?) cost as much as the fabric and buttons together, and it all ended up around SEK 40 (€4.50 or $5.50).

And in reality, all the parts match, even though they don't in this pic.


Alone again

So, after a month in China and three carefully spent days in Sweden, my loved one left for the south of France last night. He'll be back in ten days. Life is so hard on me these days.

At least I have a little bit of money (or maybe that was before my shopping spree...) so I could go out and buy myself some textile comfort. I found a nice fabric for a new silly summer city bag, since the one I sewed by hand four years ago is a bit worn out. The fabric is purple, off white and greenish, and to spice it up I didn't only find two matching buttons in the odd buttons cardboard box, but also a tuft in just the right greenish colour. On sale! Oh, this is going to be sooo pretty!

Lately I've been experimenting on a Trinket-looking Kid Silk Haze scarf, as seen on the left in the picture. I'm having a slight moral dilemma with this, since I'm not actually buying the pattern from the designer but only (let's face it) copying it. And I'm not sure that I would buy it even if I had the money. But I do believe that the knitting tradition and historical folk knitting designs haven't survived for centuries thanks to copyright. I am hence defending my action like any other pirate would: some things can't always be profited on. And I'm not taking any credit, but rather knitting this as a tribute to Kim Hargreaves. Oh well. I did have almost one skein of KSH at home, so I cast on and did a little back and forth, ripped a few rows (yes I did manage to frog mohair!) and am now quite close to something I'm gonna go for. I went to my LYS today and borrowed their scale to figure out if the experiment will ever reach a useful length, and it just might. You won't be able to tie it, but maybe a cute pin will do the trick. Today I bought two brand new skeins of KSH and matching beads (upper right), and this time we'll go all the way, Trinket and I...

I also got some blood red Vivaldi with matching beads (is this mohair-bead combo really healthy?) for a sp...ecial friend.

So now I don't know where to begin. But I think some easy sewing would do me good (not to mention lunch), so I'll get back to you later with something finished...

Sunday, July 23, 2006 

Secret pal answers

1) What is your favorite season of the year?
I like spring very much, but right now I'm kinda looking forward to fall, with all the knit stuff you can finally start wearing...
2) Where is your favorite vacation spot?
I can't say I've found it yet. But somewhere where you can live like normal (not a hotel, thoguh they do have advantages) see nature, historical buildnings and people but also be alone. Is there such a place? Let me know!
3) If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be?
4) If you could pick any job, and be paid well, what would it be?
Something with yarn and cookies... I'd love to have a yarn/magazine/coffee shop!
5) If you were going on vacation for 1 week, and had to take ONLY one project with you, what would it be?
Something not too tricky, like a scarf or something. It should be something with short starting run, so you can pick it up at any time.
6) If you won a shopping spree to your favorite Yarn shop, what would you get??
Debbie Bliss' Pure Silk, or Noro Silk Garden. Or Kid Silk Haze (how come everything I want have "silk" in it?).

Sunday, July 16, 2006 

Birthday boy

Today we had a small birthday party (it was so small I don't even think the birthday boy noticed) for Frode, turning two on Thursday. When I was going to wrap up the blocked and documented sweater I noticed I hadn't weaved in the ends. Oops! I got it done in time though, and here's the little darling in his new, surprisingly well-fitting guernsey sweater:

Friday, July 14, 2006 

What a week!

I came home from the breathtaking sailing experience alive and undrowned, even though there was a humiliating incident that could have ended up much wetter than it did. My face has a new tone of red and the ground has been moving constantly and in a wavy manor since I left the boat. But I had a really marvellous time! The archipelago has much more in common with the north of Sweden than I had realized, with lots of stone and pine, and it's so much bigger than I could have ever imagined! The boat was cool, seven metres long and with enough room inside (even though "inside" probably isn't the correct term) for up to five sleeping sailors, not to mention a small yet functional kitchen area. I learned so much about sailing and boats, many new words, especially words for what I would refer to as "rope", and even some practical skills, like hoisting and reefing sails. What I don't understand is how to take advantage of the wind in the best way, but not even Rome was built during a three-day sailing escapade.

My captain and my navigator:

This has also been the week when I landed a job, thus temporarily liberating myself from my final studies. It's a substitute from September to April, giving me the opportunity to extend my worklife experience, so that when I eventually get my degree I'll have hoards of headhunters hunting for my head.

And as if this wasn't enough, I finished the guernsey sweater for Frode last night! This is what it looks like in bad lighting, shot with a mobile camera:
I knit it in size 3-4 years, for a boy who's turning two next week... Oh well. He'll be able to enjoy it for a very long time.

Pattern: Guernsey sweater from "Family knits" by Debbie Bliss
Yarn: Lanett from Sandnes Garn, 100% merino wool
Yardage: Less than four 50 gram balls (about 195 metres/ball)
Yarn Source: Yll & Tyll
Needles: 3 mm & 2.5 mm DPNs
Gauge: 27 st/10 cm in stockinette (close enough to the recommended 28)

On Sunday, my three godchildren and their parents will drop by, so I thought I'll throw a tiny birthday party for Frode.

And if all THIS wasn't enoguh, I got SP mail today! I thought I wouldn't get anything for a very long time, since I just got a package, but maybe my secret pal is just getting warm... I'll just wait and see.

Swedish government are so into NPM that they just don't do public services like delivering mail, running trains or in any This is what I picked up at our local post office (or gas station, not a post office, since theother way guaranteeing the national infrastructure anymore):

(Please note how well it goes with our parquet floor)

And this is what I found inside:
Two pieces of floral print fabric (clever! I actually seem to be unintentionally collecting it these days), more candy (less now, though...), two different kinds of tea, stitch markers (excellent!), a hairclip in blue/turquoise/pink (right on!), a super cute sheep-shaped card holder (haha! the wool reference hit me just now!), more of the decorating flowers I got last time (and assurance that they are indeed for decoration), a multi-coloured "Amazonas" soap (well I am quite tall) and a cute photo album. And a card, of course, here displayed in the sheep-shaped card holder.

Secret Pal, you're such a darling! Thank you so much for all your thoughtful gifts and for making this superb week even better.

Sunday, July 09, 2006 

I am sailing

Well, not quite yet. Tomorrow I will join Sofie and her boyfriend in the Stockholm archipelago for a few days of sailing. He's got a boat! Quite a haul, I must say.

Three quarters of a sleeve left on the guernsey sweater, so that one is packed, and I also threw in the Frost Flowers and Leaves Shawl, who hasn't seen the light of day in months.

Ship ahoy!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006 

Some might say

Since some people don't believe me when I say I've reached the heel, here's the evidence:

There are a few things I'm not very happy about, so I might finish it and then rip it to just before the heel again. 1) The calf part may be too long. I don't know until I have the toe section to pull it completely into position. 2) I didn't reinforce the black section under the heel (what that might be called), despite the recommendations in the pattern. "Me? No, I have polyester in my yarn!" I'm not sure if that will be enough, and when I reflect upon it, that part of the sock might be the first to wear out, since it's the first to hit the floor every step you take. 3) I made some mistakes with the decreases, and k2tog instead of SSK, leaving my pink stripes interrupted by black (as you can see). 4) I got some holes, just like the ones at Mustaa Villaa. On the bright side, I did manage, somehow, to make the picked-up part kind of neat, after a few trials and errors. I can't figure out why you're supposed to slip the stitches on the edge of the heel flap: it's like begging for huge holes.

But the major issue is the length, so I'm going to finish and see what happens there, and then decide whether or not to frog and make better. Perfection does indeed require time. And patience.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006 

I'm in yarnlove


Have a look at this super cute cabled cardigan from Karabella Yarns: It's just adorable! It's a must-knit for this fall. If I ever have any money again, I'll order the pattern online and then go to maybe Wincent Garner to get either Kid Classic or Classic Cashsoft Aran for the project, though I think Kid Classic comes in nicer colours. I've never knit anything in a Rowan yarn - I'd really like to know what the fuss is all about.

Yesterday the stragest thing happened at my LYS. I was getting a couple of skeins for the SP project, and I looked at the tag very carefully to make sure they were from the same dye lot, and they were. When I came home to wrap them up I looked at them again, squeezed them, and I'm telling you, they were not alike at all. One skein more round and chubby, the other one bigger and kind of flat. And the chubby one were more pinkish than the other. Very very strange. I really wanted to send the package yesterday, but who would want to send unmatching skeins to spoil someone? I'm going back there today to get a matching pair. I've no idea how this could happen. Has anyone out there an explanation to this?

On the knitting front, I've just finished the first sleeve on the guernsey for my godson. And most exciting of all: I've reached the heel flap on the Norwegian Stockings! I was very excited last night, telling Fi over MSN that I had reached the historical point in my knitting career where I was to knit a heel, and throwed myself onto the couch, needles in hand. First row went smoothly and according to pattern. Next row - oh my gosh! What? Fair isle purling?! How? What? Why? A quick googling didn't get me anywhere, since I apparently am a "Norwegian purler" (probably a heritage on my mother's side, since my grandmother is Norwegian) and hence not a "thrower", which appears to be the preferred disposition in these matters. I was left to my own devices. I did come up with something, and it's quite similar to how I normally knit, with both yarns on my left index finger, only they run from the front of work instead of the back. It's not very smooth, but it works. It might even just be a matter of habit. Anyway, my stocking now looks like this:

(imagine stocking picture here, since Blogger refuses to insert my photo)

Yey! I've rached the heel! I'm almost done! I just want to go home and snuggle up in the couch with my knitting...

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