Sunday, August 27, 2006 

Busy week, secret pals and spoilees

I’ve had the busiest week ever. It’s been my last week at the authority where I’ve had my internship and summer job, and I’ve finished everything I should and was thanked with cake, speech and a bottle of wine. I’ve been to three parties this week, including the season’s specialties: surströmming and crayfish. Surströmming is fermented Baltic herring, and quite an experience. We had a good laugh when we asked the guests if everybody had tried it before, and one of them said “I think so”. You don’t think. You know. It was quite a success if you ask me (but then I’m a fan), and I think everybody could enjoy it on some level.

This week I also received, and sent, the very last SP8 package. I was thrilled to find yarn, both three balls of merino in matching colours and 380 metres (!) of the designer yarn used for my birthday Jaywalkers, and a circular bamboo needle in the last package. I was overwhelmed by the big package just a little while ago, I had completely forgotten that my SP had promised one final package where she’d reveal herself. Now the thing is, that wasn’t really necessary. On my birthday package from Germany, the postal stamp read “Burgoberbach”, which coincidentally is also the place where my packages have been sent to, and I realized that my spoilee is also my secret pal! I sent her an email stating that I’d figured it out, and asked her if she had too, and she claimed to have known it was me since my second package! I was stunned, thinking I've messed up and that this whole secret thing is not for clumsy people like myself, but she said she found out when I sent her a note on a piece of paper from a notepad she had sent me just a week before...

I’ve been very confused by this arrangement, at the same time as I’m very happy to have gotten to know a person who has also gotten to know me during the same time, which I guess isn’t the normal thing during Secret Pal. My secret pal AND spoilee is Theresia, also known as Schnüffeltier. Pop by and say hi! We've had such a great time during these last months, and I'm very happy to have a new knitting friend, even though we probably won't meet for coffee and knitting for a while... Thank you, Theresia, for this wonderful secret experience! You're a real darling, and I'm very happy to have gotten to know you! It feels very odd not to be supposed to keep sending things to you anymore. I still see things that makes me think "hm... I wonder if Theresia would like that..?"

Despite my busy schedule, the Stockholm-Uppsala trains still take 40 minutes, and I've used that time wisely. I've reached the yoke on my cabled cardigan, and the rows are very loooong... I've got 5 centimetres to go, then sew sleeves to fronts and back, and then bind yoke off together with the rest. The pattern says to sew it together, but that seems messy, and when you learn something clever you want to practice. And make your cardigan as pretty as possible.

Lately I've been given some very nice green yarns, both the yarns Fi gave me for my birthday, and the alpaca yarn I won in the SP posting contest. It struck me how beautiful they are together, and I'm thinking about using them together. I think they add up to 700 metres, and apparently they all make 24 stitches/ 10 cm. Chouette! If I complement with maybe a white kid mohair, possibly with gold (like Kidsilk Night 607), I could make a striped beret and scarf. Or should I make something more colourful, adding a darker green instead? Fi?

Oh well. Time spent blogging is knitting time wasted.

Sunday, August 20, 2006 

Tip o' the day

To get access to Lion Brand's free patterns (I'm a sucker for free patterns), I had to register as a user. When doing so, I started receiving their weekly newsletter, and I think it's really good! It seems to always include a knit or crochet pattern for something small, like a scarf or potholder or something, pattern for a crochet motif (the kind you join together for throws, scarves, afghans etc), and knitting travel tips from their readers, and of course advertising for their yarns and products. I don't think I'll ever order anything from them, but I really enjoy this free service.

Thursday, August 17, 2006 

SP package!

I just got my BIG package from my SP - and boy, was it big or what!? Yes it was, but since I'm like a kid at Christmas I didn't have the time to take a pic before I opened it...

It was jam packed with goodies - chocolate, candy, a cute cow coffee mug, candles, tea, biscuits, a key ring - and yarn! I got 800 metres of the cuddliest mohair you could ever imagine - ice blue! The picture isn't really accurate, of course, but kind of close anyway. It's not as grey as it looks. Beautiful colour that will go beautifully with just about everything in my wardrobe - excellent choice, SP! The destined project is Lacey from Knitty.

I also got a bag for travelling knitting, which does happen a lot. Very cute!

Thank you so much, SP! I love your packages filled with goodies. You are a very sweet girl!

On the knitting front - finished one front during the Stockholm Culture Festival knitting experience with Sthlm Knitters yesterday, and with exactly one skein! I was amazed. It was quite a thrill since I messed up the short rows at the end, but after doing it right I had 30 centimetres left of the skein, just enough to pull through the stitches awaiting three needle bind-off. Perfect!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006 

I'm a winner

Yes, I know we all are in some way or another, but I've won a ball of Luxury Alpaca Hand Knit Yarn in an SP8 contest. I posted some questions and answers on my blog, and that's all it took.

I immediately checked out the UK Alpaca website, to learn more about the beutiful "Fresh mint" yarn I just received. On UK Alpacas website there's also help and guidance for alpaca breeders, and I learned something completely new about alpacas: they orgle. No, I didn't know what that was either. A quick google is always a help: "The males make a sound called “orgling” during the mating process". Well, who doesn't? But I've never thought of turning it into a CD: "Fifty minutes of PURE testosterone courtesy of Classical Ikon, a black stud male who takes no prisoners. If you have a young male about to work, the sound of high quality orgling will help to get him going. Play it and see the difference."

Well I just might.

Sunday, August 13, 2006 

Back finished!

I cast on for the Karabella cardi Friday night, and I've been unstoppable since then. It's so much fun! The Kid Classic yarn is soft and bouncy, although it could split if you don't watch it. And it knits up just beautifully! As I went to bed Friday night I had a completely different feeling about knitting than I've had for a long time. I love the Mörketid jacket, but it's a lot of hard work with it, and it doesn't grow very fast. This little piece of candy is such a treat! I just finished the back. (On the right you can also see a glimpse of my birthday Jaywalkers, at least the left one.)

My modifications this far is that I haven't cast off the edge, but decreased with short rows. I'm hoping to be able to make the yoke seam with a three needle bind-off. And obviously I had to make it longer, to fit my never-ending upper body.

I had my tiny birthday party yesterday, and it was very nice to have E's parents here, and Fi with her boys. The baby behaved suprisingly nicely for his age, my bew coffee machine made great coffee despite the bargain it was, I had made three kinds of cookies and an organge cake, and I got presents: a novel, an orchid and yaaaarn! Having knitting friends is the best: Fi gave me one hank of Svenskullgarn (Swedish 2-ply wool) from Grunnebo garn and, as delicate as a piece of jewellery, one hank of Debbie Bliss' Pure Silk, colour 06. Iiiix! To get the most out of the silk, I was thinking of a very narrow scarf, almost like a tie, in this lace pattern, or something like that. Or does anyone know of a better pattern?

Friday, August 11, 2006 


Yesterday was my 27th birthday, and I was overwhelmed by the attention I got. A lot of people I didn't expect remembered me, so it was a very happy (and old) girl who went to bed last night. Funniest thing was when an old friend, Emma, sent me an sms. We have a common history of never remembering eachother's birthdays, so at first I was stunned to have a message from her. Then I opened it: "Do you know of any good snacks for 60 people? It's for Daniel's 30th birthday!". It's not unusual for her to ask for cooking tips, but I was stunned. How could she send me an sms on my birthday and have forgotten about it?! I responded: "And it's my friggin' 27th birthday today!", and I was severely upset. A minute later another sms: "I know it is... Haha! Happy birthday!"

Erik made me Chinese food for dinner. I wasn't too excited, but he wanted to show me what he had eaten in China during the summer. And it was sooo good! He made some chicken szechuan and beef with sesame seeds, and an oyster sauce omelette. Just delicious!

And then I opened my presents... My sweet SP had sent me a package with homemade gifts: two pairs of earrings and a pair of jaywalkers! The picture doesnt do them (or my legs...) any justice, but they are kind of pink, mixed, and apparently it's a designer yarn half wool half cotton. They fit perfectly and I really like the short shaft. They are very summery, and I wore them all evening!

I had wished for a knitting book from my mom, and instructed her on how to order books online, but I got a card that said she had failed the online procurement and that she had transfered money to my account so I can buy it myself... My Norwegian grandmother sent me a small handmade, creamcoloured Hardanger cloth, and I got lots of Chinese stuff from Erik. A shoulderbag and a wallet, both designer copies (Coach and Dior), some CK underwear, Chinese size XL (suitable for someone the size of Posh), a small leather purse and a cute dress, also size XL and still way too small.

Tomorrow I'm having a tiny afternoon party, the cake and coffee kind, for Erik's parents, Fi and her little family and possibly a couple of other friends. I've found a recipe for an orange cake I'm going to make... keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, August 10, 2006 

[edit]: HOUNDStooth

Have you seen this? Apparently houndstooth is the thing this fall. I might have to reschedule both the Mörketid and the Karabella Cable thing to whip up a houndstooth slipover, just to be able to show the world that you can be both trendy and crafty at the same time. I know we know we can, but we all know they don't.

Yeah, apparently it's houndstooth, not dogtooth... Thanks Jeanne! ;-)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006 

Mörketid progress

Yup, I'm knitting along on the Mörketid og vinterlys jacket. I struck me the other day that maybe the colours I'm using doesn't really shout dark season and winter light, but I still think it will look stylish when finished, thanks to the extraordinary elegance of the model. I've got a few months to get there, and today my LYS called and said the Rowan yarn for the Cabled Cardigan has arrived so maybe I'll knit them both during the fall, but then none of them will be finished very soon...

This is what it looks like today:

Eleven more rows until I've finished the first pattern repeat. Every eighth row there's a decrease, which is just about enough to keep me interested. There's also only two full and two 3/4 repeats every row, so it never gets boring. It does take a lot of concentration and pattern reading though, since there's no chance of learning the pattern by heart.

If you compare to my swatch below, you see that I inverted the colours. Just as I had cast on I realized that brown as main colour would look better with the brown border (since I won't wear that kind of green near my face). That also explains why the first row is green and not brown... Hopefully it won't show when the border's stitched in place.

Monday, August 07, 2006 

I never said...

...I like sheep because they're smart.

Friday, August 04, 2006 


I guess you can tell I'm on vacation since I'm blogging like never before. You can also tell that I'm a bit bored and like to do anything but write the major paper I should be writing (although I have made some progress) by this tip I'm about to give you: If you're a blogger, use some kind of statistics device. I'm using Sitemeter since it's free, but I've discovered one feature that I'd almost, but not definitely, would pay for: The "recent visitors by world map" function. On the webpage of my counter, I can not only see from which locations people come, what ISP they're using and what other site directed them to my blog, but I can also see them as dots on a world map! I just love this, it really makes me feel like a world citizen. For example, on my current map with the ten last visits, I have visitors from Scandinavia, Ireland, USA, Australia and Singapore! My little blog! Can you believe it?

OK, that's all for now. Silly me.


Swatching (and itching)

I'm swatching my new green and brown yarns for the "Mörketid og vinterlys" jacket. My yarn is a quite thick 2-ply, so on needles 2.5 I get down to 25.5/10 cm, and not the 30 called for. I'm thinking of making the smaller size and with the lower gauge get a good fit. I can also confirm what I suspected the last time I knitted a raw wool like this one: I'm allergic to it. My eyes itches. I'm taking antihistamin, maybe that helps. What an unfortunate handicap...

I've also been thinking of a round neck slipover in dogtooth patterning , for the two matching greens. I once found a pattern in one of my grandmother's old 70's craft books, so I wrote it down. Same gauge problem there, though, but I might crunk it down to the required 28 on 2 mm. Or just recalculate.

Good thing is that this yarn is probably the perfect steeking yarn. My earlier steeking experience hasn't been the best since I worked in Drop's Alpaca, but this time it will be smooth sailing with practically self-felting yarn. I did some back and forth fair-isling on the Norwegian Stocking heel, and I don't wanna go there again.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006 

I just don't know what to do with myself

As I was on my way home from the first and, let's face it, the last 94th birthdayparty I've ever been to I got a call from my best friend Alex, whose children I am godmothering, who asked me if I'd be home in an hour, because they were stopping by on their way home from Norrland and needed my help deciding from a bag full of something.

This is what was in the bag:

(Alex had been plant-dyeing yarn for a few days it seems, and isn't even a knitter himself...)

And the help they needed was to pick out the yarn I would like for my birthday! What a heavenly yet tormenting decision! I felt like crying when facing such an unannounced task, unprepared as I was, caught off guard and more stuff like that. I was supposed to receive four hanks of light green and one hank of darker, from the same dyebath but originally different shades of grey, but then Alex wasn't sure is that was what I wanted (duh), and therefor he needed the help picking out. Oh, the humanity! After carefully screening the hanks back and forth and feeding my godchildren leftover birthday cake to be able to hear myself think, I asked how much I could have (it's very difficult to remain polite and grateful in a situation like this), and the response was that I could have as much as I wasn't ashamed to. It takes a whole lot of yarnlove to keep oneself balanced, but I did go for the five skeins originally intended for me and then, after consulting "Norsk strikkedesign", complemented with three skeins of a walnut shell-dyed brown. 300 metres a hank. I am slightly embarressed by my unstoppable desire, but nevertheless very content.

Apart from the "Norsk strikkedesign" Aran sweater ("den er snarere irsk", as my norwegian and hence better-knowing colleague commented) I've also been kind of keen on the cover piece, the grey and blue kimono-style cardigan with sleeves from here to eternity, and if I ever get the time to knit all I now actually have yarn for I will make it light green and brown, and then find a matching yarn for the edges.

Thank you so much, you ridiculously kind and me-well-knowing people with beautiful children!

I love you!

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