Saturday, October 28, 2006

Round and Round

Long time, no blog. I've had so much to do the last week so I don't know where it went. And I have 24-7 standby all this week until Monday morning. The standby has been calm so far (knock on wood!) but you never know...

I finished the RPM socks yesterday.

Pattern: RPM from Knitty
Yarn: Koigu
Needles: Addi 2.5 mm 120 cm, Magic loop
Mods: I knit these toe up and made the legs as long as possible. I have maybe 10 g yarn left.

The colour is very off in these pictures. it's much clearer in real life. I couldn't find the camera while it was light outside.
One of the socks is slightly darker than the other, but not much. The colours have formed stripes that lean the other way than the purl spirals. Very nice. I'm very much in love with these socks :-) They where a fast knit too.

I got some more stash the other day, from The Loopy Ewe:

From the left: Fleece Artist in Tiger, Claudia Handpainted in Caribbean Blue, All Things Heather in Diablo. So far *all* my yarn packages from the US has been caught by customs, so the yarn gets a bit expensive, but oh so nice. I haven't tried Claudia or All Things heather before, they look very nice both. The colours are fantastic.

I'm also waiting for a package from Astrid in the Netherlands with , among other things, yarn for my Sockret Pal's socks. Hopefully it will arrive on Monday.

I have the things collected for my pal's first package, I just have to pack it up and send it.

I haven't showed my new toy:
My old iPod broke down a while ago, the hard drive crashed beyond repair. So I had to get a new, poor me :-) I would very much like to get one of the video iPods, but with the vacation coming up I had to settle for a less expensive one. This is the 4 GB Nano. It feels tiny compared to my old 30 GB one, but it is nice that it weighs hardly anything (only 40 g) and it is enough for th podcasts and books I usually listen to while driving to and from work.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Finally finished

The Leaf Lace Shawl is finished. I finally managed to block it somewhat, even though I'm not completely satisfied with the blocking. I don't have a good place to block such a large thing. Maybe install wall-to-wall carpeting in a room somewhere... I would also like a set of blocking wires, I didn't manage to bet the top completely straight. Now I blocked ot with string on my parents spare bed which is wide but not long enough. But the shawl is wearable.

Pattern: Leaf Lace Shawl
Yarn: Sandnes Peer Gynt, 7 balls @ 50 g in a tweedy grey
Needles: The ones specified in the pattern (which I can't find at the moment)
Size: The largest size of the pattern, with the thickest yarn suggested. About 90" across the top and 38" down. It's suppsed to be 45" down, I will block it better some other time.

I'm very happy with this shawl. The pattern is very well written and easy to follow. I'd say this is a great beginner pattern. I wanted a big warm cosy shawl and I got it. It's great indoors and outdoors over a jacket maybe.

Peer Gynt is a classic Norwegian yarn usually used for Norwegian style ski sweaters and such. This tweedy variety is slightly scratchy, but I put a little hair conditioner in the water when I soaked it for blocking and it came out rather softer.

When little H saw the shawl she wanted one too, so now I know how to use the two balls I have left :-) Mine has 15 leaves along the spine, I think 7 or 8 will be good for her, she is a rather small 2.5 year old.

I finished the first RPM sock! As I knit it toe-up I was able to use up almost all the yarn without running out. The leg is 9 pattern repeats instead of the suggested 6, and then I made the ribbing 20 rounds. I bound of using Elizabeth Zimmermann's sewn bind-off.

Here's a (blurry) picture where you can see the pattern a bit better. And yes, I've cast on the second sock. No second sock syndrome with this one! It helps that the weather has turned colder and I want more wooly socks.

A gratuitous picture of my cute kids, lying in the sofa watching tv! Yes, I made that quilt, very scrappy nine-patches and rail fences, tied. It was the first one I ever finished, when E was six months or so. I made it for him to play on on the floor.

H looks a bit under the weather, and she is. She has some sort of cold, fever and a horrible cough, and she's very cranky most of the time. She also sleeps more than usual and doesn't want to eat. It doesn't seem to get any better so we're calling the doctor tomorrow. Maybe she needs antibiotics or something.

I'm having much fun putting together the first package for my Sockret Pal. I have just one more thing to fix before I send it. How I'm going to remain secret I don't know, the stamps will be a big clue...
Note to my own Pal: I'm going on vacation for the whole of December (to Australia, yay!) so I won't get my post until after Christmas. It would be nice if I got the first package before I leave. Just sayin'.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Finished and unfinished

I finished the Fetching fingerless gloves.

Pattern: Fetching from Knitty
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, colour 300104, 1 ball with very little left
Needles: 4 mm dpn's
Comments: very fast knit, and fun too. I learned a new cast on (cabled) and a new bind off (picot) I like the yarn, it's very soft, almost feels like cotton. Autumn is (finally) here, so I will definitely use these (and my Knucks!) soon.

I can't keep my hands away from RPM, I just love how they are turning out. Here's a pic with the the other skein, to compare the looks of the skein, the ball and the sock. The colours are more vivid in real life. Must. Have. More. Koigu. I *have* been working on M's Jaywalkers too, I just forgot to document it. I'm almost at the heel. I'm planning short row heels on both RPM and Jaywalkers, and at least the RPM will be as long as possible, I don't want to waste any of this fab yarn!

And here's my sock yarn stash, for Socktober. Enough for some 22 adult pairs and lots of kids socks from the leftovers! Oops, quite a lot in a rather short time...

Lots of Opal and samplings of a bunch of other yarns. I have deliberately bought one of each of a number of interesting yarns to test them out. So far I have tried Regia, Opal, Cherry Tree Hill Supersock, Fleece Artist, Lorna's Laces, Koigu. I have Schaefer Anne, Trekking XXL, Interlacement Tiny Toes, Lang Jawoll, Shelridge Farm and a few others in the pile that I haven't tried yet.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

More Socks

The chanterelles are now safe in the freezer!

My subconsious (sp?) goal for Socktoberfest seems to be to cast on as many socks as possible... not quite what I intended. Anyway, I started these fantastic socks the other day:

RPM in Koigu. I love them! The colours are absolutely fantastic (way better in person than on the screen) and this patterns suits it perfect. The yarn wants to stripe in warm and cool colours. Together with the diagonal rib it gives the sock a lot of movement (fitting for a sock :-) The striping and pattern is perhaps a little more visible on this (blurry) picture:

On another Socktoberfest note: I'll try to take a picture of my sock yarn stash this weekend, when there's some daylight. I'm also going to block my Leaf Lace Shawl, so there will be finished pictures soon. I promise, Kath! I realised that my parents extra bed is rather wide, and we're going there anyway on Saturday for my Moms Birthday. So I'm bringing a wet shawl and a lot of pins to the party!

KTS2 Box and a Pot of Gold

I got a box in the mail today!!! From my Knitters Tea Swap 2 pal Mandy. I opened the box, grabbed my trusty camera to document the goodness, and *no battery* Ack! So I had to wait impatiently for the battery to charge enough for e few pics. I just poked the contents a little :-) Finally, we had power!

Here's the opened box:

It contained some very nice chocolate.

Two bars of dark chocolate with 70+% cocoa, and baggies of chocolate drops and chocolate covered raisins. Of course I had to sample everything, very yummy, especially the Dagoba bar and the raisins.

Two cute tins of tea, English Breakfast and Gunpowder Green. I haven't really tried green tea so that'll be interesting.

There's even notes on water temperature and brewing time on the tins! I admit I was a bit puzzled about the temps first, 212° on one and 180° on the other. I use Celsius, and the boiling point of water is 100 °C, so those temps are of course impossible at normal kitchen air pressure... Then, of course, pal from US = temps in Farenheit! Duh! Though I admit that I usually don't check the temperature on the water before brewing my tea. At work I get hot water from the coffee machine, and at home I take the kettle of the heat just before it boils. And brewing time... equally sloppy! I have to better my ways.

Last but not least two rolls of Lang Jawoll sockyarn in a pretty green (colour is fairly accurate on my screen).
The lot:

Thanks so much Mandy, I love all of it! I will try the green tea tomorrow, it's much too late for tea now.

As for the pot of gold... M brought home a box of chanterelles from work today. 3 kg (6-7 pounds) split with my parents made me clean chanterelles for an hour or so. But look at it! Yum!

That bowl takes 4 litres (1 litre = 4 cups). I put it in a pot with a little salt and let it simmer in its own juices a little. It has cooled down now so I will scoop it into baggies and freeze it. Soups and whatnot for the winter.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


I posted the package for my Knitters Tea Swap 2 pal today. Fingers crossed, touch wood and all that, so that it doesn't get lost but reaches its target without a hitch! But man! postage is expensive here. This package of a little more than 2 kg (maybe 5 pounds) cost more than 30 USD to send overseas. Yuk!

I have started to think about what socks to knit for my Sockret Pal. Leafing through Barbara Walkers books I found a simple lace pattern called Mrs Montague's (I think) and I'm thinking about using that. It's simple diamonds on a stockinette background. I'll have to swatch it in the actual yarn of course. And buy yarn. My pal likes earthy colours, which I don't use myself, so I have nothing like that in my stash. Woe me, having to shop for yarn ;-) I also found a nice little cable one could have travelling down the sides of the sock, maybe together with the diamond pattern, maybe not. I haven't designed socks before so this will be a first. A lot of swatching methinks, maybe I should buy some extra yarn for that?

Hey, I just got an e-mail from my KTS2 pal. She posted my package today!!! I can't wait to get it, so exciting :-)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Socktober quiz

Lolly put together some sock knitting questions, as it is Socktober! Here are my answers:

When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class? I'm not sure but I think I just found a pattern and went for it. I probably asked my Mom if I had any problems. Maybe 15 years ago? The only patterns available where for thick 'ragg' socks to wear in your rubber boots, so that's what I knit. I remeber that I had no idea how the sock pattern worked, I just followed along and voila, a sock, amazing! I knit maybe two or three pairs, but didn't really enjoy it. Grey, bulky socks with 1x1 ribbing for the whole leg isn't very fun for long...

What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time? See above. I think they where worn out eventually, and thrown away.

What would you have done differently? Dunno. I used the yarn and knowledge available to me at the time.

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed? Hmm, difficult. I restarted my sock knitting this summer and even though I have acquired ridiculous amounts of sock yarn since then I haven't had time to try it all ;-) I'm working on a sock in Lorna's Laces right now and that yarn is very nice indeed. Soft and silky.

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method? No crochet here. I haven't decided if I like dpn's or Magic Loop the best. I tried using 2 circs but found it too fiddly.

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?) Both are nice and have their uses. Sometimes you want the sturdier heel flap with slipped stitches and all, and sometimes you want the slimmer short row heel.

How many pairs have you made? 5 pairs recently and maybe three pairs long ago. And I have two pairs on the needles now.


I've been a bit unconcentrated and off lately, so I started a gazillion new projects at once... Here the first of a pair of Fetching from Knitty. The yarn is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, very nice.

I restarted M's Jaywalkers.

Please disregard the messy desk. As you can see I'm going toe-up, magic loop. The double decreases are looking much nicer this time, so I hope I won't have to frog them again. I haven't decided on the heel yet, heel flap or short row. I'll have to ask M if he has any preferences (though I doubt it)

I also started a Print'o the Wave scarf (a free pattern from Eunny Jang) in Drops Alpaca. What a yarn! Mmmmm. Only problem is that the yarn is dark blue so seeing the stitches is a bitch.

The postwoman was very nice to me both yesterday and today. Yesterday I got this from Simply Socks Yarn Company:

Lang Jawoll in red, Lorna's Laces in Flames, Shelridge Farms in Gunmetal Blue, and Schaefer Anne in Azure. All very nice and soft and yummy and all for me :-)

Today I got this lot from Astrid's Dutch Obsessions:

Opal Uni on the bottom, Egg Yellow, Viola, Mokka, Azur and Camel. Trekking XXL on top, 78, 101, and Aquarell 159. One of these is for my Knitter's Tea Swap 2 pal, and one is for my Sockret Pal. The others are for me, I think.

I finally tried my hand at making stitch markers.

I like them :-) and it's fun. I'm probably going to send some of these to my Sockret Pal.

Now, off to start dinner!

Monday, October 02, 2006


I'm stupid. I've been feeling just a little sad that noone ever comments on my blog and wondering if anyone actually reads it. Then I just saw a comment somewhere today and realised that if moderation is on, you have to actually go looking for the comments, Blogger won't send a mail about them. Duh! So I checked, and there where comments! I'm thrilled that people are actually reading and commenting on my blog. And extremely sorry that I haven't answered the comments :-( I really appreciate them, thanks. So here are some answers:

Gita, I ordered the Leaf Lace Shawl pattern from Get Knitted, in physical form, not as a download. I think it's a great beginner pattern, I've enjoyed knitting it very much.

Debi, I got a mail from my tea swap pal about a week ago, the 27th. I was starting to get a bit worried at the time :-) And I heard from my Sockret Pal on the 29th.

Sockret Pal, nice to hear from you (I got your e-mail too) Good to hear that you'll find it easy to get goodies for me ;-) I must say that I have to think a bit more about my spoilees, I don't share most of their tastes. But that's part of the fun isn't it? Thinking outside the box, considering colours and other things that you usually don't.

Today I felt so sick at work that I actually went home again after a couple of hours. Nauseous and tired and stupid. I think that the stress of last week got the better of me. So I'll stay home tomorrow too and rest. I sat quietly and knitted and listened to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I finished both the Tiger socks and the Leaf Lace shawl and a hat I started yesterday evening!

Project: Tiger Socks
Yarn: Opal Rainforest Tiger, one 100 g skein with leftovers enough for kid or baby socks.
Needles: 2.5 mm Addis, Magic Loop
Pattern: This is a mixup of two toe-up Knitty patterns, an idea from Keyboard Biologist and my own thinking. I cast on like for Widdershins but realised that the sock would be too narrow so I kept on increasing until it seemed right, 62 stitches instead of 54. Then I made the heel from Hedera. I wanted a k2-p2 rib so I increased 2 sts after the heel.
Both these patterns have heels that look like a top-down heel flap heel and I wanted to try that. It worked beautifully! The idea from Keyboard Biologist is to knit plain stockinette but everytime there's a black stitch directly above another black stitch, that stitch is purled. This gives a little more texture to the sock. I like the effect.

The only problem with these socks is that both Mum and Dad has hinted that the want them for their birthday, which are both coming up very soon (this week and next week) And they fit both of them. What to do?

Here's the unblocked Leaf Lace Shawl. It is quite large even now, very cosy. I don't know where to block it. It would fit on our queen size bed, except for the upper edge I think, but the yarn is thick and it will probably take a few days to dry. Somehow I don't think M wants to sleep on it... I think I have to do it on towels on the floor somewhere. I think I need me some blocking wires too.

And here's the silly hat I made (yes that's me). One skein of super thick yarn I got somewhere. I've tried to make a hat out of it before, but there wasn't enough of it. This hat is very slim so there were just enough. I had barely three inches left after weaving in the ends... I had intended to make this hat, but I was running out of yarn fast so I decreased faster and made no ball at the end, just a long i-cord. I have to try that pattern for real though. Maybe for the kids, or for M.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

What a week!

This has been a busy, busy week! Monday through Wednesday I took a job related class (web programming) that made me commute 1.5 extra hours per day. Luckily I could take the train, so I nearly finished my second tiger sock. Thursday night we started job related evening class after work (the first Oracle SQL certification, yes I am a geek), so I came home late.

The Swedish national quilting guild, Rikstäcket, had their annual meeting this weekend in Lund, only an hours drive from here. So of course I had to go! Friday night I took a quilting class (tumbling blocks), so I was home very late, and tired after the night drive. Saturday morning I drove down to Lund again for quilt shopping and quilt watching and another quilting class (freehand machine quilting), that continued all day today. On top of it all I started feeling really queasy on Saturday night and my stomach is still complaining. I hope it's just stress and not a tummy bug.
So I'm totally pooped, no pics today!

Today is the first day of Socktober! Have I knit any socks today? Um, no, I knit a bit on my shawl in front of the telly instead. Only two more rows and then bind off! Back to socks: I've been thinking about my Socktoberfest goals, do I have any? Well, finish the tiger socks of course, then the dragon socks. I ripped and restarted the second one but I've only done an inch or so. After that I feel that have to do the Jaywalkers for M, or maybe some other pattern. The yarn is Lornas Lace's pinstripe in black and grey (yes, he chose it himself) I want the pinstripes to show, but not plain stockinette. Maybe a k3, p1 rib? I'll look through Vintage Socks for ideas I think. Don't know if I'll be able to do anything else this month, we'll see.

Also on a socky note: I *have* to decide what yarn to get for my Knitter's Tea Swap pal! I found some great yarns at Astrid's Dutch Obsessions, but I have to decide exactly which one to get, and then maybe something for me to. She has Trekking XXL and Regia Bamboo which I haven't tried before... The other goodies are bought, well mostly. I really should send out that box this week as it's going overseas. Maybe the recipient