Friday, December 21, 2007

Smokin' Socks

I finished grandmothers socks in good time for Christmas. Yay!

Pattern: Smokin' Socks by Knitspot
Yarn: J. Knits Sperwash Me Sock in Boston, from The Loopy Ewe of course :-)
Needles: 2.25 mm Knitpicks circ
Mods: I made an in-between size, 66 sts instad of 60 or 72 as the pattern suggests. In hindsight I think that 60 sts would have been ok, but as I don't have grandmother's foot measurements just her shoe size I didn't want to make them too tight. I did the heel over 34 sts using Cat Bordhi's wrapped stitches.
Verdict: The yarn, hmm. I love the colour and the variation, and the knitted fabric looks and feel very nice. But the yarn is a bit splitty, it is tricky to pick up a dropped stitch. At one point I ripped a few rounds at the toe and it was No Fun to pick up the stitches again.

I love the stitch pattern. I will certainly use it again, for me. It is easy to knit, yet it looks and feels really nice.

Monday, December 10, 2007


...eeeel! As in spinning wheel. As in I got one. Ooops.

It's a used Louet S10, with a skein winder. It looks like a windmill with the skein winder on... Kind of fitting for a Dutch wheel maybe. I got it off ebay, from a Dutch seller that seems to buy ands refurbish old wheels and put them up for sale one by one. I was a bit nervous about making my first ebay purchase. I mean, you hear so much about being tricked into buying a box of bricks or whatever... But I checked the seller as best as I could and all went well. So I have a nice little wheel and I'm making yarn!

These are my first skeins of yarn from the wheel. BFL top (or roving? I'm not sure about the difference) from Spunky Eclectic. I bought a spindle kit from her ages ago with a nice little Cascade spindle and this and one other roving. I have spun a bit on the spindle but I find it very difficult to do anything but park and draft, and very little drafting at that! Maybe if I learn to draft properly on the wheel the spindle may be easier. I find it difficult to keep the spindle spinning for very long, but treadling the wheel is easy. We have an old spinning wheel at the cottage, and as kids we used to play with it and treadle, treadly, treadle. Seems like my foot remembers how to keep the wheel turning!

I managed to spin 66 grams (2,3 oz) into 19 meters (20 yards) of rather fat yarn, 5 or 6 wpi. The smaller skein is 13 grams (0,5 oz) and 3,5 meters (3,8 yards) . It's a start...
My current yarn is turning out thinner.

But drafting is still very difficult for me. This is a Corriedale top from Funky Carolina. I have split it in thin strips and predrafted before spinning but of course I would like to be able to do the drafting on the fly. I have two more rovings (4 oz each) after this one, and a few more on order from etsy sellers. I think I want a fleece for Christmas... Cleaned and carded, please, even though I got a pair of hand carders with the wheel, and I know how to use them. Or indeed any larger amount of wool to practice on. It would be nice to be able to have enough yarn of one kind to actually knit something! I have no idea where to get good wool here in Sweden though. Anyone know?

Teach Yourself Visually Handspinning arrived in the mail today. It seems to be a very good beginner's book. Especially if you, like me, have no one to show you.

Christmas knitting (dare I say the word?)
I'm not doing much of that actually. Knitting deadlines stresses me out and then it's no fun to knit, it turns into a chore. I much prefer to dole things out as I finish them.
Still, I am knitting a couple of items for Christmas presents. A pair of socks for my grandmother. She is 87 and fell and broke her leg in June, had surgery which didn't take and now had her hip joint replaced instead the other day. So she needs cosy socks.

The first one is done and the second one is at the heel. It's a fairly quick pattern (Smokin' socks by Anne at Knitspot) so I'm confident that I will finish them on time.

The Fire & Ice socks are on hiatus until Grandmother's socks are done. First one is done and looks like this:

The second sock is almost at the start of the gusset increases. They are sooo comfy, I'm really happy with them!

The second (and last!) Christmas item is a Pirate hat for H. She immediately wanted one when she saw the one that E got for his birthday, and I was planning on knitting her one anyway. So two knit presents this year. If I don't spin to much... Though I *may* knit an iPod sock for M... This pattern (that I found through the Daily Chum) is so cute :-)

I am 8 rows in on the bee swarm section of the Bee Fields shawl (also by Anne at Knitspot). So I have one neat row of bees :-) Or is it one and a half? Not sure yet.

Anyway, I love this shawl. And the yarn (The Plucky Knitter Merino laceweight) And it's not that difficult to knit either. Granted, this section has patterning on both right and wrong side rows and I haven't done that before, but I'm learning to read the pattern from the back too.

For some strange reason I haven't worked on it since the wheel arrived though. Hmm.

BTW, I just had to start an Obstacles shawl as well. I am in some sort of Knitspot period I think.

Lovely pattern! I'm using two skeins of Dream in Color Smooshy sock yarn in Ruby River. Yum!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Baby mittens

A needed mittens so I made some from the same yarn as his djevellue. I just love how they striped!

Size: 3-9 months
Yarn: Thickish fingering yarn, 65 meters/70 yards
Gauge: 32 sts/10 cm (4”)
Needles: 3 mm (US 2,5) needles or size to get gauge

Cuff: CO 32 sts (I use long-tail CO) join for knitting in the round. Rib k1, p1 for 4 cm/1,5”, 13 rounds.
Hand: Switch to stocking st. Increase 8 sts evenly on the first round (k1bf, k3 around), 40 sts. When hand measures 8 cm/3,25”, 30 rounds after increase round, decrease for top:
Round 1: k2, k2tog around, 30 sts
Round 2: knit
Round 3: k1, k2tog around, 20 sts
Round 4: knit
Round 5: k2tog around, 10 sts
Round 6: knit
Round 7: k2tog around, 5 sts

Cut yarn and thread through the remaining sts, weave in ends. Make another mitten. Make an i-cord or crochet chain about 67 cm/27” long and sew one mitten to each end. Thread through sleeves to avoid loosing mittens.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Winter already?

The first snow fell on us on Friday evening and Saturday morning. The kids were of course extatic and ran out to play almost before we boring grownups had made it out of bed. Most of the fun melted away of course but we had freezing temps here this morning even at nine am and a few more flurries of snow this afternoon. Real winter (i.e. with snow) rarely arrives before January, so this probably wont stay long.

I started and almost finished a Pirate hat for E's birthday soon.

The horrible blue is the cotton lining, it won't show. The pattern is We Call Them Pirates from Hello Yarn with some mods. I tried it last year but my gauge was way off then so that hat turned out very small. Baby A will get it when he grows into it. Next winter maybe?

The Mystic Waters Shawl KAL is under way. I started it but frogged rather quickly. I had barely begun knitting when I saw the second clue finished and I didn't really like it. So I will not knit it now. Maybe later, I am collecting the pattern. The yarn I used was very nice however, Baruffa Cashwool in a light grey.

Instead I decided to do a Knitspot pattern. But which one...? I have been wanting to knit Casino forever and I have yarn for it, the Bee Fields shawl and stole both are fantastic, I really like Obstacles, and the new Cluaranach. Aaaahhh!

In the end the stash decided for me. I had this fantastic yarn in my stash, merino laceweight from The Plucky Knitter (by way of The Loopy Ewe of course) in a greyish blue, 900 yards. Single ply, so soft. The petite size of Bee Fields shawl calls for exactly 900 yards. I hope I don't run out...

Bee Fields after two repeats of the Bee Hives chart.

I also ordered yarn for both Obstacles and Cluaranach (Dream in Color Smooshy in Ruby Red and Deep Seaflower respectively. Yes, from TLE) So, together with the shawl I'm knitting for mum, I have my lace knitting covered for some time.

Oh and the Loopy sock club is shipping soon. Can't wait!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Rudyard baby sweater

When I saw Kim's pattern for Kipling I just had to make it. But it was very small and when I tried to make the pattern larger I got confused by the sleeve construction. So I made my own version, and of course it had to be named Rudyard!


Size: 6 months


Garnstudio Alaska (75 m / 50 g) 100% wool
6 balls main colour 11 (dark red)
1 ball contrasting colour 52 (blue), or an extra ball in main colour

4,5 mm (US 7) needles, or size to get gauge
1 thin extra needle, 2 mm (US 0) or so

18 m = 10 cm (4”)

CO 50 sts in contrasting colour using longtail CO. Work 5 rows (2 cm, 0,75”) stocking stitch, 1st row is a purl row. Switch to main colour. Knit 2 rows for folding edge. Work 6 rows stocking stitch, first row is knit. Weave in all ends (except working end)

On the next round (right side) the CO edge is knit together with the sts for a neat hem. If you find this too fiddly, just ignore this section and sew down the hem when finishing the sweater.

Pick up 48 sts from the CO round with a thin needle.

The edge with picked-up sts

Knit 1. Knit 1 stitch from the ordinary needle together with one stitch from the extra needle 48 times. Knit 1.

K2tog, one st from each needle

From the back

The finished hem

Work in st st until work measures 28 cm (11”) from the bottom. Put sts on a thread.

Work like the back. When work measures 21 cm (8,25”) the middle 18 sts are put on a thread. Work each side separately until they measure 28 cm (11”) from the bottom. Put sts on a thread.

CO 36 sts with contrasting colour. Work edge as for the back. Work st st until work measures 16 cm (6,25”) Bind off. Make another sleeve.

Soak all parts and block according to the sketch. Let dry. Kitchener the shoulders.

Pick up about 50 sts along the sides and back of the neck, from the right side. The number of sts should be a multiple of 4, plus 2 sts (for example 46, 50, or 54 sts) Knit ribbing, p2, k2 for 10 cm (4”) or desired length. Bind off in pattern.

Front neck
Move the 18 sts from thread to needle. Work one knit row from the right side and one knit row from the back for folding edge. Change to contrasting colour and work 3 rows st st. Bind off. Sew down the hem neatly.

Weave in all ends. Sew the sleeves to the front-and-back. Sew the side- and sleeve seams. Done!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Rushing Rivulet socks

Pattern: Rushing Rivulet socks from New Pathways for Sock Knitters by Cat Bordhi.
Yarn: Fiesta Boomerang in Quince, one skein.
Needles: 3 mm KnitPicks circ
Mods: I changed the cuff to a k1, p1 rib with EZ sewn bind-off.
Verdict: I really like this yarn. It is soft, solid and springy and it shows the texture pattern very well. This colourway is rather bland for me but it goes nicely with jeans.
This sock architecture, with the "gusset" on the sole

fits me very well. I have a highish instep (which I didn't compensate for, even though there are instructions on how to do it. I don't think that it would work with this stitch pattern) and a rather high arch.

I like the look with the texture pattern on the side too.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Long time, no blog

What can I say? I blame it on the baby... and on life in general. When I have free time I tend to knit or read blogs or surf Ravelry (have I mentioned that I love that place?), not blog (or clean the house. Ahem. I *do* however cook and launder)

Let's see what I have been up to knitwise since the last time.

1. I finished the Spiralling Coriolis for E.

Pattern: Spiralling Coriolis Master Pattern from New Pathways for Socks Knitters, Book One by Cat Bordhi
Yarn: Claudia Hand Painted Fingering in Sharks, exactly one skein.
Needles: 2,5 mm Addi circ, Magic Loop as usual
Verdict: Great pattern. Fun to knit and the socks look fun too. They look a bit slouchy on these pictures but the fit is actually very good. I made them a bit large on purpose, for growing. Next time I make socks for E I will need more yarn though. These could have been a little taller.

2. I started a pair of socks for me, Rushing Rivulet from The Book.

This is the first time I have used Fiesta Boomerang and I like it a lot. It is thick and squishy and the colours (Quince) varies nicely. I am almost finished with the second sock.

This is a pattern for "the independent knitter", which means that it just a basic description of what to plug into the master pattern. I have no problem with that, but it might not be the best sock to start with from this book. I love the result, even though I had to rip the foot a couple of times to make the stitch pattern behave as I wanted it to.

3. I developed a sudden need for a new hat. Autumn is here and it is cold walking the kids to school/daycare with wet hair in the morning...

Pattern: Shedir, from
Yarn: Urban GypZ Twisted sock yarn in Electric Lizard, about half a skein.
Needles: 3,25 mm KnitPicks circ, Magic Loop
Mods: I didn't have the same gauge as specified in the pattern, my hat is a little larger around and I knit only three repeats (instead of five) of the main pattern my hat measured half the finished height so I stopped there.
I didn't use a cable needle, too fiddly, except for the "cable 3 right" on row 54 and the "cable right and decrease" on round 61. Instead I used a "knit second stitch from the front or back (depending on the direction of the twist) without dropping it from the needle and then knit or purl the second stitch, drop both sts from the needle" technique, and a "cable without a cable needle" technique. Much quicker, at least with really pointy needles.
Verdict: Fantastic! Maybe it is silly to do such a detailed pattern in this busy yarn, I love the result anyway, but I may make another one in a solid.
The yarn is very soft and nice, and the twisted colours gives the knitted fabric a nice, heathered look.

It isn't easy to take good pics of yourself in the mirror. Or of the top of your own head, for that matter.

4. I made baby A a Baby I-cord beanie (do check that link, Woolly Wormhead's hats are so much fun, and there is a bunch of free patterns too) from the leftovers of Shedir. He hasn't been cooperating with the camera so no pics yet. The hat is super cute though. As is A of course :-)

5. I had the post office (or rather the post office-wannabe pickup place) loose a package from The Loopy Ewe and then miraculously find it again when their superiors told tem where to look. It only took four weeks and a number of phone calls :-/ But the yarn is lovely!

Left to right: Zen String Bambewe in Jamie, Perchance to Knit in Rainbow Blue, Cider Moon Glacier Pueblo and Hot Flash, Fiesta Baby Boom in Wild Oak, Claudia Hand Painted Fingering in Santa Fe, Toast and Ingrid's Blues, and Yarn Nerd 900 MHz in Raspberry Sherbet.
The Claudia is destined to become a couple of copy-cat Chevron Scarves (I don't have the pattern but how hard can it be?) I'm thinking Santa Fe + Ingrid's Blues and Toast + Ink.

6. I received a $5 credit from The Loopy Ewe because someone clicked through from here and placed their first order. Thank you very much, whoever you are! The credit has been spent, there was a sneakup today...

7. I found out that Socktopus is starting a sock club (and a stitch marker club) and joined after thinking hard about it for, oh, three seconds? I'm doing the Bells and Whistles option and the first shipment is in December. I can't wait!

8. I found that GetKnitted in the UK has KnitPicks needles! (KnitPicks don't ship to Sweden for some reason) I ordered a bunch of circ's at once. They arrived promptly and I like them very much. The points are very pointy, the cables are very flexible and the joins are very smooth. Me happy!

I'm not so sure about GetKnitted though. They charged me £13 for shipping. That is a lot for a small packet of needles. My package from Socktopus shipped for less than £3, and that one contained a not so small book plus three or four skeins of yarn. The needle package was stamped with £2,65 or something thereabouts. I though £10 was rather a lot for 'handling' so I wrote them an email. No reply, but after a week or so I got a refund of £8 on my credit card. So that's alright I guess. But why didn't they reply to my email? This reminded me that I ordered from them once before, about a year ago and I wrote them an email asking something about my order and they didn't reply that time either. So I really don't know what to think about them.

9. I started listening to Sticks & String, a really nice podcast by David Reidy, "an Australian bloke who knits". I'm up to show number 22 and I really enjoy them. Check it out if you haven't already done so.

Not so knitwise... My kids:

Our local newspaper cooperates with a local photographer who spends one day every week taking pictures of local babies for a small fee which then gets published in the paper. And you can order copies of course. I think this one turned out really good, especially considering that A was very sleepy at the time. Guess what our relatives are getting for Christmas this year...?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I'm in love!

In Cat Bordhi's new book, New Pathways for Sock Knitters: Book One. I got it in the mail on Friday from Socktopus (together with some *very* nice yarn, see below) and I started drooling right away :-) The socks in the book are amazing, I want to make almost all of them NOW but I'm being good and started with the first learning socks. I finished the Little Sky socks on Saturday. Baby socks are quick :-)

They look really huge for a baby sock but when I measured them against A's foot yesterday they look ok for winter. My baby Bigfoot...

Pattern: Little Sky from New Pathways For Socks Knitters, Book One by Cat Bordhi.
Yarn: Garnstudio Alaska, exactly one ball. I was a bit nervous at the end of the second sock...
Needle: 4 mm
Verdict: Good pattern, easy to follow. A great way to learn some of the new things in Cat's book.

The learning socks are a good idea, because the New Pathways in this book are new ways of making the gusset part of a sock. There are 8 different (some are *very* different) ways in the book, each with its own baby sock and a number of large patterns *and* master pattern. Plus detailed descriptions of everything and then some. If you are interested in sock knitting: get this book!

I had just started a pair of socks for E and had only the toe done, so I ripped those and started a pair of Spiraling Coriolis for him instead, using the Spiraling Master Pattern with his measurements. This is the first one:

The other side, note the absence of normal gussets.

It looks a bit wonky off the foot but on the foot it's great. I can't wait to start a pair for me! The difficult part is to choose a pattern...

I have been a bit bad about posting my yarn purchases lately. I add them to Ravelry but not always show them here. Bad blogger :-( Anyway, I bought New Pathways and some yarn from a new online yarn store in the UK that I found through Lime & Violet's Daily Chum, Socktopus. If you are in Europe, check it out! Well, do it if you are outside Europe too... It's the only reasonable place I've found to get the book ( takes absolutely forever to get their stuff here, I think they send it by rowing boat across the Atlantic. Two months is ridiculous!)

First I saw The Book, then I saw that they had Dream In Color...

Cool Fire

Some Summer Sky.
... and a couple of other yarns that I had to try. This is Evolution from Chameleon Colorworks and it is absolutely amazing!

You would never believe that it is a pure wool when you see it and feel it. It's shiny and luscious and... mmmmm.

I also got this:

Dazzle from The Natural Dye Studio. This is China Blue.

Before I got distracted by The Book I finished a baby hat:

Pattern: Djevellue
Yarn: Lucy Neatby Celestial Dream Multi Color in Fiesta
Needle: 3 mm Addi, magic loop
Verdict: Love this pattern. Easy, peasy and cute! I was rather disappointed with this yarn when I bought it. The yarn base is nice and cushy, but the dye job is very uneven. It goes from very light in one end of the yarn to very dark in the other. It would be difficult to make matching socks out of it. So it sat in the stash for a long time before I decided to make smaller things with it. I'm happy with this hat, even though it's rather large, way too big for A right now. But eventually it will fit.

Now I'm off to do some knitting while the baby sleeps!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Swirl socks

A has a sleep-only-if-someone-holds-me-day. After a while I managed to slide him into my lap instead and was able to knit. So I finished another pair of socks! I must say that sport weight socks almost feel like cheating, they are so quick to make...

Pattern: Swirl socks
Yarn: Cider Moon Glacier in Juneau
Needles: 3 mm dpn's, and 2,5 mm dpn's for the inside of the picot edge
Verdict: A fun and easy pattern that you could change as you like. Zig-zags anyone?

Monday, September 10, 2007

I'm still here...

Thank you so much for all the well-wishes after baby A's birth! Time flies, he is two weeks old already and he's starting to hold his head up a bit and he is awake a bit more. Now we are waiting for the first smiles!

We showed him off at work the other day, that was fun. And I had to tell the birth story about a hundred times :-)

On the way there we stopped at the hospital and took some pictures of me and A on The Spot.

Yes, it is close to the hospital but not close to an entrace...

A of course likes to nurse, and cuddle, and sleep. Most of the time this involves me and my lap, so I haven't been knitting very much lately. I have have managed to finish the Pheasant Run socks though.

Pattern: Pheasant Run by Lisa Parker, Wildhorse Farm Designs, for The Loopy Ewe Sock Club August 2007.
Yarn: Claudia Handpainted fingering, colourway Loopy Ewe Sock Club.
Needles: 2,5 mm Addis
Mods: I don't like the look of garter stitch heel flap edges so I did a regular sl1, k1 heel instead. I also made the heel flap a bit longer to fit my highish instep, 3" instead of the suggested 2,5".
Verdict: This is not a colourway I would have bought, but I *love* it! The pattern is really great too, I love the look of the twisted rib triangles and it was easy to get the hang of how the pattern works. I made the scalloped top version (i.e. without ribbing at the top) with 2,5 pattern repeats in the leg and another 2,5 repeats on the instep.

Rudyard is done too.

Pattern: My own, inspired by Kipling.
Yarn: Garnstudio Alaska
Needles: 4,5 mm
Size: 3- 6 months

And I started a new scarf in Wollmeise yarn.

The pattern is the narrow version of the Woodland Shawl. Great pattern, easy to memorise (at least for me) and the 41 stitch row makes it feel really fast too. This Wollmeise colourway is called Zenzi, which apparently is a common name for a cow!

The colours remind me more of birch bark and shadows, it feels very right for this scarf (and for my black winter jacket that I hopefully will fit into when it gets colder!)

I'm having a hard time to find anything to wear right now, it seems like every pair of trousers are either too small (the normal stuff) or too large (the maternity stuff) I'm almost back at my pre-pregnancy weight, but apparently not to my pre-pregnancy size and shape :-( So my trouser wardrobe consist of one pair of regular jeans i a huge size that I bought when E was newborn, and the smallest pair of maternity pants. And nothing else. Ahhh.

Now when I have finished the Pheasant Run socks I have restarted the Swirl socks.

I started them and packed them in my hospital bag, but I only knit half a round or so while there... Now I had forgotten how to work the pattern so I had to rip back to the toe (not very much though) Sport weight yarn makes them really fast, and the pattern is really easy and great for jazzing up a plain sock in a varegiated yarn.