Monday, November 10, 2008
I went to my first ever spinning class this past weekend. Two and a half wool filled days. We learned about different kinds of Swedish sheep and tried their wool. We learned about the whole process from dirty fleece to finished yarn. Washing, carding, combing wool. Spinning on drop spindle and wheel. I can't say that I learned anything new about spinning, but I practised, and I learned a lot about Swedish wool and I tried combing and using a drum carder. I think I need to order some wool... Åddebo Ull and Ull i Sverige were mentioned as good sources. I'm on a yarn diet until Christmas, does that include fiber...?
Monday, October 13, 2008
I'll soon be back with some actual knitting content. I have Finished Objects!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Pattern: Turn A Square by Jared Flood
Yarn: Dream In Color Classy in Cocoa Kiss (28 grams) and Noro Silk Garden in colour 226, a mix of purple, aqua and grey, (20 grams)
Needles: 4 mm dpn's for ribbing, 4.5 mm Harmony circ and dpn's for the rest.
Size: A little too big... It looks great on M (but he thinks it is too small somehow) but I made it for my dad and he doesn't have M's thick hair. We'll see. Maybe I have to make Dad another one, I've got plenty of leftovers.
Great pattern. I have seen so many awesome incarnations of this hat over at Ravelry. I will surely make this hat again, but maybe a little shorter before I start the decreases.
Quickie project of last weekend was a Dumpling bag.
I knit and felted it and it slowly dried with a balloon in its belly. I removed the balloon when the bag was dry on the outside so it could dry on the inside too. Today I managed to sew on the magnetic snap.
It is Loopy sized!
The Houdini socks got finished too! Yes, I have had way too many projects on the needles lately. Yes, it feels good to finish stuff for a change and not just start them.
I didn't do the fancy leg in the pattern, it didn't work very well with this yarn. These are for my sister in Australia, so I didn't make them as long as I usually do.
This was a fun way of making socks, an afterthought leg. Good thing: you get to choose the nicest side of the foot for the instep and toe. Bad thing: six ends per sock to weave in, instead of the usual two. This is a Cat Bordhi pattern, and I think that her next book will be all about this way of making socks. Maybe other new ways too. I loved her New Pathways book and I'm looking forward to the next one.
Now I really want to finish my February Lady sweater. The body is done and the first sleeve is about elbow length. I keep trying it on to decide how long I want it, about halfway between elbow and wrist. I have to find nice buttons too. Large dark wooden ones I think.
I got the first Wollmeise sock club package on Friday! I don't think I will blog it just yet. Anyway, both colours are awesome! One of them is so me, the other one not so much but still lovely. And the pattern is stunning. I won't start it right away though. It demands some concentration and I don't want to knit that kind of pattern right now.
Coming soon: Adamas is blocking!!!
Sunday, September 07, 2008
A big skein of Grignasco merino-silk lace yarn, 1400 meters/1500 yards, enough for a sizeable shawl, in a beautiful deep blue. A ball of pure silk yarn from Louisa Harding, DK weight. Luxurious wrist warmers maybe? Six pretty stitch markers that my pal made herself, and a big bag of licorice. Yum! Thank you so much Ulrika!
Knitting news: I am chugging along on my February Lady Sweater. It is coming along nicely and grows visibly whenever I work on it, the yarn is so thick. I'm not quite sure how long I want it to be, about hip length I think. That means 19-20 inches (maybe 50 cm) I am a bad knitter, I didn't wash my swatch so I have no idea how much the fabric will grow or shrink with washing and blocking. It feels like it will grow a bit though so I don't want to make it too long. I love to be able to try the sweater on as I go.
Because I have sooo much time on my hands now that I have gone back to work (note: severe irony) I started another sweater.
Cobblestone in the purple Bendigo Rustic I recently got from Australia. This time I swatched properly, so I know that if I follow the stitch count for the 47.5" size I will end up with a 43.5" sweater, which is what I want. I will of course follow the length numbers of the smaller size.
With all the large project going on I felt (ha ha) the need for a quick project that Got Finished. Enter the Dumpling from Interweave Knits Fall 2008. Here it is pre-felted (OK, pre-fulled, but everyone else is using the word felting for this process anyway)
A really quick knit that took less than two balls (100 meters) of the pretty Sarek yarn I got in another Hemlis 4-package. Here it is felted and drying with a balloon inside to get a nice shape.
I have never felted anything before (intentionally) so I wasn't quite sure how to do. I sewed it into a pillowcase, put it in the washing machine with a pair of jeans and ran a short cycle, and then another one, because not much had happened. It was a bit more felted after the second cycle but I finished the job with hot water, detergent and abuse in the sink. Maybe I should have just tossed it in a proper 60 °C long cycle. Might try that next time. Anyway, now it just needs to dry and then it will get a magnetic closure.
Friday, August 29, 2008
The yarn is Duet Sock Yarn from A Swell Yarn Shop (via The Loopy Ewe)
They where made for M but they fit me just fine. I think I have to block them a bit. He has longer feet than me but not wider.
I have also finished knitting Adamas. It needs a good blocking but I am very happy with it.
Unblocked measurements are about 26" (65 cm) deep and 53" (133 cm) widem I think it will be a good size when it's done. This is my project for The Loopy Ewe Dream In Color Baby KAL. A great pattern, easy but not boring. I think it would be a good first lace project.
I almost forgot: I made it into the Wollmeise sock club! I really didn't think I would make it as it was a lottery but I did. First shipment is first or second week of September, can't wait! Each shipment will be 2 (!) skeins of Wollmeise yarn in exclusive colourways, sock pattern and goodies. Mmmm!
Monday, August 18, 2008
Whispering Pines has about one fifth of its edging done. This half of the edging is all purls and p2tog tbl. Can you say snail pace? I hope the other half is quicker! It looks nice though.
The yarn (Malabrigo Lace) wants to felt where I keep holding and turning the work. I can't work on this with sweaty hands.
I'm about halfway done with Adamas.
10 repeats are done but the rows are definitely getting longer! I love this shawl though. The Dream In Color Baby is lovely, soft and springy (I hope it blocks well and doesn't spring back though) and the pattern easy but not boring. I am aiming for 16 repeats right now. I want a big shawl, and I think that 2 more repeats plus a heavier yarn than the pattern suggests will do it.
I'm not working much on the Big Grey Shawl but I really like it too.
I got this kit at the annual Båstad Craft Fair this July. It is a lovely one-ply fingering weight from Solkustens Spinnverkstad that goes from medium grey to dark grey and back again. I am a sucker for natural grey wool.
They had many lovely sweaters knit up too. The shawl is very simple, cast on 400 stitches, garter stitch and decrease 4 stitches on every other row. They had a sample knit up, which I foolishly tried on, and I had to get the kit... So Cosy.
The Crazy Pi shawl is resting, I need more leftover sock yarn to continue.
So, socks... I finished the first Sea Sock yesterday. Me like! M says it's too small for him but I think it will block out perfectly. I had just enough of the blue yarn for the cuff I wanted to make but I have leftovers of the main yarn. DK weight, so not for the Pi.
Then there's the Houdini socks.
These are fun! A free Cat Bordhi pattern from the premier issue of the Twist Collective (if you haven't checked out Twist Collective: Go There Now!) First you knit feet, with toes at both ends and no leg opening. Idiot knitting, no though involved, almost. Then you decide where you want the leg, pick up stitches, snip a thread and knit an afterthought leg!
Daughter H wants socks too. She picked out a yarn, a solid green, and I think she'd like something lacy. I was thinking Scroll Lace from More Sensational Knitted Socks.
Pretty, but the pattern repeat is large and with my gauge it fits *me* and that's way too large for a four-year old. So they will be frogged. I have another pattern in mind but maybe I should finish some other socks first. Because I suddenly found that I had started a pair of Spring Forward socks too... The reasoning was (I think) that I had a skein of Socks That Rock, in green, and that's the yarn called for in the pattern, and I haven't tried STR before. I'm just one repeat into the sock but I can already see why poeple get so obsessed with STR... It feels So Nice and it is great to work with. The pooling however... not so great.
I'm trying to ignore it and just let it happen...
but I'm not sure that I can. I may have to adjust my tension a bit to make it spiral instead.
We won't mention the other two or three socks that lurk in my project basket.
I also feel bad for the February Lady Sweater that I started before the summer. I haven't worked on it in ages and soon enough it will be sweater weather here. And I want to knit a Cobblestone for M and one for A, and a Gathered Pullover for me, and then there is Bonnie and Wisteria from Twist Collective and the Feather and Fan Triangle shawl I just bought yarn for (Plötulopi/unspun Icelandic wool) and another couple of shawls, and hats and mittens and I ordered Silk Garden for a striped vest and a striped hat or two and... Not Enough Time. Did I mention that I go back to work in two weeks?
Oh, and here's a picture from our wedding.
And last but not least... BREADCRUMBS :-) ***waves to my Hemlis 4 pal***
Better go knit now don't you think?
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Lots of things have happened since my last post.
My sister and her family arrived from Australia bearing gifts and some stuff I ordered and had delivered to their house to save on shipping. 5 balls of this:
Bendigo Mills Rustic 8-ply in Damson. M picked this for a sweater. I want to make Cobblestone. It is a bit thinner than the original yarn so I'll have to rework the pattern a bit, or simply make a larger size. We'll see. There was also 5 balls of Bendigo Mills Colonial 8-ply in Oatmeal for me.
Not sure what kind of sweater I want yet. Maybe a cabled cardigan.
I am starting to run out of stash space. I used to have mainly sock and lace yarn, now I also have four sweater worths of yarn that takes up much more space. I have to reorganise my space a bit. Clear up the mess.
The day after sister arrived M and I got married. Just a small ceremony at the court house with four witnesses and the two older kids. No pics because they are still on dad's camera. We had a party a few days after at the Cottage. Lots of cooking and baking in advance, a hired tent on the lawn, and a great time was had by all. And nice presents :-)
After that we relaxed as hard as we could with six kids in the house and so-so weather. I managed to knit quite a lot though. Whispering Pines has grown quite a lot.
I am halfway through the last small chart before the knitted on edging begins. I'm eager to see it finished. And to see how big it turns out.
There has also been sock knitting. Two finished pairs, no less. Pillars of Fire in Wollmeise from The Loopy Ewe sock club.
Nice yarn (but a little splitty), great colourway and a great pattern that was easy to memorise. A good toe-up heel-flap-and-gusset pattern too.
I also finished a pair of plain socks in a fun selfstriping yarn from sKNITches, Syncopation in Dragontooth.
Maybe not really my colours but they are fun, and I love the base yarn and the dye job. More details on both pairs on Ravelry (apologies to those of you not on Ravelry yet, but I don't have time for great details on both places and Ravelry is a great place and you really should check it out anyway)
I have started two new pairs, but no pics of those yet. I have decided to try to always have a plain pair on the needles and keep it downstairs at the TV, and a more complicated pair upstairs. So now I have started a plain pair for M in Duet sock yarn and a lacy pair for H.
I got a package in the mail! From my Hemlis 4-pal, look!
Great smelling tea (that I will try when the weather cools off!), yummy chocolate, a fun card, and look at the yarn! Three balls of Sarek from Marks & Kattens. A bulky wool yarn I haven't seen before. Maybe mittens? And 500 meters wool/silk lace weight, Elegant from Teetee in a beautiful plum colour. I have to find a pretty lace pattern for this!
Thank you so much for the great package, Ulrica! It made my day.
I finally managed to block the Brambles scarf I made from my own handspun.
I am very happy with it. It is heavy and soft with a great drape. It is also rather short but I can fasten it with one of my new shawl pins.
I found these through the Knitspot fan group on Ravelry, they are from Knitcellaneous.
Friday, July 04, 2008
I, on the other hand, feel very in between. I *love* the process. Dreaming about things to knit. Choosing pattern and yarn. Knitting, knitting. Admiring the fabric flowing off my needles. The fact that I am creating something from nothing. The colour, the texture of the fabric. Process knitter.
But I would never knit something that I didn't like, didn't want to wear. I *want* that shawl, that sweater, those socks, that's why I knit them. If I didn't want the finished item, why would I finish it? Product knitter.
So I am in between. Both. And for me there is nothing else to be.
I am knit, knit, knitting on Whispering Pines. I finished chart H yesterday and I *love* it. Have I said that before? Well, I do. I don't have any new pictures of it though. As I said, it is getting hard to photograph.
Sheri started a new KAL with a yarn discount, and I fell for it. I mean, Dream In Color Baby, how could I not? I got two lovely skeins of Petal Shower
and two equally lovely skeins of Night Watch.
Night Watch is becoming Adamas.
Here it is after one repeat of the main chart. I have knit two more repeats since then. They are nice and quick compared to the 400+ stitches per row of Whispering Pines...
I feel that I have to ration my Adamas knitting so I don't abandon Whispering Pines. "Knit so and so much on Whispering Pines, then you can knit one repeat on Adamas" I'm not sure how many repeats I will do. I want it to be BIG. The original is 72" (180 cm) across and 36" (90 cm) down with "real" lace weight yarn and 14 pattern repeats. DIC Baby is thicker, halfway to fingering, so mine will definitely be bigger at 14 repeats. I have twice the yardage that the pattern calls for too, so we'll see where I end up. I love how the fabric is coming out, drapey and squishy at the same time. And the colour is to die for! Blues and purples, mmm.
Dream In Color is a bit tricky to buy on the 'net. You never know what colour you will get. They have no dye lots, but I think they should have, because they differ very much from batch to batch. For instance, I got one skein of Gothic Rose for accent on my EPS sweater. A lovely colour, blackish plum. After that KAL you got 20% off Classy so I got four more skeins thinking that I would make a sweater with the first one. No go, they aren't remotely the same colour.
These are brown, with just a hint of plum. In fact, the colour is almost the same as the single skein of Cocoa Kiss I got ages ago.
I think it will work if I stripe it in, or use it for ribbing. I am a bit miffed anyway, because brown is not really my thing and the first Gothic Rose I have is so yummy, I would very much have wanted a sweater in it.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Two balls of Sirdar Baby Bamboo, a DK weight 80% bamboo 20% wool yarn. So soft and a pretty lilac colour. A scarf maybe? A set of Knit Picks harmony dpn's. They are beautiful, and match the yarn very well :-) Maybe I should make a hat instead so I can use the needles with the yarn? There is also a pack of knitter's marking pins which will come in handy for sewing up sweaters, and a flowery card.
Thank you so much, my secret friend!
Thursday, June 26, 2008
It is getting too large to photograph, I have just started the pine tree section. I love it! Love the yarn too, Malabrigo Lace in a lovely brownish red. The first ball of yarn is running out, I have two more to go.
Then there is my crazy Pi shawl out of socks yarn leftovers. This one is even more hopeless to photograph, so I didn't bother :-) I worked a fair bit on it over the last weekend (Midsummer), mostly in the car going to and from the Cottage. I'm on my last ball of suitable leftover now, so I guess I have to finish some socks soon! Luckily I have two pairs on the go, Pillars of Fire (latest Loopy Sock Club offering)
in Wollmeise in reds and browns, and a plain pair of self-striping sKNITches. sKnitches will end up in the shawl, the Wollmeise might be too thin. I'm not using my thinnest yarns for this one, so no Regia or Opal or Trekking. Very soothing a nd nearly brainless knitting, this shawl. I am doing k2tog, yo circles every six rounds but that's about it. My only concern is how big I should make it. How much will it grow in blocking? I want a large cosy usable shawl, so 180 cm (70") across maybe? I also don't want to make another increase round... I am already up to 578 stitches per round. The edging will add som to the size of course. I plan a plain garter stitch knit-on edging, maybe 10 stitches wide.
I started the Anniversary Mystery Shawl from Goddess Knits too. Here it is after the first clue (chart B)
This is also a Pi shawl, and each clue have four charts to choose from (at least the two first ones do), so all the shawls turn out differently. I have started the second clue (also chart B), but I am getting second thoughts about it. The concept is great and all that but I think I would rather choose my very own patterns for the Pi. The yarn is Baruffa Cashwool in Lt Lime, BTW. Lovely but maybe better on a slightly smaller needle, I'm using 3.25 mm now.
I am trying very hard to resist buying Icelandic unspun yarn for another Pi. I have found it for sale in a Swedish store for a good price (30 SEK/100 g)
Then Sheri did it again. A KAL I can't resist. You know I knit two sweaters for the Dream In Color sweater KAL? Now Sheri started a Dream In Color Baby KAL. Baby is the DIC lace weight... Yes I have ordered yarn. For two shawls. Two skeins of Night Watch for a big Adamas shawl, and two skeins of Petal Shower, possibly for Queen Anne's Lace. The yarn is in transit... I will knit as much as I can on Whispering Pines before it arrives, because I will want to cast on Adamas as soon as.
I haven't quite abandoned the sweaters though. I started the lovely February Lady Sweater.
The yarn is Malabrigo Worsted (The Loopy Ewe carries it now!). If the colour looks familiar it's because it is. It's the same as in my Whipsering Pines shawl! Except that it seems to be a little lighter.
I finished something too! The Butterfly Jacket from the latest Wool Gathering.
I saw it on the cover and I *had* to start subscribing just to get the pattern. Yes I seem to have some sort of EZ obsession too.
Pattern: Butterfly Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann (Wool Gathering #78)
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers 2448 Petrol Blue, about two skeins I think
Needles: 4.5 mm
Verdict: A fun and easy knit. This was my TV knitting while it lasted, the pattern for the short-row turns is easily memorized. I was a bit concerned about the vest being a bit old-ladyish, but I think it is great. Nice to slip on when it is just a little chilly. I did the seamless version, picking up stitches at the neck for the second half and joining at the back. The only seam was the inch or so I seamed at the center back.
And yes, I got a haircut :-)
My Hemlis 4-pal has got her package (and likes it!) I am still waiting for min. Two more post-days in June...
Monday, June 16, 2008
And for any Hemlis 4 people out there: I posted my first package today, maybe it is for you! I've had so much fun reading my recipients blog and planning the packages. I had some fitting yarn in my stash, and I have ordered some especially for her. Plus some other fun things! I hope I get *my* package soon, I'm so excited!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Pattern: A concoction of Elizabeth Zimmermann's Percentage System, the Waist Shape Calculator at Knitting Daily, and the yoke sweater pattern in Ann Budd's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns.
Size: A very customized 42" hip, 33.5" waist and 39" bust, total length is about 23". Overall ease is about 1.5".
Yarn: Dream In Color Classy in Flamingo Pie (about 4.5 skeins) and Gothic Rose (a tiny bit)
Needles: 3.5 mm for inside of the hems and 4 mm for the rest Addi Turbo's of various lengths
I started the body with a picot hem and after about 2" I worked 4 sets of short rows to make the back about 1” longer than the front, with a rounded shape. I had 101 sts across the back at this point.
1st set: Knit until 25 sts remain to the side marker, w&t. Purl back until 25 sts remain to the other side marker, w&t.
2nd set: Knit until 15 sts remain to the side marker, w&t. Purl back until 15 sts remain to the other side marker, w&t.
3rd set: Knit until 5 sts remain to the side marker, w&t. Purl back until 5 sts remain to the other side marker, w&t.
4th set: Knit until 5 sts after the side marker, w&t. Purl back until 5 sts after the other side marker, w&t.
Pick up the wraps and knit them together with the wrapped stitch as you get to them.
The sleeves have picot hems and decreases every 5 rounds up to the elbow, then they are straight.
After I joined the body and sleeves I knit a couple of rounds and then worked three sets of short rows to give a bit more room for the shoulders, like so:
Place markers at sleeve centers.
1st set: Work to shoulder + 12 sts, w&t
2nd set: Work to shoulder + 10 sts, w&t
3rd set: Work to shoulder + 16 sts, w&t
I got the idea for these short rows over at Mim's blog where she explained how she made her beautiful EPS cardigan. I reworked the numbers for my gauge. Mim also helped me (on Ravelry) to understand how to make the short rows at the hem. Thank you so much!
The yoke shaping took some trial and error. At first I followed EZ and Meg Swansen and knit 5" straight before the first decrease round of 25% of the stitches. Second decrease (33%) round was done after 7.5" and after a few more inches I tried the sweater on. Horror! The yoke didn't fit at all, it was loose and baggy and horrible. Apparently I needed to make 4 decrease rounds instead of three, and start them sooner too. I ripped back and did the decreases at 2.25", 4.5", 6.75" and 7.75" instead. This is more like the decreases in The Handy Book Of Sweater Patterns, and Meg Swansen's mods for larger sizes. The important thing here is trying the sweater on and see what works for you.
After the last decrease round I worked short rows again to raise the neck.
1st set: Work to shoulder, w&t
2nd set: Work to shoulder - 5 sts, w&t
3rd set: Work to shoulder - 10 sts, w&t
Then I knit a picot hem at the neck. Oh, and I knit a little zigzag pattern after the second yoke decrease. I just couldn't resist!
Here is the sweater blocking.
I am very happy with this sweater (and that I managed to finish *two* sweaters in the Loopy DIC KAL!) I have always considered adult sweaters to be slow in the making, but these two were really fast. But my previous sweaters have been mostly colour work things in rather small gauges...
My next sweater will be the February Lady Sweater in red Malabrigo worsted that I snagged at the latest Loopy Ewe sneakup! Actually the same red (Sealing Wax) as in my new shawl project, Whispering Pines in Malabrigo Lace. Pattern by Knitspot. She is by far my favourite lace designer.
Here it is after charts A and B. the pattern is rather dense here but it gets more lacy soon. And blocking will help.
I actually ordered blocking wires! I'm so excited! I have a finished scarf to try them on the minute they arrive. Or soon after they arrive anyway. It is aroll of wire to be cut in the lengths I want. Suggestions for good lengths would be much appreciated! Ready-made wires seem to be between 12" and 36" inches. I will check more when my wire gets here.
Oh, and here is the machine that has made me into a die-hard coffee drinker!
It is a Nespresso machine that uses little pre-packed capsules of coffee, one for each cup of espresso (yes, I know, not very environmentally friendly, but great coffee!) There are loads of different varieties of coffee blends to try and it is easy peasy to make just one cup. I always drink mine with lots of milk! Low-lactose milk nowadays, as I have realised that I am lactose intolerant.