Friday, June 27, 2008

Hemlis 4 package

My moaning yesterday paid off. First I got a reassuring comment from my pal that the package was in the mail, and today it turned up!

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

Shawl obsession

I have been totally obsessed with shawls lately. Lace shawls. Working on shawls, planning shawls, dreaming about shawls. I'm working on Whispering Pines mostly.

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
Size: Small
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

WWKIP and Hemlis 4

I participated in WWKIP day on Saturday. 6 knitters (4 adults and 2 kids) on the lawn outside the main library in town. We had a great time knitting and chatting for two and a half hours before the rain came and chased us away.

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

Flamingo EPS sweater

I have neglected to blog my finished sweater because I didn't have any nice pictures of it. My plan was to persuade M to take the photos but here has been so hot that I forgot all about woolly sweaters for a while. Today however the weather is cool (and windy and rainy) so I came to think about the sweater again. I had to take the pics myself of course, because M is at work.

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.

Here you can see that the back is longer than the front.

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.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Hemlis 4

Here are my answers to the secret pal exchange Hemlis 4. It's a Nordic exchange arranged by StickaMera, so I'm doing this in Swedish only.

1. Vilken sorts garn tycker du mest om? (Ull, akryl, bomull osv.) Är det något material du absolut inte tycker om?

Jag tycker mest om ull som inte sticks :-) och silke. Gillar inte akryl (plast!), och bomull är stumt och bråkigt att sticka med tycker jag. Animaliska fibrer helst alltså, fast lite nylon i strumpgarner är ju bra.

2. Vilka är dina favoritfärger?

Blått, rött, lila. Klara, glada färger, är inte så mycket för pasteller.

3. Är det någon färg du absolut inte tycker om?

Beige, grönt på egen hand (men tillsammans med blått är det jättefint), brunt på egen hand (men också snyggt ihop med blått)

4. Vilken sorts stickor tycker du bäst om/använder du helst? (Trä, metall, plast? Rundstickor, raka, strumpstickor?)

Jag använder rundstickor i metall till det mesta, även strumpor och tröjärmar (magic loop) Älskar mina Addi Turbo och Knit Picks rundstickor och drömmer om ett Options-set. Jag använder strumpstickor nån gång ibland, men aldrig nånsin långa raka.

5. Hur länge har du stickat? Anser du dig vara nybörjare, avancerad eller mittemellan?

Minns inte riktigt när jag lärde mig sticka men det måste vara närmare 30 år sen, jag var rätt liten i alla fall. Är väl tämligen avancerad, hur man nu ska definiera det... klarar av att sticka det mesta, justerar mönster när det behövs och designar lite själv.

6. Dricker du kaffe? Te?

Kaffe med mjölk. Jag och sambon fick en väldigt trevlig Nespresso-maskin i gemensam födelsedagspresent i år. Den används flitigt! Annars dricker jag helst te, svart eller grönt.

7. Är du allergisk mot något?

Laktos har jag just fått reda på :-/ Och nötter, mandel, jordnötter etc. Och starka dofter har jag svårt att klara. Och råa äpplen (fast äppelpaj går bra. Med vaniljsås, tack)

8. Vilken slags musik tycker du om?

Hmm, favoriterna är väl Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys och U2. Lite modernare: Eskobar och Rammstein.

9. Favoritgodis?

Mörk choklad. Fast det är väl ett livsmedel? Saltlakrits är inte dumt det heller.

10. Håller du på med någon annan "skapande hobby", förutom stickning? (Spinna, scrapbooking, virkning osv.)

Jag spinner, nybörjare sen december i fjol. Har en begagnad Louet S10 och en liten slända. Jag har också sytt rätt mycket lapptäcken, fast det har legat nere några år. Sen jag upptäckte strumpstickning ungefär...

11. Vad tycker du är roligast att sticka? Mössor? Sjalar? Tröjor? osv...

Strumpor och spetssjalar

12. Prenumererar du på någon sticktidning?

Interweave Knits

13. Har du något drömprojekt på önskelistan?

Jag har ungefär 100 projekt i min Ravelry-kö... Högt upp ligger en damaskmönstrad tröja i regnbågsfärgad Kauni och nån mysig spetssjal designad av Knitspot

14. Använder du pulsvärmare/handledsvärmare? I så fall, vad är ditt handledsmått?

Jag har inga men jag skulle väl kunna göra det. Mina handleder är 16 cm i omkrets, men händerna är drygt 20 cm runtom tummen så de ska ju gå att dra på också...

15. Tycker du om att sticka pulsvärmare?

Har faktiskt aldrig provat, men det är säkert ett kanonbra sätt använda strumpgarnsrester :-)

16. Stickar du sockor?


17. Vad har du för fotstorlek? (T.ex. längd, omkrets på tjockaste stället.)

Skostorlek 39-40. Mina fötter är 22,5 cm runtom som mest och 25 cm långa. Jag har höga fotvalv och jag gillar tajta strumpor. Jag brukar göra skaften ca 15 cm långa.

18. När fyller du år?

30 maj. Alldeles nyss, alltså :-)

19. Stickar du med pärlor?

Jag har stickat en sjal med pärlor (Mystery Stole 3) och gillade resultatet, där kunde gott varit ännu fler pärlor! Kan absolut tänka mig fler projekt med pärlor.

20. Vilken slags böcker (ej stickning) läser du helst? (Deckare? Fakta? Romaner?)

Fantasy och science fiction (på engelska om det är orginalspråket) Lord of the Ring och Harry Potter är favoriter. Stephen Brust och Neil Gaiman är andra favoritförfattare. Tyvärr har jag inte så mycket tid att läsa nu för tiden, har jag möjlighet är jag en bokmal!