Sunday, August 30, 2009

Another knitting-intense weekend

There will probably be a lot of pictures today, as I've had quite an eventful weekend. Yesterday, there was a knitting festival in town, and I made sure to see most of the activities. First, I went to Hemslöjden, a crafts store that sells everything handmade, from wood carvings to wool to finished clothing. They had a pre-release on a swedish sock/hat/mittens book that looks very promising, so I bought this as well as a crafts magazine issue that focuses mostly on knitting.

I also got a chance to see a knitting machine, and got a very nice explanation on how it works. Unfortunatly, I forgot my camera at home, but it was very interesting. They also had a little workshop with the author of the sock book, Ann-Mari Nilsson, where you could make a pair of the wrist warmers described in the book and get some directions from the actual designer.

Then I went to a "yarn tasting" at Garnverket. It was so cute, they had made tiny balls of yarn and stuck a tooth-pick in them so that they looked like tiny hors d'ouvres (is it spelled like that?), and put them up on some beautiful trays! The shop is just starting to import Rowan yarns, and some of them were SOOO soft! I brought some of them with me home (the tiny balls that is, I didn't really have the money to buy that expensive yarn that I don't have a project planned for), but of course I forgot to write down which yarns I took.. I guess I have to take the swatch with me if I want any more of some kind. Yes, that's right, I of course had to try the yarns when I got home last night, so I made swatches of all of them.

Next in line was a workshop on how to make spiral shawls from the Plissard Spirale yarn. It was so easy, and the shawls looked very pretty too, so I of course bought three balls to make myself a spiral shawl. A small ball of Rowan Classic Cashsoft 4-ply (57 % merino/33 % acrylic/10 % cashmere) made its way into my bag as well. It was just so soft, I think I will make myself a scarf with it.

Next, I went to Garn-Netto, where I bought three skeins of pink Drops Alpaca. This will turn into a pair of fingerless gloves for me, once I finish with my husbands gloves. I think these will be great for me to knit in, since I'm always cold on my hands.

Finally, I went to the local museum, which had invited a japanese knitting artist to come and speak about her knitting. Her name is Sakiko Arai, and her work was truly inspiring! I don't know if I would actually wear her sweaters, but they were really more like pieces of art than actual clothing. And unfortunatley, since my camera was resting peacefully on my couch table at home, you won't see any pictures of these. I'm sure that you could find some online, though. She mostly knits in plain stockinette, it's just that she does some really awesome colourworks, and she talked about where she finds inspiration and such. The whole speach was in japanese, whit a swedish interpreter who translated for the audience. I'm so glad I got to see this!

After this, I went home feeling tired but happy, and managed to finsih the first of the fingerless gloves I'm making for Thomas (my husband). He wasn't very thrilled about the cables at first, but when he discovered that he could wear them with the cable on the palm side as well, he got very pleased, and I think he will use them a lot. I've cast on for the second one as well, and am already about to start the thumb increases, so they knit up very fast. They are made in 100 % superwash wool from Marks&Kattens. As I mentioned, I'm going to make similar ones for myself in the pink alpaca, but I think I will try to find another pattern to get some variation.

Then today, I went to Old Linköping (which is about 5 min walk from my house, no big journey...), where there was a crafts day. I mostly looked at the yarn booths, since I'm not really interested in the other crafts, but you could buy handmade wooden things, jewellery, pottery and a lot of cloth things. Linköping Knitters and Linkmaskan were there with a booth where you could try knitting or just ask questions about yarn and yarn-work.

Unfortunately it rained a lot, so there weren't many visitors who sat down to knit, but there were a lot of people walking by, and I think a lot of people patronized the different yarn-selling booths. I know I did! I bought two skeins of very fine. 1-ply 100 % wool, one green and one pink, where 100 g give you 600 m yarn! Incredible, they will both make a whole shawl each. I got a pattern as well, I just have to finish some other projects first before I cast on for these....

I also bought some sock yarn, one 100 g skein of green Zitron Trekking (75 % superwash wool/ 25 % Nylon) that will make two socks, and two skeins of pink Gepard Cash-soft (69 % wool/25 % acrylic/6 % cashmere) that will turn into at least one pair of socks for me also. Thomas won't wear homemade socks, so I get to make socks only for me, which suits me just fine!

That was all the knitting related activities for the weekend! Today I will go buy a training card at Friskis&Svettis, a swedish health organisation that has training activities all over the country, together with my sister. I've been eating anti-depressive pills this year after a lot of things got a bit too much for me last fall, and these stupid pills has made me gain 10 kg... I'm about to stop taking these pills this september, so hopefully a bit of physical activities will help me get back to my normal 52 kg (or even better, 50 kg which is what I actually want to weigh...). We will do some aerobics and step-up, and my sister is thinking of taking some spinnig classes as well (not me, I hate bicycles).

Oh, and I have to tell you: Friday night we had a big scare here in our apartment! Thomas went into the kitchen to make some tea, and asked me if I had thrown any yarn in the sink. I knew I hadn't, and when we looked a bit closer, we saw a HUGE spider! I'm not kidding you, I think it was at least 10 cm long, with a 2-3 cm body! I've never seen a spider that big, and since both me and Thomas are pathetically afraid of spiders, we really didn't know what to do... I'm a bit ashamed to admit that we finally poured boiling water on it. I really believe in releasing bugs rather than killing them, since I love animals, but we just couldn't handle this one. At least it died really fast. I think it is still lying in the sink, as neither me nor Thomas is really keen on touching it, even though it's dead!

Now I'll go grab something to eat, so I'm not hungry when it's time for aerobics!

/ Jenny

Friday, August 28, 2009

More mail

I got a small package from Handlas Hantverk today, with a very beautiful shawl needle and some stitchmarkers, that I ordered the other day. If you've seen the KnitPicks Harmony Wood needles, it's pretty obvious that the shawl needle is also from KnitPicks... The colours are just so beautiful, and I guess it goes with anything. And I can wear it in my hair too, awesome!

Tomorrow is the dya of the knitting festival in Linköping, and I can't wait! There will be a tight schedule, because there are so many things I want to see. I don't know yet if my mother-in-law is coming for a visit this weekend, but if she does, I think she will go with me.

I'll be back on Sunday with a full report on the knitting festival, and on the crafts day in Old Linköping on Sunday too!

/ Jenny

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Yarn give-away!

I went through my stash today, and with all the new yarn I've required this week, I decided to get rid of some of my old left-overs. So I'm giving away the following partial skeins:

All of them except the one on the bottom are Drops Karisma 100 % wool, and I think that all of them are superwash (I'm not sure about this though, so you might want to try and wash a little piece of it before you use it for something important). The white skein on the bottom is 100 % Mohair, I think it's Falk yarn but I'm not completely sure about this either. I'm really glad that I've started to add my yarns to my Ravelry stash, as I'm hopeless at keeping the labels...

I would prefer to send them out to somewhere in Europe, as shipping is rather expensive, but I guess I could send them further if neccessary. I just want them to find a new, loving home :)

So if you want any (or all) of these yarn, just leave a message for me after this post with your e-mail adress, and then we can exchange e-mails with adresses and such. I will aslo post these yarns on my Ravelry RAK forum, and if more than one person wants them I guess I will split them up. So if there is one particular yarn you want, please tell me so!


Edit: All of the yarns are gone!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Third time's the charm..

Ok, I know I have already posted two times today, but I have had such a nice evening I just have to share! When I went to the knitting café I picked up the mail on the way, and my needles that I ordered monday night had already arrived! That was such speedy delivery I just couldn't believe it. So I now own the chunky interchangeable KnitPicks Harmony wood needles (size 9, 10 and 12 mm), three fixed circulars (also KnitPicks Harmony wood, size 2, 2.5 and 3 mm), and 7 sets of KnitPicks Harmony wood dpns (sizes 3.5, 4, 5, 5.5, 6, 7, 8 mm). I guess I never have to buy needles again! I'm just so much in love with the knitpicks, and I can't wait until the Zephyr Acrylic become available in Europe too. I will probably have to get a set of those as well.

I thought I would show you a picture of my "knitting accessory bag", where I keep all my KnitPicks needles, and the most used accessories, such as a needle size meassure thingy, scissors, my cord-maker, measuring-tape, stitch markers and such. It is becoming pretty full after today's mail arrivals!

Then I came to the café meeting, and met Ulrica for the first time. We have chatted a while on Ravelry, and today I actually got to meet her in real life. We had discussed some of KnitPicks yarns online, and today she had brought with her some of her KnitPicks stash, which she actually gave me as a gift! So I went home with 10 balls of a beautiful green KnitPicks Main Line (75 % Pima Cotton, 25 % Merino Wool), and three large skeins of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece (80 % cotton, 20 % Merino Wool), also green (as I had mentioned that green is my favourite colour).

This was so generous I was almost overwhelmed! I think the KnitPicks yarn will probably turn into a hat, scarf, over-knee socks and mittens for myself. On the other hand, I've had my eye on a sweater in the Lise-Lotte Lystrup book "Klassisk stickning" (Vintage knitwear for modern knitters), so maybe I'll see if I can get gauge with this yarn? We'll see. The Brown Sheep yarn I'm not sure what I'll make yet, but I'm sure it will be beautiful.

So, as you can see my evening has been very fruitful! I'm so happy, I think I'll knit for the rest of the night now.

/ Jenny

And a picture says more than a thousand words...

Nalamienea requested a photo in the comments, and of course I will accomodate that wish! So here is some yarn p0rn for those of you who are so inclined...

Top from the left is the Viking of Norway 30 % milk fiber/70 % cotton, that will probably turn into some kind of socks (I have one more ball), next is the green Drops Eskimo 100 % wool (not superwash) that will become the felted yarn storage unit together with the two other balls of eskimo in the middle row (the pink and the burgundy/purple/red). Next to the green eskimo is the Viking of Norway 100 % milk fiber that might turn into another pair of socks (I now have three balls of this). However, I'm not sure that the socks are very durable, since this yarn is super-soft, so I might have to come up with something else for this yarn. A lacey scarf, perhaps?

On the second row to the left is one ball of Marks&Kattens 100 % Superwash Safir wool, and on the bottom of the picture is the other ball that is allready turning into a pair of fingerless mittens for my husband. I have started on the cuff, as you can see, and the needle shown is also sporting the brand new stitch marker I recieved in the RAK a couple of days ago. Next to the M&K are the two balls of Eskimo, and furthest to the right is the Hjerte Sock yarn in 100 % superwash wool. I am very pleased with all my purchases, and hopefully there won't be too many more this weekend, at the knitting festival in town... Yeah, right...

/ Jenny

Ok, I got my paycheck yesterday...

... And I rushed to the yarn stores! I bought another skein of the mystery 100 % wool yarn that I use for my socks, the yarn is Hjerte sock by the way, two more skeins of the 100 % milk fiber yarn from Viking of Norway, 2 skeins of Marks&Kattens superwash Safir wool that I will turn into a pir of fingerless gloves for my husband, as he has requested them.

I also bougth three skeins of Drops Eskimo wool that I will use for the felted part of the needle storage unit I'm planning. I bought three different colours, so I'm thinking of making some kind of stripes. This yarn is so thick and soft, and it knits superfast, so I can probably finish this within a week. I just have to start it first, but I think it will have to wait until I finish some of the projects I'm currently working on.

I think I mentioned that I frogged the ancle socks? I bought another skein of that yarn too, Viing of Norway 30 % milk fiber/70 % cotton, and I will probably turn these into another type of socks. And change the needles so I actually get gauge...

The thick, cabled socks are sitting in the knitting bag and await delivery of the needles I ordered online yesterday too. I ordered A LOT of needles, all KnitPicks Harmony Wood, some extra sized tips for my interchangeable cables, some dpns in the sizes i don't have but need, and some fixed circulars as well. So now I think I'm set for life!

The tunic hasn't made much progress yet either, I'm working on the back and it's just boring rib-knitting! I have about 5 cm left until I cast off for the neck, but I'm sort of dreading the sleeves since they will be just stockinette. Maybe I can add some cables on those too? I will have to think on that.

The second pair of socks I worked on, the zig-zag pattern from Drops, I frogged too. They turned out too small, and would barely fit my tiny feet. And I also decided I didn't really like the pattern, they looked beautiful but were very boring to knit. So I've started another pair instead, with cables on them too. So far they fit over the foot, I'll just have to be careful when I make the heel. I'll try to take some pictures tonight, after my knitting café meeting.

I also went shopping for some clothes yesterday, while I was in town, and I went to Indiska, a shop that sells clothes inspired by India. And there were a lot of knitted cardigans and sweater that had just arrived, so I guess knitted clothing will be high fashion this fall! Which suits me just fine, since I'm always cold during the winter. I think I'll try to make most of my sweaters myself, however, as that is so much more fun!

/ Jenny

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bobbins are my new best friends!

Ok, so I haven't actually tried any bobbins yet, but I made my first intarsia today, as a swatch, and let me tell you: The yarns really tangle if you don't use bobbins! I used five colours, and I don't know how many times I had to pause to untangle the balls from one another! I'm hoping to one day make this cardigan from the Interweave Knits summer 2009 issue:

I made a swatch just to see if I could master the technique, as I've never done intarsia before. I used some cotton yarns that I bought for the amigurumi crocheting, and it did not look very nice...

I'm guessing I have to practice a lot more before I try to tackle the cardigan, and I also think that another type of yarn would look better. The cotton is very stiff and unyielding, and I'm also using too big a pair of needles so the swatch is turning uot qiute hole-y too. I don't really know what to do with this yarn yet, as I actually thought that it wasn't optimal for my amigurumis. I have some soft acrylics that I use as well, and that turned out much better than the cotton. The cotton left big gaps that I had to stitch together with a tapestry needle to prevent the stuffing from popping out. Maybe I'll make granny squares and make a small blanket? But the yarn is a bit too stiff to make a comfortable blanket. Maybe a doily tablecloth for my grandmother (as she is the only one I know who use them)? Or maybe I'll come up with a fun contest here and donate the yarns to a potential winner? I'll have to think about that, especially since shipping is so darn expensive!

Now I'll continue with my preparations for my licenciate seminar in september. Wish me luck!

/ Jenny

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I know, I know

I know I already posted today, but I just had to show you this:

My very first, real amigurumi! It's a mushroom (or toadstool? I really don't know the difference...), and I think it turned out really great for a first time. I really don't count the little french guy I showed you a little while ago, since that one was done in scrap yarn and stuffed with another yarn... I added a key ring to the top of the mushroom, but I'm not sure if I'm going to keep it for myself yet. Possibly I'll give it to my uncle, he has Down's syndrome and is basically like a little kid. I gave him the little french guy (but without the hat, so I guess i gave him a cat), and he absolutely loved it. He has been quite sick lately, so anything I can do to cheer him up is fine. He lives in Borås though, and I don't really know when I'm going to visit there again, but I guess sometime this fall. That just means I'll have more time to make more of them.

Now, I'm going to watch Watchmen with my hubby! Happy Saturday night to all of you!

/ Jenny

I've got followers!

I'm so excited it's almost silly! But I've been posting for two months now, and it's so much fun to know that someone other than my mother or my sister is actually reading what I write! So of course I had to add the "Followers" widget on the site, so If you are reading this blog and haven't found it before, now there is a button where you can choose to follow me as well.

I also updated the blog list, as I'm constantly finding new and exciting blogs to read. Be sure to check some of them out!

I tried to take a photo of the tunic yesterday evening, when it had reachd the bust line. This is where you divide the circular knitting into two pieces, and start to knit them separately, so this was the first time I could actually try it on (as my circular needle was a bit too short to fit around me...). I think the size will be quite ok, maybe a bit big but that might change with some blocking. Although I'm not sure if the cotton/viscose yarn will block? Anyone who knows? The photo is really crappy, since it was a bit too dark and I didn't want to use the flash in the mirror, but here it is:

I'm afraid that the cables will flatten out if I block it, but I'm going to have to wash it eventually anyhow so I might as well try.

I aslo made my husband take a photo of me wearing the shawl. As you can see it is VERY big, but at least I have managed to fold it so it doesn't drag on the ground. And as you might have seen, I own LOTS of high heeled shoes, so I guess that will help too.

Please disregard the shining eyes on Hobbe, I swear he is not really a zombie cat...

I haven't made much progress on any of the socks, but it seems like the weather is turning out quite nice today so maybe I can sit outside and knit some today. I like to sit in the sun for a little while at least, to try to get some colour onto my whiter-than-white face, and then it is more comfortable knitting on a smaller project. Having a heavy sweater on your lap in the sun makes for some lovely sweat pools...

I'll see if I can go wake my husband up (it's 11.00 in the "morning") so I can get some company. Also, the tiny lawn needs mowing, which I don't consider to be my job...

/ Jenny

Friday, August 21, 2009

I got mail!

When I came home from work today, I had gotten two packages in the mail, from my RAK in Europe group on Ravelry (you know, the random acts of kindness, where you give away things to other people)! it was almost like a birthday to open them, and the contents was great! From Ballee in Holland I got some (what I preseume is) homemade stitch markers that were absolutely gorgeous! They are a bit small, so I guess I will have to start a new lace project soon so I can use them.

And from JudyK in England, I got some stitch markers and a bar of dark chocolate. Hobbe really loked them too...

This afternoon I'm going to my third knitting café this week! It's great to get that much knitting time, as I'm really making progress on my projects. The tunic is almost up to the bustline now:

I really like the yarn combination, as you can see the cables really stand out! However, when looking at the Drops photo of it, it looks like a very light summer tunic. This is everything but light, and will be a quite heavy and thick winter pice of clothing... I'm not sure how much I will use it, since the design seems very summer-y, but maybe it will look beautiful on. I'm thinking of making full-length sleeves, as opposed to 3/4 as described in the pattern. Maybe that will make it look more like a winter sweater?

I'm also making two pairs of socks: One with size 2 mm needles and very thin yarn, so they are taking very much time. Although as you can see in the photo, I've at least made the first heel, so now it's just the foot part left (and the second sock, of course.

And one with a very thick yarn, that flies off the needles, I just haven't knitted on them for a few days. The main reason is that I don't own any 5 mm wooden dpns, and I have come to have the feel of plastic needles. Which is actually rather funny, since I hadn't tried anything else until july this year. but now I'm totally addicted to wooden needles. When the paycheck comes in on tuesday, I will order some additional sizes of the KnitPicks Harmony Wooden needles. The immage turned out a bit blurry, but I can't be bothered to bring out hte camera once again just to take a progress-shot. Also, blogger is not my friend today, and insists on posting the image turned 90 degrees clockwise...

Now, I'll keep knitting on the tunic. I think that is what I will bring to the knitting café this afternoon.

/ Jenny

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A quick update

I haven't got any new pictures today, I got home so late that the sunlight was gone when I remembered that I had some progress to document. I've knitted some on the tunic, and I've made two half socks. I decided to frog one of the socks I started, the short ancle one, in the cotton and milk fiber yarn. The yarn feels a bit harsh, and has absolutely no give, so it wasn't very comfortable to knit with. So when I saw that the socks were getting about two sizes too large for my small feet, I decided that I need to find something else to do with that yarn. I might do the cables for the needle storage unit in it, we'll see.

The other pair of socks I'm doing in the self-striping yarn are coming along very nicely. The yarn is very thin, and it looks absolutely stunning on the 2 mm needles. I also found out today that it is probably not 100 % cotton as I thought, but rather 100 % wool... Talk about not knowing your fibers!

I also started a third (well, now it's the second) pair of socks, thicker ones on size 5 mm needles, in a 50 % superwash wool/50% acrylic yarn, and they are also turning out great! These will be absolutely smashing when winter rolls around, as I am one of those who's always cold around hands and feet. I'll post pictures of both sock types as soon as one of each is finished (which should be sometime tomorrow, I think.

I went to my second knitting café tonight as well, this time it was Linkmaskornas meeting at the yarn store Garnverket. It was really nice, and I felt very welcome immediately. I think we were somewhere around 10 people, and next time I'll ask if I can take some pictures to post here. I think it looks so cozy and homely when so many people knit together. This is where I learned that my yarn is probably wool, since one of the participants thought she recognized it (I have lost the label, and I really had no idea what it was). Tomorrow there is another knitting café at the museum, and on friday Linköping knitters have their knitting café at Wayne's coffee. Much knitting this week!

And the weekend after this, 29-30/8, will be superbusy! On Saturday there is a knitting festival in town, with lots of fun activities such as fashion shows, workshops on different techniques, and some book sells as well. The hard part will be deciding which events to visit, as some of them take place simultaneously at different locations.

Then on Sunday there is a crafts fair in Gamla Linköping (Old Linköping, a part of town where old bouldings and shops and streets have been restored), and I'm guessing tere will be a lot of yarn-related booths. Linköping Knitters will have a booth where you can come and try some knitting and other stuff. My mother in law is thinking about coming here for a visit that weekend, and I really hope she does! I haven't seen her for a while, so it would be really nice to have her here on a weekend when I don't have to work or do anything else but hang out with her. My husband said that his 13 year-old brother might accompany their mother and also come visit, which would be great because then the boys can hang out together while me and mother-in-law go yarn-shopping! Thank god that the pay-check comes before that weekend!

Now I'll go watch a thai horror flick on TV.

/ Jenny

Monday, August 17, 2009

Just a short one

Ok, so my intention of not starting any more projects lasted about... say, two hours? I began two pairs of new socks yesterday, one on size 2 mm double pointed needles in my 100 % cotton in blue, green, yellow and red. They are turning out very nicely, the yarn is selfstriping and works terrific for socks! The other pair is on size 2.5 mm dpn's in my milk and honey (70 % cotton,, 30 % milk fiber) yarn in green and purple. I suppose it will also be self-striping, but so far I've only managed to knit with the green parts. It is very soft though, but I'm not sure that the one skein I have will last me for two socks, since the yardage isn't too great. Maybe I will have to buy another skein eventually...

Today I'm going to the printer's to pick up my thesis books. Very exciting! But first, back to work.

/ Jenny

Sunday, August 16, 2009

It's official: I LOVE socks!

So, I've finally finished the lace socks (pattern can be found here), done in 100 % milk fiber from Viking of Norway yarn. It is an absolutely amazing yarn, soooo soft and cuddly. And the best part is that the socks only required 1 skein, so I have a full skein left! I think I will have to buy a sock book, to get some other patterns. Another perk is that I'm not sure if I have any shoes that will work with these socks, so I probably need to buy a new pair for this autumn. Yeah, I really need more shoes...

Since it was so much fun to knit these socks, and they only took a week, I will definitely make more socks eventually. I have already decided that these two skeins that I bought a week ago at the grand re-opening of Garn Netto in Linköping will become two pairs as well.

However, I have decided that I actually don't like having more than one projects going at a time. I feel like a mule between two haytaps: I can't chose which project to work on as I want to finish all! So now I'll focus my energy on my cabled tunic, and my next projects will probably be something from the "Sticka klassiskt" book I bought at the beginning of summer. I'm at least making some progress with the tunic, it's about 25 cm long now, I think.

Today I organized my stash on my ravelry page. I entered all my stash skeins, and even took photos of all of the skeins, so now I at least know what I have in my drawers. I am lousy at saving labels for the skeins, so a lot of them are now labelled "Mystery skeins", since I have no idea what they are. I think I told you that I joined in in a random acts of kindness-group on ravelry, and yesterday I sent out three packages with acrylics and two with beads to different people all over Europe. I could only send out the yarns that I knew were acrylics, and I actually saved some that I know I'm going to use, but the yarn drawer was actually considerably emptier afterwards. And I know that I have two packages coming my way, but since I didn't wish for any yarn, I think it's only little things in the packages, like stitch markers and such.

Ravelry is thus very good for many things! I organized my needles the other day, and you can print out the little table with all your needles on it and bring with you when you go yarn-shopping, so that you don't buy any duplicates (which I've done many times before). That is a great idea! And now I can keep tabs of all my yarn as well, and if I only remember to enter every new purchase, losing labels won't be an issue any more!

Now I think I will do some actual knitting, which I haven't sdone so far today.

/ Jenny

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Knitting (and frogging) progress

I've finally approved the printing of my thesis book, so now I have almost nothing to do at work (except planning the seminar, of course). So I've been able to knit a lot. Unfortunately, I've also frogged a lot... I decided to add some cabels on the tunic, because after knitting the lace shawl I felt I would grow bored with that much plain knit knitting (it's knitted in the round so there aren't even any purl stitches). Stupidly I didn't check the pattern closely enough, so I placed the cables too close to the sides, where the increases for the waist would go. So after knitting at least 10 cm, I had to frog everything. Again. I think that was the third time. Or fourth. Now I've done about 5 cm, and it looks like this.

I also have avid help from Hobbe, who doesn't mind getting some yarn in the face every now and then. He has himself to blame for curling up in my lap while I knit. I'm not complaining, though, it's really supercozy. Although I have to say that it is kind of hard, because Gizmo used to lie in my lap while I knitted, and this reminds me so much of him. I just can't believe how much I miss that little cat, and it's almost been a year since he died.

On a much happier note, the socks are coming along nicely. I haven't finished the first yet, probably because I've spent so much time on the tunic, but it looks like this now. I think it is very pretty, and I can't wait for the weather to cool down so I can wear them (although I have to finish them first...).

Yesterday I inventoried all my yarn as well, and except what is on the needles, this is all my yarn:

I actually don't think it's very much, at least not compared to what many other knitters in the blog world seem to have. I have aslo decided to get rid of most of my acrylics, and since some people on my RAK (random acts of kindness) group on Ravelry whished for just acrylics, I figured I could kill two flies with one stone and send some of it to new, loving homes. I think I will just save enough to make the colour pattern swatches in the knitting book I'm using to learn techniques. If I don't save enough, I always have an excuse to buy more yarn :)

I have also decided to start a new project: A needle storage unit I found here. I think it was very smart, and the only problem is that I don't own any 100 % wool that is not superwash, so I don't have any yarn that will felt. Oh well, another reason to visit the yarn shop soon. I don't think it will be before the end of the month though, as I don't have very much money left.

As I've probably mentioned, the museum where my husband works has an exhibit on knitting during the summer. And to support this they also have various knitting activities like knitting cafés and such. This Tuesday they had a "learn to crochet" class for two hours, which I promptly joined. It was so much fun, and I finally understood what I have always done wrong. When you knit a piece and turn it, you do some extra loops, to gain the hieght of the new row. I always thought that this meant that I had to skip as many stitches when I began the new row, which made me lose stitches every row, and everything I crocheted came out as triangles instead of squares... Stupid, but now I know. So when I came home I found an easy pattern for grandma squares (are they called that in english? I don't really know), and proceeded to make one. It turned out pretty great for a first time, if I say so myself! So now I don't think there will be any problems crocheting some more amigurumi toys!

I'll keep knitting on the tunic now, I'll be back another day with progress (hopefully)!

/ Jenny

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Very intense knitting weekend

So, this will be a very pic-intense post. As I promised, I will show you photos of the shawl. The first one is when I just laid it out to see if it would fit on my blocking-squares. It did not, by the way...

As I started covering the foam squares with towels, to avoid potential staining from the squares, I placed needles at the corners to hold the towels in place. Hobbe then proceded to pull the needles out with his mouth, prompting me to place the blocking in the only room we can close: The bedroom. I then discovered that the shawl would not fit on our bed, so I've blocked it half at a time. The next photo is just a detail of the shawl during blocking. I pinned out all the little holes in the center of the sjawl, to make sure tehy turned out nicely. I probably used around 400 needles all in all...

When the blocking was complete, the shawl was huge! It's more than 2 meters wide. I don't really know when, or how, I will use it, but I suppose I can fold it to shorten it at least.

The sun was really in my eyes in the picture, and i made me look very funny, so I cut my head out of the photo. The following photos show details of the shawl after blocking. I am very happy with how the shawl looks, it's absolutely beautiful. It's just too bad with the size.

I really like how the pearls look too. I just put them at all the edges and down the center line of the shawl, so they aren't too "blingy", they just accentuate the pattern in a very nice way.

On a completely different note, this Friday I went to my very first knitting café. It was so much fun, and the six or seven people that had gathered were all so nice and welcoming! The next "date" is on Wednesday, and I'm not sure if I'll have time because my thesis needs to have it's final approvement on that very same day. But if I cant't make it then, I'll definitely go the week after that. My new motto is that you are never too old to make new friends!

Then on Saturday morning my favourite yarn shop had a grand re-opening. They have switched owners, so the new owners had redecorated the shop and bought in some new yarn brands and accessories. Needless to say, I was there at opening time, and managed to buy way too much stuff. Most of the yarn I bought had reduced cost on opening day only, so I don't think I spent too much money anyhow. The first item I bought was this:

It's a shawl holding needle. It goes very well with the purple shawl, and since I'm now a lace fanatic I suppose there will be many more shawls in the future. So I expect this needle to come to great use. If you're wondering, the photo is taken on Hobbe's cat tower. Don't ask why, it just seemed like a good background at the time.

I bought these tow skeins of cotton yarns. Since we've been having such nice weather lately, I figured I would take the photos outside, in the shade. Hobbe was very interested in why there was yarn on the garden table? The yarn on the left is pure cotton, and I think I plan to use it to make some more crocheted amigurumi stuffed animals. The skein to the right I don't really know what I'll make of yet, but I just loved the colours. I'm sure it will turn into something nice. It's a cotton /milk fiber blend that I've never tried before.

The first fifty customers also got to choose a gift from a giftbasket at the counter, and I chose a little snow-woman/mushroom in wood, used for spool knitting! I've seen this method described in the Vouge knitting book, but never tried it, so I thought that was a perfect gift for me! It's really easy to use, and as you can see in the photo, I've already made about 50 cm of cord. It's not for something, only for me to learn a new technique. But I can see it being useful for making cords for clothes and such.

I bought the yarn yesterday too, and it's also pure cotton. It's the same with this as with the last skein: I don't know what I'll use it for yet, but I love the colouring so I just had to have it!

One very nice suprise with the new store was that they actually had KnitPicks needles! So now I don't have to order them over the internet, and can support the local store instead. So of course I had to buy some...

They are 15 cm double-pointed needles in Harmony Wood, size 2, 2.25, 2.50, 2.75, 3 and 3.25 mm thick, and there are 6 of each size! Absolutely wonderful, I think I will have to buy a pair of chunky ones later on as well. I also bought a crochet needle, size 3 mm, in bamboo too, but unfortunately I forgot to photograph it. Maybe it's just as well, it is very plain, but it will definitely come in handy for those amigurumi toys I plan to make.

As you can see in the photo, one pocket is allready empty. That's because I had to start a new project as soon as I got home yesterday: I'm making these lace socks from Drops Garnstudio. This is because I actually made one more purchase yesterday: I bought two skeins of 100 % milk fiber yarn!

I've never even heard of milk fiber before, and I'm itching to find out how it's made (I haven't gotten around to look it up yet). It's super-soft, and I love the colour as well. Unfortunately, it's been a while since I used dpn's, and I've had to frog the socks three times already, because I knit too losely on these needles. I think I've finally gotten the hang of it now, but I think I will use a lifeline when I get to the heel this time. I don't think I have ever used such thin needles before either, so I need a little practice.

I also started the tunic from Drops on Friday, I think, but Iv'e had to frog that one twice as well. The first time I didn't like how the jog turned out (it's knitted in the round), and despite various tries to fix it with slipped stiches and such, it just looked ugly. So I frogged it. The next time around I noticed that the tunic looked a little small. I checked the pattern once more, and realized I had the wrong sized needles. The pattern asks to use two different sizes for different parts of the tunic, and I had picked the wrong ones to start with. So it was only frogging left to do - again! And since the first row is 230 stiches, I haven't had the energy to start again. Maybe I will later tonight.

Now I'll go help my husband to fix the food for tonight's BBQ. Since the weather usually isn't this nice for very long in the swedish summers, we use the barbie as much as possible while we can. Tonight I think it's pork chops on the menu.

/ Jenny

Friday, August 07, 2009


I finished my shawl yesterday! It's huge! In the description it said it would use 8 skeins of yarn, but I had to use almost 10, so my gauge was probably off. I had to do the blocking in the bedroom, because I found out today that Hobbe likes to pull the needles from the blocking mat with his mouth! Unfortunately, the shawl didn't fit on the bed, so I'm blocking half now and will do the other half when this half has dried. I cheated a bit and used a squirt bottle to only dampen the shawl, so I hope it will be dreid by tonight. Otherwise I think we will have to sleep on the couch.

I took some pictures too, but I haven't loaded them onto the computer yet, so I think I will post all of them (before, during and after blocking) when the whole thing is done.

This afternoon I'm going to my first knitting café! One of the knitting groups in Linköping (can you believe there is more than one!), Linköping Knitters, have meetings on different cafés every week, and this week I finally have time to go. So sometime around 16.00 I will be at Wayne´s Coffee and hopefully meet some other knitters too.

Now I'll jump in the shower and then go out to the university to pick up my first printed copy of the thesis book! It's just the trial version, I have a week to make layout changes and such, but it's still very exciting!

/ Jenny

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

New appearance

I really should be finishing up the last touches on my thesis book, but it's just so much more fun to knit-surf! I decidedI wasn't completely happy with the look of my blog, so I changed the template today. Let's see if this one looks better? What do you think?

I promised a while ago to post a photo of the little tetris-shaped fridge magnets my sister had embroidered. I finally got around to taking the picture, so here they are. Aren't they adorable?! I hink I will ask her to make some for me too, that way I don't have to do them myself!

I only have 5 rows left on the shawl, so hopefully I will finish it tomorrow. I'm so excited to block it, I hope it will turn out great! I've spent a month on it now, so it's taken some time. But it's been really fun and challenging, even though I think there are some mistakes in the pattern descripition here and there.

Ok, I think I have to return to my thesis now (sigh). Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow with wome blocking-pictures!

/ Jenny

Monday, August 03, 2009

It's been long

Hi all!

It's been several days since I wrote, but I've been so busy I just haven't found the time. My thesis book is going to the printers on thursday, so I've got some last minute changes to do before then. My vacation is over, and my work computer is on the friz. I use a reference program called EndNote, and it only works with Word, and not with OpenOffice that I use on my home computer. So today, after sitting for almost 10 hours and inserting 120 referencens, my work computer decided that it didn't want to use EndNote anymore, and deleted 50 of them... After much trixing and coaching, I have replaced about 30 of them, but now it's 22.30, and I have absolutely no energy left, so I'll finish the last ones tomorrow. I tell you I almost cried when EndNote shut down!

On a brighter note, I had a super-busy weekend! On Friday me and my sister went to Stockholm (the swedish capital), and saw a concert with Amy Macdonald, a scottish singer/songwriter who's had some huge hits in Europe this year. It was an amazing concert, she's only like 22 years old but she must have huge lungs because she has such a strong voice. We were back in Linköping arund 00.30 on Friday night, and the only bad thing about the day was that my car (I drive a lime green Toyota Starlet from '98) decided to not start when we were leaving for Stockholm. We thought that the battery had gotten un-charged, but fortunately we could use my sister's car instead.

Because on Saturday me and my husband went to Herrljunga, a small town north of Borås (where my parents live) and attended the wedding of two friends of ours. Actually, they got married on Friday on a boat in the North Sea archipelago on the west coast of Sweden, with just their family present, so we only attended the HUGE party on Saturday. It was an amazing party, with great food, and we saw lots of old friends that we hadn't seen for a long time (too long). The newlyweds had also brought a band that played very electric pop (they're called Universal Poplab), and it was a great gig too, all the guests were really excited and danced and jumped around. My feet hurt like crazy afterwards, but it was SO worth it!

Then on Sunday we went back to Linköping, since I was going back to work today, and we wanted to try starter cables to try and jumpstart my car. That of course didn't work, and on top of that we had to move the car this morning, since we were switching garages when the new month began... So my sister called some of her friends who have a car that can tow, and we got ready to try that. Fortunately, the guy who arrived was an electrician, and he suggested that we try to charge the battery for a few minutes before trying to start the car. This did of course work (stupid of us not to have tried it before we called in the extra friends...), so now it's rolling again! Thank God, I don't have either the energy or time to struggle with a broken car right now!

As far as the knitting goes, I didn't finish the shawl in time for the wedding. I could have used it though, since it was a bit cold after the sun set, but I didn't want to compromise and cast off before I was finished with the whole pattern. So it's still on the needles. But hopefully I will finish it this weak at least!

/ Jenny