Monday, October 26, 2009

Time for some photos, I think

I've finally managed to take some photos of the projects I'm working on. I'll start with the oldest. I don't know if I've shown you this mini-scarf I made a while ago? I got a single skein of Noro Silk Garden from Ulrika a couple of weeks ago, and just knitted it up as a triangle scarf as big as it would get. I wear it with a circular scarf needle, and I think it looks pretty good for being my very first knit without a pattern!

I thought I would ask Thomas to take a photo of me wearing the green bolero cardigan I'm knitting from the top down, but he went over to my sister's boyfriend to play x-box before I had a chance. So you'll have to be satisfied with a picture of it sitting on the sofa. This is it:

Isn't Hobbe cute helping me modelling it?! The bottom photo just shows the neato increases I made for the arms. Don't they look like raglan decreases? I think I told you that I ran out of the yarn before I finished it, so it's still lacking an arm. But I've ordered two more skeins that should arrive here this week, I hope. And I really LOVE the buttons, they look great with the green yarn I think.

I've also felted the main part of the needle storage unit I've knitted in Drops Eskimo yarn. I felted it a little bit too long, so it's a bit stiff, but I can live with that. I think it looks rather good anyhow. I'm going to knit tow cabled stripes and sew them on to hold the needles later on, I just have to decide which yarn to use for this. I actually have some Eskimo yarn leftovers, maybe I'll just use that.

I've also begun a winter scarf for myself in the absolutely lovely Eco Alpaca from Viking of Norway yarns. I LOVE this yarn, I sort of wish I could afford to make all my bulky projects in this. Although it only comes in natural colours so far, and maybe that would be a bit dull in the long run. But the scarf is turning out great though, it's just stockinette stitch with borders in horisontal ribbing so it won't curl up too much. I love the off-white and nougat colours together, and I think it will look great with my dark brown winter coat. I'm thinking of adding some fringes to it when I've finished as well, I'll see if I have enough yarn though.

And finally I'm knitting a pair of burgundy cabled gloves for myself. These are the ones I told you about that I actually began in an alpaca yarn but ripped up because they looked horrible. I wish I had taken photos of them in the pink yarn for you to see, but I forgot. But in this yanr, which has wool and silk in it (I don't remember the percentages, and I can't be bothered to find the lable just now...), which makes the cables pop a lot better. It's a little bit hard to see in the photos, but they look pretty good now.

Palm side:

Back of hand:

I also promised to show you photos of the finished Ishbel scarf, so here it is:

It is one of my absolute favourite finished objects, although I think that the blocking is coming a bit undone as the yarn has 25 % nylon in it... I don't mind though, I guess I'll just have to block it again some time. I love the yarn, as I guess I've told you several times before. I'm thinking I might make another scarf from the other two skeins I have, but a larger one. I have the pattern for a Pacific Island scarf that might do it. I'll think about it.

I'm also itching to start the Lettuce Coat that is in the Custom Knit book by Wendy Bernard. I LOVE that book, there are just so many patterns in it that I want to make, but I think I like this the most. I bougth 10 skeins of a 100 % wool yarn called Sarek, from Marks & Kattens, that will look great in this coat. I've made a swatch and made sure that the weight will work too, so I just have to finish something else first. I really don't like to have too many projects going at a time, as I can't seem to chose which to work on! But I think I'll finish the striped scarf soon, as the yarn is very chunky and knits up very fast, and then I'll cast on for something lace-y I think. I bougth the pattern for the Heere Be Dragons sjawl a while ago, and I have the perfect yarn for it too, so maybe I'll give that one a go. It looks crazy difficult though, so maybe I'll practice some first on some easier project...

Oh, and I have to tell you about this past weekend! We had a game night here, where we and some friends of ours played boardgames (well, the boys played some tv-games too) for the whole evening. We began with a game called Ticket to Ride, where you build railroads all over USA. It was so much fun! We played in pairs, because it would have been too messy with 6 different players, and my sister and I came in second, right after Anna and Sandra. The boys, Thomas and Mattias, finished last :) Then Alan and Marcus showed up, and the boys migrated to the TV to play Brütal Legend, the new Heavy Metal game with Jack Black (which is actually a really good game, even though I'm not exactly as metal as my husband...), and us girls proceeded to play several rounds of Once Upon a Time, a card game where you make up fairy tales as you go along. It was such a great night, I really needed some fun! And I think that maybe my anti-depressants are starting to work too. Hopefully.

Now I'm going to clean the kitchen, and then sleep.

/ Jenny

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Another long week

I've been a little slow on posting on the blog, but I thought I would write a little today. I decided to make something from my four skeins of Löve Symfoni yarn, the green and brown 100 % merino wool I bougth at the sewing festival supercheap.

I thought I would try to make a small cardigan/bolero from the directions on the Tant Kofta blog, from the top down. I found that I was one skein short, so it still only has one arm, but otherwise it was a really fast knit. If I'd had the final skein I think I would have finished it today. I haven't gotten around to taking any photos of it yet, but I promise I'll show it when it's finished. I'll order more of the yarn as soon as I getmy paycheck, which should be due tomorrow.

I also cast on for the Kingdom Gloves from, in my pink Drops Alpaca yarn... This turned out to be a disastrous match! The cables looked awful, I think it was because the yarn was a bit too fuzzy. So I ripped them out, and tonight I will start them again with my Zitron Nobelsse yarn that has 70 % merino / 30 % silk in it instead. I did a little swatch yesterday evening, and it looked so much better! I have found another glove pattern at Garnstudio that I will probably make from the alpaca yarn instead.

I've also started to ponder over what I'll make from my super bulky Eco Alpaca from Viking yarns? I want to make it into a nice, thick winter scarf for myself, but I'm not sure what pattern I should use? I have two skeins in different colours (one white, one nougat), so I'm thinking some sort of stripes.

Other than knitting, I haven't done much this week. My depression has come roaring back after I quit my pills, so this Tuesday I went to the doctors. She didn't think that this was just my body trying to get used to not having anti-depressants in it, so she suggested that I start taking them again. Which I've done, but it can take up to a month before they start giving the desired effect... So I've worked a lot from home, and cried a lot as well. Hopefully I'll feel better soon, I'm just so tired of feeling like this! I'm also going to get some counceling this fall, which I also hope will help. Depressions suck!

Yesterday I had a fun afternoon anyhow, me and Anna went on a mini shopping-spree (we bought some buttons for a sweater for me and a hat for Anna), and looked at some lovely yarns. And afterwards we went to a knitting café and just chatted some. It is so nice to have friends to talk to, and Anna is really great! It's so funny, because we've only known each other for like a month, but we get along so great already! I guess we just have a lot of stuff in common.

Now I'll try to read some more about macrofages and granulomas, as I'm trying to write a summary for my co-superwisor so that we can decide what projects I'm going to start working on. Yey!

I'll try to take some pictures of my WIPs and of the very nice buttons I bought til next time!

/ Jenny

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I'm on fire!

I've been having a cold for most of this week, and worked from home to avoid giving it to my co-workers as well. Which means I've gotten a lot of knitting done too (as I've actually been a bit sick I don't feel guilty about knitting during the day :). So I've finished my Ishbel scarf! It's really beautiful, and is blocking right now.

I thought that I would use almost two whole skeins of the Kunstgarn, but I actually didn't even use up one whole skein. I guess I've knitted on very small needles (2 mm) for the yarn. The scarf is about 120 cm wide, which is a bit small, but I will use it as a scarf and not a shawl, so it suits me fine. I just wonder what I'll make with my other two skeins of this wonderful yarn? I guess I've told you before, but this is my new favourite yarn! I thought I had become somewhat of a yarn snob, and not liking acrylics anymore, but this yarn I love. It has 75 % superwash wool, and 25 % nylon, and I don't care at all! I love it.

I guess I have to start a new project tonight too. I'm not really sure what it will be, but probably a pair of gloves of mittens for me. It is starting to get really cold here now, with frost during the nights, and I could really need some new gloves. I have some gorgeous pink Alpaca yarn that I've been planning to make gloves from, so I guess this might be the next thing for me. I also bought one of Charlene Schurch's sock books, and I really have to make myself some beautiful socks soon, too. I also have some more shawls planned, which I might also start some time soon. Or a really thick and chunky winter scarf for myself? I'll have to think about this for a while, I think!

/ Jenny

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The thick socks are finally finished!

Yes, it's true! I began knitting ont them in august, and just found them boring, and the yarn was no super-hit either. But yesterday Anna came here and had lunch (for three hours!), and we knitted for a while. I picked them up, and yesterday evening I finally finished them! I can't believe it took me so long, especially as they knit up superfast with that bulky yarn. I think I'm going to give them to my grandmother in November, as she turns 70 then.

Me wearing the finished socks
The socks from the backside
The socks from the front side

Today I had planned to go to a knitting café, but I'm really coming down with a cold. My nose is runny, I think I might have a fever, and my whole body aches a bit. Granted, I was at aerobics yesterday, but I don't think it's training ache. So I'm staying home tonight instead, just drinking tea and watching crappy TV. Actually, right now it's amazing TV: One of the swedish channels is sending reruns of my alltime favourite TV-show, American Dreams. I just love that series, and I was so sad to see it cancelled after only three seasons! The first season was released on DVD, which I of course own, but the two following seasons were not, so I only have them recorded from the swedish TV airings. When this episode is done I think I'll watch some Buffy (which is another series I own the whole box of! I love it!).

I thought I would also tell you about the zombie-book I read a while ago, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Let me tell you: It really stunk! I generally like zombie-lit, but I just couldn't get over the rest of the story. I've actually never read any Jane Austen before, and I can promise I never will either. That was not my cup of tea! Right now I'm re-reading Robert Silverberg's Majipoor aga, a sci-fi/fantasy series of books, and I think they are so-so. I can hardly wait until November, when a new Stephen King comes out. He is another of my all-time favourite authors, I use to tell folks that I would probably marry him if he promised to always write for me... The Dark Tower books are probably the best I've ever read!

I think I'll leave you with a final book recomendation: Max Brooks' World War Z. It is probably also one of the best books I've ever read, and I think almost anyone would appreciate it, even if you don't normally like zombie-lit. It's a series of interviews with survivors from the great zombie war, and I think it might almost just as well have been about surviviors from Vietnam or WWII. It's just so amazing and beautifully written, and I can't wait until he writes something else!

Now American Dreams is over, so I have to get up and change discs in the DVD player! Buffy is the shit!

/ Jenny

Monday, October 12, 2009

The LOOONG weekend is over!

I've not gotten much knitting done this weekend, and I really don't know why! I haven't really done anything else either, just slouched around. Anna had a last minute change of plans, so we didn't get to hang out this Friday (which wasn't her fault, and we're going to do it some other time this week), and I just couldn't seem to get anything done the whole weekend. I don't know if I told you, but I quit my anti-depressants two weeks ago. And I'm not sure if that's the cause, but I've been feeling a bit down these past few days. It could also have to do witht he fact that Thomas is out of town for two weeks (well, only one week left now), and I really don't like to be alone that much.

At least I went shopping, although mostly for groceries, yesterday. I managed to pick up a yarn storage bag as well, at IKEA. It's clear plastic with a zipper on top, and it can hold all of my yarn and more! Yes, this gives me another excuse to shop for some more... :) But, seriously, I weighed the bag with my yarn in it, and I actually own 7 kg of yarn! That's a lot in my book! I'm actually going on a yarn diet until at least new year! I have to knit up some of what I have at home until then, and I only have two exceptions as to what I'm allowed to buy: The first is if I can get my hands on some more Kunstgarn (which I actually already know I will, Annas friend has bought some for me in Stockholm!). The second is if I can find a white contrast yarn to go with my 10 skeins of KnitPicks Main Line yarn. I looked at KnitPicks' website, and I kind of think that they are discontinuing this brand. Which is typical, seeing as I've just made an american connection who will order the yarn for me and ship it here (as KnitPicks doesn't ship overseas)! But maybe I can convince Thomas that I need to buy something else from them, to console myself...

I've been doing some comics reading over the weekend, and I just have to recommend a new (to me) comics: Preacher! It's so incredibly dark and yummy, and I really love the main character, Jesse Custer (note the initials...). If you like Marvel comics like Sandman (which is my all-time favourite comic), you'll definitely love this one! I'm also currently reading the Dark Tower comics and The Stand comics, based on the Stephen King books, and The Walking Dead, which is of course a zombie comic. I can't believe that a few years ago I only read Donald Duck comics (which I still do, I love Carl Barks' and Don Rosa's Donald and Scrooge series)! My eyes have really been opened up to a whole new world since I started reading Gaiman's Sandman. Neil Gaiman is my writer God, by the way. I've even had a dream once where I met him in a bar, and he told me that if I wanted to be a writer I should just quit my job and get on with it! Talk about a muse! I've been writing fiction since I was about 12 year old, mostly crap, but it's been a dream of mine ever since I learned to read, to become a writer. Ever since I started the University, I haven't had any time to actually do some fictional writing, but I have a few ideas that I would like to try out. Maybe if I become unemployed after March?

Now my lunch break is almost over, so I better get back to work!

/ Jenny

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

New project started

This weekend was really great! Me and my husband went to a spa in Vadstena, a town about 3 miles from Linköping, and it was so relaxing! They had saunas, a hot-tub, and a very nice relaxation section where you could just hang around in your robe and eat fruit and drink juice. I also got a hot stone massage on Sunday morning, where the massage therapist used hot lava stone to rub my body for an hour. It was just amazingly comfortable, and I'm definitely going to do that again some time. On Saturday night we also got a four-course dinner which was absolutely fabulous! We sort of rolled back to our room afterwards, we were just so stuffed. I didn't get any good photos, especially since I really don't want to show you any photos of me in a bikini :)

You remember the knitting contest I told you about last time? Well, we didn't win, the team with the grey and white birds won (which I think was right, their contribution was the best), but we got a consolation prize anyhow: We each got a skein of Plassard Spirale yarn, which is a novelty yarn that you can make spiral scarfs from. I think I'll make a thin scarf from it and give it as a gift to someone. I wonder who would want it? I'll have to think about that.

Today I've been to a knitting café with Linköping Knitters again, and it was so much fun! I got a demonstration of magic loop, which is a method I've never tried myself before. I think I might give up dpns alltogether! It is such a smart method, I wonder who came up with it? I also made plans with Anna, so on Friday we're going to hang out and make some dinner and drink some wine (wow, that sounds like a date... I wonder what our husbands/boyfriends would say about that?). That will be so much fun! Thomas went to Borås this Monday, to build his video-game exhibition there, so he will be gone for two weeks. So I'm all alone with Hobbe now, which is ok. I miss Thomas, but it's nice to be alone sometimes too.

And finally, I've started a new project! I grew a bit tired of the thick socks, so they're hibernating for a while. I started my first Ishbel yesterday, a small scarf that I'm making in my new favourite yarn: Kunstgarn from Hjertegarn. It's a Danish single-ply yarn in 75 % superwash wool / 25 % Nylon, in a lot of colours. The colour repeats are very long, and I think they will make a nice effect in a scarf. I'll try to take some photos of it tomorrow, so you get to see the awsomeness of this yarn for yourselves

/ Jenny

Friday, October 02, 2009

Knitting contest

I had planned to update on Wednesday this week, but things got in the way. That day, 30/9, it was a year since my darling cat Gizmo died, and although the day didn't turn out as horrible as I had imagined, it was still a kind of difficult day for me. I've thought a lot about him this week, and I really miss him a lot! He was the sweetest cat in the world, and he left a large hole in my heart. Thank God I have Hobbe still, he is the snuggliest cat I've ever met (even though he is incrediby shy to strangers - when my parent visit he sits under the bed or in the wardrobe until they've left), and I can't imagine my life without a cat! Hobbe is an asymptomatic carrier of the virus that killed Gizmo, FIP (Feline infectious peritonitis), and as long as he has it we don't want to get another cat and risk him getting the disease as well. Hopefully Hobbe will be negative for the virus soon!

Today I participated in a knitting contest with a literary theme, at Garnverket. It was so much fun! We got a handout with 4 descriptions of four different swedish books, and then had two hours to knit something related to one of the books. The books were "Men who hate women" by Stieg Larsson, "Nils Holgersson's wonderful journey through Sweden" by Selma Lagerlöf, "Pippi Longstocking" by Astrid Lindgren and "The Emigrants" by Vilhelm Moberg. We chose The Nils Holgersson book by Selma Lagerlöf, which is a story made for swedish geography students, and tells the tale of a boy named Nils Holgersson who gets shrunken by the house gnome as a punishment for being naugthy to animals. He then joins a flock of geese on their travel through Sweden, from south to north, and the readers follow him through all the landscapes, thereby learning the geography of the country.

Me and Anna made a team, and we decided to knit a Sweden. Sweden is a very long and thin country, so we knitted that form, and made the two largest lakes in a blue contrast yarn. We also made some birds and a small Nils that we attached, as well as a swedish flag. It turned out pretty great, if I may say so myself! This is Anna, holding our tiny Sweden (the whole photo looks a little bit yellow, but that's because I didn't want to use the flash: with flash, everything turned so ghastly pale that Anna looked kind of like a zombie...)!

We were only three teams that participated, and I think one of the others will win, as they had a very artistic take on the same Nils Holgersson story. They had crocheted triangles, symbolizing a flock of flying geese, and on the white one (which is a tame goose that runs away with Nils, and carries him on his bach throughout the journey) they made a very tiny Nils Holgersson doll. It looked like a finished piece of art!

The third team made a version of Pippi Longstockin's clothes, which also looked very pretty. One member of this team is a grafitti knitting artist, and she actually taught her team member to knit for the first time as they competed! I was so impressed by this, and they managed to finish in time too.

The winners will be announced tomorrow, and Anna thought that she might have time to go then. Me and Thomas are finally going to the spa this weekend, as we didn't manage to get away two weeks ago, as we had originally planned. It makes no real difference if we win or not, it was just so much fun to participate!

This week I've actually managed to finish a knitting object as well! I present to you: My winter sock!

It's hard to capture the cable pattern in this hysterical yarn (Red Heart Damaris, 50 % superwash wool, 50 % acrylic), but it actually turned out pretty good. I've only finished the first, and I've knitted about 5 cm on the cuff of the second one, but as the yarn is very thick and chunky, I imagine the second sock will be finished next week. If I don't cast on for something else as well. I think the next thing I knit will be some gloves for me, I have some pink Drops Alpaca that I think will look great as mittens!

I got my knitting books this week as well! I bought the Creepy crochet book by Christen Haden, Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard, More Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch, and Fitted Knits by Stefanie Japel. I think I'll start with some socks, as I have a lot of gorgeous sock yarn, but I also have a cardigan in mind from the Custom Knits book that I'll make from my 10 skeins of Marks & Kattens Sarek 100 % wool yarn.

I also bought a fiction book when I ordered the knitting books. Seeing as both me and Thomas loves horror films and zombie literature, I really couldn't resist this: "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies". I haven't actually read the original, as I really don't like chick-lit, but this will be fun!

Wow, I've knitted a lot this week! On wednesday there was a knitting café with Linköping Knitters, which was so much fun! Then Anna and I decided to visit Garnverket together on thursday, as they've just switched owners (Congratulations, Maja!), and we wanted to check out the new interior design (and squeeze some yarns as well, of course). We ended up staying there for about two hours, just knitting and chattering away! It's just so much fun to hang out with Anna, even though we've just met we both feel that we get along exceptionally well. We've decided to hang out next week as well, especially since Thomas is leaving for Borås on Monday with his exhibition. He will stay in Borås for two weeks, building the exhibition at one of the museums there. So I guess I'll be a little lonely, thank God I have my knitting to keep me occupied!

I'll be back after the weekend with a report on the spa!

/ Jenny