Today we have celebrated the 5 year birthday of Linköping Knitters! We are a group of knitters who meet at least once every week on a café in the city center and knit and talk and just generally hang out. I joined this september, I think it was, and I love that it is such a laid-back, easy-going club. There is no official membership, and you can just show up whenever you like and stay for as long as you like. There are a few of the girls who manage a blog as well, but I think that's also voluntarily. And today we gathered to celebrate that the club has existed for five years! We had some mini-workshops where some of the members showed the others something interesting they had learned, and we had lots and lots of coffee and cakes. And knitted a lot too, of course!
Helene showed us how to spin, both wit a drop spindel and on a spinning wheel. I tried the drop spindel, and it certainly isn't easy! But it feels like something that is difficult in the beginning, but not impossible to improve at. This is Maria, showing her own spindle in action:
Helene said that there are starter kits available quite cheap, where you get both a spindle and some wool to practice on. I think this might go on my christmas wish list, I thought it was really fun!
Helene also showed her spinning wheel, and here is Lovisa trying it out for the first time. It also looked fun, but I believe that one of these things might be a bit more expensive than a spindle... However, since some of my relatives on my mothers side are farmers, and some even raise sheep, I think I'll have a look around to see if there isn't a lonely spinning wheel in an attic somewhere gathereing dust, that I might rescue? It would be so much fun to actually own one, as I think they are very beautiful too.
We also had a workshop in stitch marker making, and I made myself ten of them. You can never have too many, right? Well, that turned out to be only too true, as I actually broke one as soon as I got home... I guess I hadn't tightened the end enough, so the beads came off. But that's all right, I still have nine of them that I'm going to use for everything from now on!
These are some of the Knitters gathered round the huge table where we sat for most of the day. There was also a small workshop in how to wrap gifts in a Japanese style, and Gunvor who showed us had brought some extraordinarily beautiful wraps to show us. Unfortunately, the battery in my camera died before I got a chance to take any photos, but I'm sure they will be up on the Linköping Knitters blog soon enough.
Maria also showed us the technique for short-row toes when knitting socks from the toe up. I've read about this method before, but never really tried it, and it wasn't that hard at all! So I guess it's time for me to start knitting some socks soon!
I had also brought my new knitting project along, which I worked on in between the workshops. I finally decided to start with the Drops beret, that I will make in my KnitPicks Main Line yarn. I actually finished about half the beret today, but I was stupid enough not to try it on until then. It was about two sizes too large! So I frogged the whole thing, and started over just now. I've made about 2 cm of ribbing, so I'll wait to show it to you until I actually have some colourwork to show off! Talk about annoying!
Oh, and we also got to buy the new Knitting Bags at the party today. They are canvas tote bags with the Linköping Knitters logo on, and they look fabulous! And they're qiute large, so you can fit a lot of yarn, or projects, in it.
And as you can see in that photo, I'm happily wearing my Lettuce coat! Here it is in all its glory, blocked and finished:
Please disregard the sweatpants... I've added some invisible clasps on the bottom half, so it can be closed all the way down, but I like it this way. Otherwise the only thing I changed is that I made the collar a little bit rounder at the front. Doesn't the yarn look gorgeous?!
And finally: Here are the finished Kingdom Gloves:
It is really hard to take a photo of them indoors at night, without using the flash, but with a bit of juggling with the reading spot light Thomas finally managed. They are still a little tight, but I think that will be all right after a bit of wear. I love the yarn, Zitron Noblesse (70 % Merino/30 % silk), and the grat thing is that I have almost a whole skein left! I made one whole glove, plus the had part of the second glove, plus one finger, with the first skein so it's very durable. I'm planning on making myself some lace-y fingerless gloves from the leftovers, but I think that will have to wait.
I haven't knitted much on the pink shawl, but I think I'll finish it some time next week. Oh, and speaking of next week: I'm starting work again on Monday! And it actually feels ok, I think it will be fun to see all my co-workers again. These three weeks of rest has really helped me, and I'm starting to feel a lot better generally. I went to see my councellor yesterday, and she said that I look much better already. We talked a lot about life goals and such, and I've realized that I've felt a bit adrift for a long time. When I had finished my Masters Degree in Medical Biology in 2003 I didn't know what I wanted to do at all. So when this PhD position came around I didn't think very much about it, but accepted. And I've realized that all this time I've never been sure that I actually wanted to work in research! I'm still not sure that I do, but I'm not sure that I don't either. So that's something I have to think about. But just knowing that I actually have a choice (I think I told you about the idea I had of going back to school to become a biomedical analysist) has made me feel a lot better. And the pills have finally started working too, so now I think I can handle work again!
And tomorrow is the first of advent, which we celebrate at least here in Sweden. We have Advent light stars that we put up in our windows, and candle holders with four candles that we light one on each Sunday until Christmas. It makes all the houses look so cozy and light-filled, which is nice as we have so few hours of daylight here in the Nordic countries in the winter. So tomorrow I'm going to the storage closet and try to find all my christmas things... Hopefully they are somewhere in the front, so I don't have to move everything around for too long!
Happy First of Advent to all of you!