Sunday, March 28, 2010

Percy is finally conquered!

Yep, I finished the Percy shawl today, so now I have a finished shawl in March too! This is my fourth shawl this year, and I am very happy with it. it is HUGE, so I doubt I can wear it as a scarf, but I'll try it out once it is dry.

Hopefully I can get some daylight photos of it tomorrow, so you can see the colour better. It is really Kermit green, which suits me just fine as I love green.

Otherwise I have nothing new to say. I haven't gotten any test results back from the doctor's yet, and I probably won't for a few more days. I still feel queasy and dizzy almost all the time, and have absolutely zero apetite. You would think that as I'm hardly eating anything, I would at least loose some weight, but noooo. No such perks for me! Oh well.

Tomorrow I'll get back to work on my testknit shawl that I'm making in the KnitPick's Alpaca Cloud yarn in the Autumn colourway. It is really dreamy, and I can't wait to finish this one too :)

/ Jenny

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Found the camera!

You won't believe where it was: It had fallen out of my suitcase as I unpacked my clothes, so today when I looked, it just lay on the floor next to the suitcase... Good thing that I looked so thoroughly for it, right?

Anyhow, now I can show you all the yarn I got last weekend!

Drops Alpaca (100 % alpaca), colourway 4400

Rowan Cocoon (80 % merino/20 % kid mohair), colourway Bilberry

Ullcentrum 1-ply (100 % wool), blue colour

Ullcentrum 1-ply (100 % wool), black colour

I love it all, and I especially look forward to knitting with the Rowan yarn. It is just so incredibly soft!

And yesterday I forgot to tell you about a very spontaneous book find I made when I was at my parents'. I've owned the Vogue book of Knitting for quite a while (this book more or less taught me how to knit), and I've been wanting a similar book on crochet for a while too. My friend Anna owns one that's from the 70's or so, which is very extensive with lots of stitch dictionary going on, but that one is out of print. And I haven't found one that was equally extensive when I've looked. So I was very surprised when I found this book, at the supermarket of all places:

It's the Swedish translation of 300 Crochet Tips, Techniques and Trade Secrets, by Jane Eton. I hadn't seen this one before, not to mention it's in Swedish too, and it's really great! Lots of stitch explanations, and great pictures too. So now I have no excuse for not learning crochet any more!

I noticed yesterday that I have yet to finish one single shawl in March! I've really been slacking off lately, but I have to admit that it's mostly due to the fact that I've been too queasy and dizzy to do any real knitting for the past few weeks. But now I'm feeling a little bit better (knock on wood), so I'm knitting furiously on the Percy shawl. I started the edging last night, so hopefully I can finish it tonight or tomorrow. Let's all keep our fingers crossed, please (except maybe me, as that would make it quite hard to actually knit...)! Pictures will come next time!

/ Jenny

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I'm finally back!

Yes, I'm finally back in Linköping again. However, my stomach seems to have broken completely, as it's still not functioning properly. Everything I eat just passes right through me, and today I've finally seen a physician about it. They took a lot of blood tests, and I'm leaving other tests (let's just leave it at that, all right :) tomorrow as well. I just hope they can find out what's wrong with me! I'm a bit worried that it might be lactose intolerance, and I'm really not psyched about having that along with my gluten intolerance. I won't be able to eat anything! We're actually staying off lactose products for a while now (as of yesterday, or so), to see if it makes any difference.

Anyhow, my trip to Borås turned out to be very uneventful, as I've been feeling queasy almost all the time. I managed to see two of my very good friends from home, and I also managed a super-fast yarn-shopping hour with my mother. My grandmother recently got some help in caring for my very sick uncle with Down's syndrome, so they've finally got a personal assistant, and my grandmother FINALLY gets payed for all the hours she puts in as well. I can't believe that she hasn't gotten this earlier, as my uncle has been more or less bed-bound for the past two years. But anyway, now she finally has some money, and she actually got some retroactive pay as well, so she really wanted to give me and my sister some spending money (we're her only grandchildren, so she really likes to spoil us :). 

So this past Saturday me and my mother looked up the two yarn shops in Borås, and I actually spent very wisely! I've been planning to knit the Owls sweater for quite some time, and I really want to make it in Rowan Cocoon yarn. So I bought six skeins of this wonderfully soft yarn, in a lovely purple-greyish colour. I would love to show it to you, but unfortunately I can't find my camera right now! I'm thinking I might have left it in Borås... So you'll just have to wait! I also bought some purple Drops Alpaca yarn that I'll eventually turn into a Coraline cardigan as well. These are both items that I've been wanting to knit for quite some time, so I think I spent my money very wisely!

And of course I couldn't help myself from buying some lace yarn as well :). I found some wonderful 100 % single-ply wool from Ullcentrum on Öland (a Swedsih island on the east coast), one skein of 110 g in a very beautiful blue-turqoise colour, and one skein of 160 g in pitch black. Both these skeins have a lot of lanolin oil left in them, so I think I might want to rince them some before I knit with them. I'm dying to show you pictures of this, but you'll just have to wait until I get my camera back (my mother is going to look for it tonight after work).

Yesterday I spent the final money from grandmother (once again, what do you mean I might want to save some of it?!), and bought some books online. And yes, they're knitting books, why do you even ask ;). I'll tell you about them when they arrive. I actually picked up one book today too, in the mail, that I ordered a while ago. It is the Knitted Lace of Estonia, by Nancy Bush. This is a really beautiful book, filled with gorgeous lace patterns and designs. I think I want to make the whole book some day! This I actually have a photo of, whic I've borrowed from AdLibris, the swedish book site.

Ok, now I'm going to see if I can find something to eat for lunch, that will preferably stay in! I'll be back later this week with some actual knitting updates!

/ Jenny

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New knitting books

Well, it looks like I'm finally over the stomach bug. It's been a real trial, I've been sick for five whole days, where my stomach just wouldn't keep anything in. But yesterday I actually got to keep everything I ate, even though it wasn't much, and today it's even better. So today I finally have enough energy to blog again! The worst part is that I haven't been able to finish up the last work I had left, so I'll have to sacrifice a few vacation days next week and go tot he office to finish up. But I think I'll survive that too :)

Yesterday, I took a short trip to the post office, and picked up a book package that was waiting for me. As I get my last paycheck at the end of this month, I've sort of taken every chance I get to actually buy me some stuff now, as I won't be able to do it so much in the coming months. What do you mean, save money? Anyway, this is what the package contained:

Spin Control, by Amy King

Knitting Lingerie Style, by Joan McGowan-Michael

Sensual Knits, by Yahaira Ferreira

Knitting on the Edge, by Nicky Epstein

Magnificent Mittens and Socks, by Anna Zilboorg

I really like all of them, but I think the Anna Zilboorg one is my favourite. I really love making colourwork mittens and gloves, and now I have a HUGE pattern stash for these (you know, I have both the Rauma Selbustrikk booklet and the Selbuvotter book too).

The knitting has been going a bit slow these past few days, as I've been feeling to crummy to knit. But yesterday I got going on the Percy shawl again, and I'm halfway through the last repeat of chart B, and then I just have the edge chart left. That one only has patterning on the right side rows, and the wrong side rows are only purls, so I think it will go pretty fast. It's going to be fairly huge though!

Oh, and I've finally gotten around to blocking my Cat mittens! They should be dry by tonight, so I can wear them this week. We're actually having a lot of thawing going around here right now, and as I've been sick I haven't really gotten a chance to enjoy the extremely sunny days. Soon all the snow will be gone too! But hopefully I'll get to use the mittens some before it gets too warm anyway, and as I'm always having cold hands I don't foresee any problems with this. I'll show them to you after the weekend :)

Tomorrow I'm going to visit my parents for a few days, so I'm packing up my knitting and Hobbe. I'll be there until Tuesday next week, I think, as Thomas is already in Borås with his work. His younger brother turns 20 on Monday, and his relatives haven't had a chance to celebrate his 30th birthday either, so I think this weekend will consist of lots of relatives and cake :).

Unfortunately, my parents only have REALLY slow, crummy internet, so I'll probably not post anything until I get back to Linköping again. And now that I'm off work, I'm going to have a real go at learning how to use the spinning wheel! Yay!

/ Jenny

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Today was a bit like Christmas

I've been home for two days now with a stomach bug, which has kind of sucked. I've been too sick to do any serious knitting too, which sucks even more. But today when Thomas came home from work, he had some packages with him, for me. That's why today was a bit like Christmas all over again! The first package, that had come through the mail, contained these goodies:

One square project bag from RoseKnit's:

And note the gorgeous inner lining too :)

And one drawstring project bag, also from RoseKnit's (and unfortunately, blogger insists on turning this pic the wrong side...):

Aren't they adorable?! I splurged a bit on myself this month and finally got around to order them for myself. I just love her hand-sewn stuff, and these two bags are just super-cute. Hopefully I'll get myself a nice job soon, so I can afford to order more of them!

Well, Thomas had also visited our local comics-supplier, and boy had we neglected that store for far too long! He came home with 13 comic books all together! So now I really have something to do for a couple of days! 

I think I've talked a bit before of how much I love the Sandman comics, by Neil Gaiman, and I've recently finished the Preacher comics too. But I've been following the Dark Tower comics that are based on the Stephen King books for a while too, as well as The Stand comics (which of course are also based on the SK book), so most of the comics were these two kinds. There is also a new SK comics out now, based on The Talisman that he wrote together with Peter Straub, but unfortunately those were sold out, so I'll have to wait until they come out in a collection book this summer. The Talisman is one of my all time favourite books by SK, so that should be very fun!

The comic book that is at the front of the photo is issue 11 of The Walking Dead, by Kirkman, Adlard and Rathburn. And boy, are those amazing! I loove a good zombie story, and this story is really one of the very best. It's all in black and white, which just adds to the mood, and it is just a really good read. I warmly recommend it to those of you who like a good horror comics :)

Now I'm going to lay back on the couch and read some comics, and maybe drink some rosehip soup (I don't really know what to call that in english, it's sort of a viscous soup made from the little rosehip fruit and tastes amazing) and hope that my stomach wants to keep it. I've eaten two pieces of bread for the past two days, so my body could use the nourishment...

/ Jenny

Monday, March 08, 2010

Finished mittens!

Yep, I finished them, one day later than I had planned! This is what my cat mittens look like, before blocking:

I'm so happy with them, and I wish I didn't have to block them so I could wear them tomorrow! But there are some parts in them that will really benefit from the smoothing down that blocking does, so I'll soak them later tonight. I can't believe how little yarn they used up, less than half a skein of each colour! Works out great for me, as I plan to knit the matching cat socks in the same colours.

This leaves me with two shawls and a pair of socks on the needles. I think I want to finish at least one of the shawls before I tackle the socks again, as I had really planned to have at least two shawls done this month. But now I only have four days of work left, so I guess I can pick up the pace next week :)

/ Jenny

Saturday, March 06, 2010

I'm a test knitter!

I know I said I would probably finish the Cat mittens this weekend, but yesterday I got such a great message on Ravelry: One of the Ladies in the 10 shawls in 2010 group, dartfrog911,  asked me if I wanted to test-knit a pattern she is writing. And boy, do I?! This is what her finished shawl looks like, I borrowed the photo from her Ravelry site:

Isn't it gorgeous?! And the pattern is great so far, and I really like that she has used different colours for the different repeats (you'll see what I mean once the pattern is released :). I cast on this morning, and I'm using my KnitPick's Alpaca Cloud yarn in colourway Autumn. I had planned to add beads, but unfortunately the only colour beads I had that would match the yarn, were a bit too big. I tried on a few rows, but they looked weird, so I frogged and restarted without them. This is what I've got so far:

The colour doesn't really come through in this photo, I'll try to get some photos in daylight tomorrow. I can't tell you how thrilled I am about getting the chance to test-knit this pattern, it's so much fun. I'm very honoured that the designer asked me, I guess she noticed that I had commented on her finished one, as I loved it. It's a fairly easy knit so far, but not at all boring. I still have to look at the charts every row, and that makes me happy :)

Tomorrow Thomas is finally having the premiere of the new computer exhibition at our city museum. He's been working like 16 hours a day for the last three weeks, so it will be great to get him back to normal next week. He's starting his new work-hours next month as well, so he'll only work three days a week for some months. It means a little less money than before, especially since I'm going to be unemployed, but I think we'll manage. I still get 80 % of my pay from the union/unemployment office, so I don't forsee any famine or anything :)

Now I'm going to take a shower and then finish listening to the third audio book in the Twilight series. I think I said before that I think they are a bit adolescent for me, and a bit too sappy, but I still want to see how it ends. And I guess I have to see the movies at some point too, although from what I've seen on trailers and such, I don't think I'll like the casting. We'll see when I get there.

Have a nice weekend!

/ Jenny

Friday, March 05, 2010

Find of the week

I went to the book stores today with my sister again, as she wanted to buy some more that she had skipped the last time. And I made the find of the week, as a packet of scrap-booking/crafts pearls was on sale too, along with all the books! It cost me less than $5, and it contains 12 packs of brightly coloured beads in 12 different colours, as well as a small bag with 25 wooden beads (they're in the middle of the photo).

All the beads are plastic, but I used the same brand on my huge, purple shawl, and they've held up very nicely so far. I think it's about 300 beads of every colour, but that is more than enough to for example bead a lace edging on a shawl. I'm just so happy with them!

Other than that, I also got the KnitPick's yarn from Germany today, talk about a fast delivery! This is what it contained:

Four skeins of Stroll, in colourway Saphire Heather

One skein of Alpaca Cloud, in colourway Cappucino

One skein of Alpaca Cloud, in colourway Autumn

Three skeins of Alpaca Cloud, in colourway Cha Cha

The first three kinds was the same as the ones I got from the States, I just wanted the extra skeins to make sure my planned projects would work. And the Cha Cha was the same as Anna ordered, and I fell in love with. Now I have it too! But now I guess I won't buy myself any more yarn until I get myself a new job, as I can't really afford it until then. My only exception will be if I run out of yarn in the middle of a project, but otherwise I'll try to contain myself at least until the Sewing festival in September. We'll se how well I do, but wish me luck on my yarn diet!

On the knitting front, I cast on for the second Cat mitten last night, and I've almost finished the cuff. I actually think I can finish them this weekend. And the Percy shawl is growing too, I'm almost done with the second repeat of chart B, and I think I'll do at least one more before the edging. It is turning out beautiful, and I really want to wear it soon!

/ Jenny

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Lunch update again

I'm having a really slow day at work, which is odd as I have tons of stuff to do. I guess that's why: I don't really know what to start with... So I blog instead :) I'm actually on my lunch break right now anyway, so I think it's ok.

I guess you can see that I've changed the blog a bit. I just got tired of all the clutter in the old background, but I still really don't like the backgrounds that Blogger offers. So I found this one on Hot Bliggity Blogs, and I think it will stay for a while at least. Now I just need to do something about that boring banner. Or should I say, lack of banner. I still feel that the right column is a bit too cluttered, but I don't want to remove anything either. Some of the stuff are already on separate pages, so you get there when you click on anything in the column. But when I added the "pages" app at the top of the blog, it looked even more cluttered! Maybe I should remove all the pictures in the sidebar, and just have a text link? What do you think?

Onwards to the knitting (as this is still a knitting blog): My new needles (why yes, I did take the opportunity to order some more sizes as I was ordering the replacement 2 mm circular, thank you for asking!) arrived yesterday! Yay! So now I've finished onw and a half repeats of chart B on the Percy shawl. Of course I haven't got any progress photos! But I think I'll make at least three repeats of chart B before moving on to the edging, so there is still plenty of time to take progress photos. It is looking really good though, and I will definitely love wearing it. I think I've used about half the skein now, so somewhere around 400 m (what is that, somewhere aroung 425 yards?). I really wanted to use up the whole skein, but I think the shawl will just be too big then. Depending on how much it grows during blocking, of course, but as I don't make swatches (and even if I did, I don't block them), I never know this in advance :)

I also finished one of the Cat mittens yesterday night, and this one I have a photo of! Let me just point out that it isn't bloked yet - I like to block the two mittens at the same time, to get them to look similar. And I have no idea how I'm holding my hand, but it was a bit difficult to get a good shot of it with my left hand!

I love the mitten, isn't the fish-bone pattern on the thumb just adorable! Not to mention the paw print! And I love this yarn,  it is just soft enough to be really comfortable, and colourwork with it is just amazing. I think I learned a lot when I made the Moose mittens for my grandfather for Christmas, so these are looking so much better :) Maybe I should hope that the snow stays a while longer, so I get to wear them some this year? I plan on finishing the second one this weekend.

And last time I wrote, I got a comment from Margot about a french site that also sells KnitPick's yarns. And they have Palette! They didn't have all the colours that are available from the States, but they had some of them. And if I get to the point where I need one more skein to finish a project, this will be a very good emergency site. The site is called Tricotin. I used Google Translate (for the first time!) as I don't read french, and it worked like a charm!

Finally, I wanted to ask you guys something else: Where can you find circular needles smaller than 2 mm (I think 2 mm is Us 0)? I'm planning on knitting a stole in very fine, cobweb yarn, and I thin I might need smaller needles. But I don't think I've seen them anywhere, although I have to admit I haven't really looked yet either. But maybe some of you might know a good store or website?

Ok, now I'm going to actually eat something for lunch too. I'll see you this weekend!

/ Jenny

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

I broke my needle!

Yesterday night I was knitting away on my Percy shawl, and I had almost finished the first repeat of chart A, when the phone rang. I put it down next to me, and as I hurried to get up out of the sofa, I put my hand down right on top pf the wooden part of the circular (yes, it was my 2 mm fixed circular from KnitPicks), and the needle broke! So now I can't continue on the shawl until I get my new needle (which I of course ordered immediately yesterday, but it will probably take a few days before it arrives in the mail :)! I'm so bummed, as I was really enjoying the shawl. But I knitted some on the cat mittens instead, and I guess I'll just have to finish those in the mean time. And the Glynis socks.

I think I might cast on for a new shawl tonight though. I think I have decided that the Twinkle Twinkle little Star shawl will have to wait for a while, I'm just not in the mood to start that one over right now. But I have so many shawls in my Ravelry queue right now, I'm having a hard time deciding which to start with! I'm thinking about the Haruni shawl, but I'd also love to start one of the Windsbraut shawls as well (probably the Steife Brise first). And I'm also thinking about the India stole, which I've been planning to make from my apricot Chili Gredelin Simone yarn. I'll have to think about this some more, and I'll let you know once I've decided!

I made an amazing discovery today too: I've found a European webshop that sells KnitPicks yarn! They only have a few kinds, and they didn't have any Palette at all, but of course I had to try them out. So today I ordered myself some more Alpaca Cloud lace yarn, in the Cha Cha colourway (the orange one that Anna got from the States, that I was green with envy over :). It will be fun to see how long it takes to get here from Germany. I think it was a bit more pricy, and the shipping was sort of expensive too, so I think we'll probably get the yarn cheaper from the States anyway. But it's good to know that the option is available! They're called KnittyBitty, by the way.

Ok, I'd better get back to work. Only 8.5 days left...

/ Jenny