Sunday, August 22, 2010

Oragnization Bonanza!

Wow, did you notice how I managed to work two z's into the post title? Anyhow, that's what we've been doing this weekend. I actually had to leave work a little early on Friday, because my stomach spazzed out on me (wow, two more z's!). I can not wait to get back to the physician and hear what's wrong with me! I've finally gotten a new appointment, on the 3rd of September, and that day can't come soon enough!

But never mind about that. Back to organizing! We've cleaned out our storage unit, and filled it with new stuff (well, it's far from full). We've re-organized the book shelves to accomodate all of our books. And believe you me, we have tons of books! Both me and Thomas read a lot, and we like to collect books. As it is now, we can't really buy any more books, because they won't fit into the bookcases! But all of the sorting has led to us having some shelves empty, and as of today, they house almost all of my yarn!

Notice the Jack Skellington mug at the middle, left shelf? That was part of my 25th birthday present from Thomas :) And underneath it is a small wooden frame with an all access pass from the Art Garfunkel concert me and Christine went to back in 1997 (or was it 1998?). We got to go back stage and meet mr Garfunkel himself, and the white slip of paper in the frame holds his autograph! Just if you were wondering, that is :)

I still have some of my heavier weight yarns that didn't fit into these boxes, so I think I'm going to get two more. We're also talking about maybe getting some kind of chest to put under the stairs, where I could keep all my knitting accessories. You know, needles, sewing thread, beads, my kitchen scales, left over yarn ends and stuff like that. But I think that will be next week or so, as I get my paycheck on Wednesday.

We bought the boxes for the yarn at Ikea, and while we were there I also picked up a great storage solution for my shawls. I bought a towel hanger!

Picture borrowed from

It's now sitting on our bedroom wall, behind the door so I can hide it if I want, and it's housing all my shawls except the giant purple one (that one kind of needs a drawer all to itself...).

There are four hanger rods on it, and it work perfectly! No more folding the shawls and keeping them in a bag under the stairs! 

Thomas is also cleaning out the closet full of stuff in our computer room, I think he's about half-way through it, and hopefully there will be room enought in there to store my sewing machine. I haven't used it once yet, but someday I will take the time to learn how to sew! Right now the machine is sitting on our kitchen table, and as I'm not currently using it it might as well go into storage for a while.

We're going to finsih off the cleaning and organizing with emptying out our bureau in the hallway that is currently full of just stuff. We need to get a key locker to hang on the wall, and just throw out all of the junk that has just ended up in those drawers! It feels so good to just get some organiztion into our lives, it feels like we've been living in such a mess lately!

Oh, and I promised you photos of the progress on the tunic dress! I'm knitting it in the SWTC Bamboo yarn, and it looks really great! It's a little hard to see in the photos, as it is so scrunched up on the 60 cm cable needle, but I'm telling you that this will be a great summer tunic! I love working on it, and I've made most of it at work.

This weekend I've also been working on my first Christmas project! I can't tell you anything about it until Christmas, which is ind of a bummer, but I think the recipient will really like it. I actually have some Christmas projects planned, but I'll just have to see if I can finish them all in time. Now that I'm going to be working full time, I have a lot less knitting time :)

And are you wondering about the India Stole? Yes, it is unfortunately sadly languishing in the UFO bag right now. I absolutely plan on finishing it, as I really love it, but I need to finish the first Christmas project first. And I can't really bring it to work, as I need the charts for every row. But it will be done!

/ Jenny

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Drumroll please!

I got the job! There were 28 applicants, and I got it! Yay! So now I have work until the end of December, with a probable possibility of prolonging it then! I'm so happy! It's exhausting to work full time, but I love the job and I'm glad to have an income again. The job will be at different primary care units in Linköping and Motala (which is located about 40 minutes' drive from here), and I'll be doing the same type of work as I'm doing now in Mjölby.

I'm thinking of celebrating by buying some yarn, but I've decided to save the money for the upcoming USA trip. Also, my grandmother offered to sponsor my visit to the sewing festival at the end of September, and there will be yarns galore there (last year I walked out with two full gorcery bags of yarn after that visit...). So I think I'll try to hold out until then :)

I got into a bit of knitting slump after frogging the Paper Dolls sweater this weekend, but I've cast on for the Tunic Dress from the Debbie Bliss Magazine.

Photo borrowed from Ravelry

I'm using the awesome lilac bamboo yarn for Sout West Trading Company that I got from Ulrika the other week, and it's working out great! I've done some modifications to the pattern, the main one being that I'm knitting the skirt part in the round (as I hate sewing). I think I'm going to try to knit the body in one piece up to the arm holes as well, then I will just have to seem the shoulders toghether. And now that I think about it, I could just kitchener those stitches together too, and eliminate all sewing! I have no photos of my progress yet, but I'll try to get some this weekend!

/ Jenny

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ribbit ribbit ribbit

Today I've learned the importance of trying things on as you knit. The Paper Dolls sweater is all but finished, I have about 1/2 inch ribbing on the collar left. So I decided to actually try it on. And boy, is there lots of stuff wrong with this one:

1) The collar is WAY too tight. It would barely fit over my head.
2) The decreases right before the collar, after the doll patterning, are way too tight too. The dolls are all crumpled together, and the sweater looks like it's too short over the shoulders (the neck is way too wide).
3) The waist decreases were way too few. The sweater fits me as well as a sack.
4) The sweater is way too long, it could almost be a dress. While that could be cute, it's not what I was going for.
5) The arms are too tight. The corrugated ribbing is apparently something I'm not good at.
6) The ribbing at the bottom of the sweater is also too tight. This also contributes to the sack fitting of the sweater.

I really don't think that any amount of blocking will fix all this. So. I've decided to frog it. Four weeks' worth of knitting. Yay. I think I'll start over and make me another one, although I'm not sure I'll do it right away. I'm thnking of trying to make it from the top down, but I'm not sure I'm up for all that math. I guess I'll just have to change the increases and decreases in the pattern.

I think I'll knit some lace to cheer me up!

/ Jenny

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Maybe we should turn this thing into a weekly event?

Hi everyone! Long time no seen! I tell you, I'm just so completely beat when I get home from work, I just can't find the energy to write. And the past two weekends have also been super busy, although fun busy, so I just haven't had time to update in a while. But this weekend is all about relaxing and hanging out with my husband, as it seems that we hardly see each other any more.

But I have some time to update today, and I actually have some knitting progress to show you. I'm almost done with my Paper Dolls sweater!

I'm starting the dolls pattern today, and hopefully I can finish the whole thing tomorrow. I've knitted a lot on it at work, mostly on the breaks, but the afternoons have been pretty slow the past few weeks so I get to knit a row or two in between patients. This stockinette knitting is perfect for that! I love the sweater, and I can't wait to get to show it off finished at work!

And speaking of work: The county is hiring one or two biologists at the beginning of September! I sent my application in this Thursday, and I hope to hear from the bosses some time next week, or the week after. I'm more than qualified for the job, and one extra thing speaking in my favour is that I'm actually working with the boss right now, so she definitely knows who I am. At least, I hope that's working in my favour :)

And I also finally got a new appointment at the gastroenterology unit at the hospital, to get my lab answers from the endoscopy I did at the beginning of May. I really hope that they've found something that can be treated, or at least managed in some way, so my stomach can start functioning again. I think that that is a very big reason to why I'm so completely exhausted all the time, and it would be really nice to actually get some energy back!

Now I'm going to get dressed and go shop at the local farmer's market with Thomas, and then it's a day for just the two of us. If I finish the sweater tomorrow, I'll be back then!

/ Jenny

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Ok, I couldn't help myself...

Yesterday I visited Skänninge Marken for the first time ever. Skänninge is a small community about 30 km from Linköping, and every year the first Wednesday and Thursday of August there is a HUGE outdoors market taking place there. I've lived in Linköping for 11 years now, and never went to this market before. So yesterday after work I went for about two hours, and it was pretty nice. A lot of the vendors sell the same stuff, lots of candy, wallets, T-shirts and purses. But I managed to find a small jewel: A yarn vendor that sold the swedish yarn Kampes. I knitted the Sari Lace Triangle from this yarn, it is a bit rough but a real joy to work with. And such great stitch definition! 

The yarn at the market was about half price from what I've ordered online before, so I actually caved in and bought four skiens!

Two grey skeins, 100 % wool, 600 m/100 g

Two Black skeins, 100 % wool, 600 m/100 g

I actually got yarn for two huge shawls for just over $10! I'm really happy about that. So happy that I don't care that I broke my vow no to buy any more yarn before the upcoming trip to the States!

And speaking of which: Here are our travel plans so far: We fly to Washington DC and meet up with Sarah and her husband. We spend a couple of days in DC and do touristy stuff (and shop some yarn!), then go with Sarah and Chris to Roanoke, VIrginia, where they live. We'll rent a cabin there for a couple of nights, hang out with Sarah and Chris and just have a great time. I've been promised a trip to an alpaca farm, so I hope I get to pet some alpacas!

Then we're flying up to Maine. I've read Stephen King since I was about 12, and I tell you I would marry that man if he offered to write for me the rest of his life. I just can't get enough of his books, and according to Thomas I'm blind to any faults he may have (in my oppinion he doesn't have any, all of his books are perfect). Therefore I really want to see Maine, as I've read so much about it (and no, I don't expect to get to see mr King, I've understood that he's a very private person and I respect that). I just want to soak in the atmosphere, and maybe get me some lobster while I'm at it (is there even lobster available in March, when we're going?). But here comes my question to all of my potential Maine residents readers: What should I not miss when I get to Maine? Where do we need to go? I don't know anything about the touristy stuff available in Maine. Are there any of you who'd like to meet up with us for a cup of coffee and a bit of knitting (Thomas won't be knitting, but he drinks coffee and is good at making conversation)?

After a couple of days in Maine, we're going to get ourselves to New York, where we'll stay for a few days and then fly back to Sweden from there. We haven't decided how we're going to travel from Maine to N.Y., as we don't really have any feeling for how far it is. Is it possible to go by bus? Or should we fly? We don't have unlimited funds, but I think we will be able to afford to fly if the bus takes too long. I'd really appreciate any input!

Anyway, now I'm going to have some dinner and then go to bed. Thank God it's Friday tomorrow, I'm really exhausted this week! But the weekend should be much fun, as one of my friends is getting married! It's an outdoor wedding, so we're really hoping the weather will be fine!

/ Jenny

Sunday, August 01, 2010

What a weekend!

Well, I can definitely say that I don't feel rested after this weekend! But it was soooo worth it! On Friday me and Thomas went to dinner at our good friends Jenny and Tomas (very original name combo, don't you think?). Jenny moved to Amsterdam this spring, and I haven't seen her since and it was so much fun to catch up! The other guests were Klara and Micke, and Klara has been living a year in Liverpool, so I don't see her very often either. Seeing the both of them made me realize just how much I miss them! We sat and chatted and laughed until 2 a.m., which is really late for me! Especially as I get up at 6 a.m. to get to work... I forgot to bring my camera, so no photos from this evening.

Yesterday I slept in a bit, and in the evening me and Anna went to visit our good friend Ulrika for a knit night. We had wine (well, I drove my car, so I didn't have any wine) and lots and lots of great cheese and crackers, and knit a bit too. It was so much fun, it seems like I haven't seen either of them in way too long! Ulrika is just the most giving and generous person I know, and she had gotten me a belated birthday gift. It was a beautiful, silky project bag, filled with goodies!

First, I got two skeins of GORGEOUS silk yarn that I'm still a bit overwhelmed about. They are just amazing! It is Alchemy Silk Purse yarn, in colourway Persephone's Pomegranate. It is 100 % silk, 150 meters/50 grams.

Isn't it just to die for! The colour name is really great, as it really looks like pomegranate juice. I'm thinking of turning it into this:

Photo borrowed from Ravelry

The next thing I picked up out of the bag was a very cute pattern keeper! These are two magnet strips that are covered in fabric, and you clamp them aroud your pattern chart to know where you are. I've been eye-ing these at various Etsy stores, but haven't gotten around to buying any yet. This is awesome!

Then there was a very pretty fragrance pouch filled with lavender, that immediately went into my yarn stash:

Next there was a needle case in a very pretty, pale green silk fabric. I've put all my KnitPicks Harmony dpn's in it, and it is just perfect! I love that I don't need to bring my big plastic bag that I got from KnitPicks along with the needle set everywhere I go! This case is so much more portable and a lot smaller.

Finally, there was a super-cute key-charm: The VooDoll Princess Lalita. 

There was a card with the doll that explains what she does: "Princess Lalita will give you fabulous magnetism. She is hot and mysterious like an arabian night. She can be seductive and adorable but also ruthless against her rivals. She is an exotic Femme Fatale who always appear in men's dreams. Her beauty will make them mad with desire." Then there is a spell that you can read while holding her, to transfer her powers to yourself. Absolutely awesome! It's currently attached to my cell phone, but I think I'll put it on my purse strap instead as I tend to put my phone in my back pocket and it kind of hurts when I sit on the doll :) Plus, I don't think that she will lend me her powers if I sit on her all the time!

I just felt completely overwhelmed by all these gifts! We had a blast the entire evening, just chatting about everything and even managing to get some knitting done too! At the end of the evening Ulrika's 13 year-old daughter Kajsa sat and chatted with us too, we talked a lot about the Twilight books and movies as she's a die-hard fan. I listened to the audio books a while ago, very reluctantly, but I have to admit that they kind of grew on me. I'm not much for that kind of pining romanticism, but the vampire parts of the story was ok. So we discussed those books, and vampires in general (as I really love vamp-lit, I'm a sucker that way). It was a real treat, and we ended up staying until almost 2 a.m. (again!). So another late night for me.

Cheese and crackers galore!

Ulrika and Anna knitting away

When we were just about to leave Ulrika remembered that she had a bag of yarn that she wanted to give away, and Anna immediately said that she didn't wear that colour. So I went home with seven HUGE skeins of 100 % Bamboo yarn in a lovely, lavender colour!

I think this might be South West Trading Company Bamboo yarn, as that is the only bamboo yarn on Ravelry that fits the information on the bag! The bag is bought at discontinued yarn brand store, and there were no label bands on the skeins. It's 1600 meters in total, and I'm going to use it for the Tunic Dress that I got the pattern for in the summer edition of Debbie Bliss Magazine.

Photo borrowed from Ravelry

The pattern is written for a 100 % silk yarn, but that would be a bit out of my price range. bamboo seems to behave a bit like silk, and I swatched this morning to see if it would be a good substitute. I had to go down a needle size (from 4 mm to 3 mm), but that just made the knitted fabric look better. It is going to be soooo pretty, I'm almost itching to cast on right away! But I think I want to finish the Paper Dolls top first.

Today has been a slow day, but we managed to get to the cabin for a few hours to mow the lawn and just check on it. It seems like the rain we've been having hasn't leaked through the roof too much, which was good. I also picked almost two litres of gooseberries, so tomorrow I'll make a pie with them (I've been too tired today). 

When we got home Thomas made the best fish soup that I've ever tasted, which was absolutely awesome! I crashed on the couch and slept for an hour or so, and now it's almost bedtime for me. It's been a busy busy weekend, but I think I haven't had this much fun in ages!

I'll be back later next week with some knitting-related news!

/ Jenny