Sunday, October 31, 2010

Another long absence

Well hello there! I'm amazed I still have any readers left, since I seem to take longer and longer breaks from writing here. But now I'm back, at least for today! 

Last weekend my mother came to visit, for the second weekend in a row, and her, me and my sister went to a concert. The swedish musical artist Peter Johansson, who has held the lead roll in the We Will Rock You musical in London, has toured Sweden with a tribute show to Queen. I don't know if you know this, but I was pretty much brought up with Queen along with my baby food, so I've listened to them my whole life. When Freddie Mercury died in 1991, it was one of the biggest tragedies in the history of mankind, according to me. 

The concert was really, really good! Of course Peter is no Freddie (no-one is), but he did a fabulous job (alnog with two female guest artists). I was very glad that I went, and pretty satisfied that my stomach held up long enough for me to acctualy go. The stomach actually seems to be back on track again, but I'm not going to say it out loud yet or I'll just jinx it.

The past week I've just been working, and it feels so good to be back at work again! And yesterday I had a very spontaneous day in town with Anna, as she needed to buy new shoes and asked me for advice. We spent a couple of hours browsing stores and had tea and chocolate at a café as well. A really nice day, and it was so much fun to hang out with Anna, we don't see enough of each other anymore, now that we both have full time jobs. And Anna lured me into buying two skeins of sock yarn that I "really needed"...

Actually, I think I really needed this, as I don't have any turqoise sock yarn. That I'm going to use for socks, anyway. I have some teal and turqoise Wollmeise sock yarn, but those are all destined to become other stuff than socks. These will probably become the Summer Sliding socks, as I was RAK'ed the pattern a while ago.

Today me and Thomas are just hanging out at the apartment, taking a slow day off from everything. We're going to make lasagna and apple pie later on, but that's about it. I'm spending most of the day on the couch knitting, which is awesome! Right now I'm knitting on the Evenstar shawl, and I think I might finish the first half of chart 2 today. I'm using my Wollmeise Lace yarn for this shawl, and the colour is just amazing! Although I have to admit that the yarn is a bit stiffer than I had anticipated. I think I might not buy any more Wollmeise, as I have several softer yarns in my stash already. I actually have some more Wollmeise as well, and I definitely think I'll use all of them as the colours are so wonderful. But there are several other dyers doing great work as well!

Oh, and I cast on for the Paper Dolls sweater again. I've been working on it mostly at the coffee breaks at work, so I haven't gotten very far yet. But I've changed the ribbing from 1x1 to 2x2, as it gets more flexible then (at least when I knit it), and I'm doing more decreases for the waist as well. I'm also decreasing more frequently than the pattern calls for, as my last attempt gave me a very long sweater. I hope it will look better this time around. I know for sure that I'll try it on more often this time!

I've also been working some on my Wanida socks, from the Cookie A book. They are looking great so far, but I haven't gotten any photos of it yet. You'll have to wait until the first one is finished I think!

And last weekend when my mom came to visit, she had knitted herself a very pretty cowl in a beautiful, autumn-coloured acrylic yarn. She brought me a skein and asked if I could knit her a pair of mittens, as she thought it would be too complicated for her to make herself. As it was a buly yarn, and I knitted the mittens in garter stitch on 8 mm needles, it took me about three hours to complete both:

I think I've knitted a few more rounds on the ribbing on one of them, but I don't think that will be visible when they're worn. My sister is going to Borås for a visit this coming week, so she'll bring them down to mom then. We had some very cold days last weekend, whit temperatures just below freezing, but it looks like it will be a bit warmer at least for a few more days now, so I don't think mom needs the mittens desperately yet. But I bet they'll feel great come winter!

Tomorrow is the first of November, which kicks of the National Novel Writing Month. I have to write 1667 words each day to get 50 000 by the end of the month! I actually doubt that I'll finish, but at least it might get me going on writing again. Stephen King says in his excellent book On Writing, that it is very important to write every day if you want to become a professional writer. So maybe I'll get there some day too :) Probably not in mr King's caliber, but at least I can make a start, right?

Now I'm going to go have a snuggle with Hobbe, as he's stanging beside my lap hadbutting my elbow. I'll try to see you again at least next weekend (hopefully with some updated photos too)!

/ Jenny

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Suckety suck suck (and a lot of knitting!)

Yep, my stomach issues have come roaring back with a vengance this past week. I was home from work four days last week, and two days so far this week, as I can't go very far from the bathroom. My sister had her 25th birthday on Sunday, so on Saturday my parents came to town to visit, and we were all supposed to head out to an amazing spanish restaurant for the evening. I stayed at home instead, watching lots and lots of Angel episodes (I have a thing for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but haven't actually seen Angel until now. Silly me). Today I think I'm finally starting to feel like myself again, but so far it has gotten worse in the evenings, so I'll not count my eggs yet.

Anyhow, having stayed at home for so long, I've actually gotten lots and lots of knitting done. Last Monday I finished my lilac Tunic dress, and I couldn't be more happy with it!

It fits me very well, even though I did a LOT of tweaking to the pattern to be able to knit it in the round. It's supposed to be knit in two different parts and then sewn together, but I really hate sewing. I also opted for kitchenering the shoulder seams (which I think makes me an expert on kitchener stitch now, all in all about 180 stitches kitchenered together), and it worked out great. I wore it on Sunday when my sister and her boyfriend were here to play some board games on her birthday (she and her boyfriend and my husband had chinese food. I had water). 

I've also FINALLY managed to finish the India Stole! I started this one on June 4th, so it took me over four months to complete. I've done some other stuff in between, but it still feels like ages!

And do you know what: This is my tenth shawl this year! I've actually managed to knit 10 shawls in 2010, just like the challenge was! I'm very happy with that! And I love the stole too, it turned out great. It will be perfect to wear around the shoulders once the winter is over. The yarn (Chili Gredelin Simone) is a bliss to work with, and I actually have 2.2 more skeins of this same colourway, which will last me for at least another shawl. Possibly two!

Today I also cast on for the Evenstar shawl, which is going to be awesome too. I'm knitting it in my Wollmeise Lace yarn, in colourway Sabrina, and so far I love the yarn! It's great to work with and the colour is amazing! 

Although I have to admit that I probably love Chili Gredelin's yarns more, because they are even softer. And Kia who runs Chili Gredelin is also an amazingly talented dyer! I wish she would hold a course in dyeing, I would travel the 500 kilometers to her city for that :)

I'm also thinking of starting over on the Paper Dolls sweater. I really need a more or less mindless stockinette knit to bring with me to work, and the body of that sweater should be just perfect for that. I've decided to make a lot more decreases for the waist, as well as making a 2x2 rib at the hem instead of 1x1. I'm also going to knit the I-cord edges on after the thing is done, as I couldn't manage to get the I-cord cast-on to look good. I'll see if I pick it up tonight, or if I get too immersed in the Evenstar :)

Oh, and finally: Did you notice a new linky on the right side column of the blog? the NaNoWiMo? It stands for Nationla Novel Writing Month, and I signed up a couple of days ago. This means that I'm going to try to write a 50 000 word novel in just the month of November! I actually signed up before my stomach crashed, so I'm feeling a bit less motivated right now, but hopefully that will sort itself out before November comes around. I've wanted to be a fiction writer ever since I learned how to read at the age of 5, and I figured this might just be the kick in the but that I need to get me going. I've only written scientific papers for the last couple of years, but since I'm done with research I figured I would pick up my fiction writing again. Wish me luck!

Now I'll see if I can find something mild to eat. Hold your thumbs that I can go to work tomorrow again, I really miss it!

/ Jenny

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I've missed you!

I can't believe it's been two whole weeks without blogging! And I don't even have an excuse, I've just neglected you all. I'm completely beat when I get home from work, but I should have written at least something last weekend. Oh well. I'm back now, and I've got pictures to prove it!

Last Saturday I went and visited Anna and Peter for a lovely coffee break. The first and only completely gluten free bakery has opened up its doors about 5 minutes from where Anna lives, so we took a walk over there and just went nuts. I was like a child in a candy store! I can't remember the last time I had actually freshly baked bread! And we of course had to buy some cookies too:

These were, from upper left and clock-wise: Brownie, Chocolate Balls (and yes, there is a less politically correct name for these that I won't repeat here...), Cream-filled chocolate cookie and a vacuumer (that's the swedish name for the green and brown cookie). 

The three of us split all of the cookies into three (and Peter showed us just how to do that completely fairly), and had lots of tea with it. Me and Anna knitted and we all just chatted the morning away. It was just so nice, I haven't had a chance to hang out with anna for a while now so it was so much fun.

Anna has just discovered sock knitting, and these are her very first attempt:

They are knitted in Colinette Jitterbug, and are oh so soft. Anna is a VERY talented knitter, she's just tried fair isle for the first time and I don't know a knitter that won't turn a little bit green with envy at the perfection of it! The stranding was just perfect, and all the stitches were so incredibly even. I'm just amazed!

Last week I started my job at two new work places too. I'm still doing exactly the same work, just at two new locations. I now hava almost an hour to commute to both places, which is a bit dull, but I can manage. The work is still just as much fun, and all my new (and old) co-workers are all very nice. I just hope that I get to continue after new year! The long workdays means that I'm even more tired when I get home, but I'll get used to it soon.

Yesterday Me, Thomas, my sister Sanna and Anna went to a flea market that is held by the parents of one of our good friends. This is the same flea market where I bought my spinning wheel a while ago (and no, I still haven't taken up spinning, I just can't seem to find the time!), and they have lots and lots of fun stuff. I picked up these adorable, tiny candle holders/candles for practically nothing. I thought I would include my phone or something to show you the scale, but I think Hobbe managed that instead :)

Thomas found a complete stereo set for about $40 dollars, including speakers. This was awesome, as one of our speakers just recently gave up its last breath! He's trying them out right now with lots and lots of metal... I dare you to ask me how much I enjoy this!

I've actually acomplished quite a lot of knitting these past weeks, and for once I've actually got something to show you! I still haven't managed to finish anything, but I'm almost done with the tunic dress:

I think I'll finish it during the coming week. I've sort of had a new spark with this project this past week or so, and it's going really well so far. I think it looks great, and it is quite heavy so it should have a great drape as well.

I've come about 60 % on the India stole as well:

This is constructed by casting on 115 stitches with provisional cast on (I used the crochet chain one), and then knitting all the charts in one direction. You then pick up the provisional cast on and knit all the charts in the opposite direction. I've knitted almost 2 out of 6 charts in the second direction, but I haven't picked this one up for almost a week. I think this will get a lot more attention once the dress is finished.

I'm also knitting on a pair of socks, the Wanida socks from the Sock Innovation book by Cookie A. I haven't really made any progress on these, as they've been lying in my purse for the past two weeks, but once the stole is done I'll get to these too.

That's the knitting. And you know what else: Yesterday I took my very last anti-depressant pill! I've been decreasing my dose for two months now without any depression emerging, and yesterday evening was the last pill. Thank God! And once I started decreasing my dosage, most of my stomach problems seem to have disappeared too! I couldn't be more thrilled about that, and hopefully they won't come back. I asked the doctor if he thought that the stomach issues could simply be side effects from the pills, but as I had been on the pills for almost a year before the stomach spazzed out, he thought it unlikely. I think he dismissed the idea a bit too fast though, and I really, really hope I will be ok now! Yesterday I had a little bit of set back with the stomach, but one time in two months is ok. I can live with that!

Now I'm going to attend to the laundry. I'll try to be back sooner next time!

/ Jenny