Thursday, December 29, 2011

Back before the new year!

Wow, I'm a bit impressed with myself! I have to warn you though, that this post won't be very long either. I just don't have that much exciting to report!

Although, we have decided to buy the house! We move the last weekend in March, and it's going to be so much fun! Well, not the actual move, but you know. Owning our own house, doing the interior decorating, stuff like that. You are hereby all invited to come visit! I recommend coming during the summer, when Sweden usually shows its best side :)

Christmas has been really good, although it's been a bit hectic to find the time to see everyone. I think we managed most of our family, and a few friends too. We got to see our god son Alex, who got a stuffed Super Mario toy for Christmas from us (you have to teach them about the important stuff early....) . I got an awesome gift from my parents, the book "Julkulor" by Arne & Carlos (it's the book 55 Christmas Balls to knit, but in swedish). The book came with a small kit with yarn and stuffing to make two Christmas balls. Our Christmas tree next year is going to look awesome!

Then, on Christmas Day, I actually got the very same book from Thomas' grandparents! So I've decided to give one of them away here on the blog, instead of exchanging it. If you want it, just leave me a comment here on the blog telling me you want to be in on the draw. If you follow the blog, you'll be eligible for one more entry. Bear in mind though, that the book is in swedish! Most of the patterns are charted, but the description on how to make the actual ball at the beginning of the book is in swedish. I'll draw the winner on the 6th of January.

On my own knitting front, nothing much has happened. I just haven't had the time to knit during the weekend, and this week I've been alone at the lab so there's been plenty of work to keep me occupied! This weekend we need to get out to the cabin to see if the recent storms have blown the roof off, and then on Saturday night we're celebrating New Years Eve with some friends. It's going to be awesome! But there won't be much knitting I think.

Have a nice New Year, and I'll see you some time next week!

/ Jenny

Friday, December 23, 2011

VERY quick update!

We're just on our way home to our parents for the Holiday, so I'll be very quick today! The building inspection went ok, there are some issues with the roof and the foundation, but we don't think it's stuff we can't handle. We have until next Friday to decide what we want to do, so I'll be back by then.

Have a very Merry Christmas, and I'll be back before next year starts!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I'm not even going to bother making excuses

It's just been one of those months. I feel like I haven't had a day to relax in ages, which means that the blog has suffered a bit. Let's see if I can remember everything that has been happening around here since I last wrote (which was almost a month ago!)

On the last weekend of November I got a terrible cold, and spent the entire weekend knocked out on the couch. I was even too sick to knit much! No fun at all. I spent Monday at home too, but then got back to work. 

Then on the first weekend of December we went to Borås to watch the Christening ceremony of one of our friends' baby, Gustav. It was a beautiful ceremony in Brämhults church, and we got to see lots of friends that we don't meet very often at the celebratory gathering after the ceremony. Then that evening we visited my grandfather, who had a birthday party, and on Sunday before we went back to Linköping we visited Thomas' father and had a lovely dinner. A really busy weekend, without knitting practically anything.

Last weekend, which was the third of Advent, my mother came to visit. When she had her birthday back in October, me and my sister bought her concert tickets for a Christmas concert with two swedish musical artists, Peter and Matilda (who are cousins, by the way).  That's their official fan page, but I recommend watching one of their YouTube videos to actually hear them sing instead, this is by far my favourite one. They have had a Christmas show for three years running, and the past two years I've been there with Anna. This year I went with my mother and sister, and it was an amazing concert! Even though the weather has been war and rainy (and by warm I mean not below freezing), we aren't getting much in the way of Christmas spirit here. But the concert helped.

Then on Sunday, third of Advent, me and Thomas went to Mantorp to look at the house we want to buy again, and meet with the seller. We stayed for over two hours, and went through stuff like the heating system, water pumps and other such fun inventories. Anyway, it ended up with us signing the purchase contract on Monday, so now we're just waiting for the building inspection to pass, then we will own a house! This house, to be exact:

The inspection will take place on Tuesday this coming week, and if everything is ok we will be moving in at the beginning of April. I can't tell you how excited we are about this! It still feels a bit unreal, but the house is just so pretty and exactly what we want. I will be a lot closer to where I work, and Thomas will be very close to a very convenient train commute. Perfect! Plus, the house has an extra guest house in the yard, so if you ever want to come visit us in Sweden, you will have a place to stay :)

Then finally, this weekend, we spent yesterday in town buying the last Christmas gifts, then went to the cabin to close it  up for the winter, and then me and my sister made chocolate candy the entire afternoon and evening. Today has FINALLY been a day of rest, we've spent the day lounging on the couch watching the first of the Lord of the Rings movies and playing video games.

Last Christmas I got an unfinished Santa doll from Thomas' aunt. Her mother had started knitting it before she died, and Aunt Kerstin asked if I wanted to finish it. I felt really honoured by this, and as I really only needed to knit a small hat and finish the face, I of course accepted. So this past week I've been knitting a small red hat from stash yarn, and today I glued on some wool for hair and beard. I think it looks really cute!

And please excuse the harsh flash photography, it's just so dark here these days! As the weather is really crappy (it's not snowing, it's slushing), it's almost dark all day long too. Thankfully, on Thursday it will all turn around, as that is the longest night of the year on the northern hemisphere, and by the end of January I bet we will start to see the difference! January feels like a long way off though.

Oh, on Tuesday it was St Lucia day here in Sweden, which we celebrate with Lucia processions. This year too, the swedish TV station SVT aired a very pretty version of it, you can go and watch it here. The show will be up until the middle of January, so you have a while to enjoy it! I kind of miss my choir days, when I participated in lots of Lucia processions, but I enjoy it enough just to watch it too. And I get to sing along as much as I want!

Ok, Christmas next weekend! We will be going to Borås for the weekend, trying to squeeze in all of our families in the puny three days off from work we have. I'm not anticipating lots of rest, but hopefully some at least. And we will celebrate New Year's Eve here in Linköping, at our friends' Klara and Micke, which will be super fun! I'm really excited about that evening as we see them way too seldom!

There has been exceptionally little knitting this past month, but I've accomplished some at least. The first of the Ookuru socks is done, and the second is just past the heel:

I know I said I wanted to make these knee-highs, but I changed my mind when I saw the... interesting... pooling on them. Once again I'm making socks only a crazy knitted could love! So I think I will be able to make a third pair of socks from this yarn eventually. I have to admit I'm not overly fond of the yarn though, but the socks I made about a year ago have worn very well and they seem to be incredibly durable, probably due to the bamboo content in the yarn. But even after lots of wear, the socks are a bit on the stiff side. And they still bleed something terrible every time I wash them. But it sure is pretty though!

I also decided on a whim to start a new pair of mittens, and I chose the Ramona mittens by Laris designs. They are double knitted, and I'm making them with KnitPicks Palette yarn in colours Cream and Teal:

I'm a bit obsessed with double knitting right now, I've never done it before and it is so much fun! I love that the mittens are reversible, and twice as thick as ordinary. I'm almost up to putting the thumb on waste yarn, so about half-way on the first mitten. I'm very glad I started these though, as yesterday when we were out at the cabin, I managed to break my Cat mittens!

There is a huge hole on the thumb on one of the mittens, and as I have no idea how to darn it with two colours, I think I will rip the thumb up and re-knit it. I'm definitely not ready to throw the mittens away, as I LOVE them! But that will be a project for after the holidays, when I will hopefully have a whole weekend off some time!

I will try to get back to you with at least a short post about how the building inspection goes on Tuesday. And to wish you a Merry Christmas too, of course!

/ Jenny

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lots of good mail

There has been so much going on here lately that I completely forgot to post! First of all, I don't think I told you, but a while ago me and Thomas decided that we wanted to start looking at houses to buy. We have been renting a semi-detached house for a while, but we've figured that we are probably rooted enough here in Linköping and its vicinity, to actually buy a house. And we've found one! At least, we've found one we want, now it's just a question of money. We've put in one offer that has been declined, so right now we're more or less thinking about how much we will be able to pay, where our limit will be. I'll let you know how it goes, but it's very exciting!

I've also gotten some stuff in the mail that I really want to tell you guys about. First, I got my small package from Eat.Sleep.Knit, about a week ago I think. I bought four skeins of yarn, which was very moderate of me, don't you think? The first one is MacKintosh Yarns Celtic Sock yarn, in colourway Black Plum:

It's 366 m/100 g, 90 % wool/10 % nylon, so perfect sock yarn. I really adore this colour, it's very pretty, and the yarn is nice too :)

The second, and third, skeins that I got were Shibui Knits Sock yarn, in colourway Periwinkle:

It's 175 m/50 g, 100 % Merino, and oh so soft! I have two of these skeins before, in colourway Honey, and I adore them. I think a pair of these might move high up in the sock queue soon, as I really want to break into them!

The last skein I got was a skein of The Sanguine Gryffon Bugga! yarn in colourway Oleander Nymph:

It's 377 m/113g, so it's listed as sport, but I think it will do perfectly for socks. It's 70 % Superwash Merino/20 % Cashmere/10 % Nylon, and it's also incredibly soft and squishy. I've wanted to try this yarn for a long time, but it's pretty expensive with over $30 for one skein. But now I finally decided to splurge this time, and ordered myself a skein. I'll let you know how I feel about it once I knit it up.

I also got two pairs of tips for my interchangable needles set from KnitPicks. Actually, the tips I got this time weren't from KnitPicks, but rather Knitter's Pride Cubics needles. But they fit on the same cables, so I just got the tips. They are wooden needles, but they are cubic in shape, and I actually find them pretty comfortable. But I think I prefer the regular ones though, so I'll probably not get any more of these.

I also got a scratch ticket from the Eat.Sleep.Knit shop, I think they send one out with every order, and you can win skeins of yarn or store discounts, things like that. I actually managed to win one skein of Malabrigo yarn! Yay! I haven't decided yet if I want a skein of lace yarn or sock yarn (although the store is having trouble with supply of the sock yarn, so there are about three colourways available right now), but I guess I don't have to send the ticket in right away anyway.

Then on Thursday last week I think, I got my package from the Sarahkincheloe etsy shop. I got three needle organizers! The first one is for my fixed circulars, as they have just been lying in their original packages from KnitPicks, in my very boring, plastic bag before:

Here is their new home:

Isn't it pretty?! It's very well made as well, and takes up a lot less space. I also got an orgaizer for all of my accessories, like my scissors, my measuring tape, my cable needles and stuff like that:

All of that stuff was also located in the plastic bag before, but as that bag was so bulky it was difficult to lug it around with every project I was working on. Most often my notions just ended up lying loose in the project bag I was using, this is so much better!

Finally, I got a smaller notions pouch to keep the smaller stuff in, like stitch markers, buttons, needle and thread, and stuff like that:

Don't you love how they all match! And I am so pleased that I can finally throw out the ugly plastic bag, now every needle in my stash has a pretty home! I have a green needle roll for my small sock dpn's, I have a striped and flower-patterned needle roll that my sister sewed for my larger dpn's, I have a small needle roll with faces on (that my sister also made for me)  for my wooden interchangeable needle tips, and my KnitPicks Spectra acrylic needle tips are currently residing in a very cute pencil case. I think my needles are spoiled...

Oh, did you want to read about actual knitting? Well, there hasn't been to much of that happening around here lately, I've just been so tired these past few days! I did manage to put the sleeves on hold on my Silken Scabbard sweater on Saturday, and then tried it on. I found out that the collar was WAY too wide for me, even though I followed the pattern and the rest of the sweater fit me. I don't know how anybody could wear it without drastic changes, so I decided to do the wide collar option instead. So I frogged the whole thing. I'm getting really good at frogging! I've only finished the collar so far, but I'll try it on soon to see if it looks better this way! Apparently a lot of people seem to have the ribbed collar look wonky, so maybe I should have checked Ravelry first...

Other than that I have no new knitting to show you. I'm passed the heel on the Ookuru socks, but I haven't gotten a new photo of those so I think you'll have to wait until it's done. But today at work the woman I'm working with in Ödeshög, Barbro, had brought her finished sweater for me to look at. She is also a spinner, so she's knitted this Drops pattern in her own handspun merino wool, and it is soooo soft!

Isn't it pretty?! It's a little bit felted, as it turned out a little bit too big for Barbro's Daughter-in-law, but now it fits her perfectly. I really love this sweater, and Barbro was just happy to get to show it off on my blog! Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you: The blanket that the sweater is resting on is a 100 % pure rabbit fiber felted blanket that Barbro also made. Gorgeous!

Ok, now I'll get back to my new Stephen King novel (it's called 11.22.63 and is about the JFK murder). That book is also a reason why you haven't heard from me for a while, and it might continue like that until I finish it...

/ Jenny

Sunday, November 13, 2011

2.5 FO's

Yep, that's right. My needles have been on fire lately! On Monday I finished the Romy beret that I started last Friday, it was such a quick knit. 144 m of DK yarn and I' very happy with it.

It's made with KnitPicks Capra yarn (merino/cashmere), the same that I used for the Baby Cables dress, and it is incredibly soft and cozy. I'm very happy with it, and as you can see in the photo it matches the Evenstar shawl perfectly (that was made with Wollmeise lace yarn in colourway Sabrina, by the way). The temperatures have started to get lower this week, with below zero nights at least, so it's good to have a warm hat!

Then on Wednesday I finished the Lothlorien socks, from the Enchanted Sole book:

They were made with Malabrigo sock yarn, colourway Lettuce, and I couldn't be more happy with them! The yarn is incredibly soft and the colour is amazing! I'm very glad I bought myself a replacement skein of the Violeta Africana colourway that I gave away to Virginia the other week (the yarn is on its way, by the way!).

And speaking of the give-away yarn: as most of you voted for dyeing the socks, this past Sunday I gave it a shot. I had a lot of KoolAid powder in the Cherry colour, which is bright red, so that's what I chose. I dissolved two packages in a pot with enough water and vinegar to cover the socks, then heated it and dropped the socks in. I let them almost simmer for a while, until all the colour had disappeared from the water, then let the whole thing cool until I could touch the socks without burning my hands. The socks got VERY red:

There is still a difference between the socks, as I suspected there would be. It's not strange, considering that they were different when I put them in the pot, but I think the difference is at least less noticable now, so I'm happy I tried this. I still have my Kai-Mei socks in the original colourway, so I'm happy!

So, that was my 2.5 FO's (as the socks have actually been done for a while before I dyed them). I decided on Friday to cast on for some more socks, as I can't seem to go many days without having a pair on the needles. I chose to start the Ookuru socks, in Marias Garn handpainted sock yarn (75 % superwash wool/25 % bamboo). I've already knitted a pair of socks in this yarn as well, and like them fine even though the yarn is bleeding incredibly when wet, so I wanted to finish it off. As I want to use up all of the yarn, I decided to make the socks toe-up instead of cuff-down as the pattern states, and I'm guessing they will be about knee-high as I have 130 g of yarn left. So far they are pooling A LOT!

But I still like them, I'm just hoping that the other sock will look roughly the same. 

Other than that, this weekend has been spent cleaning and relaxing, which was sorely needed! Today we went out to the cabin to have a look around, but had to turn around as we realized when we parked that we had left the cabin key at home in the apartment...

I hope I'll get back some time next week when my yarn gets here!


Saturday, November 05, 2011

I feel so lazy!

My stomach has been acting up a lot this week, so I have been home lounging about and feeling a bit sorry for myself. I haven't really been doing too much knitting, as I've been so tired, but I have re-organized my queue and my favourites on Ravelry :) But I have actually managed some knitting at least.

I'll start with the Baby Cables and Big Ones Too sweater/dress. It was finished a while ago, and I wore it for the first time last weekend, when my sister had her birthday party. I'm very pleased with it!

I haven't got any make-up at all in the photo, so excuse the somewhat shiny face. Just look at the dress instead! It's made with KnitPicks Capra yarn, in merino/cashmere dk weight. I love this yarn! It is so soft, and it really shows off the cable pattern. I have two skeins left, and I decided I didn't want to waste them, so yesterday evening I cast on for a new hat, the Romy Beret:

I have just started the cable pattern today, so it's not much to look at yet, but as it's just a hat in dk weight, it is really flying off the needles. It shouldn't take long to finish! So far, we've had a pretty warm autumn with temperatures around 10 centigrades, but last year the snow arrived in the middle of November and stayed until March at least, so we might be in for a nasty cold surprise next week if we're unlucky. Then it will be nice to have a new, warm hat!

I've also knitted a lot on the Lothlorien socks, in the Malabrigio yarn. I've finished the first sock, but I discovered today when I tried it on that I have bound off a bit too tightly, so I think I'll redo the cast off. The second sock is well past the heel, so I guess I don't have far to go on this one either. It might get finished this coming week as well!

And as I finished the Cable dress, I wanted to start a new sweater project, and this time I chose the Silken Scabbard pattern. I'm knitting it in Rowan RYC Silk Wool, which is a discontinued dk yarn with 50 % merino/50 % silk, and I know it is another cabled sweater... I just love this pattern too! I'm almost ready to divide for the sleeves.

The yarn is very lovely to work with, and the stitch definition is awesome! The sweater seems to eat yarn however, as I've already used up four whole skeins! This made me worry that I might not have enough, as I want the sweater to be pretty long, so I searched around on Ravelry and found a woman in England who had four more skeins for trade or sale. Yes! I bought them very swiftly, and the shipping took no more than two days! So now I have 16 skeins in total (minus the four I've already used), and if that's not enough I'll just have to make it a bit shorter.

I also got some yarn in the mail this week, that I won in a raffle in the European RAK group on Ravelry! Handywoman from Greece gave away three hand-dyed skeins of sock yarn, and I won one. I LOVE it, it is just so bright and happy!

It's 75 % superwash wool/25 % polyamid, 420 m/100 g, so well enough for a pair of socks. I think I might knit some colourwork with it, together with some black yarn, to mute it down a bit. I'll let you know what I decide!

And I don't think I told you about the iPad stand I bought from Etsy a while ago, did I? It's hand made by the store Comfy iPad Creations, and basically it's a cushion with velcro, but it's exactly what I wanted. And, it's pink! The shipping is free everywhere, which is amazing, and it arrived in a week or so. I'm using it practically every day!

Oh, and I have something awesome to tell you! A while ago, a telemarketer called me to ask me some questions about people who had gotten money from Trygghetsstiftelsen. Trygghetsstiftelsen is a foundation that is made to make life easier for unemployed researchers that used to work at a university. It is very hard to find a job here in Sweden if you've got your PhD, and what Trygghetsstiftelsen does is that if you get a new job with less pay than at the university (like I did), they give you the pay difference as a stipend for two years after you leave the university. Awesome, right? Anyway, when this telemarketer woman called me, I realized that I never sent in my papers! When I left my previous job, I was just so completely miserable, my stomach was sooo crappy, and I completely forgot. So I sent them in a couple of weeks ago, meaning that I got all of that money retroactively! Yay! Since we bought the new car this summer, we haven't really had any saved money or any real buffer, and it feels so good to be able to put all of that money into the savings account.

Well, not all of the money. I get to have some fun too, right? I splurged on myself yesterday, and made a new, small order at Eat.Sleep.Knit. So now, some new yarn is on the way! I'll tell you more about that once it arrives, which should be in little more than a week or so. 

I also bought a circular needle holder from Etsy today, from the shop sarahkincheloe, which i also guess will arrive in a week or two. I have great holders for my interchangeables, and for all my dpn's, but no good one for the fixed circulars. So I figured it was about time. I'll show that one once it arrives too.

Ok, now you know what I've been up to these past two weeks. Tomorrow we are going to Borås for the day, to visit Thomas' grandparents who celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary this weekend. 

See you next weekend!

/ Jenny

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I Aten't Dead...

Which, for all of you Pratchett fans, should be obvious what it means. I'm sorry I've been absent for sooo long! Work has been crazy these past two weeks, and my husband has been out of town as well so I've been doing all of the cooking and cleaning by myself, after work. I've just been so tired in the evenings I haven't mustered up the energy to write. My parents were here visiting last weekend as well (both my mom and my sister had their birthdays this week), so the weekend was fairly busy as well. Thomas is finally coming back home tomorrow, and I can't wait to see him!

Thank you all who voted on my sock poll! Although only three of you left me a comment to tell me, so those are the only names I have for the draw of the prize. And what is the prize, you ask me? Well, I've decided to give away one skein of Malabrigio Sock yarn! Colourway: Violeta Africana:

So, do you wanna know who won? The lucky winner is Virginia, from Virinia is for...! Congratulations! I will need your adress (you can e-mail it to me at jenny(.)m(.)clifford(a)gmail(.)com), and then I can send the yarn out at the end of nexxt week (when my paycheck comes in, I'm a bit strapped for cash this week...). 

The poll was a bit weird, as I included the option "depends on what colour", but as that option got three votes, and the "yes absolutely dye the socks" got 4 votes, I guess I'll go ahead and dye them! I will use some of my Koolaid powder, I just need to decide which colour first (I don't even remember which colours I have any more, it's been so long since I looked at them!). But they will get dyed eventually.

I've been knitting a lot though, since I haven't needed to be entertaining in the evenings :) My Baby Cables and Big Ones Too sweater is almost done! I've decided to turn it into a dress/tunic, so it's fairly long. I had to frog a bit of it again though, as I had made the waist too small (which just goes to show you that I don't really have an accurate view of myself yet...), but now it fits me much better. Sadly, as I've been on my own these past few weeks, I haven't had anyone to help me with photos, so you'll have to wait until next week.

I also decided to cast on for a new pair of socks (I know I said I wouldn't but you know me. Abolutely no patience whatsoever...), and I chose the Lothlorien Socks from the Enchanted Sole book by Janel Laidman. I'm knitting them in Malabrigio Sock yarn (colourway Lettuce), but I think this pattern was written for bigger feet than mine! I'm still fairly new at knitting socks from the toe up, so I haven't really learned when to start increasing for the heel, so this sock has been frogged so many times! But now I've finally got it to fit me, even though I had to do A LOT of tweaking to make it so!

Aren't they gorgeous?! At first I wasn't very fond of the yarn, as I thought it was a bit on the stiff side, but the more I've used it (and frogged it, and used it, and frogged it...), the better I like it. I LOVE the colour, and it actually feels really nice on my hands now, so I've adjusted my opinion of it. That's why I've decided to give a skein away, as I'm really thrilled with it! And the purple colour is just so pretty too! So I'm not trying to get rid of something I don't like, rather the opposite.

That's about all of the knitting I've done since I last wrote. I'm really becoming an expert at frogging, at least...

I'l try not to be away for so long this time!

/ Jenny

Sunday, October 02, 2011


...Been WAY too long! Again! And this time I have no real excuse, other than that life has been feeling a bit hectic these past two weeks. Lots to do at work, and last weekend was just spent relaxing at home. I simply haven't had the energy to blog! But as we're spending this weekend at home, and in the cabin, relaxing as well, I figured today would be a good day to get this done. Not that this is a chore or anything, but I still need to find the time and energy to get it done! Today I'm doing laundry, vacuuming and cleaning the bathrooms (and as I've now told you guys about it all, there's no escaping!), so I can find a little time in between :)

I haven't been knitting very much, but I've managed to finish a pair of socks at least. These are the Spring socks from my 10 patterns collection (I can't seem to find a direct link to the pattern, so you'll just have to look at the patterns collection site), and they are a bit wonky...

I think I told you that I'd managed to knit these from two different dye lots, and it really shows! The right sock in the photo is a lot darker, and greyer, than the left one. But that's not all. Somehow, even though they're knitted on the same set of DPN's, and the same number of pattern repeats, the right sock is a lot smaller than the left one too. Tell me that this shouldn't be a problem when you change dye lots? So I'm calling these ones a fair failure, but I guess I'll still wear them. If I wear them under jeans, the difference in length won't be noticable anyway. I'm thinking of trying to overdye them though, what do you guys think? I will add a gadget to the left side column where you guys can vote! If you leave me a comment on this post telling me you've voted, I'll even draw a random winner next weekend and have a small give-away (and no, you won't be getting the socks! I'll come up with a nicer price that involves yarn, I promise)!

I've also been working a lot on my Baby Cables and Big Ones Too sweater, and it's coming along nicely this time:

Since this photo I've actually finished both sleeves, so now it's mostly boring stockinette left. Because of that I'm making it into my work knitting, so it might take a while to actually get it done. I chose to make the sleeves before I finished the body, because I'm thinking of turning it into a dress instead. I just wanted to make sure that I had enough yarn to make both sleeves before I increased the lenght! But I think I'll be ok, as I've decreased the size considerably from the pattern instructions. I put the sleeves on hold much earlier than instructed, and I've added a lot more shaping to it as well as that suits my body better. I think I have about five whole skeins left! But now it's time to start the hip increases, so it will draw more yarn soon. We'll see what I decide, I'll have to try it on as I go.

Yesterday I also worked a little on my Brandywine shawl, although I have no new photo of it as it doesn't look very different from the last post. I've made 5 repeats (out of at least 15) on the main body chart. But I think I'll try to focus a bit on this one for now, before I start any new socks. Or gloves. Or something else... Startitis, anyone?

The last project that I have going is still the Panama shawl, and I do't really know why this one isn't really spekaing to me. I love the yarn (even though it is a bit fragile), and I like the pattern fine too. The projects on Ravelry are gorgeus, so the shawl will be lovely, and I'm actually in need of a purple shawl to match all of my purple clothes. But somehow I just don't feel like working on this one right now, so it's resting in the WIP bag for now. I'll get to it some day too.

Ok, time to get going on the cleaning. Maybe I'll have breakfast first?

/ Jenny

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Goodbye, The Ark

On Friday evening, me, my sister and her two friends Tess and Johanna went to Stockholm, to see the last concert ever with the swedish pop band The Ark. If you haven't heard them before, they are well worth a listen, they are a very good band! They have decided to quit as a band while they are still on top, which I can respect. The concert was a two hour long line of all their big hits, and was really amazing! Ola Salo, the lead singer, is a very flamboyant, theatrical person (he's also played Jesus Christ in the musical Jesus Christ Superstar here in Sweden), and the band has an extraordinary stage show! I wish they were better at english though, because I think they could have made it big internationally if they had tried a bit harder. Anyway, the concert was very good, and it was a very nice evening! The concert was at an amusement park, Gröna Lund, and before the show started we went into the "Ghost House"! Four grown-up (more or less) women screaming like little children :)

The video is fimed with my tiny camera, and the quality isn't the best, but you get a feel for the show a little bit at least

Then yesterday one of my best friends, Klara, had invited me and Thomas for a birthday brunch, and she had made home-made lemon curd, lots of jams and marmalades, and pancakes, and omelett, and pie with custard, and... We went home about three kg heavier I think! It was very nice, and we got to meet some of Klaras friends that we don't see very often too.

And yesterday evening I finally tried on the Baby Cables sweater. I've been knitting on this at work, so I haven't had a chance to try it on for a while. It was HUGE! So I frogged about half of it, to put the sleeve stitches on hold a lot earlier than the pattern said. I've almost knitted to where I was before the frogging again, at least lenght-wise, but I've used almost a whole skein less! But now it fits me better, so I'm very happy I did this. It's looking really good, and I love the yarn!

I've also knitted a little bit on the Brandywine shawl, as I'm currently KAL-ing this one with Anna! She's using the angora rabbit yarn that she bought on our wool crawl the other weekend, and it's looking soooo good (go have a peak at her project page). I think she will probably finish a lot sooner than I though, as she seems to knit a lot on hers! But that's ok, I' in no hurry. I think I've finished about three repeats of the main chart (out of fifteen in total), so I have a ways to go...

I think today will be spent mostly knitting. I've made some changes in my movements at work, which seems to have improved my arm pain a lot, so now I feel I can knit almost as much as usual again!

/ Jenny

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Teeny Tiny perfection!

Do you remember that I told you about the very cute etsy shop for stitch markers, Wee Ones? The woman who runs that shop, Jillian, makes the cutest stitch markers out of clay that you could possibly imagine, but as it's based in the States and the shipping is kind of expensive to Europe, I hadn't actually bought any yet. Well, apparently you, my dear readers, increased the traffic to the shop after reading my blog, which Jillian noticed! She sent me a very nice message on Ravelry, thanking me for mentioning her shop. And as a thank you she also offered me free shipping on my first order! YAY! Of course I couldn't pass this up, and a couple of days ago I picked up the package from the post office. And let me tell you, the markers are even more pretty in real life! I bought three sets:

Wee tiny sheep (there are four markers of each set, but as they are already in use it was kind of hard to capture all the sheep at once. Three white ones and one grey were in my set)

Wee tiny orange tabby cats (which reminds me of Hobbe)

Wee tiny owls (I seem to have a thing for owls lately)

They are maybe 1 cm big, so they are really small! I love them! Thank you so much Jillian for sending these to me, I really appreciate it. And I will definitely be coming back to the shop, I already have several sets that I want as well...

I haven't been knitting very much this past week, but I've managed to cast on for another project. I chose the Baby Cables and Big Ones Too sweater pattern, and I'm using KnitPicks Capra yarn (85 % Merino15 % Cashmere) in colourway Hunter:

The yarn is really really soft, and the cables seem to be pretty visible as well. I really like working with a heavier yarn as well, as I seem to use mostly thinner ones as I make lots of shawls and socks. Although the shawl knitting is going a bit slowly right now, I have completely given up the idea of finishing 11 in 2011. So far I have two finished and two on the needles, and as both of them are kind of wasting away in my bag, the 11 goal seems a bit unlikely. I don't mind though, I'm happy as long as I enjoy the knitting!

I've also been working on my Spring socks, and I've finished the first one and cast on for the second one. Unfortunately, it seems like I've got two different dye lots (I knew that I had two different lots on my three skeins, but I couldn't remember which skein was which after I wound them into cakes), and the second sock is actually a lot darker than the first one.

It's not terribly visible in the photo, but I think it will be pretty visible once they're done. Oh well, I think I don't mind too much. They're pretty anyway, and considering how many socks I have where the colours are differently spaced on the two socks, I can live with these ones being different too.

Yesterday morning I got a text message from my best friend Christine. She asked me if we had any plans for the day, and wondered if we'd like some company for the day. Luckily we didn't have anything settled, so Christine, her husband Martin, and their three boys Lucas, Leo and Alex, came to visit! We all went to the Air Force Museum, which they boys seemed to enjoy, and then we went back here for dinner and some video games. It was a very fun and energetic day (we're not used to keeping up with three kids!)! Both me and Thomas fell asleep on the couch before nine o'clock yesterday evening...

Today we were planning on going to the cabin, but the weather is really grey and cold so I think we might skip it. I'm guessing there will be laundry and some general cleaning instead, but the apartment actually looks ok so not too much tidying I think. Maybe even some knitting for me!

/ Jenny

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Wooly Saturday!

I had the most amazing Saturday! This weekend has been the time for Östgötadagarna here in Östergötland (the cuounty where I live in). Östgötadagarna are two days where lots of farms and local shops have extra opening hours and you can go around visiting animals and buying from farm shops and stuff like that. Me and Anna went to a place called Brink Hantverk, about 30 minutes from here. The link goes to their swedish site, but it's an alpaca farm! They have about ten alpacas that they use for wool , they have two angora goats (you know, where mohair comes from), and angora rabbits. Oh, and some merino sheep as well! They spin their own yarn, which they sell, and they also sell a lot of knitted stuff. It was such a wonderful place!



The woman who owns the place was so friendly and nice, and told us lots about the farm and the animals. We didn't get to pet the actual alpacas, since they were a bit shy of strangers and didn't enjoy being touched, but we fed some goats and bought some yarn! Anna bought some lovely angora yarn, made from the very cute rabbit named Celine:

The yarn is 100 % rabbit wool, and OH SO SOFT! It didn't end up in any photo, but it is a very soft grey colour. I brought a lovely skein of alpaca yarn with me home, made from the very pretty lady Geisha:

It's 60 g/195 m, and the loveliest chocolate brown you can imagine. It was so cool to get to see the actual animal that the wool came from! I know I wasn't supposed to buy any more yarn, but I see this as more of a souvenire (thank you Maria for that idea!)!

We then went on to Vadstena, where we visited a yarn shop that was located smack in the middle of nowhere! It's called Vadstena Ull & Garn (yet another swedish site, sorry), and it was a lot bigger than the yarn shops in town. It was located on a farm as well, and I guess the locale costs are pretty low if you have a shop in one of your own out-houses. It was really lovely and there was a lot of yarn! 

I didn't get any photos here (we were just too busy looking at yarn), but I borrowed this one off their website. I hope they don't mind the free advertisement! The women who run the business didn't spin their own yarn, but they dyed a lot instead, and they also had a lot of commersial yarns. I didn't buy any yarn here, but a shawl needle got to come home with me instead:

We then went on to the last crafts place that we had planned, Hantverksboden Drottning Omma at Omberg (this shop doesn't have a website). It's a pretty small crafts shop that sells yarn and lots of other locally produced crafts, like pottery, some woodcrafts and stuff like that. The woman who owns the shop has angora rabbits as well, and the yarn they sold were mixes of angora and lambs wool or merino wool. Apparently, she shears the rabbits and sends the wool off to Östergötlands Ullspinneri, which spins the wool into yarn for the shop. Very nice! I bought three skeins of a 50 % angora/50 % lams wool that seems to be about sport weight (there is no length stated on the label, so I can't be completely sure, but needles 3-5 mm sounds about right for heavy fingering/sport, right?):

It's amazingly soft, and the colour is very pretty and natural as well. This was also a souvenire, right?! Anna also brouht home three of these skeins, in a lovely off-white colour that will become a winter shawl for her.

After this intense yarn crawl, me and Anna went back to my place and made dinner, and after that Alexandra and Maria showed up for a real girls-night/knit-night! I served apple pie (that Anna helped to make) and chocolate cake, and we just sat here and chatted about all sorts of stuff, and knitted our hearts out. 

It was so much fun, and it's been way too long! I very rarely get to go to the knitting cafés any more, since I commute so much and am not back in town until late in the afternoon/evening, so this was a real treat for me. We definitely need to plan more of these weekend meetings!

Today I'm spending my day on the couch, possibly not knitting very much as my arm is bothering me a bit. I think I've figured out what movements at work has been bothering me, and I'm trying to correct those so that should help. I don't think that the knitting is actually the cause of the pain, as I tend to move my left elbow joint or wrist very little when I knit (I pick, that's continental knitting right?), but I'm guessing that it doesn't help either. I've cut down pretty much on the knitting in general though, so I think I'm doing ok. I've almost finished with the first of the Spring socks (from my 10 models collection), but Thomas has brought the camera with him to Austria this weekend so you'll have to wait to see photos of it!

/ Jenny