Monday, January 24, 2011

Trying to stay awake...

...Long enough to post! I've been working all day, and I'm just exhausted, bu since I didn't get around to posting this weekend I'll try to get it done today instead.

Last week was spent mostly at work, but I got a lot of knitting done on my Coraline cardigan. However, when I tried it on for size, I realized that it was WAY too big. Apparently I can't swatch correctly if my life depended on it. Or, rather, I can't measure correctly. I decided to frog the whole thing and start over, so I'm using smaller needles and making a smaller size too. It's going to look great, and the yarn seems to work really well with the pattern. I haven't got any new photos to show you though, since I've only knitted about 5 cm or so yet, in plain stockinette.

I also knitted almost half a pair of socks at work on Friday (two of the resident doctors were away at a conference, which ment lots of less patients for us at the lab, which ment long periods of nothing to do but knit). This is the almost completed first sock of the Mirabelles socks!

I'm using my wool/bamboo yarn from Marias garn in Stockholm (the store has switched owners and is now called Litet Nystan), and I LOVE this yarn! It's so shiny and easy to work with, and the socks are going to look great. However, the yarn is a little bit stiff (probably due to the bamboo), and the second skein that I have of this yarn I had actually planned on using for a shawl. I think that the yarn might be a bit uncomfortable to wear next to the skin on my neck though, so I'm thinking I should probably make another pair of socks from it instead. 

I also had a moment of clarity this weekend. Do you remember this cardigan that I made a year ago?

It's made using a generic top-down pattern where you calculate number of stitches based on your gauge. It turned out a bit too small, but now that I've lost all my extra weight I decided to try it on again (as I still haven't worn it once). Turns out, it still doesn't fit me, so I actually decided to frog it to salvage the yarn (Lövegarn Symfoni, 100 % merino, chunky yarn that has been discontinued). And yesterday I cast on for another cardigan in this yarn, the Asteria Cardigan.

I haven't gotten very far yet, and since it isn't blocked you can't really see the lace border very well, but I think this might work. I really like working on it, since it is in chunky yarn that seems to fly off the needle, but boy do my hand hurt after knitting on it! I'm just not used to knitting with such big needles (6 mm)!

The Evenstar Shawl and the Devon Socks are resting a bit for now. I just haven't had time to work on any more projects, and since these are a bit too complicated to work on at work, they have just been put aside for a little while. I'll get to them though, eventually.

Oh, and last weekend I finished my Paper Dolls sweater! Yay! I was so happy to get to try it on finished, and it fits me this time! Well, actually it would probably have fitted me better if I hadn't just lost all those kilos, since it was measured to fit my somewhat larger body, but it's still good enough to wear. I haven't gotten around to blocking it yet though, so I have no photos to show you. I promise I'll get them for you next time!

And do you know what I did today? I bought myself some yarn! A couple of months ago I gave away my Candle Flame shawl to my grandmother, because she loved it so much. 

It was knitted in Garnpalettens one-ply lace wool yarn, and it was really beautiful. However, my grandmother (who takes care of my uncle with Down's syndrome, and is a bit stressed out about this) accidentally put the shawl in the washer, and it felted. So I've promised to make her another one, and this time I thought I'd make life simpler for her and just knit it in 100 % acrylic. So I bought four skeins of Piggelen yarn from Marks & Kattens (100 % acrylic, 120 m/25 g). Did I mention that my grandmother likes pink? I haven't decided on a pattern yet.

And did you know that Drops has a new line of yarn out? It's called BabyAlpaca Silk, and it's 70 % baby Alpaca/30 % Mulberry silk, 167 m/50 g. This is probably the softest yarn Drops makes, and I just couldn't resist. Especially since it was on introduction sale! Four black skeins got to follow me home!

I don't really know what I'll make from them, but I' hoping I can find a shawl pattern that will suit me, since it's so soft that I really want to wear it araound my neck :)

Oh, and I did one more thing when I was in town today: I finally got a haricut! I can't even remember the last time I cut my hair, it was definitely more than a year ago, and the tips were so brittle it looked like a broomstick! So I took off about 15 cm, and it looks pretty good, if I say so myself.

The hair person put a flat-iron to the hair, and she's also styled it a bit, so I probably won't look this fancy when I fix it in the mornings. But I'm just happy it looks healthy again! I'll never go that long between haircuts again!

Ok, now I should really go to bed, so I can get to work in the morning!

/ Jenny

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A severe case of Startitis

Yes, last weekend I came down with a real bad case of Startitis. First I decided to frog the Black shawl I started, becaue I simply didn't enjoy it. I wasn't particularly fond of the pattern, and I definitely didn't enjoy the yarn. So the pattern will go back into my queue for a while, and I'm going to give the yarn away to my friend Lovisa, who claims to love this yarn. But I had to have some kind of project to work on while at work, so I decided to cast on for the Coraline cardigan, which is a pattern by Ysolda Teague. I'm using Drops Alpacca yarn in a dark purple colourway, and I'm holding it double to get gauge. I haven't gotten very far yet, but so far I love it!

This yarn i absolutely gorgeous to work with, super soft and just very pretty. The pattern construction is very nice too, and I'm enjoying it even though it's only stockinette so far.

I also decided that since I finished my Pink Ribbon socks, I needed to start a new pair. However, I just couldn't decide which ones I wanted to start with, so I actualy cast on for two pairs of socks. The first pair is the Devon socks, from the Sock Innovation book by Cookie A. I'm slowly working my way through this book, and I actually think I want to make pretty much all of the patterns. I love Cookie's patterns!

I'm using KnitPicks Stroll sock yarn in colourway Burgundy, and I haven't gotten very far on these yet either. The yarn is really pretty though, and I love working Cookie's patterns.

The second pair I cast on for are the Mirabelles socks from my 10 patterns collection. I've actually gotten a little bit further on these ones!

I'm using a yarn that I bought at Marias Garn in Stockholm for my birthday this past spring, it's her own handpainted brand and consists of 75 % superwash wool and 25 % bamboo. It has a very pretty shine to it, but the bamboo is making it a little bit stiff, so I hope they soften with wear. The colours are really pretty though, and even though it seemed to pool a lot at the beginning it has sorted itself out now so I'm ok with it.

The project I've been working on the most this past week however, is my Paper Dolls sweater.

I just want to get this one finished so I can wear it! I'm about half-way through the colourwork yoke, and after that it's just a bit of black decreases and then I'm done. I haven't knitted very much at all this past week though, as on Monday night I woke up with stomach flue. No fun at all! I haven't eaten pretty much anything for four days now, and today is the first day that I actually felt a little bit hungry in the morning (not much though, I only ate a yoghurt). 

The only positive thing about it is that I'm finally back at my wedding weight! I don't know if I've told you, but two years ago when I started eating my antidepressants, I gained 10 kilos in about three months. I wasn't very big to begin with, and if it hadn't been for the fact that none of my clothes fit me anymore I don't think I would have cared. But I really didn't want to get out and buy a whole new wardrobe, so the past two years my clothing options have been rather limited. Once I stopped taking the pills in October, my weight actually started to decrease, but since my stomach has been misbehaving so much I haven't gotten around to getting any excercise (that's going to change from next week though) so I guess my metabolism changed back to its normal setting. I didn't loose all of the weight though, but this past week has taken the last three kilos off as well. I think I'm going to have to try on all my dresses again soon :)

My poor Evenstar shawl is being pretty neglected right now too. I've just been to tired to concentrate on any lace patterns lately, so I've more or less concentrated on the easier patterns. I feel a bit bad about this, as I actually think I won't manage to make 11 shawl this year as I had sort of planned. Maybe I'll have to concentrate on smaller shawls? I don't really wear them if they're too small though, so I think that would be sort of unneccessary!

Oh, and have you seen that I've actually gotten over 50 followers! I can't tell you how happy you all make me! When I first started this blog in 2009, I was thrilled when I got my first followers, and I couldn't imagine that anyone would actually want to read what I write. Thank you so much for supporting me, and staying with me! Even though I write a bit more sedom now that I work so much, I still enjoy it immensly, and I'm definitely in this for the long haul!

Oh, and speaking of blogs: My little sister, Sanna, has started her own blog! It's called Sanno skriver, and it's in swedish, but if you want to support her and go say hi I bet Google translate can help you out. My sister is a pretty good writer too, and she writes mainly about cooking, sewing and her two cats Medoxa and Daisy. As we live next door to each other I kind of know what she's up to without reading the blog, but I still think it's really nice to read. Go over there and say hi from me!

Now, Thomas is finally starting his new video game (God of War - Ghost of Sparta) that he got from me this Christmas, and I'm going to watch (I think I'm the perfect wife when it comes to video games: I love to watch when Thomas plays!). I'll see you all soon!

/ Jenny

Thursday, January 06, 2011

New year, new workplace, new cast on!

I hope you all had a very Happy New Year celebration! We had a very nice time here, Thomas made very nice food (Porter steak with roasted root vegetables), we played some board games, and then had chocolate fondue for desert. My sister and her boyfriend, and Thomas' youngest brother were here, so it wasn't a very big party, but still a very perfect evening. We watched some fireworks through the window, and had a sip of champagne at the stroke of midnight.

Yesterday I started work in yet another place (this is my seventh placement since May!), which seemed really nice. It's a bit smaller than the places I've been to before, but that doesn't really matter. And the woman I'm working with in the lab is also a knitter! Talk about match made in heaven :). The commute is a bit longer, but since it's a much better road to drive, I don't loose any time compared to the last two places. And yes, i drive myself, because the only public transportation that is available to this tiny place arrives more than an hour earlier than I need to be there. So I think it's worth it to drive myself, even though I do feel like an environmental criminal. Plus, it's insanely expensive with gas although I will get some monye back on my taxes because I do the driving for work).

Anyway, I couldn't help myself, but cast on for another shawl this Monday. I picked the Gordischer Knoten pattern, and I've started it with my Lace yarn from Ullcentrum on Öland that I told you about last time. I do NOT like this yarn! It is a bit thick and thin, and VERY tough and scratchy. Plus, the stitch definition leaves a lot to be desired. I think I'll hang int here for a little bit longer though, as I would love to block it and see how it turns out. I'm not sure if I'll ever use it though, so I think I'll have to find a recipient who likes scratchy wool (Lovisa, perhaps?). It all depends on whether I think it gets pretty enough to give away though, but if it doesn't I don't think I'll frog it anyway. I just don't want to work with this wool again! And I shudder to think that I've got another skein, in a gorgeoud blue colour. It's a shame that I don't enjoy the yarn, as I really could need a black shawl, and the other skein is so beautiful too. Well, maybe I'll just gift them away.

I've been working on this shawl a bit at work, since the pattern isn't that complicated, but I think I just need to start something else as I don't particularly enjoy this one. Preferably a sweater or something like that, with lots of stockinette! I'll just have to go through my queue and see what jumps out at me. 

Today is a national holiday in Sweden (the day is called the Epiphany, and apparently we're celebrating the day when the three wise men arrived to give gifts to Jesus), which is why I'm writing to you in the middle of the day (well, actually it's 10 in the morning). It's nice to have a day off in the middle of the week, and today I'm going to the movies with my friend Klara, who is home from Liverpool over the Holidays. We're going to see the new Narnia movie, which will be fun!

Oh, and speaking of movies, did I tell you that me and my sister went to see the latest Harry Potter movie right before Christmas? I really enjoy those movies, even though the books are of course much better. I actually found that I'd forgotten a lot about the last book, so right now I'm re-reading all of the Potter books. Why can't our world be like that?! Why isn't there magic?! I also want to go to Hogwarts and learn magic, and go to Hogsmeade and drink Butterbear and ride a broomstick and... Yeah, you get where I'm going. There aren't that many books that you actually wish were real (at least not if you're a horror fan like me), but these ones are some of them.

Ok, enough rambling. I'll go and have some breakfast I think, and start the day!

/ Jenny