Sunday, February 27, 2011

What a week!

This past week has been winter break in Swedish schools (at least in our county), which means that some of my co-workers have been on ski holidays. Which meant that the rest of us who were still working had a lot more to do! So I've barely had time to pick up my knitting at all this week, I've just been so beat when I've gotten home that I've more or less fallen asleep on the couch each evening. But next week should be better.

Last weekend I was supposed to go to a kit-night at Alexandra's, but I only got half-way there when my stomach started grumbling, so I turned around and went back home again. I got to knit a lot at my Evenstar shawl all alone at home instead, but somehow it wasn't the same. The stomach is actually behaving a lot better during the weeks now, I've started taking some new medications which seem to work, but it still spazzes out when I get stressed. Funnily enough, my stomach seems to think it stressfull just to get out of the house on the weekends, as the same thing happened today. We were supposed to have two friends over for dinner tonight, but as usual we had to cancel at the last minute. It means a lot more knitting time for me, but it was definitely not what I wanted. I haven't seen Klara since Christmas, so I was really looking forward to tonight. Oh well, we'll do it another time.

Knit-wise I've worn the Coraline cardigan a couple of times, but I've made the sleeves a bit too short. I think I need to undo the cast-on and make them a bit longer, I just haven't had the energy. Otherwise it fits me very well, and I really like it. I haven't gotten around to taking any photos of me wearing it yet though.

And today I FINALLY finished the Evenstar shawl! I've been working on it since October, so it was about time. I'm really, really pleased with it!

It's still drying upstairs, and it's very tempting to go up there and unpin it, but I think I need to let it rest until tomorrow. It took me about forever to block it out, it was my first time blocking something circular, and I didn't have enough foam blocks to make a square big enough! They're just laid out in a circle, which means that the center foam mat holding the middle of the shawl isn't attached to any of the other blocks. That made it very hard to hold the center still while I stretched it out! But I think I finally managed to get it looking ok.

It's made with almost a whole skein of lace yarn from Wollmeise, and I have to admit that this yarn hasn't won me over. The shawl looks awesome, and the colour is to die for, but it just isn't very soft. I hope it will get softer once it's dry. It was also splitty to work with, and had almost no give, it almost felt like it has cotton in it. So I won't be buying any more Wollmeise yarn any time soon, sorry.

I've also made a lot of progress on the Asteria Cardigan, I'm almost done with the second sleeve. It is looking very good, and I hope I can finish it before we leave for the States 8in twoo weeks (yikes!). I haven't taken any photos of it yet either, but it isn't much to see yet. I'll show it to you once it's finished!

Today I cast on for a new shawl as well, as I can't seem to go without lace knitting for very long. I chose the Panama shawl pattern, and I'm making it in my Chopped Tomatoes Heavenly Infusion yarn in colourway Sister Sister. This yarn is wool and cashmere, and softer than a cloud! It's very thin though, and I think it's a little fragile (it broke twice when I skeined it), but I'll just have to treat it delicately. It feels great to finally get to work with a yarn I like though!

Now I'm going to lay down and rest my stomach for a while. I'll try to get back to you next weekend again!

/ Jenny

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Lazy days

We're having a really lazy weekend this weekend, doing a little bit of cleaning and a lot of just lounging around the house. The week has been kind of busy, with lots of work for both of us, plus Thomas had his birthday on Thursday. We ordered some food and watched a movie on Thursday evening after work, so nothing fancy. We're talking about eventually going out to a restaurant for dinner tonight, but I actually doubt that we'll have the energy for it. I think we'll just make some easy food and hang around on the couch instead :)

I also have another finished object for you! Yesterday I finished my Coraline cardigan, and I think it turned out great! It's blocking right now, so you won't get to see any pictures of it on me yet.

Stupid blogger turning my picture around

I've knitted it in Drops Alpaca yarn (100 % alpaca, 180 m/50 g) held double, and in total I used 1693 m(which means the length was actually half, 846.5 m). It is very thick, and a bit dense to tell you the truth, but I think it will be better after the blocking is finished. I used a new (to me) technique on this one, namely smocking. It's where you wrap some of your stitches with your working yarn, and is described very well here. It turned out better than I hoped!

 I love the colour, and I hope to wear it a lot. I'm so glad I finished it before our upcoming trip!

And speaking of the trip, everything is booked! We're flying in to New York where we'll be staying for five nights and doing all sorts of lovely things, then we're taking the train down to Washington DC to meet up with Sarah and Chris. We're staying two nights in DC, visiting museums and stuff like that, then we're driving down south first to Staunton for one night, then onwards to Clifton Forge where Sarah and Chris live. We'll stay there for four nights, then go back up to Washington for our flight back to Sweden. It's only a couple of weeks left until we leave, and it's started to feel very real. I can hardly wait!

Of course, since we're actually going to the States, I had to make a KnitPicks order! It's already been delivered to Sarah, and I think I'll have to buy a whole extra suitcase to fit all of it! When we were Skyping last night (yes, skyping is a verb), Sarah opened the bag and started showing me all of it. And boy do I want to get over there NOW!

Next week Thomas is going away with work for a few days, which means I'll have the weekend to myself. Lucky for me, my friend Alexandra suggested Saturday night for a knit-night, which will be very nice! I work so much right now, and including all my commute time, I rarely have time to go to the knitting caf├ęs any more, so it's great to get to meet up with the girls on the weekend.

Now I think I'll go clean the kitchen, so I get that done. Then I'll have the rest of the day free for knitting, and I've actually picked up my Evenstar shawl again! I grew a bit tired of the knitting bag sitting on the couch staring at me accusingly, so now I really want to finish it. It will have to be my weekend knitting though, as it's a bit too complicated to bring to work. But it feels great to work some lace again, after finishing the cardigan with all that stockinette.

I have to brag a bit about work too. A week ago or so I finally got to learn the last of the machines at the lab, which means I'm now fully trained! So starting next week I'll actually get to be alone at the lab for a whole day each week. It's of course much more fun when there are two of us there, so you have someone to talk to when there are no patients, but I'm still pretty proud to get the responsibility. I love my job!

Finally, I have to tell you about a give-away that Heather is hosting on her blog, Implausible Yarn. She's giving away three prizes in total, of course it's yarn, and since the blog is completely awesome I think you should go there and enter. Or maybe I think you shouldn't, which would increase my chances to win :)

See you next weekend or so!

/ Jenny

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

TWO finished objects!

Yep, I finally got something to put up on my Knitting 2011 tab! On Monday I finished one of the pairs of socks I've been working on. I proudly present the Mirabelles Socks:

They are made with handpainted sock yarn from Marias garn in Stockholm (75 % superwash wool/25 % bamboo), and really really comfortable! I've worn them once already. Right now they're resting in the laundry pile. I hand wash all my socks, since I see a weak tendency towards loosing the colour when I wash them in the machine, and seeing as I'm lazy I tend to pile the hand wash pile high before I get around to doing something about it. Anyway, I love the socks!

I also finished my Paper Dolls T-shirt a while ago, but haven't gotten around to blocking it until a couple of days ago. Now it's finally done! I started this one the first time some time this spring, but it turned out way too big, so I frogged it and knitted it again. This time it fits me much better! 

The arms look a bit wonky, but that's only because it's dried flat, and I'm guessing that will flatten with wear. I'm really really pleased with it! I think I'll wear it tomorrow :)

This weekend me and Thomas went to Stockholm to attend a friend's dissertation party. Unfortunately my stomach spazzed out on me, so I ended up being stuck in our hotel room the entire evening. Thomas went to the party (he asked if he should stay with me, but I figured that at least one of us should go, that way we hadn't made the trip for nothing), and I lay in bed knitting and watching really very bad TV (Into the blue, with Jessica Alba...). It was nice to be in a hotel though, and the breakfast on Sunday morning was awesome. 

We also had a little time to visit the Sci-Fi book store and Comics Heaven, so we came home with four new graphic novels. My favourite is by far the comic adaptation of Stephen King's short story "N". The story is from the book Just After Sunset, and by now it should come as no surprise to you that I love anything Stephen King. Actually, that's not entirely true. I didn't really enjoy Tommyknockers, and I'm not a huge fan of Christine either. But I think I've loved every other book of his, so I guess I could be called a die-hard fan anyway.

Thomas told me earlier today that he'll probably going out with friends both Friday night and Saturday night, so I'm going to have the apartment to myself. I think I'll watch some Harry Potter movies and just have a knitting weekend and just enjoy it!

/ Jenny