Saturday, April 30, 2011

Weekend sock update

The past week has been spent mostly knitting, as my stomach decided to spazz out on Monday night. Nothing bad that doesn't have a godd thing with it, right (that's a swedish saying, I don't know if it translates properly though)? I finished my Devon socks this week:

I call them my Hobbe socks, as Hobbe is a Devon Rex breed. I LOVE the socks, KnitPicks Stroll is really soft and nice to work with, and the colours didn't bleed at all when I washed them. Of course I immediately had to cast on for another pair! I can't go without a pair of socks on the needles! Thomas actually helped me pick which yarn to work with, and he chose the Unplanned Peacock sock yarn that I bought in Roanoke a month ago. The colourway is called Hokie, which apparently is some kind of local sports team (I think football?). That tells you how much I enjoy sports, and maybe especially american sports... We don't have either baseball or american football here in Sweden, it's all about soccer and hockey. Not that I watch any of that either though!

Anyway, the socks! I chose the Wrought Iron Socks pattern from Toe-Up Socks for Every Body by Wendy D Johnson, and I'm enjoying them so much! I had to look up Judy's magic cast on on youtube to get it right, and that really really sucks on dpns (I think it would be so much easier on two circulars, but I don't have two in the 2 mm size, plus I love working on dpn's), but I managed. And after the first two rows, it's smooth sailing. It's fun to work some cables again, it's been a while, and I'm actually already past the heel on the first one!

I was a bit worried that it was turning out too small to fit over the heel, but I've put the stitches on scrap yarn and tried them on today for real (I tried it yesterday with the needles still in them, and promptly broke one of the KnitPicks needles! Thank god I have ten of that size, as I've bought two sets (and broken two of them before this too)), and they fit. It's kind of a close call to actually get them on, but once on they fit perfectly! I can't tell you how thrilled I am about this colourway, and the yarn is a dream to work with! I want to wear them NOW!

Unfortunatley I think they will have to go on a time-out for a while, as I picked up my beads for the wedding stole I'm making yesterday. The stole needs to be done before anything else, so I get it finished in time for the wedding. As I only picked the beads up yesterday I don't have any new photos to show you, but I bet I'll be getting along fine til next time though.

Now, I think I'm going to go outside and get me some sun. We're having the most amazing spring weather here this week, it's so nice to see the sun again! I've been trying to get me some fresh air at least once a day even though the stomach has been arguing with me, and I've gotten some freckles on the nose at least. I love my freckles! I wish I got to have them all year round, but alas they only come out during the sunnier months.

See you soon!

/ Jenny

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter everybody!

It's been a while! Last weekend I decided sort of on a whim to go home and visit my parents, and since they have the slowest internet in the world, I didn't even bring my computer with me! The weekend was spent shopping a little with mom, visiting my grandmother, and visiting my best friend and her three boys. She's getting married this summer, and I'm going to be a bride's maid! Yay! I'm also knitting her a shawl, so we decided on a pattern last weekend too. I've cast on for the Scheherazade stole, in my wonderful KnitPicks Shadow yarn in Forest heather (the colours in the wedding will be green and red). Actually, I've already frogged it twice. I started with 2 mm needles, and it turned out too tiny and tight. Also, I tried it with green beads, but they didn't look good with the yarn, so I've ordered clear silverlined beads to match the dress instead. Now I have to wait until next week when they arrive, to continue knitting on it. I haven't gotten a photo of it yet either, since I've made about 3 cm on it, so you'll have to do with a photo of the yarn!

This weekend, as it's Easter, we have Friday and Monday off from work, so Thomas' four brothers are visiting. It's very rare that they get together all at once, so it's great to have them here. They're 15, 18, 21 and 33 years old, so pretty spread out. 

We've been playing lots and lots of board games, some xbox and wii games, and yesterday we invited some friends to go out to the cabin with us to celebrate Easter evening. We barbecued (and my sister had made awesome mini cupcakes and white chocolate suffl√©), played Kubb, threw some darts and just had a great time. Me and Thomas have been cleaning at the cabin for the entire week, so it looked really nice, and the weather has been awesome the entire weekend too. 

We've been sitting in the garden today just enjoying the sun and played more games (and I've knitted a lot too). As my sister lives next door to us she's been with us for most of the weekend too!

Oh, and yesterday morning we followed the swedish tradition of paiting eggs for breakfast!

Last time I wrote, I told you that I hadn't really gotten around to knitting any lace for a while. As I finished writing I figured I actually felt like lace, so I picked up my shawl just to find that the wooden needle had broken! It took two days for a new one to get here by mail, and by then the work week had started and I haven't touched it since. I'm thinking about picking it up tonight though, if I have the energy for it after dinner.

I'm also currently blocking the Chtulhu mittens that I finished two weeks ago, but they're not dry yet so no new photos.

The project I've knitted on today and the past few days (since I couldn't continue on the wedding stole without the beads) is my Devon socks. I'm almost at the toe on the first one (I took this photo this morning so I've gotten a bit farther today):

It's so hard to photograph red! I'm making them in KnitPicks Stroll yarn, colourway Burgundy, and I love this yarn! I love that it's so incredibly cheap, really soft with great stitch definition, very durable and comes in lots and lots of colours. The only thing I don't loke about it is that it is so hard to get here in Europe. Not that I need any more of it right now though, I have PLENTY of yarn to knit through before I buy any more!

Tomorrow the brothers are leaving, I think pretty early in the day, so I think we're going to have a cleaning day. The dishes have been fixed all weekend (a lot more is used when we're seven instead of two!), but there are lots of laundry to be done, and I think I'l clean the bathrooms as weel after having been so many more of us too. The shower seems to run more or less constantly this weekend :)

See you all soon, hopefully with some updated photos of lace!

/ Jenny

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Back to the ordinary blog world again?

It's been a while! I've just been updating with snippets from my new iPad, which I LOVE LOVE LOVE! Thomas was looking for an iPad2 while we were in the States, but they were sold out everywhere (of course). But he just spoke so much about how awesome it would be to have one, that I kind of fell for it. Then I read a blog post from The Knit Witch, where she told about an app called GoodReader, where you can read your pdf files and make comments and doodles on them! That was the sell for me, let me tell you. So we sent out and found the cheapest iPad1 with the least amount of memory and no 3G (let's face it, I wouldn't use that very much anyway), and it didn't cost too much. Now I'm downloading apps right and left!

My favourite is of course GoodReader, but I'm also using the iBooks app to read ebooks. I had no idea there were so many free classics available! There are so many I haven't read, and I just started The Portrait of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde. I also have Rudyard Kipling's Junglebook and Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe in the queue :)

I also bought an app called Knitting and Crocheting HD, which is a kind of knitting (and crocheting) tutorial. It's pretty good, with lots of photos, but I'm a bit surprised that they don't list Ravelry among their tips for knitting online. What's up with that? Is there anything bigger knittingwise online?

I of course also immediately got the app called XComics, to read comic books online. Just Awesome! The only problem is it's so easy to just buy more and more comics, it gets a bit expensive after a while...

I think I told you that I got an app for blogging too, BlogPress. It's ok I guess, but I haven't figured out how to turn the (swedish) autocorrect off yet. And it can't edit the layout of the post, so I can't change the margin alignment into what I like. Or change fonts. But I guess it's good if I'm in a jiffy. Actually, my little pink laptop has started to get very hot when used (I think the fans might be giving up), and it's starting to make a small, whining noice every once in a while. Plus, the other day the charging cord wouldn't work either. I've transferred all my files to Thomas' external hard drive, so it wouldn't be the end of the world if it gave up. At least now I can get by with the iPad!

Oh, I geeked out a bit further last weekend too, and got myself a new Scanner! It's a Cannon Lide 110, and was dirt cheap, but it works just fine. 

(And yes, I know I souldn't flaunt all my electronic devices here online. Please don't rob us)

I'm aiming to not having to print any more of my patterns, but I hate lugging my knitting books around. They get all scratched and worn, plus I don't want to draw in them or make notes, so I always end up with lots and lots of post-its instead. Now, I've started to scan my books and save them to the iPad, which will be the only thing I need to bring! Gotta love a paper-less society :)

Ok, are you waiting for knitting? I actually have a finished object for you! When we flew to the States, I cast on for a new pair of socks, the Terrebonne socks from my 10 patterns collection. I started them in Opal sock yarn, the same colourway that I used for the socks I knitted for my brother-in-law this Christmas, on 2.5 mm needles. They turned out HUGE for me, and instead of frogging them I just decided to make them for Thomas instead. I finished them the weekend before last, and he's alread worn them a lot. I think he likes them!

Since then I've knitted a lot on a pair of mittens that I also cast on for on the plane over to the States. This is the first one finished, I'm about halfway finished with the second one too. It's a pattern called Chtulhu mittens (unblocked):

If you don't know who Chtulhu is, you need to read up on you occult knowledge in general, and H.P. Lovecraft in particular. Chtulhu is evil, let's just leave it at that. I'm making these for Thomas to match his scarf that he has (it's storebought), but I'm planning on making another par for his older brother too, who also loves Lovecraft. He and the other brothers (there are five of them in total, Thomas included) are coming here to visit for easter weekend, so I'll ask him then what colours he'd like. I'm making them in KnitPicks Palette yarn, so I have some colours to choose from!

Work has been kind of crazy lately, there has been so much to do! I wonder if people are getting sicker? There has been some co-workers on vaccation, and one girl has broken her arm and is off work for at least six weeks, which means that us that are left get to work a little bit more. It's still fun, and I prefer having lots to do to not having anything to do, but I've just been to exhausted in the evenings to post here! Today though, my stomach decided to revolt (for the first time in about a month, so I'm not really complaining too much), so I had to stay at home. The perk about that is that I get to catch up on the laundry, and write a bit here :)

Oh, were you wondering about lace? Yeah, me too. I guess I've just had too much to do lately! I haven't gotten half-way through the first shawl of the year (remember, I'm officially partaking in the 11 shawls in 2011 challenge...), so I'm thinking I'm not going to bother even trying to make 11. I'll just knit where my fancy takes me, and have fun with it. Knitting is supposed to be fun, right?

Ok, now I think I'm going to wathc a movie on the iPad (yes, I've got an app for that too) and actually do some knitting while the washer finishes it's current load. See you all this weekend, hopefully with a finished (and blocked!) pair of mittens!

/ Jenny

Thursday, April 07, 2011

New app for my ipad

I've just installed a new app on my iPad called blogpress, and I'm trying it out. So far I'm loving the ipad, and it's so much fun to browse for fun Apps! I've downloaded an app called goodreader to read pdf files, so now I can view all my patterns on the iPad as well. The best part of the goodreader app is that it allows me to make notes and draw in the files as well, so now I can mark and cross over stuff in all the charts I'm using. Yay!

I'll just try to upload a photo as well, to see if it works. Then I'll be back this weekend with a longer post :)

This is me and Sarah having lunch at the Cracker Barrel, somewhere on the road between Washington DC and Clifton Forge.

/ Jenny

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Wohoo, I have an IPad! It's an IPad 1, but still. Now I just need to play around with it so I learn how to use it! I'll be back this weekend with more info and à little knitting too.

/ Jenny

Sunday, April 03, 2011

When do I do the most knitting?

Today's topic: "Your knitting and crochet time: Write about your typical crafting time. When it is that you are likely to craft – alone or in more social environments, when watching TV or whilst taking bus journeys. What items do you like to surround yourself with whilst you twirl your hook like a majorette’s baton or work those needles like a skilled set of samurai swords. Do you always have snacks to hand, or are you a strictly ‘no crumbs near my yarn!’ kind of knitter."

Ok, I think this will be a picture-free post! I definitely do most of my knitting during the weekends. I'm usually too tired to even pick up the knitting from the bag when I get home from work, some days I can make a row or two but more often I don't. So during the weekends I sit in my corner of the couch with either the TV on or an audio book on the mp3-player to keep me company. I have actually gotten so obsessed with knitting that I find it hard to watch TV any more without knitting!

If I have a slow day at work, I can also get some knitting done during the day. Usually, afternoons are a bit slower for us, and one time I actually managed to knit at least half a sock one Friday afternoon! I do prefer to have a more mindless project at work though, so I'm able to put it down immediately if a patient comes along. So my lace knitting is suffering quite a bit this year!

Ok, Knitting and Crochet blog week is now officially over! I'm quite proud of myself that I've taken the time to actually post every day this week, and not just fall down dead on the couch every evening. I do love writing on the blog, but with both being dead tired and having less kntting time to actually make a topic from, I find that I post more and more seldom. I think I'll try to do better!

/ Jenny

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Knitting Goals

Today's topic: "Something to aspire to: Is there a pattern or skill that you don’t yet feel ready to tackle but which you hope to (or think you can only dream of) tackling in the future, near or distant? Is there a skill or project that makes your mind boggle at the sheer time, dedication and mastery of the craft? Maybe the skill or pattern is one that you don’t even personally want to make but can stand back and admire those that do. Maybe it is something you think you will never be bothered to actually make but can admire the result of those that have."

I have only knitted for about three years now, and I certainly don't feel that I'm fully educated! I still learn something on most projects I make, and I certainly develop my skills with every project. 

One thing I would very much like to try is entrelac knitting. I'm not sure I'm a huge fan of the look of it, but it certainly looks very fun to do. I hope I get around to trying it out sometime this year.

I also plan on trying spinning this summer! I was starting to clan out my wool last summer, but that is a job that really needs to be done outside as it's really dirty, and we had such a short summer last year. I'm hoping for a longer one this year, so I can get around to actually using my spinning wheel. It looks like so much fun, and I have some gorgeous dyed wool in my stash that I really want to turn into yarn.

I also hope I get to be a faster knitter with more experience! I have sooo many patterns in my queue (on Ravelry) that I want to make NOW, and I know it will take me years to make them all because I'm not a very quick knitter. Plus, there are always new patterns coming out, and I just keep putting more stuff in the queue! Since I changed jobs last May, I find I have a lot less time to knit too, which also helps to slow me down.

Finally, I want to learn to knit Intarsia colourwork! It looks so complicated using bobbins, and I bet my colour changes would look really weird as I'm horrible at tension (which might also be a skill I need to improve on). But there are so many projects out there that are really cool with intarsia techique, so I guess I'll just have to take the plunge some day!

Can you believe Knitting and Crochet blog week is almost over?! This week has gone by so incredibly fast, sometimes I wonder if I've been awake at all this week? I'll see you all tomorrow for the grand finale of the week :)

/ Jenny

Friday, April 01, 2011

The dreaded day five!

Today's subject: "And now for something completely different; This is an experimental blogging day to try and push your creativity in blogging to the same level that you perhaps push your creativity in the items you create.
There are no rules of a topic to blog about (though some suggestions are given below) but this post should look at a different way to present content on your blog. This can take one of many forms, but here a few suggestions:
  • Wordless, photographic post
  • Video blog post
  • Podcast
  • Cartoon/sketch of an idea
  • Write about a subject from a different perspective (for example, you could write about a day in the life of a knitted sock from the point of view of the sock).
  • Interpretive modern dance (why does someone always suggest this?)
  • A poem or piece of rhyming verse
  • Stop motion animation"

I thought I would just use this day to simply write about something different than I usually do. Frankly, I'm just too dog tired to think of anything more clever :) 

Just because it's April Fool's day today, I'll just share one of my favourite jokes with you:

There are two cows standing in a field, grazing. Suddenly a moose flies by. The first cow looks at the other cow and says "Moooo", which roughly translates as "did you see that moose?". The other cow just nods and continues grazing. After about three minutes another moose flies by. The first cow again looks at the second cow and goes "Moooo", which roughly translates as "wow, another moose!". The second cow nods and continues grazing. Another five minutes go by, and then there's a third moose flying by. The first cow then looks at the second cow and says "Moooo", which roughly translates as "There's got to be a moose nest somewhere close by".

Happy fool's day!

/ Jenny