Monday, June 27, 2011

Join the birthday celebrations!

I completely forgot to tell you last time, but my very good friend Sarah over at The Student Knitter, is celebrating her 2-year blogiversity! She's doing this by offering five days of give-aways, and you can win some awesome stuff! Please go over there and say hi, and have a look around!

/ Jenny

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Busy June!

Wow, it's been ages! Hello everyone!

June has been such a busy month, with lots of fun stuff happening, but i think I'll start by telling you the really bad stuff that happened. On the very same day I posted last, June 8th, I went with my sister and her cat, Medoxa, to the vet since she had stopped eating. It turned out that she had acute renal failure, and there was nothing to be done, so we went back the next day to have her put to sleep. It has been a rough couple of weeks for my sister, and we have both cried a lot (I cry as soon as I see her cry!). Medoxa was a very pretty Birma cat, who loved my sister more than anything (an pretty much disliked anyone else). Now she will be put to rest next to my little Gizmo in our parents' yard, and I'm sure he is taking care of her in Kitty Heaven.

This happened on Thursday morning. On Friday I went home to visit my parents, and hold a bachelorette party on Saturday for my best friend, Christine! Talk about the opposite end of the emotional spectra! Me and Christine's sister have been planning this for quite some time, but of course I haven't been able to tell you anything about it, as I think Christine checks in here from time to time. Anyway, we started the day by invading Christine's home, we put LOTS of make-up on her and put her in a very funny Queen of Hearts dress. She looked very funny! We then had a dancing lesson at a studio, where we got to learn striptease dancing! There was actually very little striptease, more like a sort of "sexy" dance (we all looked more funny than sexy, I think), but it was so much fun! I don't think I'll post any photos of this here though...

After this we went and had a picnic lunch, and then went to a spa for the rest of the day (and you won't get to see our bikini photos either!). We sat in the hot-tub, made facial treatments on each other and painted our nails. So relaxing, and so much fun! Finally we went out for dinner at our very favourite restaurant in the world, The Olive, and the night ended with us dancing our socks off at a local dance club. I think Christine was very happy with the whole thing.

So that was that weekend (Sunday was spent with a mild hangover in the car back to Linköping - Don't worry, Sanna drove). The week was spent working a lot, and then the next weekend Thomas was in Borås for Christine's fiancé's bahelor party. They had a bit more action, and played paintball, pinball and bathed in a lake. And I think they had a LOT more alcohol than us girls! Thomas was pretty worn when he got back to Linköping on Sunday! I spent the weekend knitting more or less furiously on the wedding stole, and completely forgot to blog!

This weekend was Midsummer's Eve, which meant that we had Friday off work. It's traditionally celebrated pretty heavily here in Sweden, with Maypoles and dancing. This is the holiday where we mostly have Pickled Herring, which is exactly what it sounds like. It's small pieces of herring pickled in vinegar with different seasonings (I like the blackcurrant or the Shrimp salad flavour, Thomas likes the snaps flavour), and we have it with new potatoes, sourcream and chives. It's sort of an aquired taste, but I really like it! This Friday we had some people over for a dinner party, and we had a really nice time. Lots of laughter and good food, and just generally lots of enjoyment. 

And yesterday I finished the wedding stole! 

I'm very pleased that it's finished in time (the wedding is on August 6th), now I'll just have to make the little purse bag to math as well! That shouldn't be a problem though, as it is quite a bit smaller. I'm planning on making this one from A Gathering of Lace, in KnitPicks Palette yarn in the Forest Heather colourway (the same colourway I used for the stole).

I also finished the first of the Jaywalker socks!

Do you remember me telling you that I thought it might turn out too big, since it uses 76 stitches? Well, I was very wrong! It's almost too small over the gusset instead! The pattern has almost no give at all, so I'm very glad that I've tried it on while I made it, so I know it will fit me. I like the wide stripes that this yarn (Hjertegarn sock, 75 % superwash wool/25 % nylon) makes, and I think the socks are a lot of fun!

I've also been working a lot on the Rusted Root top, and it's coming along nicely. I haven't gotten any photos of it yet though, as it's such a hassle to try it on as I have to divide the stitches onto two needles to fit it over my shoulders. But it seems to fit me though, and I'm almost at the waist (it's knitted top-down). I might be able to finish this one soon!

Ok, now I think you're all up to speed! I'll try to get back next weekend, and not let you wait this long again!

/ Jenny

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Sunny days

This weekend was a long one for us! I think I told you in my last post that I had both Thursday and Monday off, so Friday didn't feel too bad working. We've spent lots and lots of time in the cabin, just soaking up the sun, firing up the grill and just generally enjoyed ourselves. Lots of knitting for me as well!

It's been a bit too hot to knit on the wool shawl though, so I haven't gotten much progress on it this time (don't worry Christine, it will still be finished in time). But I managed to finish my St James top!

I'm very pleased with it (although in the photo it looks like my boobs are very uneven. I blame the bra), and I think I've come around on the colour as well. It's been to warm to wear so far, it's made with KnitPicks Palette yarn held double, but I think it will be a perfect spring/autumn top.

Since I finished this one on Saturday, I needed to have another mindless project that I can bring to work, so I decided to start another pair of socks. Yes, I know, I haven't finished the Wrought Iron Socks that I'm manking with my Hokie yarn, but those are anything but mindless with all those cables! Don't get me wrong, I love those socks, but they're a bit on time out right now until I finish the stole. Anyway, I started the Jaywalker socks!

I'm using a pretty old yarn that has been in my stash since 2009 at least. It's Hjertegarn Sock, which I think is a Danish yarn, and it's 75 % superwash wool/25 % nylon (as almost any sock yarn!), and pretty nice to work with so far. I love the long colour repeats, and I think it will work very well with the pattern. I'm not sure if these socks will fit me though, as I had to cast on 76 stitches! That's a lot of stitches! I usually only use about 60-65 stitches for my socks, so these might be too big. Oh well, then I have to find someone to gift these with :)

I also decided that I needed to work on another sweater, as the St James was done. So I also cast on for The Rusted Root top. I'm using another pretty old stash yarn for this, Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, that I got as a gift from the wonderful and overly generous Ulrika. 

The yarn is 80 % Cotton/20 % Merino wool, and incredibly soft! The colourway is called Green Olivette, and is probably one of my very favourite colours ever. I think the top might be a little bit too big, but I haven't added the ribbing to the edges yet (naturally), so it will probably fit me better once it's finished. I'm making the smallest size, and I'm going to add some extra waist decreases on this one too, soit will fit me better. I'm also changing the collar, so the neckline wil be a bit deeper and suit my body type better as well.

Ok, that's the knitting. I also got some yarn in the mail yesterday. Yes, I know. But I actually had a reason for this purchase as well. You remember me telling you how I really didn't fancy Wollmeise Lace yarn? Well, it turns out that the Evenstar shawl that I made from my skein is the shawl I wear the most. It's incredibly comfortable, and the prettiest one I own as well. I still am not overly fond of the other colourway I have (Sanguinello, bright red):

I don't really wear red against my face, as it makes my skin look really blotchy, so I didn't know what to do with this one. Now I've decided to sell it, or possibly trade it. Sadly it isn't one of the most coveted colours, so no one seems to be interested in giving me a green skein for this one. That's why, when I found myself actually being able to catch one of the store updates the other week, I decided to buy a green skein of my own. And another skein just happened to fall into the shopping basket as well...

So yesterday I picked up these two gorgeous skeins at the post office:

Wollmeise Lace-Garn (100 % superwash merino, 1590 m/300 g) in colourway Pistazie

Wollmeise Lace-Garn (100 % superwash merino, 1590 m/300 g) in colourway Maus Alt

The green one is just perfect! I still haven't decided on the Maus Alt one, it might be a little too blue for me, so I might put that one up for trade as well. We'll see. I just have to decide what colours I want now that I have my own green skein :)

Anyway, the red one is going up for trade or sell soon. It's too bad that the dollar is so weak, as I think I might have to take a loss on this one. But maybe I can trade it instead :)

/ Jenny

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Half-way there!

Yes, that's right. I've gotten past the half-way mark on the wedding stole!

It's a bit hard to photograph with a flash, the colour looks a little muted, but I think it's turning out pretty good. I just hope Christine likes it too! I finished the seventh chart (out of twelve) yesterday, and hopefully I'll finish another one today. I'm going to make her a small purse/string bag as well, in matching Palette yarn, so I really want to finish this one so I won't feel stressed about finishing the bag in time as well.

I've also knitted a lot on the St James sweater the past few days, at work, and I'm almost done with the hip increaes. Which means that I just have to add the ribbing at the bottom, at the arms, and a collar! Yay! I actually like the colour more and more, so I think I'll skip trying to overdye it. I haven't gotten any newer photos of it yet, it's such a hassle to put all the stitches on string and try it on! But it looks like this photo, only it now reaches below the waist.

Today we have a national holiday here in Sweden. It's Ascencion Day (the day Christ ascended into heaven), and although we officially have no state church any longer, we still have this day as a holiday. So I'm off work! And on Monday it's our National Day (our equivalent to Independence Day, I guess), which is also a day off work. Unfortunately I have to work on Friday, but I can live with that. Two extra short weeks in a row!

Yesterday after work me and Thomas went to our cabin for the first time in quite a while, to mow the lawn and just enjoy the weather. I got to sit in the sun and knit for over an hour, which was really nice!

The flowers are really starting to bloom now, I just have to figure out what everything is! I think we'll probably go back this weekend to do some weed cutting as well ( I just need to figure out which plants are weeds and which are actual flowers...), and just hang out for a while. It's supposed to be sunny and warm (although today is pretty overcast so far), so I think we'll just do lots of barbecue and relax. Perfect! Hopefully I'll get lots of knitting done as well.

Oh, on Monday my book package finally arrived too! I got myself five craft books. The first one was Crochet Happy Amigurumis, by Mia Bengtsson.

This is her third book on amigurumis, and they are all super cute! I still suck at crochet, but I plan on learning eventually. I save all my yarn left overs so I can eventually use them for toy-making.

The second and third books were the First and Second Books of Modern Lace Knitting, By Marianne Kinzel:

These aren't filled with lots of patterns, but there are lots of techniques and pattern construction in them. I really like them so far, even though I've more or less just flipped through them, but I think they will be used a lot!

The last two books were pattern books, New England Knits by Cecily Glowik MacDonals and Melissa LaBarre, and Wrapped in Lace, by Margaret Stove. 

I've been eying both of these for quite a while! I think you know how obsessed I am by Stephen King books, and as most of his books are set in New England I have a pretty big obsession about this area as well. Some day I'll go see Derry in real life, and have Maine Lobster! Oh, and the patterns in this book are really pretty as well :)

I also got all of the Jack Whyte books on Camulod as well (Fantasy/History books, not related to knitting in any way), I've just started on the second one. Lots of people think I'm really weird and un-girly to read horror and fantasy as much as I do, but I really don't see it that way. Why should fantasy be a boy thing?! It's way too good to allow the boys to hog this genre. I guess I'm just a nerd at heart :)

And speaking of Fantasy: I subscribe to monthly audiobooks from, and this month I got Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon. Has anyone read this series? Is it any good? I haven't started listening to it yet, I'm still on a collection of short stories about Vampires, called Fangs, edited by Otto Penzler. This is the third collection on Vampires he's edited, the first one is called Bloodsuckers and the second one is called Coffins. All of them have been really good! I love short stories in general, and these books contain lots and lots of really good authors. I mostly prefer my vampires to be scary and nasty and evil (as opposed to loving and erotic - although I like Anne Rice and her Lestat series), and there are lots of really nasty vampires in these books :)

Yesterday when I got home from work I had gotten a very, very lovely package in the mail, from TessVintageKnits in England:

She had RAK'ed me (you know, the Random Acts of Kindness group I'm in on Ravelry) an awesome box filled with Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate! Yay! I just can't seem to get enough of this chocolate, it's just sooooo good! Otherwise I mostly prefer dark, not so sweet chocolate, but I think the salty combination of peanut butter and super sweet milk chocolate has seduced me. It will last me a pretty long time (I hope...), and I'm so grateful!

Now Thomas has finally woken up and I think we'll have some breakfast (for him) and lunch (for me)!

/ Jenny