Sunday, July 31, 2011

Back in Borås again

I'm on vacation! Friday was my last day of work, now I have three weeks off, and it feels really good! We have no trips or anything planned (Thomas also has these weeks off), we're just going to have a relaxing time and hang around in our cabin. But the first week will be spent at my parents' house in Borås, as I have two weddings to attend! Yesterday me, my sister and my parents all went to the wedding of one of my childhood friends. It was a very nice wedding, and the weather was amazing (maybe a bit hot, but I'm not complaining as long as it's not raining).

Me and my sister before the wedding (I haven't asked the newlyweds to pot photos of them online yet)

Next Saturday my best friend is getting married (you know, I made the green Scheherazade stole for her), and I'm going to be a bridesmaid. That should also be fun! Although I'm getting a bit nervous about the speech I'm giving. But I think it will be fine. I'll be back with the full scoop on that wedding in a week :)

Last time I posted, I completely forgot to tell you that I finished my Jaywalker socks! They've been done for a while, and I really like them.

They were made with a Nordic yarn, Hjertegarn Sock, and they just about fit me. I was worried that they would turn out too big, but they're almost too small instead. They are a little bit tight to get on, but once they're on they fit me very well.

The same is true about the Hokie Socks (which are actually the Wrought Iron Socks from the Toe-Up Socks for Every Body book), which I've been working a lot on lately. I think when I told you the last time about them languishing away, I realized I missed them, so I've picked them up. Since they're toe-up, I decided to knit the first one until I reached half the skein, so they turned out to become knee-socks!

Please excuse the weird sun pattern...

The first sock is done (obviously), and I'm passed the heel on the second one too. The leg part is kind of sow going with all the cables, but I'll get them done eventually. I can't wait for fall to arrive, so I can wear them with a skirt!

I've also been working a lot on the Mystic Star shawl, by Anna Dalvi (Knit & Knag), I think I have about half a chart left. It's over 500 stitches now though, so each row takes me forever! But I really, really love it so far. The yarn (Chili Gredelin Madame) is a dream to work with, I think this is my favourite yarn of all time. I might have said this about lots of yarns, but this time I actually think I'm telling you the truth. At least of all the yarns I've worked with so far. And at least for lace yarns. Anyhow, the shawl is scrunched up on the needle, so you won't get a photo of it until it's done.

Last week I finally finished the wedding purse too. I got my sister to sew the inner lining bag in white silk fabric, and I attached it to the knitting with a bit of left-over yarn. I think it's really, really pretty!

I hope Christine will like it too, I'm going to take it to her this week for final approval. I think the white fabric really worked, I was a bit worried that it would be too bright, but it really shows off the knitting.

Ok, as I'm a bit hung-over after yesterday's excellent party, I think I'm going to spend today in the shade, knitting away. See you all in a week (as I'm at my parent's house with the incredibly slow internet connection, I won't be online very much, but I'll try to get back next weekend with the next wedding updates :)

/ Jenny

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I don't know what to say

It's just that horrible. There will be no knitting content here today, I think I'm in too much shock. I guess most of you have heard, but yesterday a car blew up outside the government building in Oslo, Norway. Killing at least 7, injuring lots more. Police and rescuers are still searching the building. And a short while after the bomb went off, a presumably lone nut-case entered a youth camp on the small island on Utøya, outside of Oslo, and killed at least 85 youths in cold blood. The kids were there at a political youth camp with the socialist party, and the crazy guy entered by being dressed as a police. He shot and killed 85 innocent kids, and injured lots more. We're still in shock here, I can't even imagine how the people of Norway must feel.

The police has the shooter in custody, and they're trying to find out motive, and whether or not he was alone. Apparently he was a sort of right-wing nut, but nothing much has been confirmed about him otherwise. He has admitted to the crimes, so he'll definitely be going away for a long time. 

My heart goes out to all the poor kids and their families today, we can't tell all of you how much we're grieveing with you. I've been crying in front of the TV all day, I can't even imagine how bad it must be in Oslo today. All the people of Norway are in our thoughts today.

/ Jenny

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Where shall I begin?

Once again, it's been long. Too long! I was planning on updating last weekend, but on Saturday two weeks ago my father called me to tell me that he had found a new car for me! I've been looking for a new car for a while, since my tiny Toyota doesn't have air condition, but haven't really decided what kind of car I wanted. I knew I wanted a small one, which didn't use too much fuel, but other than that I wasn't really sure (Thomas doesn't have his licence yet, although he's working on it, but so far he doesn't really have a say on what car I buy as long as it isn't too expensive...). Anyway, my father told me he was right then out test-driving a car for me, and it turned out to be the one car I've wanted since I first saw one: A Volvo C30! I don't know why I like this car so much, but I do. Usually, they are a bit out of our price range, but my father is kind of friends with his car dealer, so I got it pretty cheap (yes, of course I'm paying for it. My father only found it for me). So last weekend, a week ago, I went home to my parents to sign all the papers and pick up the new car. YAY!

Isn't it pretty?! It's licence plate says HAM, so I've named her Miss Piggy :) She's a dream to drive, plus she runs on ethanol so she's a lot more environmental as well. I love her! She was made in 2008, so she's a lot newer than any car I've owned so far. Well, I've only had two before her: A black Volvo 480 from 1990 that I more or less drove to pieces (it's licence number was 666, so Thomas named him Bilzebub - the swedish word for car is bil...), and the pea green Toyota Starlet from 1998, that a daughter to a friend of mine named the Pea. The black Volvo I bought from my parents, and the Toyota I bought from my grandmother, so Miss Piggy is the first car I have that no one in the family has owned before me. I'm just so thrilled!

Ok, onwards with the knitting. This is supposed to be a knitting blog, right? 

I've managed to finish the tiny bridal purse for Christine! It's currently blocking upstairs:

I was planning on using KnitPicks Palette yarn for this one, in the same Forest Heather colourway as the stole in Shadow yarn, but that turned out way too heavy. The bag would have been huge! So I used the left-overs from the stole instead, so it's also knitted in KnitPicks Shadow. It's very pretty, vith beads at the top and bottom. It's going to get an inner fabric lining as well, as it is kind of hole-y right now, and a satin ribbon drawstring to close it at the top as well. As I was home last weekend I went over to Christine to see her and the boys, and gave her the finished stole then. I think she thanked me three or four times during the hour I was there! So I think she's pleased :) I also showed her the bag (although then it was still in progress), and she liked that one too, so I'm happy. She's going to be such a beautiful bride, her dress is fabulous and her shoes too!

As I finished both the stole and the bag in time, I have knitted some on my Panama Stole as well. That one has been languishing for a while! I'm knitting it in a wool/cashmere blend yarn from Chopped Tomatoes, and it is incredibly soft! It's turning out very pretty too, and I think it will be on the larger side. Thankfully the pattern includes several sizes, so that shouldn't be a problem.

I've also cast on for another shawl, as I just couldn't keep myself from starting a Knit & Knag pattern any longer! I chose the Mystic Star shawl, and I'm making it with Chili Gredelin Madame yarn, which is one of my favourite yarns ever. It's turning out very pretty so far:

I'm almost half-way I think, I've knitted a lot on this one lately, and I couldn't be happier with it. I used Chili Gredelin yarn for my Aeolian a year ago, and it has held up fabulously! And the pattern is great as well, well written and clear, with good charts. Anna Dalvi (the designer behind Knit & Knag) is a great designer, very pretty shawls and easy patterns. There will defintely be more of those in the future (I already own most of her patterns). She has just published a book, Shaping Shawls, and I'm planning on knitting several of those as well.

Oh, and speaking of Chili Gredelin: She is closing down her shop for a while (she doesn't know for how long yet, but as she's studying and has kids at the same time, she doesn't have the time for a while I think), so she dyed up most of the yarn she had at home, and put it up in the shop a couple of weeks ago (right now there's also a sale going on!). As I LOVE her yarn I really didn't want to miss this, so I had to buy some (yes I know. So sue me!). I bought six skeins of the Madame yarn (silk and cashmere, by the way) in two different colourways:

Madame Blast (blast is the swedish word for the tops of root vegetabler, you know the leafy green tops of carrots, for instance)

Madame Champis (a swedish soda that looks like champagne)

Really, really gorgeous yarn! I haven't decided what to make from them just yet, but I'm leaning towards something from the Shaping Shawls book. I think it will stay in the stash for a while though, I want to savour it a bit before I knit with it as I don't know when and if I can get more.

I haven't really knitted anything on the Hokie socks so far either, but as I'm now not on any deadline, they will get finished in time as well. 

Ok, now you know what I've been up to these past few weeks! Next week I'm looking forward to going to the movies with my sister. She's been out of town for a couple of weeks, so we haven't had a chance to see the new Harry Potter movie yet. We've seen all of the previous ones together, so we're definitely going to this one as well. I just wish she could hurry back to Linköping so we could go already! 

I'll try to get back to you next weekend, and not be so lazy about it!

/ Jenny