Sunday, August 28, 2011

First Knee Socks - And what a nightmare!

I finished the knee-high Wrought Iron Socks today, and the finishing was a real horror! When I made the first sock I decided I would knit it until I had about 50 grams of yarn left, which would mean that I had enough for a second sock. I've learned today that it's apparently a good idea to weigh the full skein before you start. Because this skein of Unplanned Peacock sock yarn must have held more than 100 g, since my 52 g that I had left after the first sock wasn't enough to finish the second one! So yesterday night I had to rip back the entire ribbing, and a little bit of cable pattern on the first sock. I counted how many rows I ripped back, and decided that I had enough yarn to make 10 rows of ribing. This is all the yarn I had left from the entire skein!

So you can see how close I was! I was so nervous, since this yarn is a little bit hard to come by, and I really didn't want to have to buy a whole new skein too. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore this yarn, but I have gone two months now without buying any new yarn, and I'm doing very well with knitting up my stash that I didn't want to break my "yarn diet".

Anyway, the socks are absolutely gorgeous:

No pooling what so ever, and very very soft and squishy! I can't wait to get to wear them with a skirt to show them off! I just have to wait for a bit cooler weather first, we haven't gone into autumn completely yet and I plan to squeeze out every ounce of summer before it does!

Yesterday we had a very nice, warm summer day, and me and Thomas and my sister went to a local farmer's market and bought way too much locally produced veggies. Thomas made roasted root veggies with grilled beef and goat cheese, and it was amazing! Thomas is going to Austria with his work next weekend, but I think I'll probably go back to the market for more vegetables next weekend by myself. We also bought some goat cheese, and I found gluten free swedish cheese pudding (that's a bit hard to explain, it's a very swedish traditional cake/pudding made with whey, milk, eggs, flour and almonds, and you eat it with jam and whipped cream. It's amazingly good, and I haven't seen any gluten free since I got the gluten diagnosis in 1999. So I was quite happy yesterday!

Today we've spent the day on the couch, knitting and playing video games, since the weather isn't very nice today. I'm trying really hard not to knit too much, to spare my arm, but I can't keep off it completely. It's just too much fun, and such a relaxation for me.

I also got about 5 kg of apples from a co-worker of mine the other day, so this afternoon we're going to make apple jam!

/ Jenny

Friday, August 19, 2011

Oh no!

I went to the doctor today, and as it turns out, my elbow pain is actually tennis elbow. That means that the muscle attatchments to the elbow joint are inflamed, and I need to get on anti-inflammatory drugs and do lots and lots of physical therapy. Yay. The doctor told me to be patient, as it can be a loooong process to get rid of the pain, and he also told me to try and not over-exert the joint. Which means NO KNITTING!!!!

Let me tell you: I won't be able to survive that! But I figured that as long as I cut back, I should be ok. I can make some changes at work as well, and not spend as much time at the computer at home either. Then I should be able to knit a bit, right? RIGHT?!!!

Luckily, I finished another project yesterday. Let me introduce you to my Rusted root top:

I love it! It fits me perfectly, and as I seem to have lost almost all of the anti-depression pill weight gain, I think this is the body shape I'm destined to have. Which means I'll be able to wear this top lots and lots! I've actually worn it today :)

Of course, as soon as I had woven in all of the ends, I had to cast on for something new! Because let's face it: Three WIP's are just not enough (two pairs of socks and a shawl, that's nothing!). I chose the Brandywine Shawl, and I'm making it in a very pretty rusty pink yarn I bought in Stockholm for my 30th birthday last year, Wetterhof Silla (70 % Wool/30 % Silk, 250 m/50 g). It's very soft, and just a little bit shiny from the silk.

Excuse the bad photo, but it's very dark and rainy tonight, and the camera flash and I are NOT best pals! I haven't gotten far on the shawl yet, and as thing stand I bet it will take me ages!

As I couldn't knit a lot today, I've filled my day with other fiddly stuff. First, let me tell you about my Fimo Clay adventures! A while ago I found this etsy store, Wee Ones, that make hand made stitch markers out of clay. I got very impressed, and a bit inspired to try it out myself, so I bought some Fimo Clay at a swedish crafts site, Panduro Hobby. I tried it one time, wasn't very good, and put the clay in a bag and more or less forgot about it. But today I took it out again, and tried it one more time. I'm still not very good at it, but why should I be? I've never sculpted anything before in my life! But it was great fun, and two figures got cute enough to put in the oven:

I love my little sheep! The teddy bear is a bit unstable, and doesn't want to sit up straight, but I'll just put him on double-sided tape in the book shelf. The sheep is more stable, and I'm very proud of him! Both figures are very much too big to become markers, they're about 4 cm high I would guess, but at least I'm on the path, right?

I also pulled out my old stash of Hama Beads this afternoon, which is a hobby that I haven't aired out in years! Me and Thomas made a bunch of TV-game inspired bead coasters a couple of years ago, but as I learned to knit I more or less forgot about the beads too. It was great fun to make some today! Game characters are often very easy to make, as they are often very pixelated from the start:

I'm very proud of Bert and Ernie! I just can't seem to remember which character is which... 

So, that's my knitting free day. Tomorrow we're hanging out with some friends and I'm guessing there will be lots of board games involved, so probably not much knitting then either. But what shall I do on Sunday?!

/ Jenny

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Busy Holiday!

Wow, it's been a busy couple of weeks! I've been off work for 2.5 weeks now, and it's been full speed ahead all the time! The first week I spent at my parents' house, as I told you the last time. I've had time to visit some friends, and the closest relatives at least. I also managed to finish the Mystic Star shawl!

This is my first Knit & Knag pattern, and I have to say I'm even more smitten. I love almost all of Anna Dalvi's designs, and now I can say that they are very well written and easy to follow as well. I can't wait to cast on for another one! She has just published her first book, Shaping Shawls, and it has sooo many beautiful designs! I just want to finish the purple Panama shawl first though (designed by Monika Eckert, also a very talanted designer whose patterns are very easy to follow -  I'm a real fangirl today!).

Anyway, I love the Mystic Star shawl, since I finished my Evenstar a while back I've come to realize that I really like the circular shawl shape. And the yarn I used, Chili Gredelin Madame (45 % cashmere/55 % silk) is absolutely dreamy. I find that the edges of the shawl don't want to stay in their perfect, pointy shape, and I'm not sure if it's the yarn or the pattern, but I don't really mind. It looks awesome anyway :)

Me, my sister and my parents also took a trip to Gothenburg to visit Liseberg, Sweden's largest amusement park. Gothenburg is about 60 km from where my parents live, so when we grew up, me and my sister used to visit Liseberg at least once a year. When we were young we rode every attraction, but as I've grown older I find I can't handle the things that rock or spin. So now I just go on the roller-coasters that go fast. But this time we didn't go on any rides, just played the different game wheels and did some people-watching. And we came home with some chocolate winnings...

That's 2 kg of milk chocolate, 2 kg of Toblerone almond chocolate, 2 kg of Dumle chocolate (toffee filled choclate pralines), and assorted smmaller winnings (including a stuffed panda!). We are now set for chocolate for the rest of the year, I think! Sure, we spent some money on the wheels, but all in all I think we came out ahead :)

On Saturday 6th of August, my best friend Christine got married! Me and her two sisters were bridesmaids (I was the maid of honour!), so we spent the entire day with Christine. We met up at the hair-dresser, who fixed Christines hair beautifully, and the make up girl came there a bit later and made Christine even more pretty. 

Me, Madde and Michaela (the sisters) made each others' hair and our own make-up, and made sure Christine had everything she wanted (like chips, grapes and soda). It was really nice, and we were in no hurry so we all felt pretty relaxed when we finally arrived at the wedding venue (including Christine, I think). Once at the set, we met up with the groom, the best man and the two ushers, and had our photos taken. I managed to get some photos, with my own camera, of me and Christine, and she's wearing the shawl I made for her!

The ceremony went very well, and Christine even managed to sing a song for Martin (the groom, obviously). I tell you, there weren't many dry eyes in the room by then! The dinner and party afterwards vas very nice, with lots of good speaches and LOADS of great food. I even managed to get a few laughs during my speach (Intentional, of course!). All in all, I'd say that the happy couple was very pleased with the day!

The day after we were finally back in Linköping, and the week after was spent fixing things in the cabin. Thomas' father came here to help us this past weekend, and we've managed to clean out all the stuff we didn't want to keep. When we bought the place, we got it with all the furniture and stuff in it, and let me tell you that the woman who owned it before us had probably never thrown anything away before! We shipped a full truckload of stuff to the waste station, and another truckload to a local flea market. But it felt very good! Now it's almost spartan in there, but we will remedy that once the renovating is done. We've started to put plaster on the walls, and tomorrow we're going to start painting the walls. Thomas and his father have also started to pull up the flooring in the attic, to try to pinpoint where the leaking water is entering the house! So far, we don't know, but we're still searching. I'll show you photos once we're done with the cabin!

I haven't managed to knit very much lately, since my left arm has started to hurt. I think I have some kind of inflammation in the elbow joint, and the arm is pretty much useless. I have a doctor's appointment on Friday, hopefully they can tell me what's wrong. I want to knit! I've made some progress on the Rusted Root t-shirt, I have about one more repeat of the lace pattern until I start the ribbing:

Then it's just the collar ribbing and the arms left, so it should be done pretty quickly. Then I think I'll focus on some socks! I still haven't finished the Wrought Iron knee socks, but I'm passed the heel on the second sock so they should be finished pretty soon. I think I forgot to tell you, but I also started a new pair of socks to have something more mindless to work on, the Spring Socks form the 10 patterns collection. There doesn't seem to be a ravelry link for the individual socks, so you'll have to look at the 10 patterns page. It's the 7th sock photo from the top, the bright pink ones. I'm making them in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn, colourway Aslan. It's the same yarn I used for my Kai-Mei a while ago, and those socks are fabulous! Still amazingly soft after lots of use, and pretty much no wear and tear. I think these will be a good work-knit when I go back to work next week.

The other night while me and Thomas were having dinner in front of the TV, we were watching the show Dirty Jobs, with Mike Rowe. In this episode, he visited an alpaca farm and helped with the shearing, and I was reminded of my bag of wool! I got it from my parents the Christmas before last, and I started taking care of it last summer. It's about a kilo of completely untreated wool, more or less straight off the sheep. So last summer I washed it, and started with the teasing (teasing means separating the locks in preparation for carding). But it's a sort of fussy job, and you almost have to sit outside to do it since there is a bit of shedding involved, and since the weatehr wasn't fabulous last summer I just didn't finish. The weather has been pretty sucky all of my vacation, with pretty low temperatures and not much sun, but yesterday I sat down anyway to make some headway. I have finished teasing at least two thirds of it, and that doesn't bother my arm too much either. I just want to get it done so I can start with the carding! I bet carding would really hirt my arm right now though, si I think I'd better get that sorted first. The wool is white and pretty, and I bet I'll have a great time dyeing it as well!

The photo on top shows the teased wool, that's the one in the paper bag. The photo on the bottom shows the washed, but un-teased wool beside the paper bag, in the white basket.

Tomorrow me and Thomas have our fourth wedding anniversary, and we're going out for a restaurant dinner, and possibly a movie too. We know for certain that it will be a relaxing day without renovating!

Until next time!

/ Jenny