Sunday, September 18, 2011

Goodbye, The Ark

On Friday evening, me, my sister and her two friends Tess and Johanna went to Stockholm, to see the last concert ever with the swedish pop band The Ark. If you haven't heard them before, they are well worth a listen, they are a very good band! They have decided to quit as a band while they are still on top, which I can respect. The concert was a two hour long line of all their big hits, and was really amazing! Ola Salo, the lead singer, is a very flamboyant, theatrical person (he's also played Jesus Christ in the musical Jesus Christ Superstar here in Sweden), and the band has an extraordinary stage show! I wish they were better at english though, because I think they could have made it big internationally if they had tried a bit harder. Anyway, the concert was very good, and it was a very nice evening! The concert was at an amusement park, Gröna Lund, and before the show started we went into the "Ghost House"! Four grown-up (more or less) women screaming like little children :)

The video is fimed with my tiny camera, and the quality isn't the best, but you get a feel for the show a little bit at least

Then yesterday one of my best friends, Klara, had invited me and Thomas for a birthday brunch, and she had made home-made lemon curd, lots of jams and marmalades, and pancakes, and omelett, and pie with custard, and... We went home about three kg heavier I think! It was very nice, and we got to meet some of Klaras friends that we don't see very often too.

And yesterday evening I finally tried on the Baby Cables sweater. I've been knitting on this at work, so I haven't had a chance to try it on for a while. It was HUGE! So I frogged about half of it, to put the sleeve stitches on hold a lot earlier than the pattern said. I've almost knitted to where I was before the frogging again, at least lenght-wise, but I've used almost a whole skein less! But now it fits me better, so I'm very happy I did this. It's looking really good, and I love the yarn!

I've also knitted a little bit on the Brandywine shawl, as I'm currently KAL-ing this one with Anna! She's using the angora rabbit yarn that she bought on our wool crawl the other weekend, and it's looking soooo good (go have a peak at her project page). I think she will probably finish a lot sooner than I though, as she seems to knit a lot on hers! But that's ok, I' in no hurry. I think I've finished about three repeats of the main chart (out of fifteen in total), so I have a ways to go...

I think today will be spent mostly knitting. I've made some changes in my movements at work, which seems to have improved my arm pain a lot, so now I feel I can knit almost as much as usual again!

/ Jenny

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Teeny Tiny perfection!

Do you remember that I told you about the very cute etsy shop for stitch markers, Wee Ones? The woman who runs that shop, Jillian, makes the cutest stitch markers out of clay that you could possibly imagine, but as it's based in the States and the shipping is kind of expensive to Europe, I hadn't actually bought any yet. Well, apparently you, my dear readers, increased the traffic to the shop after reading my blog, which Jillian noticed! She sent me a very nice message on Ravelry, thanking me for mentioning her shop. And as a thank you she also offered me free shipping on my first order! YAY! Of course I couldn't pass this up, and a couple of days ago I picked up the package from the post office. And let me tell you, the markers are even more pretty in real life! I bought three sets:

Wee tiny sheep (there are four markers of each set, but as they are already in use it was kind of hard to capture all the sheep at once. Three white ones and one grey were in my set)

Wee tiny orange tabby cats (which reminds me of Hobbe)

Wee tiny owls (I seem to have a thing for owls lately)

They are maybe 1 cm big, so they are really small! I love them! Thank you so much Jillian for sending these to me, I really appreciate it. And I will definitely be coming back to the shop, I already have several sets that I want as well...

I haven't been knitting very much this past week, but I've managed to cast on for another project. I chose the Baby Cables and Big Ones Too sweater pattern, and I'm using KnitPicks Capra yarn (85 % Merino15 % Cashmere) in colourway Hunter:

The yarn is really really soft, and the cables seem to be pretty visible as well. I really like working with a heavier yarn as well, as I seem to use mostly thinner ones as I make lots of shawls and socks. Although the shawl knitting is going a bit slowly right now, I have completely given up the idea of finishing 11 in 2011. So far I have two finished and two on the needles, and as both of them are kind of wasting away in my bag, the 11 goal seems a bit unlikely. I don't mind though, I'm happy as long as I enjoy the knitting!

I've also been working on my Spring socks, and I've finished the first one and cast on for the second one. Unfortunately, it seems like I've got two different dye lots (I knew that I had two different lots on my three skeins, but I couldn't remember which skein was which after I wound them into cakes), and the second sock is actually a lot darker than the first one.

It's not terribly visible in the photo, but I think it will be pretty visible once they're done. Oh well, I think I don't mind too much. They're pretty anyway, and considering how many socks I have where the colours are differently spaced on the two socks, I can live with these ones being different too.

Yesterday morning I got a text message from my best friend Christine. She asked me if we had any plans for the day, and wondered if we'd like some company for the day. Luckily we didn't have anything settled, so Christine, her husband Martin, and their three boys Lucas, Leo and Alex, came to visit! We all went to the Air Force Museum, which they boys seemed to enjoy, and then we went back here for dinner and some video games. It was a very fun and energetic day (we're not used to keeping up with three kids!)! Both me and Thomas fell asleep on the couch before nine o'clock yesterday evening...

Today we were planning on going to the cabin, but the weather is really grey and cold so I think we might skip it. I'm guessing there will be laundry and some general cleaning instead, but the apartment actually looks ok so not too much tidying I think. Maybe even some knitting for me!

/ Jenny

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Wooly Saturday!

I had the most amazing Saturday! This weekend has been the time for Östgötadagarna here in Östergötland (the cuounty where I live in). Östgötadagarna are two days where lots of farms and local shops have extra opening hours and you can go around visiting animals and buying from farm shops and stuff like that. Me and Anna went to a place called Brink Hantverk, about 30 minutes from here. The link goes to their swedish site, but it's an alpaca farm! They have about ten alpacas that they use for wool , they have two angora goats (you know, where mohair comes from), and angora rabbits. Oh, and some merino sheep as well! They spin their own yarn, which they sell, and they also sell a lot of knitted stuff. It was such a wonderful place!



The woman who owns the place was so friendly and nice, and told us lots about the farm and the animals. We didn't get to pet the actual alpacas, since they were a bit shy of strangers and didn't enjoy being touched, but we fed some goats and bought some yarn! Anna bought some lovely angora yarn, made from the very cute rabbit named Celine:

The yarn is 100 % rabbit wool, and OH SO SOFT! It didn't end up in any photo, but it is a very soft grey colour. I brought a lovely skein of alpaca yarn with me home, made from the very pretty lady Geisha:

It's 60 g/195 m, and the loveliest chocolate brown you can imagine. It was so cool to get to see the actual animal that the wool came from! I know I wasn't supposed to buy any more yarn, but I see this as more of a souvenire (thank you Maria for that idea!)!

We then went on to Vadstena, where we visited a yarn shop that was located smack in the middle of nowhere! It's called Vadstena Ull & Garn (yet another swedish site, sorry), and it was a lot bigger than the yarn shops in town. It was located on a farm as well, and I guess the locale costs are pretty low if you have a shop in one of your own out-houses. It was really lovely and there was a lot of yarn! 

I didn't get any photos here (we were just too busy looking at yarn), but I borrowed this one off their website. I hope they don't mind the free advertisement! The women who run the business didn't spin their own yarn, but they dyed a lot instead, and they also had a lot of commersial yarns. I didn't buy any yarn here, but a shawl needle got to come home with me instead:

We then went on to the last crafts place that we had planned, Hantverksboden Drottning Omma at Omberg (this shop doesn't have a website). It's a pretty small crafts shop that sells yarn and lots of other locally produced crafts, like pottery, some woodcrafts and stuff like that. The woman who owns the shop has angora rabbits as well, and the yarn they sold were mixes of angora and lambs wool or merino wool. Apparently, she shears the rabbits and sends the wool off to Östergötlands Ullspinneri, which spins the wool into yarn for the shop. Very nice! I bought three skeins of a 50 % angora/50 % lams wool that seems to be about sport weight (there is no length stated on the label, so I can't be completely sure, but needles 3-5 mm sounds about right for heavy fingering/sport, right?):

It's amazingly soft, and the colour is very pretty and natural as well. This was also a souvenire, right?! Anna also brouht home three of these skeins, in a lovely off-white colour that will become a winter shawl for her.

After this intense yarn crawl, me and Anna went back to my place and made dinner, and after that Alexandra and Maria showed up for a real girls-night/knit-night! I served apple pie (that Anna helped to make) and chocolate cake, and we just sat here and chatted about all sorts of stuff, and knitted our hearts out. 

It was so much fun, and it's been way too long! I very rarely get to go to the knitting cafés any more, since I commute so much and am not back in town until late in the afternoon/evening, so this was a real treat for me. We definitely need to plan more of these weekend meetings!

Today I'm spending my day on the couch, possibly not knitting very much as my arm is bothering me a bit. I think I've figured out what movements at work has been bothering me, and I'm trying to correct those so that should help. I don't think that the knitting is actually the cause of the pain, as I tend to move my left elbow joint or wrist very little when I knit (I pick, that's continental knitting right?), but I'm guessing that it doesn't help either. I've cut down pretty much on the knitting in general though, so I think I'm doing ok. I've almost finished with the first of the Spring socks (from my 10 models collection), but Thomas has brought the camera with him to Austria this weekend so you'll have to wait to see photos of it!

/ Jenny