Sunday, January 22, 2012

I'm getting a bit tired of mittens...

I thought I would have a finished pair of mittens to show you today, but alas. On Monday night this week I noticed that I seemed to have switched one stitch about ten rows down from where I was. This meant that one of the stitches on the side of the second mitten would be white instead of green (on the green side of the mittens, remember they are reversible?). I thought a while about it and finally decided that I could live with that. I figured I might be able to double-stitch it afterwards. Then on Tuesday I had an incredibly slow day at work, and knitted A LOT on the mitten. I was about to take stitches off for the thumb, when I had a closer look at it. It turns out that it wasn't just one stitch I had switched colour on. It was HALF A ROW! It looked really bad, and I just had to bite the bullet and rip it out. By then it was more than half the mitten!

Ok, fair enough. On Wednesday I knitted a lot after work too, and in the evening I noticed that once again I had switched colour on a row about ten rows down. On about ten stitches. Sigh! Rip rip rip. But now I've taken off the stitches for the thumb (again), and knitted about 2 cm above that, and it FINALLY looks good again! But you can see why I'm getting a bit sick of these mittens now, can't you? I haven't gotten any new photos of it yet though, so you'll have to wait until next weekend. By then I WILL be finished!

To cheer myself up a bit, I decided to cast on for a pair of socks instead. I chose a pair from the 10 socks collection that I'm knitting from, the Blue Lagoon socks. This is the seventh pair I'm knitting from that collection, just three more to go! I'm making them in KnitPicks Stroll yarn (75 % wool/25 % nylon) in colourway Saphire Heather, which is really gorgeous. When I made the gloves I spoke of last time, the Guinevere gloves, I used this yarn too, and I really really like it. I know that it's insanely cheap sock yarn, but I enjoy both the feel of it and it's durability. I've only made one pattern repeat yet, and haven't got any photos to show for it either, so you'll have to take me at my word that they look good :)

If you're wondering why I haven't taken any photos of anything, it's because the snow finally arrived this weekend, and the past couple of days have been quite stormy. So no good daylight! I've spent Saturday on the couch watching bad TV and knitting a lot on the mittens (which even though they are kind of boring to knit on right now look amazing, so I really want to finish them). Thomas has visited his brother in Gothenburg this weekend, so I've had the apartment to myself. Today I've done some cleaning and laundry, adn me and my sister went to our first work out session in about a year. Boy was it hard! My stomach has prevented me from pretty much any exercise this past year, but now I finally feel good enough to start working out again. I'm going to be so sore tomorrow!

/ Jenny

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I've found my Mojo! I've found my Mojo!

Yes, it's true! I've finally had a real urge to knit again, after being in a bit of a slump for quite a while. I told you I finished the Brandywine shawl the other week, and here it is in all it's glory:

It's made with Wetterhof Silla yarn, which is fingering weight 70 % wool/30 % silk, and it's not amazingly soft but comfy enough. It's not scratchy at all, it's just a bit stiff, it kind of feels a bit like paper. But it feels nice around my neck, and I think it will soften with wear. I like it a lot, it's not as lace-y as a lot of the shawls I've made so far but it feels good to branch out a bit.

I've also finished the Ookuru socks, and they turned out pretty good too, even though the pooling on the feet turned out pretty much the opposite on the different socks...

I like them anyway, even though these too, are not the softest I've made. I think I told you that the yarn is a bit stiff as well, I'm guessing it's from the bamboo content (it's Marias Garn Handpainted sock yarn, 75 % superwash wool/25 % bamboo), but it makes really durable socks. I bought two of these skeins in 2010, when I turned 30, and so far I've made 2 pairs of socks from it and I still have more than 60 g left. So it's lasted long too, which is nice. I'm making a last pair of socks from it some time in the future, but not right away.

I've also finished the first of the Ramona mittens, the double knitted ones:

I LOVE these! It's taking me forever with the double knitting, but it's well worth it. They look awesome on both sides, and I love patterns from Laris Designs. They are very well written, with lots of clear instructions with photos. I've only knitted one of her patterns before (The Guinevere Gloves) but I kind of want to knit pretty much all of her patterns! They are just that pretty. These mittens turned out a bit too long though, so I decided to leave out a few rows on the pattern, where it wouldn't be very visible. Now it fits me perfectly!

I'm making the mittens in KnitPicks Palette yarn (100 % fingering weight wool), and even though it is pretty soft, it still isn't the softest wool there is either. I think this might be the reason for the knitting slump: I just haven't knitted with any really fun yarn! But I think I need to finish up these projects I'm currently working on before I cast on for something new though, I feel like I've been working on them forever!

I still have the Panama shawl and the Silken Scabbard sweater left in my projects bag, and I think the sweater will be the one I tackle next. That one has been in a time-out since I had to frog the whole thing due to a very wonky-looking collar. I've since then knitted the other type of neck that the pattern gives, but I just lost the steam on that one. Once I finish the mittens it's time for a second wind on it though!

As 2011 ended, I had a look at my finished stuff for the year. I haven't been as productive as in 2010, I finished 21 projects in 2011, compared to 27 projects in 2010. I think a lot of it is because of my new job, which makes me too tired some evenings to even think about knitting. I still love the job, so it's ok. And I think 21 projects is fine! I only managed to make 2 shawls for the 11 shawls in 2011 challenge on Ravelry though... That didn't stop me from signing up for 12 shawls in 2012 (as you can see by the banner in the right column!), but I doubt I'll make 12 this year. I still want to make more than two! But I think I have to finish the Panama first, before I cast on for a new one, otherwise it will never get done!

After a very busy week at work, it's so nice to finally have two days off during the weekend. Not that I don't always have that, it's just that I've been really tired this week. But today has been spent on the couch knitting and watching TV-series (Big Bang Theory, The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural) and movies (Red Riding Hood and Contagion), and now Thomas is playing Skyrim on the x-box, which means even more knitting time for me. Maybe I should take a walk or something, so I move something more than my hands today? Nah, I think I'll stay right here!

/ Jenny

Sunday, January 08, 2012

And the winner is...

... Klara! Kind of weird that I should pull out one of my best friends, but since there only were three competitors, the odds were pretty high I guess. Klara is also coming here today for some board game playing, so she'll get the book then. Maybe we should knit instead of game? I wonder what our boys would think of that...

I hope everyone had a lovely New Year's Eve! I had such a blast, the best New Year in a lot of years! We went to dinner at Klara and Micke's place, and saw a bunch of friends that we very rarely see. I think I haven't seen Jenny and Tomas (lovely names, aren't they. Not confusing at all when we hang out together...) for almost a year! We didn't come home until 3.30 in the morning, which I've been paying for all week. I think I'm starting to get too old to be out so late! But it was well worth it, so that's ok. Plus, the week was only four working days, since Friday is a national holiday here in Sweden (it's called 13th day, and I think we're celebrating when the three wise men visited baby Jesus, or something like that. I'm not sure!), so we've had a three day weekend here. 

In those three days I've managed to finish a shawl! Last week I picked up the Brandywine shawl again, after a very long time in time-out, and yesterday I finished it! Unfortunately, I've washed two of my old sweaters this weekend, and they're currently drying upstairs on my blocking mats, so I don't have any room right now to block the shawl. It will have to wait until some time this week. So I don't have any photos right now, I'll be sure to get them until next time too.

Today I think I'm going to knit some more on the Ookuru socks, so I can finish those as well. I think I might have found my knitting mojo again!

/ Jenny