Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Slightly obsessed...

I thought I would be back with an in-progress photo of the vest, but it turns out I actually finished it this weekend. And yes, there are tiny Tardises (again: Tardi?) on this one too...

The vest is soaking right now, I don't intend to stretch it, just pat it into shape and let it dry. I'm very happy with it, and I made tons of modifications to the original pattern (Put Together). I think you could probably say that this is my very first original design! Don't ask me to write it down though, I have no idea how to adapt it into other sizes, but if anyone is interested in the colour charts I'll happily supply them for free. Although I wonder if there are any of you out there who are equally obsessed with Doctor Who as I am...

This past Sunday Anna came to visit us here in Mantorp, and we picked berries in the garden! We cleaned out one of the black currant bushes, and only took about 1/4 of the berries on the red currant bushes. Then we made jam!

We got two big jars of black currant jam, and five jars of red currant jam (they are not all in the photo, so don't get confused. I know how to count...)! I tasted both kinds yesterday, and they taste really good. It feels really awesome to be able to make these sort of things from our own garden, next year when we won't be so busy with all that's new in the house we'll focus more on the garden and plant a lot more stuff! And Anna is coming over next weekend as well, then we'll tackle the apple trees :)

Ok, time for dinner I think. And I have to take the vest out of its bath!

/ Jenny

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Impulsive Knitter...

Well, first of all I finished my Bigger on the Inside shawl:

I love it! The Tardises (Tardi?) are gorgeous, and the shawl is really warm and cozy. The past few days have been kind of super warm here, so I haven't worn it yet, but come Autumn I see this one on my shoulders a lot! It was a fun, quick knit that more or less flew off the needles in the sport weight yarn (pattern originally calls for fingering, but this was close enough), and it's HUGE! 

Anyway, as I was casting off, I started thinking about what to knit on next, other than my Urdr shawl and the Faramir socks (which I still have no photo of!). I had been thinking of starting a new cardigan, but somehow that didn't really appeal to me right then, so I went browsing through my stash. I came upon three sport weight skeins that I bought last summer, in rabbit angora and lambs wool, and I was instantly re-smitten. 

I went on Ravelry to see if I could find something to knit with about 600 m, and I found the Put Together vest. I immediately cast on (well, I started with swatching three times first), and I'm using the pattern as a starting point. It is originally meant to be in reverse stockinette, but I prefer plain stockinette so that is the first thing I'm changing. I'm also going to make some colourwork at the chest area, in my leftover blue yarn from the Tardis shawl, which I'm designing myself. It might have something to do with the Doctor as well... I know, I know, but that blue colour just screams Doctor Who!

I've been knitting a lot on this at work, as it's been pretty slow in the afternoons these past few weeks. Since a lot of the doctors at the care unit where I work have vacations right now, we get a lot fewer patients at the lab too, so less for us to do. Which means a lot of knitting time! Last week, this week, and two weeks after that I am spending at the lab here in Mantorp (yay for being able to ride my bike to work!), where I'm alone at the lab, so I've also been listening a lot to audio books and audio dramas. I just wish I could sit outside when i don't have any patients, but the patio is on the other side of the building so that's not very practical! Maybe that's just as well - after all I AM there to work...

Our tiny little Toki (yes, we've been watching way too much Metalocalypse...) is doing very well, even though Hobbe is still not overly thrilled. Toki has SO MUCH energy, and his prime play time is between four and six in the mornings. Which means that we don't get very much sleep then either, it's almost like having a little baby! But he's adorable anyway, and I hope he will settle down once he gets a little bit older. He's four months old now, and once he gets to be about six months we'll have him neutered, and that should slow him down a bit. Right now he's sleeping in my lap, which is super cozy!

Oh, and last weekend my cousin got married! Thomas couldn't make it, but I went with my sister and my parents, and it was such a lovely time! Here we are, all four of us :)

I sang at the ceremony, which was very much appreciated, I think. The woman who played piano was really terrible, she played the wrong notes several times in both my song and the song that the sister of the bride sang. But after some editing I've come up with the verse that sounded best, so if you want to, you can listen to me sing! The song is originally by Andrew Lloyd Webber, but I'm singing it with Swedish lyrics :)

If you don't like it, please don't tell me!

Finally, I also bought some more yarn. I think this might be the last skeins this year, as I've bought quite much yarn this past month, but since I actually managed to catch a Wollmeise update, I couldn't resist. Three skeins came to live with me last week:

Pure (100 % superwash merino) in colourway Fuchsia (with extra Toki picture!)

Pure (100 % superwash merino) in colourway Teddy

Ever since I saw the colourway Teddy for the first time, I've wanted it! And now I have two skeins, that will eventually become a shawl I think. I haven't decided which one yet :)

Ok, now I need to get something to eat and then go to bed! I'll try to get some more photos of socks, shawl and vest (hopefully with some colourwork going) this weekend. See you!


Sunday, July 08, 2012

Last day of vacation

Yes, tomorrow I get back to work again, after having had three weeks off. After preparing for the big party for the first week, then having a house full of people for almost all of the second week, the last week has been spent mostly on the couch or out by the pool. I just wish we could have had more days with nicer weather! But I've gotten a lot of knitting done!

I'll start by showing off my most recent purchases though. A couple of weeks ago I bought myself a new sock book (like I needed more!): Folk Socks by Nancy Bush. 

The socks in this one are really gorgeous, and there is lots of technique talk in it as well. 

I also got myself a book that I've been looking for for a while: Think outside the Sox, edited by Elaine Rowley.

This one is just so much fun! There are so many wonky techniques in it, and many, many gorgeous patterns as well! A lot of it looks pretty difficult, but the instructions seem very clear, with lots of explanatory pictures as well. Plus, there is always YouTube!

I also caved in and bought myself even more yarn this past week! I was just itching to cast on for the Bigger on the Inside shawl, and I didn't have any fitting blue yarn in the stash. Believe it or not! But blue is one of those colours that I very rarely use, other than jeans, so I don't have very much yarn in that colour either. I was going to get myself some Cascade fingering yarn, but the colourway I wanted was out of stock, so I bought some swedish yarn instead, Kampes 2-ply wool (300 m/100g, 100 % wool, colourway Cobolt Blue). And the colour is just perfect!

It is almost perfect TARDIS blue, even though it looks a bit bright in the flash photo (rainy days here), and I'm already almost half-way through the shawl! It's sport weight and just flies off the needles. Although the picking up of 431 stitches didn't really fly by...

It's hard to see what it looks like, since my only 3 mm needle is a bit short, but it will be gorgeous. I don't know what I'll wear it with, as I don't really own much that match with this kind of bright blue, but I'll solve it somehow.

I've also been working a lot on the Urdr shawl, and that too is looking like a bowl of wet noodles as it's still on the needles. I'm not sure that this yarn (Garnstudio Drops Lace, 800 m/100 g,  70 % alpaca/30 % silk),  is working with nups, but the problem is that I don't think that they'll show up so it won't matter if they're there. I'll do them anyway and hope that the blocking will sort it out.

This past week I've been trying hard not to sleep too long in the mornings, since I need to be able to get up for work next week, and I've been listening to a lot of podcast novels on iTunes while Thomas has slept. I really love the concept of free podcast novels! I've listened to a lot of Scott Sigler before, and I really enjoy his books! Right now I'm listening to The Leviathan Chronicles, by Chrisof Laputka, which is really more of an audio drama (think of the old times radio shows, like War of the Worlds!), and it is very good. If you're into sci-fi and audio books, I really recommend this one. I think it might be available on Audible as well, but I haven't checked so I'm not sure. I know that Scott Sigler is on Audible, at least.

Oh, and I actually have some pretty important news too! We've added another person to our little family! Let me introduce you to Toki Wartooth, our brand new little Devon Rex kitten:

Isn't he gorgeous! He's 16,5 weeks old, and completely crazy and energetic. When he's not sleeping. Hobbe hasn't really decided what to make of this little hurricane yet, but they're getting friendlier and friendlier. They only hissed at each other the first day, and now they're chasing each other around the house and playing together. As they started washing each other the other day I think they'll be good friends eventually. We're just so thrilled to finally have a little kitten again! I'm just trying hard to teach him that yarn is NOT a toy in this house!

Now I need to go wind some more yarn, as my first skein of Kampes is almost used up. Let's see what Toki makes of the ball winder and swift...

/ Jenny