Monday, October 29, 2012


I decided on the spur of the moment a couple of days ago that I wanted to knit a Christmas gift for Thomas. I am going to make him a Knitted Companion Cube, from the video game Portal. Unfortunately I didn't have any yarn in my stash that really fitted, at least not in all three shades, so on Saturday when my parents, grandfather and godmother came for a visit, us women went on a real shopping spree, and I brought some yarn home with me. I'm knitting the companion cube in Drops Karisma, which is a 100 % superwash wool yarn in sport weight. I bought three colours:

Dark Gray

Light Gray


I have only knitted a little bit on it so far, as I have to do it a bit in secret, but it's looking pretty good so far. It will be my very first time steeking, which I'm kind of nervous about, but I have researched  on line to make sure that it is possible to do this with superwash wool  too. I'm thinking that a small project like this will be a perfect trial for this very scary method! 

Then when I have cut all of the pieces, I will have to mattress stitch them together, which will also be a first for me. Yes I know, it's a bit weird to have knitted for almost five years now and managed to avoid this, but I have never sewn anything together like that. There are plenty of good tutorials on line though, so I think I'll be fine.

It is very practical to knit for Thomas in secret, because he couldn't be less interested in what I'm working on. So far I've knitted about six rows or so, in all the correct colours, but he hasn't even glanced at it! I think he will be surprised, although I think I'll have to be more careful once the pattern starts to emerge a bit more. 

Oh, I also brought home a skein of crazy pink sock yarn, Austerman Step, which I haven't tried before.

It is the standard 75 % superwash wool/25 % nylon, and feels very soft in the skein. It will probably mature a bit in my stash a while before I decide what to knit with it, but I'm pretty sure it will become a pair of socks at some point.

Saturday turned out to be a real shopping day for both me, my mom and my sister. I bought a new pair of winter boots, some new underwear and of course all the yarn. I really didn't need any new shoes, but there you go. They are very pretty! 

You won't get to see the underwear though, this is not that kind of blog :)

Oh, and last week I also suffered from a bout of startitis, and I decided to make something really small. I cast on for some Christmas ornaments, from my 55 Christmas Balls to Knit book that I got for Christmas last year. The first one I'm making is looking a bit wonky, but I think my increases are a bit too tight so that they are scrunching up the fabric. 

I think I might rip it out and start again, which is fine as I think I might have spent two hours total in making almost an entire one! When I was in the yarn shop on Saturday I also picked up a package of mini wool skeins from Järbo, which is a package with 10 mini skeins with 10 grams in each. It is perfect for making these small types of projects! I already had a package of similar mini skeins in 100 % acrylic, and I plan to use them up too. As this will be our first Christmas in our new house we have decided to have a tree of our own, so I'm thinking I'll decorate the heck out of it!

Oh, and last week I also ordered me some more Soak wool wash from Garnkorgen, and of course some yarn had to accompany the detergent. I bought two more skeins of the Manos Del Uruguay Silk Blend Fino yarn that I got a week ago in Uppsala, so now I have six skeins of this gorgeous yarn. 

I think I'll try to find a nice cardigan pattern for this. I wear cardigans A LOT, if you wonder why I seem a bit obsessed with them lately.

I also got two skeins of Regia Design Line sock yarn (75 % superwash wool/25 % nylon), in the colourway Exotic Pool, designed by Kaffe Fassett. 

I love the colours in these skeins, and I actually bought them with a specific project in mind (for once!), namely the Carousel Socks from Knitty. I think these look like so much fun, and you  know I like to try new techniques so these will be very interesting to make. I just need to finish the Faramir socks (and do you know it's been so long since I worked on those that I had too look up that name.

Ok now it's dinner time. I might be back pretty soon, as there might be another package fro Wollmeise coming my way...

/ Jenny

Monday, October 22, 2012

New needles and New yarn!

Last week I spent two days in Uppsala, a city about half-an-hour north of Stockholm, at a conference for work. It was a great conference, with lots of good seminars, nice people and good food. On the first day when me and my co-worker Sanna were taking a walk during lunch, I remembered that the very popular yarn store Yll&Tyll is located in Uppsala, so I called my husband and asked him to find out where it was. It took him about two minutes at the computer (yes I know, I have an OLD cellphone without internet), so he directed us there and I got to bring home some souvenir yarn! I bought four skeins of Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend Fino yarn (70 % Merino/30 % silk, 225 m/50 g) in colourway British 2334:

It's soooo soft, and the silk makes it really shiny and pretty. I haven't decided what to make from it yet, but I'm thinking some kind of cardigan maybe. If I have enough yarn!

Today when I got home from work I had gotten a package in the mail from Grandma's Knit and Crochet that I ordered a while ago. It contained a set of the new ChiaoGoo Spin bamboo interchangeable needles, in the smaller sizes (2.75 - 5.0 mm=):

I love this set! The needle holder is really pretty, and I have several of their needles in fixed sizes already so I know I like them. The set included a needle gauge and two sets of stitch markers as well, and a cable connector to make longer cables.

I am however a little disappointed that the cables weren't the same as on the fixed needles. On those, they have a core of some kind of metal line, and those cables have absolutely no memory! They are completely perfect. The cables in the interchangeable sets are pure plastic, and remind me a lot of KnitPicks' cables (although these are clear, not purple), but one main difference is that these ones swivel independently of the needles. I'm hoping that that means that any memory they might have won't make any difference as the needles swivel when used. I'll let you know once I use them!

I also finished my Bobbie gloves this weekend, that I've made for my mom. I haven't taken any new photos though, as they are currently blocking upstairs, but they turned out really pretty. My parents are coming here for a visit next weekend, so she'll get them then, together with the entrelac cowl I made her last month too. It is really nice to be done with both the cowl and the gloves, yesterday I worked almost exclusively on my Omelet shawl instead. I've missed lace! I haven't gotten any new photos of that one yet, but it still looks like a bunch of wet noodles as it's pretty scrunched up on the needles. I think I am about a quarter done so far, so I won't finish it in October, but hopefully in November.

On the four hour train ride to and from Uppsala I worked a lot on my Serina Cardigan too, and I'm almost ready to take the sleeve stitches off. It looks very pretty with the yarn, at least so far. You'll get to see it next time, I promise!

/ Jenny

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I haven't forgotten you!

Although you might have thought so, it's been so long! I have no real excuse, other than I have been a bit busy. The weekend after I wrote last, Thomas had his big unveiling of the new exhibition at the museum where he works. He isn't the artist, but he's the one who has produced the exhibition. It's named Heart Games, and it was all art based on different video games. It is completely awesome, and if you're in the area I definitely recommend you to go check it out. The unveiling was a complete success too, with hundreds of visitors, so he was very pleased. You can see some of the artwork here, even though the text is in Swedish :)

The week after that I went to Jönköping, which is a city about 1.5 hours away from Mantorp, for a conference for one day, and then I can't remember what I even did that weekend after. I think I mostly hung out with Thomas, as he worked almost around the clock the two weeks leading up to the unveiling. It was very nice to have him home again, but by that time I was getting a bit tired of having his brother living with us... I think I mentioned that Adam came to stay with us for a short while until he found an apartment of his own in Linköping. Well, that short while turned into seven weeks, and even though he is super nice and really sweet, it was really tiring to never have the house to ourselves! I hate having to close the door when I take a shower!

Then the weekend before this one, we had a big party here. One of my friends turned 35 in September, and we haven't had a chance to get together and celebrate her, so we did that with a big crayfish party! Crayfish parties (or kräftskiva in Swedish  is something that is very common here in Sweden, as you're only allowed to fish for crayfish after the last of August, I think. We were 11 people here, and ate LOTS of crayfish, cheese pie (or quiche?) and had a lot of alcohol as well :) It was really, really nice, and three of our friends stayed over night as well. None of us were very hung over either, so it was really nice to have breakfast together. It was really a night filled with talk and laughter!

Then last Tuesday, one week ago today, Adam finally moved out! He's found a really nice, three-room apartment for rent in Linköping, and he's already found a room mate as well so it won't be too expensive. We actually went and looked at another place about two weeks ago, but that was the most depressing, disgusting place I've ever seen! Even though I was pretty keen to get Adam to move out, the first thing I said when we came out of that place was "You can't live here!". So I'm glad he found a really nice place instead.

So this weekend was spent mostly hanging out with Thomas, just being the two of us! I've been doing a lot of knitting, which was really nice, and we've played some games and watched some movies. It was really restful, and I think just what we needed.

Ok, now you know what I've been up to. Time to talk knitting! I remember asking for your advice on whether or not I should frog my hoodie I was working on. After some comments and a hard look inside myself, I decided I wasn't going to wear it as it looked, so I frogged the whole thing. I still really like the pattern, but it didn't work with that yarn. Instead I settled on the Serina Cardigan, which I've only just cast on for. 

It's worked from the top down, so I've just made about 1 cm of the neck edge so far. This one is languishing a bit while I finish some other stuff.

Right after I wrote last I spoke to my mom, and she had changed her mind and didn't want a cowl that she could wrap two times around her neck, but rather something a bit more tight. I took the opportunity to learn a new technique, and while I was home a few days a couple of weeks ago with a cold, I cast on for an entrelac cowl! I've never made entrelac before, but it wasn't difficult at all and I really enjoyed it. The whole cowl, which is made with Malabrigo Worsted yarn only took two days! It's blocking upstairs right now:

I meant to take some photos of me wearing it, but as it's still wet you'll have to settle for the blocking photos for now. My parents are coming for a visit the last weekend in October, so hopefully I'll get some photos of mom wearing it then.

I also cast on for a pair of gloves for mom, and I chose the Bobbie pattern. This is a really pretty, but easy pattern! It creates an almost woven fabric, and looks much more complicated than it is. I'm really enjoying them, and I've already made the first finger on the second glove! This is what the finished one looks like:

I can not begin to tell you how much I love Julia Mueller's designs! She makes gorgeous gloves and mittens, the techniques are always interesting, and the patterns are so well written and easy to follow. Plus, the patterns are often pretty to look at too, with lots of explanatory pictures. I own most of her patterns already, and I think I might make a new pair for me once I finish mom's. And Sarah: The i-cord details don't make them any tighter at all, they are very stretchy!

So, the cowl and the gloves are what I've been working almost exclusively on these past weeks, as my mom's birthday is this Thursday, and I want to give all of it to her next weekend when she comes here. She already knows about them, but I want her to be able to use them this winter!

Oh, and I wanted to ask you something else: Do you listen to knitting podcasts? Or any other podcasts that you would recommend? I'm right now going through the Stockinette Zombies podcast, and I love podcast novels as well. I have downloaded all of the episodes of the Nerdist but haven't gotten around to listening to them yet. I will gladly accept any recommendations!

Ok, time to do some actual knitting! I'm trying to finish the gloves fast so I can work some more on my sadly neglected Omelet Shawl!

/ Jenny