Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Working on the CRAZY KAL

I decided to join the Stockinette Zombies in their Crazy KAL, so right now I'm trying to knit to zero. That is, I'm going to finish all of my projects before I cast on for something new! I'm really itching to cast on for some socks though, so we'll see how that goes.

I'm right now knitting on the button band on the Serina Cardigan. I've finished both sleeves, so I think I might get the whole thing done tonight or tomorrow!

I really really like it, and I'm really looking forward to wearing it! I decided to not make a shawl collar on it like I planned to, I think it will look best with the simpler, ribbed flat version.

I've also seamed most of the Companion Cube together, right now I'm just waiting for the foam filling to arrive in the mail. Then I'll sew the two remaining seams, and then that one is done as well!

Once both of those are done, I'll try to get the Omelet shawl done as well. And then I just have the Christmas ball ornaments to do. But as I think I have made my increases too tight on that one, I think I'll just frog it and call it done. Then I'll be at zero, and allowed to cast on for something new (socks). Yay!

Ok, I have something new to show you. I have been watching podcasts like crazy these past few weeks, and I finally decided to try it out myself! I haven't got a name for the podcast yet, as I still don't know if I'll do it ever again. Please let me know what you think!

I know the quality isn't very good, as I'm using the built-in webcam on the computer. But as this is the first time I didn't want to splurge on a new one until I know if anyone is watching. Also, who knows what Santa might bring!

And please be a little bit gentle and do not mock my accent! I have also found the button for mirroring the image, so next time you'll be able to read book titles and stuff like that too :)

I think most of the stuff I talk about are linked above in the blog post. If not, feel free to leave a comment to remind me, and I'll add it later. I just couldn't bear to watch it one more time!

/ Jenny

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Crafty weekend!

Yesterday my sister came here to visit, and we finally used our soap making supplies that we bought over a year ago! I ordered them from Panduro, a Swedish crafts shop, so that we could make some as Christmas gifts. For last Christmas! We just haven't gotten around to it yet, but yesterday we finally made them. We started out by melting the soap base, then added scent (we had bought apple scent) and colours (we made two batches, one green and one purple). We then poured the liquid soap into some ice trays that I bought at Ikea with this in mind, plus Sanna had a tray that makes robot shaped chocolates that we also used.

They came out looking so cute!

It was pretty fun, even though Sanna did most of the job (I did the dishes while she stirred the soap mixture), and I can definitely see myself making more soap.

I have also been knitting a lot this past week. Thomas has been away for three evenings, so I've had plenty of time to knit undisturbed after work. I've finished all the knitting on the Companion Cube, and I've duplicate stitched the first of the squares. 

I haven't cut them yet, I think I'll block them before I do that. I am very satisfied with how the pink stitches came out, I think it's looking pretty neat. I really hope that it will hold up better this time, because I'm definitely not making another one! I'm contemplating actually making reinforcement seams on a sewing machine this time too. 

I've also knitted a lot on my Serina cardigan, as I would love to finish this one before Christmas. I bought a very pretty dress last weekend, and I would love to be able to wear it with the green cardigan on Christmas Eve.

The colour is a little off in the photo, as I took it late last night with a flash. It's much more green than it looks like, and not at all yellow-ish. I haven't tried it on for a while, but I think I'm almost ready to start the ribbing at the bottom. After that it's just sleeves and the button band. I'm going to make the sleeves full length, as I have much more use for that than the 3/4 sleeves, so I think I'll do those before I start the button band. I'm thinking of adding a small shawl collar to it too, as the one on the Dark and Stormy cardigan (which is another pattern I really want to make), but I need to see how much yarn I have left. I'll let you know what I decide.

I haven't picked up the Omelet shawl or the Christmas ball decorations in quite some time. I think I'll have to rip out the Christmas ball, as I've made the increases at the bottom of it a bit too tight. It's no big deal though, it's only about an hour's work, so I think I'll have it back pretty fast. But I want to finish the cube and the Cardigan first.

And I haven't started any new socks! Megan and Amy of the Stockinette Zombies podcast, are having a KAL that's called the Crazy KAL. You're supposed to make a goal that seems crazy to you! Amy is knitting monogamously on one project at a time, as she is a very polygamous knitter otherwise, while Megan is doing the complete opposite and have cast on for lots and lots of projects simultaneously. I think I might want to join in, and my Crazy will be to finish all of my projects before I cast on for anything new. I very rarely have fewer than four projects going at once, so it will be very strange for me if I actually finish all four of them before I start something new. Hopefully I'll manage to finish all of them before the end of December, when the KAL ends.

This weekend is a very nice one for me, as I have both Monday and Tuesday off from work. I took two vacation days, and I'm just going to spend them at home, knitting lots and cleaning some too. I just felt that I needed some time to relax, and as I have several days of vacation left this year I decided to use two of them. Today though, I'm spending the day with Thomas, probably mostly hanging out on the couch, playing video games and knitting (I'll leave it up to you to guess which one of us will be doing what :)

/ Jenny

Friday, November 09, 2012

Still sick, but at least I'm getting knitting done!

Yep, my stomach is still giving me grief, but today it's slightly better. I'll be back to work on Monday. This week I've spent most of my time on the couch, knitting and listening to podcasts. Right now I'm going through all of the episodes of Stockinette Zombies, as well as We're Alive - A Story of Survival. So, lots of Zombies! Although Stockinette Zombies isn't actually about Zombies.

Anyway, I've finished the Faramir socks!

I LOVE them! The Opal Sock yarn (75 % superwash wool/25 % nylon) isn't the softest I've ever used, but it's a good enough, reasonably cheap sock yarn that really holds up through wear and tear. I used just about 70 grams of the 100 grams skein, and I kind of wish I had made another repeat on the leg part. I like my socks a little longer. Oh well, they're fine, and they are so beautiful! Claire Ellen is such a talented designer!

Yesterday my new yarn arrived, Garnkorgen has super fast shipping! I got three skeins if Cascade 220, in Charcoal Gray, Cotton Candy Pink and Light Gray:

I've already wound them and cast on again for the Companion Cube. Let's hope it goes better this time! I'm planning on making the pink details with duplicate stitch after the rest of the knitting is finished, just so I can avoid the floats behind the steek stitches. I've never done duplicate stitch before, so this will also be a new experience for me. Lot's of new things with this project! I'll show you some photos once it's gotten a little bit further, right now I've knit about four rows.

I also got two more skeins of Regia Design Line sock yarn, this time in the Herb Garden 03305 colourway:

This month, Sock Knitters Anonymous is having a Textured stitches KAL in their group, so I'm thinking of casting on the Aquaphobia socks. I just have to decide which of all the colourful yarns I want to use first. I think it might be the Herb Garden or the Spring ones I bought last week. The KAL stretches for two months, so I should be able to finish in time.

I also got one skein of Opal Sock yarn in white, to use for colourwork socks:

Today though, I'm planning on knitting some on my Serina Cardigan. I'm almost at the point where I take the sleeve stitches off, so I've gotten some headway on this one. I haven't gotten any photos of it yet though, so you'll have to wait for those too.

Yesterday when I was really bored, I started using both Plurk (as you can see in the left side column) and Pinterest. I've never been on any of those sites before, so that was fun. Please feel free to befriend me on both places! I'm jench24 on Plurk, and Jenny Clifford on Pinterest. Although I have to say I haven't pinned anything on Pinterest yet, mostly because I can't get the stupid "Pin it" button to work...

/ Jenny

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

I just lost my mojo...

First off, I went to Linköping yesterday to buy some more Drops Karisma, and I came home with an extra skein of sock yarn too. This time I at least chose a more sensible skein (for me), and picked a solid black one. This is Austermann Step, the same as the crazy pink one I bought a week ago.

That was the good news. Today, I've been home from work with a badly behaving stomach, and I've been knitting on the Companion Cube for most of the day. I finished it, wove in all the ends, and decided I wanted to try cutting one of the seams open before blocking it, so it could lie flat and dry faster. I did a securing seam down each side of the steek stitches, using the blanket stitch as recommended when steeking superwash wool. It looked really good!

Then I cut it. And disaster ensued!

I feel so incredibly stupid for not thinking of this, but of course you can't use three colours when steeking! Then you obviously have one long float stranding behind the steek stitches, and I cut this one as well. Which meant that the stitches attached to each side of those floats promptly unraveled. Yay. So I think I just have to throw the whole thing in the trash! And now I don't know if I have time to make a new one before Christmas. I ordered some Cascade 220 today instead (which isn't superwash!), and I think I'll just duplicate stitch the pink stitches in afterwards this time. If I find the energy to start it again. Right now I just want to cry, but I can't even complain to Thomas because it's supposed to be a surprise for him!

Ok, I'll just knit on the Faramir socks for the rest of the night now.

/ Jenny

Saturday, November 03, 2012

So... More yarn arrived...

Apparently I have no limits any longer! On Thursday I got two packages in the mail, both containing yarn. The first one came from Wollmeise, and contained two skeins of Pure 100 % yarn, which is fingering weight 100 % merino wool yarn.

The colourway is Unbeschreiblich, which means indescribable, and is a lovely sort of purplish brown. The skeins are just over 150 g each, so this is really a lot of yarn. I think I'll try to make some sort of cardigan or sweater out of it eventually. It's a beautiful colour!

The package also contained a mini skein of Pure yarn, 20 g of a lovely green colourway.

I first thought it was the colourway Pfefferminz Prinz, but someone on the Wollmeise forum on Ravelry thought it might be Elfe. It's really pretty too, and with 20 g I can at least use it for one of my Christmas ornament balls.

The second package came from Garnkorgen, and contained four more skeins, of sock yarn this time. All four skeins are Regia sock yarn, the first two were from their Design Line and the colourway is called Spring.

The last two skeins are from their regular 4-ply line, and the colourway is Clown:

Both these colourways are really pretty, and lately I find I have a longing for knitting crazy patterned socks! I need to finish up my Companion Cube that I'm knitting for Thomas first though, as that is going to be a Christmas gift. I have already made about 3/4 of the pattern though, so I'm not worried. Unfortunately, both my grey shades have run out, so I need to get two more skeins. I actually went into town today to buy them, but once there I remembered that it's a holiday today (it's all hallow's eve tonight), so all the stores were closed. Bummer! Now I need to go back on Monday and fix that.

Since I couldn't knit on the cube today, and Thomas has been working on his beer brewing all day, I had to find something to amuse me, so I've been working on the Faramir socks. As I mentioned last time that I barely remembered the name of them, I felt I needed to give them some love. I finished the first sock today!

It's looking really good, although it is a bit on the small side for me. I think it might stretch a bit with wear though. You can hardly see it in this photo, but the colour is a really pale powder pink. I can't wait to finish the second one too, so I can start a new pair! I think I might have made a bit too many cabled socks in a row now, so I need to find something a bit easier.

Ok, I think that's it for tonight. As you can see, I'm trying to update a bit more often, I feel I have been neglecting the blog a bit this Autumn. Hopefully I'll be back soon with a finished Companion Cube to show you. I'll be sure to take a lot of scary photos of the steeking process too :)

/ Jenny