Sunday, January 27, 2013

First FO of the year (plus more spoilers!)

Today I finished the first FO this year! It is the Aquaphobia socks, that I've made with Regia Design Line Garden Effects yarn (75 % superwash wool/25 % nylon) in the Spring colourway.

They are part of the Self-striping KAL that the Stockinette Zombies are hosting on Ravelry, and I guess this yarn barely qualifies as striping. But I'm very pleased with them, and I think I'll wear them to work tomorrow. The Regia yarn reminds me a lot of the Opal yarns, it has the same kind of work-horse feel to it. I bet they'll wear like iron!

I made a lot of changes to the pattern, most of them inadvertently. I misread the pattern, so instead of the slipped stitches that I was supposed to make, I held the yarn in front when I lifted the stitches, which creates a kind of woven effect. I also stopped mirroring the cables after about half of the first sock, because I forgot. So the second sock only has non-mirrored cables. I had to make some decreases on the leg part too, as it was getting very big on me, but now they fit me very well! I call all of the changes design features :)

Last week I also got the January shipment in my Knitting Goddess sock club. It's called 7 Degrees of Kevin Bacon, but it's about Helena Bonham Carter instead. The pattern I got is called Wallace, which is really pretty, and inspired by the Wallace and Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit movie. The yarn is The Knitting Goddess 4-ply merino nylon sock yarn (75 %/25 %, 424 m/100 g), and the colourway is called Trousers for a Fiend.

This yarn just screams my name! Green is my very favourite colour, so this yarn couldn't suit me better. It is so gorgeous, but I think it will have to mature a little bit in my stash before I decide what to knit with it. It will probably be socks though.

Yesterday my friend Anna had invited some of her knitting friends to a yarn swap day, so five of us gathered for a very nice, chatty day and evening at her place. We all brought a lot of stuff from our stashes that we knew we would never use...

Yeah, that was a lot of yarn! We gave a lot of it to Lovisa, who has a friend who does a lot of charity knitting, and we swapped some between ourselves. I got rid of a lot of the scratchier wools I had, foremost all of my Färgkraft yarn. It kind of hurt to let those go, because the colours are so awesome and pretty, but I really hated working with it! I made the Omelet shawl out of it right before Christmas, and my hands kind of hurt after working on it. So I'm happy to know that it will be going to new good homes, where it will be used (Lovisa got two skeins of Glam Goth, and Alexandra got two skeins of Cerise).

I got to take home some skeins instead though! The first haul was two skeins of KnitPicks Shimmer hand dyed Lace yarn, in the Deep Woods colourway. 

This is 402 m/50 g, 70 % alpaca/30 % silk lace yarn, and I really like it! It will become a pretty shawl some day, although not right now. I'm really into sweaters right now, if you hadn't noticed, so the lace knitting has gotten a bit left out. I'll pick it up soon again though, I kind of like having lots of different projects going at once. And now that I finished the socks, I think I need to start something new soon.

I also got two mystery yarns with me home. The first was another brownish lace yarn, that I think Maria said was Hand Paints Lace yarn of some kind. But I don't know how to find it on Ravlery (so if Maria has a link to it Id' be happy!), so for now it's just called Mystery Lace yarn.

It is very pretty, and more subtle in the colour variations than the KnitPicks ones. The second is a skein of green Angora/Lambs wool yarn that is kind of similar to the one I made my Tardis vest from last year.

I think this is around sport weight yarn, and I think it will become a hat and possibly a pair of mitts for me. It is super soft and cozy, and the angora makes it really warm.

I got all three of my yarns from Maria's stash, but I think we were all happy with what we got. She got some Kampes one-ply wool from me as well, which I find to be just on the border of too scratchy. It's a nice yarn, and the FO's are awesome, but it's just a little bit too stiff to work with for me to be completely comfortable. I guess I've become a real yarn snob!

I've knit a lot on the Grey Havens sweater too, I only have one more chart repeat left on the second sleeve! Then it's just the yoke and the collar left. I haven't gotten any new photos of it yet though, so you'll have to wait until I've attached the sleeves. I do think I'll run out of yarn though, so yesterday I went to Eat.Sleep.Knit and ordered one more skein. As the shipping is kind of expensive from the States, I figured I might as well get some more stuff while I was ordering, so now some Dream in Colour Classy and some Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarns are also on their way to me. I'll tell you more about them when they get here.

Ok, it's time to tackle the laundry. Have a great week!

/ Jenny

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sheepy Time Knits Spoilers, and some other stuff too

I'll start with the other stuff, so the photo of the club yarn doesn't end up as the promo photo. When I got home from work today, two new packages were waiting for me! The first contained my very last project bag that I got for my Christmas money. I got this one from JavaJennie on Etsy, and it is sooo pretty!

I love the tiny fairies! And the top is actually a snap closure, which I haven't seen on a project bag before. Very practical, and very pretty. I love it! The size is perfect for two skeins of yarn, which I guess makes it a medium-ish size.

The other package I got was from Sheepy Time Knits, and contained the Time Traveller club yarn for January. So if you are in the club and haven't gotten your yarn yet, please read no further!

The yarn is All Your Base (100 % superwash merino, 448 m/100 g), and the colourway is called Medusa Cascade:

It is so cool! Even Thomas commented and said it was a beautiful colourway. I'm thinking a pair of amazing socks! As I'm not very hard on my hand knit socks, I have no problem making socks without nylon in them either. I'll definitely join this club again if it comes back!

Ok, I think that's it for today. Now I think I'll knit on my sleeve for the Grey Havens sweater, before I have to go to bed!

/ Jenny

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Shopping weekend

I feel like I'm only writing about getting new stuff lately, but to be honest: Most of the stuff I've been telling you about lately were all ordered around Christmas. It just takes stuff a while to get here from the States! At the beginning of the week my two AWESOME geek bags from JessaLu arrived, and I could not love them more. The first one is from Vincent and the Doctor, and features the Starry Night motif, with a tiny Tardis added:

It is just so completely full of win! I immediately transferred my Aquaphobia socks into it, so now it goes with me to work every day. I've finished the first sock, and am about half-way down the second leg. I think I might actually finish these before the end of the month (which means they will count in the Stockinette Zombies' self-striping KAL).

The second bag is a bucket bag, which I think technically is more for spinning, but I'll use it as a project bag anyway. It has Daleks on it!

It is so cool, and my inner Doctor Who nerd is melting in a puddle of happy goo just looking at it. At the end of March I'll get the last shipment from the Mad Color Fiber Arts yarn club, and as I'm in the one that's Doctor Who themed, I'll also get another JessaLu bag then! Yay!

I think it was the day after the bags arrived, that I got some more yarn in the mail. I managed to snag two skeins of KnitPicks Felici sock yarn from Great British Yarns, and I think these might have been the last two in the Time Traveler colourway because they don't have it listed any longer. It is a self-striping sock yarn in the same colours as the Doctor's scarf (do you notice a theme here?), and as KnitPicks don't have it on their website either I think this colourway is discontinued. So I'm very happy I got them!

I think these will probably become my February self-striping socks.

On Friday, my mother came to Linköping for a short visit, so on Friday evening her, me and my sister went to dinner at a lovely tapas restaurant. It was so much fun, and the food was amazing (and I haven't had breakfast yet, so I'm getting really hungry just thinking about it). She stayed with my sister for the night, and then yesterday we all went on a huge shopping spree for almost the entire day! Here in Sweden there is always a big sale on clothes right after Christmas, and now the shops are selling a lot of stuff for half of the sales prices. So both my mom and my sister got some clothes (I got some too, but mostly pyjama pants and boring stuff like that), and then we went into the crafts store. My sister needed to get some embroidery thread, as she's working on a HUGE Super Mario hanging. My mother offered to pay, and to be fair I got two skeins of sock yarn too :)

The first one was a skein of Four Seasons Gründl Hot Socks Nil yarn, in lovely teal colours. I haven't tried this yarn before, or even heard of it, but it seems like a standard, 75 % wool/25 % nylon, 384 m/100 g sock yarn. Sort of like Regia or Opal I think.

The second skein was Austermann Step sock yarn (also 75 % wool/25 % nylon, 420 m/100 g) in a lot of mixed colours. 

I think I might need to stop buying self-striping yarn for a while! My plan to buy only sweater yarn this year held out for almost an entire week... But technically, these skeins were gifts (even though I picked them myself), so maybe they don't count? I'll try to do better. I don't think I have any yarn money left for January at least, so I'll try not to get any more this month.

Oh, and while we were in town yesterday I also upgraded my phone! I've had a pink Ericsson for a couple of years now, and I've been pretty happy with it. Lately though I've found myself wishing I had a smartphone instead, so now I finally got one. It's a Samsung Galaxy, the mini version, and so far I'm very happy with it. I've got apps for Facebook, Plurk, Ravelry and blogger (the important stuff), so I think I'm set. I decided to actually pay for the Ravelous app, as that was the only one I could find for Android (I have the Wooly app for my iPad, and I like that a lot, but that one is only for Apple) that had my stash in it. I like it, and it really has all the important features of Ravelry that you might want on the go. 

Ok, on to the knitting: I've mostly been working on the Grey Havens sweater, and it's finally coming along nicely. Later today I'll get to start the sleeves, as I'm up to the arm holes on the body. 

The pattern actually tells you to start by making the sleeves, but I feel more comfortable starting with the body. I really, really love this pattern, and the yarn (Madelinetosh Pashmina) is heavenly! I'll definitely get more of that in the future. 

Other than that I've worked some on the Aquaphobia socks that I showed you above, and that pattern is great to bring to work. It's more or less mindless knitting, so I can chat during the coffee breaks, and I really like how they are coming along.

Now Thomas has finally woken up, so I think I'll go make breakfast for us. Today will be spent mostly cleaning, as the house desperately needs it!

/ Jenny

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Knitting like a maniac!

As you can see, I've made some changes to the blog. It's a new year, and I decided that things needed to be freshened up a little bit. The contents will not vary much though :)

I've been knitting like crazy since the new year began! I think it was probably good for me to finish off all of my old projects before the end of December, as I now want to do nothing but knit, all the time! Thomas has been away for three days this week too, which has meant three evenings of uninterrupted knitting time for me.

I'll start by showing you the Gray Havens sweater, that I'm making out of Medelinetosh Pashmina yarn, in the colourway Dried Rose:

I've made all of the decreases for the waist, and actually I had made all of the increases for the bust too, when I noticed that it was a bit short. I tried it on, and it barely reached my belly-button... So I ripped it back to the decreases, and now I'm elongating the straight part a bit. I think my row-gauge is probably off, but that doesn't really matter. I think I'll need to make six repeats of the chart instead of the intended four, and I'll be all right. I LOVE this sweater though! The pattern is great, and the yarn is awesome! I really want to finish it so I can wear it. I'm focusing mostly on this one right now, as I'm hoping to have it done by the end of the month. 

I started the Julissa scoop-necked sweater with the Wollmeise DK yarn in Sabrina a couple of days ago too, and that one is flying off the needles! It's knitted top-down, and I've already set the sleeves aside.

It is a really fun and easy knit, despite it looking pretty complicated with both cables and lace, but I haven't touched it since last weekend I think. I love it though, and that one will get a lot more attention once the Gray Havens sweater is done.

On Wednesday night I actually turned the heel on two different socks! First, the Ill Met by Moonlight socks:

I've made most of the leg part at work, during my breaks, but now I only have a couple of centimeters left until I'll start the cable on the foot. And that is a bit too complicated to make at work. The socks fit me perfectly, and that is actually something that I love about Claire Ellen's designs. All of them that I've made have a perfect fit on me.

The other sock that I turned the heel on was the Aquaphobia socks:

I'm very happy with these, even though I apparently haven't followed the pattern at all! I didn't look too closely on the pattern photos, but somehow made the assumption that the stitch pattern was the same weave pattern that I used on the Bobbie gloves (where you slip every other stitch with the yarn in front). When I had a closer look at the descriptions on how to turn the heel, it told me to slip with the yarn in back, and that's when I got suspicious. I went back in the pattern and checked, and sure enough it told me to do that all the time. I'm calling mine a design feature! I like the way mine look, so I definitely won't frog it!

I also noticed that about half-way down the leg I had somehow stopped making the cables mirrored, so after that they are just the same. Luckily the cables can't really be seen with the very busy yarn, so I decided to ignore that as well. I think I'll just make the cables identical on the second sock. I also had to decrease some stitches when I neared the ankle part, as it was turning out way too big otherwise. But with the decreases it fits me perfectly, so I'll just repeat that on the second sock too.

I have gotten a lot of stuff in the mail recently too, I think almost all of the stuff I told you about last time arrived. I now have four new project bags, and possibly there might be two more coming that I ordered from JessaLu... And I might order one from JavaJennie on Etsy soon too, as I really love the snap closure on hers...

In the photo, from the left is the one I got from A Needle Runs through It, and it's currently holding the Julissa sweater. Next to it is the cone from CackleBerry Creations, which is now holding the Gray Heavens sweater. The third one is from Miss FiberFox, and that's holding the Aquaphobia socks, and out on the right is the one I got from Elizabeth Quintan Design, and it's holding the Ill Met By Moonlight socks. 

I also got some yarn in the mail this week. The first was five skeins of Cascade 220 in the Liechen 9338 colourway:

These skeins were totally not my fault. As I'm right now making four different projects with cables on them, I really needed some new cable needles as I hate having to move the ones I have between the bags all the time. So I went to Garnkorgen and ordered a set of KnitPicks wooden cable needles. But you can't order from a yarn shop without getting some actual yarn right? So I got the Cascade. I think this might be the yarn I'll use for the Dark and Stormy cardigan, but don't hold me to that.

I also got a great deal on some Garnstudio Drops Lima yarn (65 % wool/35 % alpaca) in the Ruby Red colourway:

This is a DK yarn, and I don't really know what to make with it. I got 12 skeins, which is about a sweater's worth, so it will probably become some kind of garment for me.

Oh, and my mom asked me if I could make her a slouchy hat in blue, so I'm thinking of using some of my KnitPicks Stroll yarn for that, in the Saphire Heather colourway:

She picked the Sofie's Slouch pattern, so I'll probably cast this one on fairly soon. The pattern calls for a DK, but I think I might achieve that with the fingering held double. That way it will be warmer too.

I'm also itching to start a new lace project, and I already have yarn wound for one! I want to start the Mandala II round shawl, and I have two skeins of Madelinetosh Tosh lace in the Rose colourway all geared up. I might hold off on starting these two projects until the JessaLu project bags arrive though, so I have something to put them in :)

I also got all of my buttons in the mail, and I love them all! I sewed two of the ones I got from Orit Dotan onto the For Good Hat, and it turned out super cute!

And still no new podcast episode! Today I'm in my PJ's, and I haven't showered, so you won't get to see me. I'm thinking possibly tomorrow, if I can just figure out how to set up the camera! Thomas got a new one for Christmas, which I think will get me a lot better quality. I just need to learn how to use it...

I'll be back once my next bags arrive. And possibly some club yarn as well :)

/ Jenny

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Christmas shopping!

Happy New Year, everybody! I hope that you all had a wonderful New Year's Eve. We had some friends over for dinner and board games, and it was a very nice evening. Thomas spent two days in the kitchen, and he really outdid himself on this one! We served spring rolls with shrimp and cilantro, and mini quiche with saffron for starters. Then for the main course he did rice noodles with sesame oil-fried salmon, and red-boiled side pork (we saw a show on Swedish TV about Chinese food, and apparently red-boiled pork was Mao Zedong's favourite dish). Finally for dessert we had berries and fruit with ice cream and home-made sesame crackers. It was all delicious! We toasted on the stroke of midnight, and I think all of the guests left around 2 in the morning. I was really tired the day after, but it was well worth it.

I got some money this Christmas from my grandparents, and I think I told you last time that I spent some of it on Etsy. Some of it has arrived, and I figured I could tell you about it. Beware though, as there is a lot! Oh, and I totally swiped the photos of stuff from the respective Etsy shops.

First, yesterday I got a package from CackleBerryCreations, which contained a new project bag:

It is gorgeous, and I have already put a project in it! I started a new pair of socks yesterday, for the Self Striping Addicts KAL that the Stockinette Zombies are hosting (one each month all year long). I chose the Aquaphobia socks by Chrystal Flanagan, and I'm making mine in Regia Design Line by Kristin Nicholas Garden Effects, colourway Spring.

I very quickly realized that the yarn is not striping but variegated, so I'm not sure if they will count for the KAL, but I'll make them anyway. I love them! The colour of the yarn is so much fun to work with, and I think they are turning out great. You can't really tell that there are cables on each side of the leg though, as the colours kind of eat them up!

Today I woke up with a fever and a really achy body, so I've been home from work all day. This winter has not been good to me! I've had several times where I had to stay home with my stomach, plus several colds and stuff. Let's hope this spring will be better! Anyway, I actually had three packages arrive in the mail today too. The first one contained a set of interchangeable ChiaoGoo bamboo needles for my Spin set, which I ordered from Grandma's Knit and Crochet. This is really my go-to shop for the ChiaoGoo needles, and the shipping is always fast. I got a pair of size 3 mm needles, as this was the one size that didn't come in my set. 

The second package was a second project bag, this one from MissFiberFox:

It is super cute, and also very well made. It is perfectly sized for a smaller project, like a pair of socks, but I haven't put anything in it yet. It sits on the couch looking pretty, so far.

The last package was a small envelope from BerryNiceCrafts, and oh my God does she have lots and lots of buttons! I got a set of 10 small ones that I planned to use on my Morning Echo cardigan that I'm making with my Wollmeise DK. Well, I say I'm making, but I've actually frogged it. I just couldn't get gauge! The DK knits up more like a worsted, so I've decided to make something else with it. I think it will be the Julissa scooped neck sweater instead. Anyway, the buttons:

I love the little pale teal paisley! They are just so cute! Right now I don't know what I'll use them for, as I frogged the cardigan, but I'm sure I'll find something. They cost barely nothing, so it was well worth it anyway.

Ok, that was the stuff that did arrive already. I figured I could as well tell you about the stuff on the way too, and get it all out of the way. I'm waiting for a small bag from ElizabethQuintan, with owls on it:

I am waiting for a large box bag as well, with Russian dolls on it, from A Needle Runs Through It:

This will probably hold my Grey Havens sweater once it arrives, as that one will soon be too big for the RoseKnits bag it's currently residing in (RoseKnits doesn't exist any more, it was an Etsy shop that I got two bags from a couple of years ago). The Grey Havens sweater is coming along very nicely, now that I've changed needle size. I've been working on it for most of the day today while sitting on the couch (when I've not been sleeping), and the pashmina is working out really well with the cables. Unfortunately, you can barely see them in the photo:

But they are there, and in real life they are very clear. The yarn is a dream to work with, and I'm really glad I got a sweater quantity of it. I think I might actually rip out the cast on though, as that is a bit too loose for my taste. I have to wait until I try it on though, to see how it will look stretched. I bought some buttons for this one too, from a shop called FeiYa (that's the next package I'm waiting on). Aren't they cute! I bought a set of 10.

While searching for suitable buttons I also found these super cool, steam punk cogwheel buttons:

They are from the shop TimberGreenWoods, and of course they had to come home to me too (they are also in transit). I got 12 of them.

I also got 3 buttons from Oritdotan, that I'm going to put on my For Good hat. I will probably only use one or two of them, but they were a set of three and I loved them!

Soooo, obviously I went a little over board... But it was so much fun! I also found some yarn clubs that I've joined, so I'll also be getting some yarn this year. I know I told you about the Sheepy Time Knits Time Traveller yarn club, which I joined last year. That one is three shipments, the first in December, the second in February and the last in April. A couple of days ago I also found Mad Colour Fiber Artist's Mad Geek yarn club, that also feature Doctor Who! This one will ship in January, February and March, and in the last shipment you also get a project bag from JessaLu! I've been raving one of her bags for ages, so I might actually buy one more later on. She has so many cool fabrics with geeky themes!

I told you about the Cookie A sock club a while ago, where I'll get yarn and patterns every other month for all of 2013. It will be awesome! I also joined the Knitting Godess' yarn club for 2013, which is called 7 degrees of Kevin Bacon. Instead of starting and ending with Kevin Bacon, she'll start with Helena Bonham Carter, and you'll get yarn and a sock pattern each month. The best thing is that this one can be paid for monthly, so I didn't have to fork out hundreds of dollars at once. 

I'm so excited about getting all of this mail during the year! As I don't knit a lot of lace any longer (I haven't stopped all together though, just slowed down on the lace knitting bit), I don't think I'll buy very much lace yarn during 2013 (don't hold me to that though!). And with all the clubs, I should be set for sock yarn too (and don't hold me to that either). So hopefully I'll only buy sweater yarn this year (and we all know how that's going to go, but I can have intentions, right?!).

Ok, this turned into a very long post, and my head is pounding! I had planned to do a podcast episode today too, but as I'm sick and in my PJ's you'll have to wait until I feel batter. I think I'll go turn in, and see if the fever is down tomorrow when I wake up. Let's hope!

/ Jenny