Thursday, May 30, 2013

There will definitely not be three FO's in May!

But I'm ok with that. I finished the House Targaryen socks on Sunday, and I'm super happy with them!

Like I said last time, they are made with Fibernymph Dye Works Bedazzled yarn, and they are super soft. I wore them at work on Monday, and as most of my colleagues had seen them while they were in progress I got a lot of comments on them too.

As I finished the socks, I of course had to start a new mindless project, so I went upstairs to wind the Mind the Gap yarn from Trailing Clouds into a ball. I have never had such a tangly skein! It took me almost two hours to get a decent, centre-pull ball! Then on Monday I cast on, and I decided to make up my own pattern with some slipped stitch columns. The yarn just did not want to play with any kind of pattern. The fabric looked really loose, and it just wasn't nice. Finally I gave up, and on Tuesday morning I frogged the whole thing and started a plain vanilla sock instead.

I've knit a lot on it at work yesterday and today, and now I'm finally enjoying them. The stripes are really fun, and I think I'm almost ready to make a heel. I'll make an afterthought heel on these as well, so as not to disturb the striping.

I've also knit some on the Parcel sweater, and I'm just finished with the bust increases. I think it's almost time to divide for sleeves.

I'm enjoying this knit a lot, and I can't wait to wear the finished sweater. Although that will probably be a while, as summer is about to start. At least I hope it is, as we've been having completely dreary weather here for a couple of days now. It's way too cold to be June this weekend!

Finally, today I got a very nice package in the mail, from Garnkorgen. I had ordered it myself, so it wasn't a surprise, but it's still nice to get yarn in the mail. I got two skeins of Cascade 220 Superwash, in the colourway Dark Teal:

It's 100 % superwash wool, 200 m/100 g, and I'm going to make a baby cocoon for my friend who just had her first baby boy. I was originally going to make it from some leftovers from my stash, but it turns out that I don't really have a lot of superwash yarn in my stash. And Cascade is pretty cheap, and I know that it's soft and nice, so that's what I got.

I also got one more skein of undyed sock yarn, this time Shoppel-Wolle Admiral Stränge:

It's 75 % superwash wool/25 % nylon, 420 m/100 g. As it doesn't have the bamboo in it that my last undyed yarn had, this is a lot softer and nicer. I'm not going to dye it up immediately, but maybe during my summer vacation. That doesn't happen until the end of July though, so it will probably marinate in the stash for a while.

Oh, and on June 29th this blog is turning four years old! I'll be back before then, but I'm just giving you a heads-up that there will be celebrations and give-aways! Stay tuned!

/ Jenny

Saturday, May 25, 2013

It's been a long week

I don't know if I'm coming down with a cold or something, but I've been feeling unusually tired this past week. Mostly, when I get home from work, I just fall asleep on the couch, so there has been very little knitting done. But I have some stuff to show you.

Last weekend I went home to my parents to help with tending their woods. About a year ago my grandfather suffered  a small stroke, and he is getting more and more senile since then. He still recognizes us all, and he is involved in conversations, it's just that he moves around very very slowly, and some stuff has disappeared for him. He's still more or less himself, but he can't take care of his land any longer, so my parents do that for him now. And last weekend it was time to plant new fir plants in the woods, and they asked if me and my sister would help. And we did. It was VERY hard work, and it was incredibly warm the whole weekend too, but we managed to get most of the plants in the ground.

I also finished the first of my House Targaryen socks while I was at home:

It is knit in Fibernymh Dye Works Bedazzled yarn, and I really like it. I offered to give the pair to my mom instead of the ugly and uncomfortable Carousel socks I finished a while ago, but when I told her that she needed to hand wash them, she opted out. I think I'll give her the Gördes socks instead, once they're finished. I have turned the heel on the first one, but I didn't bother to take a new photo of it as there is so little change since last time.

I have worked a little bit on my Parcel sweater too, but not enough there either to bother with a new photo. So far this year I've managed to finish three projects each month, but May might look like it will be less. I've only managed one project so far (the Carousel socks), and if I want to finish two more I really need to pick up my pace! Ideally I would love to finish the sweater, but I know I won't make that in a week. I think I'll aim at finishing the stripy socks and call it a day. Maybe I'll try to finish four projects next month...?

At the beginning of this week I got two very nice packages in the mail too. The first was the May shipment of the 7 Degrees of Kevin Bacon sock club from The Knitting Goddess

The yarn is 4 ply sock yarn (75 % superwash merino/25 % nylon, 425 m/100g), and the colourway is called Knit Me. I believe the inspiration comes from the Alice in Wonderland movie, and I have to admit that I find the colour a little boring. But that's ok, I have loved the other four skeins I've got in the club, and I think it's almost impossible to love all twelve skeins. The pattern that came with the yarn is called Vorpal, and they are pretty. Vorpal is apparently the sword that Alice uses to slay the Jabberwocky, if you were wondering (I was, and I had to google it!).

The other package I got contained books, the most important one being "NOS4A2" by Joe Hill. He is the son of Stephen King, and in my eyes he is almost as good as his father. I have read all his books so far (there are only four), and his comic book Locke & Key is the best comic I have ever read (possibly it shares the first place spot with Sandman by Neil Gaiman). And that book might also have something to do with why I haven't written here in a while. I finished it the other day, and it was super good!

The package included some other fiction, and also one knitting book. Or rather, a knitting box. I got The Little Box of Socks, by Charlene Schurch and Beth Parrott. It contains 20 patterns that are all printed on individual cards that you can easily bring with you in a knitting bag. The box has lots of patterns that will go very well with variegated and self-striping yarn, and I like it a lot.

Then Thursday was my birthday (I turned 33, so nothing very special), and on Wednesday my sister came here to help me bake some cakes to bring to work, and we spent most of the afternoon baking and chatting. She gave me the Gilmore Girls DVD box (which I had put on my wishlist), and we watched the first episode while we had dinner. I still love that show! And the cakes turned out really good, chocolate covered with raspberry mousse.

On Thursday morning Thomas gave me some gifts too, mainly some more books that I had wanted, by three different Swedish horror writers (John Ajvide Lindqvist, Frida Arwen Rosesund, and Mikael Strömberg). And believe it or not, he actually got me some knitting! I got a Knit Kit, with "Everything you need to knit your own Boot Cuffs". The designer, Louise Butt, is on Ravelry, but this particular design isn't. There are some other fun kits there though!

I think the yarn that comes with the kit is really cheap acrylic, but I love that he actually got me something knitting related! I'll have to knit them pretty soon I think, as I think they seem pretty fun. And fast! The kit includes two skeins of the yarn, a pair of straight 5 mm plastic needles, instructions for knitting and the pattern, and a HUGE tapestry needle.

As Thomas was working late on Thursday, we didn't really do anything special, so we're planning on going out for dinner tonight instead. I think we'll go to a Japanese restaurant, if I can be bothered to actually shower and put on clothes today :)

/ Jenny

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Socks and Yarn

Yeah, the title of this post is really unimaginative, but at least it tells you what it will be about. I got my last order of Fibernymph Dye Works yarn yesterday, and it is sooo cool!

This is her Bounce base (80 % superwash merino/20 % nylon), and the colourway is called Rainbow Riot. It is so much fun! It is striped in yellow, orange, red, purple, blue, teal and green, and I can't wait to cast this on. I think it needs to be just plain vanilla socks, and that will be a bit challenging for me as I find that kind of boring to make. But I think any pattern will take away from the awesome stripes, so I just have to bite the bullet on this one!

I also cast on a new pair of socks during the weekend, as I needed a mindless pattern for work. I chose my Fibernymph Dye Works Bedazzled yarn, in the colourway Leprechaun Socks, and the pattern House Targaryen socks.

They are looking really nice so far, and I'm already almost halfway through the foot on the first sock. It's flying off the needles, even if I'm trying to just knit on it at work. I'm really enjoying the yarn, and this is my first time knitting with a sparkling yarn too. I'm not completely sold on that, but it's ok, and the socks look kind of cool with the sparkly stuff. I love the feel of the yarn though, it's super soft but still feels like it's durable.

Other than that I've mostly knit on the Parcel sweater, and I've just started to increase again after the waist decreases. I haven't gotten any new photos of it yet, as there isn't too much visible difference from the last time I showed it, but it's getting there. I actually knit up a whole skein of yarn on Sunday! It's a fun knit, the cables keep it interesting. I'm just a little bit sad that I probably won't get much use from it until next winter.

This coming weekend I'll be going home to visit my parents, I'm going to help them with some planting and stuff, so I might not be back here until next week. I doubt that I'll have very much progress to show off before I leave on Friday. I haven't been home for quite some time, so that will be nice. I'm leaving Thomas here with the cats, but my sister will be going with me instead.

Oh, this past weekend she and I went for a small shopping trip, and I bought myself a very pretty dress. Isn't it cute?

I'm planning on using it mostly as an every day dress, I have way too many dress-up dresses already. Since I started knitting, I seem to spend less and less money on clothes and more and more on yarn...

/ Jenny

Thursday, May 09, 2013

It's been a whole week!

I have been so good with posting regularly this year, I'm kind of surprised that I've let a whole week go by without! I have just been busy with work, and had a lot of other stuff to do too, so I've been a bit too tired in the evenings to feel inspired to write. But today I have the day off (it's another national holiday today. We have a lot of those in the spring), and nothing special planned, so I thought I would update you all!

First of all, I'm getting new glasses. I have had a lot of headaches in the evenings lately, and usually when I get like that it means that my eyes have changed again. They do that about once every fourth or fifth year, and then it's time to get a new prescription. I've been trying out new frames for about a week now, and I've finally decided. I'm getting one regular pair and one pair of sunglasses. 

These frames are just the ones that you get to borrow from the optician to try out, mine will of course not have all those stickers on. And please excuse the goofy phone photos, I was home alone and couldn't ask Thomas to help me :)

I haven't been doing a ton of knitting, but I did finish the Carousel socks the other day.

They were fun to knit, but I really don't like the yarn. My sister said that all the dark colours looked sad and morose, and I agree. The pale lilac (which looks almost white in the photos) isn't happy enough to brighten the socks up. Plus, all those picked up stitches that run around all the spiralling makes the sock pretty uncomfortable to walk on. And I managed to get one sock a little bit too large, and the other one a little bit too small! So I think I'll knit another, nicer pair for my mother instead, and these will just end up in the pile of socks I don't wear much (that pile is fortunately very small). They were very cool to knit though, I had a lot of fun, and the technique was very smart.

I also got some yarn in the mail yesterday, the May shipment in the Hunger Games yarn club from Friday Studios.

The yarn is the Monday base (75 % superwash wool/25 % nylon), and the colourway is called Girl on Fire. I love this one too, and I'm so glad I joined this club! We also got some lip balm (Which is called TrackerJack Anti Venom!) and some stickers, and I love that we get a little bit of extras with every shipment. 

I hope Frida starts a new club once this one is finished!

I'm also still waiting for my first shipment in the next round of the Doctor Who club from Mad Color Fiber Arts, but apparently there had been a mix-up and she had missed my order. The yarn is coming, but it might take a little bit longer. I don't mind though, Heather was sooo nice about it and sent me a very apologetic message on Ravelry, and I completely understand that mistakes happen. We're all human, and as long as the mistake is fixed (and with such a nice message to go with is), it's fine. Just makes me want to buy more from the shop, as you can't beat good customer service!

And since we last spoke, I have actually knit a lot on my Gördes socks!

I'm almost done with the first leg, I think I might start the heel flap today. I love how these are turning out, the yarn (Shibui Knits sock yarn) is very nice to work with and the pattern is a lot of fun. Especially now that I'm getting used to the chart symbols. I wonder if they would fit my mom? I'm going home to visit next weekend, but I doubt they will be finished by then. But maybe the first one will, so she can at least try them on. I thin she would wear these a lot more than the Carousel ones.

I've also knit a bit on the Parcel sweater, and it's coming along nicely. I've done half of the waist decreases, and I really want to finish this one soon. I like knitting with the yarn (Drops Garnstudio Lima), but I also find myself in the mood for some Wollmeise DK again. But I don't like having two sweaters going at the same time, so I need to finish this one first.

Other than that the past week has been filled with work, and a lot of stupid stomach issues. I'm hoping that it is slowly getting better though, so cross your fingers for that! Last weekend Thomas' brother Adam moved to a new apartment, so all of the five brothers were in town to help. We went out for dinner on Saturday evening, which was really nice. My sister joined us too, and it is really nice to spend time with her. Since we moved from Linköping we really don't see each other as often, and at the end of the summer she is moving away too, to get closer to her work. It's still only a two hour drive away, but I'm still a little bit sad about it. It will be good for her though!

Now I think it's time for breakfast, and then I think I'll go outside before the predicted rain gets here. I'll try not to let a whole week go by before I post again!

/ Jenny

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Back to our regular schedule!

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week was fun and awesome as always, and I'm really glad I managed to participate all week last week! Mimi over at EskiMimi Makes is an awesome person, and her blog is one of the prettiest I know. It's so cool of her to organize this event each year, and I be even bigger next year, when it's the fifth anniversary.

Yesterday was something which is called Valborgsmässoafton (according to my dictionary, it's translated into Walpurgis Night, which is a German term originally), which is celebrated in the northern parts of Europe. I think that in "heathen times", this was a rite to celebrate the spring equinox, but once the Christians arrived and started baptising people, it got mashed up with the celebration of Saint Valborg (which is the swedification of the name Walpurgis). Now we just light big bonfires and have fireworks. It's supposed to be to frighten away all the witches that fly away on their brooms to celebrate with the devil. In the western part of Sweden, where I come from originally, we don't really celebrate Valborg much, but we have the fires and fireworks on Easter instead. Here in the eastern part of Sweden, Valborg is celebrated much more, and is unfortunately intimately connected with teen drunkenness. Well, actually, that part we have in western Sweden as well..

And today, the day after Valborg, we have the day off. It's a national Union day, and when socialism took it's hold of the country in the beginning of the last century, this was a day for demonstrations. It still is, to a big extent, and there are often May 1st walks in many cities, to protest against different stuff. I have never taken part in any, but it's nice to have the day off from work. It's supposed to get pretty warm today too (around 15 Centigrades), so Thomas has planned to barbecue. I plan on sitting in the sun knitting, and possibly do a little bit of gardening.

And speaking of gardening: In January we got connected to the communal sewage system (we had our own well before that), which meant that we got the hole garden dug up. Since then it's been either snowy and cold (so we couldn't see the ugliness), or wet and incredibly muddy (so we couldn't start fixing it). Now it's starting to dry up, and hopefully the digger guys will come back to help us fix it (we're just waiting for an estimate, to see how much it will cost us). I can't wait to have a pretty lawn again!

Ok, on to the knitting! I've actually been doing stuff this past week, I've just been too tired after work to make double blog posts. I haven't finished any more stuff since the last time, but I have started something. As I was writing about the Carousel socks, I decided that those needed to be my May striping project. I cast on early last week, and I've already finished the first one!

It is knit with Regia Design Line Kaffe Fassett yarn (75 % superwash wool/25 % nylon, 210 m/50 g), in the colourway Exotic Pool  04453. I'm not too sure that I like the colours knit up, but they are ok I guess. I love knitting these socks though, the design is pretty ingenious! They are turning out just a little bit long in the foot, so I'm going to give them to my mom when I see her next. She saw the photo of the socks from the pattern that I posted last week and really liked them, so I think she'll be happy. Although mine are nowhere near as nice as the pattern ones!

I also got some yarn in the mail this week. I finally got my Fibernymph Dyeworks yarn that I ordered a while ago (and there might be one more skein coming...), and I am very happy with it. Both skeins are in the Bedazzled base (75 % superwash merino/20 % nylon/5 % stellina, 401 m/100 g), the first one is in the colourway Leprechaun socks:

Can you tell why I love this skein! I'm a sucker for green, and this skein just screamed my name. The next colourway is Froot Loops, and it is just so much fun:

The stripes in this skein are just so silly and awesome! I'm very, very pleased that I managed to get both of these skeins, as it is really difficult to catch any at the updates. I think one of these might be the next stripy socks, if I don't decide to start with the Friday Studios Hunger Games yarn I got a couple of weeks ago. Me and Tammi over at Life and Yarn or Yarn and Life have been talking about a KAL with this yarn, so that might start soon.

I also happened to see that Garnkorgen had finally gotten a new shipment of MadelineTosh yarns last weekend (I get their news on Facebook. Which might be a bad idea...), so I also got four skeins of Vintage (100 % merino, 183 m/aprox. 100 g), in the colourway Copper Penny:

I'm thinking of making a February Fitted Pullover with this, but I haven't really decided yet. As I think I might have miscalculated a little bit, I'm not sure if I'll have enough for a full sweater, so I'm actually contemplating getting another skein or two. I actually have a birthday coming up at the end of May, so maybe I'll wish for some yarn money. As if I need more yarn...

This past weekend I picked up my Parcel sweater again, it has been neglected for quite a while now. I made it past the bottom ribbing, and I have just started the waist decreases.

It's made with Garnstudio Drops Lima yarn (65 % wool/25 % alpaca) in DK weight, and I really like it. I was afraid that the alpaca would make it too fuzzy to see the cables, but that doesn't seem to be a problem. As I haven't gotten back to my Gördes socks yet, the sweater will probably become my evening knitting for a while.

Now I think it's time for breakfast, and I think I'll go outside and eat as the sun is shining. Let's hope spring is here to stay this time!

/ Jenny