Friday, January 22, 2016

I'll try to do better in 2016!

Hello Everybody! I'm so sorry that I've neglected you all so much this past Autumn and Winter! It's been a looong Autumn, both me and Thomas started working again with Ella in pre-school, and right around mid-November my stomach just gave up. I've undergone a bunch of tests and examinations, and I'm just waiting for the results now. So I've been off work a lot, and spent most of that time on the couch or taking care of Ella.

But, hopefully the Spring will be better! Today I had my last day at work for a whole year, because I'm going back to school! I'm going to study at Linköpings University for a year to get a Biomedical Analysts degree and licence. I'm starting Monday, and even though it feels a bit weird to be back in school (I thought I was done with that!), it's going to be a lot of fun too.

I've also accomplished a lot of knitting this Autumn, so this might be a somewhat long post. But I think you're getting used to that, right? In my last post, the last FO I had was the Miffy toy. So today, I Think I'll just start with the next FO after Miffy, and work my way to the most recent one.

First, I finished the Zebra socks for my mother. Last time I had one finished, and the second one went pretty fast.

They turned out pretty cool, and my mom loved them. I don't remember if she got them for her birthday in October or before that, but she has used them a lot this Winter at least. They were made with Regia 4-ply sock yarn, in the Zebra colourway, on size 2 mm needles, and they are just plain vanilla socks.

Next up is a project that you have not seen before. I decided that I wanted to use up the rest of My Fibernymph Dye Works Nyan Cat yarn, so I knit up a plain stockinette hat with ribbing at the bottom for Ella.

She has used this one a lot this Autumn, before it got too cold for a fingering weight hat, but she looked very cute in it!

After the hat was done I still had a lot of the yarn left, so I used up everything but a very small bit of the dark blue skein for a pair of fingerless mitts for myself.

They are so very soft and nice, and I wore these a lot too, before it got too cold and I needed whole mittens or gloves. Both the hat and the mittens were made without patterns, just simple stockinette with a ribbed bottom for the hat, and stockinette and ribbing for the mitts with a small thumb gusset.

At the beginning of Autumn my best friend called to tell me she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, which was devastating news to all of us. She has since undergone chemotherapy and has had surgery, and the tumour is completely gone! Still, I wanted to knit some stuff for her, so I started off with a pair of Mystik Spiral socks.

I made them in FiberNymph Dye Works Bounce yarn, in the Tardis colourway, as we're both Dr Who fans, and she loved them. Now I just need to buy an additional skein to make something for myself too...

I also finally finished the Firenze socks that I made from The FibroFibers Nightfall yarn. I loved the pattern, but I have to say I'm disappointed in the yarn. It was supposed to be divided into two identical skeins, but as you can see my socks are anything but identical.

I still wear them, but I don't like that they are so different. The yarn was a bit stiff to work with, and even though it has softened a bit with washing, I still didn't enjoy working with it, so I'll never buy from her again. Also, I've heard rumours that there's been some trouble with orders not being sent from the shop, so I'm just as glad.

As I wasn't very pleased with the Firenze socks, I wanted something happy for myself, so I balled up my skein of Mad Color Fiber Arts Slink yarn, in the The Last Centurion colourway, and made a pair of V-junkie socks for myself.

These I really love, both the pattern and the yarn. Since it has 10 % Tencel in it, the yarn was a bit stiff to work with too, but since the colours are so amazing I didn't mind, and they have softened a lot after washing too.

I need to take a break from the FO's here to tell you about some yarn purchases, as I used some of that yarn in some finished projects. At the end of September last year I got a weekend without Thomas and Ella, so me, my mother and sister went to Ullared, a huge outlet shopping centre in the south of Sweden, and bought lots and lots of stuff! I had planned to buy winter clothes for Ella, which I did, and we also got a lot of her Christmas presents in the toy department. I think we were there for almost seven hours! But it was a fun, although exhausting, day. And the very next day we three also went to the Sewing Festival in Borås. It was fun and all, but I feel like there is less and less yarn at this event, and more and more fabrics and beads. I'm not sure I'll go next year, maybe it's time to try the bigger one in Stockholm instead. we'll see. I did buy some yarn though, and I'll just show them all to you here:

Viking of Norway Sportsragg (60 % wool/20 % nylon/20 % acrylic), in a kit designed for socks. I'll use it to make a dress for Ella, I think.

Garnstudio Drops Karisma (100 % wool), in the colourway Purple 76. I'll use these for a Seamless Flower dress for Ella.

Viking of Norway Nordlys (75 % wool/25 % nylon), in the colourways Purples 969 and Green/Orange 934. I'm planning on making a colourwork hat for myself out of the green/orange one.

Garnstudio Drops Merino Cotton (52 % wool/48 % cotton), in the colourways Dark Green 22 and Light Green 10. I've already used up almost all of it in a hat for my friend Christine. I'll show it to you a bit further down.

John Arbon Textiles Knit By Numbers (100 % wool), in the colourways Purple and White. I've used up all of this too, in a sweater, hat, scarf and mittens for Ella, which I'll also show you further down.

Ok, now we'll get back to the FO parade. Next up I finished a Winter Hoodie for Ella. I used the Knit by Numbers yarn I bought at the sewing festival, and this yarn was so nice to work with!

I've been wanting to make this sweater since I first saw it, but at first it wasn't available in Europe due to the VAT changes. But then all of a sudden I could get it, and Ella has worn it a lot this winter as it is so warm: However, I knit it on the small side, so I actually put it away the other day as it is too small.

As this yarn was so soft and nice, I decided to use up the left-overs of it too, and made a really thick winter hat for Ella as well. I used the same colourwork pattern as for the sweater, knit a folded brim, and finally made an inner lining to prevent the strands from snagging.

When this was done, I made a matching striped scarf (as you can see in the photo above) and a pair of mittens to match as well. The mittens are also knit with a double hem and lined to prevent the fingers from snagging in the strands, but unfortunately I ran out of yarn so the thumbs are too short! Ella did NOT enjoy wearing them, so they have mostly been languishing in the drawer. But they are cute!

And as my friend Christine was undergoing chemo, she started to lose most of her hair, so I wanted to knit her a nice, soft hat. I used the Drops Cotton Merino I got at the sewing festival, and based the hat on the Tiima pattern. I could not get gauge though, so I ended up using the leaf pattern from the Spring Thaw shawl and just sort of fudged the decreases at the top. I then knit an inner lining in the paler green, to make it warmer, and it turned out very nice! Christine really loved it, and hopefully she's getting a lot of use out of it now that it has turned really cold here.

And as it turned colder here in Sweden I also needed to make Ella a pair of thicker socks, Raggsockar in Swedish. I got some cheap, thicker sock yarn, Järbo Mellanraggi, and just knit a pair of ribbed sock with a gusset heel for her.

She's worn them a lot these past few weeks too, and as I got another skein of yarn at the same time, Sandnes Alpakka Sock yarn, that is also a little bit thicker, I'll soon make another pair for her.

The final FO from last year is a pair of socks. I wanted to see if I could finish a final pair of self-striping socks before the year ran out, as that would make my twelfth self-striping project for the year for the Stockinette Zombies KAL. And I did! I finished them right before we went home for Christmas, and as they turned out a bit too big for me I decided to give them to my mom.

I knit the Getting Down version for both socks, from the Partying it Up and Getting Down socks, and I used a skein of Opal Happy with Silbereffekt 9090 Surprise yarn (Opal has self-striping with glitter. Just saying.) that I had to get as soon as I saw it. I also got a skein in another colourway, 9091.

In the middle of October my sister turned 30, so I went home to celebrate her. We went out for dinner with her boyfriend and our parents, and also went to a food festival in Borås that was conveniently taking place that very same weekend. It was a lot of fun, and we were so full afterwards! Me and my mom also went shopping a little bit that weekend, and I got some more yarn. Because you never have enough, right?

Hjertegarn Safari (75  % wool/25 % nylon), in the 7698 Tiger colourway. Mom claimed these as hers, so I'll probably make another pair of socks for her.

Online Supersocke Carneval colour yarn (75 % wool/25 % nylon), in the 1888 colourway. Destined to become socks, possibly for myself. We'll see.

Four skeins of Sandnes Alpakka Silke (70 % Alpaca/30 5 silk), that I've already used up in the first FO for this year. More on that further down.

Five Skeins of Garnstudio Drops Eskimo (100 % wool), in the colourway 54 Pale Purple. These will become an Owlet sweater for Ella.

And finally during January I finished two things. First up was the Orleans dress out of the Sandnes yarn I showed you, and it is just so cute!

It reaches her about midway down the calves, and she looks like a little medieval princess in it. I got her some purple buttons in the shape of snails, because right now she loves to sing the Swedish song Little Snail (Lilla snigel).

And two days ago I FINALLY finished the Alvi sweater!

This has been such an ordeal! I was almost done with it before Christmas, until I discovered that I had shifted the pattern on one of the sleeves. So I had to rip out almost all of the yoke, and half a sleeve, and then reknit it. When I had gotten almost back to where I was, I realized that I really didn't like my raglan decreases, so I ripped back the yoke one more time and re-knit it. Now that it is done I'm really glad that I did, as I LOVE the finished sweater. It is still drying upstairs, but I'll show you pictures of when I wear it when it's dry. It's made with Wollmeise Blend yarn (70 % merino/20 % cashmere/10 % nylon), in the colourways Ooohm and Krokodil. I love, love, love this yarn! It is incredibly soft, and with the Wollmeise colours it is just fabulous.

Ok, I still have some yarn purchases to show you, and there might be two more orders on their way (all the more reason to blog soon again!). I have decided that 2016 will be the year that I knit a steeked sweater, and I've decided on the Tiber Cardigan. So I got some Kauni solids yarn for that, and some other goodies might have fallen into the kart at the same time...

Kauni Solids (100 % wool), in the colourways Dark Purple LL7 and AA White.

Bumbo Strömpegarn Print (75 % wool/25 % nylon), in the colourway 146 Red and Purple.

Viking of Norway Aurora yarn (75 % wool/25 % nylon), in the 639 colourway.

Viking of Norway Nordlys yarn (75 % wool/25 % nylon), in the colourways black, white and Pinks.

Ok, now we've gotten through the FO's and all the yarns. But there's still the unfinished stuff to go! And as I think I have seven projects on the needles right now, this might take a while too, but unfortunately, most of the stuff that's still on the needles are things that I haven't really been working on. As I think about it, this section could go by pretty fast!

First up, the Fiori di Sole shawl out of Malabrigo Lace. I don't think I've even looked at it during all of the Fall, but I am going to finish it some day. I actually want to knit lace, but I very seldom have the time to sit uninterrupted and make it. As I've been so sick and tired the whole semester I usually go to bed at the same time as Ella does, which gives me about zero knitting time in the evenings. Anyway, as I haven't touched it you'll get no new photos.

Next is the February Fitted Pullover, that I'm making out of Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage yarn, in the Copper Penny colourway. I've just finished the waist decreases, but I only picked this one up the other day after a long hiatus, so I have no new photos of this one either. This will be the project that I focus on the most for the moment though, as I really want to wear the sweater.

The Teatime with Teddy Bear Cardigan that I'm making for Ella in Dream in Color Smooshy, colourway Melon Bomb, is also resting, but I want to finish this one soon too, before Ella outgrows it! No new photos though.

The fourth project is the Spelunking lace cardigan that I'm making in Wollmeise Lacegarn, the Cassis colourway. I really want to finish this one too, and it will probably be the next focus-project after the February fitted pullover is done. I haven't touched it in ages, so no new photos there either.

I still have three things left to show you, and all of them are things you haven't seen (or heard of) before. First, I cast on the Farmer McGregor socks, in my sockblank yarn from Stäkets hantverk.

I'm really enjoying them so far, but other stuff has come between, so I haven't touched them either in a while. I'm not sure I love knitting with the kinked yarn, but it's not horrible either.

Next to last, a pair of leg warmers for my mom, out of some Lorna's Laces Shepherd sock yarn, in the Envy colourway. I'm using the pattern for the Sailor's Ribbing socks to give them a bit more interest than just plain ribbing.

My mom requested these over a year ago, and for a while they were my purse knitting, but once again, other socks got in the way and they've been hibernating for a while too. They might become purse knitting soon again though.

My purse knitting right now is my final project, and these are the Dalekanium socks that I'm making for my brother-in-law, Adam.

I'm using more of my Mad Color Fiber Arts yarn, this is also Slink, in the colourway She'll Fool Ya. The colours are really bright and happy, and I'm very pleased with them, but I'm afraid that they might be a bit big. I'm going to have Thomas try them on, I just have to remember to take them out of my purse! I had to change the pattern a bit to match my gauge, so I'm working on fewer stitches than the pattern tells you too, and they still might be a bit big. We'll see.

Phew! That was all the knitting for this time! I'm going to try and update here a bit more frequently during the Spring, and hopefully my new schedule will allow me to do so. Ella is turning two years old in March, and she's taking up most of our time right now. She's super fun, she runs around everywhere and talks a lot, and she's almost always happy. I think we are very lucky ta have such an easy going kid!

/ Jenny