Monday, November 27, 2017

Almost Christmas

Today it's snowing here in Mantorp, and it's actually starting to feel a bit like Christmas is getting near. We've had a busy Autumn, with lots of stuff to do almost every weekend, which is probably why it's been a while since I wrote. Thomas has had a lot of stuff with his band, I went to a friend's 40th birthday party, we've both been to concerts on different weekends, and had visits from some family and friends. But I have also managed to do some knitting!
I actually have 6 FO's to show you, that I've finished since September! After I finished my Supernatural mittens, I decided that I wanted to make Ella a new winter sweater and a new hat for her as well, as Autumn was getting closer. I finally decided to make her a new Flower Cardigan (she had this one when she was a lot younger), and I also made her a matching Little Flower hat (that she's also had before). I apologize for the somewhat blurry photos. It's not easy to get a 3.5-year old to stay still!
They are both made with Onion knit Tussah Silk yarn (66 % Merino/34 % silk, 134 m/50 g), and she loves them both. I made her a striped hat out of sock yarn last year, and she's been complaining that it itches (yes, I have a daughter who thinks wool itches. Go figure), but this hat is a lot softer so she's accepted it wholeheartedly. I hoped to make all of the hat lined, but ran out of yarn before I could finish all of the crown decreases on the inside hat, so it's not lined all the way, but warm enough for winter.
After that I finished the Speed Bumps socks that I made for my mom, and she's already got them. She wears through at least one pair of socks each year, so hopefully these will last her at least until spring.
Next up I FINALLY finished the Evenstar shawl!
I started this one in April 2016, so it's been on the needles for quite a while. Now it's finally done, and I've been wearing it (as a scarf) almost every day since it was dry. It's made with MadelineTosh Prairie lace yarn (100 % merino), in the Norway Spruce colourway, and I love it as much as I loved my previous Evenstar (this one made with Wollmeise Lace Garn, that I wore holes through).
As winter was coming on I also decided that I really needed a new hat, so I knit myself a Norrland hat out of some Rauma Finull yarn.
This pattern was a lot of fun, with both colourwork and cables! I added a pom pom to use up the yarn, and it fits me perfectly. The yarn was a little bit scratchy to work with, but it hasn't bothered me on my head so that's ok.
Finally, Ella got a new winter scarf as well. I made an Anybody Out there? scarf, using some very dark grey Marks & Kattens Fame sock yarn and bright red-orange Regia Sentimento sock yarn, and got to do some double knitting for the first time in years. It was a lot of fun, and went very fast once I focused on just that one project. Ella really likes it, she's very into space and aliens, and this past week it's been cold enough for her to wear it too.
Ok, those were all the finished projects! I think that was quite a lot! Right now I'm focusing mostly on my Enchanted Mesa sweater, and it's going swimmingly. I've altered the pattern quite a lot, but it fits me just as I had planned for, and now I have the main body (below the bust line) and two sleeves left. It is just garter knitting, so it's going quite fast too. Hopefully I can finish it before Christmas, but right now I've actually injured my right had, so this week I'm staying away from the needles. Hopefully I can knit this coming weekend.
I also started two pairs of socks, because I couldn't decide which yarn I wanted to use the most. I'm doing my own design on both of them, but I haven't had much chance to knit on either of them other than at break time at work, so I haven't gotten very far. Maybe I can finish one pair before Christmas, but I wouldn't count on it. The first sock is made with Filcolana Arwetta Classics sock yarn, and the second one is made with Mad Color Fiber Arts Fugue yarn in the colourway Fall of the 11th (it's from a Doctor Who club).
Other than that I only have the Pincha shawl on the needles, and I haven't touched that one since maybe this summer, so I won't show it. That one will get some attention once the sweater is done, and once it is finished I actually don't have anything big going. I'm trying to knit to zero, we'll see how it goes!
I'll try to get back here before Christmas, but I'm not making any promises!
/ Jenny

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Now summer really IS over!

We're back from our vacation in Greece, and Autumn has really kicked in here in Mantorp! When we boarded the plane to go home it was 25 °C and sunny, and when we landed in Gothenburg it was 8 °C and foggy. And it has been raining more or less every day since then!
But we had a wonderful, sunny week in the tiny village of Almyrida, and we swam in the pool and the ocean every day. Ella had a blast, and everything worked out perfectly with the airplane and bus rides and stuff. We had wonderful food and lots of ice cream every day, and just relaxed and did as little as possible. I did manage to find a yarn store on the day we went to Chania for some shopping, but unfortunately it was closed. It looked very nice from the outside though!
On the flight there I started a new pair of socks, to keep me occupied. I didn't have much knitting time during the rest of the week, as it seems we spent most of the time in the water, but by now I'm almost done with the first sock.
These are the Speed bump socks, and I'm using Marks & Kattens Fame sock yarn (75 % wool/25 % nylon). I think they will be for my mom, as she has worn holes in her last pair. I like the colours, and the pattern is very easy to memorize. They are my current coffee break knit too, now I'm back at work.
I also have an FO to show you! I actually finished the first of the Winchester Plaid mittens right before the end of stash dash, so I reached the 3K goal I was aiming for. And I finished the second mitten right before we left for Greece too, so I now have a cozy pair of mittens for winter.
They are made with KnitPicks Palette yarn, in the colourways Marina and Black, and I lined them with some red Palette in the Serrano colourway. I really like them, even though they are a little bit big, but the lining helped a bit with that.
The only project other than the socks that has gotten any love at all is the Evenstar shawl that I'm making with some MadelineTosh Prairie yarn. I haven't gotten any now photos of that one yet, as it is scrunched up on a very short needle with about 500 stitches. I just started chart 3, and it's very slow going as I haven't gotten much free time lately (Thomas has been busy with his band, and it's very hard to knit lace with Ella around). I really want to get it done though! Lately I find myself in the mood to get all the things off the needles, especially the projects that have been going for a while. I need to make Ella a new winter hat and a winter cardigan too, but I think I'll try to get the shawl done first.
My other two projects, the Enchanted Mesa sweater and the Pincha shawl, haven't been touched at all for ages. I'll get to them one by one, once the Evenstar is finished.
Other than that, life is just getting back to its normal routine, with daycare for Ella and work for me and Thomas. We plan to go to Gothenburg on the last weekend in September, to see a concert with Ghost again, but as it is outside I think we'll hold off to decide on it until we know what the weather will be like...
/ Jenny

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Summer is almost over

Ok, I know it's been a while, but the summer has been spent almost entirely with the family, and I just haven't taken the time to update here. But now I'm back at work, and life is returning to its normal routine.
I worked all of June, but summer slowly crept upon us anyway, even though it was pretty cold. Me and Thomas and Ella spent Midsummer's Eve here alone in Mantorp, and went to a local celebration to dance around the maypole with Ella (she was more interested in blowing soap bubbles though), and we had pickled herring and strawberries for dinner and desert, as is the Swedish tradition. It was a little bit cold, but still a fine day.

At the beginning of July me and Ella went to Heda Old Fashioned Market, which is about 40 minutes away from us. It is a local crafts and arts market, and very nice. We had hotdogs and spun sugar, and I bought a skein of hand spun alpaca yarn from a local breeder. I have several skeins of theirs in my stash already, and now I'm planning to make something striped.

Brink Hantverk Handspun Alpaca yarn, about a sport weight, from the Alpaca Cessna
The weekend after that I went to another crafts market in Hjo, to the west of Sweden, and even though this one was bigger, I didn't think it was as nice as Heda. It just seemed to be more commercial, and not as cozy. But I did buy some yarn anyway :)
Hedängens Himle, 100 % wool, lace weight, in the colourway Singö
Fingerfärda Sock yarn, 7 25 g skeins in rainbow colours
Femm Design 100 % merino fingering weight, hand dyed in rainbow colours
Then on July 17th my vacation started, and we immediately went home to our parents in Borås for a week. We went to Borås Zoo and Navet (a local science center) with Ella, and hung out with all of our family. My niece is turning one year old next year, and she is growing so much! She took her first steps the other week, and is just super duper cute.

At Borås Zoo

At Flygvapenmuseum

At Navet Science Center
Ella and her cousin Molly
When we came home to Mantorp again we made a few day trips with Ella, and when the weather allowed we've been swimming in the pool, but other than that the last three weeks have mostly been spent fixing things in the house and hanging out. And knitting!
I actually have five FO's to show you since last time. I've been trying to make the 3K mark in this year's stash dash, and as of today I'm up to 2922 m, so if I can just finish one sock or one mitten before next week I'll make it. But I'll start from the beginning.
Last time I wrote I had just finished the first of my spiral socks that I had designed myself, and that pair was the first FO. They are made with Mad Color Fiber Arts Shiny yarn in the colourway Medusa Cascade, and I really like them. I was in a few of her yarn clubs a couple of years ago, and so far I have loved all of her colourways.

A couple of months ago, when I was in the car with Ella, she told me that she wanted to go to the monster store and buy a rainbow coloured monster. I tried to explain to her that there are no monster stores, but maybe we could find her a rainbow coloured monster in a toy store some day. Then when I went to the market in Hjo, I found a perfect, hand dyed merino skein in all the colours of the rainbow (the one above from Femm Design), and I bought it specifically to knit Ella a monster. I made it for her while she and Thomas were in Borås, and she got it as a surprise when I came there, and so far I think she has slept with it every night! She loves it so much, and named it Monster-Ella!

It's the Hugo the Couch Potato Monster from the Big book of Knitted Monsters by Rebecca Danger, and it was really easy and a quick knit. I have more than half the skein left, so I could make Ella another one.
Next up I made a pair of socks for myself, in OnLine SuperSocke Silk yarn, with a very simple circle pattern that I borrowed from the Tiberius socks I made for Thomas. They looked so tiny while I knit them, but they fit me very well.

A couple of weeks ago I also finished the Crossfire shawl that I made from the handspun yarn that Thomas gave me for my birthday. It turned out very big and cozy, and I really love it. So far it has been a bit too warm to wear it (hence the bad photo), but I think I'll use it a lot this Autumn.

And finally, the other day, I FINALLY finished the Tiber cardigan! I started this one back in January 2016, so it's been on the needles for quite a while, but last week I finally finished all of the knitting, steeked it and sewed in the buttons, and it's currently drying in our guest room. I can't wait to wear it!

I am super happy with it, it turned out perfect, and it was even easy to steek it. No more fear of steeking for me!
So, right now I have four projects on the needles, neither of which has gotten any love since I wrote last! I have mainly focused on one project at a time, to get stuff finished, and right now I'm trying to finish at least one of the Winchester Plaid mittens. If I finish one I can count it for stash dash, and then I reach my 3K goal. The problem is that I had planned to line them, so we'll see if I get there.
The other three projects are the Enchanted Mesa sweater, the Evenstar shawl and the Pincha shawl, but none of them have gotten any attention so I'll show them to you next time.
Next week, me, Thomas, Ella and Thomas' mother are leaving for Crete for a week's vacation, and it's going to be wonderful to get to swim in the Mediterranean and get some actual sun for a week. Not to mention all that amazing Greek food! I'll be back once we get back home again!
/ Jenny

Saturday, June 03, 2017

At least it hasn't been a year!

The past few weeks have been very busy both at home and at work, so I just haven't had the time to update the blog! For four of the past six weeks I've had two biomedical scientist students that I've supervised at the lab, and even though they've both been exceptional, It's a little bit exhausting to always be on full alert as you are when you're keeping an eye on them. This weekend, however, Thomas has taken Ella to his mother in Borås, which means I have the house all to myself! 

On the 28th of April, me and Thomas and his brother Adam went to Stockholm to see Ghost, which was absolutely amazing. We left early on Friday morning and spent a good bit of the day shopping in Stockholm. We went to the Sci-fi bookstore and I got to visit Litet Nystan, which is an amazing yarn shop. They carry both Malabrigo, Madelinetosh and Cascade, plus the have also started selling Wollmeise! I bought some Cascade 220 that I think will become a cardigan for Ella, a skein of hand dyed sock yarn, and a skein of Malabrigo sock yarn. 


Then in the evening we went to dinner with some friends, and then on to the concert at Hovet. Ghost delivered a fabulous show as always, and now we're planning on seeing them again when they come to Gothenburg in September.

I've also had a birthday since last I wrote, and Thomas had actually gotten me yarn! He was on a work trip at an old textile mill/museum, and picked up a skein of hand dyes mystery wool yarn. It is a single ply and a little bit thick and thin, and gorgeous! I've actually already started a new project with it, which I'll tell you more about later.

I've actually acomplished a fair bit of knitting the past couple of weeks! Two weeks ago I also had the house to myself, and as the weather finally got warm, I spent a lot of Saturday outside on the deck, knitting and listening to podcasts. I started by finishing a pair of striped socks that my mother-in-law will get when next I see her.

They are just plain vanilla socks, and the Yarn is Friday Studios Monday yarn in the colourway Capitol Couture, that I got in a club shipment a couple of years ago. I'm not sure that I think the colours work together, but my mother-in-law has already seen them and likes them, so I'm pleased with them.

I also FINALLY finished the Fiore di Sole shawl a while ago! I actually ran out of beads, and it took me a while to find more in the same colour, but now it's finally done and I love it!

It's made with Malabrigo lace yarn in the Emerald colourway, and fully beaded. The size is perfect and I completely adore it.

I have also finished two more pairs of socks, one pair for me in OnLine supersocke Carnival yarn that I improvised a cable pattern on, and the other pair is the Tiberius socks that I've made for Thomas.

I am very pleased with oth these pairs, and even though Thomas probably won't use his until this coming winter, he really likes them. His are made with Marks & Kattens Fame yarn, in a jeans blue colourway. Now that Thomas' socks are done, I'm trying to focus my attention on my Tiber cardigan. It's going slowly, but I hope to make a dent in it today, and possibly tomorrow before Thomas and Ella get back. I haven't gotten any new photos of that one yet, but it still looks almost the same as it did last time.

I've started four new projects since last too! I'm designing a pair of toe-up, spiralling socks that I'm making with Mad Color Fiber Arts Shiny yarn in the colourway Medusa Cascade. I've had to rip them back once all the way to the toe, and I reknit the first heel two times as it didn't fit my foot properly, but now the first sock is finished and I'm just about to start the gusset increases on the second sock. I really, really like them, and they are currently my break knitting at work.

Next up I cast on with the wool birthday yarn that I got from Thomas. As I have only a very wide estimate of the meterage of the skein, I decided to stripe it with black, so I bought a skein of two-ply wool from Ullcentrum in black. I cast on for the Crossfire shawl, and it's going great! I only needed the pattern for the firstfew rows, so I think this might become my break knitting once the socks are done.

After that I started another sweater for myself, the Enchanted Mesa sweater by Stephen West. I'm using Sandnes Garn Mini Alpakka, in six different colours, and I'm going to make it more fitted. I've only just started making the cowl neck, so the photo isn't much to look at, but I'm enjoying it so far. This one doesn't get much attention, but I wanted to have it started!

Finally, I started another shawl, because two on the needles didn't seem like enough. I started the Pincha shawl, with at least one skein of Lana Grossa Mielenweit sock yarn, and this is the project that I most want to work on! It is so much fun and so pretty, but I'm trying to get the cardigan finished first.

Other than that I think I've knit maybe two rows on the Evenstar shawl, and I haven't even looked at the Winchester Plaid mittens. But once I finish the cardigan I'll try to finish those two too, to get the oldest projects done! Also, Stash Dash has started, and I want to try for 5K this year. I don't really think I can finish that much before the end of August, but I'll try to get as much done as possible.

The other day I also got the second shipment from the Wollmeise yarn club, which contained two whole skeins of lace yarn! The colours are absolutely gorgeous, the dark green is Rosalie (which is also my mother's name), and the deep red is Margarete. I'm not over the moon for the pattern, but I think I'll try to hold them double and make a Downton Pullover out of it instead. I just need to finish off some of the older stuff first...

Okay, I think that's it for this time. I'll probably be back sooner next time, hopefully with more finished stuff!

/ Jenny

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Two new FO's in one week!

Lastweek I managed to finish two projects, both for Ella. The first was the Texture in Colors cardigan that I've been working on for a while, and it fits her perfectly!
It's made with a solid lilac Cascade Heritage yarn, and a self-striping Opal Surprise with silver effects yarn as a contrast, and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. The original pattern has no sleeves, so I had to lessen the arm-hole a bit to make those, and I added two after-thought pockets, but other than that I made no modifications. I knit the largest size, and I think she'll be able to wear it for at least the spring and autumn.
As I had plenty of yarn left over, and Ella kind of needs a new spring hat, I immediately cast on for a simple stockinette beanie for her in the same yarns, and I finished it last weekend. The brim is 2x2 ribbing in the Heritage yarn, and the rest of the hat is in the Opal yarn.
I haven't had a chance to get a photo of Ella wearing it yet, as she is currently very much against being in photos. The yarn is very pretty, and I have a little bit left over that I'm maybe going to make a tassel of and attach to the hat. We'll see.
Once I finished the hat, I needed a simple project that I can bring to work, so I cast on for a new pair of socks, in Friday Studios Monday sock yarn that I got as a club shipment a couple of years ago.
The socks are just plain vanilla stockinette, and the colourway is called Capitol Couture, basd on the fashion that the Capitol dwellers wore in the Hunger Games books and movies. I'm not sure I really like the colour combination, so I'll give them away to my mother-in-law, who liked the colours.
Last weekend  my parents came to visit to help me and Thomas install our new shower and bathtub, and our bathroom looks so nice! Our old shower cabin has been falling to pieces for a while, and now we finally had enough and bought a new one, with a big bath tub. Then Ella went with my parents when they left, to spend the week with them and with Thomas' parents, leaving us to enjoy a couple of days alone. We missed her a lot, but I spent most of the evenings knitting on the Fiori di Sole shawl, trying to make a dent in it. I've finally passed chart E, which was repeated five times, but I've run out of beads. I've ordered some more, and they should arrive in the mail today or tomorrow, so maybe I can knit a little bit on it this weekend too.

Me and Thomas then went to Borås on Thursday evening, to spend Easter with our families, and it was very nice to see Ella again after four nights without her! We spent the weekend seeing family and friends, and eating a lot of good food. Then on Sunday we went back to Mantorp, and as Monday was also a holiday, we spent that day just lazing around at home as a family. I cast on for yet another pair of socks, with a self-striping skein of OnLine sock yarn.

I'm making a very simple, improvised cable pattern on the side of the sock, but other than that they are very simple stockinette with an after-thought heel. These will be for me, and I'm enjoying them very much!

Other than that, life mostly consists of working and hanging out with Ella. It's very nice to be back in a more regular routine in life, and not having to study every night at home! Yay for working!

/ Jenny

Monday, March 27, 2017

Sock progress

Hello all!
I really feel like I haven't really done much at all since last time I wrote, life is more or less trucking on in our daily routine. Me and Thomas are working, and Ella is at preschool, and in the evenings we cook, clean and hang out with Ella. Ella turned three years old on March 5th, so on the Saturday before that our families came to visit for a party. Ella got properly spoiled, with lots and lots of presents, and I had baked a cake that was more tasty than pretty :)
Thomas has had a lot of activities during the weekends lately too, so I haven't really gotten a lot of knitting done either. However, the Tiger socks that I made for my mother are done, and she got them this weekend.

They are made with Hjertegarn Safari sock yarn, and are just plain vanilla socks with a regular heel flap heel. She has worn out her last pair of socks and really needed a new pair, and she put them on as soon as she got them.
I also got the first shipment in the Wollmeise yarn club that Thomas gave me for Christmas (yes, he really is the best husband!), and I really, really love it. The colourway is called 88 Ra (for Radium), and it is very pretty with greys and greens. The theme was Marie Curie, and the pattern is a very pretty shawl based on Bohr's model of the atom. So much science-y fun!

Last weekend me and Ella went to visit my parents in Borås (Ella loves to go visit her grandparents and usually don't want to go home), and we went shopping a little bit on Saturday with my sister and niece. I got some Sandnes Mini Alpakka yarn that I will eventually turn into an Enchanted Mesa sweater. I don't knit a lot of Stephen West patterns, as most of them are a bit too far out there for me, but when I saw this project of that pattern I was completely hooked. I bought six different red/purple colourways that I will stripe, with a light beige to match, and I want to cast on NOW! But I need to finish some other stuff first. As there are six colours, I'll just direct you to my Ravelry stash page to see for yourselves :)
The project that has gotten the most love in the past couple of weeks is the Farmer McGregor socks, and I actually got to finish them on Saturday! I used the most boring sock blank in history, it's just green, and almost not even variegated, but the socks turned out very pretty. I think I have decided to keep them for myself.

I'm also knitting a lot on the Texture in colors cardigan I'm making for Ella, and this is my current work knitting, as I've just been slugging along on the stockinette body. I decided to add a pair of pockets, as Ella has just found out the practicality of pockets, so I just put in some waste yarn and I'll make them as afterthought pockets. I just picked up all of the stitches for the buttonband/collar/bottom (and broke a needle in the process!), and then there are just the sleeves left!

I actually picked up the Fiori de Sole shawl one of these past weekends, and I now only have a half repeat of chart E left before I move on to the next session. None of the following sections will be repeated more than once though, so once I start on chart F it will feel like it's almost done.
The Tiber Cardigan, the Winchester Plaid mittens, the Evenstar shawl and Thomas' Tiberius socks have not been touched at all. Once I finish the Farmer McGregor socks and Ellas's cardigan, I think I'll try and focus on Thomas' socks and the Tiber cardigan, as I would really like that one finished while it's still cold enough to wear it. Or I'll just have to wait for Autumn to wear it.
See you soon!
/ Jenny