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

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A shorter one this time

Hi, I'm back! And it's only been a little more than a week! Last weekend me, Thomas and Ella went to my niece's christening, and I got to be her Godmother. Her name is Molly (well, Eva Molly Maria), and she is super cute. She was completely fascinated by the whole event at the church, and spent most of it by blowing raspberries with her lips, which is a new trick for her. Ella got to pour the water into the fount, and spent the whole party afterwards playing with my cousin's daughter. I just thought I would show off the little gift I made for Molly:

It's the Veslekari Sett, and I made it from one skein of the Knitting Goddess 4-ply sock yarn in the colourway Knit Me, and one skein of Marks & Kattens Fame in a the colourway 631, which is a very bright fuchsia pink. The whole set turned out perfect, and I'm very proud of it, and the hat fits!
Last week was a very busy week at work, and then Thomas had his birthday on Friday. We didn't do much that day as I was coming down with a cold, but we're planning a dinner and hotel night sometime soon in the future, when we can arrange some babysitting. Ella and I also started toddler gymnastics this past Sunday, with an association called Knatteskutt. It's for 2-4 year olds, and basically just a bunch of kids running around with lots of balls and three leaders trying their very best to structure the whole thing up. When the kids are that small, one parent has to be there too, and it was so much fun to see Ella having the time of her life. We'll get to go every Sunday for the rest of the semester, and it's kind of her first steps into organized sports.
Other than that, not much knitting has been accomplished, as I just haven't had the time. I've knit a little bit on the Texture in colors cardigan for Ella, but not enough to take any new photos, and the first tiger sock is almost done too. The rest of the projects are patiently waiting for some attention!
So, I guess that's it. See you all soon!

Friday, February 03, 2017

Kind of Ironic...

Well, don't I feel like a chum! My last post, which was published little over a year (!) ago, stated that I would try to post more frequently in 2016. And look how that turned out! 2016 was a crazy year for me and my family, and I had so little free time that I just couldn't spend it on blogging. But now I'm back at work, and our lives are getting back to a more normal routine, so I hope I'll finally have some time to spend here. Let's just hope that I have a few readers left!
Last year, just after I wrote last, I went back to school. One year at Linköping University, to get my licence as a biomedical analysist (BMA). Usually it takes three years to become a BMA, but if you already have a degree in biomedical sciences (I have a masters degree in medical biology), you have the possibility of taking a one year course to get the extra credit needed. And let me tell you, this is a tough year! You still have to learn everything that the three year students do, it's just expected that you already have a lot of that knowledge from your previous education. For me, it's been almost ten years since I went to school, and I think I have forgotten almost everything I learned then, so basically last year was spent entirely studying! Poor Thomas has had to take care of almost everything domestic, and I've felt a little bit too absent from Ella too. Thank God it was only one year!

But now I'm back at work again, I've only been working for a week yet because both Ella and me got a stomach bug last week and had to stay at home. It feels great to be back in a normal life again, and have evenings and weekends free. As you can imagine, I haven't had a chance to knit very much last year either, but I did manage a few things during the summer when I was off school. I won't show you all of it in this post, but if you want to you can go to my 2016 knits page and see all of them. I thought I'd just show you a few of the things, those that are my favourites!.

First off I've finished two dresses for Ella. She's turning three years old this coming March, and she's growing so fast! The first one, the Orleans dress, is already too small and put away, but she got to wear it a few times at least.

It's knit with Sandnes Garn Alpakka/Silke yarn (70 % alpaca/30 % silk), in the 7741 colourway, and it turned out very cute! She last wore it about two months ago, when we had a small photo session with Ella and her brand new cousin Molly.

That's right, this year I've become an auntie! At the end of August my sister and her boyfriend had a little daughter, and her name is Molly. She is tiny and gorgeous, and it's so much fun to finally get a cousin for Ella. She's getting christened tomorrow, and I'm going to be her Godmother. I haven't knit a lot for her, as her parents aren't as knit crazy as I am, but she has inherited most of Ellas outgrown stuff. And I also knit her a sleep bag, that I'm very proud of as I did it without an actual pattern, just from looking at a crocheted model.


It's knit from KnitPicks Palette yarn (100 % wool), in lots of colours, and I think both Molly and her parents liked it.

I also knit Ella and Molly matching Elijah Elephant toys, out of a very cheap acrylic yarn. Me and Ella went grocery shopping one day, and Ella went right past all the toys and stuff in the store, but once she saw this skein of yarn she just had to have it. Funny kid! And of course I had to support her yarn love, so I bought it for her and made toys from it.

The second dress I made for Ella got finished right before Christmas, so she wore it on Christmas Eve.

It's loosely based on the Dress for Alma pattern, but I changed a lot of it so it's probably more my own pattern. It turned out a super cute balloon dress, and it's very warm since it's made of Nille Alpacka Soft yarn which is 60 % acrylic/40 % alpaca. Ella doesn't like it very much, I think she thinks it's a bit scratchy, but to my hands it's super soft. Oh well, She'll probably not have to wear it very much more, I won't force it on her if she doesn't want to.

I also knit two sweaters for myself this year, one that I finished right after new year last year, and one during the summer. The first one is the Alvi sweater, that I made from Wollmeise Blend yarn (70 % merino/20 % cashmere/10 % nylon), in the Krokodil and Ooomph colourways.

I am so very pleased with this one, it fits me perfectly and it's super soft. Blend might be my new favourite yarn. From the leftovers I made a sweater for Ella too, the Anders sweater, and it too turned out great. It still fits her, but one of the buttons have fallen out so I'll have to sew it back on. I'll get to it one day soon.

The second sweater for me is the February Fitted Pullover, and it's made from Tosh Vintage yarn (100 % merino) in the Copper Penny colourway, and other than it's a little bit tight around the arm holes, it's perfect too. I love the colour, and it's really soft and has a nice weight to it.

I haven't managed to get any photos of either of the sweaters on me, maybe I'll get to that too some day.

At the end of the year I also managed to knit socks for all of Thomas' four brothers, which they got for Christmas. I've just started a pair for Thomas too, but I have only gotten to the first cuff as I've focused on other stuff.

And I think that's it! I've also bought a lot, and I do mean a lot, of yarn this year, I think it's been a bit retail therapy, but if you want to see any of it I'll just direct you to my Ravelry stash page. I dare you!

So, then we'll just dive into this year. I have a lot of projects on the needles, and I'm almost embarrassed to admit that two of them are from 2015. I'm still slugging away on my Fiori di Sole shawl that I'm making with Malabrigo Lace yarn, and I don't think I've touched it since this summer. It is very concentration demanding, and with a three-year-old running around at home it's almost impossible. But I'll finish it some day! No new photos though, as I've made very little visible progress.

The second long time project is actually a pair of socks. I just haven't gotten around to them yet, mostly I think because the pattern is in a physical book and not on my iPad. It's the Farmer McGregor socks that I'm making out of a sock blank from Stäkets Hantverk, and I think I'll focus on these ones once I finish the socks I'm making for Thomas. And that pair, which I actually started this year, is the Tiberius socks by Cookie A, and I'm making them in a skein of jeans blue Marks & Kattens Fame sock yarn. as I said I haven't even finished the first cuff, so no photos of either of these socks either. Maybe next time?

Last year I also started a colourwork cardigan for myself, the Tiber Cardigan.

It's made in Kauni solid yarn in a very dark purple and white, and it's turning out very very pretty. I love it, and I really enjoy working on it, but somehow it's just not gotten very much attention. I guess lots of other, more important projects have taken up my time. I really want to wear this one though, so I'll have to get cracking!

Next up is yet another lace shawl, but this one is for a specific reason. A couple of years ago I made an Evenstar shawl out of Wollmeise Lace, that I've just loved to bits. Literally. About a year ago I had to wash it, and noticed four or five holes in it, that I mended in a very imperfect way. A couple of months ago I noticed yet another hole (I think I've just snagged the shawl on stuff like zippers, I don't think we have moths), and I decided to just call it quits. So I'm making another one, also in teal, but this time out of Madelinetosh Prairie, in the Norway Spruce colourway. I knit a lot on it when I had just cast on, but now it's been languishing in its bag for a long while. I want to finish it, but just like the Fiori di Sole shawl, this one is quite demanding attention-wise, so I rarely get a chance.

I have also worn holes in my Ramona mittens that I made back in 2012, so I really need a new pair of mittens. So the other day I cast on for a pair of Winchester Plaid mittens, in KnitPicks Palette yarn. I had actually gotten as far as the thumb on them, but I just wasn't pleased with how the stranded colourwork looked, so I ripped them out and started over. So right now I'm about as far as you can see in this old photo.

I think they will be a little bit big, but I plan on knitting a lining for them to make them double, so I think it will be all right. Go team Dean!

I'm also knitting on a pair of socks for my mother, a plain vanilla pair.

These are made with Hjertegarn Safari yarn, and are supposed to make tiger stripes, but mine are turning out mostly spotted. I still like them, and I think my mother will too. This is my mindless work project right now, that I knit on at my coffee breaks.

My final project I'm working on is a fingering weight cardigan for Ella, the Texture in Colors cardigan.

I'm making it out of Cascade Heritage sock yarn in the lilac colour, and a skein of Opal Happy mit Silbereffekt sock yarn that Ella just loves. She picked that one out of my huge bin, mainly because it has glitter in it, and she keeps asking me if it's for her when I knit on it. If I hunker down on it I think I could finish it quite fast, so I think she'll have a light weight cardigan for spring at least. As she is a little furnace all of her own, and never seems to feel cold (try to keep socks on her feet, I dare you!), she could probably wear it all year round!

Finally, I've also managed to finish three things this year too, but I can only tell you about two as one is a surprise. The first is a pair of socks for me, which I really, really love!

These are the Pomatomus socks, also by Cookie A, and they are made with Mad Color Fiber Arts Tasara yarn (80 % merino/20 % silk), in the Fruity Oaty Bar colourway. I have to admit that when I got this skein a couple of years ago (it was a club skein), I wasn't all that thrilled with the colours, as I thought they were a bit too bright for my taste. Now that I've knit it up I absolutely love it, I think they are the happiest socks I've knit in quite a while!

I also made a small dragon for Ella, out of some Järbo mini skeins I have had in stash for ages.

This is the Tarragon the Gentle Dragon Pattern, and I did mostly as the pattern said. I think he turned out super cute, and so does Ella. She kept wanting to steal him even before I had finished his arms and legs! I think he took me about three days to knit, as he is quite small, but that just makes him cuter. Ella has named him Draken (Swedish for dragon), as she hasn't quite grasped the concept of naming stuff yet :)

And that's it! As you can see, the main things last year was studying and becoming an aunt, but hopefully I'll get back here more frequently with more updates! Thomas is having his birthday next weekend, and at the beginning of March Ella will turn three, so I think there will be some party stuff going on here soon. See you soon!

/ Jenny