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