Saturday, April 21, 2018

And another long pause...


I had really planned to write more frequently this year, but as usual, life got in the way. First, Ella got a mild case of the flu, which she graciously passed on to me. I, on the other hand, was sick as a dog for more than two weeks! Thomas has also been sick at least once, and Ella has recently had two rounds of stomach flu on top of that. At the beginning of March she turned four years old, and we at least got to have our families here to celebrate. We had to cancel the kid's party due to illness though, so now we're hoping that we all get to be healthy for next weekend and do it then instead. Please keep your fingers crossed for us, we are really sick of being sick!
Last time I wrote, I hadn't quite finished the advent calendar knitting I was working on. I actually managed to use up all of the skeins, and to use up all of it I knit the scraps into a small doll blanket for Ella:
An I-cord neck band for Ella's toy guitar
A crocodile (that looks a bit like a weird badger...)
And finally, the blanket!
Ella really got loads of new toys from that calendar! Opal sock yarn is as always pleasant to work with, it's a very basic sock yarn that I use a lot for socks too. It was a lot of fun, but right now I'm a bit done with knitting stuffies. I did buy new yarn to make her a giraffe though, so maybe soon? 
Next up, I finished my Pincha shawl!
I really like this one! It's more a scarf than a shawl, and I've used it a lot during our long, cold winter this year, just wrapping it several times around my neck. I ended up with 38 leaves on mine, so it's quite long. It's made with Lana Grossa Mielenweit Freestyle yarn, in the colourway 7702. I think I bought this via Amazon, if I remember correctly, and it's a very nice, regular sock yarn.
After that, I finished my Deconstructed butterfly socks. I really wanted to knit the Monster Moths socks, but at the time I started these, that pattern wasn't available, so I just fiddled around a bit until my butterfly stitch looked similar to the one pictured in the moth pattern. I knit these toe-up, so they're not exactly the same.
I really, really love these socks, and the yarn is really super soft! It's Filcolana Arwetta Classic, and in this yarn you can really tell the difference between superwash wool and merino! I will probably buy more of this yarn in the future, but right now I'm trying not to buy lots of stuff, as we're doing a lot of stuff with the house this year (more about that later).
I also finished my other design socks, that I called the Wedge socks.
These are made with Mad Color Fiber Arts Fugue yarn, in the colourway Fall of the Eleventh, which was a Doctor Who club colourway a couple of years back. I love the yarn, and I really, really love Heather's colour sense, as almost all of the yarns I've gotten from her are very pretty.
Next finished item is another pair of socks that I cast on at the beginning of March. I call them Zig Zag socks.
I like them, even though you really can't see the pattern on this coloured yarn. The yarn is Sheepy Time Knits Sheepy Feet yarn, and the colourway is called Soufflé Girl, which is another Doctor Who yarn club colourway. I'm not in love with the colours, but the yarn is fine. The pattern is a zig zag of knits and purls that would probably look better on a solid or semisolid yarn.
I have also started and finished a new cardigan for Ella. A couple of years ago I went to a crafts market in Heda, a couple of kilometres south of us, and got three skeins of local spun Angora yarn. I had two green skeins and one pink, so I made some thin stripes with the pink on the yoke and sleeves, and knit the edgings and button band in pink too.
The cardigan is very cute on Ella, and so very soft! We actually also made the buttons together out of Fima Clay, which Ella thought was a lot of fun.
I also have lots of stuff on the needles! Once I had finished my two design socks, I had nothing left to knit on, so in the middle of February I cast on everything! It was in the middle of my flu illness, so I had nothing but time all day long! I started with a new colourwork sweater for myself. It's the Julia sweater, and I'm using KnitPicks Palette yarn in the colourways Fairy Tale and Oyster Heather (the green yarn is just a waste yarn for the provisional cast on). It starts with knitting the sleeves, and I've made almost no head way at all so far, but that's because I've been focusing on other things first. It looks really pretty so far, and I really enjoy working on it too.
I've also started a new lace shawl for myself. I chose the Skuld shawl by Anna Dalvi, and I'm using Nyansera Sundari sik yarn in the colourway Spice Market.
You're supposed to knit four repeats of the increase chart before you are at the half-way point, but when I got there I had used up less than 25 % of my yarn, so I just kept repeating the increase bit, and now, after 10 repeats, I'm almost half way done. I love the yarn, it's super soft and very shiny, but it was a nightmare to wind! It just kept snagging on itself, and I ended up having to wind all of the skein by hand. I do not look forward to winding the second skein!
I also started another sweater for myself, that I've had in my queue for quite a while, the Moyen Age sweater.
I'm being really decadent in using Wollmeise Pure yarn in the Unbeschrieblich colourway for this one, and I'm already loving it, even though I'm only just past the bottom edging. It's such a beautiful sweater, and maybe I'll finish it for winter...i
I also thought that Ella needed a new knitted dress, so I cast on for a Flower dress for her.
I'm using Garnstudio Drops Karisma yarn for this one, so it isn't the softest, but hopefully she can wear it with a T-shirt under it in the Autumn and Winter. She seems to think it's pretty so far anyway, as she's seen the pictures in the pattern.
As I had finished all of my socks, I also cast on for another pair for me. I'm making Cookie A's Ellington socks, and I'm using KnitPicks Stroll sock yarn in the Firecracker Heather colourway.
I had been thinking about the Stroll yarn for a while, as I have almost no socks in that yarn for myself. I've knit with it several times, but for some reason those socks have been given away, and I really like the yarn. It's very soft and nice to knit with, but feels sturdy enough to last too. So these socks are definitely for me!
The last project I started when I was ill was the Entrelac blanket I told you about last time. I've already used up one whole skein, and I think I'm about 25 % done when considering how big I want it, so I think I'll have to buy one more skein eventually.
It's going well, and this has been my potato chip knitting for a while now as it's very easy to memorize. The yarn is Falkgarn Karamell, which is a 100 % acrylic yarn, but it's very soft and looks nice too.
Finally, I cast on for another pair of socks to have as my work break knitting. I'm using a skein of Opal Sweet & Spicy sock yarn, in the Fruchtgummi 9127 colourway.
I'm just doing stripes of ribbing through the back loop and moss stitch, so a very easy pattern that I don't have to think about. I like most of the colours in the skein, but I think I might give these away to my mother when they are done. She wears through socks like nobody's business, so she probably needs a new pair once these are done. My mother-in-law could probably use a new pair too!
As I mentioned briefly, our little girl turned four years old on the 5th of March! It's amazing how big she's getting, but I guess all parents feel that way. We had a big family party for her where she got properly spoiled, with way too many presents and a huge cake with Owlette form the PJ Masks on it. 
She's having some friends over for her first kid's party next weekend too, and she has requested a dinosaur theme. We've bought paper plates, mugs and hats with dinosaurs on them, and we're going to surprise her with a dinosaur piñata too. It should be fun!
As spring has FINALLY arrived (we had snow up until last week, I think), we're fixing stuff on our house. We're hiring people to do most of it, as we don't really have either the time or knowledge to do some of it. But we're getting the house painted and the garden spruced up this year at least, which should be fun. Ella has already started to plan what to plant in our new garden patches!
Oh, and I fell off the non-shopping wagon the other day too, and a HUGE yarn package came in the mail the other day! I put in an order for some new needles at a Danish yarn store, and got 8 skeins of sock yarn plus a gradient kit in sport weight merino:
Mayflower 1 Class solid sock yarn (75 % superwash wool/25 % nylon), in an olive colourway
Mayflower 1 Class solid sock yarn (75 % superwash wool/25 % nylon), in a blue colourway
Mayflower 1 Class Print sock yarn (75 % superwash wool/25 % nylon), in a multi colourway
Mayflower 1 Class Print sock yarn (75 % superwash wool/25 % nylon), in a multi colourway
Mayflower Merino soft yarn ( 100 % merino), in a Grass Gradient colourway
I also bought the new edition of the book Vogue Knitting. I have the old one, and I think I might have it both in Swedish and in English, but I really wanted the new one too. It's been updated with lots of new technique stuff, and it's just so darned pretty!
The needles I got were mostly to fill up my collection, as I seem to prefer the longer 20 cm dpn's over the 15 cm ones that I've always used. However, I seem to have trouble finding the 2 mm size in that length, as I prefer the harder wooden ones like birch over bamboo. But I finally found a set where the 2 mm size was included, from Prym, so that's what I got. I also really want to try out the Lykke needles that I hear so much about, on lots of blogs and podcasts, but right now that was a bit too much money. I have a birthday coming up at the end of May, so maybe then...
Ok, now I think you're up to speed on what we've been doing. Not much fun stuff, mostly sickness and regular life going by, but also a lot of knitting! Hopefully, now that the weather is turning, the kid's at Ella's day care will be healthier and stop spreading everything around!
/ Jenny

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

New year!

So, Christmas and New Year's have come and gone, and both December and January so far have been busy. We spent a week around Christmas with our parents and family in BorĂ¥s, and Ella got super spoiled with lots and lots of gifts from everyone. She's really into crafting stuff right now, so she got lots of beads, pens and paper, play dough and stuff like that. She is really taking an interest in my knitting, and wants to learn, but she hasn't got the motor skills yet. I think in about two years she can start learning, if she's still interested.
Then for New Year's Eve we went back to Mantorp, just our little family, and we spent the evening at home with just Ella, having a great dinner and shooting off some fireworks. We were off work until last week, so now the days are back to their normal routine. Actually, Thomas started a new job just yesterday, so some things are pretty new, and he seems very excited. It's at another museum in Norrkoping, so the commute is a little bit longer, but I think it will work fine anyway.
During December I got an advent calendar from Opal, so each day until Christmas I got one 15 g skein of striped sock yarn. I was so thrilled with this that I actually decided to start knitting with it at once, so I actually started a new project. Or several, actually, as I've mostly used the skeins to make small stuffed toys for Ella. So far I've used up 17 of the skeins! And Ella has gotten a lot of new stuffies!
A small creature with hat and scarf for Ella - one skein
A small star for Ella - one skein
A mini monster for Ella - one skein
Hat, scarf, mittens and socks for Ella's Teddy - four skeins
One more mini monster for Ella - one skein
Tiny Window cat for Ella - one skein
A whale for Ella - one skein

A slightly larger mini monster for my uncle - one skein
A mini monster for my niece Molly - one skein
Earbuds chord minder thingy - one skein
Heart for Ella - one skein
Jinx! for Ella - one skein plus some leftovers
Hat and beard for Ella's painted toilet roll gnome - one skein plus leftovers

Right now I'm also knitting on a stuffed shark, and I'm planning to make an octopus, a seahorse, a manta ray, a crocodile and possibly some kind of robot. As I only have 7 skeins left, that seems doable. I have no deadline for the projects, but I am including them in my knit to zero plan, so I want to finish them before I start something new.
Other than all of those toys, I have also managed to finish the Enchanted Mesa sweater, and as I had so much yarn left over, I decided to turn it into a dress:
I really love the final outcome, but this one has had it's ups and downs! It actually turned out way too big right under the arms, I could have fitted a whole new pair of boobs in there, but instead of ripping it out I just sewed in a bit along the side seams, and it turned out great. The cowl collar turned out to be a pretty tight polo neck instead, which wasn't at all flattering, so I cut it off, ripped all the yarn out, and re-knit it from the neck lining and up in a bigger size. Now it fits me just as I wanted it, so it turned out great too. So the final outcome fits me very well, and I really love it!
That only leaves me with four projects left on the needles, and two of them are almost done. The first is the advent knitting, which I've already told you about, and the second is the Pincha shawl.
I'm using Lana Grossa Mielenweit Freestyle yarn for this, and I really, really love how it's turning out. In the photo I've made 9 leaves, but as of today I've already made 18. I'm planning on making a least 30, and as I have another skein I think I'll just knit until I like the width. It took me quite a few leaves to memorize the pattern, but now that I know it I'm using it as TV knitting in the evenings.
I also have the two pairs of socks that I'm designing myself left on the needles, and they will get some love once the shawl is done. The ones I'm using as work knitting have gotten a little bit of attention, but the other pair I haven't touched since before Christmas.
The next thing that will be cast on, once all my stuff is done, will actually be a blanket. I bought some cheap Falkgarn Karamell yarn (80 % acrylic/20 % wool, 380 m / 200g, colourway Viol) during the holidays, and I'm planning on turning it into an Entrelac blanket.
Other than that I haven't really decided what to start, but I want to make another sweater for myself, and probably one for Ella as well. And I always need to have socks going, so I have something to work on at my breaks at work. So all in all, I'll probably start lots and lots of things!
/ Jenny

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