Archive for September, 2010

lately my mind has been occupied by thoughs on aran, guernsey and fair isle knitting. i came to the conclusion that i don’t have enough knitting books on the subject. but that was easy to remedy and now i have enhanced my knitting library with these lovely tomes:

new knitting books
newest additions

you remember what i said about finishing one project and how that can lead to starting new ones? well, i did start one new, but i wasn’t very happy with the preliminary result (below)…

an attempt
lovely yarn…

…but the decreases are ugly!

…so i frogged it. being careful not to repeat a previous mistake, i washed and stretched the yarn after ripping and now it’s as good as new!

i’ve left it alone for now, i need to ponder for a bit before i decide what to do with it next. try the same pattern, but differently? try another pattern? we’ll see, i’ll get back to you on that. what i have done, though, is revived two old projects! the first is the gosford park slipover. i’m knitting it in the round, with steeks, and i’ve actually made quite a lot of progress on it! i hope it will turn out nice, the yarn is lovely to knit with and i’m growing more and more fond of that beautiful heathery colour.

gosford park slipover

the other project is a pair of socks that i begun ages ago. it’s the gentleman’s lozenge socks by nancy bush published in knitting vintage socks. i’d used 2 mm needles and although the yarn is lovely at the tension that gives, the socks actually turnes out to be too tight. so i frogged the one i had started and re-cast on with 2,5 mm dpns instead. i didn’t wash and stretch the yarn, but i’m fairly confident it will be alright, it’s only socks anyway.

starting over on the lozenge socks

my cecily scarf is also coming along, i bring it with me wherever i go and whenever i have a few minutes to spare, i work a few rows.

happy knitting!

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wooly comfort

first, i want to say thank you for all the nice comments about my argyll vest and the striped scarf! you are all so sweet! thank you, thank you, ever so much!

after completing two wooly (and alpaca-y?) and warm projects, i really felt like starting… another one! autumn is indeed the season of grey scarves, and as if i don’t have enough of them (is that even possible?), i’ve cast on for another one.

my cecily scarf
grey wool, is there anything more wonderful?

the inspiration for this one is a scarf worn by the character cecily in the shooting party (1985).

grey scarf
cecily on the left

this is a very simple knit and purl pattern and i’m using a hank of lovely, lovely, yarn that i’ve traded with a fellow knitter at ravelry (how could i possibly live without ravelry?) i had an odd ball of rowan felted tweed left over from my helga jumper that a girl from riga was interested in, so i suggested we’d do a swap! i sent her my ball of felted tweed and she sent me a hank of lovely latvian wool. i really, really like this yarn so i might end up needing more of it… i hope there will be enough for the scarf, though, since it’s fairly narrow and there’s about 350 metres on the hank.

some more screen shots:

grey scarf
another screen shot of the scarf

grey scarf
and here’s another one

grey scarf
it’s a fairly long scarf

i must always have an easy project with me wherever i go if the opportunity to knit arrives. the other day i had some lunch on a bench in the park and afterwards i knitted for a bit whilst listening to the pillars of the earth (downloaded from audible to my ipod).

dumplings for lunch

grey scarf
and then some knitting in the sun

happy knitting!

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argyll vest

i have another fo! a friend of mine has this philosophy: when you finish one project, you’re allowed to start two new ones! a philisophy to my taste, indeed. however, i’ve finished three projects recently; the hourglass jumper, a scarf and a vest, but i’ve only cast on for one new project since (more about that in a later post). which means that i’ve five to go! isn’t that wonderful?

i’m very happy with the vest (or slipover as we call them in sweden). it’s my first intarsia knitting project. the intarsia bit was somewhat fiddly at first, but after a while i quite enjoyed it and wouldn’t mind another project using that technique. the only drawback i guess is that it’s difficult (but not impossible, according to elizabeth zimmerman) to knit intarsia in the round.

argyle slipover
argyle slipover

pattern: argyll vest from men’s knits: a new direction
design: erika knight
yarn: bc shetlandsuld (shetland wool)
yarn source: marias garn
needles: 2,75 mm and 3,25 mm
started: november 2009
finished: september 2010
modifications: my gauge was quite different from the pattern gauge which means that i had to recalculate all measuments and number of stitches, but i haven’t made any real modifications to the construction of the pattern

argyle slipover
stefan looking casual in his new slipover

well, i haven’t much to say about this other that recalculating a pattern to a different gauge is no picnic and i won’t do it again in a hurry. but now it’s finished and i’m really happy with the result. and more importantly, stefan is happy with it and he’s the one who have to wear it. it fits really well and the colours he chose look very nice together.

argyle slipover
looks nice with tie from scotland

happy knitting!

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some projects take more time to finish then others. and not always because they’re difficult or because one isn’t happy with the result or progress, but simply because they’re… big. or long. combine that with knitting gazillion other things at the same time you might eventually end up with a scarf like this:

my maple scarf
autumn 2010 scarf

i hear you say it, why on earth knit a two metre long scarf in stocking stitch in the round on 2.5 mm needles?

well, because i wanted one.

my maple scarf
stripey scarf in autumn colours

pattern: inspired by a scarf i saw at yll o tyll in uppsala
design: well, me and yll o tyll i guess
yarn: drops alpaca
yarn source: yll o tyll
needles: 2.5 mm
started: october 2007
finished: august 2010

my maple scarf
i’ve got stripes, stripes around my shoulders

i’m calling it maple because it contains all the colours you can find in a maple leaf in autumn.

it’s also good to know that laban is always ready to help out when it comes to modelling a work in progress:

laban and scarf
laban and the scarf

happy knitting!

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well, there is a jumper. a rather sad looking jumper. and a sad story.

it all started with very nice blue yarn and a nice looking pattern. i think the knitter might have had the right gauge at one point, but alas, the poor jumper turned out too small and was rejected. it was angrily bundled up at the bottom of the drawer. after several years a thought appeared. “what a shame – the yarn was nice and the pattern was nice. let’s give it another go.” the jumper was ripped out and new knitting needles was brought out of the basket. it all sounds very nice, but i’m sorry children, this is not a happy story. two fatal mistakes were made. the first was this: the ripped yarn was not washed and stretched and looked like very much like tangled wires from an old-fashioned telephone. the second mistake was that the knitter was sloppy and over-confident and didn’t read the pattern in the book properly and therefore accidentally cast on the number of stitches intended for a much larger jumper. the knitter also thought “the sleeves were too short the last time, i’ll make them a lot longer this time – long sleeves are nice!”

the yarn turned into a jumper for the second time. this time the jumper was very much too big. the knitter was ashamed. had she not learned anything? hadn’t she been knitting for many years now? if there is a dream jumper; this clearly was not it.

but there is a silver lining to every cloud. fortunately, the knitter has a very tall and slender friend who doesn’t mind a far from perfect jumper. a jumper with very long sleeves and an enormous opening for the head, but also a jumper to cuddle up in when it’s cold outside. the jumper found a new home with someone who appreciates it and the knitter will never make those mistakes again. hopefully.

houglass, take two
a very large jumper

pattern: hourglass sweater from last minute knitted gifts
design: joelle hoverson
yarn: araucania nature wool
yarn source: nysta
needles: 5 mm

detail of the hourglass jumper
detail of raglan decreases

perhaps not the happiest of endings, but not the saddest either.

happy knitting!

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up the irons

a few weeks ago several of my knitting friends spent a wonderful weekend in the stockholm archipelago on an island called väddö. it was time for the annual stickstämma (i suppose the translation would be knitting camp or knitting symposium). i really, really wanted to participate, i’ve only ever been to one stickstämma; in 2007 when it took place in leksand. but, there was another big even on the horizon, and a girl has to make priorities. so what did i do? well, i went to the sonisphere festival, of course! it was headlined by iron maiden and missing out was not an option!

iron maiden at sonisphere stockholm

alice cooper
alice cooper, another teeage hero, was also playing

we had the worst sort of outdoor festival weather, the rain was poring down, the puddles grew rapidly and everything was covered in mud. but it was all worth it. just before maiden entered the stage it actually stopped raining and we actually started to dry up for a bit. when the lads had finished playing and everyone started to leave the area the thunder started… a real post-concert light show! lightning all around us, thunder rolling and rain so heavy we were actually wading in mid-calf water.

we stopped for a bit where the mud was a bit more shallow (where it was deeper one’s shoes were almost caught in it) and took photos:

there used to be grass here
there used to be grass here

apart from the weather, we had a great time:

stefan och jag
sometimes the rain wasn’t too bad

kaffe och munkar
we also had coffee and soggy donuts

raining, but there's still grass on the ground!
at the beginning of the day there was actually grass on the ground

small lakes forming on the plasic cover
later on it looked like this everywhere

i think i’m going to knit myself an eddie jumper…

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