I have not much to write right now, the dark days of the end of the year are upon us and it is just busy busy busy, so just a photo and maybe in a week or so another item….
Sunday, November 16, 2014
When we were in Britain the other month, we were lucky to see Frankenstein as an encore broadcast in the cinema. It was put on as it was the Halloween season, and us being in Britain and my oldest one is a enthralled with “Sherlock”, we thought it was just too good an opportunity to miss. It is one of these things, that since one knows what comes after (both actors playing Sherlock), the dynamics become somewhat different. I enjoyed the play very much indeed even if some bits could have been just slightly better (the terrible dialoge between the young married couple in the first act comes to mind), but the “talking” monster and the questions about whom is the bigger monster, are very fascinating indeed.
Back to Sherlock though, although I like it, I think it is sometimes way too clever for its own good and thus in our house that quite ends up as in discussion whether Elementary is better than Sherlock. I actually am one of those people who happens to think that Elementary is the better series. It is tighter, it has a fantastic Watson and it is clever but not " oh how well do we know the details and want to go meta" clever. But there is quite a bit of knitwear in Sherlock and with a daughter interested in Cosplay, I do get request… So a Christmas Sweater was the request, as seen here. I like stranded knitting, I never knitted an Icelandic Sweater like that before, so yes I can do that. But I als spotted that it was a very bulky sweater and that gave me second thoughts. After a bit of browsing, I found the pattern Stryta and indeed it is knitted in bulky wool and rather large sizes too. S likes to wear sweaters and cardigans and she is totally worth knitting for since she does wear them a lot. But a bulky sweater , no that would be worn once and then it would just be way and way too warm to be worn. And that I didn’t really like. So I had a good look at the pattern and at Icelandic wool and it was clear that I could adapt the pattern quite easily for worsted wool instead. So I am using Létt-Lopi instead, and knitted on 4.5 mm I basically used the original pattern in the largest size. I made some small changes in the yoke, just below the pattern to compensate for the difference in row gauge, and it worked fine. A sweater in size 32” with some ease too. It is quite an easy knit, the stranding is only a bit fiddly in the couple of raws when there are actually 3 colours to work with. Even in worsted this is a very warm sweater, so I am glad I didn’t make it in bulky.
It is stormy here and I think it will be worn to school tomorrow, so yes not only a Christmas Sweater...
Saturday, November 8, 2014
I am a cardigan person, maybe it is living in Sweden where the temperature outside and inside can be so wildly different, so a layering item is just what one needs, or for any old other reason but I rather wear a cardigan over any pullover… So it is no strange thing that I rather knit cardigans over pullovers too… I do knit the odd pullover, but what I am drawn to is Cardigans, especially ones that are quite simple but with a small twist. I also like to knit with lighter yarns, fingering, sport that’s what I like most, occasionally worsted but that is really as heavy as I go.
So the Galvanised Cardigan was really one that I needed to make. It has been in my queue since forever, I even bough yarn for it since forever… But my queue is large and (hum so is my stash) but it always feels so very very good when something from the queue is gone and year lingering in stash has been used. So I am happy with a wearable cardigan…. I did not make any big changes, I made the body a tad longer, but for the rest it is really as simple as cardigans come. No shaping, straight up and raglan sleeves. But those corrugated borders do make it, and are a hell to knit, it probably took much longer time to knit those borders than the whole rest of the cardigan. That’s what you get if you go for the details...
Monday, November 3, 2014
On some weekends I get a lot of knitting done…. We were visiting family in the UK over the last couple of days, and while travelling and such I did a lot of knitting. For instance I did finish my galvanised cardigan, but I was not able to get any decent pictures yet, so that has to wait for maybe in the weekend. I started a Christmas Sweater for S, but on a later day, a separate post will appear.
I also did some gift knitting, a small bonnet for a new baby of a colleague of mine. The pattern is called Lilacs for Lila and it makes a cute little bonnet for a girl-baby. Got some nice soft yarn Sublime Yarns Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK in a non-baby colour, a nice strong vivid purple. This was a supereasy fast knit (basically one evening and it was done), so very good for baby gift knitting!
When I was in the UK, I also stumbled over Rowan Fazed Tweed, which has a very interesting construction. I had read about it on Ravelry but seeing it in real life made me want to knit with it. It consists out of a kind of nylon net, in which the rest of the fibres (wool and alpaca) are held. The result is a very lofty yarn which is very very soft. The colours are speckled and it is not a true tweed, in the scene that there are earnest of colour, but it is quite pleasing nevertheless. And oh so soft...
I did not have any project in my mind, so I bought three skeins, in Oak, Elderberry and Bay and then started to think what to make with it. I decided upon a scarf or cowl in an interesting slipped stitch pattern. I am a bit concerned how well the yarn will stand up for extended wear, so a scarf seems a good item to make with this yarn. Also a slip-stitch will prevent hopefully some major pilling, but we will see over time what happens. The photograph below doesn’t really show the stitch very clearly, but it works quite well. It makes a nice cushy fabric for even more warmth and cosiness. My neck will be pleased with this. Whether it will be a cowl or a scarf, I cannot say right away. I do realise that for either of them I don’t have enough yarn, but I am not going to buy more than 2 skeins of each colour, so we will see how far that brings me...
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Today the clocks went to wintertime and although I like the hour of extra sleep in the morning, I don’t like the change. I like summertime, I like the long days and I love the light. Now Swedish winter is upon us and although I don’t hate it as much as I used to (first year in Sweden was very hard in that respect), I don’t really like it either. It is a goos thing that I am quite busy these days, almost to busy to really noticed. One thing that I noticed is that although it has been very very wet, it is also warmer than a usual year. Many trees still have leaves, the grass still needs to be mowed and we haven’t gotten night frost either. I start to wonder whether it will come this year, no sign yet of cold.
But it has been wet, so much rain and although I finished the little item about a week ago, there was simply no way to have decent light for a good picture. So here is Warble, a small cowl, knitted in Quince & Co. Tern. Very good as an assessoire, nice to keep my neck warm…. because this is also the time of year when draughty houses and offices are most noticeable. And as my house is old, and my office in a weird place in the lab, I suffer on windy days.
Also quite an easy knit, I did change the pattern slightly, to make it more symmetric and a good commuting project when I needed it.
Sunday, October 5, 2014
Finished and happy….
The yarn was worth the experiment. What was quite odd. was that the light coloured yarn was much softer and easier to break than the blue yarn, which was quite sturdy in comparison. For the stranded knitting at the to it meant that I had to work quite carefully and it took a bit longer. I added 4 sets of short rows, 3 below and 1 above the stranded knitted band. For the closure bands, I picked up and knitted stitches and used simple garter, 4 ridges. Nice rustic wooden buttons for the finish.
If only the patter had been a bit more consistent, I would probably have sung its graces, as it is, no...
Now of course we are in the middle of an Indian Summer, so it will be a while before I truly can appreciate its warmth….
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Ever since reading Elizabeth Zimmerman I have been intrigued by unspun icelandic wool. For some reason or another I never did anything about it, but as things go, there is a moment that curiosity takes over and one dives in. I bought some plötulopi to make a warm cardigan for myself now the autumn is there. When reading the yarn page for plötulopi on Ravelry, I got a bot concerned, best to knit with continental style, very loose tension required… I am an “English knitter" with a very average tension, which is very nice as I come often very close to what recommended gauge is on the skein-band, so continental with loose tension would require some learning, and while I am all for learning (that’s part of my job after all), sometimes it is also difficult to obtain new tricks. So I thought, well why not simply try with my own method, and as it is, it is fine :-)
Yes I have broken the yarn a couple of times, but this is the easiest yarn to reconnect as well, so it is not a big problem. The fabric is nice and airy, it is not "next to the skin wear” wool, as it is a bit prickly. But not too much either and with T-shirt it will be absolutely fine. It has very nice drape and the colour is great, blue with a hint of black, lovely and lively.
I am knitting Freya, but I am knitting the cardigan “flat”. I all will not do the crocheted button bands, they look very wobbly in many of the projects and I think normal knitted bands in garter will be nicer. The pattern is a bit oddly written, overly descriptive in some parts and absolutely no information in other places, so I am going my own way here.
One thing this project isn’t, is portable. An that is mainly due to the unspun yarn. You need to thread it with some care, mainly in how you pull the yarn from the wheel. The slightest friction then, and it breaks, so I put the yarn so it is unobstructed and wind it of carefully, not something you do in a bus or car.And as I like to knit on my 2 x 45 minutes commutes everyday, I need a portable project.
So I started Warble, a nice cowl/shawl which is going to be very useful in my sometimes draughty house. For this project, the fact that I am a crystallographer, very aware of symmetry, kicks in. I had to make the pattern more symmetric, so I changed the direction of the cables ad the twisted stitches in one half of the pattern, so there is mirror symmetry… I couldn’t help it….just had to be done.