March 31, 2007

Insert big smile here


I got a new great package from my Knittyboard Secret Pal.

Want to see what was inside? So much yummy stuff, both knit wise and gourmet wise...

SP package
(click to go to flickr and see the notes if you're curious about the yarn)

The falling leaves socks from my previous post are not going to be finished by today, so I will not be able to enter them into Socktopia in the "It aint easy being green" theme. The baby cardigan has been sucking up a lot of my knitting time, but I don't think I would have been able to finish the pair of socks if I had been faithful to that project anyway. 2mm needles and lace just makes sock knitting slower than I remembered. I have turned the heel though, and hope to finish the socks during easter. My SIL is waiting to receive them so she can get a couple of chances to wear them before summer.

I wound some yarn yesterday. I have some pale pink/peach unknown sockweight yarn (wool blend?) that I found in grannys yarn chest long ago. I dyed it with pineapple KoolAid last summer and have been waiting for the right pattern for it. It's going to be Shimmer Socks for "Sunshine on my shoulders"-socks for April Socktopia submission. And I think I will just do that one pair. I tried to go for three pairs now in March and that did not work out.

March 27, 2007

Baby cardigan

Look closely at that picture... Do you see there is something severely wrong with the back of that thing? Like the neck bind off is absolutely not correctly placed (in the middle) and one arm is quite a bit longer than the other! Do I need to say that WIP does not exist any more in that shape and form?

It now looks like this:


That's much better... And the knitting is so much more interesting than rows and rows of endless garter stitch in boring beige.

Also I'm very much hoping to get this done by the end of March.


It's going to be a pair of Falling Leave socks. At the moment it is one complete and one awaiting a heel turn.

March 25, 2007

Mum's little helper

CIMG2686 CIMG2687

CIMG2688 fluffy

No, she did not do all that. She did not find it that interesting.

March 24, 2007

Do you swatch like I do?

I knit a lot of socks and other small items, and for those I don't usually swatch. Some say this is now wise, but I have not had many gauge accidents so far. Not since I learned about gauge, anyway. I've learned to trust my instincts and knowledge about how I knit enough to be brave most of the time.

For bigger things, where gauge matters, I've learned to make the right preparations though. Last weekend was swatch weekend in the knitting corner of my living room. Out came yarn appropriate for a spring and summer sweater, pattern for said sweater, my set of Denise Interchangeables, measuring tape and a fair portion of patience.


Swatching, for me, goes something like this:

-Hmmm, how many stitches to cast on for a swatch?
-The pattern says 18 stithes in moss stitch per 10 cm. Cast on 40. 40 is a nice round number.
*I go to get some tea
-Wich needles do I pick first?
-That's harder. No real logic to this, is there... Pick the largest of the ones I think are in the ballpark of being right.
*Tea is ready to be drunk
*I cast on loosely and after about an inch or two, this happens
-Gah, seed stitch is kind of boring...
-Yes, but look how pretty it is! Look at the pattern picture. See how beautiful that sweater looks. Knit on, don't mind it's slower than garter or stockinette!
-But blimey, seed stitch is boring to knit! And there is that tiny pain in the left wrist already.
-Stop whining! KNIT ON!
-Shut up! ...I think fresh air is needed...


(sound of clicking needles)
-Pffffffft, stupid seed stitch! At least the sleeves are stockinette...
-Yes, but the pattern does not tell you to swatch stockinette does it? Knit that damn swatch, I say.
-I think this is long enough.
-Boloney, you need at least another inch.
(clickity, clackity, clickity, clackity and the occational sigh)

-Hey, that looks right. Do three rows of stockinette now, and then change to the other needles.
-Yay, does that mean I'm half done?
-Maybe, but smaller needles means more stitches to knit before the swatch is big enough to measure row gauge...

-Heyheyhey, I just bound off the swatch.
-Good, lets fondle it a little bit, then throw it in the washing machine.
-Yesssssss! Oooooo, this feels nice.
-And don't forget to measure it before washing now, OK? And remember where you write it all down this time, please.
-God, who do you think you are? My mom? You sure sound just like her.

*(laying down on laundry room floor, peeking into machine)
-Where is it? Do you see it in there?
-Yes. It's there, behind that sock and that pink sweater. Don't you see it?
-Ah yes, there it is. How long left of the program?
-I don't know. An hour maybe? Gawd, this floor is dusty! Someone should vacuum down here.
(repeat from * three times with 20 minute intervals)

-Howdsitlook? Huh? huh?
-It looks good. Calm down, no need to run to get the tape measure yet... Oh OK, go get it... Quick!
(next morning, swatch is dry)
-Feels a bit stiff, doesn't it?
-Maybe a bit. Must be one of the special quality of cotton. I'm not all that familiar with cotton.
-Hey, here's an idea; put the swatch inside your t-shirt and walk around with it for a while. Maybe that will soften it up a bit. It's kind of like wearing the sweater... Maybe?
-Mmmmm, are you sure this is not stupid? Whatever, give it here, I'll do it if that's what makes you happy.
(Guro walks around with swatch inside t-shirt all day)

-Ummmm, whatever happened to that swatch?
-Hang on a sec, here it is. Oh my, it feels much nicer now.
-Lets measure, give it here. I said give it here, no need for all that cheek rubbing. It's not like it's a face cloth or anything!
Wow, this thing has grown! But the gauge is just right on the smaller needles. This is great!
(high five)
-You know, we should treat ourselves to something. Want a glass of port to go with that smug smile?
-Sure. But stay away from the good stuff, we'll save that for when we have an entire sweater.
-Awwwww, but I thought....
-I said stay away. You'll thank me later! God, that swatch looks good...

(What, you think I'm mad now? You don't have conversations like that in your head? At least it's only in my head...)

March 20, 2007

Hey, magic laser socks...


Am I brilliant or what???? I have the skillzzz to knit socks that shoot out a lazer beam of warm spring sun!

You want to know who is really brilliant? The girl who made up the pattern for these socks!
It's the Rainy Day socks from MagKnits. The yarn is some PT5 Sport from a big cone I have, KoolAid dyed with strawberry if I remember correctly, and 3 mm needles. I've submitted the socks to Socktopia in the "Spring Fling" category because the colour remind me of tulips, and tulips are usually my big spring fling. One of my favourite flowers, tulips...

I really liked this pattern. It's easy to memorize the very neat lace stitch, and with the DK yarn and thick needles these socks nearly fly off the needles.



March 18, 2007

Frogging and Fetching

Mason-Dixon kimono -> -> CIMG2446
Not much to say about this. Running out of yarn, to thick fabric for a baby, back neckline too low, bleh!

There is however a little bit more to say about this!



Just look at that... I'm amazed at the difference the choice of yarn makes to a knitted item.
Those two pairs* of Fetching are knit following the pattern to a tee, using the same needles and took the same time to finish. The only difference is the yarn I chose. The colorful ones are knit with Taos by Chrystal Palace and the black ones are knit with one strand Chiri and one strand Inca, both alpaca yarns by norwegian manufacturer Rauma.

I love both pairs in their own special way, and I'm now sending them off to two ladies I cherish with all of my heart: two of my my childhood and teens best friends. Growing up together, sharing so much, and yet growing into two so very different women. I chose the yarn to go with their person. Amazing isn't it???

(* - yes, they are pairs. I just could not figure out a way to take nice pictures by myself showing me wearing both. Suggestions are welcome!)

March 11, 2007

This is a very pink post

If you dislike pink, please stop reading.

Remember this post, with all the WIPs? I have finished two things from that post in addition to the sock that has been frogged and re-started.

First, a pair of VERY PINK MITTENS.

The reason these have taken so long to complete is that I really detest this neon pink colour. It hurts my eyes to knit with this colour even more than knitting with black. I completed the pair in november, only to realise I made a big mistake (forgot to increase after the ribbing) and had to rip half a mitten. I was so bummed about this it has taken me three months to get over it apparently.

But this:
Cable close up
is the first cable I ever made! I'm kind of proud of it...

I've also completed this cardigan and burp cloth for my cousins baby. I'm not 100% happy with it, as I don't like this very pale pink colour very much, and the yarn turned a bit "hard" after wahsing.

I really do like pink alot, just not knitting with neon pink, and not pale grayish pastel pink. Anything inbetween is ok!

Now, off to work on more old WIPs!

March 05, 2007

Quick update on WIPs and FOs

I knit these during the weekend
Blue socks
(How to get a 4yo to stand still for pictures; put them on top of the fire place...)

This has been frogged
february socktopia wip

And is now in this state
Rainy day socks
Rainy day socks from the latest MagKnits.

And I remembered I had this deep down in the stash:
I'll do some swatching soon and find out if it will become a Dollar and a half cardi or a Green tea raglan from the latest Interweave knits.

Now, back to the knitting!

March 02, 2007

Madde's mittens

"Madde's mittens". "Madde's mittens"..
"Madde's mittens"... "Madde's mittens"....

I just finished these thumbless baby mittens yesterday. They're for my 5 months old niece (and goddaughter).
They took about three hours to knit, are felted and I've had my first go at needle felting as embellishment.

Pattern for

Madde's mittens

50 grams Sandnes Garn “Mor Aase” or another feltable DK weight 100% wool yarn.
A set of four 4,5 mm double pointed needles.
One split stitch marker, safety pin or piece of yarn.
Tapestry needle.
Wool yarn for embellishment, or supplies for needle felting

Using long tail cast on CO 30 stitches, 10 on each needle. Join and start working around in stockinette stitch. Use split stitch marker or safety pin to indicate beginning of round.
Knit even for 26 rounds.

Round 27: *k3, k2tog* to end of round
Round 28: K to end of round
Round 29: *k3, k2tog, k3*, repeat *-* twice
Round 30-36: P all stitches
Round 37: *k3, kfb, k3*, repeat *-* twice
Round 38: *k3, kfb* to end of round
Round 39: *k4, kfb* to end of round

Knit even 17 rounds.

[*K1, ssk, k to last 3 st on needle k2tog, k1* to end of round, k one round] three times, then *-* until there are 12 st left. Ssk, k2tog on all three needles. Break yarn, run it through the 6 remaining stitches with a tapestry needle and pull gently to close end of mitten. Weave in ends.

Make one more mitten.

Place mittens inside a zippered laundry bag or duvet cover, run through a normal cycle in the washing machine on medium temp., with a towel (or together with your normal laundry). Remove mittens from laundry bag. Tug and pull to shape mittens and get out any kinks. If the mittens have felted together on the inside, use a spoon to open them up again. If necessary, hand felt the hand portion of the mittens using washing up liquid and hot water. Stuff the mittens with plastic and leave to dry.

When the mittens are dry, embellish them as you to your (or recipients) liking. I used needle felting on the ones pictured here. You could also knit the mittens in a stripe pattern (great for using up leftovers from other projects) or embroider them with feltable wool before felting.

This is my first time writing up a pattern for other people. If you find any mistakes, or have any questions, please let me know!
Also, if you make a pair, I'd love to see it ;)

(Post edited to add pattern)

March 01, 2007

I feel so lucky!

I'm a bit short for words... I'll let the pictures speak first




These socks are so awsome! I really love them. I'm actually wearing them as I type this...
The communication between me and reluctantMANGO has been good throughout the entire period of the swap. She seems like such an awsome, warm, kind and funny person. Then I read her latest blogpost and I must admit, my eyes got a bit watery... Such well written kind words!

And she did not just send me these socks from heaven, she also sent me this:


I think you need a closer look at that. At least I do!


I can assure you reMango, we will keep in touch! I'm absolutely sure of it!

And last, but absolutely not least, what was supposed to be a swap for one Interweave Knits mag turned out to be this

Blue Pen. swap

As you can all see, that is not just one magazine. Thank you ever so much Blue Peninsula.

The kindness of knitters (and strangers), never seaces to amaze me.