Silky, turqoise Praline

This seems like the never-ending project. I’ve been working on this cardigan for MONTHS. Not because it was in any way difficult to knit. Somewhere along the line, it just seemed too small. And that put me off. It sort of got stuck in my wip’s for ages, just waiting for the buttonbands and the buttons.

Well, I decided enough was enough, and I’ve been working on finishing a few items, amongst other things, this cardigan, hoping that blocking it will bring it closer to fitting me. Starting ego-knits while still shedding pregnancy kilos, might in retrospect not have been the best idea ever, but at some point I have to start knitting for myself again, even though I’m not perfectly happy with my post-pregnancy body. It might be a while before I’m back to “normal”. Or maybe this is the new “normal”. Either way blocking did most of the trick.

It’s still very short. Much shorter than what I’m used to (and I actually added some length to the original pattern). I think that’s just the model. It works very well with high waisted skirts or dresses, but less so with jeans. After initially being quite unsure about this, I actually quite like it now. It has given me the excuse to invest in some more fancy skirts for work so that I have several outfits to choose from and it works very well with my office summer dresses.

I love the arms, which I modified to be full length rather than three quarters, and I love the bird pattern that makes up the structure of the fabric. I love the yarn, both the look and feel, and the color. And I really love the buttons. The only downside is that the buttons are quite heavy. In combination with the supersoft yarn, it makes the buttonband bubbly, so I had to fix that by sewing some fabric lining under the buttonband to stabilize it.

The cardigan has been done now, for quite some time, but snapping pictures just proved too difficult. Either way, completing this, my Hifotude, and my Emelie, completed the #trippelkofta challenge, of knitting three well-fitting cardigans in a year. Actually I was like a month short of hitting that target. But for me it counts.

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As usual you can see the project on my ravelry page.

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Yarny deliveries

This year I’ve been pretty good at not buying new yarns and knitting away at my stash which grew embarasingly large during last year. However, with two trips that where disappointing from a yarn-related perspective (there was nothing otherwise wrong with them), I decided to treat myself. After all, I haven’t bought any yarn in almost six months, that has got to be some kind of world record.

First, a friend of mine was on the beautiful Island of Gotland. We’d discussed briefly that I was interested in some yarn from there, and he called me up and asked what I wanted. I got six beautiful skeins of what looks like handspun Swedish yarn. Straight from the farmer. It smells like sheep. It’s undyed but the color is sort of a blended grey, with speckles of more lighter and darker shades of gray and white. I’m going to sit on this yarn for a bit, until I find the perfect project. Also, I have to measure wpi or something, because I’m not sure about the yarn weight or how much yardage I actually have. But I hope there’s enough for a cardigan or a sweater. I need to find a nice rustic pattern, that will work for cold autumn evenings or winter nights.

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I also recently bought some yarn from Norwegian Pickles. I usually do, when they have sales. I can’t help myself. This time I bought a color, a little bit outside my comfort-zone. When going through my stash, I noticed that I almost only kept yarns in various blue or possibly green shades, so this yarn is yellow. A light lemony yellow in a cold tone. I very much like it, especially since it’s a blend between merino, mohair and wool, which gives it a bit of a fuzziness. I need to do something vintag-y with it. Either some type of vintage top, or a delicate cardigan.

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Finally, I’ve also signed up for NBK:s October to December yarn club, fulfilling one of my new years resolutions. I’m really excited to receive my two monthly skeins. I decided to go big (instead of going home) and went for the luxurious yarn bases for colored fingering yarn, and their grey club. I couldn’t decide so I just thought, what the hell.

So many plans, so precious little knitting time…

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Catching up – a little bit of everything

It’s been a while since my last post. With the pseudo-move to a new house, and living out of cardboardboxes for the last few months there’s been little time for anything.

Actually, that’s not entirely true. I’ve managed to get some knitting done, finishing off the last of my Denim blue Emelie cardigan, a summer-top and getting a few other things on the needle. There’s just been very little time for photo-sessions, and blog-writing, with both kids at home. I did some work-related travelling, where I had very few yarn-y encounters, and allthough I found myself having knitting time on the plane, the planned project I brought didn’t pan off. Coming home I just ripped and restarted with a different project for the intended yarn. This whole ordeal was frustrating enough to merit it’s own future post.

Finally, we went on vacation. We spent most of it in the countryside, in Saint Sulpice de Falyerens, which is a part of the St Emilion wine district, just outside of Bordeaux. Naturally we spent our time sipping nice wine and overeating. And knitting. My in-laws where quite impressed with my evening / night time knitting capabilities in little to no lighting. It’s not like I was knitting lace or anything though, and stockinette I can almost do in my sleep.

My yarn-related endeavours where, however, not as impressive as the wines. The day we decided to go to Bordeaux, and La Lainerie, they also decided to renovate the store, so it was unfortunately closed for business. The local markets had an extremely small variety of yarns, and only the acrylic or cheap cotton kind. Not to sound like snob or anything, but such yarn is hardly worth transporting back to Sweden. The local market in Libourne (the nearest town) did have a stall with sewing accessories. And boy, did they have some nice buttons and somesuch. Rummaging through it all, in nearly 40 degrees heat with two sweaty and thirsty children proved difficult so I just bought a few items quickly and settled for that.

After nearly a two weeks in France we decided it was time to go home. Eliah was missing his friends, and hanging out with family for two weeks is quite intense. After two days in the car, we finally made it home. I got a long stretch of stockinette done in the car, and my stash is (was?) for once actually shrinking. At least until I got home and started browsing online. For the moment I’m still stuck in “Stockinette hell”, nursing a growing second sleeve syndrome.

I hope I’ll get the chance to do a photoshoot soon to show off the other finished items I’ve managed to get off my needles. The weather in Sweden is quite warm for now though, so I’m not really excited to put on a cardigan and go out. Maybe I’ll find a nice spot in the woods somewhere, chasing down Pokémons or something. Yes, that’s my new timesink. Until next time.

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Denim Emelie in the French vineyards

This cardigan has been lying in the “almost finished” pile for far too long. And then it spent even longer in the “actively wearing, but haven’t gotten around to snapping photos” -pile.

Vacationing in France (more on that in my next post) provided a brief opportunities for snapping some photos in an unusually pretty environment.

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I love this cardigan. I wear it all the time. I made the medium length version, which I feel was a very good choice, since I can wear it with both dresses, skirts and pants. The yarn was bought (and the project planned) two years ago, in Florida. I love the colorway of Betty Draper blue from MadelineTosh. I’m not sure why I waitìed so long to actually start this project, but I guess I didn’t quite want to wing it, between pregnancies and such. Which such pretty pattern and yarn, I really wanted to make it well-fitting to the size I am normally.

The buttons come from my mothers old stash which was given to me last year or so. I think the silvery buttons toughen up the cardigan a little bit, making it less conservative and more me. As usual, I lengthened the sleeves of the cardigan a little bit, since I prefer long sleeves to three quarters. In retrospect I should’ve knitted a few more rounds, but it’s hardly a dealbreaker. At some point I might add a buttonband, but right now, I don’t think it’s necessary. The buttons aren’t very heavy and the fabric is stretchy without being wobbly.

The pattern was well-written and fun, but I had a bit of a hard time memorizing the front panel stitches in the beginning. Took quite long to get the rythm of it. While wearing the cardigan at work someone who knew it was a handknit told me it looked storebought. Which is a nice compliment I think. Except it fits better than a storebought item, since I’m a very short person with very narrow shoulders.

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Homelessness and summertops

So I’m moving in about two weeks. After we finally sold our house we thought the tough part was over. But I guess things never really go as planned. During the long weekend our contractor called us, to tell us that our house was pretty much drenched in water. The entire first floor had to be ripped out, dried and rebuilt. It turns out a construction error caused a pipe to burst. It wasn’t the first time it happened. Another family in the same community had the same wonderful surprise. One would think, that in making a mistake the first time, one would learn something from that mistake and be more vigilant and test the pipes before building walls and floors and somesuch, but I guess tight budgets and deadlines make people forget, that the cost of doing things right, is less than the cost of fixing mistakes later. I rant on such things in my work life very often, and I’m very familiar with the problem.

I, however, am feeling the panic settle in, as I have no idea where I’m going to be living in two weeks, with two small kids. Moving is hard enough without all the crap, and now it’s just gotten way worse. The process will take a few months, so we won’t be able to move into our new home for probably at least three months. The problem isn’t that we’ll be entirely homeless, there are safeguards in place for that, the problem is uncertainty. Not knowing what’s going to happen, how we’re going to live, where all our stuff will be, is like pausing your entire life for a few months. We can’t make any plans, we have to cancel existing plans, and we’re having trouble seeing the end of all this. My worst nightmare is to be stuck in a stuffy little hotelroom with two crazy kids all summer.

We where hoping to meet our neighbors, have our kids play with their kids and thus survive the lack of day-care during these summer months. Now it looks bleak. We might or might not get to move into a similar house in the area, if the first family who had house troubles can move into their own home. But we won’t know for a while, and that’s incredibly stressful. We might be going to France just to take the edge off, get some help from my in-laws with the kids, but we can only stay for so long before driving each other mildly crazy.

In the mean-time I’m desperately trying to relax. Knitting furiously, having the occasional cigarette and glass of wine. Knitting is better and more healthier. I’m thinking about where to pack my immediate knitting needs (like that’s first on the prio list, haha). I have loads of yarn, even though I haven’t bought anything since I started working. I’m furiously knitting away at my denim-blue Emelie cardigan, but since I might not have anywhere to block anything, I’m also starting to swatch for other projects to keep me busy during summer. I’m in the mood for fancy summer tops. And I have the yarn to use it. So, I give you my list of summer top cravings:

  • Bonny by Tincan knits. It’s so pretty and fluffy. And I just happened to have two skeins of dark blue Malabrigo lace lying around.
  • This pretty linen tank from Sandnes Garn. They’re not good at naming their projects, but they do have some nice things. I bought this exact Linen yarn last year, during my post-hospitalization shopping spree. Now is the time to use it.
  • Hane because one can’t have too much linen-wear during spring and summer. This top is perfect for the office and can be worn with a nice pencil skirt or with jeans. I have several skeins of Kalinka, in a grey-blueish color. I contemplated turning this into a dress, since I have much more yardage than required for that particular top, but I don’t want a forever project, so I’m going to stick with just the top.
  • Lastly, I’ve been looking for a vintag-y type top to do with the left-over yarn from my turquoise praline cardigan (which I still haven’t gotten around to taking photos off, despite wearing it weekly). The yarn has this nice vintag-y feel to it. The kind of yarn that my grandmother had all kinds of fancy tops in. I have a specific design in mind, and the closest thing I’ve gotten to it, is this vintage pattern of a lace top.

As you can see, despite all kinds of problems, there’s nothing wrong with my knitting inspiration. I think on the contrary, as always, when life throws me a curve-ball, it’s what’s grounding me and keeping me sane. What would I ever do without knitting?

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Noah’s spring overall

I fell in love with this pattern the first time I saw it. I think someone posted a finished object on one of the many knitting Facebook pages I follow. I knitted away on it happily for a long time, and it went quite well, until I reached the point of joining sleeves with body and doing the more tricky part of the yoke.

I ripped and knitted the same row for days. It was infuriating to say the least. I wrote a blog post in frustration. I ripped and screamed and was a total bitch (my husband can tell you). Facebook was useless. But, thank whatever deity you hold holy, for Ravelry. There where the answers waiting for me, and after being stuck for nearly a week, I got the help I needed and finished the yoke.

In between I finished some other items in the pile, and started some other stuff, waiting for motivation and courage to bring out the scissors and knitting machine and steek the object. But here it is, complete and ready for wear.

I know what you’re thinking. A wool overall in May. For those of you not familiar with Swedish climate – it snowed last week, so I’m quite sure we’ll get a little wear out of it. As usual there’s information about yardage and what not on my ravelry page.

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Failed realtors and a Stripe Study Shawl fueled by nerves

It’s been quite hectically recently. Work, selling the house, chicken poxy children. You name it. We’ve known about the house sale for about a year, since we bought our new home. The market in Stockholm is quite crazy. And also crazy fast, except our first realtor totally screwed up and once we went through the entire process, thinking that the house was sold, the buyer got cold feet, so now we have to start over again. It’s probably just as well, since I wasn’t happy with anything in the process. We’ve gotten a different realtor and we hope to get an alltogether better price for our house. Things are looking up, but it’s just such a hassle, since we have to clean and stage and stay away from the house allover again.

In the meantime though, my husband is running around and about, attempting to fix every little flaw and imperfection in the house. It’s driving me somewhat crazy (and my lack of enthusiasm is driving him somewhat crazy). We all have different ways of dealing with stress I guess. My superior way is of course knitting. It calms me. So I’ve been knitting a lot. Mostly during my commute to work. I’ve switch from reading the morning paper to listening to audible and furiously knitting away at my Stripe Study shawl. And boy, was it a fast knit. And fun too.

12825915_468206783378452_615649965_n_medium2The Stripe Study shawl is fun, because there’s pretty much something going on all the time throughout the process, but it’s not difficult in any way, and you don’t need to consult the pattern particularly often. It’s matched my current mindset quite well.

I bought the turqoise yarn for the project last year, from the local image_medium2indie dyer Dandelionyarns in Stockholm. It’s all organic, and a blend of mohair and merino. It’s not the softest yarn but it has a really nice shine to it. I had some matching yellow mohair blend yarn from Pickles when I was planning the shawl, but it wasn’t enough yardage, so during my christmas splurge I bought some pretties from Plucky – amongst other things this beautiful skein of primo fingering in the chamomille colorway. It’s a match made in heaven if I may say so myself.

The shawl has twelve “sections” between the yellow stripes, and I divided those sections up between the gradience kit so I do four sections in the first, darkest skein, then three in the next color, two in the next two colors, and a only one section in the lightest color. I like the way it turned out, and I think the gradience gives the shawl an extra pop. I could tell quite early on that this would end up being one of my favorite knitted items in a long time.

As usual, the details can be found on ravelry.

 

 

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