Wednesday, 22. November 2006
Crossing fingers.
I doubt that I will be able to play the organ, knit, ride, cook (and eat!) or anything else until next wednesday:

Not cheap, but not expensive either. Not from a private home, but a millitary basis that has been closed down *grins*

I hope that it will be mine after trying it out wednesday. It is small - relatively lightweight (a top priority), and, alledgedly, has a good sound compared to its size.

Have a really nice day


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When everything else fails...
Buy Yarn!!

The colour is a smidge too light. In reality, I shrieked when I saw it, grabbed a skein and held onto it while babbling of summer, lighter and darker skies, beaches and rocks

Since The Yarnharlot shamelessly promotes Fleece Artist products, it felt like a good time to show off a bit with the fabulous new store that has opened in the next city: Wollsucht!

Wollsucht used to be just an onlineshop with (many different kind of) sock yarn, Karen Noe yarns and two estonian self-striping yarns.
Now, she carries NORO... DEBBIE BLISS... GARNSTUDIO... Many many variants of the Estonian selfstriping yarn Evilla.
Going into that shop is like entering a candy store, stocked with all of your most favourite stuff.
My mother jumped on this yarn, a muted/dusty rainbow, close to a worsted weight despite the numbers that indicate a chunky yarn (I think....)
She immediately cast on for Dibs on Ribs, an Interweave Subscriber-only Web Exclusive pattern. I had printed it for my yarn, and she stole it *weep*. She hit gauge with it immediately, so I guess it was just not meant to be - until I rework that pattern to fit with my gauge :-)

I am, on my bare skin, wearing a Faroese-style Shawl I knitted out of the "Deep Sea" 8/2 Evilla yarn. As a child developed hives when clad in anything wooly, that says something about the qualities of this wool (And my stubbornness!!)
I must get as much wear out of it as I can until Christmas where it will go to live with my grandmother.

Funny thing, that. Not at all what I wanted to blog about - grandmothers.

My maternal grandmother has always been there for us, and we live just 100m. away from each other - that's just shy of a 2oz skein worsted weight yarn. When asked to draw her, we would always draw knitting or crochet in her hands (or pancakes...). She is mostly knitting now - not for her family anymore since my mother and I do that - but for Charity. Sweaters, blankets, baby sets, scarves etc. for India. I woved to keep her supplied with yarn until the day she died, and until now, I have kept that promise - all kinds of kind people have donated old stashes, unwanted yarns and ripped-out projects. She brings it all together and creates beautifull things right out of her mind, with an astonishing speed.

Seen in that light, I am so proud and happy to give her, 80 this year, a faroese shawl, crafted as best I know to with a superior yarn in a shape she has oohed and aahed over since we first introduced it, coming home from the Faroe Islands with WIPS in our hands. The colours are her colours. Deep blue, turquoise and dark turqouise.

I have not presented it on the blog, true, because I was hoping to submit it to Knitty, but I managed to make the pattern disappear and dont really care about publishing it anymore - as long as my grandma likes it, I think all work and hassle has been work it a hundred times over.

Have a really nice day - and appreciate who loves you, remember to love them back in bunches.


Edited 26/11 to fix some faulty HTML!

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Thursday, 16. November 2006
Spin the Wheel.
When I was at my parents house last weekend, I somehow made a stupid mistake.

It all started out well: I sat down with the dog and brushed him for a long time to collect some of his wonderfull wool - it is a lot like Angora, and some people call dog wool "Chiengora". He has a double-layered coat, and I use only the inner, fluffy, soft layer, not the harsh hairy outer layer.

Then, I found some silk, a bit Merino, a handfull black Karakul for interest, and some Texel - I thought! In reality, I grabbed some Lamb's fleece.

Card, card, card - and proudly show my mother, telling her how I would make socks out of that just like one pair I have already? "With Lamb", she asked?

Hm. No, not really. So, what should I do with three ounces of lamb/silk/dog/merino?

It looks stiff and unwieldy - and feels a bit like that too - but I think I was too gentle in my washing and must use hotter water, more detergent and more "swishing around", and then some "beating up" afterwards. 320 metres.

I also made some progress on a running project, namely 400 grams of lovely handpainted Merino from a spinning friend. There are all kinds of yellows, green and turquoises, and a grey here and there. Nonetheless, I always refer to it as "the blue yarn" *laughs*

250 grams out of 400 grams, 800 metres

Sometimes, it is just very soothing to sit in front of the spinning wheel and fill bobbins, empty them, fill them again and feel the soft wool against ones fingers as the dreams and hopes for ones handicraft passes through the fingers and enters the real world on the bobbins, in skeins, hanks, balls and knit objects.

Have a nice day


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Tuesday, 14. November 2006
Cabled-cuff Christmas Stocking.
As promised, here comes a (rought draft of a) pattern for this stocking:


I started by chosing two colours that I liked, and came up with a blue WOTA and some white worsted from my starting to look meager stash. I chose the worsted because the colours were good and because it would be a relatively quick knit.

Then I determined what pattern I wanted to use. The ribbing is quite stretchy and looks fun, but I think an entire wowen strip of cable would look fabulously, too!

I CO 24 stitches (2 selvedge stitches, 16 stitches for the ribbing, and 6 for the main cable), and knit a strip that was "long enough", slipping the first stitch of each row to create a nice chained selvedge - good to pick up stitches in, and good to crochet in - or just plainly leave as-is.

Turns out, "long enough" was 72 rows. It fits around a medium-fat leg, and the whole sock is not much larger than a womans X-large sock - but it stretches.

Then, using Main Colour (Though using a contrast colour would also have been nice) I picked up one stitch in each selvedge chain, distributed these 36 stitches on three DPN's and increased three stitches on each DPN to avoid having a very skinny stocking.

This is where you could put a nice colour pattern on the sock, but I opted out of it as I had reasons to think I wouldnt get more than a round done a day, and really wanted it finished before December!

When I had around 14grams (½ ounce) left of my 1-5/8-ounce-ball (50 grams), I knit a square heel over 26 stitches and 16 rows, dividing it 7-12-7 and finishing the heel. Then I used the blue again, knit until I had *almost* ran out (Had three yards left), switched to white and knit a toe.

The reason for the wide and "wonky" heel is, that it is more roomy that way. Looks more "Stocking-y" that way ;)

When finished, I thought that it was missing something, and decided to embroider my name on the heel in light blue.

Do make a chart if you do not have one already, and use markers

For the last finishing touch, I crocheted a small edging around the top, and made a loop to hang the stocking with.

Overall, this was a very quick project, and most was knitted in front of the computer.

I now have two orders on Christmas Stockings because I showed them that stocking - oh well, when the first one was so much fun, then the next ones must be even more fun, right? ;-)

Have a really nice day


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Monday, 13. November 2006

You Belong in Winter

Quiet, calm, and totally at peace...
You're happy to be at home, wrapped in a blanket, completely snowed in
Whether you're lighting a fire or having a snowball fight, you always feel best in the winter.
What Season Are You?

I love winter. So quiet, so calm, and yet it has powers to behold!

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Christmas is around the corner!
At school, we are rehearsing christmas psalms, on my door there is now a beautifull wreath (I may say so, I made it!), and there is often snow in the air.
As every person with crafty hands and empty pockets knows, this is the time for giving and recieving!

My Nephews First Christmas Present!

Since my Nephew managed to be born late evening the 25th december 2005, this will be his first christmas, and he will be as old as he could possibly be at his first christmas ever - 364 days on December 24, where we in Northen Europe celebrate Christmas.

Though, traditions nonetheless, sometimes we borrow from each other and bring new things to our countries.
I took advantage of the "Sock on the Chimney" mixed with our "Nikolaus" coming on Dec. 6, filling a boot put in the window, and created this on the promise of my mother that it would be filled every time I came home to my parents in December:

Pattern: My own, with inspiration from a picture on the net somewhere

I wanted my name on this sock, but err... Thou Shalst Not Figure Out A New Technique On Something That Wilst Be Seen Publicly. I should at least have read up on duplicate stitch or drawn a chart ;-)

I like it nonetheless, because it is personal and all mine! *bwhahaha*

If anyone should be interested in a (rough draft of a) pattern - I will write a blog entry in the upcoming week about that.

So delicate

I even managed to sneak in some knitting time on Beatrice - sadly, I have been in a bit of knitting blahs the while autumn through, which is also why I have mostly scrapped the idea of a black handspun aran sweater. The weather is dark and blah, so why knit and design and spin in black? I dont really need another depression ;-)
I love this Beatrice pattern, and knit on it occasionally. I am now down to 700 stitches all around, coming from 920. Gooood :-D

Then, at long last, there is also another christmas project.

A Faroese shawl for a swap

I will recieve a handknit troll, and Birthe - a spinning aquintance - will recieve this shawl. The swatch in the middle is the pattern I am using, and right now the shawl is two inches after the completed pattern. Why this old picture?
I forgot the shawl at my parents house.
There is a good reason though, because I was sick as a dog monday, trying to gather all my stuff (Which was harder than usual because of my two new friends and all their stuff):

The Agouti is called "Ditlev", and the three-coloured is called "Prins"

In all the huff and hurry tuesday morning - me still a bit sick, my grandparents coming over a bit too early and catching me not at all ready etc. - I forgot my knitting, my milk and the boy's vegetables. Typically, right? ;-)

Good thing that I had the baby sweater and the Christening Shawl handy here in my own flat.

The sock was started and completed within two days, and probably what pulled me out of my lethargic state of mind - it was fun! It was easy! It was quick! It was something completely new! (Christmas Stocking was new, not knitting socks *lol*)

In a vain hope that I have not broken your modem or some such - I seem to have gone overboard with the pictures today!! - have a really nice day.


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Monday, 30. October 2006
The Nephew

So cute

When I was in Taiwan, I saw those cute little suits in china-style for little kids, and thought: I need one for Nephew. Coincidentally, at a nightmarket (Actually the famous Snake Alley), I saw a booth selling those. All sizes and shapes from "Very Basic" to "See The Tiny Emperor!". This blue outfit just screamed "Cute" to me. It is a soft, blue silk fabric with round motifs, and sturdy yellow silk for the edgings and "buttons".

The construction is very clever, in that it is a suit made for kids. The waist of the pants is just folded over with elastic inside: No fiddly closures, expands to fit-all. The pants are plenty wide, but again, Nephew is pretty slim for his height.
The buttons on front will open at a substantial tug - though this was not specifically designed for kids (doh), it is still a nice feature in childs wear.
The stand-up collar frames a childs face so nicely.

If I were to sew again, and to sew for a child, I would use many of the characteristics this suit has. Plus the fact, that the colour highlights his beautifull eyes :)

It is a size 1 year, amazing, since this little boy wears a size 92/98 (1½-2 years). Apparently the chinese do have a clue about sizing for kids :-)

Have a really nice day, and take good care of yourself and your loved ones.


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Friday, 27. October 2006
Marianne Revisited!!
What I did not share with the blog was, that after taking the picture and contemplating the uber-long sleeves and body, I... ripped. No pictures, it was too painfull.

I took off 3" of each sleeve, and ripped the body down to 4". Then I reknit the whole she-bang, using considerably less yarn - tried it on, and almost went into a fit over how SHORT it was! Solution:

Rip out the double hem, knit another 3" down, add a picot hem (Added bonus: Now all hems are doubled with picots! yes!).

Before throwing it in the washer, it fit quite well as you can see from the picture:

Marianne, Revisited

Finally! I love this sweater, and the lace patterns work out way better now, in the shrunken versions.

My only beef with Marianne? It is too loose in the body. I just could not be bothered to rip the whole body out - AGAIN - and reknit it!

Yarn: Evilla 5/2 in Grey/Green, exactly 288g.

Pattern: My own, entirely, with a faint nod to Elizabeth Zimmermann's Percentage System. Raglan, bottom up, with picot hems.

Time: Since I knit this twice, around a month - three months for finishing it the first time, then it marinated for a few months, and then another week to finish it the second time.

Needles: 4 and 3.5 mm Holz and Stein Ebony needles :-)

Comments: Love this yarn. Love the needles. Now, I love the end product too!!

Following this, I will spend some time on the denim baby sweater - my knitting time is sparse because of the inordinate amount of time I spend rehearsing the organ, and doing houseduties ;-)

Have a really nice day


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Friday, 20. October 2006
Beautifull Beatrice.

Three rounds of flowers, and then I embark upon a knit/purl pattern of Anchors and English Roses.

The progress is unimaginable. Right now I am knitting along on Marianne (II) - I ripped most of the body and some of the arms, have knit three hours (!!) and have joined the arms and the body! Wee!

In other news: My mother decorated my flat :-)

Anyone remember my Pi Shawl in Rainbow Kauni?

She thought that I should hang up my Rosebud (White, flimsy, pretty) un the babyblue wall in my bedroom, but I am indecisive - and I dont think any of my walls are big enough to acommodate such a big shawl.

Have a really nice day :-)


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Monday, 16. October 2006
Holiday Activities.
Hey, you there. Yes, you!
Could you please wipe that big smile off my face? No? Well, ok! Because this "living in a cottage with little sister, mother and two ladies"-thing is getting really good.

First, I was allowed to play in the church of "Lysabild", a mere ten minutes on the bike from here. I did that this morning, and was pleasantly surprised at the beautifull sound of this old, and long-ago renovated organ. There was little space up there - standing up straight was impossble, but the organ sounded so good that I sat there for two hours, playing my few pieces over, over and over again.

Beautifull, beautifull sound.

After that, I was picked up by the rest of the women minus little sister who played with a friend. We went to "Dybbøl", the place where the danes fended off the germans in 1864 - in vain, sadly. Much of Denmark was taken to Germany, but in 1920, as a result of the Peace in Versailles, a large and most important part returned to Denmark. There is a mill there, that became a symbol of the danish spirit to stay a country, and still is. It was burnt down 5!! times, and built up another five times again, since 1748.

We had a lot of fun :-) We looked at the museum, and really got into making our own flour:

525 grams of flour, but we had to put it thrice through - how sore I am now.

We also went to Sønderborg, the nearest big city, where we parked at the Mariekirken. (Church of Mary). We had never succeeded to look in there even though we had owned the house for four years this spring, but today we went in there, and I pulled together all my courage to ask if I... eehh... might be allowed to try out the organ? Well, of course I might! If I could turn it on, that is, because the person I asked did not know how to ;) I assured her that I would find the switch, and was allowed to ascend - well to say into eternal beauty would not be all wrong. It sounded wonderfull and had so many stops that I was almost tempted to start playing psalms just to make that opportunity last just as long as the 512 psalms in my book.

I did not.

I played a fugue by J. Pachebel twice, and a Prelude by Bach in F. minor, before I, all shaky and totally hyped, went down again, thanked the person who let me in and went out in the sun, gushing to everybody around me about how WONDERFULL that was, and how BEAUTIFULL that sounded. I might have started to repeat myself at some point, after an hour or so :-)

After that, we got my christmas present - a kitchen machine really cheap - it was on sale, and we found another machine that we THOUGHT was the same for 100kr,- less - and got the one we bought for 100kr.- less too!

Call this day a success that Might Never Be Topped.


PS: The shawl is at round 40, methinks. I have almost finished the Horseshoe Pattern, at least. This means that stitches per round is under 800, counting from 960 originally and down. I can really feel that the rounds are substantially shorter.

Have a really nice day


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Tuesday, 10. October 2006
The big disadvantage.
The biggest disadvantage of living in your own flat: There is no garden to take pretty pictures in :-(
(There is one, but I wouldnt want to walk in there without asking my neighbours, so I dont.)

Aaanyways. I did really get started on my spinning project!

The wool comes from a naturally grey sheep, one that had to wait quite a time for its shearing. Luckily, it got its shearing, even though the owners wife wanted it to land in the pot. Errr... Owners EX-wife. The outer part of the fleece was totally felted and had to be cut off from the long and soft wool on the inside.
On the first glance, it was solid silver-grey, but as I started to spin it I found both white and black areas, and almost all colours inbetween.

Artistic, no? The yarn is three-ply and roundabout worsted weight.

I will be spinning more of this, both in grey - probably one skein - and several skeins of brown/black wool.


The edging was finished even before my fictive deadline last thursday! :-o. Of course, there was immediate stitch-up-picking and knitting. At present, there are 13 rounds all in all knitted. Stitch-wise that represents the edge one more time!

Plants growing out of yarn - I thought I had proved that it was the other way around!!

The first pattern is finished - namely a round of small flowers. Next up: 4 repeats of the Horseshoe pattern.
This shawl I am knitting on a 40 cm needle - one should think I am rooting for the title of "Craziest Knitter of the Year" - re. my knitting another shawl on a needle the same lenght, with a finished stitch count of 700+. With a yarn thicker than this, too, where I crammed 960 stitches (ideally, maybe more, or less *grins*) on the needle.


My swap is not one people can join in on, really, although it makes me think that there should be a website where people could offer to make something and make a wish for something in return...
Wait, off track. Back.

At a spinner's meet this weekend, I met up with "Birthe" again, a person I have met regularily at the last few big spinner's meets these past years. We got to talking about shawls, handspun and the like, and about the absolutely beautifull dolls she had brought with her to sell - both entirely knitted (With the most adorable embroidered features) and knitted/sewn. Those were made like "Steiner" dolls, if that rings a bell with anyone?
We talked and talked, and suddenly she said: "I SO want a shawl out of "this wool", but I couldnt/wouldnt for the LIFE of me knit one!"
I punched her on the shoulder and exclamed: I could knit a shawl for you, and you could make a doll for me! She was very excited at that prospect (just as I), because she loves making those dolls and has done so for over 10 years.

She will be sending me the yarn shortly, and I have already found a pattern I think she will like. (Found = made up). Really, I am on the recieving end of this swap, as she provides yarn for the shawl, yarn for the doll (Troll-Doll), knits the Troll and provides postage. All I have to do is to sit back and knit! :-)
(Aint feeling bad about it though. She proposed to do it that way, she can afford it, I cant.)

Have a really nice day


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Friday, 6. October 2006
Well... It seems I managed to hide all batteries out of sight.

I think that the charger may be faulty - or maybe I am just too stupid to operate a simple charger? I tried four times to charge the same two batteries - brand-new, too, only used once. I went out and bought some normal batteries, but that does get expensive at lenght.

My mother and brother both have digital cameras though, so maybe they will share the wealth if I bring along my 1gig card?

There is so much I want to show.

The "Beatrice" (Christening Shawl) edging is all fine and finished - I finished it Monday, with three days to spare before Thursday where I had planned to end it. Wouldnt a month be a good timespan for the rest of the shawl, too? I am trying. Currently at 6 rounds, 3 pattern rounds. I just started the first round of flowers. I love this pattern and this Yarn! It will be very special once I finish it.

Also, my spinning projects. I have not spun a lot for a long time, but recently a group I belong to has gotten into Kathryn Alexander's methods, prompting me to do a few pratice and visualization test pieces. Very simple work, but it really got me kickstarted with the wheel again.
I have two sets of samples:
1) Wool, dyed, and 2) Tussah, undyed.
Then there is a sample of colourwork with a Z and an S plied thread. Interesting.

I have started to sort out my wool for the Handspun Sweater. Some lovely grey wool from my mother, and a 2lb bag of "Black Welsh". I decided that the black/brown sheep I got a fleece from was a "sitting on the porch and carding/flicking/picking" business, not a "Sitting inside in the winter on carpet floors" business.

Then there was this, which I got as a present earlier in summer:

300+ grams of dyed Merino - originally grey and white, now turquoise, green and yellows.

I have spun roundabout half of this, and plied 1/3. I do it by taking quite big chunks of each colour, and just randomly spinning them, hoping for an even colour distribution. It works quite well, and I love the yarn I am getting - in the skein. I seem to get a yardage of 300-350m/100g. Not all that consistent between the skeins, but I hope it will do.
For the knitting, I will probably pair it up with a dark blue yarn and do some sort of "Stained Glass" pattern.

See... if I had had my camera handy, this post would have been chock-full of pictures. I dont. So there is only one picture that I had made when I was gifted the wool originally.

Have a really nice day


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