Monday, January 28, 2008

Major events week

This has been a very exciting week in my life as a knitter. It started last Tuesday when a local TV-show invited my knitting club as guests for a 25 minute program. I'm only sitting in the background, but it was still fun to see how it was all done. Those who were interviewed did a great job, as well as our speed knitter who had to knit the opponent's design. Check it out here.

The next day I got an e-mail from a big publishing company. They asked if I wanted to review a book for them if they sent me a free copy. How could I refuse? The review will appear around the date when the book is due to be released. It's a book I could have bought anyway and my expectations are high, but more about that next month. I´m a commercial blogger!

Yes, I have knitted a little too. I needed something I couldn't mess up and that would look good on TV, so I started on a little blanket. I still had to rip the TV part, but now it is growing fast. As I wrote last week I tried entrelac and a few other ideas, but it didn't look good. Finally I resorted to a pattern that I had already tried and that I had seen in this yarn. It is actually a scarf, but I'm making five sections 20X100 cm and knitting them all in one piece. If my math is right I won't have to break the yarn at all and I will need about 1.5 km of thread.

Tonight I also cast on for the new pattern at Sockklubben, but so far it is just the same rib as last month so I can't say much about it yet. This time I am going to make it large enough for my mother so I added 8 stitches. Hope it will work.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Mittens and books

Last weekend Mr P took the daughter skiing, and she came back with cold fingers and agreed that gloves are not as good as real woolen mittens. Her brother had taken over the ones she had last year, but recently Barbro published this pattern and they are really as practical as can be. These are made in Visjö, the same colour as the Wasp hat I made for her last winter. I am planning to make another pair for the boy, but he has requested a cat.

This weekend I have knitted a lot, but ripped it all. I am testing entrelac techniques, but haven't found the ultimate one yet. Planning to make a small blanket in Kauni EQ (rainbow), but there is no hurry.

I also recieved some books this week. Best of Knitter's Shawls and scarves was even better than expected. It is a 2007 reprint of a collection of designs from the magazine between 1985 and 1998. Lots of techniques and traditions, but also some new ideas. There was no design that I had to make, but several that I might. Rowan's Little knits is totally diffrent. It is a story book that I can read to my children but with patterns for all the sweaters in the illustrations. Lovely book and a nice idea, but not quite my style to make a Kid mohair lace coat for a child of 3-10. The boy's designs are more realistic and again I might knit something from this book when my kids stop sitting in the sandbox.

We moved the baby bed out of our bedroom during the holiday and replaced it with our other darlings, hobby books. Mr P collects books about the history of warfare and weapons, while I focus on crafts and especially knitting. The two center rows to the right contain some of my best knitting books. Today there were 77 titles, 31 of them were listed on Ravelry and can be seen on my page there. The rest are books in Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic and a few other languages, mostly about traditional knitting in these areas. Books with other techniques, like crochet, and those with spiral backs etc. are in my study. It's been really nice to be able to pick a book at night to look at when I'm too tired to read. On the bottom shelf I keep my ongoing subscriptions; Interweave, Knitter's, Vogue and Hemslöjden.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

January socks done

Here they are, my first pair of socks on Magic Loop. The pattern is Monkey from Knitty and they turned out almost as I expected. I thought they were going to be bigger and longer, so I could give them to my mother but they fit me just fine. I don't really need them, so we'll see were they end up. The pattern is relaxing to knit and the Magic Loop might get a few more chances...

Vi tar det på svenska också till alla Sockklubbor: Här är mina Monkey stickade samtidigt på en lång rundsticka. Det gick lätt och tekniken gav mersmak. Garnet är Opal petticoat och lite väl randigt, men det blev rätt bra ändå, och ett nystan mindre i lagret. De blev dock mindre är jag hade trott, så jag får hitta en ny mottagare...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

News from the holidays

Every time I go to see my in-laws I decide not to bring a knitting, then I have to go and buy something to keep my hands busy. This time I got some Garnstudio Fabel in dark red and some 2.5 dpns. Then I made a drawing of my hand and cast on for a pair of gloves, and now all the ends have been sewn in.

They are very easy to make because they are made in double knitting. I made them with the right side out, but according to Annemor Sundbö's book where I found the idea they are even easier to make inside out. For instructions on double knitting see my Patterns and techniques section.
This is how they were made:
1. Three rounds of garter knit on two dpns.
2. Join in the round and knit a wavy pattern, decreases only on last pattern row.
3. Lay the piece double and start double knitting on two dpns across the palm.
4. Knit in a separate thread over 1/3 of stitches for thumb, then go back and knit the stitches with the regular yarn and continue to the fingers.
5. Use 1/4 of stitches for the little finger. Double knit to the right length and then knit two stitches together at each turn until 4 stitches remain. Pull yarn through.
6. For the other fingers use 1/4 of the stitches for each finger but also pick up a couple of stitches on the side of the last finger knitted.
7. Pull out the thread at the thumb, pick up the stitches and one extra at each side. Knit as fingers.

There have also been a few additions to my stash lately. These are two favourites:

Garnstudio Silke Alpaca, 5 white and 7 red balls. Mr P gave me these and he chose them carefully and all by himself. I think it would be cheating to get more, so I'm planning a vest or a cardigan with short sleeves. There are a few good ideas in the summer collection at Garnstudio, but all the patterns aren't out yet so I'll wait a bit to make a decision.

Then I heard that Garnkorgen had recieved a big box of odd coluors from Cherry Tree Hill and went for a look. There were two skeins of each colour and these got to go home with me. They are two versions of "water" and they will either be used for baby gifts for a couple of new cousins we are expecting this spring, or they will become socks in Sockklubben.

Sockklubben at Stickamera started this January and will present a new pattern every month. The first one is Monkey from Knitty. I saw that Eva i Halmstad hade made hers on Magic Loop, and decided to practise that a bit more. The pattern is easy and after about an inch I stopped being nervous. Now they are almost done! The yarn is Opal Petticoat and a bit to striped for the pattern, but I have to use what I aldready have sometimes.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Socialist socks

As you might have seen I did a lot of knitting this Christmas. I really wanted to make these socks for my father as well, but there wasn't enough time so I gave him the ball of yarn and a promise to knit socks for him. This also gave me the opportunity to measure his size before starting.

Today they were finished just in time for his visit here. The model is very basic, but it has to be with a yarn like this. I knew I had to buy this Opal colour when I saw the name of it. It is based on a painting by the German painter Hundertwasser called Die Strasse zum Sozialismus (The Road to Socialism). Fun to knit for an old right-wing politician :-)
P.S. Note the lovely sheep he is resting his feet on. It was a present for my son at his christening.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Pink Alpaca

Sometimes the timing isn't right, like last winter when I made this hat for my daughter. She had a serious case of summer-dressing-in-the-winter, and didn't like putting things on her head. It remained in the pile of things to finish until this Christmas and hopefully it will get a chance this season.

The model is "Romantic hat" from Med stickor och fantasi by Lisbeth Björndal. The original is for an adult and more like a beret, but I changed the size and proportions. The material is 40g of Garnstudio Alpaca knit on straight 2.5mm needles and sewn together at the back. I like the change in direction with a knitted lace as a starting point and then picking up the stitches for the top along the lace. The yarn is delicious, and best of all I have more than two balls left, because making the girl wear a scarf as well as I first planned will take a few more years.