Monday, December 22, 2008

Blog life

I confess, I've not been a very social blogger, or knitter, lately. This autumn has been too hectic and it has been hard to find the time and energy. I've worked and studied more than full time while taking care of my family and having an infection that has taken far too much energy. It is good to know that someone is thinking of you at times like these, so I'll try to be a little social now.

I've gotten two blog awards that really warmed my heart. I hope you excuse me if I don't pass them on, but I'm not that good at keeping track of blogs these days, and a lot of the people I do know have already recieved them.

The first one is from my new knitting friend Nata, who joined the local knitting café group this summer. You are an inspirational and fearless knitter!

The second blog award was actually given to me a while ago, but I wasn't writing much then. It's from Knitted Gems, who writes an amazing blog about many creative interests. I'm honored to be on your list of reading.

Finally Maria, who both knits and plays folk music with me but hasn't seen me much lately, has sent me some questions. I will answer them from the knitting pespective...

What are your 8 favourite TV programs?
I prefer knitting in front of:

* All day sports events, like the Olympics or skiing
* A good film that I've seen before
* Whatever the kids watch on a Sunday morning
* House, because I can mostly listen to the dialogue
* Saturday Night Live, keeps me up for late night knitting
* Anything MrP likes, for the company
* Documentaries, so I can learn and knit
* News, like radio on TV

8 things I did yesterday

* Almost finished knitting my daughters dress
* Knitted a few rows on my Sockklubben december sock
* Found a red, knitted doily among the Christmas textiles
* Looked through my new book of Japanese patterns again
* Spent too much time on Ravelry
* Got the laundry done so I can use the room for blocking
* Wore handknitted socks all day
* Bought a new bookcase so I can free some space for more knitting books

8 things I am looking forward to
* Opening all my presents with yarn in them :-)
* Making a sweater from Pakucho colour growing cotton
* Visiting Kristians Gård in Delsbo, and get more of their wool
* Finishing my last sock in this years Sockklubben
* Seeing my daughter in her new, knitted dress
* Making more clothes for myself next year
* Making a blanket from my mothers yarn dyed with herbs
* Going to the knitting café much more next year

8 favourite restaurants
Only go to knitting cafés or take the kids for hamburgers these days...

8 things on my list of wishes
* More Addi circulars, I want them in all sizes
* A set of carding-brushes
* An Icelandic, upright spinning wheel
* A week to finish all UFO:s
* A bigger living room so I can invite all you great knitting friends over
* That the two shawls I sent in the mail arrive safely
* That I get more students for my knitting class this spring
* That my stash doesn't grow but shrink next year

8 people I challenge
I will skip this one for the reasons listed earlier.

Back to last minute knitting!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hat parade

With a view like this from the kitchen window, it's easy to get inspired for winter knitting. I love using those single skeins of luxurious yarns for hats, and here are a few examples.

This was so much fun I couldn't put it down, it took three evenings. Short rows and cables in the "wrong" direction makes it look wierd, but the pattern is easy to follow. It comes from Knitty winter 2007 and is called Bloody Stupid Johnson, named after a character in a fantasy book. The yarn is Manos Silk Blend, and it is so good it is almost unreal - soft and a joy to knit. I made one modification, a Japanese cast on for 2x2 rib that is a lot like a tubular cast on and very comfortable. The hat is a little small in height, but it hasn't been blocked yet. Looking forward to using it, and making a scarf to go with it.

This hat is about a month old, and great for tucking in my wet hair after swimming. The pattern is called Frances and comes from The Inside Loop. I used larger needles since I couldn't find the right size and couldn't wait getting started, but the edge is firm and holds it in place because I used both colours from the start. The Fair Isle pattern is cleverly designed using Rowan Tapestry with built in colour changes on a background of Felted Tweed. It was hard to pick a colourway, because they all looked beautiful, but I got some help in the end and like the result.

A few years ago I ordered four skeins from Virtual Yarns, Alice Starmore's online store. They also became a hat, but here the contrast wasn't enough to show off the pattern Stjärnmönstrad mössa by Anita Gunnars.

I wouldn't mind getting more of all these yarns in the future. I feel like I have gotten to know them, and I have hats for half the days of the week...

I have also finished the third of my shawls from the previous post. It is just as wonderful as I thought it would be, but a bit too small for my taste. I will make a good X-mas present for someone, while I plan what yarn I could use to make a larger version for myself.