Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Three little projects

Three big projects await blocking, so of course I leave them and work on three small ones instead. First up is one that is finished, and does not need blocking. The last sock of the month of Sockklubben 2008 is off the needles and will be used by my daughter next time she goes skating. The pattern is for an adult, but I subtracted 25% from all numbers and they are just right for a 17 cm foot. They have a twist, in two different directions, and that is why the pattern is called Vortical. The yarn is Tofutsies, a slippery but shiny mix of wool, soysilk, cotton and chitin. The colour is a bit too mixed up for the pattern, but it has the same colours as the original model. I thought about making childrens versions of all the ladies pattern in the club last spring, but this is the first time I got around to it. I will try to do this again, because the kids need more socks than me now.

Still in progress are two winter goodies for me. To the left you can see Knotty gloves in lovely sunset colours in Auracania Ranco. They are a really quick knit on a long circular needle, and I hope I can wear them next week. To the right is a new try at Hyrna Herborgar in a heavier yarn. Garntrollet had the same idea, without me knowing about it until I had decided to make this. Hers is not the same colour as mine, but I hope I will get the same size and look.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Höxbro and yarn

This knitting addiction is getting worse every day now. This holiday I have knitted what feels like half a blanket, but still the stash is growing...

The blanket is actually a stole, but the yarn is so much thicker than the original Shetland type yarn that it is getting really big. I do not think I will have enough yarn to make the whole width though, and after a spin in the washer to shrink it I will probably have a large scarf. The pattern is from Knit to be square by Vivian Höxbro and it is the reason I got the book. The yarn was bought by my parents a few years ago from a local artisan who had dyed it using herbs, and a lot of them were in the yarn. You know how some woolen yarn has a lot of grass and stuff in it, well multiply that by 20 and you have some idea what my kitchen loooked like after making these balls. It is also rather coarse, but this project is still highly addictive and I have stuck to it most of the holidays.

I first came across Vivian Höxbro, who is Danish, when she taught a class at the Nordic Knitting Symposium in Härnösand in 2002. I had not chosen her class, but I bought some booklets and a kit and tried the techniques from her then new book Domino Knitting when I got home. The kit has not been completed, but now I feel like giving it another try. It is a children's jacket called Lakridskonfekt (Licorice AllSorts) and I made half the back panel before deciding that it required too much concentration.

Vivian has also published Shadow Knitting, and I gave that a go earlier this autumn since it is based on one of the Japanese techniques that I taught in October. I had some idea that I was going to wear this vest it during the course, but it was not done in time and now it awaits new inspiration. It is knitted in stripes, but the texture makes part of the stripes pop out and form another pattern.

Even though I knit a lot, I plan even more and the stash is growing. Here is most of the yarn from the past month, which has been a little exceptional.

First I was waiting around for my family and ended up in Hemslöjden in Härnösand. I restrained myself and only got some material for Sockklubben 2009 (bottom left). The next weekend I rushed through a Christmas market and found some amazing, natural wool from Kristians gård in Delsbo (top left). For a few years I have been on the lookout for cotton that grows in various shades of green and brown, and now I have found a Pakucho yarn from Strik in Denmark that has a few retailers in Sweden and bought some sample skeins. I think I will get more (bottom center). The purple ball will become a larger Hyrna Herborgar shawl for me (top center). Finally my visit to Garnkorgen yesterday also resulted in a lot of lovely red Ranco from Auracania. One skein is variegated and will become gloves and the solid red will become a sweater for me. I was planning to concentrate on practical clothes for me this year, and not buy as much yarn candy...