Monday, April 26, 2010

Knitting fever

Today I have been home alone with a stubborn cold. Somehow it is not so bad being ill when you can knit, and today it was actually quite nice. Just days before that volcano erupted I ordered a few things from overseas, and today the first item finally arrived. Prjónaperlur is a book about all the facets of the current knitting fever in Iceland. Women of, literally, all ages present their own patterns and there are classics next to crazy and childish. The patterns are a bit too easy for my taste, but there are a few gems. I just finished reading the presentations and thoughts between the patterns and it warmed my heart almost as much as my own fever. Being half Icelandic I like those moments when I feel part of that community and the book really sucked me in. It will soon be published in English and there is a part two in the making, so if you have an interest in the culture of knitting or a love of Icelandic wool I can recommend it. It is small but has a soul.

Before the post arrived I finished the first project from the huge stash of Icelandic Einband (1-ply) that I brought home last October. It is the fabulous Faux Russian Stole from the book A Gathering of Lace. The yarn only lasted 180 of the 185 cm needed so the last centimetres are slightly paler, but it is like one of the mottoes from Prjónaperlur says: "There has to be a mistake in each project, because then you can see that it is handmade". This is especially true if the result is as amazing as this. This is lace in garter stitch, which I had never made before, and it is actually easier than it looks but requires a lot of patience. Most of it was made during the Christmas holiday, but the problem with the yarn made me wait with the finishing until I had convinced myself how to deal with it.

And a detail...

Monday, April 5, 2010


Last summer I found that I had three shawls named after drinks and this Easter I seem to be into sweets. The first yarn is named Dubbelnogat and it is a tasty, shiny silk. The yarn is from a small collection of hand dyed silk from Färgkraft, where they usually dye lovely, thin woolen yarns in unexpected colourways. I spotted this yarn last summer at Cina's garn and hinted to Mr P that if no one else had bought it by Christmas I wouldn't mind taking care of it. I got two 400m skeins to wrap myself in and after a lot of dreaming about the result it is finally on its way. It is interesting to see what happens to the mix of colours when you start working with a yarn that is hand dyed, so I took pictures of the process from skein to swatch.

The yarn is actually very shiny in silver, gold and bronze but the pictures were too bright for the screen. The pattern is Tuscany by Amy R. Singer from her book No Sheep for You. This pattern is made for silk and suits the drape of the yarn and the pattern works with the colours. The first swatch is on 4mm needles (right) but it was too loose and 3,5mm (left) works much better, I will just have to add som extra repeats at the end.

Another sweet project is the Madli's Shawl by Nancy Bush from Knitted Lace of Estonia. This yarn is Nef Lace from Fyberspates in Toffee Chocolate. I made most of this on my trip to Iceland last year. Short wooden needles worked well on the plane. The yarn is extremely soft and the pattern isn't very well defined so I am not quite sure if I will follow this through to the end

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

This is how we decorate for Easter. The children have filled the plant with coloured feathers, crocheted ornaments from my grand-mother and and new things they have made in school. I put som twigs in a vase in the kitchen like you are supposed to, but they still have no leaves so this is more fun. We use the same plant as a Christmas tree with lights and everything...

We also have a basket of large paper eggs filled with candy, but one of the eggs was also a bit untraditional this year. Two relatives celebrated their birthdays recently so instead of donating money to the postal system we exchange gifts when we meet for the holidays. The egg contained a set with a small bag a top for a four-year-old and socks for her mother.

The orange set is from a DMC crochet kit for beginners. A friend of mine sold the kits in her yarn store, but this one remained unsold. I thought about buying it for my daughter and ended up getting it for free. I didn't start making it until my daugther was too big, so it went to her cousin instead. There is some yarn left, so I will probably make another bag so they can match their outfits. The yarn is called Senso and is of great quality, as you would expect from DMC.

The socks are a beautiful design from the book Sock innovation by Cookie A. called Wanida. It is one of those great patterns that look simple but is quite intricate when you take a closer look. The stripes become more subtle when they are stretched out on the foot but they are also lined with borders of lacey holes. The yarn is Austerman Step, which is usually too stripey for patterned socks but this purple and blue (132) is calmer.