Do I knit? You bet!

I read once that it’s bad netiquette to apologize for one’s blogging hiatus. So I won’t apologize, I will only assure you that I’m still here and I’m knitting with more fervour than I have in years. So much so, that I haven’t really given myself time to blog about it.

I have finished three things since you last heard from me, but I’ll tell you more about those in individual blog posts. Soon!

But I also have quite a few things on the needles right now, projects both new and old. I’m working on a lovely lace shawl that I hope to finish in time for me to wear at a party in June. I’m also working on a pair of mittens to accompany a recently finished hat (more about that in an upcoming post). I’ve practically fished the red cardigan I’ve been working on since 2012, all the knitting and blocking is done, all I have left to do is to put the pieces together. I’ve also finished one sock. Don’t worry, I will complete the pair, but so many other things (and yarns!) have caught my attention recently.

Here are some pictures:

Ene's scarf

Gråa vantar

Handledsvärmare

I seem to be finding inspiration in so many things right now. I’m constantly finding new and inspiring knitters online that can’t stop myself from following on Instagram and Ravelry. I’ve bought some new knitting books that make me want to create, create! I’m also attending a sewing class and I’m currently working on a summer dress. Sewing! I want to sew dresses! A whole bunch of them! Even though I am an Autumn/Winter person, I’m absolutely in love with spring right now. I don’t want it to end, I’m not yet ready for summer! But in that same moment I long for summer, walking barefoot in the grass, cotton dresses, neverending daylight and misty mornings.

One of my favourite knitters and designers right now is Viffla. She has knit an amazing number of lovely cardigans, and designed a few as well. She has such a natural style and confidence in everything she does and it inspires me tremendously.

I also find great inspiration in one of my dear friends, Erika, whom you can find at her blog and her web page (both in Swedish). Her creations, photos and stories about her life on the island Gotland always inspires me in so many ways.

I hope that you also feel inspired and that you have the time create all those things you long for.

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Probably stupid

When I was new to knitting and discovered the internet knitting community, back in 2004-2005, I loved the idea of knitting challenges. Knit-a-longs, sock challenges, knitting-in-particular-colour-challenges, thematic blogging regarding knitting and whatnot. I gradually discovered that I was totally rubbish at it. Whenever I set myself to one of these, I got bored with it rather quickly and just dropped the whole thing. Just to pick up another challenge.

Keeping this character trait in mind, I’ve always loved the idea of presenting my family and friends with thoughtful and lovely knitted gifts for Christmas. I only ever did it once, and not even for everyone, and that was back in 2005, I think. I still think it’s a wonderful idea, but with a little sadness, because I will never accomplish it. Or will I?

Me and my husband spent last Christmas (2014) in New York City with a bunch of friends and had an abolutely lovely time! When I came home, though, I felt a bit robbed of Christmas. Despite all the Christmas decorations, wonderful food and even the Christmas Spectacular at the Radio City Music Hall, I lacked the Christmas feeling. So, what? You might ask. How old are you? Do you really need that Christmas feeling? The thing is, I do.

I’ve always loved Christmas. Not because of the origins of it, I’m not a christian, but because what it has come to mean for me. For as long as I can remember, Christmas has meant not just gifts and decorations and certain types of food, but that time and space itself was altered. Transformed. Become otherworldly. It’s difficult to describe. It’s a feeling. Something I perceive. And it’s impossible for me to experience that when I’m not at home.

So. No more going away during Christmas. We’ve done it a few times now, but I’ve finally realised that I don’t want to do it anymore. I need to stay at home and prepare. And be there when it happens.

Now that I’ve realised this, I want to do everything I can to make the most of it. One thing might be to finally give my family and loved ones the things I want to give them.

This will of course take up a lot of my time and require a lot of dedication and determination. I know I have dedication and determination, but only when it comes to things that I find meaningful. Knitting a ton of things to meet a deadline might not be one of them, but I’m going to give it a try. In fact, I’ve alreday started! A simple, but elegant shawl in a very nice wool yarn I bought in Estonia a few years ago. And it’s almost finished, even…

Trekantssjal med spetskant

To be continued…

October

This is my time of year. I can’t even begin to explain how much I love autumn. I’ll show you some photos I took today during my lunch break. I work in a truly beautiful part of Stockholm.

Autumn on Skeppsholmen
Chestnut

Autumn on Skeppsholmen
Leaves are turning

Autumn on Skeppsholmen
The grass is still very green

Autumn on Skeppsholmen
Rose hip

Autumn on Skeppsholmen
Sculpure park

Striped mittens
Striped mittens

This is what I’m working on right now; a pair of striped mittens. I haven’t finished the aran jumper yet, but inspiration took over when I watched Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland a few weeks ago and I had to cast on for a new project. Alice was wearing a pair of sheer striped half-mitts and I just had to make something that reminded me of those. Mine will turn in to much more solid wooly mittens instead, I have very little use for half-mitts and I prefer wool to gauzy fabric. And these mittens will remind me of other Tim Burton movies as well, stripes are a common feature in his world as you probably know.

I picked out some yarn I already had in my stash, I’m quite certain I used both these shades of grey when I knit these gloves many years ago.

Autumn on Skeppsholmen
The view from my window at work

Autumn on Skeppsholmen
I have an almost pathological urge to pick up chestnuts when I find them. I try to refrain myself, but it’s difficult.

I hope for a long autumn filled with woolly mittens, hats and scarves.

Inspiring mystery

I am extremely fond of Britsh period drama and the three episode mystery set in 1950’s London, The Bletchley Circle, is no exeption. The story itself is a murder mystery and perfectly alright, not extremely exciting, but still good. But the best things are the actors (especially Anna Maxwell Martin whom I’ve been a big fan of since I first saw her appearance in Bleak House), the environments and perhaps above all THE CLOTHES!

Bletchley Circle 5
The code breaking, brilliant women in The Bletchley Circle

Almost every scene has some absolutely lovely knitwear. Jumpers, cardigans, vests or simply just wonderfully stylish clothes. The story is set in the early 50’s but many of the characters are wearing a bit out-dated and plain clothes due to the rationing that still was in effect, but it’s just to my taste.

Bletchley Circle 4
Anna Maxwell Martin as Susan in The Bletchley Circle

The story centers around a serial killer on the loose in London and four brilliant women, who used to work as code breakers during WWII at Bletchley Park, decide upon trying to catch the killer by using their experience from their work during the war and their sharp intellects.

Bletchley Circle 6
Short sleeved 1940’s jumper

I don’t think there will be any more episodes, and I actually hope this was a one off because I think it would be difficult to continue with the story without it losing it’s credibility.

Bletchley Circle 1
Cardigans galore!

Bletchley Circle 3
A plain but stylish vest

Well, I’m off to search my 40’s and 50’s patterns for upcoming projects!

Happy knitting!

Like something out of a TOAST catalogue

Never let me go is a novel by Kazuo Ishiguro that came out in 2005. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. I keep coming back to it, thinking about it.

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From the film Never Let Me Go

Mark Romanek turned it into a film in 2010 but I never got around to watching it back then. I bought the dvd a few months ago and finally watched it. Romanek’s adaptation of the book is beautiful and haunting and captured the mood and the essence of the novel very well, I think.

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From the film Never Let Me Go

On ravelry there’s a group dedicated to knit spotting in films, As Seen in the Movies, and since NLMG features a lot of knitwear it naturally recieved some attention. Someone commented on it and said that it was as if a TOAST catalogue had come to life. I agree!

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Andrew Garfield and Carey Mulligan in the film Never Let Me Go

I love the earthy tones and simple style.

knightley garfield mulligan in NEVER LET ME GO
Kiera Knightley, Andrew Garfield and Carey Mulligan

neverletmego1
From the film Never Let Me Go

neverletmego
From the film Never Let Me Go

never-let-me-go-banner-pier
From the film Never Let Me Go

never-let-me-go6
From the film Never Let Me Go

neverletmego2
From the film Never Let Me Go

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Carey Mulligan in the film Never Let Me Go

never_let_me_go_3
From the film Never Let Me Go

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From the film Never Let Me Go

The fingerless wool mittens I’m knitting right now, Twig, are actually directly inspired by the film. Not that anyone in it wears anything similar, but my choice of colour and style is inspired by it.

Fingerless mittens
First mittens finished, need to weave in ends.

First podcast on knitting in Swedish. And some knit spotting.

The first Swedish podcast on knitting has seen the light of day! And I’m using the word first because I believe that more of them will surface. It’s called Stickpodden and is produced by two young women, Karin and Elin, who met each other at a knitting club a couple of years ago and decided to start a podcast.

Stickpodden is an easygoing and chatty podcast and in their first episode Karin and Elin talk about Ravelry, knitting during meetings and if and how much one should charge when knitting for others. They already have another episode out, but I’ve only listened to the first one yet. I like it so far and look forward to more episodes. An extra bonus is their choice of music, a bit different and really good.

Now over to some knit spotting. I had a late afternoon meeting down town and happened by an H&M. I’m normally not a patron of H&M for various reasons, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t produce nice items from time to time. Two very nice looking male sweaters caught my eye as I walked past:

Knit spotting II
A very nice cabled sweater

Knit spotting I
And an intricate Fair Isle inspired sweater

I did not go inside to scrutinize the garments so I do not know their fibre content. One can only hope that they are knit from wool.

That is all.

This was a quick knit. For a change.

I often feel like my knitting projects have no end. The red cardigan I started in FEBRUARY still isn’t finished (believe me, I have UFO’s much older than that, but none other that I’m actually working on now). Back and both fronts are done and I’ve begun the first sleeve, but I really believed I would be finished by now.

That’s why it’s so gratifying to actually finish something. I really wanted someting warm and cosy to celebrate the arrival of autumn and decided to use some left over yarn from my Hampton cardigan. The whole thing took one week. Now see, that’s nice. I finished something within a week!

Blocking
Blocking my grey woolen cowl

It’s blocking now and is still quite damp, so you’ll have to wait a few days for a shot of me actually wearing it.

Happy knitting!

Wild thing. You make my heart sing.

I’m sure you read and was fascinated by Maurice Sendak’s book Where the Wild Things Are (1963) when you were a kid just like I was.  I was far from wild and angry like Max in the book, but I wanted a wolf costume just like his and often fantasized about other worlds.

Where the Wild Things Are

I was thrilled when Spike Jonze did his take on the story with the film that came out in 2009. It’s not a very comfortable adaptation, but actually rather disturbing at times. Still comforting. I really like it. And being a knitting nerd, I can’t help but notice The Knits. The boy Max wears a lovely knitted sweater at the beginning of the movie that I find very inspiring. I want that sweater!

Screen caption from Where the Wild Things Are
Max in the movie Where the Wild Things Are

Screen caption from Where the Wild Things Are
Here’s another shot of the sweater

If I’d ever have a go at the wolf costume, I would probably sew one, but if you’d prefer to knit it, Tiny Owls Knits has designed a pattern including the crown! Perhaps I have to knit one, now that I think about it…

A magician, sinister gentlemen and a rabbit

Award winning stop-motion animation director Jamie Caliri has directed a video for a group called The Shins. I’d never heard of them before, but they sound pretty good. The video, though! Excellent, disturbing and beautiful. Check it out here. (I tried to embed the video, but it doesn’t seem to work. You’ll have to follow the link).

You might recognise the style of Jamie Caliri, he’s the artist behind the stop motion animation in the Lemony Snicket movie. Check out his other works here. I’m particularily fond of the “The sun and the seed”:

The Sun and the Seed from Jamie Caliri on Vimeo.