Spetskrage

Days are getting longer, the autumnal equinox was last week. And I can’t get enough of grey wool.

Lace cowl
Lace cowl

Pattern: Spetskrage (Lace cowl) from Varmt & stickat
Design: Erika Åberg
Yarn: 1-ply lace weight grey wool from the Jakobsdal woolen mill
Yarn source: Sätergläntan
Needles: 4,5 mm
Started: 11 July 2015
Finished: 6 August 2015
Modifications: I made it slightly shorter, only about 30 cm instead of 50 cm.

The designer is my talented friend Erika, who is an expert at finding the beauty in simple things.

The pattern is a simple and easy lace pattern repeat that is very easy to remember. After the first row you don’t need to look at the description, it’s pure knitting joy.

Lace cowl
Lace cowl

I’m working on a shawl in the same pattern and yarn. I need to wrap myself in grey wool.

I picked up the yarn at Sätergläntan many years ago. It’s a 1-ply lace weight yarn from the Jakobsdal spinning mill. I bought a huge cone without a plan. It’s now coming to good use. It has quite a lot of lanolin in it, and it smells like sheep. I love it. And I have lots of it. I don’t think the spinning mill is running any more.

I have a new… thing?

I’be been wanting of one of these things for a long time. I unravel my knitting quite often if I’m not happy with it, and it’s really difficult to make good hanks without one.

Härvel
This is a “härvel” in Swedish

Luckily for me, one of my friends, Maria, happened to have one she no longer needed (well, she had at least three), so I bought it!

I have no idea what this contraption is called in English. A coiling machine, perhaps? If you know the correct term for it, please let me know!

Härvel
Well worn

It’s so pretty! And blue!

Härvel
I wonder who made it and who used it

And it’s from 1865.

Jamieson & Smith

Believe it or not, but I still haven’t knit anything with Jamieson & Smith wool. I admit it’s a bit strange since I’m a such a wool snob. I have some J&S yarn in my stash, intended for a Sheep heid hat, but I haven’t actually tried it yet. I’m the kind of person who likes to fondle the yarn in a yarn shop before I buy it. But they have an incredible colour range and I really like the feel of the yarn that I have even though I haven’t actually knit with it.

Well, I’ve finally gotten around to ordering myself all of their shade cards! This will make it a lot easier to choose colours. I won’t have rely on the images on their website.

Jamieson & Smith shade cards
Jamieson & Smith shade cards

I probably won’t order any yarn just yet. I still have quite a lot of shashed yarn that I want to use before I buy more. This might sound a bit boring, but really, it’s not. I really look forward to starting the projects in my queue, but I don’t want to have too many half-finished projects lying around, I know I’ll just end up being bored with them. I need to get better at figuring out what I actually want and/or need and then focus on that. Which means that I probably won’t buy the yarn before I’ve decimated my stash somewhat.

I’m working on two cardigans and one pair of mittens right now, and I really want to finish them before starting anything new. I’ll always have two things going at the same time, one always needs a small portable project to accompany one’s larger projects; a pair of mittens, a hat, a scarf or a pair of socks, that one can whip out at any time when there are a few minutes to spare on the bus or the tube. But I don’t want to have bags and bags of unfinished things. I’m still unravelling old WIP’s (I don’t want to do them all at once, it takes up too much space and time) and putting away the yarn for later use. It’s actually quite satisfying.

Of course my fingers are itching to try something new, but one can handle this by making swatches. Swatches are allowed. That’s just preparing and planning, not actually knitting. 🙂

Well, time to knit!

Something warm

I’m still revisiting my old UFO’s. Either unravelling them or (trying to) finish them. I don’t know why these mittens have been left out in the cold. They’re very pretty and very soft. A bit tight, perhaps, but still wearable. You’ll find the pattern in one of my favourite books, Knitting Fair Isle Mittens and Gloves by Carol Rasmussen Noble.

Fishermen's Mittens
Almost finished

I begun this project in 2008 according to my ravelry notes. If I’d started it today I probably wouldn’t use Drops/Garnstudio Alpaca. The colours are lovely and it’s very soft, but it tends to get quite fuzzy after some wear.

I managed to break one of the needles…

Broken needle
D’oh!

Luckily, these were just old bamboo needles. I tossed out the thole lot and switched to my beloved KnitPro’s instead.

Happy knitting!

Make Do and Mend, part 4

Ok, I already know this, but some yarn isn’t suitable some types of garments. The Widdershins socks I finished in September last year turned out really lovely, but they’re already worn thin. I used them perhaps twice in my boots, even though I knew that 100% merino really isn’t suitable for that kind of wear. It only made them slightly fuzzy on the back of the heel, but I decided only to wear them indoors after that. Sans shoes.

I washed them. By hand. They stretched like mad and became too big for my feet. I gave them Stefan who has worn them quite a lot. Indoors. Sans shoes. They’re now worn thin on the bottom of the heels and under the ball of the foot. I noticed the other day that they were dangerously close to developing a hole.

Make do and mend
Time for some mending!

I realized that I don’t have enought Koigu left to mend all weak areas. I have to find another yarn with similar thickness. But I managed to prevent a hole where the sock looked really bad.

Make do and mend
It looks a bit funny, but they’ll now last a bit longer

I have at least four pairs of hand-knitted socks with holes in them. I really must learn how to darn. And not use Koigu KPPPM for socks.

Happy knitting!

Make Do and Mend, part 2

I really, really love to knit. I knit almost every day, simply because it’s fun, but also because I like to create someting that I can use. Material is also important of course, I mean, there wouldn’t be much knitting without yarn. I have a lot of yarn. Not as much as some of my friends, but still enough to keep me knitting for at least a couple of years without buying new yarn.

I still do, though. Buy new yarn. It’s hard not to when you come across a lovely wooly, soft hank. But I don’t buy as much yarn as I did a few yars ago. I’ve become more picky. More concerened about quality.

I also have quite a few unfinshed knits. I’ve realized that I will never finish some of them. Some were not that fun to knit. Or I might no longer want the garment.

Well, the best thing to do when you have a UFO that you will never finish is simply to rip it out! Wind the yarn into hanks, wash them gently in tepid water in the sink, hang them up to dry and voilá, new yarn! Without going to the shops.

återbruk
Recycled

Wonderful wool

My mum gave me a wonderful present the other day. A whole bag full of yarn!

A whole bunch of yarn
Green and grey wool

The yarn is from Ateljé Guldtackan where they keep sheep and specialise in sheepskin products but also sell yarn from their own sheep. Mum bought me four hanks of a dark green yarn and three hanks of grey yarn. It’s lovely and soft but still with a little roughness to it that I like. I don’t have a designated project for it yet, but I’m certain that I will think of something suitable.

Happy knitting!

I have wardrobe issues

I am so tired of my clothes. I can hardly find anything I like in my wardrobe. I seem to be wearing the same clothes day after day. I need a new style. I need new dresses. I need new shoes. I need new cardigans. Luckily for me, I know how to knit. That’s why I’ve decided to start a new project. I have some lovely, beautiful, red yarn (100% wool of course) that I bought in Tallinn, Estonia, last winter. It is now being transformed into a cardigan.

red wool
Red wool from Tallinn

I’m using a pattern called Yangtze Cardigan by Courtney Kelley from a book called Vintage Modern Knits. The book was a birthday present from my husband. He knows me so well! I’m calling this cardigan My Slacker Cardigan because I need a cardigan I can wear with any of the t-shirts I have in my (growing) collection of very cool t-shirts. I have a thing for cool t-shirts. And when I wear My Very Cool T-shirts I feel like a slacker (in the cool sense of the word. If there is one. Otherwise I’m just being pathetic). Hence the name My Slacker Cardigan.

I’ve made a couple of swatches.

Swatch detail
Swatching with red yarn

As it turns out, I can’t even get gauge with 2,5 mm needles, and I don’t want to knit the whole cardigan using 2 mm needles, so I’m following the pattern for a smaller size. According to my calculations, it should turn out fine.

When it’s finished, I’ll show you some of my Very Cool T-shirts. That is, I think they’re cool. You might not agree.

Swatch
Another swatch photo

It’s really difficult to take a decent photo, the colour comes out best in the first photo with the yarn.

So, all I need to do now is knit like crazy (I’ve knitted about 15 cm of the back so far) and go shopping for new clothes.

Colour or AMOCP#6

A Month of Craft Photos, Day 6. Colour.

(No, you didn’t miss day 5, I was simply too tired to arrange any photos yesterday, so I decided to skip it.)

Sock yarn
Soft ock yarn

Gray is not a colour, I hear you say and technically you are correct, I suppose. But to me, gray is one of the best colours.

Sock yarn
More soft sock yarn

Blue is also a very nice colour, and it has been one of favourite colours for as long as I can remember. When I was little and many of my friends loved pink, I preferred blue.

Sock yarn
More sock yarn!

All of these lovely skeins of yarn were gifted to me by my very sweet friend Carin! Thank you dear! Here’s a link to her blog.