Coraline gloves

Time to prepare for autumn. I have finally finished the Coraline gloves I begun in February.

I love this time of year. Summer nights are longer and cooler, nature begins its preparation for the new season. It’s still too warm for mittens, of course, but it feels good to be prepared, and it’s always nice to have a new pair of mittens or gloves to celebrate the best season of them all.

Coraline gloves

These gloves are not knitted with any of my favourite yarns, I’ve used a cheap yarn from Drops (wool and alpaca, though, no synthetics), simply because it was difficult to find the shades I wanted in a bulky enough yarn. I regard these gloves as a form of “novely knitting” and made them mostly for the fun of it, not to make a quality product. Sometimes you need those too.

Anyway, the yarn is soft and pleasant enough, but I won’t buy any more of it in a hurry. I prefer 100% wool yarn with more structure and… personality. I expect they will be quite warm and serve their purpose quite well. Most importantly, together with my yellow jacket, I will look a little bit like Coraline, and that’s what I was going for after all! Looking forward to that!

Coraline gloves

Here are the specifics:

Pattern: Coraline gloves
Design: Tika Belle
Yarn: Garnstudio DROPS Nepal
Yarn source: Ljungkvist garn
Needles: 5 mm
Started: 7 februari 2014
Finished: 16 Augusti 2014

If you haven’t already read Coraline by Neil Gaiman or seen the movie by Henry Selick, hurry up and do so! They’re both great!

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Last days of Christmas holiday

I had grands plans for this Christmas holiday. Lots of good food, family, friends, christmas decorations and all that stuff, of course. But I was also going to study for my next exam. I had also planned on some mending. Replacing a broken zipper, replacing the edge of a sleeve on my favourite dress. Darning some socks.

I did do the food and decorations and family and friends bit (not as much as planned, but some of it), but this awful cold drained me of most of my energy, which means that I haven’t studied at all except for about an hour and I haven’t mended a single thing.

Work starts on Tuesday again, and I thought I might do some studying now that I’m better (but still not well). But after careful consideration I’ve decided not to. I want to savour these last two days of the holidays and only do nice things. It might be stupid, and it means I will have to do a loy of studying in the evenings during the next two weeks (not to mention next weekend) and I might not do as well on the exam as I could have, but there it is.

So, I spent the morning blocking the finished pieces of my cardigan (I’m still working on the sleeves):

Blocking my red cardigan
Yes, the tree is still there!

And then I had lunch:

Lunch
Homemade bread, cheese and pickled onion sandwich pickle

Vincent tried to rip out the pins so I asked Laban to guard my knitting

Laban is guarding my knitting
Good kitty

Which turned out to be exhausting work.

...and it is exhausting work
Tired kitty

I’m gonna spend the rest of the day knitting.

That is all.

Söderängskrage

My very first finished knit of 2014 was completed on January 1st. Winter this year is bleak and dreary indeed, and the snow we had in early December is long since gone. The need for warm woolens is still great, though.

This bright and lovely cowl was designed by my good friend Erika Åberg and is available from her and Eva Trotzig’s beautiful book Varmt och stickat. Please visit Erika’s blog Crafts by Wynja.

Söderängskrage
Söderängskrage

Pattern: Söderängskrage from Varmt och Stickat
Design: Erika Åberg
Yarn: I’ve mainly used BC garn Shetlandsuld, but there are some odds and ends of other leftover yarns in there
Yarn source: Litet Nystan
Needles: 3 mm
Started: 19 October 2013
Finished: 1 January 2014

Söderängskrage
My left arm really looks abnormally long in this photo. I assure you, it’s the angle!

Söderängskrage
I think it fits best when twisted twice

Söderängskrage
Here’s a detail

Söderängskrage
Looks great with my coat, I think

Söderängskrage
Despite my wierd look, I am very happy with this cowl!

So, what’s next? Well, I’m still trying to knit from my stash, which is strangely pleasing. I have no cravings to buy more yarn, I love to look at and touch (and smell!) the yarn in my stash and let it inspire me.

I’ve decided to consider my needs more, and a really do need more cardigans knit from good quality wool, so I’ve decided to revisit the textured cardigan knit from estonian wool I begun in February of 2012, but never finished. Back and both fronts are finished, however, and about half of the first sleeve, which means that it shouldn’t take me too long to complete this project. I’ll let you know how it’s progressing.

In the meantime, happy knitting!

Leftover stripes

Well, my annual Christmas cold has arrived. As if on cue. I do hope I’ll be well enough for the Christmas party we’re invited to on Saturday.

The cats are of course happy I’m at home with them. They’re both asleep next to me on the sofa.

Luckily, I don’t have much of a fever, just a sore throat and a pretty bad cough, which means I can stay out of bed and knit!

I’m working on the striped collar/cowl “Söderängskrage” designed by my dear friend Erika Åberg. You can find the pattern in Varmt & Stickat, which was published earlier this autumn.

Söderängskrage

I’m mostly using leftover yarn from Stefan’s Argyll Vest and some other odds and ends.

Striped mittens, Christmas markets and baking

Just in time for winter, I finished a pair of soft woolly mittens.

Striped mittens Alice
My Alice mittens

Pattern: Alice
Design: Me
Yarn: Kampes 2-ply 100% wool in grey and charcoal
Yarn source: Marias garn
Needles: 2,75 mm and 3,0 mm dpns
Started: 15 september 2013
Finished: 8 November 2013

I’ve used them quite a lot, it hasn’t been very cold yet, so one layer of wool is quite enough.

Striped mittens Alice
Me and my mittens

Striped mittens Alice
Naturally, they have thumb wedges

I love winter almost as much as I love autumn, and the weeks before Christmas are sometimes more exciting than Christmas itself. I love the planning and preparing.

And Christmas markets. I’ve visited three so far. Here are some photos from the market at the Royal Stable:

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Lovely wool yarn and handknits

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There were horses there as well, of course

The market at Skansen is probably my favourite. I return to it every year.

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Wolves

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A wolverine

I saw a robin in the wolverine’s pen, which made me more exciting that the wolverine itself! Robin’s are my favorite birds, but they’re very rare where I live.

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Darling sheep

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And very cute pigs!

I’ve found myself in a baking mood lately. I’ve made some plain white bread:

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…christmas bread…

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…and saffron buns!

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But don’t worry, I haven’t been neglecting my knitting! I’ve started another pair of mittens:

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…and a cowl:

Söderängskrage
It’s almost finished now, but I have no current photos of it

Happy knitting!

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.

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.

September

September is commonly known as the first month of autumn in the northern hemisphere. In my part of the world, autumn (in strict meteorological terms) appears when the average daily temperature is between 0 and 10 degrees celsius. We’re not there yet here in Stockholm, but there is a definitive crispness in the air and a few leaves are starting to turn.

This morning was slightly overcast and even though it’s quite sunny now, the wind has picked up and the temperature is about 13 degrees in the shade.

Hedemoratäppan
Slightly overcast morning in the small park behind my building

Yesterday saw some torrential rain and the drains became quite flooded.

Torrential rain
Yesterday’s torrential rain

More than a puddle
Slightly flooded

I’ve loved autumn for as long as I can remember and I really want to make the most of the season. I will try to spend as much of it as I can outdoors. However, I suspect that it might prove difficult, since, a part from working full time, I will start studying again. I’ve decided to finish my education to become an archivist. I originally began studying for this ten years ago and I worked as an archivist briefly in 2004 and 2005, but I’ve now decided to start over and complete my education. Luckily there is one college in Sweden that offers these courses part-time. This will probably mean less time for knitting, but it’s an investment in myself, and I’m sure it’ll be worth it in the end.

Speaking of knitting, I’m now working on an Aran jumper in a lovely grey tweed yarn that I picked up in Dublin earlier this year. During Saint Patrick’s actually. I haven’t blogged about it yet, but I plan to share that trip with you eventually. It was great, I love Ireland.

Aran jumper in the making
Aran jumper in the making

A few weaks ago, when we were sorting out the study, we arranged almost all of my yarn into the top section of the book case. Looks great! And just watching all that lovely yarn really inspires me to create!

Yarn stash
About three quarters of my yarn stash.

Happy knitting!

P.S. If you’re curious, I’m originally an archaeologist, but right now I work as a research coordinator in an art museum.

Lazy Sunday

August. Late summer. The light changes. It’s still warm, but there is a hint of the autumn that soon will be upon us. I want everyday to be a lazy Sunday in late August.

Lemon curd muffins

I like to spend it with freshly made lemon curd muffins and tea.