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…

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.

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!

Christmas presents

I know, I know, Christmas was two weeks ago, but I’ve had such a lovely and lazy holiday with a lot of great food, movies, books and knitting so I didn’t feel like fiddling with the computor. Anyway, I’m back!

I’ve recieved a lot of great Christmas presents, but the ones you’re interested in are of course these:

christmas presents
New knitting books!

I’m very much looking forward to new knitting projects from these books. Especially Colours of Shetland by Kate Davies. As you might know, she is one of my favourite designers and I’ve followed her blog for donkey’s years. I’m especially excited about that my copy is signed by her! Oh, and the books are from Stefan, of course. He knows me so well.