Warm hands

Right after I posted yesterday’s blog post, I spent some time on Ravelry (which I haven’t done in a while). I will always find inspiration there. It didn’t take long for me to find something new to knit.

Even though I’m already working on two pairs of mittens (one of which I begun in 2008…) I decided to cast on for another pair. I already had the pattern, and after some searching through the stash, I found the right yarn. I can’t help but feel a bit satisfied when I can begin a whole new project without spending any money. Naturally I bought the pattern book at one time, and the yarn, but I’ve already used the book several times before and all the different yarns came from my box of left over odds and ends (with one exception), so it really feels like this pair of mittens are practically free. And I like the idea of “make do” instead of always buying new things.

So right now I’m working on three pairs of mittens.

Torgvante

I cast on last night, and I’ve been knitting all morning. The pattern is “Cross & Crown” from Knitting Fair Isle Mittens and Gloves by Carol Rasmussen Noble. They’re actually fingerless gloves. Normally, I always add a thumb wedge if there isn’t one, but in this case I didn’t think it would look right, so I’m sticking with the pattern. Although I will place my thumb higher up, since the original placement wouldn’t fit me.

Vantar stickas

Here they are together with the other mittens I’m working on. The striped ones are only missing one thumb, so I’ll probably finish those pretty soon. The pattern is from the same book as above. They’re the ones I begun in 2008.

The one with the lozenge pattern is from a very nice book called Varmt & Stickat. It’s only available in Swedish and Finnish, as far as I know.

I wonder which pair I’ll finish first?

That is all.

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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!

Make Do and Mend, part 1

When I was little I loved watching old news reel footage on the TV (they were edited into programs, often with a theme), especially the ones from the early forties which were sometimes about how to care for one’s things and clothes in order for them to last longer. This was of course during World War II, and even though Sweden wasn’t actually in the war, rationing was severe and buying new things was often not possible.

My interest in how to get by in times of austerity has increased over the years. Most people in the western world live in relative luxuary today, and we do not need to be moderate in our consumer habits, but at the same time most of us are aware of that this is not a sustainable way of life.

Sustainability and quality is someting we all need to consider and how we can contribute to a more sustainable world.

One way is of course by consuming less. Taking care of one’s things and clothes in order for them to last longer. Mending what can be mended. Questioning whether you actually need that thing that you want.

I try to think about these things and I want to contribute to a more sustainable society to the best of my ability. It’s not easy, of course. One way is by mending what you already have.

I have a pair of woolen gloves I knitted in 2007. I have mended these several times before, but last week they neeeded some TLC again.

worn
Stitches worn thin

I reinforced the stitches:

mending 2
Mended finger

I reinforced some other stitches that weren’t as badly off to prevent them from getting worse.

mending 1
Preventing new holes

They looked much worse a few years ago:

hole!
Almost worn out

The tips of the fingers were so badly worn, I simply cut them off:

unravelled yarn
Unravelled yarn and cut off fingertips

And then knit new ones:

new finger on mitten
Knitting new fingertips

Result:

mended mitten and cat
Almost brand new!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on making do and mending. Do you mend your knits? If not, why?

Brenda, who produces my favourite knitting pod cast, Cast On, dedicated a whole series to the Make Do and Mend concept back in 2009. I recommend that you check out her audio archive and download series 8 if you haven’t listened to it already.

Happy knitting!

My second 10K race

Today was another great day outdoors. It was time for a 10K race at the outskirts of Stockholm, Hässelbyloppet. This was my second 10K race and I managed to improve my time by eight minutes from last year! I’m very pleased with my result, but will work at improving my time even further.

jag och sofie
My best friend Sofie and me before the race

I can’t be certain of course, but I don’t think that there were many runners there today who wore hand knit hats and hand knit gloves. In wool. But I did. Fair Isle gloves none the less!

Happy knitting! And running.