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.

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Winter is coming (sorry – couldn’t help it)

I’m not one for knitting with cotton or other plant based materials. I see their benefits, but I find it hard to come to terms with how they feel in my hands.

I like wool. So I knit with wool. All year round. Since I am of the opinion that one can never have too many mittens, scarfs or hats, I’ve knit a knew hat. And a pair of mittens. I wanted something plain and useful (sounds boring, I know) that lets the fabric and the wool speak for itself. So even though the patterns are simple enough, I think the finished garments turned out quite pretty.

Luva

Pattern: Luva from Sticka mössor, vantar, sockor!
Design: Ann-Marie Nilsson
Yarn: Ullcentrum 2-trådigt. I think the coulourway is called “Gråmelerad”
Yarn source: I think it was a gift from mum
Needles: 2,75 mm
Started: 11 April 2015
Finished: 26 April 2015 (although I blocked it only a few weeks ago)
Modifications: Since the yarn I used is a bit thicker than the one recommended, I made it slightly smaller to fit my head. It is still fairly loose, but I hope that won’t be a problem in winter. My ears hurt when exposed to wind and cold air, so I really need hats that fit snugly around the ears.

Luva

 

After I finished this I wanted a pair of matching mittens.

Enkla herrvantar

 

As you can see from this photo, the colour of the yarn changes slightly so the mittens are not the exact same shade of grey.

Enkla herrvantar

Pattern: Enkla herrvantar from Varmt och stickat
Design: Eva Trotzig
Yarn: Ullcentrum 2-trådigt. I think the coulourway is called “Gråmelerad”
Yarn source: I think it was a gift from mum
Needles: 3 mm dpns
Started: 12 May 2015
Finished: 30 July 2015
Modifications: I didn’t care for the decreases in the pattern, so I just altered them to suit my taste. I also made them slightly smaller to accomodate my hands, since the pattern is written up to fit a man’s hands. Unfortunately, the pattern is not very well written, and even the easiest instructions are made confusing. I really can’t recommend it. I do like the detail around the wrists, though. There are many other well written patterns in the book, and I can whole-heartedly recommend the book as a whole.

So! New grey wolly things – I am prepared for winter…

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.

Sheep heid

I’m very happy with this lovely fair isle tam. The design is by Kate Davies, one of my favourite knitwear designers. This is the first project by her design I have completed, but I love her stuff and I want to knit almost everything by her!

Sheep heid

Pattern: Sheep Heid from Kate Davies Design
Design: Kate Davies
Yarn: Jamieson & Smith Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight
Yarn source: Jamieson & Smith (Shetland Wool Brokers)
Needles: 2,75 mm and 3 mm, circular and dpns
Started: 22 September 2014
Finished: 18 January 2015
Modifications: None

Sheep heid

I’ve had the yarn in my stash for quite some time. Emmy and I bought a kit from Jamieson & Smith together and split the yarn between us, since one skein of each shade is more than enough for two tams. Emmy finished hers a long time ago! I’m a bit slower…

I think it turned out quite well, and I really do enjoy fair isle knitting. The pattern was easy to follow and the instructions clear.

Sheep heid

The yarn is a little scratchier than I expected, even after washing and blocking. But it doesn’t bother me that much, I’m not very sensitive. What I really love about the Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight is that none of the shades are dyed. They’re all the natural shades of the fleeces of the shetland sheep. And there are nine different shades in this tam. Beautiful.

The snow is all but gone now, very sad indeed. I hope winter will return before it’s time for spring.

Happy knitting!

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.

Pavement

Well, Happy New Year everyone! I hope you’ve had a lovely holiday! I’m still on vacation and won’t be back at work until next week, so I’m hoping that these last days of the yuletide holidays will include a lot of knitting.

Although you wouldn’t know from reading this blog, I do knit quite a lot. But I don’t finish quite as much. Here’s one thing though: a scarf for Stefan! He had asked me to finish it before we left for New York to spend Christmas there, and I finished it on time. Here he is with his new scarf on the High Line!

Pavement 9

Pattern: Pavement from Brooklyn Tweed
Design: Jared Flood
Yarn: Pure Shetland Wool from Wiltshire
Yarn source: Wool in Bath
Needles: 4,5 mm
Started: 1 October 2014
Finished: 14 December 2014
Modifications: No mods, but it turned out a lot longer than I had intended, since it grew a lot during blocking.

It’s the same yarn as in my Linnae Pullover and I really enjoy knitting with it. It’s soft (but not too soft) and springy. I bought it in Bath a couple of years ago and I still have two or three hanks left.

Pavement 4

I didn’t manage to take any decent photos when I finished it, and now it’s been worn a lot and is a bit crumpled up. Perhaps the only bad thing about this yarn is that does have a tendency to form bobbles.

Pavement 3

I really like the stitch pattern although it was a bit dull to knit in the end. Not much variation. But it was worth it!

Right now I’m working on a few old projects that I would like to finish. Haven’t started anyhting new, but I’m really eager to. I don’t know what yet. Something to keep me warm through the rest of the winter.

It’s snowing.

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.

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.