Fisherman’s mittens

Some things take a long time to complete. Perhaps the satisfaction of finishing them is greater that the quick projects? Or is it a feeling of relief? A little of both, I suppose.

Janna wearing the Fisherman's mittens

This pair of mittens have been on the needles since November 2008. I really like them, but they turned out too narrow for my hands, so I gave them to my dear friend J. I managed to convince her to pose with them for me!

Janna and the Fisherman's mittens

Pattern: Fisherman’s mittens from Knitting Fair Isle Mittens and Gloves
Design: Unknown
Yarn: Garnstudio Drops Alpaca. Used double through out.
Needles: 2,5 mm dpns
Started: 3 November 2008
Finished: 22 January 2015
Modifications: I think that my decreases are a bit different from the pattern, I tried to duplicate the first mitten when completing the second.

Fisherman's mittens

Fisherman's Mittens

Fisherman's Mittens

The photos above were taken on January 28th, when we still had snow. Spring is on the way, and the snow has melted, but it’s been quite cold so far and I still use mittens everyday.

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.

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.

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.

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 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

Grey legwarmers revisited

How’s you knitting holding up? I mean your knitted items. Do they keep their shape? Has the yarn worn out on your heels? Are there small bobbles all over your sweater? What do we mean when we speak of quality? These things really interest me and I thought it interesting to revisit my old handknitted things and examine their state after years of use.

I thought I’d start at the beginning. Apart from the compulsory knitting in school, I was new to knitting not so long ago. I did use to sew quite a lot, but knitting hadn’t really caught my attention as someting one could actually do. At least not me. But for some reason, one day in early 2004 while I was visiting my mum, I decided that I wanted to learn how to knit. I asked her if she had any yarn and needles and if she could remember how it was done. We did mange to find some dark red acrylic yarn and aluminum needles. My mum is not a knitter, so the yarn had probably been my grandmother’s. Granny was apparently an avid knitted and crafter all around, but I never knew her, she died when I was two.

Anyway, mum picked up the yarn and needles and managed to remember how to cast on. The knit stitch is easy to remember, so she showed me how they’re done and I was off to a flying start! A friend had to teach me purl stitches.

I’ve kept my first wonky little swatches, dropped stitches and all, to remind myself that we’re all beginners at the start. I like to bring them out from time to time just to look at them.

I asked some of my friends, who I knew were knitters, to teach me more and to take me to a yarn shop. I wanted to start with something easy but usable. I decided on a pair of ribbed leg warmers. I’ve always been partial to grey wool so I bought four skeins of grey Drops Alaska from Garnstudio. A friend lended me some double pointed needles (rosewood) and I was off.

Grey leg warmers
Grey legwarmers from 2004

This is my first project. I still wear them during winter, they’re very warm, they do not itch and I think that they still look good even though there are some mistakes here and there. But you only notice if you look closely. I’ve never washed them, so I don’t know how the yarn will behave if you do. They’ve only become a little fuzzy, hardly noticable, but there are no bobbles (no pilling) at all. As far as I can tell, I would say that the yarn is of a fairly good quality. It’s quite bouncy ans soft, but sturdy enough to take quite a lot of wear.

Have you knitted anything with this yarn? What is your experience? Are you happy with it? Would you say that this is a good quality yarn? I would love to know!

I will probably wear these legwarmer again next winter if the weather’s cold enought.

Happy knitting!

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.