A bit of a test run

wpid-dsc_8664.jpg

I got yarn in the mail today. It’s from a company I’ve never tried before but I’m very intrigued about what I can see on their web page. I ordered two skeins as a test and if this works out well, well, then that’s indeed good information for the future. So far I like very much what I see and it feels good (it is merino though so how could it go wrong?) and it will be interesting to wind it and cast on. I don’t have a plan for them yet but I think they would be lovely as fingerless mitts. A little shawlette wouldn’t be wrong either. The blue especially feels very summer-y.

It’s all angles at this point

wpid-dsc_8659.jpg

This weekend I’ve blocked my ribbon sweater. It was a fun block, all straight angles, but it still took some time. It takes a while before it’s dry and then it’s just two seams and some ends to weave in. I hope it will turn out well, I’m not sure how much blocking will change ribbon yarn. There are a lot of question marks at this point. What if ribbon yarn doesn’t feel good to wear? What if it doesn’t fit? Yes, I’m very curious how it will turn out. And perhaps also a little scared.

My grandmother’s meringue cake

wpid-dsc_8641.jpg

I think a lot about generations sometimes. Some things from your older relatives you want to keep and some you don’t. It’s the same whether it’s about furniture – you might want to keep the lovely sideboard in the livingroom but you don’t mind ditching the broken chairs in the basement – or small keepsakes or traditions. I love mixing new traditions with old ones, to make up my own but to also keep things I really love. Every year for my birthday my mum used to make the only cake I liked, my grandmother’s meringue cake. It’s good, it’s crunchy, it’s sweet, it merely use whipped cream as binder and not as a main attraction, it has berries (preferable strawberries in the summer but other berries are fine too) and it’s just so delicious. It’s interesting how much symbolism and memory can be found in food.

A few years ago, when I used to bake a lot (I had a better oven then than I have now), I was looking into making a cake like this and I asked my mother about the recipe. She had gotten it from my grandmother back in 1982 during a phone call where one or both of them were in a hurry and the recipe only said “add eggs” and things like that. Completely impossible to bake from unless you were the one to write it down. This year though, I decided it was really the time. I’m over 30 and it’s time that I take responsibility for this tradition and start taking care of it. What better time to start than midsummer? So, I told my mother and she gave me the recipe, a better version of it than before, and also lend me her oven and her good advice and I made a lovely cake that was much appreciated. It feels good to be able to shoulder the tradition and make my grandmother’s meringue cake. It represents my childhood and hopefully I can make it for future generations as well; friends’ kids and also perhaps my niece and nephew if they ever come back to Sweden. Then maybe someone else will take over when I’m too old to continue. It’s a nice thought.

Take this waltz

wpid-dsc_8644.jpg

It’s close to midnight and soon this Midsummer Eve will be over. I haven’t picked any flowers to put under my pillow as I already know who I will marry (since that part is already taken care of) but evenings like this make me think of poetry. I told you Midsummer was romantic. And also a little wistful as summer evenings often are. One of the best poems is called A Waltz Melody by the wonderful Nils Ferlin.

With this I wish you a good night and I hope you all had a great Midsummer!

Summer night sunset

wpid-dsc_8627.jpg

Speaking of the summer night light, tonight was an even brighter night with a lovely melon juice colored sunset. Tomorrow is Midsummer Eve which potentially is the most romantic evening of the year. I heard it might rain, it usually does on Midsummer, but since I have a knitting, I don’t care. It will be lovely either way.

Freaking amazingly crazy

wpid-img_20160622_161450.jpg

Summer apparently makes us do crazy things. Or rather, it makes me do crazy things. I blame… the yarn store and the light and my enabling co-worker and language and… well, myself. This is really all on me.  But you should know that the picture in my head is freaking amazing. So amazing in fact that it will probably never happen in real life. But I will dream and the dream is freaking amazing and will make me look just as casual as you never can pull off during summer. Or at least I can’t. I’m usually overdressed in the summer (but hey, I do have a lot of woolen shawls and they are gorgeous and I want to wear them all year round) and when I have been sweating for several days and realize that maybe I can lose the merino cardigan, that’s when some cooler air has come and I walk around freezing, longing for my sweater. But the crazy has happened and my dream is freaking amazing and let’s just stick with that for now.

Two days ago my co-worker (yes, as I said, I could totally blame her) told me that there was some mullberry silk on sale at the LYS. She didn’t just mentioned this in passing but gave me the password to get the discount and also texted me the new price. Yep, enabling (and I love her for it). Of course I went to my LYS. Once there I saw a sign that said the magic word discontinued. This is a trigger word, it means that I have to fully evaluate if this is a yarn that I might at some point in my life feel the absolute need to own. It usually is. The magic word was there and the color was wonderful and I put three skeins on the counter and paid without even blinking. (I also got more mullberry silk than I care to disclose.) Now, there is only one type of (natural) fibre I would never knit in again - linen – and it’s true what they say, never say never, because my three newly purchased skeins are all linen. Three red linen skeins that will become a top to wear with the jeans I just bought and I will look cool and casual (which I rarely do in the summer) and it will be freaking amazing. Now the only problem is that I actually have to knit the top before any of this can happen. To knit in linen… I’d better bring out the chocolate right away.

How much does your life change in five years?

wpid-dsc_8029.jpg

Okay, so it really isn’t news to me that babies grow. I have made this observation before but it feels like my own life is slowly slowing down while kids’ lives are just picking up speed all the time. During five years in my life it doesn’t happen that much (which is totally a lie but it feels that way) but during five years in a childs’s life there is no end to what will happen.

wpid-dsc_8033.jpg

My darling little niece turned four a few weeks ago. The first time I met her she wasn’t even two years old and the second time she was just over three. Now she is four. Five years ago I didn’t know her. Five years ago, nobody knew her and nobody knew she was about to enter our lives. In these five years she has grown in her mother’s tummy, she has entered the world, she has gone from baby to toddler to child, she has travelled the world (well, at least some parts of it) and she has learned how to walk and talk and smile and laugh and play and ride a bike and she knows how to say butterfly in three different languages and she has gotten more than 10 knitted items from Aunt Ina.

wpid-dsc_8034.jpg

My darling niece has gone from nothing five years ago to being a whole little person who likes to go swimming and run fast and gives the best hugs. That’s quite a lot. So what have I accomplished in the same time?

wpid-dsc_8035.jpg

Five years ago I was about the be dumped by the guy I had been dating for the past 6 months. I thought I was going to have the best summer of my life and instead I lost my job and I got dumped. Since then I’ve got a new job. I’ve taken a lot of classes at the university. I’ve met Julle. I’ve been to Warsaw four times and the US once. I’ve bought my first apartment. I’ve gotten married. I’ve turned 30. I’ve lost a parent. Five years ago I actually already knew how to say butterfly in three different languages but I’ve potentially learned it in a fourth and I’ve knit more than ten different items for my niece.

wpid-dsc_8030.jpg

I’ve done a lot in the past five years but it doesn’t feel like that much. The truth is though that both me and niece have gotten whole new lives in that time (well, maybe she didn’t get a new life, she was born which is probably much bigger an accomplishment than to just change the life you already have).

wpid-dsc_8031.jpg

During the next five years she will hopefully learn how to read and write and add and subtract and she will form opinions (and probably won’t like knitted items from Aunt Ina anymore) and she will meet friends and maybe lose some of them and gain new ones. She will read books (some of them probably from Aunt Ina since the sweaters will no longer be as interesting) and get to know more of the world and there is no end to the possibilities.

For me? Well, there is absolutely no way to know what the future holds. But one thing is for sure, it will be interesting no matter what.

wpid-dsc_8027.jpg

Pattern: Zephyr by Allison Britt. Yarn: Drops Muskat from Garnstudio, color 38 dark purple.

And so it has begun

wpid-20160619_105311.jpg

So, I stopped playing around with the yarn and settled for a pattern that I like and cast on. They are a bit tight with five “arcs” but luckily they aren’t for me but for someone with slightly thinner wrists. If I make a pair for myself (there are plenty of Vacillate leftovers after my four shawls) I will do six arcs. Despite this pair being on the tight side I like them a lot. Two repeats will be more than enough and since things are happening all the time, it’s a quick knit. They are a bit finicky though, much more so than the shawl itself. Now, knit on, knit more!

Rainy day leisure

wpid-dsc_8602.jpg

Yesterday it rained all day. Perfect knitting weather and, since I have dubbed this summer the summer of knitting and working out, it went along well with my plans so I didn’t stick my nose out the door all day long (except a few minutes on the balcony to see how the dahlias were doing). First I finished up some loose ends (literally), blocked a shawl, and so on. Then I wasn’t in the mood to continue on the ribbon yarn sweater (don’t worry, it will get finished, one of these day) so instead I played around a bit. Me and Agnieszka have been talking about making wristwarmers of the Vacillate leftovers and yesterday I started looking into that. It’s a little tricky to convert a back-and-forth pattern into one in-the-round and also making everything a little smaller. My first try, the blue one, turned out well but will only allow me to use two contrastin colors unless want the wristwarmers to be more like arm warmers (and that requires a whole lot of increasing and such and I’m not particularly interested in getting into that right now) but the second one, the orange, is a bit boring. Or, at least, more boring thant he blue one. We’ll see what I decide on in the end but it was a quite fun way to spend a rainy day.

Sea shell lace

wpid-dsc_8600.jpg

My green shawl is finished and blocking. Blocking never ceases to amaze me. When this shawl was just off the needles, it was a green little pile of curling knitted fabric and look at it now! There was something else as well.

wpid-dsc_8598.jpg

Before pinning out all the little points, I pinned out a few of them evenly around the shawl edge. It made the lace edge look much more different, even in a way. Not necessarily bad, more soft I’d say, than when all the points are pinned out.

wpid-dsc_8599.jpg

When all the points are pinned out it reminds me of a sea shell, the way it curves. I think it’s so cool that the knitter herself can actually change that much in the final look of the garment depending on how you block it. Not to mention, again, how different lace looks when it’s blocked and how much you can pull at it. Also, a pointy edge makes it easier to block than a straight line in a crescent shaped shawl if you don’t use blocking wires. At least in my opinion.