Guerilla Art

Today I was walking around town to look at the almost overflowed river in my city. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much water in the river. The little sweet waterfall is now more resembling a rapid and the brown water looks like taffy. There is so much water that an open-air restaurant is flooded. I guess we won’t sit there any time soon.

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It would be impossible to go under the bridge unless you’re a duck. There is a raft race in my town every year at 10 am on Last of April (it’s a concept) and if this flood continues, the rafts will have to be very flat.

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Note the trash can to the right in the picture, it’s in water. If you look closely you can se there is a small wooden pier in the bottom of the picture. It’s also covered in water. Usually, you can sit on it and dangle your legs over the edge without sticking your feet in the water. I’m just saying.

But things hidden in water wasn’t the only thing I found on my walk.
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Knitted guerilla art! Right there by the river, on the bridge railing.
What more could one wish for?

Cupcake bonanza

Cupcakes! There has been plenty around here lately. Mostly because the Cupcake Cutie Cup pattern by Doreen L. Marquart is too adorable. I mean, just look at it!

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This is my first. Very soon followed by a second,
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and a third.
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I thought that was it. But no. Four. That’s as many as I’ve made so far. The fourth looks exactly like a Swedish Prinsesstårta (Princess Cake).
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I didn’t notice until it was all finished and I’d sewn on the pom-pom. That was a very nice surprise since I was getting a little tired of the pattern. It’s great pattern but four hats are my limit at the moment.

It just so happened that I was reading Jenny Colgan’s book Meet Me at the Cupcake Café during this bonanza. Oh, did that make me crave cupcakes! So bad I had to make some, as you remember from last weekend.

Suddenly there were cupcakes everywhere!
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One could do worse!

Have a lovely cupcake weekend, everyone!
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Tie my laces

There is a difference between lace and lace. My great-aunts used to crochet lace, teeny tiny laces to put on sheets and curtains. They also crocheted dozens of lace table cloths and if I wanted to I could put crocheted lace table-cloth on every surface in my apartment and still have a ton of table-cloths left. I admit I have a quite small apartment but still. (That could be a challenge – how big apartment do I have to have before I run out of chrocheted lace table-cloth?)

I don’t crochet. I have nothing against it, I’ve just never got into it. But I’ve always admired those teeny tiny laces and the dedication it must have taken to sit night after night with a crochet hook so small it looks like something the dentist would use to search for stuff between your teeth. I mean, imagine knitting a lace kingsize bedspread with knitting needle size 1,5. It would take forever but the result, oh, so pretty.

When I was in school I got to try to make bobbin lace. It was great fun, so relaxing sitting there with your friends in front of your lace pillow moving the bobbins according to the pattern. I enjoyed it and ever since I’ve been looking for a lace pillow. A few years ago I found one on second hand together with bobbins, thread and some books on how to do it. I immeadiately started and made lace for handkerchiefs for friends who got married. I made one for myself too but it disappeared during the reception of one of the weddings. Either someone thought it too pretty to resist, a thought I would prefer, or it was mistaken for a used napkin and thrown in the garbage (a very demoralizing thought).

This semester I finally pulled myself in the collar* and signed up for a bobbin lace class. It’s so much fun! I’m very dedicated and have, *humble brag*, finished the course syllabus a little earlier than the course actually finished. Now I have to classes left to make new and extra laces and I’m really looking forward to it. I didn’t have time to start the new lace, called Wind Ripple, in class last night though but I will get there.

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The thing with making bobbin lace is that you don’t need that much equipment beside your tools. In knitting you need yarn, lots and lots of yarn (mm, yarn!) but here all you need it some thread and that can last for many many centimeters of lace. It’s as if you could by a skein of yarn and knit 14 baby sweaters out of it and still have yarn left for a pair of wrist warmers AND the yarn would only cost you a few dollars (or in my case kronor). It’s harder to watch TV though while you make lace than while you knit, or maybe that’s just because I’m still a beginner. What I do know though, is that it’s much harder to make bobbin lace on the bus than it is to knit there. It is also very hard to bring your lace pillow on your bike but it is possible. I wouldn’t urge you to try it often though, accidents could happen.

*Pull yourself in the collar – directly translated Swedish expression meaning pull yourself together or shape up, concentrate.

My life in drawings

Someone both near and dear read my blog entry about someone trying to separate me from my knitting by asking me to leave it by the door and then threatened to steel my knitting if I forgot it when I left (yeah, as if I would ever forget my knitting at a restaurant *knock on wood*). Anyway, he got inspired and made me this picture.

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(I love how the balls of yarn are the same color as the Color Affection I was working on then.)

I’m not going to tell you whether it’s close to reality or not…

Between broccoli and cables

Before the whole Color Affection debacle last week, I finished two baby cardigans. I’m in that age where you never know when a baby cardigan can come in handy, only this year there will be four babies in my immeadiate surroundings. Fortunately I really enjoy knitting clothes for babies.

1. They are fast.
2. Almost no matter what you do, they are cute.
3. If they don’t turn out perfect it’s ok, the recipient will only be able to wear it for a few months weeks and her/him will throw up on them regardless of whether they’re pretty or not.
4. Baby clothes are very good when you want to experiment, which I sometimes want.
5. You get to work with the softest yarn possible and since you don’t use that much, you can most often afford it.

On Good Friday, a day I thought perfect for rearranging the stash, I got an overwelming urge to cast on something new. Good Friday is not a day when the yarn store is open so this is one of the reasons one should have a stash. The perfect small project, I thought, and picked a yarn in a color, or rather dye lot since I’ve seen that same color elswehere and it was gorgeous, I wasn’t particularly thrilled with (though remember number 3 above), but the yarn in itself is wonderful, so soft to work with I wish I was the baby who get to wear it. (Yes, I might be a little obsessed with this yarn. No, I don’t regard that as a problem.)

Snooze, you lose, I thought and cast on. I knit the entire evening. I knit at Easter lunch at my mother’s. I continued to knit back home and 30 hours later I pinned a baby cardigan down to block. I’m still not thrilled with the color, it looks like broccoli but it’s oh, so soft.

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This is the Maile Sweater by  Nikki Van De Car knit in Malabrigo Yarn Sock, color 809 Solis. The only modification is that I knit the sleeves in the round instead of back and forth.

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The color is way too busy to make the maile pattern justice, again broccoli springs to mind but that’s not bad either.
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I liked this pattern so much I decided to play a little with it, plus it gave me an excuse, not that I need one, to knit some more with this yarn.

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The yarn is still Malabrigo Yarn Sock, color 800 Tiziano Red.

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I adore this cardigan and I marvel at the pictures. I’ve done everything the same as the last cardigan except I changed the lace over the sleeves to cables, and shortened the neck by four rows. There is also only two buttonholes since I only had two flower buttons and they were too perfect not to use.

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I just love how the cables on each sleeve sort of meet in the middle. That was accidental but turned out great.

A huge thank you to Emelie for the buttons on both cardigans!

I’m thinking of knitting a blue one as well. And I’m thinking clouds. Somehow.

 

In the hands of a non-knitter

Last week I told you about how my darlings where going to a photo studio without me. They happily returned safe and sound, they had not been put on the floor, no one had hung them on a nail in a way to make hole and all in all they were very well treated.

Last night I got to see some of the pictures. They were very pretty indeed. Much better than I myself can create, but then I don’t really have a studio either. Proudly the photographer showed me picture after picture and I praised accordingly. The photographer had really tried to show off details I had invented myself and pretty buttons and lace patterns.

Then the photographer showed me this, the master piece of the knitwear in the studio.Picture-19

“How pretty!” I thought. More pictures came
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But wait, there is something odd…
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Yes, my lovely photographer and also non-knitter, who proudly showed me pictures, has put the shawl wrong side up. How I laughed!

It’s still pretty, and the pictures are lovely, but not really what I had imagined.
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This is the wrong side of Cindy Garland’s Misty Meadow Shawl. The yarn is Cascade  220 Fingering from Cascade Yarns in color 8910 Citron and 9487 Puget Sound.

The shawl is lovely, pictures of its right side will show up eventually.

Progress

I thought my mood would cheer up as soon as the impossible yarn was back in the drawer and I had cast on something new. That prooved harder than I thought. I was absent minded during dinner, only thinking of my knitting and what I would do and it felt like everything was working against me. (Is there a Yarn Union who gang up against you when you are unfriendly to one of their fellow yarns? Well, this is what I want to say to them, that yarn was very unfriendly to me too!)

First of all, there was absolutely nothing to find in the stash. Nothing! That is not true but I wanted spring colors, and I only found a lot of yellow, orange and red, and even though I found a great pattern to replace Color Affection (it’s not the pattern’s fault, it’s just, I need a break) I just couldn’t find enough of the right color in the stash to make it.

The grumpiness followed me during the night, I even dreamt of knitting and how I needed a new project. The next day I realized that a trip to my LYS, local yarn store, prooved absolutely necessary, and fast. I was polluting the ambiance for people around me. I had a plan for the yarn store and then that too was working against me. I was looking for some Malabrigo in a perfect color but I needed two skeins and they only had one. (I bought it anyway, just in case, of course.) I wandered around the yarn store, contemplating, got weird smiles, that probably were supposed to be flirty, from tired spouses who didn’t want to be in a yarn store at all, I changed my mind, then changed it again, climbed ladders and compared yarn and eventually I saw it. My yarn.

That was good progress on releasing me from my bad mood but it wasn’t untill this
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(Manos silk blend fino, color 2370 Steel) had become this

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and this
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(Ullgarn Extra 1, color 165 Malört) had transformed into this
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and then later into this
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That’s the start of what I hope will turn out a delicious example of Heidi Kirrmeier’s Windward. For some reason I think that greyish blue is a spring color this year but I just wasn’t ready for green yet. The memory is still fresh.

(So far it seems like the Ullgarn either didn’t get the memo from the Yarn Union, or it’s a blackleg. Or, and this makes me shiver, it’s cradling me into a false saftyhood, ready to strike when I’m all happy with my work and then show it’s true colors. Gaah!)

And finally, my mood was back when this
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had become this
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Have a lovely Sunday!

 

 

Color infected

I’ve been grumpy all day. It took me a while to realize why. I’m well feed, I slept tolerably well tonight and I went swimming this morning. I didn’t have any apointmenst after work and I really enjoy when I’m able to go straight home from work. Still, there was something was chafing.

Then it hit me. Me and the Color Affection are having serious issues and I’m very, very disappointed. It’s the colors that won’t go together and one would think that’s kind of the point with a project called Color Affection. Right now there is nothing affectionate about this shawl.

While the yellow and lighter green worked tolerably well together and resembled a birch forest in the spring, it looked like something very nasty that you find hidden in your fridge way too late, when I added the darker green. The yellow and the darker green don’t work together at all. It’s as if the yellow turned the color of snot when in immediate contact with the darker green, and the darker green looked a lot like those things that stick under wooden boats when they’re in contact with water for a while.

I would have thought that those two would have sorted out their issues since I bought the yarn last summer and they’ve been stashed together since but I realize now that that was just a scheme. They looked so innocent in the drawer but in reality the only thing to stop a fullblown war has been the lighter green. What a mediator!

I’ve done the only resonable thing when you have two skeins who can’t work out their issues. I’ve separated them. The birch forest of the upper part of the shawl was still intact but for the three colors short rows I simply dropped the yellow and thought that now was time for some pine trees in the forest. The yellow was sad to go but was taking it considerably well since it ment not having to be close to the green. The green stopped being a nasty underwater plant and was now running nicely together with the lighter green on a summer meadow.

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Sadly, this change was not enough, the yellow and the green were still shouting mean things to each other over the lighter green and it was extremely hard on the lighter green. Since this afternoon the shawl is completely frogged. The rascals are back in the drawer, hopefully very ashamed of themselves.

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Even frogged it looks like a pile of hay. Or cold noodles.

I’ll look for other colors in other yarn. I can’t have infected color combinations on my affectionate shawl.

I need a delicious project – now!

Stand up knitting

Me and the Color Affection has been out and about. Two nights ago we went to a stand up comedy with our friend and fellow knitter Jenny, and we were very happy and laughed just enough so the stitches were not dropped. It was just light enough to be able to tell the two colors apart, luckily. I don’t know what type of shawl I would have ended up with otherwise. It might have been really pretty but if you’re knitting a Color Affection you kind of want a Color Affection.

The staff at the venue thought I had too many bags with me though, purse and project bag, and made me leave the project bag by the door. They also told me very gravely that I had to remember it when I left, otherwise they would steal my knitting. “Hah!”, I thought, “you try! My knitting is coming with me!” And I put it in my purse instead and left the empty bag by the door. I admit, there was one ball in it still and I was a little worried about it during the show, but it all went well and both me, Jenny and my knitting had a great time.

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That’s a terrible picture but it is indeed my left hand, my Color Affection and the stand up comedian Magnus Betnér, all in one shot. Knitting and stand up comedy are a great combination!