Down on the corn(er) flower

Yesterday there was a huge day in my bobbin lace career. I had to splice a thicker yarn than usual at the same time as I reached the corner of my lace and was supposed to turn the entire lace 90 degrees left.

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This huge moment was obviously not done by me only, well, the splicing I did by myself but Heléne helped did the turning. Look closely at the picture above, look at the angles, where is my lace?

Now, here are some pictures of the process of turning:

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Here all the bobbins are attached to a device to prevent them from getting all tangled up and the pattern is loosend from the roll, held in place only by the needles in the lace.

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Here Heléne is doing her magic. She is pushing needles into the right direction to fasten the lace again, after the turning. The bobbins har still held in place.

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Et voilà! See the angles? They have moved! I will still be working from the top and down but now the previously done lace is to the left instead of above. Incredibly cool! Heléne has stated that now that I’ve seen how it’s done I can make the next corner myself. I’m glad she has confidence in me but for the sake of my nerves I’ll save the actual corner for my next class in case I should totally ruin something and need a bobbin lace doctor to perform first aid.

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Isn’t this lace like the prettiest ever? It’s called Corn flower and Ear of ray. I particularly like the line of ovals in the middle and the cluster of three ovals at the bottom. It has the exact lace feeling, I think. That’s how a lace on book look like.

Also, you see that thicker yarn? That’s what I had to splice since I was running out of it. Next time though I will try and avoid having to splice at the same time as turning a corner. One stress factor at a time please.

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And I just wanted to give you proof that I’ve now continued past the corner. Ah, my pretty, pretty lace!

Also, I just got another bobbin lace pillow and plans for so many projects that I wonder where I’ll get the time. I’m very anxious to start at least one of the projects really soon because if it turns out anything like I imagine it will be completely awesome!

Stay tuned!

A November born knitter

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This time of year is a busy time for knitters. For non-knitters it’s the end of October, the leaves are falling, the days are getting shorter and more gray every minute, it seems, and there is a long time till the next day off. Soon we enter November, that hopeless month that no one seem to like. Except me. I belong the the happy troop that happen to be born in November and all of a sudden the fall doesn’t seem that long anymore. I have always divided my fall into pre-birthday and post-birthday. In early September, which is when fall sort of starts in Sweden (I know a lot of people who starts to see signs of fall by mid-August or even earlier than that but come on, you don’t see signs of spring in January no matter how hard you look, at least not in my part of the world, so why start looking for fall even earlier than you need to. It will come, don’t worry). September is a very pretty month: the leaves begin to change, you can take out all your nice fall clothes (which in my opinion are much prettier than the summer gear, granted I am a knitter and that might have something to do with this), you can drink tea and everything starts again after a summer break – dance practise, bobbin lace class, people who have been on vacation elsewhere all summer return so you can have coffee together, it’s simply a pretty nice time.

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Then enters October, the leaves are still pretty and somewhere here the weeks passes by more rapidly than ever and everytime you blink it’s a new Monday (by the way, I’ve always though that the most frequent day of the week is Thursday. It’s always Thursday or it’s soon Thursday or it’s not long ago since it was Thursday. If I have a co-occuring committment on a Thursday it seems as it’s always Thursday for some reason. Much more frequently than say Tuesday. I think this depends on Thursday being just before Friday and the whole weekend sort of lumps together into one day that is just after Thursday and then there is Monday and you think Thursday and the following weekend is very far away until you realize it’s already Tuesday and Thursday is very soon and if you have something important to prepare for Thursday you better get on with it and soon. This would all be good if I was the kind of person who happened to like Thursdays, which I’m not. I know some people argue that other people prefer Friday but that they themselves really likes Thursdays because then you have all the weekend in front of you as a little gift to open. I can’t agree. Personally I’ve always enjoyed Wednesdays, that’s a charming day, it’s the middle of the week, you still have a nice long weekend in front of you but the most important thing is that you’ve already done the hard-to-get-over Monday and Tuesday and can afford to take a breath and relax a bit, the week is downhill from Wednesday. At least in my opinion.)

But yeah, the weeks in October passes by rapidly and all of a sudden I realize that it’s only three weeks till my birthday. In August and September, November seems so far away and that feeling stays until the second week of October when I happen to stumble on an almanac and start counting weeks and then November is really close. I happen to like my birthday very much so I always try to plan something for it and sometimes those plans can be hard to manage when November only three weeks away. Then the times flies by, the birthday comes and goes, you can usually ride on the birthday wave for at least a week afterwards and then December is knocking on the door and you really need to start preparing for Christmas. And we all know December is over by a blink of an eye, there is never enough time in December.

So yes, my birthday has really been a good way to make the fall a little shorter. Even my mum has told me that November was a much easier month to bare after I was born. And think about it, if you just look upon fall as a dreadful thing you have to go trough just to get to Christmas, it feels pretty long, but if you have something to look forward to in the middle of it, it’s not that long anymore. I’ve always thought my birthday is in an excellent time of the year.

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Then I became a knitter. For a knitter, October doesn’t mean that Christmas is far away. No, October means that you should really have started your Christmas knitting a long time ago and will you really manage all that you planned on making and should you just drop that shawl in favor for a quick hat? October is when you should see a lot of your gifts blocking and finished with ends woven in.

November is even worse, then it’s time to start all projects that aren’t started yet, preferably small ones because there is no time for a knitting disaster this close to Christmas and especially not a knitting disaster including a sweater. This all is of course build on the assumption that you still need to go to work five days a week which deeply cuts into your knitting time.

December, lovely month of December, hopefully snowy and lights everywhere and mulled wine and saffron buns and gingerbread and Lucia celebrations and there is no end to the cosiness and festivities (and usually also stress). This is a lovely time to knit but beware, it’s too close to Christmas for big projects (and remember that it’s impossible to knit while making gingerbread cookies, it will ruin both the knitting and the gingerbread) and everyone who sees you knitting will immediately assume that you are making a Christmas present so if you are stealth knitting something it’s hard to do out in the open only camouflaged as a project for yourself. Back in October, when no one but a knitter thinks of Christmas you can knit pretty much anything in front of anyone and just pretend that it’s for yourself and not at all that shawl the person next to you wants for Christmas. Pull that stunt in December and no one is going to believe you, even if it’s true.

No one can make me think that the fall is terribly long and boring, oh no, it’s one of the most hectic time of the year. It was already pretty short with the birthday thing and all, but has become shorter and shorter the more I try to knit. Also, since we’re soon entering November, I will have to be more restricted about what knitting I show you, I don’t want anyone figuring out what is for Christmas and what is not. That would really take out the fun in Christmas. So, I apologize in beforhand and remind you of all the nice things you’ll see in January instead.

Ok, back to knitting, November is coming!

Soft packages

Now I can show you birthday present number two. Yesterday was Shrimpie’s first birthday! Shrimpie is one year old! I can’t believe it, so big already. Well, be being the boring auntie that I am obviously knit something for the big day. Yep, only soft gifts from me. All kids will hate me until they turn 22 or something but then they will love me again.

Lucky for me, a one year old is still a little too small to be disappointed in a gift (even though I get that the wrapping paper is much more exciting than the actual gift). Shrimpie is a very happy child and has helped me become happier during this year when I’ve been sad. It’s not possible to feel sad when there is a happy baby in your lap. Tonight Shrimpie fell asleep in my arms and is was just most wonderful feeling, so cute, so sweet.

Well, this is Shrimpie’s new cardigan:

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This is the Modular cardigan by Doreen L. Marquart, for once looking as it’s supposed to, as opposed to the two striped ones I made back in August.

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It’s knit in cotton which was enough to wear outside in August when I knit it but is perhaps a little too cold now. It’s perfect indoors though, for a newly fledged toddler who has a lot of energy, walking and climbing and crawling, all with a huge smile.

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The yarn is Drops Safran from Garnstudio in colors Red and Denim Blue.

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The pattern says to do a provisional cast on and start at the bottom of the striped section. I started at the top and knit down to the bottom. I also picked up stitches and knit the sleeves in the round from the top down, so to speak.

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A one year old is not that big and it was only in comparison with a cardigan for a newborn that I realized it was actually quite big. Or perhaps that the newborn one was even smaller, teeny tiny.

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Happy birthday, my Shrimpie-pie!

Birthday scarf

Today is the birthday of at least two people I love very much and have knit for and I can show you one of my knits so far. The other one hasn’t reached the birthday kid yet so I’ll wait to show you that on. I think the birthday kid should be the one to see it first, don’t you?

Well, today my friend Karin turns 30. I met Karin about three years ago when she succeeded me at a work place. We became friends very fast and even though we only met sporadically, we both have a lot of things to do and never enough time, I very much enjoy her company, turst her with anything and really value her friendship.

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As most knitters I show my love with wool and for the past week I’ve been knitting a scarf for Karin in the softest merino wool.

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Since I wanted her to have a gift to open on the day of, I made sure to finish it on Wednesday last week, took pictures of it, blocked it hurriedly, wrapped it in tissue paper and mailed on Friday morning.

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This is the Purl Ridge Scarf by Stephen West, knit with two skeins Rios from Malabrigo Yarns, color Pocion that Jenny graciously donated to me (thank you, sweetie!) in return for another two skeins when next time I happen to be in a particular yarn store a little further away.

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The pattern calls for seven repeats and has a finished width of 15 cm/6 inches but I wanted the scarf to work as both scarf and hat and also to use as much of the yarn as possible and ended up making 13 repeats instead. That would make for almost a 30 cm/12 inches width.

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I’m quite happy with the result and really hope that Karin is too. Hopefully this will keep her warm during the long and cold winter.

Happy birthday, sweet Karin!

 

Tea and Old Lace

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This day has also been all about tea and scones since I’ve been at a tea party at my friend Agnieszka’s. It was very good and now probably half of me contains of pure liquid from all the tea.

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Also, and I think this is such a suiting activity for a Sunday, I’ve worked on my latest lace. It has corners so the entire lace sort of turns. I haven’t got to the corner yet but it will be very interesting.

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Today I really had to struggle with the lace, it was a challenge, but I got it and turned out very pretty. It’s quite rewarding, there is never a dull moment in this lace which probably have something to do with it being so challenging. I’ve never worked with this many bobbins before and there are a lot of, if not new then at least not well-known, stuff. It took me a long time just to make this little part but as I said, it was fun the whole time except perhaps for the first few moments before I got the hang of it. I’ll continue tomorrow and I’m really looking forward to it.

Good night, little lace, sleep tight!

Flying creativity

This morning was a lazy one. Lazy Saturday mornings are the best. I can read, I can take my time and I can sit in my sweat pants and knit. The day continued and became quite creative though. It started not so creatively with me trying to make brownies but made a mistake so I had to make a different cake which I then accidentally burned in the oven so I proceeded with my original plan to make brownies.

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I still don’t have a square ovenware so I’m making square pieces of brownies in a circular ovenware. That makes for some triangular pieces too. It’s like a whole geometry class.

Then I made scones because tonight Heléne was coming over for scones and marmalade.  It was her apples to begin with so I really wanted her opinion on the marmalade.

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I don’t particularly like having to mix the ingredients with my hands, they get sticky which I find very appaling, but it’s kind of necessary when making most kinds of bread (that’s why I never make bread unless I can mix the dough with a wooden spoon) so did my best.

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It all resulted in quite a nice tea party with tea, scones, cream cheese and homemade marmalade. And there were some knitting there too of course. It seems as if Heléne’s and my mind connect in the most excellent way and we inspire each other into a flow of creativity with each idea better that the last one. In the end there was so much creativity flying around that we had to write down our ideas so we wouldn’t forget them. It might be the marmalade or the fact about great minds thinking, it doesn’t really matter, but I expect there will be some great deeds as a result of this tea party.

 

Silent knitting

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Hush! We need to whisper. I’m at the opposition where my friend Marta is defending her thesis in Sociology of religion. It’s quite interesting and also perfect knitting time. So far I’ve managed to finish all of clue 4 and have started on clue 5 on my latest mystery knit along.

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I’ve picked out five of the beads and put them on the table in front of me so I don’t have to rustle with the little plastic bag, and I’ve also taken out my crochet hook for when it’s time to attach the beads. All set, in other words, for a silent knitting time while Marta is answering the resistant’s questions.

Happy knitting this Friday!

Fall knitting

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It’s been a beautiful autumn day and I’ve taken up knitting on my fall coloured shawl which is also a mystery knit-along. Clue three is almost done and tomorrow clue five arrives so I’m set for a few days. And yes, it’s green and orange since that’s the colour combination I I’m really drawn to this fall. I also found great beads for this one (and I also think I’ve decided on the beads from yesterday). A little break from Christmas knitting while the sun shines and the temperature is unnaturally high for the season.

Happy knitting

everyone!

Bead bother

I’m trying to sort out a project that doesn’t really work for me right now. It’s supposed to be green and purple but the combination doesn’t feel right. I really like the purple color but it’s just too much with the green. So I’ve been trying out some alternatives.

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I think the winner is blue as a contrasting color. It’s different but not too contrasting and I think it works well with the purple. But what to do with the beads? I think I prefer the lighter ones but I’m not sure they work with the blue and they don’t really look good on the knitting, I don’t know if they are big enough. The darker ones attach better to the knitting (for lack of a better word) and probably match the blue yarn better. I really like the lighter blue though. What do you think?

To get the upper hand of knitting

I’ve felt a bit uninspired lately. The Hugely Sad Thing still holds its grip around me and I never know when it will attack. This makes life a bit unpredictable and I don’t like unpredictable things. It also makes me feeling down even when I don’t know why because I can’t always recognize the feeling as caused by the Hugely Sad Thing.This affects work, friends, theater rehearsal, sleep, responsibilities and – most importantly – the knitting. If the knitting doesn’t work, nothing works. That’s my recreation, my safety blanket, my go-to when things are rough.

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Don’t get me wrong, there is obviously knitting in my life, a lot of it even, but there is nothing that is only delicious. A lot of projects are almost done and some are even done short of actually showing you the pictures. I just need to feel that it’s finished which I don’t for some reason. I’m not sure how to get the upper hand of this mess but I have started a sweet, not delicious but sweet, project for which darling Jenny gave me two skeins of my for-now-favourite yarn and I’ve also ordered some more of that yarn in some really delicious colors so that’s good. Also, I’m going to use this coming weekend to finish what I can and sort some projects out, which I think will be good for my general mood. Closure is a good thing, no matter how small the project.