More daffodils

I actually liked the result of Agnieszka’s yellow wrist warmers so much I made two other pairs for friends for Christmas. I think they are elegant, interesting enough to be dress warmers but neutral enough to not take over an outfit.

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So, again, here are the Narcissus pseudo-narcissus cuff by Hunter Hammersen.

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These red ones were for Jenny, knit in Malabrigo sock, color Tiziano red. I thought these ones would look good together with her Jo’s Pride Hooded Shawl by Sivia Harding, in the same color, and I was right, they do look good together.

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The last but definitely not least are the wrist warmers for Louise.

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These ones were also knit from Malabrigo sock in color Pocion. I thought that might be a color that she would like and would find good use for, it is a blend of many colors but still sombre, elegant and not gaudy at all.

Honestly, I really have tried to like this color and I have gotten so far that I don’t refuse to knit in it anymore but really, haven’t we had enough now? I understand that my disliking is a rare thing, everybody, and I really mean everybody I’ve talked to thinks this color is lovely. I was carried away with this and thought that this must be a really nice colorway but after two shawls, one scarf and a pair of wrist warmers I must say enough is enough! It is not my color and I should really accept that instead of trying to be someone I’m not. I do realize that I’m the weird one on this subject but I accept that too and I will be moving on to other colorways. My dislike could also be depending on the season, Pocion is a colorway that holds a lot of fall colors and by this time of year we’re all starting to look forward to spring.

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I gave these

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to Louise on a day where temperature dropped drastically from morning to afternoon and Louise has cold hands. A very lucky coincidence, I must say.

I really hope these will come to good use for both Jenny and Louise.

A friend indeed

Today I got some grown-up points as I drove my darling friend Agnieszka to the airport. She left today to move to the other side of the world for more months than I think is really necessary. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy for her but I will miss her a lot.

As a tribute to my friend I’m going to show you the wrist warmers I gave her for Christmas.

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These are the Narcissus pseudo-narcissus cuffs by Hunter Hammersen. Agnieszka has been in love with the color for a while and it made sense to use it for her Christmas present.

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I had a hard time to find the yarn in this color that would work with the wrist warmers though. I was about to give up but then I had and idea.

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I had found a lace weight yarn, Malabrigo Lace,  that was the right color, Sunset, and I figured that if I wounded it into three balls I could knit with one strand of yarn from each ball thus creating a thicker yarn.

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I think the result was very pleasing.

One step

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This is a bad picture of a very empty shelf but there hasn’t been much to look at today either. There is a great winter outside but I haven’t had the time to go there and then it was just too late.

I haven’t knit much either. Or, I have knit but not on something particularly fun so I don’t think it really counts.

I have done some good though, sorting and putting together, but it doesn’t seem to have made even the slightest dent on the whole. Well, they say that even the longest journey starts with one step and I guess that’s what I’ve taken today – a step. Or actually four long steps and seven small steps but there are a many more steps before this journey is over. I guess the first steps are the hardest though, where to starts. I have started so the next steps should be

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easier. I’ll think about taking those tomorrow though.

Daffodil

It’s Friday evening before a well deserved weekend and I thought this the time to show you some sugar, a beautiful pair of dress socks.

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This is the Narcissus pseudo-narcissus socks by Hunter Hammersen from the book The Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet, vol. I. 

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The pattern is beautiful and, once I got the hang of it, easy to follow.

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They are my mum’s Christmas socks and she really likes them and has received many compliments for them.

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They are knit in Drops Fabel from Garnstudio, colour 104 Purple. Great colour, I love it!

I wanted to make these socks in a nice merino sock yarn but my mum has always said that expensive yarn is wasted on socks since nobody sees them and they break pretty soon. Therefore I didn’t want to use any of my hand-dyed merino.

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That might have been a mistake. Normally I like knitting in Fabel but it isn’t as bouncy as other sock yarn and with all this cabling and lace work it was hard on my hands working with this yarn. It wasn’t very forgiving and many times I felt like I was wrestling with the yarn and it hurt my fingers but I guess I won in the end since the socks are finished. Ha, in your face, yarn!

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To conclude: the pattern is great and I would enjoy making another pair but I would pick a different yarn.

Have a lovely knitterly weekend!

 

 

Project reticule

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Look what arrived in the mail today. A project bag. Isn’t it adorable? I love it. It’s cute, it’s shaped like a reticule, there is a satin feeling material on the inside and I believe it’s slightly water proof. What more could you ask for? Also, I think the size is great. It’s not optimal for a bigger project like a sweater or so, but a shawl is perfect. And, it’s small enough so I can’t stuff more than one project in the bag, it won’t fit. I have a tendecy to always bring three or four projects, assorted needles, patterns, left over yarn, and other stuff I just happened to stuff in the bag like letters, a book, pamphlets, you name it. Hopefully I just won’t do that with this lite bag.

If all this wasn’t enough there is also a little hidden pocket inside and, as icing on the cake, it’s tied up with a big red ribbon. I mean, what’s not to like? I will give it a try out and if it’s as good as I think, perhaps I will get myself another one. You can never have enough project bags.

Un-shown finished objects

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I finished something today. A pair of wrist warmers in a lovely yarn. My sense of closure tells me that I can’t show you finished projects from 2014 before I’ve shown you everything I did in 2013 though, and there are still things I haven’t shown you. I think I have about nine finished objects left (I know, that’s freakishly many, how much time did I spend knitting in 2013? (The answer? Not nearly enough)). My goal is to have them all up before the end of January (*wink wink nudge nudge* to a certain blog admin who’s been holding my pictures hostage keeping my pictures safe) but next week we have a huge thing going on that will take up enormous amount of time (mostly knitting time too that is) so we’ll se how it goes. But my aim is before the end of January. I still think it’s doable.

Lace finish

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I’ve spent the afternoon making some lace. I lit some candles and had a pretty good time. I keep forgetting how fun it is to make lace but I guess it’s because I don’t always have much time when I do it. It’s not a craft you pick up when you only have a few moments to spare. Especially not if your bobbin lace pillow is tucked away in it’s case.

This afternoon though, I had some time and I spent it making lace, it went well and was very relaxing.

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I even finished! I now have two equally long pieces of lace. Who knows what I will do with them…(Actually, obviously I do, but I won’t tell you until it’s all done, otherwise I would spoil the fun. Plus, there will be some time before I have the time to look at it so, let’s forget about them for now, we know they are done and that they might turn up here again, when we least expect it (again, I will probably expect it but we can pretend I don’t.))

Finally

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Winter is finally here! I was starting to worry that it would never come. I don’t have much enjoyimg it but I’ve brought out my handknit hat, scarf and socks and am very cozy and comfortable when I walk between appointments. I really enjoy winter and I’m glad it’s finally here. It would have been weird to go straight from fall to spring. Hopefully the snow will last long enough for me to have time to take out my skis and make a few rounds.

Also, the snow has given me knitting inspiration and I’ve been thinking of at least three projects today. We’ll see if any of them actually leave the world of ideas and take a step in to reality. Time will tell.

Guernsey

A little over two years ago I was told that I was going to be an aunt six months later. This was amazing news and it made me very happy. Around the same time I was walking around a store, waiting for a friend, and I looked through a knitting pattern book. Inside the book was a sweater called the Guernsey sweater. Me and my friend have both read the book The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, an excellent book by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. We both loved it. When I stood there in the store it was obvious to me that I needed to knit a Guernsey sweater for my friend’s little baby, my niece.

The baby arrived, a sweet little darling, whom I love to knit for (I see it as my duty as a responsible aunt to make sure my niece has many warm sweaters). I didn’t want her to be too small when she got the Guernsey sweater because she would grow out of i immediately and that would be a bummer. So, this Christmas it was finally the time.

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This is Mini-Bean’s Guernsey sweater by Camilla Skorup, knit in Drops Baby Merino from Garnstudio, color 16 Red.

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It’s said that all the fishermen families had different patterns on their sweaters, so that if you found a body at sea you would know who he was even if he had been in the water for too long. I know that the same system was used on the Swedish West coast and it shows pragmatism, a realistic view of life and also respect for the sea. It was a hard life and I like that knitting got to be involved in making it easier, apart from keeping the fishermen warm of course. Perhaps the sweater pattern system didn’t make life in general easier, but at least it was easier to identify a body through the pattern of the sweater instead of searching for a dog tag that could easily have disappeared in the sea.

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I’m very happy with the result but not at all with the pattern. First of all, it’s too big. That is not necessarily a problem since a two year old is still growing fast but if I settle down on knitting a sweater for a two year old I want it to fit an average two year old, not a three and a half year old. I suspected it would be very big on my niece and I was right, on the pictures she wears the sleeves rolled up, a long way, which means they might be in the way when she plays. I’m not sure but I also suspects it ends somewhere at level with her knees. But yes, this is a minor problem after all, except that it took me a much longer time to knit than I thought.

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The sweater is knit from the front bottom, up past the shoulders and ends at the back bottom, all in one piece. Then you pick up stitches over the shoulders and knit the sleeves straight out from there. Since you leave on shoulder seem open so you can later put in buttons, you only have the stitches from one shoulder on your needle when you are picking stitches for the back top.

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Ideally you pick up stitches so that the back is straight behind the front since your back is normally sort of behind your front and your belly. I’m pretty sure though that if I had followed the pattern I would have ended up with a sweater where the back was indeed attached to the front over one shoulder but was then sort of lying next to the front instead of behind it. This is not how my niece looks like and therefore I’m quite happy I followed logic and my own sense of human anatomy.

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That wasn’t the only problem with the pattern. It doesn’t state for how long you should knit in pattern for each size and it doesn’t show the entire front pattern either. I had to look at the picture of the sweater and count from that to know what I was supposed to knit. That was obviously doable since I ended up with a perfectly decent sweater but it took much more energy and confusion than was necessary and made me suspicious of the pattern. It didn’t feel trustworthy. It sort of spoiled the whole knitting experience, having to guess like that.  Gurnsey-7

The sleeves were also a bit of a guessing game even though not as much as the front.

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Besides the corrections for mistakes in the pattern I modified two things. First, the pattern stated that there was a garter stitch edge before the ribbing of the cuffs on the sleeves and body. I’m not really a fan of that so I made the cuff in only ribbing and a bit longer instead. I think it turned out well.

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The second modification was that the pattern suggested push buttons but I have bad experience with push buttons on knitted garments so I changed it to regular buttons. The pattern suggested three buttons but I took four instead, so the neck wouldn’t roll down. I wanted a rustic look and chose wood buttons but I couldn’t resist the little heart shaped ones with little flowers on them. I’m not sure the fishermen would have put heart shaped buttons on their sweaters but I consider this my personal change of the fisherman sweater pattern to show that this sweater is worn by someone in my family.

Despite the problems with the pattern I like the result and my niece look so darn cute in it I could just eat it. Now, what to knit her for her birthday?