Overload

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I can’t talk right now, the yarm fumes are making me incoherent. It’s so lovely and soft and sweet and colorful and… odbd… gielg… *deliciousness overload* *see you tomorrow*

Draught protector

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A year ago I found an old friend’s blog where she was very openhearted about her life, her thoughts, her problems and her views. She told about a problem she has that makes it impossible to encounter draught.

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If we look past that this of course is hard to live with, a fact that’s obviously is hard to look past but if we try, I figure that this problem and a knitter might be a winning concept. Somebody who needs to keep warm and protect neck, feet and hands, and someone who makes shawls, socks and mitts every waking moment – I think that’s what you might call a perfect match (even though I wish we didn’t have to make this perfect match, not due to lack of knitter but due to lack of draught problem).

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Anyway, when I heard about this problem, my immediate urge was to completely cover my friend in knitwear. Hats, mittens, socks, scarves. Then I remembered all the babies that were arriving and I had to soften the urge. Finally I settled on knitting a lace shawl since that is something that can be worn at a nice party while still protecting the neck from draught.

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Then Christmas sort of came and I had so much else going on that the lace shawl was just forgotten for a while. It also might had to do with the fact that I sort of got sick and tired of knitting lace from lace weight yarn. Might had, I admit so nothing. Then I realized that I was going to the States to see my friend and wouldn’t it be a perfect opportunity to present her with said lace shawl? (Also, I saved some money on postage.) So I began turbo knitting and after a few days a shawl was born. I brought it with me to the States and presented it to my friend over lunch at a lovely little café in Portland (I might have scored some yarn later that day too, I figure if I give away yarn I can re-stock with other yarn).

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I really hope it fills its’ purpose.

Pattern: Haruni by Emily Ross. Yarn: Drops Lace from Garnstudio, color red.

Cookies and quiche

I’m still stealth knitting, I’m doing fine, but that’s not all I’ve done this weekend. Lately I’ve been thinking that there are not nearly enough cookies in my life and I’ve been a bit bummed about that. This weekend I decided to do something about this and Friday evening I whipped up both chocolate chip cookies and chocolate caramel cookies.

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It’s amazing what technique can do, Friday afternoon I shopped yarn in Boston through FaceTime and later in the evening, when I was baking with Oregon. I followed an American recipe which only quantifies butter in sticks so I sent a quick message to Lyndsey in Oregon to ask her if she happened to be close to a butter stick to see if there was any weight meassurements there. I happened to call her during nap time and Lyndsey helped me with my butter issues. Then we talked while I baked. I felt like I had some sort of a cooking show, it was quite fun.

For some reason I only seem to start baking late at night. I’ve always done this. I think it might come from when I was living in a student housing and shared a kitchen with seven other students, the only time the kitchen was free was late at night, after everyone had had dinner and gone off to parties or whatever. I’ve continued this habit even now that I’ve had my own kitchen for five years. On Friday I was wrapping up my baking when I heard people out on the street walking home from the pub and I was very tempted to lean out the window and offer them a cookie. I think that would have made them very surprised. I might do it next time.

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Yesterday my aunt and uncle came over and I made my first quiche lorraine. I don’t like cooking and I wasn’t supposed to be the one making the quiche but circumstances made me the cook (it was either doing a quiche or vacuuming and I wasn’t really up for vacuuming). I must say it was actually quite fun. I felt like I was in control the whole time and it was a lot like baking, probably because I didn’t have to take care of several different pots, like potatoes, meat and gravy, it was only one thing to prepare, a run in the oven and then done.

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The best part is that it turned out really great. Beautiful and yummy. I think I might do more quiches in the future.

Deadline

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It occured to me this week that I can finish an UFO (unfinished object) if I only took some time this weekend and knit. I’ve gotten a deadline and for some reason it’s easier to finish something when I have a tight but not un-doable deadline. A few days ago I suddenly remembered this UFO and that this would be an excellent time to finish it. It should be done on Tuesday and until then I will knit like a little maniac. I can totally do this.

Cross-atlantic yarn shopping

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This,my friends, is a crappy picture but those two skeins of yarn were in Agnieszka’s hands in a yarn store in Boston, MA, USA at the same moment as this picture was taken. This evening we’ve done something crazy, I’ve shopped yarn through a personal shopper (thank you, Agnieszka!) in the States while watching and telling what I want. Agnieszka went into the yarn store and asked where the aran weight yarn was and then called me through FaceTime so that I could look at the yarn and decide on what I want. It ended up with five skeins of aran weight in a greyish blue color that I think will look very pretty (I’m not sure how well the color transfers through the screens). We also looked at grey fingering weight but that’s a hard one since I need a very specific grey to match my perfect color. We couldn’t find a good grey but the whole thing was very fun, yarn shopping in a real store, not a web shop, on a different continent from where I am myself. Isn’t it amazing what technique can do? On Tuesday I’ll find out if this was a great new way of buying yarn or not, when I actually get to hold my skeins and look at tchem directly, and even if they turn out not being what I expected, it was still a fun experience.

Agnieszka also looked at some yarn she liked for herself and since she is not a knitter this means I would knit it for her. She didn’t get it in the end but it seems like she’s slowly starting to build her own stash within my stash. Had my stash been a plant, her stash would be a slip of my stash. I rather like it, that is true friendship, to have a stash withing someone else’s stash (and a bit dangerous should I ever experience a, actual or percieved, low tide in my stash. Luckily we rarely have the  same opinion about colors so we should be okay).

Okay, enough talking about yarn, how about some actual knitting?

Thunder!

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The weather forecast has promised a thunderstorm for days now and I’ve been waiting for it to happen, wondering, looked curiosly and expectantly at the sky but nothing. Then today, late in the afternoon, it came. In just a few moments the sky turned dark grey, the trees swayed in the wind and the rain started falling down with a high intensity. Then came thunder and lightning and more thunder. Now the storm has calmed down but it still rains heavily. I can’t help but feel a little bit excited when there is a thunderstorm, especially if there is lightning too (and preferably if I’m indoors but it’s okay even if I’m outdoors). I think it’s beautiful and I find it fascinating what nature can do. Of course I know that lightnings kan cause a lot of trouble and also be deadly and I wouldn’t dream of go swimming outdoors in a thunderstorm but besides that, it thrills me. It’s something out of the ordinary, it’s beautiful and scary and exciting.

I remember once when I was a kid and it had been terribly hot for days and my mum let me and my cousin  sleep outside on the balcony since it was way too hot indoors. Just when we were about to go to bed, a huge thunderstorm broke out, thunder and flashes of lightning one after the other in an endless row and we were lying there in our sleeping bags watching the whole thing against the dark sky. It was the most beautiful thing with a touch of scary. We were amazed by it and didn’t want to go back inside. I think that’s when my fascination of thunderstorms began.

Now, the forecast has also promised that there will be more thunderstorms coming. We’ll see if that is correct, you know I’ll be waiting.

Who deserves knitted things?

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Looks like I continue with the summer colors. A lavender-lilac yarn ball has snuck into my project bag. I think it will become a pair of wristwarmers (there is a lot of wristwarmers right now) for someone who needs and deserves them.

That rose the question of when someone deserves knitted things. The friend you’ve known since you were a kid but haven’t talked to for real in years? The co-worker you barely know, who’s going through a rough time? The acquaintance who is expecting her second baby but never thanked you for the hat you knit for the first baby? The person who only likes you for your knitting?

Who deserves knitted things? Perhaps the question is wrong, perhaps everyone deserves knitted things but the question is really who deserves knitted things from you? Or rather, who deserves your time and effort? Why can is sometimes be easier to cheer up someone you barely know than your closest friend? Perhaps because there is no pressure in a relationship with someone you barely know. Perhaps the surprise in the fact that you spent time and effort on someone you barely know makes it more precious than the person you often spend time and effort on (and therefore s/he already have forty eleven pairs of wristwarmers in their drawer and but needs a pair in black but why are you never knitting anything in black when you know that person needs it?).

Friendship and social relations are hard, there is a lot of pressure and even more expectations in vowen in with all people you know. Do you like someone less just because you’ve never knit him/her anything? Is s/he less deserving just because you’ve never knit him/her anything? Not necessarily. There are people I know that I’ve never knit anything for but I have no idea why. This doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve knitted things, there are simply thousand and one things that has come in between. Am I a meaner knitter because of this? Or is this knitter only human with the same amount of days in the week as non-knitter humans?

Who deserves your time and effort? The answer to that question should probably be that the person who deserves your time and effort is the person who spends time and effort on you and/or really appreciates that you spent that time and effort. It’s worth thinking about every now and then though, who deserves your time and effort?

Who deserves knitted things?

Newsflash: Death defying stunt act by work-in-progress

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After yesterday’s season inappropriate color feature, this blog figure we better make amends by showing something more summer-y. Luckily, we’ve found a knitting, Ms. Wristwarmer-in-progress, who was willing to help us- Ms. Wristwarmer-in-progress in an excellent summer color – bright pink. This knitting also happens to match her knitter’s shoes and scarf today, and also the geranium on the window sill on which she kindly agreed to pose.

This blog is amazed by Ms. Wristwarmer-in-progress and her death defying stunt act of sitting on the outer window sill, three floors up with no concern for her own life. We can assure delicate readers that everything went well and Ms. Wristwarmer-in-progress survived the stunt act and is now back, safe and sound, in the project bag.

She tells this blog that she wasn’t afraid even though she did this without safety net but wants you to know that if anyone else wants her to make a similar stunt act, she’s not available until tomorrow as she’s taking the rest of the day off. She also claims that she would do anything for her knitter but would prefer it if the knitter in question would kindly keep to knitting instead of taking pictures for the next couple of days, or at least till Ms Wristwarmer-in-progress is finished and not in progress anymore. She reminds us that she does indeed have another stunt act in front of her, a water trick that will take place before the blocking and she needs to prepare for that in order to go through it as effortlessly as she did this one.

-You are welcome back for the water trick but for now I need my rest, Ms Wristwarmer-in-progress tells us.

We are deeply in awe of this heroic stunt work-in-progress and we’ll be sure to come back for this next water trick. Untill then we wish Ms. Wristwarmer-in-progress a good rest and some added rows.

It’s complicated

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Summer is truly here, it’s warm outside, there are flowers everywhere, nobody wants to work and I realize I have a project I haven’t shown you yet. Actually, I have a few but this one happen to be orange and there is no color that is so far from June as orange and therefor I’m going to show it to you now to have it done with. Then tomorrow we can move on to more summer-y colors.

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I do, even when it’s not June, have a complicated relationship with orange. Sometimes it’s okay and this fall I even looked for orange myself. It is a complicated relationship though and I’m very picky with the shades of orange. An orange with a lot of yellow in it can be quite nice and I can appreciate that a lot but any other shades of orange makes me feel odd and an orange placed next to something black simply becomes ugly and there is something inside me that hurts. I can’t stand it.

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It’s actually the same with brown but me and brown has become better friends over the years (even though brown and orange together will never, I say never, be something I actively search for (I cringe by the thought)). The same thing with marine blue. When I was a kid it felt like every grown-up woman wore marine blue (now that I’m older I can understand it, it was the 80’s and 90’s after all and I can totally understand if mature women thought it difficult to find clothes that went well with their age among the mint green and bright pink sweats, blue eye-shadow and hair with waves, and therefore stuck to marine blue) and I thought that utterly boring when there were so many other colors that could be worn. I wonder what five year old me would think of 29 year old me… Not that I wear that much marine blue but I don’t look away from it either.

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With that being said, I have a complicated relationship with orange, when my friend asked me if I could knit her a shawl in orange I said I would do it. She didn’t really know what she wanted but after I had asked her a few questions about shape and yarn weight and she had hugged some merino, we had a pretty clear picture of what she wanted. I searched the Internet for some pattern suggestions and she decided on one of them, a sideways knit shawl in an asymmetrical triangle.

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The pattern was fun to knit, if a little tedious by the end (which might have something to do with the fact that I was really tired with a heavy cold stuck on an airplane rather than the actual pattern itself). The yarn was a nice merino, very forgiving, and the same color as my Gateway to Fall.

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The shawl turned out really nice, the pattern is beautiful and very interesting, and my friend is very happy with it. I like the shawl a lot and I could see myself knit another one some day. I’m just glad I did it in March and not now because I don’t think I could stand knitting orange in June.

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Pattern is Go Your Own Way Shawlette by Star Athena. Yarn is Malabrigo sock, color Terracota.

Triple birthdays

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This weekend we’ve been to no less than three birthday parties. The first one was a dinner at my mother’s house. It was nice and good and low-key since the birthday boy in question is no longer with us. We had a good time anyway though and had food we know the birthday boy would have loved and also some that he wouldn’t have liked at all. That’s the thing about not being present at your own birthday party – you don’t get to decide on the meny. Also, I know that the birthday boy would have approved of the blue flowers I gave him but disapproved of my signature pink Gerbera. Again, though luck!

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The second party was quite the opposite, not low-key at all, even though that too was a dinner party. There were a lot of guests and the swedish proverb if there is room for the heart, there is room for the bum* could certainly be applied. We met a lot of old friends and also made new ones.

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By the third birthday party we were pretty tired, which wasn’t fair at all to the birthday girl in question. Luckily, for this party we didn’t have to travel anywhere, we could simply just walk down the street. It too had a lot of guests and we spent some quality time on the balcony catching up with friends. It made us long for the time when we get our balcony back, hopefully next week, since they’ve made construction work on it since early April.

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It’s great to meet up with friends this way but besides that and to see birthday girls happiness when they unpacked their birthday presents, I think the one of the best parts of going to parties was that I’m apparently not the only one who thinks it’s time for meringues right now. We had Pavlova for dessert twice and it was really good. My desire for meringue is a little more satisfied if not yet completely gone.