A great combination

At the moment we are a bit relocated but we still know what’s important in life and we makd sure we have it -knitting and tea. Enjoy your Saturday!

The true reason why I should knit sweaters or A reflection over knitting equality

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Since yesterday I’ve had a knitting epiphany and, inspired by my new knitting friend Annelie who makes really nifty sweaters and cardigans, it’s now clear to me that I really do need to knit more sweaters. My knitting inspiration has been quite low lately, I have a few things I want to do but they require some preparations and I haven’t had the peace of mind to do those preparations.

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Do you ever get the feeling that people judge knitted garments and rank them? Not knitters themselves (although that is also possible) but other people. Socks and mittens are good things to make because they are useful (except perhaps the fingering weight socks that traditionally haven’t really been that popular in Sweden; when people think of knitted socks here, they think of heavy ones, made of worsted weight yarn to wear in your heavy boots during winter (preferably if you work in the woods somehow), or on the ice cold floor of your vacation cabin) unless you make too many of them, or perhaps too many of the fancy looking ones. A hat is a good thing to make, also useful and very much appreciated if you are a young adult and your mother made one for you.

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Scarfs are okay, they are quite useful, but are looked upon as too easy, most people learned to knit in school and therefore feel that theoretically everyone can make a scarf (I’m the only person I know who went to school in Sweden but doesn’t remember knitting in school, I don’t know if that’s because I never did it or because I already knew how to knit and it therefore didn’t make any impression on me).

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Blankets… Blankets are good, useful and warm, everybody needs a blanket from time to time. Baby clothes? Sure, how nice of you to make it but isn’t it really just because you don’t have the patience to knit bigger things? Shawls? Shawls are not really considered a useful garment (unless you ask us shawl users who are totally dependant on a cosy shawl every day) and why do you need so many? No, the answer is sweaters. When people think of knitting, they think of sweaters and that’s what they expect you to make. Nice sweaters, warm sweaters. A knitter makes sweaters, and the occasional socks, mittens, hat and scarf before winter comes around, but mainly sweaters.

Disclaimer: I might be wrong on this but I have knit in public for more than ten years and this is just observations that I’ve made from comments I’ve gotten. Other knitters might have a different opinion and experience.

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So, is this the reason I should make sweaters? No, of course not, I couldn’t care less what other people think about my knitting, it’s mine and I do whatever I want with it (and yes, I do need all that yarn). But, since I’ve started this blog three years ago I’ve made a total of 66 shawls, wraps and cowls to this date. Not all of them has been for me but 41 of them are mine. This means that technically I have 41 shawls (actually more, this is only since the beginning of the blog in 2013). During the same time I’ve made nine sweaters, cardigans and tank tops for adults. 6 of them has been for me. Six has been for me. There is obviously room for improvment here.

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I’ve made sweater comittments before. That resulted in one new sweater. My epihany now concerns a reflection over what type of sweaters I’ve knit and if that is really necessary. The first one was the Pink Dream in the oh, so horrible linen (we’ve come on speaking terms again, these past weeks, me and linen). Second, we had the Ballou, that turned out too big, on thin all needles, that I didn’t even bother to blog about (really should frog it, the yarn is delicious and could come to better use). Then there was Cria, which turned out nice but was tricky in the beginning and was nothing short of a crazy game of yarn chicken. And again, thin needles. Then we had the chic lit Chanel jacket, a lovely thing on super thin needles that was quite complicated and took forever to finish. Lastly we have the ribbon yarn sweater and the burgundy tank top, none of which I’ve gotten around to take Pictures of yet but I can say that due to a misunderstanding with the pattern, the ribbon yarn sweater turned out a little more over sized than expected. The burgundy tank top is lovely though.

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What I’ve been thinking is that I don’t have to make it so hard. I don’t have to knit in fingering weight on needle size 3 mm. I can knit in worsted weight on needles 5 or 6 mm and that will really make a difference. That is what I should look into. I have so many lovely sweater patterns and over 40 shawls and it’s time those sweater patterns got into use. I will try to make a sweater, a nice one that fits (I will swatch!), in heavier yarn before next summer (I want to say before winter but we do have Christmas in a few months). I will still make shawls, I love shawls, but I should get some sweaters in there too. I can do it, I know I can!

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Pattern: Island Retreat by Cindy Garland. Yarn: Luxury Fingering from Stunning String Studio, colors Glow Stick and Natural. No mods except I might have changed the color of the shawl body beads (and changed my yarn color choices a million times) from green to white. I’m happy with the result.

The pleasures of summer #4 – A little cleaning that leads to inspiration

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One thing that can be done in summer is cleaning. Spring is most often such a busy time that things like cleaning get neglected. I’m not sure it’s a pleasure to clean but it sure is a pleasure when it’s done. Today was such a day for cleaning. I looked through and oraganized my desk a bit. There were a lot of knitting pattern now, patterns now stored in my knitting library. I also took some time to look through a few knitting magazines that I found. I’ve looked through them before but a girl needs a break. It’s now clear to me that I need to make more sweaters. I usually get this feeling before fall but I never really follow through. After the burgundy tank top I and the ribbon sweater I like the idea of making more tank tops (I love not having to make sleeves) and also some sweaters and cardigans. Now, what might the perfect cardigan pattern be?

The pleasures of summer #3 – What do writers think?

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The things one can do in the summer continues. I was tired today and it was a rainy day so part of it was spent on the balcony while I finished a book and drank tea and nibbled on some chocolate. I have spent quite a few hours reading on the balcony this summer, both day and night. If I tilt the knitting lamp behind the couch and bend it to face the window, I can see to read on the balcony even after the sun goes down. This book was a good one, Kerry Greenwood is a good author and I have read about four of her books about Phryne Fisher so far (there is also an excellent TV show about her). I think I liked this the best. It was a quick read, over before I even noticed it starting, as happens with knittings sometimes. The only thing I didn’t like was the use of bad words. The culprit used many bad words throughout the book and I didn’t care for it. Once or twice is fine, to show character and so on, but this was a bit exagerated. Also, the Miss Fisher I know would never tolerate such a language (not that she did in the book either).

I sometimes wonder how authors and screen writers think when they write something. A bad word or something like that is sometimes necessary to provoke a bit or, as I mentioned earlier, show character, but it can’t be too much or the audience will abandon the book, movie or TV show. I have a friend who stopped watching a show because there were too many rape threats. I myself have stopped watching another show because there was too much slapping women around (that was a police show and if you don’t like the detective in question – the hero – you might as well stop watching. In this case he slapped women in pretty much every episode, and not just him, and that was not okay by me. I mean, sure, this might be true of the 19th century society that was portrayed, police detectives perhaps used violence in every encounter with the female sex, but let’s not forget that the show isn’t real, it’s fiction and we can never pretend it’s not, and we have a choice in how we decide to portray it). I don’t even think the line is that fine when it comes to something nasty that might be necessary for the plot and an excessive use of said nastiness and I think it’s a cheap trick that make me wonder about the writers’ imagination and values.

Besides the use of invectives though, the book was really good. Now I’m on to the next Phryne Fisher Mystery. More tea, please!

The pleasures of summer #2 – A friend with a car

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For me there is a Håkan Hellström song to almost all the major happenings in life and also one connected to almost all the people in my life. The best way to enjoy his songs is at a concert when you are newly dumped. Ironically enough I’ve been to no less than two of his concerts while being dumped just the day before or not very long ago, one time I was even there with the ex in question. There are happy songs as well but they don’t hit you the way the sad onces does.

There are also Håkan Hellström songs connected to minor events, like today for example. There is a song from Håkan’s first album called En vän med en bil (A friend with a car – connected to the movie Festival which is filmed at a music festival in Sweden, a festival that me and Agnieszka visited together in 2001 and then watched the movie later that same summer (while eating cherries and practising making little knots of the stem using only our tounges, but that’s a whole different story) that felt very suiting today.

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A friend of mine recently got his driver’s license and is looking for opportunities to use the car. One opportunity happened today when we went for coffee at an old mill a little outside the town. Small field trips are definitely something that happens in the summer. My friend’s driving was very good and I also had an excellent chocolate cake. A very good field trip despite the rain that came pouring down at a couple of times (but then we were all sitting under a roof or safely seated in the car).

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In the evening me and another friend borrowed a car and went for a little ride. It was a lovely evening, warm and clear and we had tea while talking and watching the sunset. It was simply a good day for friends with cars.

The pleasures of summer #1

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So, I said I was going to note the lovely things about summer that I don’t miss it. First out we have strawberries. Strawberries with cereal for breakfast and strawberries with chocolate for dessert. I plan on eating a lot of strawberries this summer (I already have but not nearly enough). Strawberries are difficult to find in the winter and are enjoyed best during summer.

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Next out is mojitos and dancing outdoors. We went to a salsa club and did some dancing and enjoyed seeing friends and spent a lovely evening outdoors. I love warm evenings that can be spent on a terrace, drink in hand. A knitting would have been nice to but it’s difficult to knit and dance at the same time (might be dangerous too, in case some one loses balance and trips and falls on the needles) and I have more than made up for that today. The hat is now finished (well, a block is still needed) and I have moved on to more summer-y knits.

A summer hat?

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It’s the middle of July, the middle of summer, and the sunburn on my arm is preventing me from being in direct sunlight. So what am I doing? Well, I’m knitting a hat. Am I crazy? It’s the middle of July for goodness sake! Have I been sitting in the sun for too long? No, I’m not crazy (well, maybe I am but not in that way), I just needed to tie up some lose ends. I started this hat in early May and I had to put it down due to some pressing knitting deadlines. Now is the time to finish it before fall and before moving on to other nice projects. There are only a few pattern repeats left and then there will be more summer-y knits.

Sommaren snurrar fort när vi bara snöar bort

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There is a line in the first Håkan Hellström song that I learned by heart, that springs to mind every summer. It was the summer of 2001, I was 16 and I was going by bus across the country to visit a friend and all the while listening to the mixed tape Agnieszka had given me that included the song Nu kan du få mig så lätt (Now you can get me so easily). The entire song totally explained my life as it was, or so I thought, and the song is now forever connected to that. I still love the song too (and I still know all the lyrics). The line is “the summer whirls quickly while we are just snowing away” and I always get the feeling during summer that while it rushes past I’m missing it all. There is so much connected with summer, so much you are supposed to do and instead you are just vacuuming or staring blankly into the air and you feel that you are wasting everything. So far I’ve made errands, taken about a thousand showers (that’s what happens when you work out a lot), vacuumed and not knit nearly as much as I had hoped. All the things I’ve done needed to be done so I really shouldn’t feel bad (easier sad than done) and there have been very nice things as well – lunches and tea and hanging out with Agnieszka and getting a new knitting friend and much more – and I should hang on to that. From now on I will state one (or more) nice summer-y things that I done each day here on the blog for the rest of the summer, to help myself remember that I’m not snowing away while the summer whirls quickly. No, I’m whirling with it! Let’s keep whirling!

I want a party too!

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Summer is progressing and so is my vacation. I knit and I work out and that’s pretty much it (I do try to eat watermelon as well but it’s tricky to find a ripe one). That’s all I’ve planned to do this summer (and maybe read some things, preferably in French). It’s nothing big nor huge, it might even sound boring to the uninitiated, but it’s okay and it’s enough. I have lots of yarn and I will get more and I have plenty of difficult patterns in pipeline. Me and Jess are dedicated and happy (even though Schmidt is saying in the next frame that he hates that she knits, he obviously hasn’t gotten anything knitted from her or else he wouldn’t be so jealous of her craft) and there is just nothing else to wish for than that. Yes, I’m dedicated! So, when are we having a party?

Business with pleasure

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My first day of real vacation has been a nice mixture of business and pleasure, both activity-wise and weather-wise. The morning started sunny and I went for a run. In the afternoon the rain came pouring down and I did a little cleaning. In between running and cleaning I’ve made good progress on my latest shawl.

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It has the perfect grain color and I assume that’s why it feels so summer-y despite it being, well, beige. It also has a red stripe, not unlike my tank top. The edge lace is really wide though so it takes some time. I think this shawl will look good together with the tank top. All will come together in just a few days.