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Monday, February 28, 2011

DROPS waist coat in moss stitch

Ice popsicles in the trees, the gems of nature in my garden yesterday.
One of the first items I knitted when I took up knitting again a couple of years a go, was a waist coat in moss stitch. Thinking that swatching wasn't necessary, I knitted a garment that could have fitted two of me inside. The other day I found it at the bottom of a drawer, and decided to frog it and make one that would fit.
I like the glitter in contrast with the rough cotton/linnen blend.
 The pattern calls for crocheted buttons, but I chose some wooden ones instead.
The yarn is a combination of three different types: cotton/linen blend, glitter and a thin alpaca.
This time it fits perfectly, and keeps me warm in just the right places!
Pattern: Drops waist coat in moss stitch
Yarn: Drops Bomull-Lin (cotton/linnen), Drops Alpaca  and Glitter in gold.
Needles: 6mm
In other news, my favourite LYS had a sale on silke-tweed I couldn't ignore....
Mira doesn't see what the fuss is all about.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Ida's Kitchen

Kirsten Kapur at Through the Loops designed the hat Ida's kitchen, a fun and quick knit. I had some variegated leftover yarn in black/grey (from Jenny's afghan) and bought a skein of the same type of yarn in blue/turquoise/green.
I figured I could knit it from two skeins of variegated yarn rather than having all those colour changes called for in the pattern.

It turned out to be a rather masculine combination.
I like the star at the top.
The colours are actually brighter than what they look like here. I enjoyed this project a lot, and will definitely make more of Ida's Kitchen, but then I will choose some brighter colours and leave the grey out.

Pattern: Ida's Kitchen
Yarn: Fame Rand from Marks & Kattens in black/grey and blur/turquoise/green
Needles 4mm and 5mm

Monday, February 21, 2011

New Yarn

I had run out of yarn when crocheting the edge of my blanket, and had to buy some more at my favourite LYS. Also, I had spotted a beautiful hat, Maja, here that was lurking in the back of my head, so I thought I'd look for some yarn that would be suitable. Not to mention Turn A Square, a free download pattern from Brooklyn Tweed over at Ravelry. So I came back with this:
The brown delight is for the WIP afghan that I showed you here.

In my stash I have a huge amount of brown like the one shown above, bought at a yarn sale I came across last summer.
Perhaps these two will look nice for Turn A Square?
I also think the brown will look nice with this green for a hat like the Maja. Unfortunately there is no pattern yet, but I'm crossing my fingers that Johanne at Born to Knit will put one out soon.
 This is just to show you that not everything I make is brown or grey.
A scarf crocheted in a brick wall pattern from a single skein of Noro, crocheted from both ends of the skein untill it was empty. I borrowed the idea from Liselotte.
The view from my living room looks much better in sunshine.

Mopti, the gentleman to the left, and Malawi, the gentleman to the right, agrees.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Big Herringbone Cowl

For Christmas last year I knitted my two daughters and their cousin each a cowl in "Faerytale" from "Du Store Alpakka", a very light and fluffy yarn in 100% alpaca. I decided I wanted one for myself too but wanted to try something new for the pattern. Coincidentally the pirl bee published a pattern for a herringbone cowl, a technique that was new to me.
The cowl came out really nice, but looked a bit bland, so I used the left over yarn from the previous three cowls I had made, and crocheted up a whole lot of little flowers in two sizes.
I sewed them on to the cowl, and voila!
I felt this suited me better. I'm much more the flowery type than the herringbone type. 
The photo doesn't really do the colours justice.

Pattern: Big herringbone cowl from the Purl Bee
Yarn: Faerytale from Du Store Alpakka
Flowers: left over faerytale in this pattern from Drops Garnstudio

Comments: Although this yarn is really nice and soft, and will keep you warm, it tends to leave a trail on all your clothes, so choose your project with care. Now I don't only have to move dog-hair from my jacket, but alpaca-hair too!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Handmade but not handwashed

Isn't it strange how you suddenly SEE something that's been there for some time, and you've seen it several times without really noticing. This happened to me some time a go. I was visiting my LYS (local yarn shop/store/seller) (I've seen these three letters several times without really catching what they stand for, but now I figured it out :)) Anyway, I was visiting my LYS, when all of a sudden I noticed some yarn in a basket. I picked it up, and it was incredibly soft and it had an incredibly soft greyish pinkish variegated colour. 100% pure alpaca. I had to have it! So I bought two skeins.

Now I just had to figure out what to make with it. Every once in a while I would pick it up, feel it, and put it back down. Thinking.
I remembered that some time a go I had bought the pattern for Andrea's Shawl from Kirsten over at Through the Loops, and I thought: that has to be the perfect project! I rushed to my LYS, found a contrast colour that would go with the yarn, (see the solid grey there?), and started knitting.

A very fun project to knit, lot's of challenge and variety, but very well explained. It took me 3-4 days to knit the shawl, and I thought it was beautiful, and incredibly soft. Just remained to wet it and block. So I put it in the machine. I didn't stop to think. Just put it in the machine. Wool washing programme. Allways works. But not this time! Out came something about half the size of what I had put inn, and much thicker!
 All those yarn overs and knit two togethers for nothing!
 But it is still incredibly soft, and I still love the colours! :)

I will definitely make Andrea's Shawl again, possibly with the same yarn, but this time it will be handmade AND handwashed!

Pattern: Andrea's Shawl from Through the Loops
Main colour: Mirasol from Du Store Alpakka
Contrast colour: Royal alpakka from Dale
Needle size 4mm

Monday, February 14, 2011

Crochet bolero

This bolero from "Drops garnstudio" was a quick and fun project to make.

You start by crocheting the back, and then continue around the armholes.   

Finally you crochet about  18-20 wonky squares, sew them together and then attach them to the edge. The squares are wonky so they will make a circle when sewn together.
All though the pattern calls for a colourful variegated yarn, I chose a solid brown so it would fit better with my wardrobe.

Pattern: Crochet DROPS bolero
Yarn: Sandnes mini alpakka in brown no 4081
Hook: 3.5 mm

After some trial and error, I got my size (xl) by following directions for size S/M.

Friday, February 11, 2011

"Lia" from Knitty

The view from my livingroom looked like this around noon today. 
 What doesn't show in the picture is the wind that was blowing right through everything. On days like today I'm very happy I have pullovers like this one:

 The "Lia" pullover, a very quick and rewarding knit published in Knitty's deep fall issue.

 The cable pattern in front makes the knitting more interesting, and I think it looks nice too!
Knitted in chunky yarn it is a quick knit, done in less than a week ( I won't tell you how long time it took me to get around to sewing the sleeves on to the sweater)

Patern: Lia pullover by

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My current WIP's (Work in Progress)

As most (all?) knitters I know, I like to juggle between several projects. Some are small and doesn't require any thinking, good for commuting and company. Some are more complicated, and needs my full attention at all times.
I thought I'd show you some of my current projects.

Although I love working with bright colours, and I think they look really nice on people who wear them, I seldom feel comfortable wearing them myself. I have also decorated my house using mainly earthy tones. So I have finally ( after having spent years making things that ended up not being used) come to the point where most things I make are in earthy, neutral tones (with a few exceptions of course).
These squares are for a blanket like this, in grey, brown and off white. The blanket requires 30 squares, I have made about 1/3 :)

Another project I am very excited about, is the Maia (ravelry link) from Rosemary (Romi) Hill. It is a beautiful shoulderette, and I can't wait til it's done, but it demands my full concentration so it doesn't go too fast! I have chosen a sock yarn in a greenish, blueish, greyish colourway from Austerman Step.

I have also started crocheting an afghan similar to the ones I made for my daughters, this time in earthy tones to fit into my livingroom.

I had some left over yarn from the grey afghan, and was tempted to knit Jagged socks by Kirsten Kapur. A fun knit, but at one point the contrast colour changes from grey to black, which kind of makes the whole point of knitting with two colours obsolete. Of course, this wont really matter when the wearer of the socks is wearing shoes. Anyway, I've knitted one, and the other one is patiently waiting for me to get back to it.

I've also tried "hakking" which is an old crocheting technique that has started to be popular again in Norway. I don't know what it is called in English. The project is a scarf in linen with the odd bling stripe here and there for contrast. I think I might have to rethink the linen, it might be too stiff for a scarf, but I still like the idea, so I might try to make it with a softer yarn.

I came across this knitting kit at my favourite yarn store, Strikkestua in Son, and couldn't resist the incredible softness of the Faroese natural yarn.  This is also a Full Concentration Project, so progress is slow but rewarding. 

I had some left over Evilla yarn and started crocheting a solskinstrøje from Liselotte over at Slagt en hellig ko. I've crocheted everything but the two sleeves, which probably wouldn't take me more than a couple of evenings to finish. But it's been waiting for a couple of months now.

That was a short introduction to my WIP's, hopefully they will end up on the FO (finished object) list soon! :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Felted grey socks

The other day when I was visiting my favourite yarn shop, "Strikkestua" in Son, the owner told me about this idea she got from one of her other devoted customers. The idea was, that if you use a sock yarn with a high percentage of wool, 80%, you could knit strong durable socks, felt them in the the washing machine, and the result would be incredibly warm, soft, dense socks, a feature I consider a necessity to survive the norwegian winter! So I decided to try. 

Before felting

After felting

I was very pleased with the result! The socks are incredibly warm and comfortable to wear. Time will show the durability.

Details "raggsokker":
Yarn: tresko 3-ply from SandnesGarn, 80% wool, 20% nylon/polyamid
Size "dame"
Pattern found on the inside of yarnlabel.
Felted in washing machine: 40 degrees Celcius, with "grønnsåpe". Note: should be turned inside out before felting, gives an incredible soft texture against your foot.