Sunday, April 29, 2007


Yes, there's been knitting! Like I said last time, I've been swatching. Nothing specific, I just wanted to try some of the stitch patterns form the new book. And somehow I've felt like doing just short little projects lately, nothing big and intensive. And by small I mean... well, small.

Don't ask me why, I don't know. This little tiny sock is obviously more decorational than functional, and I just felt like making one. That's all. The other small projects are a little bigger:

This is a cabled rib that I found particularly pretty. I think it would add a lot of interest to a basic ribbed sweater. I have no further plans for it, though, I just like it.

The same thing stretched out:
Here's another little square that I just felt like knitting:

A cotton wash cloth. I've never really used them, and wanted to find out what the fuss is all about. Now I can. ;)

I also got the Trekking socks done:

I almost feel bad about the hot weather now (almost), because I can't even think about wearing any of my hand knitted socks. Today the temperature was 33 C (90 F), and there was no way I was going to wear any kind of socks. Thankfully it was Sunday and our schedule consisted of gardening and grilling.

I was playing around with PhotoImpact a little:

I like PhotoImpact better than PhotoShop. I think PhotoShop is unnecessarily difficult for an amateur to use, it's insanely expensive, and PhotoImpact can do just about everything I would do in PhotoShop, anyway. And I'm not talking about professional use here, just me and my amateur photo editing needs. ;)

The next sock project is using the newly dyed yarn, colorway Pomegranate and a little bit of leftover blue from about a year ago:

I'm just having fun with the colors, and making the pattern up as I go. We'll see how it turns out.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

new trend...

This seems to be a recurring trend: I have very little knitting progress to report. This time the reason is this:
Meet Suzy, our newest family member! She's a 6-week-old beagle, and about the cutest thing you'll ever see! Knitting time has been limited, and the most I've gotten done is half a sock and some swatching from the Japanese knitting books. Also, summer has finally arrived (we basically skipped spring this year), and the warm weather is not very inspiring, when it comes to knitting. Not that I would ever quit, but I might slow down a little. In fact, I think my family will appreciate that...

Liz asked, if the books are in Japanese -yes, they are, and no, I don't know Japanese, but I like a good challenge. ;) I don't think I'll try to learn Japanese just to read the patterns, but everything is fortunately charted down to a very close detail, so I should be able to figure them out. And what I can't figure out, I might just have to make up.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The winter is not over...

It's been snowing here for the last two days, and I have to say that I've had just about enough of that stuff... but it's been a good excuse to dig out the heavier knits again. My favorite is a Clapotis out of Malabrigo -so soft and so big, so comforting! I haven't shown it here in the blog, because I made it before I started blogging. BTW, have you noticed, did Malabrigo change their yarns? Where is the alpaca??

Over Easter weekend, I didn't get much knitting done. The socks? -not done yet. The sweater? -not done. I was just completely overwhelmed by the beauty of these:

Three Japanese craft books that are so cram packed full of pretty patterns that I want to make almost every one of them and don't know where to start! Well, this is of course a good problem to have, I'm not complaining, but it's slowing me down.

I will definitely make a couple of these sweaters:but also the accessories are just unbearably pretty:

I almost can't take it!! And I feel like I have to start knitting every one of these things right away!But that of course won't happen... that's ok, though. I'm just happy that I have a ton of really nice patterns waiting when I'm looking for something to knit for next winter. Because these are mostly winter knits, and I don't think I'll be starting a scarf (except for lace) or a pair of gloves any time soon.

I did start a swatch from the "300 Stitch Patterns":
This is pattern numbre 071, in case anybody is interested. I used a leftover ball of Elann Peruvian Alpaca and 3.5 mm needles. I made it 20 x 20 cm, so I can use it as an Afghan square later. This is a very fun pattern and looks nice on both sides, so I might even use it for an Afghan project myself. I have a bunch of some chunky weight wool somewhere that would be suitable for that.

I also found the time to do some dyeing, since I promised Pat I'd send her some hand dyed sock yarn. I had enough undyed yarn left for three pairs of socks, and decided to dye it all at once. This is the colorway I dyed with Pat in mind:
Pat gave me free hands and didn't have any special wishes about the color, so I looked around in the blog to see what kind of colors she usually picks. Bright, clean colors, nothing too muted. Am I right, Pat? :) So I dyed this with thoughts of fruits and flowers in mind, watermelons, poppies and sunflowers. A color that would make you think of warm sunny summer days, when you wear the socks. I decided to name the color "Tutti Frutti". I hope you'll like it, Pat, I'll be sending it your way soon! (I know you're on a trip right now, so I'll wait a few days before putting it in the mail.)

The colors I dyed for myself were a sea blue with lighter greens that remind me of sea glass:
You can only see a little bit of the lighter colors here, but they are in there, trust me. ;) I made it with wide stripes, and after I had started, I realized that a smart person would have divided the yarn into two 50 g skeins before starting, instead of dyeing it all in one. Now I'll either have two unmatching socks, or a lot of ends to weave in. Oh, well, I guess I learned something there... Anyhow, I'm calling the color "Sea glass".

The last one is "Pomegranate", a somewhat muted dark pink:

And here are all three:

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Warm toes

Last week I had to get some socks on the needles, especially considering that I have grown my sock yarn stash much bigger than it really needs to be, but also just because I didn't have any. On the needles that is. Except the swirl socks, but they are way too complicated to take them with and knit a little here and there, or even knit while watching TV or reading blogs. So I started a pair from the OnLine sock yarn that matches the Oxblood yarn and shoes.
I don't really have a "standard" pattern that I would always use for socks, but this is about as close as it gets. Top down, 72 stitches, 2.5 mm needles, k2p2 ribbing at the top, a few decreases in the leg, a Dutch heel (my new favorite that will replace the square heel I used to use most often), decrease back to 72 stitches, kitchener toe. I have "shapely" (someone with a poor selfesteem would say fat) calves, and I always need to do a few decreases in the leg to help keep the socks up, unless I do ribbing all the way to the heel.
Once I finished these, I immediately started another pair:
This is one of those wonderful Trekking colorways that I ordered from Germany (I think this is 76, 78 is what I used for the Pomatomus wrist warmers). Looks very close to the ones I just finished, but this is really much more purple, whereas the OnLine socks are more brownish. The gauge of Trekking and OnLine in almost exactly the same, but Trekking is much softer. Not that OnLine is hard, either, and I certainly don't mind it for socks, but Trekking is easier on my hands while I'm knitting.

Now to the contest for the promised sock yarn. I used Excel (my favorite piece of software, of course) and a random number generator to find the lucky winner. Therefore no pictures of drawing from a hat, or anything. But this way it's absolutely fair, and the geometry or the way I folded the pieces of paper don't matter. ;) And the winner is... (*drum roll*) ...PAT! Congratulations, Pat! Could you please e-mail me using the link in the left side bar, and let me know your name and address, and also what colors you would like in your yarn. I am going to dye some for you in the next week or so, and send it your way.

As far as my favorite project to knit... aagh, I can't choose!! But if I really just think about the knitting part of it, I think Hyrna Herborgar was my favorite. The yarn was very nice and soft, the pattern was interesting and the result pretty. All the other guesses were very good, too, and I could probably come up with a way in which every one of those projects was my favorite. Some are my favorites to wear, some I think are the prettiest, some were fun, some fast, many tought me something new, some gave me a huge sense of accomplishment... I can't think of anything that I didn't really enjoy knitting. I guess it makes sense, since I wouldn't have knitted it, if I didn't like it.

I have also been working on writing out the pattern for the stripy vest. I know a couple of people were interested, so I'll try to get it posted soon. After that, I'll do the same with the zippered cardigan.