Saturday, January 24, 2015

Mysa

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A couple of year sago I bought a nice laying black cardigan to wrap myself up in. Sometime during the fall, S asked whether she could borrow it for a day, and quite quickly after that she was wearing as often as she could put her hands on it. So it wasn’t a huge surprise when the request came whether I could make a black long cardigan for her, it should have no buttons, not be a waterfall type of cardigan, warm and soft and please could it be finished already...

So ok, I had a look around and no pattern really appealed to S, at the same time I got kind of interested into knitting the borders simultaneous with a sweater even around the neckline and I wanted to experiment with that. As the wished for garment would be a long cardigan, I really didn’t look forward into picking up and knitting around the fronts, so knitting the borders simultaneous seems really fitting for this item. So it was clear that the cardigan would be an own design. To make it a bit more interesting than only a normal rib border,I once again use a drop stitch pattern.

So how is this construction, you start by a provisional cast-on and then knit the border from the bak of the neck to the point that the fronts would start. Then unravel the cast-on and knit into the other direction to the same point. Then it is picking up stitches and starting a raglan top down. I hasn’t been tried on, but it looks quite nice (I am just under the sleeves now) and indeed the drop stitches make it a bit more interesting knitting than just stockinette. Yarn is Ultra Alpaca by Berroco, a 50-50% wool alpaca blend. It feels really like a nice yarn, soft and drape-y but a with a bit of substance from the wool. I think it works well with this kind of cardigan!

It will have pockets, this is a cardigan meant for pocket….

The other problem with black, photographs really really bad, but black was required…..

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And yes I have been in dropped stitch territory for quite a bit now, just finished the Cupido Cowl earlier this week, a different drop stitch, a different soft item but also one to “mysa” in...

 

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Small New Pattern

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Someone asked me whether I could maybe show the pattern for the slipped tweed stitch scarf that I made last autumn. Originally I didn’t really plan to do so, but when I thought about it a bit more, I felt it wouldn’t be much work and why not. So today I put a free pattern on Revelry for this scarf. It is a cushy, warm scarf, and even though it is pretty long, in bulky yarn it is still a relative fast project.

 

I have to say, that I am really impressed with the yarn itself, Fased Tweed from Rowan. Soft, nice colours, very light due to its special construction and no pilling yet, and this scarf has been worn now every day since I finished it, either by S or by me...

To download the pattern, click download now and you will get it!

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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Storm and Rain

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As someone from the flat countries, I have to admit, I do like a good storm. Mind you, I know the destruction that comes with it, but as a fervent sailor in my youth, I think the sheer power of wind is something to admire. I also think that just the words “it was a cold and stormy night” are something to behold and of course Sinterklaas comes on stormy nights as well (Hoor de wind waait door de bomen….) . So yes this time of year, one good storm can be a good thing, to sit at home, have a nice fire going and some comfort food to eat...

But the last two years, storms come a bit too often. Every two weeks there seems to be a storm, this it is foreseen to have three in one week. And it is just not the wind alone, it is the rain and it is the layers and layers of clouds that make it dark and darker. We had a white Christmas and some gorgeous winter days after, which came as a huge surprise and lifted the spirits a lot, but then back to storm and rain and darkness….

But it also makes sure that knitwear is worn, as even inside, the wind howls through (at work or at home). So the newly knitted sweater for my husband will get its due! Which is good, as a men’s sweater is more knitting than a child’s or women’s sweater . Not that my husband is not knit-worthy, he does wear his knits….but a heavy winter’s one needs some appropriate weather or ?

The yarn comes from a lovely place, New Lanark . A real nice place to visit whenever in Scotland. My husband is from near there and his family lives in the area, so when we were there at halloween, we went there and I bought some nice rusty honest wool for a sweater for him. The promise was that it would be made before Christmas, but that was not possible, but I started it before Christmas and could knit it within the holiday period.I got the yarn on a big cone, so not really an item to transport around, so it was good to knit it in this period. Nice thing about the knitting from a cone, not many ends to weave in at the end….

The design is one of my own, with saddle shoulders, picked-up stitches and knitted down, with set-in sleeves. Columns of garter stitch at the sides . I am pleased with it…… It was pretty straight-forward knitting, good project for watching TV...

Just one picture of the progress, that shows the pattern better….

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Identity and such

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It is New Year’s Eve and as is the habit in this house (if the chance), time for oliebollen….. That real Dutch treat of deep fried yeasty dough balls sprinled with a bit of powder sugar at the end. So rewarding, so good, so Dutch….

And that is it, I am Dutch and I have some real Dutch traditions that are hard to get rid of. Some though have gone, like Sinterklaas, we actually don’t do that anymore, but that is mainly because youngest one was born just two days before, and thus it was easier to give up on that one and do Jul-afton instead.  But oliebollen on NewYear’s eve, no they are too good to be missed so...

What brings this on is the decision of my husband to apply for Swedish citizenship. We have been 20 years here so yes, it is time to do this. We are not going to move, my job is one of the most exciting ever, our children are born here and though they are blends, they are more Swedish than anything else (except for blood that is). So I should apply too, it only makes sense. Except when I do so, I will lose my Dutch citizenship and apparently that is something I still have an emotional attachment to, I am Dutch, if pressed I will cheer for team Oranje whatever sport is played. I am still proud of Dutch tolerance (but not the kind of the last 10 years) and I know more silly facts about Dutch history than Swedish. I do think Amsterdam is a grander city than Stockholm and van Leeuwenhoek was a better scientist than Ångström. Painters, there is just no competition, so in the end ? And really I was only coming here for 2 years, not 20 or even more….

And yet I live here, want my voice to be counted here, SD is a party to vote against and as I live here is it not worth to give up something?

So I will make my Oliebollen and contemplate, be practical or nostalgic…..

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Relativelty

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The last months of the year always seem to just fly by. One reason is that when in an Academic environment the Autumn term seems always the most busy time of the year. I think it is because there is as much stuff put in this term as in the Sprin term, except that Autumn term is about 2 months shorter… So at a certain moment you just go from one settled ting to the other, no rest and everything flies by. December with all its social stuff comes then on top of that, dinners, music performances, school stuff and yes then suddenly it is Christmas break. And what a nice long one we have this year, and I took it off this time. Almost three weeks, some small things to do for work, but otherwise… some knitting, some nice food making and just get energy for the year of light, 2015! 

Anyways I did finish the stranded knitted cardigan for Marit, except for the two places where I did make a mistake in the pattern, I think it worked really nice. I am not sure whether I would use this yarn again, it is a bit splitty and while the price is absolutely right, I didn’t really like knitting with it because of that.

Marit wanted only 3/4 sleeves, which was nice since that meant that I had exactly enough and didn’t needed to get more.

Now having said all that of rest and so on, one other problem with the extreme busy December is that our house is quite in a state of chaos, so off now to decrease the entropy, which will cost some energy unfortunately….

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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Playing

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I have not much to write right now, the dark days of the end of the year are upon us and it is just busy busy busy, so just a photo and maybe in a week or so another item….

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Another Watson

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When we were in Britain the other month, we were lucky to see Frankenstein as an encore broadcast in the cinema. It was put on as it was the Halloween season, and us being in Britain  and my oldest one is a enthralled with “Sherlock”, we thought it was just too good an opportunity to miss. It is one of these things, that since one knows what comes after (both actors playing Sherlock), the dynamics become somewhat different. I enjoyed the play very much indeed even if some bits could have been just slightly better (the terrible dialoge between the young married couple in the first act comes to mind), but the “talking” monster and the questions about whom is the bigger monster, are very fascinating indeed.

Back to Sherlock  though,  although I like it, I think it is sometimes way too clever for its own good and thus in our house that quite ends up as in discussion whether Elementary is better than Sherlock. I actually am one of those people who happens to think that Elementary is the better series. It is tighter, it has a fantastic Watson and it is clever but not " oh how well do we know the details and want to go meta" clever.  But there is quite a bit of knitwear in Sherlock and with a daughter interested in Cosplay, I do get request… So  a Christmas Sweater was the request, as seen here. I like stranded knitting, I never knitted an Icelandic Sweater like that before, so yes I can do that. But I als spotted that it was a very bulky sweater and that gave me second thoughts. After a  bit of browsing, I found the pattern Stryta and indeed it is knitted in bulky wool and rather large sizes too. S likes to wear sweaters and cardigans and she is totally worth knitting for since she does wear them a lot. But a bulky sweater , no that would be worn once and then it would just be way and way too warm to be worn. And that I didn’t really like. So I had a good look at the pattern and at Icelandic wool and it was clear that I could adapt the pattern quite easily for worsted wool instead. So I am using Létt-Lopi instead, and knitted on 4.5 mm I basically used the original pattern in the largest size. I made some small changes in the yoke, just below the pattern to compensate for the difference in row gauge, and it worked fine. A sweater in size 32” with some ease  too. It is quite an easy knit, the stranding is only a bit fiddly in the couple of raws when there are actually 3 colours to work with. Even in worsted this is a very warm sweater, so I am glad I didn’t make it in bulky.

 

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It is stormy here and I think it will be worn to school tomorrow, so yes not only a Christmas Sweater...