Monday, June 29, 2015

Not at home....

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As one might see, the vegetation in the photo above is not one from southern Sweden….. We are actually in the tropics at the moment, the Mekong delta… Vacation and only snippets of work filter through (I just send away some long work-related emails, the problem of ubiquitous free wifi…..).  It was another busy year so it feels good to be away and even though it is very warm here, also that feels very very good. Everything turned out perfect this year, we have a recently moved colleague staying in our house (Lund has a crazy house market at the moment, so he and his family were in-between apartments and were looking at a some week's stay in a hotel…. not great with small children) so the cats will feel not abandoned. The travel was OK, but long… and plenty of opportunity to finish Bonny...

I made quite a bit of changes. First the yarn is a sport weight and not a lace weight, so I knitted this on 3.75mm. I went for the XS to end up with a S/M with a bit of negative ease but not as much as in the pattern. There were two reasons for that, first the change of gauge due to the difference in weight makes that it has less elasticity. The contend of the yarn itself (50% linen/ 50% silk) also is less stretchy than wool. I did waist shaping (4 rounds of decreases and increases each) and I knitted I-cord edgings to get a nicer finish around the arm openings. With all that, a pleasant summer top….

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Vietnam is wonderful until now… maybe the topic of an entirely different entry later on….

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Cotton Cardigan....

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The cotton cardigan is done, it really suits M very well, so a good one for the summer (if it ever will start)… The only modifications I did to the pattern is that I did knit the sleeves flat (as to avoid tension differences with the main body), 2 rows of decreases are worked in the sleeve and I made them “bracelet” length on M’s request. Which is a good thing as M’s long sleeved cardigans can get very dirty on the cuff…..

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I really like the results for this one, so I like the pattern, but I didn’t like at all how it was written up. Too many instructions, different numbering for the lace motif and so on. It isn’t a difficult knit, but I just got confused here and there. I understand that my taste of patterns tends to go to the pithy ones as EZ would say, but still….

I also will need to sew some tape on the inside of the front bands. They flip, which is probably due to the fact that I made this one in cotton. Luckily the haberdashery in town has a good collection of ribbons and tape, so we can pick a nice matching one. 

But I do like the lace and they way it gently fans out, especially on the back….

Olinda

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Praising cotton

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At work the other day we ended up in a discussion on diets and such. Me, myself, I don’t really believe in dieting. From my point of view, eat varied and not too much of anything is probably best. And love your veggies…. And try to make things yourself…. And I guess somehow that goes for my knitting too. Every now and then the question comes up, which yarn is your absolute favourite… I just can’t answer that one… Favourite for what? I would not want a winter sweater in Linen and neither do I want a summer tee in Alpaca and apart from that I would also be pretty bored if I just could knit with one yarn… So a bit of variation and not too much of one thing is best for me. 

The other thing that happened this week is that I saw a thread on Revelry where someone asked, could this pattern be knitted in cotton….  The pattern was designed in a cotton yarn, so obviously the answer should be yes. But somehow cotton got the worst reputation. Yes it does not have many give and I can see that this can make your hands hurt, but the right cotton for the right project works really well. And it is a great summer yarn, can have really nice sheen, picks up colours very well and can be easy care too. But yes worsted or thicker cottons are very very heavy and gravity will do its work on a project knitted in those. But a good quality cotton in the lighter weights, is just very good for summer wear. And children’s wear.

So my next project, cotton, a very nice one, Cascade Ultra Pima for a girl’s cardigan… summery and bright! 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Flex

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Some projects are so quick that they over before you know it. This one certainly was. Of course no sleeves helps a lot, as well does knitting aran-weight…especially when knitting so much fingering and sportweight…. And no lace or cables either to hold your speed back. 

The main reason however for the quickness was the construction, or rather, how does it look like when it is done. Like the Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman, sometimes the construction is so ingenious that that drives the knitting forward.

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This one, Flex,  is all about the construction, about the meet of directions on the front, just very lovely and it the end wearable as it is a very good match with the yarn which is another reason why the knitting went fast. this was knitted in Kestrel another linen yarn from Quince & Co. Their Sparrow is one of my favourite yarns ever, smooth cool linen. This one is a chainette linen and it gives a more rustic fabric than Sparrow does. It has drape and sheen and everything else that is so lovely about linen. It also has some give, which makes that it is pretty easy to knit with.

Not surprisingly I have some more in my stash…. 

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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

An experiments that ends well.

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It is nice when you have a theory and all the evidence you have kind of shows that you are on the right track. The Japansk Bomuld worked really well as a yarn for the Jan Sweater. It made indeed a breezy, very light-weight sweater that is just excellent for the summer. Personally I always find it hard to wear knitted short-arm sweaters (too warm for the days I can wear short-sleeved anythings), but in this yarn, I think I would not mind it myself… But this one is for S as she spotted the yarn in the first place…..

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Crunchy stuff

 

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Every spring there is in Malmö a “Symässan” ( a kind of crafts expo) and some years I go and in some I don’t. It is basically focused on sewing and quilting and while I do sew and have made quilts, it is not like knitting for me. But the last years, knitting has become more and more popular, the local yarnshops do carry more yarns, there are Swedish knitting magazines (I do not like them very much, but they are there at least) so there have been more yarn people at the mässan as well. This year I didn’t really want to go, busy at work, and then a weekend just pottering around the house can be quite OK. But S, who is sewing more and more to make costumes for cos-play, asked if we could go, so in that case….. So I went with S and M and this year, there was so much more yarn….. Lovely really!

I came home with too much, Kalinka linen and a linen/wool blend and then a cotton yarn which I just could not not buy. It was Isager Strik Japansk Bomuld , a cotton tape yarn that really feels papery. It is made in Japan and probably quite like some Habu yarns. It is a fine fingering cotton and it just looked to be tested (the price is nice as well). S choose the colour, an apricot-pink to match with a skirt bought in Japan. I wasn’t completely sure what to knit with it, but for sure a summer top, so after a good browse at Revelry, we decided that Jan might fit the bill. This is a kind of experiment, as Jan is knitted with a fine wool and a cotton is of course drastically different. The yarn knits up more like linen than cotton, it gives a bit uneven effect but very pleasing nevertheless. And it is featherlight. So far I do like this one, with the back (or front as they are the same) finished. It is a pretty easy pattern, hardly any shaping (except for the set-in sleeves) and a very easy lace. 

I do think this will be an experiment that works, a blousy small pullover for summer days….

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Friday, May 15, 2015

Back to normal

 

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Back to normal with a summer project for me. Pomegranate in Hempathy, nice yarn, sturdy and crisp, and a nice lace decorated pullover to go with it. Just right for Swedish summers….. (I can now start to complain, but May until now hasn’t been great).

My gauge was off, so I had to tweek a bit, not a lot but just making a XS to get an S. I also had to figure out where the neckline should be and thus where the sleeves had to start and I made it a bit longer. I also did one more increase round in the shaping. In the end I actually like this length better, I find it easier to wear so that is good too.

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I am wearing it with no ease at the bust, which I think works really well for this kind of pattern where you want to show of that delicious lace…. The sweater i skin in the round, with short row set-in sleeves . The pattern was easy to follow and apart from issues created by myself, no problems whatsoever.

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