Monday, December 31, 2012

Way Back


M loves owls. She thinks they are incredibly cute and the sound of owls hooting in summer nights is a welcome sound. So when I said I would knit some mittens for her and she looked through patterns, Horatio and Oren was a real winner. I needed another small project to knit on the plane back, so these were it. Now honest, it wasn't the best choice for plane knitting. Not that the pattern isn't great, but mainly it needs attention since every round if different and that isn't that easy on a plane. But hey, nothing for a challenge….

I did knit the adult size, but I used a sport-weight yarn on smaller needles and ended up with child size mittens. I kept the cuff at adult length to provide a mitten that goes just under a coat's sleeve. The yarn is an old stand-by; Quince and Co. chickadee. 



Stash update

Being in New York and only 1 street away from a great yarn shop has its effects…..



Way out

Two-tone Tam

We are back from a splendid week in New York. Seen a lot, done a lot and had some very nice meals too…. And done some knitting too, mainly on the plane to and from. Just before we left, I rooted some more in my stash and found two skeins of Shilasdair luxury 4-ply that I had bought in Glasgow last summer and very much in the mood for another hat using stranded knitting, I started to sketch a colour design for it. One of my ideas was that it had to be easy stranded knitting since it should be a good travelling project. So no floats longer than 3 sts and easy to memorise. Tow-tone hat is what I came up with. Modern, somewhat geometric looking and I think a good project to learn stranded knitting with.

I almost finished it on the plane out (10 hours flight), so I could take the project pictures at an appropriate place for it. We had some cold blustery days un New York, and the double layer of this hat provided some good insulation. The yarn itself helps too, soft and luxurious in lovely bright colours.

Two-tone Tam

Friday, December 21, 2012

Too scared?


I'm not really a scared knitter. I have used a lot of different techniques and I think there is place for both seamed and seamless items. There is however one thing I have not tried, and I probably will one day, but that day has not yet come. And that thing is of course "a steel". Knitting colour work in the round and then "steel it open" to make a cardigan or to attach sleeves. I'm not that afraid of the cut itself, it is just that I don't see the point for myself. I like my purl, I can purl my colour work just as well as I can knit it, so why the trouble?

It is just me of course!

Anyways S like to have a colour work cardigan and I spotted Voissour and thought, that she might like…. and she did. O-wool had really good prices for their yarn and after some thoughts it had to be blue and bray. So I got the pattern and discovered it was made with steeks. But the main part of the body is just stockinette and the colour work is only two colours with no extreme floats, so I decided to knit it flat instead. That means some small alterations and probably some more threads to seam in the end as well. But so far so good and I'm happy with knitting it flat….

 I do like the pocket very much, neat….



I might be a bit silent for the coming week, I'm off to New-York tonight (and no it isn't the end of the world, not even as I know it). I will not knit further on this cardigan during the flight (too big), so probably another hat coming up.


But finally Happy Solstice and holidays! 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

best laid plans of mice and men…. Thistle Tam

Thistle Tam

Last summer we were in Scotland for a week or so to visit my husbands family and during that stay we went to Edinburgh twice. One me and the big one alone and once with the whole family. On one of this visits I bought some Shetland Spindrift without really knowing what to do with it. Well a cardigan I thought for the small one, with stranded knitting as its their "heritage" (well not really as the family comes from Ayrshire and not the hebrides, fair-isles or highlands) and using a thistle as a small motif. So I knitted a cardigan with charts I came up with and I was pleased with it. So pleased I knitted it again using a different yarn. I made copious notes to get into a pattern, but…. life happened, work was hectic and free time went to family, so I never made the notes in text and I never did the grading…. 

But I did have some left-over yarn and I did have the charts. So I reworked a little bit and voila a small scottish tam. This pattern was not that hard to work out, so I have put it on Ravelry today….

and the mice & men do come from Ayrshire of course…..

Thistle Tam

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Not Really


Sometimes, all what is needed is a real simple cardigan with some unexpected woompf. I think that Marilyn's Not-So-Shrunken Cardigan by Wendy Bernard is such a cardigan. Well with one side remark, it is a bit cropped in the original pattern. So after years in my queue, I finally started this one at the end of last month. It is a good design to knit in dark days, as it is mainly stockinette and doesn't require any attention. So for my dark trips to work (both mornings and evenings) it is the kind of project that is needed. But it was very clear to me that I needed to make it longer. So I added one more decrease, followed by a series of increases to get a nice fitted cardigan. I made the hems slightly bigger and for the sleeves I decreased according to the pattern, until a couple of rows before I wanted to cast-of. Then I decreased even more and cast-of using a I-cord cast-of. The result is nice bracelet 3/4 sleeves. 

Brown is a nice neutral colour so I am pretty sure that this cardigan will get worn a lot. The yarn (Silky wool) helps, since it has this slightly nubby look which gives it a slightly rustic feel. It is quite a lightweight yarn, but surprisingly warm.

Not Really

Saturday, November 24, 2012



if there is one thing that M loves, it is her bike. Om a nice day she can ride it and ride it again… It is a bit battered (It's S her old bike) but it works just fine so it is really OK for her.  A good sturdy warm cardigan is really what is needed for deep Autumn cycling, so here it is… Ruta. Diamond patterns on the body and smaller one on the sleeves in simple twisted stitches and some small cables too. It is slightly too big, but it really is meant for more than just one winter.


The yarn is peace fleece worsted. Not the softest yarn (but it does become softer after a wash), but one of the sturdiest. So very good for an outdoor type of garment. It's tweedy too with brilliants specks of colour. And when knitting it you feel the lanolin make your hands go softer. M remarked that it smelled of Lamb, which is does a bit, but not a bad thing, a sheepie kind of yarn, rustic, well suited for cables and cycling your bike on a grey November day...


Saturday, November 17, 2012



The other day I got reminded that it was a long tim sago I did knit cables. Maybe more than two years ago….and it is odd since I do like knitting cables. So I  wondered why and I really couldn't figure it out. M in the mean time asked if she could have a warm cardigan, bit thicker than normal, so that's when 1 and 1 came together… From my stash I dug out Peace Fleece worsted in a lovely pink tweed "Moscow magic pink", from a recent acquisition I got inspiration and here are diamonds for a small cardigan. The books I bought are "Bäuerliches  Stricken", lovely stitch pattern books with quite a number of twisted stitch patterns and some lace and other goodies… This pattern is not in it, but it is inspired by it. I want this cardigan to have a saddle-sleeve with a bit of cable work, but I am not sure yet how to do it, so I knit to the arm height and will be back at the drawing board...

But so far it is fun to do cables again….



And my comfy cardigan, is really comfy indeed…..

Essential Cardigan

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Just knitting blue



Some weeks are just a haze. Last week was such a week… Filled with meetings and meetings again,on top of that a bit of teaching and lecturing and in the end it becomes a haze. In a way a good week, since I got some nice feed-back, but I was really really tired on Friday. In the middle of the week there was of course more good news. Wednesday was really a very happy day, what a relief and also what a progress in so many other respects. And I have been knitting blue this week as well.  That wasn't really planned, just a lucky accident. 

Anyways I am knitting a very plain cardigan right now. It is the essential cardigan from an Interweave Knits. It is of course mainly plain, not totally plain since it has nice borders and cuffs in broken rib. I really wanted a comfy cardigan, soft and warm, so I am knitting this in Blue Sky Alpacas sport weight which is a 100% baby alpaca yarn. I had this yarn in my stash for many years now and I dug it out sometime in October. I had the pattern in my queue also for a very long time, so now finally they have become together to become this , well essentially an easy, soft and warm cardigan to be worn with almost anything. Just what I need for grey and coldish days. It is relative fast knitting since it is so much stockinette, so I have finished the main parts… now only the front bands to do, so tonight a major session of picking up stitches….


Saturday, November 3, 2012



One of my favourite things in a design is if there is a nice contract between stockinette and a bit of texture. If done right it creates really nice items with an interesting edge that are easy to wear and are easy to knit. There are certain designers that are masters in just this, and I will come back to them time after time. This is Irina by Cecily Glowik McDonald and yes she is just one of those designers.

This was a fast knit, it is all stockinette from the top-down raglan. And then a bit of action follows, a cowl with an interesting drop-stitch garter pattern. I knitted it in the yearn it was designed for, since it is a a nice yarn. It is Quince and Co chickadee in the colour split pea.  The yarn has a good price, is sturdy and comes in a lovely range of colours. Quince is one of my go to companies, both for their patterns and their yarns are what I do like. Elegant, but sturdy stuff.

And Irina, well I am had-way through the second season of Alias…what can I say, some names are just right.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012




Found in my bathroom…..

Have a nice Halloween night and be safe!

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Hats hats and hats… that's what we have been doing


An Ishbel Beret from leftovers form the Shawl for Oswin. Very nice lacy beret, worked really well in this yarn. I actually did do a bit of adjusting things, since I made the brim in the 2nd size while the rest of the beret is in the largest size. I did do a row of increases just after the brim to be able to do so. It have a roomier slouchier hat. Now it is too big for M, but for S it fits really well:

Ishbel Beret

2nd hat, a ver fast hat, completely improvised, made from Noro aya.

This one is really for M and only for M:

Small Hat

Last hat, yarn that D brought for me on Gotland when he was there last summer. This hat is for me and it is special since S knitted it for me:


A very wooly hat, quite warm for the winter. Good work!

Most pictures come from Tivoli, where we went today since S has become a teenager…. and we wanted to do something special. S had a friend with her we just walked around and enjoyed the park in Halloween Glory , didn't go in any of the rides….


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Can I brag(g) ?

Some weeks ago I got a PM on Ravelry from a employee at Classic Elite Yarns….and to my astonishment they asked whether it would be OK for them to feature my Lente design as one of the indie designs using Classic Elite yarns on their indie designer web letter…..  So I just said yes… I mean I felt honoured, I was chosen to be on that web letter…from a real yarn company… doing both really nice yarns and actually also very nice pattern books. So here is the collage, and note all very nice designs, I am just so happy to be amongst them!



and the brag(g), well I am a crystallographer by trade….

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Shawl for Oswin


My favourite Dalek is the one from a Spike Milligan sketch, which manages both to point out the problem with Daleks (at least the old ones), they are quite silly as biggest source of evil as well as exposing xenophobia. Anyways I do think that Daleks are fine, but I also think that Oswin in the latest Dalek episode of Dr Who got a terrible deal. So that's why this is a shawl for Oswin. Starry Daleks round your shoulders...

Bigger on the Inside is really such a nice shawl, this is just a small variant. You can find the schemes for the Daleks, left and right, but you will need Bigger on the Inside for all other instructions.


 download now

Shawl for Oswin

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Really finished now...



I finished "Slipped". Originally I had hoped to make the band with the green yarn, but as I had not enough left, it became the pink instead. With small green shank buttons, it works nice as well. I blocked the cardigan and already it is a lot softer, so that is nice as ell. I think it will get quite a bit of wear this autumn…. 

I could have made the sleeves slightly longer, but at least they are not in the way now, says M. 


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The last bits….



The other week I started to play with slipped stitch patterns and now my experiment in using them is almost finished. A small very rustic cardigan for M. I think the slipped stitch pattern gives it a modern feel and it so easy to do. It looks much more complicated the it actually is, which is always a nice thing. It is also fun since it is kind of magic. Now it is just the button bands and the neckband and it is done. I first wanted to make these band green, but I ran out of green yarn, so they will be pink. I ordered some dark green vintage buttons on etsy, so I hope those will come soon too….

The yarn in this case is Geilsk Tweed, which is a very rustic 1 ply tweed with a bit . It has really nice colours  and a bit of a thick-thin quality. It is quite "nubby" even for a tweed. It also has the occasional bit of grass or other plant-bits. I pick them out when I knit and always think that it is kind of nice. Yes you have to pick them out, but it feels somehow less overproduced and more artisan. It does mean also that this cardigan is a outer-shell item. M will need long armed T-shirts to go under it, but as it is now clearly autumn and winter won't be long, that will not be much of a problem…. 



Sunday, September 23, 2012


Bigger on the Inside

As I hoped, some pictures of S, happy with her new shawl. It is a nice size, not too big and not too small and the colour is just right. It is "cobalt" in Madelinetosh Tosh sock. It was real fun to make this, and not too hard either...

Bigger on the Inside

Shawl for Oswin

 And as also noted, M wants also to have one of these, but to make twice the same shawl in same colours (as a Tardis has to be blue, no choice), that really didn't appeal to me too much. 

M thought first that a sonic skew driver would make for a nice pattern, but I don't really think so. It would be too narrow and not really defined. So why not something….evil….

So a Dalek is the obvious choice. I make a sketch and knitted a first trial (see on the left) but the spout (or what is it called?) was too short and the slope wasn't nice either… I think it was because I used a normal twisted cable stitch with two "knit" stitches on the right side. 

So a second attempt was made, with a more complicated twisted stick, a knit/purl combination,. And that worked much much better, so that is what I am going to use.


Shawl for Oswin

I have made the schemes in two versions, a left pointing Dalek and a right pointed Dalek and I am going to use 6 of each. This pattern is wider that than the original Tardis pattern, so I have less repeats and I do need to pick up 1 stitch more. I will decrease that stitch in the last row before the border and then do the k3,p1 border as in the original pattern.

So now I just have to wait for the Dalek colored yarn to arrive and ….

Shawl for Oswin


But as I can't have my hand idle, I started something else. In the beginning of the summer I bought some nice rustic 4-ply tweed  in Copenhagen (Geilsk Tweed) in green and pick. I wanted to make a cardigan for M from it using plain stockinette body with a yoke containing a slip-stitch pattern. So I did some experimenting with slipped stitches andI will  go from there…. I thought first that I wanted a round yoke, but I am not sure how to do the decrease rows such that the patterns are still nice, so I think I opt for raglan instead. 

Testing slipped stitches

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Bigger on the Inside


Excuse the mess of the sheet and so on, but I am blocking Bigger on the Inside right now….. S is pretty happy about it, she has been selling the positives of Dr Who hard and many of her friends are hard core fans now as well (Dr Who is not shown on Swedish TV, so the is a feat) and she got even  her "English" english teacher in on the plan. The other week they had an hour of watching Dr Who in English, no subtitles for english class. So yeah, this shawl will just be IT….

Hopefully tomorrow some wearing pictures, and also maybe an idea for a modification, since M wants one too… But I will not knit one the same, so a modification it will be, and a test bit comes maybe tomorrow…. (I think I have it finished by then).

Bigger on the Inside