Monday, December 23, 2013

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Kitten Mittens



I have to admit that I can run into small obsessions….at the moment it seems to be Mitten making. Don’t know why, I used to make quite a lot of socks but somehow that got onto the back burner and I have not knit socks for over 2 years or so. But even though I know that big daughter will wear them, they do not call out for me (yet). Mittens do however, and really both of them are so similar, in a way, knitted on dpn's with slighty tighter gauge than for a sweater… Mittens do not have heels, but thumbs, so there it stops. But anyway I just finished the "Bird in Hand” mittens that do require that you read the graph for each and every round. A very nice baroque mitten, good and warm and with the sturdy wool good for a snow ball or two  (if the snow of last weekend was not the last one for this winter, right now it is unusually warm and very very grey and miserable….). 

But I am not done yet with Mittens, my last pair is coming along: Kitten Mittens, or Moggies . When I saw them, I knew I had to make them. The wool asked of in the pattern, Briggs & Little, is very hard to obtain here, but it being a rustic honest yarn, I guess that Jamieson’s DK would be a pretty good match. And it is…. so onwards it goes… I think I will make the children’s version too, for small daughter, but then with a ginger instead of a white cat….


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Learning young...



M’s birthday was earlier this week and what she really wanted was fabric and things to sew. Now I have a very trusty old (almost 50 years now) Husqvarna sewing machine. It still works and is basically an extreme good machine (it needs a service though), but one thing it isn’t, is child friendly. So they can not operate it, and it is so heavy that even I find it a task to get it out and running.

Last week we were at IKEA to buy storage things and then we saw this little sewing machine, that just seemed right for M. The price was right too, so now M has her own sewing machine. She has been going at it every night since her birthday and is very very happy. She will get a fat bundle of fabric for Christmas (until now it has been bits and pieces of fabric I had left over) and we will do some easy quilting but this is hopefully a good present for a 9 year old very interested in making things….(she also made an electronic die at school so her scope is wide….)

Utter concentration:


Saturday, December 7, 2013

In time for...




Yes today we had the first snow of the season and strangely enough it was a bit unexpected. This week we had quite an exciting week as we had a huge storm and for the second time this year I had to send people away from work as public transport was closing. This tim sit was students and I do hope that they came home safe as things were quite on the scary side. Now a couple elf days later, the wind is finally more normal and this morning there was snow… Now I know it will be probably gone by Monday, but for this moment I actually enjoy it…snow…crispy cold morning and new mittens :-)




These mittens are comfy mittens, knit from Blue Sky Alpacas alpaca sport weight, maybe not the sturdiest yarn to knit mittens from, but as I am not that likely to engage in a snowball fight it is perfectly fine. They are so soft and so warm, and so , well elegant..


The pattern is from Blue Sky Alpacas too. Not very well visible in the photos, is the Latvian Loop edge these mittens have. It was a bit fiddly and I didn’t get the directions, until I just did as written down, and presto, a frilly edge on the mittens…neat.

More Latvian things on my next project, Bird in Hand mittens, with Latvian braids… also fiddly, but also very nice. Bit sturdier wool this time Plymouth Yarn Galway worsted, an honest wool, knitted with 3 mm to get sturdy mittens suitable for people who might end up in snow-fights...



Sunday, December 1, 2013

Not so bad



I finished the Lace cardigan yesterday, I had that colour difference hanging over it, but as the sleeves don’t show a difference and the button bands neither, it actually is not noticeable unless you know…. So I am happy right now. 

 Other notes, I did make a lot of changes to the pattern, mainly make it longer, forgo the ribbing at the bottom and for the sleeves I just did my own thing and didn’t even check the pattern… I was careful not too knit the sleeves too long but stick to a bracelet length as I find that quite a comfortable sleeve length. The button bands I did in 2k, 2p and I used lots of buttons too…There is some gentle shaping for the waist, but not that much, just a little bit. The original pattern used smaller needles for waist shaping, I did some decreasing and increasing instead.

I think this is quite an elegant pattern, the boldness of this colour sets it of (I think) and for the grey days of December that might just be right...

I would have liked the sleeves a bit less baggy, but on the other hand, it is comfy. The yarn is nice and soft, hope it holds up like other Madelinetosh yarns do….



Sunday, November 24, 2013

I guess I should know better...



I am working at a cardigan for me. It is from the book “The art of seamless knitting” and so far I am quite impressed with that book. Lots of information on all kind of things (from how the increase/decrease in lace) to better fit bits and so on. The Lace Cardigan was the one I really wanted to make, so that it was. Now I had some Madeline 80/10/10 sport in my stash, so I though with some adaptations that would do just fine. The main changes I made are that there is no extra lace panels in the sides and I made it into a long cardigan and not a more cropped one with long ribbing. The yarn is kind of “heavy” with loads of drape and it just goes better with a long cardigan than a cropped one… I did a “muizetandje” for the edging, goes well with the pattern I feel. It will be a nice bold cardigan. 

However this is handpainted yarn, and normally I do tend to knit hand painted from alternating skeins….you know to be able to cope with differences in colour. Except this time I didn’t  and yes it shows….


Now I will knit one sleeve and make a decision, pretend it is a design feature or frog and remake…. I should have known better I guess….


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Warm hands



I am at home today, got ill during the night (food-poisening?) and after a not so nice morning, I got a bit better and lay in bed watching TV episodes of this and that. And yes I did a bit of knitting. So a pair of mittens to show. The pattern I used was Houndstooth Check Mittens and I just want to say here, that I do think this is an excellent pattern to learn stranded knitting. The pattern is easy to remember, there are no long floats and it isn’t too big. 

I was careful this time, so I kept one colour dominant, so for once I can show a neat inside too…



I did tinker a little bit as these are meant for M, so I made the hand-bit one repeat smaller and the thumb as well. They are still too big, but I think that is better than the other way around, and hey, now I can wear them too….


Sunday, November 10, 2013

More fluff....



Some weeks ago, there was a small article in the Guardian praising the fluffy sweater. Now it is true, a nice fluffy sweater goes a long way, but another thing is also true, too fluffy and it is just ridiculous (at least in my eyes). The red sweater in Paris, Texas (as shown in that article) is for me, on the wrong side of a fluffy sweater. Just too hairy or maybe too many bad memories of fashion in the 1980’s (not to mention bad politics, but that is a whole other matter). Anyways fluff needs to be modest for me, but seeing a skein of Rowan angora haze in the shop, I knew this will give the right amount of soft cloudiness. Combined with a classics type of design by Kim Hargreaves, makes a nice elegant sweater. The pattern is Hetty and I do love the neckline. It is a simple knit but oh so rewarding….


For something completely different, sturdy and rustic, good for later in the winter… These will be for M, who has been asking for new mittens for some weeks now….


Sunday, November 3, 2013

No yarn but...


It is not that I am not knitting, but this weekend was for other things… Autumn is really here, only a few trees still have leaves and th weather has been autumn as well, rainy, grey and very very windy. There was a real autumn storm last monday (I even had to send someone home since I was afraid he otherwise would get stranded, and indeed trains stopped working that afternoon…) and after that it has just been rain and more of the same. It is dark too, it is not even 16:30 now and it is getting dark outside. Not my favourite time of the year, except...

Except that the autumn harvest comes in and game can be bought in the supermarket and comfort food is at its best right now. So yesterday, big daughter and I baked… Apple slab pie, thanks to Smitten Kitchen. This one contain more apples so it is more a deep dish apple slab, but yummy it is. I love baking and cooking and this time of year, a warm kitchen is a nice thing.

Today I did something completely different. S is into cos-playing and there is an event coming up and she wanted to play Feferi. S had the idea how to make the costume and could I please help with the sewing? So we got fabric and notions and did a bit of research on the internet and I still don’t really know what and who Feferi is, but I think we did a good job with the skirt: 


I am not very good with a sewing machine, but I am kinda happy with this one. 


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Nightmares before....





And the first autumn storm is on its way too …….

Fluffy little clouds



Some songs make an impression, simply because they are that good. I never liked house music, and ambient house was not that much better in my ears, however Fluffy Little Clouds just got played and played again. There is something about that song, and it also made that I really would like to see the desert and those clouds, since then I have been to Death valley, but no clouds that day… but what a magical place…..

Anyway this sweater is like a fluffy cloud, the yarn is a mixture of soft and softer (Kidsilk haze, with the mohair and silk and Fine Lace, alpaca and merino) and the colour is like the clouds that we sometimes get… The pattern is not extremely difficult, but it is so easy to make mistakes, which is one of the many reasons why this one took more than a month to finish. I ran out of yarn, lost a needle and had to frog a number of times, but all’s well that end well…..

The pattern is from Kim Hargreaves “spring” book, but I do think it is much better suited for autumn, since this one is surprisingly warm and cuddly…..


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Easier than it looks


I love knitting hats, they give an immediate knitting rush and are well loved in my household. Both my daughters love to wear hats and having a range makes that the big one can change them according to her moods (teenager).  On a winter's day I am not without a hat myself and the only one who doesn't really like hats is my husband (he think he looks silly in them…).

This hat is a real good knitting rush, since it looks ever so complicated, but as it is a slip-stitch pattern it is actually easy. Love that, a very clever design: Courtyard. The yarn is warm and woolly with a touch of Possum. It is Rima from Zealana and it is a mixture of merino wool and possum. The possum shows itself by sone black fibres that makes that the colours have more depth to them. The yarn-band was interesting as well, the inside was information on what a thread tail-brush possums are for New Zealand wild-life….


oh and I got a replacement 2.75 mm needle, so the last sleeve will follow….

Sunday, October 13, 2013




I am knitting Beat now for a couple of weeks and yes progress is very very slow. I do like the result, a fluffy cloud of alpaca, kid mohair and silk, in a very neat texture but it is so slow to knit and frankly I needed a fix…. I do also feel however that starting another project would make the progress on that sweater even slower and probably drag it out to never-ending, so I was very hesitant to start another project. Yes I low if I want it to get finished it will be, but still….

However when I finished my first sleeve of Beat, I got stuck….. I was already afraid that I would run out of yarn, so I had ordered extra and that had come in already, but I have mislaid , my 2.75 mm needle that I need for the cuff…. And I have looked everywhere, in the silliest places and still it is "gone". I have now ordered a new needle but that will come maybe half-way next week, so now I got a very good reason to cast on or? Idle hands an all that...


So hats, hats are quick, a real fix and especially when on demand… So wanted a kitty hat, could be real simple according to her. So a kitty hat it is, simple and quick and I only wanted a bit more pronounced ears (as S wanted ears…).  I used Owl from Quince & co for this hat in one of the new colours "bog". Perfect yarn for a hat, very warm and rustic. It doesn't feel alpaca soft in the skein, but knitted up it makes a real nice soft fabric. There is just the slightest difference in colour between the fibres which make that it has a lively appearance. I have some more in my stash for a cardigan for M, look already forward for when I make that...

It is a dreary autumn day here, dark and wet, good day for a warm hat with ears…. 






Saturday, September 21, 2013

Lucky, lucky

March Beret

Sometimes one has to have a bit of luck. I knitted a March Beret, cables and bobbles and interesting knitting. The brim was quite all right in size but after the increase round, I had this feeling that it would give an awfully big hat. The tension was right, and a short look at other projects for this pattern on Ravelry taught me that it was kind of a common problem. When I realised it would be huge I could have done two things, either continue and hope for the best (sometimes things appear bigger than they actually are) or frog and reknit with another yarn on smaller needles. I choose  the first option, but no looks sometimes don't deceive, so it was huge.


But I have used chickadee before and I know you can felt it…so I thought, well why not try and see what happens… So I wahed the hat with some other small items on the not roughest cycle. That did the trick:

March beret felted

And lo and behold, now it is a proper size, good stiff beret too and we are all happy with this bit of real good luck...


March beret felted

Thursday, September 19, 2013




I am still around, somewhere….just a bit too busy to sit still and write a post. So just this one picture… a small shawl for the autumn which has really started here….

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Stripes and such...



Autumn term has started and life is getting back in its routine. Schooldays are here again and in a way everybody was kind of looking forward to it. It is funny that, at the start of the holidays everyone loves it, at the end, everyone want to go back to routine…. Well everybody is back into a routine, except me that is. I was in the UK last week and next week of to Germany. I don't think I will be able to knit much the coming weeks, but I do have a little project finished.

When in Tokyo, I did buy a little yarn. A nice cotton spoke to me, so I bought it. It was very hot that day, and wool just didn't appeal, but a crisp cotton, oh yes. It was DMC Natura Just cotton, in an off-white and navy blue colour so I thought "stripes". And so this little cardigan was born, an easy stripe pattern, a round yoke and no shaping. Easy to wear and good for the late summer/early autumn… It is a nice cotton, maybe slightly finicky since it was quite a loose twist and thus a bit splitty. Not too bad though and the colours are crisp and fresh. 


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Summer is not yet over...



Just before the end of the summer (normally there is already a chance in September to cooler weather), a nice cotton top. I thought it would be a quickie, it was indeed so. I had to change the decreases and increases a bit, I did one more decrease and the increases come at a smaller distance from each other as I had a slight difference in row gauge. It worked out neatly, now just hope for some warm weeks to come...


Monday, August 12, 2013




As Joan proves in Elementary, Watson can be female…. 

I am actually very pleased with this sweater. The cables pop, the fit is good and S is very very pleased with it. It was fun to knit too and the cotton I used was a nice find. It is Tahki classic cotton, I do think I will use it again some day, since it was nice to knit with and it does have a good stitch definition. A good sweater for the Autumn… I didn't make any notes though…I do feel that this one is really a modified sweater and not my "own" so to speak, so I never took real notes. Not that I have time for pattern writing these days anyways….



Thursday, July 25, 2013




I am not really back to work yet. I am doing some work , writing and reading but on purpose only 50%. As D is away (really working, doing an experiment in France), S is visiting friends about 400 km from here, I am alone with M at home. So I do bits and pieces but not yet full scheduled work. And that feels just fine. August and September will be very very busy (4 conferences, two of which I am partly involved with organisation), so a bit of an easy period is just good. But it also gives me some time to do a bit of knitting and a bit of fiddling around. I finished Umeko (japanese for plum blossom) and it is a good small easy to pull on cardigan. According to M it is very soft, it is, lovely soft. I am still thinking of attaching some I-cords to it to have a fastener, but for now I think it is fine.


Since I am not full speed with work I also started some other biggish project. S is really into COS-play these days. She can plan months in advance, tinker with shirts and getting me to make "Dave Strider" capes. So while in Japan she said one day, could you knit a cotton Dr. Watson sweater… It shouldn't be exactly like the Dr Watson one, but just a nice sweater with cables like that in that  colour and in cotton. So yes I do like to knit for good recipients (S does wear her sweaters a lot) and a cable sweater is a nice thing to make. So I checked out Dr. Watson sweater and an adaptation on Ravelry and I am now doing my own version:


Here the cables are symmetric, some different motives at the side and it will have set-in sleeves. I do like set-in sleeves so much more, I just cannot make a drop shoulder sweater anymore it seems….



Sunday, July 21, 2013


Just before leaving on holiday, I had a quick look through my stash in order to have a second easy piece of knitting with me in case I finished Brise early. My intention was to knit a Wispy cardigan for M as a kind of easy project and a good layering cardigan for her. I found some unmarked heavy lace yarn that I knew came from Posh yarns and I thought well this might be good. But while I was travelling I got doubts (mainly over the amount of yarn I did have and whether it would be enough) so I changed my plans. Well it was also prompted by some purchases I did while I was away...


I was very restrained and only bought a little bit of yarn while away, but I did get some Japanese knitting books. I do love these books, there are beautiful projects in there and with a bit of deciphering one can make them too! They are also much cheaper to buy there then trying to get them on the internet. So I could not resist and I have spent some happy time browsing through these books at bookshops and alike. The one that gave me the idea of doing something else than Wispy was a book on Lace knitting:


This is mainly a stitch pattern book, with some projects. I think it is a combination of some stitch patterns from 3 "European" books on lace knitting, one Danish and two Latvian sources, and there are some really nice patterns in there. It is a bit focused on "edgings" which makes it a bit different. And that gave me the idea to make the cardigan such that it could have nice knitted on edgings at the front. I first thought of using a pink yarn for the edging but as the left-over TML I had proved to be too heavy I used some lace weight Prairie instead. Quite a number of the clothes I did see in Japan did have these kind of lace edgings, so it seems to be an appropriate item to make :-)


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Brise was a breeze



As we did travel a lot in Japan, I did have some time for serious knitting while comfortably sitting on  Shinkansen trains. But I also wanted to enjoy the views from the window, so some easy knitting was required. For that reason a plain sailing stockinette item is the best. Brise fits all these requirements and as I do love linen cardigans, it was an easy choice. I almost completely followed the pattern as it is but linen can bias though and although I have used Sparrow before without problems in a stockinette item, I was slightly worried for the sleeves. I also know that knitting flat (with the alternating knit and purl rows) helps at least me, to counteract bias. So I knitted the sleeves flat as well and seamed them later on. result, no biasing and a nice flowing cardigan.....