Monday, December 28, 2015

Time to relax



Being at home for the winter break with truly terrible weather can be quite relaxing. No real work to think about, apart from keeping the house reasonably clean, no major projects planned, no big travels ongoing, so I can do a bit more complicated knitting. I am making a cardigan for M, some stranded colourwork of an own design. It requires just some attention, so good for days like these. I am enjoying myself, hope you are too finding time for some relaxing things….

The yarn is Onion Nettle Sock yarn, a fine fingering yarn with 70% super wash wool and 30% nettles. It has a very nice sheen and great drape. It behaves quite a bit like linen but it is much softer. It comes in a range of muted colours that just called out to me… It is more spring like, but in a way that is good too for this time of year.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Yule berry



I am not a big shawl wearer but I do have this dress and really it could do with some cover when it is a bit colder. A cardigan would of course work, but sometimes one ones something just a little bit dressier, a little bit more festive. So a shawl would be it, but just not too go too much in dainty territory, a shawl in worsted wool. I had the yarn reserved for this project for quite some time, a nice rustic tweed ( Brooklyn Tweed Shelter) and the pattern is the Juneberry Triangle. A nice thing about knitting lace with worsted weight is that it is very very fast to knit it. I started last week, I had the luck to have to attend a 2-hours audio-only telephone conference for work, and I just could knit away during that exercise. So in less than a week, ready for Christmas, my Yuleberry...

The colour is hard to catch, it is closer to the colour in the photo below, a purple with hints of red and a bit of white. Some subtle buds and a very nice border finish this one.


 I could make some time for making some photos, in between the baking that is on-going in our kitchen. The youngest made lussekatter yesterday, the oldest is making a Chestnut-Flavoured Cheesecake for dessert, mmmm

And yes we did another Christmassy thing yesterday, we went to see Star Wars… I never saw the original trio in the cinema, instead there was one year during my PhD that we hired all three (good old-fashioned videos)  and watched them all within a day or so… Ever since that Star Wars is for me linked to Christmas, even with my own children we saw the first three during a Christmas break… so going to the cinema last night was real good fun!

But still, at heart I am a Star Trekkie, those I did watch ( & rewatch) as a child, I guess first impressions have a life-long hold….


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Hat On



Sometimes a small project can be so rewarding. This hat is such a project, soft yarn, a good colour and a nice cable pattern. Just the project for these dark days.

The pattern is Kathleen, the yarn some Malabrigo merino worsted in Jewel Blue.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


I am having one of the strangest weeks of my life...

To start somewhere, my workplace is moving. In itself not a big thing, but my workplace is this big laboratory which gives researchers from all over the world (literally) access to highly advanced instruments. It has been doing that for 30 years and I have been attached with it for now 15. We are building a brand new laboratory so that the old one closes is not strange or overly sad, the last couple of months have been hard as things were old and misfunctioning and one was fighting an up-hill struggle. So on Sunday we had this huge party to celebrate the lab, it 30 years existence and in a way its funeral as we switched the machine off and we were happy, real real happy. It was one of those parties that one will not forget. Now a couple of days later when we are actually dissecting the lab, it just feels strange. We need to separate things we want to  take and things to go to the dump, it is chaos and hectic and I just sometimes don’t know where to start… Coming to the new lab, with my shiny new office with a lovely view, is of course good, but it feels still a bit un-known, it is not “mine” yet, so I am kind of drifting. I know it will be OK, plenty to do and look forward too ( a new machine, new instruments and toys and lots of possibilities for research), but just now I have bouts of melancholy… 

The main part is however that one of my cats, who was born during the first summer we came here stopped slowly with eating. In the beginning he just got picky and switching food made him eat again, but during the weekend he just stopped eating, so on Monday we called the vet and on Tuesday came the verdict, intestinal cancer… This morning we let him go… we had a nice evening with him yesterday, as he came to me and sat next to me on my chair at the kitchen table. This was our thing, he sat next to me at the kitchen table. He was a gently and nice red cat who sometimes could bite me gently to tell me that I should pet him. I will miss him and I know we had to let him go, but right now I am just very very sad.

So yes it is Wednesday today and I feel this week has been a month….



Sunday, November 22, 2015

November blues


In this part of the world, November is the worst month of the year. Grey skies and so little light. Of course December has even less day-light but at least the Christmas lights are out and somehow with the busy social calendar that comes with December it doesn’t feel so bad. January is the new year and also feels kind of better, but November… This year has been grey and greyer and on the plus site, slightly warmer than usual. That is until this weekend since today snow has been falling and suddenly it is cold and real winter. It is not snow that will keep, probably it will be gone by tomorrow but still. My husband is travelling today for work, so not so good either to have this weather.


But the mittens are in use, so that is good, and I am wearing the cardigan that I just finished. A nice warm cardigan with lace. Woolly (Extra fine merino by Sublime) and soft, just what is needed for a cold day like today. I didn’t change much of the pattern, made it longer as it was pretty short, but no other changes. The lace is pretty easy to remember, easy enough for a commute anyways.

I have more winter knitting lined up, a fast Cowl for S. A nice modern stranded knitted pattern Fusuma. I am subbing silky wool for the original yarn and some small gauge issues aside (row gauge is off but not the sts gauge) it is working pretty neatly. This will be a warm cowl, double “double fabric…. Let’s see if we get a cold winter after all….




Saturday, November 21, 2015

A handful



So the new set of mittens is done….This was quite fun and yes I hav written it all down. But before I bring it out in the world I do want to make another pair, of the bigger one, different wool and colours, just more experimenting with needle size and such…I am happy with them but they are slightly tight. I guess knitting with three colours did that as the cuff is a bit more relaxed. So just playing around to get it right is what is needed. I am kind of happy that I am not a cookbook writer, as I think for refining a recipe eating weeks on end small variations on a dish would make me grumpy, but two sets of mittens I can face…..

Saturday, November 7, 2015

A bit of work



I love stockinette, but every now and then one needs to set themselves a challenge. So these mittens are that for now, own design for my youngest…. I like knitting mittens, they are small and easy to transport while knitting, so normally a good project for in the bus to/from work. But these, not so much so, so not a good design in that sense at all. But they are rewarding as they proceed, quite slowly. On thing will be true, they will be warm, with basically three layers as many of the rows contain three colours and the stranding is quite dense. The colour pattern comes from 150 Scandinavian Motifs, quite a nice little stitch-pattern book. The wool is pure Shetland, 2 ply jumperweight from Jamieson & Smith. Perfect wool for this kind of thing! The colours are spring-like which just fits M very well. I have the hope to develop these in a pattern, with using different weights yarn to obtain different sized gloves, hope fully that will work out nicely as well.

In the bus I am still knitting, a bit more cumbersome to carry around, a cardigan, but an easy lace repeat and quite a bit of stockinette make up for the “bulk”.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween

Last week was Autumn vacation for the schools here, which meant that my children had the week off and as a good parent I did take them on one day to an modern art museum. The place is Louisiana some 30 km north of Copenhagen. It is easy to travel too as one takes the train from the nearest station and no changes or anything, just a 5 minutes walk on the other side. My eldest one wanted to visit it as there is an exhibition dedicated to Yayoi Kusuma ongoing right now which she wanted to see. I can really say that we all enjoyed it very much, the artist is a very interesting person and  learning more about her was worth the visit. On topic though as one of her “obsessions” nowadays is pumpkins, what better to leave an impression today of some of her works we saw…..






Have a nice Halloween Weekend!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Jean Genie



We in the middle of Autumn peak here, so Jean fits in perfectly as the trees are covered in yellow, mustard, orange and reds. These couple of weeks can be quite wonderful here, all depending whether we have rain or sun. This year has been a bit blended but on th whole quite nice. And it is also the time for putting on your woollies, so a nice pullover with nice cable work is just what the season calls for.

I spotted this sweater the moment it came out, it didn’t linger log in my queue either. I had some Holst Samarkand in a mustardy yellow that I thought would be a good fit. Now this yarn is one those that is a bit oiled for knit-machine purposes. It makes that it feels a bit more rough than it ought to do and while knitting with it, my hands get kind of moistured, which is kind of an added benefit. 

It is a rustic yarn, with nubby silk and I think it goes well with this pattern. I did not change much for this one, did an half-open collar as I thought that would suit me better. After washing the yarn became lots softer so that was good too...

So excuse my just-washed hair, and off for an Autumn walk...


Sunday, October 4, 2015




and do it….

Teens do have specific fashion needs, at least my teen does. Her taste is actually pretty good (says mum), she likes relative simple shapes, sometimes a bit towards vintage like blouses with nice rounded collars or an old-fashioned dress. Or flowing things, not body hugging things and not too big either. Japanese fashion is also a big love, but think “Mori Kei” and not “Lolita”, so all in all not so bad. She also still likes that I knit for her, sometimes things she can cosplay with (see the Watson sweaters I have knit for her)and sometimes just things take take her fancy.

In any case, Relax (and in my head, I just have to add, Don’t do it, as I am of that kind of age)  was an item I had to make for her. It is a pretty simpe knit, as simple as can be actually. Just a lot of stockinette, a bit of increases for the kind of Dolman shape and some seaming. Some yarn-overs for a little bit of an visual effect, and there on goes...

Perfect sweater for S, perfect sweater also for Madelinetosh merino light… I didn’t do any alternating of the skeins and no pooling or anything. Just reminds me that I love TML, apart from the great colours, for a singly ply it is just an amazing yarn.


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Off the wagon...



During the summer I really really wanted to start to make a good dent in my stash. This year I would like to see it shrink instead of growing. So I decided to go on a yarn-diet and knit only from stash. It shouldn’t be so difficult I thought, as I have plenty to choose from, both fibre-wise and colour-wise. However the moment i decided to do so and write about it, Quince & co decides to bring out a new cotton, Willet. And could I stand the temptation? Of course I couldn’t…. Quince make my favourite linen and their wool is very nice too. They have a good eye for colour and a nice pattern support too. The release also happened around my  birthday, so in the end I just couldn’t resist. So I bought two lots to make two cardigans. When I received the yarn, the pink I had chosen was kind of an old-fashioned colour. Somewhere between pink and apricot, nicely understated. There are no grown-up patterns yet for Willet, but this is a sport-weight yarn so plenty to choose from. Kim Hargreaves has some very nice patterns for Cotton Glace and I thought that those patterns would be a good fit for my new yarn and with very small adjustments it is!

So I choose  an “old” Kim Hargreaves pattern, Asta from the Rowan magazine 35. This is a pattern from the time that Rowan, in my honest opinion of course, was at its best. Classic patterns with a impeccable finish, good styling for the magazines and still 4-ply soft and 4-ply cotton were there main yarns…and Calmer...

Anyways knitting this cotton was very nice. Anyone who thinks that cotton is just hard on your hands, try this one, it is soft and nice. In the skein it does seem just a tiny bit fuzzy, but when knitting it, that disappears and you get some nice subtle sheen instead. The knitting seemed just slightly uneven (see picture above) but the stitches align very nice when being blocked so the result is just fine. The fuzziness might not be a good sign for wear, but somehow I don’t think it will be a problem as I had to frog the fonts several times as I couldn’t count and follow the pattern right. And even when frogs three times, the yarn didn’t really show it. 

My cardigan is done, it is warm and cozy and good for transitional days...


Now I will go back to my stash and really make that dent in it…..

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Copy that.....



 I don’t know if other knitters have this, but I do find it somehow quite difficult to buy a knitted cardigan or pullover in a shop. Not that it is difficult as such, but mainly because I tend to think, oh I could make this myself and that would be “better”. Sometime in the spring M spotted a pullover that she really really liked and I was going, oh I can make that…. Normally what happens next is that I forget about it, it just tumbles down the queue of things to make and items to explore… But M wasn’t going to let that happen, and every so many times, I got the question if I had started her sweater….Now this sweater was really quite straight forward . It was a raglan in broad white and dark-navy stripes. The white stripes were in stockinette while the blue ones were in reverse stockinette giving a texture and also a 

IMG_8261bit of colour work . The yarn seemed to be a thick & thinnish one, and a cotton most likely (I didn’t have time to study the label inside….). So I started with the yarn, I needed the colours but also that slightly thick & thin feature and after a search on Revelry I came to Zooey . It is a 60% cotton, 40% linen and really the perfect yarn for a sweater like this. It gives a slightly rustic fabric, and it is fairly light so perfect for summer wear. It does have that think and thin quality and due to the linen it has a very nice drape. It is quite nice to knit with. 

For there the rest, it was an easy design, I made a top-down raglan with some short rows to raise the back. To get a bit more stability at the top, I picked up the neck finish later on. Long sleeves and a slightly longer body complete it. all in all an easy pattern, easy to make, easy to wear and play in….

M is happy and with school very much started again, this is just the item to have for still sunny days and play time, as it is just not that super warm anymore. And it is big enough so that it can be worn at the beach in the next summer…..




Last days of summer……...

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Summer pains



I love summer, when it is warm and the crickets are going at night, just wonderful. If asked what is my favourite time of year I normally answer spring, and it is but summer is great as well. One good thing about summer is, is that it isn’t as hectic as spring so often is. So much always happens in spring (and autumn too) and one hardly has time to enjoy it. But summer with the shutdowns (our work has a shutdown of administration and our “machine”) makes that things slow down. And that is good since one gets a real rest, and even workwise you can do all those things that one never has time for during the normal terms.

But the last couple of days I have been plagued by some summer pains, mosquitos and ticks… We live in deer country so the ticks are a major problem and pain. It has been a cold year so until now there weren’t so many around, but now with the nice summery temperatures they are out and hungry… So we are on tick watch all the time. And then the mosquitos. I am covered in bites now, some swell up and I start to feel a bit “under the weather”. Ah well nothing is entirely positive (or negative…..)

However, summer is also the time for BBQs (we have been eating BBQ basically the whole week….), eating outside and waking up slightly later as there are no children that have to be at school at a specific time. So everything is easy, and so is my current knitting. Plain stockinette with some stripes in Hempathy. I am knitting Dubro for my daughter, an easy summer tee with just a bit of a Japanese esthetic feel about it. Really it is what this time of the year requires….


Sunday, August 2, 2015

Bright days!


The wait for the extra yarn was over this week, so after finishing my own cardigan I could also finish M’s this week. As I had only the sleeves left to do, it went pretty quickly. I always tend to pick up speed at the end, it needs to get worn… On the other hand, I also need to decide what to do next and that can sometimes be a struggle… Anyways, I have not much to see about this one, cotton again, a nice lace pattern for the main body, some small cables too! And just that little bit of frill to really make M happy. The only change I made was to use an I-cord bind-off instead of the rolled hem border in the original pattern. I think this makes the lace feel lighter.

I love the bright blue colour of this one, makes me happy!




Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Stripes ahoy



The first project in my “cleansing my stash & queue” effort, is a project which I had already for years planned. So much planned that they yarn sat on a shelve neatly wound up in cakes for a good number of years. I has travelled to me to 3 continents (yes I am ashamed to say that) and it didn’t cast on… Until now!  

So this feels good, and in retrospect, I really do not know why there was so much activation energy required. After all it was an easy knit, in a nice soft cotton, albeit just a teeny bit splitty (so yes that might be the reason, it required just that small amount of extra attention, maybe not the best yarn for a travel-project). It makes a good item for sping/autumn and of course North-Western European Summers (as a friend told me the other day, summer is only a state of mind this year).

Very early into the project I felt that my gauge was a bit of, but that the fabric was very nice, so I knitted the XS size to obtain a S/M, that worked out quite well. Other than that I made only small changes in the way the shaping of the arm holes and sleeve-caps were done, but really very minor adaptions. Just like I wrote, sometimes one wonders why you didn’t do something way earlier…..

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Summer resolutions



Before the holidays I thought I should make an effort to reduce my stash in the coming months.Good for finances, good for reducing the yarn laying around here and there "kind of organised" in the house and in the end, I guess also good for morale. I have a nice stash, so knitting it up shouldn’t be a problem, it is mixed as well so plenty to choose from. To really do it I made an effort to put some of the yarn in the stash pages on Ravelry and I will put some more on today. That makes it easier to browse it and to find patterns to match (preferably from my ever so fast growing queue). So all the knitting for the coming months will be mainly reducing stash projects. 

The second (the first one was actually Hélène) item made is another cotton cardigan for M. Elisabeth is the pattern, Ultra Pima fine is the yarn, in a nice cobalt blue colour. I really thought after browsing the projects that 5 skeins of the yarn should be enough for this one. After all M is skinny and I need to knit sizes smaller in width than length for a “normal 10 to 11 year old. But that was assuming that I just would knit the pattern…and that of course didn’t happen. M wanted it to be a bit longer than the pattern and that was that….I am going to run out of yarn. So I had to order another skein and then M had seen this sweater in a shop and wanted one and… and ….. So I ordered yarn for that as well (I actually really didn’t have a slightly thin-thick yarn in my stash to make that sweater and as it will be a kind of own design I thought I could make that exception…)

But I will try to be better in the future…. really no yarn ordering until the 1st of January 2016!

Other than the length I also made another border at the bottom of Elizabeth. Instead of the stockinette rolled hem I made an I-cord finish. I think it fits the lace better, I will still do the rolled stockinette for the front and neck finish.  The only problem with an I-cord is that it takes so long to make it….perseverance required….


Sunday, July 12, 2015



This will be a short post, still travelling, the last couple of days. One thing good about long train travelling is that one has plenty of time to knit a bit while looking out of the window to a changing landscape… Sometimes the landscape is too beautiful, but ever so often one can just knit a bit...

So Hélène got finished. Not to much to add about this one, except as this is a side-ways knitted lace sweater, be very careful to bind-of very loosely, otherwise the lace doesn’t block fully...

I added two more rows to the neck-finish, but other than that….. no changes at all. Knitted in my favourite linen yarn, Sparrow.


Monday, June 29, 2015

Not at home....



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….


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

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Cotton Cardigan....


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…..


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….