Sunday, January 31, 2010

Lots of random musings

Hi all! I hope you're having a great weekend! I've had a really relaxing weekend, with lots of fiber-related stuff happening. On Friday afternoon I first went to the post office to pick up my last Christmas book. I present to you: The Enchanted Sole, by Janel Laidman.

This is of course a sock book, and all the patterns are based on different fairytales and stories. I love it, and the socks are all so beautiful! I'll have to finish my Cookie A. socks soon, so I can cast on for another pair from this book :)

Then on Friday night I went to a knitting café, and although I didn't have time to stay very long, it was so nice to meet all the knitters and just chat for a while. I love having a knitting café on Fridays, it just feels like you get to wind down a bit after a whole work week.

And yesterday me, Ulrika and Lovisa went to Anna for a wine, cheese and knit-night. We had so much fun, and we ate so much cheese it was practically coming out of our ears :) And our Fairy Godmother Ulrika had brought some yarns that she was never going to use, and gave it to us other three to split. So I went home with two wonderful sock skeins:

Cherry Tree Hill Sockittome

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock

Aren't they lovely! I'm thinking I should at least be able to make a small pair of socks from the Lorna's Laces skein, and the Cherry Tree Hill skein is 100 g so that should be enough for a bigger pair. Ulrika is just the sweetest thing, she very often bring us gifts like these :) We are just so grateful!

We've had a real cold spell here for a few days, but amazingly the sun has actually shown itself for a short time every day. So yesterday I went outside and got some photos of the Aeolian shawl in natural daylight! Finally! I just love this shawl so much, and I've almost finished the fingerless gloves as well. So next week I'll get to wear the set together.

On a more boring note: I'm not all that happy with the green cardigan after all. First of all I've made the collar a bit too wide, but if this waqs the only probem I think I could have lived with it. But it's just so soft that it's sort of shape-less, so when I wear it without buttoning it, it just flops around. And I think I've added too few buttons, as there are huge gaps between them when I close it. I got a tip that you can make a single chain of crochet on the inside of the button bands, to add some strenght to it, so I think I'll try that. Otherwise I think I might have to frog it. Again. Maybe I should just work from a pattern instead ? Here it is during blocking:

I'll get back to you and tell you what I decide, ok?

And finally: Tonight I close the competition, so tomorrow I'll draw a winner and tell you about it. Very exciting!

/ Jenny

Friday, January 29, 2010

Lunch update

I just wanted to show you my recent knitting progress. I've had a lot to do at work for the past two days, as I've been working towards a deadline, so I haven't had much knitting time. But late last night I got to work a little while on my new fingerless mittens, and the first one is almost done!

It's a really fast knit, as it's such a small project, but I like them a lot! The yarn is so super soft, it almost feels like you're not wearing any mittens at all. And as I'm sort of obsessed with green, this colour suits me perfectly.

Yesterday I also took the time to set up a new Skype account (not that it was hard to do, I just haven't gotten around to it before now), as I haven't used Skype for several years. I think it was in 2006 that Thomas went to China for three months, and then we used Skype a lot, but since then I haven't really had much use for it. But yesterday I spoke to Nalamienea for over an hour! I've read her blog since this summer, and I really love it, and it was just so much fun to get to talk almost face to face! I'm really impressed with the quality of both the sound and the video. As I remember it from 2006, the video was really crappy, and the voices sounded like they were coming from inside a tin jar. I guess that both our internet connection and the Skype software has gotten a lot better since then :)

And for those of you who have missed it: I'm having a competition! Go to this post to read all about it, if you want to enter. I'm just so happy with all the comments, I've never had so many of them before. Keep 'em coming!

Oh, and speaking of competitions: The Knit Witch is having a Super Bowl competition on her blog! As I don't know anything about american football, I'm not really enetering myself, but for those of you who plan on watching anyway, this competition might be fun. And as I really enjoy her blog, I thouhgt I would plug the competition anyway, especially as the inclusion involves giving to charity for Haiti :) Go here to read more about it and enter. The prizes are really great!

Now I'm going to have lunch, and then I think I'll be heading home. I got a note from the post office yesterday saying that I have a package to pick up, and I'm really hoping it's the last of the knitting books I ordered around Christmas. I'll tell you tomorrow! And then I'm going with my sister to exercise, and after that there's a knitting café. Busy Friday!

/ Jenny

Thursday, January 28, 2010

New FO for you!

Yup, I FINALLY finished my green bolero last night! I started this one in October, and then ran out of yarn. I've been using Symfoni from Lövegarn, and it turned out that the colourway I was using was kind of hard to find (I had bought my four skeins at the Sewing festival real cheap, and couldn't find the store online). At last I found a british site, and ordered two more skeins. This was during the postal strike in Britain last fall, so it took about three weeks to arrive! And when I finally got it, I noticed that the bolero was looking a bit big. So I frogged it, and started over. And then Christmas got closer, and I found lots of other projects that were much more fun to work on. But now I've picked it up again, and yesterday I finished it!

As you can see, it turned out a cardigan instead of a bolero. I had enough yarn, and I like this longer version better. And I LOVE the buttons from KnitPick's! I think they work great with all the green. I'm really happy with this, as I haven't used any real pattern. I followed some of the directions from Tant Kofta's blog, but most of it is from my own head. I started by making a swatch, and counting st/inch. Then I measured around my neck to determine how many st to cast on, and then it was just a matter of kntting and increasing as I went. When I came down past the shoulders, I just put the st for the arms on waste yarn, and knitted the body as one piece. It turned out pretty good, if I may say so myself!

It isn't blocked yet, and the colour is very yellow-ish due to the crappy flash photo, but I'm going to block it tonight, and hopefully I can show you some daylight photos this weekend. It really sucks to be at work during all the light hours of the day, it's just impossible to get good photos! Not to mention the constant snow fall we've had for two days now, the sky is completely grey :(

I also started a new mini-project last night. Since I absolutely love the Chili Gredelin yarn that I used for my Aeolian, I absolutely didn't want to waste the 16 grams or so I have left. So I've decided to make another pair of fingerless mittens of this yarn too. So far I've done about 1 cm on the first, but I'm getting there! It should be quite a fast knit, even though I'm knitting on 2 mm needles :)

And can I tell you that I love all of you readers! It's so much fun to get so many comments, and I get so many great project ideas from all of your favourite finished objects. So much fun!

Oh, and the Adventures in Lace KAL now has an official Ravelry group! Kate set it up yesterday (I think), and we already have 35 members! This is going to be so much fun, I can't wait til February 1st! Maybe I should try to finish my Echo Flower shawl til then?

FInally I just want to say something about all the comments I've gotten on my decision to not see Avatar at the cinema (great comments, thank you so much for taking an interest!). I should have added that this little tiny town I live in (we have about 120 000 residents) only have one cinema, and it's not equipped for 3D. So even if I see Avatar there, I won't get the 3D version. Which SUCKS! So we're going to wait for it to come out on DVD. Thomas subscribes to a gamer magazine, and they had reviewed the Avatar game this month. It only got 4/10! So hopefully the movie is better!

Now I'll get back to work, I really have to finish these articles soon!

/ Jenny

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

100th post celebration!

Yes, you read right: This is my 100th post! It's taken me almost 7 months to reach this number, which I don't think is too long. And to celebrate this, we're of course going to have a competition! To enter the competition, you can go about it in three ways.

1) Write me a comment and tell me what your favourite finished object you made is, and why.
2) Become a follower to this blog (all of you who are already followers will get this entry for free :).
3) Write about this competition on your own blog, and then write in my comments, telling me that you've done so.

Those are the entry ways, and you can get three entries in total. On January 31st I will draw a random name from all of those who have entered, and the winner will be announced shortly thereafter. And now I bet you're all wondering what you can win, right? Well, I've been raving for a while now about a recent favourite sock-yarn of mine, Kunstgarn from Hjertegarn. So naturally I went out and bought a skein for you! Here it is, the grand prize:

The yarn is 75 % superwash wool/25 % nylon, and the skein is 100 g, which is 420 m. It should be enough for a reasonalby sized pair of socks, I used about half a skein to make my Ishbel shawl a while ago. I love the colouring of this yarn, and it's very nice to work with. So go ahead, bombard me with comments!

On my own knitting front, I've actually picked up the green bolero, and I'm trying to finish it soon. It's a pretty bulky yarn, and I'm working on 7 mm needles, so it's a pretty fast work. I finished the second sleeve yesterday, so now I'm working on the last stretch of the body. I decided to make it into more of a cardigan, so I added the last skein I had of this yarn too. It will probably reach my waist, or around there. I really like it so far, it's very soft and cuddly. And once I finish this one, I can cast on for something else!

On a more somber note, I guess you all know about the horrible situtation in Haiti, right? A lot of knitters around the globe have really stepped up, and are donating lots of stuff, both money and more material stuff. I chose to give money, I've donated some to Doctors without borders. And I also took the opportunity to buy some patterns that I've had my eye on for a while, where the designers are donating 50 - 100 % of the proceedings to different Haiti charities. On Ravelry, when you browse for patterns, there is now a button you can click, and then you get a full list of all the designers who are giving away their proceeds to charity. It's a great function, and it seems like it's in good use. I read on Ysolda Teague's blog that she just sent away a donation of over $6000, made from sales of her patterns. Aren't we great?!

And for those of you who want to know, these are the patterns I bought:

The Betta Loves Shetland shawlette

The Faro-Easy shawl

The Coraline cardigan (and yes, that' Ysolda herself in the photo :)

I don't really know when I'll have time to knit all of these, but in this case it doesn't really matter. It feels good to know that you actually give something to charity while purchasing what you want for yourself :)

As you might notice, I've today updated my blog lists a bit. There are a lot of blogs that I've recently discovered, but forgotten to add to my blog roll. Now I think they're all there! Some are only listed under the Lace KAL, but once that's over I'll just add all of those blogs to the other blog list.

And can you believe that we're now up to 19 participants in our little KAL?! It's going to start on February 1st, and it's going to be so much fun! If you want to join, just tell me in the comments, or you can click on the button in the right column, that takes you directly to Kate's original post about the KAL. There are practically no rules: We start on February 1st, there is no deadline, you can knit anything lace-y you want, and you must have fun :) We have a Flickr group set up too, where we can chat and exchange photos.

I've surfed around these past few days and had a closer look at all the participants, and as usual, all the knitters seem really nice. We seem to be chosing a lot of different stuff to knit too, so that should be fun. If my KnitPick's order gets here in time, I'm going to make myself a Haruni shawl of the pink Shadow yarn I orderd. If it doesn't arrive, I'm thinking of starting a Percy shawl, in my Kermit green Simone yarn from Chili Gredelin. I'll just have to wait and see :)

Haruni shawl

Percy shawl

All photos of the patterns are borrowed from Ravelry. My sister pointed out to me a while ago that all my Ravelry links are not working for all of my readers who aren't Ravelry members. I guess most of my readers ARE members, but I know that my mother and sister aren't, so these photos are for them :) I noticed when I put them up that some of them are too wide for my blog format, but it's just too much of a hassle to fix it, so I'll just leave it. You'll have to cope...

Now I'd better continue reading, I got a lot of new reading tips from my co-superviser yesterday so I have a lot to do today. I find that I have a hard time concentrating on what I read when I'm at the office, so I ususally stay home to do that. And today we have a huge snow storm, so it's extra nice to curl up in the sofa with my bathrobe and PJ's, with Hobbe in my lap. Too bad I can't just surf around the net the whole day ;)

/ Jenny

Monday, January 25, 2010

I forgot to tell you,

But last week I also got two amazing packages via the RAK in Europe group on Ravelry. The first package arrived just when I was leaving for a knitting café. It came from Stebo79 in Germany, and contained some stitch markers that she had made herself. They were made with fishing line, which I haven't seen before, and some purple pretty beads. Unfortunately, when I arrived at the knitting café and wanted to show them off, they seemed to have fallen out of my pocket, and now I can't find them! I'm so sad about this, as they were really cute, but I guess that's life :/

And this Friday I also got a package, that came from IgnorantBliss in Finland. This package also contained stitch markers that she had made herself, and these ones I've managed to keep. Aren't they lovely?

There were five of each kind, but two of the smaller, green ones are allready in use in my Echo Flower shawl. I just love this group, and I plan to send off some more packages next month.

Sometimes it really sucks to live in Sweden, so terribly far from the US where movies always premiere first. This Friday, the 29th, one of my most anticipated movies is finally coming here! I've been looking forward to Where the Wild Things Are for over a year now, and when I first saw information on it, it said that it would be showing in October 2009. Boy, were they wrong! But now it's finally coming! I love the book, and must have read it a 1000 times by now, and the trailers I've seen look very nice and well-made. I don't know if we're going to see it this coming weekend, but definitely some time next week.

Oh, and we haven't actually seen Avatar yet... Neither me nor Thomas are really happy in going to the movies, now that we have such a good TV we'd rather sit comfortable in our own living room and watch without a lot of other people to disturb us. So we've decided to wait for the DVD instead. So don't go tell me any spoilers now! There are some movies that are accepted from the view-at-home rule, that just needs to be seen on a huge screen. We've seen all of the Lord of the Rings films at the cinema, as well as all six Star Wars movies, and I've also seen all the Harry Potter films at the cinema. But what I've seen of Avatar in the trailers hasn't really impressed me (or Thomas), a lot of it looks almost like a TV-game, so we decided we don't need to see it on a big screen.

Ok, enough rambling. I have to get back to work! And just to give you a small teaser: This is my 99th post, so next time it's competition time!

/ Jenny

Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's finally done!

I didn't finish the Aeolian in time for the party on Friday, but that was ok. I also spoke too soon about the dress fitting me... The first time I tried it on, I had no brah on, and when I tried it with one on, my boobs almost fell out of the cleavage! Obviously, I've gained some weight there too... Luckily enough, Anna has the exact same dress, but in one size larger, so I went over to her an borrowed that one instead! Of course I forgot to take a photo of me in it, but it fitted much better. And I wore a black cardigan with it instead, which was lucky as the dining room we were in was very cold! It was a great party, and I had very nice dinner company seated next to me too.

But yesterday night I finally finished the shawl! I've blocked it today, and I can honestly say that this is the most beautiful project I've ever knitted! I'm so happy that I decided to make it with the very luxurious yarn, and I'll probably wear it every day from now on :)

I have some yarn left over, and I'm actually thinking of making myself some more fingerless gloves of it. We'll see what I decide. I'll also try to get some daylight photos of it soon, because I just can't seem to get a good photo of the beads, as the flash is much to bright to take that kind of close-up. I think I might have used about 1500 beads in this one...

And the KnitPicks yarn has reached Nalamienea now, so hopefully it will get here in about 2 weeks! Yay! I'm really looking forward to it, and judging by her blog, there is a lot of it :)

Today I've worked a bit on my red Echo Flower shawl, and it's really nice to not have to put in a lot of beads! It's quite a fast knit so far, although I'm still only making repeats of the first Flower Chart. But I like it a lot, and I think it will be beautiful once it's done. I'm also thinking about starting a new shawl soon, I kind of liked working on two different ones at the same time. Or maybe I should just finish up some of my WIP's, as I'm doing good time on the 10 shawls in 2010 challenge. I actually can't believe I've finished two in January! I really would like to finish the green top-down bolero that is actually almost finished, so maybe I'll work on that one for a few days.

Now I'm going to bed so I can go to work tomorrow. I'm foreseeing a lot of body pain tomorrow, as I've just been to my first workout for this year... I wonder what I'll wear, to match my new shawl? :)

/ Jenny

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I'm working furiously on the Aeolian!

I'm going to a dissertation party on Friday, one of my very best friends is defending her thesis on Friday morning, and having a huge dinner party in the evening. I've been searching my head for what to wear, and this morning before work I tried on some dresses that were hanging in my wardrobe. As I might have told you (several times...) I've gained a lot of weight this past year, and much of my wardrobe doesn't fit me any longer. But I actually found a dress that I think will work! It's black satin, knee-lenght, with multi-coloured butterflies on it, and I haven't worn it since New Year's 2006/2007! It's beautiful, and I'll get some photos of me wearing it on Friday, when I'm all dressed up and made up :) Anyway, I would really love to wear one of my shawls that night, and the Aeolian would look great with it! So I'm really speed-knitting right now, and I'm about half-way through the edging. The last 20 rows or so have gone pretty quick, because they're bead-less, but now I'm coming into some heavy beading soon. And then it will probably go a lot slower. But maybe I'll get it done by Thursday, and then it can be blocked over-night :)

Otherwise I'm not doing much else. There's a lot going on at work, so I have lots to do there, but that will probably be better next week. And I've started to think about what to write for my 100th post! This is the 97th, so it's getting closer and closer. Of course there will be a competiton, and I've started to think about prizes too. I promise it will be something fun and yarn-y!

Now I'll better knit on, so I can finish all ready!

/ Jenny

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mail call!

I've gotten two packages in the mail this week! None of them were surprises, as I had ordered them myself, but it's fun none the less. The first one came from Panduro, a Hobby and Crafts shop here in Sweden. I ordered some needle threaders, as I always seem to break mine and I have a lot of beads left on the Aeolian, so they arrived. Unfortunately, Panduro's policy is that you have to order for more than €20 for them to ship, so I added a lot of beads to the order as well.

White, mother-of-pearl beads (fake, of course, I'm not made of money):

Pink beads and more pink beads:

Orange/amber beads:

Black beads:

Green beads:

Now I can put beads on all my projects! Not that I want to, but I could if I wanted to :) The only problem is that they are a bit small, but I think I can work around that.

The next package was a new one from Chili Gredelin! This past Wednesday she celebrated the day of single-coloured yarns in her store, and I couldn't resist! I bought one skein of brown Madame (55 % silk/45 % cashmere), the colourway is called Hazelnut:

And two skeins of Simone (70 % baby alpaca/30 % silk) in colourway Kermit (you see why!):

I just love her yarns, if I could afford it I would only use yarn from her store. Unfortunately, I can't, and as I splurged and bought these, I've decided to skip the sewing festival in February. The festival will take place this fall again, in Borås where my parents live, and I'll just go then instead. I still don't know if I have any job after March, so I think I should start saving money :) Well, we are saving, a lot, for a planned trip to Japan in a year or so, but it would feel a bit sad to start using those money for everyday life stuff. And let's face it: I really don't need any more yarn!

And let's all head over to Kate's blog and oooh and aaah over her wedding dress photos! She's getting married, and she's chosen to share her wedding planning with us (which I love, it takes me back to my wedding 2.5 years ago!). I wish I could fit in my wedding dress today, but thanks to the anti-depressants I've gained about 10 kg since last spring, so there's no chance of that happening any time soon :) But if you want to see the dress, and a lot of other photos, you can see them on the Flickr page my brother-in-law set up!

Yesterday Thomas went on a day-trip with his work, which meant that I had the apartment all to myself for the whole day. I spent it all just knitting and surfing, and I watched some movies as well. It was exactly what I needed, and Hobbe was super cuddly and lay with me the whole day.

Thomas came home in the evening, and we had a nice Saturday night just hanging out in front of the TV. Today it's cleaning time, and I'm right now doing the laundry, while Thomas is cleaning the kitchen. Hopefully we'll be done by tonight, so we can watch some TV and eat some nice cheese that Thomas got from his work for the Holidays. Yum!

/ Jenny

Friday, January 15, 2010

Soon I get to go to a knitting café!

But first I thought I would share a small update with you: I'm now on Flickr! I know that my brother-in-law set up a Flickr account so that all our wedding guests could view some of our photos, but I've never used it personally before. But Kate set up a Flickr group for the Adventures in Lace KAL, so of course I had to join! I only have the cheapo-version, so I can't upload very many photos each month, but I've selected a few goodies to start with. I think all of them have been shown here on the blog as well, but if you want to see them all in one go, feel free to have a look around!

This morning I went to listen to a dissertation that a study-budy from my time at the university was having. She was so calm and very good, and I think she could answer almost everything that the opponent threw at her. It was a very good dissertation, plus I got to knit for 2.5 hours! So now I've made 5 repeats of the first chart on the Echo FLower shawl, and can I tell you I LOVE this pattern! I think I told you yesterday, but it bears repeating. If you haven't seen this one, go have a look and knit it for yourself!

And in an hour, I get to go into town to meet up with all the other knitters! It's just so much fun to have a knitting group, and I've really made some new friends there (especially Anna, but Lovisa is getting closer and closer too...:) It's such a relaxed and mixed group, you really get all kinds of people in a group like that. The only thing all of us have in common is the love of fiber :)

/ Jenny

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Update from work

I'm having a slow day at work, so I thought I would cheer myself up by posting here a bit instead :) Thank you all for posting such nice comments about my shawl (and about me, tihi!), you really made me blush!

There have been some changes to the blog the past few days! If you look at the right column, you can see that I've added some things. I decided to add lists of my finished objects for 2009 and 2010, and I've also added a progress meter for my current works in progress! I saw that Nalamienea had these progress bars on her blog, and I just had to add them. They are taken from Ravelry, and that is also where I update the status. From now on I have to be careful so I don't post any projects on Ravelry that are going to be gifts!

I've also added a new lace button, the tag for the Adventures In Lace KAL! This was started by Kate from LazyKateCreates, and we're already up to ten participants. To see who is participating, just click on my button, and it will take you to Kate's blog post about the KAL. We're all going to be knitting different lace projects, and we'll probably start some time in February. No rules, no deadlines, just fun! Feel free to join in, just post in my comments (or Kate's), and we'll add you to our list! Maybe we should get a FlickR account to how off all our lace work once it's finished? What do you think, Kate?

Yesterday was another knitting café, at Garnverket, and it is just so much fun to see everyone again after the holidays. I brought my Echo Flower shawl to work on, and I'm making progress! I've done 3 repeats of the flower chart (there will be 13 in total), and begun on my fourth.

This shawl is so much fun to knit, it has some stitches that I've never made before! You knit two together through the back loop, and without dropping the two stitches from the left needle, you make a yarn over, and knit once again into the same stichtes. Repeat this until you have 9 new stitches on the right needle, then drop the two stitches from the left needle. Tadaa! Two into Nine! There is also three into nine, which is worked in a similar way, and the nine stitches spread out like a feather fan. It just gets so beautiful! I can't wait to finish it, so I can block it and see the finished result! And the KnitPicks Shadow yarn is great to work with too, I'm really happy that I have ordered some more of this!

I'm also making some progress on the Aeolian shawl. I've knit 4 repeats of the Yucca chart, one transition chart, and two Agave charts . I've just started on the final Agave chart, so I'll soon get to the edge part. I LOVE this pattern, and the combination with this yarn is perfect!

Oh, and finally I want to plug a new blog that I found via Kate's blog! It's called ImplausibleYarn, and is written by a girl named Heather in Maine. She just started blogging, but so far I really like it, so go check it out!

Ok, now I have to get back to work, so I can go home and knit allready!

/ Jenny

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Echo Flower cast on

Hello everybody, and happy Tuesday to all of you :) I've had a very productive day at work, so I'm feeling somewhat pleased with myself today. It felt really good to go home a bit early and know that I've gotten a lot done! So now I get to knit for the rest of the day, yay! Well. I'll probably go with my sister to the furniture store, she's buying a new sofa and she wanted my input. But other than that, I'll just knit!

My sister helped me out a little while ago by photographing me ouside. It was snowing, but the photos were ok at least. So here's me, wearing my new kit with half-mitts and shawl. I think I'll call this my September kit, he he!

Imagine how much Hobbe likes that hair-do :) I call it my Britney Spears look, as it reminds me of the pony-tails she wore in the One More Time video. I haven't worn my hair this way for a LOOONG while, I think the last time might have been when Thomas turned 25 and got to decide what I should wear for the day (don't worry, he chose nothing kinky :). And he's turning 30 in a month... But I tink I like it, even if it makes me look a bit young. I think I'm finally getting to be that age when I don't mind looking a bit younger ;)

And late last night I cast on for my next shawl for the 10 shawls in 2010 challenge. I finally decided to follow my list, and cast on for the Echo Flower shawl. This pattern is gorgeous, and I'm making it from my KnitPicks Shadow Kettle Dyed, in colourway Wine. I've only gotten about 5 cm, but I'm already liking this yarn a lot. I'm so happy that our new KnitPicks order is under way! I'm thinking of adding some red beads to the final edging when I get there, but I'll decide that when I actually get there.

I really enjoyed making the half-mitts, so I think I'll cast on for some more gloves this weekend. I'll wait until my KnitPicks order gets here to cast on for some of the selbu mittens and gloves, as I want to use the Palette yarn for those. I was really pleased with that yarn when I made the Moose mittens for my grandfather, so I'm planning on making more of that kind of mittens from that yarn. I ordered A LOT of it too, you'll see when it gets here :) However, I did buy some beautiful glove patterns right before Christmas, so I'll probably start by making a pair from those. I'll probably start with the Lady Sunshine gloves, and I'll probably use some of my Drops Delight yarn for them. As usual, I'll probably decide this weekend, and I promise to tell you all about it when I do.

Now I think it's time for some actual knitting!

/ Jenny

Monday, January 11, 2010

Super-fast project!

I finished my half-mitts today, they were really a super-fast knit! I cast on yesterday afternoon, and finished the first one before I went to bed. I cast on for the second one when I got off work today, and finished it about an hour ago (it's 22.00 now). They are just stockinette tubes with a thumb gusset and ribbing at both ends. I also added the scalloped edging that I used on the September shawl at the wrist end of the mitts, so they completely match the shawl now.

I think they're pretty cute, and they work perfectly. I've tried computering with them on, which was very nice as I'm always cold about my hands when I sit at the computer. And I tried knitting with them on, and that also works fine, although I have to admit it got a bit warm :)

I haven't gotten around to taking photos of me wearing the whole set, but here is a better photo of the shawl, after it had finished blocking. I like it a lot!

Other than that, nothing much has happend since yesterday, I just wanted to show you the mitts!

/ Jenny

Sunday, January 10, 2010

First shawl - check!

Yes, it's true! I'm done witht he first of my 10 shawls in 2010. Anna was here the whole day, and just before dinner I finished it. It's blocking now, and hopefully it will be dry tomorrow so I can wear it to work.

Jenny's September Shawl

I LOVE it, the yarn was a dream to work with. It looks very dark in the photo because it's wet, but the colours really pop. I'll try to get a better photo of me wearing it tomorrow! I used exactly 78 g (thank you, new kitchen scales!) and I decided to knit some super-fast, stockinette half-mittens with the rest of it. I'm almost done with the first one, but it's so dark here right now that it's hard to get a decent photo of it. I'll try to show them to you tomorrow too.

I went to my first knitting café this year this Friday, and it was SO much FUN! I've missed it during the holidays, and I could tell I wasn't the only one. There were a lot of us, and we were all very excited to be there. I knit a lot on the September shawl there, and I have to say that the pattern is great. It's both written and charted directions, for those of you who don't like either one (I'm a chart girl myself, I don't think I could follow the written instructions without loosing my place), and it's easy at the same time as it's beautiful. I'm super-pleased that I bought this pattern!

And this past Thursday one of my books arrived in the mail as well! I got my copy of Selbuvotter, by Terry Shea. This book is so cool, with lots and lots of gloves and mittens. Can you tell that I love these Norse designs?! Once my KnitPick's order arrives I'll get cracking on some mittens and gloves!

And as I mentioned, Anna has been here practically the whole day today. We've knitted and chatted a lot, and we watched Amelie from Montmartre, which I hadn't seen before. It was a super cute movie, although it was a bit challenging to knit while I was watching, as I had to read the subtitles the whole time. I don't know any french, so I could hardly take my eyes off the TV screen even for a second! But I worked on the stockinette half-mitts, and they're not very demanding, concentration-wise. It's always fun to hang out with Anna, we always have so much fun. She had gotten some KoolAid in a swap a while ago, so we'e now planning some more yarn-dyeing.

This past Thursday I also went with my sister to one of the local yarn stores (LYS) in town, to buy yarn for a hat she had planned to knit. And I didn't buy any yarn! Yay me! I did manage to pcik up some new pins though, for blocking, but I actually needed those. Of course I couldn't resist when the pins were extra lovely either, one box is filled with metallic-coloured ones, and the other one is filled with white pearl-coloured, tear-shaped ones. They are currently working hard in keeping the September shawl in place :)

And of course I haven't found the time to look at the spinning wheel this weekend! Yesterday me and Thomas went grocery-shopping, and we also went around a lot of other stores picking up different supplies. I bought some plastic zip-lock bags to keep my yarn in, and I've now sealed all of it away in about 50 bags, I think... I keep the small bags in my big, patterned, plastic ones I bought a while ago. But this took up a lot of my day, and then we had to cook and clean a bit too, so then Saturday was gone. And today has been a real knitting day, which was just what I needed, but alas - no spinning. Maybe next weekend?

Now that I'm done with the September shawl I need to cast on for something else. I think I've decided on the Echo Flower shawl, and I'm going to make it in the lovely KnitPicks Shadow Kettle Dyed, in colourway Wine. It's hard to choose from the queue though, as I have SO many gorgeous patterns lined up! But right now, I thin I'll choose from the ones I've paired up with a yarn. I'm trying to knit from my stash as much as I can (and I'm betting Nalamienea is killing herself laughing right now - she's seen the order I've placed at KnitPicks...), and I really need to get going on my sock yarn stash soon! There are just too many lovely sock patterns out there!

And finally: I think this is my ninety-first post, which means I'll soon be up to a hundred. And then it will be competition time! There will of course be some scrumptious fiber prizes, so stay tuned!

/ Jenny

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Books galore!

Yes, there will be another post today! I just got the books I ordered right before Christmas, and I just have to share. I LOVE books, and opening this package was ike Christmas all over again. I'll start with the knitting-related books! First of all, I got this:

A Gathering of Lace, by Meg Swansen

I can't believe that I didn't own this one until now, it's just gorgeous. So many gorgeous patterns, and a lot of info as well. I'll take this one to bed tonight :)

The second knitting book I got was this one:

The Mermaid Shawl and other Beauties - Shaws, Cocoons and Waps, By Kathleen Valentine

This one contains a lot of beautiful patterns, but is also very good if you want to learn how to design your own lace patterns. I'll probably make a lot of these shawls too, but possibly not this year :)

I also got three books on spinning, as I couldn't decide which one to choose:

Start Spinning - Everything You Need to Know to Make Great Yarn, by Maggie Casey

Spin to Knit - The Knitter's Guide to Making Yarn, by Shannon Okey

Respect the Spindle - Spin Infinite Yarns with One Amazing Tool, by Abby Franquemont

Now I have no excuses anymore, so this weekend wil probably be dedicated to spinning. I'll have to get the wheel going, but once I read a bit in these books I think I'll be all right.

I also got me some fiction, as I can't seem to get enough of these books either. I ordered six books by Anne Rice:

Blackwood Farm, Blood and Gold, and Blood Canticle.

Lasher, Taltos, and Witching Hour

Anne Rice is one of my guilty pleasures. The books are very emo, and a lot of it is sort of disguised Harlequin-like pr0n, but somehow I don't care. I love the Vampire books, and as I haven't read the last three I figured I would buy them. The ones in the bottom photo is the Mayfair witches trilogy, which I haven't read either. I'll let you know what I think of them when I've read them, if you're interested.

Finally I bought four books that I have read, but I decided I wanted to own them. It's the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. This is Fantasy when it's at its best, very much politics and intrigues around the throne in this world. The next part is coming out soon, if it hasn't already, but I'm waiting for it to come out in paperback before I buy it. At least now I have a lot of other books to read while I wait.

I also bought my very first audio book, Road Rage by Joe Hill, Stephen King and Richard Matheson. This is actually two short stories, and I'll listen to them while I knit. I really shoud try this more often, as I often find myself wanting to both knit and read :)

I still have three packages that I'm waiting for, but two are coming from the States, and one is recently ordered, so I think it might take a while. I'll tell you about those when they get here, so you have something to look forward to!

Now I'll do some reading before I go to bed!

/ Jenny