Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lots of good mail

There has been so much going on here lately that I completely forgot to post! First of all, I don't think I told you, but a while ago me and Thomas decided that we wanted to start looking at houses to buy. We have been renting a semi-detached house for a while, but we've figured that we are probably rooted enough here in Linköping and its vicinity, to actually buy a house. And we've found one! At least, we've found one we want, now it's just a question of money. We've put in one offer that has been declined, so right now we're more or less thinking about how much we will be able to pay, where our limit will be. I'll let you know how it goes, but it's very exciting!

I've also gotten some stuff in the mail that I really want to tell you guys about. First, I got my small package from Eat.Sleep.Knit, about a week ago I think. I bought four skeins of yarn, which was very moderate of me, don't you think? The first one is MacKintosh Yarns Celtic Sock yarn, in colourway Black Plum:

It's 366 m/100 g, 90 % wool/10 % nylon, so perfect sock yarn. I really adore this colour, it's very pretty, and the yarn is nice too :)

The second, and third, skeins that I got were Shibui Knits Sock yarn, in colourway Periwinkle:

It's 175 m/50 g, 100 % Merino, and oh so soft! I have two of these skeins before, in colourway Honey, and I adore them. I think a pair of these might move high up in the sock queue soon, as I really want to break into them!

The last skein I got was a skein of The Sanguine Gryffon Bugga! yarn in colourway Oleander Nymph:

It's 377 m/113g, so it's listed as sport, but I think it will do perfectly for socks. It's 70 % Superwash Merino/20 % Cashmere/10 % Nylon, and it's also incredibly soft and squishy. I've wanted to try this yarn for a long time, but it's pretty expensive with over $30 for one skein. But now I finally decided to splurge this time, and ordered myself a skein. I'll let you know how I feel about it once I knit it up.

I also got two pairs of tips for my interchangable needles set from KnitPicks. Actually, the tips I got this time weren't from KnitPicks, but rather Knitter's Pride Cubics needles. But they fit on the same cables, so I just got the tips. They are wooden needles, but they are cubic in shape, and I actually find them pretty comfortable. But I think I prefer the regular ones though, so I'll probably not get any more of these.

I also got a scratch ticket from the Eat.Sleep.Knit shop, I think they send one out with every order, and you can win skeins of yarn or store discounts, things like that. I actually managed to win one skein of Malabrigo yarn! Yay! I haven't decided yet if I want a skein of lace yarn or sock yarn (although the store is having trouble with supply of the sock yarn, so there are about three colourways available right now), but I guess I don't have to send the ticket in right away anyway.

Then on Thursday last week I think, I got my package from the Sarahkincheloe etsy shop. I got three needle organizers! The first one is for my fixed circulars, as they have just been lying in their original packages from KnitPicks, in my very boring, plastic bag before:

Here is their new home:

Isn't it pretty?! It's very well made as well, and takes up a lot less space. I also got an orgaizer for all of my accessories, like my scissors, my measuring tape, my cable needles and stuff like that:

All of that stuff was also located in the plastic bag before, but as that bag was so bulky it was difficult to lug it around with every project I was working on. Most often my notions just ended up lying loose in the project bag I was using, this is so much better!

Finally, I got a smaller notions pouch to keep the smaller stuff in, like stitch markers, buttons, needle and thread, and stuff like that:

Don't you love how they all match! And I am so pleased that I can finally throw out the ugly plastic bag, now every needle in my stash has a pretty home! I have a green needle roll for my small sock dpn's, I have a striped and flower-patterned needle roll that my sister sewed for my larger dpn's, I have a small needle roll with faces on (that my sister also made for me)  for my wooden interchangeable needle tips, and my KnitPicks Spectra acrylic needle tips are currently residing in a very cute pencil case. I think my needles are spoiled...

Oh, did you want to read about actual knitting? Well, there hasn't been to much of that happening around here lately, I've just been so tired these past few days! I did manage to put the sleeves on hold on my Silken Scabbard sweater on Saturday, and then tried it on. I found out that the collar was WAY too wide for me, even though I followed the pattern and the rest of the sweater fit me. I don't know how anybody could wear it without drastic changes, so I decided to do the wide collar option instead. So I frogged the whole thing. I'm getting really good at frogging! I've only finished the collar so far, but I'll try it on soon to see if it looks better this way! Apparently a lot of people seem to have the ribbed collar look wonky, so maybe I should have checked Ravelry first...

Other than that I have no new knitting to show you. I'm passed the heel on the Ookuru socks, but I haven't gotten a new photo of those so I think you'll have to wait until it's done. But today at work the woman I'm working with in Ödeshög, Barbro, had brought her finished sweater for me to look at. She is also a spinner, so she's knitted this Drops pattern in her own handspun merino wool, and it is soooo soft!

Isn't it pretty?! It's a little bit felted, as it turned out a little bit too big for Barbro's Daughter-in-law, but now it fits her perfectly. I really love this sweater, and Barbro was just happy to get to show it off on my blog! Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you: The blanket that the sweater is resting on is a 100 % pure rabbit fiber felted blanket that Barbro also made. Gorgeous!

Ok, now I'll get back to my new Stephen King novel (it's called 11.22.63 and is about the JFK murder). That book is also a reason why you haven't heard from me for a while, and it might continue like that until I finish it...

/ Jenny

Sunday, November 13, 2011

2.5 FO's

Yep, that's right. My needles have been on fire lately! On Monday I finished the Romy beret that I started last Friday, it was such a quick knit. 144 m of DK yarn and I' very happy with it.

It's made with KnitPicks Capra yarn (merino/cashmere), the same that I used for the Baby Cables dress, and it is incredibly soft and cozy. I'm very happy with it, and as you can see in the photo it matches the Evenstar shawl perfectly (that was made with Wollmeise lace yarn in colourway Sabrina, by the way). The temperatures have started to get lower this week, with below zero nights at least, so it's good to have a warm hat!

Then on Wednesday I finished the Lothlorien socks, from the Enchanted Sole book:

They were made with Malabrigo sock yarn, colourway Lettuce, and I couldn't be more happy with them! The yarn is incredibly soft and the colour is amazing! I'm very glad I bought myself a replacement skein of the Violeta Africana colourway that I gave away to Virginia the other week (the yarn is on its way, by the way!).

And speaking of the give-away yarn: as most of you voted for dyeing the socks, this past Sunday I gave it a shot. I had a lot of KoolAid powder in the Cherry colour, which is bright red, so that's what I chose. I dissolved two packages in a pot with enough water and vinegar to cover the socks, then heated it and dropped the socks in. I let them almost simmer for a while, until all the colour had disappeared from the water, then let the whole thing cool until I could touch the socks without burning my hands. The socks got VERY red:

There is still a difference between the socks, as I suspected there would be. It's not strange, considering that they were different when I put them in the pot, but I think the difference is at least less noticable now, so I'm happy I tried this. I still have my Kai-Mei socks in the original colourway, so I'm happy!

So, that was my 2.5 FO's (as the socks have actually been done for a while before I dyed them). I decided on Friday to cast on for some more socks, as I can't seem to go many days without having a pair on the needles. I chose to start the Ookuru socks, in Marias Garn handpainted sock yarn (75 % superwash wool/25 % bamboo). I've already knitted a pair of socks in this yarn as well, and like them fine even though the yarn is bleeding incredibly when wet, so I wanted to finish it off. As I want to use up all of the yarn, I decided to make the socks toe-up instead of cuff-down as the pattern states, and I'm guessing they will be about knee-high as I have 130 g of yarn left. So far they are pooling A LOT!

But I still like them, I'm just hoping that the other sock will look roughly the same. 

Other than that, this weekend has been spent cleaning and relaxing, which was sorely needed! Today we went out to the cabin to have a look around, but had to turn around as we realized when we parked that we had left the cabin key at home in the apartment...

I hope I'll get back some time next week when my yarn gets here!


Saturday, November 05, 2011

I feel so lazy!

My stomach has been acting up a lot this week, so I have been home lounging about and feeling a bit sorry for myself. I haven't really been doing too much knitting, as I've been so tired, but I have re-organized my queue and my favourites on Ravelry :) But I have actually managed some knitting at least.

I'll start with the Baby Cables and Big Ones Too sweater/dress. It was finished a while ago, and I wore it for the first time last weekend, when my sister had her birthday party. I'm very pleased with it!

I haven't got any make-up at all in the photo, so excuse the somewhat shiny face. Just look at the dress instead! It's made with KnitPicks Capra yarn, in merino/cashmere dk weight. I love this yarn! It is so soft, and it really shows off the cable pattern. I have two skeins left, and I decided I didn't want to waste them, so yesterday evening I cast on for a new hat, the Romy Beret:

I have just started the cable pattern today, so it's not much to look at yet, but as it's just a hat in dk weight, it is really flying off the needles. It shouldn't take long to finish! So far, we've had a pretty warm autumn with temperatures around 10 centigrades, but last year the snow arrived in the middle of November and stayed until March at least, so we might be in for a nasty cold surprise next week if we're unlucky. Then it will be nice to have a new, warm hat!

I've also knitted a lot on the Lothlorien socks, in the Malabrigio yarn. I've finished the first sock, but I discovered today when I tried it on that I have bound off a bit too tightly, so I think I'll redo the cast off. The second sock is well past the heel, so I guess I don't have far to go on this one either. It might get finished this coming week as well!

And as I finished the Cable dress, I wanted to start a new sweater project, and this time I chose the Silken Scabbard pattern. I'm knitting it in Rowan RYC Silk Wool, which is a discontinued dk yarn with 50 % merino/50 % silk, and I know it is another cabled sweater... I just love this pattern too! I'm almost ready to divide for the sleeves.

The yarn is very lovely to work with, and the stitch definition is awesome! The sweater seems to eat yarn however, as I've already used up four whole skeins! This made me worry that I might not have enough, as I want the sweater to be pretty long, so I searched around on Ravelry and found a woman in England who had four more skeins for trade or sale. Yes! I bought them very swiftly, and the shipping took no more than two days! So now I have 16 skeins in total (minus the four I've already used), and if that's not enough I'll just have to make it a bit shorter.

I also got some yarn in the mail this week, that I won in a raffle in the European RAK group on Ravelry! Handywoman from Greece gave away three hand-dyed skeins of sock yarn, and I won one. I LOVE it, it is just so bright and happy!

It's 75 % superwash wool/25 % polyamid, 420 m/100 g, so well enough for a pair of socks. I think I might knit some colourwork with it, together with some black yarn, to mute it down a bit. I'll let you know what I decide!

And I don't think I told you about the iPad stand I bought from Etsy a while ago, did I? It's hand made by the store Comfy iPad Creations, and basically it's a cushion with velcro, but it's exactly what I wanted. And, it's pink! The shipping is free everywhere, which is amazing, and it arrived in a week or so. I'm using it practically every day!

Oh, and I have something awesome to tell you! A while ago, a telemarketer called me to ask me some questions about people who had gotten money from Trygghetsstiftelsen. Trygghetsstiftelsen is a foundation that is made to make life easier for unemployed researchers that used to work at a university. It is very hard to find a job here in Sweden if you've got your PhD, and what Trygghetsstiftelsen does is that if you get a new job with less pay than at the university (like I did), they give you the pay difference as a stipend for two years after you leave the university. Awesome, right? Anyway, when this telemarketer woman called me, I realized that I never sent in my papers! When I left my previous job, I was just so completely miserable, my stomach was sooo crappy, and I completely forgot. So I sent them in a couple of weeks ago, meaning that I got all of that money retroactively! Yay! Since we bought the new car this summer, we haven't really had any saved money or any real buffer, and it feels so good to be able to put all of that money into the savings account.

Well, not all of the money. I get to have some fun too, right? I splurged on myself yesterday, and made a new, small order at Eat.Sleep.Knit. So now, some new yarn is on the way! I'll tell you more about that once it arrives, which should be in little more than a week or so. 

I also bought a circular needle holder from Etsy today, from the shop sarahkincheloe, which i also guess will arrive in a week or two. I have great holders for my interchangeables, and for all my dpn's, but no good one for the fixed circulars. So I figured it was about time. I'll show that one once it arrives too.

Ok, now you know what I've been up to these past two weeks. Tomorrow we are going to Borås for the day, to visit Thomas' grandparents who celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary this weekend. 

See you next weekend!

/ Jenny