Saturday, December 28, 2013

A late Merry Christmas!

I hope you've all had a really lovely and relaxing week! We went to visit our parents on Sunday last week, and came back to Mantorp yesterday evening, so we've been gone for almost a week. It's been a really good Christmas for both of us, I've spent a lot of time with my family just hanging out and knitting a lot, and Thomas got to see his family a lot and spend lots of time with his brothers too. We got a lot of cute and functional baby stuff for Christmas gifts, which I won't show off here, and had lots of lovely food. Everyone was so pleased to see us this year too, especially me and my growing stomach!

Since the last time I wrote I've done a lot of knitting too. On the weekend of the first of Advent, Thomas helped his brother move, so I had the whole Saturday to put up the Christmas decoration and knit. I finished the Show-off Stranded socks in Friday Studios Monday base yarn (colourway Girl on Fire) in just about a week, which I'm very proud of!

These makes number eleven this year in the Stripey KAL that the Stockinette Zombies are hosting, and almost immediately I cast on for the last pair. I was actually thinking of using this yarn for a baby hat, but I decided that it wasn't quite soft enough for that so it got to become another pair of socks for me. This is the Georgia on My Mind socks, and I made them with Austermann Step sock yarn (75 % superwash wool/25 % nylon, 421 m/100 g), in the colourway 220.

I really, really like these socks! I think the yarn is a really good work horse yarn, and it has some Aloe Vera in it that makes your feet feel soft and pampered when you wear them. I made these socks really fast too, just under a week. and they completed the twelve pairs of striped socks this year! Yay!

Those are the projects that I finished, and I also chose to put one in hibernation on Ravelry. I was intending to make three Pikmin toys, but I decided to hold off on the second and third. I made the yellow one a while ago, and it is super cute, but I just don't enjoy crochet! It's very fiddly for me, and makes my hands hurt, so I'm going to wait. I do want the finished objects some day, just not right now.

And this means that I've only got two projects on the needles right now. I've actually been working a lot on my Mandala II shawl, and I'm a third through the last chart before the edging. I used up the first whole skein and switched to the second a while ago, but I think there should be enough. I really hope so!

I'm quite enjoying the lace knitting, it's just that each row is a little bit over 1100 stitches and takes me almost an hour. And there are no rest rows either, there is patterning on every row. I won't finish it this year, but hopefully in January.

I've also knit a lot on the Gnarled Oak cardigan, and that one is almost finished. I've knit and attached both sleeves, and I'm almost done with the leaf motives on the yoke. Then it's just button bands and collar bands left, which should go pretty quickly. The photo is taken just before I attached the sleeves, but I just couldn't be bothered with taking a new one today in the dreary dark weather (we've had the warmest Christmas in Sweden for fifty years, with more rain than has been measured since the country started keeping records...).

I'm enjoying this one very much, and since it's DK weight (I'm making it in Wollmeise DK, colourway Pesto) it's going really fast. I also ordered button off of Etsy a couple of weeks ago, from a store called Wooden Artist:

I'm so pleased with these! They are made from two different types of wood (Kozika to the left and Acacia to the right), and oiled, and they will fit this cardigan perfectly. I just haven't decided which set I'm going to use yet, I'll show them to you with the cardigan next time. I noticed after I got them that the one that is in the pattern on Ravelry also has wooden buttons, and it looks great.

I got my last shipments in both yarn clubs I'm in these past weeks too. First I got the December shipment in the Cookie A sock club, which was an absolutely gorgeous skein from Tanis Fiber Arts:

This is Purple Label Cashmere Sock yarn (70 % merino/20 % cashmere/10 % nylon, 366 m/115 g), in the colourway Julep. I've actually already skeined this one up, and it is becoming a baby hat. It is incredibly soft, and I really like the colour too.

Then I got the last shipment in the 7 Degrees of Kevin Bacon sock club too, which is a skein of the Knitting Goddess sock yarn in the colourway Everglot (which is from the movie Corpse Bride). It is a really pretty shade of silver grey, and I'm happy with this one too. I've been happy with almost all of the colours in this club, but I'm not going to join in for another round (I don't remember what the theme was next year, but it was something else). We're just not splurging on stuff like that next year, what with the baby coming.

Ok, I think that was it with the knitting. I was really hoping to get everything off the needles for the start of the new year, but I'm just not going to be able to finish the shawl. I think I'll finish the cardigan though, so I'll just have to be content with one thing on the needles. And once January comes along I'll start a new pair of socks (I haven't decided which pattern yet, but it will be something semisolid and cabled) and a baby hat. And probably a baby cardigan too. It's only a little more than two months until it's due to arrive so I better get a move on!

I'll not get back to you before New Year's Eve, so I'll talk to you again next year!

/ Jenny

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Two FO's to show off!

I've finally started knitting again, I think I've started to feel a little bit better so I don't get motion sickness when I knit! I've also been feeling a little bit more energized, so we've done some stuff these past couple of weekends (I'm still too tired after work during the week). On the 8th of November one of our best friends had his dissertation (which we didn't go to, as it was during our working hours), followed by a big dissertation party. It was so much fun, and we got to see some of our friends that we haven't seen for a very long time. I think we were home by midnight, so we didn't stay for all of it, but I'm just glad that I can do stuff like that at all again.

Then the following weekend I went to Västervik (a tiny town on the east coast of Sweden, about two hours' drive from Mantorp where we live), to visit my sister in her new apartment. She moved away from Linköping this summer, at the beginning of August, but I've just been feeling too crappy to go there until now. We mostly hung out and played Super Mario Galaxy on the Wii (we've been playing it forever, but it's still fun), and it was very nice. I had also gotten her a small ice cream maker for her birthday, so we made raspberry yoghurt ice cream on Sunday before I left. Yummy!

This weekend has been spent mostly cleaning the house and hanging out with Thomas, and we also watched the 50th anniversary Doctor Who episode. It was SO GOOD! I already love John Hurt, and it was so much fun to see David Tennant as the doctor again. It's a shame we have to wait until Christmas for more episodes! Of course I know that Tennant won't be there then, but he's still my favourite. We've actually started watching all the new seasons again (beginning with Christopher Eccleston), just because it's such a good show.

Ok, on with the knitting! A couple of weeks ago, about a week after I wrote last I think, I finished my Parcel sweater!

It's made with Drops Lima yarn (65 % wool/35 % alpaca), which is super warm, and I really like it. You won't get to see it modelled though, as it is already too small! I really hope I can get back to my starting weight after the baby is born, so I can wear it!

This past week I also finally finished my Hermione's Everyday socks that I made with Fibernymph Dye Works Bounce yarn (75 % superwash wool/25 % nylon), in the colourway Rainbow Riot:

I am very pleased with them, and I wore them to work on Thursday. The yarn was really nice to work with, and as of last week I have one more skein in my stash. On Monday, I think it was, I got a skein in the Tardis colourway that I managed to snag in an update several weeks ago (it was a pre-order buy):

This yarn is so much fun, and Lisa is such a talented dyer. As we are trying to save up some money, I don't buy much yarn at all right now, but this skein had to be mine when I actually managed to catch the update. I almost used it yesterday to cast on for a new pair of socks, but I changed my mind and chose a skein of Friday Studios Monday yarn instead, that I got in the Hunger Games yarn club this spring.

I think I might have told you last time, but the Hermione's Everyday socks were actually my October pair for the Stockinette Zombies Striped socks KAL, so I was feeling a little bit behind. So yesterday I decided I wanted to start a new pair, so that I'll have time to finish all twelve pairs this year. I skeined up the Friday Studios yarn, in the colourway Girl on Fire, and started the Show-off Stranded socks. And today I'm already half-way through the foot!

They are going super fast, and I really enjoy them. If I keep this pace up, I might be able to finish them in November too!

I also decided, while I was packing for the trip to my sister, that I wanted to start another sweater or cardigan. I already had one of my Wollmeise DK skeins in the Pesto colourway wound into a ball, so I chose the Gnarled Oak Cardigan by Alana Dakos. So far I've only knit the bottom ribbing and a little bit of stockinette, but I'm still enjoying it. The yarn is very nice to work with, and I hope to have it finished this year. 

I got two more packages in the mail since I wrote last. The first was my last shipment in the Bling Your String bag club, and I think the fabric is cute this time too. It was a fun club, but I won't be doing any more bag clubs like that. I think I enjoy picking the bags myself more, and right now I have so many bags that I don't know what to do with all of them! 

I also got my November shipment in the 7 Degrees of Kevin Bacon sock club from the Knitting Goddess. This was the second to last, so only one more month to go. The yarn is called Twin Set, and it's from the movie Enid about Enid Blyton. It's very pretty, and as usual the accompanying pattern (called Watzisname) by Rachel Coopey is very pretty. I won't be joining in next year's club, but I'll probably buy the upcoming patterns as they are released to the public.

And I think that's it! Next weekend is the first in Advent, so we'll be decorating the house with lights and some of the Christmas ornaments. Thomas' younger brother Adam is moving next weekend too, so Thomas will probably be tied up all weekend. Then the weekend after that we're going to a concert with the Swedish band Ghost, which will be so much fun (they're awesome!), on the third of Advent some of our friends are coming here for a visit, and then the weekend before Christmas we'll pack up our stuff and go home to our parents. I can't believe it's only a month left until Christmas!

/ Jenny

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Well, I'm knitting a little bit again

It's been almost a month again, but at least I've picked up my needles a little bit again. I've started knitting some on my rainbow socks that I showed you last time, but I still haven't finished the first one so I have no new photos. Those were supposed to be my October stripy socks, so now I guess I'll have to try and finish two pairs in November, to get all twelve pairs done this year. We'll see, it won't be a disaster if I don't finish all of them, I'll still have at least ten pairs of new striped socks for this year!

I have also picked up the Parcel sweater, and as of today I've finished half of the second sleeve. Then it's just the neck band left, and it will be done! Maybe I can even get to wear it once or twice before my stomach gets too big.

I am enjoying the sweater a lot, and I'll probably cast on for another sweater or cardigan as soon as this one is done. Probably a cardigan, as it will be more and more difficult to try the sweaters on for size as I grow. I haven't decided what pattern I want to make yet though, we'll see.

I got some yarn in the mail last week too. First I got the October shipment in the 7 Degrees of Kevin Bacon yarn club:

It's a skein of sock yarn, as usual, from the Knitting Goddess, and the colourway is called Fun Fur. I had absolutely no idea from which movie the inspiration came, but someone on Ravelry told me it's from the Gruffalo. That's a movie I haven't seen, so this one was hard for me to guess. I really like the brown colour though, so I don't really mind.

Last weekend I went to have coffee and cake with Anna, my knitting friend, and her fiancé Peter. It was such a good time, we haven't seen each other since early this summer, and we knitted and chatted for several hours. She offered to make me a crochet baby blanket! So I ordered some yarn for that this week as well, which all arrived on Thursday. I got five skeins of Cascade 220 Superwash, in the colourways Lake Chelan Heather, Marionberry, Wasabi and White:

She's going to make a granny square blanket for me (or rather for the baby), and I'll try to get the yarn to her this week. I really like the yarn, and the colours will be perfect. Neither boyish nor girly.

And finally, I have been teaching my co-worker Sanna (yes, she has the same name as my sister, it's very confusing) to knit! She has a real talent for it, she started with just a swatch to learn knitting and purling, and then moved on to a pair of cuffs with a kind of fish bone pattern to them. She finished super fast!

She is going to sew them to a pair of leather gloves, which I think will look very pretty. The yarn is a skein of Cascade 220, in a grey heather colour, and she has almost half of it left. Now she wants to move on to a cabled head band, so on Monday I'm bringing her a cable needle so I can teach her to knit cables. So much fun!

Other than that not much seems to happen here, except that my stomach is growing. I've been working for all of October, which seems to be working well for me, and even though the nausea is still there, the rest of the stomach issues are much better. I really hope the nausea will go away too, but I don't have much hope. I'll survive though. I'll try to not write a lot here about the pregnancy, since this is a knitting blog, but I suspect you'll get to see some baby knitting here soon!

/ Jenny

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

For once, I kind of have a good Excuse...

Hello, all of you! It's been forever! How have you been? I know I've been off the grid for a while, but as the title of the post tells you, this time I have a valid excuse. I've been off sick from work for almost two months now, with a very messy stomach. Basically, my IBS stomach doesn't handle changes in my life very well, and we've been going through some major changes here these past months. Actually, in March, me and Thomas are going to be parents!

Yes, that's right. I'm pregnant! It's very exciting, but the hormones are really bad, and I've been constantly nauseous since the beginning of July. I don't have morning sickness, I have round the clock nausea! I'm getting really fed up with that, but I actually think it's starting to get a little bit better. I'm at almost 20 weeks, so I might actually have to feel like this all through the pregnancy, but now at least the rest of the stomach issues seem to have settled a bit. So I've been back at work for 1.5 weeks now, and it's ok. I'm tired as crap, but I might as well feel nauseous there as at home.

So other than feeling like crap, I've done almost nothing these past two months. I've been feeling too bad to knit much, but I have made some progress on stuff. The experiment socks I showed you last time are done, and I'm very pleased with them:

They're made with Friday Studios Saturday yarn (80 % superwash merino/10 % cashmere/10 % nylon), in the Hunger Games club colourway The 75th Arena. I really liked how the experimental pattern (every other stripe is stockinette, and every other stripe is seed stitch) turned out, and these socks are super soft! Now I kind of wish I had saved that skein for a baby item instead...

I also started a new pair of socks to bring to work (which I've barely touched, as I haven't been at work!), in Fibernymph Dyeworks Bounce yarn (80 % superwash merino/20 % nylon), in the colourway Rainbow Riot. 

I'm making the Hermione's Everyday socks pattern, and I'm enjoying them, I just haven't felt good enough to work on them. Right now I spend my breaks at work eating stuff to try and stave off the nausea, so I have very little knitting time at work, and when I get home I mostly collapse on the couch. I call them my Pride socks, as I coincidentally started knitting on them around the same time as all the gay riots in Russia reached the media. It was purely by happenstance, but I firmly believe in everybody's right to love whomever they wish, so I don't mind.

And that's about all the knitting I've done! Once I start to feel better I'll start churning out baby clothes, and I really want to finish my Parcel sweater while I can still wear it. But right now, I've mostly gotten stuff in the mail. We have started putting more money away in preparation for increasing the family, so I haven't bought any yarn since I found out I'm pregnant. But I'm still in a couple of yarn clubs, so that yarn is still arriving. 

I've actually gotten two new skeins from the Knitting Goddess, in the 7 Degrees of Kevin Bacon sock club. First, at the end of August, the colourway Tarnished Crown (which is from The King's Speech movie), arrived:

Then at the end of September, I got a skein in the colourway Bruise (which is from Fight Club), which is a little more purple than in the photo:

Both are, as usual, in the Knitting Goddess 4ply merino sock yarn, and I like them both a lot. The patterns that go along with them are as usual very pretty (the designer, CoopKnits, is amazing). I don't know if there will be a new club next year, but since we're saving up money I won't be joining. I'll probably get the patterns once they are released to the public though.

I've also gotten the last two shipments in the Mad Color Fiber Arts Mad Geek Tour yarn club, this time with the Into the Black theme (which I think I've told you is Firefly). The August shipment was a skein of Slink (75 % superwash merino/15 % nylon/10 % tencel), and the colourway is called She'll Fool Ya. It's nice, but a bit too colourful for me, especially since it's not striping but variegated. I've no idea what to make of it, but it will probably mature in the stash for a while.

Last week I got the September shipment from this club too, and as this was the last shipment there was also a JessaLu project bag with it. The yarn is Tasara (80 % superwash merino/20 % silk), and the colourway is called Fruity Oaty Bar. 

It's insane! I like this better than the last one, but I have the same problem with this skein. It's too much clown barf, so it'll also sit in the stash for a while. The best part of this shipment is that the bag actually matches the skein!

It's got all the characters from the Fruity Oaty Bar commercial from the movie, and it's so much fun. I think that the next club round will be Alice in Wonderland, but I'll skip this one too. I've liked to be in this club, but I think too many of the yarns have been a bit too colourful for me. I'm just not that into variegated yarns, I've come to prefer striping sock yarn.

The last skein of yarn to arrive was the October shipment in the Cookie A sock club, and this was a skein of Pagewood Farm Glacier Bay yarn (100 % merino), in the colourway Cape Cod Cranberry:

It's a very pretty, deep brownish red, and I like it a lot. It's a 155 g skein, so there is a lot of yarn! The patterns are really pretty this month too, which I'm very glad for since I've found that the previous months haven't been really what I had expected. I'm a big fan of Cookie A, but I think I've found that to my taste, there has been a bit too much lace in this club's patterns. I won't be joining this club next year either, as it is pretty expensive, but if you're interested I think the sign-ups starts some time in November.

I'm also in a new club that I'm not sure I've told you about. At the beginning of the summer I found the Bling Your String shop on Etsy, and she has a project bag club. It wasn't very expensive, and it runs for three months (August - October). I've gotten my two first shipments, and the theme is animals.

The first one is a little bit pale to my taste, but the second one (with a matching notions pouch included!) is gorgeous! It's a very fun club, although I think I might not have signed up if I knew that we needed to save more money, but I'm enjoying it. The last shipment will be here at the end of the month, and then I only have club yarn coming until the end of the year.

Oh, that turned out to be a long post! And considering I have been doing almost nothing, I managed to babble on quite a while. At the end of September I spent a couple of days at my parents' house, and we went to a Queen tribute concert with a Swedish musical star named Peter Johansson. My sister also joined us for the weekend and the concert, and we managed to get to a local market fair as well. I made my very first baby purchase:

Yes, it's going to be a Metal baby. Are you surprised?

I'll try to be back sooner next time, but depending on my health I'm not making any promises. But now you know why!

/ Jenny

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Summer hiatus, apparently

Hello everyone! I didn't mean to be away for so very long (it's been a month!), but stuff happened. Or, mostly, my stomach happened. The last time I wrote I mentioned I was going home to my parents' for a few days, at the start of my three weeks of vacation. We went on Saturday, the 13th of  July, and came home again on the following Thursday, and we didn't do much else than spend some time with family and friends. It was nice and relaxing, but when we came back to our own house my stomach decided that it didn't want to play along with me any more. Basically, I spent the following two weeks flat out on the couch, feeling terrible! Talk about a busted vacation! We hadn't planned to do anything special during our time off from work, but we had planned on getting some house stuff done. Thomas has been doing some, but I've just been too sick to help out. When last Friday came, and things hadn't started to ease up, I called my doctor, and I got to go there this past Thursday. I had to call in sick Monday-Thursday first though, which didn't feel like a great start after vacation. But I got some new meds that seem to help, so I went to work yesterday at least. And now I seem to be on the mend, even though I'm still very tired. Not a very restful vacation!

Most days I've felt too nauseous to knit, but I have managed some. At the end of July I finished my Spaced Checks socks that I made from my Doctor Who yarn from Mad Color Fiber Arts:

I knit these toe up to use up all of the yarn, and I only had about a meter left when they were done! I got a little bit fed up with the pattern at the end, as the socks are so very long, but I love the finished ones. 

As I was getting ready to get back to work, I needed a new mindless project, so I started a new pair of socks the other day. I wound up my Friday Studios Saturday Base yarn that I got in the Hunger Games yarn club, in the 75th Arena colourway, and started a pair of Harvest Dew socks. Pretty soon I realized that this pattern also consisted of a bunch of elongated stitches, and I already have two pairs of socks like that in striped yarn, so I frogged them and started my own pattern instead:

Basically, I'm just knitting every other row plain stockinette and every other row in moss stitch. Or is it called seed stitch? I'm knitting k1, p1 on one row, and then on the following rows I knit the purl stitches and purl the knit stitches. I put in the waste yarn for an afterthought heel about an hour ago, so I'll probably finish the first one this week. The yarn is very, very soft and nice to work with, but the colours are possibly a little bit too pastelly for my taste. I think a baby hat or socks would probably have suited it better, but I like the socks anyway.

I also got three yarn club shipments this month. First, I got the July shipment in the 7 Degrees of Kevin Bacon Sock club:

The yarn is, as usual, The Knitting Goddess sock yarn (75 % superwash merino/25 % nylon, 424 m/100 g), and the colourway is called Cut Throat. That's from Sweeny Todd (Demon Barber of Fleet Street), which is a pretty cool movie. I really, really like this colour, it's such a deep, purple-ish red!

Second, I got the first skein form Mad Color Fiber Arts Mad Geek Tour yarn, in the Into the Black theme (which is Firefly):

The yarn is Doolally (75 % superwash merino/25 % nylon, 423 m/100 g), and the colourway is called Malcolm Reynolds' Widow. It's very red, and very pretty. I like that it's a little bit more semisolid. It will go into the stash for a while to mature.

Then I got the August shipment in the Cookie A sock club:

The yarn is Miss Babs Cosmic (80 % superwash merino/20 % nylon, 366 m/100 g), and the colourway is called Inkwell. It is the perfect Tardis blue! I'm going to make a pair of Tardis socks for me from this, but that will probably not happen for a while yet.

I think I have decided to not join any more yarn clubs next year. I have enjoyed getting yarn in the mail this often, but I'm not sure I think it's really worth the money. I still haven't knit one single pattern from either the Cookie A club or the 7 Degrees of Kevin Bacon club, so I think I'll just skip the club and maybe buy the patterns I like when they get available to the public. I actually find I'm a little bit disappointed in the Cookie A patterns. I used to love almost all of her patterns, but in this club yarn there has been a bit too much lace for my taste, and to few cables. I don't know, I just know that I won't join in next year.

Other than that, I've knit a little bit on my Mandala II shawl (I've finished Chart C! Only Chart D and the edging left...), but I'm up over 1000 stitches on each row now, so it's going very slowly. I can't focus on the charts when I feel to sick though, so I have only knit a little bit on it.

Oh, and I have a confession to make too. I haven't posted the prizes from the drawing yet! I'm so, so sorry, but I have just been feeling too sick. I'm going to bring it all to work on Monday and get to the post office when I finish work. I hope you're all ok with that. Once again, I'm sorry!

Ok, I think that's it for now. I really hope I find a bit of knitting mojo soon, as it seems to have left me this past month, but I'll try to be back a little bit sooner next time!

/ Jenny

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Finished three socks!

Since I last had a regular post, I've finished one pair of socks, and the first one in a pair! The finished socks are the Gördes socks that I've made for my mom:

I am very pleased with them! They are made with Shibui Sock yarn (100 % superwash merino), in the colourway Periwinkle, and they are very soft and cushy on the feet. We're going home for a visit this weekend, so mom will get them then.

The third sock, from the half-finished pair, is the Spaced Checks socks that I'm making from the Mad Color Fiber Arts Doctor Who yarn:

I've made these toe-up, to use up as much of the yarn as possible, and they are practically knee socks. I have pretty small feet, so I usually don't use more than around 60 grams for a pair of socks. But I really like these, even though I'm getting a bit bored with the pattern by now. I've just gone past the heel on the second sock, so I have a bit longer to go, but I'm mostly working on them at work. So they are going a bit slow right now, but I'll probably finish them quickly once vacation comes around.

These past few days though I've actually picked up my lace shawl again. Remember, I was working on the Mandala II shawl? It's been very neglected for a long while, but now it's coming along again. I have almost 600 stitches already, so it's taking a long time for each row, but I've done about half of chart C. Then it's chart D and the edging left. If I have enough yarn left after chart D, I might make another repeat of that chart before the edging though. I haven't got any new photos of it, since it's so scrunched up on the needles. You'll get to see it when it's done! I'm making it with Madelinetosh Tosh Lace yarn (100 % merino), in the colourway Rose. It's very pretty!

And speaking of vacation: I only have one more work day left before I get three weeks off! Yay! We have nothing special planned, other than doing stuff with the house, so I'm looking forward to some relaxing days. First we're going home to our parents for a while, since Thomas' brother is turning 35 on Saturday.

Then on Sunday I got a tip about a wool and fleece marketplace, so I'm trying to convince my mother to join me. She's going to ask my godmother and her daughter to join us to, so it could be a real outing! 

Oh, and finally: There are still three winners that haven't sent me their adresses! Crouchingcheese, Lakchi and Ashleah, please send me an email (jenny(dot)m(dot)clifford(@)gmail(dot)com) or PM on Ravelry (I'm jench24) with your adresses, so I can get you your prizes. I haven't had a chance to get to the post office this week yet, so I'll go at the beginning of next week. 

Ok, I think that might be enough rambling for today. I feel a bit scatterbrained, but that will probably get better once I get some down time to rest up! See you all again some time next week.

/ Jenny

Sunday, July 07, 2013


It's time to draw some winners! I'm doing this very early today, as we're having some people over for swimming and barbecue around lunch. Thank you all so much for commenting on my last post! It's been so much fun reading through all of them and getting some nice recommendations for new things to read and watch. But out of the 20 commenters, only seven of you get to win. I first lined up all the participants, with extra posts for those who follow my blog and for those who told other people about the give-away. All in all I got 30 posts, and then I used to generate seven winners. And they are as follows:

1) Number 22, which is Crouchingcheese. She recommended any book by Orson Scott Card,  and I have to admit that I actually listened to my very first OSC book this spring (The Lost Boys). It was amazing, and I'm definitely going to read more from him! Crouchingcheese wished for the Jitterbug yarn, so that's what he/she'll get!.

2) Number 7, which is Victoria. She recommended the TV show Hannibal, which I haven't seen, so I'll check that one out. Victoria wished for the Nancy Bush book, so that will be coming her way.

3) Number 3, which is Sarah (The Student Knitter). She recommended the Game of Thrones books and TV-show, which I've of course read and seen, but it's a fabulous recommendation. She wished for any of the prizes, so she'll get the Cascade 220 superwash yarn.

4) Number 11, which is Chelsea W. She recommended Burn Notice, which I've seen some of and always thought I would continue with some day. She wished for the Rowan Silk Wool, so that will be going to her.

5) Number 19, which is Lakchi. She also recommends Game of Thrones (a lot of people did, and I completely understand why. It's a great book and a great TV show). She wished for the Jitterbug, but as that's already taken she will get a random prize, which will be the Addi needles.

6) Number 16, which is Sarah. She recommends Arrested Development, which we are actually currently watching through. She wished for the Jitterbug yarn or the ChiaoGoo Needles, so she'll get one pair of needles (as the Jitterbug yarn is already taken).

7) Number 13, which is Ashleah. She recommended the books Mists of Avalon, which I love too, the podcast Yarnivore, which I've yet to listen to, and the TV-series Defiance, which I've only seen one episode from and kind of like so far. She wished for the Rowan yarn first, which is already gone, so she'll get her second choice which was a pair of ChiaoGoo needles.

Ok, I would like all of the winners to contact me, either on Ravelry (I'm jench24 there) or via email (jenny(dot)m(dot)clifford(@)gmail(dot)com), with your names and adresses, and I'll get the prizes sent out as soon as I can. I'll try to get them all out this coming week. 

Well this was a lot of fun! I'll probably host another contest once I reach 500 posts, and definitely another one when I get to celebrate my fifth anniversary next year. I don't see myself quitting the blog any time soon!

I'll be back some time this week with a post with actual knitting contents too (I've finished a pair of socks!), but right now I need to get some stuff done before our guests arrive. See  you soon!

/ Jenny

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Birthday Give-Aways!

Today it's been four years since I wrote my very first post! It doesn't feel like it's been that long, and I still enjoy this blog very much. It really helps me keep track of all the stuff I make, and I've met some lovely people this way too. I'm not very good at replying to comments, which I'm trying to get better at, but I still read all of them and enjoy them.

Anyway, on with the celebrations! I have seven prizes to give away, which I hope you are all excited about. I've been racking my brain to find something fun for you all to do to compete for the prizes, but I have to admit that my mind has sort of drawn a blank. So I think we'll just do "the usual", in that you'll have to leave a comment here to be legible for the drawing. This is what you'll have to do:

1) Leave me a comment on this post, first telling me about your favourite book, podcast or TV show. I'm kind of in search of new stuff to read/listen to/watch. Keep in mind though, that I'm a HUGE nerd, and mostly enjoy sci-fi, fantasy and horror. And knitting blogs :)

2) Don't forget to tell me which of the prizes you want the most! Feel free to list all of them, in descending order, which will make it easier for me during the drawing.

3) If you are a follower of this blog, tell me so and you'll get one more spot in the drawing.

4) If you promote the drawing somewhere else (like your own blog, on facebook or anywhere else), please tell me (preferably with a link), and you'll get another spot in the drawing. 

Ok, I think that's it! Easy-Peasy, right? I really hope as many of you as possible will participate, so I can actually make a drawing. It would be kind of droll if I get fewer than seven replies, so get going you! And here are the prizes you can win (I know I told you last time, but it bears repeating, right?):

1) One skein of Colinette Jitterbug yarn (100 % merino, 291 m/110 g), in the colourway Jay. I've knit socks from Colinette before, one of my very first pair about four years or so ago, and they still look awesome! The colours have faded a little bit, but the yarn has held up structurally very well.

2) Five skeins of Rowan Silk Wool DK (50 % Merino/50 % Silk, 100 m/50 g), in the colourway Greenwood. I made a sweater from this yarn (The Silken Scabbard), and I really love it. I'll throw in my 0.6 skeins of leftovers too, so you'll get all of 564 m of it!

3) One skein of Cascade 220 Superwash (100 % superwash wool, 201 m/100 g), in the colourway Dark Aqua. I made a baby cocoon with this yarn, and it really is very soft and nice to work with. I used just under one skein, so one single skein should be more than enough for something like a hat or possibly some mittens.

4 and 5) Two sets of ChiaoGoo Red Lace fixed circular 3.5 mm, 24 inch needles in metal. I got these needles when someone sent me the wrong package, and I have never used them as I don't enjoy metal needles. I have thrown the packages away though, but I'll package them with some cardboard to protect them. These will go to two different winners.

6) One set of Addi Click Bamboo 3.5 mm interchangeable needles, with three lengths of cable to go with them (24, 32 and 40 inches. I bought these to try out some Addi's, but found them way too blunt for my taste, so I'll give them away. Once again I've thrown away the packaging, so you'll get them in a cardboard sandwich instead :)

7) The book Folk Socks: The History and Techniques of Handknitted Footwear, by Nancy Bush. This book has some awesome socks in it, but I haven't gotten around to knitting any of them yet. I got a duplicate of this book, and I would never part with my own copy as I really love it!

Ok, get going! I hope you enjoy the prizes, and go comment immediately. I'll leave the competition open for one week, I'll draw the winner on Sunday July 7th. Be sure to check back for that!

I don't really have a lot more to tell you this time. My mother has been to visit this weekend, and we've done A LOT of shopping, but nothing yarn related. It's been great fun though, I've got myself four pairs of new shoes. As if I needed more shoes...

See you soon!

/ Jenny

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

It's almost June 29th!

...Which is the official birthday of this blog! I have lots of fun contests and give-aways planned, so make sure you tune in this weekend! My mother is coming here to visit on Friday and Saturday though, so the celebrations will probably not start until on Sunday. Just so you know.

I've been going through my stash and picked out some very nice prizes for you all to compete for! I've come up with the following:

Prize no 1: 1 skein of Colinette Jitterbug (100 % merino), in the colourway Jay.

Prize no 2: 5 skeins of Rowan Silk Wool DK yarn (50 % merino/50 % silk).

Prize no 3: 1 skein of Cascade 220 Superwash (100 % superwash merino), in the Dark Aqua colourway.

Prizes no 4 and 5: 2 ChiaoGoo Red Lace metal circular 24 inches, 3.5 mm needles (these will be divided into two prizes).

Prize no 6: 1 set of Addi Click Bamboo 3.5 mm needles with three cables (24, 32 and 40 inches).

Prize no 7: The book Folk Socks: The History and Techniques of Handknitted Footwear, by Nancy Bush.

Kind of neat, right?! Let's have a party! Be sure to check back on Sunday to get the details on how you can win any of these prizes!


On Friday we had the day off, since it was Midsummer's Eve, and my mother-in-law, two brothers-in-law plus one girlfriend, and two of our friends came over for a traditional Midsummer's Party. We had pickled herring with new potatoes and clotted cream (which is a traditional Swedish Midsummer's dish), with schnapps of course, and we also had some barbecue and quiche, followed by strawberries and ice cream. We were very lucky with the weather, so we got to have a swim in the pool too. All of them stayed over, and we all had breakfast together on Saturday morning. It was really nice!

Then on Sunday I got to do lots and lots of knitting. First, I finished the Mind the Gap vanilla socks:

Even though I didn't really enjoy knitting with this yarn, I really like the finished socks. The colours are awesome, and they feel nice and durable on my feet. I haven't washed them yet, but I hope they soften a little bit. I used just over half of my skein, so I guess I might have enough to make something else small with it. I'm not sure I will though. Maybe I should offer it up as a prize this weekend too? Please, leave me a comment to let me know if I should!

As I was really in a sock zone, I actually picked up the Gördes socks again too, and I finished the first one!

These socks I really love, they are turning out very pretty and the yarn is great to work with (it's Shibui knits sock yarn). They are going to my mom, but I doubt I'll finish them for this weekend. She'll probably get them later this summer. They are a lot of fun though, and I'm really enjoying the cables now that I'm really into them.

And as I finished the vanilla socks, which were my work knitting, I had to cast on a new pair of mindless socks. I picked up the Mad Color Fiber Arts Trance yarn that was the May club yarn (the colourway They Church at Auvers, the Vincent van Gogh colours), and I started a pattern from the More Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch which is called Spaced Checks.

It is really easy, and I really love how this crazy yarn is spiralling! I know that you can't really see the spiralling in that photo, but I'm almost at the heel after today's day at work, and I'm too lazy to take a new photo. You'll have to wait until next time! I chose to make these toe up, as I want to use up most of the yarn, and I think I'll make an afterthought heel. The colours are completely insane, and they really shouldn't go together, but somehow it works. I love the yarn, the base is really soft and nice to knit with. Especially after knitting with the Trailing Clouds stuff, which was really stiff. I think I'll probably finish these pretty fast.

Yesterday I got the final shipment in the Doctor Who club from Mad Color Fiber Arts, and once again I love the yarn. This time we got a skein of Fugue (100 % superwash wool, 375 m/100 g), and the colourway is called The Fall of the Eleventh:

I really like the colours, but I think the coolest thing this month was the JessaLu bag that came with the yarn:

It has the Doctor's Foes on it! Me and Thomas sat for a long while yesterday evening trying to identify all of them, but I have to admit that my geek-dom isn't deep enough. There are several that I don't know, but the main, coolest ones are on there. I love the bag, this is my fifth JessaLu bag, and in three months I'll get one with Firefly on it too. But there's no such thing as too many project bags, is there?

Ok, I think that's it for today. I haven't knit anything on the Parcel sweater since last time, I think I lost a little momentum on it when I had to frog half of it. But I'll finish it soon! I might try to finish the Gördes socks first though.

Be sure to come back this weekend for an update on all the prize drawings and contests!

/ Jenny