Wednesday, 29 December 2010

A spot where I didn't bring my knitting

Cinderella was here
Originally uploaded by Asplund
It would get wet in the outdoors hot tub. I took this photo in the morning of the 24th; it was biting cold and in the evening even colder, -35C (-31F). I thought it was too cold to get into the tub that day, but did the next two when we enjoyed a heatwave of ca -20C (-4F). Unbelievably wonderful, especially when it was dark and the stars were out! And yes, I even got into the lake at one point! The water was so cold it didn't feel cold, but tickled all over the fraction of a second I was in. Once was enough, though.

I've finished the baby cardigan I wrote about in my previous post. I think it's a great construction for a baby garment: very elastic and practically seamless with only two short shoulder joins. Aren't the buttons we found at Yll o tyll cute? There's enough yarn left for a matching cap.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Great expectations

Baby cardigan wip
Originally uploaded by Asplund
A colleague of mine is expecting a baby and asked me if I could knit her a baby cardigan. She knits too, so we met up at our LYS the other day; there was a cardigan there with a shape that I found inspiring (or theft-worthy, if you like) and we found some baby merino wool there too. Purchase-worthy wool, I should add.

The cardigan is knitted sideways and the two fronts will overlap. I've added a pattern, partly to make it more fun to knit, partly to make it easier to get the three sections the same size. I'm not sure what I think of it, though, now that it's moved from a pattern idea to reality. Green lips, Kaa hypnotizing Mowgli, cabbage... Well, as long as it doesn't look like the evil eye!

Sunday, 12 December 2010


Annika's wristwarmers
Originally uploaded by Asplund

For the sake of variety I've been knitting wristwarmers recently. This pattern was a free gift from Ravelry's jdw at the knitting camp I attended back in August. I've added pearls in groups of five and a row of holes. They're for my friend Annika, who has asked for white, thin, warm wristwarmers.

The yarn is BC Semilla Fino, organic fingering weight wool, and I used 2 mm needles (US 0).

They're knitting diagonally; you can see it more clearly in this photo. I do like the effect you get with variegated yarn. These are leftovers from a hat I knitted a couple of months ago.

Isn't it fascinating how different they look compared to the white ones? The shape is the same, but the different colours and the way the diagonal is accentuated give them a completely different look.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Correcting a mistake

Winter mosaic
Originally uploaded by Asplund

The past few weeks have been unusually cold. I took these photos on my way to work last Thursday morning. It was almost -20 Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit) but fortunately it isn't that cold now.

I'm making progress with the Estonian shawl. My intention was to have identical groups of nupps in all the centre-section quadrangles, but mixed up rows and accidentally started too early the second time around.

I didn't discover this mistake until a couple of rows later, and instead of ripping these out I decided to correct my mistake by simply deciding this was what I wanted instead. Actually, it's a good opportunity to find out how different nupp patterns ideas will look in reality!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Shawl progress and sweater progress

Estonian shawl wip
Originally uploaded by
I'm having a lot of fun knitting the "Crown Prince" shawl from Nancy Bush's book, but can't resist making some modifications.

1. The star is the variation motif in the book. I really like it that there are variations of many of the motifs!

2. I've skipped the garter-stitch frame, simply because I'm not very fond of it, especially not combined with lace.

3. I've resized the centre section repeats, making them the same width as the stars. In the original design they are different and don't match, although it doesn't show that clearly thanks to the garter-stitch frame between the sections.

4. Personally, I like symmetry too much not to do something about it, though, and I also like blending pattern sections. Resizing meant making the repeats bigger, so I'm adding a little cluster of "nupps" too, barely visible in this photo. To be continued.

I've been working with my red sweater too: both sleeve caps are finished. I decided to make the second one while I remembered how I made the first one - and understand my hastily scribbled notes. You know, knitting held in one hand, pencil hopefully in the hand you normally write with...

I'm testing a new idea for sleeve gussets too, but I think that will have to be in another post.

Last but not least: dear friend E. is happy with the hat I gave her for her birthday.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Proving myself wrong

Estonian shawl wip
Originally uploaded by
In a previous post I mentioned that I'm not very fond of bobbles. Well, seeing this shawl by Rod on Flickr reminded me of my natural white Viva and the fact that I've only knitted a swatch or two testing a couple of patterns in Nancy Bush's book Knitted Lace of Estonia.

This is half a star, the Crown Prince pattern. I like it very much that the bobbles are fairly flat; the combination of them and the lace holes of roughly the same size is very appealing too, in my opinion.

Here's a photo of the shawl, made by Knitting Soo on Flickr. It's very pretty, but I can't help thinking about possible modifications... A frame consisting of rows of holes instead of garter stitch, for example.

Getting the tension right for the bobbles was a bit tricky, but didn't take very long after all. I've had more trouble with the tension in the stocking-stitch areas: for example, getting the loops for a bobble (a "nupp" in Estonian) loose enough tends to rub off on the surrounding stitches - and purling all the loops making a single stitch tends to make me purl the surrounding stitches too tight.

I enjoy knitting this kind of pattern a lot, primarily because it's something I haven't done before. (A tiny swatch about a year ago hardly counts.) Also, dear old wool-silk blend Viva is a delight to work with, and the sheen of it makes the bobbles almost look like pearls in daylight. Not captured in this photo due to severe lack of daylight.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Shaping a sleeve cap

Shaping a sleeve cap
Originally uploaded by Asplund

Some people have asked me how I shape sleeve caps using short rows, so I'm going to try to explain in this post.

First, I pick up stitches along the armhole after joining the shoulder seams (see photo at bottom of post) and mark the middle stitch with a thread.

I start knitting the sleeve somewhere near the middle; in this case I chose making the 15 stitches in the middle the top of the sleeve cap. After knitting those I wrap the yarn around the next stitch before turning the work (to avoid an unsightly gap).

Next row I first knit the 15 stitches and then a few more (in this case 5) before wrapping and turning. Each row I add a few more stitches before wrapping and turning until all the picked-up stitches are knitted. It will look like this in terms of shape. How many stitches I choose to add depends on what kind of shape I want the sleeve cap to have.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Two finished objects

"Wightwizzle" finished
Originally uploaded by

The colour looks a bit strange in the original photo, so I thought I might as well make a black and white version. This was a nice project to knit, quick once past the first few inches and the shape is different from what I usually knit.

Trying something new is always rewarding! Combining alpaca and linen was a good idea too (not mine but suggested at my LYS). We'll just see how my cousin likes wearing it: the garment is rather heavy, almost 800 grams.

The shawl I wrote about in my previous post is also finished. For the bottom border I chose the border from "The Opera Fichu", also in Victorian Lace Today.

As mentioned, I wanted fairly simple lace patterns using this yarn and since I've knitted the fichu before I knew it would curl - I simply cast it off loosely from the wrong side, not bothering about a knitted-on border around the shawl (which I normally like).

My plan is to make it a guest shawl, for people to borrow when they visit. We had quite a lot of snow yesterday, but today is rather wet and windy. And cold: a guest could definitely need a shawl.

Thursday, 4 November 2010


"Töis wool" shawl
Originally uploaded by
The other day I surprised myself by finishing a project before starting a new one. "Wightwizzle" is washed and blocked and left to dry while I'm visiting relatives for a couple of days.

Less surprising is my ability to buy yarn. Last weekend I couldn't resist buying two hanks of beautiful natural grey "Töis", soft and light 1ply wool from the island of Gotland.

This wool is quite fuzzy, so I wanted a fairly simple design, something based on straight lines (intricate lace patterns would drown) and decided to return to Jane Sowerby's Spider-web's shawls in Victorian Lace Today. I've made use of it twice before, for Eva and for Anna; in both cases I used wool-silk blend Viva, but I think it works with this yarn too. Come to think of it, starting Eva's shawl coincided with starting this blog!

It takes 5½ hours to go from Uppsala to Västervik, so I managed to get quite a lot done even though I kept alternating between this project and a fascinating book I'm reading, Possession by A.S. Byatt. Read a chapter, think about it while knitting for a while, read another chapter... A great way to digest a great book!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

The catsitter

"Wightwizzle" wip
Originally uploaded by Asplund
I'm looking after a friend's cat for a few days and thought I might as well pack up some projects and books and move in. As you can see, Sally is only mildly interested in knitting.

There's only a sleeve left to knit before "Wightwizzle" is finished. As planned, I'm not knitting the sleeves separately but pick up stitches around the armholes and shape the caps using short rows instead. I find it a lot easier than sewing sleeves in place - and it looks neater too.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Making progress

"Wightwizzle" wip
Originally uploaded by Asplund

This is a really quick knit once past the first few inches, so I expect to finish "Wightwizzle" soon. It's good exercise too, because the linen makes it rather heavy!

In the instructions the sleeves are knitted separately, but my intention is to pick up stitches around the armhole instead and shape the sleeve caps by using short rows. I've done that a few times before (here, for example) and think it works really well.

There's a small modification around the neck opening: instead of a few rows of garter stitch I added a "p2tog, yo" row to get a row of holes identical to the bottom border - which I modified too... The original design has a row of bobbles, but they didn't look good in this linen-alpaca combination (they looked clumsy) so I simply skipped them.

I should have taken a photo of the few bobbles I made to post here. Maybe, just maybe, I'll make a swatch and show you. Or maybe not! :-D

The colour looks strange in this photo; the photo in my previous post shows it a lot better.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

The more, the merrier

"Wightwizzle" wip
Originally uploaded by Asplund

About a month ago Maria decided to start taking care of her UFOs by devoting extra time to one of them every week. Isn't that a great idea?

Many readers of her blog are following her example; I wish I did too, but seem to do the opposite thing, starting new projects all the time.

"The more, the merrier," I tell myself. By the way, can you tell blue is my favourite colour? :-D

My latest addition is "Wightwizzle" from Louisa Harding's Little Cake. I'm testing a fibre combination they suggested at my LYS, namely one thread of linen and one of alpaca. It turns out very well, and it's nice to work with too. Normally I don't like knitting with alpaca, but the linen thread keeps it from getting slippery. The garment will be rather heavy though!

I wrote about Starmore's Aran Knitting in my previous post. Check out Tålamodspåsen's fabulous take on Eala Bhan!

It's been freezing cold, below zero in the mornings, the past few days. Was it really Midsummer only four months ago? It seems like a completely different world!

Monday, 18 October 2010

Starmore swatch

Starmore swatch
Originally uploaded by Asplund
The joy and satisfaction of trying and learning something new! I have knitted many kinds of cables over the years, but not this kind of knotwork pattern. The yarn is too fine, really, but it doesn't matter. I simply wanted to learn the technique and used what I happened to have in my bag.

Both patterns in this swatch are from my latest purchase, Aran Knitting by Alice Starmore, which is a treasure – easily the best knitting book I've bought in a long time! There are ten adult sweater designs in it (plus five other garments). I would say two or maybe three of those sweaters are for women and the rest of them are unisex, possibly with major or minor modifications. I'm definitely going to knit some of the sweaters! (But when?)

There are many things I love about the book: the variety of patterns and garments, informative and fascinating chapters about different aspects of the history of Aran knitting with photos and detailed descriptions of sweaters in museums etc, a section about different kinds of pattern elements and how to knit them, and a chapter about how to design one's own Aran sweater. I think Starmore is a good writer too: she has a way with words, not only with stitches and colours. And I find her dry sense of humour very appealing. "To claim that one has discovered something on public view in a shop on a busy city street is to stretch the meaning of the word..." (p. 10)

When it comes to the designs, I really like her combination of traditional elements and personal touches. Some of the patterns are Celtic-inspired, for example. The designs all look timeless to me, which is something I find very attractive indeed - a book to use and sweaters to wear now or in fifteen years.

Anything I don't like about the book? Actually, no. I only got it a few days ago, though, so I haven't studied it in detail. I guess there could have been more photos of some of the garments: I like being able to see many details, and I believe it could be helpful seeing things like the wrong side of “Boudicca’s Braid” and close-ups of the saddles of “Irish Moss” and “St Brigid”. Photos of these designs here.

More designs would have been nice, of course, but on the other hand I easily prefer quality to quantity. There's a lot of quality in this book - and quantity too, in my opinion. Fifteen designs is enough, and then all the other things between the covers count too. A truly rich book.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Not enough knitting

Work has been rather hectic the past couple of weeks, so I haven't been knitting much.

In a little while I'm going to treat myself to having my shoulders massaged: they're rather stiff and sore, and my pro-knitting theory is that it's due to not knitting enough. Oh, and the great strain of cooking may have added to it. I boiled a few eggs again the other day!

I have managed to start a new sweater project, though. I'm using a favourite yarn, Rowan Feltted Tweed, and have started a modified version of "Nova Scotia" in a favourite book, Alice Staremore's Fishermen's Sweaters. More about my modifications next time!

Edited to add: of course, there's no such thing as enough knitting.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Variegated hat finished

Sideways hat
Originally uploaded by Asplund

I'm happy with how it turned out! My friend Elisabeth likes it, so I will give it to her. She and I attended a drop-in bookbinding workshop a couple of nights ago, which was fun. In blurred action here.

There's quite a lot of yarn left, probably enough for a cowl and a pair of cuffs.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

And returning to something familiar

"Sideways" hat
Originally uploaded by

Yesterday I came across a hank of yarn I couldn't resist... Why write a post about that, you may wonder - has that never happened before? Well, two things make this purchase different.

First, I restricted myself to a single hank! (Its weight, 200 grams, may have helped.) Second, I hardly ever buy variegated yarn, but found myself drawn to these soft, muted colours and the gradual shading and blending of them.

I always like the challenge how to display the yarn: choosing shapes, techniques and patterns that will show off the beauty of the material. In this case I thought it would be a good idea to accentuate the fact that it's self-striping by alternating sequences of stocking stitch and reverse stocking stitch. Also, it would help making a hat knitted sideways warm and comfortable, and the short rows would create a nice visual effect too. And possibly it's a way to make up for my English Patient bowl (see previous post), to prove to myself I am capable of succeeding with stripes after all. :-)

Normally, I prefer (understatement!) symmetry, but in this case I actually like it that it will look different from different angles. For a while I toyed with the idea I'd knit it top-down or bottom-up, but decided I'd much rather see the colours in big wedges than in horizontal stripes.

The red yarn in the photo is the provisional cast-on. My plan is to graft the first and last rows for an invisible join.

Edited to add: I bought the yarn at Yllet in Stockholm. It's pure wool and 2-ply, but didn't have a name. Needles: 4 mm/US 6.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Trying something different

Last night I attended a workshop at gallery Kaleido in Uppsala, how to make a papier-maché bowl using pages from an old book. It was a lot of fun trying something new! Tonight it will probably be dry enough to remove the balloon; I used pictures for the inside, so I'm curious about that.

Hopefully, my bowl won't look quite as much like The English Patient when it isn't upside down... Not that I think I'll keep it anyway - I simply wanted to try the technique.

What I found most rewarding was appreciating workshop teacher Cecilia Levy's skills even more than before. Her show at Kaleido continues until 19 September.

I've started knitting a sweater with some beautiful red - the photo doesn't do it justice at all - wool I bought some time ago. This is a pattern I knitted in 1999, then with blue linen yarn. I think it works with wool as well. It's a modification of a pattern in Uuve Snidare's book "Fiskartröjor" (fishermen's sweaters).

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Green Springtime shawl: finished

but impossible to fit into a photo: here's roughly 4/5 of it. I'll see if I can get someone to model it for me for a better photo.

I used almost two skeins (100 grams) of Wetterhoff's wool-silk blend Viva and 4 mm needles (US 6) and 3½ mm (US 4) for the border that frames the shawl.

What to knit now? Take care of UFOs (quite a few) or stash (quite a lot)? Buy more yarn?

Anyway, I'm in the mood for cables after a few months of lace galore. (Just checked: six shawls so far this year! It's a good thing I know people who like wearing shawls.)

Sunday, 29 August 2010

A head of cabbage?

WIP: shawl
Originally uploaded by

Not quite. Less compact! Would you believe it, I managed to cram all the stitches around the shawl onto a single circular needle! Lace is stretchy, of course, but before picking up stitches around this shape I armed myself with three needles, certain I would have to juggle with them and risking my eyes while knitting the lace edging around the shawl.

The pattern is a modification of an edging in Jane Sowerby's Victorian Lace Today, my Lace Bible.

Last week a Norwegian book I'd sent for arrived, wonderful Usynlege trådar i strikkekunsten ("Invisible threads in the art of knitting") by Annemor Sundbö, who was at the knitting camp I attended a few weeks ago.

Now, I know I'm being really immature, that I should focus on what a treasure the book is with its wealth of patterns and pictures and texts about different aspects of the socio-cultural history of knitting, and on what a great writer and lecturer Sundbö is. I know my Norwegian neighbours must be sick and tired of Swedes' childish comments. I know that words that look identical often have different meanings, even in closely related languages.

However... (You could see that word coming!) The cover does make me laugh. The name of the publishing house would always look, say, rather suggestive to Swedish eyes. Next to a well-worn mitten I'd say it's perfectly mind-boggling.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Kungsängslilja no 2

Kungsängslija no 2
Originally uploaded by

There have been so many knitting-related activities since my last post that I haven't found the time to blog about them. (Well, quite a lot of non-knitting activities have kept me from blogging too... Work, for example. ) I finished the second Kungsängslilja vest a few weeks ago and am happy with how it turned out. For a while I was worried the back of the neck wouldn’t be wide enough, but adding neck gussets (something I learnt from Alice Starmore’s Fishermen’s Sweaters) did the trick.

I spent the very last days of my vacation, August 5-8, at a knitting camp held at Väddö to the north of Stockholm. The very start was auspicious, as I got to sit next to Stickigt on the bus. We first met at a knitting camp in 2006 (the first one I attended) and have met a few times since then. It was a treat seeing other blogging knitter friends again, like Marias garnhändelser, Sannstick, Tålamodspåsen, Stickor o spån and En till. (Links to their blogs in column to the right), as well as non-blogging knitter friends I’ve made the past few years. Fortunately, there was time to make some new friends too – one of the many advantages of spending a few days together!

The workshops I attended were excellent. First there was Estonian mitten patterns taught by Estonian designer Riina Tomberg. Then a whole day with designer idol Britt-Marie Christoffersson, testing different finishing touches. Would you believe it, she had prepared her workshop by knitting a square for each participant to work with so we wouldn’t have to waste time. I added a border to it, a kind of frill, and tried different kinds of fringes (photo here). I also tested one of her patterns in all the combinations possible with three colours (photo here). Isn't it fascinating what a difference it makes simply moving colours around?

Last but not least, I learnt tapestry crochet, traditional patterns from Korsnäs in Finland. They’re famous for their partly knitted, partly crocheted sweaters.

There were also great lectures by Uuve Snidare, Annemor Sundbö and Celia B. Dackenberg. In short, a veritable knitting orgy. Feel free to envy me.

My current project is a lace shawl where I’m using the Marianne Kinzel’s ”Springtime” pattern modules to knit a different shape; I found inspiriation in Maureen Egan Emlet’s “Mediterranean Lace” shawl in A Gathering of Lace. The yarn is Wetterhoff's wool-silk blend Viva.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

"Kungsängslilja" no 2: steeks

The use of steeks is easily one of my favourite features to make knitting sweaters easier and wearing them more comfortable. What's more, my steek skills have improved a lot over the years. Apart from learning by doing, I thank primarily Alice Starmore's Fishermen's Sweaters for what I know today.

Most important, I don't make use of sewing machines anymore. For a long time I did before cutting the armholes open for my knitted cylinders - and overused them too out of fear the sweater would unravel. Those seams are rather stiff, not so much to make the sweaters uncomfortable to wear, but enough to annoy me.

However, I do my best to see them as proof that my confidence and skills have developed, since I don't feel the slightest need to use a sewing machine today. In addition, I must say it's very satisfying not having to use a machine at all as I like doing as much as possible by hand. It's nice being able to do things without depending on electricity!

Saturday, 10 July 2010

"Kungsängslilja" no 2

"Kungsängslilja" no 2
Originally uploaded by Asplund

I'm knitting a new version of a vest I made in November. They're practically identical; however, I'm modifying the shape slightly and have chosen a different shade of lighter pink. I think I prefer the new combination. There's more contrast in the first version, which I think creates visual interest, but the softer change in the second version appeals to me too.

Hard as it may be to believe, I had to have a break from knitting for a few days as my left shoulder was too sore. I first thought it might be due to spending an afternoon crocheting the bind-off edge around the Springtime shawl, but have decided to blame it on cooking instead. (In this case cooking=boiling some potatoes.)

This is my 100th blog post! I had no idea last spring there were so many things I'd want to write about my knitting.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Springtime shawl: dry

Springtime shawl
Originally uploaded by Asplund

Here's a photo that shows the pattern better than the one in my previous post, where the shawl is folded in half on a blue towel. All I need now is an owner! :-D

6 July:

Rats! I accidentally deleted a new comment I was about to open. My apologies to whoever wrote it!

Friday, 2 July 2010

Blocking the Springtime shawl

I've folded the shawl in half to make it easier to block; not only out of a lack of space, but mainly to make sure the two halves become identical in size and shape.

It's a method I've tried before and I think it's far easier than measuring and rearranging the shawl and all the needles. When it's dry I'm going to dampen the middle of the back and reblock that part to avoid a crease.

Blocking has made it grow considerably in size, from each of the three triangles measuring 46x100 cm (18x39½ in) to 75x120 cm (29½x42 in). In this photo you can also see how much yarn I ended up not using - a close call!

Actually, I had to change my plans and skip the border along the top, realizing there wouldn't be enough yarn after all. Chart C (the big squares without leaves) was far more yarn-consuming than I expected. I had taken it into account how much many more repeats there would be, but hadn't studied the charts closely enough to discover how many more stitches there are in some rows. For example, a repeat consists of 24 stitches in one row, but 32 in another. That makes quite a difference when a row consists of 18 repeats!

This is my first attempt at a crocheted bind-off; I think it suits the pattern very well and it wasn't difficult, so I'm more than likely to do it again. After some experimenting I decided a chain of five stitches would be enough; the pattern has nine, but considering how little yarn I have left it was definitely a good decision to make them shorter.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Springtime shawl progress

Springtime shawl
Originally uploaded by

There should be enough yarn for five repeats of leaves plus the bottom section; hopefully, also a knitted-on border along the top.

My plan is to reuse this scalloped border from Jane Sowerby's treasure of a book Victorian Lace Today.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Springtime shawl

Springtime shawl
Originally uploaded by

In Marianne Kinzel's First Book of Modern Lace Knitting there's a square-shaped table cloth that I admire and believe would be fun to knit. As I neither need nor want a knitted table cloth I've decided to modify the pattern to make a shawl instead. Not that I need shawls either, but I do need to make them.

The square design consists of four triangles, so by skipping one of them and knitting back and forth instead of in the round I will get a shawl shape I really like and have knitted a few times before (like this shawl). It looks comfortable to wear, staying on the shoulders far better than a triangular shawl. It seems easier to sit down wearing it too, since the back is horizontal.

I first cast on to knit the "Gerda stole", a pattern on Ravelry, thinking this colour would suit the pattern extremely well. I still think so, but ripped it out realizing I would soon get fed up knitting a rectangle. In some ways I'm very patient, in other ways not.

Off topic: I've been house-sitting and taking care of Sigge for a few days. Very relaxing!

If I may say so myself, I got the size and shape of the "Pacific" sweater right! It's far too hot to wear it these days, but I don't mind. Winter was so long and cold I'm still almost surprised every morning to find it's summer!

Monday, 21 June 2010

"Pacific" sweater finished

One of the many things I love about this yarn (BC Shetlandsuld) is how much softer it becomes when washed. It suits me perfectly, because I prefer working with yarn that isn't too soft and slippery but like most people (I hope!) would rather not wear a scratchy sweater.

Modifications in short:

1. Bluish-green stripes made wider (because I like the colour so much and wanted to make it more dominant).
2. Purl stitches around cables (for a deeper relief effect).
3. Sleeve cap shaped (for comfort and to practise shaping stranded caps with short rows).
4. Parallelograms added to sleeves (to make them more fun to knit than just stripes and cables).
5. Side cable in the middle continued along sleeve (because I like hidden details).

Here's what the shoulder join looks like:

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Royal company

Royal company
Originally uploaded by

Today I was delighted to get to meet a great knitter and fellow Raveler from Norway for the first time! We first got in touch on Flickr a few years ago. I only wish I could have stayed longer today. Next time in Norway?

Of course, it is always a treat seeing Born to knit, Maria and Karin too. We also caught a few glimpses of the royal wedding (Crown Princess Victoria) from two screens on the café walls, but I do prefer Knitting Royalty and so found it very easy to concentrate on my friends instead.

Speaking of great knitters, my grandmother who taught me how to knit would have turned 90 today. How many knitting hours we could have spent together during the past twenty years!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

The joy of blocking

Anna's shawl
Originally uploaded by

I love blocking shawls! This time the total width grew by some 38 cm (15 in).

Tomorrow I've got two knitting-related activities to celebrate the first day of my summer holidays: having lunch with Anna to give her this shawl and see how it looks on her, and in the evening meeting up with my knitting & sewing group from work.

I did manage to knit in public on Saturday, joining other members of group Uppmaskan at the train station in Uppsala.

Unfortunately, I could only stay for some 20 minutes, between the opening of an art show where a cousin of mine is represented, and a colleague's birthday party. Toil and moil...

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Happy shawl!

"Lady's Circular Cape"
Originally uploaded by Asplund
The shawl I finished a couple of weeks ago got to meet Annika last night. I hope and believe they will live happily ever after!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

More "Pacific" progress and knitting camp

WIP: Isager's "Pacific"
Originally uploaded by

Here's a better photo of how I've let the middle side cable continue along the sleeve. Another modification is purl instead of knit stitches next to the cables.

I haven't mentioned the knitting camp I'm going to in early August. (My birthday present for myself - sometimes I'm really generous!) It will be such a treat meeting old and new knitting friends, and I'm more than happy with the workshops I've been allotted:

1. Decorative details in Estonian knitting
2. Traditional tapestry crochet patterns from Korsnäs in Finland
3. Different decorative elements with Designer Idol Britt-Marie Christoffersson! "I guess I'm just a lucky so-and-so," to quote a song by Duke Ellington.

Two other knitting idols will be there too: Celia B. Dackenberg, who wrote Ylle & bläck (Wool & Ink) about knitting in literature and writers' knitted garments, and Uuve Snidare whose book Fiskartröjor (Fishermen's Sweaters) is one of my top favourites - she's the one who reconstructed the Russian sweater from Unskijposad. I'm thrilled to pieces!

Friday, 28 May 2010

"Pacific" progress

I'm knitting the second sleeve, shaping the cap with short rows and then knitting in the round.

In the instructions there is no shaping, but I like the way it removes excess fabric. Also, I decided to frame the cable with a white vertical row where I picked up stitches (see left sleeve). I did this with a crochet hook.

Another modification is the way I have changed the sleeve pattern. Instead of the original design's striped sleeves with two cables (which I thought would be too monotonous to knit) I have used the parallelograms from the body for the sleeves too; only two, though, and placed closer to each other.

Still, my sleeve does have a cable too: I picked up the stitches of the middle side cable to let it run from hip to wrist.

Last, I'm happy to be able to brag about getting the Beautiful blogger award a second time, now from Ann. Mange tak! I hope you don't mind my simply linking to the post about seven things about myself.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Before and after

Before and after blocking
Originally uploaded by
Same miraculous transformation every time one blocks a shawl! I finished the knitted-on edge late last night, and decided to wash and block it before going to bed. It was dry in the morning, so now it's just waiting to be wrapped around my friend Annika's shoulders.

This is a project I will associate with many pleasant things; to name just two:

1. The memorable afternoon I met up with fellow Raveler Ian to go yarn hunting in Stockholm. This yarn was my prey.

2. The company of my greatcolleagues. We started a knitting and sewing group a couple of months ago, and last night Mimmi invited us and our projects to her beautiful house outside Uppsala. After a long and unusually cold winter, being able to spend a warm and light evening in a garden felt almost surreal. We were quite spoiled too: home-made rhubarb pie and elderflower juice. Delicious!

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Circular Cape no 2

WIP: Lady's Circular Cape
Originally uploaded by

One of my favourite yarns is Wetterhoff's Viva, a shimmering wool-silk blend - like knitting with champagne! I recently found three skeins in a colour I hadn't seen before and thought it was my duty to buy them, and it didn't take more than a couple of days to decide what to use them for.

I'm knitting "Lady's Circular Cape in Shell Pattern" by Jane Sowerby (Victorian Lace Today), a design I first knitted exactly a year ago and gave to my aunt ("Lady Caroline's Circular Cape"). This one will be "Lady Annika's Circular Cape", for a dear friend and shawl lover who's moving back to Sweden after quite a few years abroad. Hooray!

Some modifications:
1. Wedge-shaped repeats elongated with increase rows placed more regularly in the original pattern, where it grows very quickly towards the end.
2. 5 repeats instead of 12 to keep her extra warm in the winter.
3. Edging knitted with slightly thinner needles.

Feel like something new for your computer desktop? How about some elephants from Mattias Inks?

Friday, 7 May 2010


The Yarn Guide
Originally uploaded by
A few weeks ago a fellow Raveler living in Paris wrote to me to ask about yarn shops in Stockholm, since he was going to spend a few days there. Fortunately, it was possible for us to meet up there and go yarn hunting together. Here we are at our third stop, Maria's garn, in front of my favourite shelf (BC Shetlandsuld galore). It's such a treat getting to meet other Ravellers in real life!

I enjoy my "Pacific"sweater project very much, and it's time to decide how to shape the neck. Sometimes I don't do it low enough, so this time I'm going to take the time to figure out exactly how to shape it.

I discovered a split stitch the other day, but it wasn't very difficult to fix; it helps that the pattern practically consists of vertical stripes. After making a ladder with the help of a blunt needle, I used a crochet hook to make new stitches.

Returning to the subject of fellow knitters, xtine wrote something wonderful a few days ago that I want to quote: that a good knitted garment should feel like Sarah Vaughan sounds. I agree completely. (Although trying to make a garment of that kind would be aiming impossibly high - not that there's anything wrong with aiming that high, of course!) I first fell under Vaughan's spell some fifteen years ago, and the past few months I've been unusually addicted to her voice. Pure luxury. Last, I would also like to quote Caprifool's comment on a previous post, that knitting is like writing music for the eye.