Saturday, 22 August 2015

Wool spa

My feet never felt better than after an opportunity to "tread wool" at Skansen this afternoon. Fulling is the correct word in English, isn't it?

I managed to add to my stash too: two shades of grey of a wonderfully soft blend of wool, angora and alpaca. Perhaps mittens with a pattern inspired by this carving?

Or simply stripes - like the twined mittens mentioned in my previous post. I do have a soft spot for grey and another one for stripes.

I thought I'd post some photos of the tweed sweater I brought to the archipelago too. It's finished now and perfect instead of a jacket when it gets cooler in the evening. I've only managed to capture the colours in one of them, so here's a close-up to begin with:
The wool is so beautiful I wanted to keep it as simple as possible, both in terms of shape (a top-down seamless raglan sweater) and pattern (stocking stitch). I did add side cables, though, to make it more comfortable to wear and more enjoyable to knit.

The edges are patterned too, a k2 p2 spiral. It's easy when you knit in the round and have a multiple of 4 stitches plus or minus one: the spiral will come automatically.

 Last, some more shades of grey from the Wool Spa:

Friday, 14 August 2015


What better way to spend a sunny Thursday off work than a daytrip to an island in the archipelago with Born to knit? The tricky question was: how many (and which) projects to bring? Four seemed - and turned out to be - just right!

A twined mitten. I had started shaping the top but was not quite happy with it, so I had ripped out a few rows Wednesday evening. The two-hour boat trip was perfect to try something different, and I actually managed to finish it. One mitten plus a thumb left to finish.

The Fingers sweater I wrote about in my previous post. I knitted a few rows between my two sessions in the water. It was wonderful finally going for a swim this cold and wet summer!

A brownish top-down sweater I practically finished a few months ago but wasn't happy with. Now was the time to decide what to do about it: I ripped quite a lot of one of the sleeves to change the shaping and then reknitted most of it on the way back to Stockholm. (Stocking stitch + 5 mm needles = perfect when you want to enjoy the view.) It looks and fits far better now. Next step is taking care of the second sleeve and reknitting the neckband.

My tatting project to be on the safe side; I didn't make a single not, but it didn't matter much as I also (well, primarily) brought it to flaunt my William Morris case.

What a glorious day! Great company, a lot of knitting and some swimming.

Bye for now, Stockholm - see you in the evening!

Monday, 10 August 2015

Dear old Fingers

One of the first Marianne Isager designs I knitted was the "Fingers" sweaters almost 20 years ago. (Ravelry link here.) At the time I didn't use her own wool Tvinni but a thicker wool-silk blend. It's a sweater I've worn a lot and still wear. It was fun to knit too, so when I found Tvinni on sale at Loop in London a couple of weeks ago I decided it was about time to make a new one. The pattern is hiding somewhere, but I really don't need it as I've got a "sweater copy" of it.

In the first version I went for a lot of contrast between background and pattern, but not in this new one. On the other hand, this time I went for a lot of contrast choosing the accent colour! In the old pattern you can barely see there's a different shade of blue...

With my new wool I chose petrol (it's darker in reality) for the background as it looks better with the yellow/golden mustard wool. Also, it's nice to reverse dark and light to see how it affect the pattern.

There are three modifications regarding the hem:

  • Knitting a pattern on the inside of the hem to make the gauge match the outside. (In the old sweater it is slightly too wide.)
  • A purl row for a defined edge - not that I dislike the old one, but simply to do something different.
  • Knitting the cast-on edge instead of sewing it in place.

As mentioned above, I've been to London: highlights nonstop for a week! A daytrip to the William Morris Gallery, for example, which resulted in this splendid example of Necessary Equipment:

Not for my glasses, but for my tatting shuttles. I may have to get new ones, because plastic shuttles feels rather blasphemous in a Morris case.

My new pincushion is another example of necessary equipment. I didn't get it in London but in Stockholm, at Gallery Yamanashi. The basket is made of birch and the "cushion" is a ball of felted wool. If you're in Stockholm recommend a trip to the gallery to see Ulla Neogard's work.

Last, a surprising discovery at Liberty in London - and an opportunity to brag a bit! I actually saw my own name (in small print, but still) in the yarn department. There on a shelf was The Knit Generation, in which my contribution is a brioche cowl pattern. Silly, of course I know it was printed - I even have a copy of it - but it felt funny finding it there. And thrilling, of course!