söndag 26 juni 2011

With a Little Help From My Friends

I packed no less than three different knitting projects for my five-day-stay in Hälsingland. We spent Midsummer at my mum´s house, on the menu was pickled herring for lunch and rhubarb pie for dessert.

This particular project is the second sleeve for my son´s new Dragon sweater. It only needs a neck band and some sewing before it´s all done. It was easy to knit the second sleeve with the support of all my new furry friends (yes, as you can see my mum has quite a collection of cuddly, old teddies).

I also finished a lovely shawl in green mohair, but forgot to take photos while I was knitting it. I blame it on the loveliness of the yarn, it was mesmerising. 

But I didn´t even start on the third project, a hat from a new pattern because I couldn´t decided what kind of brim it should have. Making decisions is not one of my strong points, to put it mildly.

My mum (aka the Button Queen) does not only have a collection of about a hundred teddy bears and around 600 000 (gasp) buttons.

She also has a modest, but very nice collection of old Swedish mittens. Most of them have been worn and darned with love and care.

Perhaps the inspiration for this pair of mittens came from Norway. Although the star/rose pattern is pretty common in Sweden, too.

But maybe these mittens are Norwegian? Or maybe Swedish knitters also made thumb gussets?

I´m no authority – but I believe that most Swedish mittens didn´t have a thumb gusset. 

No thumb gusset – but I love this pattern! I guess the former owner did too – this mitten has really been worn to the bitter end.

Here the same flower is used in a different way. 

Notice how this mitten has a bit of shaping that is almost a thumb gusset. I love studying interesting little details like this and... Hello – anyone still there? 

Okay, I guess I need to talk some more to my therapist about this – close to unhealthy – obsession with thumb gussets.

måndag 20 juni 2011

Glad Midsommar!

The children and I have already been on holiday for a week, while husband has been slogging away in town. Oh well, noone said that life would be fair.

I have been working hard too – creating a new hat pattern. After ripping back lots of time and returning to the drawing board time and time again I finally find the result pleasing enough to be written up.
The week started off with glorious weather but by the time I was ready to take photos of my new hat the rain was pouring down. Hence the shortage of photos of new, pleasing hat.

But maybe after midsummer – I haven´t seen the weather report so I remain optimistic...

This photo is from my trip to Dala-Floda. Incidentally that would be a great place to celebrate Midsummer – surrounded by people in folk costumes dancing around the maypole.

Maybe not wearing mittens – but you never know. It can still be pretty cold in June.

 Did you notice the nice napped edgings – kavelfrans in Swedish.
After learning how to make a napped edging I went home and made my own "napped edging maker".

First you wind yarn round and round two knitting needles and sew a seam in the middle. You then sew this on to the edge of the mitten.

I knitted a pair of simple cuffs to practice on.

The pink yarn is quite lovely – it has been hand dyed by my mum.

Now you need to cut the loops to create a fringe. Like this:

I could have done with some manicure before taking a close up like this, but I honestly don´t have the time for stuff like that. Too many things to knit and kavelfransar to make.

Glad midsommar!

lördag 11 juni 2011

Happy Holidays!

I´ve just returned from Småland and my bright and beautiful god daughter´s graduation. 

This is Linn in the Summer Mystery Shawlette that I finished last week. It´s the perfect size to bring if you are going travelling like Linn is planning to do in the autumn.

Linn partied until 4 this morning and still manages to look this fresh faced today. That´s 18 for you.
Linn´s mum and I stayed up talking until midnight and I am not going to show you what I look like today. Even though I slept two hours on the train home I feel like the 45-year-old wreck that I am.

Since the first part of my summer holidays have already started I have spent all evening packing stuff to take to the cottage in the archepelago where my son and I will spend the week, just the two of us (while husband is still working).

So far I´ve packed one fair isle sweater that need sleeves.
One hat that I started knitting on the train going home from Småland.
One lace cowl with only five rows done.
Yarn for one mohair shawl, just in case I get bored and need something new to knit.

I hope this will last me all week. And that I have something to show when I return.


tisdag 7 juni 2011

The Sun Makes Shawls Grow Faster

The few plants that grow in my only flower bed are wilting already. But it seems as if the sun has a good effect on knitted shawls. I finished two over the weekend.

The first one was Grace:

Grace is designed by my friend Heléne Wallin, and you can download this pattern on ravelry.

It has beads all over and I decided to make a beaded picot edging too – that took forever to knit. But it was definitely worth it. This is such a lovely shawl and I can see myself wearing it a lot with my pink and green tartan coat.

If you look closely at the sea in the background you can see my father-in-law and my two kids taking the dingy for a trial run.

The next shawl that I finished was my friend Wendy´s Summer Mystery shawlette.
I made it in thinner yarn so it is quite small, but it is very pretty.

It will look a lot better once it´s blocked. Just look at the edging – it´s so cute!

I have a lovely godchild who graduates on Friday and now I´m contemplating giving this shawl to her.

It would be hard to part from it because I like it so much, but I think the colours would suit her and it is a design made for a beautiful, young girl – don´t you think?

Besides, I´ve already started on another pink project, but this time it is a cowl. And my own "design".

I don´t know how many times I have written "join in a circle, being careful not to twist the stitches" in one of my patterns..

This bundle of joy is almost 500 stitches and you´d think that I would make really sure I hadn´t twisted the first row before I started knitting. But, no. I didn´t. Sometimes I think that I knit to stay humble. And that "staying-humble" part of knitting is going really well!

Thank you once again for all the kind comments about the baby blanket and my niece Hilma. She is such a sweetheart and I look forward to knitting many things for her in the future.

And next time I will show more photos from my weekend in Dala-Floda.

måndag 6 juni 2011

Hilma´s Blanket

Thank you for all the kind comments about my beautiful niece Hilma and her new blanket!

It probably took me about a month to knit.
I made up some of the animals myself and some come from old embroidery pattern booklets.

The yarn that I´ve used is my favourite – Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Solids – that sadly has been discontinued.

The blanket gave me an excuse to hoard buy some more of this nearly extinct yarn – from knitters on Ravelry. Now I really must have the biggest CTH stash in all of Scandinavia!

The first two rows were easy to pick: dogs and cats.

And I love owls and squirrels.

The penguins are from an old  embroidery booklet. And those litte mice are of course – gerbils.

Everyone in Sweden old enough to remember the 1970´s will recongnize the koala.
Yes, it is the same koala that Ingemar Stenmark had on his hat. Though I´ve changed the koala slightly and added tufts of hair on the ears, for instance. The koala is my own personal favourite.

The cute goat is also from an old embroidery booklet.

But cutest of all is of course Hilma with her blanket.

Photo taken by Hilma´s father Per, who is a professional photograhper.

onsdag 1 juni 2011

When I Fall in Love...

We interrupt this Dala-Floda-feast to welcome a new member of the family.
My niece Hilma.

Isn´t she adorable with her black hair and cute profile?

We have waited a long time for her arrival – she was ten days late. Which was a bit lucky for me, because this baby blanket took quite a while to make.

Like so many times before the inspiration came from Norway and my friend Pinneguri who has made several beautiful baby blankets, or vogntepper as they call them in Norwegian. What a lovely tradition!

And what a coincidence that Hilma´s mother happened to have a favourite blanket when she was a little girl – a blanket that she took everywhere and that she couldn´t sleep without. In the end it was just a rag.
Now I hope that Hilma will love this blanket until it ends up as a rag.