26 November 2007

Cherry

Cherry is finished! I liked working on this scarf. It's my second knitted grown up scarf ever - I usually don't have an urge for knitting scarves. They're too long, which usually means too little action for my taste. But it seems I've grown up knitwise lately. I truly enjoy the knitting process, and don't seem to bother if it takes a while to finish. Earlier I always had quite a bunch of UFOs which I never finished. Now working on several project at the same time is no problem, I feel quite confident I'll eventually finish them all. So I'm not a monogamous knitter. Apart from that, I don't like having too many projects going on at the same time either. But two or three is fine.

Wearing a scarf can be a bit of a problem. Not so with this one. When I first spotted it on the Amimono site, I preferred the thight way, but wearing it myself, I think I like it best with the ends hanging loose.
Cherry specs:
Pattern: Cherry by Helga Isager, found in the November issue of Boligliv.
Yarn: Sandnes Alpakka by Sandnesgarn for the garter stitch and left overs of Inca Alpakka by Rauma and Babysilk by Du store alpakka for the ribbing.
Modifications: Due to gauge difference, I casted on a few more stitches to get the indicated width.

20 November 2007

Knitting a scarf

Cherry is growing, and I like her. The garter stitch is relaxing, and the rib part comes as a nice change which again is over before it gets boring. I'm using one strand of Sandnesalpakka, which is thicker than one strand of thin alpaca, but again thinner than two strands held together as recommended in the pattern. So I'm working more stitches per row, and making the scarf a bit longer as well.

The other day, though, while peacefully working on my scarf, I was suddenly getting doubts about whether knitting a scarf was such a great idea after all. Is it really such a healthy activity? I found this at Life in Yonder, and although I may be the last knitter in the world to have seen this, I'll still post it. As a warning or just for the fun of it, pick your choice:

18 November 2007

Squishy purple mitts

Squishy mitts for my daughter are finished, ready to warm her cold little hands while sleeping outdoors in kindergarten. These mitts are so fast and fun to make, I guess this won't be the last pair. And the fit is excellent. They are fitted, and therefore easy to wear - who likes huge mittens? - still elastic enough to allow for lots of finger gymnastics if needed. The best about them, though, is that they are identical. So when 2 year olds want to "do it myself", there is no wrong mitten. The top is round, so there are no left and right.

Same pattern used as for the blue ones, only this time I added cables for an interesting structure, and I also made a twisted rib. The colors and structure remind me somehow of old ladies. During the knitting process, I had doubts about whether they would be super cool or very ugly. Now they're finished, I definitely like them. And so does my daughter, she's been wearing them all morning, in the living room..

Squishy purple mittens specs:
Pattern: My own
Yarn: Falk from Dalegarn and Inca alpakka from Rauma

16 November 2007

Squishy blue mittens

Since the temperature now seems to be stable at about -10 degrees of Celsius every morning, I figured out my kids' little hands would benefit from some soft, warm homemade mittens. These were hardly ever WIPs, I made most of them yesterday watching Forbrydelsen, and finished them this morning.

They're made of one tread of Falk from Dalegarn (which apparently not so good for children sweaters would be my first choice for mittens) and one tread of Inca alpakka from Rauma. The Falk yarn makes the mittens quite firm, which I like, and the alpaca adds softness, warmth, and squishiness (is that a word at all..?) which I love.

The fit is quite narrow when not stretched, but since there is some kind of ribbing in all of the mittens, they are very elastic.

Squishy blue mittens specs:
Pattern: My own
Yarn: Falk from Dalegarn and Inca alpakka from Rauma

15 November 2007

Orthogonality

Birgitte started her WIP week a few days ago, and this is not my attempt to exceed her ambitions by introducing FO week! I really just happened to finish the kindergarten sweaters for both my kids at about the same time. More precisely, I redid the neckline of my son's sweater just after I'd finished my daughter's Blueberry. The orthogonal sweater has been almost-done for quite some time, but the neckline was a bit too tight for my son's taste, so I decided to redo it. Now it's the way it should be for a two year old not to be too frustrated every time the sweater is pulled over the big little head. It would have been a shame, after all, if my son was to develop a hate relationship with my knitted garments.

This project is also a result of my experimenting with making my own designs. I got the idea partly from EZ's Tomten, partly from a design Barbara Walker calls Peasant sleeves. I've also added short rows for some shoulder shaping for increased comfort. I also added some length at the bottom back, again by working short rows.

The yarn is the same as for Blueberry, and the same considerations apply to this project. It would have been even better with some tweedy wool, but since this is a garment for heavy wearing and tearing in kindergarten, I figured out the Pt5 was quite suitable.
I'm quite happy with the design. It's masculine, yet still childish enough. I guess the garter stitch contributes to the naive look of it. I enjoyed working on this. Even if working garter stitch in the round is not my favorite, I chose to avoid an under arm seam. Those are boring to do, as well as an easy victim of tear and wear. I made the end of the sleeves quite narrow, in order to compensate for the absence of ribbing. I think it works out this way, it holds itself in place even under the outer clothes.

Orthogonality specs:
Pattern: My own.
Yarn: Pt5 by Per Tryving

14 November 2007

Blueberry

My daughter's kindergarten sweater is finally done. I started out knitting this, but my first attempt was frogged. This time it was good enough. She was so happy to wear it this morning, and kept saying

"New sweater, just for me! Thank you, mommy!"

This hasn't been the most entertaining project ever, but it's finished, it fits. Obviously my daughter is satisfied, and then, so am I. The yarn is OK for this purpose, and much better than the yarn I used for my first attempt, but it's not my favorite. A bit boring, maybe? A bit too smooth and uninteresting?

I improvised the design, inspired as usual by the competent ladies Walker and Zimmermann. I love those books. They have made me capable to make my own patterns, and though I'd like to knit some of these as well some day, right now I enjoy knitting "on my own".



Blueberry specs:
Pattern: My own.
Yarn: Pt5 by Per Tryving

11 November 2007

Fishtail


I've finally cast on for Cherry, and have totally lost my heart to her.

08 November 2007

Annefødder wrist warmers

This pattern is not at all my pattern, I've just slightly modified and translated it (with permission) from Anne’s scarf pattern, which can be found on her lovely blog Hverken fugl eller fisk. The blog and the original pattern are both written in Danish.

A note on the name of this pattern: The Danish word for Duck's feet is andefødder, and since the author's name is Anne, the pattern simply must be called Annefødder, as in Anne's feet..

Gauge: about 28-30 st = 10 cm in stockinette stitch.

CO 54 sts using Old Norwegian cast on or another elastic cast on method.

Row 1 [RS]: knit
Row 2 [WS]: knit
Row 3 [RS]: k1, [k6, increase 5 sts by working (k1, p1, k1, p1, k1, p1) in the next st, k6] x 4, k1
Row 4 [WS]: k1, [k6, p6, k6] x 4, k1
Row 5 [RS]: knit
Row 6 [WS]: as row 4
Row 7 [RS]: k1, [k2tog x 2, k4, yo, k2, yo, k4, k2tog x 2] x 4, k1
Row 8 [WS]: k1, [k4, p8, k4] x 4, k1
Row 9 [RS]: k1, [k2tog x 3, yo, k1, yo, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, k2tog x 3] x 4, k1
Row 10 [WS]: k1, [k2, p9, k2] x 4, k1

Repeat until desired length. Work 2 rows of garter stitch, bind off on RS using an elastic bind off method. My favorite is Elizabeth Zimmermann’s sewn cast off (from Knitting Without Tears). Close the side seam, weave in ends, block the beauties and voila!

And please leave a comment with a link to your blog (if you have one) - I would really like to see a picture of your version of the Annefødder!

02 November 2007

Cashmere and Love at first stitch

I've read about it in blog land, I've seen the posh scarves and sweaters in the shops I never enter, but until recently, I was happily ignorant of it's softness. My first encounter with the softer-than-baby-skin cashmere has been a scaring one. It has only just left my needles, and I long for it already. You might try to compare it with alpacca, but it's so not the same. Even at a price five times the price of the most expensive alpacca, it's worth it. I bought 75 g of pure luxury at Sofies in Oslo. It's a wonderful little yarn shop owned by a totally enthusiastic yarn lover. She made me promise to wear the cashmere close to my skin, so I made a neck warmer for myself, and a pair of wrist warmers for my aunt's 60th birthday.

Both my projects in my cashmere adventure is inspired by the most lovely scarves made by Anne, a danish knitter whose blog I truly enjoy reading. Her knitting projects are wonderful, and so are her writings about her life. She blogs at Hverken fugl eller fisk, a place worth visiting for those who read danish. The pattern for the wrist warmers is from Anne's scarf "Annefødder" - Bird's feet. It's so delicate, so cute. I adore the litte foot prints on the garter stitch dunes. I will give this pair away, but I think I have to make one for myself as well.

The pattern for the neck warmer (in the lower photo) is "Bundter af blade", an easy to remember, still interresting pattern resulting in a beautiful structured fabric. I will post a photo of the whole neck warmer some day, but it needs to be worn and today is not the day for modelling.