31 December 2009

Angels and nisser*


Some pictures before putting it all back in their cardboard box in the attic. We loved to have you around, but I think it's time now. I dream about having a home without a tree in the living room, a home not so crowded by Christmas decorations.

The nisser* to the left were carved by my husband some years ago, those to the right are made by my kids (the tall ones) and by myself when I was a child (the two little ones). My friend (who became a mother yesterday!) knitted the angel family as a Christmas gift a few years ago, and is one of my most precious Christmas decorations.

*Is there an English word for the Norwegian nisser?

27 December 2009

Stones in my crochet


I have a very good friend. Her little family of two is soon to become a family of three. She's the kindest, warmest girl, and she'll be the sweetest mother. She's a creative woman, fond of pretty things. So I made her these for Christmas.

I discovered the crocheted stones only a few weeks ago, and I knew at once I had to make some. Some would say this is a crazy thing to make, and it sure did hurt making them (stones are heavier than the usual crochet cloth..), but I love the result, so it was all worth it. There is no pattern for these (as far as I know), but the inspiration comes from this woman. She creates the most wonderful things, crazy things. I discovered her crocheted stones via this creative woman. Check out these blogs, there is beauty to be found.

Edited to add: The pattern can be found in Crochet Today if anyone else wants to make crocheted stones. Thank you, Margaret, for the inspiration, the pattern and for letting us know where to find it!

26 December 2009

Time out

No need to dream anymore


White Christmas it is, and lots of it! It's been snowing continuously for days, and still does! In a minute, we'll be out skiing, hoping to avoid drowning. It'll probably take some time to get out of here, though. There is a lot of snow between us and the world out there..

We celebrated Christmas at our house for the first time this year, and although it was harder work preparing for Christmas dinner than we'd imagined, we truly enjoy these quiet days at home. Hope you're all having a great your Christmas holiday!

13 December 2009

Tiny Christmas sneak peaks

Mostly occupied with making Christmas gifts these days. Only small things (at least when worked once each), and they would have been a lot fun to blog about. But I don't want to blow the Christmas gifts by being impatient. I never actually plan to make presents, though, usually the ideas come to me in early or mid December, and I go through with the ones that tempt me. I have finished two, and I might end up with a few more, depending on what else happens the next week.

The first is a hat, and it's for a man, as you can see. I'm quite content, even though I had to knit it twice. My husband was kind enough to model, and he looks good in it, too. I might have to make another one for him. And I still do have one little hat too many, so I need to find a man with a smaller head to wear it.

The second sneak peak is for a very good friend, and I know she'll like the gift as much as I do. The craziest idea, found here in blogland. And the result is beautiful. I'll tell you all about it when that time comes. All I can say, is that it was kind of hard work - literally - and that I will do it again!

03 December 2009

Notes to self

1. When working with cables, the gauge tightens a lot.
2. Knitting a hat takes no time at all. Knitting two hats takes twice that time.

And I, who always swatch.

I actually did swatch this time, too.

Just forgot to measure the thing.

02 December 2009

Cold beauty

The snow has arrived, it's freezing cold. The sun is shining, all threes covered with frost.

Faced with this beauty, I'm like a child again. Watch out for snowballs!

1st


I like this tradition! And the kids, too!

29 November 2009

At last!


I have been looking forward to this for so long, and it's finally here: Advent! The house is shining, thanks to small ones and big ones working together all morning. And the Christmas decorations are in place - almost. I l o v e this time of year, and I love this Christmas music! All there is to long for now is some snow..

25 November 2009

The act of working stockinette

I like stockinette stitch.

I like the look of it. The smooth surface, even stitches, I like the drape.

I like working stockinette stitch. In the round. The real pleasure is found while working it in the round. Hundreds of meters of woolen yarn transformed into lovely looking stitches. Hundreds of thousands of stitches ahead, all exactly the same, to be worked while I'm here, there, nowhere, everywhere. My mind wanders off, on, wherever.

I like working stockinette while watching TV. If someone held the book for me, I'm sure I could work stockinette while reading. I'd like to try that once. Volunteers, anybody?

I like working stockinette while at work, at meetings. Keeps me calm, nice, kind, harmonic.

I like working stockinette. It goes so fast, and given enough stitches, lasts forever.

I even like working stockinette while knitting my husband's sweater's sleeves, even though I thought I didn't like knitting sleeves.

23 November 2009

Something new

Having made two grown up sweaters the last year (or actually three..), my sweater mojo seems to be back. I'm now pushing it to its limits, knitting a sweater for my husband. I've finished one sleeve, and cast on for the other - as you can see. Plain stockinette so far. I usually find sleeves a bit boring, so I'm starting with them (also, I haven't yet decided about all the details for the body, so a bit more thinking is required before casting on for the big brother).

I'm working the sleeves using the magic loop. As you might recall, I'm not so fond of (read: good at) working a small diameter in dpns. I've found out that the magic loop saves my day. It's a great way to avoid those irritating ladders. The magic loop also enables working on longer circular needles, which is far better for my hands than a short 40cm circulars. I like that.

As you all know, a sweater in men's size L is a serious thing, so I'm crossing my fingers the mojo will stay with me until the very end. I just hope I don't have to rework too much of this. Knitting a children's size sweater twice is bad enough, I don't think I can do that on a thing like this. Wish me luck!

13 November 2009

Candy


A true beginner project! Start with the neck warmer, it's the easiest one. Only skills needed: cast on, bind off, knit and purl. The wrist warmers are easy as well, but require knitting on a small diameter and decreases in addition to the above mentioned. All basic skills, though.

The pink buttons are once again from my grandmother's stash. I couldn't resist the mint/pink combination. The wrist warmers have a good fit, I really like wearing them. I'm not sure which ones I like the most, these or the Roots wrist warmers. Even though they're both made with the fat ridges, I think they look so different.

Candy [@ravelry] specs:
Pattern: Candy (Sukkertøy) by Tora Frøseth
Size: L
Needles: 3.5 mm
Yarn: A little less than 100 g of Hifa 2

10 November 2009

My gloves are back!

Thank you for the comments on my small glove related crisis. I followed the advices I got, and searched both behind the drawers and in the bags I used last winter, with no results. But then I figured out maybe I didn't put these away for summer at all, and I was right. The gloves were still in my winter jacket pockets..

As happy as I am for finding my gloves, I am now working on another pair - and a new design. It is based on a stitch pattern I unvented a few years ago. I think it's working out pretty good. Looks good so far, at least. Sneak peak to the left.

07 November 2009

Glaze

While waiting for the gloves to reappear, I'll present another sweater project. After having made only small projects for a very long time, I'm happy to say that the last year, I've finished not only one, but two large garments. Not only have I finished them, I have also enjoyed working with them. Long, silent evenings in front of TV, tens of thousands of sts (about 104 000 to be more specific) to be worked. Always a knitting project to work on. And the result, Glaze:


A big, squishy pullover, made not so big by keeping the sleeves a bit shorter. I like it. I like wearing it, it keeps me warm. And I like how it looks. Big, warm, but also very feminine, due to waist shaping and a pretty neckline.

The sweater is worked from the top down, with minimal sewing to do once the knitting is finished - just the way I like it. Quite mindless, but only that far - the pattern and shaping requires some concentration, just about enough to keep me interested.

Available in my pattern store - with directions for full length sleeves as well. Even though my favorite is definitely the 3/4 version.

Glaze [@ravelry] specs:
Pattern: Glaze (Glasur) by Tora Frøseth
Size: L
Needles: 4.5 mm
Yarn: 720 g of Hifa 3

06 November 2009

Crisis!

I can't find my gloves!!

Neither the gray nor the yellow ones. I have been looking all over the place, and I have found all scarves, shawls, hats and mitts, but the gloves are gone. Where did I put them? And why haven't they been on summer holiday with their woolen friends???

I WANT MY GLOVES! (Buhu!)

05 November 2009

Maybe

New banner! The old one has been around for too long, I think. Maybe I like this new one. Time will show.

04 November 2009

All dressed up

A very good friend of mine turned 30 this year, and for the great party, I knew I had to have a new dress. After all, this friend is quite special, and friends doesn't turn 30 every year.
I was lucky, and found the perfect dress. A lovely glittery little thing, not quite what I usually wear, but perfect none the less. Only thing was, the dress needed a little something to wear over the shoulders. With the party only two little weeks away, I started the design - and knitting - process. I knew that if I had to frog as much as a sleeve, I wouldn't make it. But I did make it, the yarn ends was sewn in just in time - about 3 hours before the party was to start (need I say that blocking was out of the question?)

Two weeks for a frontless cardi isn't that fast, you may say. Well, for me it is. And since I didn't have a pattern to follow, it was quite exiting! I guess my average frogging rate equals knitting at least half the items twice.

I now wear this thing all the time, over jeans just as well as a dress. Since there is no front, the cardi can be worn indoors as well, without becoming too warm. I also like those deep armholes, I think the whole thing gets a little less sweet that way (I'm not very fond of sweet, at least garment wise..). Knitted sideways, and with no seaming, I consider this quite an enjoyable project.

I rarely dream about knitting the same pattern more than once, but I am dreaming of another one in green. Or purple? Or..?

All dressed up [@ravelry] specs:
Pattern: All dressed up (Se min kjole) by Tora Frøseth
Size: L
Needles: 3.5 mm
Yarn: A little less than 300 g of Hifa 2

02 November 2009

Roots

Four new patterns are available in my pattern store, this time patterns for adults. Seems like my sweater mojo is back, too. More about the big garments later. I still enjoy those tiny projects. Today, Roots:

I like garter stitch, but while creating Angle, I fell in love with the fat cousin of his. And inviting some short rows to play along made it all even better. Roots was a really fun design project. I learned a lot about grafting - I love learning new things! It somehow opened up a whole new world for me. I think that needs to be explored in more detail sometime.

The buttons was my grandma's. There were only 5 purple buttons in the stash, and that pink one begged to come with them.

I like wearing Roots. Those wrist warmers have been with me almost constantly since I finished them, as I find wearing wrist warmers great for keeping warm. A necessity in Norway this time of year. The neck warmer has a good shape for embracing the neck without being too tight, and I like how it looks. And even though I'm more a scarf kind of girl, I'll work on it to get to wear this one.

Roots [@ravelry] specs:
Pattern: Roots (Røtter) by Tora Frøseth
Size: L
Needles: 3.5 mm
Yarn: A little less than 100 g of Hifa 2

24 October 2009

Slippers

I'm enjoying the weekend. After staying at home for one week taking care of sick children, we're finally all well. Today we've been working in the garden, planting tulips (I love tulips in spring!), baking cookies for good friends coming over tomorrow, and lucky me have been both knitting and sewing.


The kids have been needing new slippers for a long time, as the old ones have been too small for too long. During summer, it hasn't really been a problem, but now we're facing the cold season, they do need their slippers.

Made in leather, they're not actually what my sewing machine has been dreaming about, but I quite like working with this material. The leather simply does what it's told (I kind of like that..). And my kids love wearing these - both at home and in kindergarten. The princess slippers are my daughter's (obviously..), for kindergarten. The space ship/planet slippers are my son's, for wearing at home. The difference is that the home slippers have a sheep fur sole, since the floors in this house are rather cold, as the kindergarten slippers don't. They have warm floors over there. And the kids got to choose motifs, of course.

Pattern is from Ohelene (link only in Norwegian). Highly recommended if you have little friends with cold or slippery feet.

18 October 2009

All things green

Hanne has invited me to play the color game by finding 7 green things in my home. To be honest, I sometimes find these blog games kind of awkward, but colors are fun and a big part of the knitting game, so I'll play along on this one.

1. My favorite and very green second hand blouse. I couldn't believe my eyes when I first saw this one. I lovelovelove those sleeves!
2. My first knitting bag - I don't know how I survived without it.
3. Lovely green yarn waiting to become...maybe a pair of gloves?
4. My favorite teacup, ready to be filled with my favorite tea for the moment.
5. "La storia" by Elsa Morante. Little people in the middle of World War II in Rome. I read this book this summer, while in Italy. Fascinating, sad, and very well written. Read it!
6. My green notebook. I write all kinds of stuff in this one, but most of the time I draw.
7. My spider shawl, made years ago.

I'd like to invite Ann, Lucy and Mette to play with 7 yellow things!

11 October 2009

Autumn love

This September was the 5th warmest ever where I live. No weather for wool clothes or all those highly appreciated wool accessories. And there is something about autumn - to me, autumn is wool, candles, knitting, a cup of tea, mushroom hunting and novels. I kind of expect it to be colder, so when it's not, I don't know how to appreciate it. Call me neurotic or whatever..

When October finally arrived, the long longed for frost nights and chilly mornings came with it. Finally I get to wear favorite colored wrist and neck warmers. It makes my day!

05 October 2009

Angle revisited

Grafting complete, loose ends fastened and edges finished - my purple Angle is off the needles. I must admit I like this pattern, it's a fun one. And I like those colors. Now I must find a baby to wear it. In my opinion, the color combination works for both boys and girls.

The pattern is updated with enhanced readability, layout and a few modifications for better sizing. If you've already purchased this pattern, a download link for the updated version have been sent to your Paypal e-mail address. For others interested in the pattern, it is available for purchase in my store.

Angle [@ravelry] specs:
Pattern: Angle (Lille vinkel) by Tora Frøseth
Size: 6 months
Needles: 3.0 and 3.5 mm
Yarn: About 150 g of Hifa 2

24 September 2009

Origami challenge

Working on Angle in public is a lot of fun, it looks awkward up until the very end. A big sloppy piece of fabric that won't even lay flat. The other day, a colleague tried to fold it in place, but even when I told her it was a baby cardigan, she was struggling.

The knitting is almost finished on this one. Next is working the grafts and fastening all those loose ends. And then finishing up the edges. I like the colors. They're not for the average gray mouse.

20 September 2009

Big sister's dress

Little sisters grow up faster than we can imagine, and a lot of you have asked for a dress for all the big sisters out there. As some of you've already found out, the pattern is now available in my store.

The sample dress was made for my niece. She's already grown out of both Sweetheart and Magda, so she needed a new woolen dress for the winter. The yarn is Hifa 2, a lovely woolen spun 2-ply yarn with great yardage. The fabric is warm and extremely lightweight. This is my favorite yarn right now. It is not the softest of the softest, but soft enough, and with lots of sproing to it (I know that's not even a word, still I think it describes this attribute perfectly)

Big sister's dress [@ravelry] specs:
Pattern: Big sister's dress (Kjole til storesøster) by Tora Frøseth
Size: 2 years
Needles: 3.5
Yarn: 140 g of Hifa 2

18 September 2009

Ready set winter!

Well, it's not winter yet, but soon it will be, at least here up north. Woolen accessories are a necessity for those tiny people, as for all of us. I made this blue and brown set for my nephew last winter. Living far north, he needed something warm.

Ready set winter is perfect as a welcoming gift for a newborn child - or as a quick project for keeping your own baby warm. Those yummy ridges have lots of air trapped inside, so it will keep the baby warm in addition to looking good.

The pattern is for sale in my shop. The kit comes with a yarn choice, Alv or Superwash, where both are very soft yarns with lovely colors. The difference is that one is superwash yarn, the other is not. Alv is also thinner than Superwash, so with Alv, two strands of yarn are held together. I like both.

Ready set winter [@ravelry] specs:
Pattern: Ready set winter (Klar ferdig vinter) by Tora Frøseth
Size: 12 months
Needles: 3.5 and 4.0 mm
Yarn: 45 g of Hifa Alv in brown and 35 g in blue (the yarn is held double. If Superwash is chosen, only one strand of yarn is used)

17 September 2009

Pattern updates

Today I've sent update files via Ravelry to those of you who purchased my Sweetheart or Lady Wannabe patterns before the update. If anyone's purchased the patterns and has not received an update e-mail with download link, please check the e-mail address given via Paypal at the time of purchase. If you still can't find it - not even in your spam filters - please e-mail me with name and date of purchase, and we'll figure it out. Both Norwegian and English pattern versions are included in the update, and I hope my Scandinavian customers appreciate it.

I have not send update files to the 8478 people who've downloaded the free Little sister's pattern, though (there is no easy way to do this with free patterns in Ravelry). If you want the updated version of this pattern, simply visit my store and download it. It is still - and will continue to be - available free of charge.

16 September 2009

A boy's life

I was quite happy with that row of dancing people at the bottom of my Life sweater. The transformation of traditional patterns into something a bit more fun was fun and I think the result was pretty. Great for a kid's sweater, in my opinion - and not only for girls.

The challenge was of course to create a boy's sweater with the same theme. The Life sweater is utterly feminine, with that A-line shape and the cute rib structure. I wanted the boy's sweater to be just as masculine, a distinct boy's sweater was the plan. Raglan sweaters fit boys just as well as girls, obviously, but wasn't quite the shape I wanted for creating this sweater. Elizabeth Zimmermann's hybrid seemed perfect, though, resulting in A boy's life.

I love the look of my little son in it - isn't he handsome? The pattern is available for purchase in the store.

A boy's life [@ravelry] specs:
Pattern: A boy's life (Et gutteliv) by Tora Frøseth
Size: 6 years
Needles: 4.0 and 4.5 mm
Yarn: 200 g of Hifa 2 and 92 g of Hifa Alv, the two yarns held double

15 September 2009

My pattern store

There has been little knitting content on this blog lately, now is the time to tell you why: Tora Frøseth Design pattern store is finally up and running, with new patterns and updated old ones. I have been busy working on all this, and have been able to keep a few projects secret, too. I will write posts about all the knitting news as I always do, but you will find that the new designs are already available in the store.

More news than the new patterns: All the patterns on the site has been translated into Norwegian, to please the Scandinavian knitters. And in addition to pdf files for immediate download, all the patterns are now available as kits with printed pattern and yarn. The yarn is lovely Norwegian yarn from Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk, a yarn brand I'm very fond of.

And to those who've bought the old patterns: I will send the updated versions as soon as I get the chance. So if you've already purchased a pattern, don't purchase a new one for updates or translation.

I hope to see you in the store!

16 August 2009

Trolls

This is the last day of this year's summer holiday, tomorrow is once again working day. We've had a great holiday, both in length and volume. I guess going back to work tomorrow will actually be okay.

But today is still holiday, so I'll write this post about a fantastic adventure we enjoyed being part of in the norwegian mountains this summer. In beautiful Heidal, a festival dedicated to fairy tales takes place every summer. We joined the wandering theatre there, and helped rescue young Erlend who was taken by the trolls and was supposed to be part of the troll's soup that very evening! Not only did we conquer the trolls and freed Erlend, we also got hold of the troll treasure! It was extremely exciting, the kids loved it, and so did I. (The trolls can also be seen in this video from the festival.)

And look at those costumes! Almost all made of felted wool. Even the witches wore knitted cardigans! It was amazing. And that lady lying there - she's all wool.

11 August 2009

The last week

The last week of summer holiday, and we're trying to enjoy every bit of it. But right now, the sky looks like this:But there is enjoyment indoors - at least when the meal consists of malfatti, a brand new experience we got to know in the small village of Chiusdino while in Italy. It was love at first bite, as with the gnocchi - and they're about just as hard to make. Today, at my 5th or 6th attempt, I think I got them almost right. And when they're right, there's nothing better.

(And if you wondered, the malfatti are those green things beneath the tomato sauce and the parmigiano. They consist mainly of spinach and ricotta cheese.)