wool&gathering

Knitting, design, wool and other gatherings….


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All in a day´s work…

Check! Finished!

A twelve hour knitting-marathon resulted in this  beautiful and slightly quirky cardigan!

My compliments to the gifted designer Veera Välimäki for writing a pattern that kept me equally interested from the first to the last stitch. The bulkier the yarn, the harder I find it to design an interesting pattern. I think Veera´s design is very close to ingenious! Maybe I´m just high on coffee and low on food right now, but still …very clever indeed!

I cast on Sunday morning around 11 am, and bind off the last stitch at five minutes past 11 pm. I survived on a bucket of coffee, peanuts and dried mangoes. Season one of «The Borgias» kept me company and the fact that the rain has been pouring all day gave me no guilty conscience for spending the whole day knitting.

This has been a great Sunday, but I will not make a habbit of spending every Sunday like this though…

Pattern: «Modern Garden Cardigan» by Veera Välimäki

Yarn: (one thread of each, held together)

Viking of Norway Eco Alpaca, 100% alpaca, col. 413 light grey, 300 g.

Drops Lace Alpaca, 70% Alpaca 30% Silk, col 0501 light grey, 50 g.

DesignClub.Dk Duo, 100% lambswool, col 502, 70 g.

Needles: 80 cm circular and dpn´s size 10 mm (US #15)

A few mods: I initially cast on size L, but ripped it, and decided on size M. My self composed bulky yarn turned out to be quite stretchy, mostly because of the alpaca I think.

I knit the arms in the size L, adviced by several ravelers.

I moved the buttonholes one stitch further in (after the 3rd stitch instead of after the 2nd stitch).


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Incredibly thick…

dsc_0893_medium2I´ve just spent half a day of beautiful sunny spring Saturday working up a swatch to get the right gauge for Modern Garden Cardigan by Veera Välimäki.

I do have, in my stash, the right yarn for this beautiful, though special, cardigan that I have been wanting to make for a long time. It´s not Drops Eskimo, but a very similar 100% wool yarn. But I have decided against that yarn. It think it´s too hard, and I guess too itchy… This yarn, like Eskimo, would be perfect for felting or accessories, not for wearing. So I set out to «create» my own yarn by combining different yarns from my stash.

The base would have to be Viking Eco Alpaca, for the reasons that I have enough of this yarn, it´s one of the thickest yarns in my stash, and it had the right color, light grey. I just love this yarn, and it is my favourite yarn from Viking of Norway’s line of yarns. They also have a similar bulky Eco Wool which I like, and they have Bjørk (90% cotton 10% merino) which would be my current choice, if I had to buy a cotton yarn… The rest of their line is less interesting, in my opinion.

The Eco Alpaca has 125 meters to 100 grams, and would have to be paired with one or several other yarns to get the gauge of 8 st(s) = 10 cm (4 inches) on 10 mm needles (US #15).

IMG_3842Sample 1: Eco Alpaca + Drops Baby Merino, col 22 + Design.Club.Dk Duo, col 502. The colors works beautiful together. The baby merino adds body and the lambswool adds texture. Together these adds up to measure 79 m /100g.

I use der Lauflängen-Rechner to add up the yarn and measure the new length.

Sample 2: Eco Alpaca + Drops Alpaca Lace 70% alpaca 30% silk (grey) + Duo. The gauge seems a bit «looser» and the color is visibly «greyer». Together these adds up to measure 90 m /100g.

Sample 3: Eco Alpaca + Garnudsalg.dk´s Blackhill SilkeMohair col. kit + Du Store Alpakka´s Tynn Alpakka col. 142. The same «loose» gauge and a bit more fluffy. Together these adds up to measure 83 m /100g.

Sample 4: Eco Alpaca + Abuelita 3 ply (merino) col. light grey + Duo. Together these adds up to measure 80 m /100g.

Sample 5: Eco Alpaca + Drops Loves You III col. natural + Abuelita 3 ply. Together these adds up to measure 71 m /100g.

Sample 6: Eco Alpaca + Drops Loves You III col. natural + Abuelita 3 ply + Duo. Together these adds up to measure 63 m /100g.

IMG_3845IMG_3847My goal was to get under 100m/100 grams. All my samples are way within my goal, but none of them apply me with the right gauge. Sample 6 comes closest with 9,5 st(s) = 10 cm. These four yarns knitted together makes for an incredible thick yarn. Too bulky, and not what the designer intended, I think. This is a negative ease cardigan, and sample 1 – 4 is more suitable for «Modern Garden Cardigan». In addition the total content of alpaca should not be too high. I would go for sample one, if I didn´t have to buy more merino…, so sample 2 it is! I feel incredible thick for spending too much time indoors on a sunny day. Better cast on to make it worth while! I´m looking forward to this quick knit, I need that right now. I´ve already found the perfect buttons. The forecast for tomorrow is rain. Yeah!


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Color Affection and Levenwick finished…

I´m really too restless to knit a whole garment in garter stitch. I think the reason is that I tend to think it´s easy (which it is…) and I keep forgetting you actually have to put the hours needed into finishing it… But the result is great! I love it!

Pattern: Color Affection by Veera Välimäki

Yarn: Superwash 4 ply Blue Face Leicester by Old Maiden Aunt Yarns. I used nearly 100 grams of each color; Greige, Moody and Lon-Dubh (blackbird)

Needles: 4 mm

This was my second Color Affection. The first one was knitted in lace-weight yarn, using only two colors. You can see it in my ravelry project-page here. This Color Affection project can be found here. I call it “Color Puzzle”, because I was not sure which color yarn to use…

My Levenwick was really finished «ages» ago, but was left in the basket missing the pocket and suitable buttons. I´m «reasonable» well stashed when it comes to buttons (in the ironic sense…), but when I can be bothered to search through them all, I almost always end up with 6 perfect buttons when I really need 7, and so on… I need a project with, let´s say, 49 unmatching buttons to slim down my stash by approx. 5 %:) The reason for my substantial button-stash is explained at the end of this post.

Well, I´m very happy with the choice of buttons for my Levenwick (a gift from my boss; thank you AG!…). They´re hardly visible and let´s the contrast between the design and the yarn be the main focus. I ordered this yarn thinking it was grey. I still wish it was grey, but this way it´s great together with the Color Affection!IMG_3831

It´s hard to depict this color, which may be the reason why I ordered it thinking it was grey. It´s more grey than these pictures shows, but in order to show the details of the garment I chose these pictures… As I was in the process of mentioning; I love the contrast between the design and the yarn. To me, this design is quite “sweet”, -a short, side-buttoned, “feathers&fans” jacket. The tweed-yarn makes up for the “sweetness” and adds texture and “toughens” it down a bit, just enough to make it work.

This will wear more like a sweater than a jacket, due to the side-buttoning. If I were to knit it again I would add short-rows to shape the neck-line a bit. I can´t remember which size I knitted this in… (slapping my own head, and note to self: always to add such info to my ravelry-project page!), so I unfortunately can´t say if this yarn works with this design. But I think I chose size L, and if I did it stays true to gauge. If I, on the other hand, chose size M my gauge is far off…. but I´m almost sure I chose size L.

Pattern: Levewick by Gudrun Johnston

Yarn: Rowan Tweed DK 8 ply. Color: Gunnerside

Mods: Knitted long arms instead of 3/4 arms. The pocket added with the raw edges out.

Needles: 4 mm + 4,5 mm

My next project will also be blue. It´s my first Kauni project (my own design). The use of blue in this project is purely a coincidence mind you, since I´m currently dreaming of grey´s, greige´s, mandarin´s and coral´s…. Well, that´s life:)IMG_3835


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Color Affection…

My UFO`s in my Ravelry project page has stayed there long enough to make me embarrassed every time I look at it. Time to do something about it.

Here´s one of them: “Color Affection” by Veera VälimäkiIMG_3790

The wool is fingering Blue Faced Leicester from Old Maiden Aunt Yarns, in the colors; greige, lon-dubh (blackbird) and moody. Love them both, -the design and the yarn!IMG_3792

Only 16 more rows to go…..


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Store Ringstind finished! (a while ago…)

tumblr_l6lily5w9l1qzvqipo1_1280The cast is off and the stitches are out, and my hand can slowly get back to normal. After a sunny Easter vacation my fingers are tanned, -but my hand is not! Looks funny, and it made me think of Alfred E. Newman and an issue of The magazine «MAD», many, many years ago:

The problem with wearing a cast on your hand, apart from the obvious unpractical ones, -is what to wear? Particularly what to wear when the activity in mind is particular, …like skiing. Will your Gore-Tex (or Down, or Fleece, or Primaloft) -jacket fit over the cast? And what about mittens?

Survival tip #1 when entering a Norwegian mountain-area is preparing for the worst. The weather can change in literally minutes, and shame on you if you´re not prepared! Well…. you might even die with your shame, ….and then your shame is not worth much! So, the clue is to fill your backpack 2/3´rds with security. I guess this rule applies to every mountain-area all over the world…

Two years ago we went to the Dormitor national park in Monte Negro, aiming for the highest peak: Bobotov Kuk 2523 m.

We reached the summit, and would highly recommend the hike! But on the way we met two young men from Sweden. They´d been wandering around in this national park for days searching for water! Being Scandinavian I can easily understand why they didn´t bring enough water of their own. Water can be found almost everywhere here and will, most likely, not be polluted or toxic. That´s NOT the case in Middle-European highlands, and my point is that you should always search for accurate information about the area you´re entering! We were able to provide these dehydrated, young med with 1,5 liters of water from our 2/3´rds secured backpacks, and also got the pleasure of seeing young men cry:)

So, though the weather, …and the weather forecast showed sun, sun, and only sun for the whole of Easter, I had to make sure my arm fit into my mountain gear. Luckily my cast was only fitted around half my arm, -to secure my thumb from moving, and I found a minimum of gear to fit. If  I had a broken arm, and a full cast, I´d been left in the city due to invalid gear…. Oh horrors!! (…or maybe not! A pair of scissors and some «Gaffa-tape» will get you a long way:))

Anyway, -the garment I wore the most this Easter was my «Store Ringstind» from this post. I´ve actually been wearing this almost daily since I finished it late February. I had to fish it out of the washing-basket to take these pictures….

You could put my whole upper-body in a cast – and it would still fit, and I love it! The New Zealand «Wool Company»´s Corriedale is a hard-wearing wool, but it still feels soft against the skin. The undyed «wheat-like» color has a natural warmth to it, and I´m very happy with the star-pattern. Though the sweater is long and oversized, the pattern does not look too insignificant compared to the rest of the sweater, -which could easily have been the case. All in all, -I feel I «hit the nail» with this design, and might work on it to be able to publish the pattern at some point…. Check out the sweater at my Ravelry project page.