wool&gathering

Knitting, design, wool and other gatherings….


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Tiles…

Last February I knit this cardigan. I called it “Tiles”. It´s knit in a sport/dk weight alpaca yarn. It came out a bit on the big side, and the shoulders/sleeves looked horrendous! No fit whatsoever!!

I tried felting it in the washing-machine on a light circle. That did´t work, so I gave it another go in the machine – on the same circle – and BAM! Suddenly it was a bit too much felted… Like negative magic. Sigh!

After drying and some heavy blocking it was wearable, but the shoulders still looked odd – so I put it in the back of the closet and forgot about it.

The inspiration for this stranded pattern came from a cardigan (kofte) I saw once (pic 1). A week ago I found the original pattern (pic 2), and it´s called “Norrøn” (the old nordic name for nordic), and I admit the stranded pattern looks a bit Viking´ish. I liked the repeated simplicity in the pattern – and it reminded me of tiles… I made my “Tiles” from copying the stranded pattern from pic 1, and it turns out I´ve got it wrong. The original pattern has two more rows and two more stitches for every pattern repeat – but I don´t mind. I even think my version looks better… I also used this pattern in my Headband #2 (pic 3) from the last post. Suddenly there were too many signs concerning this pattern to let me keep on forgetting about the cardigan in the closet. So I found it and wondered what to do with it to make it ok? -and decided on using the sewing-machine to form the shoulders. It works – it´s not perfect, but it can be worn. …but I still want to make it again – just to get it right!


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On the needles…

bildeI really should be doing non-knitting related things right now. We have a big happening coming up which demands planning, organizing and quite a bit of sewing. More of that later…

I still find myself knitting – as always, and may feel quite annoyed, just by hearing myself telling myself to put down the knitting and go and do something more useful. Grown up? -not really…

Well, I´ll finish this post and go do something more useful. Promise!

Here´s what´s on my needles at the moment:

kofte

kofte

A “kofte” (cardigan) in Hillesvåg´s Ask (Hifa 2). I´m writing down the pattern, and enjoy every stitch of it. I need more yarn, so it will have to rest for a bit. In the meantime I can knit more on this beauty:

shawl

shawl

This is the result (so far…) of my visit to Lundegård Alpakka the other day. It´s going to be a shawl based on my Moscow Shawl Copy.

Wish you all a great weekend!


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I know…

I know I´ve been neglecting this blog lately, and as a consequence of that I know it´s far too late to show off my 2014 knitting statistics in March 2015 – but I´ll do it anyway…

I knit a total of 23 240 meters / 34 projects in 2014.

Reading statistics – what I usually find most interesting is what it does not say – like; I have not knitted any socks in 2014!

In this summary of my 2014 knitting, I´ve chosen to compare the number of projects and what type of yarn, with the actual meterage of yarn used. The pie charts will obviously look different, but I was surprised to find just how different… If you look at the top left chart – 44% of last years projects were hats – but when you look at the meterage in the chart below, only 15% of the meters of yarn I used in 2014 were for hats. You might draw the conclusion that I knit lots of hats in aran / worsted / bulky – weight, and you are right!

One of my knitting goals every year is to knit more egotistical. Knitting is to me a creative outlet, it´s what I do when I can find time for it – and it´s been like that since I was a child. If you scanned my brain, you would find a little fire-red area buzzing constantly, there´s no off-button! Most other areas / interests in my life I can switch in- and out of, but not knitting. I am a knitter and I guess it´s kind of personal – you will have to be a knitter yourself to understand – I think… So my aim is to knit more projects for myself than I give away, – and if you look at the top right chart – you can see that I failed, again! Please, don´t get me wrong; I love to present friends and family with knitted gifts – or I would not have done it, but my aim is for the pie chart to show a +50% in favor of me. Luckily I compared the number of knitted gifts with the meterage of yarn used in these gifts, and the numbers went from 56% of the projects – to “only” 35% of the total amount of yarn. (Yes! she cried – hoping nobody was listening…) Which might lead you to conclude that the numbers of gifts include a lot of hats in aran / worsted / bulky – weight, and you are right, again!!

Over to showing you an actual knitted piece…

“Myk Icelandic”

Sorry for the quality of the pictures – the light is not picture-friendly in Norway during the winter. So I set out to get new pictures taken – forgetting that we´re witnessing a solar-eclipse today… there´s always something … every 60 years or so….! The weather is overcast and raining, so I can´t present you with a picture – but it´s definitely getting darker outside…

Pattern: Stutt rennd lopapeysa / Icelandic Zip Cardigan

Yarn: Myk / Sandnes Garn, a bulky weight yarn

Colors: 6 skeins of 1088 Coal + 1 skein of 1012 Ecru

Needles: 6mm / US 10

Notes: Bottom-up. Quick knit. Soft and very lightweight yarn. Short-rows in the neck to make it higher in the back. Added 4 st to each arm + only placed 8 st to each underarm instead of 10. Steeked and added button bands. I knit size 42 to get a size 40 – my gauge was little tight compared to the patterns gauge. I´m surprisingly happy with this cardigan – I´ve used it a lot! And equally surprised by the yarn – it looks great after a lot of wearing and the pilling is close to none. And though I would love to knit this in the requested wool-yarn, my cardigan is very light-weight, and can be worn under jackets/coats.

My next post will be about the impossible project – in many terms….


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Buttons…

IMG_5460My least favorite part of the knitting process is searching for the right buttons… I admit to being picky, and I quite often spend a lot of time and energy finding just the right buttons. These two projects have been finished for a time now, -just lacking the last important finish; buttons!

I bought the Butterfly-buttons for my Lipstick Cardigan a long time ago. The color is just perfect for this cardigan. I´m not really the Butterfly kind of person, but it was the best I could find. I visited some yarn shops on my resent mini-holiday, and bought a set of new buttons, but they were not really right either… So it was back to the Butterflies. They really work from a distance, but close up I just want to re-state that I´m not the Butterfly kind of person, and that these buttons are in support of the alarmingly decreasing population of certain types of Butterflies! (who´s going to pollinate our crops when there´s no bees, humble-bees or butterflies left…?)

I bought the metal-striped buttons (on the left in the picture) for my Gerda´s Cardigan IV, but found them to be a bit on the shiny side. I liked the fact that they were striped, -to go with the stripes in the cardigan, but upon searching through my extensive old stash of buttons from -not 3 decades, -but 3 centuries!! (see this post), I found these “worn-out” metal´ish buttons. They add just the right “look” to the cardigan, and they also pick up some of the blue color in the project. The fact that I could only find 6 of them when I was in need of 7, and had to complete with a different button in the same material, just adds to the “worn-out” look! Satisfied!

On my before mention mini-holiday I found this yarn: Norsk Pelsull from Hifa, one of the few yarn-producers in Norway that still uses Norwegian wool in their production. I´ve only seen this yarn online before, and finally got to see the different colors “live”. I bought 5 skeins, in the colors 1115 natural gray, 1112 coral and 1108 oker (yellow). With it I also bought these buttons. These are traditional “kofte”-buttons, used for generations. I remember having these buttons on one of my childhood´s “kofte”. I´m really looking forward to sew these buttons on a kofte made from Norsk Pelsull. The image on the button is from the famous Norwegian author Henrik Ibsen´s play “Peer Gynt” act 1, scene: “the Buckride”. The last picture shows some of the traditional buttons /buckles I found in my stash. The top ones are silver, and would traditionally be used for “Bunad“, but there´s no laws against using it for knitted pieces… if you can be bothered polishing the buttons on a regular basis:)


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Fog&Whisper in Cozy Silk / Stone

My Fog&Whisper is finished (for a while now…), and I´m quite satisfied with the result! The pattern is Veera Välimäki´s Fog and Whisper. A versatile short cardigan with front panels in garter stitch. This project involves a lot of purling, apart from the front panels and the sleeves, -but still a lot of purling for my taste. But I found that purling can in fact make an otherwise quite tedious stretch of knit stitches a bit more interesting… You know that purling takes more time and therefore you settle with that, where as knit stitches in the round grows very slowly because in your mind you´re almost done… before you even start… The yarn: WalkCollection´s Cozy Silk Fingering / col. Stone was great for this project, and a delight to knit with!

I´ve done some alterations to the pattern instructions: I cast on for size 38”, and did the raglan increases only every 4th row for the last 4 increasing rows before dividing for the body/sleeves, to make the upper body a bit longer. Then I made 8 new st(s) under each arm. I knit the remaining close to size 42”
The pattern instructions says to knit in reversed stockinette, with the increases on the purl side. This to make the raglan increases less visible I think… I´m wearing this purl side out, and knit this in stockinette, and did the increases on the knit side. I made the body 5 cm shorter, and picked up 118 sts for each front band + 92 for the collar. Gauge: 24,5 st = 10 cm.

Just to settle the fact that I´ve cured myself of any purling-phobia, I´ve cast on for another sweater: V-neck Stripes. (yes I know, -it needs a new name…) It´s knit using the same method as with my Cashmere Summer TopMagic cast on on the shoulders. A few short rows to shape the shoulder part, and the fronts- and back part knitted from the shoulder stitches, and then all the stitches gathered on a circular needle for the boxy shaped body. I´ll pick up stitches around the arm holes for the sleeves. Love this soft alpaca, light fingering yarn from Malabrigo! I have to admit the fun part of the knitting is over. Only the upper-body involves purling, the rest is just plain knit stitches in the round, which in my mind is already finished …which it´s not! By far:)

To end this post; a few pictures from my trip to the wonderful world of hiking and kayaking in the heart of the Norwegian Fjords & Mountains: the county of Sogn og Fjordane on the west-coast of Norway. We had snow-storm on 1100 meters just to find 25 degrees celsius by the fjord the same afternoon… when you reach the top of the mountains it feels like you´re on the roof of the world with view of glaciers, 2000 meter tops and small villages scattered in the valleys between the steep mountain sides. Wild and fabulous!