Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Twined sweater progress

Twined sweater in progress
Originally uploaded by Asplund
Here's a better photo when it comes to showing the pattern, although the one in my previous post is a prettier photo.

Asplund the Narcissist is trying to knit aspen trees using the twined technique; six trees around the sweater will make an aspen grove, an "asplund" in Swedish. (For a while I thought the trees looked more like broccoli, but now I'm confident about them again!)

Kerry asked about the technique. You knit with two strands that you twist between each stitch. It's time-consuming but well worth it for the deep-relief effect when you combine knit and purl stitches; keeping the strand you don't knit with in front makes a difference too.

In this post there's a photo of the right and wrong sides and a link to a great blog about the technique.

To answer some questions in comments on the "Reunion" post:

Christine: I love the lingonberry pattern too and found it in a book by Inger and Ingrid Gottfridsson. There is an English translation of it, "The Mitten Book". Hope you find it! I agree with you about being critical right after one has finished a project. It's so easy to (or impossible not to) compare the garment to what one had in mind.

Ann: alas, no new labels. Actually, there's evidence I'm still Mormor because a group of pupils once gave me a mug with that word on it!

About the green ribbing (Martin's green and white sweater): I used thinner needles and made it fairly wide (3k, 2 p in this sweater. If it's still flabby (which happens) I'd knit it twice as long as I want it and fold it in half.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Det som göms i snö

Twined sweater in progress
Originally uploaded by Asplund
kommer upp i tö. (What's hidden in snow emerges when it's thawing. Perhaps "murder will out" is the closest English expression. Other suggestions?)

At long last I've felt like excavating my second twined sweater project from the (crammed) basket where it has been hibernating for about a year and a half. Not quite sure how to go on with the pattern I put it aside and then didn't pick it up again for a number of reasons. Other projects, of course, but also the fact that I've moved twice and started a new employment during this period.

Actually, the main reason I've stayed away from this project is probably associating it with worries about work and where to live.

Looking at the sweater among the anemones makes me feel completely different about it! And the more and stronger memories and feelings that are attached to a project the better.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011


Originally uploaded by Asplund
Here are two sweaters I haven't seen for quite a few years: to the left one I made for my sister's then boyfriend Martin for his 25th birthday in 1999, and to the right a sweater I made for my sister in the mid-90s.

I haven't seen them for quite a few years; the one to the right had been missing for years when my mother recently discovered it in a box in her basement and I don't see Martin that often after he and my sister split up some ten years ago. (Shortly after he got this sweater, come to think of it - surely that must be a coincidence! Unless there was some kind of Curse of the Green Sweater.)

Anyway, I was very pleased to see them again: I like them a lot better than expected. I remember Martin's sweater didn't turn out the way I had hoped, that I thought the patterns looked a lot better on graph paper than knitted up.

Today I like the patterns, especially details like the cuffs, which I had forgotten completely. I was inspired by the Russian sweater from Unskijposad in Uuve Snidare's book about fishermen's sweaters, although this is far simpler. Echoes from the Russian sweater are the horizontal borders with lines between, and if I may say so myself the two patterns blend nicely across the lines (which was what I wanted to achieve).

As for my sister's sweater, I didn't think the colour combination was that succesful when it was new, but I like it now. The lingonberry pattern is from one of the books that belonged to my grandmother, but the sweater shape is my own. A detail I remember fondly is that it was one of the first times I used a picot edge.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

White shawl finished

"Crown Prince" shawl no 2
Originally uploaded by Asplund
Of the shawls I've made since I first tried lace knitting some five years ago this is the one I like best, almost so much I want to wear it myself!

If I had only known earlier how much fun it is to make shawls I would have given it a try long before. I do like the challenge of making sweaters, joining the different parts into a unity, but it is also nice not having any seaming to do, very few loose ends to take care of and no real worries about size.

I think the "Cyprus" border from Victorian Lace Today turned out very nice after blocking. As mentioned in a previous post I changed it from garter to stocking stitch.

Comments on my previous post made me smile and laugh, not least christinelaennec's suggestion the curtains had morphed to match my sweater :-D Thanks, everyone!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

A perfect match

A perfect match
Originally uploaded by Asplund
This is rather worrying: it suddenly dawned on me I match the kitchen curtains at work! Is there such a thing as Freudian yarn colour choices?
If so, I probably don't want to know more...

Still, I'm more than happy with how this sweater turned out, especially how I changed the pattern of the side panels knitted sideways and blended it with the sleeve pattern.

I'm working on a knitted-on border for the white shawl. It's a modified version of Jane Sowerby's "Cyprus" border for her "Shoulder shawl in Syrian pattern" from Victorian Lace Today.

My modification is simple, namely stocking stitch instead of garter stitch. I'm not very fond of garter stitch, especially not in lace knitting: I want the knitted fabric to be airy, and garter stitch makes it more compact. I also wanted the slight curling effect of stocking stitch.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

"Jaws" cuffs

"Jaws" cuffs
Originally uploaded by Asplund
Thanks everyone for all your positive comments on my previous post - I appreciate them very, very much!

Ron asked about the cuffs, so here's a photo to show what I did: I took a row of "teeth" from the body (slightly thinner needles) and made it smaller, six stitches wide instead of eight. Then I knitted stranded stripes, cast off loosely and sewed it in place.

One of the many things I love about this yarn, BC Shetlandsuld, is how soft it becomes after washing. It's a bit rough to work with - which is a good thing in my opinion. I'm not very fond of slippery fibres like baby alpaca.

I think Marianne Isager would recognize her design "Andes" from Inca Knits in spite of my modifications, in short:
  • Colours (completely different, 7 instead of 4, and a slightly different colour sequence).
  • Rows knitted sideways on front and back not garter stitch but stranded colourwork.
  • Sleeves in stranded colourwork, not garter stitch.
  • Neckband split in front to match bottom border splits.
  • Cuffs in “tooth” pattern to echo the front and back.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Jaws: the return

"Jaws" sleeve
Originally uploaded by Asplund
Having several projects at a time suits me!

My "Jaws" sweater has been resting for a few weeks; I couldn't make up my mind about the cuffs and therefore started knitting the white shawl I had been thinking about while knitting "Jaws".

It's the other way around now: I'm not sure how to frame the white shawl yet, but had made up my mind about the sweater cuffs while knitting the main part of the shawl. When the sweater is finished I will hopefully know how to finish the shawl.

If not, I could always start something new!

There are a few dangling ends to weave in before washing and blocking the sweater, but it is practically done. Unfortunately, the photo is blurred, but I guess it's better than no photo.

I changed the collar by splitting it in front; this was to echo the bottom border. I wanted a line in a contrasting colour but couldn't decide whether I preferred red or yellow, so I surprised myself by having both. A small step for a man, but for a control freak in favour of symmetry a giant leap!