Saturday 28 November 2009

My knits on display at Marias garn

Today was a wonderful first day of my show at yarn shop Marias garn in Stockholm. So many friendly, talented and creative people I've met: thanks everone for a great day!

Some were friends that I haven't met for a couple years, like fellow Ravelers katarina and findus, whom I've stayed in touch with since we met at a knitting camp in the summer of 2007, where we had a great time.

I was also thrilled to get to meet borntoknit in person for the first time! I've admired her work since I first discovered her talents on Flickr a few years ago and then looked her up on Ravelry, which took me to her blog.

Another amazing textile artist that turned up was Flickr's Feltangel. Check out her wonderful needlefelted dogs and other items on Flickr and her site "Ull och krull"!

Let me tell you, it's quite tempting spending hours in a yarn shop. Still, I managed not to buy a single skein of yarn! However, that's mainly because I bought enough for a sweater yesterday after arranging all the items in the window.

My cousins' cairn terrier Asta.

Wednesday 25 November 2009

An appetizer

Originally uploaded by

Here's a vest made especially for the show at Marias garn, Stockholm, which starts on Saturday at 11 am. Welcome!

The colours made me think of a flower I love, Fritillaria meleagris, and therefore I tried to make a pattern that would be slightly similar to it.

In Swedish this flower is called Kungsängslilja, which means "Lily of the Royal Meadow" (we like compound words!) and it is a symbol of the region of Uppland.

Wednesday 18 November 2009

Fair Isle jacket: shoulder join

Fair Isle jacket: shoulder
Originally uploaded by

After all, I decided to abandon the idea of a saddle with yellow and white square and/or rectangles, mainly because the yellow drowned in this shade of brown. (Which I wanted to use since it was next in turn of the background colours.)

Not particularly surprisingly, Alice Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting provided inspiration. I changed this simple but elegant leaf pattern only sligthly (adding a couple of rows) and used two of my three shades of green in it; I knitted one half of the pattern on each piece to be joined in the middle.

First I thought of grafting the two pieces, but in that case the pattern halves wouldn't have matched completely but would have been half a stitch off (shock horror!) so I cast them off together.

I liked the leaves so much I made them the first sleeve pattern too. The russet squares wasn't a good idea as the darkest background colour suddenly looked very dark and dominant placed vertically against the borders. I should have taken a photo of how it looked before I unravelled those rows, but unfortunately didn't. (Too eager to knit more leaves!) Here's a photo of the steek instead. The crocheted chain probably could have been closer to the body but perhaps it doesn't make much difference.

Finally, here's the hat I started to have something completely different to focus on. It weighs next to nothing, but all the floats on the wrong side make it warm.

Sunday 15 November 2009

Fair Isle jacket: back and front done

WIP: Fair isle jacket
Originally uploaded by

Top left: the armhole is slightly shaped. There could be more decreases, but I want the pattern to end in the middle of the big X on each side: I like symmetry, and there's already so much going on in this garment that I believe it's important the "frame" of it is right (so you don't notice it).

Top right: steek stitches secured with a crochet hook. I'm not completely sure where I got this idea from, but am fairly certain it was En till who told me about it. Thank you!

Bottom left: front shaping of neck. I knitted back and forth using wrap-and-turn short rows. The back of the neck is shaped too and about half as deep. Purling with two colours isn't my favourite hobby, but I do it as fast as possible to have it over and done with.

Bottom right: removing provisional cast-on stitches. I like putting all the stitches on the needle first, so I don't drop them or accidentally pull the wrong yarn.

Before I can move on there are quite a few decisions to make. Most important, how to join the shoulders: grafting, casting off together or knitting a saddle. I like the saddle idea best, but that involves more decisions: how wide, what colour(s), a pattern... Perhaps light brown background with yellow and beige squares.

I have to work with something completely different to let my brain work with the jacket project without my noticing it. There's enough yarn from other projects to make a hat. This is also Shetlandsuld, but how different it turns out in dark grey and white stripes!

Friday 13 November 2009

From a feast to an orgy of colours

WIP: Fair Isle jacket
Originally uploaded by

Why have I been so afraid of playing with colours before, usually restricting myself to two or possibly three in a project? This yarn makes a difference, of course; there's no such thing as an ugly combination, at least not with this array of colours.

It's both fun and useful seeing how the colours "react" to each other; also, I'm certain all the combinations will make this jacket great for future reference.

Perhaps I'm overdoing it, testing so many things in one project, but this is so exciting and rewarding I don't mind! Still, there are quite a few things in the composition of shades and shapes to try to keep it together in spite of all the variation. However, I will have to write about how I have planned the patterns (and how I have been revising my plans) some other time. Got to knit!

Tuesday 10 November 2009

Fair Isle jacket and show in Stockholm

WIP: Fair Isle Jacket
Originally uploaded by

What to do when you're eager to knit the main patterns but haven't decided about the edges? I cast on with white cotton yarn (easy to remove) and knitted a row or two.

A good thing about knitting a couple of rows back and forth before knitting in the round is that it's easier to check it's not twisted. I remember clearly the first time I suddenly realised I was knitting a spiral instead of a tube and how stupid I felt. Unfortunately, it wasn't the last time, and guess who felt even more stupid the second time it happened... Etc.

My plan is to knit a jacket; the main reason is that if there is a steek all the way in front I don't have to weave in any threads (there are already quite a few dangling in the middle of the steek) but will simply cut them off when I cut the steek. The sleeves will have lots of threads to take care of, though.

I will felt the steek slightly apart from securing it by sewing, a method that worked well with this sweater. (Actually, the rusty red wool is leftovers from that project.) Perhaps it doesn't make much difference, but it felt safer and so at least had psychological value! Also, I rather like turning it into an advantage that this wool felts if you don't treat it gently.


Unfortunately, this project won't be finished by Nov. 28, which is the first day some of my knitted sweaters and mittens will be on display at yarn shop Marias garn in Stockholm. Map here.

I'll be there the first day (between 11 am and 2.30 pm) and hopefully some other days too before the show ends on Dec. 19.


Sunday 8 November 2009

Fair Isle swatch: part two

Fair Isle swatch: part two
Originally uploaded by

The pattern is the same, but I skipped the darkest background colour and moved the red to a single row in the middle.

It turned out the way I hoped, and I like it a lot better this way: attention drawn to the centre instead of back and forth between the border edges.

Next I will play with the three shades of green in my stash.

Friday 6 November 2009


Fair Isle swatch
Originally uploaded by

Wool in an array of glorious colours (leftovers and new skeins I just couldn't resist) plus Alice Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting = high time to swatch! It's a book I really recommend, primarily for the excellent pattern library section.

Not only is there an abundance of patterns, they are also arranged according to how many rows they consist of (from 1 to 19 rows plus a number of allover patterns). Starmore also encourages playing with the pattern shapes and explains how to do so in a structured way.

With so many choices it's difficult to decide where to start. For this swatch I simply picked one of the many irresistible patterns to see how the colours in my stash work together. I really like this combination of colours, but not so much my colour sequence.

The rusty red is too dominant and demands attention at both the beginning and the end of the repeat. That's too messy in my opinon, so I'm going to move it to the middle where I think it will play nicely with the warm shade of yellow. What's more, that should result in a single focal point in the centre of the repeat with the glowing colours against the undyed and beige background.

I should add that Starmore's book has many qualities apart from the pattern section. Even though parts of it may seem dated at first glance (after all, it was first published in the 80s) I would say it's a timeless book above all.

The yarn is Shetlandsuld from BC Garn; 3 mm needles (US 2½).

Sunday 1 November 2009

Cecilia's twined mittens finished

Cecilia's twined mittens
Originally uploaded by

At long last I've finished the twined mittens I cast on for Cecilia in April. There was no hurry then, and when I picked them up again after summer I had some difficulties with the pattern, since I decided to abandon my original idea.

I really wanted the thin lines to frame the hand and merge with the broad line in the middle, but then diagonal (and horizontal) lines pop up while vertical lines sink. I don't mind three levels if it's an allover pattern, on the contrary, but I think it would look silly with just two lines suddenly rising where the mitten ends. Cecilia appreciates simplicity, so I simply skipped the frame idea. Let's just hope her hands won't look like dark grey, cloven hooves.

For examples of Cecilia's immense artistic talents, check out her blog A Matter of Form. Another idea is to visit gallery Sigtuna Kulturgård, where she and her husband Mattias will be displaying their work during three weekends starting on Sat. 7 November.

Sunset in Uppsala.