Tuesday 27 April 2010

A few of my favourite things

Naxos Cat
Originally uploaded by

Now that I've started my "Pacific" sweater I'm going to write seven things about myself (for receiving a blog award).

Here are seven things that I like:

1. Cats (see photo). Don't have one, but we always did when I grew up. For a few years we had three, and unlike our dog they liked walks. (She joined out of sheer jealousy, though.)

2. Needlepoint. (See photo again!) I haven't done it for quite a few months, but will probably get back into it. I like it that you can paint with colours in ways that hardly would be possible in knitting. This is a design by Elian McCready, and I stitched it some eight years ago.

3. Books, both fact and fiction. Right now I'm in the middle of The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt, and opening it is like stepping into the late 19th century.

4. Movies. A few months ago I joined a study circle, "Se film med nya ögon" (Watch movies with new eyes) and I've learnt so many things! I used to watch movies more or less they way I read novels, but last week we discussed editing, light, camera angles etc. comparing three scenes in Spike Lee's 25th Hour for a couple of hours. It's so rewarding hearing what others have seen and thought about. Our teacher has chosen great, very different movies and gives us intriguing questions to ponder.

5. Listening to the radio. A favourite show is "Språket" (language).

6. Gustavianum in Uppsala. My favourite building.

7. "This Year's Kisses" with Billie Holiday and Lester Young. Well, practically anything recorded by Lady Day.

I'm passing this award on to James, whose blog was the first one I started reading a few years ago. He recently arranged a Men's Knitting Retreat in New Zealand!

Monday 26 April 2010

Taking liberties

WIP: "Pacific" by Isager
Originally uploaded by

I like this shade of light bluish green so much I decided to make those stripes wider to make the colour more prominent.

This change entailed other modifications, like the width of the white rhombs. (Parallelograms? Somethings else? Geometry was a couple of decades ago.)

I have also changed the number of rows to a repeat. That's because I've chosen to twist the side cables every six rows: exactly 5 twists per repeat helps me keep track of when to do them, since I mark those rows in the chart and don't have to count rows.

Saturday 24 April 2010

Addicted to Isager

Pacific swatch
Originally uploaded by

After buying Marianne Isager's book Inca Knits a few months ago I've been eager to knit her design Pacific. Maria suggested this colour combination, which of course was impossible to resist.

However, even though the skeins looked great together, they didn't knit up as well: this shade of white looks too yellow, so the swatch has been resting for weeks. Today I celebrated finishing Isager's "Knit and purl" sweater by taking the yarn to reliable Yll och tyll to see if they had whiter skeins of white Shetlandsuld. Of course, they did. Also, it's wonderful with a shop where they trust you to take products outdoors to compare them in the sun!

Marianne Isager is easily the most imporant designer to me when it comes to developing my skills and seeing possibilites in knitting. Knitting two of her designs fifteen years ago was a true eyeopener regarding the possibilities of knitting, above all ways to combine shape, pattern and function in clever and attractive ways. She's a master of deceptively simple, something I admire tremendously. I love her sense of colour too.

Edited to add:

I have received an award! Thank you, Caloweena! I'm supposed to write seven interesting things about myself, but that will have to wait. Or maybe there are seven things in this post already? (Too eager to wind my new skeins into balls and start knitting Pacific to think of anything. Can't even remember the names of the seven dwarfs!)

Sunday 18 April 2010

Isager's "Knit and purl" sweater

Here's a picture of my second attempt at a shoulder join: vertical lines and a three-needle bind-off, which is my favourite method. You can also see the sleeve cap in this picture.

My first attempt ended with diagonal lines and a simple neck opening (and short rows for it to be lower in front). I though it would work with the horizontal pattern borders, but didn't like the way it turned out, thinking it looked just like a slit - as if I'd simply cut it open. The new neck looks more finished. The vertical lines blend with the ones on the yoke.

I'm sure I will associate this project with quite a lot of live music, completely different genres and completely different venues. First, there was first-class jazz outdoors surrounded by palm trees: Dee Dee Bridgewater in top shape (beyond words) and a quintet to match her dynamics. I'm still high after more than a week! Then there was The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain visting a small and charming theatre in Uppsala, a highly musical and entertaining evening. Last but not least, in a couple of hours off to Uppsala cathedral to enjoy Händel's Messiah. (By the way, I don't knit during concerts - but on my way to them or while waiting for them to start!)

Sunday 11 April 2010

Quality knitting

Originally uploaded by

On 10 April my blog turned one year; I should have written a post about it yesterday but was nowhere near a computer.

Nor did I knit much, but on the other hand I let quality take precedence over quantity: what better way to celebrate than to knit a couple of rows on top of Masada overlooking the Dead Sea and the Jordanian heights? (By the way, it seems I'm turning into a chameleon, colour matching my environment in terms of clothes as well as knitting. And clothes again. Etc.)
Floating in the Dead Sea was glorious after hours of driving and walking: like bathing in silk. No knitting in the water for me, though. (Sic!)

Other highlights that day included seeing lots of ibices and some hyraces in the Ein Gedi national park.

Here's a view of the Dead Sea and the Jordanian heights from the Ein Gedi national park. Spot the ibex!

Wednesday 7 April 2010

Extending my knitting

to Tel Aviv and Jaffa.

In case anyone is curious, let me assure you that the temperature of the Mediterranean waves is no less than perfect.

Lunch outdoors in Jaffa, at restaurant Dr Shakshuka, was also perfect!

Here's a photo of my knitting:

Marianne Isager's sweater Knit and Purl from Classic Knits consists of different horizontal borders that are fun to knit. Also, I think the pattern suits both the yarn (Rowan Felted Tweed) and the colour ("Duck Egg").

I have decided not to make a raglan sweater, even though I love raglans. It's just that I think raglan yokes look better with vertical rather than horizontal patterns. Other modifications include changing the border that consists of triangles (original version top border to the right) and knitting the pieces back and forth instead of in the round.

Monday 5 April 2010

Knitter on holiday

Knitting in Jerusalem
Originally uploaded by

Making up for lost knitting time - all the hours I didn't dare to knit in public.

Today I bought a bag in the Old City; it's perfect for carrying a knitting project around. As if I didn't already have a few knitting bags...

With a bit of luck I'll be able to go to a concert with one of my favourite singers while I'm here: it turns out Dee Dee Bridgewater is performing near Tel Aviv on Thursday!

Friday 2 April 2010

Shared custody

"Zaire" sweater
Originally uploaded by Asplund

In a comment on the previous post docrock asked to see the "Zaire" sweater modelled.

It looks a lot better on my dear friend Annika than on me, so I've decided we're going to be co-owners.

(I already like wearing it too much to part with it completely, but must admit I didn't enjoy knitting it enough to make another one.)