Sunday 29 August 2010

A head of cabbage?

WIP: shawl
Originally uploaded by

Not quite. Less compact! Would you believe it, I managed to cram all the stitches around the shawl onto a single circular needle! Lace is stretchy, of course, but before picking up stitches around this shape I armed myself with three needles, certain I would have to juggle with them and risking my eyes while knitting the lace edging around the shawl.

The pattern is a modification of an edging in Jane Sowerby's Victorian Lace Today, my Lace Bible.

Last week a Norwegian book I'd sent for arrived, wonderful Usynlege trådar i strikkekunsten ("Invisible threads in the art of knitting") by Annemor Sundbö, who was at the knitting camp I attended a few weeks ago.

Now, I know I'm being really immature, that I should focus on what a treasure the book is with its wealth of patterns and pictures and texts about different aspects of the socio-cultural history of knitting, and on what a great writer and lecturer Sundbö is. I know my Norwegian neighbours must be sick and tired of Swedes' childish comments. I know that words that look identical often have different meanings, even in closely related languages.

However... (You could see that word coming!) The cover does make me laugh. The name of the publishing house would always look, say, rather suggestive to Swedish eyes. Next to a well-worn mitten I'd say it's perfectly mind-boggling.

Thursday 19 August 2010

Kungsängslilja no 2

Kungsängslija no 2
Originally uploaded by

There have been so many knitting-related activities since my last post that I haven't found the time to blog about them. (Well, quite a lot of non-knitting activities have kept me from blogging too... Work, for example. ) I finished the second Kungsängslilja vest a few weeks ago and am happy with how it turned out. For a while I was worried the back of the neck wouldn’t be wide enough, but adding neck gussets (something I learnt from Alice Starmore’s Fishermen’s Sweaters) did the trick.

I spent the very last days of my vacation, August 5-8, at a knitting camp held at Väddö to the north of Stockholm. The very start was auspicious, as I got to sit next to Stickigt on the bus. We first met at a knitting camp in 2006 (the first one I attended) and have met a few times since then. It was a treat seeing other blogging knitter friends again, like Marias garnhändelser, Sannstick, Tålamodspåsen, Stickor o spån and En till. (Links to their blogs in column to the right), as well as non-blogging knitter friends I’ve made the past few years. Fortunately, there was time to make some new friends too – one of the many advantages of spending a few days together!

The workshops I attended were excellent. First there was Estonian mitten patterns taught by Estonian designer Riina Tomberg. Then a whole day with designer idol Britt-Marie Christoffersson, testing different finishing touches. Would you believe it, she had prepared her workshop by knitting a square for each participant to work with so we wouldn’t have to waste time. I added a border to it, a kind of frill, and tried different kinds of fringes (photo here). I also tested one of her patterns in all the combinations possible with three colours (photo here). Isn't it fascinating what a difference it makes simply moving colours around?

Last but not least, I learnt tapestry crochet, traditional patterns from Korsnäs in Finland. They’re famous for their partly knitted, partly crocheted sweaters.

There were also great lectures by Uuve Snidare, Annemor Sundbö and Celia B. Dackenberg. In short, a veritable knitting orgy. Feel free to envy me.

My current project is a lace shawl where I’m using the Marianne Kinzel’s ”Springtime” pattern modules to knit a different shape; I found inspiriation in Maureen Egan Emlet’s “Mediterranean Lace” shawl in A Gathering of Lace. The yarn is Wetterhoff's wool-silk blend Viva.