Thursday 29 August 2013

Camel cowl

Camel cowl by Asplund
Camel cowl, a photo by Asplund on Flickr.
I've finished the cowl I mentioned in my previous post. The wool is lovely, 90% camel and 10% merino, and turned out to be perfect for brioche knitting. Not that I'm looking forward to winter, but at least I feel well prepared with this fluffy dream in my wardrobe. (And perhaps I could try my luck as a fluffer in the yarn porn industry?)

The two sides don't look quite the same when you (or at least when I) knit brioche in the round. The knit columns on the inside are more pronounced, but both sides look good.

Once I had cast off I couldn't resist casting on to make a similar cowl but with a different yarn from my stash, a single skein of gorgeous greenish blue. Isn't it fascinating how differently yarns respond to techniques? Brioche in the round is obviously not the right technique for this yarn - unless you want a distorted cowl.

cowl failure

Well, it could actually look nice with the spiralling effect - but it simply wouldn't work with the raglan shape, so I have to think of something else...

The camel wool reminds me of a happy Christmas a few years ago:

Friday 23 August 2013

Barking and burping

Brioche knitting by Asplund
Brioche knitting, a photo by Asplund on Flickr.
Those are Nancy Marchant's words based on the abbreviations brk (brioche knit) and brp (brioche purl). A voracious knitter I'm especially fond of burping.

I had no idea the technique had so many possibilities. In the photo there are three examples:

1. A two-colour shawl where the pattern is created using increases and decreases. (I discovered a mistake a few rows back, which is why I pulled out the needle. Irritating, but it gave me an opportunity to see how it is turning out.)

2. A single-colour cowl knitted in the round with increases and decreases to make a nice edge.

3. A two-colour swatch where the knit and purl columns change places; this affects which colour is brought forward.

I can't remember when I last learnt so many things in such short time - and I haven't even tried brioche cables or diagonal lines or...

Patentstickning är något jag har gillat sedan farmor lärde mig grunderna, men det är först nu jag har förstått vilka möjligheter som finns med tekniken. Eftersom jag egentligen bara kunde sticka fram och tillbaka med en färg (ett rätt misslyckat försök att sticka runt för några år sedan räknas knappast) tyckte jag att det blev för enformigt för att göra hela plagg, men nu har jag drabbats av patentfrossa.

Fotot visar tre varianter: en sjal med två färger där mönstret skapas med ökningar och minskningar; en fuskpolo som stickas runt och kanten formas med ökningar och minskningar; en provlapp med två färger där de räta och aviga kolumnerna byter plats, vilket innebär att det växlar mellan vilken av färgerna som blir dominant. Och det finns mängder kvar att testa!

Friday 16 August 2013

Learning new tricks

Brioche shawl in progress by Asplund
Brioche shawl in progress, a photo by Asplund on Flickr.
At a knitting event a couple of weeks ago I was inspired to develop my brioche knitting skills. As I only knew the very basics of the technique, there was (and still is) a lot of room for improvement - and I had no idea what possibilities there are!

A workshop leader myself I couldn't participate in any classes, but when Nancy Marchant talked about brioche knitting and showed examples of what you can make with the technique I knew I had to try it. I’ve ordered her book Knitting Brioche, and while waiting for it to arrive I have taken her class at Craftsy. Highly recommended!

The shawl I’m making with two colours is based on a rectangular scarf pattern that is included in the Craftsy class. (Ravelry link here.) It is a fascinating technique in many ways, like the way you create patterns using increases and decreases.

When I knit lace shawls I like thinking of bricks of various shapes that build a shawl, and realized I could think in a similar way with these ”leaf bricks” constructing the shawl shape by adding leaves.

brioche shawl: wrong side
När jag var kursledare på Stickstämma 2013 i Jämtland för ett par veckor sedan kunde jag ju inte gå några kurser själv, men i programmet fanns fyra föredrag som alla kunde lyssna på. Bland annat pratade Nancy Marchant om patentstickning, och det var mycket inspirerande att se vad det går att göra med den tekniken! Jag lärde mig grunderna av farmor, men nu fick jag se många exempel på hur man kan arbeta med färger och skapa mönster med hjälp av ökningar och minskningar. 

I väntan på hennes bok Knitting Brioche har jag lärt mig massor av Nancys nätbaserade kurs på Craftsy och börjat leka med en sjal. Bladet är från ett mönster som ingår i kursen, men jag ville se om jag kunde använda formen på ett annat sätt än i en halsduk. Det är roligt att passa ihop mönsterform och sjalform!

Tuesday 13 August 2013


First of all, thanks for birthday wishes! I had a very nice day and am fortunately far from suffering from any kind of midlife crisis. On the contrary, finding oneself knitting three different Alice Starmore designs must surely be a sign of extremely good health!

My most recently started Starmore design is "Henry VIII". There are more rows without colour changes than in Donegal and Alba, which makes it quicker to knit - and it is such a treat seeing the pattern take shape. I have just finished the first repeat. They consist of 64 rows, so there will be three in all and the shoulder join will be in the middle of the part with red background.

Here is a birthday present I'd like to share with you, a beautiful rose that Cecilia Levy sent me. Look at the petals! The medium-sized ones are all cut from pages no 40 - and the smaller ones inside them from no 39, like years unfolding. Too elegant for words.

Thursday 8 August 2013

A bouquet

Knitted items from Dala-Floda by Asplund
Knitted items from Dala-Floda, a photo by Asplund on Flickr.
Considering all the embroidered flowers I thought this would be a suitable photo to celebrate that I turn 40 today! Actually, it feels as if I've been on a birthday party for a week: I was a workshop leader at a fabulous knitting event 1-4 August, and there I made new friends. They had planned a tour of the region of Dalarna (Twined Knitting Heaven) for a few days and I was happily shanghaied. We had a great time together and got to see - and fondle! - lots of twined garments from the 1800s, like the ones in the photo above.

Needless to say, I managed to buy some z-ply yarn too!
a bouquet