29. januar 2010

"Du store alpakka" - what a dilemma!

"Du store alpakka" yarn company celebrates 50 000 visitors on their blog with a competition, and ask people to send them photos of their creative projects with their yarn.

Tonight I read that my blog friend Annepålandet was nominated with her wristwarmers. I went to vote for her - and then I saw I was one of the nominees as well, with this hat:

So that was the dilemma, who to vote for? But I did vote for Anne. Her wristwarmes are beautiful and original. But maybe some of you will vote for me - you can see all the nominees here.

My hat was made a couple of years ago, of "Tykk entrådet alpakka", now unfotrunately discontinued. I really loved that yarn, still have some in my stash, waiting to become mittens, I think, cabled ones probably.

25. januar 2010

Christmas gift along - "julegavealong" 2010

I've decided to join Annepålandet and Sylvia's Christmas gift along 2010. (Norwegian blogs)

The participants are supposed to make one Christmas gift every month, and show it on their blog by the end of the month.

Here is my Christmas gift for January:

It's my new mitten pattern, inspired by the Selbu mitten contest by Samlaget (Norwegian publisher of Terri Shea's book about Selbu Mittens), I call them Selbu Peace&Love. The pattern is beeing test knitted now, and will be available soon.

22. januar 2010

Knitting in colour - r e d -

This time Judith 's colour challenge is red. I like red, and obviuously, football teams do too - I used a lot of red making football hats last year.

I also have a red hat myself, made many years ago, still in use when I go skiing. The red garter stitch scarf is a gift from a friend.

And here's an even older sweater.

The photo is not so good, but you can see there are cables. It's nice and warm, but not very elegant. And there are som stains on it, so I don't use it anymore. But I have been thinking of doing some kind of redesign, to make it more interesting and wearable, and remove or hide the stains in some way. We'll see.

And last, but not least, End of May mittens, by Mandy Powers, zigzagstitch on Ravelry.

My Phantasy hat in the background, hanging to dry.

19. januar 2010

Help for Haiti

Some days ago Ravelry made it easy to tag patterns with Help for Haiti, where designers have pledged to donate a portion of the proceeds to Haiti relief efforts. When I saw this, I had already made a donation to the Norwegian Red Cross' work on Haiti . And given my small amount of pattern sales, I didn't bother to mark my patterns for Haiti. But then I read Ysolda's post about this. She had sold so many more patterns than usual that she increased her donation from 50 to 80%, and yesterday she was able to donete more than $6000 to Médecins Sans Frontières . So I decided that from January 15 to February 15, a 100% of the sale price of these two patterns will go to the Norwegian Red Cross for their work in Haiti.

Lullaby Love


To see other patterns for Haiti, you can see the huge list on Ravelry.

12. januar 2010

Mittens - finished, in progress, pattern update, pattern writing, secret, faved

A brilliant pattern, End of May mittens, by Mandy Powers, zigzagstitch on Ravelry.

Yarn: Garnstudio Drops Merino (a new acquaintance of mine, will definitely use it again, it's super soft and warm, although a little splitty, soa you have to be awake)
Lining: Sandnes baby wool
Needles: 3,5 mm
Made for a trainee who is leaving us soon, so she won't forget us.

Fiddlehead mittens by Adrian Bizilia (Helloyarn) are still in progress. It's a brilliant pattern too, but the i-cord cast on was my first try, and the resulting stitches became to loose. I'll try to fix that when I start on the lining. I have wanted to make these since I saw them the first time. But I wanted the perfect colours, and could never decide. Now I just use them for stash busting, using Rauma Finullgarn for CC, and Kauni effektgarn for MC (the dark brown that was left from the blue and brown Hippocampus mittens).

The Inside Loop is closing down the website by the end of January. My Hippocampus pattern is now available also in English as a free Ravelry download (there has been a French and a Portugese version for a while). Just click on download now , and chose your preferred language. You can see more Hippocampus mittens in my Flickr gallery.

Stella Polaris mittens. Writing down the pattern is on my to do-list. Please send me a note if you're interested in test knitting, that might speed up my pattern writing.

Secret project for Selbu mitten contest by Samlaget (Norwegian publisher of Terri Shea's book about Selbu Mittens). I was inspired by Pinneguris blog post Dette er ikke en selbuvott. My mitten will hardly be approved by the Selbu purists (Norweigian link). I've called it "Selbuvott or not - dette er en ekte vott" (Selbu mitten or not, this is a real mitten). It was so fun to make these, that I've just started another pair of mittens, Selbu Peace&Love. Stay tune.

And here are som recent favourite mitten patterns, all in stranded colourwork:

Dala Selbu Hybrid by Wenche Roald
Northman Mittens by David Schulz
Tree mittens by Elli Stubenrauch
and Squirrel Sampler Mittens by Helloyarn as well

There are more... but enough for today!

8. januar 2010

Hats - lost, knitted, crocheted and queued

I made this hat for my brother for Christmas (he lost the hat I gave him last year the first time he wore it, on Boxing day last year...).

I'm planning a tunic for myself using Latvian stars, and I used this hat to try out the motifs. I also decided to give the Latvian braid another try (The first and the last time I did, I found it very tricky, and that's probably the reason why this sock is still single. Well, the braid doesn't show in the photo, but there is one on the cuff.) I found this tutorial, because I had forgotten how to do it. And you should purl, with to colours, and hold the yarn in front of your work, which is an awkward thing to do. So I thought, instead of purling with the yarn in front of the work, why not knit with the yarn behind the work? So I tried that, and it worked perfectly. Just turned the worked with a wrap and turn. I think I'll make more braids like that. I also want to try this Latvian twist one day.

The stars I found in this book, on Flickr and on this site.

This FCBarcelona hat I made last winter has also disappeared. We all suspect it will reappear at some point, behind a shelf or in a bag, but winter is now (- 25 today) and another hat was requested, a hat like the new Barcelona ball. I first consiedered knitting, but decided that would involve to much calculation and swatching, so crocheting was a better option. And the receiver was happy.

Lost, knitted, crocheted and queued -A couple of my Ravelry friends, have recently released new patterns: Asplund's Sigge hat is a very nice hat in stranded colourwork with two colours - his first published pattern. Hopefully not his last. In my queue. And Woolly Wormhead, definitely not her first hat pattern, she has lots of nice patterns - but I especially liked this one: The hat with no name (as yet). She has got lots of name suggestions on her blog, mine was Galaxis. Have a look here to see why.

That was today's hat update, now back to mitten knitting.

6. januar 2010

Knitting in colour - b l u e -

Judith 's first colour challenge this year is blue.

I searched my Ravelry page for projects tagged with blue, and here's the result. I know there are more blue projects, although it's not the colour I use most, but I obviously haven't tagged them with "blue".

The first four happened to be my own designs:

1. Stella Polaris mittens To be published sometime soon (testknitting anyone?)

2. Scrap Gnomy more photos here

3. Hippocampus

4. Phantasy

The last three patterns are available from the left sidebar.

The next two are other designers' patterns:

5. Headigan by RedLipstick

6. Nicole by Chic Knits

The last two are made without pattern:

7. Baby hat more or less just crocheted as I went.

8. Child hat with elephant

5. januar 2010

Star stitch soulwarmer

A couple of years ago we found an old shrug in our summer house. It was knitted, in a stitch pattern I couldn't dechiffer. But the construction was simple, just a tube, that opens in the central part. It was used and darned several places ( I should have shown you a photo, but at the moment, I don't find it). I have been wanting to make a new one, but was not sure what stitch pattern to use. I didn't necesarrily want the same as in the old one. And then, in a blog post by Woolly Wormhead, there it was, star stitch, to be worked in the round and flat. (Later, she has published a hat pattern using this stitch pattern, Star beanie.)

In Norwegian, we call this garment a "sjelevarmer ", or soul warmer. In English, I understand it's called a "shrug" (not sure which word is more logical). I think I've seen somewhere that it's also called "soul warmer" in German.

My shrug measures 106 cm, the sleeves beeing 26 cm long, and the back part 54 cm, sleeve circumference 31 cm.

I used Cascade Wool 220, left overs from my Owls. It's a simple pattern, although the stitches are a bit time and yarn consuming. I used approximately two and a half skein, whereas for the Owls sweater I used three and a half.

This is how you do it:

Cast on 60 sts on needles 4 mm, working in the round. Garter sts for ten rounds. Increase 12 sts, then start the star stitch pattern.

1st round: *K1, make star; repeat from * to end of round.
2nd round: Knit 71 sts (the last sts of this round will be part of first star on next round.
3rd round: *make star, K1; repeat from * to * end with k2
4th round: Knit
5th round: K 1, *make star, k 1, repeat from * to * end with make star

Repeat rounds 2 -5 til sleeve is as long as you wish. End with round 2 or 4.

After dividing for back, you will do the star rows like this:

- k2 * make star, k 1 * till end of row, end with k 2


- k4 * make star, k 1* till end of row, end with k 4

This means you'll increase 1 sts in one side and 2 sts in the other side. I can't figure out how to explain this easily, but once you've got the hang of the pattern and get to that point, you'll see what I mean. The other rows will have to be purled, obviously.

When back is long enough (try it on as you go), you decrease these 3 sts and go back to working in the rounds. End with a knit round. Then knit another round while decreasing 12 sts, and end with a garter sts cuff as you started with.

Note on how to make the stars: I followed Wolly's tutorial, but had to look up the abbreviation yrn. I had some troubles getting this, because when I did what was explained, I ended up with a normal yarn over. But the stars turns out ok, I think. Maybe this has to do with me beeing a continental knitter? I don't know, but as long as the result is ok, I'm happy. So in my words, as star would be made like this: k3tog and leave sts on needle, yo, knit same 3 sts together again

Well, today you'd need to warm more than your soul - it's been minus 15 degrees below zero, and getting colder... But it's certainly beatiful:

1. januar 2010

2010 crafty resolutions

I usually don't make many resolutions at New Year, at least not vere explicit ones (they'r so easily broken.) But as the title of this post indicates, there has to be something, so here we go:

- I'll make two pair of socks.

- I'll make more mittens and less hats.

- I'll continue to try new patterns and techniques.

- I'll reduce my stash.

And, more specifically, to achieve the last goal, I'll finally finish my (modified) Babette Blanket. Ok, there I said it, so now there's no way back.. This is what I've got so far:

PS The poppies is a pattern from Liselotte, a free download (click on "mønstret" in her post to download it). Her blog is in Danish, but if you don't read that, you can always enjoy her photos. Or you can find her on Ravelry.

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