Saturday, December 30, 2006

Julehilse

I got a Christmas greeting (julehilse) from Garnstudio. In the greeting was a pattern for crochet Christmas ornament. I had glittered white crochet thread, which came in handy. That same night (same day as I got the greeting), Ása Sóley wouldn't go to sleep, which is very unusual for her. I took her back outside and did this ornament in about 45 min and then took her back inside to sleep. I think it would only take me 30 min if I did it again, since it is in Danish, so I had to figure out the names of the stitches, and that included treble, which I've never done before. So I actually made a Christmas ornament. I'm very proud of myself.

I tried to finish another ornament. It's a stitched ornament. I did the stitching long time ago. Then I was almost done finishing it up but I needed small pointed needles so I put it aside. I didn't even take it back out after I got the right needles. I almost finished it this Christmas, but I had trouble putting the cord around the edges. Maybe next Christmas then?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Post Christmas Stress Disorder

No, not really. I had the most relaxing Christmas ever. Chistmas in Iceland are just so much more big of a deal. More formal and more serious. Which is not a bad thing. It was nice, nontheless, to experience relaxing and laid back Christmas.

So what do you do on Christmas, when you've finished all your Christmas knitting? Why of course you start a Christmas stitching project. About time I did some stitching. This should be ready for next Christmas. I can't be more timely - 365 days for finishing IT.




IT is a Christmas Stocking kit from Bucilla, which I got in a birthday game in my cross stitching group last year (note - not this year). So I've had it for a while and I thought it was a good time to start on it. It's nice to get back in the stitching gear. I've been doing a little bit of stitching, maybe a month or so ago, although I didn't share it on the blog. I like this design because it only covers the cuff of the stocking, and not the entire stocking. So there is actually a possibility that I'll finish it eventually. It is also a simple design and I'm not used to stitch designs that have so large areas of the same color. I does make it fast though. I'm making a big progress already since I'm sticking to the large areas. I'm not getting bored either, since I cleverly listen to a audiotape while I'm stitching. I'm also remembering how exciting it is to see the design unravel on the canvas/cloth.

I still can't upload photos from my camera and the photo above is the only one I found online of this design. I hope you can see it at all.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Þorláksmessa

The title of refers to the name of this day in Icelandic. No skate for me today. Wouldn't mind it though.

I finished the Christmas knitting today and wrapped it save for couple of pairs of wristwarmers I wanted to press first. The iron is missing though so I don't know if I will be able to press it at all. So now I can knit whatever I want.

I finished a ballband dishcloth from Mason Dixon. This one has been lingering in my knitting bag (or one of my knitting bags) for over 2 months (since October). I'm glad to have it finished. I even sew in the ends. So what's next, the log-cabin or my sweater, hmm...

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas blog

Christmas is right around the corner. Wednesday I had another job interview, a repeating interview, where I had to prepare a 30 min presentation. So I didn't really spend a lot of time thinking about Christmas until now.

I'm making Xmas presents. They should be ready in time, if I work on them ;)

Rebecca had this nice little (or not so little) meme. I just couldn't resist.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? One Christmas, me, Clint and couple of friends came together and made real alcaholic egg nog. It was nice and tasty. I don't think I've ever had non-alcaholic egg nog so I can't really tell if I like that or not. I've never associated Christmas and hot chocolate - perhaps jólaglögg (juleglögg?). Jólaglögg is pretty tasty - I think I'd pick jólaglögg over egg nog.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? I don't know how this Santa character operates.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? I like blue personally. But it depends. White are festive and tasteful. Red are good too. I think I like one color better than mixing of colors.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? No
5. When do you put your decorations up? Hopefully around Dec. 1st. This year we don't have any decorations though. Left them in Iceland.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish? Rjúpa (Ptarmigan) og skata (skate) but I don't like hamborgarahryggur (smoked pork back), unless it's lightly smoked lamb's back.
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Meeting my cousins on Christmas day at a Christmas party at our Grandmother/Grandfather's house and playing with each others christmas presents.
8 . When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I was suspicious and then I notice my mom put candy in my shoe and not the julelad (see here: http://www.icelandweatherreport.com)
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
We've always opened all of our presents on Christmas Eve. That's just how we do things in Iceland. First Service, then Christmas dinner, then dishwashing and then presents.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? Just regular christmas decorations.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? White Christmas is nice.
12. Can you ice skate? Yeah.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? No
14. What's your favorite thing(s) about the holidays? In Icelandi it was all the lights.
15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Möndlugrautur - is there another one?
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? University really screwed Christmas for me since I had exams until Dec. 21st. I'm not back on track yet.
17. What tops your tree? See nr. 5.
18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? Giving, especially if I can give a handmade gift.
19. What is your favorite Christmas song? Gloria, that latin one.
20. What is your favorite holiday book? There are holiday books?
21. Candy canes yuck or yum? They make for nice decoration and those little ones are nice for eating.
21. What's number one on your Christmas list this year? World peace, yarn (not necessarily in this order). No, just kidding. I'll be glad to get anything at all this year.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

I'm going to try to post this through Google Docs. I didn't succeed doing that for my diary blog, hopefully it'll work here.

I'm even going to try to attach some photos. My camera still wouldn't connect to the computer. I fear the connection is broken.



Here above you can see another pedal bib from One Skein (the book). This time I knit it using Rowan Handknit Cotton. I like the colour and I like the heaviness of the cotton for the bib. I made the previous pedal bib from a acrylic blended cotton. It was soft but not sturdy enough. My little niece got it and her mom likes it. It'll be fine for drools.

Ása Sóley is trying to grab the bib through the grid. I just managed to take the photo before she confiscated the bib ;)



Here you can see one of the Mason-Dixon washcloths all wrapped up and ready to be gifted. I gave this to a nice lady that found and returned my wallet few months back. I don't think I ever shared this photo.

Now, let's see if I can publish this on my blog.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Christmas knitting

I couldn't resist knitting for Christmas. I'm in the process of knitting 2 pairs of Fetching for my sisters-in-law. It's a fun little pattern. It's a quick knit but at the same time it's interesting. I even learnet a new technique - cable cast-on, which gives the mittens a nice edge and at the top there is a picot bind-off, another first for me, also a nice finishing. All I have left is the thumb for the last one. Weave in ends for two of them and block.

I am going to make 3 more pairs of wristwarmers/gauntlets/fingerless mitts / whatever you call'em for our Nieces and nephew. I'm waiting for the yarn and it should come on Monday (Rowan Felted Tweed). It's a pattern I thought of myself, and I'm very excited about it. It's quite clever, if I do say so myself. I'm going to try to submit it to an online magazine so I don't want to talk about it too much. I made a prototype of them in kitchen cotton. Even in cotton the mittens are quite warm. I will, however, have to change the pattern when I make them in the Rowan yarn, since it has a smaller gauge. That shouldn't be too hard.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Strings


Strings
Originally uploaded by rajnos.

I felt like sewing in the ends of my Log Cabin blanket and ended up with this mountain of strings. In the background is my podcas running, probably Cast-on (cast-on.com).

I started an Icelandic zipped up sweater in Lamb's pride bulky. I love the yarn. It's so soft and it knits up in the same gauge as Lopi (for me at least). I just don't feel like knitting it. I just wanted to continue with the blanket tonight.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Ása's Socks in Use


Ása's Socks in Use
Originally uploaded by rajnos.

Off the needles and on the foot!

Not much knitting done this weekend. We had a rental car and made the most out of it, so I wasn't home (and no I can't knit in a car, I get carsick).

I had a job interview on Friday. It went well. Friday night I met with some Icelandic women, so it was a long day. I left at a 6 AM and wasn't home until 12 PM. Saturday we went for a drive after the kids woke up from their nap (gave me time to finish the socks) and on Sunday we went to meet my husband's great grandmother. She's 96 and a very nice lady. She lives in her own home and is very agile for her age. She even played the organ for us.

Nice weekend, despide the little knitting that took place, he he.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Asa Soley's socks

I took a photo of Ása's socks as well [Edited - The socks are now finished.]. The first one is done at the moment. The yarn is thicker and I'm using 3 mm needles instead of the 2.5 mm. I'm actually following Cat Bordhi's basic sock pattern to the T. It wasn't what I started out with. The top part (ribbing) is acutally about inch shorter (3.5" vs. 4.5") than in her pattern because I just knit one repeat of the yarn (blue to start of blue). I knit the heel flap k1s1. I didn't do it with Kamilla's sock and I found the heel flap too wide compaired to the ribbing. After I turned the heel I desided to continue the ribbing and then it accured to me that I had in fact followed her pattern all the way through). It's a good pattern.

Kamilla's socks


Kamilla's socks
Originally uploaded by rajnos.

I finally just took a photo on my cellphone. I sent it to flickr and I can blog through them.

These are Kamilla's socks and she loves them. I'm so happy about that because kids usually don't like what you make for them and you have to love them in spite of it. he he But it does give you a lesson in not expecting the recipient to love your knitting as much as you do. But that's not the case now.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Moving on

I'm over the felting failure. The reason (beside the time that has passed) is that I rediscovered sock knitting. I've knit couple of pairs of socks, actually two for me and two pairs of toddler size socks. It's never really fascinated me.

I was intrigued by knitting socks on two circulars. I came across this idea some time ago, but it seemed so complicated. This summer I acquired Cat Bordhi's book on the subject, which has been sitting and waiting for me to be ready to try it. I've been giving this some thought and I decided I wanted to make plain socks but in interesting pattern. I needed wool socks for my kids, so it was the perfect opportunity. I got some discountinued sock yarn on knitpicks.com (~$2.50) and got started. At first I thought, why just knit one sock. Why not do both? Let alone that the only experience I had with two circulars was knitting the top of my Odessa hat.



Well I started it that way, but it was very complicated. Not so much the knitting part but I had a big problem with the yarn tangling up, since I only had one skein and I had to knit from both ends, plus that would mean that the socks wouldn't match. Eventually I took one of them of the needles. Oh, boy. Oh, boy. It was amazing. I just love it. I've fallen in love with sock knitting, head over heel. It is so much fun.



It's so much faster because you have fewer junctions and only 2 needles instead of 5. The knitting is more even because I used to have a big problem with ladders. I just couldn't stop the gap that formed where the needles joined. I don't yank needles of the stitches and I don't have to worry about loosing the working needle when I lay my project down.

I remember the toddler size socks I did before. The top part of them (the ribbing) seemed endless and to take forever. This time, it was over before I knew. I already finished the pair and all that is left is the crafting of the toe on the second one. I can't do that with out the instructions in the computer. So I couldn't do that last night. Even that part seems easier now for some reason. I've never been able to master it before but now it seems so much simpler.

The socks were knit on 2.5 mm needles. These are old metal needles from my mom. The knitting would have been even smoother and easier with newer needles, either Addi Turbo or KnitPicks. The pattern is kind of a mix and match. I looked at my original toddler sock pattern from a Sandnes Christmas collection, but the stitch count seemed a little high and Kamilla's old socks were always too loose on top (they were just put over the trousers instead of under). I looked at Knitting Rules!, online patterns as well as Cat Bordhi's book. The stitch count varied from 44 to 50 sitches. I ended up casting on 48 stitches. I did k2 p2 ribbing. The heel flap and the rest of the sock is knit in stockinette and follows Cat Bordhi's basic sock pattern (except I didn't continue the ripping on the instep like her pattern does).

While I was knitting the first one I kept trying it on Kamilla. She loved it and even asked to try them on. The second one was easier since I just followed the color pattern on the first one. The color changes are perfect. I wish I could show you pictures of the finished product but I'm having an uploading problem with my camera.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Felting gone wrong

It's been a while since I meant to write this post but lots of things are going on. I have a cold that just wouldn't go away and I have to prepare a presentation for a job interview.

So, the story goes like this:

When I was in Iceland last June, I meant to buy yarn for another pair of slippers for my husband. He wore the other ones down and he really likes them and asked me to make another pair. When I was in Europris I found a yarn that looked perfect for felting so I got that instead of the recommended yarn. It was cheaper and it saved me an extra trip to Hagkaup to buy Fritidsgarn. I bought a bunch of the yarn so I could make more pairs. It turned out the yarn was a little thicker then Fritidsgarn but I proceeded making the slippers just using bigger needles on a smaller size. I also made a bowl from the book 'One Skein' and when the slippers were done I make a box from Mason-Dixon knitting out of some more of the yarn. I loved the box. I liked the colors and it basically stood up by itself. (It was knit double stranded (tvöfalt garn) ).



Things just went downhill from there. I washed the stuff and realized that this yarn doesn't felt well. Earlier I had washed the bowl, it didn't felt well but I thought that might be because it is a toploader (the washer) and because I just put it in a normal full load. It turned out that wasn't the case at all. The slippers didn't shrink at all and the box grew if anything :( and it became softer and doesn't hold up as well.



Buh hu hu ;(

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Kinda Lost

I'm kind of lost right now, knitting wise. I've finished the bulk of the little projects I have and the others are not calling me. I have a crochet project, but I lost the hook. I have a washrag, but that's more of a travelling project and in-between project (I have actually been using it a bit lately). I have the log-cabin blanket, but the yarn is now in my bedroom and everytime I need it the bedroom contains a sleeping baby. Finally I have a shawl, Swallowtail shawl from Interweave Knits Fall 06, but I was knitting it while listening to the Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman and now, when I pick it up and start knitting I feel that I miss the book and I can't stop thinking about it. It's not often that books have this effect on me. So I become a little sad. Plus, the pattern is not easy (or least not for me for some reason) so I tend to make mistakes and then spending a long time to try to fix them.

I ordered yarn on Ebay for couple of christmas presents. It never showed up. The seller is going to send me more in different color. It's weird how the yarn just disappeared.

Well. I have to go now. Being harassed by Kamilla :) he he. Next post will continue in the same depressing manner, when I talk about my recent adventures in felting.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Odessa in pictures



Isn't she georgeous?

And my Log Cabin blanket. It's growing, slowly but getting there. Just started round 7.



I couldn't help but put one of Ása in an alert state. She's wearing the Magknits sweater I made for her and what's more - she loves it! It's so great when your kids want to wear what you make them.

Knitting HD - Odessa

In the online cross stitching world, finishing a piece is called Happy Dance (HD). Usually pieces take so long to make that you are really happy when they are finally finished. Or least that's the understanding I have of that term.

Tonight I finished the Odessa hat. Happy Happy.

There is a knitting group that meets at my library first Sunday of the month. Last Sunday the theme was beaded knitting and the month's project was a beaded scarf. I wasn't terribly interested in the scarf but I was interested in beaded knitting so I was inspired to make Odessa instead. I started last Saturday (one week since now) and I just finished it. It should have been a much faster project. Partly I was working on other things (finally finished the knitting part of my husband's slippers) and partly the needle I had slowed me down. For the most part of the knitting you use 16" (40cm) 4 mm (US6) needle and my needle that fits that size is cheap and horrible. The joint is as un-smooth as can be, there is actually a little ball of plastic where a smooth joint should be. I also have a longer 4 mm needle from the same company and that has a bad joint as well. I got these two needles because I was going to knit a sweater with them and I got them at the same place where I got the yarn (and it was the only kind they had). I was happy that the needles were cheap but now I can't knit the sweater :(

When it came to decreasing and I had to switch to dpn (sokkprjónar) I realized that I had no dpn in 4mm. I didn't feel it was worth it getting these needles just to knit few rounds at a top of a hat, plus it meant I had to go out to get them. Lately I've been wanting to knit socks with 2 circular needles instead of 5 sock needles (dpn) and I thought perhaps I can knit the top of the hat with 2 circulars. I got out my KnitPicks Options (which didn't come with 16" cable so I couldn't use it in the first place) and got a 4mm needle together. It was great using this method. Much easier then I thought it would be. I already have Cat Bordhi's book and it came in handy too. I can't wait using this method to make socks. It seems a lot faster that with dpns.

I have found couple of new problems with the Options. It doesn't come with 16" cables :( The other problem is perhaps my fault. It's called 'forskrúfa' in Icelandic and it means that I can't tighted the needle on the cable because it will just turn and turn. This has happened with one (out of 2) 24" and one (out of 2) 32" cable that came with the set. I do however still love to knit with these needles. And they where much much better than the other crappy 4 mm needle I had been using. Much faster.

Back to Odessa. I did make one kind of big mistake. I read the pattern wrong and put beads every 6th row instead of every 4th. I didn't realize this until I was starting the decreases. I briefly considered starting over but I liked the beading and didn't think it would be any better if it was denser. So I stuck with it.

I knit it in the suggested yarn, Rowan Cashsoft DK, which is buttery soft. It only takes one skein and there is a bundle left over. This hat is kind of short. You can see it in the model hat (the top most one) and I find this a little uncomfortable. If I would knit this hat again I would make it a little longer, perhaps a centimeter or half an inch. There seems to be enough yarn for it. I got the beads at a local bead store 'Just Bead It'. I love the name.

It's too late for photos now. Hopefully tomorrow.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Future Knitters

I just found these pictures I took about a month ago (yeah, that's how much I orginize my photos - don't ask about developing).



At least they are showing interest.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Instead of blogging about yesterday's knitting

Very fitting, don't you think?







What kind of knitting needles are you?




You are interchangeable.Fun, free, and into everything, you've got every eventuality covered and every opportunity just has to be taken. Every fiber is wonderful, and every day is a new beginning. You are good at so many things, it's amazing, but you can easily lose your place and forget to show up. They have row counters for people like you!
Take this quiz!








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Thursday, October 26, 2006

The new needle set

Ok, I figured it out. There is a little hole that goes through the cable part on both sides. I remember there being a little metal object in the set (along with some stuff I wasn't going to use anyways, some stoppers. That little object fits perfectly in the little hole and the needles tighten up nicely and I have no more problems with the needles loosening up. I wish they had a directions to go with the set. I was having problems also with figuring out the pouches. What goes into what. They had cables and needles but then 3 different sizes of pouches. I guess you can have it any way you want but it would be nice to know what the pouches were intented for.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What's going on?

I have startitis. I just can't stop starting new projects. I started two more on Monday and I haven't even finished the other two I started the other day.

I've been trying the new needles. I love how they are fast and pointy. The only problem I've been having is that the needles tend to un-screw. Does anyone know how to avoid that?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Needles!

I got my birthday present from my mom in the mail today. It was KnitPicks Options. I'm so excited about this and glad. I had to cancel at least one project because the needles I got were bad quality (the yarn snagged too much) and now I have fast, sharp-pointed needles for about everything I need and if I do need different needle sizes it is cheap to get them.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Log-ing on

My 60" Addi Turbo came in the mail yesterday so I revisited the Log Cabin blanket. I hadn't worked on it for about a week or ever since it became as long as my needle. It's nice working on the Log Cabin.

I haven't been doing much this week actually. The other day I even went to sleep before Kamilla (age 3 - she was not alone, just if anyone is wondering). The day before that I had actually been working on photos and not knitting/stitching. I've also been revisiting cross stitchin/embroidery projects at bit but I've been lacy with the camera.

I did put a lot of cross stitch photos on my flickr. My dad got me a pro flickr account for my birthday, he he. What a great idea. I mean, I'm all the way on the other side of the world. It's not as if he could have wrapped something in and sent it. My mom also got me something that is still on it's way - knitting related. It's sooooooo cooooool. I can't wait to share it with you guys. I just don't want to jinx it and talk about it before it comes.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Projects multiplying

Yesterday (Monday) I started two projects. They are both small. That's all I have to say for myself. He he. One is the petal bib from One Skein. I got some Rowan Handknit Cotton in San Francisco on Sunday and it knits up beautifully for this pattern.

As I was knitting it I decided to make a market bag for my mother-in-law. She goes to the farmer's market any change she gets so I hope she can use it. I'm planning to make this a christmas present. The bag is crocheted and comes on a Sugar'n'cream ballband. The pattern is also available on their website, all you have to do is to register (it's free).

That's not all because on Sunday I started a project as well. I also finished one so I don't know if it counts, he he. I had only a little bit left on the 10th Mason Dixon ballband washrag and I finished it on the train to San Francisco (I went to celebrate my birthay - without kids, I wrote about it on my weblog/diary but in Icelandic, I went to couple of museums (Exploratorium and de Young) and the Greenwich yarn store, met up with a friend, had the best burrito in town and went back home, almost got kicked out of the train - but otherwise an quiet day) and started a new one.

The log cabin blanket is on a unscheduled leave. I order 60" (150 cm) circular needle in order to continue and it is on it's way.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Logging on

I'm finishing the 5th round of the log cabin. I love to knit this. Now I know why people become so obsessed with log-cabin knitting. It's instant gratifications since you finish each patch relatively quickly (although it takes longer each round) and then you get to choose a new color so it is creative all the way (not just in the beginning).

I'm comming up against one problem. I'm running out of space on my needles. I figure I have perhaps one round left until I have to get longer needles. I'm using 32" circular (80cm) and I have to find longer ones. I saw 40" (100 cm) needles online. Maybe they will do. I don't know how big the blanket is going to end up. I think they have bigger ones. I'll have to find out.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Log cabin, part II

.. in which I hope to be able to show you my progress photo.

I better start with the photo.



This photo was taken couple of days ago and I've already done bunch more. I've knit 4 rounds but in the photo I had only knit 3.

I have been stitching a little. I actually finished Woodland Grace. See:



I can't believe I actually finished a stitching project! This little piece took a loooonnnng time to finish.

Last Sunday (it's already Saturday - this is how slow of a blogger I am) I went to a knitting meeting at the library. I forgot all about it but fortunately I saved it in my phone so it reminded me. It was a lot of fun. I haven't seen other knitters at all since I came here. We were making doilies/dish rags but I didn't bring the correct yarn. For some reasons I brought wool! I was in a hurry going there so I just grabed anything. I have a drawer full of kitchen cotton and I grab the wool! Crikey! (yes I am a Steve Irwin fan)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Log cabin

At last I started the log cabin. The weather is getting colder so now I can start knitting with wool again. In the summer it was just too hot. I remember when Brenda started doing her series of sense of place. I didn't really know what she meant. I thought she meant designing influenced from the landscape around you. But now I'm slowly going through these episodes and I can see that she meant how what we knit is influenced by where we are.

This became obvious for me this summer. I'm used to knitting with wool and nothing but wool but in 40°C+ it is not possible, not even at night. So I started knitting small pieces in cotton. Now I can knit with wool again and I started a log cabin blanket. I can see why people love it so much and become obsessed. I reckon it will be more tiresome as the blanket gets bigger but at the moment I'm just enjoying it tremendously. It is a project that you can work on without having to think too much. You just knit. This makes it a perfect project to grab when you get some time to knit but can't really sit down and concentrate on it. I take it outside while I'm watching the kids in the backyard or if they are quiet for a while.

I knew I couldn't finish. I'll post this now and post the picture later.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

... and now, more photos.

I hope now I can blog. I've been trying for about a week. Not that there is a problem with blogger. I just haven't made the time to do it. I haven't been on the computer and when I've had time to blog I've actually rather just knit. My knitting time has been cut a little short due to the girls not going to sleep when they are supposed to.

Without further ado, I'll start the photo show. First up are couple of wash cloths, nr. 8 and nr. 9.



Nr. 10 is well on it's way. I've been wandering what I should do with all my wash cloths and I decided to give them away as presents. Not the first one though. That one's for me no matter what! (I'm not even using it). I gave some to few friends of mine that are expecting a baby this fall. Usually I don't know anyone that's pregnant but then all of a sudden 4 women I know are. I also sent them bibs, mostly knitted, for their babies.

I have a photo of my knitted baby dress I made but since it is going to be a gift I'm only giving it as a link. The mom can then decide for herself if she wants to see it beforehand or not. My niece is also getting a bib, but that will not be a part of the Christmas present. I want to knit another one of those bibs in denim. It's a fun and quick knit but not easy.

Another fun, quick (but not as quick) but hard knit was the Lacanau slippers (which I'm wearing as I write this).



I have to go now. I'll catch up with you later but in the meantime check out the video I posted below.

The Last knit

Sunday, September 17, 2006

What not to knit to!

If you need to get some knitting done, like due to a dead-line. Do not, I repeat, NOT watch Arrested Development. I got the first season on DVD and it is just not possible to knit and watch that show at the same time. It's jus too funny and too addictive.

For the last couple of nights, I've sat in front of the computer and watched these shows, holding my knitting. Just holding it. Yesterday I figured I could work on these garter stitch scarf I'm doing for my 4 yo. niece (her birthday is comming up). It's knit with novelty yarn and is impossible to fix once you make a mistake. Of course I made a mistake and then screwed it up even more when I tried to fix it and eventually gave up and started over. That was almost a skein worth of knitting my friends, and I already started over once because I felt it was to wide.

So - be aware.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Put your title here.

I have to correct myself. In the last post I said that I had already started washcloth nr. 8. The fact is that I had already started nr. 9 and finished nr. 8. I just forgot about it. I finished nr. 9 yesterday but have to weave in the ends for those two before I take pictures.

I am also far gone with my slippers or sandals. If you put sole underneath you can use them as sandals. I think that's pretty neat. But I think I have to go with slippers for now. I'm done with one and have just a tiny little bit of knitting left on the other one. The make-up of the slipper is a little pain. Just because it is a lot different than I'm used to. Let me just say that the cross pattern on the top is not solely a decorative option.

Recently I got great news. One of my dearest and oldest friends is having a baby. I can't wait to knit for her baby all the little baby things I've wanted to knit but not had a reason. My youngest is already 1 1/4 and too big for these little baby things. I wish I had all these ideas and patterns handy when I was pregnant with her but I don't even think I was really knitting at that point. I think I was mainly cross stitching then. I already started the Mason-Dixon Kimono. The only thing that stops me is that I lost my tape measurer. I can't believe I haven't lost it few times before. My kids were playing with it and then I took it away from them so I wouldn't loose it. Now I can't figure out where I put it. I guess I should have let them play with it after all :o

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Aren't you glad to see me again?

Finally I make time to blog. I uploaded pictures onto my Pbase.com account ages ago but I haven't got around to post them before. In my defence, my brothers are visiting and we are going all over the place and hanging out in the evenings so my knitting time has been limited. I can inform you, however, that I started a new project. It should be a fast knit and these slippers look luxurious to me. I couldn't get the yarn it calls for (elann.com had it but only in 2 color that didn't compliment each other) so I got another yarn from knitpicks.com. It's supposed to be made with 100% silk, which I think would be heavenly on your feet. This yarn I got is part silk, part alpaca and part merino and it's buttery soft. But maybe pure silk would be sturdier. I want to make them in the right yarn as well. I think the pattern concept is brilliant (with the i-cords determining fit) and we'll see how well I like the pattern afterwards. I'm pretty sure this is my first Knitty project! It's about time, eh! I started it on the recommended needles (4.5 mm) and it looked kind of small and I realized that the gauge was way off. So I tried 5 mm and it was still too small so now I'm using 5.5 mm and they are giving me 17 sts to 10 cm instead of 16 but I'm going to stick with them (plus I have kind of small feet). I swatch as I go along. You start with the sole from toe to heel and I started and then used the beginning of the actual knitting as my swatch.

So, where are those photos I took way back - I hope I have them all :) They can be found in my album as well.



The first is of the 7th washcloth (I don't think I haven't started nr. 8). The second is of a bib I made some time ago. I found this daisy patch that was perfect for the bib and matches the button. Then there is a collective picture of three more MD bibs.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The winds are shifting

or something like that.

I actually stitch today! I started on the border of Woodland Grace, while the girls were sleeping today and while watching Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason for the first time as well. So I didn't get as much done as I could have but nonetheless, this is a big step. I haven't stitch since on the Grace (or anything) since April. Since the beginning of the year I have only worked on the Grace and the French Village.

I've been feeling the stitching comming over me lately. I've been reading stitching blogs with a renewed interest and looking at Mirabilia and Teresa Wentzler pieces with envy. I don't own any Mirabilia designs, except for Crescent Dreams (very fitting because the street I live on it called Crescent Drive), but I have couple of TW's designs, Celestial Dragon and Egyptian Sampler.

The other day, while I was shopping at JoAnn's, I even saw a small design that I WANTED to buy. I didn't buy it but it was the first time in a long time I even wanted to by a stitching kit.

Perhaps, this time, I can actually do both stitching an knitting at the same time? That would be nice, since I have quite a lot of stitching projects to finish but I don't want to give up knitting.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Same ol' same ol' or what?

I've been going to bed early a lot lately so knitting has been scarce.

I did start to make swatches for my eingirni sweater. I plan to make a raglan sweater from 1 ply Icelandic wool. My step-mother and step-sister have made them before. I think I'll do it on 4mm needles and the yarn is steel gray. Very cool.

My Icelandic online knitting group adopted a feature from my stitching group, an UFO day. UFO stands for unfinished object and on an UFO day you take up an project that has been laying on the sidelines and work on it. It gives you motivation to finish projects that have been left behind, sitting at the bottom of the knitting basket.

Today is one of those days (every Thursday is) and I finished couple of bibs and a wash-cloth. This things had been sitting in my knitting canvas bag for couple of weeks now and I finally made time to finish them. I would have taken a picture but couldn't find my camera.

So stay tuned for pictures ;)

Friday, August 11, 2006

Contemplating

My knitting has slowed down a little this week because I've been contemplating (hugleiða, áforma). I've been contemplating on two projects or projects to be. One is the slippers I promised Clint long time ago. While I was on my shopping spree in Europris, I bought bulky wool that looked perfect for felting.

This week I was about to start the slippers when I notice that the wool I bought was a little thicker than the wool it was intended for.

So what to do?

I backed out of the project for the time being and let my brain munch on the problem.

Couple of days later I come down with the solution. I knit the slippers with the intended needles (7mm) instead of what the pattern calles for (5.5 mm) but go down two sizes.

Did someone say swatching?

No way! These are mere slippers we're talking about. If they don't fit Clint, they'll fit someone else, I'm sure.

The other problem comes with photos! It is my varigation on the Log Cabin knitted blanked.



The photo to the left shows the first half of the Tunisian Crochet row, made with afghan hooks (extra long with a stopper on the other end) and a selection of afghan hooks I own (thanks mom).

The photo to the right shows a completed Tunisian Crochet row.

It looks georgeous. At least I think so. So what's the problem?

It curles up a lot so it is not so easy to work with. I think I'll rather do a log cabin with garter stitch (garðarprjón). Furthermore, I have no idea about how to orginize the colors for the blanket. It's made out of leftover yarn from a discontinued granny square blanket and other leftover yarn plus some gray yarn (light to dark gray). The other yarn is reds, blues, greens and yellows (I guess little bit of everything.

I don't know how to organize it. One solution is to have every other row colors and every other gray?

I still like the idea of a tunisian crochet blanket. But maybe rather something like this: MoeZ afghans. Especially baby blankets with cute motives.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

What to do? What to do?

I'm a libra. What that means is that I have greatest difficulty making up my mind. I have no idea what I am going to do with these washrags. I am gearing towards giving them as gifts, well most of them.

One thing I really love about them is to mix and match different colors. Especially the bold colors. I could never do that with a garment. I also have quite a few options to choose from. I counted the skeins I had in either Peaches'n creme and Sugar'n Cream, and I have more than 30! My mom bought me most of them when she was here and then I bought some more when Michaels was having a $1/skein sale.

I made yet another one. I present you with Number six:

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I'm on fire!

While Ása Sóley slept this morning I knitted a felted bowl from 'One Skein'. That's two designs I've knit from that book and there are more that I wouldn't mind knitting.



My daughter (who is 3*365-4 days old) saw the bowl in it's pre-felted shape and immediately identified it as a hat for her little sister. She was more than willing to model it.

I haven't felted them yet because I am going to knit Clint another slippers and felt it in the same load (I'm soooo frugal). His old ones were worn through. Now we have carpet so it should be easier on the slippers.

The book includes instructions for felting in a top-loading washing machine. I would just have thrown it in with a normal load like I normally do but I'm thinking about trying this. Especially since I don't know top-loading machines at all.

But first, one more ball band dishcloth.

Dilemma

I am in no doubt that blogging has enriched my knitting, both by giving me access to what other knitters are doing and being inspired by them and also by inspiring me to actually finish knitted items so I can post it on my blog and not fall too far behind on my posts.

However, while I'm blogging I'm not knitting! That's a problem. I usually only knit in the evenings and that's also usually when I blog as well. Sometimes it takes me days to actually get around to blogging because I'm too skimpy on my knitting time. Sorry guys.

I made a subalbum in my 2006 knitting album for things knitted from Mason-Dixon knitting. In that album you will find e.g. this:

I like the multicolored dishrag but I will not make any more. You can see the reason why in the photo to the left. In the photo to the right you see the dishrag that inpired the multicolored one. Only problem was that the yellow color didn't match the yellow from the varigated yarn and of course the seemingly endless amount of ends to be crafted.



There are some other dishrags:




And some close-ups of the dishrags:




Can you tell yet that I'm fascinated by them? They are very fun to knit. Easy but entertaining. The last detail is my last attempt at trying to catch how loud those two colors acutally are in real life. That rag was inspired by the two colors that dominated every florist window in Iceland during my stay there in June.

I've also made some bibs but haven't finished the details yet. They got their picture taken despite their uncompletness (funny word I just made up).



The last one is the petal bib from 'One Skein' like I mentioned in my last post. It is made from 50% cotton and 50% polyester and is super-soft. I think it will be most useful as drooling bib (slefsmekkur) and not food bib.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Rags for various purposes

So do you want to know what I've been doing lately.



Couple of more washrags/facecloths.

I've also made some bibs (smekkir). I made couple from Mason Dixon and one from One Skein.

The bib from Mason Dixon is super easy and the bib from One Skein is super difficult. Super difficult but a lot of fun and a quick knit. And I think I can even make two from 1 50 g skein.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Jack-pot!

I hit a knitter's jackpot at Barnes and Noble this weekend. I went there because my SIL has an airconditioned car and the store is airconditioned too, which is very important in 44°C heat (111F).

I took a look at the discount section and lo and behold it was loaded with knitting books, 75% off. I got a stitch directory with about 250 patterns, I got 24 hour knitting projects book, I got Vogue American designer's special (with Elizabeth Zimmerman as one of them) and I got Simple Knits for Little Cherubs. All for about $5 each. The last one was specially nice too see because I'd already seen a pattern in it I wanted to do for my girls, probably Kamilla. It's called Pinafore dress if I remember correctly, and is made of denim yarn.

I also got a Björk book for a buck!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Cotton, cotton and cotton. The Mason-Dixon post

I guess I've been on a holiday. My mom's been visiting. I've been knitting but not a lot. I finished a cotton dress that is a gift so no photos yet and wouldn't be for a while I'm afraid.

I've been knitting dishrags from Mason Dixon, using Peaches and cream cotton. One is from the book and the other from the website.



I've also been knitting the bib (smekkur) from Mason Dixon, using Hjertegarn denim yarn. I love the yarn. It is dk weight (svipað og kambgarn) and so soft. It does color though and my needles are blue!

I have started an afghan, Mason-Dixon inspired (log cabin) but with a twist. I'm not ready to post anything about it right now but it's going to be soon.

Instead I present you with a picture of my stash. I actually didn't have any until I was in Iceland in June. I came back with a suitcase full of it. Mostly Icelandic wool but also Norwegian wool and some cotton. I also brought my leftover yarn, including yarn from a blanket I gave up on (couldn't deal with all the granny squares). All this yarn is going to be in my Log Cabin blanket.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Back to the USA

Well, I'm back. I'm over the jet-lag, which is much harder to do when you have a 3yo and a 1yo which are not concerned if they wake up at 5 AM. My mom came with us and has been visiting so not much knitting.

She did get me couple of knitting books. One of which was the Mason-Dixon knitting book. I love the design of the book and it's an inspiration. I was really happy when I found out you could get the yarn they use (Peaches n cream) in Walmart and I just found out where Walmart is around here. I was happy to see that it cost only $1.49/skein but a slightly less happy to find out that the dishcloth pattern I was making from the book was also on the ball-band. I guess I found out why the pattern was called ball-band dishcloth. Notice I said slightly because I was having so much fun making the dishcloth that it didn't really bother me. And they are right, the yarn is really made for this pattern. It fit the pattern like a glove.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

More more more

Right after posting that last post I went out on errants. Somehow I ended up in Europris (I wonder how), which is a Norwegian store and they have yarn. I was hoping to get a few skeins of worsted weight yarn for my blanket I'm planning but what greated me was a HUGE selection of yarn in every weight possible (and when yarn and Norwegian are in context the yarn is wool of course) and even some cotton. No skein was over 200 kr. ($2.60) so naturally I walked out with a grocery bag full of yarn. (a quick note: the grocery bags in Iceland are far bigger and stronger than their fragile counterparts in the US).

The irony of bringing all those grocery bags full of wool to sunny California in July is not lost on me.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Finally Yarn! Finally stash!

I'm swamped. I thought that after the defence I'd be less stress but in fact I'm more stressed. I have to get rid of stuff, pack stuff and pack and somewhere in there are two young children. Think god for mothers. Without my mom I would have lost my sanity way back.

Yesterday I did get away from this and go yarn shopping with my stepmom, who is a knitter. We started out going to Álafoss factory shop, where they have anything you need and it's cheap. A skein of eingirni (Icelandic laceweight wool) costs $2.25 (170 kr) and I got a sweater's worth of a beautiful steel grey color (5 skeins) and some red natural colors (yes, we have redhead sheeps here too) - mórautt.

I discovered that they have cheap sockyarn and lot's of it. I got some green. They also have demin cotton yarn. Both these are danish yarn. Even if this is a factory outlet it also sells variety of yarn. I had wanted to knit a denim skokkur (sleeveless dress for kids) for Kamilla for a long time and this stuff was at least half the price of Rowan's denim.

I got some léttlopi (lopi light) in beautiful red colors for French Market Bag from Knitty. My MIL (tengdó) goes to farmer's markets a lot and I want to make it for her. I wanted to make it while I was here but I kept starting it over and over again. I was using a wrong color it turned out. This red one is much better, before I used black for the bottom.

I ended up buying about $70 worth of yarn. But that is a lot of yarn. One Icelandic shopping bag (which is much bigger and sturdier than the US equivalent) and two 4 mm needles as I didn't have one in 80 cm length (since 4 inches are 10 cm then 80 cm is 32 inches).

Later we went to Ullarselið. I had wanted to go there for a while since I went there last summer. I just love their herb colored eingirni. Now they have expanded the selection and have the yarn clearly marked from which plant it is (you don't have to check each hank). They have 50 gr. hanks and 10-15 gr. hanks. I got 4 of the later ones, which is perfect for a shawl with white being the main color. The colors varied from yellow to green. These colors are just so beautiful. As you would expect green and browns dominate the color palette. But there is a lot of variation just from one type of plant. What supprised me most was the onion and the black currant (? krækiber) colors.

This place also has some really cool buttons, made from animal bones and horns as well as stones and shells. I could have gone all out there but I didn't have a project in mind so I just looked.

So now I have stash, at last. Until now I've only bought yarn for one project at a time but the awailability of wool is so little in California (wonder why?) that I have to stack up.

In Iceland you can buy yarn at the grocery store (well, only in small villages where there is just one shop that sells everything). But in the US you can only buy yarn in yarn shops and craft stores. Why doesn't Target sell yarn, especially cotton and superwash yarn??????

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Not much knitting being done at the moment. If I'm not preparing for the defence, I am visiting people. Up to 2 visits per day.

The defence is on Tuesday and after that - yarn shopping. (and perhaps a little packing)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The knitting type

There were come discussions in my knitting group (Garnaflækja) about following the patterns. It was clear that knitters come in all shapes and sizes.

1) Some of us don't follow a pattern at all but only knit from inspiration and what they've learnt from others.

2) Other knitters use patterns (more than one at a time) as guidelines to put together the exact garment they are looking for.

3) Others (and this applies to me most of the time) follow the pattern more or less but have to make certain changes (e.g. simplify or change the colors).

4) And then whe have the knitters that follow the pattern all the way.

There are pros and cons to every sort of knitting style. The style I choose helps me get an outlet for some creativity. I don't think I can actually follow a pattern without changing something. Sometimes I don't follow a pattern but make it up as I go. That applies to the Bulky Lopi jacket I made for Kamilla and the neck warmer I made for me.

So which type do you follow?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Quiet on the homefront

I'm not blogging much. It's not because I haven't been knitting, but on the contrary because I've been knitting. I'm knitting a gift so I haven't been terribly motivated to write about it here. It's a pattern that I've wanted to do for ages. It's supposed to be done in Rowan's cotton glacé but I'm doing it in Mandarin Classic. One of the thing I missed the most from Iceland is good quality cheap yarn. I just don't get it why I can't go to Joann's or other craft stores in California (I don't know how it is elsewhere in the US) and get decent yarn! How come I can't get normal superwash wool? I don't always fancy knitting with expensive yarn. Especially when knitting for someone else than me and when I'm broke. The craft stores in CA have a lot of yarn, a lot. But it is just crappy Acrylic or acrylic blends. I don't fancy yarn that's only 20% wool.

I wan't to save the expensive yarn for special occations. Here in Iceland I would predominately knit with Sandnes products. Sandnes is a Norwegian company and I think it distributes to the Nordic countries. These yarns are e.g. SISU for fingerweight wool/nylon blend (comparable to sock yarn) and Mandarin Petit for fingerweight egyptian cotton (both knit with 2.5 mm needles). Then we have Smart for 100% superwash wool and Mandarin Classic egyptian cotton for sportweight yarn (3.5 mm needles). The last one is the one I'm knitting with at the moment. Other wool yarn they have is Alfa, Fritidsgarn, Lanett and Peer Gynt (for their traditional Norwegian sweaters). Then there are some novelty yarn or yarn that's derived from their basic yarns (like adding glitter to various yarn types). These yarns all cost $3 - $4 per 50 gr. skeins.

Back to my project. I chose colors when I was at the store (a department store, Hagkaup) and as soon as I started I thought of a better color combination and now there are at least 3 other colors combinations I would rather be knitting it in. Not that the one I'm making is bad. I just think the other ones are better. It's really fustrating and I'm trying to make me content with the colors I'm working with. Has anyone else had this problem?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Back home

We are safe and sound back in Iceland inspite of flying on 06.06.06! Back to the land of the ice and snow, from the midnight sun where the hot springs flow. I'm not kidding about the midnight sun. It is really confusing for a certain little 1 year old (my little baby is one!), who thinks, when she wakes up late at night, that it's a new day. Well it isn't.

My friend Kristín was visiting me and came back with us. On our trip to Berkeley I made her go into Article Pract (since we were driving past it on our way to Berkeley). What a great store! It was beautiful, well arranged and had it all! Just name it, it was there (or so it seemed). It was so great that even Kristín, a non-knitter, bought yarn. That's amazing. The yarn she bought was habu, in silk and stainless steel! It was just too cool to pass up. I bought a skein of baby alpaca. I was really overwhelmed and since I didn't have a project in mind it is amazing I bought anything at all (I'm a one project at a time kind of girl).

There are two things I need to get when I'm here. Lace weight Icelandic yarn (eingirni) colored with herbs and Lopi light (léttlopi) for a zipped up sweater. These zipped up, tight-fit sweaters were very popular last year but then I had no interest in them. When we came to California it was freezing (literally) and suddenly I desired nothing more than that new lopapeysa (Lopi sweater).

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Bath mittens

I started a project last night and finished it tonight. I love these quick knits. The project is a cotton bath mitten from a $1.59 skein of Sugar'n Cream in ivory. I got it at Joann's this weekend. Unfortunately I can't show you a picture of it since my camera is on a strike and demands better working conditions. Apparently I have to give her a spa treatment (cleaning) but I better leave that to the professional.

I think I can make another one from the skein it is a 4 oz. / 113 gr. skein and the pattern is on the label. How convenient is that!

I want to make this pattern in linen for some reason. To bad I don't have any. This is a great pattern for gifts. Just pack it with some Lush products and you're set.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

35 projects

I counted 35 knitting/crocheting projects that I've made so far.

Felted slippers

I made couple of pairs of felted slippers for my grandmothers for christmas 2004. I never got a photo of them but they are the same as Clints, just in different colors.




What I never showed you were two children's slippers I made. I made them for my cousins Egill Örn and Laufey Lind, whose birthdays are in May and June. Egill Örn's birthday was first but it turned out his slippers (the blue ones) fitted his sister! I ended up using the red ones for Kamilla (fitted just fine). They felted a lot and more than the other pattern (the grown-up pattern) felted.

Skull mittens

Did I ever post this photo?



These are Lopi mittens I made for my brother Baldur. I sew in the skull pattern afterwards. I got the skull pattern from We Call Them Pirates.

I got it!



I just realized why I haven't published pictures of these projects. I did them when I was having problems with my computer. I couldn't upload pictures so I couldn't publish them. It wasn't until I got a new computer that I could start uploading photos again. Well I found another project. A cotton chenille washcloth from Weekend Knitting.