Sunday, December 30, 2007

Toasty toes

Aloe sokkar
Originally uploaded by rajnos.

Now my toes will be warm and soft with these socks knit with Austermann Step aloe vera/jojoba oil yarn. US 1 needles (2.25mm), 2 circs, toe up.

I wanted these socks to be fraternal instead of identical. I think they would be more boring and predictable if they were both the same. This way the pattern looks more random.

We are getting settled in the new house. Hopefully I can start to knit more in the future than I have in the last few weeks.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Finishing up couple of things

I put some photos on flickr.

Progress photos on a felted bag I´m working on. Pattern from

Bag to be felted closed Bag to be felted open

I´ve saved up leftover yarn from slippers I´ve made from Fritidsgarn from Sandnes. Like these I made for Clint (again):

Slippers before felting

I made this ´Tribble´ from a leftover yarn as well. This time from a 4 corners dishcloth. The pattern of which can be found on the same website as for the Tribbles.


Lastly and finally I present The Woodland Shawl.

Woodland shawl pattern Woodland shawl blocking

It is finally off the needles and is blocking as we speak. It´s quite small. I´m thinking about making it into a shrug.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Attention all knitters!

Go see 'The Golden Compass'. Do it now. Now I said!

Seriously. There is some fantastic knitting there, although they can't pronounce Ragnar Sturluson to save their life. Despite having an Icelandic pronunciation consultant listed in the credits. He he Sólveig, wherever you are, at least you tried.

Lyra´s jacket is awesome but this this hat is a little weird. I liked this one a lot better. Another photo, which shows the back.

Monday, December 03, 2007

I got it! Eureka!

It seemed odd to me that people around me seemed to be able to felt just fine with top loaders but I only with front loaders.

Talking to a lady at the library knitting club last Saturday I found out what the difference is. It appears that the standard American washers don't heat the water like their European counterpart, but use water preheated by a water heater. This explains many things, like why American washers are much faster than European and why they only have cold, warm and hot settings and not the actual temperature you are washing with.

So in Iceland I threw the objects in the washer and they came out all felted and nice. Here I throw things in the washer and they come out all limp and pathetic :(

But the 'felt-by-hand' method seems to work for me so I'm just gonna stick with that (and keep my eye out for a water heating washer).

p.s. does anyone know what are the temperatures behind the cold, warm and hot? Does it perhaps depend on the water heater in question. If you have a formula for it, all the better :)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

A short sock post

This post will be short and it will be about a short pair of socks.


CO 48, k2, p2 down to heel, short-row, double wrap heel.

Pooling, flashing, you name it. Thankfully my 4 yo. doesn't read knitting blog and has no idea that could be undesirable. She loves them.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Felting by hand

You gotta do what you gotta do. Since I'm stuck with top loaders (washing machines that the laundry goes in on the top instead off the traditional front loaders) I haven't been able to felt. The pieces come out all limp :( I miss my old front loader in Iceland. Maybe it's just Icelandic washer that are different from Americans, who knows?

I had my French Market Bag. I had run it twice through the washing machine on low water and with couple of pairs of shoes. But the fabric was still limp and hardly felted at all. I use coin laundry and there is just a limit to how many times I can wash a single item.

Along came a hand felting article in the latest Knitty.

I decided to try that. Bought a plunger and a bucket in Family Dollar for the total of $3 (only if all my knitting supplies where so cheap).

Felting part 2

After plunging away at the bag, with a little dish soap and some 'help' from my daughters I felt (ha ha ha) I had made some progress.

Felting part 1 Felting part 3

Then I dried the bag by rolling it up in a towel and shaped it by putting a plate in the bottom and filling it up with plastic bags. I also folded it in on the sides because it was a little too wide.

Felting part 4

When it has dried I will sew in the sides and then use it as a knitting bag.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The forgotten blog

I just realized I never wrote about my knitting retreat on the blog :o I don't even think I mentioned I was going. Úpps.

Well I did go and it was great. We were 8 knitters, all women, who meet on Thursdays at the LYS for couple of hours. Well, sometimes couple of hours just aint enough so we rented a cabin by Lake Hope, which is close by and spent last weekend knitting and eating (little bit of sleep in between).

I worked on slippers for Clint and finished a hat for Kamilla (about 5 times!). When I cam home I immediately started gloves. These are Cigar from knitty.


I made all the fingers whole and knit the smallest size for me in one color. It was a quick knit on 3.5 mm needles.

I also finally got a decent photo of me in the jacket/sweater/cardigan whatchacallit


I wear it all the time. It´s just great.

I just started socks for Kamilla. These last weeks have been all about knitting for the extremeties for the family. Then I want to do a big project for me.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Sad Sock Story

I want to tell you a short story of a sock that never was.

I started this sock as a bus knitting project. I don't know if that was such a good idea. I probably should have started it at home and then introduced it to the world of sock knitting.

I sometimes take the bus, as I am lucky enough that the bus stops at my house and goes all the way to work across town. Never mind I live in a small college town and the bus ride takes 15 min total. I still get some knitting time (when I'm not too busy bumping up and down on the bick layed streets).

There were few problems. I had discovered that size 1 needles (2.25 mm) provide me with my perfect sock size and texture. I btw discovered this when I had just bought sock needles in all sizes but 1 so I had to resort to dpns (sokkaprjona).

I had decided to try a toe suggested by a guest writer at the Yarn Harlot blog. This clever woman knits a 8 sts by 8 row 'swatch' and then pickes up the stitches and proceeds to knit a toe up sock. It's brilliant. But as I did this bumping up and down on the bus my picking up stitches didn't work out as nicely as it could have and then I got terrible laddering so now this project has been abandoned (some weeks ago actually) and the woodland shawl taken over as my preferred bus knitting project.

p.s. the sock has been ribbed :o

Monday, November 05, 2007

Prepared for winter

Look at this nice basked filled with wooly goodies

Wooly Goodies

I placed it by the front door. I'm just missing the mittens I'm making for the girls (couple of thums still to go) and a hat for Kamilla. Otherwise we are set for the winter, although you can never have to much wooly goodies, right? I love living in a place that has winter.

I've been wearing the jacket I made and my mom put the zipper in last summer. It was too hot to model it then and now I keep forgetting. I've also been wearing some of my hats. I'm a product knitter so wearing the knitting is the ultimate joy for me. I like to see these babies being used. That's actually one of the reasons why I like dishcloths/washcloths so much. I can always use them. Speaking of dishcloths, there are 3 that I knit this summer (and then promptly forgot about).

Diagonal dishcloths

This pattern is great. It's so simple you can knit it anywhere, including at the movies. You never have to look down. If we are going somewhere and I need a projet to work on in the car. I can just bring a ball of kitchen cotton and size 7 (4.5mm) needles and I'm good to go. No pattern, nothing.

Of course they have a pattern. But it is easy to learn. You cast on 4 stitches and knit one row. Then for the increasing rows you knit 2 stitches, yarn over (YO), knit rest of the stitches in EVERY row. The decreasing rows are a bit more complicated, you knit one, k2tog, YO, k2tog, knit rest of the stitches in EVERY row until you have 4 stitches left, then cast off.

In Icelandic: Fitja upp 4 lykkjur og prjóna einn prjón, auka út með því að prjóna 2 lykkjur, bregða bandinu yfir prjóninn og prjóna út umferð í hverri umferð. Úrtakan fer þannig fram að maður prjónar eina lykkju, prjónar tvær saman, bregður garninu yfir prjóninn, prjónar 2 lykkjur saman og prjónar út umferð í hverri umferð þar til maður er með 4 lykkjur á prjóninum og þá fella af.

p.s. here is a picture of Ása wearing the sweater her grandma Rósa made her. Kamilla got one too.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween post

I completely forgot to post a picture of my JustNan halloween piece. It's perfect to post it today on Halloween, so maybe it's not so bad after all.

Ghoulies and Ghosties by JustNan

I tried to frame it but the $2 frame from Walmart only accommodates photographs :(

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sewing or not sewing, that's the question.

Yesterday (Sunday) I had no energy. I'm glad this doesn't happen often to me and that normally I have quite a bit of energy. It was a very uncomfortable feeling.

I did have the energy to do one thing. I cut down pieced for a tote bag that I wanted to sew. However, when I wanted to sew the bag the stitch didn't look good and I could fix it. I couldn't find the manual either because although I've kept it by the sewing machine (which doesn't have a permenent place to stay), last week I put it away (the manual). Why do I do this!

There was too much tension on the upper thread and the stitches weren't even straight. Do you think I might need it serviced?

Today (Monday) I feel much better. I was a little worried because Clint's been sick. I hope I'm not getting what he has.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Not much going on. I'm knitting mittens for the kids. Not a moment to soon. It's gotten a lot cooler in the last few days, 60°F (15°C).

Yesterday we walked to the library and the girls wore the nice jackets/cardigans that their Amma Rósa knit for them. Their fingers got a little cold, so mittens are needed.

I knit mittens for Ása for last winter (when we moved to Ohio), but she's already grown out of them so I sent them to a friend's daughter.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Book Meme

From Marit. I didn't do her last one. But this one I can do.

Perhaps Hafrún, Linda, Rebecca and Ágústa are game?

1: Hardcover or paperback, and why?

Paperback. They are just much more convenient, and cheaper.

2: If I were to own a book shop, I would call it...

The Book Lover's Club

3: My favourite quote from a book (mention the title)

I don't remember any quotes.

4: The author (alive or deceased) I would love to have lunch with would be...

Bill Bryson. He would be a lot of fun and full of good stories.

5:If I was going to a deserted island and could bring only one book, except for the SAS survival guide, it would be...

A different kind of a survival guide! Probably the whole collection (in one book) of the HHGTTG (Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy).

6: I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that...

could warp time, so I had more time for reading (and knitting, and sewing and hanging out with my kids, and stitching, and and and)

7: The smell of an old book reminds me of...

Antique book shops.

8: If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title) it would be...

Lína Langsokkur (Pippi Longstocking in English)

9: The most overestimated book of all times is...

The DaVinci Code

10: I hate it when a book...


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Woodland shawl

Here are some preliminary photos of the Woodland shawl.

Woodland Shawl

I just found the camera underneath the sofa! So I went straight outside to take a picture of the shawl.

Woodland Shawl Close-up

It doesn´t look like much now, in it's unblocked state. Just keep in mind that it'll look much more like the original after it's blocked.

I haven't been knitting much lately due to work. I wasn't even home, except for sleeping, last week. We had our Board Meetings, where our sponsors see what we have done in the last 6 months. Meetings during the day. Dinners during the night. It was an interesting week.

I didn't knit a lot this week. The house needed some serious work, especially the laundry, which I normally do, but was neglected due to work. I caught up on some knitting podcasts today while I was folding the laundry and putting away.

While the girls took their nap, I started Muir! Yes! I got 3 rows into it before Ása Sóley woke up. I'm wanting to start another pattern too. This one would be my own pattern. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Sewing, stitching, whatever.

How did I do with my plan for Saturdays for sewing? Well..... In Icelandic 'sauma' can mean either sewing or stitching so if we keep that in mind I did very well with my Saturdays for sewing plan.

I stitch like the wind on my Ghosties and Ghoulies. So by the time I went to bed yesterday I had this:

WIP Ghoulies and Ghosties Oct.8th

A small progress on the Woodland shawl. I worked on it in my library knitting group (first Saturday of the month) and when I was outside with the girls (when we weren't playing hide and seek or tag).

That's it.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Saturdays for sewing

I decided last week that Saturdays were for sewing. That was established in the week before by sewing up of the kitchen towel. This Saturday was a little different. I went to Columbus with couple of knitting friends of mine. The main reason for our 3 hour round trip was a William Wigman exhibition at OSU.

But first things first. The yarn shop was our first stop. I got yarn for Muir, beautiful green (melange forest) Misti Alpaca Lace.

Then I got the girls to go with me to the cross stitch store next door. How nice. That was my first time in a real cross stitch LYS (or LNS?). They hade stitched designs all over the store. Everywhere you could fit them and hanging from the ceiling as well.

I got this, this and this. Are you noticing a theme here? I love halloween and halloween decorations. I never had Halloween before. Once when I was an exchange student in Canada in 1991 and then last year as well. Kamilla is even more exited about Halloween and keeps asking if it is Halloween yet (how about now mom?).

When I got home I got all the stuff ready for Ghoulies and Ghosties and even started it! I haven´t started a cross stitching project in ages (and not worked on one for a while either).

We went to a spice store, where I got Apple Pie spice and dried Coriander leaves. And we had an early dinner at an Indian 'hole in the wall' restaurant called Dosa Corner.

Dosa Corner

Vexner Hall, the place where the exhibition was held is closed to Urban Outfitters. We popped in there first and I got a new wall hanging on sale ($5).

The exhibition was, in one word, 'funny'. Actually hilarious would describe it better. I encourage you to go and see his works if you have the change.

Last weekend was all about finishing. This weekend was all about starting new projects. I already mentioned the Just Nan Ghoulies and Ghosties. I had this inner urge to start more projects, so I started the Woodland Shawl with Trekking XXL sock yarn. The pattern requires only one 100 gr. ball of sock yarn. This yarn is so soft and yummie.

I also wanted to start Muir, but it didn't go so well. I had to stop in mid-row and when I pulled it up again some stitches had slipped of the needles. I have to start over but I'd only worked couple of rows. It starts with crochet cast-on and I can use the crochet chain again.

Since I didn't get around to sewing this weekend (we went to my coworkers house to dinner yesterday, where I ended up being the mosquitos' dinner) I bid you farwell with pictures of my sewing mistakes from the past (past being August 2007).

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Two for one

I've hardly picked up the pointy sticks at all last week. I was too tired in the evenings. But yesterday I made up for it and finished two projects.

The first one was Loksins! by Ms. Too Much Wool. I can't say I suffered from SSS (Second Sock Syndrome). On the contrary, I suffered from seperation anxiety. It was hard to let go. ha ha ha.

Loksins! blocked Loksins! on feet

The other project was my mitered square towel. I ended up sewing it together in the sewing machine, using variegated thread.

Ready to go

I tried to hand sew it before but it wasn't working out the way I wanted to. Besides, this was quicker. The variegated thread worked well.


And now it's hanging on the stove.

Working copy

There is also a photo of all of the towel.

Mitered Square Towel

I had lined up the squares to all be oriented the same but when I was done I noticed that that was not the case. But I like it like this too.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

About Loksins! and Knitty.

I've been working on Loksins! during my trip and sometimes during the class (without taking my attention away from the class). I have finished one sock and am almost down to the heel flap on the second one. I really enjoy knitting lace. It makes the knitting very interesting and it's fun to block (or in this case put the socks on) and see the lace pattern come to live. When I put the sock on for the first time it hit me how romantic the pattern was. These really are luxurious socks.

Now however, the yarn that I'm using is NOT luxurious. It's not horrible, but it´s not great either. It does split some and once in a while are blobs of fibers comes along the string. But what do you expect of $6.50 per 100 gr. yarn made in Turkey? The color by itself isn't exactly beautiful but I chose it specially because of two things. First, it was a light color so the lace pattern shows better and second, it is kind of skin color and I can use it for dolls. I want to try to knit dolls.

Another thing about these socks that surprised me was that I actually enjoy to knit them on 4 dpns as opposed to knitting socks on 5 dpns. I guess I don't have as many needles getting in the way and you are not as likely to yank one of the needles out.

They fit really really well. And I think that is in large part due to the fact I knit them on 2.25 mm needles (US1 I think). I've been knitting socks on 2.5 mm needles and it seemed a little too large. The monkey socks are for example a little too large. I started Loksins! on 2.5 mm, but my kids yanked all the needles out and they just seemed too large. So I started over on 2 mm circs and I knit down one leg before I admitted to my self that they were too small and I couldn't even get them over my heel. So third time was the charm. This pattern is wonderful. I encourage you to get it and thank you so much Cassie for creating it and making it awailable for us.

Now to the next topic.


The Fall 2007 issue of Knitty came out today. The front page pattern just jumped out at me. It's called Muir (after woods named after John Muir, a big figure in Northern Californian history). I-can't-resist-it. Must-start-knitting. Just kidding. It's not like I have yarn or needles for it here in the hotel room! ha ha ha

I'm also head over heels with Cherie Amour. I want it. It's perfect for me.

I love the pattern on Q as well. I don't like the toe but I love, love, love the leg pattern.

It's been a while since I've been so excited about Knitty. They have great patterns, don't get me wrong. But it has been awhile since I've been excited about any patterns at all.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ég hjarta New York

I´ve been writing about my trip on my Icelandic blog so y'all have to go over there for any details, but I can tell you that I had a great time on the plane (planes actually because I had a layover in Charlotte, NC) traveling without small children for the first time I can remember (my memory really only reaches back where they were born anyways, he he). I made the most out of it and knit and listened to knitting podcasts the entire time.

I eventually found my mum´s socks (while I was looking for something else) and here is what they look like.


Here is how they looked like when I started them.

One toe done, one sock to go

I made the socks with ONline supersock and used the toe up sock pattern from Ann Budd from Interweave knits this summer. I actually started using this instruction for Turkish toe.

I timed it so that I would start the second sock at the same place on the pattern repeat as the first. That made them a little short (but not too short) and I ended up with a lot of leftover yarn, so this yarn goes a long way. Maybe I can use it for something for the kids. Perhaps socks?

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Tales of the Traveling Knitter

Since I finished the big blanket I´ve been flirting with the sewing machine (without anything presentable to show for it) and knitting on couple of smaller projects. I started Loksins! for the third time. This time with 2.25 mm needles. The first time I used 2.5 mm and then 2 mm but this time I hit the right size needles it seems. I´m also back to 4 dpns (instead of the 2 circs I was using before (2 mm)) and I have to say that I like 4 dpns a lot better then 5 (dpn=sokkaprjónar). I´m having a lot of fun knitting the socks so I don´t really mind starting over. I never got really far anyways. I really enjoy knitting lace and that helps. I´m going to teach beginner´s lace knitting class at my LYS later this fall. The girls are a little intimidated by lace and don´t realize how easy it is.

Another big knitting news is that I finally got a ball winder! It´s for winding up all the yummie yarn I´ve been getting when my mom was here. One type of yarn I got was Angora by Elsebeth Lavold. This yarn was calling me and begging to be knit.

elsebeth lavold - Angora

It wanted to be a hat. It´s knit top-down. I started with 4 stitches and then just started knitting and the pattern just appeared and everything fit into place. The yarn is so soft and yummie. It´s going to be a great hat. I don´t know if I can just use 2 hank and then make 2 (one for each daughter) or if I use part of the second hank for the hat and make matching mittens. I´ll see.

Tomorrow I´ll be going to a training school in Mahwah, NJ. I´ll fly out early in the morning and wouldn´t be back until Friday evening. I´m hoping to get a lot of knitting done. Traveling without kids - what a privilege!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Working on Ravelry

I´ve been spending all evening on Ravelry adding yarns and projects, including the rest of the stash enhancement and all of my 2006 projects, respectively.

August has been a great S.E.X. (Stash Enhancement eXperience) month and I finally have a real stash! Including some sock yarns and my first grown-up non-Lopi sweater yarn. This one is for my husband. Why do one for him and not for me? I was gifted some vintage patterns and one man´s sweater was just too awesome not to make. When had it´s sale on Elsebeth Lavold yarn (and others) I used the opportunity and bought a whole sweater´s worth (25 skeins) of Silky wool (35% silk) for 50% off.

Loksins! Progress photo 070901

I finished the blanket I was working on almost exclusively and now I´m working on Cassie´s Loksins socks. I started them with 2.5 mm on 4 dpns. I actually liked the 4 dpns better than 5 dpns, but my girls pulled them out and I started them again with 2 mm circulars (from knitpicks,com) since they seemed a little big on 2.5. Now I´m worried they are too small.

Today me and my mom went to the knitting club at the library. It was a lot of fun as always. I brought some of my FOs to brag, he he.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Computer down

My computer has been at the shop for the last two weeks. I don't know why I thought it was a good idea to take it in just when holidays are happening. I should have whated until the beginning of the school year (it's a University shop). All I needed was a new keyboard and I've needed one for the last half a year or so.

In the computer are audiobooks I want to listen to and pictures I want to share and financial information which would be helpful to have (just so I know for sure I'm not forgetting anything).

There were photos of my mom's socks. I lost them! The socks that is. How can you loose handknit socks ment as a gift for your mom who is traveling across the ocean to see you? Apparently it's easy. I found them, don't worry. It was the typical case of putting something in a good, save place and then loosing them.

Oh, yeah. I also got a sewing machine. It was a $15 garage sale find. Brother LS-1412 if I remember correctly. I'm not familiar with Brother sewing machines (or any other than Pfaff, Singer or Toyota to tell you the truth) but this one is designed just about exactly the same as my mom's 1970s Toyota sewing machine. Which means I know how to work it. If anything it's smoother. Still haven't sewn anyting. I need some stuff first, some bobbins, fabric and thread. I have a little bit (my mom brought some I had in Iceland) but I think it's time for a trip to Joann's. I think that's the only sewing store in 50 mile radius and the closest one is 30 min. away. Well, there's always Walmart too. There are quilting stores too. There's one in Nelsonville (15 min north) and one in Pomeroy (? perhaps 20 min south), but that's not the same.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Knitty's summer surprise patterns

I want to make this. And I want to make it in the yarn it calls for. Normally I would just substitute it with cotton and call it a day, but I've been wanting to try just this yarn that is used for the pattern.

This weekend I've been knitting Clint's blanket. It knits up fast, but I've run out of yarn. I only by one skein at a time because 1) I don't know how many I need and I certainly don't want any leftover yarn and 2)since it's acrylic I don't have to worry about dye lots.

The blanket is half done by know (more than half done actually if you count the third strip). I've knit 2 of the strips into the blanket. It's hard to explain without photos. I pick up stitches along the strip and knit the area between them in garter stitch (the whole blanket is in garter stitch) and I attached the second strip to the blanket with 3-needle bind off. It worked out perfectly. I was afraid I would have too many or too few stitches left but it matched perfectly. The last stitch was used to fasten the edge of the strip. Now I know that I need one whole skein to knit between the strips (1x100 gr Lion Brand Homespun) so I can safely buy two more skeins. I have to knit the area between the second and the thrid strip and then then edging. You'll see how it will all come together when I'm done.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Now to needle felting

Over on flickr you can see the stuff I knitted for Hrefna and Finnur's babies.

I also have another side project. In the Interweave Felt special issue magazine there was an article on needle felting with cookie cutters. I just had to try it.

Needle felting and cookie cutters

There is what I´ve done so far. I like the butterfly the best and the teddy bears aren´t finished yet. It was amazing to see the difference in how the yarn felted. The white is merino and it almost felted just by looking at it while the colored fleece took a lot more stabbing (that's what you do, you stab the wool with the needle).

What I´ve got so far

Here is a google search on needle felting.

It's a fun thing to try, just to try something different.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

90° turn

I´m getting hooked on sewing again. What sparked the interest was the book Bend-the-Rules Sewing. By Amy Karol, the woman behind the Angry Chicken blog.

The flickr group of the finished items from the book helped.

I came across some really cool fabric shops, like:

Too bad I don´t have a sewing machine :( I did put a posting on Freecycle for Athens about a Sewing Machine and one person answered. She will be moving to Athens shortly and I can check out a sewing machine she has. She got it at a yard sale for the casing and she hasn´t tried it yet. If it works I've got myself a free sewing machine.

I hope to be able to do some bags, clothing (mostly for the girls), home decor (pillows). I´ll keep you posted.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Comfy shawl

I finished the shawl I started on Friday. It's huge! It fits across my sofa (two seater).

Comfy shawl

With Rebecca's comment to the (second to) last post I realized that both this quicky shawl and my nice fancy lace shawls are both inspired by Sigga Sif. Thanks :)

This shawl is featured on the photo for her Panneband pattern in Garnstudio.

The lace shawl was inspired by her Artic Diamond Stole.

Shawl all around

I know this photo above it crappy. I could look a little happier and fix the position of the shawl but I decided it's was getting too late to be a perfectionist :þ

Comfy shaw / wrap

You can read all about the project by clicking one of the photos and going to the flickr page. There are two things I love about this pattern. First, that it is knit on 15 mm (US 19) needles so it's fast and it's knit side to side so in the beginning and in the end the knitting goes super fast. At it's longest point it's still only 50 sts. If you ever need instant gratification. This is it!

Finally Ravelry

I finally got my Ravelry invitation. I only signed up in May! I´ve been terribly jelous of people lucky enough to have access to Ravelry. I´m in! Yes. I can´t wait to explore it a little and learn how it works.

I´m sonjar on it if you want to be my Ravelry friend.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Hempster and Ball Holder

Since I blogged last I´ve been sick. Laying in bed for 3 days and no knitting in the meanwhile kind of sick. This sickness has also made me crazy for organizing and creative (or what else can I blame this evening on?). I introduce to you Hempster (a hemp coaster) and Ball Holder (A.K.A. not your average husbands sort of Ball Holder).


Today at WallyWorld (A.K.A. Walmart) I came across a discounted hemp jewelry cord. I thought it was ugly at first but at $2 I started to see it´s true beauty shine through. Ahem...

It's small, only 21 yds (19 m) and limited what I can use it for. First I thought a small bowl, but being a product knitter 90% of the time (except when it comes to shawls) I thought I didn´t really need a small bowl since I wasn´t having problems with small things lying around the house.

Since I don´t have any coasters I decided to make one of those. Not long ago I acquired beads that matched the colorway of the hemp perfectly so a beaded coaster was born. The pattern is just made up. I started about 3 times and ended with the simplest start you can think of (4 sc in a circle, increase in each sc in next round, increase in every other sc in next round and every third on the final round). The beads are added last,, ch1, add bead, ch1, skip one sc and in the next.

The coaster looks good from the other side as well. From purchase to product within 4-6 hours. Not too shabby.

ball holder

The Ball Holder is just a coffee container with a hole in it. But it works wonders. Took about 5 minutes to clean the container and dry and punch the hole in. I might have to sand the hole down a little as not to snag the yarn, but that remains to be seen.

If this is not enough, I also started a shawl and knit quite a bit on it as well (as I was hiding from my children in the bedroom). It helped that it is knit on size 15 (not US, but metric) needles. The yarn is Patons Divine originally bought for a crochet sweater but during swatching I realized I will never be able to crochet with this yarn. To tangly and hard to count. This simple garter stitch shawl is just what I need for it. I´m so glad this yarn found it´s match in a pattern. So the yarn I´m using is not as fancy as the original, it still has 15% mohair,

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Marcia Lewandowski

I've been making a great progress on Clint's blanket. It's knitting up a lot faster than I anticipated. To the left you can see a diagram of it's construction. It's quilt- and Mason-Dixon inspired. Cover the world in garter stitch and all that. The way I do it is a little complicated, but less complicated I planned earlier. I knitted three 'scarfs' of red and golden squares. Then I pick up the stitches along the edges (with a 60" needle - 6 mm). It's knit with Lion Brand Homespun.

I don't know if any of you recognize the name in the title of this blog. I'm sure Cassie Toomuchwool does. Marcia Lewandowski wrote the book Folk Mittens and Andean Folk Knits. So where does Marcia Lewandowski come into the picture? Ok, here's what happened.

Yesterday I met Stephanie from the Thursday night knitting club at lunch. We work on the same street. I pass her work on the way to work and right next to her work is the local fried chicken favorite in Athens County. While talking to her I remember that the library had a knitting club the first Saturday of the month. I had know about this but forgotten. So I show up. Bright and early at 9 AM. That's 9 AM Saturday morning. This club is not for the faint-of-heart, lol.

Turns out they had a guest speaker, i.e. Marcia. First we sat around and knitted and then we went into a conference room to listen to Marcia speak. She brought with her all the knitted items from her two books. That was so precious. Last month I rented Folk Mittens at the library and drooled over most of the mittens. The Andean knitted items were very interesting. She has lived in Bolivia and told us a lot of interesting things regarding knitting in S-America. Then after her talk she showed us previews from her next project. A lot of very interesting and very real looking minature hats. Something about a gnome project? I'm not sure exactly what it will be but it looked fantastic. This is one talented lady. She wanted to learn more about the Icelandic Yule lads for her up coming project (this one or another one, I'm not sure). So I'll probably meet up with her again. Being Icelandic sometimes has an advantage :) he he

Monday, July 02, 2007

Random thoughts

  • Thursday evening knitting night has become a regular event in my life. Even when things are crazy at work. It's great to meet the knitting gals and they are all very nice, just as any other knitters. Only drawback is that we meet at a yarn store and then you feel quilty if you're knitting with yarn not purchased there! I love to support the local yarn shop and choose it over internet shopping regardless, but it's still a little awkward.

    Last Thursday I got discounted yarn there. Both from Dalegarn. One was a yarn I haven't seen before. It is heathered mohair blend. Hopefully the yarn will turn into mittens for the girls for next winter.

  • I've turned to preemie knitting at the moment since friends of mine had premature twins at 26 weeks and sadly only one of them lived. That one is doing great nonetheless. Hurray for him.

  • I tried the Turkish Cast-On method and love it. Love it, Love it, love it. I am however going to rip out what I made (beginning of a sock) and do it over. I wasn't happy about how the toe was turning out. But the cast-on was great. It's so simple and works great with 2 circs, although you can easily switch to dpns after couple of rows.

  • After I finished the shawl I had my head full of sweater ideas. They all had the yarn and the needle size in common (eingirni laceweight 1 ply on 6 mm needles). I did some swatching but I am unable to make up my mind and the idea is still evolving. Plus I have turned to preemie knitting at the moment.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Finishing mode

Ever since I finished the shawl I've been in a finishing mode. It's mostly finishing the pillow cushion I mentioned. It has taken longer than I thought and it is a lot of trial and error since I'm really just making it up as I go. It's closed to finished, but I need a bigger pillow for the cover. I had bought a pillow in the same size as the front, but the back adds to it's size, which I hadn't realized.

I was knitting Saarties booties, but I lost my stitch markers and I can't do the pattern without them. It was weird how they just disappeared. I looked for some at Walmart today but they have too much crap yarn to carry stitch markers it seems.

I did get some of Walmart's crappy yarn however. I needed it for Clint's afghan. It's Homespun (Lion Brand). I had run out of yarn. I only got two skeins to begin with and I'm just buying it as I go along. It's garter stitch afghan, so it's nice and easy knitting for taking around.

What else do I got? (looking around). A start of the baby jacket from the first knit-a-long we had (we being Garnaflækja). I kept having problems with it, kept having to rip back and eventually I was at a point where I had no idea what I did wrong or how to fix it. I did rip back again but haven't been in the mood to continue. I think one of the problem is the yarn. It's Rowan All Season Cotton. I'm recycling it. It used to be Ása's sweater but I was way out of gauge. I tried to make a hat but a children's hat turned out too big for me! That yarn is just nothing but problem!

Oh yeah. I did finish something today. A very orange dishcloth I started in May. I know I started it early in May since it was part of the monthly dishcloth kal.

This post seems to be part of my WIP clean up. Categorizing what I'm working on. I hope you'll bare with me for this one. It will be funny tomorrow.

Work post

I'm at work at the moment. Work on a Sunday! Yes, things are piling up and I can't get any work done on the weekdays because I'm too busy working! I'm working on not one but two proposals and at the same time there are two research projects starting in the lab. So I'm busy in the lab in the day time. Funny how everything is happening at once.

First Sock

I took a little break and looked up prjonablogg (knitting blog) on google and found some Icelandic knitting blogs I wasn't aware of before and I stumbled opon my own blog from September 2004. If you scroll down you see that sock in the picture above. This is the first sock from the first pair of socks I ever knit. In September 2004. Since then I've knit 4 pairs. Out of these 5 pairs, 3 are for my kids and 2 for me. I guess I'm not a big sock knitter. Three of these pairs where made with circulars and what's stopping me now is that I need better 2.5 mm circulars. The ones I have right now are old (probably 20 - 30 years old), nicked from my mom's pile of needles and the yarn always snags on the join between the cable and the needle. What's stopping me from getting better circulars? I don't know.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Me segir kindin (Bah says the sheep)

Have you seen Yarn Harlot's post from yesterday? I haven't noticed any back-talking amongs knitting bloggers, have you? I have to admit I don't frequent a lot of knitting blogs these days. Mostly just those in my side bar to the right. I do think I've heard something about this before, but never noticed it.

The pillow is growing slowly. Especially today since my girls got a hold of the project and got the threads so tangled up that I'm still unraveling it. It must have taken them forever to do this to begin with. I wonder what their father was doing in the mean time? Probably having a quiet and peaceful time. ;)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Correction and moving on

I was wrong in the last post. The temperature is not in the 80's it's in the 90's (around 35C) and it's too hot to even hold the shawl, let a lone wear it!


Right now I'm working on the pillow above which I started last winter. Currently I'm working on the back. And it's taking much longer than I thought it would. Maybe since I'm using a new technique (well new to me anyways), Tunisian Crochet.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Wearable Garment

Here is one of me modeling in it - with pajama pants on :)

After this I folded it with gift tissue paper and put it in the closet. After all the temperature is in the 80's (30+°C) and not much use for wool shawl at the moment.

p.s. Those leather masks behind me where made by my Aunt Signý :)

Large Rectangle Shawle with Diamond Center

I finished my rectangle shawl. I learned how to knit edging around corners and I got better every corner. By the last one I really got the hang of it - and then it was over. The end of the edging even lined perfectly up with the cast-on edge. I can´t believe it. I'd been nervous about it the entire time I was knitting the edge.

The center pattern was very easey to remember and pleasant to knit. The edge pattern was more complicated and it took two tries and 10 repeats before I had it memorized. First I got about 4 repeats up before I had to rip it all back and start over.

This morning I crafted the edge ends and put away the whole 4 ends that were left. Although this project took 5 skeins of Kambgarn (on 4.5 mm needles for the center and 4 mm for the edging), since it was wool I spliced the new skein to the old when I ran out. As a result I only had two ends for the center part and two ends for the edging to weave in.

Before I could block it I had to wash it. I used too much shampoo, see:

Stage 1 - Washing

Then I blocked it on our bed and it went fine, despite Kamilla helping me (he he). I had enough pins, which I'm thankful for.

Stage 2: Blocking

Kamilla thinks the shawl is for laying on and can't wait to try it out.

There is a close up:

Close up on Victorian shawl

Thursday, June 14, 2007

My poor neglegted blog

I have some making up to do regarding this blog.

Last Thursday I went to the knitting club at the only knitting store in the area - The Spinning Turtle in Nelsonville, OH. I almost forgot though and only remembered at the last moment. I rushed up there and caught the last half an hour or so. The ladies there where a lot of fun (well of course they were, they are knitters after all) and today I went again. Again I could only stay for half an hour, because Clint and the kids where there in Nelsonville checking out some houses.

This time I brought some knitting stuff for 'Show and tell'. I brought Clint's boyfriend sweater. The one I knit him and sent to CA. It's a traditional Icelandic Lopi sweater and the second sweater I ever made.

I also brought the EZ February Baby Jacket - this one here:

EZ's February Baby Jacket

I also brought the rest of the plate of unspun yarn I used to make it to show them. Marty (the owner) told me this kind of yarn was called a pensil roving and she had the idea that you could use it for easy (or easier) spinning.

I uploaded some more photos like this one of the Tychus hat we knit as a KAL at Garnaflækja:

Hear No Evil

I also uploaded a photo of one of the strips (nr. 2 out of 3) of my blanket I'm making.

Twisted blanket

If you click on the photo and go back to the flickr site you can tell by the notes on the photo where I went wrong. What I did was to knit one row too much before changing colors at one point. It shouldn´t be too hard to fix, just a little snip and some crafting.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Dear Diary

Not much knitting done yesterday too, even if I was dying to continue with the stole. You can blame the proposal I'm working on due Thursday. Yesterday it all came together though so I expect to be able to knit more tonight.

Thanks Cassie for the explanation on blanket vs. afghan.

The memory card is found (probably a week ago) and still no photos. Shame on me. I guess I can pick the no daylight excuse, but I wouldn't. There was daylight on Sunday, plus the evenings are getting increasingly brighter.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Dear Diary

I didn't knit at all yesterday. To compensate, I brought some knitting to work. Not that I can actually knit at work, but I left my keys at work yesterday so I had to wait for someone to come to work so I could come in. I managed couple of rows on my afghan/blanket.

Can someone explain to me what is the difference between a afghan and a blanket?

Monday, June 04, 2007

Back in the saddle

I didn't knit Thursday, Friday nor Saturday. Finally Sunday I got a little knitting time and boy was it good. I didn't realize I was so dependent on knitting :o I was preparing 'Asa's birthday party on Saturday, she just turned 2. When I got back to it I picked up the Victorian shawl. I am knitting the edges and going around the corners, which isn't terribly complicated but still not obvious. I was a little off turning the first corner and fixed it on the short side (or so I thought) but it didn't match. When I picked it up again I desided just to stop thinking about it and knit on. Turns out I wasn't off at all. It fitted perfectly. Now I'm happily knitting down the other long end of the shawl.

As you've noticed I've only been talking about knitting lately, not stitching. I was very active stitching for the first 3 months of the year but then April came around and I dropped it altogether. I've been trying for a little while to get back into it. I even had a plan to stitch at least one length of thread per day. That didn't last long - one evening perhaps. My problem was that my orginization was out of whack. In the beginning I had my threads in a zip lock bag and that didn't work so well, especially with the larger projects since the colors kept adding on as the project continued (it's a year long SAL). I bought rings to put the thread on but they didn't work. One had a broken lock they weren't big enought for all the thread. So finally I got another box for the thread. I have 5 big ones that I use to store the thread and 1 small one for WIPs but it's being used for a UFO. So yesterday I brought that box out and put the thread for these two working projects in it. After I had knit for a while I picked up one of the project and made some improvement on that. You know what? Of course I had to knock the thing over when I stood up and I had thread all over the floor :( What can you do.

The 'stash' may seem small to some people (no names he he) but I usually just buy what I need for my current project and it stresses me to have yarn for other projects that I'm not even contemplating making. So I don't want to have it grow. It is comfortable being able to grab yarn and start knitting, and not having to go out and buy it first. I probably will end up with a stash of simple wool that can be used for smaller projects (mittens, hats etc) but I like to use what I have. I guess I'm also kind of a thrifty person. I don't like owning books either. It's probably the same mechanism behind that as the yarn. I only keep books that are really special to me for some reason. Most books I rent at the library or give away when I'm done reading them.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Stash or not?

I keep thinking I don't really have a stash. I hardly ever buy yarn, but have gotten big amounts of yarn from Iceland from time to time. One time about year ago when I returned to the US from Iceland and then a bunch the other day when my stepmom came for a visit. So while putting the baby to sleep (she's not really a baby anymore, she turned 2 yesterday) I thought I take a stock of what I have. Turns out I have more then I thought. Here is a list of projects I have yarn for - only 'virgin' wool. This excludes WIPs, leftover yarn and odd skeins of yarn.

  • 1x baby sweater (like the 5 hour baby sweater)
  • 2x shawls (from eingirni, Icelandic 1 ply wool)
  • 1x mittens for Clint
  • 1x slippers for Clint
  • 2 pair socks
  • 1x crochet sweater for me
  • 1x tank top/skirt for Ása (baby cotton)
  • 16+ washcloths, facecloths, bibs etc. (things that take less than a skein of kitchen cotton
  • 3x denim bibs
  • 1x pedal bib

The list is a lot longer than I had assumed. But still not too long. I could do this in a half a year, providing I'm spending at least 2 hours a day knitting. It'll be interesting to see at the end of the year how many projects are left on the list.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Follow up from last night's post

I was hurrying to post last night to get all this stuff out I wanted to say without taking up too much knitting time. So what was I knitting that was so urgent. Well, it's not so urgent but I was just starting the edge on my Victorian Lace Today stole. I've never made an edge like that before and it was a new experience for me. It was exciting to see it 'grow' on the side of the stole. It was also challeging because it took be about 10 repeats to remember it compared to the center pattern, which only took me 1-2 repeats to get it down. I like it better than I thought I would (the edge pattern that is). I was contemplating changing it but I decided just to do it first, which proved to be complicated enough. After about 5 repeats I was starting to learn part of the pattern and got overconfident and ended making a mistake and having to rip and it was hard to find my place again. There is a small flaw in the edge, which I can identify very easily but I'm counting on others to overlook it.

I buried up the sewing machine I tested. It's Janome Jem Platinum 720.

The connection with Persia was repeated in the Folk Mittens book as well. So I felt confident that it was plausible. I think it's mostly the 8 corner star that is the connection.

Lots of misc. knitting news

There is a lot I want to share, but at the same time I really just want to knit. So I'll be brief.

Starting with a book I got at the Ohio University library. It's called Scandinavian Knitting Designs by Pauline Chatterton and was published in 1977. It talkes about the origin of knitting in Scandinavia (I didn't know it came from Persia through Finland) and consists mostly of two color stitching patterns. There are some patterns mostly sweaters, blankets and pillows. Yes, pillows. They are actually really nice and make good use out of the stitching patterns. What cracks me up about this book is that every single pattern specifies acrylic yarn. Acrylic! No Scandinavian with any sense of dignity would use acrylic, especially not for clothes and blankets. The knitting culture there is a total opposite from the knitting culture in America. Here people use acrylic specifically for babies and children, but in Scandinavia you would never dress your child knowingly in acrylic. If someone in Iceland gave my children cloths made out of acrylic I would be offended. Seriously, it's that big of a deal. Of course in Iceland cloths will have to keep you warm in cold, wet and windy weather. But I would much rather perfer cotton to acrylic if I lived in a warmer climate, like in the southern part of the USA.

Ok, I was going to be brief. It's not working. I have days of suppressed blogging.

Yesterday there was Final Friday in Nelsonville. That means galleries and businesses in downtown Nelsonville are open until 10 PM and have demonstrations and stuff. This includes both the knitting store and the quilting store. I went there after the kids were sleeping and went straight to the knitting store. There I looked over the yarns. They have a nice selection, especially for a small southeastern Ohio town. I especially like the lack of novelty yarns :) I met a nice lady there, who was there with her husband and two boys. We got a long very well and it seem like I have a new knitting friend :) I also learned that there is a group that meets on Thursday evenings at the knitting store. I have to check that out next week.

I also went to the quilting store. There is a lady who works part-time at the Corrosion Center and shares an office with me. She also works part-time at the quilting store so I went to meet her. I almost shouldn't have, he he. I haven't been in a quilting (or fabric) store in a while and now I want a sewing machine. I sold mine before moving to the US so I need a new one. The owner showed me a machine, which is so cool. Instead of using a foot pedal, you just push a button and that starts the machine. It's like cruise control but for a sewing machine. You can adjust the speed how ever you like. It also finished the thread for you (ties a knot) that's also something I hadn't seen before. So now I want to sew again. I've always wanted to sew more than I have been doing so it wasn't hard to be tempted.

Finally I have to tell you that today I took the girls to the library and actually got a library card this time. You need to have both a picture ID and a proof of residancy and I haven't manage to have both with me before when I've visited the library. The kids played and had fun and I found two nice knitting books (they had more nice books but I only grabbed these two) Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush and Folk Mittens by Marcia Lewandowski. I'm sorry for lack of links, but I really want to get back to my knitting rather than to find links. I especially like the folk mitten book because I've been wanting to knit mittens and it does have some great patterns that I want to try.

For those of you waiting for photos, I have to disappoint you. We've lost the memory card for our camera. It's not american (Ricoh) so I'm not expecting to find this type of a card here. Maybe I'm wrong, who knows.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Travel knitting

I did get a lot of knitting done on the way to Norfolk. I finished a part of the afghan/blanket I talked about in the last entry. I will knit it part of it in stripes and one stripe is like a giant scarf. The main color is red (Clint insisted on red) and the second color is a golden color, not a solid and not a variegated but consists of golden, black, white and even some red strands. This yarn is not spun, but consists of many acrylic fibers loosly held together. This means that the yarn comes loose as soon as you cut it.

During the symposium, I knit a skein and a half for the French Market Bag the first day. I was going to start the next stripe for the blanket the next day but I forgot to pack the knitting needle (I always knit with circular needle (and dpns) even if I'm knitting a flat piece). I got a little knitting done on the way home but we decided to take a different route, Route 50, which goes from north of Virgina, through West Virginia, Maryland, West Virgina, Ohio and all the way to our house! It seemed simple enough, but took a lot longer than we anticipated, plus I couldn't knit because the road was too winding and going up and down mountains (the Appalachians). In return we got beautiful landscape and pretty towns to admire so it wasn't too bad. We didn't get home until midnight, this alternative route took about 3 hours more.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Knitting plans

On Monday we are going on a road trip (we being me, my husband and 2 daughters). We are driving to Norfolk, VA. So why are we doing this on a Monday? I am going to be a surrogate speaker for my director at an ASTM symposium. So Clint and the girls will have fun at the beach while I'm stuck in a conference room for two days. No, it'll be fun, some of the biggest names in Corrosion will be there, so it's a great opportunity for me.

Since we are driving there I'm hoping to get some knitting done on the way. Hoping, because I tend to be carsick, but on an highway it shouldn't be too difficult, unless it's sunny. So we'll see.

I have one repeat left on the center panel of my 'Victorian Lace Today' shawl. Of course I ran out of yarn with one and a half repeat left (out of 36). This knitting has been smooth, right until I hit the 30 repeat mark, then I kept making mistakes and having to rip back and fix them. This is so much fun to knit and I just started my fourth skein (out of 5). So I should have enough for the edging. What's preventing me from finishing the last repeat is that I have to practice for the presentation I'm giving on Tuesday.

I'm becoming more and more American. I'm actually considering knitting out of an acrylic yarn! The yarn in question is Homespun from Lion Brand. The thing about this yarn is that it comes in beautiful colorways, is super-soft and bulky weight. So it's the perfect candidate for a blanket!

I had a great idea for a design. Last night I was drawing and calculating all night and didn't get any knitting done. I finally came up with the perfect design. It looks simple but it was difficult to get the right sizes. Now all I have to do is to swatch to see my gauge so I can figure out how many stitches to cast on and how many rows to knit. The blanket is made up of panels and I'm not going to knit it in a 'logical' order. Let's just say that it is a Mason-Dixon inspired blanket.

Hopefully I'll have everything sorted out before our road trip. If I run into problems I always have my faithful French Market bag. It's at the stage where you just knit around and around, so it's a good traveling piece.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Not your granny's crochet!

Check out Patricia Waller's artwork.

I just can't pick a favorite. Crochet pig's head meal or crochet bicycle accident, how about crochet crocodile accident?


Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I haven't paid much attention to Berroco before but I just learned that Nora Gaughan, yes that Nora Gaughan, it the new design director there. Why didn't I know about this before? I immidiately signed up for their KnitBits. There are some great patterns there. Go take a look.

I want this:

Except for sock needles (dpn) and not straight. I can't think of a better useage for cables, can you?