Thursday, December 13, 2007

living among fishbone, staghorns and sheepfolds.

i have finally started the saddle shoulder aran for my nephew stig. it is beaverslide worsted again. according to clara parkes three ply yarn makes better cables but that is just too bad. it worked quite well with peter's sweater where the cables are much more pronounced than you can see in my pictures. and the next project is going to be cables in two ply as well. i want to make an aran of the skye tweed i purchased back in may for me. so i am clicking away on this project and want to finish it as fast as possible.
today i touched qiviut. i even touched unspun qiviut. i want a skein of qiviut for christmas to make a koolhaas out of. it would be sooo nice. i think i will have to buy qiviut myself though. and this is probably what upsets me about christmas. you get busy and lose track of what people really want. and then you just buy something that is a fad or obviously useful like stockings or a perfume. the personal touch of gift giving disappears.
today i was in a bookstore where some girls wanted to buy a craft book for an aunt. one said to the other: i don't remember if it is crochet, needlepoint or knitting that she likes. hm hm. find out before buying would be my advice. it is not that i don't like christmas i just find it a bit over done.
the christmas ornament with the knitting girl is from rome. peter bought it to me when he was in rome last week. i suppose it reminded him of somebody.....

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

here is peter in his new sweater of which he says: i forgot i had a new sweater. to me it is like an old much loved sweater. and this is the quality one's clothes should always have. he loved it and i am so pleased. and it looks great with the grey hair and blue eyes in a 'danielle steele psychotherapist recently having moved from new york to a mansion in yorkshire' kind of way.
the wool is great and i love how it bloomed when blocked.
total knitting time was 18 days and i used about 6 ½ skeins of beaverslide worsted (90% wool 10 % mohair) in the glacier heather colourway on needles 3mm, 4mm and 4½ mm. the reason for the smaller of the needles is the tubular cast on/off that requires much smaller needles than a normal cast on/off. the cable is from barbara walker and is called aran braid. it is knit over twelve stitches but is very tight. the pattern is elizabeth zimmermann's raglan from the opinionated knitter.
it is special knitting for peter. he is my bestest, oldest and most lovely friend and i cannot fathom why i haven't done it much earlier.

Monday, December 10, 2007

weekend and a finished object.

the little jultomte at the top of the post is knit by my grandmother. now she decorates the houses of her great great grandchildren. i think that is nice to think about. i am also using the knitting books she gave me back in the eighties. that is nice too. she actually created things like that all her life. both her daughters are also quite gifted. one makes pottery and wall hangings here in copenhagen, the other in denver, colorado and all of the three has managed to sell things. i sold a little baby sweater too. but that was many years ago.
the birthday cake is made by a talented friend of mine and was a present for my father on his 83rd birthday today. doesn't it look yummy. you bet it was. my father has a penchant for these green frogs made out of cake. in some aspects we never grow up.
and carl, the pirate, looks very scary in his shiver me timbers sweater and all the other pirate gear. but the truth is, that i gave him some temporary tattoos a while ago. his mother told me that he only dared to have a dolphin and a seagull tattooed because he found the rest too dangerous. that is so cute. it is good to have a mother to protect you against scary tattoos.
and peter's sweater is finished and blocked. it is hard too see what it really looks like but i am very satisfied with the result and with all the techniques i have learned in the process. i have finally realized what the difference between a k2tog through back loop and the ssk is. and i love the result. i wonder why it took so long. i have learned the tubular cast on and cast off too. and that gives a professional look to one's handknit sweaters. the cast off is a little time consuming and i think it will be better the next time i do it, but it does something for your knitting and is worth trying. hopefully i can take some dazzling photos of it's dazzling recipient when i hand it over to him.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

sheep thrills

the blue peter sweater is coming to an end pretty soon. and i am happy. tomorrow is his birthday but this was never intended as a birthday present but as a token of my thankfulness for having this wonderful and humourous person in my life. that is so invaluable.
and the next to come is meg swansen's saddle shoulder cardi. i hope i can figure out how to make the saddles but as machado says: camino se hace al andar.... and that was supposed to be my new motto, as i have mentioned earlier.
the grey yarn is eco gotland sheep wool. there are many christmas markets around these days and it seems that yarn has become very popular all of a sudden. this wool is very beautiful with a lovely sheen and i suppose i will make a moebius or something one fine day. after the saddle shoulder and my own aran from the skye tweed i bought back in may is finished. i am clicking away as fast as i can.
and talking about yarn. has anyone read the knittingcurmudgeon's article on kristin nicholas in the latest issue of IK? it is a great portray of kristin who has a new book out. she is having a yarn give away on her blog and i would love to win the yarn. wouldn't you??? i even think it may happen with my usual luck in yarn giveaways. i think kristin's designs are exceptionally happy and pretty. i also find it so sweet that kristin has named the yarn after her daughter julia. how many girls have a yarn named after them??? i also think the knittingcurmudgeon is a hell of a writer. her blog always makes me reflect.

Monday, December 3, 2007

knitting on television

look knitters this is what a tough police superintendant looks like on national danish television these days. for a whole year this woman in this sweater has filled our sunday nights. well she has one more quite similar. it is designed by top-notch icelandic designers gudrun and gudrun and has caused a lot of discussion in danish newspapers and knitting blogs. the owner of a small lys published a pattern for the sweater and the designers wanted to sue her for violating their copyright to the sweater pattern. the discussion of course was: how can a raglan with nordic star patterns be copyrighted by anyone alive today.
one can buy the 'original' sweater (which i believe is out of unspun icelandic) for the nice price of usd 550. and i do think it is paying respect to knitting that is goes for that price. it might take a little week to knit so the hourly pay is second to none. the discussion about copyright is difficult since i think it is important how you space the stars and the choice of colours.
the sweater i am knitting right now is a design by me, by elizabeth zimmermann, by barbara walker, by beaverslide dry goods or maybe by none of us.
but isn't it lovely that today's heroine wears handknits.

on friday i went out with a few other ladies. one was wearing a faroese sweater knit by her mother. i admired it very much and she gave it to me and said smell!!! no one else but knitters could get a kick out of smelling sheep. oh well maybe those who cut the sheep in the australian outback. the rest of the ladies looked a little puzzled....

i am now at the point where i have to join the body and the sleeves and then, elizabeth promises, it will go really fast due to the decreasing. so now i have to figure out which kind of paired decreases would be prettier. and then there will be the part that i am looking more forward to than everything else. the tubular cast off. does any one know if it can be done on circs or to be more precise when knitting in the round?????

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

no brooklyn tweed

oooh i wish i could take better pictures. a lot of you take lovely pictures and i think it was jared's
photography skills that was part the reason why i started loving knitting again. but the peter sweater is progressing. i am a one at a time knitter, so of course it will as i spend many hours knitting every day for the time being. and i am quite happy with it. got some knitting problems fixed with the help of montse stanley ( i wrap the purl stitches next to the cables differently know) and used the tubular cast on. so in many ways it is more perfect than any other sweater with cables and ribbing. and it is so satisfactory to learn new things. montse has some good advice on everything....

talking about male knitters. go check the following out on ravelry:

asplund: swedish, blogless knitter, who makes the most lovely cable and stranded knitting. i am awestruck. he also does the most amazing needlepoint. that is something i find very interesting too. did a little as a child, but has never taken it up as an adult. but the results can be stunning and the process isn't necessarily too bad either.

i understand why men knit. i think the boxiness of knitting and cable patterns are very masculine features. i love to knit for children and for men. i haven't knitted anything for myself for two decades. i will make a cabled sweater but i think it is very difficult to find something that i think suits me.

my life is very much a mess workwise right now. energy is dropping. knitting is keeping me up plus the happy smile on peter's face when he saw the progress on the sweater in a café today. i hope that there will be some good news soon and that this crisis which i get through by 'knitting on with confidence and hope' will lead to something i will think about as a happy time in my life in 10 years time.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

sheep may safely graze

went to the sheep breeder's christmas market today. it was of very little interest. and i wanted to take some photos of the different stall holders but they were not all that interested. i was like a time warp into the seventies. big boxy knits. i am not sure i like it very much. i think handknits should be handknits and there is no reason to knit something that could be done better in another technique but there is no reason for no shape either. but everything was wooly which is nice and i liked different sheep paraphernalia i saw. i bought to skeins of a lovely coffee brown wool and a little felted mouse for alba who i was going to meet later. she found the mouse extremely funny. and it is very much fun to be with her as one is starting to see the contours of the person she will be. she is very interested in the well being of her dolls and other cuddly things.
i also went to the christmas bazaar in the swedish church. omg what a lot of people all dressed in folk costumes. i think the swedes are much more prone to this than the danes. a lot of christmas goodies, woodwork and such. i did not buy anything though.
and then i were out with alba and her mom and ended up eating soup with them.

i have refound and ordered a book from my childhood in which there is a heartbreaking story about knitting. it is called the endless steppe and i ordered it at amazon. i shall look very much forward to reading it again.
and the sweater for peter is going swimmingly. he texts me everyday to ask how the thing is proceeding. the beaverslide worsted is a dream to work with. i cannot begin to say how much i love working with it. it is hard not to order boatloads of this yarn. my next project- the nephew saddle shoulder- is luckily going to be knit with beaverslide as well. and i cannot wait to knit with the green colour which is so soothing to look at. and i think i am a cable girl after all. it is an amazingly pretty feature.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


danish poet, henrik nordbrandt, writes:

the year has sixteen months
december, january, february
march, april, may,
june, july, august
september, october, november,

and it seems like november lasts forever. and i feel much more exposed to the tristesse of this month this year than ever before. maybe it comes with age. it is like looking at the world through a greasy lens. at 1 o'clock it starts getting dark. and photography is impossible.

but the knitting blooms. it is for all the senses.

it is nice to fondle, it is nice to look at all the lovely yarns, it is nice to hear people praise your yarns and fo's, it is nice to taste the feeling of success when you finish something, it is nice to smell wool, and it is nice to use your sixth sense when finding out who needs the next project you plan the most.....

Sunday, November 18, 2007

a proper knitting project

i have a proper knitting project on the needles now. and i am hoping it will be smooth sailing as i would very much like to finish it in the beginning of december and cast on for the seamless saddle-shoulder aran. finally.

this is for peter. peter is my friend numero uno. the best, the funniest, the most empathetic, the craziest. and omg we have been in each other's life for a long time. strangely i haven't knitted anything for him for the last 23 years or something but better late than never. and it is certainly not because he isn't inspiring to knit to.

it is beaverslide worsted in the colourway glacier heather. a lovely blue.

another lovely thing that has happened is that i have sorted out m stash. i have a boatload of yarn and i actually know what i want to use most of it for. the army green beaverslide is for my nephew's saddle shouldered aran, the brown and grey rowanspun would work perfectly for the tangled yoke by eunny jang (one for me and one for my sis). the plum yorkshire tweed could be a lovely sweater for another friend of mine.

oh and maybe it will end up as something completely different. knitter's choice.

i love all the possibilities in there are with a little wool and some needles and keep telling my nephew's girlfriend that there really isn't much more to it than knit and purl. i would very much like to teach somebody to knit. somebody who would get addicted like i did. maybe i should get some needles and wool for alba soon??? or albert...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

hello again.

i was the lucky winner of tiennie's 4000th commenter contest. no wonder, tiennie, that you have so many commenters. not only do you dilegently send a response to every commenter and comment on people's blogs but you are also tooooo generous. it is lovely blue moon socks that rock in the colourway ms. rock. i think it is lovely and although i rarely knit socks this will be converted into lovely socks. soon.
the bowtie scarf is the second of it's kind so far. it is made out of beaverslide: fisherman's weight and scraps of noro silk garden. and it is warm.
other knitting news are that i received a swift and a ball winder in the post today. omg is that lovely. i am producing yarn cakes like crazy. i also got the yarn for my friend peter's sweater for which i have swatched and blocked tonight. if i were not going to knit a sweater for my lovely and lovable friend i think i'd knit:

an adult tomten 'brooklyn tweed' style for mr. leonard cohen. saw him in concert twice and i cannot begin to say how much he has meant for me, musicwise. i would choose tomten for this two-piece armani suit guy because he is getting older ( he sings: because of a few songs wherein i spoke of their mystery, women have been awfully kind to my old age) , which means he needs nice woolies and because he lived in a zen-buddhist convent and i think tomten is a bit monk like with the big hood.

the other celebrity i would like to knit for is rufus wainwright. i admire rufus' lovely voice and charming appearances in concert. he is also a gay activist in a way. that is maybe not all that important here in denmark, but from what i read at various blogs, very imperative in the u.s.
i think i would choose to knit him some bavarian twisted stitch stockings. as you can see he'd probably cherish that. he always ends his performance going on stage in a terry-cloth bathrobe and tubesocks and then all of a sudden jumping out of the outfit into another outfit which could be a fairy princess outfit or something like that.

the third person i would like to knit something for is nick cave, australian musician and director. saw him in ireland and in the operahouse here in copenhagen a few years ago. and i adore him. he would get an argyle slipover and some mittens for these girls of whom, he sings:

Where is Mona?She's long goneWhere is Mary? She's taken her along. But they haven't put their mittens onAnd there's fifteen feet of pure white snow.

i suppose they would come in handy.

i am afraid friends and family are first priority though. i got an email this morning from carl and albert's mum who wrote: i want to take back everything i ever said about knitted things for my sons. they wear their sweaters to pieces.....
that was nice. and it means i have to speed up the knitting, as there are more to knit for.

and i you guys would like to get yourselves something knitterly order montse stanley: a knitter's handbook.
i think it will soon be the most important knitting reference book i ever owned. it covers everything and has some lovely examples of beautiful spanish knitting from the last century and some adorable chullos. get it. it is cheap and you need it!!!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

hats on!!!!

the three-spiral hat in two versions. the grey one is adriafil: diamond. a yarn that looks like homespun and is quite soft. it doesn't really show the construction of the hat off. so i made one more- soft ice- whipped cream- thing in bulky lopi. this yarn is not soft, to say the least but it shows off the construction of the hat really well.
and then i have knit a bowtie scarf out of one skein of beaverslide. all i can say is soft and yet sculptural. beaverslide is really something else. i think i will wear this scarf quite a lot. practical and soft.
and i am doing another in one of the beaverslide sample yarns i bought a few months ago. i blend it with some noro silk garden from last years clapotis galore. it looks nice and somewhat early 70'es.
oh and i have been confronted with my knitting the last few days. when i came to visit my sister unexpectedly she was wearing the aubergine fair isle i made for her back in may. and when the venezuelan came to visit me unexpectedly yesterday he was wearing the whole gear (well only one hat a time). i suppose this is what happens when you knit something exclusively directed at the recipient. hopefully my friend peter is going to like his beaverslide sweater. he rejected to get cobblestone, that i had planned to knit, so i will make a pattern myself, the little red hen said (as elizabeth said and started the whole schoolhouse press business). i am thinking very much of that these days. she was about my age when she started it. what should i start. if i wanted to make business out of my hobby, i don't think i am in the right place. and i think if the lys' in a city like copenhagen all carry more or less the same stuff, it must be what's in demand. and maybe it is much too much work and hardship for a single woman....

Sunday, November 4, 2007


here is yet another tomten. i think i have had enough of tomten now, but alas i have promised to knit one for my niece's friend who is expecting her second baby pretty soon and who has been admiring the first one i made for alba last year. but i love the colour of this one and the beaverslide yarn is such a pleasure to knit with. i am seriously in love with the i-cord finishing that gives it such a clean and finished look without much effort. yes is right, knit on with confidence through all crises....

i received clara parkes: knitter's book of yarn in the mail on friday. adrian has some very lovely humourous and romantic mitten patterns in it, that i am sure will spread like flu all over the knitting blogs in the time to come. it must be a lovely achievement. and especially since the pattern is so original in my opinion. get the book for adrian's mittens and for the in-depth knowledge of yarn. the rest of the patterns are not very interesting. i cannot see any reason to publish a pattern for a wash-cloth. i remember my grandmother knitting washcloths and socks out of cotton and it was nothing less but horrible. the other grandmother knitted socks and mittens i understood that better. my mother only knitted sweaters or bigger garments except for one christmas when she knitted chullos for all 25 nieces and nephews, as far as i remember. and even though i keep knitting the same patterns over and over again, i regard myself as an experimental knitter. i always try to incorporate some new technique or experiment with yarn. i love playing around with colours. i think i am a fair isle knitter at heart. but i lurve the look of cables.

and maybe there will be more red, blue, yellow on this blog after all. my former colleague is going to colombia to adopt two young boys ( i say 5-6 years old). and i thought they might like hats in the colours of their flag..... or maybe not.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

you look good in blue.....

you look good in blue by blondie is a song from the late 70es that makes me nostalgic. but when it comes to my friend peter it is true he looks good, very good in blue, with his blue eyes and grey hair. sooo distinguished. and we were friends for ever and a day, or to be more precise 25 years. so what did this knitter do, who has been so talkative about the amounts of yarn in her stash do. oh i ordered glacier heather (light greyish blue) wool at beaverslide. i thought why don't i knit him a sweater ever. i knit for loads of people but this particular person, who is probably more loved by me than most, i never knit anything for. i had planned to knit cobblestone but peter would rather have a plain old raglan. i love the raglan style as well. and before the yarn arrives from the foothills of rocky mountains, i may have come up with some ideas for spicing it up a bit.
and it was albert's blue tomten (the bluebert) that made me hungry for blue again. it used to be my colour for many many years until i got into this ochre, siena, earthen brown colour preference. blue is relaxing in a very special way. a little bit like baby pink which is the colour that is the most relaxing to look at of them all. you actually produce practically no brain waves when looking at it.

and when i was at it i went to my lys to buy some more yarn. garnstudio: eskimo. it is a very cheap yarn and i will have a go at the snail hat that didn't work out well in the grey yarn i got for it. i taught the owner the crochet cast on. i have fiddled around to teach myself this so it was nice to pass on the knowledge. she has a great shop in the historic center of copenhagen and we had a long chat about VK, IK and the starmores. i wish there were more money in that business then i would try to find a job as a shop clerk.. but i am single and high maintenance so i better find something that pays better in the teaching industry. only i am done with children. at the moment i find it unbearable to even think about teaching children ever again. i am on sick leave and hope to find a teacher/counsellor job with adults very soon. wish me luck.

the green knitting is a bowtie scarf in mctaggart tweed: sweetgrass. i think it will be great when finished. only i don't think it is a one skein wonder so i ordered another.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

baah, pure new wool

i have started the scarf and i am going to put it away for a while. i will need to do stranded knitting all over the scarf instead of stripes. the two colour patterns i have chosen have a very tight tension and hence all the scarf needs to be like that. but i really like knitting all the letters. great graphic fun.
and look what was in the mail. big sky blue mctaggart tweed for a tomten for my cute great nephew albert. i purchased all the colourcards from leanne at beaverslide (and a hell of a lot of wool not yet knitted) and this blue is simply stunning. i adore it. and hope my niece, maja, will as well. this will be my 4th tomten. i love the simplicity of this pattern which makes your choice of wool all the more important. i feel the greatest urge to knit a sweater for my friend peter in the same colour. he and i have been close-knit (no pun intended) friends for 25 years now, and i did knit him a sweater in brioche stitch many years ago, but maybe it is about time again. i hope to get out of the job i have now (i am on sick leave) and into another that is more me very soon, so my only worry about purchasing wool will be the fear of moths. in ravelry and on various knitting blogs it seems to be a bit embarrasing to buy a lot of wool. i don't mind as long as it doesn't break the bank. i am not planning to enroll in some kind of AA for knitters. i actually have a principle of knitting up a ball of yarn a day and i succeed pretty much in this. i have to dash because i want to clean my house and attack all the beautiful blue skeins for some mindless knitting while listening to herbie hancock: river, the joni letters. happy knitting.

Monday, October 29, 2007

what's next

oh knitting is indeed divine as my dpn box says in german. there is knitting. whipped off 3 hats and started a scarf this week. it was great fun to do the black tweedy hat and i wear it all the time. the project on the needles now is a scarf in alpaca for me. i am going to knit a poem into it in spanish. i have written about it in an earlier blogpost. it is difficult for me to see where i am going for the moment but all shall be well eventually and in the meantime i will knit like crazy. i would like to be a knitting magazine editor. we really miss some high quality knitting magazines here. or i would like to go to peru and learn to knit andean style. i am a great daydreamer and that is very good in times of confusion.
soon i will start the beaverslide worsted saddle shouldered aran for my nephew. he is going to look so fab in it. just cool and hip enough to wear this kind of thing. and then another tomten for albert of course. but tomtens only takes a couple of days to knit. especially in attractive yarn.
there are lots of things to do. just look at my stash.
tonight i went to see lucinda williams with my sister, my nephew and his girlfriend. if you ever get the chance go see her. she rocks. it is always so great to go and see music live. i enjoy every penny spent on that. and i can get so envious on guitarplayers. isn't that just something. she had a really amazing band with her as well. i would also like to be the girl who sits in the lobby and sells merchandise. one time one of the merchandise sellers sold her handknit hats too. nothing special but of course i bought one. i thought it was so cute that she did it.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

a match box from buenos aires, venezuelan laurel and hardy and a dries van noten knock off.

oh i have knitting time. lovely knitting time. besides knitting time things are not very bright at the moment except for the two venezuelan hats european and dreadlock hairstyle. the more i knit in these colours the more fascinating the brightness. some people have it in them to wear bright colours, alas i do not. but i like playing around with bright colours and i have made impulse purchases in very bright colours expensive and never to be worn. since i heard that the venezuelan scarf and matching hat had been put away for a special occasion i thought i'd better knit an extra hat for my friend and one for him to give away for his friend. i was offered money for the latter but i don't like to mix knits and money and friends for some reason. what can you charge for a little hat. nothing compared to knitting time and since i don't know the recipient i would not want him to come to my house and clean for six hours.

the black tweedy hat is a dries van noten (belgian designer) knock off that i saw in a shop here for USD 200. i thought i'd use some yorkshire tweed dk in the colour top hat, that i had in my stash. one way not to buy more yarn is to make a competion with yourself about how long it will take to knit your stash. well lets see, i have:
21 skeins of rowanspun dk
10 skeins of yorkshire tweed aran
5 skeins of 123silk wool
20 skeins of yorkshire tweed chunky
10 skeins of beaverslide worsted
6 skeins of beaverslide mctaggart tweed
15 skeins of classic elite skye tweed
1 cone of jaggerspun zephyr

i partly blame it on jared and a little bit on myself.

and since it is worsted or heavier most of the stuff it cannot take more than 3 months. i am not giving it a try. buying wool is such a lovely thing. and having a nice stash when inspiration hits is even nicer. and hats are a lovely way to use all the odd skeins that you have left from different projects. i always buy a little to much. i beaver yarn. like i always cook too much food.

p.s. the black hat looks like nothing. it is a garter stitch band that is broader on the 'back-head* third. i have picked up stitched all around and purled one round before knitting the hat in stockinette. it looks quite smart irl though.