Sunday, December 28, 2008

pig harvest

here is alba with the pigs. she won them. in denmark it is tradition to make a yummy kind of ricepudding for christmas with loads of chopped almonds in and then one whole. the one who gets the whole will get a prize.
in my family it is always a homemade pressie. and it has always been my father's chore to make it. but this year we had to rethink and i got the task this year. next year i may or may not do it again.
i have decided that i would love to knit a lamb and chicken collection for easter though. i never thought this was my thing at all, but i have really taken a liking in little knitted animals.
and i think alba is going to love playing pig farmer. isn't that every little girl's biggest dream ;-))

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

flared lace smokering

there were two projects that went a bit wrong i.e. the gift knitting went wrong so i thought snap out of it, let me knit a little thingy for myself. i wanted to knit a smokering in qiviut and went on a manical search for qiviut in a very bad mood a while ago. no qiviut but i slipped on the floor in a yarnstore and went home. it was in the thick of job search and rejections, so i felt really really bad lying there on the middle of a floor in a yarn store.
since then things have changed for the better. i am so glad. and all of a sudden i don't have the urge for qiviut any longer. but i thought it would be fun to knit a smoke ring anyway and i fell in love with heartstrings pattern: flared lace smokering and it turned out to be great fun to knit. the qiviut was substituted by drops alpaca from stash. stashbusting is nice and i am starting to believe in the philosophy that says: get rid of things you haven't used for two years.
and how does one model a smokering? i suppose my nephew feels pretty happy about sporting it yarnballboogie style . and when i met him today i thought what a family we are. always flashing my handknits. i have been out with 4 family members this december, and some at random, and they have all been wearing my handknits. in my nephew's case the fishtrap cardigan. it is unbelievable how well the briggs and little regal holds up. not a pill, not a difference in shape in sight. if i didn't have to pay that damned tax for getting it into the country i'd never use any other yarn.
merry christmas.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

have you seen the little piggies.....

the three little pigs ended up being a whole family with still more members to come. as i said in my last post, it is danish blogger, who wrote up the pattern for these. but the concept of little knitted animals is also a well known concept in waldorf pedagogy. freya jaffke has a lot of other animals and dolls in a little book called toymaking with children. i think i want that book in order to knit a basket full of chicken and lambs for easter. it is great fun to make these little creatures and to see how differently the turn out when stuffed and in all the different kinds of yarn. when i have decided how to present them for christmas i will take another photo.
my next project, though, is going to be meg swansen's shaded aspen leaf as a zip cardigan in 4 different green shades for my friend who will be 50 in march. i hope to start and finish during christmas so he can wear it when winter sets in. it has been great fun to decide on the colours and looking at the few pictures on ravelry. especially since my friend likes to be a part of the process and the colour choice is completely after his choice and taste. i do like it though.
i have not decided what will be the theme of the coming year's knitting, but i am sure that my niece or nephew who is due in march will play an important role.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

danish bacon

it is not that i haven't been knitting. i just haven't been blogging. the thought of getting back to work has been occupying my thoughts and i have had luck. a job a bit similar to the nice job i left one and a half year ago, but in a different setting. i will be teaching asylum seekers danish and eventually english. it has a time limit this job but it doesn't matter. i start in january but i have actually already started. my first lesson was yesterday when i was teaching a group of men english. the difference between fifty and fifteen for instance. i enjoyed it a lot. and tomorrow i am going again.
i am knitting two christmas projects. but in the meantime i am knitting these little piggies and i hope to knit a whole basket full before christmas. they are going to be our prize for a little christmas competition that is tradition in denmark.
they are a varying size and the brainchild of danish blogger liselotte. even though you don't understand a word danish, liselotte's blogging skills are amazing. she whips off one project after the other. and the photography is soo great. go have a look.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


as soon as i had knitted the last stitch on the mega sweater for my brother i cast on for another project. i had been inspired by mandy's owl cardigan she made for maggie last christmas and i had wanted to use the owl motif for something for alba. i think whatever suits maggie suits alba too. i am right in the slipstream of mandy. not a bad place to be.

the owl is such a wonderful motif and in catalania where half of alba's family lives it has a deep cultural meaning of being a symbol of wisdom as it of course does here where it is the symbol of bookstores as the snake is a symbol of apothecarians. i remember my middle eastern students being were scared of owls since it was a harbinger of evil.

i grew up with swedish author, elsa beskow's, children's book from last century where the owl teaches the animals and the tomter in the forest what they know. the pictures from her books were so evocative that they have stayed in my mind for all these years. and they are surely the books that i will get my great niece's and nephew's when they get a little older.
so i knit the owl dress from in the original yarn duo, in the most magnificent olive green. i cannot begin to say how much i love this yarn which in fact wasn't the original yarn, but the duo merino, which is a fingerring lambswool, and just the kind of 'honest' yarn that i love. i didn't care for the silk blend since i think silk has a tendency to get out of shape.
i used needles 3mm, and added golden beads as eyes and a greenish velvet ribbon. the pattern says you need 150 grammes of yarn but i only used 100. that is annoying since the yarn is anything but cheap. i am pleased with the end result and it suits her very well. it is a totally feminine dress. alba likes it too, but i forgot to bring the camera along. silly me.

i am happy to say that there is a baby on it's way in my family again. that means all knitting all kinds of baby stuff. i think i will begin with a baby shawl or maybe the spanish christening shawl from folk shawls by cheryl oberle. not that this child has any spanish roots.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


it just wanted to prove that i actually finished this baby. i think it has turned out well but i don't quite understand why it flares at the back. maybe it is due to the bigness of the sweater. my brother likes it and was going to wear it at a conference where he is a key speaker.
it is still impossible to take nice pictures and especially in the evening. and the colour of this sweater is quite unphotographable too.
i hope you can get the idea.
9 skeins of cushendale in the colourway moss.

knitpicks options no. 3½ and 4 mm
pattern little rivers from alice starmore: stillwater.
the pattern is inspired by rivers in delaware.
as all other starmore patterns this leaves you with absolutely no bad surprises. so well written. her sweaters are on the big side and this is no exception . i didn't have gauge so it is actually much smaller than the original and still roomy.
i cannot recommend the yarn enough. get some and knit a nice heirloom.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

procrastination over and done with.

well i finally stopped procrastinating and gave the monster a eucalan bath and a spin and pinned it out on my rose and thistle duvet. my god this is a big sweater but hopefully i will be able to finish it tomorrow and move on. well i am already. the girly girly dress i am knitting is almost finished and i think i will knit a few aran weight sweaters afterwards for christmas presents. as i am not working i think i will have to make christmas shopping cheap this year.
i am looking and looking for the perfect job. i am getting quite impatient and hope for change soon. last night i dreamed i was obama's girlfriend (sorry michelle et al.). i am as keen on change as everyone.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

and darkness, darkness

it is not getting much better- the light, that is. but as far as i remember, there can be glorious sunny january days. and right now joni mitchell sings: and darkness, darkness, no colour, no contrast. so lovely pictures in near future is more than i can promise.

i finished my brother's sweater. but i don't have it in me to sew the sideseams since it needs a wet block first, and that is about the most boring thing in this world. i hate all the pinning of all the pieces. usually i do it, but in this case i have to bring out a big duvet to pin on, since the sweater is huge.

so i forgot all about my last post and went out to get some new yarn with my niece. another ponchito for her. and a poncho for alba. the green for my niece, the cotton candy for alba. i came to think that she is a girl and maybe she has other colour preferences than me though i seriously doubt it. she wants a green bicycle for christmas!!! little miss strange.

the green amorphous knitting is a dress for alba. it is a dress with a border of owls. really cute. and soon finished...
oh yes and then my knitpicks. i think these needles are my new love. nothing is better. no addi, nothing is better.

Friday, November 7, 2008

a knitter insane

it is as you might be able to see, not because i don't have wool. i actually have to shelves in my book cabinet stuffed with wool and several bags sitting around in my apartment. there should be plenty to go on board in without adding to the stash. i mostly have a few skeins left from each project i knit since i always order a little more than i expect to use. i am afraid of running out of yarn for a given project.
and it is not because i don't have nice wool. i have lots of nice yarn. for instance i have a whole cone of perfectly good jaggerspun zephyr that would go well with the smoke ring i would like to knit. anyway i found myself stressing around all over copenhagen to buy qiviuk that i cannot really afford and because last friday was a bad day i wanted to cry or stamp my feet because no one seemed to carry it. and it almost went that way since i slipped on the slippery floor of one of the lys's and then i really wanted to cry. especially since they only had worsted weight qiviuk. it is obsessive and in sane and the fate of many knitters. why do we so desperately want to beaver more wool than with could ever knit in to projects??? well maybe i will be happy it this financial crisis gets any worse. but i am an optimist and it is nothing i really think about on a regular basis.
and after the qiviuk story i told myself that it was crazy so why did i go to a yarn store yesterday and buy the olive green yarn for a dress for alba???? there is a plenitude of things i could knit her out of the yarn i have in my cabinet??? useful warm hats and cowls for winter it is not like she is in terrible need of a knitted olive green dress??
i wonder why it becomes so obsessive and actually i think this is very much influenced by the internet. in the old knitting days i didn't buy more yarn than i needed and only bought anything if it was needed for a project. now i obsess though i think some people would consider my obsessing that of a novice. but i cannot bear to live without a qiviuk smokering or whatever until the next day or week when i want something else. maybe i should get a more meaningful hobby like helping out the homeless where i would surely be more able to draw a line.
PS: sorry about the lousy quality of the pics recently. when i looked out the window an hour ago i was thinking about the bob dylan song that starts with the line: darkness at the break of noon. so please forgive me.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


congratulations to those of you who think it is the right man who was elected yesterday. it is an incredible story. i think it is the right man but now he has to prove himself. have seen a lot of insight docus lately about him and i think his story must leave a lot of hope for a lot of people round the world. and then it doesn't hurt a bit that he and his wife have 'it'. both of them. i am not sure i like here black and red dress but she was certainly dressed to fight in a dress of bullfighter value. and it will of course be a fight. i suppose it was no coincidence either that the girls were dressed to match their mom.
and a vote for him was a vote for change. too bad i couldn't vote. i think i have never needed change any more than now. both on the knitting front and personally. i am seeking for a job again. second time this year and one time too many. i some times feel a bit jinxed. i was working for 14 years the same place without any major problems and then this. i know that there has been a lot of different things helping me through this time, mainly myself. but knitting has certainly been part of it. both the meditativeness but certainly the creativity. i have been knitting from patterns lately but that is not all that bad. you learn a lot of the tricks of the trade.
and i have changed from knitting the body of my brother's sweater to knitting sleeves. i like knitting sleeves. i like increasing for some odd reason.
and i will hopefully finish in a week at the most. and then it is onwards to knitting something from the green yarn or starting another hat production or just something for plain me.

Monday, November 3, 2008

the long and winding road

it is not easy to keep one's strictly knitting blog up to date when one is a very monogamous knitter and when all the pictures one take end up slightly blurred due to the nordic light which is missing so much at the time being. it is november and the hardest month to get through in all the year. i am afraid i never used to worry much about november but it definitely comes with age.

and the knitting is almost as dreary as the month.. not that i don't get anything done. but little rivers aka the long and winding road is a major task. there is cabling on every row and a 180 stitches on every row. i calculated that the back and the front alone is more than 70000 stitches. i wonder how i have time for such calculations when there is knitting to do. thankfully i have now started the sleeves which means the sweater will be finished pretty soon. it is the smallest part of the sweater and i really don't mind knitting sleeves.

it will be nice to knit something else. maybe a sweater for me who has taken a liking in handknit sweaters because of st. brigid that i seem to be wearing all the time. so lovely warm and comfortable.

i think maybe i will have to start knitting some colourwork soon and hence i bought alice starmore's: charts for colourknitting from a fellow raveller. it is a great book. i love the little elk motif which i would like to use for an alba cardi. just a very classic norwegian lice kind of thingy.

i wish all americans a good election day tomorrow. it is nerve wrecking and oh so interesting what will happen since it concerns all of use in the global village. my friend has named his bird obama. i know what he would vote if he could.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


i was rather tired of the little rivers . they are not so little when they have to fit a two meters tall man who is well build. so the library texted me and told me that norah gaughan's knitting nature had arrived. i had wanted to knit the sunflower tam for a while. off i went to collect the book and buy some lopi which is the yarn the pattern calls for. and off to knitting on 2 sizes smaller needles than the pattern calls for since i thought the needle size compared with the number of stitches sounded wrong. but even at another gauge this hat turned out enormous even for my big head. even for the elephant man.
i had also ordered some organic yarn from garthenor in wales for a ponchito for me, since it is said to be enormously nice to wear on one's cold shoulders. i whipped it of yesterday and it has turned out beautifully. i will post pictures at some point. and the yarn is fab and smells of wool and is three ply which i love. i will get some at another point to knit a cardigan with a zipper for myself. the one i knitted for my nephew proves to be really useful and it is nice to be able to open it when the temperature changes during the day...
alba asked: tell me, what are you knitting??? how cute is that?? she has taken a fancy in her dad's green koolhaas and wants one her size now. she is fun. a 2-year old with a craving for koolhaas. when will she be able to learn to knit????

Monday, October 20, 2008

little rivers

i am a sucker for alice starmore. in fact i am a sucker for anyone who can write a lovely pattern that is easy to understand. i am also a sucker for doing all the calculations myself sometimes, but right now i am so interested in alice starmore's cablework and i wish it was possible to get to see all her books. at the biggest library in copenhagen they have none. too bad since they are out of print.

i have started knitting little rivers from stillwater. somebody, whose identity has to remain secret :-)), borrowed me the pattern. it is for my brother who is your typical middle aged man but also a middle aged man who is about two meters tall. so there is a lot of knitting to do. originally i wanted to knit irish moss but knitting purl stitches through the back loop just doesn't agree with me and my hands. so this one is easier on the hands. it is a pretty easy pattern to memorize but involves cabling on both rs and ws. so at the same time it isn't mindless knitting.
the yarn is cushendale for the yarnroom and it is actually the exact same yarn as blackwater abbey. a two ply yarn with some scratchiness to it. and it comes in some very lovely colours. if scratchy is your thing, i highly recommend it. and the price is good too.

i love the look of the pattern and it is not hard to imagine how she came up with the name little rivers. and another thing is her ribbings. you would never get a 'normal' ribbing on a starmore pattern. that inspires me a lot. i also used a decorative ribbing on alba's st. alba, that of course was so inspired by her.

right now i am reading cynthia gravelle le count's andean knitting. it is a lovely book. i have been fascinated by chullos since childhood when the big hit was el condor pasa. on the cover of the record there was this man wearing a chullo. and reading about it makes it even more fascinating. it is the most intricate beautiful knitting and one of these days i will knit one on tiny tiny needles.. being a dreamer and an optimist i always hope to go to bolivia or peru at one time to learn..

Friday, October 17, 2008

poromaniac, or we are family....

i have been knitting lovely poroms in 6 colours in all. 4 of them in the yarn jared suggests. and i agree with him. this yarn is fab and could be my desert island yarn. take me to a desert island with all those hues and i would never bother anyone again. or let me spend a little time in the shetland islands among the sheep and the lovely sheepish products. and you will not hear from me while i am there.

i made a yellow one is the colourway yellow ochre

a green one in the colourway seaweed

a purple one in the colourway dusk

and a brownish one in the colourway

i knit one each night and the knitting is great fun and the pattern is so well orchestrated by jared who isn't only a great connaiseur of colours and yarn and knits lovely things but also is a great tech knitter. every thing is so well explained. well except one thing. what is a porom?? i learn a lot about different cultures from knitting but this one i have no idea about.

i am looking forward to wearing my poroms. i think it becomes most people with a hat. and this makes one look like rastaman goes tweedy or a character in a dickens novel. i am not sure if i am going to keep all of them but in a way i think it would be great to let them stay together as a family that can spice up my wardrobe any day.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

a really bad photographer

i have been knitting accessories like a mad woman lately. and unfortunately my knitting is very often better than the pics of my knitting.
last week it was my sister's 54th and i gave her a present together with a lot of other family members. so i thought i'd make her a little knitted surprise. i had two lovely skeins of tweedy lambswool from my lys, that i originally bought for a porom. so i doubled it and whipped of a feather and fan scarf. it is a lovely green. the kind of colour that makes us scandinavians with reddish skin look just so much better. i am obsessed with green because i think it balances your natural colours and because it is good with any eye colour.
i am always in doubt whether to buy yarn from my lys that carries some nice yarns and is expensive or ordering it online which is cheaper. the owner of this lys is such a delightful and generous person who is really interested in her trade. when i was there the last time she had beautiful wooden crochet hooks on sale and when i wanted to buy a few she didn't want to charge me. how nice is that. i insisted on paying though. i would like her shop to stay where it is. but i love the secret bond among us crafters. we have this love of sharing it with other people with the same love of fiber and tools. and it is good to have a good irl chat about fiber and knitting techniques every once in a while.
now i have to get my brothers sweater going. or the wallabies for my great nephews. a knitter is always busy......

Monday, October 13, 2008

a quick knit

i love knitting intricate patterns and things that are not finished too soon but sometimes the opposite is quite nice too. and my niece requested a ponchito in thick wool. so this is how i spent friday night. the style is sold in all the hippest shops here right now at the outrageous price of usd 200 or 900 danish kroner. so it really pays. my niece likes berry colours so her's is in raspberry. if i were to make it for myself i think i would choose some kind of earthy hue.

i simply cast on 35 stitches and knitted moss stitch through 4 balls of drops eskimo ( 200 meters), cast off and sewed the short side to the long side. easy peasy.

and then a picture of alba in the tomten i knitted for her more than a year ago in true zimmermann style with looong sleeves and such. i just wanted to show that it still fits her and is her all time choice for a jacket. she calls it her salad leaf jacket. how cute is that.