Last weekend I had big plans for my trip home to see my parents. Not only was I going to finish both Martha and Trek but I also brought the cabled cardigan and the Pomatomus Socks. Well… It was a bit too optimistic on my part. One of the socks is almost done and most of the ends on Martha have been weaved in and that’s it. So in order to distract from the lack of any finished objects or noticable progress I’ll show you what a bit of shopping resulted in.
Last summer the yarn shop of my childhood closed down but luckily a new and better one opened right away in the town’s old water tower, Aars Vandtårn. The old shop only carried some of the cheaper brands and while the new one has kept some of these it also carries high quality stuff from Isager and Madil. In this way the old costumers are kept happy while others don’t have to go to Aalborg anymore to get a better selection. As I really, really shouldn’t be buying any yarn for the moment, I tried my best to restrain myself but ended up with 3 balls of Madil’s Kid Seta in green.
For a long time I’ve wanted to get it for the pattern I got as my free gift when I bought Heirloom Knitting:
I always try to buy Madil and Grignasco yarns when I’m in Italy as it is about half price there but I’ve never been able to find the Kid Seta. It’s easy to get in Copenhagen but the price has always stopped me in the end every time I’ve passed at one of the local shops to fondle it.
The town also has a couple of thrift stores and it is always a lot of fun to visit them. The old ladies who run them don’t always know the real value of the things so sometimes it’s possible to get a very good bargain and other times they just have a better selection than the ones here in Copenhagen where the good stuff is sold immediately. I usually look for knitting needles, old magazine and other such things and this time I found some lovely colourful vintage needles:
There are two pairs of 3mm, one 2.5 mm and one 2mm. I did get one more pair in yellow which I thought was 2.5 mm but it turned out to be a mismatched pair of 2.5 and 3mm. But paying only 5kr. for a pair it doesn’t matter. I like the way they are all crooked and the colour is wearing off because it shows that they have had a life, that they have been used a lot.
I spot a couple of finished projects,respectively Martha and Trek, in the horizon but it’ll probably take all weekend to make landfall. My bf was shanghaied into helping out on this particular knitting adventure before I set out on the voyage as the ship’s hold was empty and needed refilling. Preparations were made at a small shop in the center of Copenhagen:
Handler will get you pretty much anything you need except yarn which unfortunately is going out of stock. While I don’t know the exact reason for this I suspect that selling precise amounts of yarn from cones has something to do with it. I remember going there once, about a year ago, and not buying anything because of that. Somehow it doesn’t encourage you to make impulse buys. You can’t fondle yarns in cones in the same way as with balls and having to ask somebody to measure out only 50g or 100g makes you reconsider as well.
Anyway, I didn’t go there for the yarn, I needed buttons. That’s where the bf proved very useful. While I was getting confused by the huge selection he immediately picked out just the right buttons. It may be the Italian genes…
Here’s an idea of how they look on the knitting:
And just because I didn’t want it to be all work and no play and because Magasin was right across the street this came home with me as well:
When I was creating the link to Garnstudio the other day I also checked the list of retailers and noticed a name I hadn’t seen before. It was a shop called Bette Design in Klosterstræde right in the center of Copenhagen. As I know every single yarn shop there, I had to check it out as soon as possible. It turns out that the shop has been open only a week so I was definitely one of the first customers. The owner was a very nice lady and full of information about her yarns. Besides carrying the full range of Garnstudio she also carries a yarn called Nikolaj Garn which is developed by a knitwear designer called Hanne Thorsen. Apparently she was quite big in the eighties when colourful knits were very much in fashion. It’s made at the same spinning mill that Marianne Isager uses and is quite similar to some of her yarns but a bit more tweedy. I also noticed she carries yarn from Dansk Mohair who makes lovely mohair yarns. As I really shouldn’t be buying anymore yarn before I finish some more projects and clean up my stash I limited myself to buying two balls of Regia sock yarn. Sock yarns don’t count, do they?
It’s very pretty and in the end I couldn’t resist casting on. The Pomatomus socks seemed like an interesting choice so before I knew it I had this:
It’s okay but I’m not crazy about it. I always like variegated yarns better before they’re knitted up and usually only buy solid colours but this one was bought on a whim.
As I absolutely refuse to knit this type of yarn (210m/50g) on needles bigger than 2.5 mm it meant modifying the pattern a bit. I simply added another repeat of 12 stitches and have made the heel flap longer. It still looks tight, though, for my solidly built legs. Descending from a long line of farmers I’m gifted with a set of genes that makes me very suitable for working in the fields and bearing children but it also means that most sock patterns don’t fit me, sometimes not even the ones for men. This means rewriting most patterns so I’m beginning to think it would just be easier to do my own designs. If only I had more time…
Apropos of the selvages I talked about in an earlier post I’m very happy about the looks of my heel flap:
And for those of you who like me are still celebrating Italy’s victory, here’s a link to some footage of the celebrations in Copenhagen:
Anyone knowing Copenhagen will notice that although the festivities did take place on Rådhuspladsen, it was not in the center of it, which is the
normal Danish way of doing it, but on the side of it, in a very heavily trafficked light crossing. Watching from a safe distance (being a very inhibited Dane, especially when seeing police cars) I asked my boyfriend (who is Italian) why they absolute had to do it the most dangerous place possible. The answer was logical, knowing about Italian mentality, they wanted to be seen! Actually they behaved very well, every time the lights changed they would retreat to the sidewalks. Obviously they knew about Danish mentality as well!
but I do it anyway. Sadly, I don’t have much to show, a few more centimeters on the Princess Shawl and lots of stockinette on Gwen don’t make good blog fodder. Instead I’ll show another WIP from my work basket. It wasn’t there when I first talked about it but somehow snuck it’s way in there one day. I blame it on the knitting store Nikoline Garn which lies on Nørrebrogade just before Nørrebros Runddel. It’s not high-end like the ones in the sidebar but all the more tempting because I pass it almost every day going to the university.
One of the brands the shop carries is Garnstudio and one day I couldn’t resist buying some Muskat, shade 61, for a nice summer cardigan.
So far I’ve done this much on the back:
And a close-up:
I was actually trying to reduce my number of WIPs before this came aboard but I guess that’s not going to happen anytime soon. It’s not helping either that I’ve signed up for the Butterfly-knit-along. I’ve had the yarn in my stash for a year now and thought it was about time to get it done. I’m going to do the long version, hence the four balls of Kid Silk Haze in the colourway Pearl.
Last year I did swatch and began working on the hem frill but ended putting it down because I couldn’t decide whether to bead it or not. As the knit-along doesn’t begin before the 1st of August I still have time to consider it but I’ll definitely not use the Rowan beads. They are too big and obvious, I just want a little sparkle once in a while. Ending on that note, I’ll leave you with a picture of the wrinkled swatch for Butterfly.
After a detour I’m returning to the walk-through of my knitting basket. Remember the needles in the back with some green stuff on them?
Out of the basket they look like this:
This project is going to be Gwen from Rowan Magazine 39
which is simple enough to be good knitting while watching football (Forza Italia!) and yet has some interesting detail:
I’m using the required yarn, Handknit Cotton, but as you can tell from the way it’s wound up in balls, I’m reusing it from another project. I originally intended it for Trek from Rowan Magazine 37
and had actually almost finished it when I reconsidered. A lot of people complained about this issue of the magazine being a bit too funky for their taste but I really like this model. In the end, though, I realized that the pockets probably wouldn’t be flattering with the size of my breasts (D-cup). Another more annoying problem were the button bands. As mentioned in an earlier post I’m quite the perfectionist and they just didn’t look nice. It’s not the way Rowan makes you knit them separately and then sew them to the front, it’s my selvages. Here’s a picture of the problem:
Somehow the second stitch on the right side always become larger in my knitting and after the sewing up it becomes very obvious. I’ve noticed that the thickness of the yarn and the type of fiber play a role. Thin yarns and wool give me lesser problems. I’ve tried all kinds of selvages but the only thing that seems to help a bit is a trick I got from one of Maggie Righetti’s books. I insert the needle in the third stitch and before knitting it I give the yarn a good tuck. Does anyone else have this problem and what do you do?