Visions #2

So, a week just disappeared there, didn’t it. Well, it wasn’t all that unexpected. I knew beforehand that going to Sweden for the weekend probably would drain my resources to some extent but then life decided to throw me a few extra curve balls to deal with and basically I ended up spending most of my energy last week on them.

It also meant that all my grand visions fell apart but I’m pretty used to brushing off the dust and get right back on the horse, so let’s see what it would be great to get done during the next week.

The Pattern

I looked for and found my old notes for the pattern I wanted to write but they turned out to be pretty much like an old-fashioned Victorian knitting pattern. Something along ‘cast on x number of stitches, knit the asters stitch pattern, add crocheted edging’. Nothing about which yarn I used or how I did the edging. Needless to say I would rather be knitting than playing yarn detective so I decided to settle on a different project for my first pattern and make sure to write down as it comes along.

Here is the project I chose. I call it Mondello. It’s the name of the village close to Palermo in Sicily where everyone goes to enjoy the beautiful beach. The colors of the yarn reminded me of the colors of the ocean there.

So far I’m done with the edging which is the 1851 Wedding Veil Lace from the book Heirloom Knitting by Sharon Miller. It consists of an insertion and an edging put together which gives you a pattern repeat of 84 rows. For the center of the shawl I have had several ideas. I’m still not excactly sure what I’ll be doing but I’m thinking short rows and the stitch pattern Old Shell also know as Old Shale. No matter what I choose to do, I’ll first have to pick up stitches along the lace edging and that’ll be plenty of work.

The Plunder

Going to Stickfest i Väst always means visiting Torget [the square or the market in Swedish] where different yarnshops, indie dyers etc. set up stalls and tempt us with their delicious wares. I usually go for things that are not easily available in the yarn stores here in Denmark and as usual I ended up with many exciting new things. I promise I’ll show them to you sometime next week and tell you excactly what they are and how to get them. Maybe I’ll even do a swatch or two from them.

Alright, those are my tiny visions for next week. Hopefully life will take it easy and not get too much in the way.

Day Zero

This basement looks suitable. The location is easily accessible and plenty of basic supplies are nearby…

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No, the zombie apocalypse hasn’t arrived here in Copenhagen but I’ve watched way too much ‘The Walking Dead’ recently and it shows. This theme, though,  hasn’t come to me completely unexpectedly. The last few years in my life have been a slow decline towards catastrophe and reached the climax a year ago when depression and stress forced me to go on a prolonged sick leave and cost me my job beloved teaching job. 2015 was not a good year but everything must come to an end one way or the other, even bad things, and now it’s 2016, I’m officially not sick anymore, and things begin to look somewhat brighter.

Luckily, I’m member of an a-kasse, a Danish way of insuring yourself against unemployment, and this means I’m okay financially for now and even able to invest some money in building up a new future for myself. Once back on my feet I quickly realised that working from home is not an option for me. Because of my fragile brain I need a lot of structure and few distractions and my apartment is definitely not a distraction-free environment. It’s also very hard to create a structure for yourself in your own home where the bed and sofa always entice you to take a nap, the piano wants to be played and the dishes always need to be washed. I needed a room of my own and again very luckily, I have a friend, who could provide it to me. So now I have this very nice work space in a basement that I share with 3 other people. Most of the time I’ll have it to myself, though, because my hours have shifted drastically during my illness, and I work the best when most people are off.

I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to here yet but I hope a plan will emerge slowly. I’ll definitely be knitting and working on creating my own designs a lot. I’ll also have to write a lot of job applications, something I hate, but doing it in my secret knit cave will hopefully make it easier. Nothing like a bit of roleplaying to get the annoying stuff done.

The Infinity Scarf

Infinity Scarf

Infinity Scarf

Still knitting.

But something has changed.

I used just to knit other people’s patterns.

But I can’t do that anymore.

It’s too boring.

So the last year or so I’ve been trying to create my own things.

It’s not easy but it’s fun and I’m slowly finding my way of doing things.

Right now I’m working on an infinity scarf.

It started as a way to deal with stress. I needed something simple and mindless and

nothing is more mindless and simple than plain garter stitch.

I started out with a skein of Noro Taiyo Sock and a skein of Geilsk Tweed.

Knitted a stripey pattern alternating the yarn every two row.

Looked at the colors, thought about many things and just kept on knitting until I could see

where the yarn was taking me.

Now I know it’s meant to be an infinity scarf. I know it’s going to have edgings. I also know

it’s going to being mindless and simple.

But that’s alright.

I’m ready.

Garter Stripes

Garter Stripes

Stockinette Stripes

Stockinette Stripes

Winter is Coming

It’s the last day of September and the mornings and evenings are beginning to be chill here in Denmark. Most days I’m out on my bicycle going to and from work and I can feel it in my hands but unfortunately my mittens from last year need to be repaired as you can see.

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Knowing myself, that won’t happen anytime soon so I had the choice between buying something or make a new pair myself. Like many other knitters I don’t like to buy what I can make myself, so I took out some of the swatches I’ve made the last couple of months to see if any them could be adapted for a pair of gloves.

I ended up choosing this swatch, knitted in Rowan Fine Tweed. Originally, it was meant for a cardigan but I could see it work for a pair of gloves as well.

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The only thing I’ve changed is the colors. My winter coat is grey and I wanted something more cheerful. If everything goes well, I’ll try to write a pattern for them when I’m done.

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A Summer of Discontent

This year, the summer was long and warm here in Denmark but unfortunately I didn’t get to enjoy it much. At midsummer I had a blood clot in my left leg which meant most of my summer took place in front of the tv at my parents’ home. For two weeks I was unable to walk more than a few steps at a time and it took another two to be able to walk a few kilometers. Even now, 3 months later, the leg is still weak and I’m not able to do as much exercise as I would like to.

On the other hand, I had plenty of time to knit during this time and I ended up doing a lot of swatches as I was unable to focus on any big projects. It was fun trying out a lot of different stitch patterns and new yarns and I began to feel more confident about designing something like a sweater for myself; I just couldn’t find the right match of yarn and stitch pattern.

That changed about three weeks ago when I happened to hear that Charlotte was taking care of Rasmilla Strik og Design for the day. I hadn’t seen Charlotte for a long time so I decided to stop by for a quick chat and a chance to see some yarn I didn’t know. I ended up with quite a catch, including 5 balls of Lopi Einband in 5 different colors.

At first I was attracted by the brilliant colors but I was a bit stumped as what to make with it. I knew I wanted to make a sweater or a cardigan and I knew I wanted it to be colorful but I didn’t know what stitch pattern or needles to choose. The yarn is very thin but it can be knit with a wide range of needle sizes which gives you a lot of interesting possibilities.

I began mulling over this and the fact that the yarn comes from Iceland and suddenly remembered about the Icelandic designer Hélène Magnússon. She has among other things designed some very fascinating sweaters using an old Icelandic intarsia tradition with only knit stitches. I had a look and it turns out that she actually uses Lopi Einband for these designs.

Now I knew what to do and here’s a picture of how far I’ve gotten. I still haven’t decided on the exact distribution of the colors but it’s going to be a boat necked sweater with stripes of color blocks. I call it ‘Prøvebillede’ because it reminds me of the old test picture used by DR, the Danish Public Broadcast Radio.

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On the Needles – May 2013

My first toe-up socks.

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I used Judy’s Magic Cast-on to cast on for the toe and Cat Bordhi’s Sweet Tomato Heel

for the heel. It’s not the right heel for these sock’s, though, and I’m looking for a different

solution.

Mrs. Montague’s neck warmer

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I don’t know who Mrs. Montague was but I love the pattern that is named after her. For

this neck warmer I’m using a variation of the pattern where you have yarn overs on each

row. It makes a very beautiful all-over lace pattern that suits the yarn very well.

The colorful swatch

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I want to make a pair of colorful wrist warmers or half mittens so I’m playing around with

different colors and stitch patterns. I’m also practicing the twined knitting technique that

I learned at Stick i Väst.

I’m also playing a lot with the iPad app Stitchsketch which I use to record interesting

patterns or create my own. The patterns on the photo are from a Peruvian hat that I

found on the blog Wooly Wormhead’s Ripping Yarns.

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The Zombie Cowl

Recently I made this little cowl which I have named The Zombie Cowl.

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It got its name a Friday night I was hanging out at RETRO Nørrebro as usual.

It’s a place where you often end up sharing a table with people you don’t know and that

night I ended up talking to a random Canadian guy who got very interested in my knitting.


RCG: You know, they look like little miniature brains.

ME: … Really?

RCG: Yes, here you have the cortex, and here cerebellum and this is the frontal lobe.

ME: Okay, but then it must be a zombie brain. Just look at the colors.

RCG: Oh yeah, this color is the blood, this color is the decomposed skin and this is

    the bowels falling out…


Yeah, just another Friday night at RETRO.


How to knit your own Zombie Cowl

1 ball of Noro Sekku

Circular needles 3mm/80cm

Cast on 264 stitches.

Joining the stitches, k3, mb7.

mb7 = knit 7 in the same stitch, changing between the front and back loop. Turn and

purl the seven stitches, turn and knit 7, turn and purl 7 again, turn and cast off by

pulling the first stitch over the second etc. until you have 1 stitch left.

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Knit 2 rounds. On the last round k2tog the last 2 stitches.

Now continue in the stitch pattern:

Round 1: *yo, p2tog, k1, p2tog, yo, k3*, repeat from * to *.

Round 2: *yo, k2tog, p6*, repeat from * to *.

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Notice that this means that the beginning of each new round moves 1 stitch to the left.

When you have about 3 colors left in the ball, it’s time to finish the cowl.

End with round 1 and then knit 2 rounds, increasing 1 stitch at the end of the last round.

On the next round k3, mb7.

Cast off.

Voilà!

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