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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Gunnar Ekelöf

Sweden has many things that I love.

One of them is the writer Gunnar Ekelöf.

In 1951 he published a collection of poems with the title ‘Om hösten’.

One of the very first poems, if not the first is ‘En verklighet (drömd)’.

It’s one of the most beautiful poems, I’ve ever read.

The poet goes for a walk in the Swedish countryside just before the sun sets in the early

autumn. This becomes the setting for a reflection on life and the eternity, an eternity

where the individual being’s presence is but fleeting but the life force still continues in

all of the material world.

The original Swedish text can be read here.

If you don’t understand Swedish, at least listen to the author himself read it aloud and

enjoy the music of the language. (The soundfile doesn’t show up on an iPad etc.)

Stickfest i Väst

Oh, hi there.

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

I’m still here, though.

I haven’t stopped knitting, either, but a lot of life happens in three years.

For one, I have a real job now with a real salary.

And while I don’t love money, they sure are nice to have.

Especially when my old knitting friends yet again ask me to join them at the Swedish

knitting festival ‘Stickfest i Väst‘. Every year I’ve had to say

‘no, sorry, I can’t afford it’

and every year they’ve come back telling stories of great times and of great people.

And yarn of course.

So, when I was asked this year, I said yes.

Yes.

And I learned new things and made new friends.

(And I want to be Swedish but that’s a story for another day.)

Here is what I learned.

Tvåändstickning.

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The teacher of the workshop was Ivar Asplund.

He’s an amazing knitter.

Krydret strik.

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The teacher of this workshop was Charlotte Kaae.

She was one of my very first knitting friends and I’ve learned a lot from her over the

years.

And not just about knitting.

Five on a Friday – Let’s Just Dance

See, I’m writing this blog post that’s going to be all sorts of witty and insightful


but I need more time.


Time I don’t have at the moment and especially not tonight.


Because tonight I’m going to see my friends, drink some beer and maybe


squeeze in a dance or two.


Priorities, you know.


aRTIST oF tHE yEAR – Yeah!!!

Chromeo – Tenderoni

La Roux – In for the Kill

Jamie Lidell – A Little Bit More

The Bee Gees – Stayin’ Alive


Listen on Grooveshark.

Five on a Friday – Il bel paese

As some of you know Italy has played an important role in my life. It all began with a contrary teenager who wasn’t going to study no stinkin’ French like everybody else in high school and ended with an unfinished master’s thesis 15 years later. In many ways I fell in love with il bel paese but as I got to know it better, I slowly became more and more disillusioned. In the end I had to move on to other things.

One thing I always felt ambiguous about was the music. Filled with bombastic romantic clichés it never really stuck with me and I rarely listen to Italian music except for a few artists. In fact only two of the artists on today’s list are artist I got to know when I lived in Italy. The others I’ve once again been introduced to by people who are more knowledgeable than me.

Enjoy.

Paolo Conte – Max

Petra Magone & Ferruccio Spinetti – Guarda che luna

Fabrizio de André – Crêuza de mä

Mike Patton – Il cielo in una stanza

Renato Carosone – Tu vuò fà l’americano

Listen on Grooveshark