Knitting · Scarf · Shawl

Fab shawl

I bought some Patons Fab yarn some years ago during my travels in Britain. I bought it because it was so colourful and I had a plan for it, but for the life of me I can’t remember what it was. I knitted a shawl with it instead.

Shawl

I used the Rio pattern by Drops Design, which is a nice, not-quite-symmetrical shawl. I used a thicker yarn than that in the pattern, so I cast on less stitches (131 instead of 165 – just an arbitrary number that felt right). My shawl is still bigger (206 x 36 cm instead of 180 x 30 cm).

Shawl

The pattern is very nice. The stitches are increased on one end every other row and decreased on the opposite end every row. So the stitches go down by one every second row and you carry on until you run out of stitches. It’s all garter stitch. Perfect no-brains-required knit.

Shawl

Because the shawl is relatively big, it’s difficult to take a photograph to show the shape of it properly. I pinned it to a fallen down tree with thumb tacks! So you can see that the highest point of the triangle is not in the middle and the shawl is nicely kind of skewiiff.

shawl detail

And just a detail picture because I like the bright colours against the clean, white snow. The yarn Fab is 100% acrylic. I can’t quickly come up with any benefits that acrylic yarn has but at least it feels soft around the neck. Of course, I think the colour is just fab.

Shawl

These outdoor pictures were taken on a swamp, just behind our house. My plan was “just to nip out and take the pics”, so I didn’t bother with snowshoes. It would have been hard work even with the snowshoes on but without them, I was up to my thighs in snow. The distance of just 20m feels almost like a marathon. In the middle of the winter you always appreciate how simple and easy it is to move around and to photograph your knitting when there is no snow on the ground. Couple of more months to go!

Happy knitting!

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Jumper · Knitting

Don’t worry, the sleeves will ride up with wear

I have another finished jumper. It’s another one that needs a bit of an explanation.

Mohair jumper

Unlike the Viking Knot jumper, this one didn’t take 11 years to knit but it wasn’t exactly a quick one either. In fact, I knitted it a few years ago but I really, really didn’t like it at all. The sleeves were too long – and I mean monkey-long – and I’m sure I had followed the pattern. Also, I ran out of yarn and couldn’t knit the collar high enough and it looked really stupid so short.

I had bought the yarn, Drops Vienna, in a sale. I figured mohair would be really warm. I don’t know if it’s the case, but I assume lots of air is trapped between all those long fibers making it warm. That’s the reason I bought the yarn. Of course it was discontinued by the time I finished the jumper the first time round and I couldn’t get anymore to knit a higher collar. With the monkey sleeves and the world’s stupidest short collar, the jumper ended up to the back of the wardrobe. I didn’t know what to do because I knew that mohair is notoriously difficult to frog.

A couple of years passed and in that time I grew a spine! The sleeves had to be tackled one way or another. And what did I know? It wasn’t that difficult to frog. It only stuck a bit on the edges of a row and with the help of a large tapestry needle, I managed to get all the tangles out. I shortened the sleeves and with the extra yarn, I could knit the collar higher. Now I’m happy with the jumper!

Question is, why do I always procrastinate? It took me one afternoon and a bit of another to fix the jumper. It took me a couple of years to pluck up the courage. Well, better late than never, I guess.

The pattern is also by Drops Design, 80-1. My collar is a little bit shorter than in the pattern, as are my sleeves. Maybe I have really, really tiny short arms. I’ve not noticed that before but it’s good to know.

Oh, and on a side note, remember the Arctic Wookiee (also known as a muppet or Cookie Monster)? I have a hat and a cowl with that same blue mitten yarn. Now this jumper. All I need now is blue socks and pants and I have an entire frozen Arctic Wookiee outfit! Awesome, right? Did you know, that the original Chewbacca outfit was handknitted with yak and mohair yarn? Yes, that’s a fact. I bet the designer is a bit annoyed now having not made the Wookiee blue.

Happy knitting!

Jumper · Knitting

Viking Knot Saga

I finished another jumper. This has been on the needles for some time. Let me explain.

Viking Knots jumper

A little while ago I decided that this jumper has to get finished now. It’s been in my knitting basket for some time. 4 or 5 years, I thought. I looked at the printed pattern and the date on it was 22nd September 2007. Yes, 2007, that’s not a typo. I started this jumper over 11 years ago. This takes procrastination to a whole new level! [rolls eyes]

I said I would explain, but I don’t really have an explanation. I must have just put this to one side to knit something else first and it somehow snowballed. There was nothing wrong with the pattern, nothing wrong with the yarn, all that was wrong was me. Apparently.

The pattern is Viking Knots and the yarn is Drops Alpaca. I made the long sleeve version. I love that yarn and the fabric it produces. It’s very soft and it feels really substantial and yet the whole jumper weighs only 310g. When I was finishing the knitting, I was convinced it would not fit me. The fabric was so thin and the edges curled up so much that I thought it would fit a doll at best. When it was blocked and finished, the size is perfect! Everything about this jumper is perfect, except the knitting time.

The colour I used is petrol (mix 7240) and it’s fantastic. I’m toying with the idea of knitting another Viking Knots. I’m drooling over the different colours of Alpaca: dark olive, dark purple, light maroon, rust, golden rod…how could I decide? What if I took another 11 years to finish it?

Happy knitting!

Knitting · Mittens · Stash busting

Two shades of brown

Here is a star mitten I started to knit…

In the making

And ta-daa! I’m done!

Star mittens

I can hear you thinking that a) she’s a really fast knitter or b) there’s a bottleneck here somewhere. No prizes for guessing that it’s the latter. Actually, the WIP picture is quite rare for me – I almost never remember to take one. I’ve always finished the project until I remember and then it’s too late. Also, the WIP picture in my mind should be a quick snap of a picture but as we are heading towards the darkest time of the year, a quick snap is not really an option. This is why: today November 26th, sunrise 10:07, sunset 13:54, length of the day 3 h 47 min. Just as  you think it’s getting lighter, it starts to get darker. Ha! Of course there are ways around that, but I digress…

Back to the mittens. The pattern is by Drops Design and the yarn is probably not much younger than me. It’s my grandmother’s old stash and it’s by Finnish Novita, called Brunners Polka. I’ve not managed to find out anything at all about this yarn but my guess is that it’s from the early 80’s, possibly older. Weird thing is that the yarn label is in blue and yellow (Swedish colours) and it has on it, in my opinion, a very Swedish looking image of a couple in national dress. Also, all text is in Swedish only. And yet, Novita is a Finnish company. Perhaps those days they had a range just for the Swedish market, who knows.

So, the yarn has a possible Swedish link, the pattern is Norwegian and the knitter is Finnish. Hurrah for Scandinavian co-operation!

Anyway, I digress again. The pattern is very nice to knit and it makes a rather long pair of mittens, which is good on these latitudes, as I don’t like cold wrists. Two shades of brown is actually quite nice, even though I almost never make or buy or wear anything brown. These mittens look like dark and milk chocolate to me. Yummy.

Happy knitting!

Felting · Knitting · Outdoors

Cold nose, warm bum

Me and my hubby like to go out on walks. We like to climb up on hills and fells, or just ramble in the woods. We live practically in the middle of nowhere and only need to get out of the door to be in the forest. We absolutely love it. The smells, the peace and quiet, the atmosphere, all the inspiration you get there and all the cool things you can see. One of the nicest things about our walks is the break. The coffee break. Coffee, or anything really, tastes so much better outside. We take coffee in a flask and stop somewhere nice. It’s nice to just sit and listen to the wind or the birds and to the quietness, even. The problem is, if it’s not the dead of  (a very warm) summer, your bum gets cold very quickly when sitting on rocks. I knit all sorts of things but only recently I thought about knitting a bum warmer.

Felted bum warmers

I found a nice Drops pattern for a domino square. I knitted one with Viking Naturgarn and another one with Novita’s Huopanen. They were felted in the washing machine and they felted totally differently. The orange coloured Huopanen was bigger before felting but smaller after. The lilac Naturgarn felted evenly but the stitches can still be seen quite easily. Still, I like them both and they are very good insulators. Even if a rock is ice-cold, the bum keeps warm.

Keeping it warm

Things get different when there’s snow. The felted wool still insulates but the snow underneath melts and eventually you’ll get a wet bum. Wool might be a good insulator and it might repel moisture but waterproof it is not. I have to take something with me in the future to put underneath the felt to keep the water out. This picture below was taken couple of weeks ago when we got our first snowfall of the year. It’s all gone now but no doubt there will be some more soon.

All set

Happy knitting!