Monday, 30 January 2012

Lopi, birthdays & cats


Hello dear readers! Guess what: it is snowing in these parts! Who would have thought that we'd actually get winter in Februari! Anyway this post is just a quick recap of what I've been doing these past few days.

 Apart from busyness with boring stuff, I started knitting on Var, then came the birthday of the boyfriend, I continued knitting on Var untill we had some friends over for a few days, then I had a short spell of fever, after wich I baked some cookies, gawped at Rowan's Lace book, and knit some more.

If that's a lot to take in in such small amount of space, let's lay it out a bit more. Last weekend I celebrated my boyfriends birthday, and the following days we had some friends over to celebrate together. It was fun, didn't sleep a lot, but afterwards I had a fever...which was no fun ;)


Thijm was not amused with the amount of strangers in her house.

In the meantime I'd been knitting on Var, an Icelandic sweater, with the Lopi-wool I got for Christmas. It's nice to knit in the round for a change, after so many vintage sweaters (though I'm itching to start a new one). When I'm done, I'm going to have to steek it, a technique I've never used before, so fingers crossed for that...



I love the Lopi yarn, it's perfect for colourwork, which I've grown to really like doing. It's definately not the softest yarn I've ever worked with but it feels very natural and exactly like rural Icelandic wool ought to be, perfect for an woodsy, its-cold-outside cardigan.

I'm still a little bit fever-ish at the moment, but not as bad as a few days ago. Luckily, I'm supplied with the finer luxuries of life to help me get through it: a new knitting book (Rowan Lace),  homemade oatmeal-cookies and Dublin Smog.


Dublin Smog, for those interested, is a lovely tea-variation: make a very, very strong shot of Earl Grey Tea (sort of like how espresso is very strong coffee), add a spoonfull of vanilla-sugar, and top it of with a large dose of frothed milk. You should really try it!
My favourite designs from the book are: Cameo Shawl, Worship and Fine. Though I'm not sure if the last one will work very well with my body type. Speaking of Rowan, did you see the latest Rowan magazine? I really like the retro-inspired designs like this one. The new Rowan brochures have been published as well, of which I only like seascapes, there are some designs in there that I would like to knit, especially this design and this one. They make me want to go and knit with summer yarns! (that feeling dissapears as soon as I look out of the window and am greeted by snow ;)

 So now I'm off to ask King Winter for some more snow...I want to built a snow man...uh cat.
xxx
Nisse

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Finished Project: Fair Isle Yoke

It was love at first sight: the fullpage picture of this Fair-Isle sweater in the first a Stitch in Time book.
I started this jumper around the same time I started Jarrett. It took me two months to finish it. Which is not that bad, considering I started and finished another cardigan in between.


I fell in love with the colour combination Susan choose for the jumper in the book, so for my own version I stuck to the same main colour. Which is a rarity for me.

Pattern: Fair Isle Yoke
Orininaly published: Woman's weekly 1946
Yarn: Drops alpaca
Raveled here
Soundtrack: No soundtrack, but a movie this time. Knitted most of the front while watching 
The Lord of the Rings again for the first time in years.


This is the second jumper I made from the a stitch in time series, surely there will be more to follow! I love this jumper so much already!I love everything about this sweater! The colour, the high neckline, the fair isle part, the vintage feeling, everything! I've completed this jumper over a week ago and have worn it quite a bit already.


The fair isle was so much fun to do. I completed most of it in one sitting. There is no chart given for the colourwork piece. I was a bit worried about that, because I had never done that before, but the colourwork was so much fun to do that it made up for not being charted ;)

There's a lot of ends to sew in, but it's worth it. It was fun to see the colours and pattern coming together. I first knitted the back and sleeves of this jumper before I did the front, so I had the fun-part saved for last. I love the highneckline, but mind you those who are thinking of knitting this pattern the neckline is on the tight side. So maybe you'll want to change that if your more comfortable with that.



It is obviously a spring/autumn sweater, but since this winter the weather is very gentle, I didn't mind making it in the winter.  Now, time for some tea, a grammaphone-record and maybe, just maybe, a few Foyles War episodes to knit on my next project! This jumper just screams "Sam" don't you think?

xxx




Monday, 16 January 2012

Craft plans 2012

Sneak preview! Took this picture
a week ago.

So.... I guess I'm what, two weeks overdue with this post?
But I have finished my Fair Isle Yoke in the that time so thats good right?

So, time for opposite-post of this one: A craft plan for 2012! I've never really made a craft plan for the year and I have no idea whether I will stick to it. I have decided that it doesn't matter if I do or not. Now, for the fun!

- Make 10 sweaters/cardigans in 2012 including:
I will plan the other sweaters as I go.

-Make 2 shawls:
  • One using: Malabrigo sock.
  • One using: Schoppel-wolle Lace yarn.
OR:
  • Knit one really, really, really big shawl:
    Lately I've been obsessed with making one of those really big lace shawls, like Cameo Shawl, Leaves of grass, Evenstar shawl or Bressay Hap Wrap. I blame re-watching the lord of the rings series for the first time in years! If this obsessions sticks with me for a while, and I actually do cast on for one, I'm prepared to forget the two shawls above. Heck, I'm going to be happy if I finish this even if I don't finish anything else this year! 
Cameo lace shawl. Picture by Rowan.
-Sew clothes:
  • Sew a dress.
  • Sew a clothing item with tricot.

- Knit/crochet my ravely queue down.

So there you have it, my plans of what to craft this year! I must warn you though, chances that I am going to ignore this whole list and do something completele different are pretty high. I never was or will be the most organised person. But I am going to try it! ;)

You can find this list on the sidebar along with my other pages. I'll update my progress through the year! All in all I hope this will be fun and that I won't be to harsh on myself when I don't succeed in completing it ;)

So what do you think?
Have you made any craft plans this year? 

xxx

Monday, 9 January 2012

The cardigan that was not knitted by me...


 
...but by my friend, Heksenkind! It's Tyrolean Cardigan by Sarah Dallas, from the book: Rowan Vintage Knits.
I had planned to make this cardigan myself, but hadn't got around doing it. Then one of my other friends started knitting this cardigan and all of the sudden my need for it was resurrected ;)

I met Heksenkind about a year ago, after we had been chatting a bit through ravelry, she asked me if I was interested in meeting up and knit with her and some friends of her. The rest is history! We knit together every week, and regularly meet up for other stuff. (watch historical-drama on BBC!)


Anyhow, about a month ago, something special happened. Somehow, some reason, some time in the evening, we all started fitting on Heksenkind's Tyrolean. Heksenkind was very happy with her Tyrolean, but she thought it didn't suit her figure, so me and the others had to try it on. It was all in good fun, but when it was done, it was announced that she wanted to gift me her cardigan!


I'm really happy with the cardigan. As mentioned, the pattern had been in my queue for some time and I was on the verge of casting it on, but Heksenkind's work fitted me quite good. Plus, it feels like such an honour to wear a garment knitted by somebody else then you!

I wear it quite a lot! I had forgotten how nice it is to have cardigans in neutral colours ;) So thanks to my super sweet friend!!! ♥


xxx

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Christmas yarn


I got quite some awesome yarn on Christmas! So awesome that I wanted to share it here on the blog.

First up: Rowan Tweed or Heritage Tweed. My parents totally surprised me with this yarn, as I never mentioned a word about it to them. They just went to the yarn store and bought yarn that they thought I would like. I don't have to tell you they succeeded in that do I?

It's one of Rowans new autumn/winter yarns and it's so beautiful!!! I've always been in love with all the Rowan tweed yarns but this new yarn really takes the cake!
It's made of 100% British wool and traditionally spun in a mill in Yorkshire. It's DK weight and can be knitted on needles size 4. 

This green tweed will be the main colour. Colourway: Hubberholme 
Additonally I received 3 different colours of blue to use as a contrast colour for colourwork. I'm not sure what to knit from it yet. Though I do have a few designs in mind. Maybe I'll knit something from the Rowan Nordic Tweed book, which I have fallen in love with! Have you seen it? I think the design and styling is stunning! You can see more colours of the new Rowan tweed here.

From left to right: Muker, Wensley and Gunnerside. (It's less visible on the picture, but Gunnerside is actually a far darker blue then Muker.)

Next up is the Lopi wool my boyfriend got me for Christmas. I had no idea he was going to get it for me, though I might have dropped a hint here and there about this yarn ;) I didn't think I was going to get any yarn from him because he never asked me about amounts of yarn/colours/designs. But he didn't need to because he ordered me an icenlandic sweater kit!! It's such a shame there are hardly any shops left (that I know of) that offer this kind of service, since it's a very handy gift for non-knitters to give to a knitter. BF was pretty anxious about his colourchoice and whether I would like it, but the shop owner had no problem If I wanted to return a colour, which was not needed because I like the colour but I think it's good such a service exists.


Some of the yarn, with the front of the pattern.
The pattern is called 'Var', which is Icelandic for 'Was'


Icelandic wool is special because of the way the sheep are treated. The sheep are able to graze freely on the grass of the whole island during a large period of the year and chemicals to treat the wool are kept to a minimum. The icelandic sheep are a unique breed of sheep, and have not been crossed over with other breeds of sheep. This made it possible for the wool to envolve their unique combination of inner en outer wool. The outer fibres are long, tough and water-resistant, while the inner ones are fine and soft. Friends, if that doesn't make a knitters heart beat faster I don't know what will... ;)


From left to right: 'Beige' (main colour), 'Pine Green
Heather' (dark contrast), and 'Spring Green
Heather' (light contrast)


And lastly: Pakucho Fair trade & Ecological cotton from a sweet friend of mine. It's from Trikoo, a yarn store that specializes in Ecological yarn.



I will add them to my ravelry stash, so go there for more details! And now I have some yarn plans to make.  Later!
xxx