Knitting and a Movie

This is yet another knitting blog

Thursday, November 30, 2006

FO Fimmtadagur

I have been dreading this sweater after cutting the sleeve. Well, it's getting to the time where one has to mail Christmas gifts if one wants them to make it overseas in time, and since we were sending our gifts to Iceland at the end of the week, I HAD to finish this darn thing. So the other night I finished off the re-knitting of the top of the sleeve that I cut, and then last night at SnB I sewed on the bear faces and sewed that cursed sleeve on. Then I dug through my jar of buttons tonight to find 3 matching buttons to use for the button part and hooray! I had 3 nice white ones.

This sweater was definitely a challenging project in finishing. But finally it's done!

Ingi is off to see Dinosaur Jr. play tonight so it's kind of weird to not have him home. I haven't figured out what I am going to do with myself. B & I made potato stamp Christmas gift tags. I guess I can be a knitting geek and listen to Cast On. Maybe I will read. I've been trying to finish these current projects off so I seem to be taking a lot of my free time to knit instead of read.

Oh yeah, I decided to start using the Blogger comments on new posts as an attempt to eradicate spammers that were putting junk in my custom comments. I think I will turn off posting on the old comments. So use the Blogger ones if you want to comment. (ETA: well, I haven't gotten my comments to work just for old posts, so you can't view old comments at the moment. I will try and fix this.)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

What's on your Christmas wish list?

Well, I haven't gotten much done on the second mitten, it's been busy. I worked Friday and then we went to a karaoke bar with my cousin and some friends, that was fun because we don't get to go out much. Then we slept late and went to a punk rock charity craft/flea market where we got a Misfits record (VINYL!) for $10! And I thought it would be fun to do crafts and sell them there if they do it again. Then we looked at a bunch of antique stores... we wanted a doily for the dining room table and Ingi wanted a cabinet for the corner. We didn't find either, but it was still fun. Maybe I should just knit a doily from the 60's magazines I have... maybe that's a good summer project. And he managed to find 3 shirts he liked, which is good because he needs them, two of which at the GAP of all places! (I think I should make his sister tease him about this.) I don't know how people make all these knitted Christmas gifts.... I suppose if I didn't need mittens, I could make my mittens as a gift and so on... but I think one knitted Christmas present is going to be my limit this year. I thought about making Ingi cashmere socks, but I think he'd notice me making them... how does one knit for someone they live with? Do you hide in the bathroom and knit? Knit under a blanket in front of the TV? Shout, "Look, there's Ethel Merman!" and then pull out knitting while the other person is distracted?

I just found out a friend of mine that I haven't seen in a while had a baby. Well, I used to work with her husband, and I've sort of lost touch with both of them. Still, I know she would really love a knitted gift, so I am thinking of making her these booties. The pattern is for charity, so I suppose I should make some to donate to the NICU where a friend of mine works as well. It looks like a fun project. And I should have enough leftover yarn to make them. Maybe this is why I can't commit to making Christmas gifts. Oh, and I have another Christmas gift I'd like to make, but I don't know if I will have time.

Anyway, since there's nothing to show pretty pictures of, I figured I'd go with a Christmas-themed post, seeing as the Christmas decorations are sprouting up outside and the Christmas music is on in the stores. What's on your Christmas list? Maybe Victorian Lace Today? (It looks nice but I don't need any lace projects right now.)

Here's mine (a couple I mentioned the other day):
Knitting Nature
Two-end Knitting
The back issue collection of Hugur og hönd, 1967-1997
But this one here, this one is the book I want the most, it just looks really nice. (And check out the felted flower lights she makes, what a neat idea!)
Rósalepparprjón í nýju ljósi
I had read about this book and forgotten about it again until I came upon this, look at the sweater design! And there is a little more about it in the blurb about the exhibit.

If you google, you can find out about mail ordering it. Or if you want it in English, you should be able to wait until next year.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Finished Mitten

Well, today is Thanksgiving here in the States, so I have the day off and despite the rain was able to get a picture of my finished mitten:

You can tell this is my first attempt in this technique, I made a mistake with the casting on, but I kind of like it that it gives my mitten character. I was also thinking as I worked on these mittens, they are nothing like anything you can buy in a shop, somehow that makes it extra special.

I joined the Warm Hands Knitalong (I need to put a button on my toolbar, plus there are new blogs I want to add to the link list..) I figure I plan on making at least 2 pairs of mittens this winter.

Sonja was talking about memories getting into your knitting... this first mitten makes me think of Buffy season 6 and The Proposition(not to be confused with the many other movies of the same title), which was an Australian Western written by Nick Cave. Not for the faint of heart, but if you can stand some disturbing imagery and plot, a really good movie (and I'm not big on Westerns, although I think my husband aims to work on that... ;) I do have some fun memories of watching Spaghetti Westerns with my dad though.)

We made a big dinner here for Thanksgiving and had a total of 14 people over. I guess that's a small party compared to the wedding, but I've been doing lots of cleaning and cooking the last few days. I love entertaining though. It was a fun day, but I am very exhausted. And I have to work tomorrow, which makes me kind of annoyed, since a lot of office workers here get that day off, and because my work has given it to us as a day off the last two years. Oh well.

Monday, November 20, 2006

More Twined Knitting

Well, I finished my first mitten. However, in the pitch black out with bad lighting in the house and a cheap digital camera, one cannot get a decent picture of white-on-white textured knitting. Every shot I tried came out like a big white fuzzy haze. So maybe tomorrow, or whenever I get home from work when it's light enough out.

In case you haven't seen anything about this technique before, here's a quick overview. It's called tvĺändsstickat in Swedish, or tvebinding in Danish. You knit with two strands of yarn, and you twist them together in each stitch. (Supposedly you do this yarn manipulation with your right hand, but I just cannot do that, it is just far too weird for me.) What you get is a really neat stitch texture from "plain" knit stitches (bear with me until I can get a photo), and you can do some interesting other texture work as well. You also end up with a very thick, heavy fabric (I am thinking this will be nice and wind proof for when winter starts up around here, not like I am rushing it.)

If anyone is interested in learning more about this technique (or if a husband that reads my blog is looking for gift ideas, although I think I might prefer back issues of or a subscription to Hugur og hönd ;)), and can't find the out-of-print book (someone just beat me for a copy on ebay because they were willing to spend $36 plus shipping, yikes!), there is an in-print book, Two-end Knitting by Anne-Maj Ling.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Twined Knitting

(So I tried to post this a few times but for some reason Blogger has been really slow and won't load so I am trying Journler which Sigga Sif recommended.)

I took out some things from interlibrary loan. Some boring indie CDs (glad I didn't buy them) that people kept raving about. The Knitters Book of Finishing Techniques, which says nothing about how to fix when you cut into your sleeve, but still might be a good reference to have. And the (sadly) out-of-print Twined Knitting. (I tried looking online to see if the Swedish version was still in print, but that doesn't look to be available either, all links I found were at libraries). So of course I had to try this technique (I've been wanting to for a while):

I am using KnitPicks Telemark yarn, which I really like. It just feels nice, has a good weight to it. I think I may use it in a sweater one of these days.

Twined knitting is supposed to be done with your right hand, using "English" style. I can't knit that way, I have tried but it is really slow and awkward. Well, I was going to try it anyway, but my left hand kept wanting to manipulate the yarn. Maybe it's because I am ambidextrous and lean towards using my left hand with some things (I found this when I was a kid and injured one hand or foot in sports). So I have been doing "backwards" twined knitting. Oh well, it's working for me. One annoying thing is the yarn gets really twisted up. I re-read the tip about anchoring your yarn to the ball (to keep too much working yarn from coming out) so I will try that from now on.

Oh and yesterday, I saw my first Christmas decoration of the year (at a person's house). Someone had one of those scary inflatable snowmen. Isn't it a little EARLY?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Not Plaid

In the meantime, while trying to figure out what to do about my two current projects (broken sleeve and sock striping), I decided to start something with yarn I had in my stash. A few years ago when the Rowan Plaid book came out, I loved the fun chunky cabled sweaters in it (probably something to do with liking Kim Hargreaves designs). Of course, I couldn't afford the yarn. Then I found some similar-weight yarn (in a darker colour) on clearance at the end of the winter, and it ended up in the attic. We've been having Icelandic-summer-like weather the last week or so, but early last week it was chilly and my office at work was COLD. (It's an old brick building, and the furnace never seems to work quite right, it has two modes, sauna and off.) So I was thinking wouldn't it be nice to make one of those cardigan sweaters with the belt that you tie? I dug out my Rowan Plaid book and decided on Lightning.

I really like the designs in the book, but I think that one is the best one for my figure. The big boxy ones don't really work for me, but they sure are pretty. Anyway... so here's how it looks so far, quite a bit different colourwise (but more appropriate for my wardrobe):

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Unfinished Business

Well, that baby sweater is pretty close to being done. I was sewing in the sleeves and one looked wrong, so I cut out the seam and accidentally cut into the knitting on the sleeve. So now I have to figure out if I want to rip out the top of the sleeve and re-knit it, or try to graft it, or what. It's been sitting on the couch arm while I ponderdread working on it.

So besides that? Well, I made this great maple walnut bread today. My mother gave me a bread machine for my birthday a few years ago. I hardly ever use it, because I just make bread by hand. Well, I decided to give it another try. It is kind of handy, I just threw the ingredients in while I was cooking supper and it was just magically ready at dinnertime.

And we watched a few movies this week. We finished The Motorcycle Diaries today, which was actually our second try watching it. Neither of us must have been in the right mood when we started it, because it really was a good movie. And annother biographical movie, The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio. That one was fabulous. It was funny, it was poignant, it showed the importance of appreciating what you have... I really enjoyed it.

Oh, and I finished my first sock for my mother's Christmas present. (No picture yet, it's been busy so I haven't had a chance to take a photo). I have to decide whether I want to try and match the self-patterning yarn... I started the second, but I started it at the wrong place in the pattern if I am going to do that.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The search for the elusive chocolate muffins

It started the other week, when we were shopping Ingi saw some chocolate muffins. So the next week he wanted some but the store didn't have any. I found a recipe on the internet which I tried, and it was good, but they didn't have the nice muffin texture I was hoping for. So now I tried another muffin recipe to see if it came out any more muffin-y. They have better height, but I don't think they will be as nice as the other ones taste-wise. So maybe next week I will try another experiment and if I can get a good chocolate muffin recipe, I will post it.

Finally, here are some finished socks. The baby socks (which have really been done for some time but I had a hard time getting a good picture of the blue...) I'm still not thrilled with the photo but oh well. The baby for whom they are intended was born Wednesday morning, his mom is supposed to call and give us his stats (how big etc) but I'm sure she's a little busy.

Then I finally finished these socks I started last year. The pattern I did (a friend helped me chart the design) and I am happy with how they came out, in general. The actual foot part came out a bit bigger than I would have liked, but they are still nice.