Friday, December 18, 2009

Knitting ahead, afoot and a happy birthday too

To start with the important stuff, today is my baby boy’s 1st birthday. This is him, firmly clinging to my pants as he tends to do these days with his ever-present trusty Bobbi-Bear near by.

We did all the fun things you usually do on birthdays.  He got a present and a big breakfast of freshly baked birthday rolls with butter and jam and warm cocoa with whipped cream.  

Given that we celebrated our daughter’s birthday in the hospital due to a serious lung infection, it was a new experience to be able to have this day without thinking about anything except for what a year it has been and how different everything is now that he is here.  It’s been a very, very good day.

And finally a knitting update: I have to say that after such a long period of not being particularly productive on the knitting front, I have sprung back into action with a vengeance.  I have recently finished two projects for winter and not a moment too soon.  Take a look out at my window:

It’s –10C right now and we have 25 cm of snow.  This is my garden next to Nature Reservation at sunrise.  Hard to believe that in that weather, you can still hear the birds in the morning:

So the two projects I finished was a hat and socks (get it – knitting ahead and afoot… I am really too clever… :-S  ).  My husband says this himself so I don’t think he minds me putting it on my blog for the world to see – he has a large time finding hats because he suffers from the Family Big Head Gene.  In high school, he almost had to buy a round of drinks for the whole class because according to Danish tradition, the student with the largest graduation cap must buy the rest of the class a round.  Anyway, having a slightly larger head makes it hard to find hats that fit. 

And now from the front:

This seemed to me the project that simply wouldn’t die.  I am very pleased with the end results and he seems happy not to have a cold head anymore but the pattern required that you knit a round of 172 stitches on 2.0 mm needles into a 22 cm long tube of 3 K x 2 P ribbing.  I was seriously tempted to eat my own head halfway through this project, but it was worth the work.

The “afoot” part of my bad attempt of humor is a pair of socks for my 6 year old daughter.  I’ve never actually finished a whole pair of socks.  I always start and then stop because I have never been good with douple point needles.  They get in the way, they don’t feel right in my hands… it’s just not good.  For some reason though I decided to try again and it worked brilliantly this time. 

So my daughter and I went to pick out yarn and much to my surprise, she picked out a red, green, black and white speckled sock yarn that I would have never have picked for her.  The end results were pretty good, but not really something you would assume a Disney princess watching, pink plastic buying, Build-a-bear bear wanting hip hop girl would want:


And a close up:

So what’s next?  Today was my last day of work before the Christmas holiday.  Having the foresight to plan ahead, I have ordered a HUGE box of yarn that I need to pick up from the post office tomorrow.  Garnstudio has just released a new yarn called Drops Delight which is so soft, superwash treated, beautiful and on sale at the moment, so it makes up the majority of my purchase. I think it with by a sock-y Christmas this year.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Not safe to be my friend

I often joke with coworkers that I am a hazard to be around.  Most of them laugh off this idea, but I swear it’s true.  I travel to Denver on business – within 2 days of my departure, a guy decides to shoot up the capital building right down the street from my hotel and a woman gets arrested in the airport after repeatedly hitting her child in a plane.  Then I go to Boston.  Again, within a few days after I leave, a woman offering “massage services” gets shot and killed in the same hotel I lived in. 

This has happened too many times to count, but a last case I will bother to mention is when a couple of coworkers and I went to Tivoli in Copenhagen this summer. We were sitting at a cafe having a beer and I told them about some of the more recent incidences.  They again laughed it off as a joke, but then the next morning, the following happened:

Yeah, see those chairs and tables the car crashed into?  That is exactly where we were sitting when I told them about this.  By this point, I am feeling like the character Indrid Cole from The Mothman Prophecies

Nothing of this exact nature has happened lately, but I have had some bad luck with led me to reflect a bit on how I (somehow) seem to be a black cat spreading bad luck with everyone and everything that crosses my path.  First point of bad luck: some woman drove into my car on the freeway.  This in itself is enough to upset anyone, but when we drove over to the shoulder, the first thing that came out of this woman’s mouth was that my car was already in this condition when she it it.  She didn’t deny hitting my car, she just denied being at fault for any damage.  So what do you say to this?  If you are me, your sarcasm gene kicks in and you reply to this dumb comment by someone who you can only figure is in shock: “Yeah… I drove from work today with my back bumper in the trunk… Of course! How could I forget that?”  Hmm, maybe not the nicest move on my part, but since there was no “are you ok?” from this woman, I figure we could skip the niceties. 

The next morning I was still knocked a bit loopy.  I was in shock that this woman had behaved in this manner.  I was absolutely livid and since the accident, she had refused to answer her phone so I could get her insurance information.  I grew up in the US and saw a deal of foolish lawsuits – for example, we all now that you can get millions from McDonalds if you spill hot coffee in your lap while driving.  I get why you would want to limit frivolous lawsuits, but man… that morning after, I wanted a lawyer.

Second point of bad luck: we are all getting sick.   This weekend child 1 and 2 both got sick.  How did we discover that this happened?  Child 1 woke up screaming because she had gotten sick on her own head and Child 2 woke me up by getting sick on my head.  Well, not head, but in my hoodie.  Mmmmm…  I am home today while my car is in the shop and my kids are under the weather.  What a week already…Maybe it’s bad mojo coming home to roost because that other driver a freak napalming accident (no, I’m not bitter at all).

The Simple Things in Life: Poo Free Water and Quick Fix Knitting Projects

So the water here now has been poo free for a while now.  Like I said in my previous post, the water wasn’t technically contaminated with poo, it was just loaded with bacteria to the point that the government asked us not to drink it or use it for washing.  Big difference apparently.  After being without water for what came to be 2 whole weeks, being able to turn on the faucet and wash your hands or brush your teeth was almost liberating.  It was truly fantastic and now my only concern is that I would like to know why the water was contaminated.  They never found a source for the bacteria and not knowing if or how it could come back again, is a bit concerning.  Thirsty anyone?

Being back at work at Mega IT Corp Inc. has only gone to underline how therapeutic knitting has become for me.  I find myself browsing for a new pattern on Ravelry every once in a while and then stopping and reminding myself that sitting on my bum while working a way on a large project after having sat all day in front of a computer working on a multiple year long project and then spending two hours on my bum again driving home is probably not a great way to de-stress.  Small quick victories is what I need and small quick victories bees what me gets (odd use of pirate speak…).  So what did I make:

Thumb-less baby gloves and a mistake rib scarf.

Hardly ground breaking work, but fun, rewarding and I now have two warm kids. 

Friday, September 25, 2009

There’s Poo in the Water

I’ve been back at work for over a month now and it’s been hard to get back into the swing of things.  Between having two kids that have started school or daycare and starting back at work in a department hard hit by layoffs, it’s been difficult to keep up with other things like blogging.  So dear blog, please forgive me.

Knitting and spinning has unfortunately taken a back seat to more practical things at the moment like poo in the water.  That’s right: poo in the drinking water.We got notice on Monday that the drinking water in the whole town is contaminated with cloriform bacteria.  To be more precise, it’s not really poo I suppose – poo would be e.coli and this is just coli which commonly comes from soil, rot and decay.  Not as dangerous but knowing where it comes from makes it just as unappetizing as poo. 

The city, after finding the poo last Thursday and then not warning us until Monday (?!?), has given some rather confusing directions about how we can handle the water.  They said it could be used for making food or drinking, but it must be brought to a rapid boil for 2-5 minutes first.  Clothes can be washed at 60 C and dishes at 85 C.  So far so good… and then you reach the “hygiene” section of the directions.  Bathing – OK.  Handwashing – not OK.  (pause for a “huh?” accompanied by a puzzled look with cocked head)  So do I keep my hands out of the shower? It gets even better when they tell school children they may not wash their hands at school but may do so at home – and it’s the same water.  I am getting the feeling that someone hasn’t really thought this through and it’s making me wonder what would happen in a real emergency.

Friday, August 21, 2009

It’s Just Peachy – Vol. 2 & 3

I am afraid the peaches are getting the better of me and going bad before I can use them, but the valiant efforts continue.

Volume 2 – Mish Mash Mush

The second installment of this series will cover the splendid wonders of baby food.  As you may know, I have two children – age 6 and now 8 months.  In the 6 years of being a parent, I have bough jarred baby food 2 times – once while traveling and my oldest was screaming bloody murder due to hunger and couldn’t be calmed and then again recently when I had to spend a longer time than expected in my doctor’s waiting room and the wait spilled over into my son’s lunch time.  Baby food at our house is always made on the spot.  This isn’t because we are psycho about organic, hand made foods or anything.  It’s simply because I think it’s ridiculous how much baby food costs and then you have to take into account that you have to go buy it, warm it and by that time I could have boiled and mashed a damn carrot myself.  Ok, getting off my soap box. 

So I have a lot of peaches now that need to be used.  One think I do when I suddenly have a lot of fruit or veg is to make baby food and then freeze it down.  The recipe is simple: Pit and blanche the peaches, peel of the skins and then liquefy them in a food processor.  A smart trick for this is to use ice cube trays to store the baby food in while it freezes.  You can then transfer the cubes over to a plastic bag or container for storage, but what kid wouldn’t find a heart or star in their morning porridge a fun surprise:

Almost like lucky charms!
Volume 3 – Pork Chops!

I will bet you weren’t expecting to see pork chops in a posting about peaches, were you?  Baby food and preserves is obvious, but what does swine got to do with it?  A commonly unknown fact is that peaches and pork chops go really nicely together, especially when curry is added to the mix.  Apples and pork are a classic combination and this tastes a bit like that, but with more flavor and a slightly creamier texture.   Unfortunately, I forgot about this little blog project I have going on and forgot to take a picture our peaches and pork we had for dinner last night, but here is the recipe:

  • 5 lean pork chops
  • 6 large peaches, pitted and peeled (peeling optional)
  • 2 small onions
  • 1 tsp green or orange curry paste (I use tbls, but I like mine hot)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 pork bullion cube
  • a hand full of raisins
  • 3 dl water

Peel, chop and sauté the onions.  When they are translucent, add the peaches and stir so that the sugar in the peaches doesn’t burn.  Add the pork chops and garlic.  Mix the water with the billion until it is dissolved and mix it in when the pork chops are no longer pink.  Add the raisins and allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes.  Serve with rice our couscous Tags: ,,

Monday, August 17, 2009

That’s just peachy – Vol. 1

This is the first part of a five part non-knitting related rant.  I have a peach tree.  It makes a lot of peaches… a lot of peaches. 

P1010005 A small sampling

So many in fact that we have not – in the three summers we have lived here – been able to eat all of the peaches.  It seems like a real waste since we have this beautiful tree that gives us bright pink flowers in the spring followed by huge white peaches in the summer and we can’t even use or eat them all.  This year will be different – this year I have a mission: use or preserve ALL the usable peaches.  Over the next 5 postings, I will try to come up with interesting ways to preserve or use all of the peaches as they ripen.

Method 1: Pickled Peaches

Ok, I know the word “pickled” evokes thoughts of giant gurkens, picked in dill and spices, chilled and served cut lengthwise next to a sub sandwich.  Pickling can also be used to preserve fruit if the brine you are using is sweet – think canned peaches you can buy to make a peach pie in the middle of winter.


  • 2 kg peaches (blanched to remove skin, halved and pitted)
  • 10 dl sugar
  • 5 dl water
  • 5 dl pickling vinegar (the brown kind adds a pretty color)
  • 1 vanilla pod, slit
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, about 6 cm long
  • OPTIONAL: other whole spices such as anis star, cloves, nutmeg

Place the water, vinegar and sugar in a pot and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Put in remaining ingredients and boil for 10-15 minutes or until the peaches are soft enough to easily poke through with a fork.  Place peaches with fluid and whole spices in jars and place them in a hot water bath to seal the containers (think jam making here).  And Voila!  It’s just peachy:

 And it’s pretty to look at too!

Friday, August 7, 2009

My first grown up socks

When my father-in-law prepared to move several years ago, he decided it was time to go through some of my mother-in-laws things that were still around.  In the short time that I knew her, I learned that my mother-in-law was a funny character.  For example, she claimed she wasn’t “crafty” and was really bad at both knitting or sewing, so it came as a shock to me when my father-in-law asked if I wanted to inherit her little basket of knitting supplies.  At that point in time, I didn’t really knit but had thought about trying it so I accepted the offer. 

At first glance it seemed the basket held only evidence of my mother-in-law self proclaimed “craft-less-ness” such as dpns with flattened points and huge bends that had obviously been used to pry something open or to jab at something that shouldn’t have been jabbed at. 


At the bottom of the basket was a pattern for socks and leggings that was in Danish knitting lingo and being a novice knitting and therefore only knowing the most rudimentary knitting ligno in English, I decided to keep the pattern for now – it’s chunky, it’s funky, it’s retro… it might be fun someday.

Along with the pattern was a bit of a sock that she had been working on.  I don’t remember which sock it was, but it was one from this pattern.  It was actually very well knitted and unfortunately over the years and since we have moved outselves, the bits of her project I had have gone missing. 

Zooming forward to present day, I found this pattern again and now being more a more experienced knitter and knowing Danish knit speak, I decided to try Sock B:

Strippy socks!

After digging through my stash, I have found some grey and multi colored yarns and I have started my first ever grown up sock: Tags: ,

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Slippers for Daycare…. Check!

I sit here a lot these days and think about the fact that so much is happening around me these days.  My youngest child started in daycare (Dagpleje for the Danes reading this), my daughter has her first day of school next Tuesday and I start back to work next Wednesday after a long maternity leave. I will be an hour drive away from the two of them while they go through the first trials of these new phases and their overbearing mother won’t be around to be on high alert to try to prevent the unpreventable and highly unlikely. I crack jokes about it, but it’s tough.  Sigh…

If you don’t know me, then I can easily tell you that I am a type A personality and knitting has with time become a release for me – a way to assert control in an uncontrollable world if you will.  Someone you love get sick?  Knit them a scarf to make them feel better!  In this case, since my son is going to be out of my sight, it is now my duty to knit things that he will most likely need.  It would of course me much, much easier and probably also cheaper to just go buy things instead of knitting it, but going for that cheap fix means my brain is not preoccupied for that short time and I somehow begin to feel like I should be doing more myself.  What’s an overprotective, neurotic, hyper-vigilant mother to do?  Knit slippers.

This is my take on Saartje’s Bootees I like to call Daycare Slippers (Ravelry Link)

Happy feet

The origional pattern and on the blog and on Ravelry call for Rowan RYC Cashcotton, but since I do live in a colder climate and the daycare like most Danish homes features tiled and hardwood floors, I really wanted to go for something a bit warmer so I used Gepart Garn Retro (unfortunately now discontinued).  I found some red buttons I had bought years before and slapped those on, which reminds me of a charming and unplanned French Sailor look. 

Witness relocation babyNote: Don’t worry, he’s not done anything bad enough to land him in witness relocation yet. 

So now the real question is: did this do enough to satisfy my need to knit to assert control in this time of flux?  Doubtful, but we will find out as next week approaches.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A cowl of my own

I finally finished my very first whole project made from my own handspun yarn.  I used my merino/cashmere blend that I made a couple of weeks ago in the Tour de Fleece. I didn’t spin a large amount of it, given that it was my first attempt and it was only around a fingering weight, so it was a little tricky to find something I wanted to make with it.  Here is the finished results:

Loose and floppy

Or pinned back with a broach

If you would like to try to recreate this project, here is a very loosy-goosy version of a pattern:

A Cowl of My Own


Since I used a handspun yarn of my own creation, I will suggest using a commercially manufactured yarn. Two that I know will give you a great result are:

Alternatively, you can choose any other DK weight yarn with a softer animal fiber content (alpaca, cashmere, anything else luxurious next to your skin is great).  As far as color suggestions go, something with some variance would look really nice, but a self stripping yarn with stark color contrasts between colors might make you look a little like Bozo the Clown and we wouldn’t want that.

Technical Stuff:

Like I said before, this was a little adhoc and any gauge guidelines are going to rely heavily on the yarn you choose, so throw caution into the wind and use your better judgment on this one. 


5 mm circular (40 cm in length) or you can always use DPN if you are more comfortable with that

The Actual Pattern:

The number of stitches you cast on is going to depend on how floppy you want your end results.  In the pictures above, I worked 96 stitches in each row. If you want it really floppy cowl shoot for a lot of stitches (112 +). 

Using a long tail cast on, CO stitches in multiple of 16. Join to work in the round.

For the first round, place a stitch marker at the beginning of the round and knit one round.

For the second round, k5, yo, k1, yo, k5, ssk, k1, k2tog and repeat that sequence for the rest of the round (in my example that’s 6 sets of this pattern – 96/16=6).

Repeat rows 1-2 until you reach the desired length.  End on an odd round (all knits) and cast off.

If you are a chart reader, maybe this will help:


In order to make look just right, make sure to block out your new creation when you are done.  Happy knitting!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hurray for new toys

I have just ordered myself a new drop spindle.  Since recently buying my very first drop spindle in order to learn how to spin, I have found that spinning as a whole is a lot easier (and addictive) than I thought it would be.  My beginner spindle – all 100g of it – was great for learning how to spin, but the results were really, really thick yarn or if you’re cynical like me, you'd call it rope. 

I guess I could make do with it, but live would be so much easier with a lighter spindle.  I’ve been looking around online for a while and most of the shops I have been looking for are either in the US, meaning I would have to pay extra shipping plus Danish moms of 25% upon delivery or else they want me to pay the price of the spindle in order to ship it to me, so either way, I will end up paying double the price in order to get my grubby hands on it.  Alas…

So this morning, I was online again (surprise) and found a web shop called IST Crafts which ships from the UK. They have a nice selection of spindles in various diameters and weights and a rather large selection of woods compared to other shops I have looked at.  I settled on a 60 mm (18-28g) spindle made out of Tulipwood on Sycamore with Walnut shaft:

Tulipwood on Sycamore with Walnut shaft

Best of all, it only cost me £22, the shipping was VERY reasonable and I have heard good things about them from other spinners.  Now I just have to figure out what my first project should be. Tags: ,

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ew ew ew

I’ve been working on a sweater for my son and it’s been a bit of a strange process.  I wanted to use some Kauni 8/2 yarn I bought from Lynghøjgaard Garnbutikken some time ago with the intention of eventually making a sweater of some sort.  When I started knitting, I thought to myself that these colors weren’t quite looking as good together as I had thought they would in my head (and we all know that some thing seems like such a good idea “at the time”…)

So, I got though a zig zag detailing around the neck and realized that it looked like little M’s… wait a minute… yellow M’s on a red background?! Maybe even Golden Arches??  I’ve knitted a sweater for Ronald McDonald himself!!

Mustart Yellow  + Postbox Red  =ARG!

While they yarn and pattern themselves are great, I guess the real issue here is user error – ie: the knitter who put these to colors together, me.  And if you don’t believe me or if it’s been a while since you’ve seen the McD’s logo take a look at this:


At this point, I keep knitting and knitting the lower body of the sweater in the hopes that more red will balance this all out. Maybe a sleeve or two will help… will keep you posted on this ketchup and mustard nightmare.

PS: Just a minute, need to channel my inner gangster here… A special shout out @McJuel for the technical assistance.

Bing Bang McJuel Tags: ,,

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Let me see your grill

Ok, I am not sponsored nor am I moonlighting with product home-parties, but I made the investment of a buy the other day and had to plug this product.  The local grocery market Føtex had the Weber Style grill thermometer on sale the other day and I bought it. 

Ohh… ahhhh

I was going to make a roast on the grill and with two small children, I didn’t think that I would remember to check the meat when necessary.  It didn’t cost that much and I could carry the handset with me to keep track of the impending tastiness on my grill.  So… To keep it short, this was a great buy – it’s idiot proof and great for those like me who are busy or easily distracted. 

How did we ever get along when we had to actually get off our butts to cook food??

I’ve been a bad blogger…

I have been a very bad blogger the past few days and have not kept up with my postings, but in my defense, I have been very busy with several different projects.  I wonder if that balances my negligence toward my blog??

I have also been neglegent toward knitting.  I have been led astray…alas… I have been cheating on knitting with my sewing machine.   So far I have made some sleeping pants, a skirt and a dress for my daughter.  Stof og Stil had a mega super sale, so after getting a lot of good ideas about making skirts, dresses, onesies and other cool stuff for myself and kids, it was difficult not to say no to buying mass quantities of fabric.

I have a new knitting project made out of some yarn that I have just gotten done spinning myself (hey, two projects in one – bonus points!).  I have been looking for a scarf pattern I could work from that was easy to memorize since I hate being tied to a chart while I knit, especially since I usually store my charts on my hard drive.  The pattern I found was the Lace Ribbon Scarf.  Since the pattern is simple, repetitive, and knits up fast so it’s right up my ally at the moment. 

Ohh.... ahhh... lace scarfOld pic – we are up to about 40 cm in length now.

I lost motivation with this project over the past few days since temperatures outside have bounced between 27-30 C, which makes knitting a wool scarf feel not only moronic, but less than comfortable when you have to have your project in your lap as you work.  Now that the temperatures are back down to a more humane 20 C, I finally get to pick up my needles again.

Now that the Tour de Fleece is on, I am also spinning a lot.  My husband and I have spent the last two days with each of our hobbies – he with the Tour de France and I with the Tour de Fleece – and I have really enjoyed it.  It’s good “hygge” and a fun way to dump mass quantities of coffee into your system.  It would be nice to get this stuff in IV form so that I didn’t have to stop spinning or knitting every time I wanted a sip.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Proof I am posh

I was reading Bezzie’s blog Random Meanderings and she mentioned that she took a quiz telling her what kind of yarn/sheep she was that was posted on Potter Craft News for a promotion of The Knitter’s Book of Wool.  It sounded like a good way to spend a few minutes and a cheap laugh so I tried it myself.  I ended up being Rambouilet:


A quick description from the quiz: “As a finewool with roots in Spain and France, Rambouillets seem to exude a cosmopolitan air, yet stay grounded and easygoing with others in the flock.  With big hears and a spring in their step, these finewools’ lively attitudes make them approachable and always ready with a warm smile and hug”

If I was a little more arrogant, I would way they knew me better than myself… ha ha…

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I’ve been busy….

For the past few days, I have been knitting periodically, but the majority of my time has been spent on other projects. I am now sitting in our newly renovated office that we have spent several weekends working on.  When I say “we” I really mean that Jesper did the majority of the work and I jumped in at the last minute so that I can claim some of the glory for myself :-).  It turned out very well and surprisingly light considering it’s on the corner of the north side of the house. 

On a crafty note, I have been working on making myself a knitting needle cozy.  Having a nicely renovated office and a husband with a taste of the anal-retentive tidiness he had brainwashed into him in the army, I figured it was time to get give the guy a break from the clutter ridden pack rat habits of his wife and rid the room of the mess of needles that were laying about (I know you are reading this, so sorry honey – you know it’s true…). 


Another project has been to accumulate a good start of a fiber collection for my newly acquired spinning skills.  My packages from the UK arrived today and I can now say that I found some good suppliers that provide cheap but high quality fiber and equipment:

 My new carders from The Alpaca Spinner

 1 kg white massam top from World of Wool

Cashmere from World of Wool

And then I decided to take a risk and buy something called a Botany Lap Waste from World of Wool, which is the top waste from the blending machines they use to blend specialty orders.  It’s just as top grade as the regular fibers they sell and since I am a novice, I thought it would be a fun experiment.  For £8 for a full kg, it can’t hurt to try it out and see what kind of results I can get.  Stay tuned to see the results… Tags: ,,,

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Making Stitch Markers

I have always thought that the market is full of a lot of clever knitting, crochet and craft supplies that might be nice to have but are utterly pointless or are things that you can clearly do without.  I know that there are plenty of people who would disagree with me on this point, but one example I have always felt strongly about is stitch markers.  I have seen knitters spend HUGE amounts of money on stitch markers made with hand crafted glass beads.  They are pretty, they are nice to work with, but if you’re like me, it’s hard to justify spending up to $45 USD (yes, I saw a pair on ETSY for that amount) for something you can use a piece of scrap thread for. 

This is going to sound really odd, but until my BSJ project, I used paper clips as stitch markers.  They always did the trick and they are cheap, easy to find in a junk drawer if you need an extra, and you don’t cry if you lose one.  When doing the BSJ project, I used an alpaca that was constantly getting stuck on the outside loop of the paperclips and finally gave in to the idea of getting some real stitch markers.  I personally think the plastic ones you can buy are not really attractive to look at or hold in your hand to work and I have an issue with the expensive one (see rant above) so what’s a girl to do… make your own.

How I made my own stitch markers

Materials Needed

Straight pins with stopper used in jewelry making. These are in silver and have a rounded ball ending, but you can also find them with other finishes and endings like flat stopper or round loop endings.

Toggle clasps in a size appropriate to your knitting needles.  Again, these come in countless styles and finishes.  Pick a size that gives a good fit to your needles and consider buying several different sizes if you do a lot of different types of projects.  You’ll only be using the loop end of the toggle clasp, so the look and style of the post is irrelevant.

Beads after your own taste.  Consider what you like and take it from there.  The choice of beads is endless, but picking some sort of larger bead as a focal point is a smart idea. 

I chose to use two different color combinations when I assembled my markers.  The idea behind this was so that I could mark increases/decreases or added/dropped stitches differently as patterns require (for ex: socks).


Flat needle nose pliers to wrap the pin around itself.  You can use normal needle nose pliers, but you risk the ridges on the inside of the pliers leaving ridge marks on the finished marker.  Just a warning.


This is a lot easier than you might think – here’s a step by step run down.

1. String the beads on the pin.

2. Sting the toggle clasp ring on the pin and bend the pin.

3. Using a pair of flat needle nose pliers, wrap the bead-less part of the post around the post.  You can do this by pinching the loop and twisting the pin with the pliers.  I can’t take a picture of this while doing it myself (not until modern science can grow me a third arm…) so here is a drawing:

If you twisted it right, it should look like this:

You still with me??

4. Using the wire nippers on your pliers (or a pair of wire cutters as shown below), nip off any excess pin not included in the wrap.  Not doing so will leave you with a sharp metal bit that can at best be uncomfortable to work with or at worst rip up your knitting or hand!

     (Side note: In her Yarn Garn debut, Molly, my ever present Labrador assistant says Hello World!)

So there you have stitch markers.  You can make them yourself and only your own creativity and budget can set the limit as to what you can create Tags: ,,,

Happy Birthday to ME


Happy Birthday

A little miracle happened some years ago on June 3rd.  Me.  :o) Ha ha.  I am usually not a huge fan of my birthday – well, maybe that is a bit harsh to say.  My birthday has never meant anything to me since I was a small child and it was the one day a year that was reserved for gifts, friends and sugary cakes and was somehow magical in its own way.  Since then, the magic rubbed off and the fun became tarnished with the ins and outs of daily life. 

This year things are different.  My first thought was to write “things seem different” but they don’t “seem” different.  They are different.  I am different.  I have been struggling with a depression for years and perhaps on top of the daily hum-drum of life, the depression made the concept of reserving the day to celebrate my existence, which in itself felt like an unreasonable burden at times, seemed foreign.  This year, however, I feel like there is something to celebrate.

The day started off well and just got better from there.  My husband, daughter and son woke me up with a rousing round of the birthday song, edited to include the lines “you look like a monkey and you smell like one too.”  I was treated to a wonderful breakfast, opened presents and then my daughter was off to school.  My husband had taken the day off from work so we used the day to go on a 2 hour walk through the forest and down to the ocean.  After that, we had lunch in the park, went for a walk in the local farmer’s market and I was bought some chocolates.  To round off the trip, I bought myself a little yarn from Rok og Uld on Skomagergade in Roskilde. On our way home, we picked up my daughter and came home to eat cake and enjoy a lazy sunny afternoon watching Star Wars The Phantom Menace and surf the internet. 

I’ve been busy over the past few days with other knitting related projects and will include that in another blog post now that I can sit back, digest the strawberry cake in my belly and wait for the dinner and red wine to come this evening.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

FO: Baby Surprise Jacket

It took me a bit longer than I had anticipated, but my first attempt at the baby surprise jacket is now completed.  Last week I poured boiling hot water all over my left hand and the idea of loading wool on top of the burn was less than appealing, so the project was set on stand by for a couple of days.  Now that I am healed for the most part, I was able to complete the project just a few minutes ago:

P1010010 After talking to some of the people on Ravelry’s BSJ forum, I decided to go with two larger buttons for the closure rather than the recommended small 5 buttons.  I could see before I got to make the button holes that 5 would not have made a lot of sense and I am happy with the way my little pandas from Stof og Stil look against the mystery alpaca I used that I inherited from someone in my family:

P1010012 Overall, I am happy with the results although it will be a year or so before it will fit #2.  It’s very heavy so it will make a good heavy sweater for late fall or very early spring.