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.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Quickly becoming a Zimmermaniac

I have began to understand and appreciate the simplicity that is Elizabeth Zimmermann patterns.  Right next to me, I have a copy of Kitting Workshop which has several great patterns in it.  I have decided to bust my stash (so I have space for more yarn… ) so the baby surprise jacket.  It’s a quirky kind of sweater that is a lot of fun to make.  I feel like I am assembling a puzzle and I don’t really see the whole picture right now, but I fully expect that once I am casted off and get to fold it up, I will get a sudden “a-ha” feeling.  Almost done – as soon as I find the cord to my camera, I will post pictures of it soon.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Real Men Knit

The first time I saw this, I kind of snickered to myself. The second time I saw it, I thought it was rather cool.  See what you think and think about what your reaction is based on:

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Welcome to spinning hell

I write this post as I find myself confined to the sofa under my duvet after having gotten horribly sick.  The day started out innocently enough – my son slept through the night and then after having a little bit of a morning snack let me sleep until 9 am.  When I woke up, there was fresh coffee, scrambled eggs and toast waiting for me that my husband was sweet enough to make for me.  After that, my daughter and I got dressed and headed to the gym for a mommy/baby exercise.  You know, it wasn’t an innocent start to the day – that’s a great start to the day.  And then everything went terribly wrong.

At some point along the line I must have eaten something bad or caught a bug.  I personally believe that it maybe has something to do with my strained efforts to keep up with the spandex clad spinning instructor who should really learn to lighten up on the peroxide that taxed my body.  I started getting a headache and then I felt a little weak.  Suddenly I felt like I needed to be sick and it had to be NOW.  I have since then spent all of my Sunday on the sofa, feeling like the floor was falling out of me and hoping I could keep the tea I just drank in my stomach. 

On another note, I have finally started a project for myself: the Runway Bolero.  Instead of making it with stripes, I am making it out of a discontinued solid dark blue merino wool from Gepard called Retro with a row of gartner st. where the pattern calls for stripes.  I haven’t worked on it today (for obvious reasons :-S) but I look forward to picking up the needles again. 

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Knit free Saturday

Yesterday was a national holiday in Denmark, so after a day of rest we decided that today is the great gardening day.  We bought our house a couple of years ago and the people who lived here before were a little special.  The garden around our house was obviously loved some years ago but has fallen into disrepair over the years due to neglect and most corners of the yard have been overtaken by large bushes or piles upon piles of junk like cans of unused paint, old gutters and used paving stones.  Ultimately, the garden had good bone structure… she just needs to lose a few pounds in order to be considered pretty again.

A friend came down and helped load a trailer full of garden waste – mostly old branches and the like – and then unload them again at the local recycling center.  I started refurbishing the old terrace by ripping up the weeds and moss growing up between the stones and found out that there is actually a lot more terrace in the back yard that anyone thought!  there was a good 1 meter that was covered by plants over the years before we bought the house.

So later on as we got ready to call it a day, Jesper started poking around in the corner of the garden that he had just worked all day to clear of debris.  Much to our surprise and delight, that was also covered in terrace, so all-in-all, the half day of hard garden labor unearthed (quite literally) a good 20 square meters of stone terrace that NO ONE knew existed.  I have decided just now that this new terrace needs a hammock or a hammock chair so it can be a real knitting corner.  I am so looking forward to that!

Friday, May 8, 2009

I think Lisa Hannigan just cured the kink in my neck

Birds and bugs

An update to my previous post -

I told my daughter about the drama around mamma bird and her three chicks after she came home yesterday and while I was outside checking one last time that a baby hadn’t survived, I found the 3rd chick laying under our lawnmower and he was perfectly safe.  Mother bird was going nuts and didn’t like that her baby was on the ground or that my clumsy self was standing over it, so I asked my daughter to stand back while I tried to put it back in the nest.  After being dive-bombed several times, I succeeded in getting the baby back in the nest and mother and baby were very happy to be reunited.  However, the surviving baby and mother bird were no where to be found, so I can only guess that the neighbor’s cat must have returned for an encore performance :-(


On a happier note: I have been bitten by a bug.  It doesn’t fly, sting or attack (outside of the occasional attack on your pocket book).  It’s the spinning bug.  I don’t have the space or cash to lay out the money required to by a whole spinning wheel so that I can suddenly try something new out, but I have found a couple of websites like HandSpinner and World of Wool that specialize in selling fibre and tools like drop spindles, like what I would like to try:

I am looking forward to trying and being able to create something that is as 100% “made by me” as possible.  I guess the only way it could get any more homemade is if I grew the wool myself ;o) Tags: ,,,

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My baby birds are dead

For weeks now, I have been following the progress of a mother bird that has set up a nest on the top of our wood pile.  I noticed her picking up twigs and straw from our garden a few months ago not knowing where she was building her nest.  Then one day a month or so ago I was bulling our pram around the side of the house and noticed her sitting on the top of the wood pile in a rather large nest.  Since then, I have walked by her every once in a while and looked into her nest from the safe distance from behind my bedroom window.  Yesterday, the last egg hatched and mother bird was busy hunting for her 3 new babies.

Today it all went wrong.  I went out to the wood pile to get some wood since it’s now suddenly cold enough to start up a fire.  I noticed that there was a lot of straw on the ground and feathers blowing around in the wind.  The nest was ripped open from the side and a baby bird was dead on the bricked pavement.  I looked around for mother bird and noticed that she was frantically flying around in my front garden.  There were still two babies in her nest, but I couldn’t tell if they were alive or dead.  It was then that I realized that it must have been the neighbor’s cat that was the culprit here and I could have very well scared it away when I came out for wood. I looked around to make sure that the cat was gone, took some wood and came into the house again to my own baby.

Suddenly I could feel tears welling up inside my eyes.  I’m not stupid and I know these kind of things happen in nature, but what I had just seen seemed to hold so much significance at that moment.  I supposed I came to feel some level of ownership over those little birds – that I had followed them and had therefore become somehow invested in mother birds little project.  Or maybe it was the stark contrast I experienced by seeing a mother frantic about her dead baby and then going inside my own home to my healthy baby.  What a crappy thing to experience.

Monday, May 4, 2009

My Araucania Scarf

I am still working on clearing out my stash and have round a ball of Araucania Pomaire Multy in my plastic rollaway. I bought it back during my pregnancy from Pavi Yarns with the intention of making a sort of loose stitch deconstructed strip that I could use as a belt (with the help of a little broach or something) that could later be used as a scarf when my body was hopefully back to something that resembled it’s old self.  Line so many things that never happened (the scarf/belt, not the body) so I have a 100g ball left.  I’ve not found a pattern I was happy with, so I decided to wing it.  I have been playing with it off and on all day and finally decided to try something with a garter stitch edge and raspberry stitch center.  Not complex at all, but with this type of color complexity in a yarn, sometimes it’s nice to let it speak for itself:

Close-up of scarfI am happy with the results so far -  It’s a bit deconstructed like I was originally thinking some months ago and in my opinion, it’s somewhat reversible.  I know most knitter’s believe that stitches are only truly reversible when they are the same front and back which raspberry stitch is not, but it looks good on both sides.

I will post a finished pattern and pictures (front and back) when I am done. Tags: ,,

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Clearing out my stash

I have been trying to decide what to knit next and after looking though some of the half finished projects, I have and the list of things I have yet to do, I have decided that it might be a good idea to use up some of the leftover yarns I have in my stash.  I am one of those people who save ever little scrap of left over yarn because there is always some off chance that I might possibly someday eventually find a use for it although I never do.  Instead, the little balls and wads of yarn get thrown into a plastic bed roller and with time turn into a huge tangled mess of yarn that just takes up valuable real estate that I could be using to store new additions to my stash.

With the goal of using up this pile of extra remnants in mind, I decided to knit some socks for my son.  In Denmark, babies are routinely set outside in their prams to sleep during the day.  As long as they are properly dressed for the cold, they can sleep outside year-round.  While cold toes are not a huge concern for me this time of year when the sun and good weather are a large part of our daily lives, this fall when I start back to work and have to rely on a daycare worker to pack him in to keep him warm, I would like to be able to have the peace of mind that the knowledge that I have given her to tools to do so can give.  After looking through my stash, I found some leftover cashmere/wool blend that I could use to make my own little sock pattern that would A.: be super soft and warm enough to keep his little toes warm in the dead of the cold Danish winter, B.: be distinct enough NOT to be mixed up with other kids socks or booties in the daycare by incredibly busy daycare employees and C.: well… were just cool to look at.  So here is what I came up with:

D-man’s Argyle Socks

1 –2 year

Yarn and amount of needed:

A DK weight wool yarn.  Type in pattern is Absolute 70% superwash wool/ 30% cashmere blend i bought at Lyngaard Garnbutik for my Not So Baby Yoda project.  A few other yarn suggestions could be:

Color A: > 25 grams Color B: > 25 grams


5 x 5 stitches per inch


4.00 mm (US 5)  circular needles or to obtain gage

3.75 mm (US 4) circular needles or needles one size smaller than those used to obtain gage

(if you are a DPN fan, of course you should use those, but keep in mind that the directions below are for circular needles)

So let’s start the fun:


In Color A, cast on 36 on 3.75 mm needles (or those one size smaller than those used for the body of the socks) and join to knit in the round. If you are using dpn, do this over 4 active needles so there will be 9 stitches on 4 needles.  If you are going this on round needles, cast on so the stitches are evenly divided so that you have 18 on each needle.

Knit a single rib (k1, p1) in the round until you have a 1 cm length of ribbing.

Sock Body:

Switch to 4.00 mm needles (or those used to obtain gage) and knit one row in Color B.

From this point onward, you will be knitting an argyle pattern. Follow the chart below, starting at the bottom for a total of 10 rows:


(Color A is blue, B is green in the chart)

Turning the Heel:

Ultimately you can do this any way you want to, as long as you make the heel of the sock over 18 stitches. If you prefer to do it as an afterthought heel, you can do that by either placing the stitches on a piece of waste yarn or a stitch holder. There is a good resource at for different styles and methods for heels.  I like a really pointy heel, so below are the directions for the sock pictured above:

Row 1: On the RS, knit 17 stitches.  Keep the last stitch on the left needle and turn the work.

Row 2: Sl st, purl to last stitch.  Turn work.

Row 3. sl st, knit to last stitch.  Turn work.

Repeat rows 2-3 until you have 6 active stitches (this should be after you have knitted 12 rows on the heel. 

Row 13: k5, K2tog, M1B.  Turn work.

Row 14: Sl st, p6, ssp, M1F. Turn work

Row 15: Sl st, k7 K2tog, M1B. Turn work.

Row 16: Sl st, p8, ssp, M1F. Turn work.

Row 17: Sl st, k9 K2tog, M1B. Turn work.

Row 18: Sl st, p10, ssp, M1F. Turn work.

Row 19: Sl st, k11 K2tog, M1B. Turn work.

Row 20: Sl st, p12, ssp, M1F. Turn work.

Row 21: Sl st, k13 K2tog, M1B. Turn work.

Row 22: Sl st, p14, ssp, M1F. Turn work.

Row 23: Sl st, k15 K2tog, M1B. Turn work.

Row 24: Sl st, p16, ssp, M1F. Turn work.

Row 25: Sl st, k17 K2tog, M1B. Turn work.

Row 26: p 18 – end of heel

Continuing body:

Now that you have turned the heel, you should have 36 active stitches evenly divided on your needles.  Knit the chart above again one more time, starting at the bottom.  Once you’ve completed the chart, repeat the first row of the chart (marked with a 1) for a total of 11 rows. 


(half way through the body – It’s beginning to look a lot like argyle…) 

Now knit one row of Color B.

Toe and Shaping:

Switch to Color A.

Row 1: K1, SSK, knit to last 3 st, K2tog, K1

Row 2: Knit all.

Repeat rows 1-2 until you have 16 active stitches (8 on each circular needle).

Use Kitchener Stitch to close toe.

And that’s it!  Easy and extra warm. Enjoy!

I don’t usually write down what I am doing when I am working without a pattern, so if you have any corrections, please include them in a comment and I will incorporate them in the pattern Tags: ,,,,