Monday, October 17, 2016

A New Jumper, and Helping Others

A while back I posted a knitting wish list with some of the designs I really liked and wanted to make. The items in my Ravelry queue tend to jump up and down the list as I find new, exciting things I want to make, or if I review the list and rearrange it. But I actually managed to finish two of the jumpers on the wish list this summer.

This is the Lavenda Rainbow Jumper, with long sleeves, because I live in Norway ;) Please excuse the mess in the back, it seems I'm unable to keep my sewing space tidy.

I nearly always reinforce the shoulders and neck of my jumpers with cotton tape, to make sure they keep their shape, and with this jumper I really had to, as the ribbed yoke is very stretchy.

This is the inside of one of the sleeves. I decided not to cut the yarn every time I changed colours,  but do it the Norwegian way instead, which is to say I carried the yarn from each colour up the jumper, and wrapped the working yarn around the strands being carried every 4 row or so, making sure the tension of the yarn being carried was OK. My mum and nan used to do it this way and they showed me how it was done when I was little, so I figured I'd give it a go. It turned out very well.

I decided to use as much of my stash as possible and ended up using two different types of yarn; Drops Fabel and Ida Strømpegarn. Ida strømpegarn is a little heavier than Fabel, but the two yarns still worked well together. I made the torso longer than instructed as I wanted the striped part to start at my natural waist. I ended up using 1600 meters of yarn for the jumper which is quite a lot.

Now for something more serious. As many of you out there might already have heard the very kind and sweet Jessica from Chronically Vintage has had her house burned down. It happened Friday of last week, and she and her husband has lost practically everything they own.

There's a Facebook page for people wanting to help out in various ways, and if you live far away and it's impractical to send something you can make a cash donation here. I made a donation as it  seemed the most practical solution.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

New Job!

This week has so far been wonderful :)

I've had it confirmed that as of Monday week I'll be starting in a new job, and not just any job. I've been out of work for 3 months and was getting frustrated and a little desperate to find something. I was reaching the stage where I'd be happy to take just about anything when I got an interview with a very well renowned company, in a good position. I had 2 interviews and 1 test in the span of 2 weeks, and made it through. I'll be doing social media and website management for them, as well as a spot of advertising.

I celebrated with knitting myself a new tea cosy for my 2 cup teapot, which will reside in my office from next week onward :D

I used a free pattern from, and if anyone wants to give it a go you can find it here.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Crochet Skirt Guards

I love bike riding :) It gives this wonderful sense of freedom, and it's so nice to take bike rides in the area I live. I live by Mjøsa, a large lake in Norway, and the entire area for miles and miles is wonderfully picturesque. I have a granny bike and I like to ride in style, which in my book is wearing nice tweed plus sixes or skirts, with matching jacket, coat or a jumper depending on the season, and knitted accessories. I would not be caught dead in the condom suits with padded bums so popular with many of my fellow cyclists.

Because of my preference for skirts I need skirt guards on my bike, and I prefer making them myself. I can get plastic ones that clip onto the bike, but why use them when I can have crochet or fabric skirt guards. There are a few crochet skirt guard patterns out there, unfortunately most of them are in Dutch, and the ones that are available in English all have rosettes in them, which can be nice but this time around I decided I didn't want rosettes. I spent a good few hours at the computer searching for the perfect skirt guard pattern, and when I found what I suspected might work it was of course in Dutch.

After sulking about it for a while I decided to try to translate it. As I don't speak Dutch this took some time and I made quite a few changes to the original pattern to make it fit the bike.

Behold the skirt guards :) The cotton yarn I used was 170 meters to 50 grammes. If I were to make them again I'd go for a fine crochet thread and instead add more rows of clusters, but all in all I think I did rather well :)

Here's the pattern, it's based on the free Landleven skirt guard pattern.

Apart from the foundation fan, the bottom treble groups and the solid part in the middle all rows start with a new colour, from the right to the left.

UK terms
2.5mm hook
Tension: 20 trebles to 10 cm
Made with Garnstudio Loves You 7 (170 meters to 50 grammes)

Foundation fan:
Chain 10 stitches, close ring with a slip stitch
Chain 4, do 8 double treble
*Chain 5, do a dc in next stitch* continue to the end of the row. You should have 8 loops.
Chain 15, do a dc in first loop, *chain10, dc in next loop*, continue to the end of the row
Chain 20, dc in first loop, *chain 15, dc in next loop*, continue to the end of the row. Chain16, dc in next loop, *chain 9, dc in next loop*, Continue to the end of the row.

If you don't want the foundation fan follow the below instructions:

Chain 81 sts

Start groups of treble spaced by chains

1st row: 1 treble in 4th chain, 1 treble in each of the 2 following ch. *chain 2, skip 2 sts, 1 treble in each of the next 3 ch. Repeat from * until there are 2 sts left. Finish with 1 treble in last ch(gives a total of 16 clusters of 3 trebles+1 single treble).

2nd row: chain 3 (makes the 1st treble) , 2 tr in the first space between the clusters of the previous row. * ch 2, skip cluster, 3 tr in the next space. Repeat from * until the last space is filled. 1 tr in the 3rd sts from previous row (the first 3 chains that made the first tr)

3rd row: ch 5 ( the first 3 ch makes the 1st tr), 3 tr in the first space. Ch 2, skip cluster, 3 tr in the next space. Repeat from * until there are 2 sts left. 1 tr in the 3rd st from previous row (the first 3 chains that made the first tr)

4th row: Same as 3rd row, but end with ch 2, 3 tr in final space (17 clusters of 3 trebles).

Start clusters:

5th row: Ch 3, then 1 tr in same treble, * ch 2, 2 tr, 1 ch and 2 tr in the next space. Repeat from *. (18 clusters)

6th row: Attach thread in 1st space, chain 4, 2 trebles in same space, chain 2, *2 tr, ch 1, 2 tr in the middle of the cluster from last row, ch 2. Repeat from *.

7th row: Attach thread in 1st space, chain 4, 2 trebles in same space, * Ch 2, crochet the two gaps between clusters from the previous 2 rows together by passing the hook under the second chain from the top, catch the thread and do a dc. Ch 2, 2 tr, ch 1, 2 tr in the cluster from the previous row. Repeat from *. Finish the row with 1 dc in the 2nd chain from last row, then ch 2, 2 tr, ch 1, 1 tr in the last cluster.

8th row: as row 5

9th row: as 6th row

10th row: as 7th row

11th row: as row 5

12th row: as 6th row.

13th row: as 7th row

End of clusters, start treble groups again

14th row: ch 3 * 1 tr in the following tr, ,1 tr in the following tr,1 tr in the following space, ch 2, 1 tr in the same space, 1 treble in each of the following trebles

15th row: 1 treble in 4th chain, 1 treble in each of the 2 following ch. *chain 2, skip 2 sts, 1 treble in each of the next 3 ch. Repeat from * until there are 2 sts left. Finish with 1 treble in last ch
16th row: ch 3 * 1 tr in the following tr, ,1 tr in the following tr,1 tr in the following space, ch 2, 1 tr in the same space, 1 treble in each of the following trebles

Start solid part

17h row: ch 3, 1 tr in each following tr and 1 treble in each space except for 6 spaces evenly distributed. In these 6 spaces make 2 trebles. Every 5 and 6 worked for me.

18th row: ch 2, dc in each following tr.

19th row: ch 3, inc 1 treble, * 1 tr in each of the following dc. Repeat from *. Inc one treble at end. If you choose to make an opening for the lock in this row stop after 33 trebles (including the chain at the beginning of the row), chain 2 and follow instructions in row 20, then follow instructions in row 21 until you finished the 33rd treble. Do not break thread.

The opening for the lock will be 6 sts wide. Count 6 sts from the part you just finished and continue from stitch 7. Follow instructions from row 19 and 20. When you finish row 20 and reach the edge of the lock opening break the thread. Use the thread from the first part, chain 6 and continue after the lock opening. This will fit the right hand side of the wheel. For the left remember to make the opening at the other end of the skirt guard.

20th row: as 18th row

21st row: ch 3, 1 tr in each following dc.

Start groups of trebles again

22nd row: ch3, 1 tr in each of the following 2 tr. * ch 3, skip 1 tr, 1 tr in each of the following 3 tr. Repeat from *.

23rd row: ch 6, 3 tr in he first space * ch 3, 3 tr in the following space. Repeat from *. End with 1 tr in the last treble from previous row.

24th row: as 22nd row.

Clusters again

25th row: like 5th row, but chain 4 between clusters and 2 in cluster

26th row: like 6th row, but chain 4 between clusters and 2 in cluster

27th row: like 7th row, but chain 4 before crocheting the 2 chains from the 2 previous rows together, and another 4 after. 2 chains in cluster.

  • Repeat the last 3 rounds if necessesary to add height to the dress guards.
  • Optional – crochet a row of dc along the sides

If you want to crochet loops for fastening at the top follow the below instructions:
Fasten the yarn in the top right ch, do 1 tr in this ch. * ch 8, skip 2 clusters of 3 trebles, 1 dc in the following ch. Repeat from *. Do 1 dc in the last tr.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Spring Knitting Projects

You guys might have caught on to the fact that I've had problems with my arms. It lasted for years and limited the things I could do, but one of the things I could do was lust after knitted jumpers. My Ravelry queue inflated until it reached the stage where knitting everything on it was more wishful thinking than realistic goals.

Last summer I spent 2 months gradually getting used to knitting again, and since then I've mainly knitted DK winter jumpers, and I now own enough winter jumpers to last me a while. The next goal is lace and thin knitted jumpers for spring, summer and autumn :)

Again, my Ravelry queue keeps growing and mutating, and I thought it might make it easier to get an overview if I list the top 5 items on my knitting wish-list.

How about you guys, do you have any knitting/crafting plans made up?

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Loss, knitting and whatsit

Since my last post my mum passed away. It sort of knocked  me off my feet, and blogging about it or anything at all didn't feel like an option. This was in September, and since then I've gone through all the rather unreal and disturbing things one has to do after a parent dies. Holding the funeral, going through her things, clearing out her house and putting it up for sale. All very emotional and hard, and introducing me to aspects of myself I don't much like. Like impatience with family members, developing a temper and snapping at people. I've not seen that side of myself since I was a teenager, and thought it was gone. Not so. Rather embarrassing, really. It didn't last, but it's still nagging away at me.

My mum collected vintage ornamental plates, coffee grinders and cream and sugar dishes. She must have had between 50 and 100 of the cream and sugar sets, all neatly displayed in glass cabinets. She also collected table cloths and, well, all sorts of things, really. I kept a few things, let the family take whatever they wanted and gave the rest away to charity.The feeling I'm left with is I suppose not a new one, but it felt wrong to go through her possessions, divide them into things to keep and give away, and dismember her life in such a way. It also made me think about my own collections. My books, fabrics and yarn, my collection of vintage clothes and jewellery. Much of it I don't even wear, which is really such a waste. I've decided to do my best to give these things an airing, and keep track of the things I never wear. If I still haven't worn them in a year (this goes for everyday fashions and jewellery, obviously party dresses are exempt) they'll go to charity.

I've also started knitting up the things I've wanted for years. Why wait? It's not as if we're guaranteed to live to a ripe old age any of us.

With this in mind here's a jumper I finished around Christmas. I used a free pattern from Trove, and it turned out very well :)

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Care of Bamboo Needles

I've bought quite a few inexpensive bamboo needles on ebay the last few years. Quite the bargain, and seeing as I'm a hoarder I like to have at least 3 sets of circular needles in each size, and double pointed needles as well.

The only problem with these needles is that they're rather rough and don't seem to have been properly finished. The can still be used as they are, but they will snag the yarn a little, and it will be hard to move the stitches up the needle. After having scoured the web for solutions to this I've come up with a solution that works for me.

To make your needles nice and smooth you'll need the following:
A nail buffer
Fine grain steel wool
Some lint free soft cloths you're prepared to throw out afterwards
Kitchen paper
Furniture oil, I use MP 52 møbelolje, which is meant to be used on untreated wood. It hardens the surface as it dries, and makes the needles very smooth.
If your skin is easily irritated I'd also recommend wearing latex gloves.

The first thing I do is to smooth the points of the needles with a nail buffer. I use the side that's meant for smoothing ridges from fingernails. Watching a film while doing this helps, as it's rather a monotonous chore. Once the tips are nice and smooth I use a fine grade steel wool to smooth the shaft.

Wipe off the dust with a soft cloth, and use a fresh cloth to oil the needles. Follow the instructions on your furniture oil bottle. If you are using the same kind of oil that I use the cloth you use to oil the needles will have to be thrown out. The oil gets stiff as it dries, and won't come off in wash.

When I've oiled my needles I polish them with another cloth, and leave them to dry overnight on a paper towel, the next day I polish them and then oil them for a second time. Once the oil has dried, and I've polished the needles they're silky smooth. Not quite as smooth as new wooden needles of good quality, but near enough :)

Monday, August 03, 2015

Blog take two

I know that many bloggers go through phases where they're not that active, blogwise. It's been two years since I last posted anything, this is because I've gone through a long period of health problems. It turns out I have suffered from something called Muscular Pain Syndrome which brought on tendinitis and pains, especially in my arms and neck, and for years I had to ration out my strength and capacity. The well known spoon analogy ME sufferers use to explain their lives certainly applies here. I've managed to recover if not completely at least close to that, and this experience has changed my outlook on things.

I feel extremely lucky to have managed to get as well as I am. It was hard work, lots of trial and error, and frustrations galore, and now that my body works again it feels as if I've been given a second chance. I want to find a job I enjoy, be active, knit all the things that I've wanted for years, sew the 1930's men's trousers I've coveted and make replicas of some of my vintage clothes. I want to see if I'll be able to keep my sewing area tidy (how do other people manage it?) and sew up some of the fabrics I've been hoarding (to make room for more :D ). And I want to read and have Miss Marple and Poirot film marathons, not because that's all I can manage, but because it makes me feel great :)

In the midst of all this I'll give blogging a second go too. I'll aim to post at least once a week, expect to find blogs on the things I've made since I last posted, and possibly some book reviews.

Finally, here's a picture of yours truly enjoying a nice cup of tea, wearing my red miss Lemon jumper :)