Here it is, the Christmas calendar giveaway. If you share a post in my Christmas calendar on Facebook or Twitter and make a comment on the post you may win this beautiful knitted shawl. Last day to participate is on Sunday, December 18th.
PS. Here's the Christmas calendar blog: http://maiasjulkalender2011.blogspot.com
Here's a sneak peak on the shawl I made for the Christmas calendar lottery/giveaway this year! I will try to take some photos during the day too, but we have so little light right now, and since the rain is pouring down it is even darker than necessary.
Yarn: Thin lace-weight 100% wool yarn from Denmark.
PS. För att delta i utlottningen, gå till Julkalendern och följ instruktionerna där!
It is easy to get lost vertically in the section of the blanket that has the blue motif. To manage this, I hide the following rows in the diagram with a sheet of paper, like this:
This way, what I see on the paper corresponds to what I'm holding in my hand. The following rows are not knitted yet, and I get confused seeing them them. This isn't exactly a pattern where you see the motif until you are done, so my eyes wander back and forth from the paper to the knitting, and I really needed this little help.
To keep track on the rapports horisontally, place markers are invaluable. At least when the pattern is this intricate.
When I visited Stoff och stil for the first time I bought a small purse frame along with all the other stuff that just happened to end up on my receipt. I have never made anything like this before so I tried to find some good tutorials, but most of them were about glueing the bag into the frame, and as I did not have any fancy textile glue, I ended up sewing the fabric to the frame.
Here is the result.
It looks quite neat from the outside and the stitches ended up quite nice. From the outside that is.
On the inside, the stitches show a bit too much...
... but the nice polka dotted and flowery lining pretty much takes your mind off those little errors.
DSs socks are coming along. They are of a spinach/creamy color and when we went to Umeå last weekend I forgot to bring another ball of yarn, so I just had to get another cable from the lovely little yarn store just next to the hotel and begin to knit another pair.
(The colouring is not quite right in the photo, sis!)
The store, Perssons Garn Eftr, was perfect. Small, yet roomy, with lots of different kinds of yarn and reasonable prices. I am sure I will return there next time I am in Umeå.
Some of the last times I bought yarn I got brochures tucked down into my plastic bag. Comparing the brochures, it is quite easy to understand which shop I'd rather visit again. The one below. Without hesitation.
Even though the upper brochure has some really nice patterns, for instance the Iceland sweater, I get so annoyed with this way of presenting patterns. What is it with knitting pattern pictures and trees? Just go lean on a trunk and you get a good picture. Or... not!
When I looked at the brochure below I actually got inspired to get yarn for a sweater to my DS. The fisherman's sweater to the very left is lovely. I don't make any promises, but I got inspired. And I will go back to Strikk! It was not at all pricier than the other shop and the yarns are simply gorgeous.
My DS said that her DH might be happy for a pair of socks for his birthday. That's the black-and-blues up to the right. Under them a pair of 37-38s are finished.
With the yarn left over from the brother-in-law's socks I gave a little baby hat a try. Munchkin is the name of these hats and this is not the most beautiful one I've seen. They should be longer and much pointier.
Have a look here at some sweet newlyborns with munchkin hats. I will keep trying.
As you see I am stuck in sock knitting. Totally. Working with the magic loop knitting a sock goes so fast and working with different kinds of yarn and sometimes lace is so nice.
I am still struggling with the heels though (I accidentally wrote hells instead of heels. There's a Freudian slip for you!). The hourglass heel with its slips and wraps did not give the nice flat heel I wanted, and I really do not want to get into the different kinds of heels with rectangular flaps. I don't think they look nice.
So when I knit some rough socks in Drops Andes (I cast on 28) and the wrap and slip and knit together short row heel left the socks with big holes – again! – I went googling and found the Jo-Jo Heel which gives a better look.
But even with this technique a heel with a yarn this thick is not perfectly tight. I mean, the whole sock is not that very smooth and tight, so the heel can't be better than the rest of the sock. I am fairly satisfied with the heel though.
Here's another attempt, with a Järbo Raggi yarn.
So what you basically do is turn at the end of each short row and then you slip the last stitch you made and pull the yarn over it so that you get a double stitch on the right pin. You go on like that, but when you are supposed to turn the heel you make two rounds all around the sock before you actually turn.
After that you will have to create these double stitches again while expanding the heel. I understand if you don't understand. This is not meant as an instruction (maybe I will get to that later), but more as a taste of where the difference lies.
This technique has many names, Jo-Jo or Yo-Yo heel (silly name, since there are no YOs, no Yarn Overs) or Double stitch short row, but there is also a variant called Boomerang heel that I will try with my next pair of socks.
As mother as daughter... My dear daughter S grabbed the knitting pins and set out knitting her first socks. It's easy helping her because I only need to say what seems to me as a sufficient amount of information. Her mind is a bit like mine and she gets my logic.
When she was ready for the heels it was her grand-mother, my mother, the Heel Master, who was at hand, and she chose not to make hourglass heels.
On the first pair the heels were somewhat over-sized, as were the rest of the socks. But raggsockar are supposed to be big, right?
The second pair of socks were designed to fit with her black boots and they turned out slim and fit, as you can see.
Here's a close-up on the heel design. Sorry about the photos, but it is difficult to shoot black socks in a way that you can actually see how they are knit!
Today DDS will go back to her studies in Umeå. I will miss her!
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Last update on the hourglass heels. I sat knitting for hours today watching season I of Lark Rise to Candleford on YouTube!
Here they are. The second sock has two good sides, so as a total the socks have three good sides. Not too shabby for me.
The yarn is Järbo Raggi Batik, colour 1522. As the toe of the first sock was blue, the top of the next was also blue and it looks a bit like I have knitted the second sock from the bottom and up. Which I haven't.
As soon as I finished these little pilot project socks I started a new pair for my youngest daughter. Red yarn. Gull wing lace in the front. I'll get back to you on that project.
So... I thought I'd managed to understand the hourglass heel. And I went on knitting pretty much in the dark and felt very proud of myself. Until I turned on the lights and saw that there was a row of holes in the diagonal. Fail.
I went to sleep and woke up about half past three in the night. We have had an Indian summer the last couple of days and the heat was unbearable. So of course I went about googling and thought I found the answer.
When turning the heel I needed to include both of the rounds of yarn that I had put around the slipped stitch. If you have never made an hourglass heel, read the instructions I linked to in the last post.
And now it turned out OK. Not gorgeous, but OK. And, at least on the one side.
On the other side I must have turned the stitches the wrong way, see below. But I have one more sock to go, so this time I considered the work good enough and did not frog it.
And I will try to be better in updating the blog. I will. Really I will.
Today I just want to mention that I am trying to knit a pair of socks. With hourglass heels. I really did not want any other kind of heels. And I really didn't want hourglass heels with a row of ugly holes. So at last, after searching the internet and trying again and again I finally think I've got it.
I was in New York a week ago. Sunday 20th March we strolled downtown, visited Barnes & Noble at Union Square, had a frappuccino at Starbuck's in the corner and found our way to legendary Purl Soho this sunny day!
I have been following the PurlBee blog for quite some time now, so it was really irresistible to pay a visit to this store while in NY. The shop was small, but lovely. I parked DH and DD on the handy bench just inside the door and scanned the walls and baskets to find at least one skein of yarn to bring home as a souvenir.
I can't say that the prices really fit my budget, but if you want quality you will have to pay for it, right? I found a lovely yellow-brownish skein of yarn (on discount) and some perfectly colour-matched buttons to go with it. And they even wound it up to a ball for me, while I waited. And two people in the staff gave me compliments on my new white Clovis shawl! Very nice!
The yarn will eventually become a purse. I have a light brown fabric with small polca dots for the lining.
At Barnes & Noble, I picked up the super smart Stitchionary 5 from Vogue. It is all about lace knitting, and just what I need to get to understand some kinds of lace better. Works well with my way of thinking. No lace knitting for the Purl Soho Yarn, though. That yarn stands for itself in plain stockinette knitting, I think.
Fru Albertsson has had her 10.000th visitor and celebrates this with a yarn and scissors giveaway! Here's a link to her blog. Fru Albertsson blogs in Swedish but please try your luck with Google translate to get to know her better. One very nice thing about following her blog is that it gets you inspired to crochet and knit for charity. She has made numerous little cardigans for children in need.