onsdag 28 november 2012

Birthday Socks

Season of socks continues with a pair of knitted socks that are to be a gift to my nephew. There is nothing extraordinary about them - just plain socks for everyday use. Hopefully they will be used and  worn out in a couple of years (or less).

söndag 25 november 2012

Nostepinne (Nystpinne in Swedish)

A couple of weeks ago I was on the Internet googling images for "nostepinne" (well, that´s the kind of guy I am ...). I already own several so I cannot claim to be in need of more of them. I just like to look at the craftsmanship - a well made tool is as nice to look at as e.g. a well made sweater. And them I saw these and just had to have them.
I tried to choose, but could not favour one before the other so I ordered both of them. And now they have arrived. The quality is very high and the finish is awesome -  I am so very pleased. They are my favourites. They are much thicker (diameter circa 35 mm) and heavier than my other nostepinnes (nystpinnar). The top one in the second picture is made from Sapele and the other one is made from Walnut.

Where did I find them? At Knitting Notions.

"Nostepinnes are tools used for hand winding yarn in a center pull ball. Some times they are referred to as winding sticks. The smooth end is for winding the yarn onto which will leave a soft center when the yarn is removed from the nostepinne; which prevents the ball from having too much tension in it. We turn our nostepinnes from domestic and exotic hardwoods. They are sanded to a fine, smooth finish and linseed oil is then applied followed by a final coat of wax. This creates a very smooth and lasting finish which shows off the beauty of the wood's natural grain and color." (from Knitting Notions)

lördag 17 november 2012

Swatching - twined knitting meets "Føroysk bindingarmynstur"

I had some ideas of using patterns from the book "Føroysk bindingarmynstur" for a project in twined knitting. There are lots of stitch patterns in this book that should work fine in mittens or caps. I just have to "get a feel" of how they present themselves in twined knitting, if they are fun to knit, if the result is satisfying and so on ... The true answer will be seen when the swatch is washed and dry.

I chose to knit the swatch in brown and white to get good contrasts. I am not sure that I will use this colour combination in coming projects.

It is nice to do some twined knitting again after shawl and socks.

fredag 2 november 2012

Bertha Lace Shawl in Jeaba Blue and lifelines

In September we visited Liisa for a day of dyeing yarn with Jeaba. I dyed my yarn blue and decided that I would knit a shawl with it.
I don´t knit lace very often, but I think that it gives nice variation from knitting mittens and socks. I also enjoy the blocking process, since it is very special to see the transformation from that rather messy knitted fabric into the lace shawl´s distinct patterns.
The Bertha Lace Shawl is a pattern from Evelyn Clark. I am very fond of her patterns since I find the instructions easy to understand. Her charts are clear, and there are written instructions for those who prefer that. I prefer knitting lace from charts, I find them very helpful since they are so visual and they give the possibility to relate to previous rows in an easy way. In written lace patterns I often lose track of where in the pattern I am.
I knitted this shawl on  Addi Lace circular needles 4,00 mm, and used 220 grams of my 2-ply yarn. I still have about 180 grams left - will have to think about what to do with that ....

Lifelines: I also recommend  lifelines when knitting lace. It saves hours if something goes wrong and you have to frogg/rip back your knitting. Above you can see the lifeline placed on the previous row. Place your lifeline depending on the complexity of the lace pattern. I often use a nylon thread (the same kind that are used for holding stitches when knitting on a knitting machine), most wool yarns will stick and make trouble when you are to remove the lifelines. I  place a lifeline after the pattern repeats, after checking that everything is right. When placing it you just take a blunt needle for the thread and insert it through the stitches and yarn overs for the entire row. Take care not to wrap it around the needle or insert it through stitch markers. If you have to frogg/rip back your knitting the lifeline will now function as a stopper - holding all your stitches and yarn overs correctly so that all you have to do when picking up the stitches is to let the needle follow the lifeline the entire row. After that you can continue your knitting without having to spend hours trying to re-establish the correct pattern of stitches and yarn overs.