Thursday, 30 September 2010

Pattern to the Owl Cable Rib

I knit a miniature owl cable as rib on a mitten and it looked quite nice. In this case I used a rather thick yarn , so with thinner yarn you might want to stack several owls or use each stitch as two (in this case: Double width of owl and purled rib, double height of all "white" rows, and cable with two stitches over rather than just one). Rib should be about an inch wide or wider to avoid curling.

Owl is 4 stitches wide and there are two purl stitches between each owl. That means that your number of stitches has to be dividable with 6. With my thick yarn for mittens that meant only 5 owls (30 stitches).

Red arrow left = lift stitch over to the left on front of work (cable)
Red arrow down = stitch goes to the left on back of work (crossing with the green)
Green arrow right = lift stitch over to the right on front of work (cable)
Green arrow down = stitch goes to the right (crossing with the red) on back of work.
Blue = purl stitch
Black diamond = the stitches you start on (in my case the CO stitches).

Tip:  If you want a slightly less chubby owl, add one row to head and two rows to body.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Zombie knitted hat

I talked with H about knitting hats (apropos the fish hat I am knitting), and the idea of a zombie hat came up. The possible design of such a hat has been discussed and my latest proposal was a balaclava style hat with the mouth of the zombie around the face of the wearer. I even made a nice sketch of it. Somehow I didn't manage to sell my idea.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

New project started

It is this.

Cable socks

I also finished these, actually before I finished H's socks (in Carolina acrylic yarn on s4 DPNs) - this is the finer gauge needle project I mentioned I wanted to do, or rather, this is what I did. If there is interest I might write down the pattern for these and post here?


I started these a couple of months back actually, but finally - done. H's space invader socks.

I started knitting intarsia in socks because someone told me it is very difficult. It isn't (I have knit much larger intarsia patterns than this!), but it is extremely wearisome to deal with all the ends, so I don't think I will do it for quite a while now...

Here you go, documentation of the finished product. Arctic wool yarn on s5 DPNs.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Black, blacker, blackest shadow of the night

After building furniture and moving stuff around for almost nine hours, I finally realised that just eating a few slices of toast for the entire day wouldn't suffice and that part of my hyperness came from not having eaten, which gave everything a strange unreal shine and had my mind buzzing. Around the same time I realised that having something to eat for breakfast would be a good thing also.

So at 2120 I put on shoes to head down to the local supermarket to look for dinner. After getting groceries however, I decided it was such a nice night - crisp autumn air, moonlight, etc - so, groceries in hand, I went for a brisk walk exploring streets and parks I hadn't been in before.

It was so lovely being out - walking among trees, just standing there looking up at them silhouetted against the moonlit skies, spinning, walking on, going the wrong way, backtracking to not wind up on the wrong side of the rail tracks. I am deeply attracted to shadows when I am out on such nights, and kept going towards the blackest shadows I could see. I don't like being exposed in the light, I suppose. Street lights are scary, too. Hiding in the shadows I feel safer, more relaxed. But, this being a suburb to a city, no shadow were really deep enough for me.

And then, spinning around in the blackness under some big pines, looking up, tiredness caught up to me and hit me on the back of the head.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Reading status

Several factors affect how much I read; these two are the main ones:
1) Social interaction
2) Craftiness

The past half year I have been both spending time outside of work with other living people not in my computer, and been rather crafty. Thus, less read than normal.

I reread the Maisie Dobbs books, I read the neweset Pern book (Todd McCaffrey), I read some fantasy - Poison Study (Maria Snyder), Graceling (Kristin Cashore), The Snow Queen, The Serpent's Shadow (both by Lackey), the Paksenarrion trilogy (Elizabeth Moon), and The Floating Island (Elizabeth Haydon). I read The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson (one of my favourite authors), two mysteries by Tony Hillerman, and now I am reading Inda (Sherwood Smith) and Antarctica (KSR) paralell, though I like Antarctica so much that I believe I will finish that one before picking up Inda again. Antarctica might very well wind up on my Top5 list of books I like if it keeps this up. The fantasy literature I mostly chew through is all well and good but the reason I read it is undeniably that it is "light" literature, quick easy reads with mostly happy endings, and rarely something that makes a mark. Antarctica, being very-close-future, is a different piece of cake and one that thoroughly sates my appetite.

My to-read stack is vast and deep, and very varied in both genre and topic, so who knows where I will head next.

But first: Antarctica. Building new bookshelves and work corner (old furniture cluttering up that corner already out, thanks to H for the help! Now just to hope I will get it sold...). Finishing two pairs of socks that lack toes. Get well from this damned cold.

Sent the orange hat off to a recipient not expecting it, and it was very well received, apparently! I like it when the things I make get new good homes.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Patterns and yarns.

I never really learnt to knit from patterns, I just improvised my own things while knitting them. I could never make out any of the gibberish the Norwegian and Swedish patterns I have seen been written in, so I gave up that entire approach to the craft.

Inevitably I started noting down things in my own shorthand, for instance how to make a pair of socks that fits me in a certain yarn. This shorthand was based on my internal language which is English (amusingly enough my internal voice sounds very British), and when I read an English pattern for the first time it turned out to be basically the same as my own shorthand. K for "knit", p for "purl", and so on. Not too hard.

So, suddenly I could read English knitting patterns with only sporadic need for searching the net to figure out what something meant ( has been invaluable!). Recently I made another attempt at a Swedish pattern and I could actually figure it out with a bit of effort! So progress. Maybe I can even write down my own patterns in a way that others can read soon?

I have also been figuring out my own way of doing things, like knitting cable, so recently I was asked how I have been managing to knit cables for 15 years without a cable needle OR lifting the stitches off the needle. So I made a video to explain how I do. It is in Swedish and crappy quality so I am far from sure I want to show it here though - maybe if there is interest for it actively expressed  I will.

Yarns then.
Last winter I mostly knitted using the Arctic yarn I made my mother buy me in Norway and send me. Of course with the shipping it stopped being good price, but it is still a favourite woolen yarn, nice quality on the result, it can be felted but it can also be machine washed without turning into items made for a doll, and easy to knit.

This year I am experimenting. I bought a bunch of different yarns (and that one Swedish pattern) off Lotta at, and have been knitting stuff out of several of them. So far, so fun! Will see what comes out of the rest of it. I haven't shopped yarns online before, but Torgstenen has good prices and a good selection, and she is really nice, so I can recommend the place!

And now.. in Norway a few weeks ago I saw a yarn I totally crave. Kashmir Alpakka form SandnesGarn, not at all my colours (too neutral, though the black, dark brown and dark purple of course could be usable) but SO lovely to touch, and looks great knitted too. Not quite my regular pricerange at around 80NOK/50g but.. well. Damn. So, good/bad that it isn't available here ;-p

And that orange hat? I sent it off to someone that I have never met NOR talked to, but who had expressed to someone else that she hoped I would knit her something, and specified colours (and, I presume, didn't expect anyone to pass the information on or take her seriously). No comment attached.

Sunday, 19 September 2010


Red and green hat, knitted sideways and with increases and decreases. Trysilgarn Arctic, s5 needles.

Carolina (which is an acrylic yarn), knitting with double yarn (orange and black) on s6 needles. Gives plenty of opportunity to knit in small semihidden patterns! The orange is more orange in reality than it looks here.

And some detail from the orange/black: 

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Knitting projects

I still haven't finished H's space invader socks; mainly because I need him to sit still when I am knitting so I can try them on him and figure out a workaround for the pattern, and that sort of time just haven't existed. I have also been struggling with a hat that I am about to frog for the fourth time to reknit, hoping to get it right this time.

However I did finish a pair of striped socks for myself during late summer, and I also knit a hat (not on picture). Then I have knit some mittens! I always find it a bother to have to take off my mittens to dig out a bus card when it is cold, so these are bus card mittens where you can get your fingers out to look for those pesky keys, bus cards, and whatnot, without taking the entire mitten off. Buttons neatly away too of course, for those a bit warmer days.

The green and red ones are new; the grey ones I knit last winter but gave new buttons. Notice the owl cable in the green ones - there are also owl cable ribbing on the "hood". I have tried to make the "hood" decorative on both sides as well.

Up for grabs if you want them, holler! 
Up for grabs if you want them, holler! 
Given away! 
In all honesty though; most of these things are bound to be given away. I don't need a million pairs of mittens myself :)

Yarn: Socks and grey/purple mittens - Trysilgarn Arctic, s5 needles.
The other two pairs of mittens: Tuva on s.6 needles.

Time for me to knit something on finer needles (especially seeing as the failing hat is on s.9!!)... and I got some alpacka yarn that will suit me well I think!


Monday we were both at home together - FINALLY, Linus seemed to say, happily throwing himself on the bed. While visiting Nestor and Nemesis isn't horrible, being at home is better than anything, clearly. Seeing him so happy is good :)

I too stayed in the bed for an entire day, with tea and the computer.

Out walking/Golta

Niece, Sister-in-law, Sister, Niece, Dog. 
The outermost island, then ocean.
Rowan trees in a tiny valley (aka. Wind Tunnel) grow the same way.
Rock diving straight into the sea.
It was a fairly warm day for being midseptember, more like summer.


It is election year in Sweden. Media is filled with politics, and roadsides are plastered with "vote for me me me me!" posters.

I voted yesterday, in advance. Not being a Swedish citizen, I am not allowed to vote in the national elections only the local. In that sense it was easy for me: I simply considered what affects my daily life the most of the questions raised by the various parties, and the biggest factor was easy to pinpoint: public transportations.

What seriously bothered me was that my votes, individually put in sealed envelopes, were then put in a bigger envelope together with my voting card (containing my name and adress). Then these were together put into the urn. Anonymous voting ftw... The purpose of this is to get the area you live in correct, because stupidly enough voting in stockholm is arranged much like in the US or UK - by region. And even if a person/party gets alot of votes overall they might not get a slot because the votes weren't enough in any single area. Which makes it a stupid system in my opinion. Still, I think the identification of the area could have been done in an anonymous way. Like a tear off part on the voting card which was added to the envelope, without any personal identification on it.

Tried taking some pictures of myself for a work-related thing yesterday but dunno, I might try again a bit later. This is one I definitely won't use.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010


My vacation officially started friday after work, but yesterday I "forgot" and went in anyway. It was somewhat planned; I held three different workshops for three different groups of people. And it was fun! I remembered that I like my job, why I like my job, and was all day going <3 at my colleagues, although I think they wouldn't know.  My uncurable optimism again came to the fore - maybe because I had gotten three good nights sleep and felt better from the cold and thus better than I have felt since before summer.

Today then became the first real off day - and was celebrated by
1) doing as little as possible (printing tickets for tomorrow, doing dishes, sending a last e-mail to my boss)
2) eating two hefty pieces of meat, with a symbolic amount of fries, and drinking Hansa (which is a Norwegian beer, hailing from the west coast, for you uninitiated people out there).

Tomorrow lots of things are happening - or should happen. 
Bringing Linus over to his step-siblings Nestor and Nemesis, where he will stay while I am gone.
Catching a bus to the airport, and then getting on the right plane to Bergen/Norway - after managing to get myself through security.
Finding my sister at the airport - I hope!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Early autumn update

Still have that persistent cold, and I no longer have any hope of being well by thursday. Today I am working - holding three workshops, to be specific - and I just hope I can keep talking that long without my nose going all runny on my. In the worst case I guess I'll just have to plug my nose with paper and keep going.. ;)

At some point I have to pack. I hate packing. My short-term memory isn't good enough to keep track of what I put in the bag and what I haven't put in the bag, so unless I use lists which I double check I might wind up with a very strange combination of things to bring. Still; it is going to be fun, I hope. More than three years since I last was in those parts of Norway, which are after all the place I feel most at home in that strange country.

Otherwise? Got an insect bite in the middle of my palm, and it is itching like mad. What kind of fucked up bugs bite you in the middle of the palm only? Spiders in the fruit at the supermarket?
Guess that is what I get for not being persistent with wearing gloves. Yep - as far as I am concerned it is autumn which means I get to wear gloves, scarves, hats, boots. Yay!