Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sweden 2010 - Part 2 - The Snow

The Day I arrived in Sweden about half a meter of snow was dumped on the country (well, at least where I went). As the sun was out, it made for nice photos.

It had been below freezing for more than two months and the sea close the coast and the smaller harbors are all frozen over.

Some people didn't get their boats out of the water in time:

Some just enjoy that they can ski over the water:

The birds may have some trouble finding their feeding stations:

I mentioned it was cold, right?

Cycling was possible in principle, but first one had to find his bike:

Picnicing may also be somewhat difficult:

And finding out where you buried uncle Sven also was a challenge:

Sweden 2010 - Part 1 -The Crafts

Olympic Games means for me usually (or at least for three times now), a visit to my sister in Sweden. We watched the Games (of course) but I also spent time with my nephew (making big progress on MySims Agents) and doing crafts. Last time I did some quilting projects as well as some socks and some beading. This time I did sew a bag, finished a pair for socks, started a new pair of socks, stitched a bit and got a cold - I could have done without the last one though.

As a little present for my sister I made her the second Daybreak shawl in a smaller size.

She seemed to like it, so I'm happy.
The yarns are again Zauberball, though this time in the color 'Frische Fische', and the Istex Einband.

On our trip to Boras (spelled with that little circle over the 'a', but somehow I can't get my keyboard to make that symbol) I did pick up a small DMC kit for a bracelet with metallic thread which I stitched up on the same day.

Nice and glittery and very easy.

I also sewed a Grab Bag, which is a small and fairly easy to make bag for smallish projects (i.e. socks)

Actually, I did make two, but the second one is a present, so I can't show it here ...

And finally, I knitted the first of two Skew Socks. The pattern is quite unusual and borders on genius. For a while there you don't know what you're doing until that one magical 'origami' moment when you finish the heel and everything comes together.

From the front:
And from the back:
I really, really like how this sock turned out.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Once in while a knitting pattern comes along, which is, at least for me, like a good book. Once you start, you can't stop. 'Just one more row' easily turns into an hour or more of happy knitting and though you can't wait to have the finished object, you threat the moment you're done because it has been so much fun.

One of those projects is 'Daybreak' by Stephen West. It's a fairly simple semicircular shawl with stripes and can be knitted in three different sizes. I've bought the pattern when the 'pattern for Haiti' was one, meaning that a large percentage of the proceeds went directly to a charity to aid the people after that terrible earthquake one month ago (though, I have to admit, that was not the main reason - I just wanted the pattern)
I saw several people on Ravelry using Schoppel Zauberball yarn in the colors 'Schokocreme' (brown/creme) and 'gebrannte Mandeln' (red/brown/orange) and as I had one ball of the 'gebrannte Mandeln' in my stash I thought it a pretty cool idea. I also had a ball of 'Schokocreme', but had knitted it up already last year for a triangular scarf.
Now, I could try to get another ball of the 'Schokocreme' or I could try something else. So I dove into my pile of wool and came up with three skeins of Ístex Loðband Einband, an laceweight yarn I've bought in Iceland last summer, in the color black.

I have to say, I'm very happy with the combination. The reds and orange colors work very nicely with the black and the black make those colors simply pop.

While blocking I found it had a bit different shape than I expected, but I like it. As the 'arms' of the shawl are somewhat longer, they stand well on my shoulder when I'm wearing the shawl.
Even though I knew I was knitting the 'large' version of the pattern it turned out a bit bigger than I really wanted. Done the center line it's a good 60cm long, and across about 150cm.

This picture is probable truest in color. Isn't it gorgeous?

The Icelandic yarn was very rough while knitting, but it softened a lot in the wash and it blocked out beautifully. The Zauberball is a dream to work with and I know this won't be the last project using that yarn.

By the way, I did cast on a second daybreak already ....

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Careful What You Wish For

Well, the snow is gone. Most of it at least. There are still splotches of it here and there where there used to be piles of it. Though, next week, the forecast is for the temps to be below freezing again. I will guess winter is not beaten yet.

New socks:

Pattern is called 'Pyroclastic' and can be found on Knitty (where else?). I seriously love them. The foot part is a bit unusual in such they are knitted with a bias, but it makes for a great fit.
I liked that idea so much, I started with a second pair like this, though this time just with a simple 3-3 rib.

One sock's done and I'm working on the second one right now.

Other than socks I've started on 'Daybreak' a semicircle shaped shawl using some Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball (in red / brown / orange) together with some of the lace weight Icelandic wool I've bought last year. I think it's a pretty good match.