tirsdag 27. november 2012


Since the little rib jacket worked out so nicely, I've decided to make one for myself! I'm using the same type of yarn, and have chosen ochre, which I think is a nice colour for all seasons. And I happened to find perfect buttons for it as well! I will make notes as I go, and share instructions with you when I'm done.


fredag 23. november 2012


Cleaning wool garments might seem like a difficult an risky task to many. Here are some tips on how you can treat your wooly stuff. 

-Keep the yarn label with washing instructions when you knit a garment. Have a book with notes on what you knitted with which yarn, so that you can go back for washing instructions in case you forget.

-Wool labeled to be machine washed should be machine washed. The result is usually better than hand wash. One of the reasons might be that a machine is best at rinsing out the soap. These yarns are also usually treated so that they don't shrink.

-Make sure to use the right type of detergent, and don't use softener when it says "do not use softener", as some might feel tempted to do so anyway. Don't use normal detergent, as these have enzymes that can break and damage wool fibers.

-Don't soak wool. When in soapy water, treat the garment carefully. Squeeze the water out without twisting and do the same twice in clean water, or as many times you need until the soap is gone. 

-Keep the same temperature at all times! Don't rinse in cold water, but the same temperature you washed with. It's not necessarily hot water that shrinks wool, but temperature changes and movement.

-Fleece yarn, or loosely spun yarn will felt in a machine. If you don't wish for that result, hands and bucket is the best way to do it.

-When you hand wash chunky and/or big garments, you can send it for a short spin in your machine. That way you save days of drying. 

-Don't hang your knitted wear over a line or on a hanger to dry. It will stretch and loose its/take another shape. Lie it down flat, with a thick towel underneath. Turn it every now and then so that it dries on both sides. If it's a light weight or small piece of garment (or has had a spin), you can hang it over two or three lines on your drying rack. 

-Steam iron your wool wear on the wrong side. Not only for the best looking result, but also to flatten fibers so that you avoid bumps. Make sure to use the right temperature.

-Remove bumps. Wool is not necessarily of bad quality if it makes bumps. Some yarn types have more loose and/or short fibers, which turns into bumps when exposed to friction, usually under arms. Bumps are lightly to "steal" more fibers, so make sure to take them off when they appear. There are battery driven bump removers, but be careful when you use them, as they can eat their way into the garment.

If you are a knitter that simply hates bumps, you'll have to stick with sport yarns, sock yarns, and other yarns that have several threads spun together.

-Last but not least: wool wear doesn't really need to be washed very often. If it smells, hang it outside for a few hours, and it will smell fresh again! If you spilled something on it, you can probably remove the spot without putting the whole garment in water. But remember that dirty clothes wear faster...

Save up wool stuff for a wool washing day. But do it often enough so that you don't run out of stuff to wear in the mean time! (I usually clean smaller stuff in the bathroom sink whenever I need to, and keep bigger stuff in a pile for a washing day.) It might not be great fun, but is definitely worth it. Your garments will be happy, pretty and age with grace!


onsdag 21. november 2012


These mittens are based on Selbu mitten patterns from Terri Shea's "Selbuvotter" ( Norwegian book here ). I've put together front pattern and back pattern from different mittens to create my own versions. They are knitted with Norwegian wool. The best thing about them is that they felt slightly with wear, which makes them even more durable! 


tirsdag 20. november 2012

søndag 18. november 2012


So..here's a tip on how to impress with something quite easy, making it look really difficult..if you feel the need to. 

I did mention earlier in this post that I don't like knitting lace. I still feel the same, if not stronger after struggling and making mistakes with the spider's web project. But despite my lace frustration I have managed to finish a scarf, and actually had quite fun doing it!
I wanted to find one technique that looks like lace, but is easy enough for me to do. With lace you often have to repeat a series of several varying rows to make one section of the pattern. But the one I have used to make this scarf has only one! The only variation is how many stitches you knit (2 and 3) before you start knitting the pattern on the right side of the project. This is all you need to create the pattern, and after a while you might even remember what to do without looking at the instructions. Again, the pattern ("vine lace") is picked from Barbara Walkers knitting treasury.


mandag 12. november 2012


Making a new design means one has to test out some idèas first. For example: how does the yarn work with different sizes of needles? Or what pattern and which technique works with different types of yarn? Can I make a pocket, does that work on this design? And what about the collar?
I keep this in mind whenever I knit for babies. Knitting a mini-garment is a great way of testing things out. Although certain things works out very differently on adult wear and baby wear, I still get an image on how to bring my experience from the mini version into the adult sized garment.

This little jacket is one of my tests. Although it is a very simple design, I wanted to see how the yarn worked with raglan sleeve and press buttons. A collar seemed like too much for a little one, so I will have to deal with that issue when I knit this model for myself. The rib knit makes it thick, soft and light. I can only imagine how cozy it will be on a cold winter's day!

Madicken in her knitted jacket to the left, via TVminnen 
The inspiration for this jacket came when I watched the film Madicken, which is based on a story written by Astrid Lindgren. I happened to have some of this yarn in my stash, and needed only two skeins to make a size 3-6 months (using another cardi for measuring). With European needle size 5,5 as recommended for this yarn, I knitted from the top. To me that is the best way when knitting raglan sleeves. This yarn is loosely spun and can also be felted. When the little jacket was finished, I washed it by hand, carefully rubbing it in foamy soap to soften the fibers a bit. I will note down and share instructions for the adult version!

PS: Next time I knit this jacket for a baby, it will be slightly shorter, but have longer arms to fold up if needed. 


fredag 9. november 2012


The most beautiful tweed yarn comes from Brooklyn Tweed!
Not only do they make a beautiful range of colours, they also have great designers putting together collections of contemporary, yet nostalgic design for them every season. 


onsdag 7. november 2012


A friend gave me this ball of yarn, but there was no label on it. I think it might be goat hair, as it is very stiff and tightly spun, a thin yarn of long, natural white and grey hairs. Since this ball has no matching partner, what is better than makin a narrow, open laced scarf to make the most out of it? So I am challenging myself with the Starlight lace, which can be found in this book by Barbara Walker. The book is number two out of four books presenting a great collection of lace, cables and other techniques. Very useful if you make your own design, or just want to learn more about knitting.

Although I don't hate knitting lace, I don't love it either.. I can't watch the tellie or be social while doing it! Instead I have to keep my nose down into a book and at all times keep track on which row I'm on, phew! Some laces are easy, especially when they only require two varying rows. But many laces have more than 10 rows of different technique, which makes me stay as far away from them as possible! Wish me luck on this one...

The stiffness of this yarn makes a very interesting effect, it could probably look like a spiders web in a more open pattern. I look forward to finish, block, and maybe even steam iron it to make it nice and flat. Cross fingers for great amounts of patience the next few days!


tirsdag 6. november 2012


After a few moves I have a pretty big collection of leftover yarn. Finally I took them out of the bags and put them up in my shelf. To be able to use it up, I try to find some good projects for them all!

I often buy single skeins of yarns to test it out with different techniques. And because I prefer certain types of yarn, I seem to end up with a few skeins of the same type and brand, in a variety of colours. The yarn I have used in this project is a 2-ply 100% wool yarn that can be used for felting. But it works fine in normal knit as well, as long as it is washed carefully. It comes in a range of beautiful and rich colours.

Making these patches is a great tv-watching project! Put them in a project basket until you feel you have enough to make a blanket. It's never too late to add a few patches anyway!
This project works fine with many types of yarn and needle size, but here is some info on the yarn and technique I've used:

Crochet needle size: 4 (European)
Yarn: PT2 from Norwegian producer Rauma ull
Method: double stitch (instructions can be found here)

Start with making a loop of about 5 or 6 single stitches, and make your way around the loop with double stitch.Increase every other mask to create a flat patch. Do more or less increases as you go to make sure the patch doesn't curl up. It depends on how tight you crochet as well.

So, as you can see, my blanket is far from finished... I will have to fasten threads and put it all together, and come back to you when I'm done!

torsdag 1. november 2012


This little suit looks like a cowboy's underwear! With garter stitch I knitted raglan from neck and down, measuring against another baby suit as I went on.     I divided the stitches in two for legs and cast off a few stitches between them.   In the end I knitted a piece of soft baby alpaca at the end of each sleeve, and made a nice edging with a crochet needle for the buttons. This yarn is quite rough on anyones skin, but since the little cowboy will wear something under anyway, I don't think it matters. Must admit I'm a bit jealous on cold days!