torsdag 31 december 2015

All the best for 2016!

Swatches and samplers
Happy New Year to all of you! 

"There is something in every human soul which seeks to create a thing of beauty, given any sort of opportunity and materials to do so. Throughout all ages people have pursued their own ideas of beauty, building, shaping, weaving, painting, decorating. They have carried on that pursuit through every medium that ever came to hand: wood, stone, feathers, bone, ivory, cloth, jewels, metals, glass, clay, shell, leather, pigment ... and yarn. Knitting is very much part of that age-old pursuit of the beautiful. Many patterns known today were first formed by hands that have become dust hundreds or even thousand years ago; but the same patterns may still be formed by other hands. Thus knitting is a true folk art, in that it has been developed over the course of centuries by millions of ordinary people, whose delight it was to create beauty with their hands."

"Every knitter should keep a "sample box" of patterns that have been learned, to serve for future reference. Test swatches can be saved, so that they can be reconsulted and re-checked for gauge when you are deciding on a pattern for a new garment. A very pleasant way to learn many patterns, and still make good use of the yarn, is to knit some article as a sampler. Delightful afghans can be made in sampler style out of squares, each knitted in a different pattern."

"Never sit down and begin a garment, then, in a new and unfamiliar pattern without first making a test swatch. Most really experienced knitters do this as a matter of course. Having made the test swatch and blocked it, you must take its gauge."

"So - don't just knit something. Knit something beautiful." 

Barbara G. Walker, from the Introduction to "A Treasury of Knitting Patterns"

onsdag 30 december 2015

Toppur - hat by Vedis Jonsdottir

This was a quick knit in Alafoss Lopi and dbpns 6,00 mm. This was the first time I knitted a hat with ear flaps. Followed the description. If I knit one more I will make some changes since it is on the small side for me (only one size given in the pattern notes).

måndag 28 december 2015

One more grey hat in twined knitting

Just one more grey hat in twined knitting before we end this year. This one is based on the same model that I made in November with an addition of a stitch pattern from an old sweater in Dala-Floda.
Today we got the first snow this winter. In comparison with previous winters it is very late, but not uncommon.

måndag 14 december 2015

A simple ribbed toque

A simple ribbed toque
I do not know your views on knitting gifts  - I myself tend to avoid the stress related to having a fixed date for finishing a project. Especially in December! But - if you are searching for a nice knitted gift, to be finished before December 24th, I recommend this simple hat.
It is a free pattern. A Quick easy knit resulting in a very flexible size.

lördag 21 november 2015

Baby Jacket from 1950

Baby Jacket, pattern from 1950
I do like old knitting books and traditional knitting. That is no secret to those of you who have visited this blog. The pattern for this baby jacket can be found in the (Swedish) book "Vi syr Vi stickar Vi virkar" (translated that would be "We sew We knit We crochet") published in 1950 by Aktiv hushållning.
Vi syr Vi stickar Vi virkar published by Aktiv Hushållning 1950
The book is made for (my translation) "the members of Sweden´s many craft groups and all those who in schools, homes and associations work with sewing, knitting and crochet". It strives to provide patterns and instructions for projects that are useful in everyday life. You will find patterns for children´s clothing, aprons of different kinds, sweaters, socks, mittens, blankets, table cloths etc. I like it because it is, in many ways, so very hands on.
Baby jacket
The baby jacket that I have knitted could be called a Swedish classic. You can still find the pattern with minor alterations or variations in recent published books. I have also noticed that it is, in Sweden, often mentioned in association with discussions regarding short-rows. The design is very clever. The jacket is not knitted bottom-up or top-down, nor is it knitted in pieces. It is knitted side-ways in one piece and all the shaping is made with short-rows. The entire description of this jacket takes less that half a page. It is impressing!
Short-row shaping
I wouldn't recommend this pattern for an inexperienced knitter though. That is because you really have to have control of the number of rows and the short-row shaping. The condensed instructions offer no help regarding how to do that. If you are an experienced knitter you will understand this when reading the pattern through and prepare for that. Also note that the needle sizes and yarns are not applicable today, nor are gauge or size given.

lördag 14 november 2015

Grey hat in twined knitting

I have knitted a new hat in twined knitting. Not because it was needed due to the weather, but because twined knitting is the most relaxing form of knitting that I know of. It is a plain grey hat, tightly fitted. Instead of my usual beginning, with alternating rows of knit and purl, I used a "pattern" that is rather common on traditional mittens.
This hat is part of testing twined knitting in a rather thick 3-ply, s-plied yarn on needles 3,00 mm. Beside the "ridges" on the surface of the knitting, due to the use of an s-plied yarn, I find the result OK.

söndag 8 november 2015

Planning to knit a lopapeysa (Icelandic sweater)

Pattern books from Lopi
These last years there has been an increasing interest in the Icelandic sweater.  I have always liked the yokes of these sweaters. But since I am not much of a sweater knitter I have never knitted one.  However, after encountering them over and over again on the Internet, Ravelry and blogs I have decided to knit one.
First I browsed images on Google, then I looked for patterns on Ravelry and the yarn company sites. I then decided to buy some pattern books from Lopi - I tried to find some with more traditional patterns and colours.

These sweaters are not as old as I first imagined. They date from around the 1950´s. Here are some links if you want more information about them:
Wikipedia - Lopapeysa
Plan Iceland - Lopapeysa, the Icelandic sweater
Contributoria -  The (knitted) fabric of society - The story of the Icelandic sweater
Swatch, knitted with needles 6,00 mm
After deciding which pattern I wanted to knit I realised that the main part of these sweaters is knitted on needles 6.00 mm. I had to search our house for needles that thick - I have never knitted a project the required needles that thick. I found a pair of plastic needles (don´t ask) that I could use for the swatch. I then realised that my knitting was tighter than the recommendations in the pattern. I probably could have solved this the easy way by changing to thicker needles and thus get the required amount of stitches that would correspond to the pattern. 7.00 mm - Hmmm .... No. I decided to recalculate the pattern adapted to my gauge on needles 6.00 mm. It takes a bit of thinking but it is not to complicated.
Alafosslopi, yarn from Istex.
I then turned my mind to that of colours. Alafosslopi now is available in a lot of different colours. I had learnt that the original sweaters were often knitted in bright and rather daring colour combinations. But I have always liked the natural colour scale, so I decided that my first lopapeysa would not be a brightly coloured one.
KniPro Zing
Yes, I also had to buy new needles for this project, both double pointed (I do not want to be caught using the plastic needles) and circular ones. I decided to try the new needles from KnitPro called Zing.

I am looking forwards to knit this sweater. but I have decided that I first have to finish some ongoing projects - otherwise they could turn into UFO´s. Hopefully I will get started before Christmas.

See the finished sweater here.

onsdag 4 november 2015

Revlingar - Vålbergsgarn

One more pair of revlingar. This time I used "Linnea" a Vålbergsgarn from Wålstedts.
A quick and nice knit.
... and of course very warm.

tisdag 27 oktober 2015

Blue Hat with a [k3, p1] ribbing

One more hat that is knit in the same way as the ones I knitted this summer. This time I used a blue yarn from Marks & Kattens and a twined knitting cast-on.
Rather a quick knit and uncomplicated.

lördag 24 oktober 2015

Twin Rib Socks

Sock knitting has continued. This is a pair of socks with a Twin Rib cuff. The blue yarn in the heel and the toe is 4-ply Strikkegarn from Rauma. Very strong and 100% wool.
For those of you that want to knit the Twin Rib, this is the chart for knitting it in the round. 

torsdag 22 oktober 2015


Revlingar, an old form of knitted wrist-warmers worn by fishermen of old on the Swedish West-coast. They have a special shape and are very functional. I have never seen an old pair of revlingar. I have read about them and seen pictures and descriptions of recently knitted ones. They all have this shape.
These are knitted in garter stitch. I guess you could use any other stitch pattern that you prefer. They are excellent projects for learning how to knit, and also nice gifts.
I used a thin 2-ply yarn from Filtmakeriet and needles 2,50 mm. They are 12 cm wide (I casted on 32 stitches) and 38 cm long, not including the decrease part that is 5 cm. When I had three stitches left after decreasing, I knitted a 55 cm long i-cord. You could make a braid or make a crochet chain instead if that is what you prefer. Just make it long enough to wrap around your wrist a couple of times. One pair of this size used about 85 grams of yarn.

tisdag 22 september 2015

"General directions for knitted articles"

from "Knitted Articles Officially endorsed by the American Red Cross"

General directions for knitted articles

Stitches should not be cast on too tightly. Knitting should be done evenly and firmly, and all holes (caused by carelessly slipping stitches from one needle to the other) should be avoided.

Joining should be done by splicing or by leaving two or three inches at each end of the yarn to be darned in carefully.

To make an even edge always slip the first stitch of each row when knitting with two needles.

All knots, lumps or other irregularities should be most carefully avoided, especially in socks, as they are apt to blister the feet.

When taking measurements lay work smoothly on table. Do not stretch.

(from "Knitted Articles Officially endorsed by the American Red Cross")

Lucinda Gosling - Knitting for Tommy
I have read two books on knitting during WWI. Lucinda Goslings book "Knitting for Tommy - Keeping the Great War Soldier Warm" is a very interesting read about the almost unbelievable amount of knitting that was done during WWI to support the British troups. 

"Knitting for soldiers and sailors in 1914 became a national pastime - perhaps even a mania. ... Appeals were published in the press, working parties were formed and women's magazines published patterns, often known as 'recipes', for a whole range of knitted garments to provide succour and comfort to men at the front. Knitted comforts soon began to be collected officially by various charities and organisations. Queen Mary's Needlework Guild, which produced an estimated 15.5 million separate items during the war, many of them knitted, requested that all donations  be sent to the collection centre at Friary Court, St James's Palace"
Lucinda Gosling - Knitting for Tommy
Everyone that could (or could learn to), was encouraged to knit for the front. Knitting was going on everywhere; at the theatre, at work during breaks, on the bus, at dinner parties and so on. Not only women knitted. Men at home knitted, children knitted, wounded soldiers at the hospitals knitted. Just about everyone knitted! Poems about knitters were published in magazines. Songs about knitters were composed and played on the radio. Competitions in knitting socks took place. Yarn companies published patterns with instructions and basic information about how to knit.

Before reading this book I knew that there had been knitting for the front during WWI, but I had never understood the amount of it. In many ways I find this book moving. It is impossible to read about this without imagining how tough a situation it must have been both for the men at the front and all the people that for various reasons were still at home. Lucinda Gosling's text is rich on information but apart from that the book also contains loads of pictures of high interest. There is also a chapter on Great War knitting in other countries.
The Priscilla war work book ...
The other book that I read was "The Priscilla war work book, including Directions for Knitted Garments and Comfort Knits from The Americam Red Cross, and Knitted Garments for The Boy Scouts"

This book is a scanned version of the two books referred to in it's title. The quality of the print is not very good, but it is as the publisher says: "We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide."

The Priscilla war work book ...
It is a pity that the quality of the print is not better. But it is possible, with some effort, to read the patterns. Typical patterns are for mufflers, helmets, socks, mittens, gloves and sweaters.

I find the book very interesting and there are items here that would be fun to knit and equally useful today as they were then.

tisdag 15 september 2015

Yarn from Latvia

Big package from Latvia
Today a big package sent from Latvia was delivered to our house. When we were in Riga in August we bought a couple of hanks of the yarn that was used in the knitted mittens that were for sale at Tines.  About a week ago I placed an order for more yarn at their web shop.
Yarn for mittens and hats
There are colours here that I normally would not choose. But they are part of the Latvian tradition and I know that they all have an important role in the knitted mittens. The yarn is a thin 2-ply wool, 350 metres per 100 grams.
Many colours
It is nice to know that all these colours will brighten the dark and cold winter that is coming.
Lots of colours
Autumn in our garden - Winter is coming

söndag 13 september 2015

Pot-holders in Tunisian Crochet

These are very big and sturdy pot-holders made in Tunisian crochet. The yarn I used is thick cotton in three colours. I made four squares and the crocheted them together two and two to get a good thickness. With these, even very warm oven pots can be handled without the risk of getting burned.
I also made a pair of crocheted pot-holders that can be used when handling smaller items. These are also made in thick cotton, but they are not doubled. All pot-holders in this post were made for my mother who has moved to a new apartment, and lost her pot-holders in the process.

fredag 4 september 2015

Our Fulling Boards - Swedish names: valkbräda, tovbräda, tovträ

Our fulling boards
Fulling is a process used for making e.g. knitted woollen material thicker, more durable - and warmer. The fulling process also shrinks the woollen material, so if you plan to full a pair of mittens you should knit them bigger than the desired finished size. Nowadays many people use their washing machine for fulling. It is an effective and non-laborious way of fulling. But you have to be careful since you can´t see the finished result until the machine´s program is finished. Using a fulling board gives you much more control over the process, and makes it possible to get a really god fit. You will also get a work-out as a bonus!
I also find it exiting to feel the process taking place in the material when the wool´s fibres intertwine and mat together. 

Here are two posts about when I used a fulling board:
Fulling mittens in the machine - an experiment
Nalbinding 2011

Our new fulling board
This is our new fulling board. It is made by a man whom I met during the Österbybruk Wool market. It is the largest of our fulling boards and also the heaviest. I do look forward towards testing fulling with this one.
Sturdy and effective fulling board
This is the fulling board that I have used for fulling until now. It is a sturdy piece of wood and I find it efficient to work with.
Old fulling board from Dalarna
This one was given to us as a gift. We were quite taken aback since it is probably at least a hundred years old and from Dalarna. I have never dared to use this because of its age, but I think that it is a fantastic old tool showing marks of being thoroughly used.
Fulling board from Leksand, Dalarna
This fulling board that we bought in Leksand, Dalarna is also at least a hundred years old. It is on the smaller side and I have not used it. The surface of this one is so very smooth, it must have been used a lot.

As with many other of the old tools for working with wool I find it really exciting to hold and feel them. Imagining the makers and users and the fabrics that have been created with their help.
Signature on the fulling board from Leksand

söndag 30 augusti 2015

Garter Rib Socks

Garter Rib Socks
I can´t stop knitting socks! This is a pair of socks with a Garter Rib cuff. A very easy way to make something else than the usual *k2,p2* ribbing. I used the standard "Slip 1, Knit 1" for the heel flap, and made, what I think is called, a round toe (in Swedish called "ringintagning").
Garter Rib Cuff
For those of you that want to knit the Garter Rib, this is the chart for knitting in the round. There are many variations of "garter rib" but this is the one that I used.
Garter Rib Chart