Knitting, design, wool and other gatherings….

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New pattern: The “iSpy” double hat

Double, reversible hat knit from top-to-top in thin alpaca. Two hats in one – just turn it for another “look”! Go color-wild, or choose a more subtle version – or both…

A part of the hat is knit in the «intarsia»-technique. Some experience in this technique is recommended.

The hat is published on Ravelry. Find it here: iSpy

The pattern is also written in a Norwegian version. After purchasing you will be able to choose the language you prefer.

The pattern includes written instructions for two sizes: womens and mens, a detailed chart for the circle pattern and instructional pictures.

See more details about this hat in this post.


Yarn: fingering 100 % alpaca, 160-170 meters (175-185 yards) / 50 g. 1 of each color

Gauge: 28 st = 10 cm on needles. 3mm / US 2,5

Needles: Circular needles 30 cm (optional) + 40 cm + double pointed needles (dpn´s): 3 mm / US 2,5

Tools: 8 stitchmarkers, tapestry needle

Sizes: women (men), fits head circumference 54-58 cm/ 21-23 inch (58-62 cm/ 23-24,5 inch)

Measures (flat): Women: height/widt: 23/25 cm (9/10 inch). Men: height/widt: 24/28 cm (9,5/11 inch)

Special techniques:

intarsia – link to purlbee.com / youtube.com

mattress-stitches – link to purlbee.com / garnstudio.com

Yarn used in this pattern:

Col 1: 50 g. Du Store Alpakka, Tynn Alpakka, 116 Acid Green

or: 50 g. Garnstudio, Drops Alpaca, 9020 Pearl Gray

Col 2: 50 g. Du Store Alpakka, Tynn Alpakka, 167 Purple melange

or: 50 g. Garnstudio, Drops Alpaca, 6506 Charcoal

Col 3: 50 g. Du Store Alpakka, Tynn Alpakka, 113 Dark Gray melange

or: 50 g. Garnstudio, Drops Alpaca, 2923 Yellow

Col 4: 50 g. Du Store Alpakka, Tynn Alpakka, 138 Pink

or: 50 g. Garnstudio, Drops Alpaca, 6736 Purple melange

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The “Moscow” Shawl – and it´s copy…

A few years back I had the opportunity to go to Moscow to visit the parents of one of my friends, who lived there for a few years because of work. We had a fantastic time and were very generously shown around the city by our hosts, who had acquired an impressing knowledge of both the language and the culture in only a short time.

What striked me most about Moscow was that my own image of what the city would look like was in many senses wrong. I imagined it to look more “behind the iron-curtain” gray and dull – it most definitely did not! So if you get the chance to visit Moscow – go! See the buildings, the metro, the parks. Visit the ballet, the handicraft markets, the museums and try the local cuisine. See the Red Square with the Kremlin and the Cathedrals. Everywhere you go you get a strong sense of the rich Russian culture and history. But this is not a travel blog…

Just below the main entrance to the Red Square I bought the most beautiful hand-knit shawl. Pensioners in Russia are in general very poor, and offering their beautiful handicraft is a often a way to make a better living …so I bought two shawls…

This one I love to bits. I have worn it so much I had to let it rest for a while – afraid it would fall apart. In fact I was so afraid it would be ruined that I had to make a copy of it – just to make sure… The shawl is most likely knit in a mohair/silk blend – the fringes are pure silk, and my worries were largely exaggerated. The shawl is still in a very good shape and will luckily last for many more years.

The lace pattern I believe is called “diamonds”. There are several knitting patterns available in this pattern, but I used this as an opportunity to test my skills in lace-pattern-writing. And I think the result is pretty close to the original, and best of all; I can read my own pattern – If I should happen to make another one later.

My Moscow-shawl copy is knit in 100% alpaca, -and is a gift for my friend HG, one of my Moscow travel-companions (I know she envy me the original shawl…).

News: “iSpy double hat” is less than a day away from being published!

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A new hat pattern… soon to be published!

10 years ago I knit myself a double reversible hat in thin alpaca. It was knit “top-to-top” and the circle pattern-section was knit in the intarsia-technique. It would have been possible to knit this section in the stranded-technique, but I gathered the fabric would be too thick that way. Also, the fabric would not have been as stretchy because of the long strands. I knit one for my then 5 yr old daughter as well, but that hat has been displaced …or given away …I can´t remember.

The hat is a bit short, -it does´t cover my ears properly, and I really wanted a new one…

So I knit one – and immediately wanted another one in a different color-combination. So I knit another one. I´ve simplified my original pattern a bit, added some length to it and added another element – an “eye”! I´ve used Garnstudio´s Drops Alpaca for the Light Gray / Coal version, and Du Store Alpaca´s Tynn Alpakka for the Purple / Acid Green version. Both yarns are fingering weight with approx. 170 m (180 yd) / 50 g.

The hat is wonderfully soft and warm and stays in shape after extensive wearing. And – you get two hats in one! Just turn it for another look! How great is that!?

I´m having the pattern checked at the moment, and I hope it will be ready for publishing in a few days. I will be back with the “iSpy double hat”!!


An impossible project….

Many years ago I ordered some yarn from Telespinn. I´ve mentioned this yarn producer before. They were until recently the only private-owned wool-spinning mill in Norway, and their own Mohair goats provide most of the wool for their great range of yarn.

IMG_3208I was looking to develop this project from 2010, including a new top-down  shoulder-saddle / contiguous -method, without the turtle-neck. I called the new project: “SkiingJumper II”, but had to rename it: “SkiingJumper II meets an obstacle…”. But in my head I always refer to this sweater as: “The Madonna-sweater”. The reason for this is that I´ve “stolen” the stranded pattern from a cut-out magazine page from 1986, showing the artist Madonna in a Norwegian-inspired sweater – what we would call a “kofte”.

The magazine tempted it´s readers with a chance to win a copy of this sweater, and as you can see I´ve meticulously cut out, and sent in my ticket to heaven! This magazine (which I don´t remember the name of…) even provided the knitting-pattern for this sweater, so you could knit your own – should you not18-2_medium2 win – which I didn´t! So I had to knit it myself – the sweater is long gone, but wearing it did not make me look anything like Madonna …maybe because I had not mastered the art of biting my lip / gazing sensually… still haven´t by the way. The pattern was provided by Garnstudio and knitted in the yarn Karisma (no pun intended), both still alive and kicking today, -but the pattern isn´t. I´ve checked Ravelry´s pattern pages, searching through Garnstudio´s patterns (they are all free…). But the pattern for “Madonnas genser” was not to be found. The closest I found was this: “40-18 Sweater with ethnic borders” – a name which really just shows a lack of history – knitting wise… This is a knitting pattern with long roots in Norwegian history. It´s origin is probably Eastern European / Russian – but it´s been used and developed in Norway for at least the past 100 years…

On the back of the pattern-page I found the reason why I did not win my copy of the sweater – here you see the Horoscope for February / March 1986, and reading through my star sign, it says nothing about being lucky… Quite the opposite in fact, but “interrests and family-life will be smooth” – so I guess I sat there knitting my “Madonna-sweater” in front of the TV – together with my father – (we only had one (1) TV-channel in Norway in those days, and you watched what the Norwegian Broadcasting Company would serve you) – probably watching some obscure Finnish “TV-theatre”, including a lot of saunas and “birch-branch-whipping”. And if when the “birch-branch-whipping” would become too intense (as it sometimes would – involving a bunch of naked Finnish men) …I can vividly remember refining the art of “loosing-stitches-and-being-very-busy-picking-them-up-whilst-keeping-a-secret-eye-on-the-TV” – in hope of my father not catching it…

But back to my impossible project…

I started knitting using my old Telespinn “Mari” yarn – knowing I would have to order more. And also knowing the color would probably be a bit different. But I thought the difference in color would not be too noticeable keeping it separated by a block of stranded pattern.

As you can see from the middle picture, it did! So I did not even try to continue my knitting-project. Instead I tried to over-dye the new yarn. As you can see from the last picture, I did not succeed. By far! Instead I think I´ve ruined the yarn by adding too much yellow… Mohair takes color better than most other wool. I´ll give it another go, by trying to remove some color and add more blue / black to it. But as I told Telespinn in an e-mail conversation: “I won´t even try to pretend to know anything about the art of yarn-dyeing…” But it´s still worth trying …and I might even learn some more about yarn-dyeing, though this knitting-project probably won’t be finished with this yarn. I hate to have to rip what I´ve already knitted. In my mind, the sweater is almost done when the upper-body is done in the top-down technique (maybe you have the same experience?), and all that remains is finishing…

Note: I sent Telespinn an e-mail to let them know about the difference in color. Knowing the years between my orders it was not formulated as a complaint, but just to let them know. I got a nice answer – to let me know they are aware of the difference, and why the dyeing-process does not allow them to continue the “old” color.

I have to admit I like the “old” gray better…

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I know…

I know I´ve been neglecting this blog lately, and as a consequence of that I know it´s far too late to show off my 2014 knitting statistics in March 2015 – but I´ll do it anyway…

I knit a total of 23 240 meters / 34 projects in 2014.

Reading statistics – what I usually find most interesting is what it does not say – like; I have not knitted any socks in 2014!

In this summary of my 2014 knitting, I´ve chosen to compare the number of projects and what type of yarn, with the actual meterage of yarn used. The pie charts will obviously look different, but I was surprised to find just how different… If you look at the top left chart – 44% of last years projects were hats – but when you look at the meterage in the chart below, only 15% of the meters of yarn I used in 2014 were for hats. You might draw the conclusion that I knit lots of hats in aran / worsted / bulky – weight, and you are right!

One of my knitting goals every year is to knit more egotistical. Knitting is to me a creative outlet, it´s what I do when I can find time for it – and it´s been like that since I was a child. If you scanned my brain, you would find a little fire-red area buzzing constantly, there´s no off-button! Most other areas / interests in my life I can switch in- and out of, but not knitting. I am a knitter and I guess it´s kind of personal – you will have to be a knitter yourself to understand – I think… So my aim is to knit more projects for myself than I give away, – and if you look at the top right chart – you can see that I failed, again! Please, don´t get me wrong; I love to present friends and family with knitted gifts – or I would not have done it, but my aim is for the pie chart to show a +50% in favor of me. Luckily I compared the number of knitted gifts with the meterage of yarn used in these gifts, and the numbers went from 56% of the projects – to “only” 35% of the total amount of yarn. (Yes! she cried – hoping nobody was listening…) Which might lead you to conclude that the numbers of gifts include a lot of hats in aran / worsted / bulky – weight, and you are right, again!!

Over to showing you an actual knitted piece…

“Myk Icelandic”

Sorry for the quality of the pictures – the light is not picture-friendly in Norway during the winter. So I set out to get new pictures taken – forgetting that we´re witnessing a solar-eclipse today… there´s always something … every 60 years or so….! The weather is overcast and raining, so I can´t present you with a picture – but it´s definitely getting darker outside…

Pattern: Stutt rennd lopapeysa / Icelandic Zip Cardigan

Yarn: Myk / Sandnes Garn, a bulky weight yarn

Colors: 6 skeins of 1088 Coal + 1 skein of 1012 Ecru

Needles: 6mm / US 10

Notes: Bottom-up. Quick knit. Soft and very lightweight yarn. Short-rows in the neck to make it higher in the back. Added 4 st to each arm + only placed 8 st to each underarm instead of 10. Steeked and added button bands. I knit size 42 to get a size 40 – my gauge was little tight compared to the patterns gauge. I´m surprisingly happy with this cardigan – I´ve used it a lot! And equally surprised by the yarn – it looks great after a lot of wearing and the pilling is close to none. And though I would love to knit this in the requested wool-yarn, my cardigan is very light-weight, and can be worn under jackets/coats.

My next post will be about the impossible project – in many terms….


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