The wrong white…


The last ball of the vintage Norwegian yarn is a different white. It’s a different brand too. I knew this. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Yet it does.

How to proceed with my stranded Owl vest now?
I can alternate balls I guess… I’d have to frog all the rows from the previous weeks. Nothing says progress in knitting like frogging. *sigh* The difference in clour will still show, the vest would definitely have a different coloured top.

I could try and buy a matching yarn. Nothing says stash busting and finishing WIPs as buying more yarn.*sigh*

Here’s a reminder of this fun vest I have on the needles:

vest pattern is Hilja by Niina Hakkarainen

owl pattern is Grey Eyed by Rebecca Tsai

Pfff. I’ll have a think about it.
In the mean time I’m eyeing Tangled Vines cardigan and also probably casting on a new vest, from that purplewhite handspun.
And crocheting flowers of course. Lots and lots of them. Quick, before I grow tired of it.


Sometimes a vest is just a swatch.

On closer inspection I don’t like the shape of the back panel of the Grey Flinders, I want the armhole to be more straight, going down from the shoulder. Covering up my shoulder a bit more, for warmth.

So I think this may be just a swatch:

18,5 stitches per 10 cm. 24 rows.

As an alternative for a top down vest I’m now looking at Colors of Kauai by Hanna Maciejewska. It has a nice broad back panel and is a straight forward set up. Prov. cast on, knit down, increase for arm hole. Attach yarn at front and knit shoulder straps. Increases. Nice shape at the centre front.

Actually, one could do this just by herself. No pattern needed. Start with shoulder width for the back, knit down a bit, increase a bit to embrace the torso under the arms.

Attach new yarn at top, knit a strap, increase it a bit at both sides. One side for meeting the back panel under the arm. The other side for meeting the front panel, in a shape you like. I like a round shape for this one.

The trick is to have a feel for when to increase and how much…

Uhmm, I might want to reread my own notes on my top-down Hilja because it sounds as if I’m re-inventing it:


nu 86 achter en meteen sluiten als ook onder de armen wordt opgezet en gesloten. Het is nu in the round. Wel nog aan de voorkant eerst 2 x +3 gedaan en toen een shortrow (omdat het sluiten met 14 st aan de WS ging). Bij de shortrow nog weer een extra steek gemaakt.

OMG, I keep such bad notes! In “Dunglish” (Dutch English mess up) and no numbers for set-up? What am I saying? I sometimes do this when it’s a paid for pattern but Hilja by Niina Hakkarainen is a free down load.

Anyway. I now know for sure I like my back panels to be broad. Just like me.

Hilja pattern photo:

 pic by Niina

Hilja pattern has about my white handspun gauge so it is a nice guide for where and when to increase. Ah, this might be a good time to start keeping better notes.


Weird Wool Wednesday: a bird? a plane?


It’s Super Grover!

pic from muppet wiki

This is the chart I made and used:

I lengthened the arms and the legs by one stitch. And I gave him a “chem trail”.

Here’s a different version, I’m just playing around:

Both charts made using StitchFiddle, the free online application that lets you make charts for stranded knitting, embroidery and lace knitting. You can save, download and share anything you make.

Stranded projects in progress

Enchanting Mystery mitten in new colours:

Better. Looks more like my inspiration photo, eh?

I’m also sufficiently weirded out by the colour combination. I keep looking at it, it sure holds interest for me.

pattern modifications:

  • Estonian cast on and cuff on smaller needles (2,25 mm) because of small wrists
  • repeated chart A1 1,5 x, to have a higher stripey bit
  • added one row of plain knit before and after the flower to separate it visually more from the brown garter rows. And I like my cuffs to be long anyway.

The Fair Isle Cuffs in misty green sock yarns:

Better. Lovely light overall look, even though I’m choosing colours with more contrast to work with.

(I started the ribbing with reverse k and p for the white and multi coloured glitter sock yarn but decided I liked it better the other way around.)

Not sure if I’ll make the second cuff the same. I’m not keeping notes which yarn I use when to have a more relaxed knit.

It’s a slow project. I can only work on it during day light and at a time when I’m willing to look at my work all the time. Usually when I knit, I knit while doing something else, like watching a documentary. I haven’t found many audibooks I like to listen to.

Stranded Hilja Vest is at this level:

It’s been at this stage for a few days now, for the silliest of reasons: I couldn’t fit it properly while I kept wearing my handfelted princess dress. It needed a good fit. But I needed to wear my happy dress.

Today I’m wearing “normal clothes” and did the fit. It’s a bit snug around the belly… not too snug but just enough to be A Not Particular Comfortable Wear. This morning I’ll be walking around wearing it for a bit to figure if it’s too uncomfortable because in that case there’s no point in proceeding to knit this.

But I’m sure it’ll be alright:

Winterknit: using vintage Norwegian yarn

A friend from Ravelry was giving away some yarns her grandmother had collected. Some of it was Norwegian and she kindly gave them to me:

Firda yarn isn’t even in the Ravelry database. But it’s a Norwegian daily newspaper that reports on knitting in the Art section:

Knitting graffiti hits town centre with colour bomb
(psst, gentlemen, that’s crocheting.)

Yahoowonders lets me know that the producer of Firda Strikke Garn, Evebofoss, was a well known producer of wool for Norwegian garments in the last century. Pinterest impression:

Screen Shot 2015-12-25 at 08.57.06

Sandnes Garn Tvinngarn is in the Ravelry database, but it’s discontinued. The two projects that are shown are from people using up yarns that are left from projects knitted by their mother and grandmother. 🙂

Thanks to the Swedish Advent socks I’m confident about stranded knitting again. And with a current obsession for Winter light and a structural love for Scandinavia I’ve casted on for a Winter vest, using Norwegian vintage yarns:

The pattern is Hilja by Niina Hakkarainen, the same I used for my green handspun vest. This time I’m just following the pattern as written, bottom up.

The colourwork is the brim of  Snowflakes Tam  by Ari Whitlow

The vintage Norwegian yarns are of DK thickness, roughly double the size of sock weight, which is where the name DK (“Double Knit”) comes from. It’s a perfect thickness!
Knits fast yet solid. Warm fabric yet souple.
I think this thickness is traditionally most used for handknits in the UK. I’m using needles 3,5 mm although most people use 4 mm.

I think this vest will use 2 skeins of the white Firda and half of the blue. I also have one white of the Sandness left:

The label reads “garnet for brukskunst” = “a yarn for functional art”. Love it!

There’s also one skein of the Sandness Tvinn yarn in a military green colour that still has the old old label:

Use your art to have outdoor fun!

the WIPs at the moment & finished Hilja vest

These are the projects I’m actively working on.

Sleeping socks:

Gobbling up all kinds of sock yarn remnants. I’m nearly at the knee so soon they’ll be finished. Mindless knitting, lovely.
On needles 3 mm.

The handspun sweater vest:

pattern Hilja by Niina Hakkarainen. Used 490 m handspun  and less than 10 grams of sock yarn for the borders. Both yarns knitted on needles 3,75mm.

Just bound off. Needs its ends woven in. I know that as soon as I do so I’ll have a strong urge to sew another blouse to wear under it. But I’m still perfecting the sewing pattern for the blouse ànd am attending a course so I can’t decide what to do: muddle on on my own or wait for a couple of weeks until we have drafted a decent pattern in the course.
On my own, I really don’t have a clear idea of what I’m doing, when it comes to arm holes and collars.
On the other hand: I want to wear this sweater vest. In a couple of weeks deep winter will be here and it will be too cold.

Anyway, post phoning weaving in the ends and making decisions until tomorrow.

The Texel Shetland blanket/wrap:

Still working on the panel at the right. Also doing a bit of study how to attach the panels together.
And studying applied i-cords.

Arlene vest and Blue Contiguous are hiding in the closet. They might come out when the studying or sewing isn’t satisfactory.
Some Skew socks are lurking in WIP bags. If there are any more WIPs I have conveniently forgotten about them at this moment.

Weird Wool Wednesday: Yarnchicken.

I won at yarnchicken today!

I had just enough yarn to bind off the row.

I used JSSBO, from the wrong side. Now I’ve used up all the handspun, all 178 grams (535.9 yards), 490 meters. It’s a sportweight(ish), on needle 3,75mm.
For the ribbing I used the same needle size, I just decreased the stitch count with 10%, getting to number that’s divisible by 4. (2×2 ribbing(

Ha! Today is sneaky clever sheep triumph day!

gna gna gna

Progress on Handspun Green Vest

I’ve finished the body of Hilja sweater vest. It’s such a happy knit!
I’ve got stitchmarkers, my favourite ones, that go perfectly with the yarn and now every stitch is a joy to look at:


Sometimes I think that knitting (and spinning) is all about the colours and only about the colours.

That that’s why knitting and spinning fits us, colour crazed beings; in the same wondrous way that cat companionship fits humankind.
Cats identify with their fur, they like it washed, touched, stroked. And we, humans, like to “watch” with our hands. We love to touch things, we have sensitive finger tips, we revel in tactiles/touchables.

Put these two characteristics together in a room and you’ve got two species reinforcing each others’ coincidental happiness.

Throw in a bit of cod for dinner and you’ve got best friends for life who allow all the petting and cuddling you like, as long as there’s a snack at the end of it:

As humankind is an eye-species as much as it’s a touch-things-species I think that’s why we breed cats in such various shapes and colours, just to please our eyes while we indulge our hands. It’s not something I favour because it does not benefit the cats… but I see how it plays into our eye-addiction.

As far as the knitting goes, my colour indulgence is over, the body is finished. I went on to the ribbing at the neck and arms.
I picked up stitches at the neck and did a 1×1 ribbing (on a smaller needle, 3 mm instead of the 3,75mm):

But I didn’t like how it looked. It’s too…. crude. Too scruffy. Not refined enough to wear amongst city folk.

I thought that a commercial yarn would look better. It would show deliberate contraposition between the handspun and the commercial yarn.

I chose a colour with quite a bit of contrast. I can handle contrast because my darkish hair has quite a bit of contrast with my fair skin and when I mirror this in clothing it makes me look healthy. (Although in 2014 I’ve grown grey from the stress and the contrast in the vest will now be a bit harsher than my own but that’s ok, it may make me look a bit more stern but I’m ok with that. Besides, I don’t have any other good yarn and this is a really nice one, it has some cashmere in it.)

I knitted 2 cm of 2×2 ribbing on the first arm hole and it looks very nice:

So tidy!
And just the contrast in texture with the handspun I was looking for. It seems to say what I want it to say, that its companion, the bodice, is made with a designed yarn. Yarn of a chosen, deliberate texture. Not something a well willing amateur made who couldn’t do any better.

The bind off is Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off done from the wrong side so it gives a nice edge on the right side.

I’m a bit sorry the knitting part is over for the handspun. I really enjoyed it, both in colour and tactiles. Soft wool, silk and vintage glass beads, that’s a high for me.

Green handspun vest .2 and .3

I frogged the handspun. It hurt.
Funny thing is that I remembered the whole Hercule Poirot audio book that I listened to when I knit it. Do you have this too?

I looked for a sensible pattern for a sweater vest that I could follow from A to Z. It’s called Flinders (which sounds like misspelled “butterflies in Belgium” to my Dutch ears) and it’s top-down and for my gauge:

Flinders Sweater Vest by Linda from clickertyclick

I knitted on it yesterday. But this morning I decided to frog that too. In the pattern the shoulder straps are quite broad and that’s why I deviated from the pattern and then I fudged things to try and make the numbers work for the rest of the pattern and now the back panel looks really weird:

It grows wide too fast, that’s just below the shoulders, halfway the arm holes. I’m knitting wings.

It’s a nice pattern though. Well written too.
It’s top down with a raglan. That means you get raglans in the shoulder pieces. That’s interesting:

When worked in self striping yarn you get an interesting box thing going on at the shoulders. If you want you can have a look at the projects for this pattern here.

Right after posting this post I’ll be frogging it and starting on another pattern. One that I WILL follow to the lettre.
(just may hussle up the words a bit.)

It’s Hilja by Niina Hakkarainen:

Not top down but in my gauge.

I’m rewriting the sequence of the steps a bit so I can cast on for the back panel halfway. Then work upwards to the shoulders.

Work downwards the front panel. Join with back panel and then work in the round downwards for as far as my yarn will allow. (think about the ribbing, whether I want it in this handspun or in the solid green)

I’m writing really fast. I’m about to board a train and visit a knitter’s party for the day. I want to knit this on the train and at the party. I won’t bring my iPad, won’t have the back up of the actual pattern.

This may not be wise at all…