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Catching up

Pattern: Stora Dimun (Ravelry link) from Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberlee

Yarn: Dale of Norway Lerke, colour 5063,  maybe 8  skeins. Or 9?

Needles: not sure, might have been 3.5 mm??

See? Without blogging I completely loose track of what I’m doing. There is a lot of catching up to do, although it won’t be a significant loss to mankind if some projects slip under the blog radar, accidentally or not. Don’t let the greeneries fool you, the shots have been in my camera since July or so. Feels like a different world.

I’m glad to report I finished the shawl from two posts ago, and that it is a nice pattern even if the start (cast on for the outer edge, you have to ba able to count to fivehundredandsomething) is rather intimidating. Once the lace pattern is established it is a straight forward knit. And a Big Knit! The shawl is huge and blocked even bigger but drapes wonderfully. It wasn’t until  the 7th skein or so that the rows actually felt shorter.

I really like the style of the Faroese shawls and would love one for myself as I often throw a shawl over my shoulders when the office is chilly. I have my eyes on the Faroese Shawl from a Gathering of Lace. One day..

The shawl was a gift to a friend when she had her first child. A shawl for mama, a blanket for baby.

My standard stripey baby blanket in 150 g 2ply merino, cast on 150-170 sts on 6 mm needles and knit until the yarn is out. I had a little accident with this ine, I wanted to full it just a bit. I should know from previous experience that fulling in the washing machine is no exact science, and it came out uneven and sticking to itself in soe areas. Luckily this was one of the rare cases where a good soak in conditioner and a severe block fixed most of it, and the recipient clearly didn’t have to worry about putting a handknit through wash and use!

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The sun is back.

And I have new yarn.

Piece of Vermont merino/bamboo/nylon sock yarn,clockwise from lower left the colours are Pixie Dust, Late October, Sapphire and Cinnamon Toast.

Jessie has now closed her online shop, but there is hope an Etsy shop will be up supplying us with more coloured goodies. Meanwhile my stash should last me sometime. Actually I think it will last for so long time that I have decided to not buy yarn buy very little yarn for a while. This yarn was ordered in 2009 so it doesn’t count. I love mail!

Oh, and apparently I’m blogging again. It feels good to be back!

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I wasn’t intending to make a bedspread either but think I’m on good way there. 5 balls of Dalegarn Lerke got me through the bottom border of the Faeroese shawl. I’m now at ball eight and still can’t stretch out all the stitches on my 100 cm needle.  I think this will grow a lot in the blocking too, the yarn being half cotton.

(Ings, your record for largest shawl knit by mistake is safe but I can still hear you laughing.)

Darn good eggs

I have received reports that lambs are being born these days, jumping around and growing lovely, soft wool. Meanwhile I’m still working on how to make my darning egg hatch out little chocolate eggs.

Happy Easter!

1. Faroese shawls are pretty (that is a fact in my world).

2. They are knit from the outer edge and require  casting on plus/minus  half a thousand stitches.

3. The first ball of yarn does not take a knitter very far.

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Pattern: Vinnland socks by Becca Compton, smallest size

Yarn: A Piece of Vermont Superwash Merino/Bamboo/Nylon Sock, colour ‘Mermaid’, 72 g

Needles: 2 mm bamboo dpns

Modifications: Used my favourite toe-up toe

The yarn is what was left from my Jaywalkers and has been designated for this pattern for quite a while, the toe-up leaves seemed perfect for using up the last bit of this colourway.

I don’t often pay much attention to names of knit designs, and it wasn’t undil I googled ‘Vinnland’ without adding ‘socks’ I realized it was the English word for Vinland (yeah there should have been some bells ringing).

Whatever the motivatation was for naming the socks Vinnland, it is very appropriate. Aah, let me take you on a journey, long back and far away…

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The left sock is actually inside out in the top two pictures. I like both sides of the pattern!

About a thousand years ago the Vikings were  racing around in Northern waters traveling far east into Russia, south to Jerusalem and west to Vinland. Such a journey did reqire its pitstops though, and the first leg was made by stray sailors stumbling across what was soon, and very understandably, named Iceland. This place was soon colonized but it didn’t stop the curiosity and eagerness, and need, to travel. After being outlawed for a murder, Erik the Red set sails westwards and returned with reports of more land, deliberately named Greenland to rise interest. You think today’s PR people are stretching the truth?? I wonder if he was enough of a practical joker to yell BURN!! when he returned with the first settlers and saw their jaws drop at the sight of glaciers and barren coastline.

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I knit four repeats of the pattern before the heel, and four for the leg, that made a perfect sock. The pattern is so stretchy that gusset increases which I usually can’t live without, is unecessary.

Apparently his son Leiv Eiriksson did’t share his dad’s  sense of humour, but he did repeat him in  sailing towards unconfirmed discoveries of land in the west, reaching Labrador and Baffin Island and what he named Vinnland. The location of Vinnland is not known, but the word translates into either ‘land where wine grapes grow’ or ‘pasture land’. Wether he had more luck with his discoveries then his father, or just realized that a little PR couldn’t harm is unknown.

Archaeological findings including drop spindles and what Wikipedia refers to as a knitting needle confirms Norse settlements in North America 1000 years ago. I guess they refer to a nalbinding/needlebinding needle, as knitting wasn’t known back then in those cultures and only took over for needlebinding very few centuries ago. In fact, in many Norwegian dialects including my own, to knit is also referred to as to bind, and I call my work in progress my ‘bunding’ or binding.

Fast forward about 500 years to our friend Chris who thought the world was a ball and set sails for India. Little did he know that there was a lot standing between him and his target. In fact a whole continent or two. He never made it to India to see the tigers.

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Cuff-down socks over 36 sts, 2 mm needle, picot edging and short-row heel. Opal Rainforest Tiger yarn, to fit a 6-12 month old.

He did bring back some other goodies though , like chocolate!, and although the behavior of his men and the consequenses of most land discoveries can be debated, all these guys lived a life in hand-spun, hand knitted (or bound or sewn) socks. That counts for something, right?

My Vinnland socks are now on their way to my aunt, hopefully bringing more reliable promises of buds and leaves than Erik the Red’s Greenland did!

february-baby-sweater

Pattern: February Baby Sweater aka Baby Sweater on two needles, from Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitter’s Almanac

Yarn: A Piece of Vermont Fingering superwash, 75/25 wool/nylon. I believe the colour is Sangria but I won’t trust my brain on that one. I do trust my scale though, and it says I used 65 g.

Needles: Most likely 3 mm. The jacket measures about 50 cm/19 inches around the chest. As Mrs.Zimmermann says, babies come in many sizes so t will most likely fit one at some stage. She says a lot of other things as well making her books worth reading, I can understand why they are such classics. She isn’t spoon-feeding the knitter with instructions so the patterns might be a challenge until you get used to the style, but I think they are worth it.

Modifications: Knit the collar and hems in seed st instead of garter and kept the upper portion in stockinette.

In spite of being involved in an almost-disaster, the whole thing took a lot less yarn than I thought so I knit a pair of booties to match.

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Pattern: Stay-on babybooties

Needles: 2 mm bamboo dpns

I’ve knit so many of these I know the pattern by heart now, and the feedback I get from parents say that they really live up to the name and do stay on.  A very simple and cute project, thanks to Ullent Eventyr for sharing!

In other news I had a very nice weekend going home visiting my family. On Sunday the weather was nice and my mother and I had a great day walking along the shore sitting down here and there just taking in the scenery, spotting bird tracks and otter tracks and other tracks. You often see tracks from when the sea otters have been sliding on their bellies in the snow, the fastest way back into the sea!

The highlight of the walk was saying hello to these guys:

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Very curious, but with their instincts all in place they gather in a circle when threatened. And they are fast!! Wild sheep, stone age sheep or viking sheep are some of the names, this breed is smaller than the now common sheep breeds in Norway and therefore went almost extinct at one point. Now it is regaining popularity, they can live outside all year in coastal climates feeding on bark and seaweed and some additional hay. Extremely tough and hardy. And cute!

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The wool is shed once a year and the old fleece loosens from the body as the new grows out, so at one point the whole fleece can be pulled from the body without shearing, giving the fibres no cut-off ends. This gorgeous brownish-grey heathered ewe looks like she is ready to loose the coat soon. Couldn’t get anywhere near her though, and the handsome and well-armed ram in the background was always keeping an eye on us.

Not a guy I’d argue with!

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