Friday, December 30, 2011

Looking for a new hairstyle for 2012?

Look no more, here are some that you can knit!

Make this in black and go Pulp Fiction style! Link to pattern.

Who can say no to Prncess Leia?

Or maybe you prefer Rapunzel tresses?

And don't forget your man.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Yoga for knitters

Like I said the other day, it's hard to for me to knit like I use to at the moment. When I do find time to sit down for a moment, it doesn't take long until my shoulders ache. The ache itself is not that bad really but if I ignore it I will wake up all tense the day after and without exception have an exploding headache by noon. My right shoulder has been bad for years, it's a result from too many years working in front of the computer and bad posture. A doctor once explained to me that the tissue around my shoulderblades is thin like a nylon stocking and when it gets torn, it's actually not repairable. The only thing I can do is to build up strength in the muscles around them.

I have found yoga to be the best practise to fix my shoulder problems, and especially Iyengar yoga. But since Isola was born I haven't had the time to go to any classes. I looked for some DVDs that focus on problem areas when you sit a lot and I even found one for knitters! Isn't that great!? Not that the covers look too exciting though....

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Slow down, please!

The last weeks have been so hectic it feels like I need a vacation from just about everything. I would need to go to one of those convents in France when you're not a aloud to speak and everything is still and quiet. It's not just the usual stress around Christmas but there has been a lot of other stuff to deal with, the moving, birthday parties, stomache flus, colds, busy days at work. And as if that wasn't enough it seems like Isola has hit the terrible twos, making simple everyday tasks a real challenge. And when she doesn't make it her life mission to disagree about absolutely everything she is extremely clingy and wants to be carried all the time. At the end of the day I wonder where on earth I can find enough energy to wake up the next day and do it all over again. I'm even to tired to knit. Yes, you heard me. That doesn't mean that I haven't knit anything at all, I have been working on my cable dress and just have the finishing left now. But after just a few minutes I feel my shoulders beginning to ache and I have to stop. I'm just too stressed out.

I just want the new year to start and have everything go back to normal. Start again with an empty page. And feel everything slow down. Please.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Vogue knitting fashion preview

I LOVE when I receive a mail from Vogue Knitting in my inbox that says something about "Fashion Preview". It's just so exciting to see what patterns that will be published in the next issue. I usually find something that I just have to knit right this instant. But the truth is, the last few issues have been a bit dissapointing. In this latest issue for example, the winter 11/12 issue, I found NOTHING that I love. OK, I like some of them but not enough to actually buy the magazine. These are the ones I like. And one that I really don't.

This cardigan has a nice vintage style cut to it. Like. 

Nice cables on this one. This cardi would go with everything.

Simple yet fun cut. Can imagine it in a super super soft cosy yarn.

This one is awful! What's up with the sleeves?? It looks like her arm has come off.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Looking ahead

2012 is just around the corner. I think more and more about my hopes and goals for the next year. I also think about what patterns I want to make. I always feel immensely inspired by "Tim-Burtonesque"-clothing and the wardrobe by the talented and award-winning costume designer Collen Atwood. For instance, the wardrobe of the movie Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. I ask myself, what kind of knitwear would these kids wear?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Instant love

Something remarkable happened yesterday. I fell in love with a yarn and didn't buy it! I mean yet. I haven't bought it YET. For the first time I decided to find a project/pattern first, then buy the yarn. The yarn in question is Malabrigo Lace. I went to my LYS to get some other skeins and they hade rearranged the shop a little. Normally I just skip the lace weights because I don't do scarves. But now all the lace skeins are just beside the counter and I couldn't help picking a Malabrigo up. It was the softest little skein! So incredibly soft I thought it was silk (which I also never buy since I don't like the process of making silk). But it was baby merino wool. Instant love. Even on their website Malabrigo says: When you experience Malabrigo Lace, you connect with a special place of the world. So there you have it. It's not just my imagination.

But I never make scarves. I'm just not a scarves person. But I do like lace patterns and they work perfect with scarves. But the casting on! My god. I hate casting on and some scarf patterns call for casting on A LOT of stitches, depending on design. Normally when I read patterns and they start with "Cast on 230 sts..." my eyes get blind and I just go to the next pattern. And when I looked through a couple of nice scarves I found one pattern that called for casting on over 1200 sts! It freaks me out. I would never manage doing that. Just imagine control counting the cast on. It would take all day. Are there any tips or tricks for casting on that many stitches?

But of course, I can knit wristlets or a baby cowl or something for Isola instead. Because I have to have that yarn. Next time, Malabrigo Lace, you will be mine.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The best store for storage

I have never been a fan of Muji until now. I used to wonder what on earth the deal with Muji was. When they first opened their store in my town I thought that everything they sold were made of recycled material, why did it otherwise look so dull? But that was then. NOW I have changed completely. I used to live like a victorian, ie the more stuff the better. But now I tend to wish for a more Zen-like feeling of my home.

So when I went to Muji a couple of days ago I did it just because I knew that they sell a lot of different boxes. And I did find some clear plastic shoe boxes that will work great for a lot of different stuff - yes, YARN too! In fact, there were loads of stuff that I suddenly felt a need for. Everything looks so darn clean and smart and it will make your home look clean and smart too. I will definately be shopping more from Muji. I think Muji may even have the solution for my yarn stash. Check out their storage range here.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Yarn crafts for kids

Today is Isola's second birthday. Happy birthday sweetheart! This is the first birthday when she is old enough to find it exciting to receive gifts and get all the attention, although it makes her feel very shy at times. It 's wonderful to see the expression on her face when she opens her presents. You can actually not tell if a certain gift will be a hit or not before she opens it. And you never really know how she will use it. One of her favorite toys are a box of pearls. But she doesn't use it for making necklaces, she pours the pearls in cups and have tea parties.

I really look forward to her getting a couple of years older so that we can craft together! I could spend hours crafting when I was a kid (I still do if I only get the chance!) For example, I used to glue different materials together to make dolls. I remember when I was about five and kept nagging my Mom that she'd teach me how to knit. This is what she did: She cast on and knitted a couple of rows. Then she gave me needle and told me to poke and pierce the piece with the other needle for about five minutes. Then I would give the knitting back to her "for inspection" at which she'd quickly knit another couple of rows to trick me √≠nto believing that I had actually knit something. I don't know why she didn't even try to teach me the real way. Maybe she knew enough about my patience to see that it wouldn't work. Needles to say, I found knitting to be very boring...

I think that I will try to teach Isola to do whatever she wants when she is ready to learn. There are so many different crafts that you can do with your kids! Here are some of them - all yarn-related of course.

Yarn apple, tutorial here.

Yarn heart, tutorial here.

Yarn balloons by Jessica Levitt. Tutorial here.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Yarn bombing

I suppose most of you are familiar with the term yarn bombing or yarn graffiti. And if you're not, this is what wiki says: Yarn bombing, yarnbombing, yarnstorming, guerrilla knitting, or graffiti knitting is a type of graffiti or street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted cloth rather than paint or chalk. I think there should be some yarn bombing in every town! It's a fun way to add some softness and colour to the depressing concrete cities that a lot of us live in. Here are some of pictures to inspire you!

Friday, December 9, 2011

A home made of yarn

Sometimes I get caught just browsing cool interior design blogs and websites. I just can't get enough of all the smart and beautiful ways to decorate your home. I really admire people who decorate their entire home in a specific style. How they decide and then stick to it. My home has always been a mishmash of different stuff from different eras. I tend to choose things because I like them, even if it clashes with the rest of the interior. Here are some cool designs for yarn lovers.

Phat Knits by Bauke Knottnerus

Phat Knits by Bauke Knottnerus
Phat Knits by Bauke Knottnerus  
Stools by Claire Anne O'Brien

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Old stuff, new ideas

We have just downsized our home by 50%. It means that we have looked at basically every item we own and asked ourselves if we really need it. And of course our opinions differ sometimes. If we can't decide or agree then there is always the attic. And thanks to J's unwillingness to get rid of stuff the poor attic was packed to the max way too soon.

We talked about his comic books the other day and I really couldn't see any reasons to keep them in the apartment if at all. Not that I have anything against them per se, it's just that during the 13 years we've lived together I've seen him read the books about five times in total. So why keep them? And they are so many! We really only have room for things that are useful. So one of his arguments to keep the comic books was that they also could serve as furniture if you stack them. Yeah, right. I almost laughed him right in his face. But then I found this online... Touché. So now I need to find some way to quickly turn skeins of yarn into let's say, a coffee table. Ideas, anyone?

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Last Knit

This video is for all you obsessed knitters out there. By Laura Neuvonen.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The other needle

I'm only a few days away from moving and might be able to unpack my boxes with knitting stuff in a week from now, at our new place. But I can tell you, with tons left to do, a sick toddler at home, and with stormy and rainy weather every day, I've missed my needles more than ever. Just to be able to relax with a few minutes mindless knitting...

As I've cleaned out our attic and looked through a bunch of forgotten boxes, I've found almost enough stuff to start a craft store. I used to paint so there were a lot of artist material but also fabric, pearls and lots and lots of carded wool. I discovered needle felting a couple of years ago and really enjoyed making little wool figures and toys. Needle felting is a dry felting technique where you stab a barbed wire through wool fibres hundreds of times, making the fibres interlock and form different shapes. I'm not sure why I stopped making them, I sold some in Sweden and I did open an Etsy shop too, but then I suppose that I just ran out of enough interesting ideas.. But I can see myself picking it up again in the future. I really like the feel of felted wool.

Feel like panda sushi, anyone?

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