The kitchen towel

I got a message on Saturday with a question if I wanted to weave on the loom with the kitchen towel. I signed myself up for it some time ago just to get some more weaving experience. I think the pattern is a bit boring and quite dominated by the white warp. But after giving it some thought I decided that if no one else wanted to weave on it right now, then why not. There’s plenty of other people on the list for it, but they’re all occupied at the moment so I went for it. I didn’t want to use a lot of time and money choosing yarn since I’m not going to keep it for myself, so I looked in the shelves at the weaving house and found a pale green that looks like linen or a cotton/linen mix. It’s a difficult colour to take a picture of, but here’s a try.I thought of a certain person when I saw it and thought, why not. It’s a nice pattern, it’s just not what I have in mind for my kitchen when I finally weave my own kitchen towels.

I didn’t really like the colours the other ladies wove with so I wanted a pale one that mixed well with the really white warp. Here’s some pictures of the colours other people used. These pictures show the backside of the towel which is also nice but even more boring than the front.

Here is my colour woven in and showing the front of the pattern. I don’t know if I’ll only make one or more now or if I’ll make more over time since the warp is 27 meters long 😳 Time will show.

The loom status at the weaving house

I’m finally back at the loom 🙂 The weaving group have changed the content on some of the looms and I put myself on the list on three of the five new projects we are weaving.

There’s a pillow with black warp in a really boring pattern that isn’t really a pattern because you can’t see that much pattern in it. I signed up for it, but mostly just to get more weaving done and try out new things. But I won’t prioritize it because there are plenty others who really like it whom should be able to weave before me.

Then there is a table cloth again in black warp with open fields. That one is going to be weaved with paper yarn/thread, I haven’t signed up for it because I can’t think of a single person to give it to. It’s nice enough to look at, just not my thing.

Then there is a shawl that the others have been talking about for ages, but I can’t quite remember how it’s supposed to look like. I haven’t signed up for that one even though it’s absolutely my colours.

Then there is the couch blanket that I’m going to weave. The warp is in Sandnes Garn Tove yarn and it’s supposed to be 130×190 cm big. I’ve already bought the yarn to weave with because I decided to use Hillesvåg’s Tinde. I have even decided to try to do it a bit different than the others so I’m a bit unsure about how it will turn out, but more about that later. I think the warp colours are quite boring, but that’s how it is in a community when it’s made for several people. 

There are a few looms that have had the same warp for a while that I’m not going to try out. One of them is for a floor mat, it’s called fillerye in Norwegian, but I’m not sure about the English name. It has (again) a black warp and that’s why I’m not that interested in weaving on it. And I’m not a real fan of these kinds of mats/carpets because they use old torn up sheets etc as weft. But the lady who is weaving right now is doing something interesting. We went to another weaving group about a year ago and they used a technique where they crocheted leftover yarn and used that as weft. It is horribly time consuming to “make” your own yarn like that. But it looks really cool. I’ll consider trying it out if there’s spare warp and time to make the yarn. It looks like the purpleish yarn it four different threads of yarn crocheted together and the gray is two.

Then there are the two never ending huge table cloths. The look lovely, but I don’t have the time, energy, patience or table to make them. They weave with what I have nicknamed sewing thread and they’re about 1,5 meters wide.

The eight loom is the one I just started weaving on and I’ll tell more about it in the next blog post.

The Christmas table runner

I finally finished the Christmas table runner two months ago.

I started the project May 21th and finished October 21th. It didn’t really take that long to weave it. Life just happened and kept preventing me from weaving. I didn’t keep track but I finished it in about 7-10 sessions that lasted from 0,5-2,5 hours.

When I was about 3/4 finished I had a snap in one of the warp threads that left me unmotivated for some time, but when I finally fixed it I finished in no time. Here are some pictures of the warp fix and the weaving.Only had time to weave for five minutes the first time.Time flies when you’re having fun, planned on weaving for half an hour after work. Ended up sitting there for 1,5. Pattern is really taking shape. I think I beat the shed too hard, but at the same time I like that everything is so tightly woven.The trees have a bit of a funny shape, but impressed none the less that it is possible to weave something like this. A bit scared that the linen warp will snap when I beat so hard. I can see it fraying the centimeter above where I weave.Almost halfway through already after five or six hours of weaving.I got too confident. I usually weaved alone, but I was tired and there were several other people in the studio. So I started the wrong place in the pattern (been a while since last time). So I had to unweave about one or two centimeters and then two warp threads snapped since they were so frayed.After a long break I went back to fix the snapped warp, we didn’t have more of the warp threads but I’d found something similar that was a bit thinner. I unwove a centimeter to expose where the snap happened and threaded the new warp thread through the same place with a needle. Then I tiyed it to the warp threads that had snapped in the back.You can barely see the difference in the warp threads and it won’t be noticeable in the finished product.The table runner is finally cut down and all I need to do is fasten/cut all loose threads. And then I need to clean it a bit because it’s full of linen debris from the loom.Finally finished

The Marius debacle that just keeps on giving

You might remember my last post about the Marius sweater melt down. Well, let me tell you, there have been more, many many more of them since last Saturday.

I slept on the issue about cutting up holes for the arms, and decided to ask the internet for help. There is a facebook group where people post pictures and asks questions about Norwegian sweaters. So I posted the question about if it is possible to avoid cutting. There were a lot of answers that weren’t really helpful, and a few that was. So I decided to knit the front and back separately back and forth and sew the arms on afterwards. The only issue would be to knit the pattern on the wrong side. Some people say that is difficult, and suggest to knit backwards instead.

So I picked up the sweater for the 6 year old and started on the pattern. After a few rounds I divided it up and knitted back and forth. I tried knitting it both backwards, and on the wrong side. Both went a bit slow, but worked fine. When I was about halfway done with the pattern on the front (27 rounds), I decided to measure the sweater. I saw that the pattern was a bit longer than it was supposed to, and checked the overall gauge. To my horror I found out that the gauge was 24 sts/10 cm instead of 27. So the sweater was 10 cm too wide, and the model is already of a really baggy sweater. So I checked everything else I had knitted and came to the conclusion that I had two sleeves with the right gauge for size 4. The sweaters on the other hand were both way of. The size 6 had the width for a size 10 or 12 year old and had started the colour pattern at the length for size 6. I had a faint hope that the smallest one could be used for the oldest one, but alas. The sweater that was supposed to be in size 4, was instead in size 8 and I had knit 16 cm of it. It was then 4,5 weeks until Christmas and 2,5 until my visit to Oslo where I had hoped I could deliver them ahead of time. So that I could have time to focus on the other presents.

I have been home from work most of the week with a really bad cold and therefore had plenty of knitting time. So I decided to just jump in and start the size 6 all over again. I had knitted the rib on 2.75 mm and the body with 3.0 mm and thought the rib was too tight compared to the body. So I knitted the rib in 3.5 mm and switched to 2.0 mm on the body. After 5 cm rib and a few cm of the body, I realized that I now had the opposite problem. The rib was too loose. So I had to frog it again.

I then started all over again with smaller needles for the rib. After a few rounds I realized that I had twisted the stitches on the needle, and I had to frog that attempt as well. I should have realized at this point that starting new things while frustrated and sick, wasn’t the best combination, but I didn’t. So I decided to try a new cast on technique that would look so much better on the edge. I used one or two hours just casting it on, and after knitting it for a round or two, I could see that it was actually really ugly. So I frogged that as well.

The next attempt was much better and I knitted away with needle 2.5 mm on the rib and 2.0 mm on the body. It was extremely boring to knit around and around in one colour, but I tried to hang in there. I could only find needles that were 40 or 80 cm long, so I switched a bit back and forth because nothing was really comfortable.

After a break yesterday, I knitted some more on the body today. Some time during the day I realized that I don’t want to put myself through the stress of trying to finish both sweaters by Christmas. So I decided to knit a Marius hat for the youngest one that could match the sweater he will receive a month later for his birthday. The sweater pattern also had a hat pattern for the same yarn, so I cast on. The pattern is for the sizes 2-4 and 6-12 years old. I’m appearently still a bit sick, because I cast on for the biggest size, because for a split second I thought so would knit it for the five year old, even though I had decided to knit it for the two year old. I also used needle 2.5 mm on both the rib and main part, not quite sure why. At some point not long after I realized the first mistake, but since the rib was tighter than 40 cm, I decided it was okay, it would just be a bit baggy. But when I was over halfway into the pattern I wanted to check the size because I thought it looked kind of small. I had checked the gauge multiple times and knew that was okay and the hat had a circumference of 44 cm. I checked that up against some other pattern sizes, and felt like crying. To repeat, this pattern said that a size 2-4 year old is 40 cm. All other patterns I consulted says approximately 46-52 cm for a 2-3 year old.

So what the f… is wrong with this pattern? Why the h… is this happening to me? And this time it wasn’t even my fault. So it is again time to sleep on it so I won’t do anything hasty.

To sum it up, in the last week I have knit about 27 rounds of pattern on the biggest size and continues on the main part of the smallest size. I have had to discard about 55-60 cm of sweater knitting. I have tried to cast on the the biggest sweater four times and have frogged about 10 cm in the process. I have had a day break to knit on something else to not get totally mad. And I have knit half a Marius hat that will most likely fit a baby the age of 9-12 months. Who knew that staying home with a nasty cold and knitting for five days would end up this disastrous. I’m not sure I’ll be able to pick it up again with this many mistakes around every turn. Time will tell. I just wish the receipients’ mother didn’t know about them, because then I could have just quit without having to explain it.

My third weaving course

I went to my third weaving course in the second week of October. The course was held in Rauland, Telemark as usual with the same teacher as the last two times. This time we were supposed to learn more about the technique called to-skaft/lerret.

I think several of the other course participant thought it was a bit boring to only learn about this technique since it is so basic. But I liked that we had to learn how different colours, textures and thickness in the material we weaved with, would make different result with the same pattern. I forgot to take pictures of all of the things I tested out but here are two of them.

At the end of the course I wanted to practice more on making a warp so I made one for Easter kitchen towels. I knew I didn’t have time to weave it at the course so I made it to take home and test out on my table loom.

The autumn baby blanket

I’ve completed a couple of knitted projects lately and can finally share some pictures. I mentioned in a post September 1st about the baby blanket which had a deadline in November. It is Kate Davies’ hap shawl pattern Moder Dy which I’ve knit with thinner yarn and made into a baby blanket.
I wanted to knit it in yellow since the mother loves mustard-yellow. I’ve heard about the knitting/colour term grellow for some time and decided to test it out. I didn’t want a totally yellow blanket so I used Filcolana Arwetta Classic in grey and searched all local yarn shops for yellow yarn and other colours that would match. I ended up with several different yarn brands and fiber types. In the beginning I called it my sunset/sunrise blanket.

These are the original colours I started with. I’ve knit haps before, but this pattern called for the opposite knitting order than what I’m used to.

You start with knitting the outer border.

Then you pick up hundreds of stitches and start to knit inwards.

The colorful pattern is knit in waves.

I chose to start with red and worked myself inwards through orange towards yellow.

I changed my mind several times on the colours while I was knitting because I didn’t feel that the colour transitions were good enough. I even ripped up the two top colour areas on the picture above. That was a tough decision to make.

But I’m super satisfied with the end result. And I decided that it has a more autumn feel than sunrise/sunset which was the colour theme that I started with.

The centre of the blanket is knit by knitting garter stitch back and forth on one of the four sides, while attaching the knitting to the two adjacent sides.

When I was finished knitting, I put it in the washing machine in a washing bag and spread it out on my blocking mats with pins and wires. I can see that I’m gonna need more mats soon because the blanket was almost too big for the mats I have.

I love the way the colours fit together with the grey and how beautiful the border is. Kate Davies’ pattern are a joy to knit and give away as usual 🙂

Marius for everyone

I have friend who is also my cousin whom have two boys that are soon turning 2 and 5 years old. I’ve been knitting for them since before the first one was born. I’ve lost track of all the stuff they’ve got over the years and I keep trying to outdo myself every time.

So this year I asked their mother really early on in august, what she wanted me to knit them for Christmas. And she said she wished for Marius sweaters. For those who don’t know the pattern, I must say that it is by now the most famous Norwegian sweater pattern out there.

In my opinion it has become a bit too much of it ever since they made a pattern book with that one pattern repeated on phone cozies, dog sweaters and pot holders. So it wasn’t my first choice of pattern, but who am I to refuse when I actually asked for suggestions.

So I sent her thons of pictures of different models and colour combinations and she ended up with this one.

I’ve never knitted a sweater with set-in sleeves before, but thought that it was time for me to face the challenge. I know that a lot of people have this misconception that yoke sweaters are for girls and set-in sleeves are for boys. So I didn’t want to make the sweaters in a way she might not like. I can see the positive and negative things about both ways of knitting, but I like yokes and raglans the best since there’s minimal sewing.

I don’t like how they have the blue pattern on the bottom since the original patterns don’t have that, So I’ve made it simple in plain grey.

I started on the one for the five year old in size six in September and have knitted a little bit here and there but it hasn’t really been a priority because of all the more urgent gifts. When I started on the sleeves I realized that I thought the cuffs were a bit too small for a size six. There is no gauge information for rib, but it’s probably my fault since I used 1×1 rib, instead of 2×2 like the pattern said (I don’t like 2×2 rib).

So I decided to avoid ripping up 14 cm of knitting and use them for the sweater for the two year old who is getting a sweater in size four instead.

Earlier today I was knitting away on the two sleeves at the same time, only half paying attention to the pattern when I saw that it had more instructions. Since I started this project two months ago I had convinced myself that it was knit the way I usually do, with a circular yoke. But when I reread the instructions I realized that I again had taken on a project to take myself outside my comfort zone and try something new. An idea I wasn’t really that fond of anymore on a Saturday night. And to top it all of, I had knit 5 cm past where I was supposed to start the colour pattern. So I had to rip up 5 cm.

I continued on and refused to put the knitting down even though I had plenty of other things to do. After hours and hours of knitting and bad television, I was finally at the end of the sleeves. And then I started thinking that I really can’t cut into the sweater to make arm holes, it’s just ludicrous. I’ve been to a course to learn how to steek (cut a sweater into a jacket), but this is just wrong. So I’ve posted a question on a sweater knitting group on facebook asking for alternative ways to do this. I’ll keep you updated on the progress. And in the meantime I’ll continue knitting on the bottom part of the one in size 4, ignoring what lies ahead.