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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hand washing lopi sweaters

Lopi sweaters can be quite sensitive to washing and should only be washed by hand. A few washing machines have very good wool programs (mine actually does) but I still wouldn't risk it.

My best method for washing goes like this:
  1. Fill a tub with lukewarm water and a nice smelling shampoo (yes just your regular hair shampoo) and soak your sweater in it.
  2. Gently squeeze and swirl the sweater around.
  3. Remove the water and fill the tub again with clean water and conditioner (yes, again just your regular conditioner).
  4. Gently squeeze and swirl the sweater around for a few minutes.
  5. Repeat step 4 and 5 if the water is dirty until it becomes clean.
  6. Squeeze most of the water from the sweater and put it in the washing machine for a slow spin for a few minutes. You can skip this step but drying time will be longer.
  7. Lay the sweater on a towel to dry.
Most lopi sweaters don't need washing that often and sometimes it's enough to just "freshen" them outside.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Tricks to knit a bit faster

Even though I'm a fast knitter I sometimes I wish I could knit a lot faster. My knitting speed depends on what size needles I am using, if I'm using steel or acrylic needles, what type of yarn etc.
I do have a few tricks up my sleeve that I believe make my knitting go just a bit faster:

  • Try not to knit too tight. If you do and aren't able to change it, try using a smaller needle in your left hand (if you have interchangeable needles that is). That way the stitches will easily come of the needle despite your tight knitting.
  • Use a shorter circular needle when knitting in the round. For example I use a 60 cm needle when knitting the body of a sweater, even in XL. It just makes moving the stitches easier and quicker.
  • Relax your body, shoulders, arms and fingers as much as you can and, again, try to relax your knitting so it's looser without being too loose.
  • Watch or listen to something really exiting. I tend to knit very fast when I do cause I get so exited. It works best though when knitting with one color in the round.
Then if this doesn't help, one could always master speed knitting:

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Cats and knitting humor

I often wish that I wasn't allergic to cats. They are such independent and funny creatures and I looooove cat humor.

I can't imagine our bunny doing something funny or sweet to my yarn. She would probably just eat it ...

Pretty yarn.

I found this pretty yarn when browsing on Etsy. I always fall for pretty colored yarn, especially when it changes colors slowly. I will order it one day ... I will!

Check out Apple Tree Knits for more yarn.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Decrease evenly across a row

I'm a horrible mathematician ... horrible. So when I see these words in a pattern I have two options. I can either wing it and then resent my project for being "wrong" or I can go to this website and have the calculator do it for me. There's also a calculator for increasing evenly on the same site. When I found the site I thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread ... and well I still think it is :)

Do you know of any useful tools like this that you would like to share with me?


Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Knitted dresses

Recently I finished a knitted dress. It's a design by Helga Isager and can be found here. I've actually made three of these dresses and each one is unique. First I followed the pattern but used unusual yarn, single strand unspun Icelandic Lopi and some glitter thread. I really love this blue color.

Then for the second one I only followed the pattern for the yoke but changed the skirt and hemline. I used different yarn, one strand Icelandic one ply Einband and one strand Cascade baby alpaca lace held together. I also put beads in the yoke by threading them on specific stitches while knitting using a very small crochet hook. This method can be seen here in this fine video:

What I like most about this dress is the color. I used Einband in Teal and Cascade alpaca lace in Aporto. They mix beautifully together and make this kind of blue-green variegated color.

This dress now belongs to a woman in Switzerland :)
Both dresses were nice but I guess they could be quite warm to wear since both are made with 100% wool. So I decided to make a third one using a cotton/wool blend yarn from Geilsk. It's very soft and drapes nicely. I changed the hemline again and used the lace pattern from the yoke.

This one is longer than the others and quite stretchy.
I used steel gray beads for the yoke.
All dresses are/were for sale in my Etsy shop

Friday, January 3, 2014

Crocheted baby hat

Since I was born many of the children in my family have received a very special crocheted hat. A woman who was working at my grandfather's firm made one for each baby born, or most of them at least. I remember my sisters wearing these extremely cute hats with giant pompom's. Their hats still exist after more than 20 years.

My son wearing his hat in 2005
When I had my own children this woman had stopped working for the firm but still sent some hats, much to my enjoyment. Then when I had my daughter in 2009 I decided that I wanted to learn how to make them and asked my mother arrange it, which she did. At first it wasn't the easiest pattern to master mostly because there was no real pattern. But I managed to figure it out and since then I've made a few both for my own children and my sister's. I love making them, they're so wearable and cute.
My daughter wearing the first hat I made for her.
Many have asked me for the recipe but I don't share it since I think it's not mine to share. I have however decided to make a few hats to sell on Etsy. I make them to fit 3-6 month old babies and the material is 100% wool.

This is the first hat I made to sell, worn by my 4 month old daughter. The hat is a bit big on her but one of the great things about these hats is that they kind of grow with the child for a few months.

I hope you like the hats as much as I do :)