Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Oups I did it again

I did it again. I just happened to be on the wrong side of town. The side of town where they have a yarn shop. I just happened to pass right by the shop and discovered that they had the annual Drops Alpaca 25% discount party. All by accident.

I have been such a good girl lately. Knitting with left over yarn. Reducing my stash.

By the way, talking about reducing yarn stash. Why is it that when you want your yarn to last until you reach the correct length of your garment there is never enough, while when you knit with left over yarn from your yarn mountain stash it never seems to decrease? That is a mystery to me.

These yarn beauties’ came home with me and they are going to be knitted into hats. I have a hats marathon going on. My goal is to knit up all this yarn before Christmas. I’ll show you the hats as they come along. After that, I will be a good girl again and knit from my stash.

…Although technically this yarn is now also part of my stash… Hence, I am a good girl *grin*

Have a nice week!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Wool in use

Recently, the Norwegian knitter Merete from the blog «Monstermønster» had a blog post about her wool in use (she has a funny undertone when writing, and that is one of the reasons I enjoy her blog so much).

Inspired by her, I thought I would share my wool in use. I realized very quickly that I could not. The reason is I have never knitted any sweaters or jackets for me, only hats and scarfs. I always end up knitting for my children or other relatives and friends. In my case, the wool in use in our household means my children’s “wool in use”.

Wool in use nr. 1 (first from the left), The Spring Jacket, knitted in 2009. No longer in use. Not because Astrid grew out of it, but because my husband did the laundry. I cried, but still let him do the laundry. Until it shrunk, it was one of my favourite jackets. Astrid wore that for years and still it looked very good. It went from being a large jacket with the arms folded up, to be a bolero with ¾ arms. A good invested knitting time. I used Drops Alpaca and it held up to the many washes and wear and tear.

Wool in use nr. 2 (second from left), Left Over Stripes, knitted in 2012. Still in use because I love how he looks in it, but getting too small. Knitted in leftover yarn from Sandnes Alpaca and Drops Alpaca. Again, it still looks good after a lot of wash and wear. I usually wash the wool by hand due to too many washing machine accidents like the above.

Wool in use nr. 3 (third from left) Blue for Baby A, knitted in 2013. This one is in use every week. Knitted in Baby Wool (Merino) from Gjestal, and looks good after lots of wear and tear. Which goes to show that yarn does not have to be expensive to be warm and lasting.

Wool in use nr. 4 (third from the right) Jacket for Astrid, knitted in 2011 by my mum. I think it is knitted in Drops Fabel, colour “pink dream” but I’m not sure. Anyhow, Astrid has worn and torn the jacket for almost three years now and it keeps up very well.

Wool in use nr. 5 (second from the right), Birthday Dress Cardigan, knitted in 2012. This one is not as much in use as the other ones. That is simply because it is her Birthday Party Dress Cardigan, which she mostly uses when going to Birthday Parties. I knitted this one with long arms so it will fit her for several years to come.

Wool in use nr. 6 (first from the right), Kindergarten Jumper 2, knitted in 2011. This is actually a remake (the first Kindergarten Jumper was knitted in 2009) and was never Ravelry’ed. I used Gjestal Baby Wool. Jumpers and sweaters in thin wool seems to be used more often in our household than other knitted garments.

What's your wool in use? And what's your wool not in use, and why?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Plum Liqueur {recipe}

We have a plum tree in our garden. Well more precisely, our neighbours have a plume tree in their garden, and every year they let us pick plums. Like previous years, I have made a few jars of plum marmalade and plum chutney (delicious on any kind of cheese). This year I also made a big 2-litre glass of plum liqueur.

I think it is a bit too early to talk about that time in December called Chr…mas yet, but the fact is that this plum liqueur will be ready to taste just in time for us to enjoy it with chiming bells and pine smelling trees.

If I had known how easy and very little time consuming it is to make plum liqueur I would have done this years ago.

So if you still have plums on your trees or they sell plums in your grocery store and you like something warm and sweet for those cold winter nights, don’t hesitate, make your own liqueur this weekend and it will be done just in time for Chr…. I mean, winter.

1. Take a clean glass jar. Fill it halfway up with plums that you have washed and patted dry.

2. Then pour sugar over the plums until they are covered.

3. Add your choice of Alcohol and fill up until the plums and sugar is covered.

I used two thirds of white rum (Bacardi) and one third of dark rum (Barceló), because that is what I had in my pantry and because I love rum. Choosing Vodka will give you a more neutral a clean plum taste. You could also make it with two-thirds Vodka and one-third rum, or perhaps gin ... (darn, If I only had more plums. I would have made all the versions and compared)

4. Fill up the rest of the jar with plums until you cannot fit more and cover with sugar.

5. Crush the pits of two or three plums and add to the jar. I don’t know why, I just rememeber someone saying that once.

6. Pour rum over until the jar is full. Put on a tight lid and turn the jar upside down. Watch how the sugar slowly falls from the top of the jar to the bottom.

7. Keep the jar in a cold and dark place. Turn the jar 1-2 times a week until the sugar has dissolved, and wait 2-3 months before you have your first taste.

After you have waited patiently for two or three months strain the liqueur. First through a strainer and then through a cloth if you want it clear.

Fill up the liqueur in bottles, and use the plums for a seriously adult plum cake or plum muffins with your favourite vanilla ice cream or homemade vanilla sauce.


Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Knits piling up

Unfinished knitting projects are piling up. So many things to knit, so many more ideas, and so little time. I don’t know where to start and when to finish.

How about you? What’s on your needles these days? Do you have piles gathering up? Or are you a one-project-at-a-time kind of person?

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Mortar and pestle mat

I’m enjoying a cup of hot Indian chai while knitting and watching the birds on our bird feeder. I always dreamt of moments like this when we lived in our flat with balcony and no bird feeder.

I also wanted to show you this “mortar & pestle mat” that I made, (my own definition: a small mat that fits under your mortar & pestle so that your very expensive kitchen bench in oak does not get scratches while the m&p is being used) now used for my teapot.

It’s been ages since I stitched something. These last weeks the urge to stitch again became impossible to dismiss.

To obey the need for stitching I found this lovely squared Japanese fabric in my stash and some blue thread. Nothing fancy or sophisticated, just lines in different lengths, to give a different look and texture on the surface. I am pleased. I might do some more sewing and stitching this fall.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013


I finally got around finishing Bella from the beautiful Danish knitting book, “Babystrik på pinde 3” by Lene Holme Samsøe, that so many Norwegian bloggers have fallen in love with this year. It took me some time to get a hold of the pattern after I first flipped through the book at my friend T, this spring.

The patterns are easy to follow, and I love the simple style these garments have. I am definitely in love with lace knitting, as you will discover throughout this fall.

The Bella top was knitted with Alpakka from “Du store Alpkakka” on 3mm needles. I actually knitted a gauge swatch this time (my first ever!). On the swatch, my gauge was 26 stitches per 10 cm. After finishing and washing Bella the gauge is, 22 stitches per 10 cm.

This means that while I knitted this vest for me niece Ingrid who turns two years in March, it now fits Astrid who turns five in October. I did mean to knit it a bit big so that Ingrid could grow into it, but not that big.

Have you experienced you gauge change on the garment before and after wash? Should I have washed the swatch?