Wednesday, December 29, 2010

FO: Simple neckwarmer

This is a variation of Scholar Collar by Jared Flood. As there is no real pattern for it, just an idea and some notes, I improvised and adapted the pattern. It works well with the button that I got in the States this summer. This was really a last-minute knitted gift. I was looking for a pattern for a cowl and discovered this neckwarmer. It seemed like an ideal pattern for my hubby who does not like large and bulky scarves. If you are ever looking for a quick gift for a guy, this is it. Nice yarn and some classy buttons and you have a winner.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

FO: Frozen

A new pair of wrist warmers is complete. I used only 37 grams (!) of Misti  Alpaca Baby Alpaca. This is a lace yarn, so I doubled it. I got two skeins of this yarn in Webs' annual sale and it makes me happy 'coz as I weighed the leftovers I realized that I still have enough yarn to make another pair of wrist warmers for me (once I get to it). I used the Lithuanian pattern book and this time there was no deviation from the original chart.

They are fuzzy and warm and I bet the recipient will be happy about them. I am still finishing off some of Xmas presents as I have another 2 days till I see my husband's part of the family. Since all the heavy cooking is over, it is nice to be able to relax, enjoy the sweets and the knitting. I'll leave you with a picture of my new favourite Xmas cookies...

Wishing you all a relaxing festive season,


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

FO: Wurm goes Noro

Blogging gets a little bit difficult with all those Xmas knits on the way. This is also a Xmas present, but as long as it is a surprise, the recipient will not figure it out it is for her. I merged two patterns for this one: Noro hat and Wurm.

There is probably more Wurm hat in it than Noro. I used the decreases from the Noro hat. Also, I added several short rows to make the hat tilt to the back slightly. More notes, as always, on Ravelry project page.

All in all, a very quick knit and a warm, cozy result.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

FO: Greenery hat

Between all those pattern choices I went for Greenery hat (Ravelry pattern link). It is a very straightforward pattern, I would have preferred a chart over written instructions, but that is just a small thing. It is a very nice product, one unfortunate thing though is that it keeps riding up and does not stay over my ears. But that is not the pattern's fault, rather my head's. So quite unexpectedly this is going to be a Xmas present to somebody with a smaller head than mine.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Vienna, Austria

It is very windy in Vienna these days, but I do not mind it as the snow creates a special pre-Xmasy atmosphere. And I always have a great excuse to spend time in great coffeehouses round here. Today I even managed to get to one yarn shop that is not too far away from the city center and the Xmas market pictured above. It is a great shop that carries Noro, Kauni, Shetland, Marianne Isager wool and others. I had to restrain myself from getting into a wool shopping frenzy. I got some Kauni which I intend to use for some mittens. The shop owner is a very nice lady and she got into discussion of Kauni wool mystery. She says she orders the wool from Estonia, pays an Estonian company and gets yarn delivered from there, so she does not understand how come Denmark on the labels comes into picture. I've tried Kauni yarn before and also Aade Long Artistic (here my project), which is the Estonian equivalent of Kauni, but cannot tell the difference between these two except for the price, of course, and the fact that Aade Long is not that easy to get.

Anyways, I'm off to the city again and leave you with some nice pictures from KunstHausWien garden.

Hundertwasser exhibition, the museums building itself and the house nearby are very inspiring. And if you ever are in Vienna, I totally recommend to visit these.

I really loved each and every corner of it...

and I mean every corner... :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

a hat in progress

This was the status after a long train ride last week. This morning, however, I realized that I won't be able to finish the hat the way I pictured it, so the bit that you see in the picture above was frogged and restarted. The pattern is a combination of Noro hat and Wurm (both Ravelry links). I'm using Noro Silk Garden for the first time. Love the feel of it.

In other news, I did some baking this weekend as well. Here's the proof:

I have an old recipe from my husband's grandma for these Zimtsterne. I forget each year that this is quite a sticky business to have them done. But they are soooo yummy, I tell you. No wonder, it uses quite a big chunk of marzipan. There's a second tin full of them and some of the dough I had to freeze in. That'll be baked next weekend.

And these ones are coconut macaroons that are ideal to use up all that egg white left over from baking stollen. These ones were done quite a while ago and one tin is already gone. Good that I'm the only one aware of the existence of the second one.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

FOs: Yellow newborn hat & socks

Needles: 2.5mm (US 1.5) circulars.
Yarn: Schoppel Wolle Admiral 4-ply. I used the leftover bits that I had from knitting yellow bee socks. The hat and socks weigh only 28g. This seems to be a great project to get rid of those leftover sock bits.
Pattern: Newborn hat and sock set. This was a very easy and a quick knit. The pattern is very well written and gives you several choices for the top of the hat. I  added a k2p2 brim as I did not want it to curl up. Otherwise, just followed the instructions.
It goes well with EZ Surplice Baby Jacket and the yellows are nearly identical.

Monday, December 6, 2010

FO: Über-minimalist wristwarmers

The wrist warmers are complete. That was a very quick knit if we ignore the fact that the prep was done months ago by my sister who patiently threaded those beads. I used in total just under 200 beads for both wrist warmers, but that is just my rough estimation, don't think you can make me actually count them. :)

Drops Alpaca is soft and warm, it comes in great colours and is generally a joy to knit with. Normally I'd try to avoid using 1.25mm needles, but this is such a fast knit that it was really no problem at all.

Unfortunately, this pair is going to be a present to my MIL. Unfortunately, because I quite like them myself. Once I get the hang of threading the beads easier, I'll get to knitting some more pairs. This seems as a good and quick Xmas present knit.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

FO: EZ Baby Surplice Jacket

Now this is a knit that I'm extremely proud of. I've had a try at EZ's Baby Surprise Jacket, but honestly I could not wrap my mind around that construction. Having succeeded at this version, I'm confident to try BSJ again.

It's still unblocked as the recipient is due only in May. My mods: the body is somewhat longer, thus I had to stop the neckline decreases as soon as the increases for the sleeves were started. I'll be able to tell it in May if that was a good decision.

Pattern: Surplice Baby Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann.
Yarn: 2 skeins of Wolle Rödel Siena (Sport, 5ply, 100% Merino). I've had only positive experience with this yarn and it seems like a very good choice for baby items.
Needles: 3.5mm (US 4) circulars, as always. I really can knit everything on circulars and magic loop if needed.
Other notes: I kitchener-stitched the sleeves from the left side, so it looks perfect. Definitely better than sewing. I also did 6 extra rows of ridges on the sleeves (picked up the stitches after seeming the sleeves and did a few alternating rounds of knit and purl). I prefer this look over a k1p1 sleeve.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Xmas bakery

I started the preparation for the festive season. First off, I baked a marzipan stollen. That's the first time that I've made one (well, to be honest, I started straight with two), so I was surprised at how easy it was. It was not that hard at all. I guess I was expecting something along the lines of Kissinger Brötchen which is my husband's favourite type of Xmas cookies and take a whole day to make (or so it feels).

With stollen, the preparation is important. The dried fruit is supposed to be soaked, the dough has to rest, but once it's in the oven, it's easy-peasy. 

It needs to be coated with all the good stuff, then packed up and left to rest for at least 2 weeks. Since I have two, I plan on opening the first one in 2 weeks to see if I need to try another recipe to have a tasty stollen ready for Xmas.

Though this one looks yummy as it is...

Friday, December 3, 2010

minimalist version

I've wanted to knit a pair of Lithuanian hand warmers since last winter when I saw so many amazing versions being knit up in Vilnius knitting group. I finally got the Riesines book and some beads this summer only to realize that the beads were too small to get on Drops Alpaca. So instead I'm using some old beads and do not have enough for any fancy pattern, just a simple line across one edge. I got to tell you, now I understand this wrist warmer addiction that's been going across Lithuania. And, I need some proper beads for my next project(s).

Thursday, December 2, 2010

FO: Elefante Nr. 2

This is my second take at the same pattern, which is quite enjoyable to knit. This time in Cascade 220. Were it not for all the seaming, it would have been done weeks ago. I still have quite a bit of stuffing left, so expect more knitted toys round here.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

snow outside my window

I know it's been a while but I've no clue why I went offline like that. I guess I just took a needed break. Now that we finally got snow here in the Swiss 'lowland', I find myself browsing Ravelry again in search for that perfect new hat addition to my wardrobe. I have a skein of Cascade 220 in some nice red shade, but the pattern choice is sooo hard to make. I love Bloom, Isotope, Molly, Greenery hats and Star Crossed Slouchy beret (all Rav links, sorry). It seems to be possible to use 220 for all the above patterns, so a decision is all that's needed right now. :)

Hope you're enjoying winter knitting as much as I do right now.