Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Some random bits

For the past couple of days, ever since I cast on for the new sweater with purelife Rowan, sweater that is all stockinette and nothing but stockinette for skein after skein, my mind of course has been exploring other paths. Stockinette is simple, it uses only one of the two brain cells, and it is very difficult and challenging to stay focused. I am planning on taking a trip next week to visit my two girls in the south and decided to take the train (my soul always drags behind when I am flying, so I like to travel slowly if I have the time, I very much prefer to arrive in one piece, that is body and soul together) and thought that the sweater would be good knitting for the long trip. Now, I am thinking of leaving all the knittings at home, so that by the end of my visit, I am really looking forward to knitting again. I am not sure if this is wise but then again, little break can really work wonders in a relationship and I should know, after all I am married to a sailor. I will make few notes of the two beautiful patterns (both by Bonne Marie Burns) I would love to knit before summer and bring them along in case I see some suitable and beautiful new yarn. Cotton, hopefully.

I have got enquiries about Rowan's purelife and how do I like the yarn. I like it, knitting with big needles does feel a bit clumsy, as small needles suit my hands better, but it has not been bad. Usually I get sore and achy fingers with cottons, but none of that has happened. This could be because I am aware of the fact and tend to take pauses plus choose the needles according to the fiber, but also because simple stockinette really is gentle to hands, as is garter stitch too. But add to the mix lots of cables or decreases and the knitting with cotton becomes more difficult and tiring for hands. The yarn is interesting to look at and to touch, it is not as unforgiving as cotton usually is, where all the mistakes and uneven stitches are very obvious and special care has to be paid to individual stitches, and this of course due to the texture of the yarn. Also it helps to know that the yarn is spun from recycled fibers and that is has silk in it. The yarn breaks more easily than usually cottons do but this is not a problem, I just happened to try how it breaks. It is a three-ply, adding new yarn ball is not difficult. It really is a nice change to my usual wool knitting.

One thing has bothered me a bit and that is that the outcome is thick, as it would be when knitting with worsted, and since this is not wool, it does not have the air pockets that make wool feel lighter, so the outcome is sort of heavy. And I am a bit worried how this will behave when in action, whether this is stiff or will this drape nicely and even out the wrinkles when it is used. Of course by careful consideration before and knitting big swatches and handling them for a few days, would have told me a lot, and I could have planned out the design based on that knowledge but I just made my swatch, compared it to the ball band information, and was quite happy with the outcome, and cast on the stitches for a sweater.

I am not sure how I will shape the sleeves or the yoke yet and that adds both interest and anxiety to the knitting; there seems to be so many possibilities - both right and wrong - ahead. I have only two skeins of lilac and have already used a lot of it for the folded hem so I will need to think up a nice way to add some more of it to the sweater. I am not too worried yet, there are still few skeins to go through before that.

From the last post a couple of answers. The Istex Einband was bought in Iceland some years ago. I have never tried Temari but have one book on the subject and maybe - hopefully - one day I get around to it. And I received Lovely Blog Award from Gayle - thank you for your kind words.

Okey, I started the blog by saying that I have been exploring other paths, and that is that I have been drawing a bit again. Feels rather awkward after such a long time, but since I don't have photos to show you, here's the drawing.
Wool with you,


  1. Anonymous22:51

    I love the drawing, it's so happy and dreamy!
    Just wanted to say I completely understand what you mean by your soul dragging along, I've found that fast travel (much as it is convenient and I appreciate that aspect, of course!) feels unnatural. My brain has difficulty coping with the fact that two completely different worlds (i.e. different parts of my life which basically never come into contact) are only a 7-hour flight away... I hope you enjoy your train-ride, I <3 trains :)

  2. What a lovely drawing! I am looking forward to seeing the sweater.

  3. Madeline02:33

    The Mondo Cable Cardi is gorgeous, and I know yours will be just beautiful. What color would you select? Your drawing is charming.
    I, too, am taking a short break from knitting to re-energize my passion. I'm crocheting with cotton(difficult yarn for me, too) and working on a British needlepoint. Maybe in a week I'll be ready. Can you work on something else on the train? You can always pack needles and pick up sock or hat yarn in the south when you see your girls if you feel you can't wait. Just a thought.

  4. Your art in any form always makes me feel joyful. Including your words: I look forward to and savor your posts. You mentioned language in the last post but your English writing is one of my favorite things: I think you have an original approach because you aren't a native speaker--very beautiful way of putting things.

    However the content is also fascinating and ever interesting. I love the way you have so many artistic outlets.

    I also like the new blog format--except I miss your wonderful photo collage. Will you please make us another one, or put back the old one, some day?

  5. Suzy in Idaho04:28

    I love riding the train also and mindless knitting lets me enjoy the views. Your art work is always inspiring

  6. I've been lurking around your blog for a long time and decided that it's time to thank you for your thoughtful and inspirational posts. I truly enjoy each of them and your art and handiwork is beautiul.
    Also I second Laurel on the thought about photo collage you had in the previous version of blog layout - it was so beautiful and I miss it :)
    Thank you again for sharing your thoughts, art and inspiration!

  7. I always thought we knitters are strange (for others).. waiting for a doctor's appointment? No problem, knitting time. Long train journey? Hurray, more knitting time... I am known to turn back from the door if I forgot to put any knitting into my bag-even if I "only" go to work... but what if the metro gets stuck between two station? What if there is a fire alarm and I have to stand downstairs??? everybody would go crazy, but I would rejoice at the extra knitting time...
    Oh, Lovely drawing BTW.

  8. Hello Lene,
    you did such a beautiful drawing!-Thank you so much for commenting on my blog, i was so glad to see you stopped by!
    Oh, but I have a question. could you, please, return on my blog and write your kind comment again?? Yesterday I was so silly that I used the "delete"button instead of the "publish"button, when I wanted to publish it...maybe I was a bit exhausted, because I finished a sweater for my husband -and that was the first one I knitted after a break of nearly 18 years...I'm sure you understand that;-))

  9. I'm always delighted with your drawings. I also relate with your preferred traveling mode :^)
    Happy and safe journey, enjoy!

  10. I just want to say - I love the way you write! Have a wonderful trip to see your girls!

  11. Your drawing is beautiful. Such a wonderful mix of magic and whimsy! I too enjoy long train rides. My first experience with trains was the summer exploration of Europe with the old Eurail pass many years ago, and I have been hooked ever since. Enjoy the trip - with or without the knitting.

  12. I love to travel by train too. I find the gentle rocking of it soothing. I hope you have a wonderful trip!

  13. Lovely picture.

    Can't you read whilst you are doing your garter stitch? I find a book that will prop up on a book lecturn is just the thing for plain knitting.

    For me trains are made for an audio book on the Ipod and knitting on dpns or a small circular needle - like a shawl done in sock wool or similar.

  14. Thank you so much again, Lene! This time, I used the rigt button;-))
    By the way, I received the book "Yllebroderier" today! It is soooo beautiful! Thank you for mentioning it on your blog. Without your blog entry, I would have never found it. And it is a true treasure...

  15. Anonymous01:39

    +My dear Lene - Your drawings are so sweet! Have you ever thought of gettin a few together - and making/selling note cards? May I be the first to purchase same?

  16. Introduced to your blog a few months ago by a knitting friend, I look forward to your entries. As much as I enjoy your creative observations, I particularly enjoy glimpses of a landscape and way of life that have lived in my imagination since childhood. The welcome sight of a reindeer on your blog made me know I had found a piece of home.

    For that reason, I too miss your collage. Please consider bringing it back, or at least "storing" it somewhere easily found when dreamers like me feel homesick. Thank you so much for your generosity of spirit, and for sharing your life and talents with us.

  17. lene
    love your drawing,I cant travel on a train without my knitting, I spend up to three hours most days on the train to and from work, all my knitting is nearly done there now. We have formed a train knitting group in the mornings,four at this stage and love it. Enjoy your trip to see your girls ,I miss mine she is two days away,pregnant with number two and needs her mum, and hasnet got her close such is life.

  18. Anonymous01:08

    Love your drawing!
    Love travelling by train partly for the scenery that whips by and partly for the hours of uniterrupted knitting time; have a wonderful trip and enjoy your time with your girls.
    And I miss the photo collage as well, but I understand the need for a change :-)

  19. SandyPDX02:23

    Your comment about the weight of cotton interested me. I have just begun my first garment (I don't count socks, hats or scarves) and chose a lovely cream colored cotton. The swatch came out very nice so I went back to the store to buy the 7 other skeins. As I walked from the store with bag in hand, I was surprised at how heavy it was. More than wool I think. It makes sense when I think about it and your remarks confirmed my suspicion. I guess we each will be wearing a garment of substance!
    Your drawing is very pleasing.

  20. Your drawing brought a big smile to my face. have fun on your trip.

  21. Great drawing--hope your trip goes well. I loved the explanation of your body and soul getting separated if you have to travel too fast. So true and so well put!!!

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  23. Had to smile and agree with your comment about flying -- disconcerting, isn't it? Sadly, we have almost no trains (one Amtrak that comes through nearby Ft. Worth) here in my world ;-(.
    And I just put 'cerisara' in my queue yesterday after a loooong rav search for a pattern to use with the Rowan Luxury Cotton I've got in my stash, interesting coincidence, eh? Anxious to see how you like it.

  24. Petra23:42

    I'm a new reader from the Black Forrest in southern Germany and enjoy reading your blog -at the moment I read the archive- very much!

  25. My daughter, Hannah, is doing a report for her sixth-grade class on Sweden. She was wondering what it was like to live in northern Sweden, so I read her your paragraph about the six seasons where you are in Finland... Hannah's comment was that you must be a very calm and observant person--"she really feels the world around her." Thank you for sharing your thoughts on your blog!

  26. tess04:22

    I've really tried to love the new blog template but it just seems so ... well, so boring and just like everyone else's! I miss the old template, with the changing photos and well-crafted feel: it better reflected the care and thoughtful detail in the content of the blog itself. You should use the format that pleases you, of course, but if you are having second thoughts ...