Första veckan på sommarlovet

Som lärare känns första veckan på sommarlovet som om man kastats av från ekorrhjulet i högsta fart och man landar lite yr och vimmelkantig i det tomma intet. Bäst alltså att fylla den så gott man kan med allehanda sysselsättningar.

Min lösning har i år varit att dels avsluta en översättning på en provbank till ett läromedel i engelska, Scene, för förlaget Otava.

Scene prov

Har ju tidigare under vårterminen översatt både textbok och övningsbok och nu är då paketet kompletterat med 400+ sidor evalueringsmaterial för finlandssvenska skolor. Tack, Otava, för att ni satsar på oss!

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Samtidigt har jag också lyckats färdigställa en tröja i 100% mjuk och skön merinoull. Koksgrå och ljus grågrön är färger jag ofta använder, har jag märkt. Den här blir en favorit i höst, men kanske också redan nu på kyliga sommarkvällar.

Tagen med Lumia Selfie

Tagen med Lumia Selfie

På stickorna dessutom en svart-vit-grå kofta i 100% alpakka (älskar naturmaterial!) som är färdig att levereras till mottagaren under de närmaste dagarna.

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Så vad ska jag hitta på nästa vecka??

Wiolakofta

Min modifierade version av Wiolakofta, design Kristin Wiola Ødegård. Stickad i endast tre färger, rätt neutral i grågrönblå/mellangrå/naturvit i motsats till originalets dubbelt så många färger.

100% merinoull.

Även nu, två år senare, känns koftan som en mitt-i-prick träff angående färgval och mönster.

Wiolakofta

Fair Isle – “Aspen”

Igår blev den då färdig, min “Aspen” – design Marie Wallin.

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Mönstret finns i boken “Autumn”:

och originalet ser ut så här: 

Modifierade mönstret eftersom jag inte är särskilt förtjust i insvängda tröjor och för att jag insett att koftor är betydligt mer användbara på jobb än heltröjor. Använde tre färger av Drops Alpaca: blå mix 6360 (250 g), vit 1101 (200 g) och dimma mix 9021 (150 g).

Hittills har jag mest stickat nordiskt i flerfärg, dvs. norskt traditionellt/modernt och några i svensk bohusstickning, men erfarenheten med den här tröjan gav mig definitivt mersmak. Riktigt nöjd är jag faktiskt!

Aspen4 detail

Har samlat på mig en hel del mönsterböcker om Fair Isle, så månne det inte ska bli fler tröjor och kanske mer färggranna dessutom…

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Alpaca – So Soft & So Warm…

One of my favourite materials to work in – Alpaca. Here a collage of some of my Alpaca sweaters and cardigans, all in Drops Alpaca.

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Drops Alpaca comes in lots of beautiful shades and if they’re not enough, it can easily be combined with Mini Alpakka from Sandnesgarn.no, which , however, is more expensive.

I tend to buy yarn in bulk when they’re on sale which happens about twice a year when we’re talking about Drops Alpaca: November-December -25% and May -35%. So even though my Alpaca stash looks like this at the moment…

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… I’m awaiting a new order of lots and lots of yarn as it is that favourite time of year for yarn shopping – May.

Here you can see the Alpaca garments individually:

  1. “Nancy” (Sandnes Garn)

Alpaca72.

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3. “Rygja” (Sandnes Garn)

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4. Seven sorts / Sju slag by Vanja Blix Langsrud

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5. Free pattern in Norwegian from Gjestal.no

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6.

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7. Elidakofta

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8. – 9.

Number 8 is a modification of Ventetid by Kristin Wiola Ødegård

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Now I’ve got to run down to the yarn store – just got the message that my yarn has arrived \o/.

Blue Anemone Girl – Blåveispiken – Flickan med blåsippor

One of the first cardigans for adults I made during this latest 2-year-long knitting craze was this spring inspired garment. It’s named after the beautiful pennywort that heralds spring and the returning light and life after the long Scandinavian winter. The ground is still brown and murky and few greens have had time to sprout their delicate greens at the time of its arrival. Even the plant’s own leaves are not yet there, only the beautiful bright blue-purple flowers pop up here and there and fill people’s hearts with joy and hope for the coming summer months.

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The colours of the cardigan reflect these circumstances: The murky browns, the bright green of the leaves and the flower petals themselves against a very neutral background. I loved the cardigan as soon as I saw it on Ravelry and could not help myself but buy the pattern. The original yarn, Hifa Ask, however, was not available in Finland or in any EU country; in fact, I haven’t been able to find it outside Norway at all, and I had to come up with an alternative.

I ended up with Drops Merino Extrafine, not the perfect choice, but  close enough and, what’s more, it was affordable, something that cannot be ignored by a compulsive knitter ;). The result:

Blåveispiken

The cardi was finished in about eight days. However, it ended up a tad too big so I have never worn it even once, but I don’t regret knitting it for a minute. Lately, I’ve been playing with ideas of reusing parts of the pattern to compose a complete new design. For example, I absolutely love the pattern at the bottom of the bodice and the sleeves. The anemones could be used together with the leaf pattern in a yoke, and if one changes the colour scheme the end result could be pretty satisfactory, I would imagine.

Fair Isle knitting

My latest passion involves the British tradition of multi-colour stranded knitting and has resulted in my knitting book library growing by a number of new acquisitions.

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This is my knitting book library altogether so far, not counting pattern magazines. A lot of Norwegian style patterns actually with acclaimed designers like Kristin Wiola Ødegård, Vanja Blix Langsrud and others.

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This is the Fair Isle project I’ve been working on today. Not quite happy, but I’ll get there :)

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Knitting, knitting as if my life depended on it… Just kidding ;)

But there has been a lot of knitting involved in the last two years. Sweaters and cardigans in droves:

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Baby garments as I’ve become both a maternal and a paternal grandma:

Baby Setesdal Oliver

Baby Telemark Oliver

Babydress3Elefant Baby

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Even dozens of new handknitted socks have found their way into my drawers even though I actually hate knitting socks…

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2016 – Annus Horribilis… or not?

dsc_0077aI find myself having very much mixed feelings about this year that’s drawing to its close soon. Awfully dark in many ways, and so joyful in others. And I’m not going to do any dwelling on what’s happening globally right now, because that’s too scary even to think about. On the other hand, I’ve become the maternal grandma the second time over to a wonderful boy and, today actually is the due day for the arrival of the first child of one of my sons. And that’s pretty much where all the joy has come from. But I am not going to talk about that either. No, this post will be all about me personally and how this year’s journey has changed me.

I’ve had to rethink my whole life and my approach to all things important to me so far, and that’s been incredibly hard to deal with. Existential angst, extreme anxiety and anguish have been the constant companion in this process, but it has also resulted in frenzied creativity channelled into knitting. Also, I now find myself having made up my mind on a lot of those things that drove me into this situation. So many years have been devoted (wasted?) to work, work, work, and ,sure, I’ve enjoyed a lot of it and I’m proud of having produced a lot of really good innovative stuff for the classroom. On the whole, I know that a lot of my students through the years have enjoyed it and found completely new effective learning paths. But somehow, all those good things never reached outside of my classroom and that’s been a source of ever growing frustration within me, until it finally broke me a year ago.

Now, in the darkest and grayest days of November, I find myself extremely content, surprisingly enough. Minimizing work but maximizing output, concentrating on doing my own thing and on pedagogy I believe in, marginalizing stuff I can’t completely disregard and yet not control, distancing myself from people who have hurt me in the past, connecting to people who make me laugh and feel happy…. The list could go on much further, but I will end it by promising not to feel any guilt over money or time spent on yarn, but to allow myself all the joy the ideas, the colours and texture and sensual satisfaction that handling a lot of different wools and knitting material gives me, both now and in the future.

 

So, I am happy today, as I was happy yesterday – whatever tomorrow brings, and that’s good enough for me right now. I’m happy to be me and that’s a lot compared to what I felt a year ago.

Have a good day, people!