I hope you all had a lovely Easter or Spring break! I was in England and had a whole week without knitting. You might ask if that is a good break or not? I had a sore hand so I think it was nice. I stayed in places with no wool or knitting needles so I managed to give my hands some rest form knitting. I popped by Loop in Islington London – but it was Monday and they are closed in Mondays. That is how I knew I was meant to rest!
Loop is one of the best yarn stores in Europe!
In London we stayed at the lovely country house style hotel The Rookery in Clerkenwell. It is quirky and lovely. We stayed there to get to know a new part of London – and learned that it is one of the oldest part of town.
The lounge at The Rookery
After a few days in London we headed to the countryside for the rest of our stay. There are so many nice places to see and walks to be had.
I could imagine living in this lovely cottage in Alfriston.
Wilmington has a lovely church yard.
Everywhere we were greeted by nodding daffodils and what better way to enter spring! Back home in Oslo spring is a bit further away, but I know it will come. During rainy evenings I started working on a pair for socks inspired by the lovely hues of nature waiting for bloom.
Back to knitting!
There are so many things that inspiring to us we never really know what triggers it and where we are going to find it. I love that about being creative; you never know what will spark off the next design!
I have put together some of my things to see if, arranged in a different way, they can get me going. I collect Norwegian folk art painted bowls. I find them at charity shops and flee markets. They are so handy to have for bread, fruits and snacks. Today I got them out and had a better look at them.
There are some shades of colours that are common for the Norwegian folk art, and I tend to find them a bit heavy. However there are some interesting colour combinations to be spotted in the intricate patterns.
I love the bowls for their history and the labor of love that has gone into making them. Mine are mainly post WW2 and therefor super affordable. If they date before the war they are found in antique stores and not flee markets. I think the post war ones deserve to be valued too.
My other mood board making today has a foxy theme. I was in England some weeks ago and bought some screen print tea towels that can be stitched up to a toy or a cushion on a rainy day! I love the idea and I love the prints too. I also came across a most beautiful card that happen to be a fox. So here we go:
The unfolded tea towel is by Mibo, and the folded up one is by Sarah Young.
Looking at the card by Judy Lumley I just marvel at the creativity she displays. The yarn I tucked into the photo is some hand dyed yarn I got on Etsy from Lanitium Ex Machina. I didn’t think about foxes when I got it, but it was laying around when I unpacked by fox finds form England and what a match!
It’s time to get back to my drawing pad and pencils. I do feel a bit more inspired so hopefully some great new hand knit designs will follow.
I often knit in DK weigh yarn on needles 3,5 to 4mm (US 4 -6), and I watch the work grow slowly. I love the definition that can achieved with this tension and colour work. But sometimes it is fun to change yarn and needles and speed up a bit.
The other day I did just that. I have had some Alafoss Lopi in my yarn cupboard for ages, and it takes up space. So in lack of a project for the yarn I got it out together with a pair of needles size 12mm (US 17)! I needed a bedside rug for the wooden floor in the bedroom, so it was pretty straight forward!
It’s a no-brainer to knit the rug, but if you need a no-brainer the pattern can be downloaded for free here!
Last weekend my knitting and I was on national TV in Norway. The story was my knitting book “Knit Nordic” that started it’s life in the United Kingdom before it came home to Norway. During the shooting for the pies I was knitting a smart phone sock for my iPhone. The original pattern in the book has squares with four different motifs in each square, but since I had a few other things to focus on I made the same motif in all the squares!
My one year old smart phone cosy. It needs a trip in the washing machine.
The cameraman got the one I made during the filming and I just sent off one to the reporter! They actually liked them! As I have made a few different varieties lately I wanted to share them with you. There are endless possibilities to make your smart phone as personal as it can be. I really love to pull my modern high tech sleek iPhone 5 out of a low tech traditional patterned little cosy!
Three different varieties of smart phone cosies. The outer two are based on the pattern in “Knit Nordic“. The middle one is a new pattern.
If you like the middle one the pattern is available on Ravelry and Etsy. It is inspired by traditional Faeroe Islands knitting. The pattern is often used in women’s sweaters.
To many people this time of the year is knitting season. It certainly is for me! I have deadlines to meet and my head and note pads are brimming with new ideas for knitting patterns. This does not leave me with much time to sit down and enjoy our craft. However, I managed to sneak in half an hour and knit a cosy for a jam jar. Why would I do that? Come Sunday and dinner time I could sport a new vase for the beautiful flowers form the garden!
All you need to make a cosy for a jam jar is some scrap yarn, sock needles and an idea of how many stitches you need to make the cosy fit the jar. A good way to judge that is to see if the jar is the size of your ankle of lower arm and think how many stitches you would cast on for a sock or a sleeve. I used 40 sts and doubble pointed needles size 5.5mm (US size 9) for this jar that is 31 cm (12″) in circumferance.
My next little knit is another jar cosy to cover my pencils box in the office.