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Knitting helps prevent PTSD. Very cool, and yet another good reason to knit everywhere and at all times.

Guide to Springfield USA

Currently listening to ::
This techno remix of Man of Constant Sorrow. (Link is an .mp3 and is via boingboing.) More about the music from O Brother Where Art Thou? here.

Finished Pippi Stockings spotted at get a clew, shrinking violet and stephknits.

I feel just like this except for it being my refrigerator.

This might be worth considering doing.

How grammatically sound are you?
brought to you by Quizilla.

My results ::
You are a Grammar God!
If your mission in life is not already to
preserve the English tongue, it should be.

Something fun :: Lost in Translation. This quote :
Work is a fine thing if it doesn't take too much of your spare time.
turns into :
"The work is to league together, those, if relative nonexaggerated the useful hour seriously."

Please excuse the sacking of the spring picture but there were snow flurries yesterday and I felt the blossoms were mocking me.

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I'm a happy, healthy survivor of breast cancer at age 25 thanks to early detection by breast self-exam.

It is my most profound wish that all women, everywhere, do breast self-exams every month.
Here's how.
The most important thing is that you learn to know your own body and what is normal for you so that you can tell when something has changed.

More information ::
The Breast Cancer site
National Breast Cancer Foundation
Young Survival Coalition



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Nordic Knitting



Sunday April 25, 2004

Cyn has started up a Nordic KnitBlogs webring! Any and all of you knitters out there who keep weblogs from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Åland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland are more than welcome to join! In fact, please do! This is definitely a webring I will enjoy surfing. And the blogs don't have to be in English, either, but can be in any of the Nordic languages.

And since that's the case...

Nå finnes det en webring for oss strikkere i norden! Alle og enhver som har "strikke websider" i Norge, Sverige, Danmark, Suomi, Island, Åland, Færøyene, og Grønland (Kalaallit Nunaat) er hjertelig velkommen! Og sidene må ikke være på engelsk, men kan være i morsmålet ditt, noe som jeg synes kunne være kjempemorsomt å (prøve å) lese...

And while we're at it, I saw yesterday that Tjorven Garn og Gaver is holding a Strikkecafé on Monday, May 3 at 6pm at Jacob Aall Bar og Café, Bogstadveien 64, 0366 Oslo.

Posted at 2:50 pm  | 

Saturday April 24, 2004

I've dropped everything else to work on this vest and hopefully get it completed by the 9th of May so she can wear it to her sister's confirmation. I've completed the front panel, leaving out the flower and making the heart a bit bigger.

Note: The panel involves quite a lot of stranding from the wrong side which is no fun at all.

I've gotten the ribbing, which includes a few rows of corrugated ribbing, for the body of the vest nearly complete on size 0 needles (what?!?) because I usually do ribbing much too loosely. Once I get a little further up into the body I'll snap a pic and post it. Right now there isn't much interesting about it.

In other news, we got out today and swept this winter's accumulated gravel off of the road in front of our house. It's what they've been coming along and dumping on the roads when they've been icy, along with salt and sand I imagine, since fall. And it must be removed before 17. Mai. This is a rule of which everyone is aware. Anyway, it's not a pleasant job and it made me wonder if people have to do this elsewhere in the world? It certainly wasn't a problem in North Carolina. Right now we live on a street with a good many houses but because of the geography of it we have to remove at least 3 times as much as the nearest neighbors. I guess I ought not complain ... sweeping angrily really does get the job done faster.

Posted at 12:41 pm  | 

Wednesday April 21, 2004

I think if you take this vest from Norsk Strikkedesign...

...size it down to child's size, add a white blouse and a long black skirt, you'll have an approximation of a child's bunad ...

At least that's what I'm planning. I'm thinking it won't take too long. Famous last words?

Posted at 10:23 pm  | 

Monday April 19, 2004

And we have not 1, not 2 but 3 winners!

Stephanie and Josée, both from Canada, and mouse (of MouseTales)!

(There's no way to know exactly who was "it" since sitemeter doesn't update every second and I had to run out of the house to make it to Tae Kwon Do on time and couldn't watch it... but you guys deserve prizes nevertheless.)

Posted at 10 pm  | 

Are you it? If this number ...

... is 200000, then take a "screen shot"* and send it to me for a prize! :O)

*On my computer at least, this involves hitting "Print Screen" then copying the image into the photo imaging software. If that's not possible for you, send me an email anyway...

Posted at 6:20 pm  | 

Speaking of christenings (weren't we?) I spotted this gorgeous knitted christening gown from Dale. It's from their collection nr. 142 and more can be seen at Dale.no (click on Kolleksjoner then Dale Baby) and at Bea Ellis Knitwear.

Kat left this question in the comments ...
What does "bunad" mean, exactly?

Bunad is an old Norse word which simply means clothing. Today it also means "national costume".

"Traditional clothes for a special geographical area" according to Lexin. Each area of the country has their own, loosely based on what used to be worn in those areas during festive and important occasions. People usually chose a bunad they have some geographical connection with... where they grew up, etc. but it's not very rigid. The stepkid has never lived in the northern part of the country but her father comes from the north and that's where her grandmother still lives, so she does have some connection to that area.

Bunads are used for many occasions ... christenings, weddings, confirmations, and especially Constitution Day which is May 17. It seems no occasion is too formal that you can't wear a bunad to attend.

This page has a brief history of the bunad, specifically their classifications. And of course, more can be found at Husfliden. And here are some pictures I took on the sly one 17. Mai.

Posted at 12:20 pm  | 

Sunday April 18, 2004

My local Husfliden doesn't get any black Finull yarn in until Wednesday at least. While we're waiting, I'm investigating more about the Princess Line sweater from Norsk Strikkedesign.

The designer, Kristi Bræin, designed Dale's Fiemme and and Albertville sweaters. The Princess Line sweater was inspired by a bridal crown from Sunnmøre. Here's a side by side for comparison...

Of course, that's a bridal crown from Sunnmøre, which doesn't mean it's the bridal crown from Sunnmøre. (The complete bunad can be seen here at Husfliden.)

And speaking of bunads, the older stepkid is having her confirmation in May and chose the Nordlandsbunad in green. But she says there is no way she's ever going to be wearing the cap. Her grandmother is doing the embroidery and I cannot wait to see it.

Posted at 2:30 pm  | 

Saturday April 17, 2004

The christening is at 12 noon, Norway time. That's 11am GMT and 6 am EST. It's being shown direct online at NRK. Go to nrk.no and click on Se dåpen direkte nå! if you'd like to follow along.
[Update: The live sending is finished, but you can still see it by clicking where it says Se NRKs sending fra slottet.] 
They will also have pictures series (under SE BILDER) posted periodically throughout the day I'm sure. There's already some pictures from the guests arrival. Check out that hat!

Posted 12:01 pm : Maud Angelica is so adorable!

Posted 12:05 pm : The christening gown was last used during Prince Alexander Edward Christian Frederik - later Kong Olav's christening in England in 1903.

Posted at 2:44 pm : Found a picture series and summary of the ceremony in English at Aftenposten.

The picture series at NRK are here...

I'll add more as I see them come up.

Posted at 11:46 am  | 

Friday April 16, 2004

You hedgehog fans might want to check out the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and this page about hedgehogs in Sweden. Apparently they're called igelkott there. In Norwegian they're pinnsvin. I've set out water and carrots for the little guy tonight on the advice from these pages. S. claims I'm just inviting field mice to invade our kitchen again.

In knitting news, I picked up some of the yarn for the Innsvinget Genser. My copy of the book is in Norwegian, but it looks like they've called it "Princess Line Sweater"* in the English translation. Just for the record - Rauma Finullgarn in Norway costs NOK 24.50/$3.55 per skein, making the kit for the sweater come out to NOK 465/$68. Wow. There really are advantages to living here.
And finally I want to thank Chery who pointed me to a French knitter who is just finishing up. If the store hadn't been totally out of black yarn I'd be casting on right this minute.

*Speaking of princesses, Ingrid Alexandra is being christened tomorrow!

Posted at 10:57 pm  | 

See who came visiting last night.

Posted at 7:32 am  | 

Thursday April 15, 2004

FO!

I really like this tank - the short row shaping is marvelous and it fits very well. I left off a couple of the short rows around the bottom edges, but I think were I to make it again (and I just might do that) I'd do them all. I'm off to post over at the Shapely Tank Knitalong Blog, which, in case you're just joining us, has the details of converting this pattern to one knit in the round. :O)

Posted at 5:50 pm  | 

Wednesday April 14, 2004

I had a question in the comments about where to get Rauma yarn, if you're outside Norway and the US ... Fortunately there was just a discussion of this over at NorgeKnit and the possibilities are ordering directly from Rauma by emailing them or contacting Husfliden in Norway directly. The one in Oslo has recently moved, by the way, to Lillegrensen 7, closer to Karl Johans gate. Here is their email address.

Posted at 5:19 pm  | 

Tuesday April 13, 2004

I checked out Norsk Strikkedesign from the library this afternoon....

... can I see myself making this?

(Interested readers can buy the book and yarn kits at Nordic Fiber Arts and Bea Ellis Knitwear.)

Posted at 22:53  | 

Monday April 12, 2004

This article on knitting from the Asheville Citizen-Times lists some yarn shops in the area that I'll definitely be checking out next trip. It also talks about the West Asheville SnB and calls our very own Stacey the "guru of the group." I'm so there.

Posted at 2:43 pm  | 

Saturday April 10, 2004

I've posted the rest of the Shapely Tank in the Round directions here at the Shapely Tank Knitalong blog.

In other news, it turns out we will have people for dinner tomorrow and I think this is what I'll do. I've spent a good bit of time this week happily puttering around in the kitchen - making both bagels from HTBADG and and a huge amount of pasta from the drections in The Naked Chef. I really enjoy baking and it has the lovely side effect of making the husband incredibly happy... he's taken to bowing before me every now and then which I find very encouraging.

However it did occur to me, elbow deep in eggs and flour, that neither the pictures in their books, nor the television shows ever show how sticky you get. One minute they're mixing and the next minute they're kneading with unmucky hands. Is it just me? And why can't life be like a cooking show?

And now for something completely different ... three four Norwegian commercials worth watching.

Twins (.mpg file)
[First Baby] Singing...
[Second Baby] Hallo? Haaaallo?!? Do you mind? Please?
[First Baby] ok...ok
[Second Baby] Thanks.
[First Baby] Still singing...
[Second Baby] Hey. Cut it out now, just cut it out.
[Text] Expecting twins? Prepare yourself.
[Second Baby] Just give it a rest 'til we get out, ok?
[First Baby ] Still singing...

Drumset (.mpg file)
[Teenager] Have you guys seen my drum set?
[Father] Oi. Have we seen his drum set?
[Mother] No, we've not seen it.
[Father] No, we've not...not seen it.
[Teenager] This is all I've got left.
[Father] "Men ellers da?" I don't know how to translate this so it has the right tone. It's a way to change the subject.
[Text] Sell the stuff you don't like...
They're advertising an e-bay type service - Finn.no. Poor kid's parents have sold his drum set. Though as a parent I can rather relate.

And this next one I've been looking for for ages. Carolyn, this is the one I was telling you about...

Doctor (.mpg file)

Choose [ISDN] [fast] [medium] [slow] connection.
Well, Asbjørnsen, I have quite bad news for you ... we weren't able to save your leg. I'm sorry.
But in the meantime we've been lucky enough to find a donor leg for you... quite unexpectedly.
[Sticking the leg on] You might feel a little sting now.
Next, please!
Oh, what do we have here now? Pulled hamstring? Au! Uff da. That can be unpleasant.
And you? Cellulite? Yeah, ick.

They're advertising a type of candy called Seigmenn. It's a gummi-type candy rolled in sugar, very sweet, and in the shape of people. The men have been around since 1965. In 2001, the women appeared then, ostensibly as a reaction to the sudden appearance of the ladies, the men got in shape.

There are more brilliant commercials for these little guys in a series called "Candy for the playful" but I'll give you just one more, for a reason that will become clear shortly.

Security Guard ::
Choose [ISDN] [fast] [medium] [slow] connection.

Release the hostages now!
[microwave peeping] Sick, sick man...
[removing from microwave] Easy... you're safe now.
[eating] Well, maybe not you.

And finally... since you're now properly equipped to appreciate it, I'll share what recently found taped to our refrigerator...

Posted at 1:54 pm  | 

Thursday April 8, 2004

Jessica suggested I share how I'm doing the Shapely Tank in the round, so here 'tis ::

I cast on twice the number given for casting on for the front, minus 4 for the stitches that would have disappeared during seaming. In other words, 188 sts (96 x 2 = 192 - 4 = 188) for the size 38. No I'm not tiny, I just want it to be fitted. :o)
I placed markers after the first half of the cast on stitches to indicate the sides (in my case after 94 sts) as that becomes important during the short rows, then for separating at the underarms.

Then I knitted the garter stitch border by *purl 1 round then knit 1 round* until there were 3 garter stitch ridges.

For the short rows, I just pretended the stitches between the markers on one side were the front and followed the directions. After the last short row turn, I knitted back over the stitches, picking up and knitting the wraps with the stitch next to them as I came to them. After that, I just went on past the side marker and repeated the short row directions for the other side, being the back. Then I knit all the way around one time, being sure to pick up and knit the wraps that were left over. Doing these short rows in the round left half of the wraps on each side un-worked so that's an important step. And, I suspect, the trickiest part of converting this pattern. After this it's a piece of cake.

For the side shaping, I simply did a double decrease (there's directions here) at the side markers. For the increases, I increased on either side of the markers. And that's where I am now.

Posted at 3:15 pm  | 

Meme via Robin... I traced it here, but that's as far as I got.

[Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, find line 4. Write down what it says:]  "out of a sense of propriety, but because it's all the more interesting. Recipes don't, like" ... from How to be a Domestic Goddess.

[Stretch your left arm out as far as you can. What do you touch first?]  The digital camera.

[What is the last thing you watched on TV?]  The movie last night. (See below.)

[WITHOUT LOOKING, guess what time it is:] 11ish.

[Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?] 11:21 am

[With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?] Birds chirping and airplanes flying by.

[When did you last step outside? What were you doing?] I went outside last night to bring in a folding chair from the porch.

[What are you wearing?] Pajamas and my ribby cardie.

[Did you dream last night?] Not that I'm aware of.

[When did you last laugh?] Sometime yesterday afternoon I suppose ... probably on the phone with my cousin, Stephanie.

[What is on the walls of the room you are in?] We have a couple of prints by Norwegian artists. One of them is by Willy Storn and is titled "en ny dag" (a new day) but I affectionately refer to it as "the horse and the naked lady."

[Seen anything weird lately?]  Yes! I was sitting here yesterday, with my back to the window when there was a flash of light outside accompanied by the whole house shaking briefly. The weird thing was there was no real noise. I later heard a lady at the grocery store talking about an earthquake, but apparently it wasn't close to us. But I still think that's what it was.

[What do you think of this quiz?] Since it gave me a chance to talk about that weird thing yesterday - thumbs up.

[What is the last film you saw?] The Rock, last night. Night before that : a Danish movie called Old Men in New Cars. The female lead in that movie was Iben Hjejle, a Danish actress I was finally able to place as having been in the movie made from Nick Hornsby's High Fidelity which is really high on my list of things I want to read. While I'm off the subject you should know that I've seldom laughed as uncontrollably as I did while reading How to be good.

[If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy first?] A large house with an obscene amount of storage space and warm floors.

[Tell me something about you that I don't know:] I have a scar above my right knee from an accidental stab wound with a pair of scissors.

[If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?]  Am I omnipotent now? Empathy. Everyone would suddenly acquire empathy.

[Do you like to dance?] Yes. Yes. Yes.

[George Bush:] Let's not go there.

[Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?] There are two girls in this house already so that doesn't really work, does it?

[Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?] I think his name should include Sigurd since that would make him the fifth in a row.

[Would you ever consider living abroad?] Uhm... Am I living abroad now? Or does living abroad now turn into a move from Norway? In either case, yes.

Posted at 12:53 pm  | 

Wednesday April 7, 2004

Close up of the stripes of the late Christmas sweater.

This was knit in Falk by Dalegarn, a sport weight, machine washable wool*.
The stripe sequence, done in knit 4, purl 3 ribbing was
9 rounds of medium blue (5943), 2 rounds of black (90),
9 rounds of dark blue (5744), 2 rounds of black,
9 rounds of green (8426), 2 rounds of black. Now you know.

I could theoretically write up this pattern, even perhaps for multiple sizes - kid/teen sizes that is. Horizontal stripes and deep ribbing would not be something I could pull off at any rate. Ah, well, it's a thought.

In the meantime, I've gone through my stash and have some things I'm planning to offer to you guys in a chance to do some stash diving! I did a bit myself over at fluffa! a few weeks ago and came up with some wonderful Phildar's Flammé Coton which I'm turning into a Shapely Tank.** Point is : diving into Becky's stash was such a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Getting yarn I wouldn't be able to get otherwise, in the mail, from France, from someone I know felt rather like Christmas, plus I was able to enable her to buy more yarn for herself. (A win-win situation!)

So watch this space for your chance to score some Plötulopi, some PT 5 and a whole pile of Titicaca I don't think I'm ever going to manage to knit up.

*Does that mean "superwash"? It doesn't say superwash, just machine washable. What's the difference?

**I'd love to show it to you, but I decided to knit it in the round and it's impossible to see anything right now. I'm almost at the underarm division point then it'll be easier to photograph.

Posted at 11:15 am  | 

Tuesday April 6, 2004

I have been on the lookout for the right yarn to make a Sitcom Chic since I first laid eyes on Bonne Marie's lovely pattern last spring. Well yesterday I picked up 26 skeins of Cotton Sport in the city. It's slightly obscene how little I paid for them, so maybe I ought not say. There are eleven in #492, which is a lovely sage color and fifteen in #757, which I find myself unable to describe. There's a color card here. Orangey-pink, perhaps?

So, last night, fueled by strong coffee, Creme Brulée and growing case of startitis (there's also a sock started bringing my current WIP count up to 7) I cast on and got a good 6 inches done on one sleeve in the sage. And since there has been one knitalong already we'll call this one The Return.

And to make it even more tempting, the lovely and talented Bonne Marie has re-gauged the original pattern for DK and sport-weight yarns!

So if you haven't knit it before, or you want to knit it again, join in!

Posted at 12:57 pm  | 
(P.S. the timestamp is once again a permalink. S. figured out what I was doing wrong.)

Sunday April 4, 2004

I'm not the ranting kind, but seriously people.

It's hard to say exactly what's bothering me here. I've questioned myself to see if it's just because I adore the folks who have poured themselves into making Knitty, but that's not it. I think it has something to do with looking a gift horse in the mouth.

Knitty is free. The designers are not in this for money. You can't possibly compensate anyone adequately for this! It takes waaay too much time and effort to design, knit and write up a pattern, not to mention doing the math involved. Feel lucky there are any multiple sizes! And there ARE multiple sizes. Bad Penny has directions from S to XXXL. The T3 can be made to any chest measurement.

Men's patterns? Anniversary. Diamonds for Him.

Tacky? For noe vrøvl.

I mean really. Sheesh...

Gratitude ... it's a skill worth cultivating.

Posted at 9 pm  | 

I seem to be currently drawn to patterns for very small people, but there's no hidden message there, except perhaps for a certain faint ticking noise.

Devan from this newest issue of Knitty is adorable. And how cute is this?? (That one is Dale Baby Pattern 1013, by the way.) And I've quietly made another Fran's Hooded Baby Sweater from some white stash Cotton BIG Sport but haven't taken a picture since I realized that I wouldn't have enough yarn for the hood. I'm thinking it'll be fine with just a collar. Don't ya think?

Posted at 4:28 pm  | 

Saturday April 3, 2004

Lenge leve Knitty!

The spring Knitty has arrived and is, as always, marvelous. The new Technical Editor deserves a huge round of applause.
Congratulations Kate!

One thing that immediately caught my eye is Jessica Fenlon's article instructing pattern writers on how to be mindful of their audience. She calls this Part I so I'm assuming (and hoping) this will be an ongoing feature.

And the Knitter's Geek Code is priceless. Priceless. Here's mine ::

----BEGIN KNITTER'S GEEK CODE BLOCK----

KCR+++($) Exp+> SPM++
*Alum++ AddiT++ Wood+ Bam Cas !Pl
Syn? Nov(+) Cot(+) Wool+++ Lux>
Stash+ Scale++ Fin>+Ent? FI+ Tex+ Lace Felt+
Flat-@ Circ+++ DPN(5)++ !MLSwatch>+
KIP+++ Blog+++ SNB> EZ+++
FO+ WIP(6) GaugeWS(F)

-----END KNITTER'S GEEK CODE BLOCK-----

I found more here from Kate Pickering, including Russian knitting terms (Russian!) and a translation of Odd Børretzen's The First Norwegian which is highly apropos at Easter, especially the bit about what Norwegians do in the spring. (Scroll down for the English translation.)

Speaking of Easter, I'm off work until the Tuesday after Easter (the place I work closes down at Easter, how great is that?) and Spring has definitely sprung.

Oops, I almost forgot ::Here's the direct link to this issue's Techniques with Moi of which the topic is ... drumroll ... mattress stitching.

Posted at 1:19 pm  | 

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