Tag Archives: knitting

winter knits

uncomplicated basic stuff – a sweater, a hat, a pair of mittens and a pair of wrist-warmers IMG_20150105_111848 Untitled “Heathered” cardi – I am not 100% happy with the way it turned out and the yarn (from laid-down little spinning mill Morjärvs ullspinneri) is definitely on the prickly side, but it is warm! Untitled Untitled A bicycle hat for my husband (this simple pattern) , want to knit one for myself Untitled Untitled mittens (inspired by the colors of this winter) from my handspun yarn stash Untitled simple wrist-warmers Untitled and fun free-form pullover on it’s way IMG_20150206_092755

dyeing with japanese indigo (and woad)

Long time no see! But here  I am and here is how my micro-plantation of Japanese indigo looked like a month ago (20-25 plants or so in total, seeds are  from Wildcolors in UK)

Japanese indigo

For growing the plants and then dyeing (sodium hydrosulfite method) I followed this instructions from the Journal for Weavers, Spinners and Dyers (free download article) and peeped in Wild Colour by Jenny Dean.

Japanese indgo

thick blue film appeared on the surface of the bath after simmering the leaves for a couple of hours at 50-60 degr.C



(the “foaming” stage after adding sodium carbonate didn’t really work for me, there was no blue foam). But the dyeing worked anyway:

yarn dyed with j. indigo from the garden

a week later I tried the same process with woad, with same amount of leaves and this time there was the blue foam.


Woad dyebath gave paler and cooler blue compared to japanese indigo.

Here is some woollen yarn (and little pieces of rya wool) dyed with j.indigo on the left and woad on the right, same number of dips:

yarn dyed with indigo and woad

Next year I want to try indigo with yeast bath or urine bath and fermenting the plant material (mainly just to try and see if it works)

Being in indigo mood I have finished the shawl from my handspun yarn (which I dyed  with synthetic indigo last year).

shawl Coeur de Lion

the pattern is Coeur de Lion from Ravelry. I first saw here in February Twelve blog.

shawl Coeur de Lion


A cardigan I finished sometime ago. Simple and cheap 2 ply wool yarn bought at  Tampere Art and Craft center during our job trip to Finland (We looked at finnish landrace horses and cows and it was very cold. Oh and yes, I went to Moominvalley :)

One-piece, seamless, very easy-going pattern –  Yellow Wall by Judy Brien on Ravelry.

While knitting I had a suspicion it would turn out quite oversized, and it did, but I decided to try to felt it a bit in hot soapy water. First tried on a little sample and then on a whole sweater and quite happy with the result – it all feels smoother and warmer, it somehow worked well for this particular yarn. (And it is exactly  my size!)


favourite bracelet, custom-made by a jewellery-maker-photographer friend Elena Erda.

gardening and some folk motifs

As usual at this time of the year I am all busy digging, sowing and re-planting (all the veg and flower plus the hedge)  not so much time for textile work.
But  some of my gardening  is actually fiber-related, like flax (six different sorts from the genebank)

and japanese indigo. Bought seeds from Wildcolors in UK, (£3.50 for 10 seeds),
nobody seems to grow  japanese indigo in Sweden…

well,  some peripheral knitting has been going on too – another random sock

nearly finished a cardigan for my man

and last Sunday when it stared to rain (finally, no need to water the garden !)  we went to Kulturen open-air museum to look (again) at some allmoge woodworking and textiles.

more pictures from Kulturen in my flickr

their own stripes

my first cardigan  made from scratch. A year ago I bought 0,5 kg unwashed Gotland lambswool for 50 Kr (5 Euro).

Hand-carding the wool was the most time and labour consuming part.

I don’t know where the stripes are coming from, they are just there !(after all mixing the wool while washing, carding AND plying). Because the wool is so silvery-shiny you don’t see them while spinning.  First when I noticed them coming I thought “oh-oh…” but now this is just… randomly striped cardigan

Very warm and the most ecological sweater I own. (The pattern is Tilda


goose eye and other experiments

I decided to try a  point-draft on the second half of my linen  warp and I managed to thread it without mistakes, but it took me a while to get the treadling pattern right continuously – I found counting out loud to 22 works best for me :)   It’s a goose eye (gåsöga) all the way, (with some short-attention-span misses)

I printed out picture with the pattern from Jean’s wonderful blog (that’s how I got inspired to try this pattern on the first place) and had pinned it on my loom.

While thinking what to do with it and what to weave next,  knitted a pair of socks for my sister-in-law, her choice of color – Ticiano red.

pattern: Basic Ribbed Socks , yarn Malabrigo sock.

almost finished knitting my handspun cardigan:

And in between of all that have been trying to spin Suri alpaca from Österlen (Christmas present from my man)

The fleece and fiber sourcebook recommends to spin it worsted, so I am trying to comb it (and I never combed any wool before)

it get’s extremely static and flies all over the place  (needs constant spraying with anti-static)

Combing separates it in two fractions  – white long-lustrous-silky roving  and greyish-cream unstructured fluff.

(I don’t know if it’s the best way to process this sort of alpaca, the amount of  information I could find on the net is not overwhelming, to put it softly. And I don’t know if the combs I bought are so good and suited for just this type of fiber).

Anyway, I tried spinning the combed stuff  – once you get hold on it (quite slippery) and remember to spin it with high twist,  it results in compact but soft and silky thread.


Here is good video on combing and spinning alpaca  and here is another video on combing wool.

winter knitting

Gathered all  winter knitting in one posting.

Central Park hoodie for my daughter, yarn: Cascade Heathers

8-sqare slippers, used most of my first spinning scraps

wurm hat, yarn : Malabrigo worsted

classic mittens made with my homespun Gotland wool, 3 ply

And some presents for people:

Henry the Knitted Bear

Mittens, yarn -Rowan felted tweed

knee high socks, handspun wool mix, 3 ply, together with 1 strand Zauberball

grey matter

carding, spinning, knitting, weaving. All in grey.

Gotland lambswool

cat mat №2, same but different, this time in 2/2 twill

scandinavian midsummer socks

made with handspun wool

(not the warmest summer ever, to put it softly).

really well-writen, universal and basic sock pattern-tutorial. Socks for the people.

socks with a character

It’s been two month since I’ve started spinning wool. First with a spindle and then on a spinning wheel. And I think I am getting better at it (it is not an ultimate goal -to produce perfect yarn,   because the process of spinning…well, I can’t describe it, it is certainly addictive and you have to try it yourself)

Anyway, these are the socks I’ve knitted using my first ever hand-made yarn ( spun on a very simple spindle).  It’s Gotland sheep wool (from Gamledags), silvery and silky, and the yarn is 2-ply as uneven as it could go. (But mostly just thick).  The white parts are handspun yarn as well.

The warmest socks I ever had and totally off-season, and after knitting these most industrial yarns feel…way too well-tempered and kind of anonymous .

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