Modification Monday: February Lady Dress

Original Pattern: February Lady Sweater

Knitter Extraordinaire: Milja (Rav Id)

Mods:  Created a top-down short sleeved dress using the lace pattern from the February Lady Sweater for the main detail of the dress. She has fabulously detailed notes on how she created it here.

What Makes This Awesome: I love how Milja recommends on her pattern notes to use an existing pattern or construction that you know works for your body, and then add the lace. This is such great advice- if you know a pattern that suits your body perfectly, it can be the perfect jumping-off point for a world of gorgeous knits. And this dress is incredible!! I love the shape, the lines, the colour – it’s the perfect garment for the fall weather when you need some transitional pieces. And it looks amazing belted, don’t you think? Just beautiful.

Stockholm Redux

Stockholm, Sweden 2010

The city. The food. The unnervingly attractive and effortlessly chic Swedes and their unswerving ability to speak perfect English. Seriously- I only met one swedish person who didn’t speak English immediately upon seeing the unnecessary  Swedish phrasebook I brought everywhere.

Now, let’s get down to it, shall we? I planned on visiting 4 yarn shops while in Stockholm, but only got to three. I didn’t have a lot of luck finding a variety of Swedish made yarn. The few kinds I found were single ply, rough spun, and a rough-and-tough working yarn that is not particularly soft. I have a high tolerance for wool, though. I will say this- the yarns have a lovely sheen to them, and you can feel the lanolin. Another point- Stockholm is expensive. As in, really expensive. I strongly suspect much of it’s gorgeousness and cleanliness is due to the 25% tax that is on absolutely everything. Just warning you now.

As a side note, I also noticed a lot of yarn seemed to come from Denmark, so I wonder if Sweden doesn’t focus on yarn production when there are neighbouring countries that produce a large range of gorgeous yarns. Just a thought. 

Litet Nystan
St. Paulsgatan 20, Sodermalm

DSC_0604-1

 This was the first one I went into, and just loved it. Amazing sample sweaters, some interesting independent patterns, and lots of beautiful yarn. I mean, see for yourself:

Litet Nystan, Stockholm

Sticka
Österlånggatan 20

DSC_0657-16

This was a really beautiful shop, and the biggest one I visited. They have a lovely and large slection of patterns, mostly Drops and Rowan, but some more international magazines as well. The yarns are beautifully arranged, and there are many gorgeous samples all over the store. I could have spent hours in here, there were really so many things to look at (and yarn to pet!). Sticka in Stockholm

 

Anntorps vav
Österlånggatan, Gamla Stan

DSC_0667-24

The address on Knit Map listed only the street, but it’s easy enough to find if you wander down. This was the smallest shop of the three, but very lovely- they had much of the same Swedish yarns, but they did do their own hand dying of a lace weight mohair in the shop. My only warning is that the shop keeper doesn’t speak any English- the only person that I encountered there who didn’t. At least I got to use my phrasebook!

DSC_0668-25
DSC_0669-26

Below are my modest Swedish yarn purchases:

swedish yarn

 The turquoise and terracotta red skeins are a lovely light fingering weight, with about 420 yards in each skein. The grey is a DK weight with about 90 yards per skein. They are all single ply, and rough spun- there are subtle thick and thin portions of the light fingering weight ones. Now- if only I could figure out what these skeins want to be! shawls? scarves? mitts? hats? Hmmm.

Modification Mondays: Minerva Louise

Minerva on3

Original Pattern: Onerva

Knitter Extraordinaire: Jennifer (Rav Id, Blog)

Mods:  She moved the pattern repeat so that it lined up in a logical fashion, and made the knitting process more intuitive.

Minerva on2

What Makes This Awesome: Jennifer made a small adjustment on the pattern, and it made a huge difference for many knitters who have since knitted this shawl- her modification simplified the knitting process, while keeping the beauty of the shawl intact. The change in the alignment of the scattered YOs is subtly different, and utterly fantastic. And doesn’t this shawl look amazing on her?! I love it! Fabulous details on her mod can be found on her project page.

Berry Picking and Baking

G and I brought my 14 year old brother (who is making his first appearance on this blog- I bet none of you knew I even had a brother!) berry picking recently. He’s getting so tall.

DSC_0534
 (it rained, hence the flat, disheveled hair. Mine, not his.)
We made pie, but as you can tell from the above baskets, one pie was not going to take all those berries. So I spent a full Sunday morning turning this:strawberries into this: homemade strawbery jam
(there were many jars, actually. But I figured a photo of one would be plenty)
In other culinary adventures, I also tried out the very intriguing Root Beer Bundt Cake recipe from Baked. I even tracked down root beer schnapps for the added root beer taste, but i have to say… I’m not sure what I think. I love root beer, but in cake form, it just tasted kind of odd to me. And the chocolate was pretty strong, so if no one told you it was a root beer cake, you’d just be trying to figure out what that odd taste was. Having said that, this recipe produces a damn fine looking cake, no?
root beer bundt cake 2

I would make this again, but I think I’d substitute the root beer schnapps for cointreau. Orange and chocolate, there’s a flavour combo my taste buds can wrap themselves around.

root beer bundt cake close up
(nom nom nom)