Inspirational knitter

Every now and then, I come across extraordinary inspiration. The last time it happened was a few weeks ago on Ravelry. There’s this knitter from New Zealand who makes the most beautiful knitwear. I particularly like the way she picks and combines colors. Check out her projects on Ravelry. (You need to be logged in to see them.) I particularly like the colors in her Stripe study shawl and the stunning grey in her “Rikke” hat.

 

Magic Loop needle recommendations

For magic loop, you need a pair of circular needles that is at least 32 inches / 80 cm long, and that has a flexible cable.

I have a lot of needles that my Mom bought in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Those suckers will last forever, but the cables are also very stiff and can not be used.

Here are the types I’ve tried:

These all work very well for Magic Loop. I had the cable/needle join slide a little apart on a pair of Addis, but if you’re a little careful that shouldn’t happen. (The folks at Addi also replaced them for me completely hassle-free.)

The Signature needles are beautiful, and so are the Karbonz.

With Signature needles, you get to choose the length – 4, 5, or 6 inches. 6-inch needles are nice if you have big hands. They are also colour-coded. I think all needles should be :-) The cable on these is the most flexible I’ve come across.

Nice to know: Knitter’s Pride and Knitpicks are the same brand, as marketed in the US and in Europe, respectively.

Fun fact: HiyaHiya needles come in ridiculously small sizes – here’s an order of 0.7 and 1.2 mm 32-inch needles, as well as a 9-inch circular needle which are allegedly becoming popular for knitting e.g. mittens and socks in the round. It is also supposed to be a good helper needle for making cables, which is why I got it.

HiyaHiya needles
0.7 mm and 1.2 mm needles

Knitting technique: Magic Loop

My favourite knitting technique is Magic Loop! If you have anything at all against DPNs (double pointed needles), I recommend trying it. Ladders between the needles? Needles sliding out? History. Yet the best part is that with one circular needle each size, I can knit almost anything. I’m no supplies minimalist I’m afraid, but at least I don’t have to haul 2 kg of needles with me on travels to make sure I’m covered.

—> Magic Loop videos

I demonstrated Magic Loop to my mother-in-law last fall, and she was intrigued. Her circular needles are all rather short and with stiff cables so I got her a 40-inch Signature Needle Arts circular for christmas.

She had the technique down in no time at all, and next time I saw her she had finished a pair of mittens and told me she was a bit sad that she didn’t have suitable needles in more sizes. I’m very impressed, actually. I’m not sure , if I were her age, that I’d take so easily to a new technique, or even want to try..! It will be my goal to be as open-minded as her.

Next post: Needle recommendations for Magic Loop.

Discovering new knitting techniques

I learned how to knit as a child, and rediscovered knitting a few years ago. My favourite thing is learning new techniques. There are so many ways to do things! Below, I’ve listed some techniques that I’ve tried. Most of them I would not have discovered if it hadn’t been for the Internet. I shudder to think about never knowing Magic Loop.

  •  Magic Loop
  • Judy’s magic cast-on
  • Cable cast-on
  • Tubular cast-on and bind-off
  • Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind-off
  • Kitchener stitch
  • Norwegian purl

Finding a new, useful technique makes me happy the same way that mastering an instrument or drawing a nice sketch does. Which is pretty major. Next post, I’ll explain why I like Magic Loop.

Dutch Baby

I hadn’t heard of a Dutch Baby until I read this blog post. It’s a sort of pancake. I tend to use a lot of eggs when I make pancakes, but a dutch baby is even more “omeletty”. I made one for the first time today, and it was so yummy!
Here’s my (european) version of the recipe:

3 eggs
1.1 dl milk
Seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
1/8 tsp cinnamon
3 pinches of salt
1.1 dl flour
40 g butter, melted
A few raspberries (frozen is fine)
Powdered sugar

Beat the eggs with milk, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Sift in the flour, whisk until smooth. Whisk in the melted butter. Pour into some kind of reasonably large dish – I used a large spring form lined with buttered baking paper. Sprinkle the berries on top, bake at 220 °C for 15 minutes. Turn down heat to 160 °C and bake another 10 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar.

Flea market finds

The local flea market, at Fjerdingby Skole, was this weekend. I decided to join the madness by being there when they opened on saturday. There were at least 500 people there already. I came into the glass/porcelain/etc room as they were still unpacking some items, namely a box of animal figurines. The chance probably won’t offer itself again (unless I really start flea-hunting) so I got quite a few. They’re all chipped and/or worn, but they make nice, quirky additions to a shelf display, for instance.

I also got two wall shelves that look like hell (I’m going to paint them), and 4 identical pink doilies made painstakingly from ridiculously thin thread, and 11 identical napkins which might turn out nice after some washing and ironing.

Ribbon!

I saw a picture in Mollie Makes magazine of some amazing ribbon and I went right ahead and ordered some, from clothkits.co.uk.
The ribbon is gorgeous but I didn’t have much of an idea what to use it for until I saw the exact same type of ribbon used for lanyards, being sold in a local store. I made some key chains (long enough to fit around the wrist) for myself and some friends.