19. januar 2015


I have had a huge sewing spree. I bought an overlock machine/serger, (Janome MyLock 644D) and a regular sewing machine (Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2). I love them both!
I realize I'll never have time to follow up on my blog the way I wish, but here are some instagram photos of my latest creations.

This pattern is Autumn Roses, from Ottobre 6/2013. I only need to set in an invisible zipper and hem it to finish. I've never sewn invisible zippers before, so I may do a practice run first. It was supposed to be the christmas dress for my eldest (and I've already cut the fabric for baby girl), but then my old sewing machine broke down.

These are my two best tricks for copying patterns. Use rubber band to hold two pencils/pens together to add the seam allowance to Ottobre patterns. And instead of drawing a full line, i just make dots. Copying patterns is so much faster. More time for sewing, yay!

For kindergarten use for my daughter, this is a Giant Apple from Ottobre 3/2014, size 104/4yo. I left the shoulder caps out this time - it's the third time I've made this dress. I also made a long-sleeve version in the same fabric as a present to a friend's daughter, but I forgot to take pictures before I gave it away. It happens a lot...

Yes it's pink, and yes it's a present. For my niece H, size 128/8yo. I also made one sice 104/4yo for my niece M, but I forgot to take pictures of that one as well...
Pattern is Ottobre 301 Creative Workshop. The rest of the long-sleeve t-shirts below are made from the same pattern Fabric is by Maitotyttö at Royal-tuote. I bought mine on sale, yay!

A gift for my slim nephew S. I drew the pattern for a size 104/4yo, and lengthened it to a size 128/8yo.

Two for my daughter.


For my nephew O. Size 128/8yo.
 The same as above. My daughter loves the pirates, and demanded a sweater from the fabric.
Aaand for my youngest nephew, H.

Did I mention that I love my new overlocker?

Find me on Instagram.

13. november 2014

Introducing: Baby Nerd

I'm not much of a gamer, but I used to play DnD back in the days. So I just had to make a homage to roleplaying and gaming on this cute little long-sleeved t-shirt I made for my youngest. 

The pattern is from my own head, an easy raglan knit top-down. 
I say easy, but I mean horribly, tear-wrenchingly filled with bad decisions, hair-tearing and lots and lots of swearing. First I knit a round yoke, but made a mess of the calculations, so it became way too wide across the chest. Fit for a 2-year old, rather than a newborn, not exactly what I had in mind, haha.

I unraveled, but didn't wash the yarn before starting again. You guessed it - the top half of the sweater looked terrible. I hoped it would look better after I washed it. In retrospect, that wasn't my brightest moment. I came to my senses a little late, washing it after having knit the main part of the body. It looked horrible. Wish I had a photo, but self irony was not a feeling I had at that moment. Unraveling one more time? No way.

How to salvage such a misery? For my part, it involves lots of swearing, and possibly alcohol. Being pregnant at the time, I substituted the latter with very loud music. (The teenager complained. He does that.) So now what? Wool shrinks, I thought. I tossed it back into the sink and gave it my worst. Hot water and agitation (I should say abuse, because that's what it felt like) made it felt. It worked almost too well - I had to tear the front and back apart when I finished. It doesn't look good, but it looks way better than before, so I guess I'm good. 

The arrows show the stitches that I cross. The white is the waste yarn that is ready to be removed now that I have picked up the under-arm stitches for the sleeves, 5 on each side of the magic loop.

To avoid seaming, I cast on and knit 3 rounds with waste yarn for the under-arm stitches, and I crossed the first and last stitch before and after the new stitches to avoid getting a hole. (I found this trick over at the Techknitting blog, but I can't find the right post.) Picked up stitches from the waste yarn for the sleeves, and crossed those as well. Perfect seamless armhole, works like a charm every time. 

Yarn from stash: Duo Silke/Merino, bought in Hirtshals in 2012. Maybe around 70 gram, but haven't weighed it yet.
Project page on Ravelry

16. august 2014


During the summer I went on a major sewing spree, so not a lot were knitted. Plus this summer was incredibly warm! I'm a northerner, 30+ is just way too hot for me. Luckily my dear new little treasure was born just before the heatwave set in. She also had the great sense to be born the day before the new paternity leave rules took effect, so daddy gets his 14 weeks of paid paternity leave after all, woohoo! My leave lasts until primo February, so I'll make sure to relax and recharge...with lots of knitting and sewing in between mommying, lol! 

I'm a mother of three now. For a long time now I thought it would never happen. My son was born when I was 20, way too young in retrospect. I always wanted more children. My own dad a deadbeat dad, my son's dad the same, finding mr. Right Who Is Also a Great Dad took a long time. I am eternally grateful. Terje, you rock! The reason I get anything creative done at all is because he does a lot of housework and parenting stuff with our daughters. I'm lucky and I know it!

I did finish a baby blanket for my dear little one. Cute huh? She keeps me sidetracked...and busy! I actually finished it AFTER she was born - I thought she would be late like her sister...but no! It only took an evening to finish the last bit though. I love the colour, just about everything looks good with it. Red, green, purple, blue, petrol, turquoise, white... I need more of that yarn. Lots more.

I've also knitted three shorties and a pair of longies. Nothing fancy. They're on Ravelry if anyone's interested, herehere, here and here. OK the first one is really cute, it's for my oldest daughter, but sadly she doesn't like it much. Oh well. Maybe they will get some use when it get's colder, and if I knit the accompanying leg warmers. I've knit nearly 20 shorties and longies these past two and a half years. Guess I kind of like it.

3. mai 2014

Ugly yarn

I mentioned my super ugly yarn that I still just can't make myself get rid of. I thought I'd add some photos, just to prove that I have some really ugly yarn in my stash.
Ok, I know that this may be someone else's favourite yarn, but that's not the point. I hate it, but it's still in my stash, horrible reminders that crazy sale shopping is not necessary a good thing.

The worst part? Some of this yarn actually contains mohair. 

Pink. I will avoid going political and just state that it is my least favourite colour. 
That brownish colour that looks like over-boiled rhubarb - it may look good on somebody, but I'm not that somebody. And I've got 20 skeins of it. 
The multi-colour skeins? They make my eyes hurt,and my body cringe. Literally. They may be good for a kindergarten hat, or a pair of mittens, but how will I survive knitting them?

What's this? Heck, another skein of pink! How did this happen?

And another! 
My brain must have been parked at home when I bought these. 

I kind of thought I'd save the worst for last. I lack words. 

Do you have this kind of problem, or is it just me? What's your least favourite yarn and/or colour?

29. april 2014

Too much stash-formation. A post on (dis)organizing stash

System? Kind of.

This is a reply to What's in a Treehouse's excellent post on stash organization.

I have only been a knitter for a good two years, even if I've known how to knit since I was a child, and occasionally knitted a sock and a half. I realized last February - according to Ravelry - that adding my stash to my notebook there might be a good idea, especially considering the speed at which new skeins mysteriously entered the house. I've got most of my stash there, except new yarn not catalogued yet, some old yarns with no labels, some yarns of shame, and the old winter sock yarn for knitting thick, slightly felted winter socks. (Those winter socks have so many names in Norwegian, it's amazing.)

The stash tab on Ravelry is genius. When I'm at a LYS, I can check if I already own that colour in that yarn. I often do. (My taste is quite consistent, as witnessed the second time I went to Iceland and came home with lots and lots of Léttlopi yarn; many, many colours and shades, but also many of the colours I bought last time I was there.) So, it saves a lot of duplicates. It's also a great help when I go shopping online, with preventing me from buying the same yarn colours and shades over and over. 

Taking good pictures of yarn is difficult, even if my smartphone has a pretty decent camera. I've learnt to make sure the centre of the photo is of the yarn, and not the labels. When you add yarn from your stash to projects on Ravelry, you see only a very tiny icon cropped from the centre of the photo, and if that centre contains the label, then you can't see the colour. For the same reason, I've made it easier for myself with adding the actual colour of the yarn, and not just the number, to the colourway field. That makes it faster to pick the right colour, particularly if I'm adding the project on the phone.

I like the boxes, they make it looks semi-tidy. The empty holes at the lower right belong to fabric boxes. Below, not on the picture, is more yarn and two boxes of toys waiting to become new and exiting again.

I recently bought the largest Expedit shelf from IKEA, and it's already almost full. One row of boxes contains fabric, and two boxes are for toys, but the rest is yarn related. Most of the yarn is stuffed in boxes in the shelf, but some is on display. It's a little reminder to knit with good quality yarn, and it's also my yarn candy basket. (In tray shape.) It may also be laziness. It certainly is a lot messier now than it was a mere month ago.

Living room stash. My bookshelves have doors, so I don't have to look at the mess.

I sort the yarn mostly by weight, and since I mostly knit for my daughter, I rarely have sweater quantities. It's good for sampling new yarns, but I try to buy at least 100 grams so I may actually make a garment of it. Even stripes and colourwork have the potential of becoming boring. Not a lot of it is bought with specific projects in mind. That's not how my creativeness works. I need to have the right weight and colour yarn ready when inspiration strikes, or else the spark is gone.

Yarns for specific projects are usually stored together, as well as the yarn that actually are sweater quantity. I also store yarn for hats and mittens together. Some yarns are stored in plastic zip lock bags, most are not.  I've seen no moths so far, and pretend they don't exist.
It has worked so far.

Yarn downstairs.
The stairs, an overlooked
storage spot.

Not all my yarn fit in the new storage. Some are stored among the books in the hall downstairs, others among the books in the living room.

Two poor boxes are still stuck in the stairs. Because toddlers and yarn are worse than cats and yarn. 

My stash is ridiculous I know. But at least my taste in yarn is getting better.  

How do you store your stash? Do you use Ravelry to keep an inventory of your yarn? 

28. april 2014

Short inspiration

Spring here in the south always happens way too fast for me. While winter is still firmly lodged in my brain, everything turns green and suddenly there's dandelions everywhere. But with 18 C outside, it's hard to stay in denial. (The Easter holiday helped as well - six days all sunny, and pretty warm too.)

Sewing may not be the most economical activity I ever do (at least measured in time units), but at least nobody suffer while making clothes for me or my daughter. Except for me of course. Possibly those surrounding me as well. There is usually some, or possibly a lot of, swearing. (I'm a Northerner. I'm allowed. Culture and stuff.) 

Skirt for the very pregnant me. Still on the thinking/swearing stage.

I've been working on a skirt for my self, but sewing pregnancy clothes without a pattern really takes some thinking, measuring, rethinking, and quite a lot of swearing. (Sorry.) With the warm weather going on, I decided to make a pair of shorts for my daughter instead. She got to choose fabric, a surefire way to get her to wear whatever I make at least once. She chose a plain turquoise jersey. Huh. 

That ruler is a superb tool for winging things! And for guiding my rotary cutter.

I had no pattern, so decided to wing it. I measured her waist and desired length of the shorts, but forgot to measure the inseam. I used a pair of pants in the same kind of material as a rough template, and just had to make an educated guess about the length from the waist to the crotch. I used a fancy eraser pen from Clover to mark the fabric, with appr. 5 mm seam allowance. I sewed with an overlock stitch on my quite ordinary Janome machine. I just dotted along the crotch (or does it have a nicer name in sewing terminology?) and used the ruler to cut the diagonal on the top, and the straight line on the bottom. Then I turned the pants and drew up the other side. And cut. That's when I discovered that rotary cutters and jerseys are mortal enemies. 

Turquoise. With freshly made stains. 

The whole process took five hours, a wee bit of cursing, a lot of mistakes, and ended with a usable pair of shorts. My daughter put them on and they got dirty right away. Success! So I made a second pair when Terje (that's my husband) put her to bed. This time it took two hours, and then I cut the pattern pieces for two pairs of shorts instead of just one. When I got to choose fabric, I chose...monkeys! (Or apes. Are they apes?)

Monkeys. Or apes. 

Two shorts done. In 7 hours, that's about 1000 NOK (appr. 167$ or 100£). Quite expensive shorts. (I'm a teacher, that's not even a high salary.)

A list of sewing mistakes and discoveries (incomplete):

1. Forgot to measure the inseam.
2. Rotary cutters and jerseys don't go well together. 
3. Rotary cutters and rib fabric don't go well together. (I'm a slow learner. Or stubborn. Or both.)

Just a little reminder of stuff to avoid. (The cutting mat was a strike of genius forethought, as I bought it before I had even heard of a rotary cutter. You should not avoid either - they are both superb tools.)

4. It is very difficult to sew buttonholes in jerseys. You need backing. (At least I managed to test this on scrap fabric.)
5. It's hard to sew a nice fold with jersey. It flares. At least when the seam is close to the fold. It flares when you fold it double as well.
6. The rib fabric should be about the same size as the elastic, if it is a wide rib and a wide elastic. If the rib is wider, it just buckles, and that's not pretty. 
7. The diameter of the waist rib must not be a lot less than the diameter of main fabric it connects to. It will cause the main fabric to bulge and flare below the rib. 20% difference is apparently too much. Will try with 15% next time.
8. When cutting patterned fabric, it's a good idea to make sure the pattern match on front and back. Half a monkey off looks weird. Hence cutting the double amount of pattern pieces. It deserves a picture so I'll add one below.
9. At least I learn a lot from the mistakes I make. I bet the swearing would be much worse were it not for this precious fact.

Not good. At least I didn't sew the pieces together before I noticed.

Have a lovely spring, with (hopefully) few crafting mistakes, great weather and excellent company!

12. april 2014

Yarn shopping and stash

Pinterest, Feedly and Blogger can be dangerous places. Especially when you find the most gorgeous, irresistible yarn out there.

A link lead from this to that to Etsy, and indie dyers Sunset StitchesThe colours, oh the colours... you just have to see for yourself. Add bonus: Names from Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings and True Blood on their yarns. I needed that yarn. Never mind that I’ve never knitted a sock before (Not counting heavy, lightly felted winter socks). If I ever want to, it is good to have the yarn at hand, right? 
This is Soar, Ravenclaw! 

Ego knitting! Defo!

I also bought this wonderful yarn called Cheeky Merino Joy from Rosy Green Wool - GOTS-certified, from Ninapetrina. It must be the softest merino I have ever touched, and the yarn shipped so fast it was in my mailbox a day and a half later - great service. I liked it so much that I promptly ordered five more skeins. Yarn madness indeed.

Love the vacuumed wrap!

My new collection! Yum! Green colour is off.

Green, more to my taste.

 I'm very good at rationalizing my yarn related shopping. So good actually, that my stash have increased from half a plastic bag (two forgotten skeins of cotton that was supposed to become a hat (cotton, hat, Norway - how stupid is that), a few skeins of heavy winter sock yarn, and one full and one used skeins of baby wool from when I was expecting my eldest 17 years ago) and to this. (Ravelry account needed.) In just over two years. My most recent purchases are not even in there yet (nor is a largish box full of bulky weight yarn that I plan to use for, uh, felting projects?). 

It's very hard to stay on the narrow path with so many interesting - or should I say tempting - yarns out there that I haven't tried yet. Especially when Norwegian LYS, at least those in the area, have such boring yarn (sorry, but they are. Norwegian yarns tend to be either sturdy or superwash. Decent exceptions exists, of course) on their shelves, I can't even window shop, or touch, or anything without actually buying something, because the window shopping happens on the Internet, and the touching happens when the yarn arrives in my mailbox. The colour fails - ouch.

More yummy yarn, on its own awesome yarn tray.

I even struggle with giving away the worst of the yarn, from when I started knitting and I bought everything that looked knittable. I look at it and think, "well, this has potential, it could become a little tunic, or I could add that colour, or maybe I may knit something for someone one day, who actually likes pink"? Feeble fantasies of course, since I always choose the good yarn from my stash when I start a new project. 

When I knit, I feel good. When I knit with good yarn, I feel like a queen. I like that.