From the woolly mists

It has been about 3 months since I posted last.

I have for about a month dreaded writing in here, even though I owe it to my self and my project to do so. Fact is life started again. Just before the summer holidays I started school again. From January to May I was on sick leave due to a neck injury. My doctor let me in to the school again so that I might have chance to catch up during the summer and not get behind.

So before the school closed down I did a 3 week project in collaboration with a fellow student and from then on I started an internship at the Danish company Eva & Claudi. E&C specializes in knitwear. They wanted to ad hand knitted items to their AutumnWinter2014 collection and this is what I have been working on designing for them. It has been a wonderful time and I have knitted my arms off several times during these three months. But is has not left much surplus to knitting outside of work and not at all to this project.

Gauge samples.

Gauge samples.

To be honest it has been a bit of a blessing to do something else. It turns out I’m not that good at limiting myself to doing only one kind of clothing. It’s simply too narrow for me. Also it is very very difficult for a knitter who always has just knitted completely on her own terms to listen that much to others, for what to knit. Fun! But hard. It is all a pretty awesome lesson. And it has fueled me with inspiration to start a project with complete looks. It is still in the making but I promise to share a link or two when the photo-shoot has taken place!

All that put aside I do feel a bit like I let you down. And it sucks. I am presently trying to find a way to get into my own race again. On the needles is a pair of Beehive inspired fingerless mittens in an yummy mustard alpaca silk form Viking Garn. Also…don’t I owe you a post on a done persnickety mitten?

Samples in piles, from my internship.

Samples in piles, from my internship.

Testing and geeking or just being weird and struck by madness?

Testing. Testing. Testing. Testing. Testing. Testing.

Yup. I finished the deadline for today and I am not allowed to knit more than that says the doctor lady. Actually she said no knitting at all but hey, 14 rounds a day is hardly knitting! Right? ;P

So does that mean that The Mitten Project lyes dormant until the next day? NO! I really want to collect some the pattern elements I discover during this year. To make clear not to copy the patterns I buy but many of the traditional mittens have amazing elements that can be used for further design and inspiration. I would love to collect those in a sketchbook. So why am I babeling about this? In what way do I use my evening on that? Well here it is: I am testing methods for drawing charts. It needs to be fast, pleasant to the hand and show the pattern clearly.

This is something I have been dreaming of doing for a while so awesome it is. But I also found out that it was common for the young girls to do pattern books of their own. I have seen a few pictures of these books and seen a couple of different methods. Now I’m testing them!

I have tested four pens. A simple 0.4 pen with a hard and round, a SignPen with a soft and rounded head, a PITT pen (b) with a brush head and a 3.0mm calligraphy pen. I tested 6 different ways of drawing.

What is clear to me is that the symbol needs to be clear on the page. The smaller ones are too vague.

  1. Column: The normal (for me) to draw charts for color work. One might call it the cross stitch symbol. This a little comprehensive but as I’m used to doing it doesn’t seem as bad as such. It is however a lot of work for my wrists. I prefer SignPen the most in this.
  2. Column: The dot. Simple. Easy. Looks very frail and somewhat hard to read on the page compared to the other methods. I am not choosing a favorite in this as I can’t see it working for me.
  3. Column: The circle. This symbol is very easy to do and is definitely the symbol that needs the least work compared to how visible it is on the page. It works best with a fuller pen. SignPen or Pitt brush pen is best here.
  4. Column: Small cross stitches. These are actually easier to make than the full cross stitch as they need less movement of the hand. They are also funner to do hehe. It’s however a little more work than the circle.
  5. Column: The square filled completely. This is a very nice and clear way of showing a pattern. It is however quite a lot of work. It was definitely easiest to do with the calligraphy pen. I consider if I could find two or three colors of this pen then I could mark the contrast colors.
  6. Column: Large dot/filled circle. This is a bit too much work for me. It’s more work than the circle as I did the circle and then filled it in. So this is out of the picture.

Now I’m also considering trying out the circles and dots on millimeter paper. It could make it easier to get a full mitten on one sheet of paper however it’s a bit difficult to find a sketch book with it and not just a pad.

There is so many very very big decisions as you can hear! …..I am such a weird geek! I am thrilled about this kind of work and I feel so odd because of it. Oh well. I am amused and happy, but mad, I’m sure.

Internet. I has it. Finally.

Yup, it turns out internet is such a snazzy thing that it’s practically impossible to blog without! Who would have guessed!

I have had internet problems for some weeks now but I am finally back online again! It has been immensely frustrating. Working from home and having a 2 hours commute to my school with internet hasn’t helped much in the internet department. Though my knitting hasn’t stopped because of that. How should that stop me?! 😉 Well. I finished the Rosa Ros mittens and to keep on track I found a pattern in my library that I started. I have one finished mitten and the next to be knitted this week. Oh also, I had to do a little moving day as this project is taking up a little more space with time^^

So the next couple of days I will post several posts get back on track.

An exclamation of mittens

IMG_0619 copyI visited the local art museum AROS with a friend the other day and outside we found an exclamation mark of mittens. Wether it’s an ‘i’ or and ‘!’ we couldn’t really figure out as there was no explanation just a very large amount of mittens on the ground.

I snapped a picture of some of the few knitted ones. Some are machine knit other are hand knit, no matter they are adorable all of them. There was one, a red one, that stood out in particular. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get a good picture of it. Boohoo! The light was tricky as it was cloudy and the sun was almost gone. Oh well. I’m gonna include it anyways as you can get an idea of what it looked like. I have an idea that these mittens were lost around the city during the cold months of Denmark but I am not sure. It will be a question mark of mittens for now.

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Wooly Tree Mittens

Wooly Tree Mittens. Pattern, knit and picture by Jaennie on her A Crafty Cat blog.

Wooly Tree Mittens. Pattern, knit and picture by Jaennie on her A Crafty Cat blog.

Jaennie gave me permission to post a picture of her beautiful mittens here.  She did the pattern her self and it was her first color work project! 

I’m loving the pattern as well as the colors. The yellow is just a perfect touch.

You can find more pictures on her crafty cat blog here.

Latvian kit and book

I went to Ladies Lunch. A wonderful gathering of amazing women. We meat, each have brought some edibles and we have a magnificent lunch. Afterwards we watch chick flicks (or other movies we just want to see). Some do crafts while others don’t. The idea is a great and fun ladies day. And I can tell you it was! Soooo much amazing food. A crazy cheese cake and a treat from Bulgaria that I’m not really sure what was. YUM!

Maria, the host, brought me a black box with a mitten pattern on front. It’s a mitten kit! The mitten is from Latvia where they have a strong and long tradition for color knit. Especially mittens and socks. She told me about a very special tradition: When getting into old age the women will start knitting socks and mittens so that a gift to can be given to those who show up for their funeral party. I find it very moving. Imagine giving your guests, who are there to say goodbye to you, a last thanks.

Mitten kit and book

The book is by Aija Jansone and is called Heritage of Rucava’s Patterned Knitted Articles (Rucavas Rakstaino Adijumu Mantojums). It’s on loan only which I totally understand. I will have to see if I can get my hands on it. I need to own this book! Until then I can read and look on this copy. I’m thinking I will do a little review of it.

Thank you so so much Maria! I am going to have so much fun with both!