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Garnharmoni: 2014 in review/Happy New Year!

Here comes a rather helpful summary of Garnharmoni during 2014. It serves as a reminder to try to keep more up to date with knitting and crochet posts. it also gives me a timely occasion to thank all my followers and to those folk who have popped by now and again.  I appreciate all the lovely comments and notes of encouragement!

Here is to a wonderful and craft-filled 2015! Happy New Year/ Gott Nytt År!

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,800 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 47 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Yarn bombing cheer!

yarn bomb

Here is a quick share of a story from the Beeb:

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-essex-30327928

Knitters cheering up the gloomy grey days in my native England.

Maybe I should try a yarn bomb campaign here in extra grey Stockholm?  The weather people keep reminding us how little sunlight we’ve had this year (the worst on record in ages) and without snow (not all bad) things remain dark.  More yarn.  Let us yarn bomb, or simply knit, and be merry!

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2014 in Inspiration and Reflections

 

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Mosaic Madness!

On Monday, on my way to swimming, I popped off for a coffee first.  Opposite my seat there was a small gap and through it I could just make out a magazine shop opposite.  And through that little gap, what did I see?  A large rack devoted to knitting, crochet and crafting magazines!  What luck!

I leafed through a few magazines and found “Knitscene” the most interesting as it had a chapter on a technique I’d never seen before: mosaic.  Now, it is Saturday morning and, in between working, playing music and training, I have managed to get into the techniques and have become quite addicted!

On Friday, I popped into Eken’s Garn which is situated dangerously close to where I have swimming/ physiotherapy training.  It is pretty hard to resist going past this cosy shop full of colourful delights.  I met a lady, Maria, dressed in a lovely hand-made colourful cardigan which immediately gave herself away as an excellent crafter as well as seller of yarn delights.  We found by talking 50/50 English and Swedish that we could find the right yarn for a larger project in the magazine.  The suggested colour was teal blue on grey but, at Maria’s suggestion, I went for a similar blue hue contrasting with a mustard yellow.  I also went for rather yummy alpaca yarn (Alpakka Ull by Sandes Garn) and bought some splendid “Luxus fur die Hände” German “Addi” circular needles, size 4.5mm.  We took the chance – as fellow yarn obsessives – to exchange website information – she also runs knitting courses and has a Ravelry page.

Unlike stranded knitting, mosaic knitting involves using two tones but you knit one colour and slip stitch the other from the row below.  On the wrong side, you just purl the colour you were on and continue slipping those slipped from before, making sure the yarn is behind the work. It means you change colour every two rows and that means one yarn strand stays at the start each time, while one is worked and stitches slipped to follow the pattern.  As there were 269 stitches I thought I might be lazy and try garter stitch, i.e. knitting every row without a purl return, but the result was not as effective.  I undid my first rows and started again back into stocking stitch.

The first swatch I made turned out to be the ideal starting point for making a trombone case marker for my dear friend, Ann, who plays in my orchestra, where I play clarinet.  She and another musician have exactly the same type of case and sometimes get confused so I suggested I could make her a little knitted something to mark it out as hers.  The small swatch I made to learn the technique was 2 times through the chart, but the second time reversing the colours (i.e. main colour became contrast and vice versa), then sewed up the sides and put in a bit of stuffing, then a small crochet edge and handle plus crochet “button” to fix it to the case.

The blue-grey mix mosaic is a smaller piece which I may make into a little purse.  While I make up my mind I still have the hundreds of stitches to keep my going on the scarf project!

These are the pros and cons that I have found so far using this mosaic technique:

Pros:
Works well on straight knitting (useful as I only really do colour stranded knitting on the round),

It looks effective and the patterns can be intricate.

As you only work with one yarn at a time, the strands become less tangled than when doing double stranded knitting which requires constant weaving behind the work.

Potentially the fabric is not so dense as double stranded knitting without the weaving behind the work.

Quick to learn, for a relatively experienced knitter.

It inspires: both the knitter – and those around her, going by nice comments at work and on Facebook. :)

A great starting point for more design ideas and creativity.

Requires concentration – a challenge.

It is highly addictive!

Cons:

It is highly addictive!

Requires concentration – not easy to talk at the same time.

For a less experienced knitter, the chart might be confusing at first.

The slip stitches can stretch between rows making it harder to keep the tension and to keep it even.

The fabric tends to curl a lot (hence handsome Swedish hand in photo).

One of the magazine patterns was called a “Ravenna Cowl” and when I mentioned it to aforementioned handsome (and clever) Swede he immediately pointed me to a website showing pictures of the Ravenna mosaics in Italy.  I have included a picture here but it is well worth looking online for more images for inspiration.

Happy mosaic madness!

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The Best Knitted Christmas Decorations

Originally posted on :

Christmas is very firmly just around the corner and there is no point ignoring it. And if you give in gracefully, it is possible to make the most beautiful decorations for your home and presents – and there is still time!

For those who, like me, are perhaps not the best prepared for the festivities, here is a list of what I consider to be the Best Christmas Decorations I found (with patterns). Hope you enjoy them.

1. Pint-Sized Pines
These little beauties are a wonderful way to decorate tops of bottles given as presents – a thoughtful and quick make to reduce your left-over yarn stash AND no need for wrapping paper.

pintsizedpines2. Knitters’ Christmas Baubles
I can’t think of one knitter who wouldn’t be delighted with these types of Christmas baubles. Makes me smile from ear to ear! Anyone out there who has some spare time to make…

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Posted by on December 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

New techniques: Mosaic Knitting

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New techniques are always fun to learn and always a nice surprise to find. As an experienced knitter in Fair Isle/double stranded knitting I was intrigued by an article I read today when, by chance, I passed a magazine shop which sold knitting editions imported to Sweden in English. This American magazine, Knitscene, had a chapter on Mosaic Knitting and I am already enjoying the process of knitting in this way.

It involves slipping the stitch from the stripe in the row below and keeping the yarn tucked out of the way either behind or in front, depending on if you are on the right or wrong side row. It sounds infinitely more complicated to explain than it is in practice.

However, because this involves regular slipping of stitches, I did find my first swatch was looking too stretched and loose as I was using cotton. After a few rows I unraveled and switched to some acrylic yarn scraps which works better and, of course, real wool would be a cosy option when confident with the new technique.

There are some great starting points in this magazine and I look forward to trying out my own designs soon. The key thing is both colours must be included on every pattern row as the contrast colour is slipped along from the row below.

I am going to enjoy the learning and creative process.

Happy knitting!

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2014 in knitting

 

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More Unfeasibly Easy-To-Knit Christmas Decorations

More Unfeasibly Easy-To-Knit Christmas Decorations

garnharmoni:

Some festive ideas! :)

Originally posted on the twisted yarn:

Hmm, I never expected this knitting blog to embrace Christmas quite so enthusiastically (we’re talking kisses-on-both-cheeks-and-a-hug levels of enthusiasm, right now). But here is the third and last of my posts on ridiculously easy-to-knit Christmas decorations. And just to reassure all those tinsel-deniers out there, I’ll be back to normal by next post.

Continuing in the vein of festive decorative knits for beginners and children, and those who just want their decorative makes to be unchallenging, I give you, (i) knitted ‘paper’ chains, that’ll last a whole lot longer than those sticky paper ones you had as a child; (ii) knitted candles that are extremely unlikely to burn the house down, and (ii) knitted wreath decorations for your tree.

Righto, let’s start with how to knit a paper chain.

knitted paper chain knitted paper chain

The knitting couldn’t be any simpler. You’ll need to knit strips that are 20cm wide and 4cm long. Your…

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Posted by on November 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Crochet Comfort Cushion

Crochet Comfort Cushion

Hello All!

Long time, no see! In the dark grey that is November here in Stockholm (apparently the worst in years for lack of sunshine!), I have cheered myself up with an improvised cushion in cotton crochet. Just four basic Granny Squares, treble stitch all around in cheery colours, black contrast and background. Then continued onwards in one piece with a few rows of half treble crochet in black for a seam, then lots of colourful treble crochet rows, more black half treble crochet rows at the top. Then I folded the long piece in half before sewing up the sides in black, slipping in the stuffing and then sewing up the top. I did a bit of crochet around the top so that it fit and fudged it a bit but it seems ok. (Please note: UK terminology for the crochet.)

I received a lovely message from a Facebook friend last night who says that his wife had spotted some early pictures of this project (on my personal page) and was inspired to begin a project of her own! This inspires me and perhaps was the prompt I needed to write up this project in case anyone else out there would like to try this. Please do let me know if you try it or come up with some improvements. It is official: yarn crafting is great therapy and connects people near and afar!

I hope to share more projects soon. I have been unable to keep as up to date as I’d like with life, work, health and the universe. However, my constant companion throughout is my knitting, crochet and even weaving. Hope everyone is staving off the dark weather blues with some splashes of colourful creativity!

Best wishes from Stockholm and happy crafting!

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2014 in Cosy Crochet Creations

 

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