Venstrehåndet midlertidig opslagning

Mit tæppe strikket af små testnøgler skrider fint fremad!

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Hvert rektangel begynder med en midlertidig opslagning. Så strikker jeg indtil rektanglen opfylder det gyldne forhold – her 32 masker i bredden og 19 retriller i højden. Jeg har brugt alle mine forskellige testnøgler til rektanglerne. Bagefter har jeg strikket hvide kanter på og samlet hele tæppet med maskesting. Men mere herom senere.

Dagens mission er nemlig at fortælle om selve opslagningen. Der findes mange måder at lave en midlertidig opslagning på, og de fleste af dem er træls. Især den (ellers udbredte) metode, hvor man hækler en lang kæde og så strikker ind i den – ikke lige min kop te!

Jeg bruger en type midlertidig opslagning hvor man først hækler rundt om strikkepinden med en stump ekstra tråd – det er den simpleste metode, synes jeg, men det tog mig uforholdsmæssigt lang tid at lære teknikken. Jeg så denne video et antal gange, men jeg er venstrehåndet, og alt man kan finde om hækling er jo til højrehåndede.

Her kan man se hvordan jeg venstrehåndede person gør:

Brug noget andet garn end det du skal strikke med – glat bomuldsgarn er godt – og en hæklenål med ca. samme størrelse som din strikkepind. Lav en helt almindelig begyndelsesløkke til hækling

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Strikkepinden lægges nedenunder hæklenålen så enden der går til garnnøglet hænger ned over strikkepinden

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Garnet vikles nu op på bagsiden af strikkepinden og ind over hæklenålen

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Træk garnet igennem den løkke der allerede var på hæklenålen – du har nu 1 maske på din strikkepind

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Fortsæt på samme måde – for hver maske kommer garnet ned over strikkepindens forside, tilbage over dens underside, over hæklenålen, og træk igennem

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Når du har det ønskede maskeantal klippes garnet over. Den klippede ende er til højre på dette billede

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Nu kommer det rigtige garn i spil (her et dejligt nøgle farvet lilla med blåtræ i regnvand). Jeg binder simpelt hen en almindelig knude der hvor garnet til den midlertidige opslagning blev klippet over. Og så strikker man helt almindeligt:

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Senere kommer man så tilbage og fjerner det hvide garn. Knuden bindes op, og man kan sætte maskerne på pinden en for en idet man trevler det hvide af. Her har jeg en kort ende af det lilla garn, lige lang nok til en Russian join, men man kan også efterlade en længere ende når man starter, så man har garn til at strikke videre med.

Bilskirner, the Final Prototypes

I’ve finally completed my prototypes for a child and adult version of the hat that I’ve decided to call Bilskirner. The design changed a bit since the first prototype… My family was not impressed with the rib edge on the first prototype, so my hands were tied. I had to make a garter edge in the final version, and I must admit it looks better.

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In Norse mythology, Bilskirner is the home of the thunder god Thor. According to one of the Icelandic manuscripts called Grímnismál, Bilskirner with its 540 rooms is the largest building known. There are a lot of translations of Grímnismál (you can see some here), here’s one that I like:

Five hundred rooms and forty withal
I ween that in Bilskirnir be;
of all the halls  which on high are reared
the greatest I see is my son’s.

I imagine the huge home of the thunder god as an angular complex, and it feels like a match with my simple geometric unisex design.

And talking of a big angular complex, we went to one such and that’s actually where we took the top snapshots of us wearing the hats: on the roof of the new Moesgaard Museum outside Aarhus. I love the way this building rises out of the ground, it gives you the feeling that the ancient objects on display are somehow still under the ground

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Plus, there’s the view from the top of the roof, you can see the land at the other side of the bay (Mols)

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We saw the exhibition there of the  Chinese terracotta soldiers that were found alongside the first emperor. They were truly beautiful!

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FACTS – BILSKIRNER HAT

Pattern Bilskirner, my pattern that is now ready for test knitting. Comment below if you want to test the Danish or English pattern

Yarn Guldfaxe 100 m/50 g 100% alpaca

Needle 4.5 mm

Colors Gradient from madder to tansy, on a natural white background

Conclusion I’ve had good fun designing this hat. The rib edge on the first version drew the eye away from the color pattern, so I’m happy with the garter edge on the final version. At this point, all that remains is to race off to my dye pots to make some more color schemes!

Jeg er endelig blevet færdig med designet til min Bilskirner hat, i voksen- og børnestørrelse. Den første prototype havde en ribkant forneden, men den er erstattet af en retstrikket kant i den endelige version. Resten af familien hadede nemlig ribkanten, så det var bare med at rette ind! Nu er jeg klar til at få teststrikket mønsteret, så hvis nogen er interesserede i at teste, så skriv det i en kommentar nedenfor.

Billedet hvor min datter og jeg har hattene på er taget på taget af det nye Moesgaard Museum. Jeg kan virkelig godt lide den nye bygning, det er ligefrem genialt at den ligger som en kile under jorden og er fyldt med oldsager der er fundet under jorden. Når man kommer fra den lave ende går man op af taget uden at opdage hvor naturen ender og bygningens kile begynder. Og så er der udsigten helt til Mols.

Where the Small Skeins Go

Whenever I test a new dyestuff, or change conditions with a known one, I use 10 g test skeins of thin supersoft wool. I always knew that they needed to become some huge knitting project all together to show off the deliciousness of the colors to their best, and now the time has come!

Checking everywhere for patterns for a blanket, I didn’t find one that was what I imagined (as is usually the case!) so I’m making it up as I go (surprise!).

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I wanted a rectangle of each color, so that the colors are not mixed more than to still be recognizable. I use my little test skeins to check back when I don’t remember which color a dyestuff gave, and I want to be able to do that still after knitting them up. I may have to stitch something on the back or come up with labels of some sort (leather? fabric?) to keep it as a dictionary of dyes in the end. I’ll solve that later.

So I provisionally cast on 32 stitches and knit in plain garter. To get a rectangle that obeys the golden ratio – assuming stitch and garter ridge gauge is the same – I need 32/1.618 = 19.77 ridges which I round down to 19 because the ridge directly is more stretchy.

So that means knitting 18.5 ridges and then leaving a tail long enough to complete number 19 with garter stitch when I join neighboring rectangles. That means the free end is at the opposite corner from where I began:

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Above is a rectangle knit with yarn dyed with Cortinarius semisanguineus that I picked last fall in a plantation in the north of Denmark – it’s called Østerild, and it’s a forest that I have walked with my parents since childhood. Some years ago, a national test center for wind mills was constructed there, it was on the news for months, and I found it very upsetting (although I love windmills as much as the next Dane). What if it destroyed the mushroom’s home? Luckily, it didn’t, and now the place, complete with windmills, is as full of mushrooms and lichens as ever.

But why the provisional cast on, why not just use a regular one? Well, if I was a less obsessive individual than I am, I might have done just that. But I want to finish all my rectangles and then shuffle them until the colors match their neighbors. And I may dye more skeins that need to join on the way.

To make the project slightly more obsessive than it already is (if that’s even possible…) I’m going to write small articles on each dye as I knit a square dyed with it. They will appear in a new section of my web page called Natural Dyes (which will be under construction from now and probably always).

FACTS – GOLDEN RATIO RECTANGLES

Pattern Again, no pattern. Making this one up as I go

Yarn Supersoft 575 m/100 g 100% wool, held double

Needle 4.5 mm

Colors All!!!

Conclusion This is going to be a super long term project! I love having such projects in my knitting basket, as long as I can also work on other projects at the same time

Jeg er gået i gang med et mægtigt langtidsprojekt, et tæppe af lapper der er strikket af mine små 10-grams testnøgler. Jeg bruger sådan nogle nøgler når jeg tester nye farver eller eksperimenterer med farveprocessen. Farverne ser jo lækrest ud sammen allesammen, så jeg har hele tiden vidst at de skulle bruges til et samlet projekt. Jeg strikker rektangler som overholder det gyldne snit, så de er 32 masker x 19 retriller. Fordi jeg er småtosset har jeg valgt at lave en midlertidig opslagning så jeg kan lave en syet sammenføjning til allersidst. På den måde kan jeg lægge alle lapperne op til sidst og flytte rundt med dem til farverne bliver harmoniske.

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Bilskirner Hat Prototype

I dyed this gradient a while ago, using madder and tansy, and the plan was initially a Bohus-style hat. But the yarn kept talking to me, and it said that it wanted something with much cleaner lines…

So I knit a hat with a very simple pattern of squares on a white background. Simple geometric, and in some way, a masculine decoration (although I think this hat looks good on a woman, too). So I decided to call this pattern Bilskirner, which is the home of Thor, possibly the most masculine of gods. I’m still thinking about a Bohus-ish hat, so that may still happen.

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I tried to take some picures of the hat on the head of my sweet, sweet 5-year old daughter Dagmar, but she was just not in the mood for having her picture taken. The mood of the day shifted dramatically, though, when I asked her to take pictures of me instead. The camera is too heavy for her, so she couldn’t even keep it upright. But it didn’t matter so much to her that she didn’t catch the entire hat on most of her pictures, she was still very proud of them!

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FACTS – BILSKIRNER HAT

Pattern Bilskirner, a pattern that I’m currently writing

Yarn Guldfaxe 100 m/50 g 100% alpaca

Needle 4 mm

Colors Gradient from madder to tansy, on a natural white background

Conclusion An enjoyable project – the alpaca is wonderfully soft, and I’m happy with the stranded square pattern. But I’m going over the shaping of the crown again to improve it before I write down this pattern

Hatten her, som er mit eget design, er strikket i ren tyk alpaka. Gradienten fra krap-rød til rejnfan-gul havde jeg egentlig farvet til et lidt andet design, men de farver blev ved med at hviske mig i øret at det var dette her de skulle. Min vidunderligt søde datter hvisker til gengæld ikke. Ingen kan være i tvivl om, at hun i hvert fald ikke gad at være model til mine hattebilleder. Dagen blev kun reddet af, at jeg lod hende være fotografen.

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Nine Daughters Socks, Done!

It’s always a good feeling to finish a knitting project, but I feel especially good about this pair of socks because they are a prototype for a pattern, and they turned out just the way I had imagined.

The only problem is that I got a little carried away when I was knitting the legs, so they are too long to fit on my leg without increases. So I had to give this pair to my mother, who is very pleased with her new pair of socks. I guess having skinny legs has advantages sometimes… trying to think of the advantages of having fat legs, but can’t think of any at the moment. Oh well! Here are the finished socks:

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FACTS – NINE DAUGHTERS SOCKS

Pattern Nine Daughters, a pattern that I’m currently writing

Yarn Fenris 350 m/100 g 75% superwash wool, 25% polyamide

Needle 2.5 mm

Colors Fermented avocado pits and a dash of cochineal

Conclusion I love the wave pattern on my socks and the way it transitions into rib. And I find it enjoyable as ever to knit socks 2-at-a-time toe-up

I am writing the pattern now, and it will be called Nine Daughters (see this for the story behind it). I’m planning to publish this in English and Danish (will be looking for test knitters soon).

Next pair will be just normal sock length. I’m going to keep that pair myself! If I can make them fit, that is… The yarn I’m using for my next pair is dyed with indigo only, and they have the clear blue hue I sometimes achieve with a chemical indigo vat:

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Det er altid en god fornemmelse at gøre et strikkeprojekt færdigt, men endnu mere når det er eget design og det bliver som jeg havde forestillet mig! Sokkerne her er jeg i gang med at skrive mønsteret til – og jeg er i gang med et par til mig selv, farvet med indigo. Det første par, farvet med avocado og cochenille, endte nemlig med at passe min mor, damen med de slanke ben.

Nine Daughters Socks

I want to show you a new design I’m working on! A pair of socks using a thicker sock yarn, which is 350m/100g and 75% wool/25% polyamide. This skein is dyed with fermented avocado pits and a pinch of cochineal:

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The stitch pattern partially comes from a Japanese stitch library, so this time I’m not drawing on traditional Scandinavian knitwear designs. But – I’ve always found it interesting how many parallels there are between modern Japanese and Scandinavian design and taste.

So why the similarities? Looks like many people have wondered about just that! Belinda Esperson (an Australian jeweler who I just came across) guesses that it’s a connection to nature in both places. I guess I can only speak for us Danes, and I don’t think we are more connected to nature than other nations…

Here’s a discussion thread where someone guesses that that the common denominator is “respect for the rules” and that is definitely true. We don’t even cross on red on foot here! And in Japan, you often hear, they’ll rather go mental or die than break the rules. I remember hearing about a bullet train accident where hundreds died because the driver was trying to make up for 30 lost seconds – the train must be on time!

But how does respect for the rules translate into minimalism and perfection in shaping? Not sure.

My own guess is that the Scandinavian taste for simplicity somehow comes from Protestantism. During Reformation, all the colorful paintings in our churches were covered with white, and a new austerity followed. Somehow, you can train people to actually enjoy simplicity and white walls over 500 years!

But enough talking, lets get to the part with actual wool on needles:

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I know, all this talk about simplicity and shape, and then these socks which are overall very embellished! But I do think that the total patterning combines into a simplicity where the wave pattern really is what catches the eye.

The name of the pattern, Nine Daughters, refers to the waves of the sea. In Norse mythology, Ægir and Ran are the gods of the sea, representing the positive and negative side of the sea, respectively. Ran means theft, because Ran catches the seamen in her net and takes them to the bottom of the sea. Ægir and Ran are married, and their nine daughters are the waves of the sea.