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1  Re: Rise of the Cougars Geezer Swap, Round 7 GALLERY in The Swap Gallery by Annchen on: May 27, 2017 01:42:38 PM
Augh... I tried to do this yesterday after opening my package, but accidentally closed the window before posting. Let's try again!

I picked up my package after work yesterday, and the cats started circling like sharks as soon as I got it opened... kbrison made a bagsket large enough for really big projects like a sweater or blanket!



Something smells good! (or maybe just new and interesting)



I really like the colours! The lilacs are just beginning to bloom here Smiley


Lots of pockets inside. A bit hard to photograph, so trust me when I say it looks good.



It had room for a lot of goodies...



Cat iz helping!


There were yarn and knitting needles, darning needles (always need those!), stitch markers and stitch holders. There were some local goodies too. Very tasty watermelon candy and key lime lemonade I had to pry out of my husbands hands for the photoshoot... There's also a rose quarts necklace and the green ribbon is for keeping track of my place in the pattern.



This was the best photo I managed to take of the yarn. It's a bit more purple in real life.

Thank you so much kbrison!
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2  Re: One Tiny Stuffie Round 10 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Annchen on: May 22, 2017 07:48:00 AM
I had a nice surprise waiting for me when I came home from the dentist today.


Such a clever way to pack it up! We swapped a few local goddies. The advantage of international swapping Wink


After some fluffing: Catthulu!


I love the tiny wings! Yes, there's glitter Smiley

Thank you veghorsegirl!
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3  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 25 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Annchen on: May 15, 2017 02:43:54 PM
McCoy helped checking the adress for a swap package tonight.

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4  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 25 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Annchen on: May 09, 2017 01:40:53 AM
I've got a cold, so instead of going to work and spreading the germs around I'm at home today. This weekend I had 3 days off but we didn't do much at all, on account of me being icky and snotty.


We went shopping on wednesday. I don't normally enjoy going shopping as a passtime, but it was actually nice. We found some large McCoy lookalikes in the toystore but hubby was boring and didn't want to take a picture in the store. He he...

The picture is from the fountains on the courtyard between the mall buildings. In the background you can see tents with fruit and flowers for sale. It was so nice and warm!


Thursday: still lovely and warm. G says this is a blackthorn bush, I just enjoy the flowers every spring Smiley It's on the way to our parking garage so I walk past two times every workday.


One of the visits I had planned for McCoy was to the local cat shelter. They had a spring market on sunday, but by then my cold was making me miserable and G had a backache so I had my own cat caf at home with McCoy instead. The little tea strainer tray was painted by my great grandmother.

Those cookies are really tasty! The biggest grocery store in Sweden had a not-very-good idea this Christmas. You know those pretty jars with cookie ingredients you just add an egg and butter to? It's a thoughtful gift if you make it for someone. It's not as nice if you buy a ready made cookie mix glass jar at the store, so I don't think they sold well... we bought one after Christmas at a huge discount. Cheaper than to buy a glass jar... I finally baked the cookies last week, and they turned out nice! Just not something I'd want to give as a gift.


Today McCoy is playing with the cats at home. (They come from the cat shelter, so it sort of counts, right?) That's a battery run mouse game in their crate. It entertains them for a while at least  Grin

And it's snowing. Boo!
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5  Custom shark socks in Knitting: Completed Projects by Annchen on: April 30, 2017 01:54:37 AM


These socks were knit for the Geezer swap, a swap where everyone crafts a really big, really nice item for their partner. I almost never knit socks for swaps since it takes forever... If I'm making socks for adults and they're not thick slipper socks I have a hard time getting them done in a normal crafting time.

These socks are completely custom, and knitted two at the time from the toe up. That way I could make them as long as possible in the time I had.



I started with a tab cast on to give a nice rounded toe. After knitting a few rows on the first toe I transferred it to another cirkular needle and started a second from the other end of the skein. When both toes were started I arranged them on my long cirkular needle to be able to work both at once.

I measured gauge on the stockinette part of the toe to be able to figure out how much to increase. I calculated for 10% negative ease to give a good fit, and then fudged the numbers a bit to give the same number of stitches on top and bottom. I wanted something going on on top of the foot, and modified a herringbone stitch for the amount of stitches I had.

There are three collumns of purled stitches to make everything fit. The first and last stitch on the back needle was purled, and the middle stitch on the foot was also purled to divide the two sections of herringbone.

My intention was for it to look a bit like shark skin. Not sure about that, but at least it gave the body of the sock a bit of interest.

I increased a bit before starting the heel since I was worried about a tight instep. You can hardly see it on the picture, I think there was just 2-3 increases on the back needle for each side.

After much research I settled on a German short row heel. It looks good and doesn't produce any holes to speak of in the turns. My numbers were a bit off when estimating where to start the heel, but after some ripping back it turned out quite nice. I thought about ripping both heels out yet another time, but decided I'd have to live with the fact that the sock was 1-2 rows longer than intended.


Since I don't trust my skill with two color knitting yet I opted for embroidering the sharks and fishies with duplicate stitch. Stranded knitting has less give, and no one likes socks of strangulation...

I did the embroidery and fastened ends before finishing the sock. I did not want to get stuck on finishing touches and send late because of that. (Spoiler alert: I still did just that...)



Little fishies on the toes and big bad sharks on the legs. Here is the shark chart I used (just modified the length a bit).



It would have been neat with blue socks with sharks all over, but sadly that lovely ocean colored yarn is pure wool and wouldn't have survived the wear on foot and heel. The leg takes less abuse so I only used it there.

I didn't decrease back all the stitches for the leg. The herringbone pattern gives way to a colour changes with a few purled rows thrown in for effect. The first blue part is just stockinette to give a nice canvas for the sharks. There's one row of grey stockinette before a k2p2 rib starts. When the rib stitch changes to blue again there's another row of stockinette to make the color change prettier.

I used Jeny's super stretchy bind off to finish the socks.

All in all a very fun experience to invent these!
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6  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 25 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Annchen on: April 30, 2017 01:03:53 AM
I had to look up what an elephant ear is! We have something a bit similar looking at fairs, but it's a savory dish.. And speaking of savory dishes...

We went to Balkan steak house yesterday. It used to be located just a short walk away, and now it's a short drive away. They always had tasty food, but we haven't visited the new location before.



I had forgot that they don't skimp on the meat... That's just my portion. Perhaps I should have clued in since the dish of skewered meat was deskribed as "rejl" (hearthy, solid). I had pictured something smaller, but it was very tasty and I have a styrofoam box of meat left over for today... G couldn't finish his portion either, and it looked smaller.  Grin

Other fun stuff since last time:

Found a geocache! (That's just the container, not the original placement)


Replaced the log for one of my caches. Can you guess where it is hidden. (McCoy can't guess, he saw me hide it)


Released a bookcrossing book at the hospital.


Watched art tapestries in the hospital.
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7  Re: Repair holes in wool sweaters, rugs etc with needle felting! in Felting: Discussion and Questions by Annchen on: April 27, 2017 06:01:09 AM
Yeah, most of them. I might have one pair left to mend. It's so nice to be able to use them again.

Before:
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8  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 25 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Annchen on: April 20, 2017 12:07:52 PM
And now for some easter posts! Skrtorsdag (Maundy thursday?) is the day Swedish kids dress up like hags and beg for candy, but we skipped that tradition. This year it was also the same day as my mother's birthday so we went to Uppsala for some celebrations!


We visited a large store to make sure we had snacks and something to drink. McCoy seemed to like the colorful paper eggs.


Step two, drive through Stockholm. Not fun. It took 2,5 hours to get there, more than one hour extra since everyone and their mother was on the road.


Easter decorations! Birch branches with various decorations. Some put them in water to get some greenery, but due to allergies we never do.


There's a restaurant in the old train station building in Uppsala. Outside view with a so-so picture of the statue outside.


In the restaurant. McCoy sat between my niece and me, and he made a friend Smiley it was pretty cool, trains went past outside the window.

Saturday

Well, someone has to work the weekend... McCoy kept me company. (The mug says "Well hello cutie/good looking". Snyggo is hard to translate)
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9  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 25 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Annchen on: April 20, 2017 11:49:48 AM
Right, this post will have pictures from april 10th. More posts coming, but I don't want to put too many in the same one. I've posted some of McCoys adventures on instagram with the hashtag #mccoythefox

Monday

McCoy went with me to the eye hospital and outside we found a cute yarn bomb on the statue Tidningsläsarna (the newspaper readers). There are tons of interesting statues in that part of Stockholm, but my phone did not want to cooperate. Sad


The phone stopped fussing in time for us to snap a photo inside the central station. The sculpted railing is called Ringen (the ring). This is the north side with a seal and an eskimo family. In the 60s this was a secret place for gay men to meet each other.


The friday before a man ran down some people with a truck on the busiest shopping street and then crashed into a big department store. The mountain of flowers had to be moved to a place nearby. Nope, the stairs do not have flowerbeds usually.


Down in the underground...


We went to Medborgarplatsen and found a vertical garden. I bet it will be pretty this summer when it grows some more. Neat idea!


The park next to Medborgarplatsen is called Björns trädgård (Björns garden, and the name björn means bear). We visited with the family of bears before going home. These urban bears were very curious about McCoy.
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10  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 25 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Annchen on: April 10, 2017 01:22:15 PM
Yesterday McCoy got to visit Mall of Scandinavia for some shopping and a movie.



This is what the Swedish booze monopoly looks like on a Sunday. Very, very closed:



You can get a drink at bars or restaurants, but no beer/wine/schnapps-shopping...



We watched Ghost in the shell.



McCoy found a very stylish fox-backpack!



He also tried out some Swedish design, the famous String-shelves.
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