Knit Crush: Christine Roy

Looking at Christine Roy's patterns is a pleasure for any hat lover. I've picked out a few that really spoke to me.

As always, all pictures in this post are borrowed with permission from their respective Ravelry project pages, by clicking their name, you'll be taken right to them.   

First up is a set that incorporates one of my big loves: Cables!
A Tale of 2 Rivers
A Tale of Two Rivers - Beanie

The second 'pair' I chose to show you is a simple yet interesting knit, 
that illustrates how a cute hat can be even cuter in miniature. 
The Easy Guernsey Hat

Finally, I really like Christine's take on a simple sample hat.
It's a great idea to try out a new stitch or technique and looks lovely.

Simple sample hat


Looking for other knit crushes?
Aimee Alexander
JumperCables Knitting
Knitbot - Hannah Fettig
Yellowcosmo
Tin Can Knits
Veera Välimäki
Helga Isager

All I want for Christmas... + a Christmas gift for you!

It's Christmas! I know, I know... A lot of you won't be unwrapping presents until tomorrow, but today or rather tonight is the big moment we've all been waiting for around here.

Now I wanted to take the time to wish you all a very merry Christmas and let you know what my only wish from all of you is this year, in case you are feeling a little generous...

Wouldn't it be nice to have a great new pattern to cast on during all the festivities tomorrow? And wouldn't it be even nicer to know that with the purchase of said pattern you had made a contribution towards cancer research?

Most of you know what I'm going to wish for, but in the interest of beginning my theme for next year a little early, I'll tell you why I'm wishing for it as well.



I had hoped, that I could send the Danish Cancer Society a big fat check at the end of the year, but right now I've only sold one copy of the Everyday Rockstar and while I'm very thankful for the sale and the money it raised, it doesn't exactly make for a big fat check...

So if you are feeling generous or need a last minute gift for a dear Ravelry friend or just need a hat because you accidentally left your old one on the train on your way home, may I suggest you go with the Everyday Rockstar - together we can beat cancer through research and secure many more merry Christmases for families all over the world. When you spend the 15DKK or ca. $2,5 you'll contribute just over 10DKK/$1.67* to cancer research. *Depending on exchange rate, paypal fee and Ravelry fee. 

There you have it, all I want for Christmas is YOU -
Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!  

Wait, whaaaat! You really thought I'd leave you hanging without telling you about my very special Christmas gift for you? You should know me better!

Well, I've been working hard on creating an e-book, called Faithful Knitting, for all of you and it will be send out to everyone on my email list tomorrow. If you see this after Christmas then don't worry, if you sign up you'll still receive the gift, but wouldn't it be nice to have a brand new e-book to read on Christmas day about faith and knitting?
Oh, and in case you aren't Christian and think you wouldn't care for the book, I just want to share something on of my proof readers, Cami, told me:

"As someone who was raised Christian, but no longer considers herself a Christian, I would say there is plenty in your book that can/should be considered by a non-Christian audience."


Sign up now to be among the first to receive the e-book tomorrow.

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And The Theme of 2015 is...

The Concept

The idea of choosing a theme for the year instead of setting New Year's resolutions have appealed to me ever since I first heard Jasmine of the Knitmoregirls talk about it. I've toyed with it in the past, but in the interest of full disclosure, I've never really followed through on a theme before. That is what I hope to change in 2015.

Speaking of Full Disclosure

That is exactly what my theme for 2015 will be: Full Disclosure.
As you have probably noticed I took most of December off in the interest of spending some good end of the year pondering. I've been looking back at 2014 and what a year. A number of exciting changes have happened, I've tried out a few things that didn't work and a lot more that did. I feel like I'm slowly finding my voice both with respect to this blog and my patterns, which is a wonderful feeling.

Looking back isn't all I've done though. I've also spent a good amount of time pondering 2015. Do I want to make any change? Which and why? How will I go about it? These questions and more have been floating around in my head and one morning all the answers came together in the words I've decided will be my theme of this year: Full Disclosure.



What does the theme entail? 

You may be left wondering what my theme entails, especially if you aren't acquainted with people such as Jasmine, so let me explain:
I love sharing both the ups and downs of my micro business with you, okay maybe I love sharing the ups most, but I do include the downs because they are as important, if not more important. In 2015 I'll take that a lot further, hopefully for the benefit of both you and me. There are two main aspects of this theme:

  • Tracking and Sharing Work Hours 

Twice each semester the university asks us to tell them how many hours  per week we spend working on each subject we take. It's a guessing game for most of us, but I see the sense in knowing how long you actually spend doing something. If I want to see results from this micro business, then I have to put in the effort and I'm not always sure if I'm actually doing just that. Thus I'll do my best to track the hours I spend each month, divided into the following three broad categories: 
- Blog writing
- Pattern writing
- Marketing

  • Sharing Income Reports
This part of the Full Disclosure theme is what scares me most. I've talked about money before, but I've never actually shown you the precise figures. It scares me because I'm afraid you'll call me out and tell me that this isn't even a micro business, it's a hobby that's costing me a lot more than it's making me. That terrifies me because it's what my inner critic constantly tells me and it's true. Since August I've made the grand total of 11 DKK and all that money is from the sale of one copy of my Everyday Rockstar pattern, so that money doesn't belong to me, but is waiting to be donated!
The lack of sales is a challenge at times, but I know I don't have a lot of patterns yet, so I'm dedicated to power through and create more, hoping the income will come later. I see no need to share a monthly income report as long as almost nothing is happening, but every quarter you'll hear the exciting news of the financial side of Noget Uldent. 

What else will change?

Besides the theme there'll be a few other changes. I'll try to bring you even more reviews and interview as well as keeping the Knit Crushes coming. I'm debating switching my platform from blogger to wordpress and if I decide to go ahead and do so it will inevitably bring along some changes to the look and feel of the blog. In addition to that I'm kicking the idea of using different medias as well. All these things are still not fully decided, so you'll just have to wait and see what happens. 

What is decided is that I'll be valuing quality over quantity. I've been blogging regularly now three times per week. That will change in the new year. I plan to blog twice a week and dedicate the time that leaves me to pattern writing and marketing. You see, I'm not very talented in the marketing area yet and that may be a huge reason why I'm seeing hardly any sales.  I want to dedicate more time to that and make my posts better, but time is limited so I'll be limiting the posts as well.  

On a Final Note

It feels like 2015 will be an awesome year with lots of changes around here, I can't wait to share them with you and I hope you stick around. Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year to you and yours. 


The Knit and Crochet Notebook by Mama's Notebooks - Review

Lets be honest, my design notes are a mess, scribbles on a post it here, notes on a scrap piece of paper there, separate notes on pattern repeats on squared paper... It can be difficult to keep track of it all and while I haven't misplaced anything yet, it is a disaster waiting to happen.

When I discovered the Knit and Crochet Notebook by Mama's Notebooks, I knew I had found a potential solution. I'm so proud to present Mama Heather as a sponsor of Noget Uldent.


Mama Heather is the author of a wide selection of notebooks, from baby to budgets, homeschooling and knitting - Heather offers a notebook to help you keep track of everything.

Now onto the review!

Full disclaimer: the nice Heather sent me my copy for free and I decided to pass it on to my mum, as it was just what she needed! This review is based on both my mum's and my impression of the notebook.

The Knit and Crochet Notebook is not aimed at designers per se, but at every knitter and crocheter and it contains the following segments:
- Project table of contents
- Project pages (enough for 30 projects!)
- Needle and hook tracker
- Gauge tracker
- Project wish list
- How to measure
- Measurement chart
- Standard yarn weight reference
- Notes


Project pages

The amount of project pages is quit generous - 30 projects will last most knitters a year or two, right?!
At the top there are spaces to fill in all the important information and I really liked the 'check when finished' feature at the right hand side of the squared section. It suits my control gene perfectly.
The fact that each project has a full spread, allows for a good amount of space for notes and diagrams, especially if you're not designing from scratch, but making a good deal of moderations, like my mum tend to do.


Needle and hook tracker

We both agree that this feature is great and an important part of a knitting notebook, but frankly neither of us will use it. There's a big disclaimer attached to this statement, we both have highly organised knitting needle bags and don't feel the need to keep further track of our needles, but if they were say in a box or drawer all mixed and jumbled, then this tracker would be a lifesaver!

Gauge tracker

There's only one word that can truly describe this part of the notebook: ingenious! 
We both knit in the same yarns time and again and while we remember our gauges roughly, writing it down is just one of those duh!-moments. 
There's room for 50 items so just get cranking on those gauge swatches and with the dates noted as well, you'll be able to see if you need to do a check-up, since your gauge does change over time.  

Project wishlist

My mum is lucky to be married to Mr. Please-Knit-Me-A-...., needles to say that the wish list will come in handy. If I had kept the notebook I would use this part to record design ideas and inspirations. 
Most of us have Ravelry queues, but there is just something special about a paper list, isn't there?!

How to measure and the measurements chart 

Sometimes, exactly where and how to take a measurement can get confusing, especially if you are trying to explain it to your helpful, but clueless significant other, the chart makes it easy to explain and the measurement charts means you don't have to take a persons measurements every single time you knit them something. This is particularly handy if your recipients live far away. 


Conclusion 

We quite like the notebook, it has a lot of great features and seems very reasonably priced at $20.99 taking into consideration that it will probably last you at least a year if not a couple of years. We couldn't really think of anything we felt were missing and that is always a plus. So if your notes are as disorganised as ours, then getting the Knit and Crochet Notebook will most likely be a good investment. 
 

Knit Crush: Aimee Alexander

There are people who can do it all, sweaters, hats, scarves, blankets, mittens, socks... Aimee Alexander is one of those people in my opinion.

As always, all pictures in this post are borrowed with permission from their respective Ravelry project pages, by clicking their name, you'll be taken right to them.   

Snow Ghost

Milestones

Loch Lomond

Good Medecine

Passion is energy...

... feel the power that comes from focussing on what excites you.
- Oprah Winfrey

I never thought I would begin a blog post with an Oprah Winfrey quote, but it seems fitting. You see I'm going to take sort of a break from blogging in December. I have a few posts in mind that I want to share with you, like the follow up on the Honninghjerte recipe, an exciting product review and a knit crush, one or two other posts may sneak their way in there, but I won't be doing my regular Monday-Wednesday-Friday blogging.

In case you are worrying I'm going to abandon blogging, I want to easy your mind at once. The reason I'm taking most of December off from blogging is because I 1) Have a lot going on with family and school at the moment. 2) I Want to spend the last month of the year preparing for next year. I've mentioned before that there are a few changes I'd like to make to ensure that blogging and designing runs more smoothly. I'll be defining those and implementing some of those in December.

I want to spend the year focussing even more on the things that excite me: theology, designing and food. I'm hoping that 2015 will see my first collection of knitting patterns, a lot more reviews and hopefully a bunch of designing I can share with you.

Remember the waves?


Oh those waves.. They wrapped me in love and summer memories. It took no time at all to knit that big, cosy shawl and then I sat down right away and wrote up the pattern and sent it into test knitting and now it is all done and waiting for the photo shoot.

That's what happened, right, please tell me that was what I did...

Oh, alright you guessed it! While it is true that it took no time to knit up and it really is a cosy shawl, the rest of the actions above never took place. The only piece of the pattern that has been written up is  the final decrease and BO. It wasn't for a lack of good intentions, but you know what they say about those and a certain road going some place warm. Sigh.

Thus now I have to do something I dread. I have to reverse engineer the pattern. That isn't the worst that could happen, but there's a catch... There's always a catch when you find yourself in this kind of situation, isn't there?!

The catch is that I have absolutely no time on my hands to write up the pattern at the moment. Truth be told, I'm struggling to make designing a priority right now. What I need is more hours in the day, but don't we all need that from time to time. It's not that I've fallen out of love with this project or designing in general, that couldn't be further from the truth. It's simply that between my full time study gig and two side jobs, designing, which at the moment is an expense more than a job, just has to be done last.

I still lay in bed at night when I'm about to go to sleep and dream about my first collection being finished. I dream bigger dreams sometimes of a romantic life filled with theology, wonderful people and lots of knit wear designing. And then I stop myself, because isn't that pretty much the life I live right now? It sure is filled with romance, theology, wonderful people and some knit wear designing...

So instead of beating myself up about not haven written up the pattern for the waves shawl yet, I'm beginning to think it isn't that bad of a deal. At least when everything goes wrong in the writing because I've forgotten it all, I'll have some to share with you!

Invaluable blogging tools


The recent creative blog tour made me think about the way I blog and the tools I use. Personally I love to hear about different 'systems' and as I'm looking into streamlining my system even more, I though I'd go ahead and share what I do now.  I'm by no means a pro at this, but here are my invaluable blogging tools.

Bullet journal

Every month I dedicate a page in my Bullet Journal to my blogging activities. The layout I tried this month isn't as good as the previous one, so it's obvious that I'm still tweaking this, but overall here are the things the page include:
  • Editorial calendar 
  • To-do list for the blog
  • To-do list for designs

The editorial calendar

My (blogging)life would be insane without this one tool. It's probably the most important for me if we overlook the obvious need of a computer.
Having a list of 12-15 open slots that need to be filled with content can seem a little daunting at first, but I quickly came to love it. The editorial calendar provides such a clear and visional progress statement. I can fill in content, move it around and mark when I've finished working on a post. To me this is priceless.

To-do lists

These are pretty self-explanatory, aren't they?! I find that a lot of things on these lists don't get done that month. But it's a safe keeping system and it means that said tasks aren't swimming around in my head. 

iPhone

The whole smartphone world is still pretty new to me as I got my first this summer, but it has proved a great tool for blogging. I would say that around 95% of the pictures I shoot for this blog is taken with my iPhone 5s. It's even painless to add them to posts via my phone. What I haven't found useful is writing the actual post on the phone. I prefer to do that on a computer.

MacBook Air

Speaking of computers, my beloved old MacBook was retired this summer. As a result of it's age there was a lot of webpages that I simply couldn't access. Not good when said webpages are needed for a lot of your work. I had know this day would come and saved up for an Air for years. I decided on a 11" as I needed something small and portable and oddly enough, writing long papers on a small machine doesn't bother me.  

Canva

The final tool I use all the time is completely free! Canva lets you design graphics like the one I made for this post for free or you can choose to use elements from them, for $1 a piece. I've never bought anything from them yet, since you can do so much with the free elements and I'm on a tight budget. 

A surprise spot of Christmas knitting

I had all my Christmas knitting done for the year many moons ago. Then my mum got the very yarn I usually knit my dad's socks out of as a gift - it had to be a sign, right?!



A pair of dad-sized socks is nothing big in my world. They have come to be my zen knitting. I've done so many pairs, I believe I could knit them in my sleep if you handed me the needles. It takes me a week to crank out a pair if I'm diligent. In between the fogs of sleep and ickiness last week, I somehow managed to do a lot of knitting. And I do mean a lot. Here's the proof:



Not one, but two socks! Ready to be handed off to my dad as his second pair of Christmas socks this year. Not that I'm counting the pairs I've made him this year alone (5) or anything. I love to make them though, because no one appreciates a pair of hand made socks as much as my dad. It's all he wears. We've tailored them to fit him perfectly and while they look a bit strange when not on a foot, especially the toe, they fit him like a glove, eeeh sock. You should hear the disappointment in his voice when I had the nerve to cast on a sock that wasn't for him, let alone of my own design!

Next year I'll undoubtedly knit him an additional 4 pairs, as that seems to be the rate he goes through them. And yes, my mum darn them once or twice before they are so worn out they simply disintegrate.

Are you doing any Christmas knitting?

As the pendulum swings... A note on life and time management.

We didn't have a pendulum, so you're stuck with my man's pocket watch...

Have you ever felt like the whole deal with 'a balanced life' was just one big sham, invented with the sole purpose of making you and me feel inadequate? I've always been big on pursuing this mythical 'balance', which all the cool kids seemed to possess. That, however, changed for me last week. It wasn't a instant turnover, in fact this whole balance deal has been in the back of my head for a while now.

What was so special about last week, was that I spent most of it in bed with a tremendous head cold. This nasty condition made me sleep away most of the day as well as the nights and for the first time ever, I was okay it. I knew it meant this week would be much harder, I knew it meant it might not be as fun, as I would a) be recovering from the nastiness and b) have two week's worth of work to get done. But I was okay with it.

Why was I so okay with it? I asked myself that more than once. Slowly the answer began to form in my mind. I was okay with it because... wait for it... life is not about constant balance.

I will venture to say that life is about the complete opposite of constant balance and that our pursuit of it may be a large part of why so many of us feel less than great about how our days, months and years are spent.

Don't get me wrong, balance has its place in life. That place is just not on a day to day basis, but in a much larger scheme. That scheme is a year, or sometimes even years. As nature cycles through the months and seasons, so do we.

Exceptionally busy times are generally followed by much quieter times, where we can rest and rejuvenate, enabling us to face the next period of toils. After the harvest comes the sweet and quiet months of winter, a time to stay indoors and get lost in books and wool, learning things that will aid us through the next spring, summer and fall with a bit more grace.

2015 will, no doubt, be a busy year for me. I'll write my B.A. and (D.V.) begin my master's degree. If all goes well, we'll be moving next year. As I'm preparing for this busy time, I'm tweaking systems and trying out new things to make the year run smoother.

I hope you'll continue to join me as I work on embracing the different seasons life has to offer, one day at a time.



Pattern Launch: Everyday Rockstar - a cancer charity project

Has your family been affected by cancer? Mine sure has - a lot. We've lost a few to cancer and many more have survived it or are currently battling it. Once you've had it right there next to you, or in you, you come to understand what a vicious disease it is. Thankfully, research has come a long way and more and more people beat it!

I've been pondering for a while if I would be able to raise some money for the Danish Cancer Society - Kræftens Bekæmpelse, in one way or another and then I realised that I could, because I have a micro business!

Thus I've decided to send 100% of the proceeds from the sale of my new pattern Everyday Rockstar to Kræftens Bekæmpelse and I have this dream, that it will be a big fat check, because knitters are awesome and not unwilling to support good causes, and this is one of the best!

But why should I contribute to a society in Denmark when I live in... Here's my answer, stolen from their own site:

This diagram shows how they use the monetary support:
53% goes to research - that means you benefit from it wherever you live.
23% goes to patient support, that's local, but I've personally benefitted from this, so please indulge me.
17% goes to awareness
and only a meagre 7% goes to administration.


There you have it, now on to the pattern:

buy now
This hat is warm and stylish, making you feel like a rockstar every day. The ribbing gently hugs your head and allows space for an up-do. Its timeless and simple style makes the hat perfect for both men and women. The pom pom offers a great way to add a splash of colour.


SIZES
Circumfrence unstretched
S: 40 cm / 15,3/4”
M: 44cm / 17,1/4”
L: 48cm / 19”
Length with turned brim
ca. 19 (20) 21cm / 7,5 (8) 8,1/4 ”

For just 15,00 DKK / $2,5 you get a stylish hat pattern and contribute to Kræftens Bekæmpelse. The entire proceeds from this pattern will be surrendered, that's just over 10DKK/$1.67* per pattern! (*Depending on exchange rate, paypal fee and Ravelry fee).

I hope you want to knit the hat and support a great cause, there's nothing I'd like more than to send them a big check!   
buy now

Tyrel Leather interview, giveaway & coupon code.


When I heard that my Ravelry friend Callista's husband had a small leather business, I had to get him on here to answer my prying questions and thankfully he was more than willing to do so! He may not be a fibre person, but his creations in leather are truly beautiful and who knows maybe he could be convinced to do leather needle cases?

Before we go to the interview I want to share his logo with you, because I adore it.


JT, I usually ask people what’s on their needles first, but I don’t know if you knit or have other hobbies? 

Yeah I don’t have any knitting needles. That is definitely Callista’s hobby. Right now I have several belts that I am making. My other hobby/recreation is snowboarding. I am definitely ready for it to start snowing here so that I can go.

When and why did you start selling your creations?

I started selling my leather goods at the beginning of this year. Eventually, my goal is to have a saddle making business. Right now I just wanted to start selling my stuff to support my hobby and maybe some day make it a full time career.

Colorado Flag Wallet

Do you sell your beautiful wares in different places or stick to your Etsy store?

For now I only sell in my Etsy store, but I am looking at other possibilities too.

Where do you get inspiration from?

A lot of it comes from looking at other people’s products and then redesigning it to fit what I want it to look like.

Leather Bracelet

What is you favourite item to make and why?

My favorite item to make is my photo albums. It gives special meaning to those who have one. I made my first album for my wife for our first wedding anniversary. It allows people to have something special so that they can look back at their special occasions in life.

Phote Album

How much time do you devote to your business each week?

It definitely varies as to how many orders I have, but on average it’s around 5-10 hours per week right now. I definitely hope to spend more time on it as it grows.


And finally, what are your goals and dreams for your business?


Ideally, I would love to live in a small mountain town with a shop downtown and make saddles all day long. I would also like to make saddle bags, purses, and some of the bigger leather goods that I have not attempted yet.

Tri Fold Wallet

Giveaway

JT is offering a bracelet to one lucky winner like the one below and here's the thing, you get to have any word you would like on it consisting of up to six letter. The bracelet is 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) wide and is adjustable from 7.5 inches (19.05 centimeters) to 8.5 inches (21.59 centimetres) and The bracelet can be dyed to your liking.

Costum Bracelet

To enter the giveaway just leave a comment telling us what your favourite product is from JT's shop.
The winner will be announced Monday the 17th November 2014

And the winner is.... A Little Knit! Congratulations.  

Coupon code

Just to prove that JT is seriously awesome he has thrown in a coupon code for 10% off everything in his shop till the end of November. 

The code is: NOVEMBER2014

I bet there is someone in your life, who would really appreciate a hand made leather item for Christmas!

Creative Blog Tour

This weekend I was tagged by Tahnée of Woollen Wilderness, to take part in a creative blog tour. I'm not a big fan of random blog tags, but when I read the questions for this one, I knew I had to participate. 


1) What am I working on? 

Right now I'm working on soooo many things, both personal and for the blog/micro business. 
On the personal side I'm spinning a yarn for my mum for Christmas and knitting my dad a pair of socks. 
For the micro business I'm just about to release a pattern for charity, which always takes up a good deal of time. Then I've just sent a pattern into test knitting, so I have to tend to that every now and then. There are blog posts to write and I'm in the process of finding people to feature for 2015. I have a pattern yet to be written up and another to put finishing touches on. I need to get to all that if I have hopes of publishing my collection in 2015 (and I do!).

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

I've thought long and hard about this. I know what the answer is for the blog: I try to be transparent and share the design process and its ups and downs. As for the designs themselves? I hope I'm coming into a certain feel. I want to design a wast scope of items and that means I'm dealing with a lot of 'firsts' at the moment. My design philosophy is 'simple with a twist', hopefully that shines through in my work.  


3) Why do I write/create what I do? 

Because I can't help it! For years I said that I would never design. Why would I bother when there are so many great designs out there? Well, I just reached a point when that no longer mattered. I had to design. There was this creative force inside me screaming to be let loose and play. Often I feel the same when I write. Actually my best pieces (in my humble opinion) are the ones where I just had to share what was on my heart. 

4) How does my writing/creative process work?

This is a difficult one because I don't think I have a process. Instead I have many, depending on the project. Sometimes I cast on a swatch, play with it and there is the idea that sparks a design. At other times a design is fully formed in my head before I even find needles and yarn to swatch for it. Sometimes it takes me no time at all to write and knit the sample. At other times a design spends months in the naughty corner, just to be finished in a matter of days once it has returned to grace.  
What I can say is that my process is very dependent on how busy my other occupations keep me. Being a full time student with a couple of part time jobs doesn't leave a lot of room for creative endeavours, so vacations seem to be my prime creation time. 
I keep a log of my blogposts and things to be done for the business every month in my bullet journal, which helps tremendously. There are other parts of the process I would still like to streamline though. That's a project for 2015. I'm still learning every day I work on something and I've made a list of a few things I'd like to implement in 2015 for the business. Maybe I should share those with you soon?






That's what I have to say for now. I think I'll continue to mull over these questions as they are great questions to ask yourself to further your business or hobby. I'm nominating my dear friend Zoë to take up the torch. 

Lessons learned from test knits

I've had a few patterns test knit by now and most have gone really well. One, however, did not. Serves me right for calling a pattern the Everyday Rockstar! It ended up all fine in the end and I had some great test knitters with plenty of grace and patience, but just about everything that can go wrong did go wrong.

You know I pride myself on sharing both the ups and downs with you here, that's the purpose of the blog after all. But while I knew I wanted to share the experience with you at some point, I also felt a need to distance myself a little from it first.

A little time has now past and I'm ready to share the lessons I've learned:

Always get more testers than you 'need'

Someone will drop off of the face of the earth, someone will get very sick, someone will simply not make it. It's a lot easier to handle all those someones with grace when it doesn't mean your entire test knit process has failed. 

Be Santa Clause 

Check that list time and again. Somehow a computer glitch resulted in me sending out an old version of the pattern at first, I only realised this after a lot of mistakes had been corrected, mistakes that felt familiar. Why? Because I had in deed already corrected them and then promptly lost the file it appears.

Be Firm

Don't set flexible deadlines. I learned that the hard way. Give people plenty of time to do the test, and hold them to that non-flexible date. 

Be thankful

People are working for you for free. Yes they do get the pattern, but they also have to deal with the mistakes. Please and thank you's never hurt anybody.


Everyday Rockstar will be out next Friday. The proceeds will go to the Danish Cancer Foundation, since cancer fighters and survivors are true rockstars, but more on that next week.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar - An ACV How To


Apple Cider Vinegar - ACV - is truely a wondermaker. You can eat it, clean your hair and your windows just to mention a few uses. We go through a lot of ACV just in our cooking, so when I began using it to rinse my hair, I knew I had to look into making it ourselves. Good organic ACV is expensive and as it turns out also really easy to make. Plus when you make it yourself it is almost free.

The wonderful thing about making your own ACV is that while it takes a while before it's ready for use, it doesn't require a lot of active involvement.

Here's what you'll need:
Apples (preferably organic)
Water
a bit of ACV with a mother in it.
Glass container
Something to keep the apples down.
muslin to cover the top of the container.


Next time your family have some apples for a snack save the cores. Even better, make a badge of apple porridge and save the peels and cores.

Place the peels and cores in the glass container, cover with water and add a bit of ACV with a mother in it, if you have some, to jump start the process. If your ACV is cloudy and has a dark stringy substance in the bottom, then it has a mother culture in it. Most organic, unfiltered ACVs should have it.

The next step is to put something in there to keep the peels and cores submerged. I use a cooking quality plastic bag filled with water. It's not the best choice since it is a plastic, but I haven't though of anything as effective yet, so please let me know if you have an idea.

Place the muslin on top of the container, place it in a dark spot and wait for a month. You can check on it every now and then to make sure the apples are still submerged.
After a month, remove the cores and peels. The water should have turned into delicious ACV now. If it's not as strong as you would like it, then just let it sit longer.

My first batch turned out a little weak, but continued to gain strength after the apples were removed.

That, my friends, is how you make ACV. Easy and almost free. If you don't have an ACV with the mother, then the process may take a little longer. If you are not used to using ACV in your kitchen, go ahead and get a bottle to try it and make your own from then on.


Finding joy in the insignificant


For my birthday, I got a number of wonderful gifts and it's never easy to single out a favourite, but this time there was one gift that stood out.

The day before my birthday a friend from school brought me a gift, which I saved to open on my actual birthday. I had an idea of what it was from its the shape. It felt like a candle.

It turned out to be a candle. A white candle with an owl on it. The owl, as you may have guessed symbolise knowledge. But the candle itself symbolised something too, said my friend: a light at the end of the tunnel.

My friend had picked it up, because she wanted to give me a symbolic gift - she hit the nail on the head.

There are so many things going on at the moment, good things and bad. I'm okay, but the reminder that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel is fitting. Between a full load at school, 2 new jobs and this micro business I have my work cut out for me. That our family isn't in its best health is another stain. It is in no way too much for us to handle, but it is a lot to handle.

There is something comforting in knowing that this too shall pass and what may seem a small, maybe even insignificant gift has brought a lot of joy to my heart - the good Lord is with us every step of the way.

Knit Crush: JumperCables Knitting

Yarnovers can add such elegance to a design. Simple in themselves, they can be made in clusters to form timeless and elegant designs. One designer, who really master the yarnovers in my opinion, is Annie Baker of JumperCables Knitting. This lady claims she likes designs, that have clean lines and patterns, that are easy to remember. I couldn't agree more. 

As always, all pictures in this post are borrowed with permission from their respective Ravelry project pages, by clicking their name, you'll be taken right to them.   

Wispy

Bella Shawl


Freesia

Allegria



Looking for other knit crushes?
Yellowcosmo
Tin Can Knits
Veera Välimäki
Helga Isager

Fall = Food



Every single fall, I get this sudden urge to cook all the things. I want to read about food, make food, eat food. Most importantly, I want to share food, with my family and with you. I've already made 2 apple pies this month, which was a first for me, and definitely a keeper.

There may be a little squirrel inside of me, happy to see the year's bounty, although limited due to the fact that we live in a tiny flat, neatly put up and stored for later. 

A large tree outside our flat is home to one such squirrel and I enjoy watching it from time to time, run up and down the tree storing away goods for the winter. 

I've been doing the same and we are now enjoying apple crumbles and jelly with our meats and my herbs are doing alright.  

Here's the thing, I'm looking for some new reading material on food. I'm considering getting The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz

If you love reading about food as much as I do, then please let me in on your favourite cookbooks to read and learn from. I prefer books with much more than recipes and some of my favourites are Sally Fallon's Nourishing TraditionsHugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's The Original River Cottage Cookbook, as well as pretty much anything my the Danish chef Claus Meyer (I currently own 3 books by him).

Do you know of any books in this traditional, seasonal and nose-to-tail eating vein? Let me and everyone else know in the comments and then please, head straight to the kitchen and cook up something amazing!

#NUCRAL - Lesson 5, Bust Shaping

Carol Feller's class on short rows is the first class of the #NUCRAL. The idea behind the a-long is to share progress, swatches, questions and idea. Basically, I needed an accountability partner and figured you might too.

We've made it to lesson 5, if you've just joined us, then please check out lesson 1, 23 and 4.

Chapter 1: Creating shape

Today's lesson is the final lesson of this mini class and I wasn't sure how useful I would find it for my personal knitting. Why? Because as Carol points out if your cup size is less than a c-cup, you most likely won't need to use short rows for bust shaping.

Chapter 2: Calculating Short Rows

The second chapter proved to be much ore useful to me. The explanations of measurements and calculations are clear and easy to follow. Even though I may not need to do bust calculations, the explanations showcased what needs to be taken into consideration when calculating short rows in general and that is always useful.

What did you think of the way Carol had used short rows in the cardigan and the shawl?



Is it time to prepare for Christmas yet? - Honning hjerter recipe

Let me be frank, my birthday is tomorrow. This is why I hate it when the store and the interwebs explode with all things Christmas before my birthday. You see my birthday marks exactly two months till Christmas.

Please don't get me wrong, I love Christmas, Advent is a very special time for me and who doesn't love the food... But Christmas-shennanigans shouldn't start until the first sunday in Advent. That's my  rule and I'm sticking to it... except... for food.

Food, glorious food. So much food is only made and available in the Christmas season. I'm having my first black pudding of the season later today. I love me some good blood sausage! Another Christmas stable is honing hjerter and it just so happens, that you have to prepare those around my birthday if you want them to be ready in time for Advent.

Honning hjerter - pre-dough

Making honing hjerter (honey hearts) is easy, but time consuming. It won't take up a lot of your time per se, but it does take a lot of time before they are ready to munch on. I figured I'd share the process with you in real time so you can join me if you'd like to. 

For the pre-dough you'll need:
500g Honey
500g Flour


I go all out when I make these and only use the best of the best ingredients, local honey and local flour!
If your familiar with making pasta, the process is somewhat similar to being with.
Place your flour on your counter top, and put the honey on top.


Fold the flour into the honey, you'll get to a point where it seems like it will never make a dough but just keep working.



It may help to do a handful or so at a time, above you can see the difference. Gathering this dough is a workout for your hands, so enrol any and all family members to help you. When you have a consistent dough, work it a little more until it becomes very sticky, then put it in a container (I prefer glass) and place it in your fridge. 


 If you are finding it very difficult to gather the dough and are lucky enough to have a stand mixer then just pop it in with a dough hook and leave it to do its magic. It will likely take a while, but so will making it by hand.

That's all for now. The dough needs to sit in the fridge for about a month, the longer the better.

What is your favourite Christmas food?

Debating centimetres



Centimetres, they give me a good deal of trouble in pattern writing! If I was queen of the world everyone would work in cm. They make much more sense to me and are easier to work with in knitting as they give a smaller unit of measurement without having to be broken up. Sadly I'm not the queen of the world and a good deal of the world, at least in the knitting market, is used to operating in inches.

Inches, they give me a good deal of trouble in pattern writing! I want a piece to be x cm long and it always converts to x,something-odd inches. Could we please just all become part of the Knitmoregirls' metric revolution??!! Pretty please...

Now I'm debating going strictly centimetres or strictly inches in my patterns, because including both, which I have thus far to make it easy for you no matter what you are used to, is simple proving to be a looooot of work.

One of the patterns I'm currently writing up has 10 sizes (see I'm all about making it easy for you), which translates to 20, TWENTY, different measurements every. single. time. That isn't easy for me and certainly not for you either!

What do you think? Should I stick to my roots and go cm only? Maybe go international with only inches?  Or should I just stop wining and keep giving both?

#NUCRAL - Lesson 4, Sleeves and Shoulders

Carol Feller's class on short rows is the first class of the #NUCRAL. The idea behind the a-long is to share progress, swatches, questions and idea. Basically, I needed an accountability partner and figured you might too.

We've made it to lesson 4, if you've just joined us, then please check out lesson 1, 2 and 3.

Are you ready for a confession? Alright then, here we go: I didn't actually swatch for this lesson. This means I don't really have any pictures to show you, but don't fret I still have a lot to say about the lesson.

First, lets get to why I didn't swatch this time around. There are several reasons:
1) I was busy sewing in ends on a design while watching.
2) I had just worked short rows as a part of the shoulders on said design.
3) I had also just used a 3-needle-bind-off on said design.

Enough with my excuses already, lets get to the chapters.

Chapter 1 - Shoulder slopes

The short row method makes for a much cleaner finish than the stair step effect of the bind-off method. It makes the piece seem more coherent in my eyes, whereas the bind-off can at times look like you just cut off a part of your knitting. On a design I'm working on at the moment, I used short rows to shape the back of the shoulders only and it made for a really nice finish. I'm  so pleased I've learned the Japanese method in time for those short rows. The wraps became much smaller and aren't really visible, even on the wrong side, at all. 

Chapter 2 - Three needle bind-off

If you aren't familiar with this method then be ready to be amazed. This technique is so simple, yet elegant. I tend to use it all the time because I'm to lazy I prefer knitting to sewing any day. As I mentioned, I used it to join some cables on the design I'm plucking away at.

Chapter 3 - The set in sleeve

The only concept in this lesson I haven't used before was the actual short row, set in sleeve, but when you've worked short rows before, then there really isn't anything to it. Just watching Carol  do it made me confident I could too and the little detail she includes (you'll have to watch to know what I'm talking about here) makes it look very stylish. I'm determined to try it out on a sweater soon.

Now, let me know what you think.. Have you done short row shoulders or set in sleeves before?

Purple Knight Baby sweater - Pattern now available!

It is with great pleasure that I'm releasing the pattern for the Purple Knight baby sweater today. This pattern was one of those that just had to be knit. The pattern, if you recall is inspired by my parents' bedspread and I have to say the mix of colours will make this pattern work for any little knight or princess in your life.



Baby Erik was by far the cutest model I've used so far and I might cast on more designs for children, just to have him model them. I know his parents wouldn't mind getting more knits either.



Purple Knight is a bottom up raglan sweater with all the colour work inclosed, so no tiny fingers will get stuck. The pattern is wonderful for using up leftovers and different colours will create very different expressions, just take a look at Mimi's stunning sweater:


When knitting for babies, I recommend taking both the season and their size into consideration. It is always better to knit something larger than expected, so the child can grow into it. Baby Erik is 6,5 mo in the photos and modelling a size 12 mo, which should fit him perfectly this winter. 


All the stats are on the Ravelry page and the pattern can be yours for 30 DKK.