Thursday, June 26, 2008
Back since Sunday night but still exhausted and overwhelmed by a trip that makes me wish I could still be there. Iceland was much more than I had expected, and nature-wise, probably one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to.
Yes, it was cold, especially up in the mountains, and some places were so remote that we would spend hours without seeing anyone else, but then that's probably one of the things I liked best. The weather does change pretty quickly... it could be sunny, then quite rainy, then it would snow, and then a couple of hours later it would be sunny again. It's a good thing we were well prepared. I dressed in layers, and my raingear and hiking boots have never been used so extensively.
The food was quite outstanding in some places and we never ate badly, except one night we stayed out hiking so late that the only place open was the local gas station. It took a while for me to get used to the smell of geothermally heated water (it does smell quite bad) but spending midsummer’s eve at the Blue Lagoon got me reconciled with it.
We saw wild seals, whales and puffins, lots of sheep and horses, and even a pack of wild reindeer, which I read is not that common. And more waterfalls than I can remember.
And the views, of course, which are breathtaking all around.
The above photos are of Landmannalaugar and the beach at Vik, probably two of my favorite places in Iceland. We took way too many photos, which I’ll try to sort out soon, upload them to Flickr and blog about here.
For those lucky ones that will be in Iceland next weekend, there will be a free concert next Saturday in Reykjavik, featuring Bjork and Sigur Ros, to raise awareness for environmental issues in Iceland. Before I left I read her interview on a local paper (in English, Icelandic is still beyond me), and couldn't agree more. And I hope they succeed in getting their message through. Because one of these days I’d like to go back to Iceland and find it just the same or even better.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Can you believe I didn't have enough bookcovers for myself ? I make so many, but rarely keep them. So I hastily made this one during last weekend, along with a matching pouch for my sunglasses. Arthur and George will be keeping me company during tonight's flight.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Another item off my knitting list, and about time too. I clearly wasn't very eager to finish it, since I knit several other pieces in between. The pattern is lovely, and I will definitely make another one in the fall, but this time in wool, which I think will make all the difference. Knitting this in cotton was a trial, and up until I seamed it all together I really didn't feel the love for this project. Reverse stockinette in cotton just doesn't look that good and shows off every tiny mistake, of which there were plenty. I did learn a lot though, so my next one will hopefully turn out perfect.
And this one, now that it's done and blocked, is actually kind of cute. I love the leafy design, of course, and the actual knitting was easier than I thought. The yarn is also quite nice, although it has a tendency to split easily. On the other hand, it doesn't look like it's going to stretch much, which is always a concern with cotton.
Pattern: Pull #460-T6-275, from Phildar magazine nr. 460 Tendances
Yarn: Garn Studio Muskat (about 6 skeins)
Needles: 3.5 mm
Changes: I made a lot of them ... Let's see:
. Used smaller needles in order to obtain the right gauge
. Knit the body in the round up until the armholes. This was actually a wise decision, since my reverse stockinette in the round looks way better than doing it back and forth
. Added a couple of inches to the length. It was barely enough, but I could've added some more (next time I will)
. Made it short sleeved instead of long sleeved
To add to the difficulty, I worked with the French pattern, and made my translations as I needed them. I think it helped that I had already knitted another Phildar pattern, because their instructions are not written the usual way. And I'm sure there were a couple of things I missed, or didn't understand at all, but then I like to improvise and in the end I guess it turned out ok.
Monday, June 09, 2008
I usually don't waste much time when packing, but this Iceland trip has been quite a challenge. It seems that in Iceland the weather changes every 5 minutes and it's best to be prepared for anything. Since we'll be doing some hiking most of the days I've packed most of my hiking clothes, some warm fleeces, all of my raingear, but also some shorts and t-shirts, although the forecast seems to be more cold than warm at this moment. And of course, I packed a couple of swimsuits, because apparently there are hot pools everywhere.
I still have to pick what books to take (probably more of Niccoló, I've resumed reading this series and now I can't stop) but my travel knitting projects are going to be this hoodie and my second attempt for a pair of socks.
The hoodie is going well, I didn't expect to enjoy knitting lace at all, but I'm addicted now. And the socks ? Let's see if I can finish these, if using one of my favorite yarns won't do the trick then I'm forever giving up on them.
Monday, June 02, 2008
I did finish this last Friday, so I spent the weekend in it. It turned out so nice I'm considering knitting a second one already. I love everything about it, the design which is fabulous, and the yarn is also amazing (not to mention incredibly cheap).
I didn't make many changes, except I knit this in the round and added an extra decrease at the waistline. Also, I added about 3.5 inches to the total length of the body (trust me if you're considering making this - the pattern length is way too short). Even so, I could've probably added another couple of inches there, but I don't think I would've had enough yarn. There wasn't much time for more knitting or sewing during the weekend, but I did cast on for the hoodie. Now what am I thinking, knitting a sweater using 3.25 mm needles ? I really must love this design a lot, so let's see if I can finish it now. It will be my traveling project for the Iceland vacation, but with so much to see I doubt I'll be able to concentrate on any knitting ...
Pattern: Anais, by Norah Gaughan
Yarn: Handpaintedyarn.com Merino DK in Noches de Otono (2 skeins)
Needles: 3.75 mm