E. did open her parcel before Christmas. I received a rather excited text as a result. I made her a pair of bangles as I knew she’d love the combination of fashion and knitting.
No pattern, but this is what I did: I bought two large-ish bangles from a well-known high street shop. I used some bulky pure wool which I knitted to a very, very tight tension on 3.5mm needles (this is rather hard on the hands, I should add, but the result is great).
I experimented with how many stitches to cast on but settled on 14 stitches before knitting away rather happily. Throughout I measured the length of my knitted strip against the bangle – I wanted a snug fit, so I kept pulling at it. I cast off using my usual lace cast-off method which allows for elasticity.
Then I sewed it all together: cast-in/off edges first and then the long edges with the bangle inside. The sewing-up was hard on the hands, but I found using a safety pin helped me enormously by keeping the edges pinned together as I worked around the bangle.
There are some rather amazing jewellery patterns on Ravelry, actually. I spent a lot of time this month looking for inspiration and quick-yet-substantial knits. Some of my favourites include Bevy of Bangles (felted and embellished), Knitter’s Brooch (which I have seen retail for up to £10 at craft fairs!), Blooming Rose (utilising the natural curl of stocking stitch), and Braided Cable necklace.
I have one more handmade Christmas present up my sleeve – except I forgot to take a photo of it before I dispatched it to .. er .. somewhere else. Meanwhile there are five pressies in my living room all wrapped in “woolly wishes!” wrapping paper. I think that means they are for me! Ooh, the excitement!
Today is Winter Solstice and while you can take a girl out of Scandinavia, a Scandinavian girl will always love her pre-Christian pagan holiday traditions. So, I’m off to light some candles and pet my straw yule goat (julebuk). The days are getting longer, finally!
My gran sent me a pile of knitting patterns from her ladies’ magazines. I always enjoy looking at these patterns. Many are reprinted patterns from yarn companies’ leaflets, but they are recent reprints and often patterns I would not have had access to by virtue of being in another country. I have never made any of these patterns, though.
Just look at those POTHOLDERS! Yes, fair isle potholders with traditional Scandinavian Christmas motifs (a Yule Pig! a Yule Buck!) with crocheted edgings! I’m terribly excited by these super-Scandinavian potholders and I have the urge to buy some Rowan Handiknit Cotton right this minute!! Exclamation Mark!
(Sanity? What sanity?)
My gran also sent me various craft kits for Christmas decorations. It’s a bit early for me to get crafty but I predict that next Saturday will be spent at the dining table with scissors and superglue. I’ll be making kræmmerhuse (stitching not included) and julehjerter whilst scoffing gran’s peppernuts and IKEA’s pepparkakor. And Dave will be somewhere else because he always bit nervous when I go into full Scandi-Christmas mode.
Unrelated: stay tuned for a finished object. My Byronic Percy Shawl is currently blocking and it’s very, very pretty (and very orange).
My partner, David, doesn’t really speak Danish. He knows a few, carefully selected, words like tak (thank you), hej (hi), ja/nej (yes/no), tillykke med fødselsdagen (happy birthday), and the good, old chestnut undskyld (sorry). He’s also very fond of exclaiming kylling (chicken) whenever we make it across to Denmark. He says it makes him look special. I say exclaiming “chicken” in public places makes him look very special indeed.
For fa’en is David’s favourite Danish expression, though. He says that swearing in Danish means you don’t really swear. Hmm. When I came across this youtube clip explaining the Norwegian swearword Faen, I knew David would get a kick out of it. He did and so will you, I promise.
Afterwards, go to this Metafilter thread for commentary and an insight into Scandinavian neighbourly “love”:
“After living in Finland, I just can’t take Swedes seriously.”
“I mean, Norwegian is, without a doubt, the wussiest of all Nordic languages. Icelandic and Finnish are the two hardest languages, then comes Danish due to its awesome gutturalness, then Swedish, then Norwegian.”
“I lived in Iceland where national sports involved remarking on how the Finns are always drunk and how Danish sounds like Icelandic spoken by a retarded sheep. I do firmly believe that both of these are true.”