Friday, 21 March 2008

Visiting the family

Last weekend I went to my cousins 30th birthday party in Copenhagen and stayed with my Danish Grandma (Mormor) for a long weekend.

Lots of family stuff went on as well as lots of knitting. My Mormor is the most amaizing knitter, she can knit thoose intricate Scandinavian jumpers with two colours and steaks with NO pattern - just from her head!

She's 85 in May but still very active - I met her at the shopping centre, I walked and she cycled:

Her knitting group make blankets and other things for the childrens villages, last year the group made 135 blankets and many other things. They also sponser a child, their first sponsered child has grown up and is over 18 now, she passed all her school exams and still writes to the ladies.

It makes me feel quite emmotional that these ladies who are quite elderly, spend so much time and energy making things for unknown children in villages far away. I also feel guilty that I spend so much on yarn and really I don't need it - if you feel the same, please donate some of your yarn money to a charity or give some of your knitting time to making something for one of the organisations.

Enough with the charity thing! bring on the knitting! having said that here is a combined knitting and charity thing. Mormor is putting together a blanket made from squares knit by a very old lady who can hardly see - you can see below she's crocheting round the edge with a picot stitch. Each square is garter stitch from one corner of 3 stitches increasing the second stich at the beginning of every row (knit into front and back) until you reach the desired width and then decreasing again to 3 stitches, bind off. It's great for using up bits of yarn - you can make the squares strippy if you don't have enough for a whole square.

I also gave Mormor some Debbie Bliss Rialto that I got on ebay really cheaply, she was delighted because on her pension buying yarn is not that frequent an occurance. She has found an stitch pattern and is using it to make a cardigan. This sleeve in the picture is a couple of hours knitting time (wish I was that quick!) - I love the pattern and it is reversible, I'll try and get some instruction on it and write it up here. Reminds me of the ribs on some plants like a cactus. I also bought some self stripping sock yarn for Mormor to make socks - we all own several old pairs of Mormor knit socks but she got out of the habbit of making them some time ago. However the self stripping stuff that she had never seen before made her laugh a lot and she has got back into making socks - the brighter and more crazy the pattern the better!
I went to Strøget in central Copenhagen, there are a couple of good knitting shops on Fiolstræde which I went to look at - I did buy some yarn but more on that at a later date! I walked down to the main shopping street and as I came round the corner I saw this - apparently they do it every Saturday!

The last thing I wanted to share was this picture - all this yarn (admitedly mostly cotton and wool/acrylic mix) is in the SUPERMARKET!!!!! yes that is correct they sell yarn in the supermarket - wow - If only the rest of the world was so forward!

Wow! It's better than Christmas and birthday rolled into one!

I arrived home on Wednesday from an evil week at the office, to find I had missed a delivery! I worked from home on Thursday and my very kind mother went to the post office in town to pick up my parcel - I wanted to unwrap it immediatley of course, but had the sensible thought that I should take some pictures first!

I'd like to say that - Lily you are amazing - the best swap partner I could ask for - I was blown away when I opened my parcel. Everything was beautifully wrapped in pretty tissue paper (pink and purple) and had the cutest notelets attached to each item explaining her thinking for buying me each thing. What a lovely idea i wish I had thought of it - it made me feel really special.

Here is the box - oooooo the anticipation! I made myself open each thing really carefully and slowly, savouring every moment!

A picture of the whole stash together - the light didn't do the beauty of everything justice so I decided to take pictures again today:

YARRRRRNNNNNN!!!!! in the picture below too.
The two skeins at the back are Posh - you were right Lily - I love the colours! The pinkish one has a small skein of plain yarn for heel and toe - I love this idea and didn't get any when Dee and Tony did them so I am really pleased.
The three (yes three! wow!) lilac skeins on the right are this amaizing yarn made from milk, I had heard about this but never been able to find it to try it! It's called creamy (Ravelry link) and the colour makes me think of a blueberry milkshake.
On the left the most glorious Handmaiden yarn called Camelspin (Ravelry link) in Periwinkle colour way - it has to be one of the softest yarns ever - I can't stop stroking it! Made with Camel - which you would imagine to be a bit rough and smelly - it is quite the oposite. I am going to choose the project for this yarn very very carefully as it is just fabulous.

Check out the stitch markers - tiny little sheep! one black sheep too. They have the cutest sheepy expressions - where did Lily find them!
This is the book that I really wanted - so kitch, I love it - I have to make tea cosies right now, but casting on and typing is not so easy!

Lots of really pretty bits and pieces too - this parcel had so much in it! A lovely notebook, a sweater keyring, a little purse and a sweet pen and pencil. You can see one of the notelets in this picture - such cute little yarn monkies and knitting sheep - Lily must have spent ages finding all these beautiful things.

Mmmmmm chocolate and coffee - organic and fairtrade too. My best friend is coming later so we will be having some lovely real coffee and choclolate.
The beautiful card is from Blue Moon Fibre Arts.

I also received a kit to make a bracelet from Earthfaire in blue with silver thread - I made one before for someone else, they are really lovely and look spectacular. I have always wanted to make one for myself - now I can, YAY! Lily had even added needles to the kit as they don't come with the needles, really thoughtful of her.
There were also some Lush products - they are absolutley the ones I would choose for myself and I had a bath with some last night - Amandopondo, the smell of roses really helped me get over my terrible week at work! I also got some Greenday smells really spring like of fresh grass and a Fever massage bar - now to find a handsome man to rub it on me, until then I will do it myself and smell gorgeous!
A big hug and thank you to Lily - the parcel is amaizing and made my week (and my month as well!). I've really enjoyed the swap even though I have been travelling so much I have not been able to email Lily as much as I wanted to and take part in the things happening on the swap blog - I'll deffinatley take part again, it has been really great to see and meet some younger knitters.