Hand Knit Socks

HandknitsocksI am a knitter. I’m sure of it. I can knit a pair of socks without a pattern at hand and I know the exact way to knit the perfect sock for both me and my husband, what about that I never successfully have managed a sweater, socks count!

This pair was for my nephew’s birthday, they are knitted in Friday Studios Ice Dyed yarn. Friday Studios was my own yarn dyeing company, until I dismantled it because it was taking too much out of me to run and I wanted to go back to being the jewellery artist I am supposed/want to be. I made up the pattern as I went.

You can se more of my yarns and what people have knitted out of it on the knitting community Ravelry here.

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I did toe up socks, knitted both at the same time on circular needles, one from each end of the yarn ball. I started with Judy’s magic cast on and then just increased to 60 st per sock.

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I wanted a bit of interest on the sock, partly for me, entertaining me while knitting and partly for the finished result. I chose to do this pinstripe effect by lifting four stitches, evenly distributed, on the foot part and eight on the leg part. I let the lifted stitches travel for three rounds so they are quite long and visible.

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The heel is a Fish Lips Kiss Heel by Sox Therapist, which I love to do, so simple (when you have memorised it) and it fits great too. I didn’t want to interrupt the yarn so a “knit as you go” heel was preferred.

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When the cuff was approaching I did two rounds of garter stitch, increasing four stitches per sock on the last round. Then I knitted seven rounds of stockinette, one of garter for the turning and seven rounds of stockinette again before I turned the hem over and picked up stitches on the backside and did a three needle bind of. I like this sort of cuff, as long as you make sure its loose enough, if you don’t make it too long it doesn’t really have to have any “holding the sock up” effect at all and can be quite loose and just decorative.

I hope you knit socks too, it´s a great gift and just the right size project to not get to bored along the way. Happy Knitting!


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The 100 Days Project

100daysproject1I am all exited, I am going to take part in the 100 days project, now what is this you ask. Its described as “A wonderfully simple, and deceptively challenging project.
If you sign up to take part in the project, you agree to these two simple rules:

  1. You will repeat a simple creative task every day for the duration.
  2. You will record each days effort.

It’s that simple, and that difficult!
Choose one creative ‘exercise’, and then repeat it every day for 100 days.
Record each daily effort and see what evolves in the work and in the self over time.”
You can read more on 100 days project website here, and you sign up here.

This year it starts on the 22 of May and ends 100 days later on the 29th of August, so there is time to think about what to do and plan it out to make things run smoothly. Apparently not even 50% of the participants finish, I can understand that, 100 days is a very very long time. But I can see, in the projects of those who finish that they have reached something, something new that wasn’t there before. I want to try!
I have aded a countdown to the left, that for now counts down to the start and later will count the 100 days.

But
I’m not sure if I am a:
100 days blogger,
100 days jeweller,
100 days photographer,
100 days painter/doodler or sketcher

I think I’m going back to what I love and is actually educated as, a contemporary jeweller. And if I have until May 22, I’ll have time to set up my jewellers bench and get some supplies. If there is going to be a chance that I will last the 100 days it has to be “quick and dirty” jewellery, with lots of materials on hand.

One contemporary jewellery piece a day.

I also need some sort of unpredictable daily inspiration delivery, a word, a picture or something similar that I can base the days work on. And I don’t want to be able to know anything beforehand, then I will start dwelling and thinking about it when I should sleep, and it will take up all my time.

Something like:

  • The 8th word in the first column in a certain web newspaper
  • A word of the day mail service
  • Words my family tear out of a local newspaper and put in a box for me to draw each day
  • 100 objects found in a flea-market
  • An inspiring word a day from my readers
  • A word from a randomly chosen page in a really thick book

Any suggestions on this?

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Since I’m going to record this project here on my blog, Im not sure If I will be able to write as normal at the same time, the blog might be totally over run by the project. Or maybe it will do me good to blog as usual as well. We will have to see. Hopefully you will like the content. I am at least very exited to be working artistically again, I even dreamed about it last night. 🙂 I have missed it so much and I think this will be a way for me to kickstart my artistic work in the butt.

It would be wonderful to have an exhibition of some sort when/if the 100 days are over. That will also be a great incentive to actually finish. The base of the 100 days project is in New Zealand so I can’t really be apart of that, except virtually. But I was thinking about renting a space for a weekend or so either in Gothenburg, Alingsås or Tollered, and if there are any one else close to me who is participating also, maybe we can exhibit together! That would be so much fun!

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Here are some great inspiration from the 2016 100 days:

Kerryn did 100 Mini Creatures:

100 Vessels:

100 Abstractions drawn from objects:

Joni Murphy’s 100 imagined worlds:

And here is New Zealand graphic designer Emma Rogan, that started the 100 Days Project after reading about a class called ‘100 Days of Design’ – run by Michael Bierut at Yale School of Visual Arts, on TedTalks


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The Car as a Safe Place (New Car!)

Wednesday BNC (Before New Car):

We are getting a new car! I am so exited, I am so exited! “Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow, you’re only a day a waaaaaaay!” does it show?

Our current lovely car is a teeny tiny Toyota Aygo, that has been a great car for us and that I have felt very safe and at home in. We got it eight (wow is it really so long ago) years ago when we were living in Bredäng, a suburb of Stockholm.
It is a fantastic little city car. Not so much a forest car though.
It is blue and the thing is that it has absolutely no extras, it has negative extras, it is practically bare. Which is a good thing, because that means that a really nice, though small, car, had a comparatively low price, low weigh = good mileage, and is quite big on the inside (since there isn’t anything else in there).
Seriously it does not even have a glove box, it has a glove “shelf”. 🙂

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Don’t misunderstand me, I really love this car. It quickly became a safe place outside my home, and has made it possible for me to go places that I could not before. We could not have found our house and the one before without it, and we could not have lived a bit remote, like we want to.
It has made going shopping so easy, except for the getting the stuff we bought actually inside the car and home, but its surprising how good you get at gauging what can fit and “tetrising” things inside it. We have brought home a sizeable coffee table, a small desk, five rhododendron plants and know the exact length from the dashboard to the trunk door, for cutting pieces of wood at the lumber yard. Actually the things that has stopped us from getting things in there most often, is the size of the door openings.

This has been a great car, and it has not given us any trouble what so ever during these eight years, until a few weeks ago when the exhaust pipe got loose and rattly, which apparently is quite common and was easily fixed. We have called it little snail, the new car will be called Monster (Monstret), why will become evident very soon.

Thursday ANC (After New Car):

This morning we got up horribly early and got a ride from my parents to the car dealer, and after a lot of door openings, button pushing and paper signing we drove home in our brand new, literally its a 2017, red Skoda Yeti. Yeti = a Monster. 🙂

The new Skoda Yeti in red.

I love the aesthetics of this car, I like a high car and we were also thinking about a few other models with a similar profile. The Toyota Aygo is actually a quite high car too, despite its tinyness, and that was one thing that attracted me to it, also that we could actually afford it at the time. 😉

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To change it up we went with red, and it is a lovely true red. Skoda calls it a mini SUV and it is comparatively huge and filled with extra things.
This one does not have a glove “shelf” it has a glove compartment that chills your drink! It has little storage places everywhere, as the picture below shows, all the orange are storage.  And it came with (excepting all the normal car stuff) a first aid kit, a reflective vest and an umbrella!

We have at least double the trunk space now and you can fold down or completely remove the back seats if you need to move something really huge. Also you can actually sit in the back seats, the ones in the Aygo were more for decoration. It has comfortable seats and it isolates the sounds of the road a bit better.

On huge difference though, we are leasing this car.
We know nothing about cars, and we really don’t want to know anything about cars, more than the parts that deal with driving the thing and simple maintenance. We don’t want to figure out what its worth later on when we need to sell it, or what that blinking red light wants us to do!
Now we don’t have to bother with any of that stuff, if there is anything wrong we just call a number, we know exactly what we have to pay and they do all the service and tire changing and red blinking light fixings.

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I feel really good about this car, it suits us here in the forest. We can rent a trailer and get firewood from my parents place. It can make it up the hills even when it is dirt roads or snowy in the winter. I think I will feel that “second home” feeling in this one too. Especially since we can bring more stuff and go on longer and more comfortable drives. I am hoping to take some small trips around beautiful Sweden this summer, which is a bit of a big deal for me as an aspie who needs her home base.


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That swimwear issue again!

So we are back at that swimwear issue. I just can’t find one I like under 800kr ($100)!
I do have some really difficult though.

  • I want to be able to swim in it.
  • I want my bits to be covered, even if I move around.
  • I want a one piece suit…
  • …in a nice pattern/color…
  • …black doesn’t count.
  • I don’t want any “slimming” effect, or a skirt attached.
  • I don’t want to bother with a cup-size.
  • It would be nice if it had a nice/fun back, but that’s not necessary.
  • And finally I want to be able to dive into the water and do a handstand without showing/or being scared of showing any bits.

Doesn’t that sound like a quite simple bathing suit.
Apparently not!

I found this nice number, with cute pink fishes on it, half off and it was definitely fun in the back, it turned out it was a little bit to fun at the back, we were not made for each other, no, sadly I had to send it back. So now I’m a bit weary of too much fun in the back. I like my butt to be covered… interestingly.

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I have thus decided that surely I can sew one myself. There are great tutorials and patterns out there, and then I can learn to make just the bathing suit for me, several in fact, and definitely for under $100! And after I have mastered the sewing of the Lycra I’m sure I can learn how to embellish and maybe even make them fun in the back! Ha, take that swimwear industry!

These are the pattern with tutorials I am looking at, if anyone have any suggestion Id love to hear about it.

Angela KaneSwimming CostumeYouTube tutorial, simple but… simple.
McCalls 6759YouTube tutorial, I don’t know If I can get a hold of this pattern but the YouTube tutorial is great whichever pattern you use I think.
PapercutSoma SwimsuitWritten tutorials, though I don’t think this would fit me very well since I am curvy and have a large chest.

And I found a Swedish site that at least have lots of gorgeous solid colours of swimsuit material. Otherwise ill just order from farther away and wait, you can find lots of gorgeous fabrics on Etsy.

So wish me luck on this sewing adventure! If it does not work, I’ll be swimming naked!


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A Mobile Home, Like a snail

Lately I have been watching a lot of YouTube movies about people remodeling and living in their cars, vans or busses. They mostly do it to get more freedom in life, not out of need, to travel more, to spend and earn less money and therefore get more free time to do other stuff. If you don’t have to pay for a flat you suddenly have a lot less living expenses. And if you are willing to do a bit of sacrificing it seems perfectly doable and I am even a bit envious.

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It’s very intriguing to me, the thought of always having your house with you, like a snail. 🙂  I am always in need of my home base, my safe place, and I have noticed that the car has sort of become an extension of that safe place feeling I have when I’m in my own home. When I travel It takes me a few days to get that safe feeling from a hotel room, and I am really particular about cleanliness and such. Its expensive traveling with me.
I know, somewhat sadly, that I could never live in a mobile home, my home base needs to stay put, and It needs a garden and the environment around it plays in too. And I want (not need) my things… the not so portable, sewing machine, spinning wheel and floor loom. My comfy couch with the “Frida” indent in it.

But still I am curious, how do they do it, they must feel so free. I’m sure its a lot of sacrifice too, like finding safe spots to park, and some of them don’t have showers and toilets….
And definitely not washing machines.
Laundromats is not a concept that exists in Sweden. Either you have your own machine or if you are living in a flat, they always provide a communal laundry room.  Which are usually great because the machines are huge and effective and you can get so much washing done at once, and you can leave it there to wash and go home in between since its locked. And it’s almost always very clean, otherwise someone will put up a strongly worded note!

I love watching the ingenuity of the transformation from a regular vehicle, to one with a bed, a sink, solar panels, batteries and cleverly hidden storage. They all have some personal quirk that just that person need, a foldout art table, a bit more than a primitive stove for a kitchen, a mini fridge  or a place for the dog.
Some need a big permanent bed that can double as a sofa or a place to relax and some are fine with something that unfolds at night or even a hammock. Some create really stealthy vehicles that looks like an ordinary van, so they can park almost anywhere, and some people go with the whole Winnebago thing that has a small version of everything but can only park in certain areas. And there is small budgets, big budgets and everything between.

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One of the aspects I’m interested in is the amount of stuff they have to get rid of when they take the final step to move in to a home like that. And just how small an amount of stuff they really need. Makes me think… maybe I should do some spring clearing out, I already did my closet. Do I really use the stuff that I have on shelves in the spare room? Will I ever use the sleeping bag again… no! Spring cleaning it is.

Here are some of the YouTubers I watch in no particular order:


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How To Sleep

Do you know, because I certainly don’t?
(Well I do now, but that’s the whole point of the post so, shhhh!)

It is about three in the morning and I know I’m out of my melatonin sleeping pills so I don’t really want to go to bed until I’m really tired. So what better time to address this thing called sleeping.

I have never been a good sleeper, I’m a great napper though, probably because I’m so bad at sleeping at night. That’s my story, not the other way around, and I’m sticking to it!
No, seriously I have a hard time falling asleep and just as hard a time waking up, if it’s not in the middle of the night, then I’ll wake up just fine!
Also, I work best on a late timetable and need about 9-10 hours of sleep so about 2 at night to 10-12 in the late morning is quite good, that is if I have the melatonin pills, which I don’t…
It’s just bad planning on my part, I just have to go get them at the pharmacy.
I used to look forward to my extremely painful periods, because I got to take kodein and sleep for about three nights, a month! Pathetic.

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A few years ago this not sleeping very well thing accelerated to insomnia, and there was about six months where I was totally out of it, not sleeping at night and walking around like a zombie and taking micro naps all day.
After a while you lose the ability to do anything useful and you actually start becoming a bit dangerous, like with knives, driving and things like that. And I’m wobbly at the best of times, so there was a lot of stumbling and falling over.
When you were little you fell all the time and you mostly stood up and continued what you were doing, maybe after a cuddle from a parent, but now that you are an adult there is a certain hight to the falls, it hurts and you have to act all adult and stuff. 😦

Well anyway, I had my aspergers diagnosis and I was seeing a doctor regularly so she just said, ok we have to make sure you sleep before we do anything else! Such a great decision!
We tried sleeping pills that makes you just “fall asleep” and wear of quite quickly, which works great for a lot of people who has trouble turning off their thoughts at night. But for me it just ment that I woke up again two hours later… just as not sleepy as usual.
Then we tried a more advanced sleeping pill that makes you really sleep all night, but that made me even more groggy and hard to wake up in the morning, no good.
Then finally, we tried melatonin, our brain’s own sleeping hormone, and it’s just totally fantastic! The reason we tried the other ones first is that this is not covered by the standard Swedish healthcare discount that everyone gets when they reach a certain amount per year, so its comparatively expensive. But oh, so worth it! I had never slept so good before. It takes about an hour to kick in, so I take it, do my before bed routine, brush my teeth and watch a little YouTube in bed, then I can just snuggle down, turn on an audiobook and actually fall asleep! This is totally a miracle for me, I had never experienced this before!

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So, I said I “had” never slept so good before, I still had the very nasty habit of waking up with a full-blown panic attack now and then. So horrible, because you totally miss the starting signs of an attack, where you can try to calm yourself out of it. When you wake up with it full on, you sort of just have to ride it out, and it takes a while for me to recognise that it is a panic attack and not the end of the world. Every time.
Luckily I have my husband that sleepily sits beside me and says “breathe, it will pass, breathe”. 🙂

So, then the, now new, (I hade moved) doctor and I had to deal with this problem.
I now take Lyrica, the active ingredient is pregabalin and is used for general anxiety problems and epilepsy! well, it works, and a low dose of a sedative, stesolid which is a benzodiazepine such as Valium.

Now, this is as good as I have ever slept! And as a bonus I have about 90% fewer panic attacks. I still live with general anxiety disorder and I still do have panic attacks, but I also have medication that actually helps! And I hate taking medication, so I am a very good patient when it comes to not getting addicted and asking for a higher and higher dose.

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As for the waking up part, I still struggle with that, and I have tried some crazy alarm clocks, but I seem to outsmart or ignore them all.
I did try an ADD medicine for a while, and that was an extremely low dose of something similar to amphetamine (no point in hiding that), the pharmacy people had to go get it in the locked cabinet, and that worked, but at night when it was out of my system I got horribly depressed. And I decided I’d live with the sluggishness and be happy that I could finally sleep.

Ok, im going to try to sleep now… I still have my sedative, so I wont be anxious.
I hope you like the new theme!

Goodnight.

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