Friday, 22 January 2016

Things Icelandic

Just to prove it's not cake, cake, cake all the time round these parts (well it is pretty much but humour me) a post about one or two other things going on...

I'm still fitting in time to read and this month I have already have finished a Peter May thriller (Runaway) which was okay but not so exciting that I feel particularly compelled to write about it. But then I read Burial Rites by Hannah Kent and thought it was brilliant! This is fiction but based on the true story of the last days of Agnes Magnusdottir, the last woman to be executed in Iceland. I found it vivid, powerful and totally captivating and a wonderful homage to the beauty and extremes of Iceland... where I might add, I have never been... although I would like to visit one day! In fact I have had a fascination for the place ever since I read Names for the Sea by Sarah Moss and especially the culture of knitting that exists. So when five days before his birthday in October, Jacob said he would like an Icelandic sweater I gamely offered to make one. I might add this was after I had done a bit of research and discovered the price of a genuine handknitted Icelandic sweater! The Lopi wool was ordered directly from Iceland and included a free pattern... which with shipping came to about £35, which I thought was excellent value. And what is more it even arrived before Jacob's birthday.

Needless to say I did not finish it in time for his birthday but the last stitch was knitted on Christmas Eve and he actually likes it. He even wears it! And it was surprisingly easy to knit once I had figured out how to follow the chart. I especially liked that it was all knitted in the round so no sewing up!

And while we are talking knitting... I finished a cowl thingy for me last week. After having a bit of a sort out through my vast stash of yarn I found an unidentified hank of rather gorgeous yarn that I have no recollection of buying. So I cast on a picot edging on circular needles and carried on knitting until I ran out... after three false starts where I managed to get the thing twisted every single time. (There may have been bad words uttered.) But once I started it only took three evenings to finish.

 Excuse the ridiculous face... I find it impossible to pose for selfies without pulling faces... it reminds me of all piling into in photo booths when we were teenagers and getting those strips of four photos with us all pulling silly faces... or was I the only one who did that? Okay, don't answer that one.

Fortunately you can't see the silly face I'm pulling here... only the scraggy neck... oh dear!

I'll be back with cake soon, I promise!

20 comments:

  1. Your talents amaze me! I would love to visit Iceland too, but would need to purchase an actual jumper rather than the wool and pattern.

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  2. I love the look of Jacob's sweater and your cowl. I think it would be safer for me to make a funny face while attempting a selfie as the natural expression of concentration required to perform the task would be extremely freaky!

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  3. Love the funny face. Your Icelandic jumper is fabulous and looks even better on.

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  4. Wow, I love the sweater Gina, amazing and the cowl too and no you weren't the only one to pile into a photo booth to just pull faces.
    V x

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  5. Lovely jumper.
    I have a fascination with Iceland and Burial Rites was one of my favourite reads last year.
    I'm so very excited to be travelling to Iceland in July. I can't quite believe it actually.

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  6. or embrace the twist and call it a Moebius strip.

    I always meant to knit a cowl thingy for Porterville, but we don't have the snow on the mountains nip in the air here nearer the sea.

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  7. Burial Rites was an amazingly evocative and powerful read I thought. I've just finished The Greenlanders by Jane Smiley which I enjoyed very much, though I was in a serious minority at our Bookclub. Four people gave up very early on. So not every one's cup of tea, but if you've got the patience for a saga, quite rewarding.

    Lovely sweater!

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  8. Jacob's Icelandic sweater is splendid...I'm sure he's enjoying its warmth this winter. Isn't it grand to be able to order beautiful Lopi yarn? I've still got some left over from my red mittens, haven't quite decided what I will make.

    Thank you also for the book recommendation. I've made a note.

    The green cowl is lovely, and your funny face made me smile. I also never quite know how to pose myself. You are clever to begin your pretty cowl with a picot edge. Just that detail really adds to the design.

    Only a few more hours now until our first 2016 snow blizzard arrives. Sometimes I do wake up mid-overnight sleep, and I'm looking forward to finding out how the snow will fall. And how it will affect tomorrow's work day.

    xo

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  9. Both the jumper and the cowl look fabulous..I love the cowl wool and I bet it's cosy. Yes I'm afraid I piled into those booths with my friends. The results were always awful! Have a great weekend. Barbara X

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  10. Think I'll have to look up that book- we're going to Iceland for the first time in Summer so maybe one to read there! I love the jumper- it really suits him:)
    The cowl is lovely too & they are so wearable.

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  11. What a gorgeous jumper and cowl too. You are not alone,I remember squeezing into those photo booths!

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  12. Beautiful sweater, Gina. I'm sure someone adds mystery purchases to my stash - probably the same person who mislays husbands organ music. I must look for the book as I'd love to go to Iceland, it must be a fascinating place.

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  13. That is a very reasonable price for the whole thing including shipping. I don't think anything here would be as good.

    I made a cowl some time ago and it took me three goes to get it untwisted.

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  14. Like the sound of Burial Rites very much (I liked Iceland when I visited last year very much, too, though I didn't buy yarn). Great sweater!

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  15. I hadn't realis d you'd finished Jacob's jumper - it looks great, glad he's pleased with it x

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  16. Gorgeous sweater and I like the cowl too. Oh dear, those Photo booth strips - very embarrassing

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  17. Your son's jumper is fantastic and looks great on him, and so is your cowl, which also looks great on you!! Happy knitting! xx

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  18. What a handsome young man he is in that sweater. What patience you have, but it's worth it if he wears in and looks that good in it. I read Burial Rites last year or earlier and loved it. It was recommended to me and once I started I couldn't put it down. Good to see you out of the kitchen and love the silly face. I thought that was natural?

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  19. Oooooh, I've had Burial Rites on my coffee table for months and months -- it's next on my list -- which means I'll get to it in about a year LOL.

    And too funny -- you knit the same pattern that I did for my first Lopi. I think knitting your own is an amazing value. And I LOVE my Lopis -- I've made three now and I love wearing them in the winter -- they're so warm! And the more they're worn, the more comfy they get. One of mine is actually stretching a little too much (it has a more open weave than the one you did) which has surprised me. Anyway, they're very wearable -- you should make yourself one if you like them!

    You should also book that Iceland trip right away -- I've probably told you that before. I can't wait to go back!!!

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  20. Jacob's sweater is a thing of beauty! He really suits it too. Thanks for the book recommendation too X

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