Movie Review: Rams (Hrútar)

If you like Iceland, this movie is for you!  It’s currently on Netflix and it’s won a whooping 31 awards & garnered 14 more nominations.  Thank you IMDb.

I’ll admit, I thought it was a documentary when I started it.  Turns out, it’s not.  It’s the story of two brothers coming together to save their adjacent farms after decades of not speaking.  It runs the full emotional gamut.  It’s heartwarming, funny and incredibly sad, all at once.

And that’s before I even mention the sweaters!  The sweaters are inspiring.  I want them all.  I’m still not sure how I bought so much Lopi and have yet to make myself a traditional lopapeysa.

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While it’s a work of fiction, with a script and actors, I can’t help but think it’s inspired by some real life accounts.   I spent time on several farms when I was in Iceland.  The film took me back to those days, instantly.   They certainly didn’t film on a ‘set’.   I doubt there was much set dressing.  They just went to a farm.

The Icelandic countryside was beautifully shot.  Did they even think about it and plan that or does it happen because it’s such an amazing place?  Either way, I appreciated it.  I’m a big fan of movies where the location is a character.

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This is undeniably an Icelandic story.

All the little things add up.  There’s a scene out on a road, near a one lane bridge.  Many bridges in Iceland are only 1 lane, with no shoulder.  There is room for only one vehicle.  You have to look ahead and check for clearance before crossing.  When you drive across the first one, it’s a bit odd.   By the end of the day’s drive, you’ve done it 6 or 8 times and it’s old hat.  Just another piece of Iceland that makes it so unique.

One caveat though, it’s subtitled, so put down the knitting to watch.  Still, I highly recommend it.  If you’ve got Netflix, it’s worth your time!

Happy Sunday!!


 

I can’t follow rules.

I can’t follow rules.  The easiest way to get me to do something is tell me not to.  I can’t help it.  Naturally, that means I can’t simply answer 11 questions from the ladies who gave me a Liebster Award.  Some of the questions deserve entire posts, like ‘What is your dream vacation?’  I’ve been on my dream vacation.  It was a dream, it’s still a dream.  All through my unemployment, I kept thinking about moving there!  It’s an enchanting place!  And it’s not an uncommon dream vacation for knitters either…Iceland!

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Yes, Iceland has awesome waterfalls!

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It really was that cold…in June! Look for the little red dot on the ledge in the back, that’s a tiny little person for scale!
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Again, look for the people in the back for scale! It was wet & cold but I sat on the bench and knit for at least 5 minutes!
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A lot of awesome waterfalls! 
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There’s some nice beaches too!
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By nice, I mean cold & windy! Just my kind of weather!

Nothing compares to the sweaters though!  There’s like 10x more sweaters than people in the country!  And they’re all different!  The amount of variation is impressive, awesome and inspiring! CIMG3617

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Fun Fur! No, Really!! I can’t believe someone imported that shit.

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Sweaters come from yarn…

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All natural botanical dyes native to Iceland (save the indigo, apparently even the vikings imported it!)

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This is a small fraction of what I came home with:

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…I pretend I live in a yarn store!

Yarn comes from fleeces…

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Fleeces come from sheep…

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And Iceland has a lot of all those things!  It’s an amazing knitting destination!  I can’t wait to go back!  Knitter’s Paradise!  If it’s on your bucket list, and even if it’s not, I can’t recommend going enough.  It will be worth it!

Newton’s First Law

IMG_2037Knitting needles in motion tend to stay in motion.  Okay, maybe that’s not what Newton meant…but it’s true for me this week!  Nothing is more motivating than seeing a project I’ve designed, come to fruition, even better than expected!

I’ve finished the green welt and the blue stripe is a welt-in-progress!  This leaves me 10 rows of stockinette, a row of welting and a 3-needle bind off! Sew a tad of elastic, weave ends and I’m done!

The yarn fumes must be getting to me…I’m having visions of wearing my skirt tomorrow!  I’m nearing the fine line between motivated and delusional.  Tomorrow may be a double FO Friday!!

WIP Wednesday – On the Welt Again

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Yesterday, I was hoping to make it through the yellow welt, fingers crossed!  A healthy dose of late night knitting brought me all the way through the green stipe and it is being welted as we speak!  This is exciting!

This weekend is Stitches West. If you don’t know about Stitches West, you’re probably not a knitter!  It’s a  Bacchanalian festival for knitters!  It’s all the best parts of fiber addiction for days and days on end!  And, it’s conveniently located 7 weeks after the start of Selfish Knitting Month (aka January!)  It’s become an annual tradition with the ladies of Sip & Stitch to celebrate the end of holiday knitting and the start of the new year with a selfish sweater project!  The timing of Stitches makes it the perfect end point.  It’s enough time to get a sweater done without going crazy!  Rather than feeling rushed to meet a deadline, it’s a feeling of accomplishment and celebration when a new sweater is successfully debuted at Stitches.  (Plus, the east coast shouldn’t get all the fun with their ‘Rhinebeck Sweaters’…)

This year my goal was a Stitches Skirt and I think it’s actually going to happen! My Stitches attendance has been uncertain until now but I think this could all work out, as if I’d planned it!  Twenty-two rows and a 3 needle bind off are the only things standing between me and my skirt strutting the fashion show that is the Stitches Marketplace on Sunday.

Really, this is Exciting!! <- with a capital E!

Orange You Glad…

IMG_1910…I am!  

The orange stripe is knit and ready for welting! Along with the rainbow, the welts are the key design feature. What is a welt? I’m glad you asked!  In knitting, it can refer to two different techniques that both put 3d texture into your fabric.  The first method is simply knitting several rounds and then purling several rounds, resulting in a sort of horizontal ribbing.  The Welted Cowl by Jane Richmond is an example of this technique.  It creates a soft, flexible, stretchy fabric, exactly what you’d expect from ribbing.

The second welting technique, the one I’m using, physically pinches the fabric together and secures it. IMG_1911

This style of welt is more firm, it does not flex, it retains it’s structure (within the parameters of your yarn, obviously I’m still talking about wool, not a concrete block!).  It’s a true 3d fabric, rather than a fabric that may not lay quite flat.  I was introduced to this technique by Stephen West’s Batad.  If you check the sidebar, you’ll see I added an Instagram widget, new features all the time!  Yay! There’s a shot of me and my purple Batad.  It’s just about my favorite knit ever.  It’s a wardrobe staple for me, perfect layering piece for San Francisco weather!  I think everyone should have one!  That’s the what and the why of the welt, now…

How is this pinched welt made? 

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The first step is to create the fabric that will be pinched.  In this case, I am knitting six rounds of each color and joining the first round of color to the round of live stitches on the needle.  With the left needle, I am reaching behind my live stitches and picking up the orange bump at the bottom of the column, six rounds down.  I then knit this bump together with the first live stitch on the needle.  Your first column of stitches is now folded and secured!  Repeat the process for each stitch in the row, being careful to match up the live stitch with the proper bump below!

Connecting the top and bottom of the same column is the key to a polished welt.  Otherwise you end up with a lumpy, puckered welt…like this…

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You can see the red welt is laying smooth and even, while the orange welt is looking a bit cattywampus.  I would politely suggest that’s a “design feature” you want to avoid.

Now for the fine print:

One note about the ‘bump’ I’m picking up….technically speaking, it’s not the purl bump but rather the running thread between two stitches (aka the horizontal bar you’d pick up to M1).  I do this because it’s the easiest to see, the color change highlights it well.  Being easy to see means I’m always getting the next bump in the row, so while I do have a small half stitch jog, I’m still getting nice straight columns which is what I want.  The half stitch jog just means that when I get to my last stitch, I have no bump to pick up.  This happens because there is no running thread when I first join a new yarn.  I’m okay with one stitch not being secured.  I like to live on the edge.   I’m just mentioning it for the perfectionists.  You could actually match the purl bump to the live stitch, have a 1:1 stitch count and completely, totally straight columns.  It would take me 3x longer so I take the shortcut.  I’ve been daring The Knitting Police to come get me…maybe this will finally be the time!

My Favorite WIP

The time has come for the big reveal…the project I want to wear most!  It’s been my favorite for years…well before I bought the yarn!  I’ve been dreaming about knitting a skirt for a long time and that dream is nearly a reality!

The first couple weeks were for the process knitter in me…miles of grey stockinette!

 I loved it!  (Until I realized just how far a mile of stockinette is!)

(just keep knitting, knitting, knitting, knitting)

(at least there were no PURLS?!?!)

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Finally though, just went I thought it would never end, I got to the fun part…the color!

and not just any color but rainbow!  

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In a rainbow, every color gets love…even the ones I don’t like.  (I’m looking at you, yellow!)  The whole point of the project is the rainbow!  It’s so exciting I can barely focus on anything other than the knitting…what will the orange look like?  I can’t possibly know until I get there… must.Knit.FASTER!  I’m two rows away from orange…

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Yay!

(I might even enjoy the yellow…that’s how excited I am!)

Project Details:

Pattern: My Own Design, just your basic, everyday, A-line skirt with rainbow welts!

Yarn: Lett Lopi, 100% wool, ‘rustic’ is a nice way to put it!