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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The story of a mitten

On my daily walk the other day, I found a beautiful, handmade, old, torn mitten lying around on the street. I felt so sorry for it and just couldn´t leave it there all alone... I guess nobody wanted it anymore, since the poor thing was in a really bad condition. 

But what´s it´s story? I wonder who spent a lot of hours, knitting this beautiful thing? Did the knitter make it for her/him self or for someone special? Was it a birthday present? Who has it been keeping warm and where has is been? Why did it get so torn up (beyond repairable)...
Traditional icelandic/skandinavian pattern, maby soft and cozy kambgarn

  the back... poor thing - so far beyond repairable!

 Love the pattern on the thumb - very inspiring...

I also wanted to share a few wonderful moments with you... 
my big boy on a walk this weekend - wearing the lopi-sweater I dyed with flowers and lichen

he loves talking a long walk and helping me pick plants for my salves and yarndyeing

I used horse tail for dyeing...

Like usual we found some beautiful things on the beach like...

... feathers

... beautiful blue flowers growing on stones...

... crabs - dead and alive

... seaweed and an amzing view on Esjan (mountain)

... birdwatcher´s house

lucky me, living only 4 minutes from this place

our beach

isn´t it amazing how nature provides us with those colours??

Friday, June 22, 2012

Boredom-can (leiðindadós)

There are days, where my boys are soooo bored and everything I think of, no matter what: they only stick with it for 2-4 minutes and after that, they want something new... does this sound familiar to you? Well, to me it does and that´s why I made the "boredom-can" (leiðindadós)... 

What I did: 
I covered an old cocoa-power-can with pretty owl-paper (keypt i Tiger) and wrote small notes with different acitivities my boys can do on their own like: lego (small), lego duplo, listen to a story (CD), puzzle (big), puzzle (small), paint, play with knights, read books, play football in the garden, Playmo... and whatever I could think of and they like doing on their own. 

The rules of the Boredom-can are really simple - in fact there is only one:
1. Draw a note and do whatever it says for at least 15-30 minutes, or even longer, depending on the activity.

The boys take their turn on drawing a note and until now, they always do what to note tells them to do and love it every single time... and the amazing thing is, most of the time they only have to draw 1-2 notes, and after that the boredom is gone and they start playing like they usally do... 

Keeping my boys busy was really important to me this week, since I´ve been dyeing a lot of yarn (einband, kambgarn and léttlopi) - with madder root  and lichen. Next week I´ll do green-dyeing: lupina flower and "deschampsia caespitosa" (little bit of salmiak afterwards)...

kambgarn, madder root (first dye)

 einband, lichen (first dye)

On the 17. june, the icelandic independence day in the city center of Reykjavík

a picture taken in my favorite part of Reykjavík (west, 101) - I grew up in this neighborhood... some day I´ll move back there...

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I told you last year and I´ll tell you again today: I love rhubarb! You can cook it, bake it, dye with the leaves or use the stems as a dye-mordant! Yesterday I got some really nice and cheap strawberries and decided to make some strawberry-jam... and since I found a lot of "wild" rhubarb the other day, I wanted it to be a strawberry-rhubarb-jam. I tell you: it was so worth the effort!!

How I did it:

1 kg strawberries
500 g rhubarb
600 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar 
enough red melatin to make the jam thick enough (Bónus)

I cut the fruit into small pieces and let them soak in sugar, vanilla sugar and melatin over night. The morning after I cooked the jam until the fruit got really soft and used my hand blender to make the blend smooth. Pour the jam into pretty maison jars and enjoy!


 I also wanted to show that flowers don´t always have to be storebought to be pretty and decorative! 

Forget-me-not, picked on my daily walk yesterday... got the pretty little vase in a thriftstore and I love it... 

wonderful colours, love the pretty the blue. yellow and white togehter...  

got this perfect little vase in a thrifstore too - perfect colourcombo: purple and turquoise... 

I picked those on my daily walk too... you can eat the flowers in the back - looks really pretty on a salad!

My older one, Bidenam picked those on his own, yesterday... isn´t this the most perfect bouquet??

wonderful Lupina...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Pan - a crochet pattern

Inspired by a visit in a museum in Blönduós, Iceland last summer (2011), I improvised a collar (read about it in this post). I think crochet collars are so decorative and turn the most simple dress to something very special and unique! I´ve already made a lot of collars, using different kind of yarn and making different edgings... I´ve been wearing them a lot and I just love them!

Today, I finally finished writing the pattern for my collar and I call it "Pan" - I must admit, this is the first crochet-pattern I´ve ever written - but I did get a lot of help from the crochet-specialist Elín (her blog: "Handóð"). Thank you so much for your help Elín!

About my pattern:
Pan is a simple, quick, diverse and decorative collar - just choose your favorite yarn and make it in any size and length you want. With the right button and the edging of your choice, you can add your own, special personal touch to it! :-) The button actually is really important and can chance the whole look of your collar so choose wisely!

Enjoy and I´d love it if you share pictures of your finished Pan! And if you don´t have a Ravelry-account, and really want the pattern, just tell me your Email-address and I´ll send it to you!

 Pan - material: Kambgarn, dyed with madder root

Different edgings/last rows:

DC´s and triple-crochets...  

Extremely scalloped version:


Picot-edging - from one side to the other: 

Buttons are so wonderful and so important when creating a collar....

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Dyeing with Lupina

It´s finally Lupina-season again! I´ve been looking so much forward to this time of year, since you get a beautiful green flower from the Lupina flowers without using any other chemicals but Alum. I´ve tryed dyeing with every single part of Lupina, the leaves (only the green leaves), the flowers (only the purple part), the root and the seed-pods (read about it in this post). We have a lot of Lupina in Iceland so it´s very easy to get a lot of it in a short amount of time, without having to look very far...

About 2 weeks ago, I went for a walk with my boys with 2 bags and together we filled them up with the flowers from the Lupina. Picking the flowers with them is so much more fun than beeing alone and they are getting really interested in knowing what every single flower, plant and tree is called... so it´s kind of educational for them too.

I dyed some "kambgarn" with the flowers and got a wonderful, light mint-green colour... like always the pictures don´t really show the true nature and beauty of the natural colour, but here you go anyway:

the boys helping me out:

Picking flowers with mum is so exhausting!

Beautiful, wonderful, amazing Lupina flowers in my dye pot!

 Kambgarn, dyed with the Lupina flowers (only the purple part), light mint-green:

Kambgarn, dyed with the Lupina flowers:

Lupina-light mint-green close-up:

me and my boys:

léttlopi - on the left: red onion skins;
to the right: Rumex longifolius (washed with a little bit of salmiak spiritus)

where the wool comes from...

 pretty little thing