Author Archives: Nicolina Lindsten

Sustainable Friday | Refusing

Jul promenad photo

As I have said before, I think there can be a lot of focus on new organic and better produced but if you are going to really try and live more sustainable buying new/second-hand and produced from recycled materials or what ever slogan that is popular at the moment is still in impact. Buying new or new for you still makes an impact and I think that the focus should be to use what you have instead, even if it isn’t organic. The damage is already done in producing it. So to only buy when needed and then choose the better alternative is in my mind the more sustainable way. If is difficult for most of us, the lure of a new thing that you “really need” can be incredibly tempting but it gets a little easier with time. It is a constant fight however, not to do as everybody else and redecorate the living room every other year.

One hot topic here at the moment is plastic. But to throw out all your food storage and kitchen things over night and buy new in glass, wood and metal… The plastic didn’t become bad for you overnight just because you found out. Sending all your, still functional, old containers to landfill or energy recycling isn’t sustainable at all. I don’t want our home filled with plastic, but we are trying to substitute one item at the time as they go bad or break. You can always re-use jam jars as a lunch box, they’re sort of free and recyclable and leak proof as there used to be jam in them.

What I’m trying to say is: see what you have before getting anything new, even if you’re shopping second-hand.

Learning something new

Woodcarving docksjo design

I have been enjoying wood carving for a few weeks now and it has been wonderful to get into a new craft and a bit humbling to try and learn something new. I did some carving as a child but it’s been more then 10 years since I attempted to make something other then firewood or shelving with wood.

I got a shorter carving knife, this one, it was inexpensive, made here in Sweden and in the same brand as my scouting knife, but I quickly learned that it wasn’t the best choice for carving. The blade is a bit too fragile (or possibly I’m a bit too hard on it). I do not recommend it if you are thinking about starting.

I went foraging for some wood and started with a bit of a branch and started to shape a spoon just to get to know the knife. However I quickly learned that there was no way of getting around that fact that a straight blade can’t possibly make the gouging for the spoon. I made a note to get another tool for this and started working on a bunny instead. I worked 2 days solid before I was pleased with the shape, being so inexperienced it took some time to get it right. I was determined to be able to make the toy only using this one knife and it was possible and I’m so incredibly proud of it.

Woodcarving docksjo design

I had been eyeing these beautiful wooden toys for some time, but being the person I am, I didn’t want to wait and maybe get some in the future when we have children to play with them. I wanted to make them my self so that we can have home made toys when that day comes.

Woodcarving docksjo design

If you want the items to last and prevent stains on the wood it is important to treat the wood, there are many ways to do so and I choose to treat mine with light coloured organic raw flax seed oil. This is something easily found in an art supply store as it is also used to make oil paint. You can use flax seed oil from the grocery store as well, but it is usually deeply coloured and will effect the colour of the wood more.

Spring celebration

I want to shear so of my happy spring feelings and thought it would be fun to have a giveaway in celebration of spring, more sunshine and warmer whether. The prize is one 100 gram skein of lightly variegated sock yarn kettle dyed by me in this warm sunny yellow and one 65 gram skein of a deep red in the same yarn, along with a pattern of choice form my store.

yarn flowers docksjo design-2

To enter leave a comment below telling me which of my patterns that is your favourite and what you would like to see next. Remember to put in some kind of contact information (email or ravelry alias) so I can get hold of you if you win.  Only one comment per person. I will draw the winner on Sunday April 3rd.

Vide Socks are Back

20160314_2591docksjo design

I’m happy to announce that Vide socks are back in the new format with lots of additional sizes from approximately 3 years (Eur 25) to large adult. The pattern was originally written toe up style but as an extra bonus I added instructions for cuff down as well so you can choose the method you prefer. I really hope that you are as excited as I am, this was one of my first designs and I think those delicate leaves are stunning and along with changes to give perfect fit and a sculptured leg to prevent them from sagging they’re a wonderful addition to any sock drawer. For more information see the Pattern Page.
20160314_2589docksjo design

Personal Knitting

Kaprifol Socks docksjo design

Personal knitting is something of a luxury at the moment since I spend most of my time trying out different design ideas and working on future patterns and all that comes with it. I love it but over the past year I have only made a few things for myself. I started a pair of kaprifol sock in september I think and only just finished them, these are made from my pattern Kaprifol Socks and are my first personal pair. The other 2 pairs are saved and tucked away in case I need to re-shoot them or ever decide to go to a knitting show and need sampels in good condition. Now I finally have a pair just for myself. I knitted them in Filcolana Arwetta Classic, I wouldn’t recommend the yarn it, is splitty for a sock yarn and I did not enjoy knitting with it, but on the other hand it is not the worst sock yarn I have used either.

Kaprifol Socks docksjo design Kaprifol Socks docksjo design Kaprifol Socks docksjo design design

I’m still in love with this design, so simple but with the cable exactly the right place, I can’t wait to wear them wheal working at the preschool, if is always amazing to see the children’s reaction.

If you want to make your self a pair the pattern is to be found it the shop.

Wristers

Wrist warmers docksjo design-2

Someone close to me asked if I could knit a pair of wrist warmers for her birthday and I thought long and hard to try and find a suitable pattern for her and came up with this wave pattern created by cables. I think the visual effect is very interesting and really like the end result even if I got a little bored of turning cables all the time. That boredom was quickly overcome as I have since then knit other project with cables, but more about that another time.

Wrist warmers docksjo design-2

I have a lovely stash of yarn that is ever growing it mostly contains single or partial skeins left overs from bigger projects and mostly from the time when I knitted 1-3 adult cardigans a month. It can be difficult to find a purpose for all these smaller quantities but wristers seemed like a perfect use of a single skein as they don’t take that much yarn. After a little digging I found this cream coloured Baby Cashmerino. It was an almost complete skein and I gambled a little and hoped that it would be sufficient. It worked I have about 70 cm left after knitting up both of these.

Wrist warmers docksjo design-2

Test knitting and sewing

I plan to release these as a free pattern and need test knitters, are you interested?

I’m always looking for testers, both knitters and sewers, you don’t need to be an expert to be a tester. The patterns comes in different levels (beginner, advanced beginner, intermediate and advanced). I’m so thankful for the testers I already got but as I generally send out several patterns at once and most people are interested in doing other stuff then test knitting for me all the time which is understandable. I always struggle to find testers suitable for the upcoming new and exciting pattern.

Skill levels knitting

Advanced beginner: This pattern does not teach you how to knit. It has a simple construction and uses very few techniques to be beginner friendly, it also contains more explanations then a higher level pattern as to walk you through the project even it you don’t have experience of making e.g. sweaters.

Intermediate: This pattern includes a few techniques like cables, colour work or lace but not all of them at once and it walks you through any specialty techniques like a Latvian braid or one row buttonholes but not how you knit stranded colour work.

Advanced: This patterns contains multiple techniques, long repeat lace/colour work pattern or intricate cables, lace worked from both the right and wrong side, steeks and more. They are generally more involved then the intermediate patterns but not necessarily more difficult

I choose to label my pattern from advanced beginner to advanced to try and prevent the misunderstanding that a beginner pattern teaches you how to knit, but the advanced beginner patterns more or less only contain cast on, bind off, knit, purl, increase right and left, decrease right and left and yarn over for simple buttonholes. I think that it is important to remember that knitting has a lot more to do with determination then skill level. As a very new knitter you definitely could take on an advanced lace shawl or colour work steeked cardigan. Your only limitation is how determined you are to do it, steeking isn’t difficult. It can be scary and it is different then just knitting but it is not difficult, anyone can do it with a little preparation.

In order to pattern test for me you can be any of these levels. It is very valuable for me to have a new knitters perspective on the instructions for an Advanced beginner pattern. I’m currently working on a few knitting patterns and my brain is currently tuned on knitting but there are several sewing patterns waiting for the final fixes and will be out for testing this spring. I have an exciting collaboration with a eco friendly yarn shop coming up and is therefore translating into Swedish so even if you’re not comfortable with english patterns this might be something you are interested in.

Photography skills is something I really appreciate in a tester. Most important is that I need to be able to see where something went wrong from a far if you need some support, I also need to be able to see how the fit is for your size to see if the pattern needs change to improve the fit. I always aim for the pattern to be perfect before I send it out for testing but things happen on the way and sometimes adjustments are necessary. The least important reason is that I like to share testers project on the blog and I’m a bit critical when it comes to the blog. This is however the least important part since it doesn’t affect the testing of the pattern at all.

To become a docksjö pattern tester you simply fill out this form so I can add you to my tester database.