Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Bats or beaver?

Joulu is over and I am overeaten, feeling bloated and plain fat. Not a nice feeling. (although all that chocolate was yummy...)

We have over 60cm of snow - which is a lot. It is still so dark that even during the daytime you need to keep the lights on inside to be able to see something. Taking photos is almost a mission impossible.

I knitted a couple of xmas presents but unfortunately I don't have any photos of them finished. I whipped up a super fast Cabled Keyhole scarf (it really took less than 4 hours to make from cast on to cast off) and I knitted a pair of socks for my brother - here's how it looked like when still on needles.
Just before xmas I received my yarn from Posh Yarn - like so:
Lace weight & fingering weight yarns in turquoise, blood red and dark, glistening brownish grey.
The leftmost colourway is called Bats in the Belfray (love the names they give to their yarns chez PoshYarns) - but for some reason I kept thinking it looked like a slicked, wet fur of beaver or something. (and yes - the actual beaver the animal)
So shiny due to its 50% Tencel content (the other 50% is Merino - of course!) Love that colour! The slight minus side is that I find the yarn a tad hard - there's some likeness to nylon ropes... and that is not entirely a good thing.
I'm in progress of knitting the Hoarfrost neck warmer out of it - and of course could not find a 3.25mm circular needle - so I'm using the 2.5mm instead. (which makes quite a big difference in the actual gauge vs the gauge in the pattern) So I'm also knitting the size Large - and wishing to get something near to size small out of it. (this is so typical of me... did I take time to check the gauge? Nope... it's gonna work anyways - I think. As long as it is not too loose I'm happy - and it looks good so far. )
(btw . I adore my Wildcraft stitchmarkers. Pure joy to see them in the midst of that dark barklike grey... )

Monday, 20 December 2010

Sock day

New socks for me. All stripy and ready.
Pattern: none - basic top down construction in stockinette with garter stitch short-row heel & toe.
Yarn: OnLine Supersocke
Needles: 2.25mm dpns
Like the colour a lot. For once a mix-colour that I actually like.
Now that those are ready I'm knitting Zigzag socks for Isabella. I'm knitting some random striping into them. So far so good.
The 1st sock almost done now that I write this. (I personally don't much like this colour-combo, but the socks are not for me so it does not matter. Isabella chose the colours and the socks are going to be knitted for her so ...)

Friday, 17 December 2010


So happy it's Friday. Xmas holiday is getting near and it's been a hectic autumn at work. So it was fantastic to have a little break yesterday and enjoy the xmas lunch with my colleagues. Very nice. The food was absolutely delicious and for once everyone seemed to be happy and stress-free for a moment.

Today we've been enjoying a slow-paced Friday with girls. Some playing in the snow, some crafts with stamps and crayons and now the girls are all cuddled up in the sofa and watching cartoons for a while.

I've been cooking and knitting and making the last-minute xmas purchases on the net. (I really hope that the presents make it here before December 24th! Everywhere I looked it stated that order before Dec. 19th and the delivery is guaranteed in the EU by xmas... but we'll see. I tend to be a bit skeptic when it comes to promises like that.)

Here are some of the projects I have on the needles right now.
Some lace in Kidsilk Night - this is almost finished - just need to add buttons and it's done.

A pair of socks for me. (1st sock finished and the 2nd almost done) I love this Online Supersocke yarn. The colour is beautiful.

Then some serious surface structure in Drops Nepal. I'm really looking forward to get to the sewing part of this one as it is a strangest construction: at first you knit a long (almost 170cm) rectangle, which then needs to be sewn together to form a jacket. Cool.

I'm also eagerly waiting the postman to bring the yarns I ordered from PoshYarn. They've been on their way almost 2 weeks now - which is a long time to travel from the UK to Finland (but I guess the delay has something to do with the weather conditions in the UK and the fact that Finnair's stewardesses were on strike for a week or so, which messed up lots of international deliveries to/from Finland on top of the actual harm done to people who had booked tickets to the canceled flights.)
SO maybe the lovely yarns will arrive today? I keep my fingers crossed!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

yet another hat

...for me this time.
Pattern: none/mine (using cast on technique from Hip Knit Hats)
Yarns: Rowan Polar (stone) & Colinette Prism in Nutmeg
Needles: 6mm & 7mm dpns

I have to say I really, really like this one. The fit is great and it is very warm (which is needed this winter - once again we have -14 celsius when writing this. and over half a meter of snow. which is loads considering it is only December) . And the colour combo works for me. Love it!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Pink hat

Here's one of the hats I knitted last month, when on a sick leave.

The hat is knitted top-down - which was a revelation to me once I learned the cast on method used through-out the Cathy Carron's Hip Knit Hats. Basically you make loops around two dpns, as if starting knitting toe-up socks - and the result is a totally invisible and "peak-free" crown. Very cool and easy!
Pattern: none - inspired by hats in Hip Knit Hats by Cathy Carron
Yarn: Novita Teddy in Pink
Needles: 7mm dpns

The hat above is how I originally knitted it. However - it did not stay well enough in my daughters head (there tends to be quite a lot of speed & action involved when she's in question) So I picked up stitches for about 2/3 of the perimeter of brim and worked in garter stitch decreasing steadily 1 stitch at the end of every row until the "flap" was approx. 5cm (2") long.
That was enough to make the hat work in real action. Now it covers ears and stays on. (most of the time at least)

Btw. Here are the 2 skeins of lovely Araucania Ranco, that I'm using to knit those "zigzag-socks" my eldest daughter asked for..

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Importance of planning

...and I mean really planning - not just doing and seeing where it gets you. (which mostly is my methodology when it comes to knitting without a pattern. "I can do this - I don't need a pattern. This is easy." ...Right)

Some weeks ago I showed some knitting projects that I had on my needles. There was this "I'm going to be a big& cozy jacket" - thingy as well. I should have known better than to just knit on and on. It's not that I didn't do any progress. I managed to knit the back&fronts&sleeves & pockets (it's a top-down raglan - so the knitting part went well) and I was just about to begin the cable panel that I could envision running along the front edges and around my neck - and would be some 12-15cm wide and it would look so good... (see how big the gap between the left& right front is? That's for the panel...pockets look good though)
So far so good. Except - when I was happily casting on for the cable panel I noticed that I only had a skein and some yarn left for the panel. Right. Not good. (I totally thought of having 9 balls of Rowan Polar - but was obviously wrong - I only had 8 to begin with)
How can I make such a mistake? the panel with cables will take approx 2 balls of yarn (that's my rough estimate) I'm screwed. Really cannot figure what to do next. I rather not use a different yarn to the panel - and I cannot see it in two different yarns either (one of which would be the Polar) Damn!!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010


To complete my knitted set of hat, mitts & scarf - here's the part III.
Pattern: none/Mine Double leaf snood
Yarn: OnLine Linie Move, used double throughout approx
Needles: 10mm(!)

Didn't want a regular scarf this time (and I have quite a few of them already) plus that I noticed how often I wear my other snood/scarf that I knitted in September, so I made another one.

I wanted it to be Big and soft & warm so I used 10mm needles & doubled the yarn. I placed the double leaf motif in the middle and then just some very basic netting/lave on both sides of it ' neat garter stitch edges. Easy. And made really fast! (just love using big needles every now and then. Not all the time you know - but sometimes it is all that I need to balance all my lace & sock knitting with thin yarn etc... )
So - this scarf can be worn as a one big loop like a scarf - or like a very lacy and unpractical hood
- or like I wear it the most often - twice around my neck , when it becomes seriously warm neck warmer.
(Funny to watch these photos now a couple of weeks after they were taken. We have almost a half a meter of snow now - but on the moment of photo shoot there was hardly any of it... everything changes so fast:-)

Now I have to figure out how to knit socks for my 7yr-old. She was very precise ("socks that are pink and blue or purple and they have zigzag stripes. Need to be good length, not too short or long - right here *points her calf* can you make those to me mom?") Oh yes. so I'm trying some Jaywalker-ish chevron patterns to see which one would work in a sock well enough. ( Fortunately(!?) I happen to have just right yarns in my stash;-)

Friday, 3 December 2010

Double leaf fingerless mittens

Part 2/3 of the set I've knitted.
Pattern: None/Mine
Yarn: OnLine Linie Move
Needles: 4mm dpns

These Fingerless mittens have a double leaf lace on top and the inside of cuff is twisted rib - as well as the edges. Palm is plain stockinette.
I was a bit surprised how beautiful they came out. And the fit is for once snug enough for my rather small hands. They are just perfect for me. (and they've proven to provide the much needed extra warmth for my hands when I work on my laptop... as my fingers and wrists tend to freeze inside the office as well as outside:-)
In the meantime - we have even more snow now. It's been snowing all day again...
As for the projects on my needles - I've managed to knit one sock for myself and am halfway through the other one.
(that's my telly-watching project - plain vanilla socks. No need to look at my knitting at all. - although this also leads to situations like the other day, when I suddenly realized that I had knitted the foot long enough to fit a rabbit.. I ended up ripping back some 6-7cm...well - it just happens sometimes... )

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Side slip Cloche

Part 1 of the 3-piece set I've been knitting. It all started with this cloche/hat. (which was very fast project to complete)

Pattern: Side slip Cloche by Laura Irwin from Boutique Knits
Yarn: Online Linie Move (a novelty yarn with a shiny cord and some plastic (acrylic) fluff around it. Very soft and pretty yarn to look at - would make a very uncomfortable sweater - but works ok-ish for accessories)
Needles: 4mm

It is apparently designed to be worn this way:
...but I prefer wearing it this way:
next time : part 2/3...

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Noro Sekku shawl

It's -15 celsius outside. And it's still snowing.
I've been making some progress on my several knitting projects (lacy cardi, highly texturized cardi, gray jacket, a pair of socks & a couple of scarves... and I really think I'm still going to cast on for another pair of socks today..)

So still lots of knitting going on here - maybe it is time to show my Noro Sekku shawl that I knitted some time ago.
Pattern: none/mine - just sort of knitted and the thing just formed by itself.
Yarn: Noro Sekku, #5 - 1 skein exactly (I had maybe a 1 meter of yarn left after bind off)
Needles: 4mm
Basically I used the PI -shaping and increased with K1, YO rows. Also included some K2tog, YO rows in between the increase rows - to keep the shawl a bit more lacy & airy.
The hem is just simple feather & fan lace.
The colours in Sekku are incredible. So bright and saturated. And the feel of the yarn is something completely different to any other yarn I've ever knitted with. I enjoyed knitting this - but now when it is finished it looks like almost too much colour put into one shawl. Makes me think of the rainbow...Or the native american textiles.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


Lately I've been trying to figure out which stitch pattern to use for my tweed jacket/gardigan. I have 900g of Debbie Bliss Donegal Chunky Tweed in wonderfully rich ochre shade...

I have had the yarn in my stash for a "couple " of years.... never really have found the right pattern for it. So I thought that "screw the perfect pattern hunt - I can totally design my own..." (is that self confidence? or delusion? or just plain cockiness?) only to find out that it is not that easy to find a lace pattern that incorporates (maybe) some cabling... and would look good super-sized... And would have airy enough appearance so that the jacket would be wearable, not too stiff and... You get the picture.
So I'm going to rip-it again - and try some other lace/cable combo - until I find the one that looks exactly right.

Oh - there has been some present knitting for Joulu(xmas) , but for obvious reasons I cannot show any of those until after I've given them to the lucky relatives...

As for the other stuff - I'm feeling better. We have snow - the scenery is covered with the fluffy white snow and it looks so nice. (although there are weather forecasts that say it's going to snow a lot next night, and the trains are likely to be late again and what-not...) It's definitely Winter.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Hat 1 - Clara

Today I'm at home instead of working - having way too high blood pressure. This really sucks.

On the brighter side, the health issues have given me quite some extra knitting time...(although it cannot wipe away the fact that I'd rather be healthy)

Anyways - while under the cold last time - I kept leafing through Cathy Carron's Hip Knit Hats. And ended up knitting 3 hats from that book and 2 more hats where I improvised the pattern myself.
Here's the lacy little number I knitted for myself: Clara (pattern has been inspired by Clara Bow, silent film actress)

Pattern: Clara by Cathy Carron
Yarn: Novita Aino in purple (a bit more than 50g)
Needles: 6mm dpns
This is no cold weather hat - as it is all net, but I've been wearing it this week when it's been around +-0 Celsius and it is warm enough for a warmish autumn weather like that. (I would not wear it today if going out - it is snowing heavily and windy...)

On the plus side is also the fact that this knits up in a jiffy. Took maybe 2-3 hours to make.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Luciole Shawl

Here's another small shawlette that I've recently finished knitting. It is once again a design by Anne Hanson. (she really has a talent for one of a kind lace designs. Love her shawls. If you look very closely - those are little fireflies that decorate the lower edge of the shawl. )
Pattern: Luciole by Anne Hanson (from Knitspot)
Yarn: Ewetopia superwash merino sock yarn less than 1 ball
Needles: 4mm

I knitted the smallest size - but due to the thicker yarn than called for (at least that's what I suspect) the blocked size is very close to the medium size shawl.
The Ewetopia yarn is wonderful. Very soft & springy. Which leads to an excellent stitch definition. I'd love to knit something else with the same yarn again. That's how lovely it was to knit. (I received this yarn a while back when participating into SecretPal 13 swap. Ewetopia merino has been in and out of my knitting basket several times after that but only now I found a project that I thought was perfect for the yarn.)
I've been knitting four shawls this autumn, which is quite a lot. The thing is - that time to time I tend to wear a lot of black and the small shawls like this one or the Pea Vines are perfect for adding a little bit of colour and some interest to otherwise quite somber look.
(and as I'm nearly always feeling cold, they are great at providing a tad of extra warmth as well)

Friday, 12 November 2010

Sewing day

Still alive and kicking. (although now my 5yr old is coughing her lungs out...)

Have been almost manically knitting hats for me and girls. So far I've finished 5 - they are knit in a jiffy from aran & bulky weight yarns... but those will come here later. (No photos yet-> for the fact that there is no light. Absolutely miserable darkness all day long. Hate, hate, hate this time of year!! It is not humane to live in this darkness. Please someone ship me to Australia for the next 3 months!?)

Instead - the other day I felt like sewing. I adore this book:
It has such a lovely photos and a very calm & serene feel to it. (not to mention that the designs are very wearable and easy & fast to make...no wonder I keep coming back to these patterns.)
This time I made the easy shift dress in a pretty flower print 100% cotton, that I bought some months ago...
It looks huge in the photo but actually it is pretty much the standard EU Medium size (used size Large of the book - it is made to Japanese standards and evidently women are smaller there)- and I've been wearing already with thick black tights, boots & cardigan + some vintage jewellery - and it looked quite charming. I really should sew more.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Sick and tired

It's been a challenging couple of weeks. (read tough, difficult, tiresome) All of our daughters have been sick one after another. Both me and my DH have been days away from our jobs due to this. (I'm sure our employers are really thrilled because of this) And then on this Wednesday - when the kids are finally ok I was driving back from work to home - and I started to ache all over. By the time I got to home I was shivering and shaky. And within less than two hours I had a very high fever. Went to bed and slept 14 hours straight....

Yesterday went in haze. I had such a pain in my arms and back that I could not even knit. No question about going to work.

Today it's finally better. Except the nose bleed that keeps going and going. So annoying.

I've been leafing through Hip Knit Hats by Cathy Carron - looks like I'm going to knit some hats next.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Pea Vines- shawl(ette)

Remember some time back when I showed my WIPs?
Here's the wonderful Pea vines shawlette all finished up. And I love it.
Pattern: Pea vines by Anne Hanson
Yarn: Berrocco Ultra Alpaca in Pea soup mix. Less than a skein.
Needles: 4mm

The yarn is a lovely, intense green - and while knitting it I got a flashback that I've already knitted something from this kind of green... and I have. My Mrs.Darcy cardigan (drops alpaca yarn) is exactly the same colour as the Berrocco Ultra Alpaca Fine used for Pea vines. How weird is that? It got me thinking that maybe it IS the same yarn but just sold under different brand names , but no - the drops alpaca is 100% alpaca whereas the Berrocco yarn is wool/alpaca/nylon mix... still pretty weird. (and how I manage to pick up yarns like that is almost spooky. and it wasn't the first time it's happened either....)

I've been following Anne Hanson's blog some time now - and the moment I saw pea vines shawl - I knew it was perfect for me. So I bought the pattern as soon as it was released. So beautiful! I like the fact that the lacy top edge is knitted at the same time with the rest of the shawl - so when you have finished the shawl it is really done - no need to attach separate border etc.
Have to admit though that I never really got into the flow-state of knitting - you know - when you can just see your hands knitting and the mind is free to travel. Nope - the Pea vines demanded my full attention from the cast on 'til the cast of . But it was worth it. And I definitely enjoyed knitting it. I knitted the smallest size - so it is a nice scarf-like accessory, that I can wear to spice up my wardrobe.
I can see myself knitting this again in future - maybe in the medium size that time. It would look great also in a very light colour - I think. Maybe a soft cream or ivory-white silk blend for spring time?

(I don't have anything like that in my stash - I'm only speculating here - and no I try not to purchase any more yarn before the end of this year as I've bought a lot during the last 6 weeks or so... Never , ever visit a yarn shop on-line with your Visa next to you and after having a throbbing head ache for weeks - so that your guards are down... ok you are warned - I flashed my credit card here. Don't even go to the Araucania clearance sale... that was my doom.)

Tuesday, 26 October 2010


Last week we (me and my DH - no kids!) had the luxury of spending a long weekend in Milano, Italy. What a lovely trip, just the two of us and no-one else to take care of. We walked a lot, drank wonderful Italian cappuccino and ate well. (NB! This is the colour of true cappuccino - and it has nothing to do with the colouring of my perugino throw!)
We were amazed to find out how good the public transport was in Milano. (only 3EUR/person/day - and it allowed us to use all trams, buses , metro and some trains within Milano.. very reasonable price!)

Trams were kind of cool. Vintagy even. In Milan they looked like this.
Check out the wonderful lamps inside.
If we understood the driver of the no19 tram correctly, the trams date back to 1930's . Nice.

Of course we also checked the sights - Il Duomo (which my DH continuously called El Diablo... ) , the Castle, the ridiculously pricey fashion streets of Via della Spiga (with Prada, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana etc) and Via Montenapoleone (again D&G, YSL etc..)
But mostly we just talked and walked.
Had some Italian food: (this is our lunch)
- and enjoyed the Apperitivo. Which basically translates into paying approx 6-7 euros for the drink and then having the unlimited buffet where to choose little snacks - olives, pasta salads, fruit, crisps, all kinds of little savory snacks , tiny sandwiches etc. Delicious.

Although Milano is the fashion capital of Italy I didn't go shopping really - I only bought a pair of flat black leather boots - which go with everything. As for yarn - didn't even see any during our long weekend. (btw. Love that fruit & vegetable stand... looks so welcoming - doesn't it?)

However - immediately when I had unpacked our suitcase - I took this lovely skein of Araucania Copihue from my stash. It's going to be a hat for my 7 yr old...