Saturday, 17 June 2017

Green things

Our rhododendrons are blooming, even the little one in the back row. We bought it just a few weeks ago to replace the Physocarpus that was growing too big for the space.

The Alchemilla, Lady's mantle, always keeps the raindrops on its leaves longer than any other plant.

Two new pairs of socks finished, a father and son set.

Then I needed to do some unusual sewing again. This chest of drawers originally belonged to my mother's grandmother, and my mother wanted it to go to her own granddaughter, my daughter Kaija. As this is a very large piece of furniture, she has nowhere to put it at the moment, so I'm keeping it in storage for her. To keep it safe, it needs some protection,

and so I sewed a green hood for it with batting on top and some corrugated cardboard in the front as a shield against hits.

This biggish willow has grown around a street lamp at the corner where our driveway begins, and the men who changed street lamps a couple of years ago could not get to this lamp at all. We told them it was not our tree but the town's, and we would be pleased to see the tree gone.

Finally, after only two or three years, they came with professionals and machines.

The tree trunk is being moved away under the electric lines.

Only a stump is left, they cleared all the branches away. Hurrah, so much less raking of leaves in the autumn for Mr K. from now on, and maybe less moss in the lawn when the sun can reach the grass better.

Silver and green in the flower box.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Our KIP Day

On Saturday knitters world wide gathered in public places to knit. By the time it all began in 2005 it may have been a little like coming out of the closet, admitting that yes, I'm a knitter and I'm proud of it. Or it was just like now: sitting together with old and new friends, sharing experiences and having a good time. This year there were 1122 events in 54 countries!

Our Knit in Public event took place in a new park in Järvenpää. Almost 20 people attended, which is several persons more than we had the last time some years ago. The day was full of choices for our potential visitors, as it was the first weekend after the schools closed for the Summer, but luckily there were so many who chose us. I taught some people the magic looping, where both socks are knitted side by side on the same circular needle.

The guided tour in the park with interesting stories about the history of that area and the house renovation adventure were a cultural addition to our afternoon. Kirsi's blog is here, it is in Finnish but you can just scroll down and look at the pictures, they will give you some idea of how huge the project is.

Today it is raining again, so we were very lucky to have a sunny but not too hot a day on Saturday. It was a positive experience, and I think I could be tempted to try again next year.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Knitting, next week in public too

New pair of green socks on the needles, just a darker green and a men's size this time.

I have been busy planning something for next Saturday, the World Wide Knit in Public Day. Some years ago we had an event at the Villa Cooper, but very few knitters attended. This year we are giving it a try again, in a more public place. Near our Villa Cooper a new park has been built in the middle of a new housing area. It is named after an earlier owner, Bjarne Westermarck, who was a trendsetter and visionary in agriculture a hundred years ago. He had the Villa Cooper building moved to the present location and it was used as a canteen for his farm workers. The secretary of the newly founded Bjarne Westermarck heritage society is coming to our event to tell us about the local history and the renovation work of Westermarck's old office building, now her home. We will meet in the park, and there will be a short guided tour for those interested in the old buildings still left.

Next weekend I will be able to tell you if we had any luck this year. The weather has been chilly almost all the time, at freezing point during the nights, so our best hope is that the day will be sunny and less windy. We are going to have hot coffee and tea! I will be showing how to knit two socks at a time, and if anyone has problems with their knitting, all our members present will be willing to help.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Green socks

Here they are, my new long bedsocks:

The colour is right in the top photo. I used the pattern on the cover photo of Melissa Morgan-Oakes' book Toe-Up 2-At-A-Time Socks for the shaping and measurements but simplified the lace pattern and made it my own.  I think the heel is very pretty here.

It was hard to estimate how far my yarn would go so I started the ribbing early. Binding off looks a bit curly but it mustn't be too tight.

I have been cutting more strips for the log cabin quilt. Still a lot to cut, but it means that I will use up many of my fabrics. and that is the point. Use up fabric, have fun sewing, get a quilt. Win-win-win.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Almost Summer

Suddenly, on Wednesday or so, it was warm again. After a little rain shower the nature just burst into greenness and growth. My green socks are slowly growing too. I'm going to knit them as long as the yarn allows.

Today I made a test block for a new quilt. I have what feels like tons of light blue fabrics, and some brown ones left over from the Shadow Plaid. I have never made a Log Cabin quilt, just single blocks, so I thought it was time to give it a chance. I have always liked brown and light blue together.

I have a fair amount of 2" strips cut already but need more. I'm also going to cut them to the required length before sewing to keep my squares square.

Scilla Sibirica in our garden. I would love to have more but they seem to take their time to spread.

Today I had tea in the garden, in my short sleeves, and really enjoyed the +21 C temperature. 

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Chilly Spring Knittings

This isn't funny any more:

On Thursday we got hails and snow several times during the day, and the top temperature was somewhere between 3 and 5C. Every night there are minus degrees. This was not the first snow of the week. No wonder my rhubarbs are only three inches tall.

The chilly weather has been perfect for knitting. First I knitted the most basic men's wool socks I could imagine, with heavy sock yarn and big needles:

And then a fancy pair with hand dyed yarn from Handu. The pattern is my own version of the honeycomb I used for all those honey coloured socks a while ago.

On the needles is a pair of bed socks for myself. Again, a modified version of a published pattern. I'm knitting from toe to top so I can maximize the length of the socks. Cashmere and merino yarn from Handu, feels like a dream. As you can see from the shadows, we are having a bright sunny day today for a change.

I hope you are enjoying the season as well!

Saturday, 6 May 2017

The new plaid quilt

Here it is, my new plaid quilt.

It is a mixture of very different shirts which have come to the end of their career in the clothing business or, in one case, never even made it so far but spent some 50 years or probably more as a UFO, cut parts carefully folded with some of the paper patterns pinned to the smallest parts. It could have been meant for me, the pale yellow and grey. A blouse with short sleeves for a girl of maybe 9-10 years of age. Some of this fabric is still left for smaller blocks in another quilt. The obviously female fabrics were my mother's blouses, too small for me to wear so I finally decided to give them a new life. The rest of the plaids are from my usual stash of old men's old shirts. As the previous quilt top only had blue shirts mixed with solid white, here I used all other colours but blue.
It is always fun to plan a new quilt and watch it grow from piles of squares to piles of blocks, then rows and finally a quilt top. The next step is less fun but vital, building the quilt sandwich and pinning or basting it. I have hand quilted only one large quilt in my life, the Grandmother's Garden quilt for my daughter Kaija, and some preemie quilts. I can manage machine quilting on my sewing machine if the quilt is not too big. Maybe I need to start considering these next steps, because this top is already the fourth waiting to be quilted!

Liverworts, Anemone Hepatica, have opened their flowers. I moved these to our garden from "back home" on my last visit there.