Tuesday, 16 September 2014

"Designer" socks and various birds

You may remember the fundraising for the New Children's Hospital 2017 we have been having at the Villa Cooper? I'm very happy to tell you that my Happy Scrappy Spring quilt was finally sold!
I made this quilt designed by Kaaren of The Painted Quilt, and she kindly gave her permission to sell the quilt for the worthy cause. A member of our club was the buyer, and I can be sure the quilt has found a good home! The nice sum of € 350.00 was added to the fundraising account.
My original 25 birdy coasters have all been sold and I have had two custom orders since then. Making the last one of them, I decided to use up all the linen fabric I had left for the background so there will be a dozen or so new mug rugs for the hospital project still available. We decided to keep our project going as long as we have items left.
Speaking of custom orders, I knitted a pair of socks for Mr K. to keep his toes warm in the waders. Those shoes let the cold water through, and only the sock part of the waders keep his feet dry but not necessarily warm.

I have seen his technical socks designed for the left and right foot and using different materials, and took an idea from them:
I made a stretchy part on the sole after the heel to keep the sock from creeping towards the toes like my socks tend to do in my wellies. The top of the foot part is in rib stitch as well to make the socks fit like a glove. (That would be really stupid though, nobody has toes as long as fingers. This must be seen as a figure of speech.) The bottom of the heel is flat and smooth so nothing will put pressure on his baby soft skin.
Mr K. has added a polycarbonate roof to our terrace. The project is nearly finished, just missing the boards to cover the triangles at both ends.

I'm enjoying my favourite time of the year: sunny days with just room temperature or a little cooler, fresh little wind, the smell of apples, many flowers still in bloom, the swans teaching their young cygnets to take off and land (is it 'landing' in water too?), and the first cranes preparing their migration to the South. Yesterday I saw a flock of about 50 cranes getting arranged to their typical V formation. 

Monday, 1 September 2014

Travel report and a tiny new finish

A week ago we attended our nephew's wedding in Germany. The wedding ceremony took place at the town hall where they had a special room for it. This is a part of a large appliqué on the wall.

The celebration started at noon in this garden of the restaurant where dinner was served in the evening. The weather was rather chilly so we didn't feel like sitting in these chairs facing the wind from the lake Pilsensee.

The wedding cake was cleverly chosen: each layer was a different cake, just the icing was the same. I hade some dark chocolate cake from the bottom layer. A young wedding guest was admiring the cake before it was cut.

As always, the bride was beautiful, the groom was handsome, the food was delicious and the wedding party was a happy one. After 13 hours of driving and celebrating, elderly people like we were quite exhausted!

At home, the apple trees are doing their best to compensate for last year's harvest of 10 apples/tree. The branches reach to the ground under their heavy burden. I cooked the first lot today.

I couldn't resist the pattern of the Swedish Princess Estelle's cardigan pattern in my handicraft magazine. The original was knitted by Queen Silvia's mother Alicia, obviously for baby Silvia 70 years ago and not for baby Estelle.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Vive le Corduroi!

Getting started is the most difficult part. If the project is nice or very important, keeping on working is easy. I promised to show what happened to the plum coloured tight tunic from my last post. Well, you know the Uncommonly Corduroy book by Stephanie, published earlier this year? I tested one of the bag patterns for her, the Ethel and MJ, and after I got the book I was ready to have a go at a new pattern. I really wanted to use corduroy this time, but with the fabric shops so far from me, and their selection being more curtains than quilting fabrics and especially not baby corduroy, I just kept knitting...

... until I realized I had this great piece of fabric (the old tunic from my last post) just waiting to be repurposed in its deep plum coloured baby corduroy loveliness. I decided the California Girl pattern was perfect, and the size of the parts needed was small enough so I didn't need to make any extra seams.

The back and the flap are corduroy. For the lining and front I used a floral print, originally cut up by my mother to make a shirt dress for one of her daughters. By the colour I would judge it to be my sister P. Turquoise or yellow would have been for M, light blue or bright red for T and brown, rust or olive for me. We all had our own favourite colours.


So, here it is, with pockets under the flap and inside. I'm still looking for wonderful buttons for the flap. I have great ones, but some of them are too colourful, some are too shiny, so I keep looking.

I'm not a tiny person, so there was some leftover fabric after I finished the California Girl (go ahead, this link is to another version!). I also happened to need a smaller bag for a nephew's wedding this weekend. None of my old purses would do. My outfit is unusually colourful, but the corduroy just happens to be the same colour as my new tunic. The new bag had to be small but large enough to hold my EpiPen. I'm allergic to wasps, and I can imagine the local wasps will find their way to a garden where there is wedding cake and perfumed ladies, so I must be prepared. So I measured the EpiPen, and the short sleeves of the old tunic which were the largest pieces left of it, and I designed a little bag for myself.

I had used all long strips of the tunic for the California Girl's strap, so there was not enough fabric for a strap without too many seams. I went shopping and found exactly one velvet ribbon, luckily in an OK colour, and a dark blue gross grain ribbon for the strap lining. I forgot to think about keeping the bag closed, so I just added two little squares of Velcro by hand under the flap afterwards. To the bag front I managed to sew the other halves by machine.

Sewing with corduroy was pure joy. I used my machine's walking foot because of the heavy fusible interfacing. For use in a quilt top nothing special is needed. I have some narrow strips and yoke pieces cut on the bias left over from making these two bags, and I will put them aside to wait for a suitable project.
Now I just need to pack for tomorrow's flight. Weddings are such happy events! 

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Still here, and new finishes too

It's been a long time, due to computer problems, but with the temperatures finally going down I just might get more active after the too hot July. I haven't been all lazy, so I can show you some projects I have finished. The newest creation is this big tote bag for groceries. It is lined with raincoat fabric so I can just wipe it clean if a yoghurt lid get perforated or some other accident happens. The floral panel is a rep weave table runner I bought years ago for this purpose at a sale for 1.50 €.
During the Tour de France watching in July I knitted this set of washcloths. The cool colour and the bamboo yarn made it feel relaxing.
Remember the Train Socks in knitted for the twins across the street before they were born (probably not!)? After I heard that the newcomers were both girls, I just couldn't send them socks in green and beige and brown and blue...these here on the left:
... but I knitted them new ones in white and yellow. As June was so very cold here, I also knitted them tiny woollen hats like the one I had given to a friend's grandchild a little earlier. These hats have a crocheted flower on the side.
The Kaffe Fasset stripe yarn socks will go to the charity project in Järvenpää. I think they will look quite nice on a bigger baby as the colours go well with the maternity package contents.
My newest project involves this, a baby corduroy tunic that somehow shrunk in my closet.


Wednesday, 30 July 2014

A Hot Summer Day

Last Saturday we visited the annual Antique Market here in the village. It was a hot, cloudless day.
Vendors from near and far had arrived with their treasures.

Some of the junk was old enough to be called antique.

Most of it was just stuff from the attic.

Some of the glass was collector's items by famous Finnish designers from the 1950's.

But most of these household enamel and plastic bowls and pots are about 20 years younger, something I bought for my kitchen. I felt antique!

These washboards, tubs and towel rack are much older but still something I have seen being used when I was little.

The clothespeg apron and old washing powder and soap packages from the Craft Museum are from the same era.

Back to the fair: live accordion music is essential for a Summer market event.
I hope you enjoyed this little tour. I try to get something crafty finished for my next post!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Crafty Tourism, part 2

On the second day of our stay in Jyväskylä we visited (again) the Craft Museum. I have shown you their window exhibition in 2011 and I'm sure I have shown an exhibition with potholders on the wall and soap cups on the floor but I just can't find that post. Well, this is the same place, now with quilt buntings outside.

I wonder who made all these.

The trees in front of the museum were covered with knitted graffiti.

This one looks like a milk carton or a fancy birdhouse with no door opening.

Many colours have faded already. They could be hand dyed yarns.

  Or someone just liked earth colours.

I believe the trees all have fairy lights in the darker months of the year.

In the museum it wasn't allowed to take pictures of their new exhibition, but the permanent exhibition was also new to me. The lights were dim and flash was forbidden, but I managed to make some photos. This corset was made of candy wrappers, the delicious mint caramel and chocolate Marianne.

A bed quilt used as a coat.

A museum must have something old too, and this is an example of Carelian redwork in double running stitch. It is a long (2.5 m), narrow towel typical for Carelia in Eastern Finland.

Headwear to be used with different national costumes. The national costumes are reconstructed after festive clothing worn from the beginning of the 18th century onwards.

They can be bought, but also made by hand from the beginning: even weaving the fabric for the skirt and maybe the apron too, sewing and embroidering all the necessary pieces. The price of the DIY kit with fabrics is about one third or half of the complete costume.

They are mostly worn by folk dancers or at big celebrations like weddings or big birthdays, but they are not something one would be expected to have in one's wardrobe.

The men in the picture above are holding carved  parts of the spinning wheel system (where the bundle of fibres is attached before spinning), a typical gift item from the groom to the bride. Translation for this part was nowhere to be found.
At the end of our visit we had a nice surprise: Kaija decided to come home with us for a couple of days. We took a scenic route back home across a lake landscape. This one is through the car window,

but we also stopped where it was possible.

This is from a bridge to the opposite direction. Finland has thousands and more lakes like this, but on a day like this they look at their best.

Today we are melting again, the last few days have been new heat records one after another (yesterday 32.5 C/90.5F), and I would love to be at a lake to keep cool. Today is the final day of the Tour de France, and our three weeks long watching marathon will be over. While watching the cycling with Mr K., I have been crocheting these African Flowers after I finished the socks:

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Crafty Tourism, part 1

This week we made a short holiday trip to Jyvaskyla to meet our daughter Kaija. She took us around her home city for a private tour, and we saw this charming group of houses, the Toivola Old Courtyard. The link is in English, you can see old photos and read about the history of this site.

We had some coffee and cold lemonade in this café, it was such a hot day.

Yarn bombing!

Antique dirt in the windows?

The blacksmith's workshop.

Some of these houses are relocated here from other parts of the city. There are artisan's shops and boutiques on the right.

This building is a yarn shop. I thought of all the yarn I have at home and just admired their collection.
Yarn bombing on the other side too.

Back in the modern part of the city, the rag rug in this pedestrian area looks realistic but it is painted. Kaija told there had been sofas too, but our rainy June made the organizers realize that they are not comfortable when soaked!

We must continue our tour to the Craft Museum in another post. Keep cool and enjoy your Summer/Winter.