Saturday, 7 May 2016

Accumulator Seriali Spinoff Series

In March I thought I could post about my collected/accumulated treasures every Saturday like my daughter Kaija does under the title Accumulator Seriali on her blog Paperiaarre. Well, as my treasures are not real collections but spread all around the house, I didn't come to making the necessary photos (and the weather was cloudy etc.). Now that I found out she is making today's post about jigsaw puzzles, I decided to show mine on the very same day. I'm using old photos I took in 2013 (and 2008) when I had a period of puzzle making, so some of these may have already changed owner and appear on my daughter's blog too. In my childhood the puzzles were a lovely, quiet way to spend rainy Summer afternoons indoors.

These puzzles all come from my mother's family, from the first decades of the 20th century. They originally came in hand made folded boxes made of strong paper, but when those fell apart, small chocolate boxes were used to keep the pieces safe.

I made a lot of new boxes after the original pattern and copied the hand painted logo to be glued on the lid.

I bet you want to see a hand-made jigsaw puzzle from almost one hundred years ago. Here is a typical one, a landscape picture from a magazine, glued on thick cardboard.

A more exotic looking one, with a tip of one piece fallen off. We used to write on the box bottom if pieces were missing, or tips.

Favourite themes were art reproductions, like The Gleaners by Millet (I had two of these and gave Kaija the other one)

or  this Shepherd Boy from Paanajärvi by the Finnish painter Akseli Gallén-Kallela.

Some jigsaws look like illustrations to romantic stories from a ladies' magazine

or this one, The Diva,

and some other are more on the domestic side.

There are unusual shapes, like oval pictures

and unusual shapes of the individual pieces, like in this one:

They were almost impossible to hold in place until a larger area was finished, but the result was this charming picture:

Very few of the pictures are from Finland (the Shepherd boy painting and the gingerbread baking), but at least this one showing people on their way to Christmas church has all the elements of an old fashioned Christmas card.

My mother was not a little child by the time she started building these jigsaw puzzles so there are no children's puzzles here. Four Little Pals would have pleased a child as well, but putting it together is no child's play. My mother used to lift a finished puzzle like this one from one corner, and it would hold together. But it had to be finished, and no pieces missing.

This is the only picture that looks like an illustration from a children's book,and even the sawing is easier than in the other puzzles, where the maker has intentionally chosen tricky lines along a shape in the picture.

I leave you with this dark picture of a young girl. The saw lines remind me of free motion quilting.

More antique jigsaw pleasures on Kaija's blog right now!

Saturday, 30 April 2016

More new blocks and socks

Where did all this time go? Two weeks have gone, and I intended to show you another of my collections before I have new blocks to show. I have knitted so many socks too ...

As I still have not taken the collection photos, I'll show the new blocks of the Splendid Sampler. This one is called Family Stars.

The next one is a basket block called Lina's Gift.

Then comes a piece of very useful advice: Measure twice, cut once ...

The next block is on hold, I haven't decided how to do it. But the one after that was easy, Sweet Candy:

And finally a paper-pieced Goose on The Loose:

In that one the measuring twice was very necessary: printing the pattern before saving it resulted in   3 1/4" quarter blocks when 3 1/2" was the correct size. When I printed another copy from the saved file, the size was OK. Strange. I never do the scale or "fit to page" thing.

This was a bonus block, Earth Day

and this bonus block is Log Cabin Inside Out.

I may use them to replace some other blocks I don't fancy doing.

Want to look at the newest socks now? I'm showing them anyway. I really like the look of this pattern, but the four balls of yarn need some traffic rules! I love knitting two socks at a time, it helps me to make both socks the same size and shape. Starting all over again after having finished the first sock is no fun, so I rather proceed a little slower and have them finished at the same time.

This is my Grandmother's favourite mitten pattern I used for socks for the first time.

Bedsocks in fine 100 % wool and a faux cable I have used earlier too,

and the same two 50 g balls of yarn made for another pair of bedsocks. One pair of the red socks at the end of this post is knitted with this easy pattern.

New stitches are on the needles, big decluttering projects going on, the ironing pile is growing, and I made an interesting test with an antique cushion cover and a modern detergent. More about that in my next post.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Splendid Spring

While I was on a short trip to Germany, our snow had melted away and the first spring flowers in the garden and by the roadside came out. I have tried to catch up with the Splendid Sampler QAL. This one was finished weeks ago:

Some blocks took their time, like this one with a stitched doily:

Some other came together more quickly.

Today is a lovely sunny day but still very cold for bare hands, especially after hanging some laundry on the line to dry in the fresh air.

I took all these pictures around nine this morning so the shadows are still long.

Migrating birds are returning to Finland, and after the trip we greeted many newcomers, like finches, robins and song thrushes.

The paper-pieced block above seemed awfully difficult but it really wasn't that bad.

The rhubarbs and this newest block somehow matched perfectly. 16 blocks done, two to go for now. 

Sunday, 27 March 2016

New Sock Pattern

You may remember the white mittens I knitted last year. Our local knitting café Lentävä Lapanen, in cooperation with the Ainola museum, created the pattern based on a pair of mittens knitted by Aino Sibelius, the spouse of the famous composer Jean Sibelius, to celebrate his 150th anniversary.

The pattern can be bought here in English or in Finnish. A kit with yarn and pattern in either language is abailable at the knitting café and at the Ainola museum shop. I have used my pair a lot, on very cold days I wear white fleece gloves inside.

This Winter I had a great idea. Why not knit a fancy pair of socks to go with the pretty mittens? Knit, knit, knit, said my needles and soon I had the prototype finished. It was a special birthday gift.

The next thing to do was to introduce my idea of Aino'S socks to The Flying Mitten, Lentävä Lapanen. They liked the idea, gave me a ball of the original 100% Finnish sheep wool by Pirtin Kehräämö, and asked me to knit a sample pair and to write down my pattern. The pattern can be downloaded here in Finnish for free.

I'm knitting yet another pair for my own  use now:

I changed the heel from the prototype, thinking that Aino Sibelius would have wanted her socks to be a little special all over. This is the heel I used when I wrote the pattern and knitted the socks for the Flying Mitten. The leg part is like the mitten cuff, and the top of the foot part is like the top of the mitten, so there is really not very much of my own design here apart from the heel, and the idea of making socks to match the mittens.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

More Blocks for my Splendid Sampler

Last Saturday I had time to do whatever I wanted, so I stitched the stems for my flowers

and the antennae for my butterflies.

The Splendid Sampler QAL publishes a new block for free every Thursday and Sunday. Some blocks take a little more time, but some others are really easy. Snug as a Bug, all stitched.

Block 8, Friends around the Square,

And block 10, Iowa

I'm currently stitching the text on the Local Quilt Shop, block 9, and picking fabrics for block 11, Crocheted Thoughts.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Friday, 18 March 2016

New Sampler QAL

This week I finally started a new quilt. Not just any quilt, but a year-long, 100 block mystery Quilt-A-Long by The Splendid Sampler. Simone gave me the link and I looked at the blocks already published, and immediately wanted to join. Guess what? I'm going to use proper quilting fabrics this time. Not just scraps, but real large pieces of unused fabrics. Here are the main fabrics I'm going to use throughout the quilt. They are all from my stash, and there is so much more to take from.

My first block Hearts Aflutter

and number two,Wings. The yellow butterflies need some details to be stitched.

Block three is Lots of Love. I think I'm going to make this again as it is not quite 6½" like it should.

Block 4, Happy happy needs the stems of the flowers stitched.

Block 5 is Simple Simon

This is the last block I have made, Focal Point.

The next block will be a stitchery, and I have two more block patterns waiting. Next block will be out on Sunday so I'm not going to catch up very soon, but like they said on  the Splendid Sampler website, this is not a competition and the patterns will be available until the end of the QAL.

Last night we had some new snow so I took my knitting photo shoot outdoors:

A tiny pair from the leftover of the previous pair.

And two pairs using the knitting pattern my grandmother used on our mittens. The boys had gray with blue or green, and we girls had gray with red or yellow. There ought to have been four girl colours but I don't think grandmother had them. Maybe we had large and small versions in the same colour.