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.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

New Socks and my New Dress

For the last two weeks I have been mainly sitting in front of the TV and watching the Tour de France with Mr K. Such a project requires something useful for the hands to do on autopilot, so I knitted this pair of socks. I tamed the "Lawn" colour with a variegated black/grey yarn and used this pattern. I love making new  (to me) kind of heels, trying to find my favourite. Thank you for the link, Candace!

After our cold June in finally felt like I could wear a dress on a day or two this Summer, and that inspired me to finally finish this WIP. I got this dress from my mother many years ago with the parts just basted together. Since cutting the fabric she had diminished in size so much that there was no chance for her to make it fit. At the open college I took a course "Let's make a skirt", and with the teacher's help I was able to make all necessary alterations, cut and baste, stitch and serge until it was just right for me. I love the loose fitting dress that covers my knees properly and doesn't still feel or look like an old potato sack.

Matching colours in my flower box. I planted the basil here when it was starting to wither in the kitchen, and it looks better than the day I bought it at the green grocers' in June.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Yarn Graffiti in the Garden of Villa Cooper

About a month ago I promised you pictures of the knitted art in the garden of Villa Cooper. While I was in the office filing papers, Mr K. was taking photos on my camera outdoors.
This big sign says "Hand Made", and it comes from our old shop by the lake.

Knitted stones.

My granny triangles in pink and grey.

Crocheted spirals. I remember these from kitchen towels in the 70's.

Knitted chair, quite charming!

My little knitted bunting between two pines.

Five weeks of rain and wind have not done any damage.

A Granny gazebo!

I could imagine a sweet old granny serving afternoon coffee, and cordial for the grandchildren, with freshly baked cinnamon rolls here.

All this has been done in broad daylight, as this is our garden and our rules.

No ski masks or boot polish were required. No growing trees or bushes were hurt. The pompoms in this oak tree are yarn wrapped around a foam core so they are very light.

Visitors have admired our free knitted (and crocheted) art exhibition. This was only a part of all the lovely details. I hope you enjoyed it too and picked up some ideas for your own environment.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Summer Knitting

This skein of hand dyed Lempi sock yarn from Lentävä Lapanen, the Flying Mitten, has been waiting for inspiration since March. It is a lovely yarn from a rare Finnish land race sheep Kainuu Grey, specially made for the Flying Mitten in colours designed by Taina, one of the owners.
I tried a new lace pattern, from toe to top, two at a time. I started the heel too late, and the leg, where there is lace also in the back, became too tight at certain points of the lace pattern. I wasn't so sure about this before the socks were finished.

I unravelled both socks beyond the heel and started again. Here are the soles and the beginning of the heel. The weather has been almost chilly, we had the coldest latter part of June ever. Prolonging a woolly knitting project suits the weather just fine.

Last night I finished them again, with a happy end. My pattern had a link to a great bind off for toe to top socks here.

In my new version I made the gusset longer to get more stitches around my ankle.

No more lace on the backside, just a stretchy k1 p1. The socks feel super nice and so did the yarn while I was knitting. There is some lanoline left in the yarn because it has been treated so gently throughout the whole process from fleece to needles.

Melanie has just knitted her pair with this yarn in another colour way, go and have a look if you haven't already.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Revealed secrets

In March the our local knitting café Lentävä Lapanen, the Flying Mitten, hosted their first secret swap. Of course I participated, and now I can reveal my gifts. This is what I made for my secret friend for her small knitting supplies:

The zippered pocket is for stitch markers like the ones here made with old Lego blocks. Under the scissors is another pocket, the knitting needle gauge goes there. As my first gift to her I made her two holders for her double pointed knitting needles, using the same red floral.

And this was my main gift, a pair of wool socks in her size and her favourite colour.

We all gave some information about ourselves, like favourite colour, yarn and needles, and shoe size (for obvious reasons!).  Having no idea of the friend's age, other hobbies or other details, it was easiest to think about the knitting hobby we all share.

I also challenged my secret friend to knit a pair of Train Socks for the new babies in town using the pattern and yarn I sent her, and was very glad to hear she took the challenge and has almost finished her pair.
The secret friend who sent me her gifts was not the same lady who received my mail. Here is what I got. First a crocheted flower with some heart chocolates. Yummy! I'm thinking of yarn bombing the town with this flower too. And by the way, it was noon when I left the red flowers shown in my last post, so the boot polish would have made me look very suspicious! Also, the darkness lasts only little over an hour these days, so no hope for real darkness until August. People were not paying any attention, or just smiling, because I look quite harmless even with tiny scissors in my hand.

The next month brought me this grass green yarn, hand dyed in Finland, and a bag full of useful stitch markers. The yarn will be used for a pair of socks for someone special.
The last parcel from her contained some useful kitchen items. The grey dishcloth and scrubber are knitted in linen (at least it feels like it), and the factory made sponge dishcloth has a funny text. The red pouch could be used  for toiletry or for a small work in process. The handmade lime soap with a built-in sponge adds a nice touch of luxury. Thank you, Secret friend!
Everyone sent photos of their gifts received to the Flying Mitten and they were published on their website without names to keep it all hush hush until the end of May. At the beginning of June the Flying Mitten invited us all to the café to meet each other. Unfortunately I was unable to participate, but I believe the meeting was a great success. The lady who received my gifts even left a gift for me at the meeting in the knitting café, some delicious home-made rhubarb jam and nice hand cream. Kiitos, Karita!
The weather has been odd this Summer: yesterday we had +2C/35F, and sleet and hails:
Today I met with an old friend from the time we were students together, and I gave her a couple of washcloths in my favourite patterns:
The Raindrop is from here, and the Bee Stitch is from here. I knitted both a little larger than the pattern and used pearl stitch in the borders of the Raindrop. Bamboo yarn is just lovely for these, so soft and it has antibacterial qualities and can be washed in the machine.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Old bags and flowers

Remember the boots with flowers last year?

The same group of people and local enterprises collected old handbags and other bags for this year's project, and the florist shop donated one plant for every special bouquet they sold over the year. Suddenly, there were a thousand plants and hundreds of bags waiting to decorate what they called the ugliest spot of the town, the wire net fence of a sand and grass parking lot in the heart of the town.

Let's have a closer look: 

Some hard to use bags are without flowers just filling gaps.

When I took the photos, the flowers had been here over their first weekend. I couldn't see any damage done to them.

I wouldn't use this idea in our own garden, but here it works.

The flowers will grow a little and bloom all Summer.

The sign tells the names of the shops which will take care of watering the flowers. Our favourite knitting café Lentävä Lapanen, The Flying Mitten, is among them. - Ooh, if you just love their yarn collection, you can look here, it's their new online shop.

One more bag used as a flowerpot:

Last year there was knitted (and crocheted) graffiti in the streets as well, and I felt a little rebellious and started a project alone.
I only had these two flowers, one for the rail and the other for a tree.

I can see them every time I come from the train to town.

This year the garden of Villa Cooper is showing knitted art as a part of the Summer exhibition. I knitted some little flags for a bunting and crocheted some granny triangles too, in grey and in a muted pink.
I promise to take some pictures the next time I go there!
A dear friend had a new granddaughter, just when I was trying out a fun baby hat pattern, Aviatrix by Justine Turner, so I had a perfect little welcome gift for her finished in no time.

Little yarn rests for the flowers, matching the button.