Saturday, 20 February 2010

Knitting, sewing and reading

After having finished the Christmas Wish stitching I needed another handwork for the evenings in front of the TV. I had bought a ball of deep purple wool for mittens to be felted, and I started knitting them on number 8 needles. It was fun and fast, and soon I noticed that I need another ball to finish the other mitten. Easier said than done, because deep purple was an autumn/winter colour, and now the shops have new colours for the spring. Deep purple was nowhere to be found.  I wanted the mittens to look like a pair, so I unknit the mittens (one with thumb and all), and started new ones with stripes.


The yarn will shrink about 40 % when washed at 40C, I just must remember to put plastic bags inside the mittens so there will be a place for my hands left between the layers!


I like using these thick needles. They make the knitting go very fast, and tonight I can start knitting both thumbs.

My other "not sewing project", the tatting, needs a lot of practice. On Thursday evening in sewing class I asked our techer Anne show me what I was doing wrong, and she showed me nice and perfect stitches. It looked easy, but when I started trying again, it was as difficult as before. The only thing that helps is practice! Be patient, I will show you pictures when there is something to show.

Last night I started sewing a draft stopper for our kitchen door. Snow doesn't melt on the threshold, as there is just a little space between the outer and inner door and it is so cold outside. I used 1.5 m of fabrics from my stash, and some of the contents of an old bean bag.

 

The bag is chinz from my sister P, and the inner bag with two compartments is from her polyester department. The dust container of my Dyson vacuum cleaner is full of those beans; I must empty it inside a plastic bag outdoors to get rid of the little white bastards. This morning's temperature was -23C (-9.4F), and the below freezing point temperatures have lasted uninterrupted from late December. The coming week is Winter holiday for schools in Southern Finland, traditionally guaranteed to be a snowy and cold week so the children have a chance to ski and skate.
 I'm currently reading Winter Holiday by Arthur Ransome.  I heard about the Swallows and Amazons from Melanie last year, followed her excursions on Lake Coniston in Ransome's  wake, and read through all her links. I borrowed the first book from our local library, but most of them were never translated, so I wrote to Santa and he sent me the first four books for Christmas. Darling Melanie sent me last week a book by the photographer Jon Sparks, Arthur Ransome's Lake District, and now I can see the actual places of the charming adventures the books are about. They are much better than Enid Blyton's Famous Five, which I was reading when I was young.

I have not only been knitting and reading and playing with the beanbag: number of string blocks for Stephanie's challenge is today 63.

 

I was afraid I was running out of solid dark blue fabric, but when I was getting the chintz from my green box I looked in the dark blue box on top of it, and found not just one but two suitable candidates for the missing blocks. Hip hurrah!

12 comments:

  1. My hubby has trouble with SAD from lack of light in the winter, and we get WAY more hours of light here in the winter than you do. I was telling him a little while ago about your post of the long dark hours of winter in Finland.

    He said, "That's why the Vikings were always traveling AWAY from there."

    I said, "I'm not sure the Vikings were from Finland."

    He said, "They were from all over up in there."

    See what historians and geographers WE are around here!! HA!

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  2. Love your string quilt and your mittens!

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  3. Sorry you didn't manage to find the matching wool to felt. I hate unpicking knitting and sewing.

    Great work on the blue strips. Brilliant that you found more blue for the centre strip.

    I've seen draught excluders with the stuff you put in cat litter trays weighing down the bottom. I like your idea of reusing bean bag contents too.

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  4. Well I think the stripes are very snazzy! :o) I got a morning giggle about the white bastards. Those things are filled with static too and the cling to everything. I need one of those draft stoppers in the basement. Great idea. I really like how you're being consistent with the dark piece in your blocks. Very visually appealing.

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  5. That quilt is going to be a truly beautiful piece!

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  6. I love 'Winter Holiday' and read it almost every year! I grew up on Arthur Ransome books, as did my Dad, I used to take my siblings on adventures pretending to be John, Susan, Titty and Roger, and Dick and Dorothea when the neighbours joined us!!
    Tatting is jolly hard, more power to your elbow! And your mittens are looking good- I think striped knitwear is very cheerful!
    I am thinking that I will copy you and make a small version of your string pieced quilt next, but probably in two colours- to use up the ends of the pink and something else to stretch it...green perhaps?

    Oh, and where did you come across 'the Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady'? Did it get to Finland, or did you see it on your travels? I'm soo curious!

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  7. I've been catching up on you...your embroidered cloths are lovely and I think it is so nice that you and your Mother both worked on the one. I have some my Great grandmothered embroidered and some she made crochet lace to edge, such items mean a LOT I think. And your china bowl and basket are so dinky!and pretty! Such a shame your sister gave you MORE fabric- oh my! what will you do???!!!!!!

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  8. Heia Ulla. Lot of things is going on at you place.. I realy realy love your stripquilt , it is so beatiful. I can very well understand that you have made a doorstopper, very clever done. Spring will be very welcome this year ;-))

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  9. There is a little envy about your energy,when reading how busy you are, knitting, tatting and sewing. Your stripequilt will be beautiful! Isn't it important to have a big, big stash of fabrics ;-) ? Lucky you, having found the missing and finally matching fabrics for your quilt. We finally now have temperatures around 0°C, after a long and very frosty winter (almost like in Finland).

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  10. I am glad that you mention Arthur Ransome's books, including Swallows and Amazons. incidentally, you also mention Enid Blyton's Famous Five books. in my opinion, in some instances, Enid Blyton was inspired by Arthur Ransom's Swallows and Amazons in creating her very cherished Famous Five. As a person that admired Enid Blyton's books in childhood, I decided to publish a book on her, titled, The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage (www.bbotw.com).
    Stephen Isabirye

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  11. I am glad that you mention Arthur Ransome's books, including Swallows and Amazons. incidentally, you also mention Enid Blyton's Famous Five books. in my opinion, in some instances, Enid Blyton was inspired by Arthur Ransom's Swallows and Amazons in creating her very cherished Famous Five. As a person that admired Enid Blyton's books in childhood, I decided to publish a book on her, titled, The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage (www.bbotw.com).
    Stephen Isabirye

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  12. Hi there! Just checking in to see if there is any new tatting. I read that you had another class. I am looking forward to seeing your tatting even if they are not perfect even stitches I hope you show your work here. It is okay if it is not perfect! You are learning! Keep tatting!
    ~TattingChic ♥

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