Thursday, 2 September 2021

Sporty girls for the health of children

Two sporty girls have joined the Unicef family. This is Iina. She loves real horses and hobby horses. She  is wearing riding pants and a warm wool sweater and matching socks, and carries her own home made hobby horse.

The harness was a tricky project, I didn't have tiny rings for the bit so I had to do with loops instead.

Lotta is a promising young cyclist. Her skin is tanned where it has been exposed to sunlight but white below the neck where her Spandex cycling shorts and tightly fitting shirt cover it. She has taken a fall or two so her elbows, knees and right thigh still show red marks from scratches, but they are healing well. I forgot to take a photo of Lotta's shirt from the back, showing the Unicef logo, row of pockets and the number 51 pinned on both sides like the big cycling tour participants have.

Iina and Lotta are good friends and like to spend time together.

Iina will be there to cheer for Lotta at her cycling competitions and to reach her energy gels and water bottles during long rides.

And Lotta comes to the stable to see Iina on horseback, and helps her organize hobby horse show jumping events for other hobbyists.

The adoption fee of every Unicef doll goes to Unicef for vital vaccinations and other projects to make children's life healthier and safer. 

Wednesday, 11 August 2021

Project Rescue Dog Quilt

When our first grandson was a baby, I made him this quilt with 15 different dog faces.

It has been used for sleep and play, with the family's dog and a second grandson involved. It looks like some of the play has been rough: 

Just a little rough for some dogs.

But almost fatal to this one.

I still had the pattern Dog Gone Cute, so I decided to replace the three damaged blocks and use stronger fabrics this time.

It was easy to remove the blocks because I had only stitched around the blocks. This has caused the fabric hanging a bit loose, so I decided to stitch around each dog too, on every block.

Here they are again, ready for new adventures!

Thursday, 29 July 2021

Baby Boom

 This summer  has been one of small sewing and knitting projects. A real baby boom has taken me by surprise, eight new Unicef dolls have come to this world during the time my sewing room has been the coolest and most pleasant place in the house. You have seen Orvokki, the nurse, in June, and Tiina, Anni and Nelli earlier in July. After them came Karoliina in her flower frock and apron,

and Satu  wearing a baby corduroy dress and flowers in her hair.

Siiri is a sporty one. I tested my skills on an Icelandic/Norwegian style sweater for her, as they are very popular here now. People have time for bigger knitting projects while the Covid-19 restrictions continue. This was my first attempt, almost OK.

Ronja is wearing the second sweater I knitted, and here I succeeded with both the shaping and the colours better.

Here is the whole lot of them. The two on the left have already found a home through my sister, and the remaining two will join the other dolls at Villa Cooper. I hope they will find permanent homes soon too.

Now I have used all the identity cards I had from Unicef for the dolls and will have to wait a little to get more. Ideas for new dolls are already jotted down in my notebook.

Sunday, 11 July 2021

New Quilt

My new quilt is now finished and hanging on the wall.

The living room floor level is five steps higher than the floor here, so the wall is very high.

Close up showing the light grey binding. I wanted the wall hanging to look like it has always been there, not popping out in any way.

I picked the colours from this painting in the same room. Taking photos against the windows is challenging!

The hot weather is challenging too. I'm waiting for some rain and cooler weather. Just for a change, not for weeks to come. 

Thursday, 1 July 2021

School project revisited, new dolls

When we moved house last year, I came across some special notes from school days. When I was 12 or 13 years old we knitted a pair of socks in the handicraft class. (We learn to knit a potholder when we are 8, to knit and purl and knit in the round to make mittens when we are 10.) Here are my notes about making the heel, which is for many knitters the trickiest part.

We also learned to knit cables and simple lace patterns, and after making this sampler we could select our personal favourite for our own pair of socks.

I chose the simple lace pattern. As you can see, I liked the socks and wore them out.

I decided to try my notes and knit a similar pair using modern yarn.

Funnily enough, my notes didn't mention how many stitches to cast on (I figured it out from the heel instructions), nor how many stitches' repeat each pattern was. It looks like the teacher took it for granted that everyone knows how to knit a basic sock! I decided to knit the new socks in a child's size. Here they are before damp stretching.

While at the pink yarn, I knitted a simple striped pair in a woman's size.

And then I used up the beige rest from those stripes, and a brown rest yarn with an orange rest.

I ought to have chosen a smaller size, because I had not enough of the orange so I had to buy some more. So now I'm sitting here with with about 80 grams of orange yarn, not enough for a normal pair of socks. Need to dig in my yarn stash and look for stripe yarn again.

The ground floor where my sewing machine is, is the coolest place in the house. I have been spending time there too, making new dolls for Unicef. The adoption fee of each doll will guarantee the vital vaccinations for one real child. Meet the new group of three:

Tiina is a 12 year old sporty girl from the 1950's, loves cross-country skiing and swimming in the lake.

Anni loves wearing her "almost princess" dress and thinks long curly hair is overrated.

Nelli loves flowers and strawberries and other girly things.

I hope they will soon find new homes. I hope I will soon have new ideas for new dolls!

Thursday, 17 June 2021

New quilt in process

After a very long break from quilting I have started a new project. It will be a wall hanging for our living room. I wanted something modern, something not too wild.

Inspired by many half square triangle quilts with white or black backgrounds I made my decision: fabrics from my stash only, no plaids this time, preferably unused quilting fabrics instead of recycled clothes, curtains or such.

And what did use? The good side parts of two old white bed sheets for the background, some new fabrics I have bought for quilting but are meant for other purposes, and more than a handful of recycled shirt fabrics (not the heavy plaid ones, though). I think two of all the fabrics are proper quilting fabrics, the rest is something else, as usual in my quilts.

My white squares are 4½" by 6½", and the colour bits are from 4½" squares to 2½" and almost anything between those sizes.

Yesterday and today I managed to do the machine quilting, and I have prepared the binding in light grey. I must solve the hanging system problem before adding the binding.

Saturday, 5 June 2021

Ugly ducklings?

No way, they are the sweetest cygnets ever! Two or three days old here. I stayed far from them so it was difficult to catch them all in the same photo.

There they are, all seven babies. One of the parents is half diving in the muddy water for food. In a few days they will all walk together to the bigger pond in the middle of the village, where the water is clearer and where there is more food, and more space to learn takeoff and landing at the end of the summer when the parents have grown new feathers and the cygnets some muscles.

On the knitting front I have finished a new pair of bed socks for myself. The pattern doesn't look much like the original. Too late I realized that I should have used smaller needles, but the loose knit is OK for bed socks.

Seen this, tried it, now I can forget about the pattern. Maybe I finally understood that patterns requiring an extra cable needle are not for me!

Earlier this year our grandson was here and wanted to learn sewing. I thought stitching with a blunt needle on waffle cloth would be a perfect start for someone who has just turned 6.

Every single stitch is his own, on both sides of the pouch. I just sewed the sides, lining and the zipper. I still don't understand how some people can make the zipper corners so neat! This will do for the young man for now. If the inspiration comes back, he can add more rows to his stitching.

I forgot to show this scarf I have knitted using yarn from my daughter. She had knitted a biggish square in stockinette and given up before the project was finished. I took it apart, washed the skeins and knitted in this 3D pattern as far as her yarn reached.

The colour is not right here but you can see the simple pattern of knit and purl stitches. I think I will sew the ends together to make an infinity cowl for next winter.