Saturday, 17 February 2018

Winter sports

Today is a sunny, snowy day, perfect for the traditional school winter break which started this weekend in Southern Finland. When I was a schoolgirl, it was called ski holiday, and the main purpose was to get the children spend lots of  time outdoors in the snow, skiing or ice skating with  their sisters and brothers and friends and getting rosy cheeks and good appetite. Now it seems that many families book a holiday in some distant sunny place instead. I was asked to knit new ski socks and mittens for the growing grandnieces who are coming to Finland for their Easter break. They will fly to Lapland where the ski season is at its best then.

Young Miss Purple's set is finished.

The hat is one of the chemo caps I have knitted, 50/50 cotton and wool, and here just completing the picture.

My niece will also get a pair of socks, just a basic pair.

Here is the other chemo cap, in a smocked butterfly pattern.

Miss Yellow's socks are finished and I'm knitting her mittens now.

Skiing is no longer my thing, sliding downhill on a piece of plastic would end in a disaster, but a little walk in the fresh air with the sun in my face feels great. I can still enjoy watching younger people having ski holiday fun, and I could even drink a cup of hot chocolate after my walk. Others can do the sporty bits!

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Product development and zipper lessons

This week I made some new bag dispensers, improving my sewing routine. I use zippers on the back so it will be easy to fill the dispenser with a whole roll of bags, and it looks neat.

Then I added something for the dog walker in the same range, tissue holders in matching fabrics. I get a runny nose easily when walking in the chilly weather so I thought these would be useful.

Many people wear a set of headphones, and as long as they don't grow out of people's ears, they sometimes need to be packed away. To avoid a tangle, they can be stored in a tiny pocket like these:

I used the almost last scraps of these fabrics and a collection of odd zippers.

The Winter has come to stay now, finally. We have some snow, some minus degrees, some clouds and some sun. Fine! I just wish we had some bird visitors at the feeder. Days go by that we don't see a single little bird. I hope they have just found a more delicious menu or a more sheltered bird feeder, and not abandoned us for any more sinister reason. There was a very snowy, very cold period earlier. A magpie may come and drop some seeds and nuts on the ground from the feeder as they are too big to sit on its edge. The hares have eaten our Spiraeas (saving us from cutting them down in April), and now they have started on the roses:

Luckily they too were waiting for pruning in the Spring. Looking from where I live, Spring is still about two months away.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Trying something new

This week I have widened my sewing range to new products. This has been a process of learning from errors, but I think I'm getting there ... some day! 
These are pouches for treats for dogs, to be worn by the person who is training them, not the dogs. Dogs could not open the snap closure and take just one treat when they have done a trick. Not even after long training, I'm sure.

The dog owners are supposed to pick up the poo after their dogs (but many of them still need some training), and these dispensers can hold an entire roll of those plastic bags for that purpose. The pouches are meant to hang from a D-ring on the lead so they are always at hand when needed.

The first collars. I'm looking for a different kind of clips. I didn't make anything for tiny dogs yet.

The leads have a fleece lining to make it more comfortable for the hand.

These leads have some reflective tape sewn on both sides to make the dog and the owner more visible for drivers when it is dark. The dogs need to go for walks early in the morning and late in the evening when it is dark outside for many months up here. The owners usually have reflectors sewn on their clothes and hanging knee high where the car lights easily catch them, but the dog can be in total darkness without a reflector.

I have been knitting too, but decided to save you all from that this time. We don't have a dog so I'm relying on expert opinions from dog owner friends for my product development.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

-19C, new snow, no wind,

and the sun is up from nine to four. Nearly a month has passed without a new blog post, the days are almost an hour and a half longer than at Christmas and we have had new soft snow on several days. This morning was cold, -19C when the sun was rising and the temperature is at the lowest. Now it is a pleasant -12C, no wind.

I took these photos of my new year's knittings before the recent snowfall. These socks are all for chemo patients, knitted in soft yarns with jojoba and aloe.

This pair is from rest balls of normal sock yarn.

So are these mittens.

But the fancy pair of fingerless mittens is alpaca yarn, soft as butter and a treat for the knitter as well.

Windy days took dry twigs and branches down from the trees.

I hope you all have had a good start of the new year!

Sunday, 24 December 2017

December 24 - Christmas Eve

Here ends my Advent Calendar 2017. Merry Christmas and warm thanks to all my readers!

Saturday, 23 December 2017

December 23 - Pale beauty

Helleborus, in Finnish jouluruusu or Christmas rose, is a lovely flower but oh so difficult to keep alive. Some people can take such care of this flower that they can plant it in the spring and enjoy the flowers later in their garden.

Friday, 22 December 2017

December 22 - Stars

Origami star by my daughter Kaija.

Eight-pointed star by me.

Fourteen pointed paper star made after Kaija's instructions.

And finally a real star in the winter sky.