Saturday, 29 October 2011

New way to knit

In the past couple of weeks I have been learning a new way to knit. At the bookshop, I saw this book

and I was immediately fascinated by the idea of A) knitting two socks at a time and B) starting them at the toe. Before reading the book I could not imagine how on earth the two socks can be on one circular needle and still be knitted in the tube form, but it was not only possible but also quite fun. I followed the book's instructions and knitted a practice pair of baby socks in two colours so I could always tell which sock I was working on.

Naturally I forgot to take a picture of the beginning and the heel, but here you see my tiny socks on one needle.

The heel was no more difficult than the other way around, and I avoided the hole I usually get when I start knitting the foot part after the heel is half done. One more picture showing the finished (odd) pair:

Now I just need to have courage to start another pair in adult size and calculate where I need to start adding stitches for the heel. The book has several lovely patterns.

Autumn has changed to the darker side, and the day is already over 3 hours shorter than on the autumnal equinox about six weeks ago. The colourful leaves have fallen, but luckily we are still having some sunny days.

As you see, there is still some raking to do before the snow comes and finally covers everything mercifully for many months. Last year we had the first snow in mid October and permanent snow in early November. This Autumn has been unusually long, warm(ish) and beautiful. It is perfect time to start a knitting project and let the soft wool warm your fingers in the evenings.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Friends, Gifts and Dolls

Some time ago I received a gift from my dear friend Melanie. She was in Egypt earlier this year on holiday, and bought some beautiful handwoven cotton scarves there. After she made her lovely Helping Hands quilt, she sent pieces from all those scarves to each of us whose hands are shown on her quilt. As soon as I saw my new fabrics, I knew where to look for a pattern to use them and make something nice.

I have had this Kaffe Fasset book for a long time, and the handkerchief corner quilt on the cover has always pleased me. I'll show you the results later, the idea is just maturing now. Thank you, Melanie!

This week another dear friend sent me unexpected mail. This came from Simone:

Bicycles on the wrapping paper and the stamps (for Mr. K!) and the owl must be for me.

Inside was this cute little wallhanging for Halloween. Luckily I'm not afraid of spiders or ghosts. Thank you Simone! (Without my photo editing programme I can't turn the picture, so you'll have to tilt your head.) Simone is also one of the Helping Hands friends, and you can see what she did with her scarf  fabrics from Melanie if you scroll down her post in my link.

Finally a sneak peek at my dolls I'm making as Santa's little helper. They are my newest lot of "Anna ja Toivo" -dolls for Unicef. The names Anna and Toivo are also Finnish words and mean "give" and "hope". Very appropriate for dolls used to raise money for saving children's lives by giving them inoculations. Four pretty ones are at my sister's as I have outsourced the beautician's and hairdresser's services to her for the dolls going to her granddaughters.

Only one doll has a dress by now, but two dresses are in process and ideas for the other clothing are on paper. Everyone has at least undies, and they are sitting on the sofa near the fireplace so they are not cold. I think I'll knit some socks for them tonight.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Still Crumbling Along

This Autumn I have been playing with a bag of "useless" scraps. Jo is hosting a Crumb Along to make a unique quilt in an unconventional way. First she showed how to make Flying Geese, without a ruler:

The next week's lesson was a star block. I have made Maverick Stars before, so this was easier for me. I also happened to have tiny white squares just waiting to be used.

It was the third week, I think, when we were to see the Nine Patch and Four Patch in a new way:

After that it was tricks with triangles. I used some already in the above top right corner block, they were leftovers from a quilt I made for my niece last year. I happened to cut very many triangles the wrong way and unpicked them. Luckily I had almost the required amount of fabric to cut them the right way and only one has the stripes going horizontally in the finished quilt. Now I made a bow, a Shoo-Fly, and two HST blocks in a square.

Last week's block was the Log Cabin. I need to make more blocks of all these and some crumble blocks as well, because I need 42 blocks for the centre of the quilt, plus a huge amount for the outer border.

Jo is making the outer border with Alphabet blocks, and I'm planning to make some words and maybe stars for it. I'm waiting for my book to arrive any day now. This will certainly be the scrappiest quilt I have ever made!

I'm linking in on Jo's blog. There you can find links to many other quilters who are doing their own unique versions of this fun quilt. Go and see them all!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

PIF sent, and other news

Finally I have a working system on this borrowed laptop and can show you some of my recent doings. Some time ago I sent all my PIF gifts on their way, and they have now arrived at their destinations in Australia, Switzerland and Ireland. I made them all a little tote bag using Marimekko fabric, and a smaller bag for small things.

 Barbara and Heather both received the sets shown above, and Kaite, who signed in later, got a more colourful tote (because I had used my beige for the two others):


and a knitting needle holder as I happen to know she is a knitter.

The baby sweaters went to the Black Lion Hospital in Ethiopia, to fulfill my earlier promise from 2008 to send three handmade gifts. At that time I only had two ladies to sign in for the first PIF I signed in.The Finnish Nuttu project has received nearly 50,000 baby sweaters for them in a few years, and it has spread to Switzerland as well, where the sweaters are sent to another place. I'm so happy Barbara decided to knit some sweaters too, and luckily we found a way she can join the project in her own country.

You can see here what Melanie sent me and her other PIF ladies. The pictures are at the end of the holiday post.

I had to use my photos as they came from the camera, I hope they don't take ages to upload when you read this.
I have been working on some Unicef dolls again, and on my crumble blocks, enjoying some lovely autumn days but also had rain and wind, even the first night frosts. A new post will follow soon! I hope to be able to visit you all now that the internet seems to allow me opening more than a few of them.