Tuesday 31 July 2012

At the Antique Market

On Saturday we went to see the local Antique Market here in our village. Last year was our first visit; this new location near the shops was nicer. I noticed two little teddy bears sitting on a chair.

A sweet little sewing machine with original packing. Too bad I don't collect sewing machines, not even small ones.

Forks and knives and kitchen stuff.

Cups and saucers and glasses, really rather vintage than antique. Many people collect coffee cups, especially Finnish cups.

There were old copper coffee pots, at a reasonable price.

An embroidered towel rack curtain, to hide the kitchen towels from view.

This one is for you, Simone: half a stall filled with jugendstil embroideries. I think most of them were recently made after original patterns from the beginning of last century.

Another popular collectible, blue and white butter jars from last century, manufactured by Arabia, the  best known Finnish ceramics factory.

I found one pretty little jug, but the price was about six times the sum I was ready to pay. Luckily Mr. K. found a fly fishing rod at a bargain price.

Nothing handmade by me this time? Yes, there is. Yesterday Mr. K and I picked a small bucket full of sour cherries from a tree planted by birds, and I cooked 25 small jars of cherry jam. Yum, yum!

Wednesday 25 July 2012

Time to smell the flowers

The end of the Tour was exhausting and I was too tired to even report for the final stage. Instead, I took time to smell the flowers, or at least see and notice them. My favourite bellflower the Campanula persicifolia, or "the crane's bellflower" in Finnish. Cats, magpies, deer, elks, goats, foals and even old men have their own bellflowers in Finnish.

Prunella vulgaris (common self-heal) colours our lawn with beautiful purple. Finding the link for you I learnt that this flower is edible. I have not yet tasted!

On a little shopping trip I found these delicious Autumn fabrics 20 % off the price. I tried to explain to Mr. K that 6 fabrics with 20 % off the price would mean a discount of 120 %, but he is so good with numbers that he didn't believe me.

My blanket has grown a little even after the TdF. I pick up the stitches by the side of a knitted square and join the last stitch at the end of the row to the other square's finishing row, so there will be no sewing the squares together.

This was my secret sewing during the Tour, a clothes pin apron for Simone for her birthday.

Sunday 22 July 2012

TdF day 18 and 19 - Book hunting and knitting (again)

On Friday my blanket was at this stage.

We made a little Summer trip to Hämeenlinna, a city about one hour from us.

The church is from 1798. This Summer cafe is to the left of the church.

We wanted to continue our book hunting. Mr. K. had better luck than I, but I was happy to find a copy of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in very good condition.

Yesterday was spent recovering from the trip and a lunch in town, so this post covers two days of the Tour. The knitting has grown a little:

New flowers have opened their buds in our garden:

Friday 20 July 2012

TdF day 17 - foggy day

The Tour was riding through fog yesterday. Our views are foggy too, as the new windows are covered with plastic as long as the house painters have finished their job. The new blanket is growing.

I added a white first border to the Helping Hands quilt

and now I'm going through my stash for ideas for a wider border.

Thursday 19 July 2012

TdF day 16 - knittings out of the house

I promise this is the last you will see of my baby hats. I took the lot to the local maternity ward yesterday. 31 in all, if you want to know. And even if you don't. Wool, cotton and bamboo yarns, and a set of 4 in baby acrylic.

Four knitted blankets, these are all in baby acrylic.

Five tiny preemie quilts from earlier this year, one of my PIPs.

And finally the Angel Pods.

The nurses were pleased to receive all this. More than 1,000 babies come to the world there every year. They are getting hats from other knitters too.

The Tour was too exciting yesterday , I had to watch it from the beginning to the end. The Col du Tourmalet is the first thing I remember about this Tour from many many years back. All I can do without constantly looking at my hands is knitting, so here is the result:

I had about half of the blue square knitted on the rest day, and finished last night when the red square was ready. I have several balls of both yarns so this will be a red and blue blanket.

Our apple trees are full of promises of apples. Last year there was hardly anything, so this year my cellar will be filled with apple sauce jars again.

Tuesday 17 July 2012

TdF day 15 - knitted minestrone

Yesterday's knitting was just using up the waste ends of the smallest rests of yarn:

You can read more about this yarn soup on the other blog I have joined. The group is "full" now, but you are free to steal the idea.

I have also been sewing but it is a secret project. What about our yellow rose instead:

Today the cyclists are resting and so do I. See you on Thursday!

Monday 16 July 2012

TdF day 14 - knitting again

I knitted my first square for a baby blanket. I was shocked about the sabotage on the other Tour.

Sunday 15 July 2012

TdF day 13 - cotton stripes

Approaching the Mediterranean, I thought a cotton knit would be cooler. This will definitely be the last baby hat for now, before some new yarn jumps my way.

We are having typical summer weather, alternating sun and rain. The grey clouds look so dark when there is a little sunshine. At the moment it is pouring again.

Saturday 14 July 2012

TdF day 12 - The last pink one, with yellow

I weighed the last ball rest of the pink yarn, and added the pale yellow yarn I had left, and knew I could make yet another preemie beanie/cap/hat (pick the name you prefer, I call them myssy):

Mango and strawberry ice cream, don't you think?

Wild strawberries from our back yard this morning. Yummy!

Did you see what happened to David Moncoutie yesterday on the Tour? Broken collarbone and bleeding all over. If this can happen to experienced cyclists, can you wonder why I never learnt to ride a bicycle. When trying to learn as a kid, I fell over at least twice, and the second time I was bleeding. Who knows what could have happened the third time. Better safe than sorry.

Friday 13 July 2012

TdF day 11 - Madeleine

The first BIG summit yesterday was Col de la Madeleine, and I thought it would be a nice name for this heart pattern I designed. The last rest of the pink yarn was 5.8 g, not enough for even a tiny hat. Luckily I had a last rest of the yellow fine yarn as well, so a new hat is being knitted today.

Thursday 12 July 2012

TdF day 10 - Helping Hands progress

Tuesday was rest day and this is my Wednesday TdF post. With no TV on Tuesday, I managed to spend some time at the cutting table and sewing machine. I matched some solids for sashings:

and put together the Helping Hands quilt. The top is hanging in the window, the horizontal stripes are from the blinds.

Here a closer view. What next? I need borders and outer borders to make the quilt bigger.

The obligatory preemie hat of the day:

Today there will be some serious mountains to reach! Happy Tour to you all.

Tuesday 10 July 2012

TdF day 9 - pink

A new preemie hat on the needles.

Monday 9 July 2012

TdF day 8 - still knitting

Yesterday on TV there was the F1 race going on at Silverstone at the same time as the Tour de France climbed mountains in Switzerland. At times I concentrated on closing my ears and keeping my eyes on the knitting, and when the cycling was on, I just enjoyed the combination of Eurosport and knitting. I tiny hickup happened with the pattern but this time I decided it can be left as it is.

The first tiny tomatoes are there. If you look carefully, you can see there is one against the stem on the left.

Sunday 8 July 2012

TdF day 7 - Grandmother's knitting pattern

Some time ago I showed the unfinished mittens I have kept as a piece of history. Yesterday I took my knitting needles and some yarn ends and started experimenting. This was my first try but something went wrong and I started again.

This time I believed in myself and solved the mystery. You only use one colour at a time, knit all rows and change colour after two rows. Number of stitches can be divided by 4. So here it goes: knit two rows in colour 1 (my red), then  row 3: *knit 3 stitches in colour 2 (white), lift one* repeat to the end of the row. Row 4: knit all white stitches, lift the red stitch with the yarn on your side of the stitch, repeat to the end of the row. Row 5: Change to colour 1, knit 1, *lift 1, knit 3*, knit the last stitches of the row. Row 6: Knit all red stitches, lift the white as on  row 4. Repeat the rows 3 to 6.

My pattern writing language is not what the patterns usually are, but if yo really are interested, just try to follow it and write it for yourself in the correct language. As you can see, I can now knit like my grandmother used to:

The 3-coloured pattern was easier. I must be knitted in circular rounds either on DPNs or a circular needle. Again, only one colour is used at a time, and number of stitches something by 4. Row 1, knit in the background colour. Row 2:* knit in colour 1 (red) 3 stitches, lift one*, repeat. Row 3: like row 3, you will lift the same white stitches. Row 4: knit all stitches in background colour (white). Row 5: knit in colour 2 (blue): knit one, lift one., *knit 3, lift one*, and knit the last two stitches in blue. Row 6: Like row 5. Repeat the rows 1 to 6.  - Both patterns make the mittens warmer than just plain stitching, and there are no long yarns inside to catch the little fingers.

After the fine wool I wanted to knit something with bigger needles. I used all my colourful cotton ball ends, starting at the top with the tiniest scraps:

This hat will be for a strong little baby.

Today "we" will be cycling in the mountains again.

Saturday 7 July 2012

TdF day 6 - baby hat

The 6th day of the Tour was warm and sunny here. The cyclists were approaching the mountains and that will make watching them more interesting. I worked only on the knitting project and finished the pink hat finally.

This is the 25th preemie hat I made this Spring and Summer, and as you can see the collection calls for some more pink hats. The 50 g ball has 310 m yarn so I think I can make two, maybe three more.

Have you seen the other Tour de Fibre projects? List of links is here or here.