Wednesday 12 March 2014

Lovely Wool

Last week I had a chance to go to a class at Lentävä Lapanen, The Flying Mitten knitting café. The class was about knitting in multiple colours, and we all learned many tricks about tension and avoiding holes. Tangling yarns is just something we have to learn to live with, I think, and naturally it is good to have a pause and untangle one's yarns after a few rows. The sales representative of Rowan yarns was there all day before the class, and their yarns were 20 % off the normal price.

I knew I had seen a cardigan pattern I wanted for myself, but we just couldn't find it, not at home and not in the knitting café. The staff kindly promised me the yarns at the reduced price later, when I knew what I needed. At home I found the pattern: it had been hiding in plain sight in the shop, on the previous page in a magazine displayed for our class! On Monday I went to the Flying Mitten with my wish list.

Here is the pattern and my colours on a little stone wall in our back yard. Three kinds of granny squares in different colour combinations. The yarn is Rowan Felted Tweed DK.

Close-up of the colours. I changed some of the blue for green and a pink for the fox red. The cardigan is mostly granny squares, and my preliminary plan is to knit the parts that are in plain crochet in the original pattern. This is a huge project for me and it may take years to finish. I look at it like years of fun. Also, as the main body of the cardigan is made with granny squares, I can always add a row of them on each side if I happen to be bigger by the time it is getting finished.
March is the perfect time to clean the birdhouses for new takers. Last year we put up some new houses so there were 11 units to clean. We knew only 10 were used last Summer, but found that one of them had been used twice as there was a new nest on top of the first one. Only one birdhouse was from a shop, and it was the only one no birds had wanted. Naturally we thought that Mr K.'s houses were more beautiful, with roofing felt and protective plate around the door opening.

It turned out that there was a simple reason why no bird wanted that factory made house: it came with a "nesting contraceptive copper device":
There was this piece of plastic coated copper wire inside the house, meant to be used to hang it in a tree without nails. Mr K. used his own wire and didn't think of looking inside the house when installing it last year. (Explanation  why we thought about contraception immediately when we saw what was in the birdhouse: All IUD are called "spirals" in Finnish, and this was obviously a copper spiral, and a very large one too.)  Now the house is made clean and safe for a new couple, and we wish them a large family and happy nesting!


  1. Ah, spring and birds setting up new houses. Today we have blowing snow and no sign of spring at all. Mr. K. is such a handy guy to have around.
    I do like that sweater and I'm sure the making of it will keep you occupied for many happy hours.

  2. Yummy yarns - and I love the sweater you're planning. I'd love to see the grannies as you make them...

  3. Oh goodness I got a good laugh over the bird contraceptive! How funny. I guess "handmade is best" applies to bird houses vs. store bought! What a totally gorgeous cardigan and colors. I get tangled using a single yarn! :o)

  4. The yarn you purchased is beautiful. I think it's fun to have long term projects that you pick up and put away and pick up again. I think the birdies in your neighborhood will be very happy with all the houses and all you do for them to clean up, etc. Hugs!!

  5. Wonderful a mystery solved and a giggle as well. Your cardi is going to be a beautiful project. The Rowan yarns look beautifully soft and warm. Well done for having the courage for the project.

  6. What a gorgeous sweater to have fun with, Ulla! Not only will it be fun and pretty, but warm, too! I am laughing at the bird house contraceptive! I hope you have a lovely bird couple this year and they won't have to practice birth control - wink!

  7. Today is the first time I've gotten pictures to load. They were all worth waiting for. Mr K in the tree and a nice response to his care. Hope all the boxes have happy families this year. HA HA.
    The train socks are so nice.
    The colours and yarn are beautiful. The granny squares are not jusy your ordinary run of the mill. They will be nice to see as you go..

  8. Good luck with your new knitting project !
    It look very nice :-)
    Happy birdwatching..

  9. Lucky birds to have such choice! The colours you've chosen for the jersey are lovely- I hope you have a lovely time making it!!

  10. It was lovely catching up with you again! Many posts made me smile and inspired me. Until me next visit, my dear friend! xox


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