Monday, 11 December 2017

December 11 - More of Villa Cooper

We have come to the other end of the dining room. The beautiful cupboard is filled with angels.

Blue wreaths - our theme is Blue and White Christmas this year.

More of the blue and white things. Many of these participated in our "My gift for Finland" competition.

Little Christmas trees for the tree or table.

Fabric hearts in many colours.

To be continued ...

Sunday, 10 December 2017

December 10 - Villa Cooper revisited

Welcome again to Villa Cooper! These wreaths hang by the entrance, where they will keep fresh. They are perfect for welcoming guests at your door.

The dining table was covered with handmade candles is all sizes and colours.

Wreaths for indoor use, and tonttu elves in many sizes and materials.

Modern versions of himmeli. This link is in Finnish but the photos show the basic construction of any himmeli. You need straw, linen thread and a needle and scissors!

Come again tomorrow and I will show you some more!

Saturday, 9 December 2017

December 9 - So few colours

When the sun doesn't show and there is snow on the ground, there are very few colours around us in the nature.

Some of our roses have bright red rose hips. I wonder if birds will come and eat them?

Friday, 8 December 2017

December 8 - Tracks in the snow

When there is new snow, you can see what has been going on in the garden.
Hare's paths crossing:

Squirrel's basic jump:

Squirrels' dance around the black currant bush:

And hares have been barbering our Spiraea japonica Little Princess:

Luckily they bloom in the new growth so we can cut the rest, if any, down in the Spring and have pretty bushes again.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

December 7 - Snow or Water

Our weather doesn't seem to know whether this should be Winter or Autumn. Rain and snow alternate, and the lakes and ponds freeze over and the next day they are open again.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

December 6 - Independence Day

Today is the 100th Anniversary of Finland's independence.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

December 5 - Rowan, lime and birch

The rowan berries are waiting for birds to come and eat. Waxwings may come in big flocks.

Lime trees sometimes keep their seed long into the winter.

Birch bath brooms at the Christmas market. Made after Midsummer, they have been put to dry in a dark place and will feel soft and fresh after a soak in hot water. A special treat for the Christmas sauna bath!

Monday, 4 December 2017

December 4 - Christmas Market

Today we are still at the Christmas Market in Järvenpää. There was a carousel!

And a big Christmas tree. It was almost sunny and the event was at noon, so the lights were not on yet.

Have you seen my daugher Kaija's amazing matchbox art non-christmassy advent calendar yet? She is posting a new piece of art every day until Christmas Eve. Here is where you get started: Paperiaarre .

Sunday, 3 December 2017

December 3 - Santa came to town

Yesterday was the opening of the Christmas market in Järvenpää. As usual, Santa himself came too, in his old sleigh. The weather conditions being what they are, an amphibian model has been developed:

Sand or snow, Santa will get there! Mrs. Santa stayed in the sleigh while her husband was greeting the children. In front of the sleigh was their faithful Finnhorse Uuras. In the link you can also read about the important role of these horses during the WW II

Children could fondle him and he looked like he was smiling!

Santa greeted everyone, and maybe he received some hand delivered letters with gift wishes here too. In Helsinki a few days ago during his visit Britain's Prince William brought Santa a letter from his four-year old son George!

Saturday, 2 December 2017

December 2 - Rainy days

This Autumn has been exceptionally wet, with rain and wet snow and more rain so the soil can hardly take it any longer.

Trying to see the beauty in this dark wetness I happened to look at the biggest puddle in our yard, and I saw the refection of trees in the clear water at a moment when it didn't rain.

Friday, 1 December 2017

December 1 - Socks On Line

It is this time of the year again. Some people are waiting for the holiday season with excitement and joy, some are stressed and some just couldn't care less. Five times I have made my own advent calendar on this blog, with a photo posting and a few words every day until December 24th, and I thought it would be nice to do it again. Today I have socks hanging on the wash line, just for the photo shoot. Up here in Finland where Santa lives, we don't hand them on the mantelpiece for Christmas.

Santa comes to the door and meets the family by the tree, or if he is busy he just leaves the gifts behind the door. No way could he come through the chimney, because when there is no fire burning, the chimney is closed by shutters to avoid the warmth from escaping.

If you are interested in a really lovely, non-christmassy advent calendar, you should visit my talented artist daughter's blog and/or instagram. She will post her matchbox art every day until Christmas, and her Etsy shop Paperiaarre is filled with beautiful things. You just might find the perfect gift for a friend there.

I hope to see you again tomorrow!

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Quilter's block

Once again, I seem to have a "quilter's block", which doesn't mean that I'm producing quilt blocks day in, day out, but quite the opposite. There are lists of quilts I would love to make, great patterns and lovely own design thoughts, but the fabrics stay in their boxes, rulers are sadly hanging on the wall, and the sewing machine gathers dust.

My way of dealing with this problem is, naturally, knitting. And doing it like my mother did with her knitting and sewing, trying to get the most of a small amount of material, and still pleasing the eye. Here I used rests of some yarns I used earlier this Autumn for men's socks. The mottled green and the dark green were very close, so making wide stripes with just those two would not have looked good. I separated them with thin grey stripes. Then I still needed the very last meters of the dark green for alternate rows with the mottled one to cover the toes. There it is, the biggest possible pair of socks out of those yarns.

Next there was the dark blue from the lime and dark blue socks, and the greyish blue from some other projects. I just knitted the legs as long as the lighter blue allowed. There is nothing of it left, but the dark blue will reappear in some stripes later.

Here I used the "knit as far as the yarn allows"  method again, this time it was the light grey that needed to be used up. This is the first project where I have used the second one of my own grandmother's traditional patterns which I managed to repeat and put in writing . They make a warm knit without having to run two yarns at the same time, and without long loops on the reverse. If you click on the link, you can find the pattern in the text.

As you can see, our black and wet landscape is covered in white snow for at least some days. It started snowing during the night, and it continues. Every day is 4 minutes shorter than the previous one, but in a few weeks the sun begins to set at the same time every day, in preparation for the winter solstice on the 21st of December.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

New fabrics, new month

At the beginning of this month Mr K.'s sister came to stay with us for some days, and look what she brought me:

A bundle and some more of Kaffe Fasset fabrics. My plan is to look for a pattern in the Kaffe Fasset quilt books I have in my own shelf, and make something nice for her. These are definitely her colours.

Naturally I have been knitting again. This time I bought a ball of navy blue sock yarn with aloe, and used it with a rest ball of lime green yarn for a pair of socks for my youngest son. There is enough of the blue for another pair for a child, or for a bigger pair with some other colour. Matching yarns for new socks is fun, like shopping in my own yarn boxes.

The rest of the pale pink from my last sock posting was enough for the stripes in this pair I called Vanilla and Raspberry.

All snow is gone for now, it has been raining but there have been some sunny days too. On the cloudy days these flowers make the world look brighter.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

First Snow

The first snow is here.

It has its own scent, something cold and very fresh and moist.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

It is getting colder

On Tuesday morning we had a very strange sun in the cloudy sky. It looked more like the moon through a thin layer of clouds.

But it was an orange sun, and the cloud was sand from Sahara and soot and ash from the forest fires in Spain and Portugal.

I have finished the projects I had on my needles for the Wool Day. This is a pair of fingerless mittens in 50% wool, 50% alpaca. Warm and lovely and soft and not itchy at all.

This gathered more people, I was working on the heels and the visitors couldn't believe how easily they were knitted on the one long circular needle. This is sock yarn, 80 % wool and 20% polyamide.

Today our grandson had an outing for men only, all three generations together made a fire in the backyard and they grilled sausages on sticks together. It is getting colder, just a few degrees above freezing point during the day. Everyone had red cheeks and a cold nose when they came in for afternoon tea.

The last yellow leaves are falling, this was like a lace curtain.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Wool Day at Villa Cooper

On Saturday we had a special Wool Day at Villa Cooper. In spite of the rainy weather it was a success, many interested people came to see our demonstrations of various techniques like spinning

or knitting or crocheting. I was there with my two socks at a time, or alternatively two mittens at a time.

The real attraction was a wool fashion show. Our own members were showing knitted and crocheted garments and accessories made by our members and available right there.

These are designed and knitted by machine by Riitta Liski

The silk scarf above and the little bag below are by other members.

There was  something flattering for every model, and perfectly matching accessories were all from our shelves.

Someone with an eye for detail can really create perfect outfits.

Here is one of the hand knitted sweaters combined with a machine knitted skirt and a hand dyed silk scarf.

I hope you enjoyed the samples of our show. Our Facebook has more pictures from the event.

We have had the first night frost, and the need for fingerless mittens is here to stay. I knitted one pair in dark grey for those who don't want colours

and then I developed the idea of Aino'S mittens and created Aino S 2.0 fingerless mittens for the modern girl who needs to fumble with her smart phone anywhere and in any weather:

Enjoy your new week!