Tuesday, 14 August 2018

New projects, old patterns

Young boys sometimes want to work like big men, and when they do, it helps to have the proper kind of clothing as well as the necessary tools. Many jobs require hanging pockets, both front and back, and that is what I have sewn for some special young men I know. The pencil pocket can take a carpenter's pencil, and the hanging pockets are big enough for a very small notebook. I used soft denim used for shirts, as the boys are still little. I used the pattern of a regular children's vest and figured out the pockets from Mr K.'s vest. The back seam can later be opened if the boys still want to wear their vests when they have grown a year or two.

After the big and warm blanket knitting I have moved to finer yarns and knitted another baby hat using up the two rest balls of soft blue yarn.

Then I had some yarn left from Miss Purple's socks and knitted her new wrist warmers for the new school year.

Now on the needles is a luxury yarn I got for my birthday months ago from a dear friend. Right now the lace pattern is being checked and rechecked before I start unraveling to find out why the row doesn't end like it should. I will show you the result when I have knitted to the end of that yarn.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Flower corner once again

I almost forgot to show you this year's "flower pots" in the ugliest corner of Järvenpää. The local businesses and organizations have used their imagination for the sixth time: in 2017 they used rag rugs, in 2016 chairs, in 2015 bicycles, in 2014  old bags and in the first year, 2013, rubber boots. This year they have attached mail boxes for the flowers in the fence

and added little painted houses.

Today there is a big building site across the street. The old buildings have been torn down but since then nothing has happened. Maybe this side is no longer the ugliest corner after all!

I managed to sew together the 30 knitted squares, one row is hanging on the other side. Somehow I mixed the arrangement and the less striped blocks are not together in the middle like I meant them to be.

I crocheted two rows around the blanket to help keep it in shape.

My next project will be something cooler!

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

End of Tour ...

...de France and my own Tour de Knit. I could wear a Yellow Jersey too, because I'm a winner as well. Last week I found these blueish sock yarns in a little plastic bag in my sock yarn box, and used them for the last couple of squares needed for the blanket. Without these I would not have met my goal.

This is what is left of my sock yarn rests for 3.5 mm needles now. 

And this is what I managed to knit with the rests I had plus some new balls. 30 squares, all ends sewn in by now.

This week I need to arrange them nicely and sew them together. That will be the warmest part of the project! We have tried to keep cool with the sound of water from our new garden pond. Too bad is is too small for swimming!

Friday, 20 July 2018

Sock Yarn Challenge taken

In June I collected information about knitting projects for different charities to share with other knitters on WWKIP Day. In my own stash I found some squares I had knitted for what we call Mother Teresa's blankets. Originally they were sent to her organization in India but today most blankets are sent to the Finnish Red Cross and delivered to victims of catastrophes all over the world. One blanket is made of 30 squares, and they are a perfect way to use rest yarns from other projects. My friend Melanie has challenged herself to use up her sock yarns, and I decided I could do the same, limiting the challenge to the heavier yarns with 75 % to 100 % wool.

I have now used almost all my heavier rest yarns, trying to scatter the colours so that the last squares would not all be grey with beige.

When the small balls were nearly all used, I took some bigger ones from my sock yarn box, and bought a couple of new ones when they were on sale.

Here I used the tiniest bits, just enough to make two rows in a corner. My challenge is also to get all 30 squares knitted while the Tour de France lasts and we spend a lot of time watching TV, as usual in July every year.

This Summer has been the hottest I can remember. Lovely for the flowers, but very tiring for elderly people like me ;o).

Sunday, 1 July 2018

New finishes

Remember the treasures my daughter sent me and I just found recently? The light beige knitting with needles sticking in was a beautiful lace scarf in the making, and the yarn lovely Rowan Kidsilk Haze. The reason it had remained a WIP was the complicated pattern with a hickup neither she or I could trace. I didn't want to waste the beautiful yarn so I unraveled her knitting as far as I could.

Because it is a mohair yarn, it was rather difficult to unravel, and I had to leave some of it as it was. Then I rinsed the skein I had made and dried it, and thinking of cobwebs on grass in an early morning I looked for a lace pattern I could keep track on.

Then I found this pattern, bought a number 4 circular needle that is as smooth as can be, and started knitting. I used all the yarn there was and was surprised to see how big the shawl finally was. light like a cobweb, a little over 60 grams I think it is.

Then I finally quilted the Windy Day quilt I made for our grandson number 2.

Detail of the fabrics.

Today I'm fighting with a puckering backing of the next quilt I'm trying to quilt on my machine. Rip, rip, rip ...

Blogger has stopped sending me the comments by email. It makes answering back more complicated, and I'm trying to change back to receiving them on my email again.

Edit: Now the comments are coming to my email again. Thank you for your help, Radka!

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Knit in Public Day at Villa Cooper

Today was the day when knitters in 560 events in 53 countries gathered in parks, shops and other public places to knit together and to make the world a better place. We knitted at Villa Cooper, in the lovely big garden.

We had received lots of yarns ad other crafty materials as a donation, and auctioned them as the main attraction of our KIP Day.

We will pay it forward and give the money for local mental health work.

As you can see, the weather was sunny and so warm that we could sit and knit in the garden. Many knitters came to attend the day. I was able to give them different patterns for knitted bunnies and baby sweaters, and the address where to send the finished items.

I hope we can do this again next year, with more ideas and more knitters!

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Quilt for a boy

It took me long but the quilt top is finally finished.

This will be big (120 x 150 cm) for our new grandson now but he can use it for years when he has grown a little first. I think he will like to look at the swing and the dog, find the different birds and all the little critters in jars and on leaves.

I'm organizing a Knit in Public event with our Villa Cooper club on the 9th of June, and it has kept me busy. We will be showing ways to knit for different charities, and I knitted this Apupupu bunny for the Finnish Red Cross as one example. These soft toys are added to deliveries of children's clothes sent to different parts of the world where help is needed after catastrophes.

We will also auction crafty materials for mental health work, and have table for yarns and needles and such to bring and take for free. I just hope this warm weather we have had for weeks will also help us then to get many visitors and enable picnic style knitting in the lovely garden. A popup cafe will hopefully also attract visitors.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Hidden treasure

Last week Mr K. had brought in a big cardboard box when he was reorganizing our storage. I had a sneak peek to see what was in it. Ooh! It was unbelievably lovely, everything was like hand picked for my taste. I thought it was like a dream come true ... well, before I thought of where to put it all.

A few seconds later I understood this loot was what he had brought for me last Autumn when our daughter Kaija moved to Helsinki and told me she was sending me "some yarn and scraps for fabric" she didn't need. (The fabrics need another post.) As I had not seen the box on its arrival I had forgotten all about it, maybe because I had enough yarn to keep me busy. Now the treasure box really made my day!
You can see that she had some unfinished projects, with needles and patterns and the necessary yarn.

It took me about half an hour to knit the thumbs for the mittens:

And two evenings, some trial and error, to make the second sock approximately the same size as the one she had finished. I needed to use smaller needles.The leg part was finished, I just knitted the foot in the darker yarn. Alpaca, lovely to knit. All the yarns in Kaija's box were really good quality.

Finishing other people's UFOs can be very satisfying, as I don't have the experience of the problem that made them stay unfinished. The pale beige mohair lace scarf may be tricky, as Kaija told me there is an error somewhere. Finding and fixing it may be difficult, and unraveling that kind of yarn is no child's play! I did unravel two of her UFOs, a fingerless mitten crocheted so tightly that I have no chance to create the missing pair, this is the brownish curly skein on the left of the thumbless mittens, and a black circle crocheted to make a hat. There was a big ball of that yarn, so I can give it a try and make her a black beret. At the moment I'm knitting something with the red self striping yarn from the top photo. 
This sock yarn I have knitted earlier is also self striping:

Suddenly we have Summer temperatures and I have planted the first summer flowers.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Plus size quilt top

Finally I have finished a new quilt top! I even managed to make a little dent in my recycled shirt stash with it. I used all kinds of  light greys and creams, and red plaids and one plain red, as this quilt is for the Finnish Red Cross. 

Getting that step out of the way, I can now concentrate on a baby quilt using these fabrics I have cherished for many years. It will be a boy quilt, with worms and bugs but also with some hearts or flower petals.

We have been travelling abroad too, and for the long waiting hours at airports I had of course a book but also a knitting. I knitted the striped chemo caps during the trip and the plain ones at home.

Two new baby hats have been finished too. There is a little yarn left from a 50 g ball in all my baby hat yarns, so I think there will be a pink-blue-and-white striped hat on the needles sooner or later.

The little misses Purple and Yellow spent a fine holiday in Lapland before Easter with their family, and the girls learned to ski, make snow castles, roll in the snow to refresh during a sauna bath, and to have Winter fun like native Finnish children. For this, the socks and mittens I knitted for them were naturally useful, and so they wanted to thank me with this:

100 % Irish wool to knit something for my own use! I think I need to dare take a step into the unknown and learn to knit some Celtic cables in a scarf or something like that.

Weather report: This morning we had -4C, today is sunny but not warm, on Wednesday we had rain for most of the day. The snowdrops and tiny yellow crocuses are the only flowers up in the garden. By the roadside we can see bright yellow coltsfoot dots where the sun has been shining.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Spring colours in snow, and some nalbinding news

On Easter Monday we had a snowfall that lasted all day. Nothing fancy, just tiny flakes or larger ones, slowly or with a wind, but by the evening we had about 20 cm new, fresh snow covering the dirty old, melting snow. The next day was sunny and lovely, so I took my newest fingerless mittens and other knittings out for a photo shoot.

From the rest yarns of the mittens I knitted some baby hats for a charity.

Then I made a group photo of the yellowish chemo therapy caps. I used the last remnants together with a light grey yarn for a striped beanie.

My nalbinding has taken a leap since my last posting, with the simple chain of stitches. I tried the Finnish stitch, well, naturally, because I am Finnish. I was right thinking that it would be easy to learn after having practiced the Oslo stitch. I didn't care about the odd big loops left from the starting stitches, nor about the Oops! stitches where I missed a loop or picked one too many, nor the lumpy joints of yarn. I just tried to get a feeling to the movements of my hands. It was easier to make new stitches when there was something to hold onto, unlike the floppy tail of loose single stitches.

With this technique you don't work from a ball of yarn but thread a needle with a suitable length of yarn and when you have almost used it up, you felt the end of the new yarn to it. This little pouch is hardly good for anything, but it has given me tremendous courage to start a proper project. I like the texture, and there is stretch in both directions.

On the right you can see my new nalbinding needle. My dear Mr K. made it for me just this week! He is building a bamboo fly fishing rod and used bamboo to make this for me. It is glued together of two slivers so the smooth enamel surface is on both sides.

Here you can see the amount of snow we had on April 1st! Mr K. shoveled just a track for the car.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Dots and dashes, socks and beanies, and finally something new

 After a long break I have been cutting my fabrics again. Reds and neutrals from the shirt boxes.

Squares and strips like dots and dashes. I wonder if this will be something in Morse code? I really liked Inspector Morse!

I knitted a plain pair of socks for little Miss Purple, because her little sister was going to get one,

and a striped pair for little Miss Yellow, because there was a striped pair for her big sister.

The chemo caps are easy and fun to knit. This one took a little more than one ball of yarn 

so I used this pattern with less stitches and made an XS size in straw yellow.

This is the "new" I'm learning. In fact this technique, nalbinding or nalebinding, in Finnish neulakinnastekniikka, is ancient and much older than knitting or crochet.

It has been used to make mittens and socks and hats. This is the longest chain of first stitches I have managed to make so far. The idea came from Melanie, and we are learning together with Tracy in Norway, all of us total beginners. In Finland this technique has been used up to WWII and the last masters have passed it on to new generations. I have been asking around, but several friends who have studied handicrafts only remember they learned the basics during their studies but didn't make it a hobby. My mother had taken a class in nalbinding as well, and made a lovely, beautiful pair of mittens nobody was allowed to wear as she had won a price with them at some contest. At that time I was too young to be interested in learning something so old and slow. At least I have her needle and some papers from her class. I hope to be able to show you a chain in the "Finnish stitch", and maybe a second row as well. Our first stitch to learn has been the Oslo stitch.