Today is a December day at its best: snow on the ground, no wind, minus 10 degrees and the sun is shining for a little while. No more waiting, it is Christmas Eve, and we get to open the gifts tonight already!
December started with Santa's arrival to Järvenpää, as usual in a sleigh on wheels, pulled by his faithfull Finnhorse Uuras. Unfortunately my photo didn't catch the whole horse.
Here is a portrait of him from an earlier visit when we had some snow too in early December:
Santa greeted us, his little tonttu elves were not looking very happy in the cold wind.
The parade included several sport clubs and such, but they were not carrying any signs with their names so we had to guess who they were.
This group at least was obviously dog friends
or maybe sheep farmers? Or are those dogs with reindeer antlers?
I have been making little gifts
in red and white
and socks in many sizes
some so dark I could hardly see what I was knitting.
Other gifts were mailed before I remembered to take photos, and some will not be shown before Christmas for obvious reasons.
We started feeding the birds again in October after a long Summer break. Surprisingly, the bullfinches come in biggest numbers, 6 to 15 at a time, but there are great tits, blue tits, coal tits, willow tits and even long tailed tits (who are not really tits any more but have their own group name) regularly coming to enjoy their sunflower seeds. Today we saw a tree creeper again, jays (Eurasian Jay) come often just like magpies. Sometimes the blackbird (Turdus merula) visits, they may stay here fort he Winter. We have just a little snow now, enough to make the world seem less black.
Finally I got my sewing machine back and these new kids got their clothes on! Instead of the usual two days my machine had to stay away for more than two weeks because a spare part took so long to arrive.
I could not show this lot dressed in just undies or jumpers. I used many small yarn rests for their jumpers. The multi coloured yarn works fine in the small garments.
The girls' dresses have zippers in the back, the jumpers have buttons on the shoulder. It looks like Pertti here below on the right has grown fast! I was sure I knitted the sleeves long enough before starting to knit in the round with the front and the back. That's teenage boys for you.
I try to find more of that funny yarn for the boys' hair, it makes hair creating easy. I just crochet in the round and sew the wig in place. These dolls will be a part of the Villa Cooper Christmas display of Good Gifts for charity.
Another finally is here:
Our daughter Kaija was here yesterday and I managed to remember to ask her to pose for the Aino 2.0 fingerless mittens pattern. The Flying Mitten will publish my pattern as a spin-off of their original Aino'S mittens pattern based on the original mittens knitted and worn by Aino Sibelius. Fingerless mittens are useful for anyone who wants to use their smartphone in cold weather.
... is all I have been doing as my faithful Husqvarna sewing machine is having her irregular check-up with the service and we need to wait for a spare part. This time without her seems so long, and it feels like I right now would have so many interesting and fun projects to work on. Luckily I have a collection of knitting needles and wool yarns, and Christmas is a big time for hand knitted wool socks at the Villa Cooper, so I have been knitting these in pine tree colours
and these small ones in graphite and old rose
and these in jeans blue with stripes with lighter and darker blue rest yarns.
And those two other pairs as well.
Frosty mornings, even days now. Mr K. has blown and raked all leaves away and the garden is getting ready for the first snow to come. Other parts of the country have already had their first snow, but we may expect some less cold days next week. This week I saw the local whooper swan family swimming peacefully on the pond by the school in the darkness at nine in the evening.The six cygnets are about as big as the white parents but still grey until they are adults. The young ones still need to practice their take-up and landing and build up some muscles for their flight southwards for open waters.
After finishing the four mug rugs I still felt like doing more, and chose the Quill that writes the invitation letters to Hogwarts school
and the Mirror of Erised.
The whole set once more.
Next week is the Night of the Homeless, and beanies, mittens and socks are collected to be donated. I knitted this set in an average men's size and will take them today to the Flying Mitten, one of the places where donations are collected.
This Aviatrix hat is one of my favourite patterns and the striped beanies in my last post are made with the leftover pink from this project. I just forgot to take this picture for that post.
This pair of socks is once again inspired by some odd little rests from other projects, and the usual thing happened: there was not enough yarn in one colour, so I bought some more ...
This morning the rain water in our little pond was frozen. Mr K. had already taken the pump in for the winter and emptied the pond, but leaves are falling and rain water gathers there. It will be cleaned again in the Spring.
The rowan tree in our garden has the most beautiful colours this year.
I had some pink yarn left and some white, and this funny pattern had been on my mind for a long time, so I tried the pattern. It required a pompom on top, so I made one.
With still some yarns left, I made another baby beanie, with a pompom. That used up all the pink yarn.
A small ball of multi coloured yarn with the white made another beanie.
Two rest balls of bright red and some more white, and a peppermint beanie was born. I used the last meters of the red for the pompom.
Red and white are also the toadstools popping up all over our lawn.
Leaves are turning red and yellow, Autumn is definitely here. We have had mornings with just one plus degree. The garden furniture has been stored away. This week we had the first little fires in the fireplace, starting slowly to warm the big mass of bricks.
For the first time in ages I have started a new quilt. It looks like little huts at dawn, doesn't it?
But it isn't, it is paper dolls holding hands! I used some vintage children's fabric for this, some summer frocks and nighties saved because of their pretty fabrics. Some fabrics are new, I didn't want to use the same fabric more than twice and there were not too many old fabrics available. My favourite is the yellow Moomin fabric in the bottom right corner, it used to be my summer frock before I went to school.
The Paper Dolls pattern is by Stephanie from Loft Creations and available here. I just made it a bit bigger. Apple sauce cooking came in the way and the quilt is still waiting for the batting and backing to be cut and layered and the rest.
Someone I know is getting married and I just heard about it last week. I wanted to get her a little gift, and as she is a fan of Harry Potter and the Moomins, I decided to make her some mug rugs and get her some Moomin tea bags, as I'm sure she has several Moomin mugs already. I had seen some great paper pieced Harry Potter blocks on Terri's blog, and she always linked them to Fandom In Stitches.
There I picked the easiest patterns and managed to make a Hogwarts Robe, the Golden Snitch, Sorting Hat and the Cauldron. For the backing I used my yellow Moomin fabric so she can use that side with her Moomin mugs.
Two weeks and more have passed without a blog post, but it doesn't mean I have been idle (all that time). First I made some new bibs and used up some leftover bias tapes.
Then I knitted a bear cub beanie but it turned out to be newborn size and not grandchild size.
I finished the luxury yarn scarf I was struggling with last time. No big unraveling was needed
and I even figured out how to make the lace edge wider to use up all my yarn.
This is the same pattern I used for my beige scarf last year. this time I used bigger needles and the yarn was little heavier too, but both are from one 100 g skein.
In my enthusiasm for lace knitting I decided to use one of my daughter's leftover yarns. The curly skein on the left in front of the green yarn used to be a tightly crocheted wrist warmer. She didn't want me to crochet her a pair for it with the ball of unused yarn, so I washed the curly yarn and it straightened perfectly.
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.