Tuesday 22 September 2020

Autumn is coming

First we had some very rainy days.

Then there was a storm that blew one of our big aspens down. It was one of twins, growing right next to another, and it was all rotten. We must take the other one down as well. No other damage was done, but the tree took a street lamp post along. Mr. K marked the tree with yellow warning tape because the lamp was broken and we could not know if there was still electric current somewhere. The men from the street lightning maintenance came to take care of that problem, the tree is ours.

Right after my last post the Tour de France started, and I did not feel too guilty just sitting down to knit. I had to follow this important sport event on the TV, so taking a break from all chores was not only justified but almost necessary. I finished the top pair of bed socks in no time, and inspired by the soft feel of baby merino wool continued with another brand. Always ready to try new patterns I knitted the next two pairs using patterns I found online. 

Here a closer look. The one on the left is a 3D effect created simply by using knit and purl stitches, a repea that was easy to learn and remember. The other two involve some stitches together and yarns over but it was easy to see where I was going all the time.

After all this fine yarn and small needles I felt I needed some more mindless knitting. Very basic knit one purl one socks with some stripes for old fashioned, traditionally thinking men, in colors that remind me of fir trees and chanterelles or birch leaves in Autumn. 

The yarn rests were suitable for a pair of socks in a child's size but I forgot to take a photo. So, sock stories to be continued!

Tuesday 25 August 2020

Still here

Long lazy Summer ... I have just been busy doing nothing special and enjoying the sunny days we have had, and ignoring the rainy days. Reading piles of books, at the moment old paperbacks from my mother's childhood and school years. Charming innocence but also some expressions that don't look too good today.

I have finished the Granny square blanket using a new to me method of joining the squares in one go. It saved so many yarn ends! I was going to use only rest yarns for this, but ended up buying some balls of the light grey and the graphite grey for the joining. 

The blanket measures 4 squares by 6, and each square is about 11".

After this I had a long pause. No long cycling tours on TV this Summer, so I have not had a special "Tour" project. Finally my fingers were itching for some nice knitting, and I found this pretty pattern in a magazine.

My yarn is 100% baby Merino, so it is perfect for a pair of bed socks.

Remember the safety rules, wear your masks where required. I hope you have all been well and safe.


Saturday 27 June 2020

Flowers and yarn rest doings

I found a plastic bag with de-knitted skeins of light grey wool. It was once a mini dress I had knitted as a school girl, then outgrown  and abandoned. With it in the bag were two balls of green 90 % wool inherited from by grandmother, so what would be a better choice than to crochet granny squares with them and other, smaller rest yarn balls? Another dozen like these, and then I can start joining them.

I had a self-striping yarn I had used to make this pair of socks which I never really liked much, so I decided to tame the yarn

 with dark blue and the Broken Seed stitch, and I think I succeeded.

The Finnish Summer is short and intensive. Suddenly everything bursts into bloom and the air is full of lovely scents. The two darker reds of my peonies are withered already, but these pink flower heads are so big and heavy that the stems bend almost to the ground. 

All roses are in bloom except for the domestic Midsummer rose which only lasted a week, the Midsummer week.

These roses are doing so well after Mr K. moved them to the front garden.

My father loved yellow roses so I wanted one too.

This year my flower-box annuals don't look very good. For some reason I picked plants that are all the same height, but at least these two look good together. 

We are having a heat wave, almost all time record temperatures for June, and in our local +30 C I'm melting and tired.

Tuesday 16 June 2020

The Swallows at the Library

Finally from the 1st of June the libraries have opened again. The Swallows have taken over the vitrine at our local library. 

John is here with the Swallow's flag Titty made, and Roger is learning to signal with his new semaphore flags. He still has to look up the signs from the sheet of paper in front of him.

Titty and Susan are here, showing some of their clothes and their flower blanket. Their quilts are still at the quilt show at the Villa Cooper which had not opened yet by the time this was put up.

On the bottom shelf are all the Swallows and Amazons books.

The only two translations are here, showing the map of the lake and Wildcat Island. The yellow brochure at the bottom of this photo is about the Unicef dolls.

No Swallows without their friends. Some photos of Dot and Dick had to be there, if only to show the fun one can have with simple fabric dolls.

To fill the space available I took my two other literary dolls, Emil and Ida Svensson along. The Finnish readers will easily recognize them, as Astrid Lindgren's books for children are very popular here, and have been for decades.

Sunday 31 May 2020

Finishes in May

When working on the Emil and Ida dolls, I started this doll for one of my grand nieces.

She has a nightgown made of the remains of one that her grandmother or I have had when we were little.

I made her a quilt so the new little mom can put her to bed too.

She has now arrived in Germany and her new home. Dolls are allowed to travel unaccompanied by mail. My sister has organized adoptions for over 20 of my dolls there. The German Unicef doesn't have the fabric dolls on their fundraising program.

My bed socks have been worn very thin over the years so I knitted a new pair with a free pattern I found on some blog I can't find again. The rest of this pink yarn with the rests from other pink socks I have knitted this season were just enough for the other pair where I added two rest balls of white.

Three dolls with clothes, a doll's quilt and two pairs of socks. I must have sewn some fabric masks as well, at least these on the upside down photo.

Monday 18 May 2020

Dolls' news and new dolls

Earlier this year my young friend Arthur in England asked me for a pattern for a knapsack so he could have one made for his own Dick Callum doll. He has seen this one I made for the Dick doll I made almost ten years ago.

It was easier for me to make the knapsack (and make notes for making one more later, if needed). I made a T-shirt and shorts for him as well.

And as Arthur and his team are making a Dot Callum doll as well, I made a bag and a set of shorts and a blouse for her. Now they will be well equipped for their adventures as Picts and Martyrs with the Amazons.

My imagination has been running wild with ideas of other literary dolls, and today I finished the last details of this new pair, again a brother and sister.

They are Eemeli and Iida Nieminen (or Emil and Ida Svensson) from Astrid Lindgren's children's novels of Lönneberga. Emil has round blue eyes, round red cheeks and beautiful fair hair, and he was always wearing his "rather ugly cap".

The little sister Ida also has round blue eyes and round rosy cheeks, and her fair hair is neatly plaited. She is very well behaved, and wears a apron to keep her red frock clean. I made the apron reversible so she can wear the clean white side out on Sundays.

I really like the apron!

I hope they will find a family where they can live an adventurous life.

Monday 11 May 2020

This special Spring

 In April on one of our walks we saw these suspicious looking creatures. Virus flowers?

I have been sewing masks for myself and family. Some large Marimekko prints, some cheerful colours, some matching my clothes and some more suitable for men.

The forest is full of wood anemones, and I picked some for the small window .

I had collected some old bottles and thought they looked nice with just one or two wild flowers in each.

This weekend I took photos of the socks I have knitted recently, and thought they would look nice in the bright sunshine.

I was wrong, the pink above is hardly to be seen, and you don't see much of the Aino S' pattern of the bright white socks below either.

This is our weather today, the poor peonies and grape hyacinths must be shivering.

The birches had just opened their tiny leaves and there was a fine light green shade in the forest.

All birds have gone silent, they must be waiting for the snow and cold to go away. I prefer Winter weather during the Winter months, not when we are expecting warmth and sun and flowers and birdsong.

Thursday 16 April 2020

New look for the Spring

Auntie Melanie has sent us all new cardigans and trousers for the Spring! Aren't they good looking? Before we could pose for this photo, Auntie Ulla needed to sew a blouse for me. I had a jumper for the Winter and a frock for the Summer, and now I finally have a blouse too.

The weather here has turned upside down and we have snow and sleet today.

Stay safe and take care of yourselves!


Wednesday 8 April 2020

Spring walks

We are all trying to stay healthy during the physical isolation, so we have been having walks on the walk paths. On 24th of March we saw the first coltsfoot flowers. Yes they are there, tiny yellow dots. It was very early for them to come out, but this year the Winter never really even came to our part of the country, for the first time in my life. The name coltsfoot always makes me smile, as in Finnish the same word means the greenish snot hanging from a little child's nose, desperately needing someone to help blow their nose and wipe it clean. Also common at this time of the year, when I come to think of it.

The village has several ponds like this, former clay pits where they took clay for the many local brick factories. There was still ice on the left on this one.

This is another pond, there were some ducks here but they were quicker than I.

On the 3rd of April came the snow, more in one day than we ever had this year. It didn't last very long

but helped us to remember what Winter ought to look like. Fresh and white.

Then came the sun again.

The local whooper swan couple has returned some weeks ago. They are the white dots that look like empty plastic canisters on the water.

On another walk they were closer. They choose their partner for life, and often come to the same place to nest and raise their cygnets.

My quarantine knitting has continued, here are the newest four pairs of socks:

As you can see, we have taken out the garden chairs and have been having our afternoon tea on the veranda.

Take care. stay safe.