Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Swans on Ice ...

... and some new socks on the floor. Grey socks for my bare-ankle daughter, a simplified version of my Aino'S sock pattern,

and some giant socks, large socks and smaller socks knitted just to use up rests of yarns.

We have gone on walks again when the weather has been nice. Pollen is nearly ready to spread from the grey alders.

The swans have returned. Yes, they are in my photo, the two white lumps on white ice, about in the center of the photo.

I took the photos on my phone, and the sun was so bright that I just couldn't see how to zoom on the swans. 

By this date we have identified 25 species of birds this year, and hope to see many newcomers once the migrating birds arrive. Common gulls and black-headed gulls have arrived, and lapwings, but the small insect eating garden birds are still on their way from the South.

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Patching the patchwork

Sometimes a quilt faces heavier use than the materials are designed for. This was the case with this Stained quilt from 2012.

 Recycled shirt fabric is not very durable under the paws of a mid-size dog as you can see:

For some reason especially the brown thin striped fabric was attacked. Luckily I had not binned the remaining fabrics from this and another project using my son's business shirts.

This meant that I could replace each patch with the same fabric it was originally made.

Only the grey sashing is now a shade darker than the original, but this could mean that the original has faded over the years and from frequent washing.

I have sewn some patches by hand and machine stitched some, and I added a piece of new wadding in the block that was worst. Machine stitching went surprisingly well and I only needed to redo one bit where the backing was puckered.

Encouraged by this modest success I have added several other unlucky quilts on my list of patching my patchwork.

Sunday, 7 March 2021

The Flying doll and his cousin


Who is that, flying through the air? He looks like SuperM!

And so he is! Hello, M!

- Hi R! Are you coming from the sauna in your bathrobe, standing in the snow? What does you Mum say, or our Auntie?

- I’m not cold, I’m a Finn, and Mum doesn’t know I’m here. Besides, this is no bathrobe. It is my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu uniform, with a black belt now.  But why are you wearing your underpants on top, and what do your Mum and our Auntie say to that?

- They don’t say anything because they know I think this looks cool. And when I wear them and the cape, I can fly like you saw. Your black belt must mean something too?

- Yes, it means I’m cool too and more experienced at my sport than those who have yellow belts, or green or blue.

- Great. Now I must spread my cape and fly home. I have a little party on Sunday. Take care!

- You too and have a nice birthday!

- Likewise, dear cousin!

- J*******a, my pants again!

Happy birthday dear little nephews!

Friday, 26 February 2021

Struggle with socks

The problem with yarn rests is that when you start a project you don't really know if there will be enough yarn. Clever people use the upside down method, more commonly known as toe to top, but I find it very difficult to calculate when to start the heel, so I prefer starting up and knitting towards the toes, the old fashioned way. Careful as I was, I knitted these Harry Potter coloured socks in a rather small size, and ended up having still some yarn left, and so I knitted another pair in a baby size.

Then I started a more demanding project for an elderly birthday boy. Plain grey socks sounded too dull and modest, so I chose a simple cable pattern I had admired for a long time.

The cable is as simple as can be, two stitches crossed, once or twice every other round, but boy was it a struggle for me! I could not keep track on where I was on the pattern, what I had knitted on the previous round or where and when I should start the cable-ing. Finally I remembered the stitch markers and used them to mark the beginning of the pattern. I decided to stick to more simple ways of knitting again, plain stripes or purl and knit variations.

I have also worked on a secret sewing project but it will be revealed in a week or so.

Some dust from Sahara sand storms reached our country. It showed clearly as a yellowish layer on top of the pure white snow. Just for fun we filled a glass jar with the dirty snow to see if there really was sand, but when the snow had melted the water in the jar was coloured, and only very little anything was left in a white coffee filter. Only the lightest particles were carried high up in the air all the way to us. Now the temperatures have gone up from the -20 and the snow is melting when the days are above 0 and nights only some degrees below. The Winter is by no means over yet, we may have new snow in April if we have a cold Spring.

I don't want to end with such an ugly photo so here you have some flowers instead!


Saturday, 6 February 2021

Grey knitting, sunny days

Knitting in the evenings in front of the TV is my way of relaxing. It feels like I'm not totally wasting my time when I knit. I found this version of basket weave stitches and liked it, as it was very easy to remember and didn't require counting more than five rows.

The father of the little knight from the previous post got these mittens to match his son. The yarns are from a pullover I had started to knit for him when he was still a schoolboy living at home. At that time my arms refused to cooperate with long needles and big pieces of knitting, and I developed a tennis elbow, I who have never even played tennis! The son has grown a lot since I began the knitting, so the wisest thing to do was to unravel the knitted half of a pullover, soak the skeins and wind the dry yarn into balls for new knitting projects.

We have had lots of snow this Winter unlike last year when we had none. Mr. K pushes the snow further away from the drive so there will be space for more snow to come. These old apple trees are in our new garden in afternoon sun.

We are only half way done with Winter by now, there may well be lots of new snow at the end of March and it may snow some as late as end of April and beginning of May. Now we are enjoying some sunny days and clear skies, and having but not so much enjoying temperatures of -20 C.

The hares are making their paths in the snow when we are not watching.

Saturday, 23 January 2021


New home, old mess. I'm trying to organize my crafty things in some way that makes sense, and the basic idea is to have just one address for each category of hoarded material. Like the quilt backing fabrics in this cupboard:

Embroidery floss kept popping up in different project bags, shoe boxes, and pouches and bags with my mother's unfinished projects. I had no idea how much of that stuff I had, and what colours. Now I'm working my way from this mess

towards something in this direction:

One way to help with the organizing problems is naturally reducing the amount of material to organize. Using up yarn rests is my favourite method.

Still some light grey yarn left, so I started knitting this pair in a smaller size. I ended in a vicious circle and had to buy more light grey...

... and so there was yarn left and therefore I had to knit these mittens to go with the Little Knight  hat for our grandson. The pattern is for a newborn baby, I just used heavier yarn and more stitches.


Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Anyone still there? ...

It has been such a long time, and much has happened since September and my last post here.  We have moved, and this is how my sewing room is now arranged:

Not quite finished yet. No place for every item just yet. But I have been going through my belongings, binned an amazing amount of ancient textiles and saved another amazing amount of textiles. I have found trash, and I have found treasures, like this lonely mitten, 

all felted in snow and sweaty fingers, with a hole showing how much it has been used. Why on earth is this a treasure? Because it was knitted by my Grandmother, and I have saved this years and years back when I was still living with my parents. I knew some day I would want to knit mittens like she did, warm and comfortable. Her patterns were not from magazines, and I have only found one of them on a Finnish knitting blog, written down as a traditional pattern. 

With a sewing room in a chaos like that, I have spent time elsewhere with yarn and needles, and so I tested and tried out stitches and found out how Grandmother had knitted that mitten.

It is a lot like this other pattern she used much, but over two stitches where as the second pattern has a repeat of four stitches.

I decided to knit a sample of that pattern too for my knitting pattern archive.

And then there is Grandmother's third favorite, extravagantly in three  colors. This is the only pattern she knitted in the round, and again the reason must be that she didn't like to purl!


Knitting in the round makes my little sample is so narrow, with the same number of stitches as the other samples.

All these patterns look more complicated than they are, because they only use one color at a time, and the slip stitches make the mitten close-knit and warm. Not even tiny fingers will poke through stitches here!

Naturally I needed to test my newly found pattern, and here is the result:

Settling in our new home in an old house is still a learning experience. We get exercise while learning the new places of our pots and pans and plates, or going through the cardboard boxes when looking for something not yet unpacked. I hope to find more time for reading blogs and posting on my own as well. Take care, stay safe.