Sunday 19 December 2021


Busy times before Christmas, so I have not found time to take photos and write new blog posts. Socks and mittens have left the house without a photo, but here are some of the newest knittings:

The socks are "just normal socks" but the mittens are both traditional patterns I figured out from originals knitted by my Grandmother in the 1950's. The one on the left I have later found online but the one on the right is so far my own secret.

Here I experimented with a Latvian Braid, which was easy but time consuming.

Baby socks in pink merino wool.

Fabric baskets in coarse linen and Christmas prints and antique crocheted lace.

And finally more fabric baskets, filled with chocolate pralines for some special people.

I wish you all a peaceful holiday season, good health and no stress. See you next year! 

Wednesday 17 November 2021

One hundred

Since 2003 I have been sewing dolls for Unicef, not every year, but often enough to remember the tips I have learned from making mistakes. This year has been a very productive one, and my readers must be bored of seeing doll news over and over again instead of more interesting projects. With this doll I have reached the goal I have set a few years ago, she is my Unicef doll number 100!

My first cyclist doll found a home with my sister, and one of her friends liked the idea so much that she wanted to adopt a doll with road rush and tan lines as well. Or maybe she knew someone who would adopt her. Anyway, she asked if I could make such a doll before Christmas, and so I did.

It makes sense to work on more than one doll at a time, so I made this little tonttu girl as well. She will look less Christmas like without her hat, so she can wear the rest of her outfit all year round.

She will soon be at Villa Cooper with the other dolls I have made. I hope many of them will find new homes for Christmas!


Monday 25 October 2021

Same again

My doings seem to be a repeat of the same things over and over. I have been busy doing them so that there was no time to take photos. but here you have almost two months' worth dolls and socks, as usual. Five new dolls are waiting to be taken to Villa Cooper.

A new version of Emil and Ida, the first ones sold in a short time so I hope there are other Astrid Lindgren fans just waiting for their dolls.

For a long time I have been wanting to make a granny doll, and now she is here. I wanted her to have soft pink or salmon colored silky jersey knickers but I didn't have any of that material left. When digging deeper in my stash I found the perfect alternative: leftover bits of Rhovylon jersey, an early technical fiber  recommended for rheumatic people. Granny is very happy with the warm comfort.

A new hobby horse enthusiast, with improved riding pants.

And finally a flower dress girl with burgundy hair. This makes 99 dolls for Unicef  I have made over the years. The next one will be a custom order of a cyclist with tan lines and bruises, I have promised to get her ready for Christmas.

Speaking about custom orders, these three pairs of socks were knitted for a friend and will be Christmas gifts for her friends in the USA.

Small and sweet in alpaca yarn. The color is actually a lovely pale pink but the lightning makes it look almost dirty.

Large in normal sock wool quality.

And extra large and extra warm with the rest of the white yarn together with some grey.

Because I like to use up rest yarns, I knitted these mittens with the remaining grey yarn and a bit of dark red for the Latvian braid at the cuff. I just wanted to try if I can make that.

The rest of the pale pink alpaca yarn was all I needed for this pair of baby socks.

And finally, I had some baby merino wool left over from the chemo hats I knitted two years ago. The pink yarn is now a pair of knee high baby socks.

Number of finishes since my last post: five dolls, five pairs of socks and one pair of mittens. Number of quilts worked on: zero. I meant to be busy with some unfinished projects but got carried away with these instead. 

Thursday 2 September 2021

Sporty girls for the health of children

Two sporty girls have joined the Unicef family. This is Iina. She loves real horses and hobby horses. She  is wearing riding pants and a warm wool sweater and matching socks, and carries her own home made hobby horse.

The harness was a tricky project, I didn't have tiny rings for the bit so I had to do with loops instead.

Lotta is a promising young cyclist. Her skin is tanned where it has been exposed to sunlight but white below the neck where her Spandex cycling shorts and tightly fitting shirt cover it. She has taken a fall or two so her elbows, knees and right thigh still show red marks from scratches, but they are healing well. I forgot to take a photo of Lotta's shirt from the back, showing the Unicef logo, row of pockets and the number 51 pinned on both sides like the big cycling tour participants have.

Iina and Lotta are good friends and like to spend time together.

Iina will be there to cheer for Lotta at her cycling competitions and to reach her energy gels and water bottles during long rides.

And Lotta comes to the stable to see Iina on horseback, and helps her organize hobby horse show jumping events for other hobbyists.

The adoption fee of every Unicef doll goes to Unicef for vital vaccinations and other projects to make children's life healthier and safer. 

Wednesday 11 August 2021

Project Rescue Dog Quilt

When our first grandson was a baby, I made him this quilt with 15 different dog faces.

It has been used for sleep and play, with the family's dog and a second grandson involved. It looks like some of the play has been rough: 

Just a little rough for some dogs.

But almost fatal to this one.

I still had the pattern Dog Gone Cute, so I decided to replace the three damaged blocks and use stronger fabrics this time.

It was easy to remove the blocks because I had only stitched around the blocks. This has caused the fabric hanging a bit loose, so I decided to stitch around each dog too, on every block.

Here they are again, ready for new adventures!

Thursday 29 July 2021

Baby Boom

 This summer  has been one of small sewing and knitting projects. A real baby boom has taken me by surprise, eight new Unicef dolls have come to this world during the time my sewing room has been the coolest and most pleasant place in the house. You have seen Orvokki, the nurse, in June, and Tiina, Anni and Nelli earlier in July. After them came Karoliina in her flower frock and apron,

and Satu  wearing a baby corduroy dress and flowers in her hair.

Siiri is a sporty one. I tested my skills on an Icelandic/Norwegian style sweater for her, as they are very popular here now. People have time for bigger knitting projects while the Covid-19 restrictions continue. This was my first attempt, almost OK.

Ronja is wearing the second sweater I knitted, and here I succeeded with both the shaping and the colours better.

Here is the whole lot of them. The two on the left have already found a home through my sister, and the remaining two will join the other dolls at Villa Cooper. I hope they will find permanent homes soon too.

Now I have used all the identity cards I had from Unicef for the dolls and will have to wait a little to get more. Ideas for new dolls are already jotted down in my notebook.

Sunday 11 July 2021

New Quilt

My new quilt is now finished and hanging on the wall.

The living room floor level is five steps higher than the floor here, so the wall is very high.

Close up showing the light grey binding. I wanted the wall hanging to look like it has always been there, not popping out in any way.

I picked the colours from this painting in the same room. Taking photos against the windows is challenging!

The hot weather is challenging too. I'm waiting for some rain and cooler weather. Just for a change, not for weeks to come. 

Thursday 1 July 2021

School project revisited, new dolls

When we moved house last year, I came across some special notes from school days. When I was 12 or 13 years old we knitted a pair of socks in the handicraft class. (We learn to knit a potholder when we are 8, to knit and purl and knit in the round to make mittens when we are 10.) Here are my notes about making the heel, which is for many knitters the trickiest part.

We also learned to knit cables and simple lace patterns, and after making this sampler we could select our personal favourite for our own pair of socks.

I chose the simple lace pattern. As you can see, I liked the socks and wore them out.

I decided to try my notes and knit a similar pair using modern yarn.

Funnily enough, my notes didn't mention how many stitches to cast on (I figured it out from the heel instructions), nor how many stitches' repeat each pattern was. It looks like the teacher took it for granted that everyone knows how to knit a basic sock! I decided to knit the new socks in a child's size. Here they are before damp stretching.

While at the pink yarn, I knitted a simple striped pair in a woman's size.

And then I used up the beige rest from those stripes, and a brown rest yarn with an orange rest.

I ought to have chosen a smaller size, because I had not enough of the orange so I had to buy some more. So now I'm sitting here with with about 80 grams of orange yarn, not enough for a normal pair of socks. Need to dig in my yarn stash and look for stripe yarn again.

The ground floor where my sewing machine is, is the coolest place in the house. I have been spending time there too, making new dolls for Unicef. The adoption fee of each doll will guarantee the vital vaccinations for one real child. Meet the new group of three:

Tiina is a 12 year old sporty girl from the 1950's, loves cross-country skiing and swimming in the lake.

Anni loves wearing her "almost princess" dress and thinks long curly hair is overrated.

Nelli loves flowers and strawberries and other girly things.

I hope they will soon find new homes. I hope I will soon have new ideas for new dolls!