Tuesday 19 December 2023

The Best Mittens Ever

Knitting is my favorite craft nowadays. I have been improving my mitten design with every pair I have knitted, and I think I have reached my goal with this pair. The pattern is one my Grandmother used a lot, but I have changed the overall design. Instead of her ribbed wrist in one color, the pattern begins at the wrist and continues all the way to the thumb and the tip of the fingers. As the pattern uses lifted stitches, the rows are tight together and thus warmer. Granny's thumb and top of the mitten were in plain stockinette in one color, so our fingertips were easily cold.

See how beautifully the pattern continues in the thumb gusset and thumb!

The mittens are a gift, and so are the socks in Broken seeds pattern.

Our Christmas tree is a mini version on the balcony. Happy Holidays for everyone!

Wednesday 15 November 2023

Finished quilt

Here are some of my favorite blocks of my newest quilt. First, the last two 2½" squares from a vintage Moomin fabric from my childhood:

Some of my favorite colors,  latte and dark chocolate. I could have both right now, thank you!

My Liberty cotton blouse and a burgundy men's shirt

Two very nice and soft shirts from my dear Mr. K

I bought an extra wide satin sheet for the backing and quilted this big (for my machine) quilt in maybe four sessions.

It is about 155 cm x 205 cm or 61" x 81". Luckily the quilting went without too many problems and unstitchings.

The quilt is now for sale to support the Finnish Red Cross and through their Disaster Relief Fund to help the victims of the crisis in Ukraine. Our handicraft club's donations have brought over 4,700 € by now, and our campaign is continued as long as possible.


Monday 23 October 2023

New Quilt in Process

Sometimes I want to start a new quilt just to use up the hundreds of little squares I have cut from final rests of fabrics and stored in neat boxes. I made the dolls' quilts with such squares and other project rests when I was looking through my 2½" square collection. Naturally I had to cut just a few new squares to get the required number of 4-patch blocks.

For the alternating 150 HST squares I allowed myself to buy some new fabric, my all time cheerful favorite grey! The beige is from my stash. Here I was testing the arrangement of the blocks. One upside down 4-patch escaped my control and I had to unpick it later. Luckily it was so close to the end of its row! (Right end of second row from the top, to save you the trouble of finding it.)

And this is how far I got before I got my first flu since the pandemic started, and recovering has been very slow. The backing has been washed and ironed, and I hope to find the energy to get back to work later this week.

Wednesday 4 October 2023

Finally some new quilts

I had been itching to finish a sewing project. I'm working on a bigger quilt, using 2½" squares from my stash, but that seems to take ages. While going through my pre-cut stash I found a box of leftover bits from some really old projects. One was 1½" squares from a  QAL Between Charming Friends in 2010! Some rearranging was needed, but soon I had a sweet little quilt for dolls. I used some flannel for batting so the quilt is not too stiff for play.

In the same box was a huge collection of HST squares from the Shadow Play quilt you can still see in my header. First I made these two little quilts,

and then one more:

Naturally pillows were needed too:

After I had sewn pillowcases and sheets, my Susan tested the sets:

The HST quilts were all the same size so we only tested one.

I was going to show my newest sock in September but never had the time to take decent photos of them. Sock selfies are not easy!

"Fake Cable" pattern on my Autumn heather.

Bright colors for the coming dark and rainy days.

I like to try new patterns for my knitting but usually end up knitting stripes with yarn rests and coming back to my trusted favorite patterns for interesting surfaces. 

Monday 14 August 2023

New Mitten Collection for Winter 23/24

In spite of the warm weather I have been knitting. These are my new mittens for next Winter:

The brown and green pair on the left is closest to my grandmother's original pattern, but I wanted the thumbs to be warmer so I continued the pattern knitting all the way fro the thumb as well.

For a more modern look I started the two colored pattern from the wrist.

Then I did the same with grandmother's other pattern.

Finally I knitted a pair of Aino'S mittens in a slightly bigger size.

At the moment I have a pair of socks on my needle (yes, a pair, and yes, it's a long circular needle), but after that I think I'll look for a nice color combination for mittens again.

I hope this new setting and smaller photo size will make my blog more smart phone friendly.


Sunday 2 July 2023

Summer girls

Three little girls in their new summer frocks had their identity card photos taken and we decided to take some more photos of them together before they leave this house.

Noora needs love and rules, maybe more than an average child, but she can be really, really good if she really, really tries. I think she would love a hobby like ice hockey or horse riding.

This is Helena. She is a very well behaved girl who likes reading and drawing and coloring books and friends and sausages.

Emilia is a little dreamer. She likes flowers and butterflies and carrots and pancakes. I think she will find a family in no time.

Tuulikki is a trickier one. She is clearly older than the other girls, and finding a family may prove difficult. But on the other hand, she might just be the right one for someone looking for a good friend for going to the gym and other hobbies.

Here all four new UNICEF dolls are together, waiting to be taken to Villa Cooper tomorrow. Our special Summer exhibition this year is old dolls from club members, so visitors may be interested in adopting a doll and supporting a  good cause at the same time. The adoption fee of each doll will enable UNICEF to give six essential vaccinations for one child in need.


Sunday 11 June 2023

Still here, still sewing, still knitting even in public

Somehow months have passed without a single blog post. At this age I feel busy when I have a special program on one day of the week! In May we had a school reunion with friends from 50 years ago, so naturally I felt busy for weeks. I needed a nice new bag for the meeting.

I used vintage handwoven linen (from my mother's stash) and some double sided Japanese quilting cotton (from my daughter's stash), with the dotty side out, and a button I bought from Liberty's in London in 2013.

Two open interior pockets in the lining and a big zipper pocket in the back. I used iron-on felt interfacing, stitched on the front side and not stitched on the back. Adjustable strap. All my own design, with ideas from other bags I have made over the years.

The annual World Wide Knit in Public Day was on Saturday, and Villa Cooper organized an event like many times before.

Coffee and tea with biscuits and cake was served, and the weather was perfect for sitting in this lovely garden, knitting and chatting with new and old friends. My long time blog acquaintance, Kristiina from KristiinanSilmukat was there and we met for the first time in real life. It was nice to get a face to the name and a new friend. Many ladies came by, not to knit but to bring their no longer needed knitting needles and yarns for our collection to be donated to the local Ukrainian refugees.

Over the weeks I have stayed away from blog writing, I do have visited the usual blogs, and I have been knitting. This is a collection of dish cloths. The green and yellow ones are pattern experiments with a 70 % bamboo, 30 % cotton blend, and the beige is all cotton.

Before dishcloths I knitted some socks and mittens, but I save them for my next post. 

Tuesday 4 April 2023


For a change I made a little table runner with sunflower blocks. No plaids this time, just solid colors.

These socks are like made for Easter, light and striped and yellow and white. We still have ice and snow, night temperatures down to - 10 C or so, and - 6 C in the mornings, so warm socks are a sensible choice. I used some leftover yellow yarn for the stripes of these socks. I had about half a meter of the yellow yarn left after the last row so I could see that it would not be enough for a row of yellow dots for both socks, and it was time to make the heels. As always, I knit both socks at the same time so I can see how far a yarn rest will take me.

This method helps me keep track on the number of rows and adding stitches or any other changes along the way, and both socks will look the same.
For this pair of men's socks I used the rest of  two different blue yarns together with the basic grey, which seems to be a trusted favorite among men.

And finally a pair of bed socks in natural white baby wool.

The pattern is not quite what I meant. I didn't remember exactly what the easy lace pattern from my school days looked like, so I (lazy as I was, I didn't go looking for my old notes or for that blog post in the link) just knitted something in that direction.

More purled stitches between the yo, 3 tog, yo repeats, and maybe a knit row or two would have made this look like the school project revisited, but I think this "new" lace is not too bad either. 

Wednesday 22 March 2023

The knitting quilter's return

Somehow time just flew by and nothing happened here on the blog. Week by week it was more difficult to sit down and write. Naturally there was Christmas, and snow and darkness, and it was cold out there, and then it was so long ago I last time blogged, and there were no photos ... and so I just knitted and knitted ...

... and I found a new way to use my Grandmother's mitten patterns like this.

And for a third pair with the same yarns.

Then I knitted some socks for fundraising in the sports club's colors for our grandson's team.

I had some 9-patches left over from the RSC2022, and made some more in feminine plaids, and used up a light grey fabric for the alternating squares. This time the machine quilting was no problem.

I got a nice lap quilt made all from scraps and little bits, and I happened to have a lovely grey flannel with white dots, exactly the right size for the backing. As the Autumn's Joys quilt has already been sold for the Red Cross fundraising for Ukraine, there is and empty place on the shelf for this quilt. People seem to be ready to use their money for a good purpose.

Usually at this time of the year we have the first snowdrops peeking through snow in the garden, and pussy willows soft and furry, but this year we have had lots and lots of snow (which has almost melted 
away before there was more), and today it has been snowing again all day. The only migrant birds so far have been the whooper swans, looking for open water (not yet there) and inspecting their familiar nesting place. In a few weeks there must be more signs of Spring!