Sunday, 30 December 2012

Never Again Will I Fall to You

pattern: African Flower Hexagon by Lounette Fourie & Anita Rossouw
yarn: Sandnes Sisu, Novita Wool
hook: 3mm

I've been knitting very little lately, partly because of the teacher training + uni studies + work, but the main culprit has been this. I started making it for my man's niece when she was born and this year I decided I'd finish it. Haven't the foggiest how large it is (...perfect size for a child's bed...?), I did count the hexagons 6 months ago but didn't put it down in the notes. And I was still weaving in the ends the day before the eve, so counting or measuring wasn't part of the extremely effective, high-velocity wrap-up process. 

I could say something in the lines of "never again", but I would probably be lying.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Second Hand Shop: Friikku

Okay, so I spent my Xmas in Lahti with my family and sadly noticed that twoof my all time favourite thrift shops and fleamarkets had quit (Femmatori and Autiotalo). On a positive note, a new sceond hand shop had opened just next to the centre square. 

Friikku is one of those second hand shops that sells precisely handpicked items (on behalf of singular private persons who have an account in the shop and pay provision for each purchase), thus making the selection quite succint but first rate and extremely exquisite. These kinds of second hand shops are not made for crazy one euro bargains but to provide second hand shoppers with unique items of great quality; when looking for something particular that's a bit different and in a sound shape (in my case mostly boots, shoes, bags and coats)

But in addition to these weaknesses of mine mentioned above, Friikku offers absolutely delightful clothes for men and women. Some of the treasures that caught my eye during the visit were a Ril's blazer, a Malene Birger top and a lovely white tunic-like blouse (just to mention a few, there are so many gorgeous items, for both ladies and gentlemen). There were some awesome jeans too, and that's a lot coming from me, since I'm not a jeans kind of girl.

In Friikku everything is set neatly on display in racks an. In my honest opinion, the shop's atmosphere is what sets it apart from others like it. It's situated inside a court yard, just like those fantastic small shops in London, and the whole shop feels spacious and bright despite its actual size. And service is simply great.

All in all, definitely worth visiting and shopping. For the clothes and especially for its bags, purses, belts and shoes. Oh, those bags and purses... Anyway, I hauled out just a pair of biker boots, but I can't wait to see what the shop has in store for the spring and summer. Now, I let the pics speak for themselves.

Vapaudenkatu 14, Lahti

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Death by Brownies

"Death by brownies" -mixes-in-a-jar. The original, original recipe is something like this, however my creations are a sugary, more chocolatey mods of that. And in these pics you can actually see the neat layers, which surprisingly disappeared after a couple of shaken-not-stirred.

I've been such a miserable, whining sod this autumn and to be fair, couple of my friends have been my ever reliable kisby rings through the whole circus. So these are the extra pressies I made for them, as they, like me, nurture affectionate feelings towards everything that has at least 20 sugarcubes worth of sweetness in them. (And by god, these jars have more sugar than flour in them)

Though I'm not very Christmassy person and this year I've tended to be even more grinchy, the celebration does have a certain value in my eyes and that's closer to the American idea of Thanksgiving. That is, Chrissie season reminds me of how undeservingly lucky I've been to have such absolutely awesome persons as friends. So with these I just want to let you know that your support and Peace Nobel prize level patience does not go unnoticed despite my cold exterior. Namaste, friends.

Monday, 17 December 2012

So I Accepted the Sky

pattern: Tähtipannunalunen from eilen tein blog
material: Ekokude from Taito shop, 125g
hook: 9mm

Xmas pressie for Mum. I was supposed to knit a plain rectangular pot holder with the leftover material from my rug, but then Hanne from blog eilen tein published a pattern for this super awesome star. So there was me - begging that my lefties would suffice for the star and crocheted like there's no tomorrow (or Xmas eve in 7 days, as a matter of fact). Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! And really easy! Just to add a little thing for those whose forté isn't crocheting: I'm pretty sure that on row 2 you're not supposed to crochet into every stictch but into every other. Not nowhere near sure, but that's how I was able to divide the points evenly.

Hopefully another one on the way soon, just to embellish our kitchen...

Thursday, 6 December 2012


 pattern: #31 Bobbled Tam by Cathy Carron
yarn: Madelinetosh Sport in colour Posy
needles: 3.5mm

Since my first attempt  for a hat this Christmas didn't work out, I had to make another, especially with these infernal temperatures outside. Bobbled tam appeared in Vogue Knitting a couple of years ago in bright avocado green, crunchy yarn. The pattern was really easy, though charts would have made it even better (I'm on team Charts, are you on team Written Instructions?). As the original pattern was for DK, I knitted size L with my Tosh sport... Lovely, lovely yarn. I think I'm going crazy with Tosh. Such wonderful, gentle colours and textures.

Sorry about the quality of the pics, I'm never home when the sun is up so I have to make do with these grainy, fuzzy pictures. Don't look close and just squint your eyes, and voíla! Instant prettyfication!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Stromsoe, Here I Come!

It was supposed to look like this, but I think it rather looks like this (And if you can't see the resemblance, play Half-life and see it attached to someone's head - like two peas in a pod). So needless to say, it'll be frogged and in time, once I'm done with the first part of my training, the candyfloss Manos Silk Blend will become a Skeleton Key.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Yes, Jade Is the Girl of the Hour

pattern: Georgia by Jane Richmond
yarn: madelinetosh tosh merino light, in colour Jade, 200g
needles: 3.5mm (3.75mm)

I'm in love. With the yarn and the simple yet brilliant pattern. Even though this didn't pan out the way it was supposed to at first, the overall feeling is really positive. Size 36" fits my shoulders and boobies, but on the waistlevel it looked more like a tent and less like a cardigan. So I frogged the whole thing all the way to armpits and decreased heavily, ending up with the sts count of 30".

To begin with, the colour Jade seemed bit too strong a green for me, but slowly I've become simply infatuated with it. Maybe I need something a bit saucy to wear as I struggle through these next 6 months in teaching training? 

The buttons were just waiting for the right project in my button box; simple, little things I found in the fleamarket a while ago. Once again going with a meagre student budget, otherwise would have invested in wooden buttons or something jade green?

Will definitely make another Georgia in the future, so wonderful was the pattern once the sizing problem got solved.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Wear the Dotted Ring Around Your Neck

pattern: West Desert Hood by Virginia Catherall
yarn: white Virtain Villa 2-säikeinen as the base and DK leftovers
needles: 4,5mm

Well wonders will never cease... I actually finished something (actually finished the cardigan too, but I'll need my royal photographer to take the pics). Used 14 different DK yarns from my stash, most of them bamboo, soy or cashmere based, which nicely balanced the coarse wool by Virtain Villa. I've had the wool in my stash for a while now and I would have used something a bit softer as the main yarn if I had had the money. But this was one of those 'poor penniless student' projects and the overall budget was zero euros, so the cowl is a motley assortment of whatever there was to be found in my stash.

P.S. Anyone else experiencing any problems with Blogger RSS feed? Some of my fave blogs I follow through google don't appear in my blog feed or sometimes drop completely from my feed list.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Colour Therapy

The rainbow cowl is not ready yet, but meanwhile check out these awesome home-dyed yarns here and here! Shout out in the comment box, if you have dyed yarn at home and got gorgeous pics to show for it; I think we all need a little colour therapy with the winter darkness settling in again.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Hey Blogger, Get Stuffed.

I tried to publish a post but Blogger decided to swallow it into the bottomless pit of Internet space. Now I'm pissed off and tired and unwilling to write the whole thing all over again, so here's the long story short:

- Here's my Georgia, made of Tosh
- in size 36", fits my shoulders perfectly, not so much in the waist
- frogging everything up until armpits. [insert f-bomb here]

- Here's my future cowl, as the mornings are getting chilly
- DK weight leftover yarns
- still need more yellow for it, so if you have yellow leftover yarn in DK weight, I could swap it for chocolate, buttons, or sockweight leftovers or even a small skein or two (I'll need something like 20g per colour)

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Hot Lava, Lava!

pattern: the basic fingerless glove
yarn: Wollmeise 100 % Pure, in colour "auf dem roten Teppich", 50g
needles: 2.5mm

These were finished eons ago, but they've been kept away in the stash because of the heartbreaking conflict between my plans for the gloves and the lack of time to actualize them. When I started going out with my partner years ago, I knitted and embroidered him a pair of gloves, to which he faithfully held on until this year and now he made a request that I would embroider the same kind of roses onto these. But I've been busy keeping my head above the water in the teaching practise, so no dice that I'll be dabbling any roses in the coming months. 

Wollmeise worked this time just the way most of its fangirls and fanboys always say it should. It was soft and easy to knit, very cottonish* and didn't squek like the last one did. The pics don't do justice for the colour, it's like burning hot lava.

* The yarn is so cottonish that he actually can wear these even though it's wool. The first woollen things he has ever been able to wear, to be truthful.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Restlessness Is Me, You See

pattern: Magrana by Mercé Janer
yarn: Cascade Heritage, in colour Mustard, 50g
needles: 2.5mm DPNs

I know I already made The Mittens for this autumn, but whenever I knit something a bit more intricate with a bit more expensive yarn, the parsimonious overprotection kicks in. I cannot ride a bike to school every morning with those Druid mittens, the rubber would eat through the yarn in a week. So here's a nylon reinforced version of autumn mittens, purely to be used when going to school and coming home. 

The pattern is quite cably, but also very interesting and relatively easy. The only downside is the size: for my hand they are way too big and the cables retract if there's no filling.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Girl, You Remind Me of Summertime

Autumn is here, there's no doubt about that. The temperatures are down, there's a certain crispness in the wind and if the sun shines, it shines so low in the mornings that it blinds. The traditional autumn colours like burnt oranges, yellows and reds are not my favourites, but I have to say I love the colours of wilting grass and hay - they are my autumn. 

I've been knitting very little as the school takes most of my time, but a pair of mittens for cycling is coming up soon. The top, however, is something I made for the autumn, of a flea market fabric find. The gorgeous lion button is one of the buttons I bought for myself as a birthday present last May.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Oh Now, Now the Wind Takes Me Away

pattern: Green Autumn (Druid Mittens) by Jared Flood
yarn: Black Sheep Dyeworks Sock Weight Superwash Merino Wool Yarn, in Olive Oil tonal, 55g
needles: 2.75mm

An amazing pattern, I loved every stitch of it and wished it would never end. Can't wait to make a new pair, I just need to another skein of something hand dyed green gorgeousness. Black Sheep Dyeworks' yarn was a real pleasure to knit and had a vivid semi-solidy dye, so it's high there on my list for a reknit.

Though the pattern was really good to start with, here are couple of changes I made:
- As the yarn was pretty lightweight compared to the one in the pattern, I used 2.75mm DPNs instead of 3.25mm. A quick skim through Rav projects says that lots of other people went down in needle size too.
- This might be a matter of preference, but to me the kitchener's stitch to close up the saddle after the decreases worked a lot better. Jared Flood recommended three needle bind-off and I tried it, but it didn't look that neat.
- My hand is quite tiny and the mitten knit specifically as the pattern suggested was a perfect fit. So people with normal or larger hands, doing more cable pattern repeats is highly advisable.

All in all, I fell in love with the yarn and the pattern and now I'm prepared for the first chilly autumn mornings.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

And This Little Piggy

pattern: SimpleLines by Anat Rodan
yarn: Shibui Knits Sock, 153g in colour Blossom
needles: 3.5mm

The colour is quite accurate in these pics (well, that's a first one); a lovely, warm piggy pink with paler semi-solid blotches. Anat Rodan's pattern was once again really good-looking, alternating garter stitch and stockinette stitch surfaces create a nice texture and I must say this was a great pattern for showing off yarn. Another plus is that this pattern can be modified to go with any yarn thickness and yarn amount. 

Shibui Knits Sock yarn was fantastic, it was exactly like Koigu, but a bit thicker and more elastic. I had to pop the fourth skein open just to skim a few rounds and the bind-off off of it, but the rest of it is safe and sound in my yarn stash waiting for the right fingerless glove pattern. Fantastic yarn and a good pattern that I knit mindlessly while watching top quality TV series.

Monday, 20 August 2012

A Winter Thaw in a Cold Summer

 pattern: Winter Thaw by Beata Jezek
yarn: Malabrigo Lace, 75g of colour Forest
needles: 3.75mm

To get my lost knitting mojo back after that Bex incident, I decided to knit something larger -  and faster. It took me one week to do this thing and the mojo is back - I'm back in the game and it feels good. The pattern is gorgeous and well written, there were a few glitches along the way but that might just be me and my telly knitting- nothing I couldn't fix in the end. Once the yarnovers are done in the edging, the stitch count seriously explodes. It was actually the last 5 rows that really took the whole weekend to knit through.

The shawl goes to my mum, who looks great in green with her reddish light brown hair and green eyes. I had two skeins of Malabrigo Lace in colour Forest; the other one was very solidy green and the other one was very semi-solid with white blotches - this I didn't know because I couldn't be arsed to check the skeins before knitting. Luckily I used the solid skein first and left the semi-solid for the edging: now it looks as if the edging tips of the shawl are frosty and frozen.

I blocked the shit out of my hand while beating this massive thing into shape (wingspan 2 meters, spine 70 cm); stuck a thick safety pin into my cuticle so that it came out of my finger flesh. Needless to say I invented a couple of new obscenities... But chivalry isn't dead: my man, instead of being offended by my verbal rampage, offered to block the whole thing. Can you believe it? I bet even Gandhi would have passed that opportunity. Got to love that guy.

He didn't block it. I might be ruthless but not downright cruel.