Sunday 29 December 2013

Seahorses!

Hi everyone! I'm finally back after a very busy autumn. So sorry for not updating anything in ages! There was just so much to do with both work and studies. But don't you worry, I still had the time to actually finish some smaller things, and here's one of them:


Double seahorse mittens! For the really cold winter that hasn't arrived yet... In other words, I still haven't been able to test how warm these mittens really are, but I'm feeling quite confident.


Pattern: my own
Yarn: Rowan Purelife British Sheep Breeds Chunky (brown) and Novita tico tico (white)
Needles: 6 mm and 2 mm

I started by casting on 24 stitches using 6 mm needles and the chunky brown yarn, then increasing to 30 stitches after the k2p2 rib. For the thumb I used 12 stitches and the rest is just a very simple basic mitten. When I had almost reached the place for the thumb, I started to pick up 48 stitches for the inner mitten right where the rib ends.  (In other words, the rib isn't double!) For this I used 2 mm needles and the thinner yarn. The thumb for the inner mitten is knitted with 20 stitches. Then I actually knitted these two mittens at the same time, always a few rows at a time. I finished the inner mitten first, and then just knitted the outer mitten on top of that. And tadaa - my first double mitten was ready!



There's one tiny but quite funny little "mistake" with the mittens. Somehow I managed to pick up and start knitting the stitches for the second inner mitten the opposite way as the first one. This means that in the first mitten, the purled side is facing my palm, while the knitted side is facing my palm in the second mitten. And I actually like the second mitten better.... :)



Ready for the winter! :)




Saturday 5 October 2013

The soups of 2013

Last year we dyed a LOT at work, and the colours I got were simply fantastic. I actually like the colours so much, that I've still used only one small skein for a pair of baby socks. I do have plans for most of the yarn already, but I just can't motivate myself to actually start the projects. It's just too nice to just look at and admire the skeins... It's quite a dilemma that I have to start doing something about soon.

Luckily (?), we didn't have that much time for dyeing at work this year, so I dipped my yarns only in onion and cochineal. These are the colours I got:


From left to right: cochineal first round, cochineal second round, onion first round, onion third round (a colleague of mine filled the second pot).

We did hope that the cochineal would have turned out a little bit redder, more like the colour we got last year. But better luck next year, I guess. That's both the best and the worst part of dyeing with natural colours, you never really know what you'll get. The yellow colour isn't at all as bright as I had hoped for either, but it actually looks pretty good with the drak, dark orange. They're both already on the needles, but I'm afraid I can't show you the result until Christmas *< :) At least this one time even I managed to start in time. Yay me!

This is, however, a present that I can show you:

 
Pattern: just basic socks
Needles: 2 mm
Yarn: Novita Ticotico and some really old Novita Princess Baby (not in production anymore)

These leftover-babysocks were shipped to Sweden already some time ago. There they hopefully warmed the small feet of a little girl.


Monday 16 September 2013

Ho-ho-hoot!



These baby owls and their retro cabled friend found their way to a new home last Friday. Two of my good friends are having a baby in a few weeks. We decided to surprise the soon-to-be-mom and organized a small yet sweet and warm babyshower. Have any of you ever been to a babyshower? This was my first and I didn't actually know what to expect. But it really was cosy. We ate good food, talked about babies, played a few baby-themed games and then gave the mother some presents.


Pattern for the hat: I Heart Cables
Pattern for the mittens: UuuuHu!
Needles: 3 mm
Yarn: Falk by Dalegarn and Villainen by Kotikulta

Since I used a thinner yarn than was suggested in the pattern for the hat, I casted on for size "child". In the end, it did turn out a little too big for a baby, but then again, I'm sure it'll fit the little girl soon enough anyway. One thing I don't like is the earflaps. For some reason they just keep curling up even though I've tried blocking them and all. Perhaps I did something wrong?! :/

The pattern for the mittens is written in Norwegian, but that didn't stop me :) I casted on 44 stitches and worked a k2p2 -rib. Then I just followed the pattern as it was written (except for the UHU-part). And I just have to say: aren't they just soooo CUTE?! I'd like to have mittens like these too!! I mean, awww! <3

The mittens are attached to the cabled hat by an icord strap. This feature was actually someting the couple had asked me to do. The strap is removable since it's fastened with buttons (and with crochet buttonholes). This way they can always choose whether or not to use the whole set at once.


I hope they liked it. And that the babygirl will like it too! :)

Saturday 7 September 2013

Inspiration

The shadow of the lace shawl made a very beautiful pattern. I might use it for inspiration in school projects in the future.


Tuesday 3 September 2013

Green lace and white pearls

My dear grandmother turned 85 years old this August and I wanted to make something special for her. After a lot of thinking I recalled that she always complains about her back and shoulders getting cold during the winter season, so is there really anything that would be more perfect for a gift than a shawl made out of 100% warm wool?


Pattern: Ethereal Triangular Shawl by Lakshmi Junega
Yarn: teetee Kamena, 100 g
Needles: 4 mm
In Ravelry

This time, I also tried something completely new: knitting with pearls. And even though it was a lot slower that just plain knitting, it wasn't hard at all. I'm sure I'll use this technique again sometime. ...once I've forgotten how annoyingly time-consuming it really was.





If you wan't to try it, here's a good tutorial. And another hint: don't add pearls to a project that has a deadline coming up too soon. I almost didn't finish this shawl in time for my grandmother birthday party. The night before I actually spent knitting and blocking until 2 a.m. But that's just the way it is sometimes when it comes to handicrafts, right? They tend to take up more of your time than you expect. And ok, I have to admit that I started this project a little bit too late too, only 2,5 weeks before the party... But I made it! :)

I really think it turned out great with the pearls and all (even though you can't see them that well in the pictures, I swear they looked much better in real life! :)) and I'm pretty sure my grandmother was pleased too.  <3


(Photos taken in the park of Mustion Linna)

Wednesday 14 August 2013

Pink elephants going for a swing


Last week someone new came to this world when a good friend of mine gave birth to a little girl. I just love knitting small things for babies. Those projects always turn out so cute, and they're fast to make too. Usually I always make a pair of socks or a hat or something, but this time I had a feeling this little girl would have enought of all that as it is, so I wanted to make something different. Something she could use for a longer time. And perhaps already before the winter. After searching among all the millions of patterns in Ravelry, I happened to stumble over a sleeping bag.



Pattern: Snug as a bug sleep sack
Yarn: main colour in Novita Saana, the rest are leftovers from my stash
Needles: 4 mm

As always I made some small modifications to the pattern. The ribbing isn't that wide and the sleeping bag itself is made a little bit bigger than the pattern suggested. I hope it will fit the baby the whole winter. Some people had also changed the bottom part of the sack and made it round, decreasing stitches like in a hat. But I decided to let it be wide so that the little girl would have room to kick around her feet.

The stripes looked nice, but the sleeping bag still needed something extra. So I knitted a small pink elephant to decorate it with.



Pattern: One patch from the Eläinsatupeitto in the book Neulo. Virkkaa. Kirjo. Jämälangasta! by Sanna Vatanen
Yarn: cotton yarn from my stash
Needles: 2 mm

This was harder than I thought. Obviously I have to practise colourworking some more...

I haven't seen the newcomer yet, so our pink elephant had to step in and be my model. At least some children in the parc found it very amusing that I took a stuffed animal out for a swing. But a blogger has to do what a blogger has to do! Anyway, I hope the little one will find her new sleeping bag cosy and warm.


Friday 9 August 2013

Things in my kitchen

Geez, we had a real thunderstorm here in Helsinki last night. I woke up to the sound of a lightning that must have hit something really close to our house. And the sky just kept on flashing, like if it had discolights. But today is a new day, and hopefully we'll see some sun again.

Anyway, this is a small project I made to try to use up some of my stash:


My kitchen stools needed some soft covers and I happened to have 1,5 skeins left of this beautiful red yarn. The colour fits our kitchen perfectly. And I don't remember when I've made such a fast and brainless project the last time. I mean, thick yarn combined with crocheting in a circle, without any fuss. Can it be more simple?


Pattern: from my head
Hook: 8 mm
Yarn: Phildar Ondiaflamme
 
The only thing I have to redo is the straps holding the covers to the stools. The yarn itself stretches too much, so I'll have to come up with something else to hold them in place.



One other thing I like doing (apart from organizing my yarn) is to put everyting in order in my teabox. I bought this beautiful wooden teabox in London a few years back and I always try to keep a nice and diverse assortment of teas inside it. Then I also have a lot of loos leaf tea that lives on an open shelf just next to our tiny kitchen table. The small beautiful turquoise teatins are from London, too.


Last but not least, we've had some herbs on the windowsill this summer. (Guarded by some tiny moomin characters...). And since our basil was getting quite big, we had to come up with something to do with it. The result was a delicious basil oil.


I forgot to take a picture of it right away, but here's a picture of the bottle almost empty. I really recommend this oil. It's great as a salad dressing but also for frying or grilling vegetables. Yummy yum, I'll definitely make more of this!


If you want to try it, here's what I did:

1 basil plant
1,5-2 dl olive oil (just enough to cover the leaves)
1 clove of garlic
some salt and pepper

Mix them all together in a blender and it's ready to be served!

Friday 2 August 2013

Yarnomania!

This summer I've had time to finish and photograph some old projects that's just been lying around. I also finally had the time to really go through my whole stash of yarns. And I have to say I was both shocked and pleased afterwards. Shocked because my stash was so huge! But rather pleased that only a very small amount of the yarns were "unidentified", i.e. yarns I really didn't see any purpose for. Most of my yarns were really lovely.

I'm sorry for the poor quality of the pictures, but I took them with my phone. Anyway, this is what I started out with:


Looks pretty horrible, doesn't it? But a while later it already looked like this:


I organized the yarns in small stacks. Some are yarns that will be used up in projects not yet finished. Some yarns are just waiting in line for me to have time to start some queued up projects. Then I had a stack for really nice yarns that I didn't yet have a specific project for but that I was sure would find their place in this world very soon. Finally some small stacks with yarn I really don't like and some with really small leftovers. But those stacks were so small, that they didn't bother me that much.

This is what it looks like right now. I organized the yarn in four plastic boxes, and put the yarns I use at the moment in two smaller bags. Then I also gave away some of the leftovers and yarns I don't think I'll use myself. 


My next project is to really start to knit, knit and knit and try to use up as much of my stash as possible. And I have to say I feel quite inspired by this project. Imagine all the possibilities! And now that I actually know exactly what hides in my stash, it's easier to see what might become of them. Really exciting!

So, hopefully you'll be seeing a lot of stash-eating projects further on in this blog.

Sunday 28 July 2013

Miss Bambi - DIY ring

I think this might be the cutest ring I've ever had! Bambi <3


Originally it was one of my colleagues at work that came up with the idea for a ring like this but I thought it was such a great idea that I wanted to make one for myself too. And since it wasn't at all hard to make, I thought I migth as well share some simple instructions with you too.

This is all you need:



Scissors
Glue
A ring base
A decorative glass stone
A small-enough picture

I didn't find a picture I wanted in magazines, so I simply printed one out from the internet. But remember, it has to be small enough to fit the ring base. Once you've cut it out, glue it to the ring base. Then, put glue only around the edges of the picture and press the glass stone on top of that. This will prevent the glue to blur out the picture. Last but not least, let the ring dry and then it's ready to be shown off to everyone you know! :)



Friday 5 July 2013

More weft rags in a summer cinema!

Well, this was a slightly different project... At the museum I work in we have a summer cinema in the old drying barn where we show old finnish ethnographic movies in July. Therefore the four old wooden benches we found for it needed some soft covers. And fast. We had only one week left to the first show. But everyone started crocheting in superspeed and we actually made it!





This was a super easy, fast and relaxing project. And I really think they turned out pretty cute. They look a little bit like crochet rag rugs, just like the real rag rugs in the main museum building. We made them 30 cm wide and 240 cm long, and then just tied them to the bench as shown in the pictures.





But how can a project be relaxing even though we were in such a hurry? Well, the only thing we planned and decided on was the size and that we were going to use weft rags. The rest was just improvising. And it felt quite nice to actually, for once, just go with the flow without thinking too much. You just pick whatever colour that looks the nicest at the moment and go with it. And it didn't matter if the edges weren't perfect, because they were hidden underneath the bench anyway. All of us really got hooked to this project, and now that it's done, it almost feels a little bit dissapointing. What should we do now? Some more benches that needs covers, perhaps? Please? There's still some weft rags left, you know... ;)


Friday 28 June 2013

Piece of cake!

Last monday I had the wonderful opportunity to celebrate my birthday. Very rare delicacy, only happens once a year. What made this year more special was the cake I made for the first time ever: a pancake cake! Yummy yum!


Wonderful blueberries on top and jam and whipped cream as filling. Tasted like heaven.

Perhaps inspired by that sensational taste and the colours, I made these super easy and soft summer accessories the day after:





Want to make some of your own? Do so, it's the easiest piece of accessory you've ever made, I promise! As yarn I used some tricot weft rags and the hook was size 10. Then you just crochet a chain as long as you want, leave a 10 cm tail in both ends and put a ribbon on it. And voilà! Doesn't take more than 10 min to make a whole set. See? A piece of cake! :)



Tuesday 18 June 2013

Snowflake dress


Well, now that I study handicrafts at the university, I have to do stuff I normally don't do. Like sewing. I think I've only made one or two garments since the compulsory ones in highschool, and even those were a very simple skirt and a very ugly dress. So when I heard we'd have to plan and sew a dress (or a skirt + a blouse) and even draw the patterns ourselves, I felt very unsure of my own skills. And actually still feel. But this is the result, anyway.


I was quite surprised that it turned out this well. I totally exceeded my expectations. And I was quite proud of it at first. But then my teacher found a thousand flaws in it. And as the perfectionist I am (or at least on some level), it kind of changed my opinion about the whole dress after that. But perhaps, if I'll let it hang in my wardrobe long enough, I'll start liking it again?

Anyway. It's quite a simple model, the only details being the pockets and the snowflakes and the vintage buttons as decorations.




Pattern: Windom Peak Snowflake
Yarn: Novita Tico Tico
Hook: 2,5

And if you wonder where the beautiful background is, it's in Espoo, at Villa Elfvik.



(By the way, this time I was the poor model. It was freeeeeezing outside that day!)