Wednesday 8 October 2014

Look at her aura!

Crocheting fabric strips is so brilliant! It's fast, it's fun, and you get big, useful things done in no time!

This new rug for our tiny bathroom floor was a one-day project.

Pattern: a tiny version of the Aura-matto (free pattern)
Yarn: Noodles virkkauskude
Hook:  12 mm

This small rug was an even quicker project. This was made for my parents.

For the green one I used fabric strips made of leftovers from a t-shirt factory. Nice and eco-friendly, but the finished project isn't just as neat as the real "noodles" meant for these kinds of projects. The thickness of the fabric strips isn't consistant, which results in an uneven texture.

I like the idea of using fabric strips meant for rugs, though. I mean, if you think back at the time that was about 100 years ago, nothing was going to waste. Old adult clothes were sewn into smaller childrens clothes. And when those were worn out, they were made into wefts for rugs. The fabric strips then found a new home in striped rugs, where they lasted still for many, many years. The modern way of crocheting rugs is just a modern version of the old styled rugs.

Talking about reusing something old. Here's a tip for what to do with an old (and empty), nice-looking bottle of rum:

To make it last longer, I painted the etiquettes with see-through nailpolish, and they still look great even though there's water running down the paper almost every day. The tube for the soap pump also needed an extension since this bottle is higher than the original soap bottle it came with. But that was also easily fixed with a pice of another soap pump. I guess you could use a straw as well.

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Little Bear

...or perhaps a big bear?

Pattern: my own
Yarn: Sofil Carina
Needles: 3 mm

My colleague at work had a bear-hat just like this but unfortunately she lost it. So of course she had to get a new one.

After scanning Ravelry for a really long time, I gave up on trying to find a pattern for a bear-hat like this for adults. So I decided to improvise it instead. This is a simple, basic beanie with just a few details. I knitted it from the garter stitch edge up to the top, then picked up the stitches for the garter stitch earflaps and finally finished them off with i-cord straps. The ears are also knitted separately, stuffed with wool and sewed on to the finished hat.

Now I'm almost done using up all this black, furry yarn! I think I had around 8 skeins of it, since my mom had intended to make a sweater out of it back in the 80's. But instead of becoming a sweater, it's been transformed into a lot of smaller projects instead. But then again, it took me about 5 years to get to this point... Perhaps the sweater would have been faster after all...

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Mrs Granny

Finally, something for ME! It feels like I've only been knitting projects after projects for other people, so it felt really, really good to finish something that was meant for myself.

Remember when I went through my stash last summer and said you'd probably see a lot of stash-eating project from now on? Well, you haven't really seen that many, have you? But here's at least one! (That consumed both all of the white yarn and all of the lighter gray)

Pattern/Idea: Isoäidinneliö kauluri by Novita
Hook: 4 mm
Yarn: Novita 7 Veljestä, Gjestal Janne, Novita Princess Baby and some random white yarn from my stash.

Well, you don't really need a pattern for this one, but I got the idea from the pattern listed above. All you need is the amount of squares you want and then just crochet them together! I made 40 smaller ones to make a loooong cowl. This one is so long you can wrap it once, twice or even three times around your neck - depending on how wrapped up you want to be!

It kind of looks small now that it's finished, but while I worked on it, it seemed like just another never-ending project. The main reason for why I actually managed to finish this was all thanks to school. As the brainless project this was, it was absolutely perfect for having with you during lessons! Whithout all the lessons at the uni last spring, I think I'd still be crocheting those squares...

But do you really think I learnt my lesson? Oh no. After finishing one patchwork project, I started even a bigger one! But that, my friends, I don't think I'll be able to show you here for yet a very, very long time... But here's a little hint and a sneakpeak: natural dyes and...

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Drip drop

I think the summer of 2014 was officially the Summer of Love. I attended three weddings, and they were all beautiful. And along with the weddings, also comes wedding presents, of course. This time the bride asked for a small contribtion to their upcoming renovation of the kitchen, something nice for the interior decoration of the house OR anything homemade. After some thinking, I came up with an idea that combined all three of those wishes.

This is a set of handmade textiles for the kitchen. Two kitchen towels, one double sided pot holder and one crochet table mat.

The white fabric is 100% linen. The details and the initials are embroidered by hand. And inside of the pot holder is two layers of flanell and four layers of white cotton fabric to give it enough isolation.

Last spring I had a course in screen printing at the university, and designed some figures for that. This drop was one of them, and the only one that I actually didn't use during the course itself. But I had all kinds of plans for how to use it in the future. And here I've used a few examples.

Although it - once again - felt quite stressful to make something as a wedding present it was really a lot of fun printing and embroidering! And I didn't even have to do all the "boring" sewing myself. That's where my better half hopped in. For some reason he's decided he wants to learn how to sew. And I don't mind at all - quite the opposite. I think it's absolutely great that someone else is willing to do stuff I usually find quite boring :)

Saturday 6 September 2014

Tribute to Marianne candy

Let's hope the summer is not yet entirely over so that I can use my new summerdress still for a while longer!

Yup, me, who used to refer to myself as someone who's afraid of sewing machines, has actually made something by sewing! And it was quite fun. I actually liked it! And this is what I created: a dress with a low neckline both in the front and back and short set-in sleeves. There's also a seam at the waist and a few folds on the skirt-part to make it wider.

 But I have to admit I didn't make it entirely from scratch. In the beginnig it looked like this:

It's a pyjamas by Ristomatti Ratia that I got as a Christmas present about ten years ago (I think). I've never used it, because as you can see, it's quite big. I had just decided to give up on it, when I looked at the fabric and thought "Hey, that could actually make a nice summer dress". So I decided to try to remake it into something else. And I'm glad I did. I absolutely love my new dress! Yay!

...although the fabric is so soft that it actually feels a bit like walking around in a pyjamas. But that's not necessarily such a bad thing!

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Beautiful wedding lace

I don't think I've ever been as nervous about a knitting project as I was with this one. The reason? It was a wedding present for a good friend of mine. And what could be more nerve-wracking than knitting something for someone else to be worn on one of the most important days of her life?

The bride chose the model herself, I took her measurements, found the yarn (70% baby alpaca and 30% silk, so incredibly soft!) and started knitting. But it wasn't as easy as I thought. It's hard to know if the size is really right before you've blocked the piece. So I was really, really nervous about  if it would fit or not right until the end.

It did fit, but was a little bit on the smaller side, especially around the neck. After some thinking, I decided to make an additional crochet border around the neck and the sleeves. Although, the fact that I finished the crochet borders the night before the wedding really didn't help my nervousness! But I have to say I think they kind of made the bolero better. The crochet lace gave it a vintage kind of look that I like. It seemed the bride liked it too, or at least I hope so!

Pattern: Matrimonio bolero (free pattern)
Yarn: DROPS Lace
Needles: 3,5 mm

The pattern is written for 3/4 sleeves, so here's the modifications I made: I CO 43 st, then increased 2 st on both sides every 18th row (after one repeat of the entire lace pattern) until the sleeve was of desired lenght. Then I increased 13 st on both sides for the back. Now that I think about it, I should have increased more at this point, probably as much as one repeat of the lace leaf on both sides.

Adjusting the seam :) The wedding itself was really beautiful. The weather was perfect and the surroundings wonderful. Well picked by the bride and groom!

All photos by Mari Lehtisalo.

Wednesday 16 July 2014

Giraffe meets sheep!

I don't know why, but I seem to be hopelessly late with posting smaller projects here on the blog. First it usually takes me ages to have the pictures taken. Then I just can't seem to find the time to do something about them. But here, finally, the only knitted Christmas present I made last year!

Pattern: my own
Yarn: Novita Wool
Needles: 2,5 mm

You know I've been dyeing quite a lot of yarn at work, so now I just have to figure out what to do with them all. I've already knitted a pair of baby socks, and this cowl was the next stash-eating project. Both yarns are dyed with onions, the darker one obviously the first dyeing lot, and the lighter one was from the third one.

The diamond-pattern is made of slipped stitches. Super easy! And very soon after starting the project I realized that both the colours and the pattern actually reminds me of a giraffe. And when you think about it, a cowl is in fact very suitable for being inspired by giraffes since they have a really long neck! Right?

The cork buttons is from the ever so lovely Karnaluks in Tallinn. You can really find almost everything in there!

And in case the cowl wouldn't be enough for the cold winter, he also go this simple, striped beanie (with slipped sticthes too!) to warm the head.

Pattern: Farm beanie
Yarn: Novita 7 Veljestä
Needles: 3 mm

Saturday 5 July 2014

Candy tea-time!

Last summer I asked my dad to make me a weaving frame as a birthday present for me. And once I got it, I immediately had to try it out by by doing some very simple tapestry weaving. 

Three things guided me towards the final idea:

1) I had some birght red yarn in my stash that I wanted to get rid of.
2) Our kitchen, spiced up with all kinds of small, red things. Especially these old candy-like tin jars:

3) We drink a lot of tea. And sometimes we make a whole pot of tea. And to keep that warm, I've been thinking about bying a tea cosy already for a while.

And here's the result: a set of textiles for the kitchen, inspired by the Marianne-candy.

I made the sewing part for a school project last winter. The potholder and half of the tea cosy has one layer of flannel inside it for isolation. And especially the tea cosy really works. We ended up testing it just for fun, by boiling some water and checked out how long it took for it to cool down under the tea cosy. Without the tea cosy the water cooled down from 90° to 70° in just 20 minutes, but with the cosy on top, it took more than an hour. So there you go! Not just a old, useless relic from the 70's!

Since I still had some polka dot fabric left, I also made some new covers (and much softer than the old ones) for our kitchen stools.

Now our kitchen is much closer to being a perfect little candy land!

Thursday 12 June 2014

Colour splash

Knitting something together is fun!

I just got the news that one of our colleagues at work gave birth to a baby boy a few days ago. And this is the present we gave her already when she left on maternity leave:

Everyone helped out by knitting or crocheting at least a few patches, and then I volunteered to crochet them all together. I have to admit that when I first got all the patches in all the different colours, it was quite hard to picture a nice, harmonious baby blanket. All the patches were just so different! But I think it turned out absolutely lovely in the end! It's got some special kind of charm about it. Sweet and colourful, but yet quite peaceful.

Wednesday 11 June 2014

Spring flowers

Long time, no see. But  now I'm back. And I actually have quite a lot to show you. The only thing that is missing is the time to write about them and the time to take pictures of everything. But one step at a time!

I was really busy with my studies this spring. I took some time off from work and finished my last studies at the handicraft teaching program, so now I'm officially a teacher of history and handicrafts! Yay! I must say I absolutely loved this spring, even though it was quite stressfull. I just learned so much and made a lot of things I'm really pleased with.

Already a few summers ago, I made a new "painting" for our living room. All you needed was a frame (thanks, dad!), some nice fabric and a staple gun.

I chose a green fabric by Marimekko named Valmuska. After that, our living room has seen more and more green details. First I made this small lace doily, and then a bigger one. The latest addition to our living room is this one:

A new cover for my grandmother's old rocking chair. I made this during a weaving course at the University and I call it "Spring flowers". The best part is the fact that the cover is reversable. Both sides look nice, even though they are slightly different.

Wednesday 23 April 2014


How do you know there's a cat in the house?

1) If there's a basket somewhere, the cat is most likely to be inside it.

2) If you forget that you have a ball of yarn hanging around somewhere, your appartment will sure enough look like this when you wake up in the morning:

But even so, it's still quite nice to have a fellow yarn-lover ready to help you with every knit or crochet you try to get finished. Too bad this little furry friend only came for a visit over the weekend.