Knitting · Mittens

Sodankylä mittens

I live in the municipal of Sodankylä (since 2006), which is located in Finnish Lapland. The municipal is large in area but small in terms of population. The two official languages of Sodankylä are Finnish and Northern Sami. It’s extreme northern location means short summers and long, cold winters. For a knitter, that’s kind of ideal.

The coat of arms of Sodankylä is really cool. I like the colours black, silver and red and the very graphic design. It’s said to symbolise the Lappish wilderness. The black means the long, dark polar nights and the red flames are from a type of open fire, where the fire burns in a crack between two large logs. Because of the star (which can be seen during the dark long nights in the winter), Sodankylä is called the star municipal of Lapland.

I wanted to turn this cool design into mittens.

Sodankylä mittens

I stylised the camp fire by knitting it without the squiggle.

Sodankylä mittens

On the palm side I knitted a dotted starry night pattern – I thought that would be appropriate.

I used Novita 7 Veljestä yarn, which is nice and fairly thick, so it makes warm mittens.

Sodankylä mittens

This last picture was taken in the middle of the day. Around the polar night time (in December), daytime is short and very blue. I like using my ski poles for photo props.

Sodankylä mittens

Happy knitting!

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Jumper · Knitting

Viking Knot Saga

I finished another jumper. This has been on the needles for some time. Let me explain.

Viking Knots jumper

A little while ago I decided that this jumper has to get finished now. It’s been in my knitting basket for some time. 4 or 5 years, I thought. I looked at the printed pattern and the date on it was 22nd September 2007. Yes, 2007, that’s not a typo. I started this jumper over 11 years ago. This takes procrastination to a whole new level! [rolls eyes]

I said I would explain, but I don’t really have an explanation. I must have just put this to one side to knit something else first and it somehow snowballed. There was nothing wrong with the pattern, nothing wrong with the yarn, all that was wrong was me. Apparently.

The pattern is Viking Knots and the yarn is Drops Alpaca. I made the long sleeve version. I love that yarn and the fabric it produces. It’s very soft and it feels really substantial and yet the whole jumper weighs only 310g. When I was finishing the knitting, I was convinced it would not fit me. The fabric was so thin and the edges curled up so much that I thought it would fit a doll at best. When it was blocked and finished, the size is perfect! Everything about this jumper is perfect, except the knitting time.

The colour I used is petrol (mix 7240) and it’s fantastic. I’m toying with the idea of knitting another Viking Knots. I’m drooling over the different colours of Alpaca: dark olive, dark purple, light maroon, rust, golden rod…how could I decide? What if I took another 11 years to finish it?

Happy knitting!

Hats · Knitting

Forever green

Yet another hat! I had to knit this hat because I found a small ball of this green yarn and simply had to get rid of it.

Green hat

The yarn is Sirdar Country Style for Kids. I bought the whole packet (a kilo I guess) a long time ago. It was a good offer and I was a student at the time – say no more. Over the years I’ve been knitting and knitting and this never-ending yarn just – well, never ends. Until now.

I’ve knitted a cardigan, a bolero, mittens, fingerless gloves, a scarf and now a hat with this yarn. Maybe something else too. The yarn is 45% acrylic, 40% nylon and 15% wool. It’s clearly not a very warm yarn but it’s easy to care for. Just throw the knit in the washer and it comes out the same as you threw it in, only cleaner.

Green hat

This hat was knit with double yarn, and top-down. I used 3½mm needles because I wanted the fabric to be dense. I suppose I could have knitted some interest into it but I simply wanted to see the end of this yarn, so speed was of the essence. I get a bit neurotic when I find yarn that I thought was already gone, or when I find a little bit of yarn that would just be enough for some small and quick knit. It burns a hole in my yarn stash until it’s gone. This hat was knit in one evening. Phew.

I once again proved that even if I have a big yarn stash and some yarn has been sitting there for years, even decades, eventually it all gets knitted.

Happy knitting!

Knitting · Mittens · Outdoors

Arctic Wookiee

This is one seriously frozen Chewbacca!

Frozen Chewbacca

It’s been so cold that even Chewbacca freezes. Or is it the abominable snowman? I prefer Chewbacca, being a sci-fi fan and all 🙂

We’ve had temperatures below -30C for over two weeks now. These temperatures are not unusual here but when they continue for weeks on end, it starts to get on my nerves. We had a mini heatwave for two days of only -10C but today we are back to -33C. We have just over 50cm of snow now. I’m not sure but I think this is little less what we normally have at this time of winter. So there’s something positive.

Last weekend, Sodankylä, which is the municipality where we live, broke the cold record in Finland this winter, -38.7C. It was also the coldest place in the whole of Europe, if you don’t count Russia.

It is, however, business as usual here. I’ve never, ever, heard of any school ever being closed because of snow or low temperature. Buses or trains might be little delayed if tons of snow comes all at once but other than that, people just keep adding more clothes and start to look more and more like Michelin Men.

The mittens above are not a recent knit. I knitted them about 10 years ago. I use them a lot. I realised that they were really warm while ploughing snow, when combined with another pair of mittens or gloves underneath. Fingers freeze really easily while ploughing snow because of the metal bar you hold on to. I also put the blue furry mittens in the rucksack when going on winter hikes. I like to put them on while on a break and my fingers are frozen from messing with the flask or after taking some pictures. I think it must be those fluffy hairs that make them warm, even though they are only 45% wool and the rest acrylic and polyamide.

I hope you are all keeping warm, wherever you are.

Happy knitting!

Jumper · Knitting

A hoot

Hubby’s owl jumper is finished and I think it might be a new favourite.

Owl jumper

This was a very quick knit – I surprised myself. The yarn is (surprise surprise) Novita’s 7 Veljestä and it was knitted with 4mm needles. The gauge is 18 stitches to 10 cm. The pattern is here but unfortunately only in Finnish. (I will update these links if the patterns are translated into English at any time.)

I don’t really have anything else to say. This was such a pain-free and quick knit without any drama or disasters. I basically sat down and started and soon it was finished. The size is very good, too. I’m going to knit an owl jumper for me, too, but it will be more colourful. Perhaps all the different images in a different colour. The pattern for the ladies’ version is a tunic but I might do a normal length jumper instead. But not yet.

Anyway, this owl was well received, and that’s the main thing!

Happy knitting!

Crochet · Hats · Outdoors · Stash busting

Fall on the fells

I’ve decided a hundred times that I would crochet more. I want to learn to crochet better and to be more comfortable and relaxed about it. And still I don’t crochet that often. I guess knitting just takes priority every time. But I do make the odd, simple crochet project once I put my mind to it.

Crocheted hat

I crocheted these cool, simple hats with some leftover yarn from a cardigan project. The blue is for my hubby and it has one more increase round than the white one, which is mine. The yarn is Novita Samos, which is 50% cotton and 50% acrylic. It’s a very spongy yarn and it feels nice and it’s lovely to knit and crochet.

Crocheted hat

There’s me wearing my cool hat just before snow came. I love this hat for hikes because it’s non-itchy and it stays well in place. It’s warm but not hot, even when it’s not cold.

This place is close to where we live. We usually cycle there because it’s so much faster and then we might continue by foot on top of the fell. The climb up here is a bit of a struggle as the path turns almost vertical at one point. You need good brakes on the way back down. The view out over the fells is especially nice in the autumn and is typical Lappish landscape.

Autumn cycling

Happy knitting!

Jumper · Knitting

The dress that never was

Yay, I finished a lacy jumper!

Lace yoke jumper

The pattern was actually for a dress but I made it a jumper instead. I’m not much of a dress wearer and thought that a jumper would get much more use. For once, the pattern is also available in English. The yarn is Novita’s Venla, which is a fingering weight yarn and it’s a blend of 75% wool and 25% polyamide.

Because I made this a jumper, I added some decreases and increases to the waist (which weren’t there for the dress). I just winged it. I made it quite long and it’s on the limit of being a tunic. It’s a top-down pattern and the lace yoke is very easy. The whole jumper knitted up very quickly, despite the thin yarn.

The front and back are the same. I wanted to mark the front somehow, and attached a wooden button to the hem. You can just see it on the bottom right. It says Handmade on it. I don’t know if people are usually bothered about which way they wear a jumper that’s the same both ways, but I always like to know that I wear it the same way every time. Hence the button. All in all, I’m quite pleased with this jumper. I had my doubts many times along the way, but it pulled through.

Happy knitting!