Bag · Knitting · Knotting · Yarn

So hideous it’s cute

The last few days have flown past! The best thing about holidays is having time to just sit and knit.

I discovered audio books some years ago. Here in the north we have long winters and lots of snow and we spend a lot of time ploughing. Audio books make that job enjoyable! You can completely forget that you are actually ploughing while listening to a book. All last winter I ploughed with Jack Vance’s Cadwal Chronicles. Fantastic! Little while ago I realised that audio books would work equally well with knitting. Even though knitting is enjoyable even in total silence, audio books are a nice distraction (as are films and tv series).  Past couple of weeks I’ve been knitting to Sylvain Neuvel’s The Themes Files.

Scrap yarn project bag

I hate wasting anything and one of the things I do with knitting and yarn is to collect short bits of yarn in a box and once I have collected some, I knot them all randomly and wind them into a ball. I use anything longer than about 30cm/12″. Bags are a good thing to use the surprise yarn ball for because all the knots are hidden underneath the lining.

Scrap yarn ball

For the project bag I used mostly specialty yarn. Some 15 years ago there was a bit of a thing with card making using specialty yarn, and because my mum loved specialty yarn and had lots of it, I asked her some for my card making. She gave me loads but I never made more than maybe one card. I decided to knot mostly these specialty yarns but also some ordinary yarn. The result is a project bag so hideous that it’s almost cute! I added a satin lining and a drawstring. It’s big enough to take a sock or mitten knitting for a car ride with you.

Waste not, want not!

Jumper · Knitting

Petrol blue

Yay, a finished jumper! This is for my hubby. I knitted this fairly quickly until the sleeves, and for some reason no matter how I knitted, the sleeves didn’t seem to get any longer. It’s one of those things, I guess. Eventually I made it. I finished the jumper off with metal buttons.

Jumper with metal buttons

This pattern is by Novita (again) but the funny thing is that it’s a teen pattern. And I made size 160cm. I usually make him men’s S. It’s a good fit and he likes it, so I’m happy. The yarn is also by Novita, called Wool (probably because it’s 100% wool). The colour is lovely petrol and the good news is that I have enough of it left to make another jumper – perhaps for me. As far as jumpers go, I usually knit one for him, two for me. That’s about right, yes?

Happy knitting!

Knotting

Crown knot

I suddenly realised that I had no gift for my sister’s 2-month-old puppy. Luckily I had some t-shirts ready-cut into t-shirt yarn. I used red and orange to make a crown knot dog toy. It was my first go at crown knots and I was surprised how simple it was. The toy is a bit wonky and looser at one end, but is a tiny puppy going to notice that? Hardly. I’ve been told that Helmi (that’s her name – Pearl in English) is a little tearaway anyway, so watch out, dog toy!

Crown knot dog toy

The English Cockers in the picture are the spitting images of my dogs, Oskar and Tesla. They were knitted by my mother. Sadly, Tesla is no longer with us. Oskar, however, is a spry 14-year-old. I gave the toy to Oskar to see if it’s a good one and I almost didn’t get it back. I tried to swap it for snacks but Oskar preferred the toy (that’s a first!). I trust it’s a good toy because Oskar doesn’t usually play with toys. There’s something to be said about handmade toys!

Happy knitting!

Yarn

Weak is as weak does

My yarn stash is slowly taking over the whole house and if I’m not careful, I might have to move into the shed soon. And then – without even blinking – I ordered some more yarn. Well, what could I do? There were good offers and free shipping to boot!

Yarn!

This is all Finnish Novita yarn. Black and white yarn on the bottom right corner is a reflective yarn and the gray yarn on the top left corner has silver metallic effect on it, even though the picture doesn’t show it. The rest are 7 Veljestä, Nalle and Venla, which all have the same consistency (75% wool and 25% polyamide) but they are different thicknesses: worsted, dk and fingering, respectively.

Until my next moment of weakness, this should keep me busy!

Happy knitting!

Knitting · Mittens

North Karelian

These mittens are going to be a Christmas present for my sister. They are traditional North Karelian mittens. North Karelia is a region in eastern Finland and it’s where our father comes from. This makes me and my sister half North Karelians, yes?

Traditional North Karelian mittens

Traditionally these mittens are very dark brown, white and red. I didn’t have all those colours and as I wanted to start these mittens sooner rather than later, I tweaked the colours a bit: dark gray, light gray and red. I used Novita’s discontinued Florica yarn, which is 100% wool.

The symbolism of these mittens is as follows:

Dark brown (dark gray): Karelian earth/land
White (light gray): Snow and cleanliness (my version is a bit dirtier!)
Red: Joy

The traditional Karealian snowflake motive is also a reminder of the (Russian) orthodox tradition of the region.

I’m very pleased with the mittens and with the fact that I actually made them – at last. It’s been a plan for a few years now. I want to make a pair for myself too sometime. I will make mine with a slightly thicker yarn though because my hands are a lot bigger than my sister’s and these mittens are a little bit small for me.

Happy knitting!

Knitting · Mittens

Black mittens

I finished a quick pair of mittens.

Finished!

As so often, these were knitted with Novita’s 7 Veljestä (7 Brothers). It’s my go-to yarn for lots of things – mittens, socks, jumpers, you name it. This yarn is available in our local (and by local I mean 20 km away) supermarket, making it really easy to get the yarn/colour that you need. This is not something that I can do easily with many things, living out in the sticks. Of course I could order yarn online (and I do!) but those cases when I’d like to start a certain project NOW and not a few days/weeks later, a supermarket yarn aisle is handy. I often always walk down the yarn aisle even when I don’t need/want anything. It has become a joke with us that I say: Let’s go and touch the yarns!

The pattern for these mittens is here. Unfortunately, it’s in Finnish. They have leg warmers in English with the same colour work, but for some reason they haven’t translated the mittens (nor the hat or socks).

So, I was complaining about the black yarn on my hoodie, and then go and knit mittens in black. Well, black yarn in general isn’t a problem, even in low light. Smooth yarn can be knitted eyes closed, mostly.

Happy knitting!

Hoodie · Jumper · Knitting

The new black

I’ve been working like a woman possessed, trying to finish off lots of stuff before Christmas and time’s running out.

This black hoodie was a pain to knit. I think it might have been ok had it been any other colour. The black yarn with its fringe (can’t think of a better word for it) made it difficult, if not almost impossible, to see where a stitch was. I would try and knit just the fringe part instead of a stitch, or if I dropped a stitch, which happened often, I couldn’t see where it went. The whole thing was just fringe and no stitches, it seemed. Bright daylight in the middle of the summer didn’t help either. That’s when I started this. Anyway, I soldiered on.

Zippered cardi

I don’t know if my description of a fringe makes any sense. The finished fabric is almost like terrycloth. The fringe is like those eyelash fancy yarns but the lashes are shorter and thicker. Think of a terrycloth and you should get the idea. The yarn is again by the Finnish Novita and it’s called Jive. I have some brighter colours of the same yarn too, which I bought in a sale once, thinking that they would be great for soft toys. No toys yet though…

I brightened up the hoodie with an orange zipper. There was no way I was going to sew anything black onto that thing. Besides, I think it looks cool with the orange zipper.

When I was a teenager, I started to wear a lot of black. I wasn’t a goth or anything but just had a lot of clothes in black. My sister always made fun of that and she said that she would knit me “a blacker than black jumper and put some black on it to brighten it up a bit”. I keep reminding her, since to this day, I’ve not received the said jumper. But at least now I have a black hoodie with an orange zipper. And orange is the new black, right?

Happy knitting!