Crochet · Outdoors · Reflective yarn

Shiny things

I like knitting jumpers and other big things and I even crochet big things at times. Sometimes, however, it’s nice to knit or crochet something really small. Not miniature small but just small. Instead of working on something for weeks or even months (or god forbid, years), it makes a change to get several items finished in just one afternoon.

Crochet heartsBefore Christmas I started crocheting these little hearts. I’m not terribly good at crocheting but I can handle simple things and these hearts seemed simple enough. They are actually (according to the pattern) decorations for Christmas lights. I left out a hanging loop and attached a pin back to the rear. The yarn is Novita Hohde (it could be translated as “Shine” or “Glow”), which is a nice worsted weight yarn with reflective fiber. Pin this on your coat, hat or bag and you are a little bit more visible during these dark winter months. It’s obviously not a replacement for a proper reflector, but surely anything helps.

Reflective heart pin

I popped these in the envelopes with my Christmas cards!

Reflective crochet heart

The pattern I used is here and it’s in English! I thought about crocheting other shapes too; stars or flowers and a skull would be nice, but I haven’t found small enough patterns yet. I wouldn’t like to pin a reflector that looks like a table cloth on my coat. I do like this puffy heart and I might try one later. Crocheted with reflective yarn and a string added, it could dangle.

As a side note, did you know that a reflector is a Finnish invention?

Happy knitting!

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Hats · Knitting

Top-down hat

Yet another hat. I like knitting hats in between other (bigger) things. I like how they can be finished in an evening.

Hat with orange pom pom
I had one 50g (100m) ball of this yarn, Novita Puro, which is a soft, variegated 100% wool yarn. I knitted the hat top-down so that I can use every last inch of the yarn – which I did. The tiny orange pom pom is some other yarn and I had made it sometime earlier. It seemed to match well.

Hat with orange pom pom

I like blues, purples and oranges. And this yarn has them all with a little green thrown in for good measure.

Hat with orange pom pom

Happy knitting!

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!