Knitting · Mittens

Double Teddy

Just a quick job today: Orange mittens.

Orange!

Do you remember these blue Wookiee mittens? When the Wookiee picture was taken during a winter hike, my hubby was wearing his orange padded pants and I said to him that I have this same furry yarn in orange. He immediately said that he NEEDS a pair of orange Wookiee mittens. Finally I’ve knitted them – they were done in one evening.

Orange mittens

My blue Wookiees are just Teddy yarn (which is by the Finnish Novita and consists of 45% wool and the rest is polyamide and acrylic). These orange mittens are a little warmer because I knitted them with Teddy and Nalle. Nalle is also by Novita and it’s a fingering weight yarn made of 75% wool and 25% polyamide. I used fairly small needles, 6mm, because I wanted the mittens to be dense. And that they are. The recommended needle size for Teddy is 8mm.

Thick mittens

Hubby should be quite visible now on white snow with his orange pants and orange mittens. Not that I’ve lost him often anyway.

Do you know what Nalle means in English? It means Teddy. So, these mittens are knitted with Teddy and the other Teddy.

Happy knitting!

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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!

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!

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!

Knitting · Mittens · Stash busting

Two shades of brown

Here is a star mitten I started to knit…

In the making

And ta-daa! I’m done!

Star mittens

I can hear you thinking that a) she’s a really fast knitter or b) there’s a bottleneck here somewhere. No prizes for guessing that it’s the latter. Actually, the WIP picture is quite rare for me – I almost never remember to take one. I’ve always finished the project until I remember and then it’s too late. Also, the WIP picture in my mind should be a quick snap of a picture but as we are heading towards the darkest time of the year, a quick snap is not really an option. This is why: today November 26th, sunrise 10:07, sunset 13:54, length of the day 3 h 47 min. Just as  you think it’s getting lighter, it starts to get darker. Ha! Of course there are ways around that, but I digress…

Back to the mittens. The pattern is by Drops Design and the yarn is probably not much younger than me. It’s my grandmother’s old stash and it’s by Finnish Novita, called Brunners Polka. I’ve not managed to find out anything at all about this yarn but my guess is that it’s from the early 80’s, possibly older. Weird thing is that the yarn label is in blue and yellow (Swedish colours) and it has on it, in my opinion, a very Swedish looking image of a couple in national dress. Also, all text is in Swedish only. And yet, Novita is a Finnish company. Perhaps those days they had a range just for the Swedish market, who knows.

So, the yarn has a possible Swedish link, the pattern is Norwegian and the knitter is Finnish. Hurrah for Scandinavian co-operation!

Anyway, I digress again. The pattern is very nice to knit and it makes a rather long pair of mittens, which is good on these latitudes, as I don’t like cold wrists. Two shades of brown is actually quite nice, even though I almost never make or buy or wear anything brown. These mittens look like dark and milk chocolate to me. Yummy.

Happy knitting!

Knitting · Mittens · Outdoors

Fingerless mitts

I have never ever knitted mittens, fingerless or otherwise, on two needles. Until now. I don’t know what made me try.

Fingerless mittens

I had tiny balls of some nameless yarn. I knitted two rectangle pieces, did the seam and left a little gap for the thumb. Done.

These fingerless mitts are ok but I have to say that I do prefer knitting mittens in the round – doesn’t everyone? Unless, of course, there is a reason why they are done on two needle, like these. I want to try and make those babies one day.

Fingerless mittens

When out and about, I often have fingerless mittens in the rucksack. I swap my proper mittens to fingerless mittens when having a break. This way the hands still keep relatively warm but the grip on a mug is a bit more secure. Also, easier and tidier to hold on to one’s muffin!

Break

Happy knitting!