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 · Scarf · Shawl

Fab shawl

I bought some Patons Fab yarn some years ago during my travels in Britain. I bought it because it was so colourful and I had a plan for it, but for the life of me I can’t remember what it was. I knitted a shawl with it instead.

Shawl

I used the Rio pattern by Drops Design, which is a nice, not-quite-symmetrical shawl. I used a thicker yarn than that in the pattern, so I cast on less stitches (131 instead of 165 – just an arbitrary number that felt right). My shawl is still bigger (206 x 36 cm instead of 180 x 30 cm).

Shawl

The pattern is very nice. The stitches are increased on one end every other row and decreased on the opposite end every row. So the stitches go down by one every second row and you carry on until you run out of stitches. It’s all garter stitch. Perfect no-brains-required knit.

Shawl

Because the shawl is relatively big, it’s difficult to take a photograph to show the shape of it properly. I pinned it to a fallen down tree with thumb tacks! So you can see that the highest point of the triangle is not in the middle and the shawl is nicely kind of skewiiff.

shawl detail

And just a detail picture because I like the bright colours against the clean, white snow. The yarn Fab is 100% acrylic. I can’t quickly come up with any benefits that acrylic yarn has but at least it feels soft around the neck. Of course, I think the colour is just fab.

Shawl

These outdoor pictures were taken on a swamp, just behind our house. My plan was “just to nip out and take the pics”, so I didn’t bother with snowshoes. It would have been hard work even with the snowshoes on but without them, I was up to my thighs in snow. The distance of just 20m feels almost like a marathon. In the middle of the winter you always appreciate how simple and easy it is to move around and to photograph your knitting when there is no snow on the ground. Couple of more months to go!

Happy knitting!

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!