Fingerless mittens · Knitting · Outdoors · Stash busting

Knitting, cycling and a few sheep

I might have mentioned earlier this summer that I’ve started to take my knitting with me on hikes. Turns out, I also take my knitting to bicycle rides. Cycling is not really one of those activities when one thinks of doing any knitting, but sometimes when the weather is just right and there is no rush to get anywhere, stopping for a few rows is just great. There is a place to sit on the bike and the saddle works fine as an arm rest. I can’t complain.

Knitting and cycling

I often ride over this bridge. Finland is not a big sheep country but quite often I can see some sheep from this bridge. I usually just shout something like “hello ladies”, as I ride past them. This time I sat knitting on the bridge and was so pleased to be able to show the sheep my progress. Only one was interested.

Sheep and a mitten

Happy knitting!

Knitting · Leg Warmers · WIP

Knit with a view

I, like perhaps most knitters, take a knitting for long car or train journeys and anywhere where you know you have to wait, like in a health centre. Recently I’ve started to take a knitting for a walk and hike, too. I’ve read about many knitters who knit and walk at the same time. I would probably go flying if I did that because I mostly walk in the forest and quite often there is no path at all, or if there is one, it’s full of roots, rocks, sticks and other foresty things that would make you trip over if you didn’t look where you were going.

Instead, I do my walking first and then sit down somewhere nice on a rock or a tree stump and do a bit of knitting while admiring the view. Sometimes I take a flask of coffee, too.

Knitting in the woods

I love walking in the forest. Did you know that it’s well researched that walking in the forest lowers your heart rate and blood pressure, eases muscle tension, calms the mind and help lower stress? Add knitting and I’m so calm I’m practically in a coma! Seriously though, I’m certain it’s true and I always feel miles better after I spend time in the woods.

Knitting in the woods

I always try to have a simple sock or mitten knitting handy for walkies (although this time it was a leg warmer). Below is the project bag I take with me. Before it became a project bag it used to be a toddler’s spaghetti strap summer top. I turned it so that the straps were in the middle and sewed a seam to the bottom. Done. It’s just big enough to take a sock or mitten knitting and it easily folds into a rucksack or camera bag.

My project bag

Happy knitting!

Knitting · Leg Warmers · Outdoors

A Midsummer Night’s Ramble

I always aim to get to bed in good time and be fast asleep well before midnight. Sometimes I choose to live dangerously, and instead of going to bed, I put my walking boots on and head to a nearby hill. From late May till mid July we have the midnight sun, which means that in that time the sun doesn’t set at all. The night is, well, almost like day.

Midnight Sun

Here it is, the midnight sun, and it won’t get any lower than that. The climb to this hill is quite easy, despite the boulder field. It’s quite strange though, because it looks like day (or perhaps an early evening would be better) but it’s very quiet, there are almost no cars on the roads and obviously no one climbing on hills. We’ve got the place to ourselves – mind you, it’s not exactly heaving with people here any other time, either.

As we were climbing up, the song ‘mad dogs and English men go out in the midnight sun’. It seemed quite fitting, the hubby being an English man. But does that make me the mad dog?

Midnight

This view shows the light better, the sun being behind the camera. Somewhere down there is our house.

Midnight

I love climbing well above the street level. Being higher up gives you a nice feeling of space. There is no one breathing down your neck. There is elbow space. And I love the peace and quiet. Here, one really could swing the proverbial cat!

Midnight knitting

This particular night was quite windy and not very warm. I thought about taking mittens but left them because, hey, it’s the middle of the summer. Boy, did I regret that. After knitting just a moment, my fingers were so cold that it became almost impossible to hold the needles. What kind of a knitter am I? My house is full of various handwear: mittens, fingerless mittens, gloves, you name it, and I go out without ANY of them. How stupid. I’ve made it a rule now NEVER to leave the house without mittens of some description in my rucksack. Even in the summer.

When we got home, I checked the temperature: +3°C. I don’t know what it was with the windchill.

Midnight knitting

Would this qualify as ‘knitting in public’? I’ve started to take my knitting with me a lot more than I used to. It’s nice to sit down after some hiking and climbing and knit while admiring the view. My usual ‘KIP’ would be knitting in a health centre waiting room, in a train or in a cafe. Knitting on top of a hill, practically in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night, is not so public, although it IS a public place.

Midnight knitting

I’m knitting leg warmers, if you were wondering. Something I’ve been meaning to knit for years.

As I’m writing this, we have moved on and the sun has started to set below the horizon again. Not that you’d notice yet. By the end of August we’ll see stars at night again. And so it goes.

Happy midnight knitting!

Knitting · Socks

Socks mapped out

I have a finished pair of men’s socks!

Men's socks

The pattern is very easy: 2 rows k2, p2 and then 2 rows knit all. Repeat these 4 rows. That’s it. The yarn is Novita’s 7 Veljestä Nostalgia, which is a perfect forest colour with its green and brown. The socks are men’s size EU 43/UK 9.

This picture was taken outside at midnight, hence the nice golden light and long shadows. I really like these granite boulders with colourful map lichen (Rhizocarpon geographicum) on them.

Happy knitting!

Fingerless mittens · Knitting · Mittens · Stash busting

Utmost gravity

Another one of my stash busting projects. I wanted to use up all of this yarn, which I dyed ages ago. I wanted to make fingerless mittens but to use up all of the yarn, I knitted them top down.

Also, I think I reinvented gravity because these mittens are hanging on this wall without anything holding them up. There are no nails or hooks or anything. I put the mittens next to the wall, thinking they would look good there but I had nothing to attach them. To my amazement, they stayed, just like that. Hurrah for weathered wood.

Fingerless mittens

I knitted the cuffs as long as I could. I suppose they would look best bunched up. The yarn is Novita’s Florica, 100% wool. I knitted them with 2.5mm needles. Can you see the snowshoes below? Yup, this is another project I photographed end of winter and then forgot all about them. Snowshoes are kind of essential if you go off the beaten track here in winter. Or, not essential as such, but it’s just very hard work to walk without them if you sink down to your thighs with every step. Anyway, enough about winter – it’s summer now! Well, sort of.

Fingerless mittens

I’m very pleased with these and happy to have another little bundle of yarn less in my stash.

Happy knitting!

Knitting · Scarf · Shawl

Rio of the Arctic

I always have a problem photographing scarves and shawls. If they are stretched out to their full size, they are quite small in the picture, but if they’re just draped somewhere, you can’t see the shape of them.

I recently finished a shawl and had just that problem. I took it with me on a snowshoe hike in the hope that I would find a cool place to take the photos. Plus I like multitasking.

Scarf on a shed

The pattern is ‘Rio‘ by Drops Design and it’s the same as this shawl. I had a little bit less than 200g of super-duper soft Teetee Primavera, a merino wool and silk mix. I didn’t even think about the fact that this yarn would not be enough. I just started to knit. I cast on a little bit less stitches than in the pattern. When I was almost done, it became clear that I did not have enough yarn. Because this shawl is knitted until you run out of stitches, it can’t just be ended where you run out of yarn.

Oh well, I thought, I’ll get another ball or two. Hah, little did I know but this yarn had been discontinued. All I could find online were some really dark colours. No thanks. I had no option but to start over, with even less stitches. I cast on another 10 stitches less. I thought that would leave me with plenty of yarn. Towards the end, I started to drip cold sweat and you know what? I finished the shawl with 15cm of yarn spare. It’s like I planned it (which, of course, I did!).

Scarf on a shed

The striping is done completely randomly without any planning. I just winged it. The shawl measures about 185 x 32 cm. I like it being so long but shallow.

Scarf on a shed

This building is by a lake but I’m not sure what it is. Someone’s little hideaway? A shed? It’s by a lake and there are no roads leading to it. During snow-less time it’s difficult to get to it because the lake is on one side and swampy forest on the other. My guess is that it’s someone’s fishing cottage and they arrive by boat. There are other buildings too, one of which is probably a sauna. Finns always have a sauna. Whatever this building is, it had some big nails on the wall in almost perfect places for my shawl. I like the weathered look of the wood, too.

Perhaps you’d like to see a few more pictures from the snowshoe hike. This place is walking distance from my house. I tend to spend more time on this lake when it’s frozen than I do when it isn’t. It’s easier to walk on it in winter than around it in the summer.

Green outside loo

This cute green building must be the loo. I could imagine this loo looking even prettier in the summer when it’s the same colour as all the leaves on these birches.

Always unfrozen

This is an always unfrozen bit of the lake, and it’s where a river starts. When it’s colder, it looks brilliant with steam and the water edges are full of ‘ice flowers’.

Start of a river

And this is looking the other way from the same spot. And yes, it’s the said river. There are two ramshackle bridges leading to nowhere. They are quite scary because you really don’t want to fall into the river in winter. Or even in the summer, come to think of it.

It’s the time of year we call spring-winter. It’s not properly winter anymore, but it’s not spring either. It’s totally on its way though.

Happy knitting!

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!