Toys · Upcycling

Thumbs up, boys

I love to repurpose stuff. I keep old clothing to make something out of them later. I cut t-shirts into t-shirt yarn and sew bags from old jeans. I make sock monsters from socks. My sister sometimes sends me a package full of old clothes and other stuff, and one time I found an old pair of kid’s gloves in there. Hmmm….I made a pair of bunnies.

Twins with their new scarves and mittens

The cuff was cut in half and sewn into legs. The two middle fingers (or rather the middle finger and the ring finger) were cut out and made into arms. The place where they were was sewn shut to make the top of the head. The thumb was cut out and shortened to be the tail. That was it. Then the bunny was stuffed and buttons were sewn for eyes and a cross for a nose/mouth.

Well, the bunnies were ok but a bit boring, to be honest. I left them for a while, until I suddenly thought that the bunnies need some winter gear. I knitted scarves and mittens for them and now they look a lot nicer.

Twins

Happy knitting!

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Dublicated stitches · Jumper · Knitting · Stash busting

Heart on the hem

This was a Christmas present for my 5-year-old niece. Oh, how quick it is to knit a 5-year-old-sized jumper!

Girl's jumper

I used an Angry Bird jumper pattern but because I used yarn from my stash, I didn’t have enough red to knit an Angry Bird jumper. I just took the measurements and the numbers of stitches from the pattern. The yarn is probably as old as me, named Novita Cora. It was my grandmother’s, then it ended up as my mother’s, and now to me, and I knitted it for my sister’s daughter. Ha, how to involve generations with just one jumper! The little heart was done by duplicating stitches. I found two round red buttons in my stash with a heart image in the middle, which were perfect.

The jumper is a good fit. I hope they remember to wear this jumper now that the temperatures are close to -20C even in the south, where they live.

Happy knitting!

Knitting · Outdoors · Woolly pants

Mandatory use of woolly pants

Probably the best thing I’ve ever knitted for winter use are my woolly pants. They are so warm and I don’t know how I’ve managed to stay alive without them. When you live way above the Arctic Circle where temperatures can easily drop below -40C (-40F), clothing needs to be seriously practical and most of all warm.

What you need to do is this: First put on your long johns and socks. Then woolly pants. Then padded pants. Add woolly socks as needed. That’s warm.

Woolly pants

I used a pattern (sorry in Finnish only) by Novita and also their yarn Nalle Taika. I love that colour. Shame that these pants are usually hidden from view.

Then of course my hubby needed woolly pants too.

Woolly pants

Their pattern is also by Novita and yarn is Nalle. He is also very pleased with his woolly pants.

I like the woolly pants so much that I’ve already earmarked another pair which I’ll knit some time. These are for me and these for hubby. I have yarn ready for mine as well.

Talking of woolly pants, there was a children’s programme on TV when I was little. It was called “Mandatory use of woolly pants”. A little boy, Timo, has been ill with a chest cold and he’s been off school for a few days. When he’s well again and gets ready to go to school, his father says that it’s very cold outside and he must wear woolly pants because he’s just been ill. Timo thinks this is embarrassing because the other boys don’t wear woolly pants. The pants his father brought to him had even a heart-shaped patch on the bum. Timo tries to protest by saying that he does not breath with his bum, but it doesn’t help. He has to put the pants on.

At school that day they have a doctor’s check-up. Timo is terrified because he thinks that other boys might see his woolly pants if he needs to take his clothes off. He can’t concentrate on anything and just has terrible images in his mind all day. He came up with the idea that if the president would announces on TV a mandatory use of woolly pants, he’d be ok. Everyone then would have to wear woolly pants. With his mind’s eye he sees the news anchor announcing the mandatory use of woolly pants, ordered by the president. It would last till first of May, when the use of summer clothes would be allowed, weather permitting. And then the news anchor starts a woolly pants rock dance presenting woolly pants fashion. That’s classic!

This whole film used to be available online not too long ago, but all I could find now were little snippets. If you want to see the woolly pants rock, click here. This is Finland in 1977. Enjoy!

Happy knitting!

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!

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!