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!

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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!

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!

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!

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!

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!