Friday, 28 December 2007
We had a good Christmas, we had our first visitor here in Helsinki - David's younger brother... as we were moving, we were trying to predict who would be the first to visit us, and we never thought it would be him. My parents usually arrive just as we're unpacking the boxes, but this time they aren't coming till February, as they thought it would be too dark at the moment (it does limit what can be done in a day when it gets dark so early).
I believe my knitted gifts have gone down pretty well - I only gave the socks and knitted purse to my Mum and have heard that the socks fit, but nothing about the purse - no doubt when we next talk properly I can get some proper feedback.
There's lots of thoughts about what to knit and make next year going on... including what's already on the ikke ferdig list there's the wedding dress, and also a couple of accessories (for both me and David - don't worry I'm not going to try to make David a suit!). I also got some knitting books for Christmas, two about socks and a vogue book that I've had my eye on for ages now - so lots of food for thought.
Sunday, 23 December 2007
In Helsinki the sun came up at 09:25, and went back down again at 15:10. I make that 5 3/4 hours of official day light. Not too bad compared to Trondheim, where yesterday the sun came up at 09:59 and went back down at 14:28 (just short of 4 1/2 hours). We've really noticed the extra 1 1/4 hours - it hasn't seemed anywhere near as oppressively dark as it did last year. I think this time last year in Trondheim it was cloudy a lot of the time, which didn't help, whereas here in Helsinki we've had some clear, cold, crisp sunny days (like yesterday).
I still think back to when I moved from Knoxville, Tennessee back to the UK (in 2003) - I think Knoxville this time of year has about 9 1/2 hours of day light, and Bristol has about 7 3/4 hours, I remember really noticing the difference over the winter, and thinking that Bristol was really dark - looking back, I didn't know anything. I can't imagine living north of the arctic circle and not getting any light whatsoever.
I've altered the Koolhaas hat so that it covers my ears - it was quite stressful ripping back the crown shaping - before I ripped anything I thread a smaller circular needle through what I thought was a row and unravelled back to it - I had managed to thread through a row (they're difficult to spot through the cables) and so it all went OK. So, here's a definitely finished Koolhaas hat:
Wednesday, 19 December 2007
Sunday, 16 December 2007
(Edit - I wore it to the shops and decided that it's too short - so I've just ripped back to the beginning of the crown shaping and am going to make it a bit longer.... )
Friday, 14 December 2007
I spent a bit of time during the week making progress with the wedding dress dummy run. I've done as much as I need to do now (altered the pattern and made the dress from an old sheet, without lining including a zip and the foundation) and am happy with how it's turned out - so next step is to start making the actual dress. I need to find out when David's working weekends so that I can work on it then.
Here's how it's looking....
Ha ha - you didn't really think I'd show a picture, did you? Felicity Anne, is again helping me model, but she's shrouded so that David doesn't see too much.
Tuesday, 11 December 2007
I'm making progress with the red cardigan - I'm knitting it in a slightly different order than the pattern calls for - I'm knitting up from the cabled belt first as I think I may want to make it a little longer, but I only have a finite amount of wool. Lots of stocking stitch at the moment, but I'm managing to keep it pretty even and neat. I've also cast on a Koolhaas hat, again in red - a dark, overcast Finnish day has made the hat look much pinker than it really is.
This is taking more concentration than the cardigan, but I'm doing OK so far. And the Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran that I'm using feels lovely and soft - I'm hoping there won't be any itchy forehead syndrome once it's done.
The latest baby booties went in the post yesterday along with our wedding invitations - so no going back now! I've got a plan for some socks for Mum-to-be-Rach, so once I finish the Koolhaas hat I'll get on with them. And I've also got a small project called wedding dress to make progress with and a date of February 5th to have it finished by so that my parents can take it back to the UK with them when they come to visit us. Now if I can just figure out how to measure the length of my legs by myself...
Monday, 10 December 2007
Monday, 3 December 2007
I've finished the socks I've been knitting for my Mum. It seems to have taken me ages to knit these - I guess I did have three attempts at starting them, which didn't help. As I said in another post the pattern isn't exactly as written - but it gives an interesting textural ribbing, which I like, and I hope my Mum does too.
Friday, 30 November 2007
So, as I've finished one, I've decided to cast on another - keep the momentum going and try to keep the wool stash under control. I'm knitting lemonade as published in the August edition of Magknits. I've had this red cotton wool lying around for ages after I bought it and then didn't like what I was starting to knit with it. It'll feel good to finally use it. I've been looking for a suitable pattern for ages, and thought this one was very cute when I saw it a few months ago now. It's shown in magknits pictured on the designers daughter (I think), so am hoping it looks as flattering on a more "developed" figure! I haven't done much yet, but it's a start.
We're planning on walking into Helsinki today from home (about 7km) as David has the day off work. We've been directed to a goldsmiths that we think may be able to make us some wedding rings (we have a couple of old wedding rings that we'd like re-cast for us). We're hopeful that that will be another thing ticked off the immense wedding planning list that we're slowly making our way through.
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
I've followed through on my thoughts about knitting a change purse. As you can see - a few rows of ribbing and then just plain old stocking stitch. As I'd thought, I knit it in the round and then did a three needle cast off along the bottom.
I've also put a zipped lining into it:
The wool's fritidsgarn by sandnesgarn. It's nice and chunky - I wanted to make a fairly firm fabric so used 3.5mm needles (more than anything because I seem to have a gap in my needles for knitting in the round (both dpns and circulars) from 3.5mm to 7mm and didn't feel like going out and getting more at that point). I'm pleased with how it's turned out. I've made it so that it's big enough to put a bank card in it - for those times when you want to just take out a bit of cash, but then a bank card just in case...
I've got another ball of this same wool in the greens colourway, so am going to knit another one, but this time with more texture - maybe some cables? I have a change purse at the moment that I made (sewed rather than knit) and can never find it as it feels the same as the inside of my bag, so I think some texture should help.
I ended up going into Helsinki yesterday in order to swap over our modem so that we could get the broadband TV service to finally work. While I was in town I decided to check out a wool shop that had a stand at the Arts and Crafts Fair that we went to last Friday and also had good reviews on knitmap . So, I wandered around and found Käsityötalo Priima. A nice little shop with some interesting and well known wools. I also found out that they have a knitting group twice a week - so I'll probably try to go.
So, I bought two balls of Debbie Bliss' casmerino aran in order to knit the Koolhaas hat that's in the interweave knits holiday gifts 2007 magazine.
What else? I photographed all the wool I have and uploaded it into ravelry - I seem to have an awful lot of pretty random parts of balls, or just odd balls of wool. so I need to have a think about what I can use it for.
I've also made a start on my wedding dress - but no photos...!
Friday, 23 November 2007
The Konfekt 18703 has been making good and steady progress and now has two sleeves - so I just need to pick up stitches around the top edge and knit the neck and then it can join the ferdig list. I'll be pleased to have one largish project behind me - means I can move onto another one!
The first of my Mum's socks is done, and I've cast on the 2nd one. I realised as I was starting the pattern on the 2nd sock, that I've actually not followed the beaded rib pattern correctly from the sensational knitting socks book - so not only have I not knit these sock toe up as in the book, but I apparently haven't followed the stitch pattern either - whoops. I guess as long as both socks match each other it doesn't really matter. I think I might start at the beginning of this book and try to knit a pair of socks from each section - but first I'd like to knit some hats.
I've also been knitting and finishing off baby booties. This first pair is the small pair I was knitting just before we moved. I decided that, even though I thought they were too small it would be worth adding buttons and sending them to one of my friends that's just had a baby - just in case I'm wrong. So these went to Sophie:
Along with a bigger pair in the same wool:
I've had a request for some bee booties to match Dad to be Rob's bee socks - and if I have time I might try to knit Mum to be Rach some bee socks too - so the whole family will match. Their little one isn't due till mid-January, so I have a bit of time.
Wednesday, 21 November 2007
Now that we've got the computers set up at the new monkey house, I've finally properly downloaded my photos from during our move and thought I'd share a few:
This is us driving over the pass between Norway and Sweden - I don't think the Abba was quite playing by this time - as you can see there was a bit of snow!
This is a statue of George and the Dragon in Stockholm.
This is the boat we were on between Stockholm and Helsinki.
This is David enjoying a beer on the boat.
And this is David pretending to be a pirate (he needs more practice)
And this is us arriving into Helsinki the next morning. Arriving at a city (especially one that you're just moving to) by boat is different than arriving by plane - there's something less immediate and quick, and therefore more real about it. Or maybe I was just pleased to finally be in Helsinki at last?
Thursday, 15 November 2007
Tuesday, 13 November 2007
David seems pleased with the kitchen and has already started restocking the freezer!
We've been given a date of next Monday (Nov 19th) for the internet to be turned on - ahead of the expectations we'd been given, which is good - and hopefully in time for a work meeting I have scheduled. In the meantime I'm hanging out in our local library, which is part of a culture centre in our local area - from what I can tell it is very well used and looked after.
While we've been in the midst of moving two friends have had babies - Sophie has had a baby girl, Beartrice on Oct 31st and Anna has had a baby boy, Henrik on November 2nd. So, I'm back to knitting booties, the booties I was knitting for Anna's baby turned out too small so I'm starting again with those ones, and now that I know she's had a boy, maybe they won't be pale yellow.
Thursday, 8 November 2007
Thursday, 1 November 2007
I thought I'd better show some pictures of the outcome of the miracle freezer emptying desert from last night...They baked up fine...They were an oozy mixture of apple and chocolate with a very subtle texture of dried apricots... And they disappered just fine! Yum yum. Not bad for a cobbled together use-up desert. And the condensed milk was the pièce de résistance.
I spent most of the morning putting back up the horrible pink shiney curtains that were in the living room when we moved in. They're still just as pink and just as shiney, I think they can be seen in a previous post at about the time we were moving in. The other thing that is pretty hideous about this house is the wallpaper in the toilet - so I thought I'd take a photo and show it to the world...
The toilet's only about 1m squared - so it's pretty overpowering.
Oh well, we'll soon be in our all white house in Helsinki and miss all the colours.
Wednesday, 31 October 2007
As part of the move one of the things we've had to do is empty out the freezer and fridge - David and I like to keep a pretty well stocked freezer, mostly with home made stocks, leftovers, extra portions of things we've made etc (we don't tend to do frozen pizza or ready meals). As the move is now T minus 3 evening meals and one of those is going to be spent in a curry house here in Trondheim with friends, we're pretty much scraping the last edibles out of the freezer - one ingredient that did have us a bit stumped was a couple of sheets of frozen puff pastry. But genius that I am (and modest) for desert tonight we're going to have turnovers. They're stuffed with an apple (bought), apricots (so few of them left we decided they weren't going to join us on our travels) and some chocolate flaky bits that we got with some ice cream and have been sitting in the fridge ever since. I had to use a beer bottle instead of a rolling pin, and didn't have any flour, so it was a potential sticky mess.
So fingers crossed they bake up alright. We have a half finished can of condensed milk sitting in the fridge that needs finishing as well, so I'm sure that will help! Although we may not be able to sleep this evening for all the sugar.
Tuesday, 30 October 2007
I'm using a pattern available free on the web by Saartje de Bruijn. It's a pretty easy pattern with some simple, but very effective shaping and from the pictures I've seen of finished ones looks pretty cute. I hope it fits a baby foot - I didn't make any attempt at checking my gauge as I have a limited amount of unpacked needles (one set) and a limited amount of wool available (one type).
Monday, 29 October 2007
Now that all the furniture has gone and is on its way to Helsinki, apart from making sure our current house is in a respectably clean condition when we leave, there's not a lot more for me to do concerning the move until we start driving next Saturday morning. I think I'm going to have to go and see the tax man at some point, but apart from that my life continues pretty normally. David's on the otherhand is very busy at the moment as he has one last big commercial review thing to do at work this week.
In this calm, I've managed to take a few photos of my current projects that are on the ikke ferdig list, and that have managed to not get packed.
I've kept back the socks I'm knitting for my Mum - it's coming on well now after its failed first attempt as a toe-up sock (that's why the wool coming from the ball is all crinkly).
I'm also thinking about making some knitted purses - I bought this wool on Saturday in town: I'm thinking about knitting a simple tube about 10-15cm in diameter, which I'll then do a 3 needle cast off in order to seam it up at the bottom. I've got in my head a fairly dense knitted fabric so will probably use smaller needles that the wool band calls for - I'll probably just do stocking stitch for the first go. The plan is then to make a lining out of some cotton fabric with a zip in the top, which I can then insert and attach. That's the plan anyway!
I've also sewn in the 1st sleeve into the Konfekt 18703 top - I'm pleased with how it's shaping up. So 2nd sleeve is on its way and then I think I pick up stitches around the neck area and knit around for a bit. Lets hope the Norwegian on that bit isn't too difficult as the Norwegian-English dictionary is on the lorry.
Should I change the name of my blog to reflect that I'll no longer be in the land of brown cheese?
How can I knit more quickly and efficiently - I don't sit and knit for hours at a time, but it would be nice to know that I was being as efficient as I can be when I do. I have a feeling that I'm not holding the wool in my right hand quite right - I'm sure I was taught the correct way to hold everything when I learnt when I was 4 or so, but there was quite a long hiatus until where I am now.
I've set up my ravelry account and added some things to my stash and current projects etc etc. I've also joined some groups - I joined a Helsinki group, so will make contact rather than lurking once we've actually got there - I'm hoping some of the members of this group will know about knitting groups, and maybe classes so I can start meeting some people.
Saturday, 27 October 2007
So, we got back to Norway after being in the UK last Friday. It was a successful trip - our main aim was to get ourselves sorted legally with the registrar and book her for us getting married next year, and also to find a venue for getting married and the reception afterwards. We were successful on all counts. Our meeting with the registrar went fine and we managed to remember our names and the other details she needed. We also found a venue - we ended up not going for the combination I last blogged about as it was starting to feel to complicated to organise from afar, so instead have gone for here for both the wedding and reception. It's not too far from Penrith and we think will suit having a relaxed type wedding, and having it all in one place takes out the whole logistical worry of how to get between different parts of the day. Also, the lady that runs it is very very enthusiastic about weddings and I'm sure will end up being invaluable with us arranging the wedding from Finland.
Since we got back we've been organising ourselves for our furniture etc being packed and starting on its journey ahead of us. It all went yesterday, so now we're left in an empty house with an inflatable mattress, sleeping bags and a cork screw for a week before we set off.
I did keep out a few crafty things to do, as we won't have much entertainment from the TV etc over the next week. And I also intend to take some pictures and get my ravelry account started (username deballan).
Sunday, 14 October 2007
We've also managed to catch up with a few friends, and of course sampled some of the local beverages......
Saturday, 6 October 2007
Anyway, lets get beyond the excuses and back to our trip.
My Dad came to visit for the weekend on his way back from a conference in Copenhagen. We'd hinted that we might take the opportunity to go on a bit of a jaunt aound, but I'm not sure he was quite prepared for what we came up with... here's a map of our route - as you can see, we covered some distance and visited some pretty spectacular scenery, mostly in More og Romsdal, but we also managed to experience the Hurtigruter. I've uploaded some photos to flickr (which could do with some editing).
Some of my favourites are:
Trollstigen Road - we came from the bottom and were met by this almost shear wall at the end of the valley - which then has this hairpin road up in. I'm glad we were off season, so didn't meet a coach!
This is the Zakarias Dam near Tafjord where they're planning on building a glass bridge and hotel (link) - it looks like an amazing project. and we'll have to go back if it ever actually gets built.
For the next month or so things are going to be a bit crazy - a trip back to the UK, followed hot on its heals by the movers coming to move all of our stuff, followed by an uncomfortable week living without "stuff" and finally the physical move to Helsinki, followed by another week living in a new house without "stuff" before said "stuff" arrives and needs sorting into our life again. Change is good, right?
Thursday, 27 September 2007
I have been doing some knitting - I thought I'd get more done this week (as well as some sewing) as work is slow at the moment, but I haven't really felt like it since my 1st wisdom tooth came out, and I doubt I'll feel much like it next week when the 2nd one comes out - yuck.
So, here's the slow progress:
I restarted the sock for my Mum, I got almost finished with the 1st one, but wasn't happy with it, so unravelled it and started again. I had been doing a toe-up sock using a pattern from sensational knitted socks, but I wasn't happy with its sizing (my Mum has normal sized feet, bigger than mine, but smaller than David's - and the sock I was ending up with fit David easily), I also didn't like the heel - there were gaps where it started back up the leg, and I'd spotted a minor mistake I'd made with the pattern quite a way back. So, I started again, this time from the top down, I am still using the pattern from sensational knitted socks.
I've also been working on the first sleeve of the konfekt 18703:
On a couple of my previous posts I received a couple of anonymous comments, which I'm presuming are from someone in Helsinki, with a hint about a wool shop to check out (Menita's) and also a mention of a Marimekko sale (as if my appetite needed whetting!) - it's nice to receive these comments. I'm hoping that there is some sort of craft/sewing/knitting community going on in Helsinki that I can get involved with, I've read that there's a knitting group that meets in the centre somewhere, and I'm sure there must be more going on. (maybe the anonymous commenter can tell me I've added a contact email address to the side bar).
Monday, 24 September 2007
We had a walk in the morning and then the festivities began.... what a party, I must say the Norwegians really know how to have fun. It was a great set of people, some we knew already, a lot we didn't but knew better by the end of the wedding. This is the bride - she's wearing a traditional Norwegian bridal crown - it's a little on the large size for her, but what a fantastic thing to have.