Saturday, 27 December 2008
Monday, 22 December 2008
I've been busy/pre-occupied over the last month with some changes to my work, which included a quick trip back to the UK. Apart from the work-related stuff I had a good time visiting Jo and Andrew, who were kind enough to put me up at short notice. They were very good hosts and made sure I had the opportunity to drink proper beer, do some shopping, post Christmas cards, buy some really interesting cheese and eat some very good food including a treacle sponge. I didn't get the opportunity to visit any yarn shops, but I did come home with some more felted tweed - Andrew has asked me to knit him a jumper as he's tired of not finding what he wants that fits in the shops - he's decided on the cobblestone pullover by Jared Flood and managed to get the yarn in time for me to bring it back with me.
I have one project that I want to get finished before I cast on Andrew's cobblestone. And that is the deep V Argyle Vest that I've been working on. Knitting this along with Quinn hasn't happened as she's had some real problems with gauge and sizing etc so she's giving her version a time out. I've finished the knitting of the body and am now preparing myself mentally for doing the crochet steeks and cutting the arms and neck openings. I'm feeling pretty positive about it, but I'm sure it'll be pretty nerve racking.
And finally in knitting news I started a sock at Helsinki airport last weekend on my way to UK. I risked taking knitting needles in my hand luggage and was very surprised, especially on the return leg out of Heathrow, to have no problems at all. I'm sure it's very hit or miss and am not sure I'd risk trying to take larger needles or a project that would be a real disaster to restart if the needles were confiscated - I guess that's where life lines come in.
So, anyway the sock is the arch-shaped sock by Jen Showalter, although I'm trying to do them in 3 x 2 rib as I've seen others on ravely do them. My numbers/gusset decreases haven't worked out quite right, but I'm keeping going to see what happens.
Monday, 24 November 2008
So that's a good start - our neighbour tells us it's too soft for skiing, but if we have a bit of rain and then some more snow it should be good. At least it looks more like what we expect Finland to look like this time of year, and it's so much brighter outside now which is much better.
Sunday, 23 November 2008
This isn't our only wood pile - after 3 cubic meters was delivered yesterday we've now hopefully got enough wood to keep us going this winter.
We haven't had a lot of snow yet, but it's definitely colder than this time last year and there is snow forecast for later today (hopefully after David comes back from work with more tarps and we get the piles properly covered).
I have my fingers crossed for the Finnish winter experience we missed out on last year with it being too warm. Items at the top of my list include seeing the sea freeze over and the ice breakers in use. I'd also like to have a proper white Christmas - an occurrence which so far has been lacking from my life due to the southerly or temperate climates I've lived in, or from sheer climatic bad luck (in the case of our time in Norway).
Sunday, 16 November 2008
My first purchase was some merino lux from toika, it's a 50/50 merino and tencel mix, 4ply weight yarn and I bought enough to hopefully make a jumper at some stage. There isn't really enough light in Finland at the moment to show the colour properly - it's a bit more blue-grey than shows in this photo and has a lovely sheen.
The second I purchased was some sock yarn called Arwetta, according to the label it's 100% super merino wool AND 20% nylon, no doubt these will become socks at some point. I got it from the titityy stand.
And that's all I got... I said I was restrained!
Sunday, 9 November 2008
Now we're back to Finland, which is pretty grey and dreary at the moment. The fire has been kicked into action, so we're nice and cozy despite the weather. Unfortunately the car's still giving us problems no doubt another trip to the car doctor will sort it out and make us poorer - still hopefully cheaper than buying a new one.
I did a little knitting while I was away, but not that much and we visited the three yarn stores I could find addresses for although I was good and didn't buy anything. Depending on how much work I find to do next week I'm going to make a concerted effort at getting some more of my City and Guilds course progressed.
Thursday, 23 October 2008
Last night was a nightmare night. I dreamt that someone was in the room and lay down on the bed on the opposite side of me to David. The confusion and shouting started and I got out of bed, I think to try to switch on the light to prove what I knew in my head was happening. Of course I couldn't find the light switch (I always expect it to be by the bedroom door, but it's been put next to the walk-in wardrobe door) and when David switched the light on (as it was obvious that saying soothing words wasn't going to get me to just go back to sleep) there of course wasn't anyone there. With the turning on of the light and the realisation that the extra person in the bed was a figment of my imagination I woke up properly and was completely confused about what was going on and the emotions I was feeling. My heart also started racing - in fact I don't think I've ever felt it race so fast or so hard.
These nightmare episodes are very strange and I wonder why I get them. Why do I "wake up" in the night shouting and David doesn't (he just gets woken up by me)? What makes my brain convince itself that something is happening that isn't?
Friday, 17 October 2008
I've added another section to it and removed a lot of the paper backing, which was a pain (including a few paper cuts under my nails), but makes it a lot easier to manoeuvre now. Still some way to go but hopefully it'll remain my 10 year project rather than expanding to 15.
Saturday, 11 October 2008
My gauge isn't spot on, but is close. I think width-wise will be fine, especially once it's blocked, but I need to have a think about length-wise and decide if I need to make any minor changes while I'm doing the armhole shaping. I'm at the end of my first skein of green and nearly at the end of chart A, so I guess now is a good time to figure that out.
Tuesday, 7 October 2008
And it matches my hat (I'm not hiding - honest!)
As you can see from the photo our mud month weather hasn't continued, in fact we have a big blue sky and sunshine at the moment (long may it last).
Saturday, 4 October 2008
For example: January is tammikuu (oak month), February is helmikuu (pearl month). Not all of them have such succinct translations, but I did learn that October is lokakuu (mud month).
We were having this conversation on the last day of September, it was a beautiful evening - sunny, clear blue sky and beautiful autumnal foliage.
So far October has been living up to its Finnish name. It hasn't stopped raining - we even had thunder last night and the rain was so hard during the night that it woke me up (I woke David up and told him he should probably not cycle to work today, before going back to sleep) and I was surprised when I got up today that the whole area hadn't been washed away, but not surprised that it's still raining!
Quinn is coming over later as we're in the starting throes of both casting on for the Deep V Argyle Vest by Eunny Yang - that's if we both don't get too bogged down with gauge.
Tuesday, 23 September 2008
Sunday, 14 September 2008
I'm about half way through the first module - so far it's been a lot of swatches of "building blocks" for knitting - so different cast ons, cast offs, stitches, ribs, tension, gauge swatches, blocking etc etc.
Here are a few of the mounted swatches I've made so far - I've got an envelope of others that still need mounting and labelling. Soon I start doing stuff which is hopefully going to help develop the inspiration to design process. I'm really looking forward to that part.
One good thing about all the swatches that I've been making is that it's helping use up some of the not so nice yarn I seem to have in my stash, yarn that I wouldn't buy now, but that I have aquired through one way or another over the years.
The course is run from the UK - so far I haven't been able to attend any of the get-togethers of other students that happen, but maybe at some point one will coincide with a visit back to the UK.
Monday, 1 September 2008
First we have the Cable and Rib jacket by Debbie Bliss. I've been knitting this for what seems like ages (since February 2008) using wool from a herd of Jacob sheep kept at High Head Castle near Carlisle. They separate the wool into the three colours of natural wool found on a Jacob sheep, and this is the darkest. I have some more of this left and also some in the medium colour, so no doubt there will be more knitting of this wool to come. I think it's a really nice wool - I love that it's not dyed, but still has such a strong colour. I think it shows good stitch definition in the cables and ribs. I like the pattern, I found its formatting a bit of a problem during the cables, but a bit of copy, paste into word soon made that problem go away. I've heard people complain on blogs about putting zips in, and that they're difficult etc etc - I didn't have any problem. I guess my sewing skills come in handy.
Vinnland socks by Becca Compton. These were a bit of a technique experiment as these are the first pair of socks I've knit toe up, two at once, magic loop. Technique fine, although as I mentioned in the last posting I've got a bit of a ladder thing going on. I found the pattern a bit of a drag to knit, and not getting tangled up in either end of the same ball of yarn was a chore, but I really like the pattern now it's done, and the colour of the yarn is very me. I have a little bit of a problem with them, but I'll blog about that some other time once I've solved it.
garnstudio's drops alpaca, which is lovely and soft and really nice to work with so far. It's a thinner yarn than the pattern calls for, so I've changed needles and the size pattern I'm knitting. I'm not convinced yet though that I'm going to continue as I'm getting quite a limp fabric. I'm thinking about re-swatching with a double thickness of yarn.
Friday, 22 August 2008
Thursday, 31 July 2008
I've recently cast on two new projects: The first is the seascape stole from the summer issue of knitty. I'm knitting it using some of the mountain of yarn that Cecilie brought back from China.
And the second is Vinnland socks. I wasn't intending to start a second project until I'd finished the Jacob cardigan, but Cecilie wanted a toe up starting session - so I think I confused both her and Quinn in the ways of Judy's magic cast on . I think we may need another session, but I still believe this is one of the best ways to start toe up socks - I'm not so keen on the provisional cast on way. Anyway, again I'm using some Chinese yarn (this will be a theme for a little while!). As you can see I'm trying two at once using magic loop - the longest 2.5mm circular needle I have is 80cm, but I think I'm going to invest in a longer one as it's all a bit squashed.
When we got back our garden was properly blooming:
from top left, clockwise: Dahlia (Arabian Knight), Calendula, Bergamot, Lily (Samur)
Sunday, 20 July 2008
I planted the lilies a few months ago as sprouting bulbs bought at one of our local garden centres. They're the variety Samur.
They've been growing well since then and have had green buds for a few weeks, the buds of the lily that gets the most sun each day were showing signs of pink earlier this week.
And now the same lily has started to flower.
They're a really girly pink, but if you're going to have something as flouncy as lilies, why not? I have more of them spotted around the garden, so hopefully over the next few weeks we'll get splashes of pink around the place.
Our garden isn't the most colourful, but this is a start.
Friday, 11 July 2008
Felicity Anne and I both like it. It has a lot of texture to it, with the cabled panels on the front and the twisted rib covering the rest of it. It's not a loose sloppy cardigan, but nicely fitted and flattering. The red and yellow bulldog clips on the front holding it together are where there will be a double ended zip (hopefully if I can find one).
What's left to do: second sleeve (cast on this morning), collar, blocking, seaming and finding and sewing in the zip.
Monday, 7 July 2008
Friday, 4 July 2008
Talking of crop devouring I had to ask David to make the strawberries a cage - not because they're vicious and were attacking the other plants, but because the fieldfare were attacking them.
Monday, 30 June 2008
I think this is a really nice stitch pattern, not too girly but interesting. I'm tempted to make a pair for my Mum too.
So now I will spend a few days trying to make a dent in the Jacob cardigan I seem to have been knitting for ages - I think this has stalled as I don't seem to be able to do the cabling in company. I've cast on the first sleeve, so should be able to concentrate on the cabling at home and still be able to work on it in company.
Once that's a bit further on I'll allow myself to cast on some more socks - we met up with Cecilie yesterday and she brought me bounty that she'd bought in China - it's mostly sock weight yarn, although there are a couple of balls of even finer. She chose some very "Deborah" colours - greens, browns, blues and a bit of red - lots of mulling over and plotting are in order.
Thursday, 26 June 2008
And yes, the area behind the bench is our lawn - it looks a bit pitiful at the moment, but it's currently undergoing some re-seeding.
Things are growing in the garden, this is a picture of our tomato, pepper and chili plants. There's flowers on both the toms and the chilies (or maybe they're on the peppers, I can't remember which pot is which!), but they seem to be quite liking their sheltered spot. I'll be interested to see if we get much fruit, or if next years will have to be grown inside.
I found a recipe yesterday that we had for dinner, it was very tasty, so I thought I would share. We had sweet potato ravioli with toasted pine nuts, sage and rocket. The recipe can be found here. Typically we didn't have all the ingredients, so replaced the fresh sage with dried sage and the rocket with some chard from the garden. I did plant some rocket seeds the other day to give us a few more leaves to pick, but they're not up yet. And I will get a sage plant. So no doubt we will try the recipe again with the full set of ingredients to hand. You really can't beat freshly made pasta - it's so easy to make.
Monday, 23 June 2008
I especially like the continuation of the pattern down the heel flap, this isn't something I've done before, but I'll definitely do it again.
Before I cast on something new, I have the second sock of the embossed leaves socks to finish and am also part way through making the cable and rib jacket from the Jacob Wool.
We've received the official photos from the photographer and have sent on the link to them on the Internet to friends and family (Kristin, I sent them on to you after you commented, did you get them OK?). We're pleased with the photos, and now need to sit down and choose which photos to have put in our album.
We've also been sent a few "unofficial" photos... here's me beforehand... showing the dress and wrap that I made:
And here's us afterwards..
I don't think we scrub up too bad! Most people knew about David's socks being hand made, but I haven't seen a photo of them yet.
Wednesday, 18 June 2008
- We're back;
- We're married;
- We had a great time;
- It was great to see all the friends and family that we did.
We did a weeks walking in the Lakes before the wedding and a weeks walking afterwards, and then a weeks camp and explore once we got back to Finland. It was really nice to be amongst the hills of the Lakes
and I realised how much I miss beech trees.
There are a huge number of trees in Finland (as was proved to us during our week of explore), but there's just something about beech trees that I love.
I don't have any wedding photos yet, but once I do I'll post an odd one.
As for knitting and crafty activities - I hemmed my wedding dress, did a bit of my sailor sock and managed to acquire some patterns and yarn, but I wasn't nearly as productive as I'd imagined.
Wednesday, 21 May 2008
And here we have the first embossed leaf sock finished.I knit to the heel turn on both of these and then had them around in case Cecilie needed visual aid while she turned her first heel. Her heel passed by without incident and so I can now get on and get both of these finished. I'll take them both with me to the UK and hopefully get some knitting done between enjoying real ale in real pubs and walking.
And then we have the first little bit of the second front of the Jacob cardigan - kind of a token cast on.
So, a bit of sock knitting in the UK and maybe a look in the rowan shop (which sounds dangerous).
I'm sure I'll blog more when we get back....
Wednesday, 7 May 2008
Monday, 28 April 2008
The weather here in Helsinki has been really good for the last couple of weeks, and from the forecasts I've seen it's meant to continue (more or less). We've been taking the opportunity to spend some time outside to make the most of it. The weekend before this one we were meant to go over to David's boss's house for dinner on the Sunday. As the weather was so nice we decided to cycle - he cancelled, but we still went for a bike ride anyway.
We just happened to end up cycling past, what is turning out to be our favourite pub in Helsinki - The Black DoorThey serve real ale and other more interesting beers than the usual Carlsberg and Koff that is sold in most of the bars around here. And you can sit outside in the sun.
This weekend I met up with Cecilie and Quinn to continue with Cecilie's indoctrination into knitting and what is turning into an informal Saturday knitting group. We did try to sit outside of the Black Door but unfortunately there weren't any tables free so we ended up on the sun terrace of MBar. We were having a sock knitting session, so we got Cecilie started off with her first sock and Quinn and I cast on (with varying levels of success) for socks for ourselves. Quinn was eventually successful, but I cast on again on Sunday morning as I'd completely miscounted my gauge and I think the sock I cast on at MBar could have become a jumper.
I'm using Trekking pro natura in a green/blue colourway and am knitting using the sailor's ribbing pattern from More Sensational Knitted Socks.