Thursday, July 14, 2011

Once a upon a time there was a skein of Novita Puro...

I bought a skein of Novita Puro because I thought it was pretty. I'm not normally into pink, I think it's my least favorite color, but this time the pink just begged me to give it a try. I just liked how it was combined with lilac and light brown. I had my suspects though so I only bought one skein. Sometimes this kind of yarn looks horrible when knitted.


So I have a skein of  new yarn, now what to do with it? You can't do much with fifty grams of bulky yarn. It had to be something small, something smaller than a pair mittens. And finally it hit me: I needed a coaster for my mug at work. I always forget to wipe dry the bottom when I wash it and a coaster would be nice so I wouldn't have to mind about the wet circles anymore. So a coaster it was. I grabbed my hook and made this:


I didn't like it. It wasn't pink and girly as I expected it to be. It was dirty-looking and brown and the shape was totally off. It was supposed to resemble a flower. I had no other choice than to grab my hook again and try something else:


It's pink and girly and looks more like a flower. But I didn't like it. I liked it even less than the first one. And the more I looked at the two coasters the more I started to like the first one. It wasn't bad. Pink isn't really my color and I liked how the pink faded to brown. It was more sturdier too because I had crocheted it with a smaller hook. Yes, indeed the first one was better so I decided to give the second one to my coworker as I thought she might need a coaster too.

And she did. She liked the coaster so much that she asked me to crocher her an extra one. She wanted to have one for her to admire and one to keep under the mug. Since I still had yarn left, I crocheted her a new one according to his requirements: she especially wanted the petals to be pink :


I didn't like that one either, but luckily my coworker did. She was even more pleased with this one that the first one and she showed them both to our other coworker and asked her if she wanted to have one too since she knew I still had yarn left and the materials with me. And so I was requested to crochet a fourth one. I grabbed my hook once again and made this :


And that way I ended up crocheting three relatively hideous flower coasters, and one relatively nice one. To be fair, they look nicer when in natural light and in use:


I like to see the coaster pictures lined up like in this post. The coasters look so different to each other that it's hard to guess they're from the same skein. That's the beauty and the curse of Novita Puro. I'm not sure if I want to use it again though as I can't never tell how it turns out.

PS: I am Amoena Online on Google+ and I would like to add more knitters to my knitting circle; feel free to advertise yourself or to ask an invitation!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The real pullover of eternity

It's been a year of big projects. At least that's how I reason to myself why I haven't been posting anything in a while. But I've finished them all, at last. It takes time to knit a sweater and a cardigan at the same time, but I've done for now. I started to knit this sweater in October,  but as I didn't knit it in November, December and some of January, I'd like to think that it took me "just" six months to finish. But enough of unnecessary reasonings and more pictures:


Project info
Name: Herregenser til meg
Pattern: Herregenser by Sandnes Design
Size: XS
Needles: 2.5mm, 3mm
Yarn: Garnstudio Drops Alpaca
Colorway: 0517

I don't remember having any trouble whatsoever during the project. Pattern was very short, as they usually are in the magazines, but it had all the information you need. Overall very straightforward pattern; just knit from the bottom to the top in a simple cable pattern, attach sleeves and knit the collar. Basic sweater. Drops Alpaca is also soooo soft, so I'm very, very pleased that I decided to go with it, even though it was thin. But also because it's so thin, about light-fingering (no matter what Ravelry says), the sweater is almost wearable even in the summer. The 3mm (US 2½) needles were big enough so that the knit is airy, letting wind blow through. But when the wind stops, sweating begins.

Niila wanted to get to the picture too.

Even though I used thin-ish yarn and small-ish needles, it wasn't really a 6 month long project. I just lost my interest in it sometime in February or March. I then started to knit the cardigan for my mom, and in the end I finished them about at the same time.

It took me so long to finish these, that I have nothing I'd want to knit next. Usually when the projects last for a few weeks, I always know what to knit next, but now I have no idea. I haven't even been browsing Ravelry in months. I could maybe fix the sweater I knitted for Amoena last summer. It needs some serious shaping. Or perhaps crochet a doily for a flower pot so that it won't ruin the chair it's on. I don't know.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tsunomnom socks

I finished my Tsunomnom socks a long time ago. A long, long time ago. I just didn't like them at first. I don't know what particularly put me off with them. It wasn't the color of the yarn since I was very fond of the grey/brown combination. And it wasn't the pattern because I liked those lazy diamonds and simple cables. But it must have been something because it made me put the socks away for almost a month.

Tsunomnom socks in all their glory.
But then I started to feel guilty for not wearing them. They were perfectly OK as a socks. They had a heel, toe and cuff. So I just made myself to wear them. And to my surprise, they turned out be a nice little socks. Perfect size, perfect shape, perfect color and perfect thickness. Now that I have worn them for a month in a daily basis, I think they're my favorite socks. And they already kinda look like they've been worn a lot.

Some random Niila cuteness.
Project info
Name: Tsunomnom
Pattern: Tsunami by Judy Sumner
Size: 38-39
Needle: US 1½ - 2.5 mm
Yarn: Lana Grossa Meilenweit Solo Tono
Colorway: 5223

What do you like about my leopard print pants? Aren't they hawt?
I tend to give original names to my projects instead of just naming them "socks" and "mittens". The story behind "Tsunomnom" is a simple word play. "Nami nami" is a Finnish version of "om nom nom", so instead of naming the socks "Tsunami" like the original pattern calls them, I named then "Tsunomnom".

Friday, February 25, 2011

My top 3 most worn projects

Hi! Some of you might still remember me. I'm the other writer of this blog. I haven't forgot about you, since Amoena's been reminding me constantly since about the beginning of the year. I haven't blogged in a while for few reasons. One is that I've been working with my Herregenser sweater. It's been quite laborious and I still have a bit over half a sleeve to go so it'll take some more time before it's finished. So I haven't really had any projects to blog about and I suck in babble blogging.

Another reason, which also is the one Amoena hasn't really understood, is that I've been quite busy with school stuff. Well more than just quite. If I have calculated correctly, after this spring I'll be almost a year ahead of my original schedule so I can continue to master level studies already next fall. So my work really has, or will have, payed off. So whenever I've had time I wasn't doing or stressing about school stuff, I'd rather spent it with Amoena or just laying on the couch, and not blogging.

But since it was about a time to blog on something, and I had no finished projects to blog about, I decided to blog about my past projects. My top 3 most worn projects to be exact. Whenever I knit, I want to knit something that has some use. So I've usually just knitted something for Amoena to wear. That way I can easily decide on pattern and colors and stuff with her and don't really have to make any major decisions just by myself without consulting her and I can just focus on knitting. So, here we go:

#1 Cabled mittens

These I made for Amoena about two years ago after she had lost her previous ones. I think these were my first mittens, and also the first time I made cables. Basically Amoena's been wearing either these ever since. And you can quite well see it from the mittens' condition.

#2 Keemosahbee scarf

This is something I made for myself. And actually it was a week before Cabled mittens, so it was quite close call that these weren't #1. The reason for that is mainly that some time ago I got a new scarf from my dad, which he had gotten from some corporation party. And it being 100% kashmir and stuff I kinda switched to it. But before that I always wore this during winters. And I still think that the pattern is superb! I really like how it looks. Only small problem is that it twists a lot. I probably should have made some kind of sturdier border for it. But at that point I couldn't tell the difference.

#3 Villasukat
Only one of the socks was willing to come out of their hide.

This one was quite a bit harder. It was either these, the Horcrux Socks I made for Amoena after Papu had a taste of these, or my Sampo cardigan, which I've worn a lot too. I'm actually wearing it right now. But these socks lasted for a year, I think. And I'm quite sure that Amoena wore these more than the others. I actually started knitting with this project. Amoena gave me Stitch n' Bitch - Knitters handbook and set of dpns for Christmas, and this is what I managed to produce with them. I actually knitted wrong at that point: every single stitch I made was twisted.

So, these are the top 3. Though I'm still a bit uncertain about the third place. But Villasukat being my first knitted project ever, it has earned its place. The Cabled mittens will probably stay #1 since they are the only one of these still in use. Sampo will probably rise to #2 some time soon. But I have no clue about the next #3.

Finnish summary: En ole hetkeen saanut projekteja valmiiksi, pääasiassa koska teen itselleni työlästä villapaitaa, mutta koulukiireet ovat myös vieneet oman aikansa. Piti kuitenkin keksiä jotain blogattavaa, joten tässä kolme eniten käytössä kulunutta neulostani.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Marking my stitches

I got us some stitch markers from WorstedKnitt. I wanted to surprise J.R. and to give him something to blog between his big knitting projects. You know, this is supposed to be a couple blog, but it's mostly me who's blogging here. But he still hasn't blog about his and I got tired of waiting. I want to blog about my stitch markers now before it's been so long ago that it would be stupid to write about them.

My stitch markers were a special request. WorstedKnitt had many pretty sets in her webstore, but I wanted something more simpler and lighter. I knit a lot of lace shawls and sometimes I knit with lace weight yarn. I wanted my stitch markers to be as delicate as the things I knit. So she made me these:


Just simple turquoise beads. There is actually four in the set; two for the center stitch and two for the edges as I figured. After I saw these little one I got all inspired and wanted to make my own too. Not for sale, but for our use and maybe for giveaways. My mother has a really nice collection of beads and she's more than happy to let
me use them too. I just need to get the other material.

Finnish summary: Hankin meille silmukkamerkkejä WorstedKnittiltä. Pyysin itselleni erityisen kevyitä ja yksinkertaisia merkkejä, ja sain juuri mitä halusin. Nähtyäni nämä pikkuruiset ajattelin, että voisin tehdä niitä myös itselleni. Helmiä saisin äidiltäni, mutta muut tarvikkeet tarvitsee hankkia vielä itse.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In(t)ro of East and West

It didn't took me a long time to decide what I wanted to knit first from my new "Knitted Socks East and West" sock book. I immediately liked a pattern called "Inro" . It wasn't anything challenging or extra ordinary, but I enjoyed the simplicity of these socks. The socks-ness of these socks. I just wanted to knit them and so I did.

Pups like them too
According the book "inro" means "a small ornate case consisting a stack of small, nested boxes" and in the socks the wrap stitches are supposed to resemble the stacks of the boxes. And in a way it does, just google "inro" and you'll see it too. Learning what "inro" is made these socks more special to me. Now they're more than just rows of purl stitches and some random wrap stitches. I think good design does that.

Showing off the cuffs
I think these were the least painful socks I have ever knitted, because I finally, miraculously, learned how to make a decent Dutch heel. My biggest problem in heel knitting was picking up the stitches along the heel flap. I just couldn't pick them without getting very loose and ugly stitches. But I tackled the problem. I tackled it. And now I can knit as many socks with Dutch heels as I want and it will be completely pain free. Yay.


Project info
Name: In(t)ro of East and West
Pattern: Inro by Judy Sumner
Made for: myself
Size: 38 
Needle: US 2½ - 3.0 mm
Yarn: Novita Jussi 721 1.1 skeins

I knitted these socks with 3mm needles even though the pattern suggested 3.75mm. I have 3.5mm needles, but for some reason I always tend to choose needles that are like size smaller. Though it works for me, I usually end up with the right size with the smaller needles. These socks fit perfectly as well.

I'm currently knitting my second pair of socks from the book and the pattern is the same quality as the first one: very clear. There are some errors in the book though, but I printed the errata from the Internet soon after I got the book. I want to be prepared.

Finnish summary: Sain valmiiksi ensimmäiset sukat Knitted Socks East and West -sukkakirjasta ja opin vihdoinkin miten tehdään kunnollinen kantapää ilman reikiä ja löysiä silmukoita. Helpottaa sukkien kutomista jatkossa.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Gift from a fairy yarn mother and other skein stories

I think I've never babbled much about yarn in my blog. It simply has not been my favorite subject due to the generic nature of the yarns I have used in my projects. Why babble about yarn that isn't going to make the reader to "ooh" and "aah". But recently I got a gift from a fairy yarn mother and it's making me "ooh" and "aah" for sure.

I asked J.R. to write about my new yarn because only he would have been able to describe the probably widest smile ever on my face when I opened the package containing a two most gorgeous skeins of yarn I have ever hold with my own hands. It would definitely have been a nice perspective, but unfortunately and expectedly he refused to. Anyway. I never thought that I could own something as pretty as these yarns:

Sock Pixie "Napoleon and Josephine" and Brooklyn Handspun "Bubble Yum"
You see, I'm not a rich knitter. At least not yet. I've seen these beautiful hand-dyed yarns all over the knitty internet, but they've always been way beyond my financial capabilities. But there I was, holding the yarns I thought I wouldn't be holding for years. And it felt magnificent. It felt like magic. It felt like a gift from a fairy yarn mother.

I got the yarn from Knittingknoobie.com's Susie. I volunteered to make her blog a new design for free since that's what I like to do... and to thank me she sent me the yarn. I couldn't have imagined a better way to thank a knitter. And I feel so special because I know that these hanks traveled a long way to me.

I still don't know what I'll do with the yarn, but one thing is positive: it is going to be something special and it's going to be something for me and only for me. I'm going to enjoy knitting them and I'm going to enjoy wearing the knitted item.

I also got some yarn from J.R.'s mother. Or technically she just bought them for me. We were visiting a yarn shop with her because J.R. is knitting a cardigan for her and she needed to choose the yarn and color. I was about to buy the yarn but then she said that she can buy them for me together with the cardigan yarn. And as I said: I'm not a rich girl so I let her buy me these two skeins:

Lana Grossa Meilenweit Solo Tono
I fell in love with this yarn almost instantly. It reminds me of Regia Hand-dye Effect but it's even better. It's supposed to be fingering, but I think it's more like light fingering. I don't mind though. I have already knitted one sock with the grey colorway and the shades look as good knitted as they looked in the skein.

Finnish summary: Suunnittelin uuden ulkoasun Susien blogille ja kiitokseksi sain kaksi kerää käsinvärjättyjä lankoja. Sen lisäksi sain vielä J.R:n äidiltä kaksi kerää Lana Grossa Meilenweit -lankaa, kun olimme yhdessä lankaostoksilla.