Thursday, July 30, 2009

¡No hay problemas!

My Bella Paquita is progressing steadily & with no problems. I've finished the bottom part and soon one of the sleeves. I ran out of yarn some time ago but luckily we found Ilsen Lanka while we were visiting Amoena's parents. They had Panda in stock so now I don't have to go to Helsinki just to get one skein of it. It even was the same batch. We also bought some furry discount yarns. Now I only need to finish the sleeves and sew them on.

It looks quite good without the sleeves too.

The seam didn't go as I planned.

I also sewed the darts on the shoulders, but I didn't dare to cut the parts out. I don't want my sweater to start unraveling at this point. The seam was supposed to be right on top of the shoulder, but I think I sewed it at the wrong place because it turns towards the back. I might try sewing it again, but it looks quite good as it is. But it could be better.

I also started a new project after I ran out of yarn. I wanted to try my new yarn so I casted on Assets of Evo . Knitting the yarn feels bit different because of the elasticity. Though only difficulty is to get the right tension. If I have understood correctly, there should be some tension, but it shouldn't be all stretched out.

Since the pattern is mostly just knitting with few wrap&turns, it's quite quick knit. Though, as usual, I didn't read the instructions on how to make the wrap&turn correctly so I had to make the first wraps and turns few times. When will I learn to read them first? I knew how to make them but I did them identically on both knit and purl sides so the yarn twisted after wrapping on the purl side. Also I had never heard of picking up the wraps so that was another problem. Anyway, it shouldn't take that long to finish this one.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The yarn-loving couple loving yarn at Viiala

Greetings from Viiala, Finland! My parents live here and I'm spending a week and a half at their place. I've been here since Friday. J.R. was with me too, but right now he's somewhere there driving back to Espoo. He has to go to work for two days, but then he will come back and we will spend the weekend together. Anyway. Now I have to deal almost three days without him. Sob sob. At least I have Papu to keep me company. She loves to be here, because she has a new best friend here: my mom's dachshund puppy called Minni. They're adorable together.

Anyway. My mom found some very old yarn from their attic. She doesn't know where they are from, but since she doesn't need them, she gave them to us. We are ready to adopt some yarn. Though I'm not so keen on the colors. The greens are too bright for my taste and I don't like orange at all. The yellow looks quite nice, but I'm not sure if it works for me. Papu seems to like the yellow too. Maybe I knit her a yellow sweater or something.

We also visited Ilsen Lanka, which is a yarn store located in Kylmäkoski. I was quite impressed by her (I guess it's owned by a woman called Ilse) yarn selection and all her sample knits. She obviously knows what she's selling. We didn't bought anything particularly interesting, though. I think it's impossible for me to buy yarn if I don't know what to do with it. How could I know how many skeins I need? J.R. bought more olive-green bamboo yarn for his Bella Paquita and then we bought some fuzzy yarn by Schoeller+Stahl. It was on a serious sale and we couldn't resist the colors. It also feels amazingly soft. I wonder if it's hard to knit. I have not knitted such yarn before.

We also got a second yarn basket from my mom. It's a gift from Russia. I like the fact that it has two lids, it will prevent Papu from eating our yarn! She's really good at stealing yarn. I guess it has something to do with the fact that she's so fast.

That's all now. I have some socks to knit!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Online shopping

I was supposed to post this last week, but as usual, "tomorrow" turned into "on the weekend" which turned into "on Monday". Anyway, I ordered some yarn online for the first time some time ago. I wanted to get some elastic yarn for few possible projects, and only labels I found were Cascade Yarns' Fixation and Elann's Esprit . They are actually quite identic, both have 98.3% cotton and 1.7% elastic, so the only difference was the colors.

I found neither of the yarns in Helsinki, so I decided to order online. I found a couple of online shops which had Cascade Yarns' Fixation in stock, but Elann's Esprit I found only at their own website. Elann has higher postal expenses, but since Fixation is almost twice as expensive as Esprit, I decided to order from them. Though paying as much for the postals as for the yarn feels quite bad.

3 skeins of both Wine (3794) and Peacock Green (2772)

I really like the colors. I read that the yarns are much darker than in the photos on the website so I was a bit suspicious. But the difference was very small. I haven't even taken the plastic off because after that I want to try knitting the yarn and then cast on something new and my Bella Paquita will stay unfinished forever.

I'm also very pleased with the speed of delivery. I ordered the yarns (and a hook for Amoena) on the 8th of July, and I picked it up at the local post office on the 14th. 6 days from Canada to Finland is quite fast.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Touch of a frost created by deposition of water vapor into solid ice

I'm knitting my second pair of socks . This time I'm making them for my sister. She said that she would like a pair when we were visiting her place last time. She said that she doesn't really have any, and you really need knitted socks in Finland. We have winter here, not right now, of course. It's very much summer now. Anyway. Taphophile_au warned me on Twitter* that now I'll never be free of knitting socks for the family. She might be right. I can imagine my other sister, as well as my mom, asking for socks too.

I wanted to do something different for my sister (because she's my favorite one, she's never mean to me like my other sister), but I didn't want to do anything too difficult. I'm quite n00b when it comes to knitting, I just have a very good teacher (that's J.R.). I picked a free pattern called "Kuuran kosketus" . The name is really simple... if you happen to understand Finnish. In Finnish language "kuura" is just one word, but in english you have to say "frost created by deposition of water vapor into solid ice". We have many words related to snow that English language doesn't have. I wonder how many snow related words Eskimos have... Anyway. Here is my first sock:

And there are lace in it! It was really simple to make, almost too simple, and it looks really nice. Though you can't really see that from the photos. I borrowed a 10 mega pixel digital camera from my aunt, but that doesn't really help when you don't have any photographing skills. Though I took photography courses in high school, and I know how to develop pictures by myself... The yarn is pretty generic, but I really like to knit with it. It's Nalle (that means "teddy bear" in English) by Novita.

And J.R. got me a new Addi crochet hook! And it has a grip! It came all the way from Canada, and it's like special, because crochet hooks with grips are very hard, if almost impossible, to find from Finland. Now I can relate to crocheters who have crochet hooks with and without grips. How cool is that?

*I'm Amoenaonline on Twitter. I'm not super active, but I like to follow other knitters and crocheters. Feel free to follow me, I'll follow you back.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Problemas con Bella Paquita

As I said before, I unraveled my Small Collar Vest and casted on Bella Paquita . After unraveling the yarn is curly and it's awful to knit something like that, so I wet the yarn and hang it with some weights so that it would dry straight. Well, as a weight I used a hammer. Only thing I didn't take into account was that wet yarn + iron = no no no! Now I have one skein of Panda with rust stains. Does anyone know how to get them off? I tried to soak it in soapy water but it didn't help. Luckily the stains aren't big so I might be able to live with it but it would still be nice to get them off.

Papu has also found the joy of destroying skeins. One day while we were shopping, Papu jumped on the table, took my freshly winded skein and had some fun!


... & after. Luckily this skein wasn't the one attached to the project.

Also I had some problems with the neckline lace. I blame the pattern though. At first I did as the pattern says: repeat 13 times and sew on. Well, it quite didn't work out. The lace wasn't flat at all. I tried to sew it on a few times with no luck. After that I decided to stretch it and sew it on like that. That did the trick and now it looks a bit more what it should look. All it needs now are small darts on the shoulders to assure that the lace sits flat on the back.

Without & with the stretch.

If it's supposed to work as the pattern says, I don't know what I did wrong. Needles are the same, yarn is about the same and I think I know how to read lace charts. Loose knit maybe? I don't know. Lace is often, if not always, pinned, but since the pattern said nothing about it I thought that it's not necessary.

Also I found it quite odd that in the lace charts on the wrong side rows the decreases are made with ssp, but in the verbose version it's p2tog. And with bottom part it says that it is entirely worked in k2,p2 ribbing, but if you work with the charts there are four adjacent knits on the first row.

Anyway, great design, not so great pattern. Or at least not noobfriendly at all.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Forgotten needles on one lovely blog

Alexandra gave us One Lovely Blog Award! Thanks! And yes, of course I agree with Amoena, your blog is lovely too.

I apologize for forgetting to mention about the needles Amoena gave me in my last post. I really did forget! I remembered those when we were going to bed and thought that it's already too late to update the post so I decided to post about them later. Though it took me bit more time as I originally thought. I have plenty of free time at work at the moment so I should knit less and blog more. Anyway, here are the needles she gave me:

4mm straight needles made from Surina wood. The knobs are really beautiful.

2.5mm ebony double-pointed needles. I already know the socks I'm going to knit with these.

The reason she gave those for me is because her laptop was broken and I made few phone calls so that it would be taken to Asus for some maintenance. My opinion is that it is my responsibility as her boyfriend to do things like that, but it did make me feel that she really appreciated it.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

One lovely blog, one lovely dog

We got an "One Lovely Blog" award from Alexandra of Wool & Cotton. Thank you! Your blog is very, very lovely too! And I'm sure that J.R. agrees with me. He agrees with me almost all the time. According to my friend that's boring, but I don't mind. It's more boring to fight over stupid things. Anyway. I should pass the award to 15 other bloggers of lovely blogs, but honestly... I read only lovely blogs, and there are slightly more of them than 15 (more like 150) and I can't pass the award to everyone. So I don't pass it to anyone.

J.R. didn't mention his new fine wood knitting needles in his last post as I said he would. He said that he forgot, but he should apologize this sad incident. I know you were expecting it, probably checking our blog on a daily basis just to see them as soon as possible. And he forgot! Shame on you, J.R. You're disappointing all of our (Three? Five?) readers! It's your fault if no one reads our blog anymore!

Anyway. I have news for you! I finished Papu's hexagon blanket . For real! Due to my severe laziness it took a month to crochet, but it was worth it. I love it and I hope that Papu loves it too. At least it seems like she does.

She's so adorable with her new blanket. If you don't believe me, here's a close-up. Such a sleeping beauty! I kinda like the fact that she's starting to look less cute and more like beautiful dog that can be taken seriously. After all, I wanted a dog. Not a baby or a sofa cushion.

Some of you (probably the minority, though) are probably more interested in technical details than Papu. That's OK and that's how it should be. This is, after all, a knit & crochet blog. Anyway. I made exactly 45 hexagons for this blanket. Sometimes I made none for days, sometimes I crocheted more than three in a day. I felt no pressure to finish this so I made it only when I really felt like crocheting (or accomplishing things). Even though all the hexagons are identical they weren't boring to crochet, thanks to color changes. Weaving in the ends... that's a whole another story.

As you can see, I added a nice gray border to the blanket. I felt that it wasn't finished without it. I could have kept adding new and new hexagons to it. Now that it has a border, it has an end. I can't add more hexagons to it. It's done. Finished. As this blog post is too.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Small Collar Vest

It took roughly three weeks to finish my Shawl Collar Vest . It feels great when you understand while weaving in the ends that the finished project is way too small only because you didn't find out what those sizes mean. Though I doubt that those extra 4 stitches would have made that much of a difference. Well, atleast it was a fun knit.

It looks great. It's just what I wanted it to be, only too small.

I can't wait to unravel this and turn it into a Bella Paquita . Hopefully this time it fits. I might leave the sleeves out, at least for now, so that it won't be so warm. I think that Amoena wouldn't want to wear some superhot woolen sweater in the summer.