Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Don't watch if it makes your eyes hurt

Now I have finished my second shawl! I was a bit worried with it at first, because the pattern seemed a bit tricky and the chart didn't seem to help me either. Luckily it was only the beginning, after ten or so rows it started to feel easier and easier. The writer of the pattern rated this shawl as "moderately difficult", but I think I have lost track with "difficult" nowadays. If you'd ask me how I would rate myself as a knitter, I would probably say that I'm still a beginner knitter and that I can't knit anything actually challenging... And yet I was perfectly capable of knitting this shawl. Maybe I need to update the view I have about my own knitting skills?

Project info
Pattern: Haruni by Emily Ross
Craft: Knitting
Made for: me

Needle: US 6 / 4.0 mm
Yarn: Novita Tico Tico 1.2 skeins
Colorway: 852

So I found the pattern relatively easy after all, especially since I started knitting it right after the last shawl. I didn't follow the chart when I was knitting the Traveling Woman, but I found the charts really helpful with this one. The first chart was really easy to understand, but I ran into troubles with the second one. I'm not very experienced with charts, so the edge chart was almost impossible to understand first. J.R. almost got frustrated with me because I just didn't seem to get it. I guess sometimes it's hard to be my knitting mentor.

By the way, I'm perfectly aware that the colors of my new shawl may hurt your eyes, and that they can be considered psychedelic. For some reason I really wanted to knit a shawl with this crazy colorway. And I'm really pleased with the outcome, too. Especially the edge looks really nice.

I blocked my last shawl on a drying rack, but this shawl was considerably larger. It didn't fit the drying rack, so we had to figure out an alternative way to block it. I have seen that some people block shawls on carpets, but we have a dog so every inch of our floor is covered with dog hair. I wouldn't also be comfortable having needles on the floor when Papu is running around. Eventually I decided to block the shawl on the bed. I covered the bed with towels so the bed wouldn't get wet. I'm happy with this method, even though there are probably more professional ways to block knitted items. I did ran out of pins, though, so the edge is not as neat as it could have been. It's a good thing that I'm not a perfectionist, like J.R...

The shawl turned out quite large, larger than I actually expected it to, and even though I'm very used to wear scarves on a daily basis, I couldn't figure out how to wear this one at first. I tried different ways and finally I came up with this:

I hope it does not look too silly! I just feel that's the only way to wear a shawl this big without feeling like a granny. It doesn't show in the picture (stupid hair), but I have secured the shawl with a black crocheted flower. It's like a little wrap, right?

Papu naturally likes the shawl too. She seems to like everything that mommy knits, whether it's for her or not. The bright colors really compliment her dark shiny fur.

There is also some news for today. Since J.R's interview was on the magazine, and my mother (and possible the rest of my family too) read it and found out about our blog, I now feel obligated to include Finnish summaries to my posts so they could get a clue what is going on. They don't understand English. So at the end of this post you can find the first ever Finnish post summary.

There is still one exciting news left: our blog is part of the Cuddly Crochet blog tour! It means that on April 21. you can find a post related to Cuddly Crochet book, and there is also a chance that you can win something very nice for yourself... If you want to be sure that you don't miss it, subscribe to our blog via RSS or via Google Friend Connect box that can be found from the sidebar.

Finnish summary: Hartiahuivi tuli valmiiksi. Ohje tuntui alkuun tosi hankalalta, mutta kun pääsi vähän jyvälle niin se helpottui hirveästi. Ohjeessa huivia kuvailtiin "kohtalaisen hankalaksi" neulottavaksi, mutta ihan hyvin se sujui. Pitää alkaa kohta uskomaan, ettei olekaan neulojana enää niin noviisi. Huivin blokkaaminen tuntui myös ensin vähän ongelmalliselta, koska se ei mahtunut pyykkitelineen päälle kuten edellinen huivi. Lopulta blokkasin sen sängyn päällä, ja siitä tuli ihan hyvä. Nuppineulat loppuivat tosin kesken, joten reunasta ei tullut niin siisti kuin olisi voinut. Oli myös hankalaa keksiä, miten tätä huivia oikein pitäisi päällä kun se on niin iso. Lopulta tuli kuitenkin löydettyä ihan hyvä tapa.

Finnish readers can probably tell that I write better in English...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


It took me like four months, but I finally finished my Sampo . I had some problems, but the main reason for it to take that long is that I've just been lazy with the sewing. I simply don't like it. I rather knit something else. Anyway, it's finished, and I'm liking it:

Project info
Name: Sampo
Pattern: Sampo by Tuulia Salmela
Craft: Knitting

Needle: US 6 / 4.0 mm
Yarn: Sandnes Garn Smart
Colorway: 1066 Grey

Like I said, I had some problems. At first I knitted the sleeves too short, so I lenghtened those. Or so I thought. After sewing the pieces together I noticed that the sleeves were too long. By just the amount I added earlier. So I had to unravel and knit the cuff again. Also, of course, I ran out of yarn multiple times and every time it took me some time to get the energy for going to Helsinki to buy some more. And also my parents' cat ate the tip of my beautiful wooden needle. Luckily that one was fixed with a sandpaper.

Well, as you can see, I didn't have any major problems. Most of the time the cardigan was just laying on top of a shelf with all pieces finished and waiting to be sewed. I just didn't feel like it. Luckily we went to Viiala for a wedding so I had to sew the pieces together so that I can sew the zipper on there. Otherwise it most likely would still be on top of the shelf. I really should've knitted it seamless.

Papu seems to like it too

Anyway, even with all my laziness I did finish it. And I really like how it looks. It's warm, I just hope that it's not too warm so that I'm able to wear it at least for a while before summer.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Somebody puked on my shawl

I finished my first shawl and it looks like somebody puked on it. I bought the yarn originally for the Nutkin socks , and I actually started to knit them too. But then an accident happened: I forgot the sock project to a place where Papu was able to get it with her tiny paws when I left home, and when I got back again, the skein was all over the living room floor and on the top of everything she had ruined 3/5 of the ebony wooden DPNs. All that kinda made me lose my interest.

So the colorway is just hideous. I was practically disgusted when I knitted the cuff of the first sock. The colors looked very nice on the skein, so I had no idea they would turn so hideous when knitted! I was secretly happy when Papu decided to terminate the project. I even threw the yarn away without giving it a second glance.

Then I started to think about all the multicolored shawls that I had seen on Ravelry. I have never been a fan of multicolored or self-striping yarns, but oddly they have always looked quite decent on knitted shawls. So I changed my mind and saved the yarn.

Project info
Name: Somebody puked on my shawl
Pattern: Traveling Woman by Liz Abinante
Craft: Knitting

Needle: US 6 / 4.0 mm
Yarn: Novita Tico Tico
Colorway: 838

I started to knit this shawl a week ago. I progressed quite nicely, until I suddenly realized that there was an error in the pattern J.R. had written me by hand (we don't have a printer and since it was Saturday, I couldn't print it at school). He had forgot one yarn over and my shawl was admittedly asymmetric. I had to start all over again. I also had several problems with the lace and had to constantly ask help from J.R. He was so kind that he even unraveled the tricky lace rows for me so I wouldn't make more harm. Anyway. Despite the troubles I had, I think the pattern was really clear and easy to follow.

I have not blocked many of my knitting projects, but when it comes to shawls, I think it's quite inevitable. I would like to know how other people block shawls... My shawl is relatively small and it still took some time to figure out how to block it.

Blocking in progress

Even though I despise the colorway, I still think the shawl turned out pretty. I think I might give it away. I also enjoyed the whole process of knitting it. I had no idea it's so nice to knit shawls! I already bought yarn for my next shawl. I just have to pick a pattern.

Papu looks good in everything

By the way, J.R. is also knitting a lace shawl. He started his soon after mine, but his shawl is going to be larger, so it's not finished yet. He's using the same yarn as I did, but his colorway is a lot prettier. Papu likes the yarn too. She uses it as a pillow when J.R. is knitting on the sofa. Look how cute she is:


That's all about the shawls, now onto other news. There's a double page interview of J.R. in the Finnish knitting magazine, Moda. The interview itself is quite silly and contains small-ish errors (I wonder what it means that our blog is on an international knitting community...?), but the pictures are nice. This might be your only chance to see J.R's picture, since he's so camera shy! I hope the Finnish knitting scene can approve the interview, since he's specialized in knitted lace and not in crocheted beanies.

Other news is that we have started to explore knitting podcasts. One day there was nothing good on TV, so I suggested we'd listened to some podcasts. So far we have listened to Y Knit, Lime & Violet, Barknknit and the Knitmore Girls, and they have all been nice. It takes more time though to figure out what podcasts we like best and which podcasts we're going to listen regularly. I only wonder why it took all this time before we listened to our first podcasts. They are such a good alternative for bad TV-shows!