sunnuntaina, kesäkuuta 19, 2016

A short hello from a baby bubble

I can't blame my blogging silence to the baby bubble entirely, though. My sweet baby boy was born on 21st May, and so far things have been much easier than I could have imagined. Not without challenges at times, but mainly the little guy seems to be a very easygoing fellow.

Crafting has also been on hold for the most part. I have gotten some paper crafting done (our wedding invitations) and finished one pair of socks. I will try and get to a more regular blogging schedule, but I can't make any promises. I might try and do a blog post per finished crafting project, which won't increase the regularity of the posts, but might be an easier way of doing posts.

We'll see.

sunnuntaina, huhtikuuta 03, 2016

The haul from March

A new month, so let's see what I've gotten done in March. Now, I don't know how I feel about saying that some of these things are done, since most of them still need the finishing touches (weaving in ends, blocking etc.) but at least they're knitted up. I'll also show what's still in progress.

Finished (at least almost):
For the love of Rainbows- shawl

  • Safetytentacles: I have four of these beasties finished. They're crocheted with a 3,5mm hook and made with cotton yarn. I don't know if I've talked about this here already, but the idea of these is that they're for preemie-babies who need to be hooked up in machines. Since babies have an innate need to hold on to things, they tend to grab on to tubes (which of course should be left alone). They're given these tentacle buddies, so they will grab on to the tentacles and the essential tubes will be left alone.
  • For the love of Rainbows shawl: This is one of my few completely finished projects. The pattern can be bought on Ravelry, and the design is by Mina Philipp, who has a lovely video podcast. I used a bulkier yarn (Novita 7veljestä, which is an aran-weight yarn, 75% wool / 25% nylon) and 4mm needles. It didn't take me more than maybe a week to knit, but as I hate weaving the ends in, I only got it completely finished right at the end of March. But it's done! And I have used it, even though I felt mad using such a pastell-y colour for it. It's lovely and I'm sure it will se more use next winter.
    The nearly-finished objects
  • Socks for newborns: 3 pairs of these, but they need to be washed and the ends need to be woven in. These are also going to the hospital, to the newborn wing. I'm in a Facebook group that has a contact to the hospital, so I'll be sending the tentacle buddies and socks to her, and she will deliver them to the hospital. The group has the basic instructions for the socks, but I'm kind of fiddling around with a bit of patterning and I make little differences to them, since I can't see myself making huge amounts of socks (even if they're tiny) with the exact same way over and over again. But a good thing to do with leftover yarn, since a pair takes about 25g of Novita Nalle-yarn on 3mm needles.
  • Two dishcloths: Really simple pattern for a dishcloth, which can be found on Ravelry for free. The pattern is "Grandma's favourite dishcloth". I've made them slightly bigger, the original pattern goes to 44 stitches and I went up to 52. The yarn is Onion Hemp+Cotton+Modal (which I had left over from a romper-project that's still kind of in progress, so it can be found below...) and 3mm needles.
  • Mittens: They're just peeking in the picture on the top-left corner. Those were made with the yarn I had left over from the rainbow shawl. I had almost 100g of both yarns, so first I decided to make mittens, and -since after the mittens there was still plenty left over-  a hat from it (the hat is still in progress). Pattern for the mittens is called "Mittens of Northern Ostrobothnia", which is the larger geographical area, where my hometown is located. Pattern is in Finnish, but if you're not new to mittenmaking, the pattern on that page will be plenty, I think. I made a different kind of thumb on it, but I don't know the correct English term for the thumb I used... Anyway, the pattern has you do an afterthought-type of a thumb, but I like the type of thumb better, where you increase stitches to make room for the thumb. I also couldn't be bothered to make the pattern on the thumb, so it's just a plain 1-yarn thumb. The mittens are also kind of negative versions of one another; one mitten is white with the pattern made with the self-striping yarn, and the other is striped with a white pattern.
  • Socks for me: The last thing that I have just about done, is a pair of socks for me from leftover yarn. Again, the yarn is Novita Nalle (Nalle = teddybear), but I used smaller needles than I usually do with this yarn. I tried 2,5mm needles, and I rarely use needles this small, because of course your progress is faster with slightly bigger needles. No particular pattern used, but out of sheer boredom in sock-knitting, I used a contrasting colour in the top ribbing , heel and toe (a different colour per sock) and after a long break I tried on some cables. The end result is ...well, nice. Not amazing and the cables have some mistakes, but for the main part, they're ok. And at least they're something different to the basic vanilla-type socks.  

Whiew, this is turning out to be a long post, so just quickly and with broad strokes I'll go through what I've got going on in terms of yarn-y things.

In progress:

Romper and beasties
  • Safetytentacles: I still have parts for 12 more beasties, but I need to make eyes for them, and they need to be stuffed and sown up.
  • Socks for newborns: The next pair of newborn socks is half done. For this pair I've used the pattern from Hermione's everyday Socks-pattern. I have bought a box from the post office and I intend to fill it up with the beasties and socks, after which I'll send it forward. Hopefully I'll get it done before my due date..
  • Romper for my own baby: I looked for a pattern for this from Ravelry, but I can't remember anymore what the pattern was and I've adapted it quite a lot along the way. It still needs snap fasteners sown in and some other bits and pieces done, but the main part is about ready. I knitted this at the beginning of January, so I really can't remember the needle size anymore. The yarn was that Onion hemp+something and other I mentioned earlier. It feels a bit rough for now, but I'm hoping that washing it a few times will soften it up some.
  • Colour affection by Veera Välimäki: Bought the pattern from Ravelry and I'm currently going strictly according to pattern, so 4mm needles with fingering weight yarn. So far it seems like quite a quick knit, but the pattern has short row shaping, which I've done really rarely, so I'm a bit nervous about that. We'll see what happens...
  • Rainbow hat: From the shawl leftover yarns, no particular pattern, but it has some colourwork in it since the point is to have as little leftovers as is humanly possible. 
  • Leftover-yarn socks: Yes, still more socks to thin my stash down, these ones are colourwork socks made with Novita 7veljestä (7 brothers)-yarn and 3,5mm needles.
  • Crochet blanket from bamboo yarn: Originally bought with a scarf-type thing in mind, but I bought 6 balls of the yarn (3 per colour)  and after I had used up the first two balls I realized that the yarn wasn't going to be nearly enough, and the bamboo yarn was quite pricy. So the scarf would be really expensive, if I wanted to make it with this yarn, but the yarn itself is really beautiful, so I decided to make a blanket for the baby instead. If it turns out to be too small for that, it can be a cover for the stroller or something.
  • Cross-stitch holder for my crochet hooks: I have planned on making some cross-stitch detailing on my wedding-dress so it's a good time to start back up with cross-stitching. I liked doing this when I was younger, but my problem has always been that I don't see the point in making non-funktional things (meaning purely decorative, don't-know-where-this-would-go-type of things), and I couldn't come up with anything to use cross-stitching for. Well, now I have some ideas..
  • Poncho-with-sleeves: Wont go into too much detail with this, because I have a strong feeling this will get ripped out soon.
  • Highland travel shawl: Another Ravelry pattern, a free one. Inspired by Outlander-series (which I still haven't watched..), made mainly with leftover yarns. Using my Novita Isoveli (Big brother)-yarns for that with 6mm needles. And I don't follow the pattern very strictly, I'm using it more as a guideline. 
I'm probably forgetting something (or many things) from the In Progress-list, but as I'm getting a bit embarrassed about how many works in progress I have going on, I'll leave the list for now. I think I'll do this on the first Sunday of the month, though I'm sure I'll mention finished projects more frequently (and probably will leave those ones out of these haul posts...). 

How's the diet? I've been so good this week! Haven't bought any new yarn since I visited Titityy and everything that I've started has been from stash-yarn (well... obviously, if I haven't bought anything new..) At the moment the Yarn in - Yarn out-balance is a bit under 600g on the plus side, but considering my yarnsplurge a few weeks back its not that bad of a figure, I think.

sunnuntaina, maaliskuuta 20, 2016

Ye olde yarnshoppe

Time to talk about yarnshops!

Considering Tampere is the second biggest city in Finland, it's not that surprising that there is quite a few yarnshops available in addition to the yarnsections in department stores like Sokos and Anttila. The two I tend to favor are Lankaidea and Lankamaailma.

My latest purchase from Lankaidea
3 balls of Schachenmayr Catania which is 100% cotton 
Lankaidea (Yarn idea) is an independent yarnstore which I thought had quit, since it closed its store in the city centre some time ago, but luckily I was wrong. It's back on the same street but on a different end. The owner often seems a bit tired and stressed at first glance (which I'm not surprised at, it seems she's the only one working there and being an entrepreneur isn't easy), but she's really kind, helpful and chatty once you start talking to her. There is plenty of the more regular yarns (Schachenmayr, Drops etc) but also some of the rarer kinds of yarns.

Lankamaailma (Yarnworld) is actually a chain, and they have stores in Oulu (my hometown, yay), Turku and Helsinki in addition to the one here in Tampere. It's not in the city centre, but its quite easy to get to by buss which goes from the central square roughly about every 10minutes. This one has less of the rarer kind of yarnbrands, but it still offers a lot of variety to those who are bored with Novita (which is probably the most commonly used yarn in Finland, since it's very easily available in larger supermarkets and department stores)

The other two yarnshops I know of here are Kerä and Merletto. I've only been to Kerä (Ball [of yarn]) twice. The first time was when they were in another location in the city, and the second time was just this week. So far I can't say that I particularly dislike Kerä, but I do feel like there are other yarnshops I like better. Based on their web page and online store they have more of the rarer kinds of yarn (at least the type I rarely see). Merletto has a good selection of yarn, too, but I'm not particularly fond of it, since the personnel seem to be a bit... well, not unfriendly, but I feel like they're almost bored or less-than-happy to be there and I rarely get a smile out of them. Customer service is an essential part of my job, so that means a lot to me.

I also got to go to Titityy in Jyväskylä this Friday while finally going to say Hi to a friend of mine. I actually wasn't aware of this shop until recently, though it's not really suprising since I'd never proprely visited Jyväskylä. But I heard that they're having a knitting festival this summer (mid July) with quite a lot of handicrafts courses. I bought a ticket to a course by Veera Välimäki from their online store and I'm quite excited to be going! I imagine it might be just about the first day I get to myself after I've had my baby and to spend it learning more about shawl making from Veera Välimäki sounds just heavenly! I also ordered some yarn from them last week, which arrived on Tuesday.

The visit to Titityy was lovely. The building in itself was so gorgeous, because it was an old wooden house surrounded by other old wooden houses. My guess is that the buildings have been a family home, with cows and lambs and separate buildings for the maids and farmworkers and so on, until the early 20th century. One of these buildings had been converted into the yarnstore, and it really was lovely. I can think of no other word for it. I was also impressed with the variety of yarn they had, since most of them were the type I have rarely seen in other stores. The staff were really friendly and helpful, and I really feel like I could sometimes go to Jyväskylä just because of that shop.

I've also visited a few yarnstores in other countries as well, but I think I'll save those for another post with pictures of what I've made with yarns bought from them.

How's the diet? Oh gawd, don't even ask... I bought some Novita-yarn on tuesday, then I've visited Kerä and Titityy, so I've bought 1kg of yarn this week alone. Will be working hard to get back to "shape" as of right now...

sunnuntaina, maaliskuuta 13, 2016

The stash

The start of a new year is often the time people start new big projects, and I make no exception to that. I tend not to make any big official promises, but I do usually do some inventories of things that I hoard - tea, yarn, cosmetics...

So, the crazy person that I am, I wanted to see how much yarn I actually have in my stash even though I was scared that the end result would be horrific. It was and it wasn't as bad as I was afraid it would be. I had less yarn (in terms of weight) that my worst-case-scenario-thought was, but then I took it a step further and made a rough estimate on how much money was attatched to my stash. That almost made me faint.

Result: almost 6,7kg of yarn which cost me around 276€.

And I wasn't able to count the whole worth of the stash (probably a good thing), since some of the yarn is actually old enough that it's not in production anymore and I can't remember what one skein of it had cost me.

But it really was a good thing that I did the inventory. First off, looking at the list of yarn, and how much I have, helps me to cut back on buying any more yarn before I've spent some of the old out of the way. I do need to figure out some sort of a deal with myself on how much yarn I need to spend before getting anything new, but at least I haven't bought anything new since doing the inventory.

The second "good" thing was that it kicked me into storing them with more care. Because I found insects in there. Nothing big, not a hellish invasion, but still. And since there is quite a lot of money invested in the stash, it would really be stupid not to take better care of it.

Knitted ombre beanie, made with
Novita 7brothers yarn from the stash
Before, I had the skeins in an Ikea box (around 32cm x 37cm x 32cm) just mish-mashed and bundled up, with the box overflowing. Because of the small invasion in the stash, I bagged the yarns so that the same yarns (for example all of my Novita 7brothers-yarn) was in the same airtight bags and threw as much of the bags in the freezer as I could fit for one week. After a week I switched the bags to unfreezed ones.

From now on the yarn will stay in those bags and any new yarn will be stored in bags as well
. In case some hardcore insects survive, they won't be able to spread to other bags and ruin more than one bag of yarn and more than likely any new yarn I buy won't be infested. I might also consider freezing all new yarn before I mix them up with my existing stash.

For the preemie babies
Ideally I think it would be a good thing to have a stash that weighs less than 3kg, so that's what I'll be aiming for. I don't have any goal as to when my stash should reach this goal, but a goal is still a goal. I might also add this as a permanent part of my knitting/handicrafts updates in the form of a question dreaded by most women: "How's the diet?"

So, how's the diet? Last week the situation was just a bit over 100g on the plus side because of the yarn I bought before my inventory project. But then this week came and I slipped up a bit. At the start of the week I heard about small crochet toys for preemie babies that help them lay off the tubes and wires that hook them up on essential, helpful machinery and the slip-up started by getting a new crochet hook from Lankaidea-yarnstore. It felt silly to just buy a crochet hook, so naturally I looked for some yarn too (for the toys, but still), and I ended up buying three balls of Schachenmayr Catania cotton yarn. Lovely colours and just 150g all together, but still.

I also did my first online purchases, because I have been wanting to knit a shawl for myself for a while now and wanting to use some less-basic yarn for it. So first I bought my first not-for-free pattern on Ravelry and also some yarn from an online shop (they do have a physical yarnstore, too, but it's in Jyväskylä). I have been very sceptical about buying yarn online so far, because I'm really more of a need-to-touch-before-I-buy-type of a yarn shopper. But the yarn I bought is 100% superwash merino, so I think I'm quite safe with that.

So far I've used stash-yarn for a pair of socks and a beanie hat, which took a total of about 150g of yarn, and I've also almost used up the Catania cotton yarn (I think I have about 15g left) so that leaves my yarn diet situation to around 400g on the plus side.

sunnuntaina, maaliskuuta 06, 2016

Time to dust this blog out.

It's been quite close to two years since my last post, and I don't expect anyone to still check up on this blog. Probably didn't have too many readers back then either. But this past week I've been watching podcasts from other knitters and find myself wondering if I could maybe, possibly, do that myself one of these days. Then I realised that I might want to start by kicking this blog back to life first, see where that goes (and how that goes) and then, after some time, take the podcast option into serious consideration.

So maybe, as a dusting off type of thing, I might start by introducing myself and laying out some plans on how I dream I'd start this blog off... ...again.

I'm a 29-year-old handicrafts enthusiast, who lives in Tampere, Finland. I'm originally from Oulu, where most of my relatives still live. We do have some off-shoots in Sweden and Tuusula/Järvenpää-area (close to Helsinki), and I guess I'm one of those off-shoots since I've left Oulu, too, and have no immediate plans to return.

I don't really remember a time when I couldn't knit, even though my obsession picked up around the time I was in sixth form/high school. I'm very interested in all kinds of handicrafts, but knitting and crocheting are the only two things that have stayed in the picture steadily, whereas sewing, embroidery and other types of handicrafts tend to come and go and come again.

I'm currently engaged, and we are planning to get hitched at the end of September this year. We've been together for over 7,5years now (8year anniversary is in June), and we're expecting a new addition in the form of a baby to our lives in early May.

I'm also a self-confessed geek, so I will surely be posting about books, movies and other series that catch my fancy as well as knitting.

My intention is to post about handicrafts-related things every Sunday, and other topics will be covered on a more random timetable i.e. when I finish reading a book, or something else feels like a topic I want to share or discuss.

That's about it for now, we'll wait and see what I come up with.

lauantaina, kesäkuuta 21, 2014

Mun uskonto on parempi ku sun uskonto!

Tässä töissä olen nyt parina päivänä seuraillut Jehovan Todistajien menoa ja konventtihumua. Tänään, hiljaisena hetkenä aloin sitten miettimään, miten hupsua toimintaa käännyttäminen oikeastaan onkaan. Varsinkin kun otetaan huomioon, että kaikki suurimmat länsimaiset uskonnot kaikki väittävät perustuvansa Jumalan sanan tottelemiseen, mutta kummasti aina silloin tällöin jostain kannon alta ilmaantuu uusi "profeetta", joka kertoo päivitettyä sisäpiiritietoa siitä, mikä se Jumalan sana nyt oikeastaan onkaan ja mitä Hän meiltä haluaa.

Jännä, että kaikkivoipan Jumalan sana ei mene ihmiskunnalle kerralla perille, ettei se ole kaiverrettuna meidän päämme sisälle yhtenäiseksi moraaliseksi kompassiksi, vaan Jumalan pitää erikseen lähettää meille sanansaattajia. Minusta on myös hyvin jännä, että kaikki nämä kaikkivoipan Jumalan uskonnot perustavat ison osan säännöstöstään kirjoihin ja tekstikokoelmiin, jotka ovat ihmisten kynäilemiä. Tämän yksityiskohdan tajuaminen luo minun päähäni vertauskuvallisen mielikuvan siitä, että loppujen lopuksi länsimaiset uskonnot ovat kuin kirjapiirin jäsenet, jotka yrittävät vakuuttaa toisiaan siitä, että heidän jännityskirjailijasuosikkinsa on parempi kuin toisten suosikkidekkaristit. Agatha Christie vs. Stephen King vs. Henning Mankell vs. Patricia Cornwall.

En ole myöskään ikinä ymmärtänyt esimerkiksi juurikin Jehovan Todistajien logiikkaa ja käsitystä siitä, että heillä on oikeus tunkea kotiovelleni kertomaan minulle Jehovasta ja siitä miten heidän Jumalansa on parempi kuin kenenkään muun Jumala. Uudenpana muotona tästä näyttää olevan se, että heidän mielestään on myös täysin ok käydä ihmisten työpaikalla syöttämässä propagandaansa. Jotenkin luulen, että jos tulisin heidän työpaikalleen tai kotiovelleen puhumaan Punaisen Alkuhyytelön suuresta pyhyydestä ja levittämään tietolehtisiä asiasta, eivät he ottaisi sitä kovinkaan hyvällä. Mutta koska he ovat jonkun täysin yhdentekevän, itseoikeutetun profeetan höynäytettyjä uskonlapsia, on heidän toimintansa täysin oikeutettua.

Eikö me kaikki voitaisi vaan uskoa mihin halutaan, miten halutaan? Onko se niin väärin muodostaa omaan päähän sopiva arvojärjestelmä ja elää sen käsityksen mukaan? Toki en nyt siis tarkoita tällä sitä, että asetetaan oma itse kaikkien muiden yläpuolelle ja kohdellaan muita kuin arvottomia eläimenraatoja. Tarkoitan, että jos minä haluan uskoa, että maailma on muodostunut kilpikonnan kilvelle asetettujen elefanttien selkään, niin miksi kukaan kokee sen asiakseen vakuuttaa minut siitä, että heillä onkin "sisäpiirin tietoa" joltain toiselta ihmiseltä, joka on väittänyt itseään profeetaksi ja joka on saanut muutkin uskomaan niin?

Jos vaan keskityttäisiin periaatteeseen "Live and let live" ja annettaisiin kaikille kanssaeläjille oikeus ja vapaus uskoa -tai olla uskomatta- niinkuin heistä tuntuu parhaalta, niin kauan kun eivät satuta muita uskonsa kustannuksella?

lauantaina, marraskuuta 30, 2013


Syksy on mennyt opparia väännellessä ja töitä läiskiessä. En voi sanoa paiskiessa, koska työtunnit ovat viikkoa kohden melko alhaiset, mutta sen olenkin sitten korvannut opparistressillä ja sen vääntämisellä. Vaan valmista on tullut! Viimeiset järjestelyt opparin kanssa ja harjoittelun purku odottavat, ja sitten voinkin kumartaa itseäni restonomina. Opinnäytetyöseminaari oli eilen, eikä vieläkään ole täysin uponnut päähän että olen oikeasti tuosta puuhasta vapaa.

Kaikenlaista muutakin pientä on tapahtunut, mutta hyvin vähän on mitään erityisempää raportoitavaa. Syksyn aikana olen saanut ihania, erikoisia kohteliaisuuksia ja tunnen, miten minusta välitetään ja miten minusta ollaan ylpeitä. Todella outo, ihana tunne.

Jospa vaikka saisi poljettua taas blogiinkin vauhtia ja vaikka yökättyä jonkinlaista käsityöpäivitystäkin. :)