Things handmade. About making things.
Is music a thing?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Double Deutsche Diaper Duty..

Since last Friday, it's been pretty well all babies, all the time.
My little nieces are gorgeous. Of course every auntie is going to think that, but the little imp & pixie are generally so adorable you can forgive them their complaints about tummy gas, teething pain, soggy diapers, hunger, tiredness and just general baby krankiness because they are so cute.
Here they are:
Clara Olive....
Josephine Rose.

Here are the girls modeling their new bibs Aunt Bee brought them from Helsinki...

What a sense of style they have already at the tender age of 6 months!

Aunt Bee has hardly had time to finish the Dreaded Debbie Bliss Cardigan #13 because there is just so much burping and dandling and carrying and cuddling to do.

But some progress has been made.
Still unblocked but taking shape. I am going to make a little facing at the chin to make the inside tidy as it tends to turn down and show all the joins. Ugly. I remember why I used to call Vogue Knitting VAGUE Knitting. Some of the directions are a little cryptic. Like "tack down the collar". To what? The pick up line at the neck back?? That makes sense, but what about the front points. We tried it on little Josie because she was awake at the time and with my seamstress sister we were able to figure out where the collar ought to be tacked. But you know, sewing patterns usually have things like the seam allowance, pocket placement and tacking points marked on them, built into the diagrams and numbered. At least knitting patterns could be a little more specific or include clearer diagrams or more photos of salient garment details. If we hadn't tried this on the baby, I don't think we would have figured it out so well.

The turned hems at the sleeves were especially popular with my sister. The sweater is the 1-year size and is currently swimming on them. It will be a couple of months before it is really wearable. So now comes the issue of the second sweater. Turned hem at the sleeves - yes. But along the bottom? I'm not sure & I still don't like the button band either. The collar seemed like an awful lot of yarn but then my sister pointed out the with the neck relatively high, it would really keep the baby warm. And it looks awfully cute. So sometime between bottles and bibs and poopy pants, I'll cast on sweater number two.

Time for a walk in the park!!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Little Things

My thinking exactly. And you can take that statement many ways.
There are so many little things in Helsinki.

There is a lot of symmetry. Often based on threes, or triangles as well as mirror images. In the old town, what they call the Design District, there are wonderful layers of Art Nouveau, Art Deco and things Nordic & Runic.....

All adding up to a bigger picture.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Friday, May 16, 2008

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

It's after Midnight in Helsinki

But only just past 5 in the evening back home. I keep finding myself wide awake when I ought to be falling asleep.

I thought compulsively correcting the ghastly hem (gruesome photographic evidence to follow) on the darned ermm I mean DElightful baby sweater that I still need to make TWO of by the end of May, would make me sleepy but it has not.

Helsinki is a lovely city. The cast of actors I'm working with at the Svenska Teatern are terrific. They are going to sound wonderful. I've had some really nice walks after the rehearsals.

These guys really made me miss my gang (Cats & Boyfriend) (not necessarily in that order).
And what did I discover? That a really nice yarn shop (Menita) is less than a block from my apartment.
And there is another interesting shop full of Finnish Handicrafts (Taito Shop) that, little did I know, also stocks Finnish wool....
Oh Finnish Handicrafts are beautiful. I think our mum, who is a fan of Marimekko fabrics, instilled a love of this sort of thing into me and all my siblings at a very young age. It is going to be hard not let my inner magpie override my bank account......

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Bouquet

It's the 1st of May!
I turned the page on my calendar and this is what it wrote:
All the flowers
of all the tomorrows
are in the seeds of today.
Indian Proverb.

Under the influence of spring,
which is a pleasant thing to be delirious about,
here's the sort of yarn and colours I brought home from the fair last Saturday.

I have to start with this.
I love to smell this yarn. It smells like clean sheep. I would put in next to me at night so I could inhale it in my sleep but I don't think it would go over that well with the Cats & Boyfriend.
It was only $3 a skein. I bought 2. True, it is not fancy and full of silk or merino but look at it!
Good honest wool.
One of the ladies sheared it from her brother's sheep though she didn't spin the fleece herself.
It was from the Roving Spinners.

Next up is Diana Latvian yarn from Headwater Wools.
This is another good solid yarn. Affordable. Not super soft, but soft enough. Chunky weight. I have a bit of this already. It knits up nicely and wears well. More to add to the collection. I think I might have enough to try a Wooly Thoughts Blanket.

A little purple silk from Fiddlesticks. It was reduced in price a bit. Perhaps I should have got more than one ball, but my intention with this is to strand it with the some silk/mohair blends I already have and do some more wristlets...

I actually won a raffle prize this year. Some Fleece Artist "Marina". With a pattern for it. "Coco". Not sure if I will go with the pattern, I rarely do. But I like the colours. The blues are wonderful. It is machine washable. I feel a hat coming on.

Linda and I strolled around, loosing track of time. Linda had actually brought some patterns she was planning on making up. She had a plan! What a concept. So some of our browsing was focused on particular types and weights. Then we hit the "GoodBuy" yarn stall. They have all sorts of yarns, ends of lines, discontinued, overstock, last year's shades etc etc. at least25 - 50 % off the original price. And this year they organized their stall by colour. We had too much fun. Linda declared that it was better than Winners. (If you're not near a Winners store, it is an emporium of mostly new clothing, some of it designer, some of it really rather nice and usually half the regular price.)
Here's what I dug out of the GoodBuy bins:
This lovely shade of blue Rowan Cotton Tape for making some Scribble Lace scarves and shawls with more of that mohair/silk stuff I've accumulated in my collection.

How's this. A skein of Noro Iro. I don't care what I do with this eventually. I just like looking at it.

I don't think you can really go wrong with Noro yarn. If I ever get to Japan again, I am going to try really hard to visit the workshop. I must see Mr. Noro in action. How do they do it?

One ball of Noro Aurora. Yes LuLu, that's right is does pick up the blue in your eye.

A skein of Cotton Fleece. Terracotta. Just right to highlight some greens and turquoise that I have of the same yarn...

The variegated green yarn is called Joy, from Needful Yarn. It is pure Merino and looks like it will be good for felting. Actually it looks like it was made for felting.

As we were paying for our finds, the young lady told us that GoodBuy does a big yarn sale every Thursday in July and August at Village Yarns.
I have a sneaking suspicion I know what Linda & I are going to be doing on the odd Thursday in the heat of the summer. We will drag new knitters on tight budgets and let them have a go at all this great stuff. Well, maybe we'll make sure to tell them to come about an hour after we get there....
This lovely heather fingering has been in my collection for too long. I have 10 skeins of it. I got them all for 10 dollars at a second hand store in Beacon Hill , Boston. 15 Years ago. Never knew what to do with it until I saw this:And I think they are rather nice together.
Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift from Camilla Valley Farm. Gee, looks like a nice place to take a drive to or better yet, bicycle to.... hmmm...
I have to get over my sweater-phobia one day and do a fair isle type garment. But I think some hats or mitts might be quite nice with this. Or a shawl.
Anyway now the purple yarn has some friends and it seems happy. I hope it doesn't have to wait another 15 years before it is knit up. I wonder how old it really is....

One final purchase (well there is one more but I'm not ready to expose it yet).
A skein of good honest yarn, Cascade 220. Part of which was destined to become my first attempt at a Klein Bottle hat as taught by Debbie New.

Which so far only looks like this
and is big enough to make a smashing egg warmer. Debbie New is on a different plane. Multi-dimensional.

...What's that LuLu? You think I'm spending too much time out here playing with yarn instead of you? Yes, I suppose the clouds are rolling in, it does look like rain, doesn't it. Fine, we'll go in. Yes, I'll wait until you've finished nibbling your grass...
I'll admire my bouquet.