Tag Archives: august

Trials and Triumphs

I have a lot of knitting to write about, but first a little FYI: Posterous is annoying the hell out of me. For example, it says on my “manage” page that the last post has two comments -Alarwyn’s and then my response- but the web view only shows Alarwyn’s comment.

(I have also twice lost a draft because Posterous got completely stuck once I hit the “save” button. I’ve since learned to copy-paste all drafts to gmail. But onto other things!)

Ever since I got back from my holiday in Germany, I’ve had some problems in my knitting. Patterns I expected to be fool-proof successes end up the wrong size, or I mess them up; I lose enthusiasm halfway through; the softest yarn in the world turns out to be supersplitty and annoying. So far I think that I have frogged:

– 4 hat projects (3 barely started, 1 mostly done)

– at least 2 separate sock attempts

– a shawl

– a glove (visible in a photograph in the last entry)

– a mitten

While this has been really frustrating, I’ve also learned some things about both myself as a knitter (no linen stitch on small needles for me, thank you!) and the yarns I have. I’ve become especially acutely aware of the fact that as long as I enjoy the process of knitting something, it doesn’t matter if I realize halfway through it won’t fit me (it will fit someone).

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So Exhibit A: gorgeous yarn (Araucania Botany Lace), easy pattern (Truffle by Susanna IC, free on ravelry), too small for me -really suits dear BF, though!

This hat was the first thing I finished after I got home from Germany. I had been planning to take it with me, but was so close to finishing it that it wouldn’t have kept me entertained very long.

After the hat, I couldn’t get anything done for a while. Finally I decided that the only solution was the ultimate instant-gratification-project, a bulky hat:

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The yarn is Madelinetosh Vintage in “hickory”, the pattern is from my head. Done in two days, and turned out exactly the way I envisioned it!

Then, before the Olympics started, I was struggling again. I think it was because I had been expecting the Knitting Olympics or Ravellenics for so long, and with such excitement, that my olympic project had to be just perfect. (I hurt my arm during the winter olympics and couldn’t knit then, so I was really eager to take part this year.)

Finally I settled upon The Bayret hat pattern, to be knit in the yarn I bought from Berlin:

ravellenic progress

I wanted a challenge, but there are cable twists on e v e r y round. It’s super slow, and I am really worried that I won’t finish in time.

Then inspiration struck. Another raveller needed a few yards of a sock yarn that I had a full skein of, so I went diving in my stash to mail some to her. And once I had the yarn in my hands I got an idea…

gloves knit in Handmaiden Casbah

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…And my idea worked! There’s more info on my project page, but I was inspired by two patterns and also used LarisDesign’s Knotty Gloves for guidance. I was worried that the fingers would just seem really fiddly, but it was actually pretty fun to knit them. All in all, the project went really fast -I was ready in 4 days! The Usain Bolt -equivalent of the knitting world, isn’t it? 😉

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This cute cupcake I got from a friend as a gift when I turned in my thesis for official review. Another personal triumph!

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Helsinki Restaurant Day

Because I seriously dislike Facebook, I only read about the pop-up restaurant thing in Sunday’s newspaper. Obviously we then had to rush out immediately to get vegan cupcakes.

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Cupcake Lab should really become an actual cafe/bakery. The concept was fun and the cupcakes delicious.

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Chocolate-vanilla (not vegan) on the left and mocha-peanut butter on the right. Delish!

 

I wore my Tweety top because I’m afraid that any day now it’s going to be too cold to go around without a coat anymore. It is right now actually pouring rain and more chilly than yesterday, so we’ll see whether my fears will prove correct.

Tweety Eats Out

Rather unusually for me, the FO of this post is a garment.

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No, I did not knit a sweater after my last entry -this was started ages ago, probably October last year. I had bought four skeins of Blue Sky Alpaca Cotton in a beautiful light yellow and cast on excitedly. The cotton, while very soft was also somewhat hard on my hands, so I put the project down for months. In April and May I knit most of the body, and then finally the yoke this month. I think this proves I’m a process knitter -how else could you explain the frenzy to knit 8 hats in the middle of the summer, when I could have been finishing a cotton top that one actually can use in warm weather?!

The pattern (insofar as this sweater has one) is the Seamless Yoke Sweater from Knitting without Tears. One of my best book purchases ever, btw. Has been incredibly useful and not at all expensive. Highly recommended.

I tested the sweater today when we ate out, and I think it fits fine. Not my best work to date, or I would have finished it sooner. However, the restaurant does deserve a mention.

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I am eating an almond tofu dessert. That is, for some reason, shaped like a fish. It was still good. And vegan.

Empire Plaza (or “kampin kiinalainen”) might just be one of my favourite restaurants. The milieu (shopping center) might lead you to expect some second-rate Chinese place, but really the location just means that they are open late and crowded on Saturday afternoons. The staff is friendly and the food delicious. The menu is very large so even in a large group everyone can usually find something they like. Chinese is usually a good pick for vegans anyway, but I was especially smitten by their tofu dessert. Sweet, and wobbly. Perfect!

 

Summer blues, August pinks

The summer seems to be drawing to a close. I’ve started wearing socks around the house and even after a warm day there is a hint of fall in the air at night. Obviously this also means that I can actually wear some of the knit things I’ve whipped out during the hot months, but it makes me a bit sad nonetheless.

Luckily there are some good things to be said about the end of summer. For example: harvest!

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These are apparently called fava beans in English (härkäpavut in Finnish). My dad has a (very) green thumb, he grows these at out summer cottage. I find the little things quite photogenic. 

I also finished my garter-stitch shawl during the weekend. I still have not blocked it, and am not sure whether I will do so at all. It’s so perfectly squishy.

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The yarn (Berroco Comfort Sock) was hand-dyed by Quo Vadis (etsy shop here). I used all 400m/100g by simply knitting until I ran out of yarn. It’s wonderfully bright and suitably pink for Project Spectrum 🙂

(The pattern? 22.5 degrees that I misread and then decided not to follow at all). 

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