Tag Archives: garments

a very particular shade of green

Know how you often buy yarn in the same colour that you’re wearing? Well, I went to the Tampere craft fair like this:

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And bought this:

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Which became this:

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The sweater is a basic bottom-up raglan, knit using Elizabeth Zimmermann’s percentage system. I bought the yarn (Cascade 220) from Tampere two years ago, from the booth that’s in the background in the photo. (The sweater made a brief appearance in a post in March, so it’s been in the works for quite some time. Also, I am obviously obsessed with bright green.)

The yarn I bought this time is from Villavyyhti‘s booth, sparkly sock yarn by Lanitium ex Machina. I know they currently carry another sock yarn by the same dyer, but not this sparkly version. (You could always ask, though -at the Villavyyhti Ravelry group, for instance.)

I knew pretty much at once that I wanted to knit a fancy beret out of my green skein, but struggled with the particulars at first. My first attempt didn’t work and got ripped. I then decided to go top-down and to use two yarns. I got the idea to use a mohair/silk laceweight from the Simple Pleasures pattern (available for free). Mine isn’t Alchemy’s Haiku, though -it’s a very old stash yarn and probably another yarn company’s version of Rowan’s Kidsilk Haze.

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(Neither of the pictures shows the crown, but I used yarnovers for the increases.)

I am awfully pleased with the brim. The picot cast off took about 1.5 hours (or two episodes of Pushing Daisies, which might be the best show ever) but I like the result. Very fancy and girly.

And in case you’re wondering, the pictures of me modelling the beret were taken in Turku. We went there for a mini-holiday last weekend.

For a lunch in Turku, I would highly recommend the cafe Turun kirjakahvila. It’s all vegan and near the Turku Cathedral. 

 

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(Un)selfish Knitting

I usually knit just for myself. Being able to wear things I’ve made is part of the fun, and I believe I will always appreciate my handknits more than anyone else would. When I do knit for others, it’s always small items that I then give as gifts. 

I’ve gotten used to thinking of myself as a selfish knitter because I keep most of the things I’ve made. But lately I’ve been wondering…Isn’t knitting something you have absolutely no use for, and because of that giving it to someone, just as selfish?

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Some weeks ago, I was thinking about how fun knitting sweaters is in theory: they have many parts (providing the knitter with some variation in the work), can be made so that all the yarn is used (especially easy if knitting top-down), and are eminently very useful and can be admired by other people (not hidden in your shoe like socks). In practise, however, a sweater for me takes a long time and a lot of yarn. So when my mother told me that a family friend had just had a baby girl, it felt like a Sign. A baby sweater! Of course!

Pattern: “Sock” It to Me (for Girls) from Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders

Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Lightweight, colourway “sweet pea”

Thoughts: I really had fun knitting this. It’s not too plain to be boring to knit, but not too complicated either. It’s an incredibly fast knit, too (took me a week, even with sewing the sleeves and getting buttons!). 

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Pattern: Gwynedd from Knitscene Fall 2010

Yarn: Leftovers from my Wondertunic -Le Fibre Nobili Super Tajmahal

Thoughts: The model in the magazine has a similar head shape than a friend of mine, who also celebrated her birthday recently, so I made the hat for her. I still think the hat’s cute, although I’m not sure whether she plans to ever wear it…

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Pattern: Pavone by Woolly Wormhead

Yarn: Artesano Superwash Merino DK

Thoughts: I wanted very much to knit this pattern in this yarn, but didn’t have enough yardage to make it in my size. I decided that I’d rather make it in a smaller size and give it to someone than try to make the bigger size and run out of yarn. Luckily I found someone who accepted it 🙂

But even among this sort-of-selfish knitting, I have managed to finish one true labour of love:

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Pattern: Cauchy from Sock Innovation

 Yarn: Wollmeise Twin (80% merino, 20% nylon), colourway “maus alt”

Thoughts: These socks took f o r e v e r. Really! I started them in July 2010 and finished in August this year. Mostly it was because of my decision to use 1.75mm needles for superdense fabric, but also because that damn pattern isn’t as easy to memorize as one might expect. While both socks have the same number of rounds, they are not identical because I sort of made up my own zigzags. I also changed the stitch count, did a different cast-on and my usual short-row heel. So very little of Cookie A’s pattern remains, really.

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beauty is twice beauty

and what is good is doubly good

when it is a matter of two socks

made of wool in winter. 

Pablo Neruda

 

January FO Parade

 It had to happen eventually. After knitting only hats, I’ve suddenly become extremely productive knitting everything but hats. Let’s start with the biggest project.

the essayist sweater

Pattern: Essayist Pullover by Deborah Newton. Published in Knitscene Fall issue 2010

Yarn: Cascade Yarns Eco+

Thoughts: very warm, squishy, surprisingly soft. I messed up the collar, though.

I am often influenced by pattern names, and this one was just irresistible. Back in November 2010 when I started this project, I was taking my last literature course and feeling rather nostalgic about how I would never again spend afternoons writing self-consciously pretentious essays on Jane Austen. I also loved the colour of the pattern sample, and chose Eco+ from my stash because it was a similar colour, even though the fibre content was very different. I knit maybe 10cm of the body and one sleeve before getting hand pain and when I got better, it was spring and too warm for bulky sweaters.

I wasn’t really inspired to finish it until these past few months. I wanted to be able to wear it as I spent afternoons writing my hopefully less pretentious thesis 😉

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Pattern: Roses are Red, available for purchase through Ravelry

Yarn: Araucania Ranco

Thoughts: A very old yarn gets finally used and the result is pretty, yay! Also, I won the pattern as a prize. I never win anything!

This one was an easy knit. My knitting always slows down with these triangle shawls as the rows get longer and longer, but I powered through the final pattern repeats last weekend. 

valentine socks

Pattern: None. 

Yarn: Yarn Love Marianne Dashwood, colourway “Valentine”

Thoughts: My sock mojo is BACK!

I think I’ve finally gotten back into the groove. I knit these in 8 days, which isn’t too bad since I also finished the shawl. The yarn had been waiting for some years now in my stash, and I decided that I was finally going to have Valentine socks for St. Valentine’s Day. I had forgotten how fast plain stockinette socks can be, even for my size 11 feet! Also a nice little Austen reference in the yarn name. Just perfect!

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FO: Coffee Tunic

More sweaters!

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This was probably my oldest UFO, started in 2008 or 2009. All I remember is that I bought the yarn from Karnaluks in Tallinn and cast on fairly soon afterwards. I knit 12cm of ribbing and a few cable twists before I got bored. I finally dug up the project in August and finished the thing in just two weeks.

The Pattern: Coffee Tunic (free via Ravelry or the designer’s blog). Mine isn’t really a tunic-length because I was afraid of running out of yarn (I didn’t) and doesn’t have the collar because I didn’t feel like knitting a lot more 2×2 ribbing. The cable turn also happens every 10th row instead of every 12th because apparently I couldn’t count back in 2008. Yay.

The Yarn: Lana Cervinia Super Tajmahal, about 8.5 skeins. The hem already started pilling as I was knitting the top, so I can’t recommend the yarn for garments. A typical new-knitter yarn purchase I think; totally unnecessary and impractical but oh so soft and on sale. 10 skeins cost 20€.

Needles: 3mm. Please note that the recommended size listed on the ball band is 5.5mm. How very funny.

Comments: Fits surprisingly well, quite comfortable to wear. Also my first succesfull sleeveless knit garment and therefore good practise for (gasp) the BF vest in my queue…

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!