Tag Archives: handthings

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:


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


…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? 😉


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


The Wollmeise Report


Hi…Guess where I’m going?!


The wall of “nobody is perfect” skeins.


And here are the regular skeins. Knitting supplies at the back.



One happy shopper!

So yeah, I got to visit the Wollmeise store on June 29th. The train ride from Münich took about 30 minutes to Pfaffenhofen, and then we had a 10 minute walk to the store. It was over 30 degrees outside, the hottest day of our trip, but even that didn’t lessen my enthusiasm.

The shop was organized very well, the colours amazing (of course), and everyone was super nice. On the way back, I also got to spend some extra time with two other Ravelers (check out manduh’s blog here and adriprints’ here).

And…Well, I guess you want to see the goods, right?

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Starting from above-left, I got Wollmeise 80/20 Twin in “Orient”, two Twin “nobody is perfect” skeins (ie, the colour does not match the colourway it was supposed to be), 100% Merino in “Saami”, another “nobody is perfect” skein and a huge 300g skein of Wollmeise lace (a nobody is perfect -version of The Auster colourway).

Yes, I’m now on a yarn diet. But it was worth it!

I also recently managed to finish the knitting that I had with me on the trip (I’m also working on it in that first photo). I took only one project, can you believe that?


The yarn is also wollmeise, a NiP version of “Blue Suzanne”. I knew I wanted to knit wollmeise on my vacation, but agonized over which pattern to choose. Finally I settled on a sock pattern, “Helix Socks” from Brave New Knits.

I knit the rib and a few rounds before leaving. I did try the sock on at that point, and it seemed fine. Unfortunately, after that I mostly knit on it in public places -and didn’t try it on again until after finishing the heel. Didn’t fit. It wasn’t even close. At which point I was in Dresden, and really didn’t want to rip the whole thing. So I ripped the heel and made mittens. They are long, warm, and lovely 🙂


Spreading the Love

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Happy Valentine's Day

Picture shows me attempting to form a heart with my new mittens(!). As wiser knitters have already noted, it isn’t very easy.

There are a variety of things I have been very happy about lately, and what better day to mention them than St. Valentine’s? So without further ado, here goes:

1. Mittens 

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Mittens in waffle pattern (from 60 Quick Knits), knit in Dream in Color Classy (colourway in Vino Veritas).

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Virankannos Mittens (pattern free in Ulla) for the bf, knit in Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage, colourway Grove.

2. LYS-explosion

Both Snurre (homepage here), and Villavyyhti (homepage here) opened last year in Helsinki. And let’s not forget older favourites, either 🙂 After not having been to yarn stores in a while, there really is nothing better.

3. Etsy: knitting bags

There are many awesome shops but Bird Leg Bags is where I recently got two knitting bags. Not only did I get them fast, wrapped nicely and with a few extras, but OMG…Owls! and kittens! My two weaknesses.

4. (Vegan) Chocolate

A local healthfood store (Ruohonjuuri) has started carrying Moo Chocolates. I am totally addicted. They use rice milk which makes the chocolate taste very similar to “regular” milk chocolate. There are other brands on the market as well but Moo is my favourite. Yummy!