Friday, March 31, 2006

New shirts for free :)

Look look look! I was going through my clothes the other day and was about to toss these two shirts for good. But then I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try altering them. And so I did! And I think they turned out pretty well :) At least I'll get a few more wears out of them. To the white shirt I added the checkered fabric and to the blue one white lace fabric (folded double).

It was surprisingly easy to do. Although I did have moments where I was less than certain of what I was doing. Moments like this:

That's one sleeve crammed around the base from the neckhole all the way to the wrist (it wouldn't go the other way). I think there are several options for this: a) This actually really was the only way to do it, b) my sewing machine is odd, c) my sleeves are oddly small or d) I really don't know anything about sewing. I'm hoping it's a) but I wouldn't bet on it :)

And yes, I did end up with at least one small mistake:

Most people would have probably ripped it off and put it on again (and I did think about it) but I just didn't feel like cramming it all on the machine again, so it'll have to do.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Thursday's thoughts

Oh no, oh no, oh no! I've been wondering out loud to DH why people don't comment on my blog and why I seem to be getting fewer and fewer readers. I mean, I do so enjoy keeping this blog and taking all the pictures and sort of documenting what I do. And, yes, I kind of do it for myself. But still, it would be nice if I had readers... Then today, to my horror, I notice my comment setting were set so that only other Blogger users were able to comment! Kind of pointless complaining about the lack of comments when (without meaning to) I've pretty much made it impossible to comment, huh? I'm sure by now I've already driven out all the potential readers, but nevertheless, I'm so sorry everyone! (Oh, and Finnish readers, you can leave comments in Finnish as well.)

Okay, that's that.

Here's what I made yesterday, a roll-up case for my straight knitting needles. I've meaning to make one for months now, and just decided to do it. It's my own pattern and it's not perfect but since it is just for me it will do and I'm actually quite happy with it :) I did make notes on how to improve it so that if I ever do one again, I think it has a chance of being almost perfect ;) I used quite a thick batting on this one (because that's what I had), but I was wondering if it could be done with just fabric, no batting at all. Would the needles clink awfully lot? Would it not roll up so well? I'll have to try.. someday.. when I don't have anything else to do.

It really seems the lengthening days and the re-emerging of the sun really have woken my creative side. I have so many ideas I want to try and things I want to do it's crazy!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Cute things

Yesterday I whipped up a drawstring bag to hold the chess board:

And I sewed up a bit of stitching I'd finished over the weekend into a tiny needleroll. Isn't it cute?

The pattern is from the March-April 2006 issue of De fil en aiguille. I noticed this magazine lists the approximate times it takes to do the projects. For this one, the stitching time was listed as 5 hours. I didn't time myself but I think it took less, I'm guessing about 4 hours.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Wanna play?

Fancy a game of chess?

Or perhaps checkers?

This is what I produced this weekend. It'll be perfect to take along to parks and trips this summers. (Not that either of us has played either of the games in .. umm.. 10 years?)

Friday, March 24, 2006

WIP pictures

I tried posting these pictures yesterady, but Blogger had different ideas :(

This is the Sunrise Circle Jacket and it's coming along nicely. One sleeve is done and I've started on the front as well. They're knit as one piece.

This is the first front piece of the belted lace wrap. Progressing slowly but steadily. Since taking the picture I've already done one more pattern repeat.

And this is something recently started. The pompom fingerless mittens from the Spring Interweave Knits (I'm going to make them sans pompoms). The yarn I'm using is Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK and although the yarn is absolutely lovely to touch and to look and is definitely warm, I'm not much enjoying knitting these. I don't know whether it is the yarn or just that I have to do cables while using four double point needles.

And then a little something extra. Last night, just as I was falling asleep, my dear husband said to me: "But you could have chosen DH for the letter D." I pointed out that he was the one who suggested diamonds and that he doesn't want me to post his picture on this blog and the whole thing is about posting a photograph of the letter. But, yes, I had to admit, after laughing heartily, I could have had my D be DH, and so, here is another entry for that letter:

This is a picture I drew of DH while I had my eyes blindfolded (it was game we took part in). All I can say is, I'm not much of a drawer even with my eyes open :)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

D is for...

After my craft filled weekend, I've been simply knitting and stitching on my WIPs. I'll show progress pictures tomorrow. Today I'll do a post on the next alphabet, which is D and...

D is for Diamonds

My husband actually encouraged me to choose this for my letter D. I was trying to think of something else, as so far, my wedding ring is the only thing I have that has diamonds. But DH is right. I do love diamonds!

In the picture, my wedding ring is nestled on top of another favourite, a Christmas Cactus. I have a three of them and this is the oldest one and my favourite (but don't tell the other). It flowered beautifully in November and now has started to bloom again :)

Sunday, March 19, 2006


I feel like I've had a really productive weekend! I've been supressing my decorating urges whole winter (we know we are going to move during the next few months) but I could not not do anything any longer. So on Thursday I visited a fabric store and got these:

During the weekend they've turned into different kinds of table cloths for different chest of drawers and small tables. The red ones will turn into pillows for our couch sometime soon.

It seems I've also been very drawn to bunnies lately. First of, I sew this little cutie, shown here sans clothes and wearing her lovely floral dress:

The instructions are from an old Finnish craft mag. On top of being extremely cute (in my opinion) and odd (in DH's), she is also very eco-friendly. Her body is made using DH's and mine old shirts. (See, I haven't been storing them for nothing for several years! I knew they would be useful someday :) )

Then on Thursday I saw this picture in the newspaper:

And it inspired me to do these:

What are they? Well, allow me to demonstrate:

They are for keeping your eggs warm :) The original ones shown in the news paper picture can be purchased from Pentik.
Using the same idea I also started to make some Easter cards. They're unfinished as I realized we didn't have a suitable to pen to do the writing in. Have to look for one tomorrow.

And finally, another bunny caught my eye. This one I saw in the Marie Claire Idées I posted about (this one is by Anne Claire Petit):

Some yarn, a hook and an idle Saturday morning produced this (the bunny is actually white and the jacket soft pink):

It's lined with the iron-on fabric and I attached a safety pin so I can wear it on my jacket (as in the picture) or on a bag.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Some recent finishes

First of here are the mittens I made for DH, enthusiastically modeled by him (thus the blurry picture) :)

This, again modeled by my DH, is a hat I made for my father's 50th birthday, which was last weekend:

It's made out of Rowan Big Wool and using a pattern of theirs as well. I made a few changes: I made the rib as k1p1 instead of k2p2 and I made it a couple of rows longer than indicated by the directions. I can happily report it fit my father very well (both size- and stylewise).

And this last picture is of a summer hat I made for myself. I used a ball (almost whole) of Rowan Calmer left over from the bolero I made a while back. The pattern is from Rowan's Calmer Collection. This was finished last Sunday.

Today I've been playing with my fabric stash and I hope to report the outcomes tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I love magazines!

I'm still here! I have just been very busy.

This week I've come across two new (to me) magazines, that I really really liked and thought I would share them with you.
First one is a French cross stitch magazine De fil en aiguille.

It has several things in it that I want to stitch, both larger and smaller desings. It also has some interesting looking articles that have me wishing my French was better (I can handle the very basics but not much else). I got this from a new Finnish online store Violarium.

The other magazine is Marie Claire Idées, another French mag. This one has all sorts of craft things in it and, like you can deduct from the title, is full of ideas. It has large and small projects and tons and tons of pictures (some of store bought items). The overall image is elegant and stylish. Again, I wish I knew more French to enjoy the articles. (Here's two reasons to learn!)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Happy thoughts everywhere

Time for an update on my WIPs. And I think it is a rather positive one, which I'm happy about.

I finished the mittens but cannot take a picture at the moment as the recipient left for work this morning wearing them.

While working on the mittens I also worked on the lace wrap cardigan, knitting one 10-row pattern repeat a day. I worked well, I'm not bored with the project and the back is almost done already, so I'm going to continue with this method. The only problem with this one is that despite making a gauge swatch where the gauge was spot on, it isn't so anymore. The back should measure 18" from cast on to the beginning of armholes and even with a bit of stretching mine only measures a bit over 16". It doesn't really matter, but I'll have to see if I need to make an extra repeat on the armholes or not.

The back of Sunrise Circle Jacket is done. I don't really know when it got done as I haven't knitted on this for a while :) I did start one of the sleeves yesterday. I don't mind if this goes as quickly and easily as the back.

And I've been stitching as well. Part 2 is nearly done (and part 3 is already here) and here you can see some cute flowers. You were supposed to backstitch around them but I didn't think it looked that good so left it out. Faster this way, too :)

This morning I picked up a package and doesn't the sight of this just cheer you up? Lovely, lovely yarn and such cheerful, spring-like colors.

That's Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK (green) for Odessa and Cabled Fingerless Mitts from the Spring IK, Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere (yellow) for a tennis sweater I'm going to make and Hifa (I think that's what it was although it has no labels, a bargain bin yarn) cotton that I'm going to knit in to Crinkle from the new Rowan magazine.

This week I received the much talked about Stitch 'n' Bitch book from my library. I was a bit disappointed. There were only two things I would maybe like to make someday. I should have known though, I'm rarely into the hip, modern things.
There was, however, instructions on how to make a centerpull ball out of a skein of yarn. Since the Hifa cotton was in skeins I decided to give it a try. Here is the result:

It was really uncomfortable to do (having to keep your thumb in the ball while trying to pick knots open was not easy) and, although I like centerpull balls, I've never really had a problem with the other kind rolling here and there, so I don't think I'll be doing this again. I just hope this one works so all my effort wasn't in vain.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Ripping and laughter

Remember when I said I would like to knit a hood? With this stitch pattern and dimensions like on the one on the cover of Handknit Holidays? Yes, well, I started as I realized I actually had occasions coming up when I could wear one.

The only problem was that this was soooo very boring to knit. I don't know why, but I just didn't enjoy it. I'm guessing it's the combination of not so interesting yarn, not so interesting pattern, a deadline and the pressure of the already started projects which I would rather be knitting. So I ripped it. And you won't see me starting it again anytime soon. I've already decided to make socks for me and DH from the yarn.

I should really teach my DH to knit. Not that I mind that much doing things for him, I actually rather like it. Or the fact that he likes and wants to wear what I knit. But it would just be useful and helpful if he knew how to do it. A case in point:
We were about to leave to one of the occassions I could have worn that hood to, DH's cousin's wedding. I was doing my hair and DH wanted to be helpful and pack what we needed for the car. He asked if I would be knitting his mittens (ahem) in the car and I said I could do that. He went to the living room and found the WIP and packed it and we left. Once we'd driven for a while, I wanted to start knitting and reached into the bag. I pulled out the ball and the needles that held the stitches and even a tape measurer, but then came up empty handed.

"Um, honey? You did take the free needle that was next to the ball of yarn, didn't you?"
"Oh, no I didn't. Would you have needed that?"

Hilarious! I didn't mind it as much as he did (as it was his mitten that was now not going to see any progress) :) He kept looking for a store we could go into and buy a new set, but we didn't see any.

Friday, March 03, 2006

C is for Chocolate

I'm still catching up on the ABC-along and today I'm at the letter C. This one had a lot of lovely contenders like champagne and cashmere, but after all I decided on...


Like most every one, I adore chocolate. White, milk, dark, doesn't matter. I do have favourites, the traditional Finnish milk chocolate by Fazer and their new thin dark (70% cocoa) chocolate, the latter of which I eat a piece of every day with my tea in the afternoons.

I got this particular chocolate from my wonderful Seasonal Stitcher Exhange partner Melanie. It's the kind that is in a ball when you get it and then you have to whack it against a table to get it to open up.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

You never know

After all this time, I know you're all waiting to see some progress pictures of the various WIPs I now have. Well, so am I. Instead, I have this to show:

You remember those hot pink mittens I did for my brother? I was quite amused by the whole concept of my brother wanting to have them (he requested them but I dont believe he thought I would actually make them). Well, I was even more surprised when after giving them away my DH it said he would also like a pair. Being the good wife that I am, I told him I would knit them for him, eventually. It turns out our idea of "eventually" is quite different and so, whenever I pulled out the lace wrap cardigan or the Sunrise Circle jacket, or Sampler Mystery II for that matter, he would look at me deeply saddened eyes and mutter "but those are not my mittens". As you can see, I succumbed and am now in the process of providing my husband with a pair of hot pink mittens. Then I can hopefully get to all the other stuff :)