Friday, June 30, 2006

A fulfilled dream

Like most people, I have big, huge, enormous dreams and a whole bunch of smaller ones. This one's definitely on the small side, but it's nice to have it realized all the same :)

I've been day-dreaming about a new ironing board cover for a long time now. The ultimate dream has been to get one of these Cath Kidston ones, but they are a bit pricey, especially with the postage which is almost the same as the price of the cover (really outrageous as it most certainly will not cost even nearly that much to send it from the UK), so it has stayed as a dream only. However, being faced with yet another ironing session with the ugly and yellow board cover, I saw the vintage sheet I had purchased from a second hand store the other day. The intention was to use it to make a picnic quilt, but there's plenty of it, so I cut it up, sewed a fold for a drawstring and put it on and love it! And this cost me practically nothing :) Now all I want to do is iron ;)

On top of it, you can see the camera pouch I made.

To those of you who do not live in Finland and may have heard about the light filled summers were here up north have, here's a picture taken few minutes past midnight (a few days after the longest day of the year). It's a blurry picture as I just took it while grabbing a glass of water before heading back to bed, but you can definitely see that the sky is not dark. I'm not sure if that is a sunset or sunrise, probably both. And Helsinki is still quite far south from Lapland, the northen region, where the sun really does not set (I've never actually seen it, though).

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Graduation, part 1

I have a confession to make. One of the reasons I haven't posted the graduation day pics yet, is because we hardly have any. At my graduation our batteries died after 4 pictures were taken. And of those four, this is pretty much the only one that makes any sense. These musicians are from the university's orchestra and played several beautiful songs throughout the ceremony. I would also like to point out that at our school graduation ceremonies (held once every semester) are not a big thing, and most people don't attend. A case in point: since January 100 people had graduated from my faculty and only about 30 were present.

I am quite upset that we didn't get to take any pictures of me in my outfit and with the beautiful roses I got. We do plan on taking pictures of me in the outfit, but haven't had time or proper lighting for it, yet.

The batteries worked just fine on DH's graduation, but I seemed to be incapable of taking anything besides fuzzy pictures. At his school, the ceremonies are held once a month and most every one attends. Here's a group shot of those who graduated during May.

I showed you a WIP picture of the dress I was going to wear and here you can see it on me. This really is the best shot of the dress. It was, after all, DH's graduation day and people weren't that interested in photographing my dress :)

It was the most difficult thing I've ever sewn. I was able to put it together after much swearing, sweating and hours and hours in front of the sewing machine. I think I would have rather enjoyed making this if I had had more time. Lesson learned: next time I want to make something to wear to a specific event, I'll start earlier than one day before. Or, if I really must put myself through the horror of a tight deadline, I'll choose a much simpler pattern to follow.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Some peace and quiet

On Wednesday we drove to Tampere again, to attend DH's graduation ceremony, visited some friends and stayed the night at his parents' house. On Thursday we drove to my grandmother's cottage to spend the juhannus (Midsummer) weekend, with my grandmother and my parents. It is such a relaxing place and I love going. And it's pretty much the only place I've known all my life. We didn't do much, but still three days just flew by. If only it was closer so we could visit more often.

I stitched a bit, I read a lot and spend time doing sudoku. And I finished the Rowan cardigan, or whatever you want to call it. The extra ball of yarn I had to order arrived just in time before we left, so I took it with me, knitted the collar and sewed it all up. This pattern is Antoinette from the latest Rowan magazine (number 39). I shortened the front and back pieces, by starting the front pieces with 26 stitches (instead of 8) and following the pattern from there. The collar is also one repeat shorter. Those were the intentional changes I made. After I was done, I noticed I had misunderstood/misread the directions for the sleeves and they have a bit less of the "fancy rib" than the model on the magazine does. Oh well.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Hi! This is Lina. I'm sorry I can't blog right now as I'm being really busy. But feel free to leave a message. And if you're waiting for those graduation pictures, I will post them soon. Thanks for stopping by! ..Beep..

(Sewing a dress for DH's gradution ceremony. Deadline: Wednesday morning.)

(Sanding a chest of drawers and staining it to resemble dark wood. Deadline: Wednesday morning.)

Friday, June 16, 2006

Red Friday

I have my DMC threads on cardboard bobbins in plastic fishing boxes (they're almost identical to the official DMC boxes, but a lot cheaper) in numerical order. Shown in the picture are segments of red amidst other colors.

Fiona of Hop skip jump started a WIP Friday meme last week. I was too late then, but I'm in :) I have so many (too many) WIPs at different stages and mediums, some with just the materials and some nearly finished. This Friday I thought I'd post a photo of all of my knitting WIPs.

Sunrise Circle Jacket (yellow): Have done the back and one of the front+sleeve pieces. Need to make another one. I still love this one, but all my cotton yarns and summer knitting have lured me away from it for a while now.

Lace wrap cardi (dark green): See above. Back and one front piece are done, another nearly so. Still need sleeves and a collar. Plus I knew it was a long term project from the start.

Rowan cotton cardi (white): The only reason this is still a WIP is that I ran out of yarn and had to order more and I haven't gotten it yet. Only missing half of the collar and the sleeves need to be attached.

Summer top (brighter green): This is my newest, started it last night. It's going to be a summer top. The pattern is from the winter issue of Interweave Knits. It called for a superwarm alpaca-wool mix yarn, but I swapped it for Debbie Bliss Cathay, a cool and luxurious mix of cotton, silk and viscose.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Blue Thursday

Thank you so much all of you for your congratulations! It's been such a long process that it's only just starting to sink in that I have now finished my degree.
I'm in the middle of sewing the skirt and so far so good :)

Blue was the color for Thursday and here are two "blues" that caught my eye today: Blue summer sky and an old blue Moomin mug. I have a set of four different mugs, each with different characters, that my mom bought when I was a kid. We used them nearly every day for our evening tea. Mine was yellow, mom's was red, my brother had a green one and this one was my dad's. The green one had a tiny split and leaks when you drink from it, so I don't use them anymore. I keep them on view in the kitchen because I like how they look and they have a ton of sentimental value.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Looking for a reason to celebrate?

You know what this is? It's going to be a skirt I'm going to be wearing on my graduation day! Yes, I have finally finished my university studies and am now Master of Arts (I studied English and journalism).

Not having enough money to buy a new dress or a skirt for that matter, but still wanting to wear something new, I decided to try making my own. It's going to be long and wide :) I have a red corset-like silk top I can wear it with or then just with a white dress shirt (plain or ruffled).

I have all the materials and today I've been going through my magazines searching for a pattern to use. I didn't find any that would be just right so I'm going to have to draw my own pattern (gasp!). To add to the pressure, the ceremony is on Friday (gasp!) so I don't have a lot of time to doodle... I'm glad I just want a simple skirt and nothing elaborate. Wish me luck :)

Black & Grey Wednesday

Lumbago and migraine had me in bed yesterday, so I missed Brown Tuesday. Today's colors, black and grey, posed a real challenge for me. They are not my colors, especially black, but in the end, I did manage to find enough material for not just one, but two photos. The above one shows black tea (Earl Grey, my favourite) on a saucer. (I got two cup and saucer pairs and a matching tea pot when I graduated from high school. I believe they were bought from Russia.) The other picture shows some yarn from my stash, Drops Alpaca and Rowanspun Aran.

Monday, June 12, 2006

White Monday

I'm still here! I've just been either very busy, very tired or had a headache. But despite being busy, I haven't really done anything worth blogging about. Little Birds has started a new round of Color Week and as I really enjoyed looking through the beautiful photos everyone posted during the last round, I thought I'd try joining in this time. The above is my contribution to White Monday. It's a small tablecloth I bought in Venice.

While I've been away, my blog has been the victim of an anonymous commenter troll. Well, actually it was more likely an automated robot, or whatever they are called, as the comments had nothing to do with my blog content and contained a link to somewhere that was not someone's blog (I didn't click on it). I deleted the comments and put up word verification, to prevent this from happening again.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The comfort of tea

I love tea and drink several cups every day. I have an old tea pot which I've purchased at a flea market several years ago. I was thrilled to find a small speacialty tea shop when we moved to Helsinki and now I buy all of my teas there. The only thing I haven't had, ever, is a tea cosy. I have been searching for a great one at stores (albeit not very actively) for years and have planned on making one for almost as long. The one above, was finally created last weekend. I'm not completely satisfied (I think the white lacy fabric looks too "new", it doesn't really go with the crocheted flowers) and will probably make a new one once inspiration strikes me again, but nevertheless I'm thrilled to finally have a tea cosy!

I crocheted four flowers, each a different kind, from scraps of left-over wool yarns. I found the patterns by googling "crochet flower" or something like that, I'm sorry I don't have the exact addresses anywhere. These were actually done some weeks ago already, but then they were kind of forgotten for a while. I thought I had blogged about them and my plans already, but it appears I haven't, so here is a close-up of the flowers.

I've also been doing some travel preparations and stitched up this luggage tag (inspired by the Marie Claire Idées Summer issue, which I got over the weekend as well). After I had stitched half of the address it dawned on me that we're going to move within the next few months (yeah, I know, you'd think you would remember something like that!), so only made this one, instead of a whole series of them like I had originally planned. Therefore, I wasn't really disappointed when I noticed the thread I had chosen was not the greatest of choices. Although you can't really see it from the picture as I smudged it up a bit in some places, it's a bit difficult to read without really squinting. I'll have to make better ones when I know our new address :)

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Busy weekend

It's been a busy weekend so far, with hardly any time to spend at home.
On Firday, DH's friend threw an informal garden party, with music and a camp-fire. I loved the surroundings, including the blossoming apple trees.

On Saturday, we went to my cousins high school graduation celebration and visited my parents. At the party, I spotted, among many of my relatives, this beautiful arrangement of old black-and-white photographs on the wall.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


To cheer myself up today, and to practice using our new camera, I took some pictures of the plants I have that are flowering at the moment. This is also my (very behind schedule) alphabet post for the letter F.

I love flowers. Our apartment is quite full of different kinds of plants and most of them are the flowering kind. I love to look at them from afar and up close to marvel at all the tiny details, smell them and even touch their delicate and soft petals.

Besides the potted plants, I also buy a bouquet of flowers quite often. They're great mood lifters.
My favourite flowers are roses. Maybe that is very traditional, but then, that is what I am. I also adore tulips, orchids and carnations.