5/23/2017

Bad spellers of the world, untie!

That's what someone told me this shawl always brings to their mind.


What: Vertices unite /Stephen West
How: Circular needle 3.5 mm
From: Kässäkerho Pom Pom Donegal Tweed, 271 g
Ravelryssa

This spring has run past me while I've been busy designing new knitting patterns (from which you'll hear more about in June as I publish them). It was about time to knit something simple, brainless, and just for fun.


Last August, I started a no-yarn-shopping thingy that lasted all the way to February. And all that time all I wanted to do was to get me some of these gorgeous Pom Pom Donegal Tweeds that a Finnish yarn shop was posting on Instagram. I knew exactly what I would buy as soon as my yarn shopping strike would be over - and so I did!


I knew I wanted to knit garter stitch and stripes with these pale pink, minty green and silver grey skeins. Possibly a Westknits shawl. I had fallen in love with this shawl I saw on Instagram that used the same pale pink as one color. I went through all of Stephen's shawl patterns until I finally gave up and said to my self, if you want to be a copy cat, be a Copy cat with a capital C. So I chose to make Vertices unite.


The shawl was a really fun knit. You knit one piece at a time of these triangles and paralellograms with either increases and decreases, or short rows. Some of the pieces are striped with two colors and some are one color. Once all the pieces have been knitted, the whole thing is framed with i-cord.


I had to be a bit of a rebel. The pattern tells you to leave stitches on a holder every time you finish a piece but I found this utterly unnecessary. The stitches fitted on the needles just fine as long as you took care to make sure you were leaving them in the right direction. This of course meant that I couldn't admire the shawl while knitting it since it was enormous and my cable was short.



The pattern also calls for five colors but as three skeins had just enough meters, I used only three colors. The pattern has two sizes, small and large and I wanted to knit myself a shlanket. I had to do careful calculations on how to use the colors but three skeins was just enough and I managed.



This was meant to be a relaxing knit between all that manic designing but I didn't quite pull it off. On every other piece I felt I was in a hurry and couldn't knit fast enough, and every other piece was mellow, relaxed knitting just for fun. Oh well, I got half right.


The shawl turned out beautiful. A true favorite shawl. And I can't seem to get enough of these pastel colors. I can still remember how just five years ago mint green was a curse word in my books. And now it's the bestest thing in the world. The times are changing.

5/14/2017

Utu

I got super excited in January when Jonna from the amazing Laine Magazine approached me with a request. She asked me if I'd like to design something for Laine's spring/summer magazine. I had been toying around with an idea of a gradient cardigan, so I sat down, did the calculations and started knitting right away.


What: Utu / own design
How: Circular needles 2.25 mm and 3.0 mm
From: Snailyarn Gradient Set, 310 g
Ravelryssa

Last summer, we had a knitting festival in my hometown Jyväskylä. And there were two dyers from a bit further away, La bien aimée from France and Snailyarn from Italy. I fell in love with some minty green gradient sets at the Snailyarn booth. One set had 100 grams of yarn in five different shades. Mint has been my absolute favorite color for the past few years so I bought them all and now was the perfect time to go stash diving.



I designed a cardigan with a round yoke decorated with leafs. The leafs are knitted with twisted stitches and two stitch cables. The insides of the leafs are purled except for the stems. Besides the leafs, the cardigan is plain stockinette stitch to let the beautiful yarn have the spotlight it deserves. The cardigan doesn't have waist shaping, the neck band is knitted with smaller needles to keep it snug enough and the sleeves are 3/4 length and have one leaf right before the cuffs. Pretty and delicate, if I may say so myself.


I used the gradient sets so that I switched colors every 12 cm. Before switching colors, I knitted a few stripes to make the transition smoother. I was having a hard time remembering to leave some lighter colors for the sleeves as well and managed to run out of yarn. I was contemplating crying my eyes out when I thought to try Ravelry's stash search. What a wonderful tool, I tell you! I found out there had been one more gradient set up for grabs at the festival and my friend had bought it. I sent her a begging message and the next day, she brought me the yarn. I can't thank you enough!



I was knitting like a crazy person trying to finish the cardigan in time to take it with me on a holiday. I finished it two night before our flight but got into trouble. The superwash treatment made the yarn stretch enormously when I washed it and the cardigan became way too big and droopy. Oh yes, you should always, always wash your swatches before starting the actual project. I had never before had similar problems with SW yarn and didn't thing I would have any this time either. Oh well. I soaked the cardigan again and laid it on the blocking mat trying to first crinkle it to the right measurements and then smooth out the wrinkles. Luckily it worked and the cardigan was the right size after drying.



It wasn't too shabby at all taking pics at the Oxford University botanical gardens. The British winter was offering us its best despite its reputation.



I am beyond excited to have my design in the new issue of Laine Magazine. And not only that, it's featured in the cover! I hope you enjoy knitting it.

5/10/2017

Too cute to bear

I managed to sew something so sweet I can't take it.


What: Alice pleated dress / Bella sunshine designs
How: On a sewing machine
From: Leftover cotton fabrics

I heard my goddaughter has recently been smitten with light colored flower dresses. So I didn't have to think too hard what I could make her for her nameday.



The internet is full of sewing patterns, each one cuter than the other. With knitting, it's obvious that you can find the best ones on Ravelry but when it comes to sewing, I don't really know where to look. Therefore, I decided to go for a designer I've been happy with before. I've made one dress by Bella Sunshine patterns and I really enjoyed the thorough instructions.


I went through all their dress patterns and went with this cutesy Peter Pan collar dress. And this turned out to be the best dress I've made in ages. The pattern was excellent as before, but the sewing worked out perfect as well.


The dress has a fitted top with tiny cap sleeves and a peter pan collar. The pattern has instructions for a pleated hem but as I was working with leftover fabrics, I went with a gathered hem. With the gathered hem all I needed to know was that I had a wider piece than the top of the dress. As a little something extra, I added a lace ribbon.


To top it all off, the dress has pockets! I say, all dresses should have pockets! (If you are interested in the sexist history of pockets, you can read here about the lack of pockets in womens clothing) I am so smitten with this dress that I must make something for my self with a peter pan collar, it's so cute.



One last thing I'm super proud about is the zipper in the back. I can't remember when I last (if ever) managed to get both sides of the top to align so straight next to the zipper. I hope the present fits and gets a lot of wear.