Shades of grey

Busy doesn’t even begin to describe the last year or so. But I haven’t been too busy to knit a stitch, sew a bit or make a piece of jewellery every now and then again – I’ve just been way too busy to turn them into blogged items.

So here are a few items that were finished January last year. Yes, last year, January 2011. Better late etc.

Yoga socks

My first ever yoga socks (Ravelry link), not for yoga though but dancing. Improvised them with 3k, 1p ribbing and 56 stitches of an old skein of Nalle Colori (75% wool, 25% nylon). A nice, quick and easy project – ought to make a pile of these.

Hyrrä beret

A second Hyrrä-beret (Ravelry link). Knitted my first one of nice and soft yarn, so it was a bit floppy. This second one keeps its shape better, but it’s not as comfy – win some, loose some.

Second Hyrrä was made of Nalle (75% wool, 25% nylon) with 4 mm needles, and it’s a bit smaller than the first one.

Fits like glove

My favourite pair of mittens ever: called them Fits like glove (Ravelry link), and that’s what they do. Had some left-over alpaca yarn, and decided to knit light but warm mittens to be worn under another pair.

Fits like glove

These mittens were improvised as I knitted on, shaping them to fit my hand. The ribbing was 2ktbl, 1p to keep it nice and stretchy, and the rest was just plain stockinette with 3 mm needles.

With these alpaca mittens and any pair of regular woollen mittens my hands were safe and sound with any kind of cold weather. Alpaca really does the trick!

3 + 1

The good things come in threes. Or at least I need to make them in threes.

Wanted to knit some beanies for kids (again). This time took up a Mesi-pattern by Villapeikko (Ravelry link).

Mesi beanie

Yes, it’s a fun pattern to knit, and it looks very nice. Kids love it.

Mesi beanie

Blue one (Ravelry link) is made of Novita Nalle Aloe Vera (75% wool, 25% nylon), which was a nice yarn to knit, due to aloe vera. Brown one (Ravelry link) is also made of Novita Nalle, brown yarn is the regular kind, off-white is with aloe vera. Needle size 3,5 mm.

Mesi beanie

The honeycomb pattern on the side of the beanie is a lot easier to knit than it looks. I was pleasantly surprised the first time around (in Pikkuveli cardi).

But the most fun is the top of the beanie with the strands of colours.

Mesi beanie

The third Mesi (Ravelry link) I was requested to make needed to be knitted of Novita 7 Veljestä (75% wool, 25% nylon, but a thicker yarn than Nalle), since our local store had run out on blacks and reds in Nalle. Continued knitting with size 3,5 mm needles.

Mesi beanie

The beanie turned out ok, but it’s not as nice and comfortable as the ones knitted of Nalle.

Mesi beanie

Did I mention kids love these?

Mesi beanie

***

I have knitted a beanie for myself, too. (Please, do note this carefully. I’m not making a habit of this.)

Käänteinen (Ravelry link) is a reversible rib cap. The pattern was published in Ulla 2/08.

I made mine (Ravelry link) out of an old skein of Novita Nalle and with 3,0 mm needles. Had 160 stitches to start with.

Käänteinen beanie

This is one nice beanie, and excellent for the purpose it was made: outdoor excercise. It is not too thick, but still feels warm.

Käänteinen beanie

Chevalier – and chevalier

I received a couple of skeins of beautiful yarn as a gift on Christmas 2009. Over the Christmas, I decided on making mittens out of them. The Chevalier mittens (a href=”http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/chevalier-mittens” target=”_blank”>Ravelry link) by Tikru appealed to me, so I casted on.

Chevalier flaptop

Except I thought I wouldn’t wear mittens, so I decided on improvising a bit and making them “flap tops” (Ravelry link. No idea of the proper terminology, but I thought of gloves without fingertips with a top of mitten that can be turned over the fingers or out of the way.

Well, I knitted the first one up to the point where I had all of the mitten ready and made, but the glove part going underneath was missing. And I was running out of yarn (Novita Cloud, bamboo and wool).

Since making decisions is not my strong suit, it took me until the next Christmas (2010) to decide on using the same yarn from my stash. That is, these flaptops were carefully buried in my UFO basket until now.

Chevalier flaptop

And once I had knitted each and every finger up to the fingertips, I realized I had way too many yarn ends to get rid of. Again, not my strong suit.

Chevalier flaptop

What I love about Chevalier mittens, is the cuff. It fits like a glove, it does.

But turning this wonderful mitten pattern into a combined glove-and-mitten-flaptop is probably not such a good idea. Not at least of a soft yarn like Novita Cloud.

Well, anything else might be ok, but the thumb innovation stolen from Villapeikko‘s Gadget mittens (Ravelry link) is not at its best here. Either I made it too small or too big or the yarn is too soft, but the thumb cover just keeps on coming off unintentionally.

Chevalier flaptop

But otherwise: I love the yarn and I love all the cable twists of the original pattern.

Chevalier flaptop

***

I wasn’t in a particular need of new mittens, especially not red ones, but I just wanted to have another go on Chevalier.

Chevalier mittens

These are made of an old yarn called Saana, 100% wool. I had bought a few skeins from a sale about 15 years ago. Needle size 4,0 mm. (Ravelry link)

Chevalier mittens

I’m afraid we haven’t seen the end of Chevaliers yet. Perhaps I might make them fingerless next time. And of course, there is always the pattern for Chevalier socks (Ravelry link).

First timer

I knitted socks. Well, I’ve done that before, so it’s no big deal.

But these socks were knitted of a sock yarn of fingering weight. That is, light yarn that had to be knitted with 2,5 mm needles. Never done that before (but definitely will do it again!).

Ticotico socks

But that’s not all. These were also my Very First Socks Knitted Toe-Up (Ravelry link). Never done that before (but no doubt will do it again!).

Ticotico socks

Knitting yarn like this (Novita Tico Tico, 75% wool, 25% nylon) was nice. Beforehand, I thought knitting would take forever and a day, but it didn’t. Well, it took me week or so to finish these, but I had a number of other on-going knitting projects, too.

Knitting toe-up was fun. I had a couple of patterns to give me an idea of the process, but mostly I had to improvise to find the right amount of stitches and rows to make a sock of a right size for kid.

The first attempt on increases made the sock way too wide; for the first time I was late making the heel, and the sock was turning to be big enough for me. Otherwise, yey!

Ticotico socks

Having a closer look at these socks, they are no beauties. But hey, it was my first attempt on toe-up socks of fingering weight. The next ones (already casted on) will be more beautiful.

Karisma mittens and bamboo needles

I’ve never been much of a mitten person, but lately I’ve found myself only wearing two old pairs of mittens on top of each other. Since the inner pair is breaking off and outer mittens don’t really go with my winter coat, I thought it’s time I knitted myself some mittens.

Since my kids developed an sudden enthusiasm towards knitting mittens, too, which means there would be a need for a number of sets of needles, I found this as a great excuse to do some shopping: I bought my first bamboo needles. Now I only wish they made round needles out of bamboo, too, since knitting with bamboo is definitely more enjoyable than with regular needles. I’m converted.

7 Veljestä and bamboo needles

First I was going to knit Musica mittens (Ravelry link), but after trying the pattern out of 7 Veljestä, which I had chosen for the yarn, I realized it would turn out way too big and would need a number of modifications. So I decided to knit Musica mittens of a thinner yarn, and go for some other mitten pattern now.

Karisma mittens

Karisma mittens (Ravelry link) from Ulla had struck my eye, and since the yarn thickness was ok, I casted on.

Karisma mittens

The original pattern had purl on the palm side of the mitten, but I’m no fan of purling, so I decided on knit instead. I also made some extra cable twists at the end of the palm ribbing.

Had I followed the pattern all the way through, the mitten would have turned out way too long for me. So I started the decreases already on the row 13 on the third time of knitting the pattern. Still, the mittens are a bit on the long side, but wearable.

Karisma mittens

Though I’m not a big fan of yarn 7 Veljestä, I’m hoping the combo of 75% wool and 25% nylon will be more durable than wool only. And bamboo needles certainly made the difference in knitting.

Head and shoulders

I look absolutely ridiculous wearing a beanie, so beanies have never been my thing. But everyone needs some headware. Mine are most of the time berets.

Since I needed something to wear in my head, I had a go with a couple of berets found in Ulla.

The first one was Hyrrä (Ulla 2/2008).

Hyrrä-beret

Pattern with swirls was simple and elegant (sorry about the unsharp photo).

Hyrrä-beret

Yarn Novita Luxus Cloud (wool and bamboo), needles 4 mm. I knitted a few extra rows before decreases, and instead of regular ribbing, I knitted twisted stitches there to keep the shape. I needed an extra strechy bind off, and after serious searching in the Internet, I picked up a bind off with sufficient amount of stretch there.

Hyrrä-beret

***

My second attempt at berets was Hulda (Ulla 1/2009).

Hulda-beret

Yarn Novita Wool (100% wool), needles size 3,5 mm (ribbing) and 4,5 mm (lace pattern). This beret turned out ever so soft and cosy, thanks to working the lace with oversized needles.

Hulda-beret

***

There are a few odd skeins of yarn in my stash. Having toured around Ravelry for quite a bit at Christmas, I finally figured out what I could do out of this nice brownish yarn.

Since a 50 gram skein of extra bulky yarn is hardly enough for any project, I decided to turn it into a Baktus (Ravelry link).

bulky Baktus

This Baktus is a mini version. Due to miscalculations or bad weighting, I ended up having an annoyingly large amout of yarn after the scarf was finished. The extra yarn was turned into two tassels, one for back and one for the other end.

bulky Baktus

One end was carefully left without a tassel, because the scarf only is long enough to wear if one end is tucked underneath. So no tassel needed there.

bulky Baktus

Knit and rip and knit some more

A long time ago, I bought a few skeins of Novita Nalle Color for kids. Quite some time ago, I started knitting a sweater of them (needle size 4 mm). Decided on cables (surprise?).

blue cable sweater

Cable ribbing was nice. But then I continued with improvised cables, with turned out horrific. Buried the project in my UFO basket.

In the beginning of November I realized that kids desperately need new sweaters. So I did some digging and some ripping and was left with the cable ribbing and half a skein of ripped yarn.

Instead of complicated cables, I decided on some rather simple ones. There’s a cable on both sleeves…

blue cable sweater

…and short one at the back.

blue cable sweater

In the front, there’s another cable, which comes up higher than at the back.

blue cable sweater

A cap trio

Last year, I knitted some quick caps for kids of Novita Puro. Kids liked the caps, so as the new colours of Puro yarn appeared in the store, I decided to give it another go.

cap

This year there was more harmony in the colour shifts.

Green one turned out darker than expected…

green cap

…while brown one was lighter than I assumed.

brown cap

The grey color is called Usva (the mist), but the colors remind me of the reindeer.

grey cap

I like Novita Puro, because it is 100% wool. It’s far nicer to knit than yarns with nylon in them.

cap

Grey’s anatomy

Though most of the time I wear sweaters, I had this urge to have a long warm knitted coat for chilly autumn weather. I had absolutely no idea of the pattern, so I randomly bought 1,5 kg of Novita Isoveli. The perfect needle size for me was 5,5 mm.

Though the yarn is bulky, decided on making cables, because I felt like it. So cables it was. The wider, the better. They turned out wide indeed.

grey long coat

Decided to knit a wide cable in the front and in the middle of the back. To give some shape, knitted in cable all around the waistline.

The collar is all about cables. (And the picture is horrific; should have bothered to set up proper background and proper lighting.)

grey long coat

Instead of ribbing, there’s cable all around the wrist, too.

grey long coat

The hem was knitted afterwards, once I figured out what I wanted. It looks ok on the stockinette part, but should have decreased a few stitches at the cables. Perhaps some blocking might do the trick (yes, I’ve been to lazy to block this jacket, since it would take an eternity to dry).

grey long coat

I improvised the pattern as I went along, and therefore I was bound to do a lot of ripping. It took me a year and a half to complete the coat, because I had to give it a lot of rest to figure out how I really wanted this coat to turn out.

The result is far from perfect, but warm and cosy, and I’ll be sure to wear it.

grey long coat

Green and orange

Knitting entrelac is fun.

entrelac texture

Getting rid of the yarn ends is not.

entrelac texture

I did most of the knitting of this entrelac jacket in the summer 2009. I started weaving in the ends. I got bored. I put the jacket in the knitting basket and carefully piled a few UFOs on top of it.

Unfortunately kid didn’t forget about the jacket. So I had to finish my work into wearable state.

entrelac jacket

Original plan was to have buttons of some kind, but finally decided on leaving the jacket unbuttoned.

In the sleeves I wanted to have some contrast to the body, so decided to give some stripes there. To add some asymmtery, I made the colour changes in a different pattern in both sleeves.

entrelac jacket

Yarn is Novita Spektri Plus, rayon and acrylic. Nice and soft, but splits easily and is somewhat difficult to knit evenly at the ends of the rows. And there are a lot of row ends in an entrelac. Knitted with 5 mm needles, the project took up 400 g of yarn, that is, 8 skeins.

Technically, I’m not satisfied with this project, but it looks nice and – what’s more important – kid loves it.

entrelac jacket