Violetti Vaapukka and Alpakkapolku

In Ulla 2/2009 (released in July) there were two patterns that immidiately caught my eye.

The first one was Vaapukka by Kristel Nyberg. I happened to have five skeins (à 50 g) of Novita Bambu I had bought in a sale.

Novita Bambu is 68% bamboo and 32% cotton, very soft and lovely to knit, unless you split the yarn with the needle. Needles used were 3 mm and 3,5 mm.

Violetti Vaapukka

Since the top was knitted from top to bottom, I could easily try it on and add extra length. Aimed for the size ~140 cm, so hopefully the kid will not outgrow it in a rush. It took a bit over four skeins to finish this top.

Violetti Vaapukka

Vaapukka is a simple, yet beautiful pattern. It was relatively fast to knit, though the yarn was on the thin side, but – as usual – it took me a few months to give the finishing touch (this was one project in my “project finish all the 95%’s”). Started this one right after the Ulla 2/2009 was released, and got rid of the ends of the yarn last week.

Violetti Vaapukka

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The second pattern I queued right away was Pellavapolku by Seija Puusaari.

The pattern was made of linen, but I had no use for a shawl made of linen. Saw some Novita Luxus Alpaca in the store, and thought that it would make a nice lacy shawl. The yarn is 100% alpaca, very soft and lovely to knit. So this project has been called “Alpakkapolku”.

Alpakkapolku

Bought four skeins (50 g), thought that would be enough. Finding the right size needles was a process of trial and error: started off with 3,5 mm, which is the needle size recommended for the yarn. The lace pattern turned out wonderful – for a cardi. There was no lacy effect there. Finally with 6 mm needles the outcome was lacy enough (pictures both above and below are of the same needle size).

Alpakkapolku

Since knitting a rectangular shawl is quite monotonous, I knitted this a bit now and a bit later, in between other projects. By the time I was running out of yarn, I thought one more skein would do no harm.

Alpakkapolku

The lace in the both ends was a drag. The first end was ok, but the second… I knitted up to the point where I thought I’d have enough yarn for the lace pattern. Started knitting the end, and realized that I would seriously run out of yarn. Ripped the end and a bit of the body, and had another go. Ran out of yarn again. Did some more ripping, and some more knitting, and thought of taking a shortcut with the final rows. Instead went and bought one more skein to finish off the final two rows. So the total amount of yarn was just a touch over five skeins, approximately 254 grams.

Alpakkapolku

Weaved in the ends yesterday, so this project was not buried in 95% for ages. Good for me!

It’s Christmas time!

The week before Christmas have been busy, as tradition goes. A number of FO’s – some knitted, some sewn, some jewellery – but no time to present them. Hopefully the holidays will give me a chance to take some photos.

My Christmas card this year says, roughly translated: “Come with haste, Christmas of gold; do arrive, the year serene.”

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a lot of FO’s for the New Year.

Christmas card 2009

Ready, set: Pikkuveli-cardi

I’ve been test knitting a cardi for kid by Villapeikko, and now I’m proud to announce that it’s finished. And I mean really finished, all ends of yarn and buttons and all, not just 95% finished. (In fact, I’ve been almost there for over a week now, but due to numerous tasks I had last week the final touch – buttons and photos – was delayed until yesterday.)

Pikkuveli-cardi

As you can see, the pleasure is not all mine.

Pikkuveli-cardi

The pattern by Villapeikko is simply great. I loved knitting the cardi all the way. The pattern is very well written: detailed and easy to follow, despite of the size. And of course the cardi has some great details to it, which made the knitting ever more interesting.

Pikkuveli-cardi

The most interesting are, of course, the sleeves. They were the first to catch my eye: the play with colours and textures. They are The Thing in this design.

The other was the i-cord in the front. It was a brand new thing for me, and knitting it in a satisfactory way took me a quite bit of knitting and frogging. The result, however, is just great: very neat and practical and yet fun to knit.

Pikkuveli-cardi

The size I made was a peculiar combination of the sizes in the pattern. First I must note that my gauge was a bit off, 19 stitches per 10 cm instead of 20 stitches.

The width of the cardi and the raglan decreases were made according to the 4 year old’s size. But the sleeves were knitted in the size of 6 year old. To make the sizing even more peculiar, I added a few extra rows for the upper part of sleeves and quite a few for the body. Therefore I also decided to have 8 buttons instead of 7 written in the pattern.

But yes, despite of all the combining of the sizes, the cardi turned out to be perfect. In the photo above the cardi is worn by a kid of 130 cm and very slim – perfect fit, except around the pelvis it might be just a touch wider.

In the photo below the same cardi is worn by a kid of almost 120 cm, slimmish. There’s some extra length in sleeves and body to make sure that this cardi will fit also next spring and perhaps even in November 2010, too.

Pikkuveli-cardi

The yarn is Cascade 220 Wool, 100% Peruvian wool (bought from Secretwool). The main colour is graphite gray, the contrast colour is coffee brown and the second contrast colour is turquoise.

Cascade 220 Wool is sold in 100 gram skeins. This cardi in this size took up 190 grams of grey, the whole skein of brown and 50 grams of turquoise. To be exact, I ran out of brown and had to knit the last few rounds of brown in the collar in turquoise, instead of brown. In smaller sizes one skein of the first contrast colour should be quite sufficient.

I just loved knitting Cascade 220 Wool. What a lovely yarn it is! It was great to knit (and ok to frog, too). One downside to this yarn might be that it needs to be washed by hand, but since I usually wash knitted items by hand anyway, I don’t mind. (Now might be the perfect time to mention that I have quite a few skeins of Cascade 220 Wool in stash… and none of them will go to waste!)

Pikkuveli-cardi

Needles used were 4.5 mm in the body and 4.0 mm when the smaller needle size was required. And, as stated before, my gauge was a bit looser than in the pattern; 19 stitches per 10 cm.

Pikkuveli-cardi

What a wonderful knitting experience this was! And what a great cardi this turned out to be. Thanks to the designer of the fabulous design and giving me a chance to do the test knitting. And thanks to my models, also, for patiently posing in the cold and damp weather.

Well, patiently, up to a point.

Pikkuveli-cardi

Earrings in lottery

Our local entrepreneur association is organizing a lottery before Christmas in a local shopping centre. Thought that giving a few earrings as lottery prices would be a nice way to contribute.

Wanted to give something in sterling silver, because when won in lottery, I’d hate that the recipient’s ears were too sensitive for other metals. Unfortunately I had no small, simple earrings ready in the stock – had to come up with something.

And here’s what I came up with: very simple, very basic.

earrings for entrepreneur lottery

Lottery tickets available on December 4th and 5th in Töysän Matkailuinfo at Keskinen, Tuuri.

Third one of a kind

A few weeks back, I knitted two caps of Novita Puro for kids.

Needed a quick and easy project for last Thursday – I had an afternoon of lectures to attend to. Decided to make yet another cap of Novita Puro, this time the yarn colourway was “Iltanuotio”.

a cap of Novita Puro

There were some nice colours in that yarn, but most of the cap turned out to be dark grey. Fortunately the target group didn’t mind.

Yarn Novita Puro “Iltanuotio”, needle size 5 mm. Knitted with magic loop. Quick and easy project.

Making 95% UFOs into FOs

I’ve been in a process of finishing 95% UFOs. Glad to announce that I’m almost there: I have three items crossed off the to-do list.

In August 2008 I started knitting these wrist warmers. Found a “fake cable”, which requires no cable needle, in a pattern book and adapted it.

First made wrist warmers for myself.

wrist warmers of Novita Luxus Wind

The wrist part was easy, but making the triangle was a bit more complicated. The hardest part, though, was to make a ring around the middle finger exactly the right size. (It took me about a year to complete this minor detail in a satisfying manner.)

wrist warmers of Novita Luxus Wind

Yarn Novita Luxus Wind, soft and comfy – loved knitting it! Needle size 4 mm. Casting on the stitches required three needles to make it strechy enough.

wrist warmers of Novita Wool (merino wool)

Second pair of the same pattern: wrist warmers for a kid. Yarn Novita Wool, needle size was probably 3 mm.

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Another UFO that has been lingering on a long time. I made a headband following loosely the pattern of Headband in Alaska by Garnstudio.

headband of Novita Nalle

The yarn is Novita Nalle in two colours, pink and dark blue. Picked the colours to match my coat. Knitted the headband in February 2009 into 95% shape, and the buried it in my “almost-there” basket.

I was quite sure this would turn into a complete disaster just like any other headband I’ve made. Wearing glasses make most of the headbands, caps and other garments fit poorly. To my surprise, this was quite comfy and nice fitting. Might have to make another one to match other coats.

headband of Novita Nalle

A week of test knitting

I saw Villapeikko‘s Pikkuveli-cardi in her blog and fell in love with it right on. Villapeikko intended to make a pattern of this cardi, and I voluntered to test knit.

Earlier I posted a few pictures of yarn bought from Secretwool. The yarn – Cascade 220 Wool, 100 % Peruvian wool – was bought for this project. Well, actually, a small portion of it was bought for this project. The rest of the yarn just jumped in my shopping cart, while I was looking the other way…

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Began the process of test knitting a week ago. This is the beginning:

Cascade 200 Wool

That’s right: trying to decide on the colours is a drag. Fortunately the kid to whom I’m knitting this, knew exactly what colors this cardi will be made of.

Must confess, though, that the idea of combining this shade of brown with grey and turquoise came from Katja from Secretwool. She was kind enough to give her opinion of a few alternatives I had.

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Started off from the hem, because I casted on this project while listening to a lecture. The sleeves required more attention, so I wanted to start them in peace and quiet.

I just love the neatness of the hem and the contrast colour!

hem of the cardi

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Sleeves really caught my eye when I saw the pictures in Villapeikko’s blog. The use of colours and contrasts was intriguing.

closeup of the sleeve

The sleeve pictured here is the tryout number one. I did some frogging and Villapeikko did some excellent refining on the pattern of the sleeve, and now the proportions are perfect for bigger sizes.

bits and pieces

After somewhat intensive, though not overwhelming, week of knitting, I’m now halfway through the second sleeve. Next weekend, I believe, I should be up to the point of joining body and sleeves and starting the raglan decreases.

Coming up in the next episode: Pikkuveli-cardi proceeds.

ball of yarn

Showstopper Sagittaria

This shawl caught my eye right on. I had never knitted a triangular shawl starting in the middle of the neck, let alone casting the knitting from some crochet stitches. Vilma Vuori‘s Sagittaria was bit of a challenge.

Sagittaria shawl

I found the pattern relatively straight forward, once I got the hang of it. The pattern of the body of the shawl took me a while to figure out, how and where it is repeated. Once I figured out the repeating system, it was fairly quick to knit.

Sagittaria shawl

Wanted to make this shawl in red. Found Novita Wool, 100% wool, in red. There’s just a touch of blue in the colour, and the yarn in actually not as bright as in the photos.

I needed almost 4 skeins, each 50 grams, to finish this shawl. I repeated the second chart eight times instead of seven, that was recommended in the pattern.

Used needle of size 5 mm, but I made the casting off with 7 mm needle to make it loose enough, yet even.

Sagittaria shawl

Blocking this shawl wasn’t all that easy, and I didn’t get the arrow-like edging to stand out arrow-like.

Sagittaria shawl

The shawl was more or less finished by September 14th – of last year. I only had the one yarn used in the casting off to weave in.

Instead of weaving it in, I stopped to wonder, whether the casting off was loose enough or not. And I wondered and wondered and…

Now that I’m in the process of getting rid of the 95% ready items, I finally cut the yarn and weaved it in. And I didn’t give another though on the tightness or looseness of the cast off. So here it finally is: finished Sagittaria.

Sagittaria shawl