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.

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

***

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!

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.

***

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…

***

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.

***

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

***

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

Lace in my colors

I have quite a lot of Novita Nalle in my stash, because it’s inexpensive and available. Over the years there has been a number of beautiful colours there, especially in Novita Nalle Colori. The colour I used in the following items is definitely my favourite, a mix of pink and grey and white.

Halfway through August I saw these socks in Knitty. I’m not a fan of socks and sock knitting, but these Sunday Swing socks (pattern by Kristel Nyberg) looked so fabulous I wanted to knit them.

Picked out some Nalle Colori from my stash and needles of 3,5 mm. My yarn is thicker than in the model, so I needed to do some recalculating.

Sunday Swing socks

Here are the modifications I made:

48 stitches -> lace pattern 2 stitches smaller than the smallest one in the pattern: 2st row k4 2tog k6 yo.

Heel flap 24 rows -> 12 picked up stitches from the side.

Heel turn -> 1st row instead of k16 knitted k12 (sl1, k12, SSK, k1 -> left 8 stitches unknit, and on 2nd row placed the 2tog accordingly).

Gusset decreases until back to 48 stitches.

On foot the lace pattern was repeated 4 times (including gusset decrease rounds).

Toe decreases every second round until 8 stitches per needle, then decreases on every round until 2 stitches per needle (the same as in the smallest size in the pattern).

The sock fits nicely in my foot, though perhaps the toe part is just a bit too long.

Sunday Swing socks

I just loved the pattern and knitting it! Knitting took me a couple of days, but getting rid of the ends of yarn… well, I did that last night. I’m sure these socks would look better if I blocked them, but hey, these are just socks. I’m not into knitting them and I’m definitely not into blocking them. I’ll just wear them as they are.

***

There was still quite a lot of yarn left of the first skein, so I thought I might make some wrist warmers. These colours suit perfectly to my light coat of old rose.

I decided to continue knitting with Kristel’s patterns, this time in Finnish from Ulla 02/06: Haruha wrist warmers.

Haruha wrist warmers

Knitted with 3 mm needles, as instructed in the pattern. These turned out quite nice, even though I had to make the first few rows of the first wrist warmer at least five times before I got it going. Should have not started them when listening to a lecture.

Haruha wrist warmers

I still have about 900 g of this yarn. The plan is to knit a sweater for myself. One can never have too many sweaters that are pinkish and greyish and whitish.