Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year 2008

Year 2008 has been
1) very tense in personal life
2) rewarding in accomplished things
3) given us a clear picture that for now we are doing the right things
4) been full of new starts (which won't have an ending for awhile)
5) has opened my eyes for career choice
6) has been very slow knitting year

I just cannot believe how few items I've finished and how little I've started: I just counted 9 FOs and 9 projects started and either not yet finished or already frogged. A little archive search tells me, in year 2007 the number of FOs was 28.

Year 2008 in knitting

I resolute to reduce my stash in year 2009 by knitting the items I have purchased yarn for and greatly reducing the number of single skeins that I've collected in the hopes of coming a Prudence Mapstone in crocheting (which will never happen because I do not like that craft particularly).

For all my friends I wish the best of year 2009, I hope your dreams will come true and mishaps stay far from your lives.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Long time, no posts

Wow, I can't believe it, it's been four months! And sadly to say I haven't knit much or done much anything else. We finished our vacation and were back in Singapore in the middle of August. I managed to get to one knit out and had great time at Lois' wedding (Congratulations, girl!), but apart from that I haven't done much, but sleeping and trying to eat: you see, it's not easy making babies. I think it's the most difficult craft of all, especially when the consequences are a constant nausea and terrible sleepiness. Luckily I got out of a week ago or so and hopefully won't have any more problems until end of April, when another lifetime of troubles (and joys, of course) will join our small family.

On the more knitty note, I have started something and surprise-surprise finished something.

First of all I started Cobweb Lace Stole from Interweave Knits Spring 2008. After seeing the incredible one Lois made out of Jaggerspun Zephyr 2/18 I instantly was intrigued by the double-sided pattern. Unfortunately my 7 year old monkey jumped on the needles and Harmonies obviously don't tolerate 25+ kilos. So I had to order new ones and got them at the end of October. So I'm knitting that again.

Cobweb lace shawl

Regarding mentioned FO.
That October end knit out that delivered me two amazing books (E. Zimmerman "The Opinionated Knitter" and P. A. Gibson-Roberts "Knitting in the Old Way") and my Harmony needles, also had a surprise from Susan. She is such a lovely friend and I guess I have her to thank for bringing back my knitting mojo. I think it was exactly a small project and not too difficult to get my fingers itching again. So as soon as I got home that evening I cast on these beauties for my little princess:


It took me a few days to figure out how exactly I wanted to knit them, and in the end I decided to go with toe-up socks to be able to use all the yarn.


Figuring out the increases for the upper leg were extremely easy and though I didn't have a specific idea, they turned out very nice.


I'm not a big fan of short row heels so I decided to go with Wendy Knits' Sportweight Toe-Up Gusset Heel Sock pattern. It works very well on my daughter's foot, but I wouldn't be so sure on mine.

Pattern: my own
Needles: 2mm 5 dpns
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet (90% superwash merino, 10% nylon), color 13
Link to Ravelry

Monday, July 21, 2008

Missing Piece Hobo Bag

Very often related to Nora Gaughan designs. Would guess, I would learn after so many attempts with so many of her creations, but obviously not. Well, this time it gets to stay like this since it found its usefulness: as a beach bag to keep volleyball and bathing towels.

It's from the book KnitKnit: Profiles + Projects from Knitting's New Wave, I used Katia Linen (doubled) and 6 mm needles. It was an easy pattern to foloow, but nothing prepared me that it only looks ok when it holds something bulky. Ah well, better luck next time.
Hobo Bag

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dye with Nature: Golden Marguerite

I recently spent 5 days in Southern Estonia foraging for wild strawberries, blackberries and mushrooms (little luck with the last ones) and gathered lots of herbs and plants I know are good for dyeing. I got some alum and started experimenting. Right now I've boiled out the color from app. 3 litres of Yellow Chamomile or Golden Marguerite (lat. Anthemis Tinctoria) and am heating the wool in water+alum mixtureto make the color stick betterto the yarn. I'll let you know when I'm done with this experiment!

OK, I've taken out the firts KnitPicks Bare Peruvian Wool Skein from the pot and tadaa:

kollase kakraga
For future notice, dyeing process as follows:

Divide 100gr skein into two equal skeins.
Boil 3 litres of Yellow Chamomile flowers for an hour. Then filter out blossoms and stuff but don't throw them.
Wash yarn in water with some baking soda and regular soap. Rinse well.
Make 5 litres of water app. 35-40 degrees and ad 20 grams of alum. Stir well and put yarn in.
Make it nearly boil (90 degrees) and keep for 45 minutes. Stirring time to time.
Take out the first skein and put it in the pot with color. Stir and make the temperature go up to 90 degrees Celsius again. Keep it this way for app. 45 minutes. After 20 minutes add another spoonful (app. 10 grams) of alum and stir.
Take out skein, make it drain, leave it lukewarm water for 10 minutes, then drain, change water etc until it doesn't bleed anymore. Dry in shawdows.

I have another skein in pot. But about that once I've finished.

I got just slightly lighter color by using this recipe:

Use alum water to make second dye. Pour boiled blossoms onto clean white thin cloth, tie it up and put it in the alum water with the skein. Make the temp go up to 90 degrees. Keep it like that. This would give you a beige yarn, I also poured in the remaining color from the first lot, making the amount of water app. 7,5 l. Make sure water doesn't boil and keep yarn in for an hour. The result is following

kollase kakraga 001

Can't see much difference? Neither did I, until I had them next to each other and today that they are drier (I left them outside and it rained a little at night) the difference is slightly more visible.

kollase kakraga 002

I still have some dye left, I want to try and add some copper mordant. But I'm also trying out some Meadowsweet's flowers.

Queen Anne for mum

I guess you all know of MMario who has designed quite a few lace shawls and offers them free of charge online.
I have way too much lace yarn and my mom had her 50th birthday coming up, so I was on a lookout for a perfect non-triangular shawl for quite awhile. Until I found Queen Anne's Lace.

It is knit with Italian nearly cobweb weight merino wool that i found a few years back in Milan on offer for only €10 for 0,5 kilos. I got a whole bag and though I did Kiri, Shallowtail Shawl and Swan Lake and now Queen Anne, I still have a skein of it left!
I used needles nr. 3,75mm. The only thing I'm not 100% content is that my BO was too tight and I didn't manage to block the edge spikier, but overall it was an easy pattern to read and a nice lace to knit.
It took me nearly a month to complete but I took it very easy.

Private SwapBot

First of all, I'd like to mention a little private swap I had with Elisabetta in Hamburg (link leads to profile in Ravelry), we agreed that I'd send her some ultrathin dpns and Eesti Kindakirjad and Aino Praakli booklets and she promised to send a surprise in exchange. I ended up putting in her package 1,25-1,5-1,75 mm dpns and promised books-booklets as well as one skein of Kauni Green-Yellow, and she sent me new colorline from Wollmeise (100% superwash sock yarn) and a skein of Tausendschön Handgefärbte Sockenwolle in amazing colors. Thank you so much, Betta!
German sock yarn - lovely colors!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I've failed...

to blog about my Mystic Light KAL! I can't believe I forgot all about it. I did make a mark in Ravelry though.
Mystic Light KAL detail
I used Knit Picks Gloss, which I ordered specifically for this project and am now convinced it deserves to be bought more, but I will not use it for shawls or for socks - it doesn't seem to have the durability necessary for socks.
Mystic Light KAL
Technical data
Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss (70% merino, 30% silk)
Needles: 3,75 mm Harmony Wood Circulars
Pattern: Mystic Light by Anna Kalvi

P.S I'm in desperate need of blocking wires which I hope will arrive soon!

Saturday, May 31, 2008


I've made quite a few cotton items in the past few years (you might remember this, these and these) and I've had a shoe box full of scrap yarns (maybe 30-40 grams each ball). Until a few months ago I've deceived myself constantly thinking that one day I would be the new Prudence Mapstone with my creations in freeform crochet, but at this moment I need space and I need it fast (yep, I have a new order arriving from the other side of the ocean) so I had no other option but to use the scraps as fast as possible, empty the box and therefor make some space in the bed, and since the summer vacation is quite near, a new summer hat was in order. Of course for my daughter who has been bugging me quite awhile with requests on knitted garments.
Armed with 4 mm crochet hook and scraps I started working in single crochets and finished yesterday with this:
New hat
It has 3 different yarns in 6 different colourways:
Katia Jamaica in 4002 (beige, green, red) and 4003 (blue, pink, beige
Ornaghi Filati Alicante in 65 (greens) and 62 (pinks)
GB Wolle Mosaik in pink and lilac.
I started it like a beanie and later I crocheted the brim.
Odds and ends - mainly cottons
She seems to be very happy with it. I have enough to make a second one ;)
She likes her hat

Monday, May 12, 2008

New loot, new love

I am madly in love with my new Harmony needles: they are amazing, smooth but not slippery, light and warm, the cable is (it seems right now) better than the Addi cable and the fun colors making working quicker.
Look at them, gorgeous:
HArmony interchangable circs
I also, surprise surprise, enhanced my stash with some
Knit Picks Shimmer new colourway Galazy
Knit Picks Shimmer - Galaxy
and Knit Picks Gloss Cosmos
Knitpicks Gloss
which I'm currently making up as the Mystic Light KAL (I know I'm late, was waiting for the yarn)
Mystic Light KAL clue 2
I'm not too happy with myself and the pattern working together: my Virgo personality likes clear understanding of where the pattern is going, pattern repeats that match from the beginning to the end and very certain pattern changes. I don't blame the pattern, I blame myself of not being able to count and follow pattern row by row. Plus I do not know how I could have read instead of sl1k2togpsso (slip 1- knit 2 together - pass slipped stitch over) as s2kwk1psso (slip 2 knitwise - knit 1 - pass slipped stitches over) - so my diamonds have a little unusual look and then in the middle of the work change their appearance :P But I really like the finished shawl I've seen online.

V like....

... Catriona (my Ravelry page) by Debbie Bliss.
Catriona done

I like the way cables look, by I don't fully enjoy knitting them - the pulling of the fabric puts a lot of pressure on my hands and that's not nice, nevertheless once in a while it's OK to do and Catriona was an easy project with a very stunning appearance.

Yarn: Schoeller + Stahl Merino Soft (100% merino, 50 gr 130 m, color 05)
Needles: 3 mm, 3,75 mm, 4 mm
Pattern: Catriona by Debbie Bliss (Ravelry)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

DoubleU IGH Pee

After finishing the Mimosa wrap I took things easy for awhile, that means I didn't get into a new big project straight away but spent some time with my Koigu jacket, which started out like this
New knitting

But now it has all new color scheme and I'm taking things very easy
Koigu jacket restart

I started with a cotton dress, but I'm considering frogging it since I really am not comfortable working with it. This type of cotton is good for crocheting, I'm tired of its unfriendly feel while trying to knit it.
Vintage dress

Then I cleaned up my pattern collection and felt a sudden urge to do cables, so I'm doing Debbie Bliss' Catriona:

The mitts I showed you few weeks ago are finished and being blocked, I'm writing down the pattern, and I have to decide whether to try and sell it or give it out as a free pattern. Follow me through the pros and cons and give me some feedback, please.

I don't feel 100% comfortable selling a mitten pattern, because overall I find mittens an easy knit.
It would be a little bit of a hassle setting up an account to sell it and I would have to figure out the price and the whole tax situation.
The yarn I'm using is not widely available.

I've invested a great deal of time to write up the pattern and draw clear schematics.
I'm explaining a new way to do really neat mitten decreases - I've not come across it yet in any patterns in English, and it is a very old and not widely used technique from Estonia.
The mittens have two versions and I'm giving alternative options.

What would you do?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Mitts for summer?

Past the thumb opening
As a detour from summerish knits I wanted to knit something small and preferably something to put in the Santa Claus's bag this Christmas. It is never too early to begin preparing for the gift marathon.

Today I went to pick up two Kaffe Fassett books from local library branch and got inspired. I guess my next order won't be on the small side.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

New loot from Knitpicks

Moving to Singapore has opened my yarn-related world even more than before. Mainly because I can participate in overseas online yarn sprees. Before I simply didn't order because of the sites not selling overseas or the price for shipping was too high. Now I share the shipping fee with other participants and vPost helps out with overseas shipping (one of my knitting friends here has an address in US thanks to that service).
This time we went berserk on I got:
Knitpicks Fingering Peruvian wool
Knit Picks Bare Peruvian Highland Wool Fingering Weight - 4 hundred-gram skeins.
Knitpicks Worsted Peruvian Wool
3 skeins of the same yarn in Worsted weight and
Knitpicks Shimmer
2 skeins of Knit Picks Shimmer in Turquoise Splendor.

I am pretty sure it's not going to be the last one, and neither is the next one far along the road.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Halliste Girl - Folk Costume

Halliste girl folk costume
It's done! (nearly). I got the set ready just in time.
Halliste hip-apron - done (for now)
The apron is still not quite "full" - it is supposed to have a very crowded embroidery. But I'll do it one of these weeks - I still have the other side to do anyways. The motifs on the apron are very old - they represent crosses, roses, cart wheels, sun and arborvitae.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Finish is near. 6th day

The hip-apron is nearly done. We had a weekend get-away to Tioman island in Malaysia and I didn't stitch a single stitch those days so I've reached the 6th Day:
Halliste hip-apron day 6
I'll fill in the caps and attach the fringe tonight (I hope) and can consider it wearable (it should be embroidered from both ends, but I simply have no time). Actually I am not too sure it ever will be done from both sides, since my knuckles really hurt me. I do embroider a lot in one day: 4-5 hours, but not continuously.... if I will ever complete it, I promise it won't be more than 1 hr per day of embroidery.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

5th day

I've nearly finished adding yellow - it turned out to be more tricky than I thought, because it's silk and tends to un-spin and then break.
Halliste põll 5th Day
I've also added some more brown and green and am currently "drawing" more figures.
I included in the picture also the woven belt she is going to wear with the apron.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Day 4

Day 4 Added some brown...
I added some brown...

Day 4 .. splashed some green
And splashed some green.
Today red and yellow.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Third day

Day 3

Monday, March 17, 2008

Day 2 of hip-apron

Halliste hip-apron day 2
I hope to finish "drawing" today and start with "coloring"

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Project - folk costume for a child

I'm making a folk costume from Estonia for my daughter for the school's Culutral Celebrations day. I chose clothes from Halliste region in Estonia.
I'm cheating a little, first because a six year-old shouldn't have a hip-apron (it is usually introduced in the clothing of a young girl in teenager years, more or less at the confirmation day), I have to use techniques that are somewhat different from original (the headband for instance is not made by the the exact traditional techinique, but has the right pattern and colors) and I cannot dress her in wool - for instance the stockings and skirt should be woolen. But I would like her Cultural Day costume to include as many as possible of items from Halliste (a village in Estonia) - I chose this costume because of its simplicity and because of the materials I could get my hands on.
I have already finished the tasseled headband:
tasseled headband

and thanks to my mother for sending me the wool (and one silk) embroidery yarns on such a quick notice:
Embroidery yarns
I got started on the hip-apron embroidery:
Halliste hip-apron - day 1
This has about 2 hours of work in back stitch - I'm not a very fast stitcher, but I'll post pictures of my progress here shortly again. This is one of the limited time projects again - I have until 27th of March.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Stash flash 2008

As a method of self-control in buying new yarns (hahahahahahahaha) I recorded all skeins I have at home at this moment.

I have cleverly hidden my stash here:
Find my treasure!

I have a total of app. 10 kilos of yarn and the full list can be found here.
My stash in the bed

This is just the stash inside my bed. I also have a basket in the living-room and that is the camouflage stash - if my significant other would ever realize I have yarn in other places as well, he would so go berserk. Luckily he seems to have forgotten that you can open the bed, and would most probably fail to open it without first giving up.

Livingroom camouflage stash
This is my stash in the living room - leftovers of latest FOs, materials for current projects or wool for swatching when I find nice stitch patterns.

So what are you hiding and where?

Monday, March 03, 2008

Little surprises

I went to local bookstore Popular on Saturday to get some reading books for my daughter and stopped by the magazine section as well. Even though major part of the magazines sold are about embroidery, bead work or even crocheting, sometimes one might get lucky and get something about knitting as well.
I found Piecework. And this time it was all about knitting. I've been eying the Rovaniemi mitten technique for quite awhile now so I mainly got the magazine for this. I also was intrigued by the poetry in stitches mittens. I also found knitting in Lithuania article enlightening and was happy to find an article about kimonos.
The rest of the projects were a little simple for me on the first glance so I didn't care to read them. And then suddenly looking at the cover I saw a title: "Traditional Estonian Lace" ---- my first reaction was: hey, how could I have missed that before, it has been staring me most of the afternoon!
It shouldn't be a huge surprise though. Nancy Bush is fond of Estonian colour work, traveling stitches and knitting techniques; Evelyn A. Clark uses a lot of Estonian shawl patterns to create her own artworks: in the last few years there have been quite a few articles and patterns in Interweave Knits and Vogue Knitting mentioning Estonia; and with each year, more and more people come more interested of our knitting heritage. It's not much for big countries, but believe me, when your people are about 1 million in the entire world and your country has no real influence in the history or economics or science or literature, then our crafts are about all we can be really proud of.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Oh Happy Days...

... until I realize how much money I've spent.
Today was out March Knit-Out with Lois handing out the long waited Jaggerspun Spree goodies. Since the loot was still on cones we had some winding to do:

Knit out 1st March 2008

I had 12 OZ (app 350 grams) of Zephy 2/18 (wool-silk blend) waiting for me:
Jaggerspun Zephyr 2/18

Close up of the thread:
Jaggerspun Zephyr 2/18 - thread

Copy-paste for future reference:

JaggerSpun Zephyr 2/18 Lace Weight Yarn Specifications

50% Chinese Tussah silk, 50% fine grade Merino wool
Length per Cone:
5040 yards
Length per 2-oz:
630 yards
Weight per Cone:
Slightly over 1 lb.
2/18 Lace Weight
Care Instructions:
  • Hand wash lukewarm, do not bleach
  • Preferably dry clean
  • Cool iron can be used under a pressing cloth, never iron wet
  • Do not tumble dry
Storage tips:
For long-term storage, make sure this yarn is in a moth-proofed environment. Clean, clear plastic containers work extremely well. You can also wrap the garment in archival tissue paper to extend garment life.

Next week: Stash flash!