Monday, December 25, 2006

I wish you all have very merry, peaceful and yarnful Christmas!
I wish for all readers, knitters and crocheters, lace-makers and crafters a busy, happy and FO-rich year 2007!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Men who knit

Thursday, November 23, 2006

New old hat

Anke Leen has been going to school for nearly 3 months, and I made her a new set for the winter - neckpiece and a hat (no pictures :( ). On the second day at school with them she lost the set. Next day I sent her to school with last year's hat and collar. She came back hoem without them and we haven't been able to locate them at school. So I sent her to school with her father's hat (for I didn't have any other option) and she misplaced it by the end of the day, luckily we found it. Yesterday I sent her to school with the same hat telling her to put in her bag every time she wants to take it away. When I picked her up she had lost the hat somewhere and didn't remember where. We searched the school premises and finally found it at the playground. On the way home we got an idea to keep it as Anke Leen's hat for it really suits and fits her. But to make it more appealling to keep it safe and sound I took out some fancy yarn, crocheted the earflaps and edges, and made a pompom. I sent her to school woth the new hat she instantly was fond of. And now I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
I knit the hat in Febryary this year in London from Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino (55% merino wool, 33% microfibre, 12% cashmere), yesterday's addition is Mondial Folk (100% acrylic). Cute!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Approaching winter

As the winter is slowly drawing near (don't mind the near + 20 degrees outside today, okay?) I have been making small preparations for it.
I crocheted myself a beret and a neckpiece - they are crocheted with two different yarns - wool, which was too hard on my neck, and mohair to make it more soft and airy. The collar also has some added on beads and a beautiful button from my grandmother's collection.

Yarn: Novita Isoveli (75 % wool, 30 % polyamid) and BBB Kid Mohair (30% polyamid, 70% kid mohair)
Crochet hook: 5,5 mm
Pattern: (Only in Estonian) NB! Link leads to .pdf file

Yarn: Novita Isoveli (75 % wool, 30 % polyamid) and BBB Kid Mohair (30% polyamid, 70% kid mohair)
Crochet hook: 5,5 mm
Pattern: Bobble Beauty (with minor modifications)

I used approximately 20 grams of Kid Mohair and 125 grams of wool.

I have so many unfinished projects! Could someone give me push to hide the ends, finish last lines or embroider applications?!?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Yarn shops in Milano Vol 2

UPDATED 11th NOV 2006!

A lot of this post is copied from an earlier post, but I have additions to my information and will be changing this post probably several times more. It is difficult to find yarn shops in Milano - most of them are not listed. They are not listed, for they are small and very often very old shops (like a yarn shop lady today told me - "this shop was already here when I was a little girl"). When I tried to find out where are Adriafil yarns sold, I wrote a letter to the company (for it was indicated that if I'd like to know their sellers I could ask from them by e-mail), I got an answer from the company that I should call their wholesale guy who will tell me the locations, no thanks, I thought, if you do not have the information why should I spend my money to find out? That doesn't mean that I lost my appetite for some Adriafil yarns, not at all... I have been asking locals, have been keeping my eyes open and taking unusual routes just to run into a yarn shop (or even a merceria - sells all sorts of fabrics' stuff). And I have been a little lucky. So... here they are.

Centro della Lana (the Yarn Center) - it really deserves its name, for it is the biggest yarn shop I've seen around in Italy! It has everything you need - fancy yarns, sport weight, DK, lace weight, bulky and amazing color range. I think they take in all from their producers which are Grinasco, Ornaghi, Regia, Laines du Nord, Lana Gatto, Mondial, and many other smaller producers.
It is located in Via Montevideo 25 (closest tube stop either Porta Genova or S. Agostino on Green line). The price range is normal from €2 to €5 per 50 gr ball.

One day on my way back from the school of my daugher I decided to take yet another bus to rach metropolitana and I accidentally found ANOTHER shop! (Of course due to my bad luck it was closed for lunch). It is located at Piazza Ernesto de Angeli in the beginning of Via Pietro Rubens. Its name is Foderami Castelli. And on the windows I saw that they have Sesia, Mondial and some other types but I really must go back to check their full line. (Closest tube stop De Angeli on Red line (Bisceglie branch)).

Canetta (Shops of the magazine Mani di Fata) - You can find amazing quality yarn there, but no fun-fancy-special yarns. But the quality is exceptional, especially the softness of most yarns; and they have wide selection of colors in back-room, so don't hesitate to ask. The only shop where I know the sales lady DOES speak English is conveniently in the very historic center on via Dante (The street that leads from Duomo to the Castle Sforza) - Via Dante 4. (They changed their location - they have much bigger and lighter and nicer rooms now). On the window they have baby clothes and embroidered stuff, laces... so check in, they don't keep yarn on the window usually. And they have good choice of magazines and design sheets. Shops of Canetta are located:

  1. 2 Via Solferino angolo Via Pontaccio (in Brera)
  2. 7 Via Vettabbia (near San Lorezo church and Roman pillars)
  3. 22 Via Mazzini (between Duomo and Missouri tube stop)
  4. 4 Via Dante

The magazine of Mani di Fata is my favourite from the local market. Though the designs are modern, feminine and sexy - they don't experiment much and I have started to look for more interesting magazines.

Another shop, though very small is near Corso Buenos Aires (anyways a must when visiting Milano, for it is a big shopping street, huge I'd say) - It is called La Bottega della Lana (The Wool Shop) - address Via Pergolesi 1 (from Monday to Sturday 9:30-12:30 and 15:30 til 19:30, closed Sunday and Monday morning), near Red Line tube stop Loreto. When walking on Corso Buenos Aires, coming from the tube stop, walk on right side of the street and it is on your right. It is really tiny, but ther is a nice choice of Orrnaghi yarns. Just a few steps after the shop you can find a great icecream shop. So if it is hot outside and you are hot-headed about yarn - icecream will cool you down.

Another yarn-store is in the area of the Central Railstation (Stazione Centrale), I managed to visit it, and it is excellent. Nera Toffoli Idee & Filati. You can find them from Piazza San Materno 16, corner of Via Accademia. Pay attention! On via Pergolesi is the entrance to the underwear shop, right around the corner on via Accademia is the yarn shop entrance. They have a very good choice of Ornaghi yarns, Regia sock yarns, even Laines du Nord. They also have all sorts of stuff for embroidery. Closest tube stop on Red Line (Linea Rossa or Line nr 1) is Pasteur, just one stop after Loreto. Again remember, they close for lunch - from around 12 to 15. Apparently they have started to sell their merchandice online. It is great place to visit if you love to be creative with fabrics.

I received a copy of InZona just a week ago, and from there I found a great place again: Non solo maglia. It is near the Grande Naviglio and quite difficult to reach - for many streets there are just one way. But instead of taking your car and risking not finding a place to park, take public transport: take the green line metro to Porta Genova, exit the tube and find the bus stop of nr. 74 (Going towards Famagosta). Exit in the 6th stop - Tosi-Pestalozzi; walk down the via Pestalozzi, and find number 10 (it is straight after a small garden) - there is a small gate, go in to the yard, until you reach a house at the end of the lane, turn left and walk a little, then turn right again and walk a straight until the last block of houses, where you can see Non Solo Maglia on the house at right of you. The address is via Pestalozzi 10 (int. 16) - last number showing the "box" of the shop.

There is a small merceria in via Capecelastro 22, it has some fabrics, some buttons, some embroidery materials, some yarns - mainly, they have Lana L'irlandese! You can reach it easily by taking red metro line towards Rho - exit in Lotto Fiera Milano... when going through the gates of metropolitana, take the first exit on your left and from there goes bus nr 49, the shop is called Foderami Calze, and you have to step down the bus at the fifth stop - Capecelastro-Morgantini. I bought tunisian crochet hook from there today.

I found a small but an excellent place today, I took a different route back from my daughters school, saw a glimpse of yarn balls on a window and stepped down the bus a soon as possible. At Piazzale Siena there is a shop called Tricots. Here is a picture to make it easier for you to find it, the lady there is very helpful and we had a nice chat. They have Adriafil, Regia, Ornaghi yarns, some pearls, DMC etc. Keep in mind, small shops in Milano are closed for lunch hours and monday mornings!

Typesetter, a blogger and knitter from Milano wrote me this: "Another place I usually shop is Lanar, in via Nino Bixio (right off the circonvallazione). Thye have a limited range of yarns they produce tehmselves, but some of those yarns are excellent (wool and silk blends in nice solid colors), and their sport yarn at 1.16 euro per 50 grams ball (or 16.50 euro the 500 grams skein) is unbeatable!"

I really should visit all of them again, take some helping pictures (for they are often difficult to find) and write down the yarn companies they sell. I also have another 2 shops to check and I will do it as soon as I get the chance.

Hope all this helps someone. I think I'll translate this post into Italian, but not now... way too much writing for the past hour.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Fashion and yarn

I usually do not buy local newspapers, but today was different for between the biggest Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera was published fashionextra - Mode& Modi. It's not like I'm really interested in fashion, not at all, but I got hooked, for the front page had a huge picture like this:
and first 6 pages are full of yarn articles, or rather "knits in fashion" and how they are making a "comeback". The first page is not worth reading, it's just the editor's 'sad' story how machine knits remind her of crocheted bedcover at her parent's home and dad's sweater her mother knit. (I do not consider most local articles real news articles, the journalistic culture in Italy is literally non-existent, but this is not a place to analyse it). Enough of bad things, so what did I find out?
What is IN?:

  1. All knitted items are IN, but should have some embroidered colorful flowers on them (advisable also on other clothes).
  2. The pullovers-cardigans-sweaters should be more or less sexy-slick, with a necessary accessory - huge collar or extralarge baret/hat. Or, since no fashion designer ever agrees on what is IN, some designers prefer to dress their models in at least 2-3 sizes bigger sweaters and tie abelt around the waist.
  3. Colors in knitty world - pink, but also white, pastels, gray and lilac. D&G has a very nice winter collection.
  4. The beginning of the fashion empire of Benetton. Giuliana Benetton is the lady behind the empire, who at the age of 8 found her life's passion in knitting. First she knitted socks for her younger brother, from old sweaters she ripped, followed by sweaters for the family. She and her brother Luciano were forced to quit school and start working when she was only 10 years old, for the father had died and the mother was sickly. She managed to get a job at a local knitworkshop and made a deal with the owner, whose name was also Benetton, but wasn't their relative, to use the knitting machine from 6-8 pm everyday for her own use. She used that time to try new techniques and work out her own designs. Few years later her mom made her work at the tailor's but she hated it and after the mother realized she was unhappy Giuliana was allowed to go back to knit"factory". At the age of 14 she was the headknitter and had 12 girls working under her. One evening when Luciano had come to pick her up and had seen what his sister was upto, he said: "What if you make the sweaters and I sell them?" It was a golden idea, Luciano sold his harmonica and bought one knitting machine. The empire's seed was planted, in 1966 they inaugurated the company.
  5. Fourth page tells us the story of local knitting workshop which cooperates with high-fashion designers. On the same page we can read about the handknitting mania in US. Including a list of stars who knit (from young Ingrid Bergman to Sarah Jessica Parker), Stitch'n'Bitch club and and about Russel Crowe as the most famous male knitter.
  6. Last article talks about warm headcovers, and how once upon a time big baret or fancy pompom could send you to the teasing list or make you the hottest girl of school. This year you'd better go out wearing this style:

Quite enough I think for now. :)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Creative crisis

1. My Vogue Knitting and Interweave Knits have still not arrived!
2. The felted bag... well let's put it nicely... got thrown away. Lesson learnt: diagonal-horisontal-vertical knitting doesn't felt well, means: knit in one direction! Then: cables and your nice ribbing won't show, so why bother. And last but not least: no more machine felting - it just doesn't work. Or maybe it does, but not with me.
3. Mistery knit - advancing, though I went through with some crisis with it.
4. The whole family is ill - not much time to sit down and relax with needles while everyone needs attention.

But, due to pretty bad cold my daughter has, I had to crochet something where she can keep her hankies. According to her wish: "like sun"
Yarn: leftovers from various projects before: Cotone Cablè 5, crochet hook 2,5 mm, pattern: my own. And a cute yellow button.

On my small break last week I got to but a new magazine Maglia, which has some sweet designes. And I brought some supersoft Ornaghi wool for future sock - if that Vogue Knititng ever arrives!!!!!

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Okay, I've been very busy this week.
The biggest news is that my daughter went to school without prior planning. According to Italian law she should start school at the age of 6 - that is in a year. But during the summer she found a good friend and her parents put an idea to our heads - to apply her to international school of Milan. Of course it was too late already in August, but when I finally called them last Friday morning they asked me to pass by the school on Monday morning to have a chat with the principal so that we could decide for the following year. So Monday morning early we went to school and brought our daughter along, after a long chat with the principal, who wanted to know her background and our preferences, we met teachers, looked the school and finally the principal said: "Okay, that should be covered now, all you have to do now is to go downstairs to the office and speak to Mrs. A about buses and then settle the bill with Mrs. G." We really must have had very confused and stupid faces, for she realized that there was a gap in our information and asked: "So you weren't notified on Friday afternoon that one place in first grade freed up and that this was a admission interview?"
Our little princess has done first 3 days at school and she was very disappointed that she cannt go during the weekend. :D
That was so unknitty again.

Knitty news:
1. Me and three other activists started a project in Estonia of changing self-made gifts for Christmas - it is more or less like Secret Pal, just very local (I can participate for I will be going home for Christmas and therefore can receive and send my package from there).
2. I am currently working on three things one of them my first felting project and I hope to show the results in a few days.
3. I am pissed of with Italian Post, it seems they have been able to loose my 2 subscription magazines: Vogue Knitting and Interweave Knits. I am going to go and bark at them on Monday. Cross your fingers!
4. I will have to withdraw myself from Secret Pal nr 9 - for the school fee is pretty overwhelming and I cannot take myself any financial obligations at this moment. I do hope to join the 10th one, for we will be better of next year.

Friday, September 01, 2006


What will it be? ;)

My not so knitty-vacation

Remember that in my last post I promised to do a lot of knitting on my vacation.... well... I didn't... even though I brought yarn for 3 major projects I only finished 2 hats!!! For my daughter and her new found friend.
But the break was well needed, for I am full of new ideas and started a new knitting project already day before yesterday. The vacation was full of swimming and snorkeling in the Adriatic sea, I overcame my fright of medusas and diving after taking an apnea diving course (it's amazing, if you ever get a chance to do it - DO IT!). It basically means diving until the depth of 30 meters without breathing or using any oxygen and staying down fine 4-5 minutes! And it is possible, of course first you start with 1-2 minutes and 5-10 meters, but it is very doable after 2 day course even for non-divers like me. It gave me such a high that I kept doing it every day after the course - that's where all my free time went :P. This is completely off-topic of course.
But the hats are like this, cute aren't they?
Yarn: Ornaghi Alicante, 100% cotton, self-striping, used app 30 gr. Cotone Cablé nr. 5 (double strand), 100% cotton, white, apple green, pink, used app. 40 gr.
Needles: 3,25 mm circular, 2,75 mm dpn
Pattern: Ulla, summer 2006

I also joined up secret pal nr 9 today. I have been looking at it with envious eyes for the last two times already, but never had the chance to join up - for we moved around a lot, but now I think it will work, for I have no plan of major vacations for the year end.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Silence before the storm

I am sorry for not writing here lately, the reason is quite simple: I am on vacation and don't have much access to the internet. I will not be writing for another month for it will cost way too much to try to upload pictures and texts through mobile connection. On the other hand being without internet leaves me much more time to do my knitting, which means that upon my return I will swarm the blog with FO's.
Have a nice August and see You in September.

P.S I hope I don't get removed from blogrings I belong to :D

Friday, June 30, 2006

My First Dyed Yarns

They really managed to surprise me. See what I mean.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Kiri shawl

It is finally done. I do not suggest knitting KIRI in such fine yarn (it is 2-ply almost or maybe entirely cobweb weight lambswool) with 2,75 mm needels. It is a suicide. It took me near 1,5 months to complete it, of course I didn't knit it with one breath... I took a lot of breaths between, a lot without needles in my hands. But I am very satisfied. You can find the pattern here.
But oh it's so pretty and it goes for my awesome mother-in-law. I will do lace more.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I dyed some yarn

I dyed some yarn with local colors that I managed to find from the city (that was an adventure).


This was the first and last time... with these colors.

Nothing has changed in 20 years.

The colors are cool, but to get them it takes too much mess and scrubbing and boiling and mixing.

I will buy next colors from abroad and try again.

Estonian wool is really great! It gets softer as you boil it. Good pre-washing is essential - it not only gets softer and cleaner but it also goes nicely white.

The colors in this picture are too bright and strong, but I couldn't help it, my camera didn't take the red-orange tones well. Who notices that there are 2 oranges used? Exactly my point, even though I can't show them to you well, I am still very satisfied of the colors and will use these yarns in the near-future projects. BTW Violet really sucked, my sink still has lilac tonality to it.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Shortest nights of the year

It is the time of the shortest nights of the year, the sun sets close to 11 PM and rises around 4 AM, and it never gets entirely dark.
On the shortest night the sun sets at 22:34 and raises at 4:05 and then we celebrate it with building big fires all around the country, it keeps away bad spirits and jumping over it brings luck. It is our Midsummer's Eve.

This year I went to visit my great-aunt in Southern Estonia and this gives me a chance to introduce some of my greatgrandmothers needlework. She was a very talented embroiderer, coming up with her own ideas and doing needlework until she was in her eighties and couldn't continue for her eyes and hands were poor. Here is a selection of her stitched work, she also did a lot crocheting, all the soviet time dull towels have very elaborate crocheted laces attached. I don't remember her knitting, but I think she did it as well - just to dress the family. I think my handicraft interest comes from that line of family, I am just slightly sad that when she was still with us I was young and hot headed and wasn't interested much. I could use her advice now every so often.

My great-aunt gave me some really brightly colored 100% wool from old times and since I had a lot of time on my hands I nearly finished the Kiri shawl. Yeay!

Monday, June 19, 2006

"Princess's Pink Dream"

Princess's Pink Dream
Yarn: Steinbach Wolle Capri Ombrè, 100% cotton
Needles: 2,25 mm
Amount: ~280 gr
Pattern: My Own
Some white silk ribbon.

Knitted top-down.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I went to the city....

Guess what happens when Ingrid goes to town?

HA! Of course she buys yarn!!!

So today I bought:

BBB Kid Mohair (mohair-polyammide) for lacy scarf

Match Strumpf und Sportwolle (superwash-polyamid) - the stripy one for socks

and some Estonian natural colour wool. I will try to find some dyes tomorrow and dye something before weekend. If I am successful, knitting will be a B-priority for my vacation time. By the way how much wool can one dye during 3 weeks (hopefully we will have warm and sunny weather)?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Never come home empty-handed

From WWKIP gathering in Tallinnn, I had to leave rather early to go to a small Southern Estonian town called Viljandi. The town was having a Hanseatic Days festival so I wanted to check out the handicraft fair. I met an old aquiantance, who surprise-surprise had taken on handicrafts for a living. It seems just a few years ago, when she was a graduate from law staying home with children and saying that she got a job in designing furniture. Life is weird, isn't it?
Of course I couldn't leave without buying some yarn. The nice merry girls at the yarn booth.. and... and.. and... oh I don't know what made me buy it, I've made tons of promises not to, but I bought SteinbachWolle Capri Ombrè and some extra Katia Jamaica for a project in mind, which hopefully will turn out to be my first pattern... or a messy pile in the corner of the closet.
Anyways, I got the yarn straight away on needles, and the Pink Dream was this far in the early hours of the morning.

Since in one Estonian handicraft forum people are thinking about organizing a little Christmas-gift exchange action, I think I did a good thing purchasing following books:

These are Estonian mittens' patternbook, upper ones are also in English, with written instructions and schematics, bottom one is a black-and-white thin booklet of patterns. The cutouts are from the books on top.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

WWKIP day in Tallinn

10th of June in Tammsaare park in Estonia. I have to admit we attracted quite a few japanese to taking photos while we enjoyed eachothers company peacefully knitting the time away on the WorldWide Knitting in Public day. There were 16 of us at the hottest moment which is more than I expected at first, since pictures tell more than words, there are some photo memories in flickr.

Friday, June 09, 2006


Finally! Here it is, nicely shaped. And in my garndmother's garden some tulips are the same colour.

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cathay (50% cotton, 35% viscose-microfiber, 15% silk), colour: 10
Needles: 4 mm
Amount: ca 200 gr
Pattern: Leaf t-shirt

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Yarn Shops in Milano

Allrighty, AnnaK, these are the shops I have visited:
Canetta (Shops of the magazine Mani di Fata) - You can find amazing quality yarn there, but no fun-fancy-special yarns. But the quality is amazing, the softness of most yarns and they have wide selection of colors in back-room, so don't hesitate to ask. The only shop where I know the sales lady DOES speak English is conveniently in the very historic center on via Dante (The street that leads from Duomo to the Castle Sforza) - Via Dante 2. On the window they have baby clothes and embroidered stuff, laces... so check in, they don't keep yarn on the window usually. And they have good choice of magazines and design sheets. Shops of Canetta are located:
The magazine of Mani di Fata is my favourite, because they have very sexy-modern knit designs, it is not entirely knitting magazine, for it also has laces, embroidery, crocheting designs in it.

Okay there are 2 more I know in the central area, both of them I have been unfortunate to just pass by (for instance at lunchtime they are closed).
One is in near Corso Buenos Aires (anyways a must when visiting MIlano, for it is a big shopping street, huge I'd say) - It is called La Bottega della Lana (The Wool Shop) - address Via Pergolesi 1 (from Monday to Sturday 9:30-12:30 and 15:30 til 19:30, closed Sunday and Monday morning), near Red Line tube stop Loreto. When walking on Corso Buenos Aires, coming from the tube stop, walk on right side of the street and it is on your right. Just a few step after the shop is also a great icecream shop. SO if it is hot outside and you are hot-headed about yarn - icecream will cool you down.

I just recently discovered another promising yarn-store in the area of the Central Railstation (Stazione Centrale), I have not visited it, for I have been unluckywith the time again (I passed by with bike one Sunday).
Nera Toffoli Idee & Filati - Pay attention, they also sell underwear next door so their windows are rather crowded. You can find them from Piazza San Materno 16, corner of Via Accademia. Closest tube stop on Red Line (Linea Rossa or Line nr 1) is Pasteur, just one stop after Loreto. Again remember, they close for lunch - from around 12 to 15.

That's it folks, 2 others are so out of center, that I know their location but since I have no car I haven't tried looking them up.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Okay, another gross mistake: Remeber, Ing., YOU still have waist!!! Some don't, but you do! So start knitting like it. Are people square? Not most of them. Are you square? Sure not.
People who claim their bust is 34'', maybe have a very bad measuring tape because otherwise how is it possible that, Ing. who has 36 '' around the boobs feels like in a sack in a pattern created for 34'' (using the same yarn! and the gauge measures out the same: 20 sts per 4 inches). Can someone explain that? (I did try it on several times, but the circular needles didn't help in showing the mistakes.) Anyways, I've marked the decrease-increase area, hope to finish it to tomorrow and have some nice pictures next week (for I am away this weekend in the South).
Here is my square:

Sunday, May 28, 2006


Kiri's length measured from the middle is now around 60 cm (meaning another 30 cm to go), I have knit 18 pattern repeats and it's getting worse. I have already nearly 400 loops on the needles, and it is going to be over 600. I haven't been knitting Kiri much for the past days, due to another project and also because the woollen yarn is hurting my index finger, I have to find a solution. I have 1 week to finish. And from that I am out of town for 4 days. Yeay! (Irony)
Debbie Bliss Cathay has found a new meaning and is being knit up to a summer top. I have reconditioned it all and skeined 2 x 50 gr, I have still a lot to skein. (Without a machine using a roll of carton it is pretty time-taking event.)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Clapotis numero Due

My new Clapotis! Knit with stripy 100% cotton yarn to protect me from chilliness of Italian nights. It also seems that it will do for the mild winters.

Before unravelling ladders I measeured the length to be 145 cm, in the end it stretched 20 cm more. I am very attached to it already (after 2 days :P) - it feels silky on skin, I wore it one evening and yesterday during daytime and it is proven to be warming and eyecatching, not to mention that it matches the color of my favourite summer pants.

Yarn: Katia Jamaica (100% cotton), used ca 260 gr.
Needles: 3, 75 mm
Pattern: Clapotis

I think it took me 15 hours to complete, not even comparable of the first Clapotis, which I knit with 3 mm needles. The yarn is extremely soft for cotton (almost comparable with Debbie Bliss Cathay, which you know contains silk) and was a plaesure to knit. And the colorline is amazing! I have 2 more skeins (of app 200 gr), any ideas what I could do?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


I just decided that this yarn (Debbie Bliss Cathay), doesn't suit the pattern and the pattern doesn't suit me. So, I'll frog. And of course I already blocked it. So... erm... how does this yarn reconditioning go?

London Yarn stores

In my estonian blog Mia asked where she could find yarn stores in London, during my stay I discovered these places:
1. John Lewis (Oxford Street) and Peter Jones (Sloane Square) - In John Lewis selection is much bigger, as well as all other items of haberdashery, lately the section moved to 4th floor.
2. Loop - 41 Cross Street, Islington, closest underground stop is Angel (on Northern Line - black one). It is a very very very lovely boutique.
3. Teasels Yarncrafts - 842 High Road, Leyton. Closest underground stop is Leyton (Central line - red). Minus is that for a tourist this is very out from the central.
4. Liberty - Regent Street (between Piccadilly and Oxford Circus), 3rd floor. Good selection of English yarns. Good service when you look wealthy. Cold service when you don't look so wealthy. Brm... I won't start wearing makeup or a costume to go yarn-shopping.
5. FTM Shop (Fashion and Textile Museum) . English yarns. Bermondsey street 83, closest underground stop is London Bridge (Northern Line).
6. Infusion - 3 Chepstow Road, Notting Hill
7. I just heard that in June 2006, two knitting group friends are opening a new yarn shop in Putney - Stash Yarns. Those two women were tired of ordering the yarns from overseas and wanted to create a place where one can find "world's most beautiful yarns" - their adventures in opening the shop are described in knitaround blog. I will go next time in Lodnon for sure. They say they're going to sell Koigu yarn. One reason I have to buy it is very simple, Kersti is from Estonia!!! Brm, I am from Estonia (if i haven't written it before)
8. Bunty Wool - It is far from center and worth a visit when youa re anyways around. It is rather packed of stuff and you cannot see all, just ask the indian looking guy and he will help you, even order you the wool if you wish to. Daniel Department Store, 132 UXbridge Road, closest underground station Ealing Broadway (Piccadilly line - blue)
9. Wools and Crafts - again out of center, but rather close to the underground station Finsbury Park (Victoria line - light blue), 169 Blackstock Road.

That's it folks. Actually I do know some others, but they are very far from those who don't have their own car and some are in the parts of the city where I do not advise to go without a local.

Friday, May 19, 2006

New yarns

I ordered some yarns from new online yarn shop, that was before I found out I can go home to my parents this summer, if I would have known I could have saved quite a lot of money to buy more yarn from the postal expenses. But, ah what is done is done.

Novita Neli Raita (the blu and pink colored skeins) - my daughters sweater for the fall.
Katia Jamaica (fuxia-turquoise-brownish-orange) - new Clapotis (as I mentioned before in one post, the first one I gave to my mother, for she wears bold-deep colors)
Katia Jamaica (green, red, orange, brown) - I have 2 skeins, 200 gr (3 1/2 oz) and app. 400 m (438 yds), any ideas what it might become?
Novita 7veljestä Jätti Raita for socks.

As you can see, I haven't seen many stripy yarns on sale in these parts of the world.

Friday, May 12, 2006


I started knitting shawl Kiri yesterday. I am using laceweight very very thin lambswool and knititng with 2,75 mm needles, which are 30 cm long. I think this is suicide. And it's just my Day 2. But don't worry, I'll finish it, at least ebfore 6th of June.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Birthday Wishes

For my birthday I wish:
  • some Peruvian alpacas
  • some Angora goats
  • some Kashmir goats
  • some Angora rabbits
  • some Merino sheep
  • A bit of silkworm colonies
  • spinning equipment
  • dyeing equipment
  • one big studio where I would fit with my addiction
  • 48 undisturbed hours a day and
  • enough money to buy all yarn
That's it.
Oh and 1-2 pairs of extra hands would be nice.
And all sort of weaving, blocking, crafting with knitted items - would be nice if magically it would always be done :)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

When children...

... are listening to fairy-tales in bookstore, moms can lure around. Especially if the hobby bookcorner is on the same level as the children's books.
This was the first time I discovered such a huge selection of handicraft books, from a bookstore in central Milano, for usually what you see mostly are decoupage and painting books, sometimes cross-stitch or embroidery as well. But this time I had time to properly look around, the secret is just to look also the bottom shelves.
So I bought R. Niccoli and M. de Ferrari "Pizzo Macramè" and a translation of this book.

Friday, May 05, 2006


Since I have nothing new to present, I'll give you a glimpse of what is happening.
First: I am knitting a summery cotton cardigan from Debbie Bliss Cathay. Since I used a pattern of different sort of yarn I've had to recalculate all, back and front pieces were easy, now I am knitting and frogging and knitting the first sleeve, for I haven't been able to work out a satisfying pattern yet. I am not very sure about the future of this cardigan. You know, in the magazines the models always have perfect sized bust - not big and yet not too small. And I am much more blessed with size, so I always have to worry whether the item being knit suits me. It seems this time it doesn't. So most likely I'll frog it and work out a design of my own.
But oh, the yarn is adorable, so soft, such a texture, perfect color...

I also discovered that I had bought nicely colored yarn for socks. Time to knit it for I have a new load of yarn coming from website soon. (Update: I skeined it... and started knitting a little, it's tooo harsh :(, how can I make 100% wool feel softer, does washing help?)

I also recieved's yarn catalogue, and I would like to order one yarn from them, but I already have had bad experiences with overseas ordering - the 70dollar pack is on the way for the last 5 months so I have no hope of ever receiveing it.

And a new experience:
I bought my first bamboo needles (though I like alumium the best - haven't had many to try yet) mainly because I would like to knit a Haapsalu scarf (picture) and it requires very light needles, aluminium ones are too heavy. Some examples of most famous works: Haapsalu scarf "Silvia" for the Queen Silvia of Sweden, "Greta Garbo" made in 1936 for her, "Crownprince" - this pattern was created in 1932 for the crownprince of Sweden. I have already two books of lace patterns set ready.
But: bamboo needles are not slippery enough for me, so to move the stitches on the needles you have to use force or knit very loosely (which leaves an uneven result). But I am trying to learn to handle bamboo needles. I do like it, that they are light, and maybe for future projects with laceweight or smaller DK yarn I'll buy more of them. Right now I am not very impressed.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Saturday Night Fever

I am also part of Estonian/international project "12 bags". Which means that using any technique preferred, we try to make one bag per every month of the year, it started out in January, but this is the first time I managed to do a bag to fit the subject of the month (chosen by members themselves) - there is no obligation to make 12 bags, so I haven't been very commited, but from now I'll try to be more active.
Anyways this is the first birdy called Saturday Night Fever for May. It fits my powder, lipstick and some cash - and that's about it, I can also slip in my ID card, but considering that it is for my summer night parties then I have no need to fit in a phone, driver's licence, keys or such. because the parties I go to are held in a small summer villa area in Southern Italy, where you can walk from one end of the village to the other in 30 minutes and friends are always around.

Yarn: "Milleluci"; Lana Mistral, color: melanzane, 100% merino
Pattern: my own
Needles: 2,5 mm

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Summery cold feet

There is nothing more I detest than cold toes, yet I always have them, especially here on the marble floors, but i don't like knitting socks- because my ribbing looks horrible and lacey ankles require too much preplanning.
Nevertheless last September, while visiting Estonia I bought corgeously colored 100% wool yarn in order to knit a pair of feetwarmers. But I just didn't get to start them... until... I read an article on Knitty about toe-up socks, and of course I got excited. And tried out the traceless cast-on - it was easy so I had to continue until it was time to do the heel (I know well how to knit a heel for ankle-down socks... but toe-ups?), "Hell," I thought "if I am already learning new tricks I'll try new heels as well." And I surfed around and chose short row heels. I knitted them3 times always frogging again, for I didn't like the small holes they leave on the sides. I couldn't get rid of them so finally I just hid them with needle and stockinette stitch.
But I fell in love! And I've searched out other yarns for socks to begin with new ones (hahaha, Italian sumemr and woolly socks), but this is the first pair (with little picot ont he edge to make them more merry) and I'm hooked!

They fit perfectly!

Yarn: Schoeller Und Stahl Limbo Mexico.
Needles: 3,5 mm
Pattern: my own

For chilly summer nights I also made myself a mohair cardigan, pattern from Simply Knititng April 2006 issue where it was knit with double alpaca yarn.

Yarn: Jaeger Softy Mohair (70% mohair, 30% polyacryl),
Amount: ca 120 grams
Needles: 6 and 3,5 mm

Kknit in one piece, except for the ribbed edge.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

London results

Over a long time again at home, and this is what I've done in London:

Merino wool light top for springy winds with a little flower joy. I had to use these stitches for I wasn't able after many many efforts to embroider flowers with satin stitch, simply because merino wool starts to play a lot in moss stitch . It stretches tremendously. But if someone reading this has a solution for my problem I would be very very grateful, for I am not satisfied with the current look.

A close-up as well, unfortunately I couldn't get the true colors on the picture: the basic tone is melanzane or egg-plant and embroideries are much much brighter. I need to block the sweater once more though, since it slightly tends to move upwards, yet I knitted it 2 cm longer than in the pattern (yet my one looks a lot smaller than the original).

My daughetr received a very cool green sweater for Xmas (it wasn't very welcome present, but she loves to wear it), unfortunatley the lady who knit it made a planning mistake, forgetting that cables draw the garment together a lot, so between the two fronts there was a gap of several centimeters, first I thought I'd rip the front, add a touch of nice yellow and knit it again, then I discovered that back and fronts are knit as one piece, I couldn't make a new edging cause the current one was knit double (it would have looked ugly), then I took out my crochet hooks and made something, I don't like it, my daughter does. When I get my hands on it, I'll rip it :P.

Clapotis gloves and a black Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino set. I gave away my Clapotis and am now searching for new yarn.

Since I had finished all big projects on mind and I also found great bead shops in Govent Garden (London) I came up with two cases - one for my cell and one for my iPod, since all my stuff tends to get scratched in my bag (I can't go anywhere without my knitting, including sharp scissors). The yarn is same as my flowery sweater one: Lana Mistral, 100% merino, pinkish beads are from Neal's Yard Bead Shop and metallic ones are from an old necklace (I've tried to find the same beads from London, but they only have the small ones, luckily I have quite a lot of left)

And of course I had to try bead knitting, since I found very nice wire from John Lewis. The earrings are missing the hooks on the picture.

And I bought a load of stuff: Simply Knitting magazines (pretty nice); Nicky Epstein: "Knitting over the edge". And my favourite knitting bible I've ever got my hands on: Montse Stanley "Knitter's Handbook" (David & Charles, 2004, ISBN 07153 1286 3). It is simply amazing: it has 40 different cast-on methods, as well as cast-offs, tips, tricks, blocking, fixing mistakes, embroidery on knits etc. It doesn't have nice colored photos, but the main point is the mere complexity of the book. If you don't believe me, ask the rest 200 000 book owners.

And of course I visited bead shops. (The beads in the towers are not from London). I am not a normal woman you know, when usually women use their personal money on a new skirt, new shoes, cosmetics, going to cafe with friends etc, then I spend all my money (except necessities) on haberdashery. I am not a normal woman. One day I spent in a bead shop 20 pounds. And knowing myself I won't probably use them all!!!!
Here are my favourite ones.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Home Coming

After three weeks of living in London, I finally got to come home to Milano for a while. I've done quite a lot during the last weeks, due to home arest brought on by severe cold in the family. And of course I forgot the pictures to London, but here follows a shortlist:
  • one pair of black men's gloves and matching Finnish style (pibo) hat with earlaps to be worn under biking helmet. Hereby I also give my appreciation to Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino - so far the cosiest yarn I've knit (remeber, my active knitting life started just half a year ago). In London you can find it in John Lewis and Peter Jones, one 50gr skein costs £2,40 - ouch!
  • My Clapotis got matching gloves, one of which I managed to loose on the way to airport. S***s.
  • I am finishing Knitty Leftovers vest and hoping to do it today.
  • I am also working on a great springy pullover with embroidered flowers, but it seems I gotta start all over again. I made a huge mistake, by blocking it wrong, I should have first laid out and blocked the back piece and then spritz it, instead I soaked it. Damn, I have a merino wool, now it is clearly too long. 4 centimeters over the measures written in pattern. Luckily I've blocked only one part.
I haven't been able to look aruond a lot in London, so I've seen only the big department store haberdashery sections (Liberty, John Lewis, Peter Jones). The first impression is really bad. Selections of yarn repeat from store to store, colors are too dull for my taste and Rowan and Jaeger designs are just... too usual, too old. Not to mention the price.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Book Game

1. Pick any book at reach
2. Open page 123
3. Find the fifth sentence on the page
4. Post the following 3 sentences (no. 5-7) on your blog with the rules
5. Do not try to look up something extra "cool" or "intellectual"! I know what you were thinking about. Just pick the book closest to you. No cheating!

Mr. Gardnier was a sensible, gentelmanlike man, greatly superior to his sister as well by nature as education. The Netherfield ladies would have had difficulty in believing that a man who lived by trade, and within view of his own warehouses, could have been so well bred and agreeable. Mrs. Gardnier, who was several years younger than Mrs Bennet and Mrs Philips, was an amiable, intelligent, elegant woman, and a great favourite with all her Longbourn nieces.

I don't have any books lying around my PC so I had to go to my bedroom, and I picked the first book on top of all the lecture on my nighttable. It's Jane Austen "Pride and Prejudice". After reading Jane Eyre I go for nice English.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

I had way too much free time today. Neckwarmer and a hat. And I still have time til tomorrow morning. :P Hat is knit with double yarn - for earlaps I used lilac and white. I will certainly make mittens as well, for we don't want to freeze during Torino Olympic games.

Yarn: Novita Bambino, 100% wool, 50 g = 184 m
Needles: 3 mmm (for neckwarmer) and 5,5 mm (for the hat)
Used: A little.
Pattern: my own