Tag Archives: mittens

Insect Mittens – Nice!

3 Jan

The bug beetle mittens are done (ignorance is bliss – I can no longer call non-bug insects bugs with a good conscience). The pattern is Entomology from the book Knitalong: Celebrating the Tradition of Knitting Together. I used an itty bitty amount (maybe 50 g of each color) of an aran weight yarn (7 veljestä from Novita) and 3 mm needles.

Every time I do stranded knitting, the inside of the work turns out better and neater than the last time. That is way cool.

I’ve had the bamboo double pointed needles I used for these for years now, and I never used them before. I think they were one of the first needles I ever bought when I started knitting in 2007. They’re on the sharp side, which meant a really painful knitting experience at the time.

But now that I no longer have the beginner knitter’s death grip and my gauge has mellowed (the yarn no longer creaks when I knit), these turned out to be awesome needles. I think I only used them because all my other 3 mm needles were in use, but I’m glad I did. At least Prym’s bamboo needles have just the right amount of grip for neat stranded knitting.

Looking at the pictures, I can see that I’ve made some mistakes, but I probably won’t want to fix them (I would duplicate stitch the mistakes away). When I start using these, no one is going to notice one stitch in the wrong place – including me.

Entomology

29 Dec

I have a problem with bugs, specifically with beetles. I trained myself not to mind spiders not long ago, because spiders are harmless and my fearful and disgusted reaction towards them is completely unwarranted. But I never had the same deep-seated disgust of spidersies that I do of beetles. They are different, oh yes. This time, dare I say, it’s personal.

It started when I was a kid. Often (it seemed it was often, although in reality I think it happened maybe twice), I was playing outside with my brother, and would find a timberman beetle had dropped from a tree into my hair. It was difficult to get them out, because they’d grab onto my hair with their disgusting feet. I can still remember how horrifying it felt – I could never ever touch an insect, but now I had to touch one or let it stay in my hair.

Timberman beetles especially horrify me – ladybugs, not so much. That is, until now. (que duh-duh-duuuh music)

When my significant other and I moved into this apartment a couple of years ago, I noticed a ladybug between the first two window panes in the kitchen window. I left the bug there, because it was in an inaccessible place. It was kind of cute, too, with its little toes up in the air.

When the weather started getting warmer the next spring, more ladybugs started appearing in our flat. At first I thought they’re kind of ok as long as they stay away from me. Until more came, and then more. When fall came, I opened the windows to clean them… and revealed that they had nested in great big heaps in the window frames. Dozens of dried up husks of ladybugs floated in the water and riddled my rags as I washed and dried the windows. The pointlessness of their demise – to be born and then die in a little hollow in the window – only served to underline how deeply disturbing these insects were for me.

I thought that was that. I had destroyed the hive, the source of the evil. The scourge was over – more would not come.

But no. They keep coming. They’re everywhere. I come across some outside our apartment, as well – they must have infested the whole building. Only this morning I was going to the basement to do some laundry, and another one was sitting on the stairs, taunting me.

Lately they have started attacking me. I’ll be sitting here, knitting, minding my own business, when something tickles my neck. More often than not, as I absent-mindedly brush my skin, I’ll feel the little wriggly feet against my fingers, and I’ll yelp and throw the disgusting critter away.

SO thinks I’m insane – I have to stop myself and not throw the next one away, so it won’t be able to hide. That’ll show him.

They’re crafty little devils, and will use their dirty, dirty wings to flutter away after assaulting me, leaving me on my knees, combing through the carpet. I would not be able to kill one, because it would make that cracking sound, but I would contain it, and leave it to die of old age. SO might object to an up-side-down glass or some such being left in the middle of the floor, but he does not understand. THEY ARE REAL, I swear.

I looked today, several of them had crawled into one of the lamps to die. I believe they are attracted by the brightness of my display and hit me on their graceless flight towards it, and after I repel them, they continue toward the next bright spot in the room, only to fry and die a slow, burning death BUAHAHAHAA!…

Krhm.

So, what, you may ask, has this to do with knitting?

Apparently, lots, because I started knitting a pair of bug mittens for myself. Maybe facing my fear will help me deal with it, maybe harnessing their power to protect me from the cold will be the sweet revenge I so crave. Mostly, I have no clue why I’m doing these. I hate those creepy crawlies. *shudder*

The pattern is called Entomology. It was designed by Adrian Bizilia, and was published in the book Knitalong. I’m using what I believe to be leftover 7 veljestä from Novita (an aran weight wool blend, found in my stash) and 3 mm needles.

So… Now What?

28 Dec

Giftmas has been and gone. There’s a strange sort of emptiness that comes from suddenly having so much free time. For two months, a significant part of my free time has been used to knit and crochet presents, and now I suddenly have all this time to do something for myself.

Yesterday, I actually sat down and read! (Eoin Colfer’s And Another Thing.) But only after I looked up from this stupor that’s filled my brain, and saw the chaos surrounding me. The SO and I both go to our respective homes for Christmas, so there’s really no need to do a proper Christmas cleaning here. After doing other picking up, I went through the top layer of my stash, which consists of two big baskets of yarn I swear I’m going to use up real soon, any day now.

I came to the conclusion that I really don’t need new yarn. Especially since I was arranging  the stash to make room for the stuff I got with my Giftmas gift certificate to my favorite lys… 11 balls of Drops Alpaca (100% alpaca sport yarn) and two skeins of Drops Lace (YUMMY alpaca and mulberry silk in lace weight).

These are going to be a Zora cardigan and a Whisper cardigan, respectively… some day.

Last years This year’s (I keep thinking we’re already in 2012) challenge was to knit 11 projects, which turned out to not be a challenge at all. The next challenge could be to use or otherwise get rid of as much yarn as I can.

I’m a big believer in the principle that you should never tell anyone about your goals, because talking about doing something makes you feel like you’ve already done something about attaining your goal – even though you haven’t, and now you’re even less likely to do anything about it. (Watch this TED talk called Keep your goals to yourself, it’s eye-opening.) So that’s the last I’ll talk about this idea.

In another attempt to clear my head, I also went through my works in progress intending to either rip back or finish each one. Unfortunately, I think I decided to finish almost every one of them.

There are things that clearly have to be finished, like my Clessidra socks (over half way done),

my Thermal sweater (only missing 1,5 sleeves),

and my Entomology mittens (published in the book Knitalong, so no link, also over half way done). I’m not excited about knitting the other one, but I really want to wear these.

But then there are the more troubling projects. The only reason I haven’t already ripped back these Little Minx socks, is that the yarn does not react well to that. It would be totally ruined and it was a gift from my mom. But I’m also not looking forward to knitting the other sock because, to be honest, this was a bit boring to knit.

The same reason is stopping from ripping back these swan socks. I’ve already ripped back several projects done with this yarn – one more time and I would have to throw away that part of the ball.

I’ve also had a pair of hat heel socks on the needles for well over a year now… Unfortunately, them being hat heel socks and having separated toes, the yarn would come out in short bits.

I’m starting to feel better about ripping back my Space Invader Converti Mittens because I found a Space Invaders hat pattern and that would be even cooler than the mitt(en)s. I could use the yarn for that. And the mitts don’t fit that well, either. I could knit these later with a thicker yarn or otherwise in a bigger size.

And I’m pretty sure I’ll rip back my Wavy Feather’s wimple unless I find a better pair of needles for knitting it. The yarn is unsuitable for the project, as alpaca doesn’t show lace well, so even a more suitable pair of needles might not be enough to save this one.

So, right now I’d be willing to rip back 2 out of 8 works in progress. Well, who knows, maybe I’ll suddenly be inspired to finish these things.

All I know is, it’s definitely time for a clean slate knitting-wise.

1 Up

27 Sep

Meet my new favorite mittens. I’m a total geek so these were right up my alley. And a little less intimidating to begin than a weighted companion cube.

Pattern: Mushroom mittens

Designed by Kamilla Svanlund

Yarn: Nalle from Novita (DK/8 ply, 100 g = 260 m)

Needles: 3 mm

*****

Once again I chickened out and didn’t do the intarsia. It just never works out for me. I have no idea what I should do differently to make it work. Every time  intarsia is used in a pattern I’m working on, I do try it, but I haven’t gotten any better at it. So I guess practise usually makes perfect.

This time my inability to do intarsia wasn’t a problem because the mushroom motif was small enough for me to sew it on. I did it before starting the decreases to make the needlework easier. Doing this creates a thicker fabric but I actually kind of like how it feels to the back of the hand.

But I do have one problem with these mittens, and it’s a problem I have with most mittens that have some sort of image on the back of the hand.

It’s that the motif is placed dead center of the mitten, which means that when the mitten is worn it actually looks like the motif is off-center! The thumb always pulls the fabric to the side. Then I have to look at asymmetrical mushroom placement.

I should just move the motif a little to the side when knitting something like this. Problem solved.

In all other regards it’s a great pattern (fun and quick) and the mushroom is perfect 🙂

Time flies by

13 Jul

I’ve “only” 6 weeks of my summer vacation left.

The last two just flew by. I ended up spending two weeks back home, and not just one as I had originally planned. It was good for me, I got to really relax and do what ever I wanted.

I had brought with me loads of knitting projects, but in the end I didn’t knit all that much.

A few rows of my Sagittaria Shawl, two cotton hats and these mittens

Foliage

Foliage

Pattern: My own

Yarn: Puro by Novita

Colourway: Ruska

I’ve been aware of the new Novita yarns coming out, but I didn’t expect to find them in a grocery store in Kuusamo this soon.

When I did, I was simply blown away by the beautiful colours and soft feel of this yarn. I haven’t been as excited about a yarn, well, ever. (Btw, the colours don’t show right. My camera just can’t deal with the colour combination in this poor lighting…. but you get the idea.)

I really have trouble dealing with darkness. I get pretty depressed in the long, dark months of the winter. That’s why it’s a bit strange that autumn is my favourite of the seasons. The colours of foliage are so vibrant, and the air is clearer and easier to breathe. I love the cool, crisp autumn mornings, before everything becomes black and grey and smudgy.

I also love autumns because that’s when you get to wear all the soft and warm woolly mittens and scarfs and hats that, try as they might, just can’t keep you warm just a couple of short months later.

So when I saw this yarn, that is incredibly soft, in all the colours of foliage, I simply had to have it. It’s just yummy 🙂

But what else did I do all that time?

Well. I read a bunch of books. I baked a pie. I arranged our books alphabetically. And I sewed, sewed and then sewed some more.

pallot

I made these juggling balls! 3 sets of three, of varying sizes and weights, and then these two loners that still need friends. The first few ended up as pretty much oblong, but I soon got the hang of it. But then I decided I had to sew pillows.

patja

First this thing I’m calling, for the purposes of this text, a sitting pillow, and then I was going to sew lots of those red pillows, but I ran out of time and came back to Oulu. I’m going to finish this project in a few weeks when I go back.

That red thing is a bed with a wooden cover you pull over the bedding, so that people can sit on it during the day. These beds were usually located in the family room in the olden days (well, the family room was actually where everyone slept and ate and generally hung around during winter time, so that’s why it was a good idea to cover the bedding). So this bed’s been in the family for a long time. It’s going to be pretty once mom renovates it, but chipped paint or no, it’s really uncomfortable to sit on. No more!

The sitting-pillow-thing, by the way, is made of corduroy, and padded with a blanket, a mattress protector and a sleeping pad, all cut down to size. It’s quite comfy actually. I’m proud it turned out so neat and even pretty.

This week I have to write an essay, knit one glove and finish the Sagittaria shawl, and run lots of errands before I’m off to Germany next week. It’s going to be a busy week, yay!

Let’s get this show on the road

10 Jan

I’m setting up this blog because I want to share my two greatest passions, knitting and painting Warhammer miniatures, with the world. I’ve been knitting actively for a year or so, now, and painting miniatures for a couple of years.

At first I aimed at things looking natural when painting miniatures. That’s why I didn’t like the look of most ‘eavy Metal painters’ works… I mean I admired them a lot, and still do, because I couldn’t reach the same level of tidyness, but sometimes tidyness means the miniature looks like a toy. I wanted my own miniatures to be tidy but rugged, to look as if they’ve seen some of the world. These days I’ve started to aim more for the ‘eavy Metal style, but I still steer away from bright, unnatural colour schemes.

In knitting I like pretty down-to-earth colour schemes, and often resort to black, brown, grey or maybe green – basically I will only knit in colours I could wear. I don’t much like knitting in bright colours even if the finished object isn’t meant to be worn by myself.

Knitting is somewhat more satisfying for me than painting, because I get things done so much more quickly. I find I’m a perfectionist when painting, and am hardly ever satisfied with anything, no matter how much better I do than the last time ’round. It might be, therefore, that this will end up as a knitting blog after all. I’m just waiting to see where this will go.

I’m in no way a pro in either one of my hobbies, but I guess it doesn’t matter. Free word and all 🙂

I want to get this blog started with the latest knitting project I finished

Heart Mittens

Heart Mittens

I found the pattern in the Pitsiä ja palmikoita blog. These were a quick and easy knit. I’ve knitted one pair of intarsia mittens before (the Oak and Squirrel mittens, the link goes to Ravelry), and I have to say intarsia mittens are one of my favourite projects to tackle.

For these mittens I used a yarn called Sportimo. It’s an acrylic yarn I found at Lidl. Seeing as white and peach aren’t really my colours I was pretty apprehensive at first about buying the yarn (1 kg of it all in all) but, deciding I could make a whole lot of socks etc.) I finally couldn’t resist. Knitting acrylic isn’t as nice, maybe, as knitting some natural fibers. But personally I like acrylic and other such fibers because otherwise they are easier than natural ones. Mittens get worn out pretty quickly, and I don’t have the heart to use some expensive fiber when I know I won’t get to enjoy it for that long.

I also made a hat to match the mittens, and I still haven’t finished even one skein of the kilogram of Sportimo.

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