Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Being social

So much for finishing my wedding sewing last weekend - instead while David was out at work I met up with a couple from Australia who have also just moved from Norway. We know them through David's work, and they're both taking the same Finnish class as us, so I thought it would be good to be social! I met them mid morning and we chilled out and had a wander around Helsinki - it's fun going with other people as they have got used to going different routes and it's all part of the great explore. They showed me all sorts of things that we hadn't found yet - a nice little cafe that did very nice croque monsieurs, little antique shops and a lovely little Japanese shop with artisan plates and cups and tea pots etc and various different types of Japanese green tea (I don't drink tea on the whole - I'm a disgrace to my British-ness! - but David likes his green tea, so it's good to know). The problem with our explore is that I only vaguely knew where we were and am not sure I'd find where we were again!

We then went for a drink to celebrate Australia Day and met up with David (once he got off work) and also bumped into a group of people from a society called the Jolly Dragons who we've met up with a couple of times - they're a social group that do all sorts of social, sport and fun activities. A mix of foreigners and Finns, and so far everyone we've met have been very friendly. We're still getting to know what it's all about, but they seem to be genuine.

So, next weekend I'll get my sewing finished.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Is it Spring yet?

Finally, finally, finally the Internet has been switched back on. I hope they don't want a pat on the head and a gold star for switching it back on three days earlier than they predicted - it's still been off 2 1/2 weeks. I'm not ranting, I'm just thinking back to the happy days of working in the library with the beery breath and belches of my fellow library users. Anyway, it's back on and long may it stay that way.

David was away last weekend - he went to Spain as a surprise visit (along with his siblings) for his Dad's 75th birthday. It sounds like they had a good time, although I'm not exactly sure that they did anything other than sit around, talk and drink - mind you that sounds pretty good to me. Especially in the sunshine. It's continued to be grey and murky here in Helsinki. It poured with rain and was windy over the weekend and is overcast with a smattering of snow today. People keep saying that February is the best chance of the proper snowfall, big blue skies and crispness. Fingers crossed, as if it's like I'm imagining, it'll be beautiful.

I got my wedding dress pretty much finished while he was away - I think I'm pleased with it, I think I'll feel happier with it once I've tried it on again after being away from it for a week.

I also have been doing some knitting. I decided to make a lined purse like I'd promised myself. I borrowed the fall 2007 interweaves knit magazine from a friend and was inspired by the article about cables to figure out some cabling for my purse and go for it - I had been keeping my eye out for a cable that I liked, but this was a better idea. So, it's knit, and has lots of texture (I wanted something textured so that I can find it in my bag - my current handmade purse gets mistaken for bag lining). Now I just need to line it. I've used a thick wool (fritidsgarn by Sandnes Garn) and used 3.5mm needles to make it nice and dense.
The friend that I had been knitting the bee socks for has had her baby (Catherine Isobel) and has also said that the bee socks I made for her fit, so in celebration I've cast on another pair of socks.

Last spring we got some tulips and I thought it would be nice to knit some socks in tulip-like colours. I bought some wool (sisu by Sandes Garn) and have been waiting for the right time to knit them. What's more perfect than during miserable, dark, depressing weather? Sort of a first sign of spring?... I'm using the fifth fair isle pattern in Sensational Knitted Socks.
This is my first go at fair isle knitting - I've been wanting to do something with some colour for a while, so am pleased that I'm finally doing some - and they're certainly colourful!

Monday, 14 January 2008

red cardigan progress

Felicity Anne has taken time out of her busy wedding dress helping role to help me show some red cardigan progress.

I’m annoyed with myself for not spotting that I could have simplified the construction of the cardigan earlier. The pattern calls for a belt knit in three sections (back and two sides) – which are then joined together using three needle bind off, and an upper part knit in the same three sections and then a lower part, again knit in the same three section, all of which are seamed together down the sides. If I’d been thinking when I cast on I’d have knit one long belt picked up stitches along the side for the whole of the upper section and then split at the armholes. I only realised this when I was half way through the first upper side, after having knit the upper back, so it was too late really to start again.

So, as you can see from my update photos I’ve finished all the belt and upper sections and have seamed them and the belt together as per the pattern, and am currently knitting the sleeves (in the round as what’s the point in leaving a 3cm seam to have to join later?). Once both sleeves are in I’ll pick up all the way along the belt and knit the bottom sections all in one go alleviating the need to do any more seaming. I love the shade of red - very vivid.

I’ve been very deliberately not casting on for anything more while I get a good start at the wedding dress – the dress is under control, so I’m starting to think that maybe I can think about casting a small project on…. It’s deciding what that’s the hard part!

And still no internet connection…

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Buzzing around

Hopefully this will be the end of the bee-themed knitting for a while.

So that Rach didn't feel left out I knitted her some striped like a bee socks, I hope they fit as I kind of guessed what size feet she has.
And as there was more yellow and black wool around I thought I'd knit another pair of bee booties for her bump (due any day now).
Looking at those photos you wouldn't think that the top one was taken outside with a flash and the bottom inside without a flash.

We're having some technical problems at home at the moment - in that the phone line into the house has been disconnected and will apparently take three weeks to reconnect - I'm not going to rant - I'm past ranting. It makes blogging a bit random.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

New knitting needle roll

I finished off the knitting needle roll I was making this morning. It's not the prettiest as it's made from a mish mash of fabric colourways (all from the same curtain fabric swatch). It is large enough to fit all my needles (straight, dpn and circular) and the other bits and bobs I've got like row counters, needle end thingies, needle size gauges etc etc and rolls up to about the same size as the old bag I was using.
I didn't really follow a pattern, or tutorial, although did search the web for pictures and took inspiration from what other people had done - although I couldn't see an example of one that seemed to be as big and comprehensive as what I was wanting. It pleases me that it's all organised and I have half a chance of knowing what needles I have. I found a circular needle in a size that would be useful for the red cardigan I'm knitting at the moment, while I was putting the needles into the roll once I'd finished - which I thought was a real bonus!

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Old knitting needle bag

I'm not sure I mentioned - but we had another green Christmas and New year. I don't quite understand how, for the past two Christmas periods, living in what are thought of as cold and snowy places we've managed to end up with a green Christmas. I'm sure it will get cold and snowy in Jan/Feb - it did in Norway - but still, a little dissapointing that we couldn't go outside on Christmas day and build snowmen. Maybe next year?

One thing that I've been playing with between Christmas and New Year is to make a replacement for this:

I've ended up with my Nanna's old knitting needles and bag - I've added a few (mostly circular) needles to the collection, but they're a mixture of imperial, metric and US sizes all in a jumble in the bag. So I've started figuring out a knitting needle roll that will house them all and also organise them in millimeters. So far (no pics yet) what I've done is looking very practical and should fit the main objectives of the project, although isn't that aesthetically pleasing. I'm using some curtain fabric swatches that I acquired when I used to work in a made to measure curtain shop back what seems like years ago (1997/1998 before I went off to the US to do my Masters), so it's looking like a bit of a hodge podge.