Tuesday, October 04, 2022

Come fall

Here I am finally writing to you, I never planned to be absent for a month but I have had quite a busy month. The price of the energy and the coming winter forced us (and many others) to gather wood to keep the fires burning during the coming months. All the wood work is done! Done! The piles of wood stand high and mighty. 

This morning I put into hibernation my roses and some other plants that I hope will survive in cool temperature with little light and water until next summer. Almost all fall work is completed and the house and the yard should be all set for the winter, just one big job remaining… well, it is not big, but quite cumbersome. When the trees are bare and the leaves have fallen, the roofs need to be cleaned and the water spouts and gutters emptied from the fallen debris. I am the one who climbs the ladder and some of the gutters are high. I am very uncomfortable when I climb as I am little bit (read: a lot, horrified!!) afraid of heights… yikes, but once that is done, all is done. 

I say all is done; really for now, as the snow shoveling time and wood hauling time begins soon at earnest!!

I don’t want to spread worry or sadness, but I just have to say that this war in Europe is taking a toll on me. The war is on my mind all the time. Every single day, many times a day, I check the news and the worry and sadness creeps into my everyday life. Many days I have had a plan to write to you but somehow the words just turn into ashes and I feel that there is nothing to say. What can I say that matters? And I know my worry is useless too… These are so so sad times. I try to keep in my heart Victor Hugo words, ”Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” 

Some time ago I said something about sock knitting… my mojo gone or something… Cold feet have fed my inspiration to knit socks and since I have two more pairs and finished a third one that was a wip. I did use my three hand dyed skeins and it did make the knitting little bit more interesting. I cast on for a new sock, this time with Regia something, and I like how the yarn is dyed in stripes and this combination is very pleasing to my eye. 
Now that I have managed to keep a pair (one sock at a time) on the needles and there seems to be some progress on many days a week, it is quite easy to keep returning to them. I do not dare to put them far away from my daily circles because then I would forget them and the progress would suffer and it would be more difficult to pick them up. But when I have my first cup of coffee (with the news) in the morning, the sock is there, and I remember well what I did the last time, and adding a few rows becomes rewarding. I have thought about setting a goal of 30 minutes a day dedicated to sock knitting, but so far I have not needed to do that, I have done those 30 minutes on most days.

I started and finished my third (and so far my last) Shawlography shawl. This completes my trilogy of them. I like this last one the least. And it is because I did not like the main yarn, the color was good but the yarn was so springy and hard that it was impossible to knit nice stitches. I felt that they were square instead of soft, round ovals and no matter how well I concentrated on one single stitch, the moment I left it on the needle, it returned into this square form. How very frustrating all the way to the end!! Now that the shawl has been blocked and has had a few days out of my sight, I seem to like it more. In a few weeks I have forgotten the battle with the yarn and will grow to like it even more. 

Now onto something else!

You probably can guess what this something else will be. It is Mystery Shawl time!! On Thursday the first clue of the EVENT of my shawl year drops. I cannot wait. I have not bought yarn for the mystery because I really don’t need any yarn. This past week I did sort out my stash a little bit. I have huge baskets and I arranged my yarns, mostly fingerings and sport weights, occasionally some thicker ones too, into these baskets by color. So I have a green basket and a brown one, the biggest two are for the blues and the reds. The yellows and purples are quite moderate. Whites, beiges and grays have all their own too and all the mohairs share a same box. 

I am not quite sure what colors I will use for the shawl. There has to be main color and the contrast color, about the same amount of both of them and then one accent color. I have been contemplating on knitting two shawls… or then just one… but I am thinking of green, brown and gray… or purple, blue and beige… I think I will start the first clue with green or brown and then see where it takes me… 

As much as there is sadness, there are things that bring joy. This mystery knit-a-long is one, and the other is Mother Nature. Yesterday morning, I stared at the lake, as is my habit in the morning. The mist was moving, there was no wind and one moment there was lots of mist and the next it seemed to disappear to come back in patches. It was so so beautiful! I grapped my camera and walked down to the shore and tried to capture the moment, but I am afraid, these pictures just don’t do justice to the magic I was priviledged to experience.

I hope you are well and have found some joy!

Wool with you,


Sunday, September 04, 2022

New socks, old blanket and cross stitch, maybe

So it is fall, no doubt about it. The wind has come from the Arctic the whole week and it has been brutal. I have build a fire couple of times and enjoyed the smell of wood burning and the sound of wood crackling. Talking about fire, we have been filling the wood shed up to the brim last week and the same job continues this coming week also. The shortage of energy and the price of it has been the topic of the last month and this coming winter will be a difficult one up here. Woolens and wood, both in demand.

I was going through my sock drawer the other day (thanks to the northerly winds), sadly to discover that many (most) of my socks would need serious mending, some are in such a bad state that I would really need to rip the foot part and only save the long cuffs (I do love my socks to have long cuffs) and knit new bottoms. What should I do as the sock mojo has been long absent, and I hate cold feet. 

While I was grocery shopping and walked past the yarn aisle in the store, I took a good look at the sock yarns there. I picked up three skeins of white with the thought that I would dye them - maybe knitting from my own hand dyed yarn would spark up the desire to knit socks.

I spent some time in the kitchen mixing colors and this is the result. I do like how the yarn turned out and immediately cast on for a pair of socks and finished them, but it did not spark my sock knitting, not much at least. I wonder if it would return if I just kept knitting socks… I did that, but knitting is so much more fun if you enjoy the project. However, another pair is almost done.

So, now that I know I need socks and should knit them, and have no desire to take that route, my knitway is blocked. I took another turn and returned to blanket crochet. If you follow me on Instagram, you have seen this blanket I crocheted last year I think.

I love the basic square (Tombola by Maria Gullberg) and I started another blanket almost immediately after the first one. I have crocheted squares here and there since and

I will add new squares until the knitting resolves its route blocks or finds a new path to proceed. I have eyed my quilting fabrics. I would love to sew something…  a project bag or something bigger…

But now a confession. I know I really don’t need any new yarn/thread adventures, but I have a serious hankering to do some cross stitch. During the past two years, I have made some small projects, and these two are my last ones.

I love to look at the colors of the floss, and make tiny crosses, it is meditative and slow. While I was making these two, I thought that the other one is for Piisku and the other for Väinö. They are best friends and love playing together, but do get into mischief a lot. These are Plum Street Samplers Olga and Boris. I cross stitched on Aida (16 count?) with my own colors, as I have plenty of floss but not the called for colors and just made the pictures with what I had. 

Ok, so those two above pictures are very me. I am very much an animal person, and a country girl who loves rough wool… so how can I explain that now I would really love to make a Mirabilia… have you seen those? I just love Red and Persephone … and the mermaids. I love the tiny crosses and especially the sparkling beads, I love how vivid the colors are. Just absolutely beautiful. Up till now I have not ordered anything, but I am not sure for how long I can resist… I am trying and seriously fighting the urge… but then…Have you seen this? And there is a lot more to see of Chris Dunn’s work at Painefreecrafts?

I am sighing. What should I do? Make a small Christmas ornament in cross stitch and then think again of the bigger projects…

In the meantime, hope you are well and as always,

Wool with you,