Monday, September 16, 2019



How are you? It is such a long time since we talked … I have missed you. I have written these letters for such a long time that it almost feels like all my makes are unfinished because they have not appeared here.

There are many reasons why I have been absent, but we are about even keel now and I am hoping for smooth sailing for a bit. I have been knitting and crocheting quite a lot; some of the projects I have posted on Instagram but not all. As much as I have learnt to like Instagram, it has never felt home. This is home.
Here we are, at the threshold of autumn and the season to celebrate wool is just around the corner.
(Well… up here it is always wool season, we just try to deny it during the summer months, we fold away the woolens and freeze. It is such a joy to stop pretending that it is warm and summer and finally be able to pull on wool socks in the morning…)

I do love the cycle of the year and all the seasons, but there is something gentle and loving and forgiving in fall. Spring comes crashing, revealing every little nook and cranny, where fall comes quietly… long shadows sweep the floors, falling leaves dance quietly through the air and cover the ground, there is something soothing to listen to the drumming of the rain… and I cannot wait to light the fireplace. It is still mostly green, but every day there is more yellow and red and burnt orange.
Here, my newest make! I know, a crochet sweater!!
I love knitting and the movement of needles is like a second nature to me, it does not require much strength and I find it very comfortable; where crochet is more like a struggle, there are so many movements and it requires more determination to dig the right loop and push through, but the fabric it produces has so many benefits that every now and then, I must try it.

I love how stable the crochet fabric can be, how much it can resemble woven fabric, it does not curl. I have never liked ribbing in a garment and in crochet there is usually no need for it as the edges stay even. The drape is a matter of hook size and stitch. The fabric can be sturdy and can take embellishments comfortably.

Some time ago, I listened to Aoibhe Ni on Youtube where she encourages one to be brave, to make mistakes and push the boundaries of crochet, as it is such a new craft compared to many others, that there must be a lot to discover there. Inspiring talk!
This is my second sweater with crochet this fall. My inspiration for the shape of both of my sweaters was the pictures of the vintage A-line (trapeze) coats and frocks from the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. The first one I made, I kept wet blocking the piece while I was crocheting it. I was unsure of the way the fabric would hang; every night I blocked the day’s work and checked it in the morning, and then either ripped or continued. When the piece was all done, I blocked it for the last time and tried it on, I was happily surprised: the drape and the fit were just right.

I think I now have a recipe for a near-perfect fit for me. I have been knitting for years and I don’t really know how many sweaters I have made and now, finally, I have a perfect fitting, comfortable sweater here. And it is done with crochet! I cannot believe it. Now, I would just love to be making one after another with the same basic simple shape with different colors and embellishments, or maybe just simple ones… I would love to have one in black, plain black.
One of the reasons, why I felt I needed to crochet, was to try embroidery and embellishments on the fabric. I knew that this kind of crochet fabric could take manipulation well and it does. I am not sure if I like that much of my embellishing, because in the end I prefer simple things, but the making is so interesting, trying to figure out, what would uplift the piece, something that would in the end feel like it belonged there, but it did prove to be difficult. My grandmother loved doilies and made hundreds of them and I never liked them one bit while growing up, but I suppose they made a permanent mark on my brain and they just keep coming back and keep appearing.
I used old stash yarn, very woolly wool, woolen spun, little rough wool. This wool would work so well in stranded colorwork that I felt almost little foolish to use it here, but I have so much of it, that I truly needed to make a dent in the stash. I am determined to make good use of my old yarns while I do keep getting new ones too, I try to find a balance. Over the years I have tried to restrict myself from buying new yarn, but every time I decide to do it, it somehow diminishes my desire to knit and crochet. I do get lots of my inspiration from beautiful yarn.
I am making a third one. If you would like to see the very first one of this fall, here is a link to my Ravelry page.

Wool with you, as always,

PS. Taking pictures can sometimes be hard, and it is difficult to take a picture of oneself... in this selfie era, I took a few in the bathroom, and here they are.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Finding joy in the every-day

We had a lovely, sunny, warm summer. It was followed by mellow and glorious fall. But then, when November rolled around, it was like a bag was pulled over one’s head, suddenly it was dark, wet, dreary, without any sighting of sun. 
I walked every day along the gray roads while the mist was hovering over my head. I think I got wet every single day, even though it was not raining.
But it all was and is bearable because of my companions, the dogs. We share the everyday, the good and the bad. No matter how sad the weather looks from inside the house, it is never that bad once I am outside. With the appropriate clothing and company, all is well.

I crocheted this dog and had it mounted on a different background, but it did not feel right. So, I detached it, crocheted the background and then appliqued it again to another cloth and now I think it is how it should be. This picture tells about our November walks.
It is not yet finished, it needs few quilting stitches and then the binding, but I realized that November is almost gone and soon the world will be white, and this picture will not feel right any more. I will try to finish it soon and move on to something else.

But what would you call this picture… It is not just crochet, or freeform crochet, and it is not typical quilt either… woolwork? Could it be woolart?

Piisku has kept me very, very busy. She is cute and lovable, but oh! so full of mischief and teeth and she is not yet house trained. She notices every single little thing, that I did not see and is very puppylike in all her behavior. Piisku is the same as Ruusu, Swedish Vallhund.

I have also been trying to work out a knitted bear and it has been quite difficult. I don’t know how many times I have worked the face and tweaked the body, but I think I am quite happy with the look now.
I combined brushed alpaca with fingering weight Finnwool and I truly love the halo and the softness.
When I made the kittens, it was easy, probably because I know cats, but bears are much more unfamiliar to me. Also, the bear in Finnish mythology is a sacred being and one is not supposed to even say its name out loud, so maybe I really have not dared to think through the appearance, as if I was making one with eyes closed.
December is just around the corner and I thought that I would post every day as an advent calendar, but I am sorry, I just cannot commit to that this year, it would just be too much. You can blame the puppy, but can you really…
she is so cute and I want to enjoy taking care of her and spending all my extra time with her and Ruusu and Piki and of course, Väinö too.

Hope you all are well and have plenty of time for crafting!
Wool with you,

PS. Sorry for getting this so late, but there was a question about the Texture Time Shawl. I knitted it exactly as written, did not make any modifications, it is a huge shawl.