Sunday, January 22, 2006

I just finished spinning the blue Merino/Mohair blend, 2plied and washed it and now it is drying. I was so high with the red Merino I spun maybe two weeks ago and thought I was really mastering the art. I was put back to perspective with the blue wool. "You are a beginner, just a beginner..." is what I told myself while plieing. The blue yarn is not bad, but it is not even close to being even and I don't like that.

I'm not giving up. The time will come when any wool glides easily and evenly through my fingers and I know how to spin different kinds of yarn. I would like to knit with my own yarn, but at the moment I'm more a process spinner... While washing the yarn I realized that I really haven't set myself goals to aim to, I spun the blue wool thinking hope this turns out ok so that I can maybe knit mittens or socks or something small... but not how the yarn should look like. Then I turned to my new Koigu (KPPPM). I like the crisp feeling of the yarn and the look, you can see the twist well. And there is lots of stretch. I unplied it a bit to see the singles... so next time I'll have some Koigu near by and compare my yarn to it. (One should have something to look up to, the goals are supposed to be high, right?)

Jaywalkers are finished. Maybe I could call them Snowalkers. They feel tight and nice. Here a pose by ballerina. Unfortunately even the high rate of pedaling the wheel doesn't produce slim legs like that...

I cast on socks with Koigu and Lantern Moon needles. First time for both. Am I on a path with no returning? I for now own one set of these top quality needles and should not get used to them...
I was tempted to start the Pacific Northwest Shawl but really since the Olympics are less than three weeks from today, there is not much sense in getting involved in something that big...

The temperature is only about -20 today, after last week that is not bad any more. When it is almost - 40 the air feels like a whip on your face, it hits you.

We are used to cold. It doesn't mean that we have grown winter hair to skin (that would be handy) and won't freeze. We freeze if don't have enough clothes on. Enough means multiple layers of clothes. Children go to school (they don't go skating or skiing or have any outdoor activities) and cold days are like any other ordinary days. Once during my life it has been so cold, that the schools were open but there were almost no children. Many of the buses and taxis were not running. It was I think the winter of 1995 and the temperature dropped close to - 50. The use of elecricity skyrocketed and it caused breaks in power supplies and that was very scary. We were lucky then.

Our houses are built to endure these cold snowy winters. Mostly our windows have three layers, the walls have good insulation and they are quite thick. The temperature inside is + 20 while it is outside - 30. Even though we are used to temperatures this low very cold days are tiring and hard.

I don't usually have big difficulties starting the engine of my War Horse but I keep her in the garage and have motor and inside heatings on for few hours before I have to go. - 40 can break your tires and the car is so frozen it doesn't seem to have any springs. I try to cut the driving into minimum.

So on a cold winter morning it is nice to have warm woollen socks... and hats and mittens and scarfs and long johns and cardigans and sweaters... Did I miss something?

PS. Did you check the link Susanna left in the comments... here the link again, was there something missing? .

PS. I was truly impressed of the amount of Finnish... You all used the words so well... Thank You!


  1. The temperatures you are talking about are truly scarry... and I am glad that at least it is warm in your house. Cover up well, I am shivering all over just by reading your blog.

  2. Lyn In Melbourne, Australia01:12

    I'm finding it hard to comprehend temperatures so low, as yesterday we had a sweltering 43 degrees celsius here in Melbourne, Australia. Luckily there were no power stoppages due to overuse of air-conditioners!

    I love all the socks you are making, and am thinking of making some for an upcoming trip to France - they'll be handy in my walking shoes.

  3. Marie N.14:00


    I have been looking at sweater and sock patterns all week on line and each pattern I found calls for stitches I do not know how to make or a techniques I have never done. But this Friday I am getting together with some friends who are more experienced with knitting, so I plan to bring a list of things I want to learn and some scrap yarn. I'll be buying my first dpns. That will take some getting used to.

    The socks modeled by the ballerina are so nice looking. I thought I would start with doll socks too, as I plan with the sweater. I will not waste too much nice yarn while learning.

    When the olympics are over may we see what you have completed?

  4. Southern Norway Fairytale14:56

    I truly thank you for your Finnish lessons. But now it has made me make a fool of myself!
    I have a friend who has studied Finnish, so, I thought I send him an SMS: "Hyvää tammikuu! Lumi, villapusero, hartianlammitin." And here is the answer I got: "Hyvää houmenta. Oleto Soumessa? Täälläkin on satanut paljon luta. Eilen veneen oli pelasettava uppomisesta." An SMS of which this fool does not understand a word. (Hope I spelt the words right.)
    I am lookin forward to Wednesday when I hopefully will learn more.

  5. Oh, so many things to say ....

    Let me suggest, first, that you shouldn't let it discourage you when you hit some wool that doesn't seem to spin the way you want it to. In my experience, its often the wool, not you, that's causing the problems. There are huge differences in fiber preparation and you can get spoiled by good wool processing.

    Secondly - Koigu and Lantern Moon are heaven together - agreed. I love my lantern moon needles but unfortunately broke two out of my set of 2.25mm. I bought a second set so now I have 8 total. But they're heavenly.

    The cold? I don't know where to begin. I'm not sure I can even imagine that kind of cold. I'm sure it takes a tremendous amount of energy just to deal with it. I'll try to remember your winter if I'm tempted to complain about mine.

  6. I'm so glad you're using the wonderful Koigu. I hope it gives you lots of pleasure!

  7. Here goes:
    Sinä (spun) merinovillaa on kaunis! Olen virheä with envy.

    Sorry, en puhun paljon suomea.

    Do not be discouraged with the spinning--each fiber behaves in its own way, depending on the time of day, the moon, the weather, and whether you intend to take pictures of the finished product or not. Keep going! For a beginner, your spinning is wonderful.

    My Finnish relatives, in true Finnish fashion, have not mentioned the brutal cold much, but they also live near Turku and aren't getting the northern cold. Are schools cancelled when the weather is so cold? My children are home from school today because of a "blizzard": 5 inches (10 cm) of snow. Ha. Wimps.

  8. You're done with a pair of Jaywalkers in less than a week? Wow! I'm sure no one can see your hands while you knit, they move so fast. They're gorgeous and I love the roving in your earlier post, yummy! I'm sure the yarn you've spun isn't nearly as bunchy as you think it is. :)

  9. No, nothing missing in the Duulan link. I thought it was appropriate since a lot of the discussion at Dances with Wool has centered on the COLD weather.

  10. Anonymous23:34

    beautiful socks, as usual. thanks for the information about your wintertime life. see you tomorrow for the finnish lesson.

  11. Thank you for telling us about the mossy cottage knits, I just signed up to knit for the Dulaan project.