Sunday, December 21, 2014

Wishing you all the best of the season

In the end of the busy week, it feels good to celebrate Sunday, the fourth advent and to take time to write a post. Just what I need, to sit here calmly and try to look inside my mind to see if there is anything to write about. 

I have had almost no time to knit; there is not anything new to show to you of Ursula, still working on the button bands, sort of got stuck there, had to rip and start all over again. My own doing, not the pattern. This little mishap did not diminish my love of Ursula and it is not that what is holding me back, it is this season. There is much going on with the cardigan all the time; the one and only moment of boredom might occur with the second sleeve... but somehow I am sure I will stay motivated, because it will be the last stretch. When the button bands and the first sleeve are done, and when I am casting off the second, all that is left to do, is to decide on the buttons or the zipper. I am hoping to get it done before the new year, but we'll see - I might be a little bit too optimistic here. 
Looking forward for the moment when everything calms down Christmas Eve and I can sit down with spiced wine and knit away the long dark night. Because of the magic of Christmas, all the animals can talk through the night, and we all will have a lively conversation. Ruusu has a lot on her mind (and mouth).
This is the season of the color red... mostly anyway. Excuse for the too-bright-too-glowy photos, red is so difficult to get good pictures off. I am happy with my newish (crocheted) cowl and mittens - finally a matching set for me.
The embroidery on the mittens is the famous Unikko (Poppy) of Marimekko (my interpretation, click on the link). The print was designed 1964 by Maija Isola and it is recognized as Marimekko all over the world. I love this bold, colorful print and their other prints as well. Never get tired of them. If you click on the link here you can see my absolute favorite from this fall. I have a table cloth made out of this.
I talked to my friend Pirjo K about the felted mittens. The old original pattern, garter stitch mittens with two needles, was taught in schools in the old times. It was very easy first knit for the little ones. In the beginning of 2000 she made the pattern using two strands of fingering weight yarn held together, yarn that would felt easily and rewrote the pattern for these felted mittens. The pattern became very popular here in Rovaniemi and I am sure that most knitters around here and maybe all over Finland have used hers for their felted mittens. She worked for Taito-Lappi then and currently teaches all kinds of workshops there. Sadly this pattern is not available online anywhere.

Today is the day of Tuomas (Thomas) in Finland. In the old times this was the day when Christmas celebrations began. All the preparations should already be done, the house clean and the Christmas beer that had been prepared earlier, could finally be tasted. And during the next three days the sun is resting in her nest before she starts the new circle. I should do the same.

Wishing you all the best of the season and
wool with you,


  1. Ha ! Thanks for the bright colours ! Love the cowl with the different buttons ;-)
    Your mittens look gorgeous ! I recognized the Marimekko flowers before I read
    your lines ;-) (yeah : I'm that old ;-) ....)
    Have a good, warm and bright xmas time !

  2. What lovely traditions in Finland. I have loved Marimekko from my teens. Very unique here in the US..Have a happy Christmas and New Year Lene your blog is wonderful!


  3. Sondra in Seattle19:33

    Lene your blog is always such an inspiration! Love the cowl color combination and hope you'll share the yarns you used. This holiday I'm sure your family will all be warm in your beautiful wool creations. Let us know what Ruusu had to say!

    1. Hi Sondra and thank you for the comment.The yarn in the cowl was most likely Hot Socks Spectra - variegated fingering weight sock yarn and the red probably Marianne Isager's Tvinni - both bands missing, that is the normal state of my stash...

  4. I hope you and your family have a happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

    Love your mittens,Deb

  5. Linda Bowden00:43

    Happy holidays to you and your family. Look forward to your stories in the new year.

  6. Anonymous01:44

    Your new mittens and cowl are so cheerful for the winter months. So enjoy hearing about your customs in Finland. Thanks for sharing all this with us. Merry Christmas.

  7. Anonymous05:58

    Bright, cheerful colors perfect for this dark time when the sun is nesting down under.

  8. Anonymous01:32


  9. A splash of color is always a joy to the eyes at this time of year, even if our cameras have their own ideas about it! And I love the golden light from your window, peeking through the fence behind your lovely mittens and cowl - and smile :)
    A very happy Christmas season to you and yours, Lene, and a kiss for Ruusu and your kitties!

  10. rms405216:39

    I love the tradition of the day of sit back and celebrate and 'rest in your nest'. A time to be thankful for all that has come, and to be hopeful for all that is yet to be. Merry Christmas to you and yours, and wishing all the best for the New Year.

  11. I wish you quiet, peaceful days, a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Bright New Year, filled with joy and a lot of knitting, stitching and drawing/painting!- Your work is so wonderful...Keep it up!

  12. Merry Christmas and thanks for the lovely blogposts!

  13. Holiday greetings! Can you share that pattern somewhere? I would love to have an easy mitten pattern for my kids. Thanks!

    1. Hi Sarah! Thank you for the comment. Sorry, but I cannot share the felted mitten pattern, it is not mine. And I don't think I have seen the original that was used in schools in the old times.

  14. Anonymous19:56

    Thank you for posting again. Your blog is lovely -- a glimpse into an amazing world. Are you able to say what pattern you used for the pretty cowl? And thank you for sharing the story of Tuomas - my son and father are both named Thomas :). NewJerseyLaura