Monday, December 12, 2016

Finally some progress!

December is picking up pace and the very short days – mere 3 hours – are flying away. The sun rises around 11 and sets again little after one in the afternoon. You really lose sense of time when it is always dark, and by 17 (5pm) in the afternoon, you start to think about going to bed, since it has been dark for so long already...
December has kept me busy but so has also someone else you have not met. Couple of weeks ago, I searched the internet if there were any Finnish Spitz puppies on sale or if there were expecting mothers out there. I have done this now and then during this fall, but every time I have stopped to think about the extremely lively and wild little cat we have. In truth, he is not little any more, he turned one year in November, but his behavior is very childish and WILD at times. He plays with Ruusu daily and she has a handful there, but has learned to peace him out. Ruusu grew up with an old and mellow cat, her childhood was full of love and washing and sleeping next to each other, and I did not have to worry about her being hurt in any way. Little Väinö is not mellow and his plays get often quite rowdy.  If I was to get a little puppy, I am sure all would work out just fine in the end but somehow having a tiny puppy with this young and adventurous cat, has made me rethink about it.

While I was online searching, I happened to see a picture of a three-and-a-half-year-old Finnish Spitz boy in need of a new home. I showed it to my husband and he called the number right away. We went to see him to see if we could find a mutual understanding and respect towards each other, I mean the dog and us. When he walked into the room, he came straight away to me and licked my hands… and thus held my heart in his paws and you know the rest. He has been living with us for two weeks and it is as he has always belonged to us. He is open, playful, he has been trained, he knows all the basic words and he is all around very lovable guy. Here is Piki.
(You are going to see more pictures of him as time goes on, so far, I have not managed to take very good ones.) We have walked a lot. At first I walk Ruusu and Piki together and then I will go out with him alone, so that he will learn to hear my voice and will learn to take more contact with me while we are out.

Short days (I know, it is 24 hours as always but it does seem like less), Piki and December has left me very little time to spend with the cardigan, but there is some progress and I am eager to show it to you. Last time I had blocked the pieces. I sewed them together, slowly and carefully.
I added little bit of shaping to the shoulders, but the side seams are straight, no shaping there. Then I did some work on the sleeves. I decided not to sew on the original ones, mainly because it would have been difficult to sew them neatly, matching the patterns plus I did not want to have bulky sleeves.
I picked up stitches around the armholes and made set in sleeve from the top down. Of course, I had two mishaps, the first time around I picked too many stitches, ending up having too wide sleeve, the second time, I had bad needles and my stitches were coming out wonky… The third time it worked out just fine… but I think I am going to redo the sleeve again, I will change the yarn. I don’t have enough of this brown and I will take little bit heavier yarn that I hope I have enough of. But this is not a problem, as now I know what I want, and know how many stitches is a good number.
The collar, just happened. I had been thinking it a lot, but had not come up with a good solution. I got tired of (over)thinking this sweater and just followed the intuition. I pictured a wide, low, standing collar, something that would not hug my neck.
I made a new neck line for the back piece, cut it quite deep (too deep!!! argh…!), and then picked up stitches around it. I decided to knit a ribbed collar, so that it would have strength to stand up;made a folding line, two purl rows, so that the collar would always fold in the same place and would be more manageable.
I crocheted scallops along the folding row. Now the collar stays up quite nicely. I am not sure if the edge of the collar still needs some finishing touches, at the moment there is only this dark brown row of chain stitches.
Both button bands are done and blocked but not sewn yet. In the above picture, only the first one is done. I purled three rows to form a nice, rounded edge for the band, and this edge rolls over from the right side to the wrong side very nicely and somehow sort of hugs the knitted fabric. Today I bought a zipper, so instead of buttons there is going to be a zipper.

There is not going to be anything fancy with the hem, just simple folded hem. And the sleeves… most likely chocolate brown stockinette all the way. The inside of the cardigan needs some work. I am almost certain that the seams will not unravel but they don’t look neat and I think I will try to fix that, at least in places that are visible. I am not sure if I will knit something or just cover the seams with bias tape.

The cardigan is not finished and it can still go wrong, but it is looking so much better - what a relief! This was starting to weigh me down.

Today the temperature dropped to almost -30ºC; it is seriously cold. I will need to go and get some firewood inside for tomorrow morning. Hope you are warm and well… and if you are doing holiday prep, hope it is going smoothly. I am taking it very easy this year, and very much enjoying the season but without any stress.

Wool with you,


  1. How lovely that you found Piki, Lene! Good wishes to all of you.

  2. It is easy to see why Piki stole your heart. So sweet. Congratulations on the new member of your family. As for the cardigan, I am in awe of your skill and re-design. A lot of work...though I think I would feel more like going to bed at 5 pm, as you mentioned, with such short days. Good that Piki and Ruusu keep you on the move.

  3. Welcome, Piki! I have been thinking of getting another dog (my last one passed on about 18 months ago) but am not quite ready yet. Your sweater looks wonderfully warm - it sounds like you need it to be! Our weather is finally snowy and cold.

  4. HOORAY! Often - at least in the U.S. - dogs who are not puppies have a hard time being adopted. So I'm glad that Piki is now part of your family. I hope all of you will have many happy years to share!

  5. Piki is one handsome fellow! And thhe sweater revision is coming along nicely, too. I love that touch of pale blue.

  6. Congratulations on sweet Piki joining your family! I can see how it is possible to fall instantly in love with him.

  7. Wow, Piki is so cute, no surprise he stole your heart - look at those sweet, loving eyes! The cardigan is stunning btw, I'm in awe...

  8. congratulations to You and Piki, he is a beautiful dog and I hope You will have many happy years together!

  9. Piki looks so sweet - no wonder he stole your heart. Welcome Piki!!

    And your sweater! Every time I sit down and read one of your "re-modeling" jobs I am in awe. You do amazing and beautiful knitting/stitching/crocheting/finishing/etc., etc. WOW!

  10. Anonymous22:32

    "Puppy" looks so sweet. (I know at 3+ years, he is not a puppy any more.)
    I love the blue with the colors of the sweater. Very good choice to give it just a touch of 'zing'. Helen

  11. How great you've got Piki now! He looks like a sweetheart; how is he getting along with your "kitten?" Your sweater is shaping up nicely. Are you going to do anything to make the sleeves extra warm without being bulky or stiff? Lining? Alpaca blend wooly yarn? As for holiday chores, figuring out how to make my new LED light strings blink without spending much on new parts is making me happy indeed.

  12. So happy to hear Piki is setling in beautifully. What a handsome boy! And I also am in awe of your talent and creativity....

  13. Dear Lene, Piki looks like a very good and lovable dog!! So good to hear you both are happy with the decision!- And, as always, I enjoy seeing you wonderful talent...

  14. Dear Lene, Piki looks like a very good and lovable dog!! So good to hear you both are happy with the decision!- And, as always, I enjoy seeing you wonderful talent...

  15. Priscilla in London13:00

    Dear Lene, That's better! It looks much more like you, now; and by that I mean, it looks like your work. It's really interesting to read your description that this 'just happened' when you stopped overthinking it. You are describing the way an artist works. I wonder if you think of yourself as an artist; I certainly think of you that way.
    What good luck that you and Piki have found each other; I wish you many happy years together.
    And thank you for the Anni Cuffs pattern you've given to Fruity Knitting! Perhaps I'll finally try a little fair isle...

  16. Dear Lene,

    admirable work, as always! We visited a Christmas market nearby last week (I am from West Germany) and met a very nice finnish man who sold reindeer hides - so soft to the touch! I thought of you and how much I enjoy reading your blog. Thank you!

  17. deni21:20

    Welcome Riki!! How wonderful that Riki has a forever family. Looking forward to hearing his adventures with Ruusu & Vaino :)
    The sweater is looking great...with time and thought, I knew you'd find solutions.
    Merry Christmas!

  18. Wishing you a wonderful life with Riki and your other pets, what a great home he has come to!

    And your work, as always, is so thoughtful...

  19. Oh, Piki is just wonderful. I can't wait to hear stories about him, Ruusu, and Vaino. We, too, have a young energetic cat amid older cats. It is a challenge for all at times, but I wouldn't trade a minute!