It feels difficult to come back after a long time ... but my knitting life does not exist if I don't write about it. It lacks a huge element, if I don't document it here, this blog and knitting just go hand in hand. This is where I need to be. I did not dare to look at my last entry, I do not want to know how long it has been or where I left off.
The first half of the year just flew by, Ruusu needed lots of extra care, but she is well and full of life again now, and we had a wedding to plan. We prepared for the wedding for almost a year, the closer the time got to it, the more it occupied my thoughts and my hands a little bit too. My Sonja got married in Midsummer, the wedding was lovely and happy celebration, and my secret project for most of the spring was making a wedding quilt. It got done in time, it was a memory quilt of Sonja’s important moments and it was an enjoyable make. It took all my crafting hours for months (there was both hand applique and hand quilting involved). Then July was mostly spent in the lake as it was exceptionally hot. We all took dips in the lake several times a day and our Piki – the Finnish Spitz – was the keenest swimmer of all. He even dived once from the deck, but only once!
I am going to pretend I was never away and just try to continue the wool story the best I can. As we are in deep August, wool keeps calling and projects keep crawling on the hook and needles, almost by themselves. I have spent lots of time on Ravelry looking at different patterns and it amazes me how creative the knitting and crochet community is, how designs keep getting better and cleverer as the years go by. Not to talk about the yarns! There are so many interesting ones to try. I think it was on the Grocery Girls podcast on Youtube (I don’t know which episode) where I heard Tracie talk about making a bucket list, I think it was for sock yarn, and I thought it was such a good idea. I really should do that too, make a list of all the yarns I want to try in the coming months. Maybe I should make a list for sock yarns and other yarns too, and another list for patterns and one for techniques as well.
I am not sure what has happened… probably it has a lot to do with the fact that I have been quilting and away from the blog for so long that the knitting world feels new, and I feel refreshed and inspired to knit and crochet --- finally! I have missed this feeling for quite some time.
This past week I have been double knitting a pair of mittens. (I did other stuff too, but I will get back to it at some point.) Up here two layers of mittens is a must and I have knitted many pairs of mittens with matching lining mittens, but there is always a problem getting the inside mittens fit just right. Last winter I made to one of my girls a new pair of mittens, but the lining has been bothering her all the time. The thumb of the lining is too long. I will fix them once I get hold of them! But in double knitting, this problem does not occur. My knowledge of double knitting is very shallow, I don’t know very much, and I need to search for answers quite regularly, which makes the process very interesting.
I am quite pleased with this pair. The white and green yarn is Rowan Felted Tweed (old favorite from the stash) and the grey Grinasco Tango (discontinued). There is a shade called Carbon in Felted Tweed and I think that would be a close match to my grey.
The yarn has a lovely, slight halo, it is soft but since it is wool/alpaca/viscose blend and since it is slightly felted, there is not much stretch in the yarn. If you think about double knitting, it is two layers being knit simultaneously, so the distance between stitches is longer than in usual knitting. If there is stretch in the yarn, it will pull the stitches more tightly once they are off the needles, but because this yarn does not have give, it does not pull the stitches and the outcome appears little bit loose. This looseness might become a problem while doing decreases and increases and I really had to yank the yarn to close the gaps while making them. Maybe this was not a good choice of yarn for double knitting, although once I realized what I had to do, I was happier with the outcome. Also, the problem had to do with my inexperience with double knitting too. The feel of the mittens is warm and soft and thick and cozy, totally worth all the extra care in the end! (There is not a pattern for the mittens, I made it up while knitting.)
I picked these colors for the mittens as last spring I knitted this Bousta Beanie by Gudrun Johnston
with these same colors. This beanie was such a pleasure to knit, no long floats and the pattern looks interesting.Svarta Fåret 2ply Wool yarn.
I have yet to show you this shawl I crocheted some time ago because these mittens, this beanie and this shawl go together so well.The yarn really made this shawl special. This exquisite yarn is Louhittaren Luola’s 100% merino single Luonnotar, in colorway Poison, if I recall it right.
I used two skeins (200grams) for my shawl and it is long and shallow shape. I used 3mm crochet hook and the body is linked double crochet stitches. If you love crochet and have not yet tried the single ply yarns for it, I highly recommend. There is no splitting and as there is not much give in single ply, it works very well in crochet. Tuulia’s Luonnotar yarn has beautiful sheen, almost if there is silk in the yarn, but there is not, it is 100% Merino. Her colors are strong and saturated, and my most favorite of her colors might be “ValaanLaulu”, it is gorgeous blue (my computer screen does not do justice, it is much deeper in life), but there are others that come close behind.
I think this is all I wanted to share today. I hope you will find your way back here eventually, although I do realize it is frustrating to keep coming back and finding nothing new for months. If you are reading this, thank you for your time.And as always,
Wool with you,