June 06, 2007

Look, look! The Spring Cardi!


I managed to make a sweater for myself a liiittle bit more suitable for the weather right now than what Venezia is (thank you for all the lovely comments on Venezia! I’ll soon put up the alterations I made for the neckline). The spring cardi has made her debut, and is just lovely to wear. I have never used this Debbie Bliss yarn, Cashmerino Baby, before, and I must say it’s fabulous. It’s just perfect for summer evenings when the temperature has gone down, and you need just something small. Okay, I do feel cold easily, and I take on a sweater hours before hubby does, so perhaps the yarn is too warm for some of you. But for me it’s just perfect.

The pattern is by Anna Bell, and is very well written and clear. I followed it with very few alterations. Since I’m not very busty, I knitted 2 more rows between the increases in the body than what the pattern stated. I was a bit afraid it would have looked too boxy on me, and I’m pleased with how the shaping turned out. There is in the end the same number of stitches, but the increases are not as steep as the pattern advises.

The buttons are what I have understood is called Mother of pearl buttons. I tried several different models and colours of buttons, but found these to make the cardigan most elegant. Click here for a close up of the buttons!


Project details:
Pattern: Pippa by Anna Bell
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Baby, 10 balls in colour 503.
Needles: 3, 25 mm Addi crcular needles.
Gauge: 28 stitches and 36 rows to 10 x 10 cm.

And for those of you interested in this cardigan, Lotta at Knitter Nutter has started one in the same colour. Check out her blog for pictures of her progress!

May 27, 2007

The seven facts meme

Edit note: I wrote I speak English. Well, perhaps so, but I don’t seam to be able to write it. I –twice- wrote Germany when I of course meant German. Error corrected nothing else new in this post since first posted.


Grandma Flea has tagged me for the 7 random facts meme -

Rules of engagement: "Each person tagged gives seven random facts about themselves. Those tagged need to write on their blogs seven facts, as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and need to read your blog".

So here goes - 7 random facts that you would not know from reading this blog:

1. I love Japanese cuisine. The first real restaurant I visited together with my now husband, about a month after we had met, was the Japanese Yokohama on Tehtaankatu in Helsinki (they closed it some 15 years ago). He had been there with his parents before, and liked it. We had saved money in order to be able to go (we were poor, young students). It was love that was about to last. We have been married for almost twenty years, and I have loved Japanese cooking since that day. The next year I bought my first Japanese cookbook, and I have thus been cooking Japanese for almost as long. Good for hubby he too still likes Japanese cooking.
2. When visiting new cities I always hunt down not only yarn shops, but also shops specializing in Japanese cooking utensils and china ware. Twenty years ago you didn’t get these things in Helsinki, and even if we have a good shop today, I always keep my eyes on new and unusual bowls and plates for my collection. My first were bought in Düsseldorf, Germany, in 1986.
3. I try to learn Japanese, both because of my interest in Japanese cooking, and because of my interest in bonsai. It’s the most difficult thing I have ever done. I speak Swedish, Finnish, English and German (or actually I haven't spoken German for a while, but I read and write). I have tried French, it was not my piece of cake, but I'm still able to read knitting intructions in French. They say it's good for the brains to learn new languages, I really hope so!
4. When I had my first exam in law in business school I promised myself and told everybody I would never read anything that had to do with law during my studies. I had bookkeeping, accounting and auditing as my major subject in the specialized studies, and soon realized it was a promise made a bit to fast. I had to take a course in tax law, I hated it, and in corporate law, bad, but not hate. Then I realized would be good for me to take a couple of courses in other business fields. And suddenly were all courses finished, and I longed for more. Secretly, only my husband (or at that time still boyfriend) knew about it, I read for the tests you have to finish in order to be accepted as a law student. There are way more people interested in studying law than there are places, and you have to have almost everything right in the exam. I decided to try once, passed it and was accepted as law student at the University of Helsinki. What you know from my blog is that I finished with a degree in – drum roll - tax law. Who would have believed in that some 15 years ago?
5. My grandma thought me to knit, and the first item, a small rat in red yarn, is still in my possession. The first big thing we were supposed to knit in school was a hat. It was a disaster, I had to take it home and knit on it, cried, my mother helped me, and of course you can see where her even rows were knitted. So my teacher realized what had happened, and I didn’t get a very good note on knitting. I found the hat two years ago, and throw it away. It was still able to almost make me cry, and now I wanted to get rid of it for ever. The memories are not as bad as the hat itself.
6. I can weave and spin, but don’t do either very much nowadays. I don’t weave because I don’t have space for my loom, a lovely old thing that has been in my husband’s family for at least four generations. I don’t spin because I, even if I am a person with a fairly good portion of patience, don’t have the patience for spinning. I guess this is a way to say I don’t find the process of creating yarn interesting enough to entertain me. But my spinning wheel is a beauty, blue grey in colour, with good balance even if it too is an heirloom thing, again from my husband’s side of the family.
7. During my life I have had all kinds of pets; hamsters, guinea pigs, budgerigars, canaries, cats, dogs, an assortment of bugs (didn’t like them much) and fish. I worked with horses during all weekends and summer holidays for about five years. I took care of my friends’ and the school’s pets during the summers, and was responsible for the aquarium in school a couple of years.

Since this meme has been going around for a while now, I don't want tag anybody. I know, it's against the rules, but still, it's not a new one, and almost everybody has it down in the archives somewhere. But if you feel for it, do it!


New sock from the toe up

May 03, 2007


Give me some buttons, please! Pearls or shells, no matter, but now! All my seams are sewn, all ends are finished, I have got a nice tour on the blocking board, and I deserve buttons. I even fit the person who is going to wear me, so there is no reason for not sewing in buttons. Except that they aren't bought, and there were none in the button stash. But that's a detail, isn't it?
P.S Venezia is sending her greetings, she got quite a lot of attention last evening. Like almost one pattern repeat. There are about four pattern repeats before the arm steeks, two and a half to go. She is happy.

April 30, 2007

Time is flying...

Uh, it has been quite some time since I last posted. The days have been so filled with non-knitting relating things and events that I haven’t even got time to check out what you have been up to. Time for a blog round later today!


There has not been much knitting going on during these weeks either, and there have been more days when I haven’t touched my needles at all than those when I have actually knitted. But I managed to finish the back and the fronts of the spring cardi and I seamed the shoulder seams and put it blocking this morning. As soon as the body has dried I’ll knit the front bands and then seam the rest of the seams. I haven’t found buttons yet, but I have something pearly in mind.

Venezia hasn’t grown almost at all. This has again to do with the limited knitting time and Venezia’s demand of one’s concentration. I am still on the first pattern repeat, but I have already decreased four times, feels like a small victory when the stitches are getting fewer and fewer.


I wanted something desperately a couple of weeks ago. In order to get things my way I had to make an economic sacrifice. I promised my husband to not buy any yarn for, gulp, six months. The end date is October 18th, and this will end up in, I hope, a very creative use up of my yarn stash. I don’t have too many kilos of yarn, but there is enough for one sweater, perhaps even a vest, and lots of smaller items. Let’s see what I will come up with!

Weather wise has winter returned. We are, after warm and beautiful spring days, down in just 4 degrees C today. Brrrr. The sun is shining and it looks so good, but being outside demands warm wool sweaters.

April 11, 2007

We've got sleeves, plenty of sleeves!


Right! Zoom out, there are four of them!

I have been a busy bee when it comes to sleeves. All four sleeves are knitted, the gorilla long sleeves of the spring cardigan and the short but patterned sleeves of Venezia. Both knits have been very satisfying in their own way. I don’t know when I have enjoyed a knit as much as Venezia. It’s addictive, looking at the pattern emerge from the different colours, and even if almost constantly changing colours is a bit annoying, is the way the colours work together beautiful, and I think adding to the addicting way of this pullover. (Weaving in all those ends there are before the steeks, my friends, is not going to be a beautiful or fun story. I predict blood, sweat and almost tears. Thankfully do the steeks take care of all ends from the colour changes, and so from the sleeve openings and up there will be no ends to weave in). I have washed and blocked the sleeves, and they really bloomed up and filled out beautifully. And the yarn got much softer.

The spring cardi is heaven when it comes to softness. It is a perfect knit for those moments when you can’t concentrate fully on knitting (Venezia is not going to share your concentration with anybody else, but that is hardly a surprise), and all pieces has been small enough to be stuffed into the handbag without problems. And that is the reason why the cardi has advanced this far, I’m already behind the sleeve openings on the back piece. The gauge is pretty fine, 26 stitches to 10 cm on 3,25 mm needles, but one row here and one row there while waiting for one thing or another to happen and more while watching TV adds to the about one hundred rows there are before the increases. There are still plenty of rows left before the neckshaping, but the biggest part of the back is knitted. The fronts will be a piece of cake after the back.


Look at all those small green things called grass! Spring is finally here again!

Venezia’s most time consuming part is without doubt the hem and the first rows. The beginnings of the sleeves are so short that the slow progress of the hem part doesn’t disturb, but my, I thought I would never get the body hem finished. It was like a big black hole, steeling all the stitches I knew I had knitted, and picking up the provincial cast on took forever. But the result is neat, and I don’t hesitate to add the same hem to other pullovers in the future. Once the provincial cast on was picked up it went pretty smoothly to knit the two rows of stitches together, and there it was, the hem. The first row with two colours is always a pain. One mistake, and you don’t realize it before you have knitted half the piece, and the stitches doesn’t match in the side seam. But here I am, already into the sixth row from the hem, and the increases have started.

March 23, 2007

And the right answer is...



Yep, after having debating both on the blog and mostly in my head for and against Venezia, the yarn (harsh), the colours (too many) and the difficulty (will take ages), I went ahead and ordered the yarns exactly as Eunny’s pattern states. I have never knitted with Jamieson’s Shetland so I don’t know the feel of the yarn, and I also decided that even if I think many colours in Fair Isle knits isn’t for me, I have in fact never tried out a Fair Isle garment. I have quite a lot of faith in Eunny’s talent to choose colours. And I got a pretty big share of patience when those qualities were handed out to us. It will take some time, but it can’t be an impossible project. It is a challenging pattern, and like all Eunny’s patterns it requires your concentration. But I like a good challenge, and it is time to add difficulty to my colour knitting endeavours.

As usually I started with a sleeve. I think it is good to learn the pattern on a smaller piece, less to rip out if you start with the wrong row (hrm, how do I know you can do that) or if the tension after all is not on the spot. I firmly believe swatches are liars, and what more, evil liars. I do them yes, but I have all too often found that when I’m knitting on a bigger piece than the small swatch my tension loosens up, and even if the swatch was all right, the real piece isn’t.

Here are some finished/almost finished Venezias: Juju has just started her, as has Kimberly. Maria and Soma have finished their, and Girl who knits (don’t know her name) has finished a Venezia in slightly different colours.


This is how far I came on the spring cardi. The good thing for the spring cardi is that while Venezia is a knit not suitable for all knitting occasions, the spring cardi will get it’s constant share of attention, and will not be forgotten on the bottom of the knitting basket.

And last but not least. This is my 100th post on my blog!

February 21, 2007

The colour of spring

Today's project to step forward is Pippa*, a design by Anna Bell (scroll down to find the right model). It is a very plain and classic cardigan, knitted on 3,25 mm needles out of Debbie Bliss' Baby Cashmerino yarn. The yarn contains, according to the label, 55 % merino wool, 33 % microfibre and 12 % cashmere. This yarn is as close to heaven as you can get among the yarns, it's soft, it feels luxury and it's a dream to knit with. Sadly has this cardigan had to step a bit to the side after initial cast on and first sleeve ribbing, but it's only because Swallowtail is having a deadline. I'm eager to continue knitting with this yarn!


The model is as said plain and classic, but I see before my eyes this cardigan paired with a flowery summer dress, in the style Laura Ashley had in the 90's, with a wide skirt and tight fitting bodice. I had a dress like that (okay, I guess I have to admit I had several, but one that is just what I think about), that I used until the fabric was worn to treads. Sadly I haven't since found a substitute, and to be honest, I haven't lately found very much in my taste over at Laura Ashley either. So I will perhaps end up having to sew a dress like the one in my imagination.


The ribbing is knitted with twisted knit stitches and a small cable. The cable is then continuing up on the sleeves and the body, and will be very subtle against the stockinet between them. So far is Anna's pattern very clear, no problems in understanding it or in the descriptions.

* When I was small child, about ten or so, I had a doll the manufacturer called Pippa. She was smaller than a Barbie, and had an own horse and all the things you need to take care of a horse, and riding clothes. I totally loved that doll, and the name of this pattern brings back very happy childhood memories.

And a short update on Swallowtail: I finished the bud pattern yesterday, and have moved forward to the Lily of the valley patterns. The nupps, oh my, the nupps! I knitted one row of nupps before popping over to the old needle case, bringing out a 1,25 mm crochet hook. I was able to knit the P5tog with just needles, but it took eons. It is fiddly even with the hook, but it cuts down on time considerably. One has just to be careful, not taking the yo after the nupp stitches into the P5tog (don't ask how I know about this specific problem). The nupps are eating yarn pretty fast, but I do still have yarn left of the first ball, and just Lily of the Valley 2 and the border pattern left. Strange.


Welcome to my blog! My name is Maud, and I spend my free hours grooming Afghan hounds, knitting, cooking, and growing bonsai trees. I am since the summer of 2012 reporting from Stockholm Sweden, entries before that are from Esbo, Finland.

My knitting projects in Ravelry

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Finished in 2012

Finished in 2010

Finished in 2008

Finished in 2007

Finished in 2006


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