7/01/2021

Heinä

Feels very appropriate to kick off July with a new cowl pattern named after the month. I Finnish, July is called Hay Month and heinä means hay in Finnish.


What: Heinä / Own pattern
How: Circular needle 3.0 mm
From: nurja linen mix, 100 g

One of the best things about working as a knitwear designer is when I get to do collaborations with others. Early this year, two Finnish podcasters from Villapesuohjelma asked me and my friends from nurja yarn shop to take part in their year-long knitting challenge for July. We agreed that a new yarn base and a design for said yarn would be in order and got to work. And that's how this July-inspired cowl begun.


I'm known for the fact that I love to work with warm wool no matter the weather but every once in a while I fall in love with summery yarns as well - which is what happened with nurja's new linen mix yarn base. It's a mix of alpaca, linen and silk, and these light-weight fibers make for a lovely shine and drape - perfect for a summer cowl. My friends from nurja offered me two kits to play with and I surprised both myself and them by forgoing my usual uncolors and choosing this bright neon peach for my sample cowl!


Heinä is a cowl with fun funnel shape. It's wider at the bottom and narrows as it gets to the top. It's a lovely combination of simple stripes and three lace patterns, changing the color for each.


I used up exactly 50 grams of each color so I could easily use the leftovers for another one. Wouldn't it be fun to reverse the colors for a second cowl?


You can find the pattern on Ravelry, PayHip and Lovecrafts. Also, nurja is offering kits with both the yarn and the pattern. And if you're fluent in Finnish, check out the new episode of Villapesuohjelma for mine and nurja's interview and all the details of their July challenge.

6/20/2021

Höyhen

If my inspiration at the moment is flying somewhere in the cable skies of next winter, last autumn I was still all about stranded knitting. When designing for a magazine, the path from an idea to the printed magazine is a long one so this sweater that was just published in the Finnish craft magazine, Taito, was on my needles last autumn.


What: Höyhen / Own pattern
How: Circular needle 3.5 mm
From: Kettu Yarns Highland Wool + Silk Mohair, 88 + 50 g

It's always fun to do designs for magazines as they usually offer a nice mood board for inspiration. The theme for this issue of Taito was birds. I was very much in the stranded knitting zone and immediately came up with this idea of a round yoke covered in feathers. (Höyhen means feather in Finnish.)



The pullover is worked with wool but it's a cropped design with these teeny tiny cuffs for sleeves so it's a surprisingly light-weight sweater - perfect layering piece over a summer dress. 



In addition to the feather pattern on the yoke, the sweater has corrugated ribbing on the neckline, cuffs and hem, and a simple lice pattern on the body. This design uses short rows to shape the back of the neck and bust dart so it's easiest to duplicate stitch the lice pattern over those rows. Of course, you could always work the body in just the main color - which is what some of my test knitters did.



One especially fun aspect of this design were the yarns I chose. I used a lovely fingering weight Kettu Yarns Highland wool for the main color but then had a lace weight mohair silk for the contrast. That one, I held double to keep the same gauge. The contrast color mohair silk gives the design a beautiful fluffy surface.


At the moment, the pattern is available in the Finnish craft magazine, Taito. Once the rights revert back to me in autumn, I'll offer the pattern also in English over on Ravelry, PayHip and Lovecrafts. The last three photos are courtesy of Taito magazine.

5/28/2021

Matta

At the end of last year, when we agreed on a collaboration with Tukuwool, I knew right away what I wanted to design first. I had this image in my mind of a beautiful lace cardigan in their Kainuugrey wool, Tukuwool Harmas.


What: Matta / Own pattern
How: Circular needle 3.5 mm
From: Tukuwool Harmas, 255 g

Harmas is spun from a Finnish landrace, Kainuugrey, which is softer than the more common Finnsheep. Even though the yarn is very soft, it still has this rustic feel to it and I thought it would be fun to juxtaposition that with a delicate lace.


Matta has an all-over lace pattern and a round yoke. The yoke increases are cleverly hidden among the lace. 


The neckband, cuffs and hem are worked in twisted ribbing. The back of the neck is shaped with short rows during the neckband. This way you don't have to worry about short rows messing up the lace pattern.



The cardigan gets its neat finished look from the lovely roundness of tubular cast-on and Italian bind-off. They require a bit of work but are well worth the effort.



Matta is a very romantic design. Not only for the lace but also because of the shape of the cardigan. I for one love a cropped cardi or a pullover that has positive ease elsewhere but a close-fitting hem that sits on the natural waist.


The sleeves are super simple as all sleeve decreases are worked only just before the cuffs. This way you don't have to worry about the decreases messing up the lace pattern.

5/10/2021

Mystery awaits

For the past three years, August has been the time for my mystery shawl knit-a-long and this year is no different. This year's shawl is called Kajo which in Finnish means the first rays of sun peeking in the horizon. ⁠


Kajo is a playful shawl but I can’t really tell you more at this point as it is a mystery. The pattern comes with helpful guides on how much yarn you should have left after certain points and schematics to show the direction each section is worked in.

The clues will be released as follows:


1st clue, August 6th
2nd clue, August 7th
3rd clue, August 8th
4th clue, August 9th
5th clue, August 11th
6th clue, August 13th
7th clue, August 15th
8th clue, August 18th
9th clue, August 21st
10th clue, August 25th
11th clue, August 29th
12th clue, September 3rd


Now, if the MKAL kicks off in August then why am I talking about it already in May? A big part of the fun of a shawl MKAL for me is to set up a collaboration with a talented dyer to offer you beautiful yarn kits dyed especially for the shawl. The kits have been popular and we usually run out of a certain kit quickly but it's always so difficult to try and guess which one is going the be your favorite each time. So this year, we're doing things a bit differently: we are going to set up pre-orders so we will be able to offer more of the popular kits. There will still be an upper limit to how many kits can be dyed but this will help us to adjust things a bit and offer more of the most popular kits. 

The pre-orders for the Kajo MKAL yarn kits will go live in my web shop on Thursday May 13th at 8 pm Helsinki time (GMT+3). And before that, on Thursday at 4 pm Helsinki time, I'll do an IG live with this year's dyer where we will chat about the dyeing process and show you the yarn kits. I'm so excited for it all! I hope you'll join us for the live.

Anyone ordering a kit will receive the MKAL pattern for free. The kits will be shipped in early July and the first clue for the shawl will be released on August 6th. A little tip for everyone living outside of Finland: the shipping costs to most countries are the same up to 3 kg so if you haven't ordered Strands of Joy or 52 Weeks of Shawls yet, this would be a great time to do so. We've also finally got the shipping costs a bit lower when shipping abroad.

Of course, you can join the MKAL with stash yarn as well. This year, you will need three skeins of fingering weight yarn. Colors 1 and 2 should be a fade from light to dark and color 3 a pop color with good contrast to the first two. As many people are unable to use Ravelry, this year the MKAL pattern is also available on PayHip. I was very happy to find a way to send out update message to customers over there too so you should be receiving an email about each clue as they're updated no matter where you buy the pattern from.

You can find Kajo on Ravelry and PayHip.


4/25/2021

Intertwined

Most of the time, I crave for challenges in my knitting and when it comes to yarn, untreated woolly wool is my favorite. But sometimes, you long for something simple and good old merino. That's what happened with this pullover.


What: Intertwined (Rav link) / Own pattern
How: Circular needles 3.5 and 3.75 mm
From: WalkCollection Merino Sport, 315 g

Intertwined sweater got its name from the cables winding down from shoulders to cuffs. They get their fun texture from garter stitch.



The sweater is relaxed and boxy. It's got long sleeves and no waist shaping. 


The cables get to truly shine as the sweater is worn with the purl side out. But fear not! All in-the-round parts are worked on the WS with just endless knitted stitches so no need to worry about purling.



The sweater starts with working two shoulder straps that you then pick up stitches from to work the back and front separately until you reach the undearm. From then on, the work is joined in the round.



My favorite thing about the design is how even though the body and sleeves are worked in different directions (as usual), the cables run seamlessly down from shoulders to sleeves.


As always, you can find the pattern on all my platforms: RavelryPayHip, and Lovecrafts. And I'm happy to tell you that it's time for my Spring Sale! Right now on Rav and PayHip, you can get Intertwined and ALL my self-published patterns for 25% discount with the code SPRING2021. The code is valid for the next two weeks, all the way to Sunday May 9th.

4/10/2021

Lohtu

Today, I've finally got to publish this little cardigan pattern I know many have been waiting ever since autumn.



What: Lohtu / Own pattern
How: Circular needles 3.0 and 3.75 mm
From: Kässäkerho Pom Pom Suoma Single, 330 g

Quite often, especially on social media, knitting is presented as a happy-go-lucky hobby where everything is always relaxing and wonderful. But wool has another side to it: it can soak in your sorrows and carry them for you, making the burden just a little lighter for you. You can knit memories into your projects and they will forever hold the tears shed while knitting them (and happy memories too, of course).



Not all knit designs have been inspired by rainbows and unicorns. This cardigan was born out of the necessity to have a soft woolly armour between myself and life. I'm sure many of you can relate to the feeling of having the crappiest day and walking into a yarn shop with the idea of buying some comfort yarn. Last summer, we visited Kässäkerho Pom Pom in Kuopio and I was in dire need of comfort yarn. I knew that only airy and fluffy Finnsheep would do the trick so I walked out with a handful of Suoma Single that I knitted into this Lohtu cardigan. The name lohtu means comfort or solace in Finnish.



Lohtu is a wonderful warm but airy and light cardigan. It has a round yoke and most of the cardigan is two-color brioche. Only the neckband, button bands and cuffs are garter stitch.


The shaping of this cardigan is so simple: the short row shaping for the back of the neck is done during the garter stitch neckband and all other shaping is done during the yoke with really simple brioche increases.


The sleeves are long and wide. All sleeve shaping is done with gathering the sleeves just before the garter stitch cuffs. The body is straight with no shaping. The body is bound off using Italian bind-off. If you're unfamiliar with the technique, I have a tutorial video on my profile highlights on IG.


Lohtu is a special cardigan since if you weave in your ends carefully, this is actually reversible. You could wear it either way if you sew buttons on both sides. And as it's two-color brioche, the wrong side and right side are different colors!



I've been waiting a long time to publish this pattern because the pandemic has messed with base yarn production around the world and we've been waiting for Kässäkerho Pom Pom to get more Suoma Single. But today, I've finally released the pattern for Lohtu and Pom Pom is having a Suoma Single update in their webshop! Use the code COMFORT to get Lohtu pattern with 15% discount until April 18th. The code works on both Ravelry and PayHip. You can find the pattern on Lovecrafts too.

3/15/2021

Oras

If you thought I had enough of colorwork as Strands of Joy was published you were wrong.


What: Oras / Own pattern
How: Circular needles 3.0 and 3.25 mm
From: Wetterhoff Sivilla, 226 g

Stranded knitting is the type of thing that once you're hooked, you're hooked for good. So there will be plenty of new colorwork designs coming up right now and in the future.


At the end of summer, I finally got to visit Wetterhoff house in Hämeenlinna and I promised to design something for their lovely wool silk blend, Sivilla. Let me present, Oras.



This is the cutest little sweater worked seamlessly top down, as always. The design has a round yoke, close-fitting sleeves and a cropped hem with no waist shaping - my favorite kind of sweater.


Oras is adorned with sweet little sprouts and flowers all over. The sweater is worked in two colors and since it's all-over colorwork with no long floats, I'd say this is pretty beginner friendly when it comes to stranded knitting. The all-over colorwork makes it easy to keep gauge and I find this to be a relaxing knit.



I made my sample in Sivilla with two colors but you can check out my wonderful test knitters on Instagram as they've worked some stunning multi-color versions too.


The pattern comes with sizes XS-5XL with finished bust circumference of 34.75-66.75''. You can find the pattern on all my platforms: RavelryPayHip and Lovecrafts. On Rav and PayHip, you can use the code SPRINGTIME to get 15% discount until the end of the week.