6/20/2018

Teas

It was an exceptionally warm May here in Finland. And it inspired me to design a summer top. 


What: Teas / Own pattern
How: Circular needle 3.0 mm
From: ITO Kinu, 100 g

The whole thing started with the yarn. ITO Kinu is a 100 % silk yarn and that makes it the best possible yarn for summer knits. Silk is the kind of fibre that cools you down on a warm day.


A summer top should cover one's shoulder so they don't burn but I wanted to keep the siluet simple so that you wouldn't need to be stranded on sleeve island after finishing the body. So these little cap sleeves are worked simultaneously with the body. Also, lace is a must for a summer top. So that's how Teas came to be. Teas, by the way, should mean heat in Gael - that is, if we can trust Google translator.


The top begins with a provisional cast on at the shoulders. The shoulders are shaped with short rows to drape nicely. You also begin working the lace pattern on the shoulders and continue it all the way to the hem. The sleeve stitches are decreased before joining the back and the front.


The top is meant to be worn with positive ease. There should be about 10''/25 cm positive ease at bust circumference. The silk makes the top flow but the shape isn't as straight as it looks in the pictures. The stitches cast on at the underarms are being decreased towards the hem so that the top has a kind of reversed A-line. (Would that be V-line then?)


The hem is finished off with few rounds of garter stitch and the neckline and 'cuffs' have a few rows of stockinette that is allowed to roll up.



I you're not into 100 % silk, I'd say this design would work really nicely in some lace weight linen yarn as well.


And to celebrate midsummer's eve, you can get the pattern with 20 % discount until the end of the month using the code MIDSUMMER.

6/16/2018

Umpu socks

The box of socks is slowly filling up.


What: Umpu / Emma Karvonen
How: circular neelde 2.25 mm
From: Filcolana Arwetta, 50 g
https://www.ravelry.com/projects/NeulistiMNK/umpu

In the spring, I took part at Wonky needles knitting retreat. One of the traditions there is that all the participants get a brand new knitting pattern which will be available for everyone else a few months later - which, by the way, will be right after the designer returns from her holiday.


This time the retreat design was a lovely sock pattern by Emma Karvonen. I packed with me a sock yarn I had dyed at the same retreat a few years back. It would have been a fun thing to use it for the retreat socks but in the end I didn't have time to even cast on the socks as I had so much other stuff to knit.

A month ago, I had a yarn swap afternoon with my friends. I asked them to bring all their extra green sock yarn for the Box. One of the yarns I swapped was this really intensely green Arwetta. Then one day I packed it and a pair of needles with me to go the movies. As I only had one 50 g skein, I needed to find a toe up sock pattern. And so I cast on for the retreat socks.


The design is simple yet fun. There are three pattern repeats on the instep that move at a different pace and one repeat at the back of the socks after the heel. The pattern is a lovely mix of tiny cables and twisted stitches. It kinda looks like little flower buds - that's also the meaning of the Finnish name Umpu.

The most fun part was the heel. It looks really weird but fits extremely well. If I'm correct, this is strong/fleegle heel - expect worked toe up. It seems to me that most cuff down heels can just as well be worked toe up. They will look funny because we're not used to them in that direction but they seem to fit just as well that way - as was the case here.


Since it would be way too easy to just follow the pattern, I did a few small modifications. I reversed the starting cables of the pattern repeat to get mirrored right and left sock. I also saw someone's mod on the heel to start the back pattern right away and wanted to copy that. I spent a while counting to make sure I start the pattern on the right row. And all that calculating was in vain because I apparently can't count. When joining to work in the round again, I found out the last repeat in the back was too rows short. Oh well, you don't really notice it. Except that now you do since I broadcasted it here!


A few words about the yarn. I'm so into all these delicious hand dyed yarns that I had never tried this basic (and cheap if I may add) sock yarn that is Arwetta. I had no idea what I was missing! The yarn is super soft. The twist is quite loose and therefore the yarn does split a bit but it was so soft that I didn't mind. And the colors are vivid. This is no paid complement, I just got really pleasantly surprised.


I was a bit nervous about the yardage. I usually spend about 60 g on a pair of socks this size so I knew these would be shorter than usual. After the heels I go anxious as there was so little yarn left. Luckily it was enough for desent cuffs. And I won at yarn chicken big time! After binding off, both socks had a tail of about 4 cm. And that was all the yarn that was left!


The Box is starting to look quite full but there are still plenty of pairs to be knit beforenext Christmas.

6/07/2018

Kiira




What: Kiira / Own pattern
How: circular needle 2.25 mm
From: Schoeller+Stahl Fortissima Disco Color, 58 g

https://www.ravelry.com/projects/NeulistiMNK/kiira

I wasn't planning on designin socks but one beautiful spring morning my friends and I headed out on a joyride. And since you're supposed to do something silly/crazy on a road trip, someone had the idea that we should all buy a skein of this disco yarn. We all chose different colors and promised to knit socks.


I could've just taken the easy way out and knit a pair of plain stockinette stitch socks or followed a pattern. But alas, I decided that if I have to knit a pair of socks, I could just as well design a pattern.


I knew I wanted the socks to be mostly stockinette and that there should be a cable panel on one side. But typically for me, that was just the beginning. Soon, I came up with the idea to use a similar cable on the gusset which meant I had to move the gusset decreases to the center of the sole. The decreases form these cute little triangles on the sole.


Even though the disco yarn was kind of cute it wasn't a nice yarn to knit. The bling fibre was coarse and the wool was ichy as well. I even managed to get a blister to my finger. No thank you.


What: Kiira / Own pattern
How: circular needle 2.25 mm
From: Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock, 80 g
https://www.ravelry.com/projects/NeulistiMNK/kiira-2

Since it's nice to provide more than one size for a sock pattern I decided to make a pair for dear hubby too. Kinda.. if I'm totally honest, I decided to make myself another pair. But soon my better half brought up his jelousy issues raised by the box of socks that won't be for him. He also mentioned that it's been ages since his last new pair of woolly socks and that perhaps I've totally forgot about him.


I still thought I might get to keep the socks as I showed the yarn I wanted to use for them. But years of color therapy have done their magic and the yarn was approved gladly. So, now we have matching socks - his socks being made from my stash treasure.


The pattern has sizes S, M and L. They're for 60, 64 and 72 sts. I personally never look at the gauge of a sock pattern but just select the size based on the stitch count. I know I can get a nice snuggly pair with 60 sts. If there's a lot of cables or color work, 64 is fine. And 72 sts are enough for hubby.


The name of the design started with the icy colot of the disco yarn. It remainded me of Frozen but then the cables started to look like ice skate tracks and I named the pattern after a famous Finnish ice skater.



You can buy the pattern clicking the link above.

5/26/2018

Rivendell

Once again, I knitted a pair of green socks. Someone might think there's a color theme going on.


How: Circular needle 2.25 mm
From: Miss Babs Tarte, 67 g
https://www.ravelry.com/projects/NeulistiMNK/rivendell

Fine. I'll admit right away, this pair is the latest addition to the Box of Socks.

When I was planning on making a box of socks, I paired up green yarns from my stash with sock patterns from my Ravelry library that I've been meaning to knit for quite some time. Now it was time to cast on with this lovely Miss Babs Tarte prize yarn from my Tour de Sock winnings from few years ago.


The yarn was an interesting one. It had the usual merino and nylon - but also a bit of tencel. The internet tells me tencel is an ecological fibre made out of eukalyptus trees. Some years ago, I tried spinning with 50/50 merino/tencel and hated every second of it as the fibre kept on breaking constantly. It was much nicer to work with tencel yarn someone else had spun.


The yarn felt a bit too cottonlike for my taste but otherwise it was nice. Tencel gave it a really pretty sheen but the best thing about the yarn are these colors. Usually, I'm more into subtle semisolids but the play of greens and blues is gorgeous.


The sock pattern is one I've been drooling over for years but only now found the time to cast on. The socks were knitted cuff down and all the exciting things happened right away. The socks have a really beautiful leaf pattern I couldn't put down before finishing the chart. And before that, there were a bunch of rows with wrapped stitches.

Wrapping stitches can be quite fun but one must remember to be careful not to wrap too thight. I remember to keep the yarn loose while wrapping but made the mistake of knitting the wrapped stitches so thight that it thightened the wrapping yarn as well. Duh... So I ended up with socks that are a bit too tight at the calves. Luckily, these won't go to my sock drawer but to someone with slightly slimmer legs.


Once you get pass the leaf patterns, there's just stockinette stitch on the sole and some twisted ribbing. Very relaxed. I modified the pattern such that I continued the twisted ribbing all the way to the tip of the toes.


These socks were fun and entertaining to knit. I can highly recommend the pattern. And the Box is starting to look like something - though I still have many pairs to knit.

5/16/2018

Haiku

Never enough shawls,
cast on and begin again.
Savor the moment.

This spring, I had the honor of designing the pre-KAL shawl for this year's Jyväskylä summer knit fest. The idea is that because it's so hard to wait for the festival to begin in July, there's a KAL to help take the edge of waiting. And this time, I got to design the shawl pattern for the KAL.


What: Haiku / Own pattern
How: Circular needle 4.0 mm
From: Tukuwool Fingering, 157 g

The pre-fest KAL works such that when you buy yarn for the shawl from TitiTyy, you get the pattern. This time, they chose TitiTyy's very own Tukuwool Fingering - one of my favorite yarns. It took with me a couple skeins of Runo and Ujo and started sketching.



I wanted to design something relaxed yet flamboyant for the yarn. The pattern has to have enough to keep the knitting interesting but still remain a relaxing project. Tukuwool is such an airy yarn that I started to think brioche.


I love working with brioche and garter stitch which it is often paired with. However, I don't like how usually garter stitch next to brioche is worked such that the color changes on every row. It makes the colors all mixed up and muddy. I wanted to design a shawl with brioche and more traditional two row stripes in garter stitch. This way, the shawl turned out quite graphic: the garter stitch makes horizontal stripes while the brioche makes vertical stripes.


The shawl is an asymmetric triangle. You start knitting at the sharp top corner and increase the stitches a little at a time. Once the shawl body is big enough, you will pick up stitches from the bottom edges and work a brioche chevron edging.


I really, really like the outcome. And this is a design that will work well with many different kind of color combinations. I myself tend to go for these powdery, muted combos but the graphical stripes of this shawl would look really good in high contrast as well.



Ja jos kaksivärisen patentin neulominen ei ole tuttu juttu, niin tein aiheesta pienen ohjevideon, jolla näkyvät kaikki tässä mallissa tarvittavat briossikikat.

So hop on board the KAL. You can get the pattern with the yarn from TitiTyyä (or from my Ravelry shop once the festival is over) and here is the KAL chatter thread where you can talk about your color choices, oh and ah over all the lovely shawls or ask for help. Use the hashtag #jklknitfesthaikukal on social media and come to the festival with your shawl for the group photo!

4/17/2018

Pair number two

Since I had good momentum going, I knitted a second pair for THE box.


How: Circular needle 2.25 mm
From: Ikke Glitter Sock, 58 g
 Ravelryssa

Unlike last time, now I chose the perfect pattern and the perfect yarn. I went stash diving again and selected this special colorway by Ikke Yarns that was only available for purchase at a knitting retreat a few years back. At the time, I had a no-yarn-shopping policy in place so my dear friend, Susanna , bought the yarn and I bought it from her once my yarn shopping ban was lifted. You might say, the ban didn't really work - but who cares?


It is almost outrageous that I haven't had the time to knit any of Susanna's designs yet. It was about time! I chose her Emmer Wheat Socks that have a lovely combination of lace and cables.


The socks are worker toe up and after the heel, the stitch pattern is worked at the back of the socks as well. The heel was new for me, a kind of a French heel toe up. I prefer knitting socks toe up but I can never remember how to make the heel in that direction. When knitting cuff down, I often don't even read the heel instructions but just work my favorite heel, the French one.


The stitch pattern in these socks is gorgeous. In the middle there is this winding vine and on the sides two stitch cables to give rhythm to the pattern. It took me a while to memorize the chart but after that I didn't have to think about anything except the heels.


In fact, I stopped thinking to the point that I started the heel and the cuff ribbing on the wrong row of the chart. Luckily, it didn't really matter as the cuff chart could easily be modified to fit the row I was on.


Now, let's get back to the yarn! So, a few years ago, I was at Ikke's knitting retreat and despite of my no-shopping policy, I had to have this special yarn. The warm, yet icy mint green color is a pain to try and catch in a photo but it seemed as if Ikke had dyed it especially with me on her mind.


To top it off, the yarn has my favorite twist. It's light and springy, making the socks fitted but not too thight. Also, a little bling never hurt any sock yarn. I especially love how subtle the silver bling in this yarn is - even the pics give you only a hint of bling somewhere in there. If anyone has a trick up their sleeve for capturing bling in photos, please let me know!


So then there were two. I have the next yarn and pattern already waiting in line.