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August 27, 2006

Deep V Argyle Vest

You thought I had forgotten about this project? Oh no. Eunny’s Deep V Argyle vest is still on the agenda, and more, I have started to work on it. I chose Jaeger Extra Fine Merino DK in the colours Raspberry and Blackcurrant, and got gauge directly on needles 3,5 mm Addi bamboos. The yarn is heaven to knit with; it’s soft and sweet against the hands. I am almost done with the decreases, and have so far used one ball of the blue and one and a half of the red. The pattern stated that three of both are enough, but I ordered a fourth ball of the red, just to be on the safe side.

I’m afraid I will not get much done on this project for a while, I’m off to Copenhagen tomorrow morning, and will be away for three days. After that will the week be pretty hectic, the schools have started and there will be a lot of catching up. I plan to take the vest with me to Copenhagen, but again, I doubt I’ll have any knitting time.


Autumn afternoon sun: pine needles and the vest

I do also want to thank you for all the kind words over the Paitsu mittens. The mittens have made me think a lot, I have done some initial research, and I’m about to challenge myself with a very special mitten project. But it asks for more research, and I will post about that in couple of weeks time. Until then I’ll work on my vest.

August 24, 2006

Paistu mittens and on-line pals


The Paistu mittens are finished! It became a fast knit, but what to do when Satakieli and 2mm bamboo needles are so good in one’s hand. I knitted the mittens for myself, and the size, 20 cm hand circumference and 26 cm length is perfect. I don’t like too short mittens; you only get the cold wind and snow into your jacket with them.


Project details: Paistu mittens by Nancy Bush for Piecework July/August 2006.
Yarn: Vuorelma’s Satakieli, 100 % wool in the colours gold (199), natural (003) and blue (966).
Needles: Susannah’s bamboo, 2mm 15 cm long.
Gauge: 40 stitches and 39 rows for 10 x 10 cm.
Alterations: I don’t know if this is an alteration, but I finished the top of the mitten with a two-wick decrease.

Here is a close up of the top of the mitten. I haven’t got an answer from the editors of the Piecework magazine, and since I have only one set of short 2mm bamboo dpns (and I wanted them free for the next mitten project), I decided to make a two-wick decrease after the directions in Nancy Bush’s book Folk knitting in Estonia.


The decrease described for the thumb, called one-stitch decrease, is the same as a one-wick decrease, and the picture to the pattern show that the top of the mitten is supposed to have a decrease that is forming two parallel rows of stitches along the sides of the top. The decrease described as a two-stitch decrease won’t do that, it makes a similar one-stitch decrease as the thumb decreases (I tested it out, identical according to me). So I decided to go for the two-wick decrease. I further, in order to make the decrease neater, knitted the stitch that next time was about to be part of the decrease with the golden yarn. This avoids white stitches to shine through the decrease stitch rows, and even if the stitched should have been white, it will be almost concealed under the decrease. You can’t see that it is knitted with the wrong colour.


I also got a reminder of how wonderful it is to have knitting buddies. This parcel arrived in the beginning of the week, and it has travelled all the way from Lyon. I’m sure I’m the last one to get the Mason-Dixon book (it has always been sold out when I have been looking for it), but I’m so happy that I finally have it in my knitting library, it is just as great as everybody says. And the fabric, what can I say more than that I love it. Thank you Becky! And, talking about Becky, go and take a peak at Becky’s blog. She finished a lovely Crinkle from Rowan 39 (in black, wow) just a couple of days ago, and is modelling it together with a bustier of her own design. Fluffa! is the way to go, if you haven't visited her before. Bravo Becky!

August 20, 2006

Apupupu and Hjälpjösse - the helping bunny


The first bunny bathing in the morning sun on the blocking board. Scarf still missing.

Apupupu, in Swedish Hjälpjösse, or the helping bunny, is a project designed by Anu Harkki for the Finnish Red Cross. It is a knitted bunny that can be given by the Red Cross when called to help in a crisis, domestic or not, where there might be children in need of emotional help. You can’t buy or sell a bunny, but you can knit one and give it to the Red Cross. The instructions are to be found in Anu’s book, in several magazines, and on the Red Cross home pages. The bunnies have to be easy to wash and easy to transport, and the instructions are therefore to be followed. But it's easy, 100 % wool is a material most knitters have in their stashes, the instructions are very clear, and knitted on 4mm needles is the bunny a very fast job.

Instructions for the helping bunny can be found on the following sites:
Instructions in Finnish
Instructions in Swedish

August 18, 2006


The autumn is here. The kids are gone to different schools, and you can feel the signs early in the mornings and in the evening. The nights are getting colder, and even if the weather is warming up nicely during the day, the feeling, the taste of the colder night is there.

And with this post I declare the mitten season chez Yarn Nest to be opened.


I need the first signs of autumn to start the yearly mitten production. The first pair for this season is the Paistu mittens from Piecework magazine, the July-August 2006 number. The pattern is by Nancy Bush, and she tells they are adapted from Aino Praakli’s Kirikindad II book*. They take their name from the parish of Paistu near Viljandi in south central Estonia. Aino Praakli’s pattern is adapted from a pair of gloves sold to the Estonian National Museum in 1925. The gloves had been found in the bottom of a chest and are believed to have been part of a bride’s trousseau, likely made about 50 year before they were sold to the museum.

I’m knitting the mittens with my all time favourite mitten yarn, Vuorelma’s Satkieli, in gold, natural and old blue (the colour numbers are 199, 003 and 966), on bamboo needles 2mm. I have a gauge of 40 stitches to 10 cm.

I have a slight feeling that there is an error in the pattern, and I have written the editors of the magazine to ask. There are two kinds of decreases, one for the top of the mitten that is called two-stitch decrease, and one for the thumb called one-stitch decrease. The one-stitch decrease is identical with the one-wick decrease Nancy describes in Folk knitting in Estonia. The two-stitch decrease described in the pattern is almost identical to the one-stitch decrease, and it can’t produce two parallel stitches as the decreases on the picture. There is a two-wick decrease in Folk knitting, perhaps this was the one intended? It will produce a row of two stitches. I look forward to see what the editors say in answer to my question.

*Aino Praakli’s book is fairly new, came out 2005, by the Estonian National Museum. I wish I had it and other native books about Estonian mittens and gloves.

August 14, 2006

Finishing party in red

The red pile is finished. The bear shawl Fifi III is already shown, and here is the rest.


First in the pile are the socks. These socks have a, for me, new heel, and a new toe. The heel is a combination of short rows and 2ktog: s, and incredible comfortable to wear. I didn’t follow Nancy Bush’s directions for the short rows, since they would have resulted in a row of holes (this was the intention behind the pattern), and to me they didn’t look good, just like ill-done short rows. I also made the 2ktog: s on the right side as SSK: s, in order to create symmetry. The toe is done with 2ptog: s in triangular shapes, and is comfortable, but a bit weird looking. All in all a very nice pattern.


Projects details: Rib and cable socks by Nancy Bush for Interweave Knits Fall 2005.
Yarn: Novita Nalle Colori in red, less than one ball (to be exact 102 g).
Needles: 2, 5 mm.
Gauge: 29 stitches and 38 rows to make 10x 10 cm in stockinette.
Alterations: Short rows without holes, symmetrical decreases.

See all entries on Rib and Cable Socks


The next on in the pile is the Flower basket Shawl. With my yarn and needles I got a pretty small shawl, even smaller than the picture in the magazine. It is very soft, and the pattern is easy to knit. My yarn choice was perhaps not the most genial; I think the alpaca I used is a bit too thick. But it is a lovely yarn, and the shawl is very soft and fluffy.

Project details: Flower Basket Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark for Interweave Knits Fall 2004.
Yarn: Drops Alpaca, 1, 5 balls.
Needles: 4, 5 mm.
No alterations.

See all entries on Flower Basket Shawl


And at the bottom is Flirty. I’m still a bit undecided when it comes to the colour. I would like it brighter, now it a something close to brick red, and I feel I’m fading away in it. I know a dye bath would fix it in no time, still I hesitate.

Project details: Flirty by Sasha Kagan for Rowan 37.
Yarn: Rowan 4ply cotton, less than 3 balls in shade 132 (the pattern said 4 of main colour + 1 for the edges…)
Needles: 3mm, crochet hook 2, 5 mm.
Gauge: 28 stitches and 38 rows in rib to make 10 x 10 cm.
Alterations: I changed the crocheted edging and omitted the beads.

See all entries on Flirty

August 12, 2006

Ladies and gentlemen, MIL's Cable-trim Jacket!


Hand knitted jacket – check!
Buttons in the front – check!
Pockets in the sides – check!

Everything is ready for MIL’s 70 yo birthday, and it is still two weeks away. The program is fixed, and I managed to finish the present in time. No procrastination here, no. Or yes, actually I had the buttons for more than a week before I sewed them on. And then it took me one day more to get the pockets fixed. I decided to add thin fabric pockets, the yarn is so thick that knitted pockets of any kind would have been too heavy.

Projects details: Cable-trim Jacket from Classic knits for real women by Martin Storey and Sharon Brat.
Yarn: Jaeger Extra Fine Merino Chunky in the colour Teal, 20 balls.
Needles: 5mm and 6 mm.
Gauge: 16 stitches and 21 rows to make 10 x 10 cm.
Alterations: MIL had asked for a hand knitted cardigan or jacket, with buttons and pockets. Since this model had neither buttons nor pockets, I had to add them. Buttonholes were knitted between the cables, and pockets of thin cotton fabric added to the sides.


See all entries on Cable-trim Jacket!

August 05, 2006

The Salainen Neule Ystävä and Progress in red


We have a secret pal exchange going on in Finland! The Salainen Neule Ystävä Exchange will continue until November, and I got yesterday the first sign from my pal. It was a card sent from Tallinn, Estonia, with greetings! Now I can conclude that my pal 1) Visited Tallinn on August the second, or 2) do live in Tallinn, or 3) has a good friend in Tallinn who has promised to send the card. Hmmm, that was pretty many alternatives… Thank you secret pal! And you, that information sheet you got about me, it wasn’t very informative, was it? No, I don’t think so either. I hope I didn’t sound too cranky, but I have been knitting for quite a long time, and one creates quite a lot of likes and dislikes. I’ll try to put small hints in my blog postings too, just to help you out.


Click to zoom out!

The sun is back, and it has motivated me to work on my Flirty top. I started to crochet the edging as the pattern told, but did soon rip it out and start to work out a different kind of picot edging. The way the pattern wanted it to be done created very high spikes very close to each. It took very long time to crochet, but patience wasn’t the problem. Patience is my middle name, and I have a lawyer’s degree and Elfin to prove it. The problem was that the tightly placed spikes were very hard to make stay flat, since there were two dc in every second dc from the first row. The wavy effect looked like there were too many stitches. Not good. So I changed the picot to a rounder arch and added two dcs between the picot. Now I like it!


Nelli got her shawl! Fifi III is blocked and the bear has received it. The size is almost perfect for a cosy shawl to snuggle up in in front of the fire in the winter. Bear and girl are both very pleased.


Project details: Fifi III by Sari Åström (pattern available only in Finnish)
Yarn: Pirkka thin in bright red.
Needles: 3,5 mm.
Other: I only knitted 1,5 X the middle chart in order to make the shawl small. A very well written pattern, the shawl is an ideal one for a beginner in lace knitting.

See all entries on Fifi III

August 03, 2006

Red is hot

I have seamed MIL's jacket, and even bought buttons today. To be almost on the finishing line gave me a grave case of startitis. Look!


Clockwise from top left:

1. Flirty. Flirty has reached the stage of seaming. After that there are a lot of small crocheted stitches to be done. Typically, we have rain today. I'm a bit late with this project.

2. Fifi III. Sari has designed a triangular version of the in Finland very popular Fifi shawl. I volunteered to test knit the pattern. My Fifi III is taking the form of a shawl for Hanna’s Nelli-bear, making it a very quick knit and fast feedback to Sari on all the parts of the pattern. The yarn is thin Pirkka yarn, and needles 3, 5 mm.

3. The sock. I like to always have a sock under work. Socks are small and portable, and it is not mitten season yet. Mittens have these same nice portability characters, but are definitely more season items to knit*. This sock is knitted with 2, 5 mm needles and Novita Nalle colori yarn. The pattern Rib and cable socks is by Nancy Bush for Interweave Knits Fall 2005.

4. Another shawl! I have been itching to knit the Flower basket shawl by Evelyn A. Clark (to be found in Interweave Knits Fall 2004) ever since I saw it first, but never come around to start it. Now was a suitable time, and I even had three balls of Drops Alpaca (yes, 100 % alpaca!) in the stash. Needles 4, 5 mm long straight Inoxes. I had no bamboos in this size, and my metal circs were Addis, wonderful for everything but lace, due to no pointy ends. It feels funny to knit with straight needles after years of using only circs and dpn:s.

I have been pondering over a couple of designs, trying to make up my mind over next big project. These simple red knits are all a lovely vacation from thinking, and making decisions. One needs that too.

* But we will soon be there. I ordered some mitten yarns and are trimming my needles. The mittens have to be ready when the cold weathers arrives, that is knitting has to be started in about September. But August is still sock time.


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.

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Finished in 2006


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