Monday, 29 August 2011

Autumn colours and harvest time, knitting

On Friday we had a very warm weather and I had a long walk in the forest. It is harvest time. Combine machines have threshed the corn, berries have been picked in the gardens. There are still wild berries in the forest, like arctic bilberries

and lingonberries

Hawthorn berries in a tree in the park of the library:

Lovely red of the poisonous toadstool amanita

Many edible mushrooms are brown

These yellow ones may be edible, or not. I always check twice and ask Mr. K before using any mushrooms for food.

All plants are making their seeds ready to fly with the wind or to fall on the ground or to be eaten and spread by the birds. This is willowherb.

My own harvest in the vegetable patch is showing no signs of real progress:

My Jersey tomatoes have grown big and lovely, but there is still no sign of red in them. We have had a handful of the smaller domestic tomatoes to taste.

I have not been sewing anything I can show just yet, as they will be my PIF gifts. Because no new names were signed on my list, I have decided to make a baby sweater project in Ethiopia my third PIF recipient. A Finnish midwife has started a project in Ethiopia in order to get the women to hospital to give birth to their baby. If they do, the baby will get a knitted sweater like this to go home with. Also, this way the baby will be registered and get a birth certificate.

This is my first sweater for them, just knitted and not yet sewn together. In September there will be information about how to send them to Africa. The deliveries are on hold now, as there has been a new customs fee to be paid for the sweaters, and  the hospital people are negotiating about this and hoping to avoid the extra cost.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

More wilderness

Today's post is concentrating on the holiday photos only. Mr. K was fly-fishing on the shore:

His fishing line is floating on the water and the fly goes with the water downstream.

His friend was fishing from the boat on the lake above us.

Mr. K caught a beautiful trout. We had surprise visitors, two elderly German gentlemen, who had canoed for ten days downstream, starting from the Russian border. They wanted to check the rapid and decide if it was safe to paddle down or should they take their canoe down with ropes. Ropes it was, as they didn't want to get their tent and baggage wet for the last days of their journey. Mr. K asked if they could use a trout, and they were happy to accept the offer for a nice dinner on that cold day.

We had rainbow trouts for lunch, this time opened flat and smoked for 35 minutes.

Between the rain showers and constant rain we had moments of sunshine.

The lingonberries were on their way getting red and ready to be picked.

Some of the bilberry (artcic blueberry) leaves were already changing colour for Autumn. While I was washing up, the other lady picked bilberries for our morning oatmeal. All berries were already picked near the cabin, but she went deeper in the forest and found all we needed.

Here we made the coffee on open fire and had our meals whenever there was enough light.

Sunset over the lake after a rainy day.

Mist on the lake.

I miss the quiet peace of this place already.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Holiday in the wilderness, & PIF gift

Last week Mr. K took me out to eat every day. We were on holiday in North Carelia at the same cabin as many years before, and our dining table was in the outdoor kitchen as usual. Here is the cabin, an old log drivers' cabin you can only reach by boat.

There were big changes from last year: we had electric light instead of gas light, there was even a lamp at the kitchen sink (only needed for making the evening tea before bed time, as I washed the dishes outdoors).

The bunk beds are on the other side of the room.

The electricity came from this solar panel.

I was trying to be a Coot Club photographer, but water birds were absent. I watched this little wagtail catching insects above the rapid, and tried to get a picture of the dozens and dozens of swallows flying up and down above the water with their peaks wide open, but they were way too fast for me to focus on.

The weather was good until the first night so we didn't get wet with our bags on the way there. We were prepared to the change in temperature and just dressed warmer every day.

Some fishing pictures will follow in the next post. When we arrived home for the weekend, a sweet surprise was in the mail on top of the bills:

Melanie had already sent her PIF gift to me! It was a beautiful pinwheel table runner in Summer colours. Tiny perfect pinwheels, and she told this was a stashbusting project for all her PIF ladies.

My hands have been busy with laundry only, but I hope to get back to the sewing later this week. There is still one PIF name missing on my list  as Melanie's PIF recipient, and another from my original PIF list from years back. This is your last chance to let me know you want to join. Next week I will decide on two charities to take those places and make something to them to pay forward to people who need a little gift showing that we still care.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Bag Club strikes again

After having made our own versions of the Mary Jane bag pattern Stephanie from Loft Creations so generously sent us in June, we decided to order a new pattern from her and make a different bag each for our next project. In fact we are gathering strength to start a demanding project from The Bag Making Bible for the Autumn, and wanted to relax with a well written, easy pattern during the Summer.  "We" are the unofficial European Bag club, Bag Ladies: Simone (now an official Supreme for Stephanie's patterns), Melanie and I.

I decided to make the sweet little Hailee Bag, as I had bought some giant rick rack a long time ago and wanted to finally use it. Within two hours from ordering I had the pattern downloaded and printed, in spite of the time difference.

To my stash I went, and in honour of Stephanie I wanted to use polka dots. Mine are naturally brown; the brown on white from a piece of farbric from my sister P, and the bigger dots on brown are from a sleeve I had from my mother's stash. I don't know what happened to the rest of the dress, but I was happy to have the sleeve. Maybe she cut two left sleeves at first? It was a short one, so I made a seam in the bottom middle of the strips.

The solid dark brown is from the last one of Mr. K's slimmed shirts with long pointed collars from the 70's, and the lighter brown is a scrap from a charity shop.

The lining is from my father's shirt, and the biggest remnant of the dotty sleeve made a tiny pocket for keys or lipstick. Just my style: recycled fabrics all from my stash, nothing needed to be bought.

My sister Maija was here on a short holiday and she liked the bag so much that I gave it to her. The sleeve could have been from her dress, these are her colours as well as mine. This was a fun little bag, very easy to make. The fabrics make all the difference: If you look at Stephanie's Hailee Bags, they are sweet as candy, and my bag could make you think about coffee and cappuccino!

I wonder what Simone and Melanie have put together. Will there be a West Linn bag? It was the first of Stephanie's patterns I used after I won it and a charm pack from her giveaway in 2009.

I used unbleached linen for the solid colour. This is a very practical bag.

Maybe they are fond of Dresden plates and made a Ladyfingers bag? Some day I'm going to make one for myself using my father's old ties for the fingers. This one was a Christmas gift to DS1's girlfriend last Christmas.

They will not be making a Modern Mary Jane, as this was the bag we all just made in June. I can carry my A4 papers in this along with a smaller folder, notebook, tissue pouch, make-up pouch and wallet.

There is of course the Loft Tote, like this one I got from Candace for my birthday in the Spring. She is also a Supreme pattern tester.

This is a perfect bag for someone who needs to carry more than a wallet and keys in her handbag. Like me. It is deep enough to keep my things safe and there is room for some shopping as well. I think Stephanie has designed a bag for every lady, and it is easy to add pockets and details if you feel like it. If you pop over to Simone in Holland and Melanie in England you will see more of Stephanie's (Ohio, USA) bags in different styles. They will be showing their newest bags today too. These patterns and some more by Stephanie are available from Loft Creations in PDF form and you can get them today, if you want to try making one of these bags.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Stash use report for July, and PIF still open

July with the hot, lazy summer days is gone, and it's time to look back at the fabric piles. It  looks like they didn't melt away! I didn't manage not to buy any fabric at all, but I only bought 1 m calico for stitching as it is something I don't usually have in stash. My fabric use was very moderate too, but I had a lovely little project I finished last night. Earlier this year I got this old iron bed:

I cleaned and washed it, mended the net on the sides, and washed the fabric covering the original bottom half, and made a new one to replaced the missing half. They are hinged together with twine in the middle.

Then I made a mattress and a pillow using old mattress fabric to suit this antique bed. I don't want to repaint it.

The bed needed sheets as well, naturally, and I unpicked the lace from an old, worn out sheet and used the good parts for the pillowcase and the top sheet.

I finished the hexagon quilt in about 17 days.

It is in the bed now, with the lace sheet and pillowcase. Too bad the bed is too small for me to sleep in! All I need now is to make myself some dolls to keep in the bed.

Here is a better look at the little hexagon quilt. The border is the same fabric as I used for my DD Kaija's quilt three years ago, the one that took me 17 years with pauses to finish.

The bed project used about 1.5 m fabrics in all, and washpeg aprons, a secret bag and a bag for Mr. K's bamboo rod took 2.2 m more, so the stash was reduced by 3.7 m. I hope to show the bag soon, and I'm planning to make a completely not quilting or sewing -related post about Mr. K's bamboo project. Oh I almost forgot the polka dot bag, I don't even have a picture of the white one. They were both sewn in July, and used up 2 m of fabrics. Total use was 5.7 m, not very much but not too bad either.

There are still two more possibilities to sign in for my PIF, as Barbara and Heather are so far the only ones on my list. You can read more about this offer in my previous post, if you are interested.