Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Revealed secrets

In March the our local knitting café Lentävä Lapanen, the Flying Mitten, hosted their first secret swap. Of course I participated, and now I can reveal my gifts. This is what I made for my secret friend for her small knitting supplies:

The zippered pocket is for stitch markers like the ones here made with old Lego blocks. Under the scissors is another pocket, the knitting needle gauge goes there. As my first gift to her I made her two holders for her double pointed knitting needles, using the same red floral.

And this was my main gift, a pair of wool socks in her size and her favourite colour.

We all gave some information about ourselves, like favourite colour, yarn and needles, and shoe size (for obvious reasons!).  Having no idea of the friend's age, other hobbies or other details, it was easiest to think about the knitting hobby we all share.

I also challenged my secret friend to knit a pair of Train Socks for the new babies in town using the pattern and yarn I sent her, and was very glad to hear she took the challenge and has almost finished her pair.
The secret friend who sent me her gifts was not the same lady who received my mail. Here is what I got. First a crocheted flower with some heart chocolates. Yummy! I'm thinking of yarn bombing the town with this flower too. And by the way, it was noon when I left the red flowers shown in my last post, so the boot polish would have made me look very suspicious! Also, the darkness lasts only little over an hour these days, so no hope for real darkness until August. People were not paying any attention, or just smiling, because I look quite harmless even with tiny scissors in my hand.

The next month brought me this grass green yarn, hand dyed in Finland, and a bag full of useful stitch markers. The yarn will be used for a pair of socks for someone special.
The last parcel from her contained some useful kitchen items. The grey dishcloth and scrubber are knitted in linen (at least it feels like it), and the factory made sponge dishcloth has a funny text. The red pouch could be used  for toiletry or for a small work in process. The handmade lime soap with a built-in sponge adds a nice touch of luxury. Thank you, Secret friend!
Everyone sent photos of their gifts received to the Flying Mitten and they were published on their website without names to keep it all hush hush until the end of May. At the beginning of June the Flying Mitten invited us all to the café to meet each other. Unfortunately I was unable to participate, but I believe the meeting was a great success. The lady who received my gifts even left a gift for me at the meeting in the knitting café, some delicious home-made rhubarb jam and nice hand cream. Kiitos, Karita!
The weather has been odd this Summer: yesterday we had +2C/35F, and sleet and hails:
Today I met with an old friend from the time we were students together, and I gave her a couple of washcloths in my favourite patterns:
The Raindrop is from here, and the Bee Stitch is from here. I knitted both a little larger than the pattern and used pearl stitch in the borders of the Raindrop. Bamboo yarn is just lovely for these, so soft and it has antibacterial qualities and can be washed in the machine.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Old bags and flowers

Remember the boots with flowers last year?

The same group of people and local enterprises collected old handbags and other bags for this year's project, and the florist shop donated one plant for every special bouquet they sold over the year. Suddenly, there were a thousand plants and hundreds of bags waiting to decorate what they called the ugliest spot of the town, the wire net fence of a sand and grass parking lot in the heart of the town.

Let's have a closer look: 

Some hard to use bags are without flowers just filling gaps.

When I took the photos, the flowers had been here over their first weekend. I couldn't see any damage done to them.

I wouldn't use this idea in our own garden, but here it works.

The flowers will grow a little and bloom all Summer.

The sign tells the names of the shops which will take care of watering the flowers. Our favourite knitting café Lentävä Lapanen, The Flying Mitten, is among them. - Ooh, if you just love their yarn collection, you can look here, it's their new online shop.

One more bag used as a flowerpot:

Last year there was knitted (and crocheted) graffiti in the streets as well, and I felt a little rebellious and started a project alone.
I only had these two flowers, one for the rail and the other for a tree.

I can see them every time I come from the train to town.

This year the garden of Villa Cooper is showing knitted art as a part of the Summer exhibition. I knitted some little flags for a bunting and crocheted some granny triangles too, in grey and in a muted pink.
I promise to take some pictures the next time I go there!
A dear friend had a new granddaughter, just when I was trying out a fun baby hat pattern, Aviatrix by Justine Turner, so I had a perfect little welcome gift for her finished in no time.

Little yarn rests for the flowers, matching the button.


Monday, 9 June 2014

Summer colours

The warm weather doesn't suit me, so I have been lazy and just knitting little dishcloths using the ball ends at home.
 All these patterns are free on the internet,

very simple, these two are just knit and purl stitches,

and this one has a simple pattern of knitting every other stitch from the previous row on the right side. It is fun trying out new patterns, and they make nice little gifts.

The flower shape was a lot easier than it looks:

It has shortened rows and a seam where the top meets the bottom row.

The warmth and rain have made all flowers bloom early.

I filled my big box with annuals again.

Close-up of the left side.

We noticed unlicensed building on the roof  of the Flycatchers' house a few days ago.

Mrs Fieldfare is sitting there, probably hatching already.