Dotted Rays, Autumn version

So. As I’ve told in my previous post about the Stephen West pattern Dotted Rays, that I fell in love with the pattern immediately. So, after I finished the first one, I couldn’t help but thinking about starting a second one.

It took a while for me to choose the right yarn for my project. I was supposed to dye and spin some wool for the next Dotted Rays, but I didn’t have time to do it yet. So, since there’s the Merino Mania going on with Drops yarns, I went to my favorite yarn shop Liljan Lankakauppa to get some nice Merino yarn for the Kalevala CAL blanket and at the same time, I wanted to see if I can find something nice and soft for my next wrap.

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Pauliina, the shop owner, asked me if I’ve already seen the new yarn called Drops Nord and it felt so soft and nice, that I just had to get that yarn for the wrap. I chose more autumn colors than last time, and wanted to separate the color stripes with some color. Again I decided to go on with 3 colors and 4th would be the stripe between the bigger color section.

And I had to start knitting the wrap immediately after I got back home from the shop. The yarn is easy to knit and runs nicely from the skeins. Nothing to complain about it! Love the colors and even I hesitated about putting the light grey sections between the earthy colors at first, those stripes grew on me and I like the look of the wrap. Can’t wait to finish it, and start wearing it!

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Dotted Rays

When I first saw Stephen West’s patterns in Ravelry, I was in love. I loved the colors used in his works and the photos were awesome. I came across this beautiful shawl, Dotted Rays, which looked really simple but had that little something to make it interesting.

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Since I haven’t knit much else than socks and couple of sweaters, I wanted to do something simple with simple stitches. I haven’t been that good in following instructions on knitting. so I decided to take this one a challenge, to make it by following the pattern and not soloing it by myself without actually reading what is said…

And it became really beautiful! It is huge, but I love it, since I can already imagine how nice it is to wrap it around myself during winter.

I used Finnish yarn called Tukuwool Fingering in three different colors. They are dyed on grey base yarn, which gives nice tone to the colors.

Dotted Rays 1

 

From failure to beauty

A year ago, I had already tried spinning with my old Finnish Kiikkalainen spinning wheel. As I’ve already told you, that didn’t work out…

After that, I’ve been learning to spin with spindles and my Ashford Joy2 spinning wheel and gotta say, finally I got the result I actually wanted! Still far from perfect but already pretty, usable yarn coming out of my wheel.

Last year I also got into dyeing. On October, I dyed first time with Jacquard acid dyes and first attempt wasn’t as successful as I hoped. The green didn’t turn out green, but yellow, and I didn’t like to roving at all. It was hanging on my craft shelf waiting for something.

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That something came this year: Stashdown 2017 Wheel Edition! I decided that it was time to use that roving in this project so it was the first one I spun with the wheel. And it actually turned out really nice! Colors blended nicely together and made a little fractal look when the colors didn’t match up while plying. But I’m really satisfied of the results.

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POF-ing

Lately I’ve fell in love with spinning technique called POF-ing (POF stands for ply on fly), meaning that once you finish spinning the fiber, you get already plied yarn out of spindle.

Yes, I’ve been doing this with spindle, don’t know if it’s even possible to do with the spinning wheel, but I use my turkish spindles for this technique.

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It feels quite slow, you don’t see that much progress, but actually I think it’s faster than first spinning the singles and then plying those. I learned to collect the single around the shaft of the spindle, and from the shaft as butterfly around my fingers, which makes it really easy to ply. Below, you can find links to videos that helped me, thanks to Spinning Sara for making those!

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Both of these projects are still unfinished, but I’m not in a hurry with those so I just enjoy the ride!


Tutorial videos:

Temporary cop on a Turkish Spindle

Making a butterfly for your singles

Exciting news!!!

Happy Kalevala Day from Finland!

So, behind the scenes, there’s been a lot of action! Last couple of months, many Finnish crocheters have been using their designing skills, myself included. We, meaning Sari Åström and I, have been preparing Finnish CAL called Kalevala CAL (with the help of all the designers), which will be published later this year.

The inspiration from Kalevala has given out many wonderful visual interpretations. Can’t wait to finally be able to publish all these to you all.

This CAL will be a blanket, consisting of 24 different pieces from different designers, plus joining and edging. It will be available in English too, so all of you can take part our journey to Finnish national epic!

We will be opening a Facebook group closer to publishing date, where you can find info and later patterns!

So prepare your hooks and stashes for Finnish crocheting adventure!

Official sneak peak is readable at Sari Åströms blog!

#kalevalacal

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Yarn!!!

Since I bought my Ashford Joy 2 spinning wheel, I’ve already made several yarns with it. I just love the compact look of the wheel, the double pedals and the ease of spinning with well working modern wheel. It’s also lightweight, so it’s easy to grab along and take the spinning outside of the house.

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Ashford Joy 2

I happened to find the Joy 2 cheaply via Ravelry spinning group, with many bobbins and the carrybag, so I didn’t have to pay a fortune to get it.

First yarn which I actually finished, was spun from Tale & Tendrils Elbereth, 100% merino wool. Merino felt quite different from the finn lamb, which was my “testfiber” in my first spinning attempts. In a way, it felt stickier and harder to draw, but once I got hang of it, it actually was really nice to spin.

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Tale & Tendril: Elbereth, 100% merino

The result was still lumpy, uneven yarn, with too tight spin, so if you try to knit or crochet with it, the result is really stiff. But anyway, you had to start somewhere, right?

I’ve bought most of the wool I’ve spun from Nunoco‘s Etsy store. When I first came across to their store, thanks to fellow spinners in Finnish group, I fell in love with the beautiful colors of the fibers.

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Nunoco Marigold, 100% merino

So from first Nunoco fiber order, I was able to spin a bit better yarn already. I wanted to make gradient yarn, without knowing how to actually do that. So I just spun 2 singles with all the colors split in parts and then plied those together. Looks more like fractal spun, but I loved the yarn immediately, and it will be a cowl when I have time to knit from it!

Second one turned out even better, you could see that learning had payed off and the yarn was already thinner. I spun all colors after each other and tried new plying technique, Navajo-ply, to get the colors in their own segments.

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Nunoco Herb Garden, 100% merino

 

I have many projects going on at the same time, so while I spin with my Joy, I also spin with spindles. I actually was able to finish a yarn for my boyfriends daughters socks, which was made of cotton candy colored finnwool I dyed myself!

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“Cotton Candy”, 100% finnwool dyed with food coloring

Also, from this yarn, I’ve knit for the first time from yarn I spun myself, and boy I feel proud! It’s so soft to knit, I hope the little girl will love her socks when they are finished, since of course, I spun too little of the yarn, so I gotta spin some more before getting both of the socks done.

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Socks from “Cotton candy”

 

 

100 years of Independence

Next year, 2017, we will celebrate the 100th year of independency in Finland.

To celebrate our beautiful country, in my region, they are giving a knit sweater for each of the babies born in the regional hospital. I’m taking my part in this process and I’m knitting one sweater to donate to the hospital.

I love the idea, that all the babies have something to remember when they are adults, something from the year when they were born, which is in the same time really remarkable year for all of us Finnish people.

Sweater is really simple to make, so pretty much anyone can do it. Everyone who’s ever held a knitting needles, is able to do this one, at least with bit of guidance from someone more advanced knitter.

I will add photo of my version when I’m finished, I’m already done over 50% of it so it will be ready soon! I’m knitting it from Drops Baby Merino, which is so soft and cuddly yarn!

This sweater will be nice addition to the hats and gloves they are already giving, in the Satakunta regional hospital,to newborns to take home with, all made by enthusiastic knitters and crocheters in Satakunta region, who donate their makings to the hospital!

Earlier this year, they had a campaign in whole Finland, when there was numerous of “safety octopus” donated to the hospitals to give to the premies to “play” with, to avoid them pulling the cords and hoses they are attached to.

So small, simple things we crafters can do with our hands, can help and make people happy easily.