Friday, July 29, 2011

Blogging By Mail - Handle With Care

First of all, I want to apologize for not writing this post sooner... I present you my excuse - moved between towns just this week. When this round of Blogging By Mail was announced, I even considered not taking part, just because I wasn't sure I would be able to get the package together and in the mail in time, but then, still having time before the move, I decided I can make it. So, this July I took part in Blogging By Mail for the second time. This wonderful blog event is organized by Stephanie, The Happy Sorceress, from Dispensing Happiness. After getting over with my doubts about the schedule, I was extremely excited about being able to participate again. The idea of this blog event is to send a package to a given someone somewhere in the world and receive a package from someone else and then blog about it. It always has a theme too and this time it was Handle With Care - more precisely to send a care package of your must-haves, food-related or not to the person who you are paired with. I sent my care package essentials to the state of New York, USA to Chris of Hye Thyme Café. And I got the honor to receive a package from the woman behind the whole deal, Stephanie from Dispensing Happiness. And here it is:

The package was accompanied by a letter explaining why she has included everything she did.
First off, tea. Stephanie sent me tea from her favorite brand. I love tea too, so I am very pleased to be soon trying and tasting these new flavors. Might take a little while, though, before I do, the weather has been quite hot and humid for Finnish standards and I haven't been craving for tea for a little while. I'll be more than happy to take these out, once fall settles in and grab a good book in my hand and read and sip tea from a big mug sitting in the corner of my sofa.

I mentioned a book above there. Well, what do you know, I don't need to get that myself either, as Stephanie sent me Joanna Fluke's book called Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder! I've never read any of her books, but the name and not to mention the little tag saying "Includes recipes" got me very interested! Looking for to diving in! Next to the book, there's... chocolate! Love chocolate! I guess probably every one of these care packages included chocolate in some form. So essential for care packages :) These are from another of Stephanie's favorite brands. The flavors sounded intriguing and I'll probably sneak these into my work bag so I have something nice waiting for me after a particularly exhausting day :)

Next up: cookies. Stephanie made these herself, two kinds, chocolate chip cookies and chocolate almond biscotti. These I have already tried - and yummy! These have been my moving unpacking prizes that I can eat after accomplishing something in the making-this-apartment-fit-to-be-lived-in area.

Don't you just love these cute soaps?! Raspberry Cream Cupcake, Chocolate Cream Cheese French Macaron and Strawberry Frosted Minu Donuts. These are going to look so cute in my bathroom :) This picture also has Burt's Bees' lip shimmer in it. I've had lip balms from Burt's Bees and really liked it, so I bet I'm going to love this too. The balms have been so nice on the lips and as this has a little (delicate, not too flashy) shade in it too, it's going to be all used up in no time :)

And the last item: a puppy dog! Stephanie included this because she has dogs herself and how fitting it was for me! I'd love to have a dog. So far, our situation in life hasn't really allowed it, but I'm happy to have received this cute fellow to make it easier to wait until we can have a real one!

Well, Blogging By Mail was a blast again, and I'm already looking for to the next time! Thanks so much Stephanie for organizing this and for your wonderful package for me too!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Crocheted Tank Top

The tank top in action

Finally a FO in the blog! This tank top has been ready for some time now, but it really got into use this last weekend. I don't know why I haven't been wearing it a lot more, because when I finished it, I was really looking for to wearing it, but at that time, the weather just wasn't right. And then after it was, this piece of clothing somehow never really made its way on my outings. (Maybe it was because I didn't want to have tan lines that I so often have on my back and shoulders.) Anyway, this last weekend I found out how wonderful this is to use, it's so soft and comfortable and lets the cooling wind breeze through. The pattern I got from one of my mom's old magazines and am very satisfied. I thought that a yarn like this with color variation needed a simple pattern to let the yarn shine. This is one of the first bigger pieces of clothing I've done and am so proud to be telling people that I've done it myself :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Lelah Top: Part Two

I have made some progress with my Lelah Top. I've started the stockinette stitch now and hoping to get it done tomorrow on our long drive. We are attending a Christian summer fest this weekend (which this year is organized in my hometown) and I'm really hoping to get the top done by that so I could wear it there.

You'll get photos once it's done! :)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Lelah Top: Part One

I'm finally making my own Lelah Top! I found this pattern through Ravelry (my love for Ravelry can't be fully described by words!) and clicked it to my favorites list on February 27th this year (dates and all, how cool is Ravelry!). I bought the yarn for it on March 4th (read inside the previous parentheses) and have been waiting for the opportunity to cast on ever since. Now I'm on summer vacation (paartay!!!) and more time to devote to this dear, although new, hobby of mine. I will at least show you the finished work, when it's done, but might just show pictures of the development too.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Slouchy hat and fingerless gloves

I subscribed a new magazine called 101 ideaa (101 ideas). These patterns are from its spring issue. It only comes out twice a year. There are knitting and crocheting patterns, ideas for decoration and arts and crafts as well as stories about people who do things by hand. Other things too, but these are the most prominent ones. Apparently the Finnish magazine follows on the footsteps of its Swedish predecessor. Kotivinkki Magazine, which I also subsribe, is the "mother" under which the Finnish 101 ideaa is being published.

A co-worker of mine had also subscribed a fixed-term time of Kotivinkki and had apparently as a subscriber gift also received the newest 101 ideaa as well. She even got it before I did. At work she mentioned about a hat in the magazine that had reminded her of me. When I got my hands at the magazine, I had no trouble realizing which one she had meant. This indeed looks just like me. I loved it. I seem to crochet quite tightly, which sometimes can make the end product a little too tight, but with these I really like what I accomplished. The fingerless gloves are just snug enough and the hat lets barely any wind in. These will be much used!

In the magazine's version, they had used a light grey yarn from the same brand. I chose this color as it was more bright and cheerful. The yarn is called 7 veljestä by Novita and it's 75% wool and 25% nylon and its weight is Aran / 10 ply (8 wpi). Oh, and to be clear, I use the American crocheting slang in translating  these patterns.

* * * * *

Slouchy hat

Hats circumference: ca. 55 sm / 22 inches
Gauge: 16 single crochet stitches = 10 cm / 4 inches
Hook: 4.5-5 mm

The hat is worked top-down. Make a loop of the yarn around your finger and crochet into the loop.
Round 1. 8 single crochets (sc) in the loop. Work the rounds as spiral so the next round continues directly from the previous.
Round 2. 2 sc in every sc (=16 stiches)
Round 3. Crochet *1 sc, 2 sc to the second sc*, repeat *-* 7 more times. (24 stitches)
Round 4. Crochet *2 sc, 2 sc to the third sc*, repeat 7 times. (32 stitches)
Round 5. Crochet *3sc, 2 sc to the fourth sc*, repeat 7 times. (40 stitches)
Round 6. Crochet *4 sc, 2 sc to the fifth sc*, repeat 7 times. (48 stitches)
Round 7. Crochet *5 sc, 2 sc to the sixth sc*, repeat 7 times. (56 stitches)
Round 8. Crochet *6 sc, 2 sc to the seventh sc*, repeat 7 times. (64 stitches)
Round 9. Crochet *7 sc, 2 sc to the eighth sc*, repeat 7 times. (74 stitches)
Round 10. Crochet *8 sc, 2 sc to the ninth sc*, repeat 7 times. (80 stitches)
Round 11. Crochet *9 sc, 2 sc to the tenth sc*, repeat 7 times. (88 stitches)

Continue crocheting with the 88 stitches until the work measures to about 28 cm /11 inches.

The next round. Crochet loosely sc to every second stitch and close the round with a slip stitch. (44 stitches) Be careful of not making the round too tight. Then make the brim.
Brim, Round 1. 4 chain stitches * 1 double crochet to the next stitch, 1 chain stitch*, close the round with a slip stitch onto the third chain stitch.
Brim, Round 2. 1 chain stitch and sc to every chain stitch and double crochet (88 stitches). Close the round into the first stitch with a slip stitch.

* * * * *

Fingerless gloves

Circumference: ca. 19 cm /7.5 in
Length: 20 cm / 8 in
Gauge: 16 single crochet stitches = 10 cm / 4 inches
Hook: 4.5-5 mm

Left glove:
Use a thicker hook to hook 30 chain stitches (I used the same 4½ all the way through) and close the round with a slip stitch.
Round 1. Crochet a sc to every chain stitch (30 stitches)
Round 2. Option 1: Crochet 1 chain stitch,  sc to every stitch and close the round with a slip stitch (30 stitches).
Option 2: I crocheted the gloves too as a spiral (30 stitches).

Repeat round 2 until the work measures to 15 cm / 6 in.

Next round: Crochet (1 chain stitch, if you're doing this according to option 1 and then) 8 cg, 6 chain stitches, jump over 6 sc stitches in the work and crochet sc the rest of the round's stitches (and close the round with a slip stitch, if working according to Option 1). Continue crocheting single crochet stitches according to Round 2. When the work measures to 20 cm / 8 in, cut the yarn. (Crochet sc stiches in the beginning rim with hook sized 4 mm.)

Right glove.
Work as a mirror image to the left glove. The thumb hole is done in the following way: Crochet (1 chain stitch, if you're doing this according to option 1 and then) 16 sc, 6 chain stitches, jump over 6 sc stitches in the work and crochet sc the rest of the round's stitches (and close the round with a slip stitch, if working according to Option 1)

OR make both gloves the same way, like I did.

Here's a handy site, where you can make a PDF file from any given web page. Just add the link of this post into the box and click!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Big Herringbone Cowl

This cowl is not picture perfect, but I'm well satisfied with it. Maybe because it's the first bigger knitting project in years that I have finished or even started. Unfortunately for me being a late-blooming knitter (in general too) this winter, I got around making it fairly late, which means that I finished it a little late and did only use it a couple of times before the weather became too warm for it. Well, I have more to look for to next fall, when the weather gets crisp and cold.

The instructions for this I took from a wonderful site called The Purl Bee. Granted, the cowl looks slightly better on her neck than on mine. But I'm a beginner! My change was to use a 100 % wool yarn, which probably made a difference in the texture too. My work isn't es even or flexible, but like I said, I'm happy with it and now I have a reason to make another one of these some day. I'm grateful for a reason, because I really do like the look of the stitch. 

Monday, April 11, 2011


I made this blog already a while ago. I wasn't sure, if I was going to actually start it, but still wanted to make sure that if I did, I would get this particular address for it. The title resembles of what I've become: in addition to my older passion in baking, this year I've started to get more and more interested in handiwork. These two things will most probably be the most covered topics in this blog. I give myself freedom to write about other things as well, maybe including such as decorating, travels and everyday life. If some day I'll have a garden (again) and a house of my own, I might write posts about growing things and renovation. I want to have an open mind about the things I can write about and so this is not only a blog about one topic, but will hopefully become a cheerful mix of things close to my heart.

I welcome you to this new adventure of mine! I hope you like the ride!