Coming Up for Air

Hello, Blog. It's been a long time, hasn't it? Did you miss me? I see the Lair is quite dusty *cough*. Time for some spring cleaning then!

So I'm back. I honestly have no idea what happened. I knitted a cardigan, then cast on for a new one and what do you know, it's suddenly next year - next decade in fact! -, and nearly six months since I blogged. I needed the break, though, to figure out what to do with the Lair. It has also been a time of adjustment - we moved to a new country only a few months ago (I know it's my home country but after 5 years it felt like moving to a new country), and there have been times I wanted to pack everything and go home. It has not been the easiest of winters, although I have enjoyed the company of my friends and family, and it has been desperately beautiful outside, but it's also been a very dark and cold winter. Moving from a busy metropolis to a village of six (6!) houses has not been entirely easy.

121509 2

On top of this all, I have been on the road a lot, teaching my sweater method to Finnish knitters. And it has been fun, meeting new people and knitting with them - but it has also drained me of energy. And I am applying to a university next summer, which means I have to read, read, read, and perhaps then read some more.

I have not been entirely idle and hibernating though! So let's clear out the dust and take a look at some of the items finished in the Lair over the past 6 months or so!

First up, the bathrobe. Clearly, not my greatest hour, despite the smug grin!
green teddy coat 2

The yarn is a fuzzy acrylic blend, rather horrible to work with but knits up really fast. And it's warm, which was what I wanted. But it does look a bit like a bathrobe, and it wasn't really me - the color and the design looked awkward on me. I gave this cardi to Mum, she likes it and that's what's important.

The next big project was my Double Lattice Sweater. Like the green cardi, it is knitted with the top-down seamless set-in sleeve method, and I absolutely love the way it turned out.

double lattice sweater 4

The yarn was rather unforgiving, 100% mercerized cotton, which does not stretch, so the minicables were truly painful to work.

double lattice sweater 9

The result is a shining fabric which looks nothing like cotton fabrics - but wears well and is machine washable. Which is great, since normally, white and I do not mix very well.

double lattice sweater 5

And it fits just the way I wanted! I could lose a few pounds and it would be even better still, but I am very happy with it as it is. It has been worn a lot already, and it's surprisingly warm considering it's cotton.

double lattice sweater 1

double lattice sweater 8

And no seams!
double lattice sweater 10

double lattice sweater 7

I have also been spinning! The Lair has seen some changes in the wheel family - Butch is gone to a new and loving home, since here, he was badly neglected and lonely (and I think Sylvie verbally abused him on a regular basis). The Pocket Wheel is going through some repairs, and has not been actively in use for months. Sylvie is the same, although she has competition now: I have a new wheel. Sophie, a Kromski Sonata, is a true workhorse, not the prettiest wheel there is but a great companion. I'll show pics of her later, but for now, something we played with together.

First, a handspun Baktus, spun from the beautiful Allspunup Falkland fiber to a thick fingering weight single and knitted in a couple of nights to a warm and comfy little shawl.
baktus 1

The colors are truly breathtaking. I love the subtle tones and the variation of dark colors.
baktus 4

I love wearing handspun socks, and these are no exception. There is an element of rag rug-esque striping in the yarn, but I like the vivid colors. The fiber is 100% SW BFL I dyed and spun ages ago.
rag rug socks

One last thing I want to show you: my Emerald Sweater. I was lucky enough to get some KnitPicks Gloss Kenai yarn for a sweater*, and used 10 skeins of this truly beautiful teal colored yarn for this design.
emerald 7

It is a simple design, twisted stitches on a reverse stockinette background, but in the cuffs and the hem there is a lace pattern I adapted from a Japanese stitch pattern book.

emerald 3

This was really a lot of fun to knit, despite the gazillion stitches on my #1 needles. The best bit: no seams!

emerald 4

Mr HairyFeet was kind enough to photograph it with me, and I wore it with my Winter Skirt. I really love the combination of these two handknits together.

emerald 2

Happily there is still a lot of time to wear both of them, the spring is only beginning here. As is clearly visible in this picture with the Mount Doom of Snow behind me!

emerald 1

And last but not least, the pattern for the Winter Skirt is finally available through ravelry! That's all for now, next time - Casbah!

*Yarn sponsored by KnitPicks.

28 comments:

Tahruska said...

Emerald Sweater on UPEA!

Hepsi said...

Kiva että Luolassa on taas toimintaa! Upea tuli tuosta Emeraldista!

bentneedle said...

Love the patterning on the cotton sweater - and I admire your fortitude. I would never have lasted that long with cotton! I just don't get along with it very well.

I was part of that ASU SAL too! Love that fiber. It's soon to become socks for me. :D

Pia said...

Ihania neuleita kehittämälläsi metodilla.

sue said...

They are all gorgeous knits and they look beautiful on you too. It must be a big change for you to readjust living in a new country. I am sure in time it will feel like home again.

Jane said...

It's all beautiful Tuulia, but I especially love the teal sweater and winter skirt. BTW - the busy metropolis misses you.

Katie - The Knitting Mama said...

Wow, Tuulia - I love, love, love your knits! I especially think the teal sweater is gorgeous - nice work!

Morgen said...

Oh Tuulia, I haven't dared ask about the skirt pattern...I know how busy you've been! And even seeing it now, I had forgotten just how pretty it is! It is true...the best things ARE worth waiting for!! It has officially moved up my queue!
Your work is so lovely...

anpali said...

Kauniita neuleita! Minä tapoin neulomisinnostukseni kouluaikana puuvillaneuleella. Onneksi innostus on hiipinyt vähin erin takaisin -tosin puuvillapuseroa en ihan ensimmäisenä ryhdy neulomaan.

Annika said...

Hey Tuulia! I have missed reading your blog - welcome back! I too am going back to school, perhaps to Vermont or Florida, I haven't made up my mind yet.
I'm also glad the equinox is soon upon us - I've had enough of a dark winter and I am sure you have had doubly enough!
Your knitting is, as usual, gorgeous, elegant, delightful!
Cheers,
Annika

ColibriDreams said...

Kauniita neuleita! Tuo Emerald varsinkin on aivan ihana, nuo helman ja hihansuiden pitsit ovat niin kauniit! En kyllä ymmärrä, miten olet tuon puuvillapaidankin jaksanut tehdä, itse en yhtään tykkää 100% neulomisesta...

Kotimaahan paluu on varmasti vaikeaa. Itse olen palannut kunnolla vain kerran vaihto-oppilasvuoden jälkeen ja olin ihan ahdistunut, kunnes varasin uuden matkan. Toinen paluumuutto oli jo alusta asti vain väliaikainen puolen vuoden keikka. Mutta ainakin minulle Suomeen palaaminen ja siihen sopeutuminen on ollut vaikeampaa kuin muualle muuttaminen - ehkä siksi, että kotimaassa ei kulttuurishokkia odota.

helena said...

Ohmigod! Nytkö löytyi se todellinen syy neuloa puolihame? Ihanaa pintaa tuossa valkoisessa puserossa, mitenkään vähättelemäät muita kauniita tuotoksiasi!

Charisa said...

Girl, you have been missed. Good to see your hands and mind have not been idle.

Have you invited everyone in the village over for hot wine and True Blood? Seems like it would be a good party!

Your method for the sweaters is flawless! Good to see so many beautiful things. Thank you for sharing!

hiisa said...

On kyllä kauniita neuleita valmistunut viimeisen puolen vuoden aikana! Tsemppiä tuleviin koitoksiin!

Hapero said...

Olen kaipaillut käsiesi työtä. Kiva, että löysit takaisin.

Upeita neuleita on taas valmistunut. *huokaus* Mistähän sitä itse yrittäisi aloittaa...

Lettu said...

Oih, upeita neuleita :) Niinkuin sulla aina, hih !

Meg said...

I think that the white sweater looks stunning on you. Well done!

Diana said...

The white sweater and emerald sweater are gorgeous. I cannot believe what beautiful finishing work you do. Absolutely stunning.
Glad to see you're back to blogging. Your photography skills are exceptional!

knittingdragonflies said...

Beautiful!! All of it! I'm envious of your knitting, it is wonderful!
Vicki

Tuula said...

Tervetuloa takaisin blogistaniaan. Näitä ihania neulekuvia onkin jo ennättänyt kaipaamaan. Toivottavasti myös OUPS inspiroi päivittämään usein. Tuo valkoinen neulepinta on kyllä herkullinen, muita nyt yhtään vähättelemättä. Ihanaa viikkoa! Toivottavasti nähdään livenä toukokuussa.:)

domesticshorthair said...

Such pretty things! I really like Green Teddy Coat, and it looks great on you, but Double Lattice Sweater is just amazing. I get a headache just thinking about all of those stitches crossing over! Wow!

Lennu said...

Tuo hame on kyllä ihan yliveto! Mielettömän hieno. Muutkin tietty.

Kyllä se paluushokki siitä helpottaa. Me ollaan oltu nyt täällä takaisin kohta 7 vuotta ja vieläkin on hetkiä, että haluaisin pakata kaiken ja mennä takaisin kotiin. Jos lasketaan matemaattisesti kaavalla, niin te olitte poissa Suomesta yli tuplasti sen minkä me, niin että ehkä jotain 15 vuoden päästä voi hengittää suurimman osan ajasta normaalisti. Ajattele positiivisesti, hehheh :D Toinen vaihtoehto tietenkin on oikeasti pakata ne kamat ja lähteä, mitä me emme tietenkään toivo. Ihana kun tulit!

Celestial said...

(wave)

All the knits look lovely!

Glad to hear that you're settling in well and that you are doing well.

Can't wait to see the new wheel.

Lolly said...

it's so wonderful to see you, Tuulia! Life has brought many changes for you this year, and you have handled them with grace - and size 1 needles! Your knitting and spinning are so beautiful! I love the colors in that Baktus. Really love the Emerald too :)

Best wishes to you, and great to see you~~~

Margaret said...

Good to see you back - have missed your blog and seeing the beautiful things you make. Your Finland pictures are lovely - bet you'll enjoy the spring!

Sasha said...

Welcome back!
Oh my goodness, all of your creations are so stunning - the white lattice looks INCREDIBLE! So crisp, perfectly structured like crystals. And the gorgeous teal with that amazing lace work - what a beautiful combination. You look fantastic in your skirt and the lovely teal top with your boots in the snow - oooh la la!

forjoyofknitting at Ravelry said...

Oh my gosh, Tulia. You are so prolific! I love following you on Ravelry. I took your sweater design class at LFP Yarn and Tea Shop just before you left to go home. Your knits are beautiful. I love that you just go and figure it out on the way.

Virvatuli said...

Hei! Olen lukenut sinusta kaksikin lehtijuttua ja nyt sitten googleettamalla (hakusanat "kehrätä lankaa" ja "Seattle" :-)löysin sinut. Itse olen ala-asteen villasukanresorien traumatisoima enkä osaa tehdä edes kaulahuivia, mutta ehkä joku päivä rohkaistun... Minua kiinnostaa langankehräys. Onko se vaikeaa? Osaatko neuvoa mistä saisin lisätietoa? (Englanninkielikään ei ole este, se on toinen kotikielemme.)Kiitos inspiroivasta blogista ja kosolti kesäiloja!