29 March, 2013

Crafty reading: The Big book of socks

I talked about writing about books some time ago and I think it's about time to actually start doing it. This book is something I borrowed from the library an actually read in Finnish, but was originally published in English so the review is in English too. (In the future, when I'll review books published only in Finnish, the review might also be in Finnish, but we'll see that when we'll get there.)

The Big book of socks 

Author: Kathleen Taylor
Publisher: The Taunton Press (2009)

Finnish edition: Suuri sukkakirja
Publisher: WSOY (2012)

What is it about:
As the tittle says, this is a book about knitting socks. In the introduction part of the book the author talks about the basics of socks:
  • different parts and different types of socks, 
  • different yarns used for socks and what kind of yarn works best for different type of socks,
  • tools you need and tools you can use when making socks,
  • different parts of the knitting process from the swatch to streching and mending socks.
How ever the main content of the book are the instructions for different socks. There are all together instructions for 75 different patterns devided into different chapters from basic socks to lace and fair isle socks. Each pattern is also categorized based on it's difficulty and there are instructions on how to make them in different sizes starting from childrens sizes goin all the way to big mens socks in most of them. Also pictures of all the socks can be found through out the book.

At the end of the book there are also attachment about different types of heels and tips, a glossery of knitting terms and a list of yarns shops (the Finnish edition has a list of Finnish shops too). And of course there is an index from where you can look for specific techniques, patterns or yarns within the book.

What I liked:
First of I have to say that this book looks great. It's fresh and colorful and the pictures are crisp and clear. Visually it was just a joy to browse and that was the original reason why I borrowed it. So a big plus for the look of this book.

I loved the beginning of the book and how the basics of sock making were explaned! It was compact and clear and teached something new for me too. Or rather, managed to explain some things for me. I very much enjoyed reading through it.

Some of the patterns were really pretty and I think it's a definite merit for this book that there was a true variety in the patterns and techniques. I bet everyone reading this book vill find at least one or two patterns they will like.

What I didn't like:
Unfortunately the bone I have to pick with this book are the instructions. I considered doing socks based on one of the patterns, but when I couldn't figure out how many stiches I should cast on, I just got terribly frustrated and picked a pattern from somewhere else. In general I don't think the instructions are the clearest in the world, but it may be that I and these instructions are not compattible.

Final verdict:
For me this was a great book to get some sock knitting inspiration with all it's various patterns. It's a beautiful book and lures you nicely into the world of socks when you might have lost your interst a bit (this was my case).

I mightn also recommend this to a  beginner as a basic work about socks because of the very nice introduciton to sock making there is. It does also introduce you to different types of socks very nicely with the grouping of patterns. How ever I would need to warn that the instructions are not the easiest.

* * *

Aloitan vihdoin lupaileman sarjan käsityökirjoista, joita omistan tai olen lukenut. Ensimmäisenä kirjana esittelen WSOY:n julkaiseman Suuren sukkakirjan, jonka on kirjoittanut Kathleen Taylor.

Kirjassa on alussa johdantona perusteellinen selostus sukanteon perusteista, välineistä ja materiaaleista, sen jälkeen yhteensä 75 ohjetta erilaisten sukkien tekoon ja lopussa liitteet, joissa käydään läpi erilaisia kantapää- ja kärkimalleja, neulontasanastoa sekä lankakauppoja maailmalta ja Suomesta.

Parasta kirjasssa olivat ehdottomasti visuaalisesti miellyttävä ulkoasu, mielenkiintoinen johdanto-osio, josta vähän kokeneempikin neuloja voi oivaltaa uutta. Lisäksi monituisista ohjeista löytyy varmasti jokaiselle neulojalle kiinnostavia malleja. Heikkoutena taas kirjassa olivat ohjet, jotka koin ainakin itse paikoin toivottoman epäselviksi.

Kokonaisuudessaan kirja oli oikein miellyttävää luettavaa. Kokeneemmalle neulojalle kirja toimii mainiona inspiraationa, kun taas aloittelijalle on varmasti iloa etenkin kirjan johdannosta ja toisaalta erilaisten sukkatyyppien esittelystä. Ohjeita en kuitenkaan uskalla suurella lämmöllä suositella.

25 March, 2013

Busy busy busy

Dear blog (and it's readers), I have not abandoned or forgotten you. I've just been terribly busy lately and when I have bot been busy, I've been terribly tired about all the things that have kept me busy. So I just have not had time to think about posting anything here. I've even missed a bunch of March and my Journal days during the last week. This means I need to catch up with those and other stuff and do some of the posts I've been thinking about but have not done.

I have few busy days left so not proper posts yet, but during Easter time I'll be writing some for you. I promise! It will be fun too as during all this being busy business I've also had time to work on few knitting projects. You'll hear about them later. :)

* * *
On ollut ihan kamala kiire viimeaikoina, joten en ole ehtinyt päivittää tänne mitään vähään aikaan, enkä ehdi kyllä parin lähipäivänkään aikana, mutta pääsiäisen aikaan ehdin varmasti taas. Sitten ehdin ehkä kirjoitella niitä juttuja, joita mielessä on ollut, jotka ovat jääneet kiireen keskellä roikkumaan.

18 March, 2013

March and my Journal - days 11-18

So... I kinda failed the "post new pages every five days" rythm I was supposed to keep up. Ooops. But I had a good reason! I went for an impromptu mini vacation to Tallinn last weekend to see my brother so I just didn't have time to make a post on Friday or during the weekend. But now you'll get all eight pages I've done since you've last seen me around!

You can find the first five pages I made here and pages 6-10 here.

Day 11: What did you eat today?

Marjarahka (Berry curd)
Hapankorppu (Rye crisps)
Valkosipulivoipatonki (Garlic butter baguette)
Lohisalaatti (A sallad with salmon)
Just pen on paper with, obviously, rather a lot of planning. I felt like doing something rather graphical today and ended up spending really long time working on this one.

Day 12: A quote that you like.

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend.
Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.
- Groucho Marx
This genuinly is one of my favorite quotes there is. It still manages to make me giggle a bit, especially when I'm tired. The dog picture is just something I found online, printed to some old brown paper I have and then cut along the line.

Day 13: Design yourself a badge of honour or a medal for something you deserve it from.

Ahkera askartelija (hard-working crafter)
I really didn't know what to give a medal for myself for so I just ended up giving me one for working so hard on this journal. Unfortunately you can't quite tell how three dimentional this medal is with the yarn.

Day 14: What are your favourite things today?

My favorite things today
were the chips I ate
 were the snowflakes
 was the pie I made
I just simply love this pic of the man sitting on the tiniest of tiny islands in the middle of a huge lake or a sea. It's cutout from some magazine or something. The text is printed on reused squared paper and then I just made some lines and dots to make it look more fancy.

Day 15: Collect shopping lists here (yours or ones you found)

Things I will need when I move to my new home
TV, sohva (sofa), työpöytä (writing desk), uusi kirjahylly (new bookshelf), lamppuja (lamps)
This is the buzzy friday edition and as I had no shopping list to collect, I just decided to write one for myself. I'm actually moving to a new place in the beginning of the summer and these things are genuingly things I will need to get for the new place sooner rather than later.

Day 16: A confession or revelation about yourself

I may be 26 years old woman
but I don't know hot to use makeup
 and don't really care to learn either.
As I was in Tallinn Saturday and didn't want to carry the big notebook (and all the suplies) with me, I made this one a day late. Once again a nice clipping from a magazine and a true statement about myself. I've decided that if ever there comes an occation when I want and/or need to put on some makeup, I'll just pay for someone to make it for me.

Day 17: List the pros and cons for an optional topic

+ so very cute & fluffy
+ super funny sleeping positions
+ the PURR
+ softer than soft furr
+ someone comes greet you when you come home
+ looks always good in photos
+ fun to play with
- the crazy hour in the evening
- "no door shall be closed" policy in the house
- scratch marks all over your skin
- eating all the plants!
- dropping all the stuff (especially books from the bookshelf)

To make it clear, I don't have a cat but my roommate does. Also, I had the inspiration close when I made this. THe picture is a page from an old broken picture book which pages I have for crafting purposes.

Day 18: Add a magazine clipping of a subject important to you

A very short news piece about Benedict Cumberbatch telling that he and Martin Friman have agreed with BBC about the fourth season of Sherlock.
Meaningless in the grand skeme of things, but for me and other people who have been Sherlocked, this was such wonderful news. Never mind that they haven't yet shot the third series either! The background is just a printout from Word to odl blue paper.

* * *
Hups, venähti vähän sivujen postausväli, kun lähdin hetken mielijohteesta minilomalle Tallinnaan. Varsin hyvin olen kuitenkin pysynyt tahdissa mukana (ainoastaan sivu 16 piti tehdä reissun takia päivä myöhässä) ja kaikki on tullut tehtyä, joten tässä nyt muistikirjan kahdeksan viimeisintä sivua.

10 March, 2013

March and my journal - days 6-10

Here come the next five days of the journaling challenge. See the first five pages here.

Day 6: If money and space wouldn't limit you, what would you collect?

If time & money were not an issue ....
... I would collect all the places.
Two map pages together and some rubber stamping and then some fixing with a pen. Somewhere in between it all looked rather horrible, but in the end it turned out quite nicely.

Day 7: What did you do a year ago in March?

In March 2012 I finished my thesis
(In the chart you have the main classes of the Finnish Public library classification system and how many books are classified to each class in the library collection I worked with in my thesis. You can check the PLC here.)
I actually had to check Facebook to see what I did a year ago. I honestly didn't remember that I finished my thesis already in the end of March and not in the beginning of April. This pie chart is from my thesis, I found it from my reusable paper pile. The Doghill Farm stickers (from books by Mauri Kunnas) I got at some bookfair few years back.

Day 8: Collect five random sentences from blogs you read today

Leikkaan ja värjään omat hiukseni. (I cut and die my own hair.)
Niistä syntyi sitten tällainen sekametelisoppa. (This mess came out of it.)
Jo kaukaa näkee kannattako tulla kyselemään ... (You can see from far away if it's worth to come and ask ...)
Neljässä kuukaudessa sentin siilistä tähän, ei huono.  (Four months from one centimeter hair to this, not bad.)
Katsokaa miten aurinko hiipii ikkunoista sisään! (See how the sun crawls in from the windows!)

Just washi tapes and random lines (picked from the blogs listed below) printed on squared paper. I tried to pick lines that in a way get a new meaning when combined with each other.
No home without you
Kirsikkapuiston blogi
Ihan kaikki kotona
Matka maailmankaikkeuteen

Day 9: Add a recipe you would like to try, or a recipe you've been looking for.

Hasselback Potatoes
A stripy paperbag, the recipe printed out (after I made it look nice in Word) and some stamped text. This recipe is something I have had pinned in Pinterest for some time now and really need to get around to try it out!

Day 10: Make a top 10 list of any subject.

TOP 10 Finnish names that begin with the letter R*
Reko, Ruusa, Reetta, Ronja, Roope, Reija, Robert, Ruut, Rauha, Rasmus
*Not including mine, because it is the best name anyways.
Just cutouts from magazines again. I am fond of lists, but am not particularly good in just listing random things. I ended up listing the names because of a random loose letter R hanging on a top of a pile of magazines.

* * *
Tässä tulevat seuraavat viisi päivää Muistikirjamaaliskuu-haasteeseen. Taso alkaa selvästi tasoittua, sillä näistä pidän kaikista suhteellsen paljon. Tehtävänannot löytyvät suomenkielisinä Terhin Hupsistarallaa-blogista.

09 March, 2013

Working on it...

I have a bad habit of starting new crafting projects before I have finished the previous ones. This is even more true with knitting/crocheting projects than with others. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one with this problem tough. Here are some of the projects that are waiting to be finished.

The mittens for my brother in law. This gray project has been giving me gray hair. I love the very simple fairisle pattern I'm doing on them, but it's a huge pain in the ass to try and figure out the right size for someone you only see rarely and can't fit the mittens in between.

The Pi scarf. This is creation of my creativity/madness: a doubleknit scarf with different patten on each side. I think I've been working (or more like "working") on this since early 2011 and if I don't soon return to this project, it will take an eternity before I actually finish this. So far I've finished only about XX% of the pattern I created...

The girly bag. This was a project inspired by something I saw in Pinterest and I actually am completely done with the crocheting part of the project. Now I would just need to sew the inside lining for the bag and make a handle (which will probably be an old belt).

The spring flower scarf. This is one of the most resent unfinished projects I have. I'm mixing two yarns I had in my stash and I think look fantastic together. This is definitely something  I'd love to wear this spring so I think I need to return to this asap.

The bedspread. I don't know what I was thinking when I decided to make a beige bedspread when I'm the girl of all the colors. I still love the pattern but I feel highly uninspired by the color of the yarn. We'll see if I'll ever finish this or if I just scrap it and sell the yarn.

The Converse socks. The Novita magazines sock edition had a pattern for Converse socks that inspired me to start a modified pair for my brother. They were supposed to be his Christmas present in 2011...

The little boys jacket. A project originally started with my sisters son in mind. Now he is way too big for this jacket but I still really would like to finish it.

The rainbow socks. This is one of my all time favorite sock yarns. How ever I'm not sure if I'm happy enough with this one sock to make a pair for it or if I'll just go and start from the beginning again.

The scrap yarn socks. Another sock that is lacking a pair, this time made out of some scrap yarns.

The crocus pillow. This is the project I'm actually working on right now. You might recognize a familiar pattern from one of the other projects mentioned in this post...

So yeah, there are definitely few too many of these unfinished works around this apartment. And these are just the knitting/crocheting ones. I shall make it a project of mine to try and have fewer unfinished projects before next summer.

How many unfinished project do you all have laying around?

05 March, 2013

March and my Journal - days 1-5

Yay, first real update on the March my Journal journaling challenge! Here I have gathered the first five days/pages of my journal. I think I'll try and make one of these page posts in about every five days or so, so less than a week to go before the next one.

But before we get to the pages, let me introduce you to my notebooks. It is....

...this old black thing. I think this is actually meant to be photo album of a sort and I bought it years ago for another project, but I never managed to get that thing rolling so now I decided to give it a new task. There isn't enough pages in this book so I could journal just on one side of each page so I'm using both sides of them, but it doesn't seem to be any problem as the pages are really thick and sturdy. The pages are also rather large which I like because it's nice to challenge myself to do something bigger than a moleskine page.

Ok, of we go to see the actual pages.

Day 1: First page - the title of your journal

The only joy in the world is to begin. - Cesare Pavese

I don't know if this can really be called a tittle, but I found this very nice quote about beginning and wanted to use that. The background is a page from a magazine I had cut out ages ago for crafting and the file card something I rescued from a previous work place when a bunch of these would have been thrown away. (Oh and for those who don't speak Finnish: Maalis is short for maaliskuu which is March in Finnish.)

Day 2: Introduce yourself

I am miss Fox. They also call me Riikka. I am a knitting 26 years old nerd librarian.
From the pile of magazine cutouts I found a bunch of fox photos and as miss Fox is my nickname sometimes, it was easy to continue from there. The tape is a new one I just bought that day.

Day 3: How do you feel waiting for spring?

Eniten odotan keväältä valoa valoa valoa. (What I wait most from springtime is light light light.)
This is the first thing that came in my mind when thinking of spring so I ran with it. Background again a magazine cutout, the circles are from an old paint color chart I had.

Day 4: Things you need and things you want

Today I don't feel like needing anything
Day 4: Things you need and things you want
Voisin haluta (I could want)
Syödä vielä yhden kuppikakun (eat one more cupcake)
Rakentaa papapeliä (build a puzzle)
I dunno, not my most inspired work this page. I just didn't turn out very well this time. Also, I didn't feel that I needed or wanted that much this particular day. And I used two languages in the same sentence, 'cos, my journal my rules. Oh well, new day, new challenge. All the pieces of paper are from an old German book I  have mostly used for something else. Oh, and those are real puzzle pieces from a puzzle that had lost too many pieces to be any good to try and build again.

Day 5: Write a message with letter clipped out of magazines

Joskus on vaikea löytää oikeita sanoja. (Sometimes it is hard to find the right words.)
Had to think a while what I wanted to write here (the subject was so open), but I'm very happy of the words that have so may meanings. Also, I think this might even be my personal favorite of all the pages I've made this far. It is just beautiful.

There you go. I'm still feeling very exited about this challenge so I can't wait to see what Inari and Terhi have planned for the rest of the month!

* * *
Muistikirjamaaliskuu on päässyt hyvään vauhtiin ja ainakin minulla piisaa intoa sivujen tekemiseen. Muistikirjana minulla on ilmeisesti valokuva-albumiksi tarkoitettu kirjanen, jossa on isot,  paksut ja tukevat sivut. Ensimäiset viisi päivää ovat olleet enimmäkseen onnistuneita ja aika paljon on tullut käytettyä lehtileikkeitä näitä tehdessä. Suosikkini näistä ensimmäisista sivuista on ollut viimeisin eli viidennen päivän sivu, joka on omasta mielestäni erityisen kaunis. Jännityksellä jään odottamaan seuraavia haasteita!

03 March, 2013

Markets and fairs

 This Saturday I went for some craft supply shopping. The biannual Helsinki Handigraft Fair was in Wanha Satama (a lovely old harbor building made out of red bricks) Saturday and Sunday and it happened that on Saturday there was also the Eye, stitch, stitch, jacket - Kitchen entrepreneurs crafts and craft supplies market (Silmä, pisto, tikki, takki – Keittiönperäyrittäjien käsityö- ja käsityötarvikemarkkinat) in the Kiseleff House right next to Senate Square, so there was plenty of great reasons to go. The weather was nice, atmosphere great in both places and company the best you could imagine. Here are few photos I took during Saturday.

Before noon we enjoyed a lovely late lunch at Ciao Caffé at Kiseleff House. So good fresh buns they had!

First at the Kiseleff House. It felt like piece of the old Kiseleff bazaar had returned from the day
when watching the stands from above. The atmosphere was so lovely and relaxed.

The Wanha Satama was much more crowded but it was still fun to see all the the different craft supplies and finished products sold at the different stands. It has been quite a long while since I've last been at one of these Handigraft Fairs.

There were many clever and beautiful displays of products at both places.
One of my favorites was this earring mannequin at the Plan B stand.

And what did I buy, you may ask? Here is what I bougth:

A Schacht Hi-Lo Spindle (I can't remember from whom I bought it from tough...) and some wool to spin from Lahitium ex machina. This lovely color dye is called Cipher North American. I have never spun any yarn but when I saw many of the sellers spinning yarn at the market and as my shopping partner promised to teach me I decided I want to learn that too. You'll be the first to know when I start to do my own yarn!

I also bougth some yarns from Lahitium ex machina. The top two are basic wool-nylon mix sock yarns and the green-purple one is actually called Lothlorien. A LotR geek approves! They had also other lovely names for their yarns/dyes, but unfortunately non of my other yarns had a special name. The lower two yarns are 100% wool and were actually a free gift as I bought three things from their stand. That was super generous from them!

At Wanha Satama I stopped by the stand of KOTOliving and bought the first number of their magazine because I missed it when it came out. I almost ordered it too, but then decided not to do it yet. Maybe later tough as this is definitely one of the most interesting Finnish magazines I've seen in a while. And the people at the stand were very lovely too. :)

Last but not least I got some washi and masking tapes from Teippitarha. It was definitely one of the most crowded stands in whole Wanha Satama and it took me two attempts to actually get close enough to see their products! And then it took me ages to actually choose what I wanted to buy. These were some of my favorites, but I'm sure I'll have to order  some more in the future.

So there, that's how the shopping part of the day went on Saturday. The rest of the day was spent with friends playing boardgames and WiiU so that wasn't bad either. In general it has been an all around weekend.

PS. I've done all first three pages for the March my journal challenge, but I have decided not to post each days page separately here. Instead I'm going to post them in batches and I think I'll do the first of those posts in few ways. Oh and remember, it still isn't too late to join the challenge and catch up if you would like to do that!

* * *
Lauantaina oli käsityöshoppailupäivä ja kävin sekä Käsityöläismessuilla Wanhassa Satamassa että  Silmä, pisto, tikki, takki – Keittiönperäyrittäjien käsityö- ja käsityötarvikemarkkinoilla ihanassa Kiseleffin talossa. Mukavassa seurassa ja hyvällä tunnelmalla varustetuissa paikoissa päivä sujui mitä miellyttävimmin ja mukaankin tarttui niin kehräysvälineitä eli värttinä ja villaa, villalankoja, kuvioteippejä kuin ensimmäinen KOTOliving-lehtikin. 

PS. En viitsi postailla Muistikirjamaaliskuun sivuja tänne yksitellen vaan teen sitten yhden keskitetyn postauksen, kun niitä on vähän usempi valmiina. Ensimmäinen sivupostaus tullee varmaan jo lähipäivinä. :)