year 2011, that is. it was right here and now it's gone.
and good riddance too.
a frightening amount of perfectly horrible, never-again-shall-i-endure-this type of stuff happened. in terrifying frequency, i might add. i had to face things no sane or insane person is inherently equipped to handle, both within myself and through some extremely shitty circumstances. without going any further into some pretty morbid details let's just say i'm extremely happy to start a new number.
the virginal storage of potentially awesome days that's 2012.
but to be fair, plenty of perfectly nice things happened as well. knitting-wise (and otherwise-wise) the past year's been a total eye-opener, and i do mean it in the most constructive sense possible.
for the first time ever i managed to knit a sweater i actually want to wear, and what's more, repeated the success five more times throughout the year. sure it made me teeter on the brink of my sanity on the way, but still. i found the lucrative and financially disastrous world of luxury yarns. i learned to spin, for god's sake. and to top everything off i got a job on the inside. which is still almost as much a dream job as it was on day one.
and since knitting makes up around 80% of my general well-being, i'm pretty sure that once the clock hits 12 the final cosmic tally between awesome and crap will fall in favor of awesome.
so to celebrate all the awesomeness i raise my proverbial glass to being alive and (sorta) well, and fart laughingly in the general backward direction of all things crappy.
happy new year!
December 31, 2011
year 2011, that is. it was right here and now it's gone.
December 29, 2011
christmas came. and went. with some scattered fun in between. i'm supposed to be at work right now, tackling rabid bargain-hunting yarnbuyers with all sorts of pointy sticks, but i've been sick with flu since dec 20. so i'm not.
|instead, i'm at home taking these pseudoartistic pictures |
of random christmas decorations and our crappy christmas weather
most of the presents i gave this year consisted of these reflectors, because i'm poor and lazy. i crocheted them (poorly and lazily) with 1.5mm reflecting tape, a whole bunch of mouline yarns, and the occasional glitter thread, because life instantly gets better once glitter is involved.
to my astonishment i've been hearing most people outside finland don't even know what a reflector is. to all of you still in the dark, literally, i reply with a popular finnish colloquialism, "kato vittu googlesta". (you probably won't find it in your regular dictionary.) and point you towards my etsy shop, where they shall be yours to buy after the new year. ish.
i also made a pair of stripey-noro-ripoff socks for my brother, but the receiving end made like a banana and split before i had a chance to photograph them. an elusive fella, he is.
speaking of photographs, you know the word my dad uses instead of "photographing" in finnish? "ikuistaa". which translates roughly as "foreverize". how darling is that?
plus i've finally been able to finish a certain knitting nightmare that's haunted me since july. believe me when i say there's a definite (and often inevitable) point at which an enjoyable, therapeutic project becomes a poe-esque tangle of gore and horror that makes you lose sleep, hair and all the other things you value most (although besides sleep and hair i can't think of any). but it's over now. just that getting someone to photograph it for me may well take another six months. so i should return with a FO post sometime next summer. but in the meantime, have a foreverization of said piece doing a nice relaxing soak in my bathroom sink.
is that the squirmy sound of anticipation i hear?
December 22, 2011
meaning i didn't quite get there.
again this year, instead of actually receiving their presents, two people will have to settle for a lame little note (handsomely wrapped in fancy papers, mind you) saying their presents will arrive once the knitter chooses to finish them. well, not as much "chooses" as "is physically, spatially and temporally able".
but surely it's the thought that counts?
wishing you all a good one!
December 18, 2011
December 16, 2011
first of all, miss melissa...
of all the joints, in all the towns, in all the world, you walk into mine.
that's how freakishly small this world is. you realize that i was probably there too at the time, seeing that before they hired me i spent 80% of my time and 95% of my money there anyway? but i do apologize on behalf of my colleagues. they did not perform as expected and shall be punished. with great vengeance and furious anger.
anyway. thanks to all the lovely dudettes who entered the giveaway! i feel like a god, getting to decide who gets stuff and who doesn't. kinda turns me on actually.
and now for some drumroll please..
the winner is monica, because let's face it, there's just no better justification for winning than "i really really really really want to". congrats! i've sent you an email for more details.
but since i'm such an awesomely nice person, i'm also going to hand out a surprise runner-up prize. consolation prize. whatever makes it sound less patronizing.
the second prize, another set of self-made stitch markers, goes to rebecca for selflessly increasing her competition by advertising this giveaway in her blog. perhaps some of the people you sent over will grow to liking me and eventually become my
slaves dear friends. you too should have an email waiting!
wow. i feel like such a douche now for not letting everyone win.
but to all of you who didn't get free stuff this time, worry not. there will be another giveaway in march where another batch of utterly finnish stuff will be handed out. and if you're super upset about not getting the yarn, i can point you to the right direction to buy it.
and you can still get a hold of the self-made stitch markers (made by me) because, for the final surprise, my own etsy shop will open this sunday! i will initially be selling stitch markers only (some sets at a discounted price) but the selection will expand to all sorts of crafty thingamajigs once things get going. so be sure to check back every now and then!
that's it. i'm all outta nice now.
December 12, 2011
christmas is nigh. i'm finding i have this inexplicable urge to be nice to random people, which is scary, but works in your favor if you choose your words wisely. because it's time to lure y'all out of your non-commenting holes with a festive little giveaway.
the prize is...
a set containing one 100g hank of louhitar from louhittaren luola, and a pack of six stitch markers made by my own humble self.
louhittaren luola (knitlob's lair) is a brand of unique hard-to-get handdyed yarns that hails from oulu in northern finland (anything above and beyond helsinki is north by my standards). the yarn is 100% finnsheep wool that's been both raised, sheared and spun in the exotic, arctic domain that (supposedly) is finland. the tourist board says hi.
the 2-ply texture is sort of rustic but still soft enough to be worn against the skin. you'll get a good 240 meters out of this 100g sport-weight hank for any smallish project you might have. and as you can see, the color's freakin' gorgeous.
the self-made stitch markers combine silver-plated wire with all sorts of fancy shmancy beads. they fit needles up to size 6mm (US 10) and, incidentally, were made by me. did i mention i made them myself?
all this wrapped in a nice recycled packaging that makes for a lovely gift too. unless you're a selfish bastard and want to keep the prize to yourself.
the rules are simple. leave a comment stating why you need to win this set by 6 pm (CET) thursday, december 15. best comment/argument/death threat wins.
be sure to leave some contact info, which will be used for contact purposes only, not for any evil dr doofenschmirtz type of scheme. and as always, feel free to tell me how awesome i am.
the winner will be announced on december 16.
December 9, 2011
i have two words for you, people.
you know. this type. lady with the shit-eating grin sold separately.
i don't know what the shiznit is in the real world right now but in most of finland ruffle yarn is the shiznit of the season. in genuine, scary, all-encompassing i-will-rip-your-fucking-heart-out-if-you-touch-that-last-ball magnitude. the sheer amount of speed and agility these (elderly) people seem to summon up whenever ruffle yarn is in sight is almost awe-inspiring. and being a member of the entrepreneurial party and thus witnessing such agitated behavior daily all i can do is sort of smile and accept their money. ka-ching, baby.
which is not to say i actually either approve or encourage the use of such yarn for any other purposes than providing a cautionary example of inexplicable mass hysteria. that and glittery acrylic toilet paper.
because even though i thoroughly support all kinds of handicrafts, and am willing to overlook many, many types of fugly in the name of DYI, ruffle yarn is the satanic mother of all fuglies and should be treated as such.
and some day, presumably around 20 seconds before i get fired, i will take matters into my own hands and begin preaching my gospel called THOU SHALT NOT USE RUFFLE YARN OR ELSE.
but being a martyr is kinda cool too, right?
November 23, 2011
warning. an image-heavy post follows.
so i made a rather impressive performance at a handicrafts fair last sunday. in terms of buying stuff anyway. screw christmas. consider my presents opened.
the fair was 150 miles away from me so mom came along and we staid overnight at a hotel. ate bad burgers, farted, giggled, farted again. like any other normal mother-daugther pair would do.
the fair seems to get bigger and bigger each year and this time there were almost 600 exhibitors trying to lure me to the dark side. an alarming number succeeded. oh well. i may be a servant of satan now but at least i've got stuff. much, much stuff.
and i really made a point to only buy stuff that's ecological, domestic or otherwise inherently good as far as consumer conscience goes. this awesome necklace from intoa is made out of old carpet rags. look at the scrumptuous color! look at it!
it obviously calls for a matching set of earrings. because sometimes i like to dress up and feel like a girly girl. these enameled beauties are from pauliina rundgren.
filling up my needle stash. i never knew knitpicks needles come in packs of 6. now i can break one just for the hell of it! oh snap!
then i found some gorgeous undyed dk weight lamb's wool from honkarinteen lammastila, which is an organic farm in southwest finland. the yarn's so gorgeous and soft that i want to wrap myself in it. sleep in it. make love to it. can't live without it.
i met the farm owner too, which is absolutely the best thing about these fairs. what an amazingly nice person. it's one thing to buy mass-produced yarn at a department store, and a completely different thing to buy yarn from someone who's fed and sheared the sheep herself and then spun the yarn with her own hands.
some hand-dyed sock yarn from hopeasäie...
some ridiculously soft, i-have-no-idea-what-i'm-gonna-do-with-this-but-i-had-to-buy-it-anyway merino from kirkkomäki...
a set of sock blockers from succaplokki... although in my shopping craze bought the small size instead of medium. rendering them somewhat useless. oh well. they're pretty and i supported eco-friendly production. so money well spent i guess.
and finally i found the most perfect bag ever. it's exactly the right size, opens with one hand, works both as handbag and shoulder bag, and fits an amazing amount of stuff in it. and it's made out of recycled army materials. globe hope, please allow me to build you an altar where i shall worship you for hours on end. naked if necessary.
what a fruitful sunday it was. same time next year, folks!
oh and you may have noticed that the art of photography is getting increasingly crappy here. choosing to live in arctic latitudes means having zero natural light this time of year. but fear not. only five more months of fumbling in the dark. it's not that long, right?
November 21, 2011
i've been hostessing* this blog for some time now and looks like my baby's growing up. the lovely becca at nook just gave me my first blog award!
keep 'em coming, people.
as for the award rules, i'm supposed to state seven interesting things about myself and then play the honor forward.
well, you'd be dead wrong to think i'd conform to such conformist conformity that easily. i need to bend the rules somehow.
i'm giving the award to hunter at violently domestic because both her parlance and the stuff she makes is awesome. period.
and here are five carefully selected and completely non-random facts about me. take that, conformity.
1. i can cross my toes. a great conversation-opener too.
2. my all-time favorite treat is potato chips mixed with vanilla ice cream into a heaping pile of sweet'n'salty goodness. oh god how much i want it. now. seriously. RIGHT N--
3. i love aeroplanes. looking at them, that is. not flying with them. i hate flying. being paralyzed with some kind of primitive death-fear is not my thing. but i could watch planes all day long from now until.. well, the day i die. in a burning flaming fireball of a mid-air collision, preferably. taxiing planes, landing planes, parked planes, i don't care. planes.
4. i once washed the bathroom sink with my flatmate's toothbrush. what can i say. i was disgruntled. marika, if you're out there.. well, you should've been nicer.
5. i secretly hope that the correct answer is, in fact, mormons. because that would be funny.
*yes it's a real word
November 16, 2011
November 5, 2011
let me tell you about my brother.
he's kind. he's pretty. he takes me to heavy metal gigs and refuses to let me pay for anything. in fact, he's just so freakin' awesome that it transcends all of my usual pseudo-witty commentary. so without any further gimmicky introduction i'm just gonna blurt it out that he wanted a grey chunky modern-looking scarf, and i made him one.
the name comes from the kick-ass documentary anvil! the story of anvil which served as some sort of inspiration when i was designing and swatching the scarf. check out the woolly headgear of the uncompromising canadian metal heroes and you'll see what i mean.
i love the finished diagonal (and reversible!) look and apparently the dear bro likes it too. for once i totally nailed a custom order!
i decided not to block it to keep it as rustic and unpolished as possible, and to make sure the yarn retains its volume. again it would've smoothened some of the unevenness of the stitches, but i think the rough and bulky look works better here.
it was a super fast knit too, only took two nights with 6mm needles. the yarn is really soft and the chain structure makes for an interesting texture, but for some reason it feels like acrylic to me even though it's supposed to be 80% merino and 20% cashmere. i'm thinking the infamous debbie bliss scam here. surely the germans wouldn't lie..?
the pattern is available if anyone wants it, so leave a comment if you're interested.
|otherwise he will come and EAT YOUR BRAIN|
November 2, 2011
so they just gave me a job at the local yarn store.
me. a job. at the local yarn store.
they didn't have to. but they did. because they're awesome. and now i get to spend all day sticking my fingers into the enchanting little orifices at each side of the lovely balls of yarn, you know, the thing yarnaholics do when they want to feel the texture properly - a finger or two just fits there so nicely - which to the untrained eye may seem like an exercise in some kind of warped sexual expression, but really, it's not.
oh and the customer service part, i'll probably have to do that too, but only if my hands are free.
anyway. i got a job. at the local yarn store.
which is just about as awesome as things can get right now. so for this one time, and i promise i shall never ask for this again, please allow me to say..
October 31, 2011
October 29, 2011
you know that feeling when you've entered a project thinking, "there's no way in god's name this thing is ever gonna work out"?
and the amount of sheer ecstatic orgastic joy when you realize that, against every single possible odd in the universe, it does?
i had absolutely no expectations of success when i cast on the stitches. i didn't even know how many i would need for a good fit. if you've read any of my previous posts regarding my giant trapezoid head, you know that fitting hats for my head is an epic exercise in futility. none of the supposed slouchy models work for me. i just end up with six tons of excess fabric in the neck. and a couple of self-inflicted broken bones.
but after approximately 15 years of making hats that don't fit it occurred to me to use short rows to make the front longer than the back. which i did. and added a nice braided cable to the side. and ended up with the single most awesome piece of headgear i've ever owned. it's so freakin' gorgeous that i'm in a compulsive need to get undressed and run back and forth main street wearing nothing but this hat and the curly winter hair on my legs. i don't know what else to do with these waves of completely unexpected pleasure rushing through me right now.
|i may look calm but inside i'm going OH YEAH GIVE IT TO ME BABY|
everything just went right with this piece. the yarn is awesome and has the exact right tone of yellow. blocking made it drape beautifully and smoothened the stitches except for some of the wrap&turn rows that are more prominent than others. but then again, hand-knitted items won't look as polished as machine-knitted ones, and why should they? this one screams "NO CHILD LABOR USED" from a thousand miles away.
ravelry has more detailed info on the construction. i will be writing the pattern out at some point so leave a comment or something if you're interested.
oh, and here's something i picked up at a local book fair.
why yes, that is a picture of me taken around three weeks ago. although i'd be inclined to leave the question mark out.
props to miss M for the photos!
October 27, 2011
as promised, here's some actual knitting i've been able to finish lately.
my friend turned 26. i wanted to make her something nice for the winter. enter thermis.
the pattern infamously has gauge errors that still haven't been corrected, but having a decent level of common sense helps. the finished piece is pretty nifty, although next time i'll probably cast on a few stitches less to make it more close-fitting. i couldn't find the right type of buttons in any store, but sort of accidentally came across an age-old cardigan in my closet that had exactly the ones i was looking for. off with their heads! they look better now than ever.
and blocking made the 220 look really good too. the surface is smooth and even and makes the thermal stitch more visible. not all yarns actually benefit that much from blocking, in my knitting at least. or maybe it's just that i can't see the difference with my beady little eyes. yeah. that's probably it.
but anyway, the recipient seems happy (notice how you can't see the shotgun pointing at her?) so i guess this one falls unexpectedly into the job-well-done category.
but i'm still in a desperate, frustrating need of a better camera. not a single photo comes out that doesn't need 20 minutes of color tweaking. it drives me insane. so someone please fix my fuckin' ass (positively no pun intended) for good so i can finally get a job and money and a killer EOS or something. thank you.
October 17, 2011
the following post contains offensive religious material and should not be read by anyone.
so it's obvious my life is not turning out the way i wanted it to. the ass-shattering pain is still there despite the surgery, and i'm having an infernally hard time adjusting to the thought that it may never go away. i've also come down with the flu which makes thinking and overall taking care of myself gazillion times harder.
i blame god. i don't like him and he doesn't like me. so we keep throwing steaming balls of turd at each other until one of us gives over. i do appreciate the oxymoronic nature of a fecal fight between myself and a (supposedly) bearded astral figure who i have no subjective experience of even existing, but somehow i still wake up nigh every morning with a fresh batch of baby green on my face. while he gets away squeaky clean. what a douche.
and now that we're on it, wasn't it therapy? that once accurately sang "god kicks with both feet and keeps his shoes clean"?
it's also obvious that the only way to provide any immediate or long-term relief for such unfair and unpleasant fate is to buy yarn.
which i did. i bought 17 skeins of yarn.
sparkly yarn. fluffy yarn. yarn that makes me forget all about god and his douchy, enigmatic ways. a little felted tweed. couple of cashmerino blends. a flavia or two. some silk wool. and other blissfully soft stuff i couldn't keep my hands off from.
i have no idea what i'm gonna make with all this stuff. i still have an untouched bag lying on my floor with 400g of viking eco ull, 500g of both drops alaska and karisma and four million skeins of raggegarn from my previous god-hates-us-all shopping spree. which, oddly, i do in fact recall being soundtracked by slayer at the time.
but again, the point is to have them before i need them, not after. in my mind this makes perfect sense.
p.s. i'm sure this blog will eventually return to idyllic representations of my actual knitting instead of going on and on about planning on knitting, preparing for knitting and/or failing at knitting. in the meantime.. oh well.
p.p.s. check out the new villavyyhti in helsinki. now.
October 14, 2011
let's just call it a nervous breakdown.
pain makes you do funny things. ridiculously extended pain makes you do ridiculously funny things. which eventually call for ridiculously funny measures.
but three weeks and seven therapeutic pairs of socks later i'm back. sort of. god how much i've missed my 220s and my 32" addis. never again shall we part.
or the bunny is seriously gonna get it.
September 19, 2011
please excuse the pseudoartistic tree hugger crap of the previous post. i had to do something. not being able to knit for almost two weeks made me delusional. that and painkillers. sweet opioidic mind-numbing BFF painkillers.
but i finally got some essential supplies on saturday and immediately made a pair of socks. oh god how good it felt. like taking a shower after spending 12 days in a broken porta-potty. and with a critically placed 7 inch wound that's not supposed to get wet for the first 15 days, i'm only half joking.
they were presented to and modeled here by my sister-in-law, who graciously waited for 4+ months for me to darn the previous pair i made her, which i ended up... uh, never doing... because, well... i just didn't feel like it. the patience some people have for my idio-moronic-syncracies astounds me.
i also messed up the stitch count somewhere around the heel area (although i refuse to claim full responsibility for it, the pattern was at times just way out there), making the lace pattern uneven between the two socks, but see how cunningly i took the pictures so you can't tell? and therefore still consider me a competent and admirable knitter?
i didn't have time to block them either. so i'm not super happy with the way they turned out. but at least i got to knit something. and more important, i'm back on her favorite people list, which will come in handy around christmastime.
p.s. armageddon made me cry. again.
September 14, 2011
i feel so unbelievably shitty right now. i don't know if the surgery worked or not. i don't know if i'll ever get better or not. i'm alone, i'm bored and i'm in pain.
so. much. pain.
but at least i have my cascades.
and my tosh merino light.
i can't go home until the shark bite in my ass heals. and of course i don't have a single pair of needles here. so i can't even knit.
but i can hold the hanks in my arms and pretend they love me.
September 11, 2011
in case you had any doubt about my borderline OCD dedication to yarn, please note that today, sunday september 11, exactly five days since my entire right asscheek was sliced open, pronged into and stapled back together with 21 shiny pieces of industrial metal, i rose from my sickbed and forced myself into a car, drove 20 miles and entered a crafts fair where i promptly acquired six hanks of yarn and a pack of square dpn's while mowing down passers-by with my crutches and causing some general alarm because of the please-god-let-me-die look on my face (as well as my clockwork scarf, which apparently is so goddamn cool that it actually forces random people to stop and tell me how cool it is) then turned rather laborously around and drove back home.
where i now lie dying.
but still, i rule.
September 5, 2011
i hereby announce a short hiatus from blogging and being funny and witty in general.
tomorrow i shall undergo some majorly graphic lower back / upper butt surgery to relieve me from a nerve pinch that has tormented me and made my life totally uncool for 2.5 years now. holy tranny christ how much it hurts. like hitting a funnybone, except the funnybone is in your ass and doesn't go away.
so unless i die on the operating table, or alternatively choose to jump out the window because the surgery has turned shitsour like the previous surgery in 2010, i shall resume being funny and witty as soon as i'm able to put a pair of pants on again.
which admittedly is not a prerequisite to blogging in any way.
September 1, 2011
a friend of mine came up to me in march.
"can you make me a lace scarf for my sister's wedding?" she asked. "of course", i replied, with a magnificent halo of professional knittingdom above my head. "i can do anything."
so she bought a pattern and some super fancy silk yarn, and told me to do my thing.
i went home, sat down and said, "gee willikers". well, something to the effect. beginning with the letter F.
i'm not very smart, you see. any work that requires active usage of the brain scares me. combine that with a whole lot of chart repetition, which hardly appeals to my tragic attention span and TV knitter habits, and you've got yourself a nice little shit sandwich.
but i boldly took up the challenge anyway, and after mere six months of extreme procrastination and subsequent consuming guilt the scarf is finally done. and i'm ready for some serious compliments, people. lie if necessary.
i'm really happy with it too. really. i am. the yarn wasn't exactly an orgastic joyride to knit but works great in the finished piece. all shiny and excessive. i made 28 repeats of the chart and together with a rather violent blocking ended up with spot-on two meters of lacey drapeness.
but where the designer (and other normal balanced individuals) sees flowers, i see angry bees. for some completely non-freudian reasons, i'm sure.
i'm still not hugely and obsessively in love with lace for aforementioned reasons, but i do like the part where i get to say "finished" and get unconditional admiration from people who can't or won't knit themselves (and who thus don't know any better). and of course it's nice to be able to make something and then
but the biggest mystery about this whole thing is how my friend knew what she's going to wear for the wedding 18 months in advance. because it won't be held until fall 2012. very, very not girly-like. in fact, i'm not sure she's a girl at all. i check myself regularly. maybe she should too.
August 30, 2011
i deserve all this stuff. i really do. because i'm such a good person. who happened to be in a desperate need of a yarn swift.
and who also happens to be very much in non-platonical love with the color yellow.
better start punishing myself for such objectionable folly. satanic waste of hard-earned cash, guaranteed to cause premature death in some gruesome, goresome yarn-related incident.
no, wait. fuck this. as of right now i refuse to feel guilty over the yarn-related stuff i buy. i don't care what anyone says. it's my money and my obsession. there's nothing wrong with prioritizing yarn over food if it's hand-dyed and pretty. and whether i have any immediate use for it is irrelevant, because the hanks are indeed pretty to look at and in their wonderful woolly texture offer soft consolation for my tear-stained, petless, husbandless soul. besides, a wise woman once said...
"i always feel a bit of a need to apologize for the yarn i buy. i feel like i should justify it or explain it or excuse it. but really, that's silly. this is my business, and it requires yarn. so i bought some."
some meaning 16.
so in this industry i'm still considered moderate. which means i need to go buy some more. now.
August 19, 2011
yes. i do appreciate the irony in the fact that i've basically replaced one genre of skinny white guys singing about their feelings (nu-metal) with another genre of skinny white guys singing about their feelings (indie).
now let's never talk about it again.
as for today's topic, let me just take a moment here and revel in the magnificent sunshine of this following piece of yarny artwork.
dear stephen. i think you're a genious, and also kind of hot. please write more patterns so that i can send you money and
which is not to overlook the supreme keanu reeves type excellence of the yarn. mokkasukka will change your life. get some. like, now.
also feel free to worship my shirt, which is awesome.
awesome, i said.