51 Mornings Before Christmas

Because I can't really tell you about the pants, I'm posting some pictures of Ellie (and I think Bert has to had his time in front of the camera as well...)
Ellie was one of my projects to Nerdwars T8 round 2, she is mainly crocheted of Fabel, Nordlys and some Kotikulta Villainen left overs with 2mm hook. The pattern again from Heidi Bears.

Getting ready for X-mas

I started blogging in October 2008. First few years, I did  sort of Christmas countdown for 50-100 days before Christmas. I sort of miss that, althought, I found it rather difficult to find something to write about every day, when, let's face, my life is rather (or little more than rather) boring, and so has it been. Sometimes it is good to look back and see the things accomblished.

In 2008, I have been knitting squares for my Godson's blanket from Novita Polaris and Novita Pop. Even then I've noticed that Novita's recomendation for needle size isn't that great in every case. Addition to those squares I've been knitting a shawl/vest to my Mom, and have been wondering why on Earth I knit the sides for the armholes one side at the time instead of knitting them at the same time from two skeins? And, it has been second day of listening Christmas carols.

In 2009, it has been 52 mornings to X-mas, and only 46 to graduation. My thesis has been a one big WIP, and there has been few other tasks to finish (or compose) as well. I have begun to question my ability to really graduate in two years. The main knitting has been Northerlights shawl, and the needles have been at hand despite all the school tasks. It has been a Monday, and in 2009 YLE (the Finnish version of BBC) showed Russian World War II-television series Strafbat (Bataljon of Punishment) on Monday evenings, so knitting instead of school work. And I have been hoping to finish something to have more room in my stahs.

In 2010 I've been knitting my black Bitterroot shawl. My great-grandmother passed away on 1st of November, and I was knitting a shawl for the funeral. I used Novita Nalle (it is sport/DK), and I have thought that the shawl would look better on thinner yarn.

In 2011 I have not blogged on 2nd of Nov, but have just posted few days earlier similar post. I took part to KyJy, where the idea was to start and finish certain mount of projects between Midsummer and Christmas Eve. I did fail.

In 2012 I was in Australia. I assume that i have started the X-mas socks for my Godson and his Bro, have been knitting a baby jacket to one of the midwives at the hospital where I worked, and knitted the Vernal Equanox shawl for the second time. (oh, I miss Australia so much)

Today, I've been knitting a pants to meet one of the challenges of T9 in Nerdwars. But more about the Nerdwars projects and about the pants little later. It is 52 mornings till Christmas. No snow at sight. Still using summer tyres in my car.


A Playdate in 'Hippostyle'

"Psst, Bertha, wanna go out to play?"
"Usch, knitting and crocheting is not for small hippoes. Maybe we should go out for adventure!"
"Check-mate, Bert, you lost!"
"But I'm the king of the (Noro) hill"
"Bert, are you sure this is a runner??"

"It's too high and slipery. Bert, let's just get out of here!"
"This is more like it. How about a nap?"
"Hmm... that shirt wouldn't look good on a hippo. Where are all the hippo-models?"
"Bertha, Bertha, where are you??" "Hihihih!!"
"Silly Bert, hide'n'seek is my favourite game. Wait till Börje can join us."
"Lunchbreak, savoury, not sweet." "If we get any sweeter we become overly sappy"

"And look, they even have soup for little hippoes as well!"
(c) Drucilla at Lankahamsterin tunnustuksia

"Even little hippoes need to hydrate after big adventures."
"O' that's why Börje couldn't play with us, he doesn't have a head just yet"
"It was fun, see you next time Bertha!"
 Thanks to Drucilla for letting Bertha to play with Bert.


About Being a Warrior, a Nerd Warrior

If you wander around in Ravelry long enough, you can't avoid stumbling into some Ravlnick pictures of Team this and that. In wide rage of members in Ravelry (over 3 000 000), there are on-goinh alsorts of knitting, spinning, and otherkinds of competitions and games. Ravelenic Games are probably widest known (especially after last years Ravelympics-fiasco), but Tour de Fleece and Nerd Wars are not that far behind.
Nerd Wars is game, where teams and individuals compete in Ravelry sanctioned crafts (knitting, crocheting, weaving and spinning) for glory to their teams, and to challenge their nerdiness to knit the weardest ans funniest things ever. At the moment, we, the nerd warriors, are competing the tournament 8, which is consistent of 3 rounds, and the first round just ended on Friday (well, it was Saturday morning in my part of the World, but who counts?). The second round begins midnight (or tomorrow morning, in my part of the world, but then again, who counts?). Each round has its' own challenges, five of them to be exact. Each challege is worth of similar amount of points, and the team with most points (compared to the amount of players of the team) wins.
The challenges for the first round were:
- Encyclopedia; B for Birhtday;
Craft an item that is inspired by the day on which you were born.
There are many things associated with our birthdays. There are birthstones and flowers for the month in which you were born. There are also zodiac or astrological symbols such as your horoscope star sign or the Chinese animal that marks the year of your birth. Then there are characteristics associated with the day of the week on which you were born (“Monday’s Child is Fair of Face…”). Perhaps there is something more personal that you or your loved ones use to mark your birthday, or maybe you just remember a very special cake or present that always sums up the idea of your birthday for you. (C) Ravelry
And my responce to the challenge was as it follows:
I was born on a sunny Friday under Leo’s constallation, in a year of fire tiger, as a loved and cherriced first born. It happens to be a nameday of Sylvi (the pattern is desinged by Sylvie Beez), and my now late Great-Grandma used that to remember my birthday. As my birthday is just before the new school year begins, it always was a sunny day (can’t really say, but as you know, time makes memories grow golden), and as we all know, sun is yellow. And as a Friday’s child I’m a loving person. =o) 

Pattern: Little Valentine by Sylvie Beez,
with 4mm needles of Austerman Step, about 70g.
- Discovery; Kepler;
In the spirit of Kepler’s mission, your challenge this month is to craft something that represents the actual genesis or creation of new life. On March 7, 2009, NASA launched the Kepler spacecraft, an observatory specifically designed to search the Milky Way galaxy for other planets that could provide Earth-like conditions for habitation. And on April 18, 2013, NASA announced that the Kepler had detected two planets orbiting the Kepler-62 red dwarf star that are the most promising habitable planets (and therefore the most promising homes for other forms of life) yet discovered. Since the Kepler-62 system is some 1,200 light-years away, the conclusions the scientists at NASA have drawn from the Kepler’s data are by no means certain, but it’s certainly enough to get them excited. As they themselves said at the press conference announcing the discovery, they’ve been doing “a lot of arm-waving.” (C) Ravelry
And my responce:
  An infant child, a baby, is a representation of continuety of life. And new, unspoilled, unrotten, pure and innocent seed of life. Given the coldness of my Northern where abouts, I’ve knitted a jacket and a beanie of 100% wool with 5mm needles to protect the seed of human life from the hostility of the Nordic nature. I chose the bigger size, as the previous jacket I made with same pattern was little smallish. 

Baby Sophisticate by Linden Down
with 5mm needles of Kotikulta Villainen about 100g
Unfortunately the ears are so pointy that those can't be used in sweaters that are buttoned all the way up
- Flexible schedule; Drink up;
We are doing things a little bit different for Flexible Schedule this tournament - points are awarded for completion of your project (or projects), whether it satisfies the optional theme or not. The theme is assigned each month only to give a little bit extra to those who wish to challenge themselves further.

Although we as crafters try to enjoy our work, we sometimes run up against deadlines that we just can’t meet. This month’s challenge is to sit back, relax, and enjoy a cup of your favorite beverage while you finish off those projects we just haven’t had the chance to complete - and pay homage to that beverage. (C) Ravelry
Kotikulta Villainen about 165g with 7mm needles, before felting
And after
Mellanraggi 105g with 3mm needles
- Nerdology; Alternative transpotation;
 Ever since the invention of the wheel, nerds have been trying to improve the way we travel. With skyrocketing gas prices and the limited amount of fossil fuels, nerds are focusing their energy on creating and using alternative forms of transportation. From solar panels to electric scooters, it will not be long before we see the transportation industry changed for the better.
Your challenge this round is to craft something inspired by a form of transportation that does not use fossil fuels. (C) Ravelry
And my responce:
When I was a child (and that was a while ago), the bank that my parents had their accounts for the time being, organized sking competition for local children. Their mascots for kids club were siblings Hanna and Henri (the) Hippo. Once a month all the kids who had their “shadow accounts” in the bank got a magazine called Hippokerho. I participated to the sking competition few times (I think three or four), and was third and won a medal one year (it is much possible that I was the only in my series). Sking is a fossile fuel free form of transpotation as it uses muscular power (and will power for most of the time as well). As my fondest memories of sking are related to the Hippo sking competition, I’ve crocheted a hippo. 
Happypotamus by Heidi Bears
2mm hook, with Fabel, Step and Nordlys, altogether about 125g
Now known as Bert after the Abby's farting hippo in NCIS
 - Giving geeks; In fair weather prepare for foul
We might not be able to do anything about the weather, but we can sure do something about the results.
This month, your challenge is to make a donation of time, money, or items inspired by the weather (Heat, cold, wind, precipitation and combinations thereof). (C) Ravelry
And my responce:
The baby sweater knitted, goes to charity to support Ethiopian women to come and give birth in a hospital, to reduce the mortality rates of newborns as well as their mothers. The mothers gets a sweater for the baby for each child born in hospital. When we think of Africa, probably the first thing is the burning sun, but the sand gives up the warmth of the sun quite quickly, so the nights can be (and those are) rather chilly. The beauty of the desing is, that first it is a dress and the when the child grows, it becomes a shirt, so the child can wear/use the sweater till up to two years of age. The project was started by Finnish missionary worker/midwife working at the area, and due customs issues, all the sweaters are first collected to Tuuri and the sent from there to Ethiopia. 
Nuttu by Pirkko Tuppurainen
Each knitted with 3mm needles of Nalle approx 60-70g

The teams then? Well, given that the name of the games is Nerdwars, the teams pretty much cover the whole field of nerdery and geekery. I found my place for this round from my first love in the field of Sci-Fi, team Stargate Command. I almost had forgot how increble wide the series are, and why I fell for them over ten years ago. The first cut is the deepest, so is the first love as well. Thank you all my dear team mates for the support during the games, and reminding me how fabulous series we admire.
I can't wait for the next round to begin!


Never Say Never and Other Truths About Life

So, instead of being high for the Australian sun, I'm back in my cold and grey Finland complaining about the weather. I have a very nice and special job now, the one that I always wanted, so I'm happy about that, but still I miss the warmth and the light and the easy-going-ness of Ozzies.

Knittingwise, it has been a quite dry spell. I eventually finished all four pairs of socks to my Godson and his Bro, but since I didn't take the photo in Sydney, I didn't see much of a point to take one in darkness of Decemberian Finland. I used Schoppen Wolle's Admiral and was very desappointed to see the condition of the socks in end of January, I would have never believed that the socks were a gift for this X-mas, not the previous one. Haven't asked if they've broken down by now, but wouldn't be suprised.
While being bored with the four pairs of socks I knitted Sunnyside-jacket and a spiral beanie to my friends who are expecting. Yarn is Sheperd's Merino Wool 4ply with 3mm needles. I did my own verison of the cables and laces.
Lace flowers (or paws) and extra cables under arms and sides.
Purpple buttons and very light but strong blue goes easily for a boy or a girl.

After being re-unitted with my stash (very happy moment indeed!) I did knit another Ethiopian cardican of my old leftovers, and started to crocodile crochet a shawl, that is still WIP. Of the leftovers I also knitted a pair of socks to my friend's almost-year-old, now that he is learning to walk.
Both looking for new owner.

Very basic, but does the trick!

Just left overs.

And I DID finish my Vernal Equinox Suprise Shawl. It took little over two balls, but weights only 100g. Yarn is Patton's Embrace 2 ply. Needles 3,75mm.

Another shawl I knitted is from Knitty, Semi Precious Shawl. The yarn is hand dyed Novita Nalle, needles I think, are 4mm or 4,5mm. It took the whole skein (150g), and I did two extra repeats of chart B to gain size. (No photos yet, as it is not blocked yet).

I needed something easy to travel with-knitting when I traveled from Kuopio to Helsinki to meet my friends, and Calorimetry has been on my to-do-list for a very long time, and as I had the yarn for it... The yarn is something hand dyed with natular incredients, that some lady was selling in our local mal. Took whole skein and little extra. Needles 5mm.

Few more pictures to show of my shalws now blocked (note the lack of light).

My biggest problem in my recent life has been that another of my 3,5mm Knit Pro Clear acryllic tips broke down while knitting socks. Right from the middle, not from the root, but the middle of the acryllic part. I'm not the tight knitter, and I'm mourning it very much, since I can't replace it. I know, first world problems. =o)