Tag Archives: cowl

harvesting and knitting and dyeing

The tomatoes keep on coming.
harvest. tidytipsy
I grew four varieties on our balcony this year. The sweet and tiny red one are easiest to grow in containers whereas the Green Zebras and Black Plums were a bit disappointing. The tastiest is a pink beef tomato from Spain, the seeds coming from the brother of a friend’s own garden. It produced only a few fruits but they were very good!
My mom grew them in her garden and when allowed to root deeply these grow into the hugest tomatoes ever.
harvest. tidytipsy
She’s picking them to ripen indoors since the weather has turned cooler.

Speaking of cooler weather, I’ve picked up some knitting again that got cast aside in spring. This pea green cowl in seed stitch turned out to be almost done, it just needed joining and weaving in the ends.
pea green cowl. tidytipsy
pea green cowl. tidytipsy
The dress I’m wearing is years old and was originally a dark grey. I’ve always loved the fit but hated the color, so I decided to try dyeing it in the washing machine. It was that or putting it on the donation pile. The dyeing turned out to be the easiest thing ever! Here’s a before and after:
dyeing clothes. tidytipsy
Now I can’t stop thinking what else I’d like to dye! I dyed an old blazer as well but unfortunately it didn’t take the color much. I should have looked at the fiber content first…still, it’s a bit better than before:
dyeing clothes. tidytipsy
The fall sock knitting is progressing nicely too. A couple more nights and these should be done.
knitting . tidytipsy
Recently I’ve been digging out old books again. Some of the books you read as a child always stay with you I guess and it’s lovely getting back into the old stories. Some of these are quite old and were actually handed down to me by my mother.
One of my favourites is a story about a young norwegian girl leaving the isolated area she grew up in to live and work in the city, going through many hardships but finally achieving not only a school diploma but also starting her own business. A simple but heartwarming story and quite modern considering it was published in the 1950′s and is set sometime in the 1930′s and 1940′s! In fact, there are only a few passages that clearly date the story (for example when the protagonist gets pregnant and everyone she announces it to insists on downing a bottle of bubbly with her!). Apparently these were only published in german and scandinavian languages, but if you can read either, look up the author Berte Bratt for the “Anne” trilogy.

alpaca cowl

The last cold weather knitting project for this spring is finished (if you don’t count socks, but I wear those all year round anyway): a cowl of the softest alpaca yarn in a deep golden brown.

I mentioned it in this post already, the yarn came from a family farm in Canada where I worked for 2 weeks in 2009. It took me this long to use up the lovely yarn from the alpacas I fed every morning.

I love how versatile cowls are and this colour especially can be worn with just about everything. For those interested in all things clothes: the boots are Lepi (a high quality italian brand my dad has been selling for decades), the shirt is from my dressmaking ventures last year (I never blogged it but it’s similar to this one) and the cardigan and jeans are both H&M (my go-to for basics, though I try to work towards buying less and instead more high quality and natural fibers).

I like to wear it loosely but it’s also wonderfully warm to wear bunched up around the neck…perfect for spring I’d say!

yarn love

I have been knitting since I was about 12 and though I never really ventured into complicated patterns or making sweaters (though that is something I really want to learn sometime!) knitting in winter is second nature to me. I am always on the lookout for pretty, high quality yarns from natural fibers. Apart from buying some wonderful rustic local yarn (which knit up into this), Etsy is great for yarn shopping and I love how I can get pretty, handdyed yarn from all over the world shipped to my little home.


I am absolutely, madly in love with this yarn from Etsy seller atreehuggerswife. It’s the charcoal colorway and wonderfully soft. She was so kind to wind it into a ball for me at no extra charge, which is great, because winding yarn into a ball by hand is so not my favourite activity. This yarn is on the needles right now to become a nice pair of socks.


Also on the needles and another “bus project” (yes, I knit on the bus on my way to work. I am old enough not to care what people think and I wouldn’t want to waste a whole hour of knitting time a day). It’s beautiful and incredibly soft alpaca yarn from the alpacas of the farm I stayed on in Canada for a few weeks in 2009. I am making a cowl with it and hope to finish it in a couple of weeks. I would my projects would finish as quickly as new ideas tumble into my head :)


Another beautiful Etsy yarn, from seller onefatslug in Australia. Have I mentioned how much I love getting packages from all over the world? This year alone I have been getting packages from NY, Knoxville, Alaska and Australia, all from independent little businesses.


This sweet ice-blue knitting basket was found on a thrift store hunt and I love love love it. It is big enough to hold all of my current projects (in addition to the ones shown above there is always the odd other sock project and dishcloth on the needles).


And finally, cleaning out my yarn stuff from all the years I came across these wrist warmers. These were the first thing I ever knitted, at age 12 or 13, when my dad’s girlfriend taught me to knit. I don’t remember having had such style as a teenager but I love them and they still fit and now that I found them again I have been wearing them constantly. I remember knitting them like socks on 4 double pointed needles. A super quick project and they really keep you warm in winter and can be worn with just about anything.

stitch by stitch

Remember that lovely local yarn from a couple of weeks ago? Here’s where I am with that so far: The pair of socks was finished pretty quickly and I have been wearing them inside constantly ever since.

(They’re the same length, the picture just makes them look uneven).
These are honestly the warmest socks I’ve ever had, this yarn is so great. They look a bit out of shape here, but that’s only because I am wearing them all the time. And I must remember to make the shafts longer, they always come out too short.

Two skeins of the chunky mustard yellow yarn went into this cowl. This was almost exclusively a ‘bus project’, knit on the 30 min. bus ride to and from work, so it took me quite some time to finish it.

I will probably need to wash this once to soften it up a bit, but I love love love how it turned out, I really can’t get enough of that colour.

I am already on to the next pair of socks in a color to match the cowl, though from a different yarn this time. I’d love to find some less chunky sock yarn in the same quality, it’s bugging me that nice yarn is so hard to find. Come summer there will be craft fairs all around though and I hope to get some pretty colored sock yarn there. Also I’m already scouring Etsy like crazy.

some more knitting

One more cowl was in order and this Lana Grossa Baby Alpaca yarn is heavenly soft and wonderful to knit with:

Excuse the cheesy flower photo, but they were the last of my birthday flowers.
Not that I’m done with seed stitch though! I have a lovely teal scarf in the works right now.

I could knit all day in fall…if I didn’t have to go to work and if I didn’t fall asleep as soon as I come home. I have been getting up at 5.20am all of last week with the intention of getting house work done in the mornings, so I don’t have a big pile of washing and folding and ironing and cleaning to do at the weekend. So far, the only result of getting up early has been more blog reading though…

But back to knitting! I love love love these gorgeous socks that Jenny from wikstenmade knit. I think I need to go buy sock yarn (not that I don’t have sock yarn, but nothing I like enough colourwise to get me through a pair…you wouldn’t believe how many single knit socks I have).

And just yesterday these beautiful mittens arrived in the mail from Anniki of woolmint from Estonia:

This is her photo, it’s still dark here so I couldn’t yet take photos myself. I got them for my birthday and they are gorgeous and fit perfectly! I can’t wait for colder weather so I can wear them with my new light gray winter coat (no, I’m not fashion crazy, why do you ask?).

The only drawback of fall is that it gets dark so early…soon I won’t be able to take photos during the week because by the time I leave work it will already be dark. How will I get through whole weeks with taking photos only at the weekends? Maybe I should take the jump and become a full time photographer after all…if only there were the security that I could actually live on that ;)

knitting season

Every year in fall I get the knitting bug. I am not a big fan of counting stitches (or counting and numbers full stop) but I love simple patterns and making scarves or mittens or socks.

This year it’s cowls all the way.

So quick and fun and classy in simple seed stitch.

The yarn is Lana Grossa Alta Moda Alpaca and it’s fantastic, super soft and warm and it smells so good! Like alpacas I guess, like sheep and horses for me…wonderful.