unveiling secrets!

Hanna has received my swap package! Yay! She looks beautiful in the hat, I added the photo to my project page on Ravelry because it looks so great! And I am excited about finally being able to share the whole thing with you! Today, I put another secret project in the mail (a complete surprize), but since the person that it’s going to doesn’t read the blog I can show it to you very soon… :)

But let’s get back to the swap! The task was to go through the person’s favorites on Ravelry and choose one to make a hat. Hanna didn’t have too many favorites, but one caught my attention specifically: MirreVirre’s hat and cowl pattern.

It’s a simple combination of ktbl and garter stitch. I thought garter stitch would be perfect, considering what a cold place Hanna lives in! Her head is guaranteed to be warm in this…

I had to make a few modifications to adjust for the weight of the yarn I was using. I also struggled a bit with guessing how big a hat I should make – Hanna sent me her head diameter, but I’d never worked with diameters for hats before (most patterns are one-size-fits-all, or give simple s, m, l instructions). This involved a few ripped attempts, but I didn’t mind, I wanted to get it just right. As you can see, the hat is definitely a bit too big for me (though I looooove the uber-slouchiness), but on Hanna it looks perfect (follow link at the top of post to see her wearing it).

I did the photoshoot on the banks of the Thames, while I was waiting to meet up with some friends. It was a Sunday afternoon, the bank was swarming with tourists, and I was getting weird looks, like I always do when I’m making faces at the camera and taking photos of myself (well, I’m actually taking photos of the hat, but they don’t know that). I’ve started embracing these odd looks, and I have a little giggle inside imagining what these people must be thinking… And of course, when my hair decides to do silly things as well, the looks get just a little weirder… ;)

But I ignore them, I keep making faces at my camera…

Only if they start really annoying me, I go in search of a slightly more secluded location…

Ok, but let me show you what else was in the package…

Clockwise

  • Croatian traditional sweets, made out of honey, nuts and dried fruit
  • a post-it pad with instructions on how to turn your post-its into origami animals
  • a mini water-colors paint set from Tate Modern
  • some Croatian yarn (isn’t the whole idea of these swaps to exchange things you wouldn’t normally find around where you live? :)

And this… this lovely paper from India which I discovered in that big craft store I wrote about a few weeks ago. I bought two packages, one for myself and one for Hanna, because I knew how much she loves all sorts of crafts, and this kind of material is perfect to give you inspiration. I am completely in love with it and use it to add a note to all my knitwear gifts!

Look at these colors and the texture, aren’t they gorgeous?

I am feeling super inspired by these materials, by the spring, by the culture and quirkiness that this city is full of, and by the kind and fun people around me… My knitting productivity is on a steep rise and I am feeling such a rush, I love love love it! This swap made me love knitting even more, adding another layer to it. And just as a little bonus surprize, I would like to reveal one more secret, something that Hanna doesn’t yet know either. Her hat is quite cultured itself, and before it got on the plane to stay with her in Finland, it did some sightseeing. Yes, it went to Shakespeare’s Globe (and quietly told me that it enjoyed it immensely… ;) Here’s proof…

Have a very very very silly weekend, all of you! :)

ready to go!

Remember when I announced, just more than a month ago, that I was joining a swap? And how, way before deadline, my lovely partner Hanna had sent me my package? Well, the deadline is tomorrow and I have finally finished putting together everything for Hanna. Doing everything at the eleventh hour, that is so me. I decided to use this difference between our two tempos to do mother nature a favor – so I’m sending Hanna her goodies in the same box that she sent mine in! I think it must be very exciting for this box to be travelling from Finland to the UK and back… Though maybe it would have prefered to go somewhere new… In any case, it is closed, labeled, addressed and ready to go! First thing tomorrow morning it starts its new journey, I hope it will get to Hanna safe and fast. When it arrives, I’ll be able to show you what was inside, in the meantime – it’s a secret! :)

from Hanna with love

I’ve finally taken photos and can now show you all the goodies I received from Hanna almost a week ago, as part of our Ravelry Favorites Swap! My assortment of goodies for her is piling up as well, but I’m afraid the main thing – the hat – is still missing… Eeek! As usual, I’ll be working against the deadline. But that’s when I work best, so no worries, Hanna! :)

This is the hat Hanna made for me. She knit it in the lovely Garnstudio DROPS Silke Alpaca. I made a hat out of the same yarn last summer, so I know it’s a real luxury to work with.

In addition to the hat, she also sent me two skeins of kitten mohair with a lovely sheen! I’ve never worked with mohair before, yay! Uuuuum, stupid question though: is it made from cat hair?

Included in the package was also this box of assorted teas (I loooove trying out new tea flavors!) and, um, some chocolate bars, which have, um, misteriously disappeared in the meantime…

And finally, to top it all off, Hanna added a wonderful knitting-related card and a handmade necklace to show off her other crafty skills! The whole package followed a blue theme – so thoughtful.

Here’s me being silly with your gifts, Hanna… Thank you so much!

my parcel!

I spent the entire day, morning to evening, at the library, working like a little ant! When I finally decided to call it a day and made my way home in the chilling cold wind, I found a parcel waiting for me! What a surprize! My super-industrious swap partner Hanna has finished everything and managed to get it to me more than two weeks before the deadline to send things out! :O I have spent the last 20 minutes staring at the parcel, smiling giddily and wondering if I should open it… (Oh, yeah, and hugging it!) Should I wait until mine is sent off? Or until the deadline for sending them? Or should I just dig in? :)))) I marvel at my self-control at the moment… What do you think, quickly, before I give in to my curiosity? :)

partner :)

Aaand I’ve got my first swap partner ever! I have not been in touch with her yet, but the magic of Ravelry and blogging has already told me loooads about her. So let’s do a quick presentation. Everyone, meet Hanna!

Hanna is Finnish and she lives in Kuopio – here we are connected by a big blue line. :)

It looks like it could be mighty cold up there! I better make something waaarm for her…

Hanna does all sorts of crafts and she has been knitting since she was 7 years old! Phew, I’m getting nervous now. :) But still looking forward to it! I’ve had a quick look at her favorite patterns and it seems like I might at least have an easier job picking than her – she only has 31 favorites, as opposed to my 641! :D

Let the excitement begin! :)

first swap ever!

I joined my first knitting swap ever! Yay! So, I’ve been looking at various sorts of swaps for the last year or so, but I always seem to discover them too late to join… Today, I was browsing the Ravelry forums, and I came across this one. There was a little bit of frantic thinking, but the project seems reasonable given the time frame, and I think it may be just the right thing to keep my recently-rediscovered knitting drive on the rise! Yay for Ravelry bringing knitters together! I’m so excited. Sign ups end tomorrow, so if I’ve managed to tickle your imagination, go for it! So far there are less than 20 people participating, and I think that could make it nice and intimate… The idea is for your partner to go through your favorites and choose a hat pattern there, I love this concept. Of course, were you surpized it was to do with hats? You know me that much by now. ;) In any case, thinking about this inspired me to go through my favorites myself and dig out some wonderful patterns I may have forgotten about. My favorites folder is overflowing, there is enough there to knit for three lifetimes, so my partner will have a range of choices, whether they prefer simple knit-and-purl hats, lace, Fair Isle or something else. And they are all soooo pretty! I decided I had to show you a few of my favest favorites, so here we go! I focused on free patterns this time, I really don’t think the swap partner should be obliged to spend money on a pattern if they didn’t want to. And anyway, there are so many beautiful free patterns out there, as I am about to demonstrate. ;)

Selbu Modern

Amelia Erhart Aviator Cap

Maze

Topographie

Felicity

Clicking on the photos should take you directly to the patterns. All photos directly from patterns, except for Felicity, where I borrowed from Lapoli – I think her version perfectly demonstrates the simplicity and beauty of the pattern.

Most of these patterns are simple enough to allow people to add their own embellishments and show off their creativity. Do go on Ravelry to check out all the wonderful things knitters have done with these patterns! And have a wonderful weekend! :) I can tell you what I’ll be doing: dreaming of my swap…