söndag 28 oktober 2012

Season for socks

Now is the season for socks. These socks are called "raggsockor" in Swedish and I have knitted them since I was a child. The model is very simple, and you can mix colours and use left-over yarns.
I find it very relaxing to spend evenings knitting these socks. Since the model is very basic you can knit while chatting, listening to music, watching TV and so on, without having to worry about getting distracted.
And they are warm and cozy, too!

fredag 19 oktober 2012

Pitsilised koekirjad - A book not often found, and other books on Estonian knitting

I found a copy of this book by pure chance the other day. It is out of print, can´t be found or you have to pay a zilllion to obtain one second hand. I had to pay, but it was a reasonable price. It contains a treasure of Estonian lace patterns:
Now then, talking Estonian lace, if you are a lace fanatic (or just like to see beautiful things) the following two books are highly recommended.
"The Haapsalu Scarf" and "The Haapsalu Shawl" by Siiri Reimann and Aime Edasi. These books contain history, techniques, stitches and patterns - I think you need both of them.
I am also very fond the Kihnu Roosi books. "Kihnu Roosi - Kindakirjad" (language: Estonian only) is a fantastic book containing loads and loads of Estonian mittens knitted in black and white, some patterns are charted. "The letters of Kihnu Roosi - My history" (in English) has a broader view on traditional crafts and is 300+ pages of information and pictures regarding Estonian handicraft. "Roosi uses her private collection of handicraft items to speak in a simple and fascinating way about personal biographical facts, the exciting stories and legends of the island, customs related to religion, traditional creative practises, the way of life of the Kihnu people before and after World War II." The book has fantastic pictures but very few patterns.
"Elumõnu" by Ärmä Roosi (in Estonian only) is another fantastic book. It has beautiful pictures of handicrafts and contains a lot of pictures and charted patterns used for mittens and socks. Sadly a lot of the more informative aspects of this book are lost to me since I have no knowledge of the Estonian language.
Elo Lutsepp and Irina Tammis books "Eesti kindakirjad" and "Eesti sokikirjad" are nice books on mittens and socks, unfortunately only in Estonian. But there are lots of charts and pictures so if you apply yourself they are quite useful.
Aino Praakli´s books "Eesti labakindad ilma laande laiali" and "Estonian sock patterns all around the world" . Both books are in Estonian and English. The first book "Eesti labakindad ..." has fantastic charted patterns for decorating mittens in the traditional way. Note that the patterns are not for how to knit mittens. They contain charted motifs/patterns that you use when knitting mittens. So they are useful if you know how to knit socks and mittens and want to pattern them.
"Folk knitting in Estonia" by Nancy Bush is a classic and still easily available. It has history, traditions, techniques and patterns. A very good book to start with if you want to learn about Estonian knitting.
"Warme Handen - Estlandse wanten en polswarmers" (Warm hands - Estonian mittens and wrist warmers) by Carla Meijsen and Hilly van der Sluis is a book on Estonian mittens containing instructions, techniques and designs for thirteen mittens and wrist warmers in the Estonian tradition. This is also a very good book.
"Designs and patterns from Muhu Island -A needlework tradition from Estonia" by Anu Kabur, Anu Pink and Mai Meriste. 380+ pages of sheer beauty! "Muhu is a small island in the small republic of Estonia. Muhu handicraft has an unpredictable boldness in using colours and patterns" The book contains knitting, embroidery and crochet.
The book shows socks, mittens, caps, jackets, shirts, bridal aprons, ribbons and belts amongst many other items. Lots of charts. Highly recommended.
Finally "Ornamented journey" by Kristi Jõeste and Kristiina Ehin. This is a really good read about Estonian gloves. The book is about knitting gloves, personal texts and memories, folklore and old songs. No charts or patterns for mittens. Good photos of historical and modern knitted mittens. Very inspirational!

One more post about books on Estonian knitting:
Books on Estonian knitting and textile traditions

söndag 14 oktober 2012

Wood and olive oil

Today is a rainy, cold October Sunday. I was knitting a shawl, made a mistake and had to do some frogging. When I was winding the yarn back into a ball I noticed that my "nystpinne" needed some attention.

About once a year I give my wooden "tools" a generous rub with olive oil. By tools I mean my nystpinnar and needles for nalbinding.

It is a swift process: rub on some olive oil. Leave for a couple of hours. Rub off any excess oil with a paper towel or a cloth, and you´re done.

lördag 6 oktober 2012

Hat in hand spun yarn - tunisian crochet (krokning)

I am continuing my Tunisian crochet. This time I wanted to make a hat with a more snug fit.
The yarn used is my own hand spun. It is nice to have projects where it is possible to use my hand spun. Both these yarns were spun in S and plied in Z.
When making hats in Tunisian crochet I have had no patterns to follow. It seems that everything works out in the end despite that. I have experienced the same thing with nalbinding. When I knit I have to plan ahead to get the results that I want.