Category: Crochet

Hats in Myrbergsgården

In an earlier post I wrote about socks you can see in one of the museums in my municipality. Today I want to show you hats from that same amazing museum, Myrbergsgården = Ant’s Hill House, if you wonder 🙂

Some of these are skilfully crocheted children’s hats. Sometimes they were made for women, who wore them as an extra layer under the head cloths for more warmth. Indoors they took off the head cloth, but sometimes kept the hat. The houses, and especially the small cottages, where not always very warm in winter in those days, i.e. the end of the 19th century – beginning of the 20th. As you can see, they were crocheted in the round. The pattern designs are the same you can find in crocheted clothes and purses here on the Ostrobothnian coast.

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Tapestry crocheted hats
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Tapestry crocheted hats

Close up: I still haven’t had time to see how they solved the problem with going from crocheting in rounds to making a flat piece. You can do it in two ways. Either you continue working in rounds and make a steek afterwards, or you cut the threads after each row. I really can’t tell from my photos which method they used.

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Tapestry crocheted hat with Twisted S design

The Twisted S design is often used in the Korsnäs sweater, but you can also find it in suspenders and purses. It’s one of my favorits, I often use it in purses.

I have tried to copy this hat, made and used by an elderly woman as her indoor hat, but it’s very hard to find out exactly how the increases are made. I think this design must be made exactly like this. It’s charming with it’s slightly irregular “propellers”. If you make it regular it looses much of its charm.

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These plain knitted caps were also used under the head cloth. Some of them are machine knitted. Knitting machines where common before WWII in my municipality. This is a simple but highly usable sock heel construction:

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Machine knitted cap

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Twisted stitches

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Hope you enjoyed! To me head gear are constant objects of amazement. It seems we put just anything on our heads! I think  the hats I just showed you are lovely. When I get even older than I am now, I’ll crochet a hat like that for me to wear on cold winter days.

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For two perfect spindles

I have this obsession with taking spindles with me when travelling. I have loads of purses, but these two spindles with big whorls haven’t had any earlier. Now they have one!

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Square spindle from Michael Williams, Comet from Woolly Designs.  Both are perfectly balanced with long and fast spin.

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Tapestry crochet, yarn Sandnes Garn Mandarin Petit. Lining polyester, I think. Card woven strap in Mandarin Petit. Old rag rug gifted by a kind neighbour.

I have been spinning also. I started this yarn at a training camp on Ravelry before Tour de Fleece, and finished it a few days ago. Spun on three different light weight spindles and Louet Victoria. Sock yarn, 4-ply, 697 meters, 200 grams, merino and silk. I think for needles 2 mm, but still have to swatch.

Spunnet på bossie, liten spindlewood, victoria. Merino, silke.

Two-end knitting and crochet

I took a class in intermediate two-end knitting for Karin Kahnlund, one of the skilled Swedish knitters and teachers in this intricate technique. You may know it as “twined knitting”, a term that is also frequently used. It’s called “tvåändsstickning” in Swedish. The technique hasn’t been widely known outside the areas in Sweden where it has been practised for hundreds of years. It’s still an unknown way of knitting for most knitters. I first learned how to do it at the beginning of the 21th century, when I was able to attend a class with Marianne Wasberg. She’s the one sitting in the wheel chair here in our class at the Symposium:

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I somehow managed not to take a photo of our pleasant and skilled teacher. I did take photos of her mittens, but as she doesn’t want them to be published I can’t show them. Karin has made very beautiful knitted mittens and sleeves, as you can see from the few photos on her site.

I may show Karin’s swatch that we started knitting in the class:

Provlapp i Karin Kahnlunds fortsättningskurs

My swatch is still to be finished. I frogged the first one and started all over. After several hours of knitting I’ve come this far:

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I wanted to show the wrong side, because it’s different from how you usually knit stranded knitting and fair isle. Every stitch is bound or twisted, and you throw the yarns. The continental way of knitting doesn’t work in two-end knitting. I’m pleased with the swatch as it looks now compared to the one I first started knitting. You have to knit firm, otherwise the patterns won’t look nice. In this exercise you learn how many threads you need to use in each pattern, and how they are bound and twisted.

In two-end knitting you use Z-twist yarns, so now I have a new challenge in my spinning. For some reason I find it much more difficult to spin S than Z. I think it has to do with very small changes in how you use your muscles in your drafting hand. So, the way to cope with that is to spin more S-twist singles to train your muscles! We use Z-twisted yarns because S-twisted tend to loose rather much twist in this technique. This is of course, as so often when it comes to textiles, a matter of “it depends”. Your personal way of knitting, how you keep your yarns in your hands, how you pick the stitches or throw your yarns, whether you’re right handed or left handed, all this affect the yarns and how your knitting looks. So, test different ways and decide for yourself how you want to do it.

I also got engaged as a teacher at the Symposium, and found myself having promised to teach tapestry crochet at a knitting symposium. To my surprise my class was quite popular, so I ended up with more students than I had promised to take. It was a bit crowded in one of the classes, but we managed even if my legs still are covered with bruises from the table and chairs I had to round each time I wanted to show someone what to do 🙂 I chose the traditional Ostrobothnian way to crochet this technique. My students learned the basics and some of them were able to finish the round, flat bottom of a purse. At least one of them had finished the sides of her purse the following morning! This is a photo I took while working with the hand outs for my class:

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We also could to listen to some very interesting talks during the five days, and we visited several museums and saw some of the beautiful textiles from my region. I met new people, and some that I’ve met earlier in Scotland, Shetland, Finland, Sweden. It was a wonderful five days!

… and after

Thank you so much everybody! I’m overwhelmed by your response and all the congratulations here and on Ravely and Facebook. It really makes me happy 🙂

I’m now having a vacation from spinning for a few days. I took up something I love to do but haven’t had time to do the last few years:

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This swatch shows a pattern I found on Pinterest. Today I’ll start crocheting the real thing. Maybe borders for new curtains? Our old house loves lace curtains! Here’s a link to an amazing page with lovely crochet patterns.

New dimensions: granny squares

Sorry I can’t show photos, you’ll need to follow the links to some amazing crochet: granny squares. And more here!

Makes you want to have a closer look at your yarn stash, doesn’t it?

What I’m doing? I’m spinning. Also starting to translate my tapestry crochet patterns into English and Finnish for the Nordic Knitting Symposium in July. Writing a short article for my guild’s magazine. Thinking about making a pizza – I’ve been having a bad ache for pizza the last few days. Not many gluten free tasty pizzas in the pizzerias. I have to make it myself. Tomorrow, promise to myself.

Not dying after all, my stellar pelargoniums. This dark winter has been an ordeal for them, but now they show signs of optimism.

våren kommer

Carol Ventura, tapestry crochet

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I’m happy to have attended Carol Ventura’s beaded tapestry crochet class at a Nordic Crochet Symposium some years ago. She has an awesome site with hundreds of photos from all over the world. Her blog (link on her site) is a joy to read. She even presented me in it a few years ago. As a teacher she’s intense, eager to share her wast knowledge. If you ever have the chance, go to one of her classes!

One of her books with patterns and techniques:

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And may I present Iiro, who got his name from one of Finlands ministers of finance who seemed to know only one word, “save”. Iiro eats left over coins from our travels. You know, beads for swines… he eats from the small basket I crocheted in Carol’s class.

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Teaching tapestry crochet at a knitting symposium

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So I will teach tapestry crochet at the Nordic Knitting Symposium 2014. Who could’ve guessed? Not I, for sure. When they called me and asked, I said “tapestry crochet???” in a tone that suggested I don’t know what a crochet hook looks like.

But a short tour in my Ravelry projects reveals the truth: I have crocheted lots of bags and purses in that technique, and I have crocheted/knitted Korsnäs sweaters. So after thinking for a while I said “yes, please, I’ll be glad to teach tapestry crochet!”

I’m so excited to take part in this big knitting event!

Hjärtligt välkomna till Nordiskt Sticksymposium 2014 alla som vill virka något färgglatt och folklig tillsammans med mig! Hjärtligt välkomna alla som vill virka något dämpat och stilrent! Jag håller två halvdagskurser under symposiet. Du lär dig grunderna, och sedan börjar äventyret. Du kan omsätta det du lärt dig i egna projekt i den stil du vill. Hjärtligt välkommen även om du inte alls vill virka utan bara sticka, för den illustra skaran fina sticklärare är imponerande!

Sydämellisesti tervetuloa Pohjoismaiseen Neulesymposiumiin 2014! Tästä tapahtumasta tulee hieno, siitä olen aivan varma. Opetan monivärivirkkausta erittäin mielelläni. Perustaidot opit nopeasti, ja sen jälkeen voit kehittää omia malleja. Tekniikka on monipuolinen ja sitä voi käyttää monella eri tavalla vaatteissa, pusseissa ja laukuissa, sisustuksessa. Tervetuloa myös jos et halua ollenkaan virkata! Vöyrille tulee suuri joukko erittäin taidokkaita ja inspiroivia neuleopettajaa.

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