After weeks of writing my master´s thesis I finally got around to start weaving again. First I have two custom order rugs lined up and I made a warp for them from this standard cotton. Only five meters or so.
The first part of this project looks very familiar. It´s my favourite elongated zig-zag pattern. I could do it even longer but this time the receiver liked the medium version more.
Perhaps why this pattern looks so good to my eye is because when laying on the floor, it looks quite odd, oriental and traditional at the same time. And when looking along the rug the pattern is very visible but looking from the side (perpendicular to selvedge) it totally breaks down.
But there is one thing that I haven´t totally cracked with this pattern when used on rugs. The selvedges. Every time I have woven this I have come up with better solution, but it´s still not perfect. There must be a way to get them perfect, I just haven´t solved it yet ;-)

I while back I went to the plot to check how´s the soil. Tati came along. Found an old spade and dug a little patch. The soil was still very damp.
After the groundwork there was a massive heap of clay soil on the plot. Luckily that´s gone already. I took samples of the soil to be examined. I knew it was mixed clay but the results told me that it´s not in fact too bad: almost equal amounts of clay, sand and silt. The downside is that it´s quite poor of nutrients and lacks organic matter. It did not came as surprise but I think it´s interesting to know what I should address first.
But the good news is that the plot has a lot of worms. They´re already there helping me out! I am sure at this point the plot is showing it´s worst because it has been abused with heavy machinery. And the underground drainage around the cottage is still not working at this point. But I hope to improve it little by little.

_MG_9818.jpgThis past year has been filled with tiny socks and mittens. I have lost count how many pairs of socks and mittens I have knitted. And many new persons in my life, it´s been truly fascinating to see them grow so quickly. These I gave to my friend´s little baby boy.

_MG_6395.jpgOk, this is big news. Here´s plot number 37. Last summer I decided to apply for an allotment plot and got one. Well, actually it wasn´t difficult because the plots have the rule for building a cottage and it really makes it much more difficult (and more expensive) to have a small plot to take care of.

But for us it is fine. We live in the city and this plot is 8km away from our home near the seaside. To able to enjoy garden and nearby nature relatively close to home without major load of work is something that sounds perfect for a summer home. But we´ll see how it goes. I am in fact a little bit terrified of all the new things. But I think that I have a few decades to get it right with garden etc.
puutarha_750px.jpg So, to get a picture of the whole thing I made a preliminary sketch.

I have already drawn the blueprints according to their wishes, applied for all the building permits and delivered additional plans for construction, water, ventilation etc. Worked out the money and stopped spending for anything else. And made a deal with a contractor that will do the major work, we´ll be doing finishing work. The contractor is an affiliate from work so I hope for the best…

The plot is a small one, only 325 meters squared. 26 by 12,5 meters. Facing south-west and ending with a meadow. The cottages are yellow in our part of area so ours will be too. I was hoping for a dark gray… but yellow is good too. The whole allotment concept is a little different in Finland, because usually the plots have a small cottage instead of a shed. So they´re more suited for leisure than work really. And this area has been established quite recently, only 25 years ago so it´s really more about having a community of small summer houses.

This will be an ongoing project. At this moment I have no idea where it will take. Every now and then I will post something related because it does occupy my thoughts… And one thing is for sure: my smaller loom will have a new home there ;-)

_MG_9572.jpg I finished these two rugs a couple of months ago but perhaps because of the colours I didn´t come around to show them before Easter. Luckily there´s no snow on the ground anymore even though it still snows every now and then…
_MG_9616.jpg The weave is very simple point twill with 4 shafts and 6 pedals to get plain weave in the beginning and the end. The pedals go 1-2-3-4 with three shuttles so there´s plenty of time to think about other things. I used cut rags for these rugs and just took whatever colour I felt weaving. Especially this one came out quite colourful.
_MG_9568.jpg As you can see from this picture that the other one is warm and the other one colder in tone. I have nothing in particular in mind with these rugs. I might put them on the floor for summer or end up selling them. They measure 80cm in width and 200cm in length.
_MG_9629.jpg I a have a ton of cut rags in store now. I bought the remaining of an old rug weaver and therefore I have an attic jam packed with rags. It really was a bargain I could not leave behind. And I think she became very happy that she didn´t have to get rid of the material she had used hundreds of hours to cut. Can you imagine that she would have burned a couple of hundred kilos of perfect rug material because nobody (other than me) wanted it? I know, this world is crazy sometimes.
_MG_9598.jpgTati has kept us company for more than an year now. Still I can´t wrap my head around how great he is. He´s unbelievably easy and fun dog to hang around.

_MG_9755.jpg I saw this lovely herringbone knitting stitch used in Big Herringbone Cowl at the Purl Bee. I liked the idea of a cowl as well because I had been using one made of thin fabric. I like using cowls more than scarf because they´re more practical. So I headed to a new yarn shop in town and bought a few skeins of this thick merino for a cowl.
_MG_9745.jpgThe other side of my coffee table is a mess. I have almost 50 books borrowed for the thesis and I can´t wait to throw them out for good.
_MG_9759.jpg I could not use the existing pattern because the gauge is different with this yarn. I did a small test and I hope it was´t too small too guess to measurements right. Knitting herringbone is so easy but I wish the backside would be flatter instead of horizontal rib.
_MG_9205.jpgTati got a wash too. It´s amazing how different he looks in this picture. He´s sulking…

_MG_9544.jpgMore sewing. Gives me so much pleasure to be able to piece together clothes. I don´t enjoy buying clothes so this a perfect solution. Well see, if I am able to manage with my own sewing. I have only bought one pair of jeans this year and they´re the exact same pair, same dye and size I bought before that. I often buy an identical replacement when something breaks. This is a Scout Tee by the way. Love it´s modern shape. I made a muslin version earlier to check the size so I know it´s going to be good. And the fabric is by Leah Duncan, love her work too.
_MG_9543.jpgCan´t but repeat that Jen of Grainline Studios has taught me so much about sewing in the few last months. I´m forever grateful to Jen for writing an information-packed blog in these times that thorough blog writing has become so rare. I learned to grade seams for example -what a difference!
_MG_9560.jpgI found a free pattern from Grainline called Hemlock Tee. I have a similar boxy tee in black that I have used a lot so thought I give a try to this one size pattern. I´m not sure yet but I might have to make it smaller, we´ll see. This purple fabric I found for very little money (less than 6 euros). It very thin but drapey, but might wrinkle.
_MG_9549.jpgThese days I am dreaming of sewing and using books for paperweight (yes!). Writing the master´s takes on it´s toll. I don´t like to write essays, at all. It makes me sick, literally. Talking is fine but writing has always been a little battle for me. Just not my thing. To get through this I have set a very tight deadline so it means only few of moments like this in a week. But only a little more than a month left and then I have so many nice things waiting for.
_MG_9558.jpg Here´s Hemlock´s patterns cut. I have sewn two knit shirts and thinking of getting a walking foot for my machine. I assume it would help the stretching with hems and matching patterns… Do you think it´s any good?

_MG_9502.jpgDid I ever tell you that I visited Stockholm in the beginning of February? The perks of living in Turku is to have a cruise line straight to Stockholm. The ferry is very cheap if you buy the tickets cleverly. One night in boat and early morning in Stockholm. The next ferry takes you back in the evening. The only downside being the ferries, it takes only one time to kill the thrill out of it. But it is cheap and easily worked around a day off work for example because travelling/sleeping in the cabin for two nights. I take this trip whenever there´s something interesting to see, usually art exhibition.

_MG_9518.jpgThis time my friend, his son and I got a great idea while having breakfast. I remembered there is a silk museum somewhere and it happens -just around the corner. So we visited K.A. Almgrens Silk Weaving Mill. Great little museum in the heart of Södermalm.

_MG_9514.jpgThere were a lot of old machinery and one person still working there. I remember reading about her work on Vävmagasinet. Also an exhibition of Barbro Lomakka, whose work I came across when working in Visby, Gotland.

_MG_9520.jpgBut the main reason I left for this trip was an exhibition by Anu Tuominen. I had to see one more exhibition before I would be finish my master´s thesis on her work. It was a tiny gallery exhibition and gave a lot of inspiration.

_MG_9528.jpg After walking (literally) around Stockholm we has some time to peruse Old Town and fika.

_MG_9532.jpgAnd the ferry back home (but this is not the ferry we took). Such a nice trip but travelling with almost 1-year-old boy made me almost fell asleep/ pass out in the children´s play corner at the ferry…

_MG_8356.jpgOh well, there´s a first for everything. This is a first knit tee I have ever made. I have had a serger for years but I have not used it much. Finally I thought that I would use it or sell it. And after this t-shirt I will definitely keep it. Another thing I did with this tee was double-stitching the hemline, neckline and sleeves. What a difference in finished look. And functional too, because the double-stitch is stretchy.
_MG_8333.jpg The t-shirt pattern I used was Burda 3197. It had a wide separate neckline facing that I ended up almost cutting away. I think I might try to do the next one without this piece at all.
_MG_8396.jpgThis fabric is perfect: marled middle gray with polka dots. And it was dirt-cheap and doesn´t wrinkle. One thing though with this tee: it could be smaller by one size or so. And as with sleeves usually in my case, they´re a little too wide. But still, it has already seen a lot of wear.
_MG_8338.jpgView from my room´s window. I have many projects on the side (for instance those rags in the corner) while sewing is taking the lead. But what I should really get over with is my master´s thesis. I have set a deadline but it´s still a little too far away to do other than procrastinate.
_MG_5935.jpg By the way those curtains on the picture above I sewed last summer. That was good enough excuse to post one picture of Tati while he was(n´t) helping me with the curtains and posing for the camera. Handsome devil.
_MG_8339.jpg And what I wouldn´t do to escape the writing work but also develop 7 rolls of film that had been lying on my desk for months…

And last but not least… watched this video on manufacturing cotton fabric. Almost broke to tears (not even kidding) by the time the fabric was printed because of the labor that goes on to making beautiful things.

_MG_8090.jpgAfter finishing the plaid cozy version of Alder, I decided to make another one. I had some cheap herringbone wool blend that I had bought without any plans. So I laid the pattern pieces and guess who understood that it was all laid for him?
_MG_8081.jpgAfter plaids, this was easy. But I wish I had a table to work on.
_MG_8082.jpgFrom the beginning I suspected that this fabric had quite a lot of polyester (or similar) in it because it has a sheen to it. I still haven´t decided that if it´s too much…
_MG_8088.jpg With two meters the pattern requires, I was left with this much fabric. I think I could do this dress with a half meter less. I hope I remember that next time.
_MG_8096.jpg All cut and stacked. The half a meter will continue to be cut for a rag for my rugs.
_MG_8347.jpgI think the sewing went pretty smooth and here´s the finished piece.
_MG_8352.jpgAnd the close-up of the fabric. Pretty graphic.
_MG_8370.jpg And me wearing the newest addition to my wardrobe. Next on my learning to sew -list: knitted t-shirts!