_MG_1601Back to middle gray. This is the first rug from the long rug warp. The weave is almost certainly called crackle weave and ‘pohjalainen kilpikangas’ in Finnish.
_MG_1604The treading is very simple. Here I have used two patterns treadles alternating with plain weave treadles. I have two extra pattern treadles but I won´t be using them for this rug. Perhaps with the following alterations…
_MG_1598The only thing with rags is that weaving is quite heavy with good tension. Especially during summer when it´s warm. I´d like to weave more but then again I enjoy summer even more. Besides we´ve had quite chilly summer this far!

_MG_0545In few posts I will quickly run through the construction of our cottage (or cottages). Just to write down what´s happened this year on the plot. To be honest building the cottage is not what interests me that much because it´s so close to what I do for a living (drawing blueprints and selling building materials). But still it´s nice to see that things are advancing, albeit slowly.

This is sort of an allotment plot area but as you can see there´s permanent cottages. It´s actually mandatory to build a cottage in order to keep the plot. So to get on with it…
_MG_0546It was December when the concrete plinths were cast. Since then the weather has been very damp excluding only a few days. And the result is that they´re still not dry enough to cover the floors. We had such a bad luck with this one, otherwise the cottage would have been nearly finished by now. This photo was taken on January when we had the mildest weather I can recall. Even the ground never froze.

The cottage consists of two blocks: the bigger with living room with kitchen corner and tiny bedroom and the smaller with bathroom and storage.
IMG_1510By April the big mountain of clay was cleared out and the plot was roughly levelled around the plinths. It looked so much more spacious after that. Even though the plot is only 325 meters squared, you could start see how it can be divided into different areas. We dug small patches over where the kitchen garden would go.
IMG_1600At the end of April the cottages had their frames up and one could see how it sits in it´s place. The neighbour cottages have been built 20-25 years ago and due to new regulations our cottage rose a little higher. Also, it requires a few steps in order to reach the floor from the ground.
IMG_1603And now on to the garden. I had to order soil/compost in order to improve the clay soil. From this picture it looks like a huge amount but in reality a lot of it goes to level the ground and for the vegetable and flower patches. In fact I am afraid I have to get more but not until next year.
_MG_1393Being a beginner in gardening I was prepared to move that heap of soil for two days with my helpers. But it took us less than four hours, fast food lunch included! What a pleasant surprise!
_MG_1408In the beginning of May I had the raised beds ready for vegetables. Now that I think of it, I am very glad I got the pallet cages (for they were quite cheap) because they saved a lot of work and I am able to move things around next year when the garden is taking it´s form.
_MG_1433At the same time the frames were completed with roof trusses. It was also the time when I had to start working on the cottages because although I have a constructor to do the heavy lifting and hard work but in order to save money I try to do as much I can.
2_squaresSo it was time to start painting, first the ends of roof trusses. It was a happy night. I was listening to music, hanging on the ladder, putting on the first coat of paint and watching the sunset. From time to time I have been terrified with this project but more and more feeling very confident that this place will grow old with me. Of course you never know what happens but I am working towards that.
IMG_1677And in the middle of May I planted my first plant on the ground. It was chives that I got last Summer from my co-workers when I left to finish my studies. Well, I was planning on doing something else too during the year…

_MG_1834Due to my leave of study I have had more time and less money. That is a perfect equation when it comes to sewing (and imagination for that matter). This summer I have sewed many items with a very small budget. And worn clothes that I feel comfortable in. Here´s one batch I made a week ago. The cropped sweatshirt and the dress are from the same pattern: Linden sweatshirt by Grainline Studio. For the shirt I made a view B without any alterations and for the dress I cut the same size, shortened the waistline 3cm (more cropped) and added a hem. Pretty straight forward.

_MG_1832I really like this granny-ish floral fabric for the colours and broad brush strokes. I have been leaning towards even muddier shades, perhaps because of the garden plot´s present state and the unexpected amount of freckles … This fabric was a bargain, only 5€/m and I did not need much. It’s cotton-viscose blend and was so easy to sew, press, etc.

_MG_1833This cropped sweatshirt is perhaps the favourite piece of clothing I have ever sewn. The pattern is so neat and the fabric looks good too. It´s a funny type of jersey where the front side is cotton and the back some kind of synthetic material. It´s quite light but keeps it´s form very well. I bought it as a leftover piece and would love find a similar fabric in another shade.

I have small leftover pieces from both of the fabrics. I think I will try to make something out of them too in order to mix and match some of these items. We´ll see how it goes!

_MG_1493I started yet another rug warp. I have a huge stash of cut fabrics so I hope to get rid some of them. This is a standard cotton warp of 10.5 meters to make five (or so) rugs. I have some vague plans of what will follow but the main reason for this warp is try out a new weave type. It think this warp might take forever to finish because it´s so hot in the attic.

And just in case someone is interested. The finished rug in the pictures is looking for a new home. More details here.

Enjoy the weather!

This is the second of the custom made rugs. I was asked to do red and white diamonds. What a pleasant task and I happened to have just the right materials in stock. I gave it as wedding gift for our friends.
Weaving this rug was a relatively quick project that flew by because I had used similar threading and treading earlier. And there´s so much room to weave with only two shuttles for weft. Three is already a crowd.
A close-up that shows the pattern. I tried to balance white and red and that´s why the pattern is a little “off” because the colors switch places.
As with all the other chores around the house, Tati was supervising my work on these rugs too…

It´s been quiet here because I have been very busy with work and gardening. But I have been weaving rugs too, but more on that later. Take care and enjoy summer!

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.