All my patterns, both free and for sale, are available on my Ravelry store.

Mrs Lear's Scarf

Julia Temisevä
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Here’s the second of my two patterns from Defarge Does Shakespeare: Mrs Lear’s Scarf. It has cabling and wrapped stitches, just like the mitts and sections of textured stitches in between the columns of cables. So if you’d rather make a wrap instead of a scarf, super easy to just modify the stitch count to make it wider.

If I wasn’t in the middle of lots of deadline knitting projects (as well as sewing projects), I’d start playing around with the pattern in various weights to see what it’d be like. I can just imagine the stole being knit up in a mohair laceweight feeling like a cloud of cotton candy (without the sugary stickiness) being wrapped around you. I would do it myself, but I really dislike knitting with mohair, so that’s not going to happen. Someone else, make it happen! And show me pictures.

In other news, I think there’s something hinky going on with our mail. Some days, no mail at all. Then wham! We get a massive pile in one go. And yes, I check the mailbox daily, so it’s not like we’re the ones letting it pile up. What brought it to my attention was a letter from my grandma arriving last Friday. It was dated back in February. So like a month late. And then receiving another letter from her yesterday (ie the following Monday) dated just 27.03. So clearly the mail can get here in a timely manner from Finland, it just chooses not to. Baffling. Still, I’m going to keep writing replies, because handwritten mail is always nice to receive. And I’ve got pretty stationery that I want to use. I’ll just make sure that nothing time sensitive is said in the letters, that’s what phones are for.

Mrs Lear mitts

Julia Temisevä
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As I mentioned earlier, I have two patterns in the new Defarge Does Shakespeare book that’s coming out soon (digital copy out tomorrow, March 27th, print version ships two weeks later). I’m the kind of person who likes clothes, accessories to match/co-ordinate, so I designed a scarf and a pair of mitts meant to be worn together.

Side note: Yes, this started as a kid. My grandma keeps telling me how at three years old, I’d tell her in English (not Finnish, I don’t know why) if outfits/jewellery matched or not. If they did, it’d be good, if not I’d apparently wrinkle my nose and suggest something else.

Anyway, back to the focus of this post: Mrs Lear mitts! I’m an indecisive person at times (those of you who know me in person, stop laughing, I can be! You just don’t see it often). But the beautiful thing about the pattern that I came up with is that it’s totally customisable to the yarn and needles. The red sample is done in DK (Fyberspates Scrumptious was so nice to work with) and the lavender is laceweight (Natural Dye Studio Angel 2-ply which is now sadly discontinued - the links are to my Ravelry project pages which are still lacking photos).

The focus of the mitts is the cuff, which has a picot edge and a cable & wrap pattern. The body of the mitt is plain stockinette and then it’s finished off a picot bind off.

Now, I was a dork and didn’t take good pictures of the finished items before I sent them off to be photographed for the book. Both sets were knit to fit me, and I’ve got fairly big hands. The samples look a bit loose (especially the laceweight ones) on the models, but when I wore them to check the fit, they were perfect. Snug, but not too tight. But as I said, the pattern is totally customisable so they can be knit in any size.

And because I like the whole matchy-matchy thing, I’ve cast on for another pair of the laceweight mitts in a yellow Malabrigo (I forgot the colourway name) to go with my lacy Malabrigo scarf that I knit last summer (again, need to take pictures of that too, I’ve really slipped this last year with updating everything). Who knows when I’ll actually finish them, because I’ve got a ton of other projects that are time sensitive, but I’d say it’s a good sign if I want want to knit a pattern more than once. I don’t always want to knit my own designs again, because sometimes they drive me a bit batty due to all of the work I put into them, but these? Totally want to knit them again. Interesting but easy, and that’s something that I need right now to keep me sane with all of the wedding planning.

Tea Rose Shawlette

Julia Temisevä
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One of my favourite designs to date (shh, don’t tell the others!), the Tea Rose Shawlette is now available as a Ravelry download. It first made its debut in the Smell the Roses club run by The Unique Sheep back in April. It uses just under 150g of yarn and is worked from the top down. Two sections of the lace have patterning on both sides, so this does require some attention, but there are simpler sections in between for a bit of a breather. The garter stitch edging is then knit on so there are no tight bind-offs to worry about. Stretch it to your heart’s content!

It is being modelled by one of my oldest friends (we’ve been best friends since we were like 10 years old!). We finally decided to just do this thing and actually meet up instead of always missing each other by about a month when visiting Finland. She lives in Ireland now so it’s fairly easy for us to travel to see each other. So she and another friend of ours came over for the weekend. I think it’s been about four years since we got together. But it didn’t feel like it at all when we got together. We’re just so comfortable around each other that instead of waiting to be offered food or drink, we just wander into the kitchen and make it ourselves. Even if we’ve never been in that particular house before. It’s rare to find that nowadays I think. We spent the weekend watching movies, shopping, eating Krispy Kreme doughnuts and feeding ducks at the park. The ducks can be a bit unnerving. They come right up to you if they’re hungry and before you realize it, you’re surrounded by ducks and geese. I’ve never been attacked (*knocks on wood*), but I wouldn’t put it past them.

My dress for my co-worker’s wedding came today! I took a risk and went one size down from what I’d usually get. I’ve been losing weight recently and most of my current clothes are fairly baggy. But it came today and I tried it on and it fits! Thrilled to bits. I might even buy another from that shop in a different colour and print.

I don’t really talk about my weight online. I’ve always been on the heavy/chubby side. Yes, I exercise but it’s never really resulted in weight loss. I actually gained weight when I did the 30 Day Shred the first time. I don’t know if that was muscle or what, but the numbers on the scale went up a bit. Back in June my knee really started to hurt whenever I ran. Sometimes even when I was just walking to work. So I had to stop running to give it a rest. I don’t have a gym membership. I don’t like working out with others around me. I prefer to go for hikes and runs by myself with only my iPod as company. But my knee put a halt to that three months ago. For the first time, I decided to start counting calories. I figured that it couldn’t hurt and I needed to figure out a way to maintain my weight while being more sedentary. After a month of resting my knee, I can finally go on short runs again. Not running the full distance I used to, but it’s still better than not running at all. I love the feeling of flying I get on the final stretch of sprinting that I do. It helps that it’s a slight downhill. ;) Three months later, I’ve lost over 20 lbs. And I fit into a dress size I didn’t think I’d ever wear.

From Blog photos

Caterpillar Mitts and two quick book reviews

Julia Temisevä
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One of my friends wanted a pair of mitts for his wife and asked me to design and knit them. Since the idea of what he was requesting was intriguing, I gladly began working on them. The result is above. They’re a really quick and easy knit. It feels like I spent more time weaving in ends than actually knitting them, but they’re really cool and stretchy. Kind of like an accordion. I also discovered while knitting these is that I really like using Wendy Norse Chunky. It’s surprising since the yarn is a wool/acrylic blend and I usually prefer all natural blends (mainly due to the softness and sweaty-ness factors). But I can see myself eventually knitting a whole sweater out of this yarn. Once I clear out some of my stash and queue first obviously.

Speaking of knitting sweaters, I’ve cast on for Lia by Mandie Harrington. It’s Knitty pattern (as most of the sweater patterns are that I knit up). I’m using INOX 6.5mm circs. I originally bought these needles to make a French Market Bag back in 2007, but I never got around to knitting it so the needles have just been lying around in my needle stash. As many of you may have noticed, I gravitate towards knitting with smaller needles and thinner yarn. But now that I’ve found a pattern and yarn that called for bigger needles, I’m glad I have them. And they’re unexpectedly good! I guess I just assumed that since I bought them when I was still a beginner knitter, I didn’t know what I was getting.

Still making more squares. And knitting that shawl for my mom.

Book review time! Quickies, I promise. For Christmas, I received a *lot* of books. Mainly from O. ^_^

I devoured The Help by Kathryn Stockett in three days starting immediately on Christmas Day. It was really good and I had a really hard time putting it down. I would have finished it in two days, but I had to drive to O’s parents place and back, so that cut a little bit into my reading time. I just hope the movie lives up to the high standards of the book (of course I want to see it now).

Next up, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. I liked it. It was quirky and fast and I could feel the narrator Rose growing up as she told her story. The story begins when she’s a child and ends when she is in her mid-twenties. She has a peculiar ability; she can taste the emotions of whoever cooked or baked the food she eats. And the story starts off with Rose feeling her mother’s sadness in a lemon cake. I was telling O about one section of the book where she is eating a sandwich prepared by the girlfriend of a baker. She feels the sandwich yelling at her “Love me!”. So O lifted his eyebrow and said: “That sounds like something you’d write.” Which is really funny, because when I was in Montana a few years ago, my writing teacher compared my style with Aimee’s (who I had never heard of until then). So it makes sense that I’d like her books.

I’ve got one more book that I’ve read since Christmas, but since this post is getting to be really long, I’ll leave it for next week. Need something to beef up next week’s post since my knitting won’t have really made much visible progress by then.

Berry Berry Mitts

Julia Temisevä
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Yeesh, it’s been three weeks since I last posted. Been a bit busy. Like getting the above pattern tested and ready for download! The Berry Berry mitts are knit with two weights of yarn (aran and worsted) with optional beading (only need 8 4mm beads and a crochet hook). If don’t want to do beads, that’s just fine, there’s still the berry lace pattern to keep it interesting. The pattern also comes with two short photo tutorials on how to place beads with a crochet hook and how to do a backwards loop cast on. I was originally going to call it the Blackberry Pearl (blackberries because of the yarn colour and lace pattern; pearl because of the beads) but then O pointed out that that’s a phone… Then one of my testers used pink and red in her mitts and they reminded me of raspberries, so I changed the name to Berry Berry so it can be whatever berry you pick.

As for my other knitting, I’ve knit a pair of Ken Phelz by Heather Zoppetti from Malabrigo Sock in Velvet Grapes (so so pretty). Just need to weave in ends and take photos. I’ve almost completed a scarf/shawlette called Maluka using LuLu’s TM Sock in Lamponi. When I saw the pattern, which a free Rav download btw, my first reaction was: “Yes! Finally a pattern that’ll work with this yarn!” I’d had the yarn wound for about a month. I was going to use it for socks, but then decided I don’t actually like tencel on my feet, so I set it aside. I only have three and a half rows to go (they’re really really long rows now) before bind off, so I predict getting that finished today.

I also finally have a photo of me wearing my Cadence sweater. I’ve had this done for quite awhile now, but just hadn’t had a chance to take photos of it. It was an easy and fairly quick knit (pattern from Knitty, last fall I think? By Jordana Paige). If I were to knit it again, I’d probably make the body just an inch or two longer. Oh! And I tried out Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off for the first time with this project. LOVE it. I really like the edge that the sleeves now have. It’s not as neat as my usual bind off, but that’s okay since the rest of the sweater is fairly plain.

So yesterday, when O had a private dance lesson, I sat in Starbucks doing some research (tried their Creme Brulee Macchiato; not bad but probably won’t buy it again). I just re-read that sentence and realized it could come off wrong; no, I wasn’t researching their coffees, but that’s the coffee I had. XD O had this brilliant idea for knitting patterns, so I was researching that while he danced. I just hope these will turn out as awesome as I’ve got them imagined in my head. And that’s all I’ll say about that for now. But as usual, I will be needing testers. If anyone wants to volunteer, just let me know and I’ll put you on a spreadsheet where I’ve got everyone’s info of what kinds of patterns they want to test.

Speaking of dancing, my dance partner Ian and I have decided to part ways. He couldn’t commit to the same amount of time I want to set aside for dancing, so we figured it would be best to split now instead of in a few months when both of us would get frustrated with the other. I had a trial with a guy who went to Oxford, but as he’d rather concentrate on Latin and I’m definitely a Ballroom girl, it didn’t work out. So I’m still on the lookout for a new partner. Still going to dance classes, but it’s not as fun to go now that I don’t have anyone to dance with.

But! There is the Scarborough dance festival next month. The competition that O & E are hoping/planning to go to is on Sunday, but the festival starts on Tuesday. O suggested that the two of us go over already on Saturday and join in on the tea dances and workshops they’ve got and spend the night there. It sounds like fun, so I hope we do decide to do it.

Bashful Butterflies

Julia Temisevä
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Last week, I turned 26. On the same day, I decided to release Bashful Butterflies, a small summer scarf or medium shawlette, depending on yarn choice and gauge. The 4ply version uses under 100g and the DK version uses under 200g. You can get it either through Ravelry or The Unique Sheep’ website. I got my wonderful youngest sister to model for me while I was in Finland. Whenever people who know me have seen pictures of her, their reaction has been along the same lines as Mike’s yesterday: “She’s got your face!” And of course, my three test knitters (Sadie, Amy and Sharon) have been fabulous, like they always are. And the pattern is currently being tested by a fourth for exact Gradiance instructions, so once those are up, I’ll let everyone know about the updated version.

In other knitting news, the Lissajous are done. It’s a bit weird not having any socks otn right now, but that’ll be remedied tomorrow when I’ll be casting on a pair of Twisted Flowers in a happy yellow. In the meantime, I’ve been working on my Dr Seuss Shawl (aka Green Egg Omelet). The pattern, Omelet, has so many charts! I completed Chart B and C today, and am two rows into Chart D (20 rows total). Still got Chart E (34 rows) to go! The rows are getting really long now. But I just keep thinking how pretty the finished product will be and keep going. And thanks to Nina, it’s been so easy to keep track of where I am in the pattern. She recommended the StitchMinder app and it’s great.

Speaking of apps, I’ve also started using RunKeeper when I go on my runs. I didn’t realize how far I was actually going on my daily runs. Last Sunday, I decided to go for a hike instead of a run. But because I lost GPS, the app now thinks it took me an hour to do a mile when I really did four miles (a lot of it uphill!). Ah well.

Yesterday, I went to the Vintage Fair with Nina and Lucy. I didn’t find any clothing that I wanted to buy, but I did get a pretty rose necklace and some rose hair pins. Then we went shopping on Fargate. It really annoys me that there isn’t a standardized size. So what’s one size in New Look is actually in between sizes in Dorothy Perkins. Makes shopping for clothes very difficult. But I did find a pair of trousers to wear to work, two shirts and a pair of leggings. The next time we go to Meadowhall I’ll try both New Look and Dorothy Perkins again since their shops are bigger there.

Sade mittens

Julia Temisevä
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The pattern is live! *happy dance* These mittens were made to match the Sade hat. Rolled “brim” cuffs, twisted stitches, the same twisted decrease patterning… The only thing missing is the seed stitch. I didn’t see that as being very comfortable on hands. The left mitten decreases towards the right, the right towards the left (mentioning that because you can only see the left mitten’s patterning in the picture). I love these mittens. Could be because I used Malabrigo and omg, I love how soft and warm it is. Plus, they match the hat (I know I said that already). And I love the hat. I’m very much a slouchy hat person. Other hats just look wonky on me. So when I’ve got mittens that match? Even better. I’ve been wearing these with my Skinny Clap which is in a blue that’s close enough to the Malabrigo that I look all co-ordinated. All I need now is blue handbag and blue shoes (all worn with my grey coat, since wearing a blue coat would just be too much). XD

Anyway, a huge thank you to my testers: Sadie, Selana and Morandia. All three had very good ideas on how to improve the pattern and I’m grateful for their input.

Speaking of Sadie, she’s got a vidcast now! And the Sade hat has already made its debut on it. I also hear that the Sade mittens will be appearing on it soon. ;)


Julia Temisevä
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Ever wake up knowing exactly what you want to knit? That’s what happened with this hat (and the co-ordinating mittens which will be released once the testers are done). The night before I’d planned out exactly what I was going to cast on next (Annis from knitty actually; I did finally cast that on last night) and when I wake the next morning? Hat and mitten pattern clear as day in my head. So, off I went, knit the things, wrote out the patterns and sent them to testers. The lovely Sadie offered as usual. She’s one my favorite testers. Clear advice on what’s not working, fast knitter, basically just awesome.

Anyway, back to the hat. That morning, I just knew what my leftover Malabrigo was destined for. Twisted stitches along with seed stitch? A very warm hat. This one (unlike others I’ve knit) actually covers my ears when I wear it in my usual slouchy style. The rolled brim and twisted ribbing keep it nice and snug on my head keeping it from sliding off. That’s all I really looked for; something that’ll stay put and actually cover my ears.

As with all my patterns, this one is available on Ravelry, along with the mitten pattern that’ll be published later this month.


Julia Temisevä
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Okay, so this year I’m going to Finland for Christmas. I’ve been really looking forward to it since I didn’t get to go last year (had to work Christmas Eve and that’s when we celebrate Christmas so yeah…). Anyway, I’m really excited about going and it occurred to me that I didn’t have a scarf that was appropriate for the weather. It rarely gets cold enough to need a thick scarf over here, so all the ones that I have are made from fingering weight. I had the yarn in my stash and whenever I looked at it, I thought of Christmas because of the color. That’s the color of the decorations my mom uses on our tree (it’s just not Christmas without those exact decorations). And so I came up with this pattern. It’s fun to knit and it goes really quickly because it’s made from thick yarn and big needles (5,5mm needles are very big for me, I usually use 2,5mm!).

It’s available for sale on Ravelry. You don’t need to be a member to buy it. How cool is that? But really, if you’re a knitter or crocheter, you probably already are! And finally, I want to say a huge thank you to my testers. You guys are awesome.