6 weeks to go

Julia Temisevä
— This upcoming video may not be available to view yet.

Bought a bunch of carnations just because.

I feel like I’m running out of time. While most of the major things are now done, there are still bits and bobs left to sort out. My dress still isn’t complete. My shawl’s not done, but I am on the edging now, so that’s something. The seating plan display is about half done. Most of the RSVPs are in. I’ve picked a bunch of songs for the DJ to play at the reception. We have a photographer!

So really, the only major thing left that I’m getting rather antsy about is my ring. We still haven’t bought that. We’re going with the Finnish tradition of having a simple engagement ring and a more show-y wedding ring. O wanted to make sure I liked the expensive ring, so I get to pick it! Very happy about that aspect of it. I have a good idea of the style I’d like, so now we just need to go find it.

And to prove that I can talk about other stuff than just the wedding, I’ve won a book! I go through spurts of entering a bunch of Goodreads’ First Reads giveaways and yesterday’s efforts seemed to pay off. I just received a notification that I’ve won a copy of Ukrainian & Russian Bride Guide: Dangers & Joys Awaiting Western Men by Walter Parchomenko. I don’t think I’m quite the target audience for this book, but I did recently watch a documentary on Netflix called Love Me which was about the same topic. It’ll be interesting to see how the book tackles some of the problems the men in the documentary came across. I’ll post a review/link to my review on Goodreads once I’ve received the book and read it.

Purple is the colour of choice

Julia Temisevä
— This upcoming video may not be available to view yet.

Hemulen inspecting the hair accessories in progress

The thing about deciding to make a lot of the things for one’s wedding means there isn’t much time to do other stuff. That’s okay though, I’m having fun. My dress is almost done. I had my mom and grandma help me fit it so that all I have left to do is sew the neckline/back seam and attach the little hooks to close it. I have some really small white lace that I could use to finish off the neckline, but I haven’t quite decided yet whether I want the neckline plain or not.

I was wandering around in HobbyCraft yesterday with one of my bridesmaids (we were looking for supplies to make the table seating plan) and I found purple paper flowers. I was going to buy my wedding hair accessories off Etsy, but after having a look at the back of the flowers in the pack, I decided to give it a go myself. So far, so good. Four down, two to go!

Other things that have been distracting me lately: knitting a baby blanket for my nephew! He’s expected in mid-September, so I’ve still got some time. The squares in the Tamarix Quilt are so addictive. I’m already at 42. The geek in me would like to leave it at that, but the perfectionist in me won’t let me. So it looks like all 100 squares will be knit. Hopefully before the little man arrives.

And of course, xBox games and Instagram. My youngest sister convinced me to reactive my Instagram account, so if you want to see random things I take pictures of, go find me there. As for the games, we recently started playing Badlands (so much fun, but man my fingers cramp up after awhile) and Lego Jurassic World. Which of course has led us to rewatching the movies. Can’t wait to actually see Jurassic World, but I don’t think I’ll be going to the cinema to see it. DVD/Netflix is a lot easier since I can knit at the same time.

Good mail days, ideas and plans

Julia Temisevä
— This upcoming video may not be available to view yet.

The last few weeks have been full of good mail days. The latest Knitscene arrived first, then came the Mason-Dixon knitting book (a bargain at just £6 including shipping), and then… yarn! That’s the yarn for my little nephew’s blanket, plus an extra skein of lace for me. Funny thing, as I was entering the details of the lace into my stash, I realised that I already had a skein of laceweight from the same dyer in the same colour. Different base, but still! Apparently I really like teal. It’s not one of my “safe” colours that I usually go for (pinks and reds, for the those who haven’t known me for long), so I don’t know what it is that drew me to it.

Knitscene Summer 2015, Mason-Dixon Knitting, lace for me and cotton for my sister's baby blanket

I’m sure you could guess from the above paragraph, one of my many sisters is pregnant! And obviously I’m going to knit for the baby. The blanket, which I’ve started tonight, is the Tamarix Quilt by Heather Zoppetti. I’d mentally queued the blanket when the magazine first came out, so when I received the issue of Interweave Knits (Fall 2010) for free from a fellow knitter in London I was thrilled to bits. I love Heather’s work. I’ve knit at least 5 pairs of socks by her so far and I’ve got at least one of her sweaters in my queue too.

I also came up with another idea for her kids. When she’s too tired or doesn’t have time or whatever, she can play the boys a recording of me reading to them. Since I can’t actually see them as often as I’d like, at least they can hear me. And hopefully learn Finnish at the same time. I did a test recording tonight (just read a few paragraphs from Little House in the Big Woods) to see if it would work before suggesting it to my sister. Sounded fine to me, just need to find books where turning the pages won’t make too much noise. And as a bonus, it turns out that I don’t hate hearing my own voice! I used to really dislike it, but I’m okay with it now. Just like I used to hate photographs of me, now I don’t. So the plan now is for us to pick out a book or two when we’re both in Finland for our youngest sister’s graduation. How I’ll find the time to do it in between all of the wedding sheningans remains a mystery.

Speaking of wedding shenanigans, I’ve started my dress. Finally. I’ve cut out and sewn the bodice pieces together. So far so good. I keep looking at the skirt pieces and placing them on the lace and pinning and then unpinning and rearranging and so on and so forth. I’m such a chicken when it comes to cutting. If something doesn’t work in knitting, that’s okay, I can always rip it out and start over without wasting anything (unless it’s mohair, learned that the hard way). But when you cut fabric, that’s it. There are no do-overs in the same sense. I’m still hoping to get the main bits of the dress all sewn up and ready by the end of the month though. Then I’ll take it to Finland with me and get my grandma to help me do the tweaks for it (she used to sew her own clothes). That’s the plan. Here’s hoping I stick to it.

Channelling Yoda

Julia Temisevä
— This upcoming video may not be available to view yet.

I look ridiculous right now. There’s this thing I read about online called plopping. Basically it’s a way to dry curly hair so that the curls stay nice. So now I’ve got a T-shirt wrapped comically around my head, being held in place by hair clips. I don’t have high hopes, but I figured I might as well try it. I kinda have a feeling that I’ve wrapped the T-shirt incorrectly, but it seems to be staying on my head okay, so I’ve decided to just leave it as is. Who cares that I look like Yoda’s cousin with the green shirt around my head? :D

There isn’t much point in showing another picture of the wedding shawl because it looks pretty much the same as before: a big blob. A very pretty blob, but a blob nonetheless. I’m also now 95% certain that I will not have enough yarn to complete the knit-on edging. I’ve been stash diving and came up with a really pretty dark purple that I think will work nicely as the edging. And the beads will really pop!

The wedding shoe hunt continues. I thought I’d found some good options, but nope. Why do shoes look great online but are a disappointment in person? One of the The Irregular Choice pairs looks rather tacky and the other one… well, they seemed okay. But I’m not going to spend £75 on a pair of shoes that I’m not absolutely in love with already in the shop. So today I went to New Look to try on a pair I’d seen online. They’re an option to keep in mind if I’m going to embellish the shoes myself, but really, I think I’d rather just pay a little bit more and get a nice pair that I won’t have to do anything to.

Fun with technology

Julia Temisevä
— This upcoming video may not be available to view yet.

So this past week or so, I’ve been having fun with technology. And I mean that both sincerely and sarcastically. The sarcasm is to do with work, so I’ll just leave it at that.

The actual fun with technology happened mainly this weekend. Our friend Ryan came over for the weekend and we spent it playing all sorts of games. I’d forgotten how much fun we three used to have playing Civ IV, each of us on our own computers. Because the turns took awhile to complete, I had plenty of knitting time. It was just like the good old days back up in Sheffield, including the game going out of sync after we hit about 1840 AD and then us giving up because we still don’t know why it does that.

Wedding shawl with this week's bouquet and cloth embroidered by my great-grandma

Yep, it still looks like a blob. And the wedding shawl will continue looking like a blob until I start the edging. At least I’ve now moved onto the next section! Small victories. Each round is now over 600 sts, so it’ll take awhile before I can start the edging. I’m also slightly worried that I won’t have enough yarn for the knit on edging. I could of course just weigh the remaining ball of yarn I have and estimate how much there’ll be left before I start the edging, but that’d be too sensible and obvious. Clearly, I like to live on the edge.

I’ve also learned that the only way I’m going to get my dad’s socks done by the time I go visit next month, I have to work on them during my lunch breaks. Now that the weather’s nice again, I see lots of knitting time in the park during my breaks. So there’s hope. Not holding my breath though. I seem to remember to bring my knitting with me, I just forget to take it out of my bag. That’s what happened three out of five days last week. Oops.

I seem to be torn between two phases right now. The first phase is to buy all the things (right now, I’m drooling over Irregular Choice shoes and Wildcraft’s fibre club). The other one is to get rid of everything and go live in a teeny tiny house. These two phases seem to be keeping each other in check, so it’s okay. Stuff isn’t coming in but it’s not going out either. But it is making me feel somewhat split in half. And stagnant. I need to do something. O & I should try to find a weekend when we’re not doing anything so we could go up to Sheffield together and go through some of our things that his parents are storing for us. Normally I’d say the urge to get rid of things comes from watching shows like Hoarders (or even just listening to others talk about clearing out things), but that hasn’t happened recently. So I’m not sure where it’s coming from.

Mrs Lear's Scarf

Julia Temisevä
— This upcoming video may not be available to view yet.

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.

It's all about the food

Julia Temisevä
— This upcoming video may not be available to view yet.

The past few days I seem to have taken pictures of only my food. It all started off my lunch/snack on Saturday:

Tomato, pesto and goat's cheese muffin from the farmer's market

Then came dinner. Baked mac’n’cheese (from scratch) that made my niece ask for the recipe:

Baked mac'n'cheese

On Sunday, I went for a traditional roast in a pub with two of my friends since one of them had never had one. After that meal, we were all basically in a food coma for almost 24 hours. We were actually having a group chat on Facebook saying we were too full to move the few meters that were needed to get whatever it was that we wanted. Even though we ate around 2:30pm, I didn’t eat anything else for the rest of the day. And I wasn’t hungry in the morning either, which was weird. I’m used to basically starving by the time I wake up. That full feeling also lasted pretty much all day Monday.

Food coma inducing Sunday roast

Which brings me to tonight’s dinner. Homemade meatballs with boiled potatoes and gravy. The meatballs actually held their shape! It’s the first time I managed to get them to do that, which I’m proud of. And as usual, I seem to have made enough for an army (thanks grandma, I’m fairly certain this tendency to cook too much comes from you), so I guess I’ll be freezing the rest of them once they’ve cooled down enough.

Meatballs actually looking like meatballs!

I also nipped to the fabric shop near me after work today and got 3m of a really pretty strawberry print on a black background to make another dress. Practice dress #2 will start taking shape later this week.

Home home home!

Julia Temisevä
— This upcoming video may not be available to view yet.

Home again. Christmas is over. We went to O’s parents’ place for four nights. Already done two loads of laundry today. Need to get the cigarette smoke smell out. Also, their shower wasn’t working so washing my hair was no #1 on my to-do list when we got home. Felt a lot better afterwards. :)

I finished these socks (Kai-Mei by Cookie A) on Dec 19th, and I still don’t have a decent photo of them. Also? Noro was being uncooperative and had a knot in the middle of the skein, so my transitions are messed up. And they were almost identical until that knot showed up!

091226 - KaiMei

And to finish off this very short post (I’ve got another pair of socks on the go that I want to finish asap), lookie at what O’s parents got me for Christmas! Two hanks of Manos de Uruguay silk blend. :D

091227 - manos

Feeling at home

Julia Temisevä
— This upcoming video may not be available to view yet.

091220 - 2h30 backyard snow 02

It snowed again today. A lot (relatively speaking of course).

We ventured out to Lidl today to buy some food so that I don’t have to go out and buy lunch next week at work. We usually order online from Asda, but all of the delivery slots were full. ALL of them until Dec 29th. Anyway, when we headed out, it was snowing. Not a lot. By the time we had gathered up what we went for and paid for it, the snow was coming down a bit heavier. A minute after we left the store, it really started coming at us. When we finally arrived home, I looked like a snowman in progress. The snow clung to my wool coat and my hair and lashes. O, on the other hand, just had a very wet face.

People sometimes ask me where I consider home to be. I’ve moved around quite a bit. I didn’t always know how to answer. All of the places I’ve been have been great in their own way, but never really felt like home. There was something missing but I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. Nowadays I answer the question along the lines of wherever I want it to be.

A few hours ago, I sat here on the couch knitting and watching the snow fall while Star Trek Voyager played on the TV. It was nice. Calming. I felt content. Snow in December with knitting on my lap is how it should be.

I had put on a CD of Finnish Christmas songs to listen to while doing dishes and baking maple banana bread. While mixing the flour with the baking soda and baking powder, I happened to look out the kitchen window. More snow.

I feel like I’ve found a bit more of home now.


Julia Temisevä
— This upcoming video may not be available to view yet.

Gosh it’s been awhile hasn’t it?

Well, I’ve got a few bits of news to share.

Numero uno: I have a job! I’m in Accounts at a major solicitors firm over here. It’s a temp job through an agency, but they’ve already asked if I can come back in January so it seems to be going very well. Kinda funny that I’m in Accounts though, my math ain’t so great. Seriously. On my first time sheet (I started on a Tuesday), I wrote 7 x 4 = 27. See, not so much with the math.

Secondly (again, with the numbers!): I’m staying here with O for Christmas. At first it was because I couldn’t afford the plane tickets, now it’s because of the aforementioned job. I’m working Christmas Eve morning.

All of the presents that need to be ready by Christmas have been bought/knit and wrapped, except O’s present. I even managed to send out a package with my family’s presents in it (and my sister’s birthday present) last week. One of my sisters already knows that the knit item that she requested is in the works, but it so isn’t going to make it there for Christmas.

Our plans for Christmas are to go over to O’s parents on the 23rd on the condition that I’ll be getting a ride to and from work on the 24th. Then in the evening all of six of us plus three of O’s friends are going over to O’s sister’s in-laws for a party. Christmas Day we’re all supposedly getting up early to open presents. Madness in my opinion. All of us sensible people open our presents on Christmas Eve and sleep in on Christmas Day. Holidays are all about sleeping in.

Speaking of Christmas parties, the dance team’s do was last Wednesday. My thighs are so bruised (this comment got me some odd looks at knitting group this morning). Lemme explain: We played party games. One of them was passing a tupperware container in between our legs from one person to the next. I apparently gripped the box quite hard. Hence the bruises. Another game that we played was passing a packet of crisps (dear me, now I’ve begun using their terminology…) held by our chins. The boys complained that us girls had an unfair advantage because of our natural shelves (ie boobs). Wimps. They won the tupperware game, so no reason to complain at us. The barn dancing that we did was quite fun as well. Swapping partners was a bit confusing. And don’t even get me started on having us girls trying lead the guys during a waltz. I happened to be dancing with A and we both kept saying: “I can’t lead!” and “I don’t know how to follow!”

And to just jump to the next topic instead of coming up with a good segue: My personal knitting’s going well. I just finished seaming up my Lorelei cardigan (yes, I know I’ve been working on it since October). I had a slight problem with setting in the sleeves, but R, one of my knitting friends, helped me sort it out this morning. I tried it on and it fits! The sleeves could be a bit looser, but it’s not something that’ll stop me from wearing it. Now I just need to knit the button bands and sew on the buttons.

I’m also working on Cookie A’s Kai-Mei socks in a pink/purple Noro Kureyon Sock. I’m on the second one and have just started the gusset decreases. They’re very pretty, but the darn yarn had a knot in it and so now it’s messed up the color transitions. No matching socks for me.

I already know what I’m going to cast on after I’m done with my sister’s present, my cardigan and my socks. I’m going to make a shawlette sized Bitterroot using my first Sip’n’Stitch yarn shipment. It’ll be gorgeous.

I guess I’d better get back to my knitting now. Just the thought of that shawlette is a major motivator. :D