tisdag 27 september 2011

Yes, I do knit. No, I don't spin

I'm knitting a cardigan so I can go out without feeling badly dressed.
I like domino squares very much. I started knitting domino many years ago, when Vivian Hoxbro published her first book. I have met her twice. I took a class for her about ten years ago, and last year we traveled in the same group in Shetland. This is from an exhibition in Vaasa last year:

Miriam, Mardette, a working collie, and Vivian in Shetland:

Look at Vivian's fantastic knitting here: Vivian Höxbro

I don't spin for the moment because I'm busy knitting and carding. I carded the Herdwick fleece Sarah gave me last year:
I won't spin it until next year, because I have a lot of other fibers to spin first. There's a lot of kemp in it, but also very soft fibers. Interesting :) Herdwick sheep in Lake District, UK:
I'll write about them when I do my fiber study, but I asure you they are very interesting sheep. The lambs are born black and turn into a lovely gray when they grow up.

måndag 26 september 2011

Twinneedle Podcast

My friend Tini in Germany has started a podcast about knitting, spinning, books, cooking, twins! The introduction episode is out: Twinneedle or if you prefere, in iTunes here: Twinneedle in iTunes Tini's voice is great! I liked this first episode very much, it'll be exciting to listen to what she'll talk about next. Her English is perfect.

måndag 19 september 2011

Walking and dyeing

Sunday was one of those days when everything was just perfect. Hubby, the dog and I went to the Bronze Age buildings in Vitmossen. We only planned to have a cup of coffee and sandwiches, but suddenly we found ourselves taking the long route up to the old graves and settlements.
This photo is from earlier in the summer. The two houses have been built by enthusiastic amateur archaeologists from Vörå, the community where the Bronze Age is well represented.

There's only stone heaps left of the graves. They are marked on the map:
The path is partly very difficult to walk, so don't take your party shoes :)
There are stony parts, wet parts, easier parts, but on the whole it's not an easy walk in the park.

Hope you like watching hubby from behind... I'm walking behind because the dog gets crazy if he has to walk behind me, and I have the camera to take care of so hubby takes the dog. Kasper has to be in leash all the time, because if he runs after game like hares or moose outside the hunting season he may be shot by bird hunters. There is no guarantee at all that Kasper will listen to us if he sees a hare.

The wood is so beautiful and smells wonderful this time of the year. There was so much mushrooms and even herbs I've never seen before, or haven't noticed. Like these orange mushrooms on a birch stem:
These mushrooms (polypores) are familiar, but I don't know their names:
The forest:
The path:
The vegetation on the solid rock is very vulnerable. It will take years and years for the lichen to come back. Finns in general are careful when walking in nature, so there is not much damage done to the plants, moss and lichen around the path.
This is one of the easy parts to walk, astonishingly beautiful.

So what did I pick? I always bring home something from the wood, mostly something you can eat. But not this time. Don't eat these, whatever you do. You will most certainly get very ill, maybe die.
So why did I pick them? I didn't even dare to eat the lingonberries after touching the mushrooms. You can never be too precautious with mushrooms. These are Cortinarius Sanguineus, Bloodred Webcap, and Cortinarius Semisanguineus, Surprise Webcap.
I used the mushrooms for dyeing. This was my first attempt ever to dye with mushrooms, and I didn't know you have to put these particular mushrooms in the freezer first, so I didn't get the red color you are able to if you do this properly. But I got a very nice color from the first bath, and a lighter one from the second bath.
This is Finnwool yarn, soft and of very high quality. I'm quite satisfied :)

If you want to know more about dyeing with mushrooms, look here: Riihivilla

lördag 17 september 2011

Rosa garn och getskinn

Vi var på marknad i dag. Där såg jag det här garnet:
Det är färgat med blodspindling, Cortinarius sanguineus . Jag hittar inte såna svampar. Jag går nog på andra ställen antar jag. Jag söker ju mest ätliga svampar, fast jag tittar gärna på andra också.

Jag såg också ett vackert getskinn ovanpå ett kritvitt fårskinn. Jag är ju spinnare, ifall det undgått någon, så jag kikade närmast skinnet, och visst finns där väldigt fin, grå bottenull. Bara att kamma loss under fällning och vips har man fake cashmere :)
Skinnet kändes fasligt varmt när man lade handen på det. Säljaren berättade att man förr gjorde byxor av sådana getskinn. Det måste ha varit fruktansvärt varmt. En holländare hade berättat för henne att männen gick och kliade sig på rumpan dagarna i ända.

fredag 16 september 2011

Kierikki Stone Age Village

This is a place both hubby and me love, and Kasper too: Kierikki Stone Age Centre

When we visited it last week the archaeologists were just finishing the excavating for this year. They didn't find anything in that spot, but they have found bone and stone items earlier. This is a fascinating place. There is now a re-constructed stone age village with items made in the same way as thousands of years ago.

And here's what hubby, me and Kasper saw on our visit:

There's also an impressive research building with museum, shop and restaurant, and close by an apartment hotel (not shown here):
You need a whole day, maybe two, to see the whole area. I show only one photo from the hunting area, the bird trap that looks like a cage. There are traps for most of the game there was during the stone age in northern Ostrobotnia.

onsdag 14 september 2011

Hannu Hautala, photographer

When hubby and I traveled in northern Finland last week we visited the Hannu Hautala Gallery in Kuusamo: Hannu Hautala Gallery. Hannu Hautala is one of Finland's most nenowed nature photographers with a long and successful career. This was the first time I've seen his photographs in real life. It was impressive, both the photos and the gallery. Hannu is the nestor of Finnish nature photography, and I think all Finns taking pics outdoors have learned something from him. He has frequently shown his work on TV, and as we are a reading nation, we have seen at least some of his many books.

The light in the gallery was excellent, as you can expect from a gallery built for showing photos. Hannu collects owly items, I liked the sea shell owl and it's babies.

In the showroom you can see some of Hannus best photos in a large scale, and listen to him telling the story of his life. There is also a big light board with Hannu's photos. Upstairs is a play room for children. There is a café and a shop, and changing exhibitions. If you want to look at Hannu's photos, please use the link above.

måndag 12 september 2011


Hubby, me and the dog went for a short trip to Lapland. I'll show you some photos.

Wooden cattle next to the church in Suomussalmi. This cow is being milked by a lady with a bucket

Installation in a field in Suomussalmi: Hiljainen kansa - The Silent People by dancer, choreographer and performance artist Reijo Kela. The Silent People will be dressed in winter clothes in the autumn.
Walking among the man high, almost one thousand "scarecrows" is a magical experience

We slept in cheap log cabins by two of the hundreds of Lapland's lakes. Wall decorations in two of the cabins:
Yes, that's The Abduction from the Seraglio", and to the left a statue of Shiva...
Hm, that's a very interesting frame :)

The sunsets where very beautiful. We had a sunny weather most of the time, there were no midges or mosquitos, and the trees, bushes and under vegetation was turning into all the colors you can imagine.

Kuusamo is a landscape with lots of possibilities for fishing. We didn't fish, but I want to show a small part of one of the walls in a wild life shop, Kuusamon Uistin. I LOVE wild life shops!
We bought a knife set for handling fish. If the knife is as good as the Marttiini we bought 20 years ago I won't have to buy another one as long as I live: Marttiini Knives

As usual there were reindeer on the roads. They wander about this time of the year, soon the mating season will begin. This seems to be a family.

Pentik is a place I recommend very strongly. Anu Pentik who started the business has succeeded in engaging very talented ceramicists beside being a very good one herself. Together with her husband she has built a culture centre called Pentik-Mäki with studio, gallery, three museums and a wonderful shop in Posio, a small community in southern Lapland. Pentik have shops all over Finland and a few in Sweden and Norway. From their netshop they ship all over the world.

A couple of photos from the Old Times Museum at Pentik-Mäki:

And an interesting thing: a frame for quilting. I remember my grandma had one of these. To the right is a typical Finnish loom from earlier years.

Three of my favorite ceramicists represented in the Pentik Gallery:
 Pottery by Anu Pentik
Small bowls and shopping bags by Minna Niskakangas, and behind them big pots by Suku Park
Suku Park
 The Gallery
Pentik shop entrance

We went hiking in Oulanga Nature Park. The kind staff has built very nice roads in the park, and you may take the dog for a walk too.

We went to see the Kiutaköngäs rapid. It's as always very difficult to take good photos of fast running water in Lapland because the sun is so low, but here's a try:
Oulanka Kiutaköngäs

A small rowan had dressed up in nice colors. I love rowans, it's one of "my" trees. Later in the autumn it will be a strong orange, but I think this mild color is so tender and beautiful.
The last photo shows a shy goat in our last overnight place, an old school where a young couple lives on the ground floor and lets rooms in the rest of the building. Cheap, clean, a big bedroom and a huge bath room, our own kitchen. Horses, cats and a few goats. Not far away from many of the places we want to visit, so we'll come back.