Sunday, October 24, 2010

Autumn in colorful

I knitted some more fingerless gloves. The photo is colorful, as the autumn in Estonia :)
Still wonder if I should write a pattern for them? Anyone interested? 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Koigu progress

Katy Perry's new album "Teenage Dream" is playing in my headphones and it is a real teenage dream - I'm too old for enjoying this kind of music on Wednesday 10am.
But I write CD reviews for the newspaper and I must do it.

Anyway, I didn't want to write about Katy Perry.
You see the photo of Koigu yarn I got ... hm, last week? Or even week before.
I keep looking those beautiful skeins of yarn and think what to do with them. Yep, November is soon here and I should come out with an idea, but the brain is just not working.

I love the texture and color of Koigu KPPPM, but it’s challenging – because of multiple colors, it’s not possible to use all patterns, which I would like to, because they just don’t show up on the garment. So my secret plan is to play more with the cuts and less with the pattern.

Last night I got some inspiration and made a small, doll-sized skirt out of it. That’s how I usually plan my designs – I knit a decreased size to see how it looks like. I liked it in general, some changes should be made, but I can’t decide if to go for more classical skirt or a bit extravagant? I’m thinking of something with fluffy bottom edge…

Or maybe tunic? Or sweater? Hats-socks? For me it would be easier to make them all, and not to decide this one and only thing.

But despite of headache I get from thinking, I love doing it! The creative team of Koigu magazine – Taiu, Maie and Kathy – are fantastic and I’m glad that for my first big project I ended up with such a helpful and experienced people.

Meanwhile I made a new cotton shrug.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Koigu's here!

It's here!
Koigu KPPPM yarn is here! And what a fantastic color!
Now must think quickly what to knit from it. Today I plan to experiment with different patterns, just to see what's working with those colors and what's not.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Romantic fingerless gloves

This is my vision of romantic fingerless gloves - light colour, small pearls, traditional Estonian lace pattern. 
I really enjoyed knitting them, and in last few days they have got a lot of positive feedback. 
The main patten is taken from Estonian lace book "Haapsalu shawl", which I absolutely adore. I made some changes, as usually, but the basic idea is the same. 
I used regular soft wool yarn, it took about 60-70 grams. 

So I'm thinking if I should write a pattern for them too? It would be in English.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Lace is always beautiful

Today's sunny weather was perfect for taking new photos.
I have them more, but I want to show you the lace shawls first.

Estonian knitters have been making light lace shawls with traditional patterns for hundreds of years.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sock collection success story

I've been giving hints about new sock collection for months.
Sorry, it's still not completed, but some designs are photographed! And probably I'm not able to finish this project now, because first pairs I listed to Etsy got a positivse feedback and will be soon hopefully sold in NY retail stores.
First pairs are sent to them for review and it's pretty sure we're going to work together, if the customer decides the colours and patterns they like most.
If it goes as planned, knee high socks will be in the stores on November.
I will keep you updates!

I still dream of flying to London Knitting and Stitching Show next week, to meet creative team of Koigu. But not sure if I can afford it at the moment...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A paradise

Do you know how a paradise looks like? I know, but I don't have my own paradise. But if I did, it would look something like this:

.... or like this

.. or something similar to this:

Got the point?
At the moment I wish I could knit full time...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Once in a lifetime opportunity

Yesterday I received once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, for making some designs for new Koigu magazine.

If you have read my blog previously, you know how big Koigu fan I am. Taiu, who is one of the owners of this yarn company, found me some time ago from Facebook and turned out she’s Estonian like I am.
She sent me some Koigu yarn and their first published book, “Knits from a Painters Palette”.

Yesterday, when I came from fittest club and opened my mailbox, I found e-mail from Kathryn Merrick, who’s a knitting designer in Interweave Press and puts together Koigu’s new magazine.
Taiu recommended me to make some designs there! Can you believe it? I can’t!

But they’re both very helpful and I’m going to do this. We agreed that they will send me some yarn and after receiving them I start working.

It’s a challenge for me, because English is not my first language and so far I’ve done only simple patterns, like fingerless gloves.
Garments with different size calculations are a big work for me, but I already have some ideas and I’m eager to try.
But it all depends on yarns and they texture. I don’t know what I will get and all my ideas may not be perfect for them.

Anyway, I’ll keep you updated and I’m so happy to get this opportunity. Now, when I’m not completely satisfied with my work in newspaper, a new challenge is definitely something which keeps me motivated.

Here's some works I've done before with Koigu yarn:

Lacy elegant capelet

I've never knitted a capelet like this before, but I'm satisfied with the result!
It's made from super soft Egyptian cotton yarn (150g) and I used a lace pattern from one Novita magazine, but in general the design is made by myself.
Usually it takes for a while to come out with new design, but this time it took only one evening to finish it! No wrong calculations, the yarn was perfect for the project and it was a pleasure to knit it.
Capelet is listed in my Etsy shop.
Better photos hopefully coming next week, when my model is back in the city! Just couldn't wait to show it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What's happening here?

I was happy in August that I’m fine after my wakeboarding accident. Now I must admit I made this conclusion too quickly.
I still have problems with my neck, which is not working correctly. I can’t turn my head to right side, because it just won’t move.
I hoped it will pass by itself, but nothing changed in last 2 weeks and today I’m going to visit chiropractor.

It’s the main reason why I decided to skip this running season. First competition was on Sunday and although I participated, I got the worst result ever, because my head just started to ache under the pressure and I wasn’t able to outpace my last year’s time.
Next race is this Sunday, but I’m not going. It makes me sad, because most of my friends are active runners and I get excited when I see them training and taking part in different events. All I can do is to stand next to the track and help them to reach their goals.
But I know I must make this sacrifice if I still want to run a marathon next year.
Wakeboarding season is also over for me. Next ywar again!
All I can do at the moment is indoor rowing and visiting gym.


Oliver’s birthday went very well.
We had firefighters party on Saturday. First all children and their parents visited local firefighters department and later they plays in children’s playroom for 3 hours.
I made a huge cake, which no one almost tasted. Kids were busy playing and adult were on a diet, I assume :)


I will take a week off in late October and travel somewhere outside Estonia. Not sure where I end up, but the plan is to grab my back bag and just go. To Russia maybe? I haven’t been there yet. Or a round trip in Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Germany and Czech Republic.
I’ve visited all of them before, but there are places where I’d like to go back.


Sock collection is still in progress. Six more pairs to do!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Creative Estonia: Portel iPad sleeves

Portel is a fresh Estonian company, making sleeves for Apple products. They sell the designs on Etsy and have been featured in various blogs and magazines, including Estonian trading magazine “Life in Estonia”.

People may wonder what is the secret of their success, but I believe it’s not so hard to figure it out.
Their shop announcement formulates it clearly: “We want to keep it simple. We try to design our products so that they would have high functionality, not forgetting elegance and beauty.”

I found Portel several weeks ago when I searched for laptop sleeve for my new HP Mini Vivienne Tam notebook.
I truly believe that “less is more” and simplicity has its charm.

Estonian trading magazine writes:
“At the same time that Jobs was planning to present the first iPad in the USA; the folks at Seene Koda (Mushroom Chamber, a farm located close to Estonian capital of Tallinn) were looking for a way to link the useful and the pleasant. As soon as the measurements of the iPad were made public, the first Portel product was created.
So the first iPad sleeves made by Portel were sold online, even before the iPad itself made onto the market.”

I’m sure that this kind of mentality is a key element of their growing popularity - Portel was there right in the beginning and predicted what market needs.

Website has claimed their sleeve to be the best of its kind.  And I believe they deserve it.

Portel uses 100% natural materials and as most people in handmade business, they work without looking at the watch or what day of the week it is.

Portel shop
Facebook fan page

Monday, August 30, 2010

5 years together

Five years ago little cute boy was born. He's name is Oliver:
We've had some fun events over the years. For example, Christmas with Santa Claus and a lot of presents:

He has surprised his mom for countless times. Like when he stood up first time himself:

Or learned how to eat apple:

We've enjoyed winter activities so much that mom had to carry him to fifth floor on a sledge, because little  guy got tired:

We've discovered nature together:

And had fun photoshoots every summer:

Sometimes it's not so joyful. Like when little Oliver is sick:

But hard times pass quickly and in five years he has made a lot of friends:

Of course, it's not only about playing with mates. There has been hard work also, when he had to model for his mom's handmade hats (because salary was good):

Suddenly I discovered how time flies and the baby is not so small any more:

We've been together for 5 years.
I wasn't ready to became a mother, but I've enjoyed every second of it. I love him. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Weekly reading list

I'm going to publish every Thursday a weekly reading list, for sharing the best blogposts, articles and other material found online.
Those are things that inspire me and may help you too.
I try to keep it balanced and feature content from different aspects, like business, marketing, personal growth, time planning, freelance life and so on.

If you have anything to share, you're welcome to post it to the comments, and I will add it to original post!

So here are first features I read this week:

How big brands employ social media marketing
Interview with Andy Sernovitz, founder of the Social Media Business Council. He’s talking about word-of-mouth marketing and big companies’ social media marketing experiences.

When You Need To Reinvent The Wheel, Build A Hover Car
Advice how to become a better blogger.

How to create a mind map to get more done and take action faster

And last but not least, something with a bit funnier title
How not to get old, jealous bitter once you are famous

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Second pair of socks

To be honest, it’s not ready yet, but last night I finished first sock with Norwegian pattern.
This time I used pattern from DROPS and didn’t think it out myself. I haven’t knitted multicolored patterns before, but I’m quite satisfied with the result. I could wear a pair like this. 

Seems like there’s something wrong with my camera’s auto focus. Photos are not clear, but I’m working on fixing it!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Some of my favourites

 I made a fresh treasury with some of my favourite European artists. 
I'm not gooing to add all links here, but you can see it on Etsy.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ann's cow mug

My Sunday mornings look like this.
Well, not always is there baked rolls, but I won't start a morning without my cow mug and fresh coffee :)
I love my cow mug. It's a gift from my mother, made by Tupperware. She originally ordered the mugs for her grand-kids, but as I have only one child and my brothers-sisters have a way more, she thought it would be fair  if our tiny family will get two mugs.

Yesterday I knitted until midnight and I'm not sure if I want to see my needles today :)
Socks are finished, fingerless gloves with same pattern started.
But I'm not passionate about knitting them, because making same pattern all over again gets boring rather soon.

Sock collection preview

As I mentioned before, I started knitting my knee high sock collection.
First pair is almost ready and here's a sneak peak photo for you.
Keywords are neutral colours, natural materials and wide range of patterns. I plan to do at least 8 different pairs and present them all together in late September.
If I can complete it, it will be my biggest project in last few years!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Small wakeboarding accident

I had a small wakeboarding accident two days ago.
Everything went well until I didn't see another speedboat and its wave coming. I was stuck between two waves and just fall down to water straight to my neck. Luckily I had the crash helmet on, otherwise I wouldn't be here at the moment.
I hurt my head and chest, had hard to breathe and headache kept me in bed. I still can't move my neck and I must stay home for few more days, but in general I'm getting better.
Plus I twisted my left ankle, which means I may have to skip this autumn's running season... First competition is in 3 weeks and if it won't get better by then, I'm not able to participate.

Everybody ask if I quit wakeboarding now. Even the doctor tried to convince me it's dangerous. Yes, I know it is, but I'm careful, accidents can happen everywhere and this time was just bad coincidence.
No, I'm not going to quit. As soon as I feel fine again, I will be back on wakeboard. Hopefully it happens before the summer season ends. We have only 3 months of good water sports weather here and in September it's usually too cold for going on the water.
Until then I spend time in gym, because my hands need more strength for trying different tricks on board. Wakeboarding is physically very exhausting, only 10 minutes can make you feel like dead next day.

But until I must stay home, I plan to start knitting again. Hopefully I can make a short trip to yarn shop and post office today, tomorrow morning I have another appointment with my doctor.

UPDATE on August 19th: 
I visited doctor today and I'm fine! Will rest until the end of the week, but on Monday I'm allowed to go back to work.
Neck is still painful to move and headache comes and goes, but it's not a big problem.
Thank you for being with me!

I want to show you one more photo. The quality is not very good, but it's the beginning of last night's thunderstorm in Pärnu.
We've had more thunderstorms than usually this season, it's normal to see rain and lightning almost every day. It's because of unwontedly hot summer.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hansamarket in Pärnu

We had a big 2-day hansamarket in Pärnu. The official name of the event is Pärnu Quild Days and the tradition is more than 10 years old.
Every August people all over Estonia come to Pärnu and sell their handmade items and homemade food. There are a lot of concerts too.
This year I didn't participate, because it was on my birthday and I had some guests to host. But I had time to walk around and see all beautiful things made by fellow artisans. Only few are on the photo, because camera battery was low, as usually :)

And here's one extra photo of myself. Made today while we celebrated my birthday in our office. I'm usually very critical about my photos, but I like the emotion on this one.
The author of the photo is my dear colleague, photographer Urmas Luik.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Favourite time of the year

My favourite time of the year is finally here - season of fresh berries!
Yesterday we went picking some blueberries after work. There wasn't many in the forest (someone probably was  there before us), but we got enough for making a cake and some dessert cream.
Mosquitoes tried to eat us alive, but both I and Oliver were brave and picked out boxes full of berries.

Blueberries are very good for health, they have a diverse range of micronutrients, with notably high levels of the essential dietary mineral manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K and dietary fiber.

I'm not crazy about organic food, but whenever possible, I try to use fresh and clean nutriments from my own area, so I can be sure there are no food  preservatives or E numbers involved.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday Moodboard: Green

1) LaLaShoes
2) Kirevi8
3) Artistico 
4) Lacravateduchien

I'm not going to write long. Why green? Because it's just a beautiful colour :)

See more moodboards on Fleurfatale's blog, and don't forget to turn volume on, because she has a great music playing there!

Since now you can comment without word verification in my blog. I know some people don't like to type those silly words to a box, so I just removed it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Back to the present

I scared you off with the previous winter post, didn't I? :)

I must admit it's almost 30C in Estonia and I'm probably only one thinking of fall/winter season. Not because I wait it so much, but knitters like I am can't leave it to last minute either.

Today I left my knitting needles home and I've been searching for perfect summer dress on Etsy.
You know what's ironic about it? First dresses I saved to my list were all made in China.
I believe handmade items can be made in Asian countries too, but after seeing the photos and descriptions I'm not so sure if they are handmade, so just to be sure, I won't feature them here.I've read a lot about resellers on Etsy but until now I didn't think I've even seen any myself.

So the task was not as easy as I hoped, but I found several dresses I like and I want to share them with you.

Perfect orange and flower dress made by michalsclothes 

What about one like this for a evening coctail party? Made by dgiforvictory

Olive mix silk by cocoricoo

Silk dress by larimeloom