24 June 2012


Midsummer is here again, and in this part of the world that means that the sun is up more or less all night. It's fair to say that it's the second largest festival in Finland after Christmas, and people celebrate it for good reason. We spend so much time cooped up in darkness that it's no wonder this is such a big deal to us. This year we've been incredibly lucky with the weather: the sun has been shining almost non-stop and it's been nice and warm. Here you can see my dad hoisting the flag. The night between Midsummer Eve and Midsummer Day is the only time of the year when the rule says you can fly the flag all night.

Fia the Terri(fi)er enjoys the weather, as well as rolling around in the grass.

These sheep looked pretty happy too, but ran away when I tried to get a little bit nearer

My Midsummer project this year is this cute crocheted moth wings shrug (follow the link for an image of the whole shrug). It's portable and very easy to work with on the train as well as out on the sun-deck behind the house. I've finished the back piece and started with the front halves. I've made great progress on it this weekend.

It took me ages to get started, though, because I just couldn't figure out the gauge (Sw. masktäthet). It seemed to me that the recommended yarn was way too thin for the recommended hook. So I first did some research about possible errors in the pattern, but didn't find what I was looking for. I then made a sample with the recommended hook and yarn, and discovered that the way I crochet, the sample became way too small. I tried substituting the yarn, and got the right gauge, but then the fabric became too thick and stocky. So I finally ended up using the right yarn, but a hook that is two numbers bigger than what is recommended in the pattern (2.5 mm according to the pattern, but I use a 3.5 mm needle for a yarn which is designed for a 0.75 mm needle). It took me a while to get used to the combination of thin yarn and big hook, but I got there in the end. And I guess the point is that with bigger loops, you get a much softer fabric. It makes sense when you think about it, but it felt pretty strange to me at first.

It's been a really relaxing weekend with sunshine, fresh air, good food, good company, a good craft project, exercise, sauna, flowers in plenty and birdsong in the air. I don't think I've ever seen so much cow parsley (Sw. hundkäx) in bloom before. Here, they're mixed in with lupins.

Some of mum's flowers, with the house in the background.

Thanks for visiting! There's only one more week of office time for me now, and then my vacation and new life starts (pleaser refer to this blog entry if you haven't heard about my adventures next year)! I will keep you posted! - Annika


  1. Sounds like a wonderfully relaxing and refreshing time (except for struggling with the gauge issue, I always hate doing that). I'm so excited to start my first reverse applique project for AC that the first thing I did this morning was make paint and stitch samples. Raring to go! Have a great day!

    1. I'm also totally addicted to Alabama Chanin. Working with jersey and hand-sewing has never been more fun. I want to make a tank top and a bucket hat this summer. The fabric is already waiting, now I just need to fit these projects into my busy schedule. Ideas for new projects are sprouting like weeds this spring, and I need to make a priority list.

  2. I love the photo with the lupines and cow parsley. I just read Linda Kemshall's blog and she had photos of foxglove. Both posts made me homesick for Seattle and my Gram's garden. I knit and crochet tight, so making a sample must be done. I dislike doing it! LOL! I guess it is like ironing fabric, I just want to do the creating, not the prep. Enjoy your midsummer!

    1. Thanks, I had a lovely midsummer this year. I really enjoyed the abundance of flowers. Apart from the lupins and cow parsley, there were also lots of buttercups. I've always liked buttercups; they're so graceful and bright. I also knit and crochet tight, so that makes two of us. I've gotten into trouble before, when I've skipped the sampling bit, so I know now that it's a must, but together with Cheryl we all seem to agree that it's a nuisance, when all you want to do is to get started on the real thing!