Jyväskylä Summer Knit Festival 2021

It’s a while since the festival weekend, but only now I have the time to write about it. I took photos of my yarn purchases a week after the festival. It’s mostly because of the photos that I’m writing this: I simply must share a glimpse of those scrumptious yarns.

I first went to the festival on Thursday, July the 8th. It was wonderful to chat with other knitters, after such a long break. I went in the TitiTyy brick and mortar store, too, to check out the yarns. I even tried a couple of skeins next to each other to see if the colorways looked good together, but didn’t buy anything, yet.

On Friday I woke up from my nap a bit too late, half past four. The knitting parade would be at five, so it was a bit too late for me to catch it. At least, if I wanted to wake up properly, first, and also eat a bit before hopping on my bike.

I found even more friends at the festival on Friday. We watched the Heavy Metal Knitting event while we chatted at our knitting. This time I actually bought the yarns I had been petting the previous day. They will become a shawl. I took a photo of them and the beginning of my shawl a week after the festival:

Two balls and two hanks of yarn
Walk Collection yarn for a shawl

Saturday the 10th was the market day. There were many Finnish vendors at the Toivola yard and inside the small buildings at the edge of the yard. (I constantly typo yard as yarn.) Before heading to the market, I had checked my bank balance to know what the budget was. When I got to the Toivola yard, I went straight to Handu booth. It was the first booth one would come across, but I might have gone there first anyway. I was delighted to find a shopping basked idle at the entrance. It was clearly there for me.

I took a photo of the Handu booth right before the end of the market time:

Handu booth with a lot of yarn
Handu booth

There was still plenty of yarn left, so there would have been enough for several more yarn fans.

It was difficult to choose which skeins to buy. Ilu had dyed plenty of bright yellows, so I was in heaven. Eventually I managed to weed down my basked (the basket itself was certainly needed). This is what I ended up buying from the Handu booth:

13 skeins of Handu yarn
The yarn I bought from Handu. Back row from left to right: two sport weight basic socks, five skeins for a sweater. Front row from left to right: three singles, two basic socks and another skein of singles.

Another vendor (Pynja) was in the same tent with Handu, but there was such a crowd in front of the yarns that I decided to check it again later. I walked through the booths admiring (and buying) yarn and chatting with old and new friends. The knitting festivals are great in that you can chat with anyone just like you already knew them! Everybody loves yarn and understands the crafters world.

I found several wonderful things from different vendors. Here is a photo of them:

11 skeins of yarn
Yarn bought from other vendors. Four shawls, and a pair of socks.

The brown and the two pale skeins at the bottom of the picture are 90 % merino and 10 % linen. It’s the same base as the blue-green sweater’s worth I bought from Handu. I’m looking forward to knitting with the interesting fiber combination.

Here is a photo of all the yarn I bought from the festivals:

A lovely pile of yarn
All the yarns I bought from the festivals

Now I notice that on Friday I didn’t only buy the four skeins for the shawl, but also two others for another shawl. They are the ones at the center of the picture, the pale and muted variegated Walk Collection skeins. The colorway is really interesting. I can’t wait to see what kind of knitted surface they produce.

The weather was rather hot for us Finns through the weekend. On Saturday it rained a bit and it was cloudy, but the rest of the time it was sunny and hot. With cold beverages we managed, though, and altogether the weekend was amazing!


What to knit with variegated yarns? Especially those that have strong contrast between colors need special attention. Plain stockinette would be great, apart from the risk of uneven pooling of the colors. My answer so far has been stripes. I take one of these gorgeous multicolored yarns and pair it with a neutral, and the result is a wonderful piece of knitwear!

Masala shawl spread out

The story of this particular shawl goes back to the moment I saw a beautiful skein of yarn on the Colorsong Yarn website. It was Mini Maiden by Hand Maiden Fine Yarn, in colorway Masala. I went back to look at it many times. Eventially, I had spent so much time just dreaming about it, that the colorway was on a clearance sale meaning no new ones would ever come, and only one skein remained! Of course I had to take immediate actions and get that precious thing home with me.

Mini Maiden, colorway Masala

The skein lingered in my stash for four years until I knew exactly what I wanted to knit with it. I cast on a shawl, working stripes together with white Adriafil Avantgarde. First, the Masala stripes were wider and white stripes narrower, but gradually it changed, ending up with the opposite: white stripes being wider and Masala stripes narrower.

Masala shawl

By coincidence, the name Masala also means a town in southern Finland. It happens that the first home I can remember was near that town, so I have a personal relationship with it. I didn’t end up going to school there because we moved when I was six – in Finland kids start school at the age of seven – but we didn’t move far so I visited the town many times even after my early years.

Masala shawl

Masala pattern is now available in my Ravelry store here.


Auer is a crescent shaped shawl knit top-down, starting from the neck. It is worked in garter stitch and simple lace. The Finnish word auer means haze formed by dry dust particles.

Auer shawl

The yarn used in the model shawl is ColourMart Cashmere 8/44NM 4ply weight. Even though the yarn is pure cashmere, it has a silky feel and a wonderful drape thanks to the way it was made: several dense cobweb weight yarns were plied into a light fingering weight yarn. Unfortunately this also makes at least some of the colorways unbalanced, meaning a stockinette stitch fabric would bias, but there’s no biasing problem with garter stitch and lace. This yarn is definitely one of my favorites ever!

Auer shawl
Auer shawl on the shoulders

Building Blocks Shawl

When I have time, I knit from other designers’ patterns, too. In October 2016 I took part in a mystery knit-a-long by Stephen West. The shawl is called Building Blocks Shawl and unlike The Doodler, the previous mystery shawl by Mr. West, it was rather straightforward. I have to say I was a bit disappointed because there wasn’t much of a mystery after the first two clues since you knew how the shawl would develop, no surprises in which direction you’d be working next.

Building Blocks shawl

This summer I finally finished the project! So far the shawl has mostly been decorating the top of our book shelf since the summer has been warm here, but when the temperature drops, I’ll give it a go.

Despite the lack of surprises in the pattern, I enjoyed knitting my Building Blocks, not least because of the superb ColourMart cashmere and cashmere blends I had chosen for yarn. The black and charcoal are from a scrap set, meaning I don’t know the exact fiber content. Clearly they’re mostly wool, judging by the way the yarn feels and behaves.

Building Blocks shawl wrapped around the neck

The beige yarn consists of two different yarns, of which one contains some angora since it made me cough a bit – not too bad, though, if I just kept the work a bit further from my face while knitting. The beige yarns are also from a ColourMart scrap set.

Building Blocks shawl on shoulders

The blue is pure cashmere. Or it would have been, had I not thought I’d run out of yarn. In the solid blue section I used two strands of the cashmere and one strand of light weight pure merino. They happened to be approximately the same shade so if you didn’t know, you couldn’t tell there are two completely different yarns in that section. Also these yarns came from scrap sets, but those weren’t random yarn but were classified by fiber content. The blue merino set even had a photo, so I knew what was coming unlike the other ones that I had bought blind – the surprise sets cost less, which combined with the surprise factor makes them very tempting.

Building Blocks shawl: closeup

As the other colors, also the orange is made of two separate yarns. One of them came from the same ColourMart scrap set as the black, charcoal and two beiges, and I suppose it contains some silk, given the sheen. The other orange, then again, is the only one I’ve bought on cone. It’s 52 % cashmere and 48 % linen – an absolutely fantastic yarn! I don’t know, yet, how it’ll endure wear, nevertheless I bought three cones of it back in 2014. The only negative side I have discovered yet about this yarn is that it bleeds color. So if I ever want to knit it together with anything light colored, I’ll have to skein and wash it first.