I’ll need to begin the story of the Nummi shawl from my previous shawl project. My daughter wanted me to knit her a pink shawl. I found a suitable pattern and cast on. After working around twenty rows I started adding my own ideas, and soon I decided that I wanted to use a different increase method than the one used in the pattern. So I unraveled and restarted.

I worked the triangular shawl in garter stitch, adding narrow stripes of stockinette stitch. I came up with new stripe patterns as I was knitting, alternating garter and stockinette. I was often knitting the shawl when I was outdoors with my kids, walking to the playground. I started calling that shawl Matka, which means journey in Finnish. For several reasons I ended up not writing a pattern for that shawl, though.

My daughter’s shawl turned out to be so wonderful that I wanted one, myself, too. As with my daughter’s shawl, I didn’t stick to the previous version, but made several improvements. The shape was very close to the original: a triangle worked from the top down, clearly wider than it is deep. That kind of shape also suits people with a shorter back.

Since the yarn was unbalanced, being a bit overtwisted, stockinette stitch would have biased. So I would need to have an equal number of knit and purl stitches to counteract the bias. That’s why I worked the shawl mostly in garter stitch, since garter would show no sign of the bias. Again I added narrow stripes of stockinette stitch. This time I planned the stripes before knitting. At least my spreadsheet looked great, so certainly the shawl would, too.

Nummi triangular shawl spread open

The shawl project was TV knitting at its best. A simple pattern and a lot of long rows. I didn’t hurry, since one must always have a brainless project on the needles. When every other project fails, it’s soothing to pick up that simple piece that just works, independent from any struggle with other crafts projects.

Nummi shawl on the shoulders - reverse side
The reverse side of the Nummi shawl

After finishing the shawl, I wrote the pattern. I tried to measure the gauge from my finished shawl, as I usually do, but all the stripes were so narrow that I couldn’t get a reliable row gauge. So I knitted a swatch. One normally knits the swatch first before the actual project, but this time I did the opposite!

Nummi shawl pattern is now available via Payhip and in my Ravelry store.

Kuutio Blanket

I knitted a new blanket for my son. The previous one was getting too small. I chose merino wool since it’s soft and great next to the skin. We selected the stitch pattern together from one of the books I have. The pattern repeat was small for a blanket-sized item so I decided to scale it up.

Kuutio blanket

Scaling the stitch pattern proved more difficult than I had expected. It wasn’t rocket science, but I had imagined getting it done in less than ten minutes. Some parts of the stitch pattern were easy to scale up, but with other parts I had to scratch my head for a while until I got it right.

Kuutio blanket

I made a large swatch. It was almost as big as people usually recommend, that is, 20 cm or 8 inches squared. Different edge patterns were easy to test on the swatch, too. In the end I chose to work the edge at the same time as the body of the blanket. Picking up stitches is rather tedious, and I wanted to get the project done soon.

Kuutio blanket on the bed

Twice a year there’s an equinox contest in the ColourMart Lovers Ravelry group. I took part in it with the blanket. In addition to gaining glory one can win a yarn prize. I calculated carefully how much I would need to knit per day in order to finish by the end of the contest. I even remembered to reserve time for washing the blanket.

The corner of the Kuutio blanket

After knitting full days for some weeks I just got tired. The project was still lovely but enough is enough. I had worked too much in too short a time. In the end, like in so many equinox contests before, I didn’t finish on time. Well, there’s still plenty of yarn in my stash even without a yarn prize, and one can present their projects to the rest of the knitting world outside contests, too.

Kuutio blanket

The yarn was originally all on a single cone. 900 grams of some plump DK weight yarn in one chunk is rather substantial. Near the end of the project it was fantastic to see the cardboard cone finally peeking through the yarn. Seeing such a thing, one feels productive.

Kuutio blanket edge

Despite the large cone of yarn and my meticulous calculations, I ran out of yarn. No problem, I told myself, and dug up the swatch. By unraveling part of the swatch I managed to work the final rows of the blanket. In addition to that, I had already bought another 900 g cone of the same yarn in exactly the same colorway for a blanket for my other son, so there wasn’t really any real problem in the end.

Kuutio blanket on the bed

The day after I finished the blanket I took some photos. My son was anxiously waiting for his new blanket (it was summer), so one should not procrastinate.

The corner of the Kuutio blanket

The bed in the photos is 140 cm (55 in) wide and 200 cm (79 in) long, so the blanket was perfect for my tall 9-year-old son. At least it won’t be small any time soon. At some point, though, he will overgrow it, so I can hopefully knit him another one.

Kuutio blanket

The stitch pattern is interesting and rather unusual since it looks identical on both sides of the fabric. This was helpful for the knitting, too: you can read the chart from right to left on every row, whether it’s a right side row or a wrong side row. I don’t recall ever working such a stitch pattern before.

Kuutio pattern is now available via Payhip and in my Ravelry store.

Crayon Fade

Some years ago I made several consecutive shawl trials. First I had a brilliant idea, that half a shawl later turned out not working technically, so I made some changes to the idea and started over. After several trials and errors there was success: I published Crayon Play pattern in late 2015.

Crayon Play shawl
Crayon Play shawl

The shape of the shawl was so good that I wanted to knit more of them. A couple of years later I finished Crayon Fade, that is almost the same as Crayon Play, but there are some improvements to the stitches. The colors, then again, are used completely differently. While the point of Crayon Play was to use a yarn with high contrast and tune it down with a solid color yarn, Crayon Fade – as you might have guessed from the name alone – fades one color to another.

Crayon Fade shawl
Crayon Fade shawl

I really love the colors of the prototype Crayon Fade. The size and shape work very well, though next time I’ll probably knit either the medium or large size instead of the small size. I’m tall and have broad shoulders, so a bigger shawl will work even better than the one I’ve already made. The idea of the next shawl is some sort of a bullseye. I guess I’ll need to spread out my yarns to pick!

The shawl is started from the center with Judy’s Magic Cast-on. You cast on several hundred stitches, and then work outwards. Increases are made is such spots that you achieve the shape: the ends need increases so that the shawl remains flat, the bottom half of the shawl has increases to make it slightly curved. That makes it stay on the shoulders better. There are only few places to increase on every other round, so this shawl is brilliant for tv-knitting! The outer edge of the shawl has a ruffle partly to prevent the edge from rolling, partly because ruffles look gorgeous.

Crayon Fade pattern is now available in my Ravelry store and via Payhip.

Pihta and Huippu

Pihta and Huippu mittens are worked in stranded knitting with two colors. The cuff is simple ribbing, using one color only, to make it comfortably stretchy.

The colorwork patterns are very simple. The palms are plain pinstripe, as are the tumbs of Pihta. Huippu thumbs have a small upside down “V” in the gusset, the rest is pinstripe. The back of the hand has checkerboard patterning on top of pinstripe. Pihta has upside down “V” motifs, while Huippu shows a silhouette of a line of mountains – especially my blue and light grey model mittens look like mountains.

Both Pihta and Huippu patterns are easy for stranded knitting. The floats are short, there are only few five stitch floats, the rest are mainly one or two stitches long. The colorwork pattern is simple so you don’t need to pay as much attention to the charts as with more complicated patterns. Since there is almost an equal number of stitches for both colors and the floats are short, it should be effortless to keep the tension of the yarn even, which makes knitting rather pleasant. In all, these patterns will probably suit beginner stranded knitters.

The top of the palm is grafted, as well as the top of the Pihta thumbs. Huippu thumbs have decreases making the top more round.

Pihta stranded mittens with a ball of yarn

Pihta is a Finnish word that means fir – the back of the hand patterning reminds me of these evergreen coniferous trees. Huippu then again means peak, as well as something very good.

Pihta and Huippu patterns are now available in my Ravelry store: Pihta, Huippu.

Vaski soi

Last year I bought some beautiful semisolid yarn, made of Polwarth wool and silk. Four of the colorways looked really good together. I wanted to emphasize each color, preferably with smooth transition between colors. In some of my previous work, I had been playing with stripes of different width. In Valentino, Indian Summer and Sumu there is a transition from one color to another. I was after such an effect with this project, too.

After playing with stripes for a moment, I found the sequence I wanted to use. It looked very much like some sort of wave proceeding in the air – or another fluid. I was very happy with the effect.

Sound waves are longitudinal waves. The air pressure changes when the wave advances. Since air is transparent and the pressure doesn’t change its color, you can’t see the sound waves. This shawl is what I imagine the sound waves to look like. Of course the actual wave is not made of separate stretches of pressures, but instead it’s continuous, the pressure fluctuating.

There seemed to be plenty of shawl patterns with the name referring to the sound waves or echo. I wasn’t sure what to call mine, until at some relaxed moment I begun to explore a certain syllable, which letters to put after it, and there it was: vaski. Vaski is a Finnish word meaning a brass instrument. The word alone wasn’t a good name for a shawl, in my opinion, so I explored the words to go with it. It should be short to be easily memorized. Imagine a long word in a foreign language – you’re not going to spell that correctly later on! Since the shawl pattern was inspired by waves, it made sense to me to use the word that refers to playing an instrument. That’s why the pattern became Vaski soi.

When choosing colors for your Vaski soi shawl, there are a couple of things to consider. First, if you wear the shawl wrapped around your neck so that the center is in the front, the color that will show the most is color B. So that’s in a way your main color. At the same time, color C will be some sort of an accent color. I would place the color that best suits your skin tone as color B.

Another thing you might want to consider is that you will have a reasonable amount of leftovers of color C, but not that much of the others. That’s why the color C of the model shawl is white: I wanted to save some of it to be knitted together with another colorway of that same yarn.

Vaski soi pattern is now available in my Ravelry store.


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.


Last summer I got an idea of a shawl that would ressemble a halo. I had recently knitted Auer, a crescent shaped shawl with garter stitch and simple lace, and I wanted to knit another one with expanding stripes of lace.

I had the perfect yarn for the project, bright yellow Handu organic wool, with 600 m per 100 g skein. The original idea was to knit until I’d run out of yarn, so meticulous calculations weren’t needed this time.

Yellow Halo shawl

At the beginning, the project was advancing fast, like top-down crescent shaped and semicircular shawls always. My brother that happened to be visiting us the day I cast on, after watching for a while the project grow and grow, asked – joking – whether I was going to knit the entire shawl in one go. I explained that with top-down shawls it first seems to build up very quickly, but then the rows start getting longer giving an illusion of the process getting slower.

Soon I ran into the first problem. I was pregnant and started feeling physically rather awful during the first weeks, already. I’ve always loved yellow, but for some reason, the nausea was worse when I tried to knit that particular shawl last autumn. So eventually I had to give up and take a break. Some weeks later I wasn’t able to knit at all, anymore, since the movements of knitting made me even more sea sick, so I had to leave all my projects for a long time.

Halo shawl, yellow

Later last year, close to December, I started feeling better and picked up the shawl again. Things didn’t go exactly as planned this time, either: I ran out of yarn in the middle of a lace section and the result didn’t look decent enough to me. I had a couple of viable options, and decided to make changes to the design. I added a different edging, instead of working the same simple lace pattern to the end. After a couple of swatches I knew what I wanted and unraveled several dozen rows and went on with the new edging.

Yellow Halo shawl on the shoulders

The shawl would have been finished well before Christmas, if I hadn’t run out of yarn halfway through the edging! It took some time to figure out what to do. I wasn’t going to unravel the last stripe of shawl body lace since the shawl would then have become too small. Neither was there more of that same yarn available. Well, I went through my yarn stash to find something close enough in weight and color. The yarn closest to the original Handu yarn happened to be from ColourMart, so I needed to skein and wash it before I could actually knit – I didn’t want to risk felting the Handu by washing the finished shawl. I wasn’t physically well enough to do the skeining and washing for several weeks, so the shawl had to wait even more!

Halo shawl

Eventually I got everything done and finished the shawl in late January this year. Since I had ran out of yarn, I didn’t want to recommend that same yarn, or any other yarn with the same weight, in the pattern. There’s obviously nothing wrong with the yarn weight in itself. On the contrary, the shawl is lovely. But even the smallest size I’d be writing would take more than one 100 gram skein of yarn and that wouldn’t be very practical for anyone else wanting to knit the shawl. So I decided to knit another sample with lighter weight yarn.

Halo shawl

I chose ColourMart Diamante in a pale gray colorway that I had just bought. I held the yarn doubled to get a weight close to 700 meters per 100 grams, which is a bit lighter weight than the original Handu yarn. At the same time, I was already having the pattern tested so while I knitted the second prototype, test knitters were working on their own shawls.

Halo shawl on the shoulders

This time nothing held me back, and the shawl was finished in about a month. Diamante is very lovely yarn, smooth and silky, with a soft halo (pun unintended!) of cashmere. It’s currently available in a couple of colorways on the ColourMart website.

The shawl ended up being as beautiful as I had envisioned. I’m very happy with both the yellow and the gray shawl and can’t wait for a suitable occasion to wear one of them!

Halo 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

Taina’s Arrow

I had two skeins of Handu singles, pink with a little bit of blue speckles. I wanted to knit a shawl with them and to try the arrow shape since it’s a rather interesting way of making a triangle. I thought I’d go with something simple since the yarn was variegated and would hide a more complex patterning.

Pink hand dyed yarn from Handu

A previous shawl of mine, Taina, had been very addictive to knit so I used the same sequence of eyelets and garter stitch. The resulting shawl is called Taina’s Arrow.

Taina's Arrow on the shoulders

The model shawl is 65 cm deep and 210 cm wide after blocking. It’s a very good size for a tall woman like me (I’m 180 cm/5’11¨), and it won’t be overly large for medium or smaller women, either.

Taina's Arrow
Taina's Arrow flying


Miriam is the warm-up pattern of Tour-de-Sock 2018. It is worked from the cuff down in stranded knitting. In my humble opinion it is a rather good pattern for brushing up your skills in stranded knitting thanks to the short color runs and very simple pattern repeat. You can concentrate on your hands instead of charts.

Miriam socks, front

I had had the idea for the pattern as early as in December 2015 when working on a design for another sock competition. That other design ended up not meeting my requirements, so it never saw daylight, but Miriam stayed in the back of my head, waiting for the right moment.

Miriam socks, side and back

In the summer of 2017 I finally got to working on Miriam. Yet again there were obstacles, this time pain in some of my fingers, so I had to leave the sock in the middle of the heel. Last winter I saw the call for designs in the Tour-de-Sock Ravelry group and thought that this would be my opportunity to finish up the design. I picked up the work and continued, running into much greater technical challenges than I had expected, but finally I had a finished sock that met my standards. I even managed to submit a day before the deadline!

Miriam socks, sole

Miriam is currently available via the Tour-de-Sock website for the registered racers. Registration is open for everyone and ends on July 5. Please don’t mind the ‘June 25’ on the registration sheet (follow the link on this page), the correct date is stated on the main page of the Tour-de-Sock site. The registration fee is $10 and it (minus the Paypal and shipping expenses for prizes) goes to to Doctors Without Borders. Being a racer doesn’t bind you in any way: you will get the patterns – 1 warm-up, 6 stages, possibly yet something more = at least 7 patterns – but you aren’t obliged to knit at all. So in my opinion, it’s definitely worth the cost!

Miriam socks, side

This is the first Miriam sock, photo taken for the Tour de Sock pattern submission in late February:

Miriam sock, white cuff