Preparations for the Finland Sweater

The last year has been a busy travelling one for me, and in knitting terms my voyages have so far seen an Adelaide scarf, Brisbane socks, Vanuatu bag, Paris hoodie and a Hobart Cardigan. The next trip is now organised, and once again I am heading for the COLD. Yaaaaaayyyy!!!! Astute regular readers may indeed wonder why the hell I live in Queensland. You and me both.

But anyway, I am going to Helsinki, Finland for three weeks in November/December. Worst weather time, but I reeeeeeaaaallly wanted to see the St Thomas Christmas markets and the lights on Aleksanterinkatu. I love Christmas so much!! And a market in the snow, how awesome. πŸ™‚

Again I will be travelling solo. I did actually put the word out this time in case anyone particularly wanted to come with me, and the responses I received back from friends and family ran the gamut from “F*ck that for a joke” and “You’re totally insane”. So be it. Bunch of wusses. M, who genuinely believes Queensland is “bloody freezing”, was obviously a non-starter.

I come from Finnish heritage on my mother’s side, and I’ve always felt a strange pull to go there. I’ve been learning the language for a couple of years (so I basically know three words. It’s a pretty hard language). They speak a lot of English there, fortunately.

So 3 months out, now is about the time to begin my Finland Sweater. Obviously I have invested in some heavy duty outerwear this time, because I would rather not die. Therefore this sweater actually needs to be quite slimline, to fit nicely under coats. 
I have chosen this earthy yarn that my Mum was throwing out called Bagabo Country Spun Wool, which is 100% wool (Australian merino/corriedale). It’s a 5ply (sport weight), and I really like the undyed grey/oatmeal colour called silver. (Not as brown as it appears here.)

 It took a while to find an appropriate pattern, and I have settled on this, by Purl Soho, the Top-Down Turtleneck Cardigan. Not actually a sweater, but it will be worn as one. (I’ve decided that cardigans worn as sweaters are a lot easier on the shoulders, so I’m not sure I’ll ever knit myself another proper ‘pullover’.) 

 Something about the lines of this drew me in…the shoulders maybe. And the neckline which, although I know won’t flatter my particular shaped jaw, is warm and practical under a hooded coat. 

As usual, I will add patch pockets to this, and I am also somewhat tempted by the needle-felted patches on the elbows that I am seeing all over Pinterest. So maybe them too. I think I’ll also change the bottom edging.

Can I rant for just a second here? This is a very prettily laid out pattern, and it frickin should be for US$9. That is way more than I would normally spend, especially on something relatively simple, but it looked very elegant and slick. However it reeeeeally annoys me when I download patterns and they only have US terms! What is that about? Ethnocentrism might be a standard human trait, and I can live with it in free or inexpensive patterns, but it is a massive fail in a pricey ‘professional’ pattern being downloaded worldwide. I can cope with the inches-only measurements, because every tape measure has them, but yardage with no meterage, and U.S.-only needle sizes with no equivalents is totally unacceptable. I should NOT have to look up the conversion and write it in. *Insert grumpy huff.*
Anyhoo. Okay I’m over it. πŸ™‚ There’s a LOT of stockinette here. Wish me luck.

B πŸ™‚

36 thoughts on “Preparations for the Finland Sweater

  1. How wonderful news to read – coming to Finland! You know probably that November / December is not the best time when thinking about cold and snow, but who knows the weather. I wish that You can again feel the magic of snow! I love also β€œTuomaan Markkinat”.

    I am happy when reading Your post.


    Liked by 2 people

  2. Finland looks like it might be worth visiting at any time of the year! I agree about the knitting pattern issue – it is a sad trait we see in many things American. I think blogging helps widen perspectives – I’m sure you’ll manage splendidly and I look forward to seeing the finished product replete with your own finishing touches πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much Pauline! Yes I think you’re right, any time of year would have its own unique appeal!
      True about blogging, I never thought of it like that. πŸ™‚
      I got started on the sweater tonight, fun so far πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh bugger it. If I had the money I’d accompany you to Finland – I might even pay for your trip! I am a Christmas enthusiast. Just say hello to Santa for me, and bring me back an elf or a reindeer or anything wonderful! Enjoy!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love the design that you’ve chosen, I think my “queue” may just have grown (and groaned) a little! I have to agree with you about patterns that are exclusively US terms, particularly when the rest of the world uses metric (not to mention increased accuracy). It’s a little like continuing to use Pony Express instead of Internet because… well… hmm… *crickets*. I was appalled when submitting to Knitty Magazine (headed by a Canadian) that they accept patterns ONLY in US terms! *big grumpy huff* I write my own patterns in International terms and include the US ones as a courtesy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ohlala, finding part of your heritage in Finland, how exciting! I share your love for cold, North, winter etc and I am indeed happy not to live in Queensland but Ohio is already very hot in the summer and Mr. Walker promised me not to take me any further south;0) That sweater looks gorgeous and the yarn seems perfect for it. It does look indeed like a lot of my would call ” knitting in front of telly” but you will travel in your head already. I just finished a prefect shawl for an upcoming trip to Yellow Stone in the Fall ( here in the US) Traveling and knitting…perfect! xo Johanna

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Johanna, Ooh yes, you would be near the edge of ‘too hot’ there if you are a cold lover too! Travel knitting is great isn’t it, as you say there is a lot of imagining and being there in your head already πŸ™‚ hope you post pics of your shawl! X

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I live in the US, and I agree that everything would be easier if we all used metric standards–particularly when it comes to needle sizes. I’m sure Noro labels would still be just as inscrutable, though!

    P.S.–Have a great vacation! Your sweater is going to be awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, I wish I could go with you! I’m not a huge Christmas kind of girl, but I’m all in for cold and Finland πŸ˜€ Sorry about the all US terms/measures 😦 That has to be annoying, especially if you paid good money for the pattern.

    I can’t wait to see how it turns out though, that’s some gorgeous yarns and the variations you talked about have me really curious πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Well, who knew that a fellow Queenslander was following one of my very favourite blogs! That would be Bruce of Weave a Web. I’m so chuffed that he mentioned your blog in his Academy Award winning acceptance speech. I’m going to enjoy stalking you, I reckon!

    And, you knit, and like cold weather! I look forward to your offerings from Finland. Will you get to meet Sartenada, do you think?

    Cheers from Atherton aka Dismal Swamp.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a gorgeous, gorgeous pattern. The lines are beautiful! Thanks for following my blog! I came to see what you were up to and saw those beautiful snowy pictures and the beautiful pattern and wool and clicked follow. What can I say about American measurements? We were supposed to convert back in the 1970s. Provincial about some things, eh? Although I HAVE done my share of conversions on European baking recipes! I look forward to the eventual trip report…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the follow too, I love seeing (and reading) what’s happening your side of the world also, so different to here! πŸ™‚ yes I’m down through the yoke of the sweater now, I’ve got a good feeling about this one…just have to continually wrestle that internal beast that wants to change and fiddle with things that are perfectly fine as they are…:)

      Liked by 1 person

  10. You lucky duck you! Going to Finland for Christmas? Clever really as it is going to be stinking hot here so you may as well bypass it and have a real white Christmas as a swapsie. What a gloriously organic looking cardie. That wool (your mum has a shop?) is scrumptious and will be perfect (if a little on the thick side?) for this purpose. I am with you on the translation thing. If it’s free suck it up, if you paid for it, moan away! I can’t wait to see how you wrangle this pattern. It’s gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, oh if only my mum had a yarn shop!! What a dream that would be! πŸ™‚ no she just does regular clean outs of her craft cupboard and I make sure I am standing nearby when she does…:) the sweater is coming along, it is 5ply on 3.5mm needles so slow going, but loving it so far πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s gorgeous. If I could knit I would have bought that pattern in an instant. I think it’s gorgeous. You have very good taste. Now…get gran’s old knitting needles that I inherited and wave them around in the same directions with yarn on at least one of them at any given time and attempt to knit! “Practice makes perfect” as my old gran used to say. “Practice and chance would be a fine thing” say I! πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

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