The latest painting.

I haven’t been painting in some months and it feels like forever. I paid for this spring term to be able to use the Saturday atelier, but I’ve had to skip it so many times and I feel like having some free time as well. Besides, I don’t have any clear ideas for what I’m going to paint next, so it’s no use going to the atelier. I find it impossible to think of ideas when I’m there. It’s the place for action, not planning.

Last autumn I painted two portraits of my boyfriend. The first one turned out great and I was inspired to paint another one from a different angle.


I didn’t spend as much time and effort on this one. I like the cartoony eyes, but the background bothers me a bit. Yellow doesn’t look so good with the purple on the left side of the head, I wish I’d painted the whole background in one color.

The likeness is close enough:

The tilt towards the viewer isn’t quite the same and the corner of the mouth that’s away from the viewer is such a bitch to get right every time.

Both of the portraits are framed by now, but I could still paint the background if I’m careful..

So there’s not much going on on the painting front. I have some aspirations for learning to paint structures and buildings among landscapes, or just indoor views. The problem is that I feel like I need support and feedback and guidance to learn that, since I have barely painted anything of that sort. Perhaps I can participate in one of my previous painting teacher’s classes next autumn.

I’m so out of blogging shape. I think I will blog about my latest book purchases next. Or about knitting. My highbrow activities in general.


New Hair!

I went to get a consultation from a senior (“top”) hair dresser today, to inquire whether short hair would look good on me. I like an androgynous lesbian look in theory, but I don’t want to be identified as lesbian by other people since I’m not one, as much as I would like the look.

And what was supposed to be only a consultation, turned into a haircut!

The hairdresser said that he could tell that I’ve been thinking about this realistically and it wasn’t spur of the moment. I’ve been thinking of cutting my hair short for about 5 years, basically ever since I started losing it in larqe quantities. It’s not that bad right now, but my hair would normally be about 1/4 thicker.

As soon as I sat down and he set his fingers on my head, he said that my scalp is dry and tight and in bad condition and he could tell that I’ve lost hair. I had thought that short hair wouldn’t be as forgiving in that sense, I thought it would show more how my hair is thinner, but it’s actually better now! It’s like normal hair. :)

It’s a little messy because I wore a hat on the way home and I haven’t yet figured out how it should be arranged. My hair grows in different directions all over, but I’ll learn that soon by experimenting.

I like my “sideburns” in particular (if someone knows the actual term, pray tell me!). They make the hair cut look more feminine. I also like how there is longer hair on the top. I can make different looks by changing the parting and combing it in different ways. :)

AND my earrings show better now too. AND my hair won’t be on the way when I do krav maga! AND no more 20 minutes every day just to untangle it so I can put it on a ponytail, which basically makes me look like I have no hair. By cutting off the length, I actually feel like I have hair again.

Elina’s Knitting News.

Chapter 1. FO

I finished my Bamboo socks for myself recently. They were my second socks ever, and I felt like the pattern was challenging for a newbie, but still easy enough to figure out. I learned how to read charts (I didn’t come to think that you read them as you would knit – from right to left, bottom to top) and I learned to do the Dutch heel.

The yarn I used is Estonian Aade Lõng Artistic 8/2; I got it as a gift from Obiskus about a year ago. The hank was huge and I barely used about 20% of the ball! The color doesn’t change very often, as you can see: the first sock has pink and dark purple, while the second begins with the dark purple and continues in light purple. Those are the three colors of the yarn. Beautiful, and I like the asymmetry in the socks, as they still have one color in common. But if I wanted something not-so-funny, I would probably use this yarn for a scarf, perhaps.

I also learned that the sock should feel tight at first, if you want it to fit perfectly over time. I thought mine fit perfectly, but they’re already looser, and for some reason the pink ankle is much looser than the other ankle. Go figure. But since I usually wear at least two pairs of woolly socks in the winter on top of each other, mostly three pairs, I need to have socks in all sizes. Fitting underneath and bigger on the top. Now I just have to knit some prettier, bigger socks to be worn on the top, so I can ditch my old, ugly socks!

Chapter 2. Arranging the stash

Yesterday I felt energetic enough to clean my apartment, and while I was in full swing, I assembled two cardboard boxes that I’d got from my mum and put all my yarn in them. The boxes are quite pretty:

But I didn’t want to hide all my yarn, so I put the prettiest ones on display in the wicker basket that was also from my mum. Some yarn is also hidden inside the white leather stool – I love the idea! It’s actually also from mum, she bought it specially for putting my yarn in it. She has really nice ideas for storing things. Now I feel good about rummaging through my yarn, because the bags were quite of unwieldy.

Chapter 3. New projects ahoy

I had a momentary panic when I finished my Bamboo socks. I had finished all my knits for xmas and hadn’t planned new projects in the hurry. It feels terrible to have no project to knit! Thankfully I got some ideas to knit more for mum and UncleEnsio and my cousin Satu (she has absolutely no internet presence whatsoever, believe it or not!).

Here are Petäjä socks for Ensio, I’m still knitting the first sock:

The pattern is ridiculously easy after the Bamboo socks, so I knitted a French heel this time. It’s supposed to be rounder than the Dutch heel, and maybe it is. The yarn is Novita 7 Veljestä Jättiraita and the needles are 2mm, so the sock feels very stiff and sturdy, just like Ensio wanted.

Since I gave the Heelhead scarf in Novita 7 Veljestä Jättiraita for mum for xmas, I suggested I make her mittens too from the same yarn, since there was still some left. I’m still knitting the first one:

Mum really liked her scarf and the yarn colors and she’s gotten compliments for it. It’s great, because I’m never exactly sure of her taste.

Since I had two skeins of Novita Puro Revontulet, I thought I would make matching mittens for my Northern Lights scarf:

The dye lot isn’t the same, but that’s fine. This yarn is lovely to knit and the colors are beautiful, but they pool so that it’s really difficult to knit something that truly matches the yarn’s potential.

Chapter 4. New yarn!

Moreover, I got some new yarn on xmas. Here they are:

4 humongous hanks in 4 colors of Tekstiiliteollisuus Huopalanka, it’s DK yarn meant for felting.

And 3 skeins of Sublime Luxurious Woolly Merino in 3 colors:

And 3 skeins of Schoeller + Stahl Elfin color in 2 colors, a mohair yarn:

And 4 skeins of Sandnesgarn Fritidsgarn in 2 colors:

I also bought some yarn myself. Ensio got excited about the orange Fritidsgarn and thought that an orange pullover would be cool. But the problem is, Fritidsgarn is quite bulky and coarse and meant for felting. I wanted a thinner yarn so the sweater wouldn’t be too warm, and it would have to be soft on the skin, and wear well. I bought one skein of Gjestal Maija in dark orange but didn’t like it, then I bought Cascade Yarns 220 wool:

But it’s actually in coral, not orange, so that didn’t work either. I’m going to make socks for myself from this yarn because it’s a lovely color and could show some interesting pattern very well.

But on a second visit to Lankaliike Aili Jokinen, a very old LYS in Tampere, they had gotten new yarn and Step Classic by Austermann in orange turned out to be the perfect color.

Moreover, it has 25% Nylon and Jojoba oil, so it should be very soft to wear. The sales lady also noticed my beanie made from Teetee Pallas and showed it to the owner. Good service. She also suggested I have to make mittens from the same yarn, but I didn’t cave in. I have to knit my existing stash first. Well, some of it at least.

I also thought I would use my Novita Isoveli Colori skein for making socks for my cousin for next xmas. Yes, I’m already thinking of knitting presents for next xmas, because I didn’t like being in a hurry the last time. I also consider knitting her a scarf from King Cole’s Mirage.

Chapter 5. Afterword

OMG I’m so excited about my new yarn, new projects and new project ideas!