Monday, December 28, 2009

Making Yarn

My Christmas has been full of work. Or would I rather call it pleasure? As you can see, I have been making yarn, That is spinning and dyeing!
Spinning some seawool from Creatively Dyed.

Dyeing four skeins of sock yarn for future projects.

And dyeing the last portion of bluefaced leicester wool in oriental colors. These colors really give me strength to cope the dark winter days.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tiny But Overwhelming

I wanted to make something festive but not too christmassy. Something scandinavian, yet oriental. So I made a tiny folk bag combining the things I cherish in my stash. Some might think it is too busy, at least when the photo is showing one of my fabrics in the background. But I need to have this kind of pictures now, when it is so dark outside.

Speaking of design, Helsinki, the nearest city, has been name as the world capital of design in 2012. Can't wait for all the events of the year! My main profession is about designing digital services so I hope they will not be forgotten either.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Sometimes I feel that the form is overrated in design. I see white objects everywhere. I think we Finnish are obsessed in white. I am not a big fan of whites, and really, if you examine colors, it's like the whole world could be expressed with color only.
My starting points were the iris flowers from my garden, a dark blue belt from my sister's winter coat and pale blue baby merino yarn I had bought from the sale. My intention is to knit a hood for my sister.
Another project on the go is to hand spin yarn for a lace scarf. My color scheme is inspired by Nepal. I have dyed four lots using the same theme but different colorways. Here's the third lot.
I hope the yarn will be lovely. The singles look very pleasing!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wool Weekend

I attended a felting course at Röykkälä's organic sheep farm in Central Finland. I had lovely time with four of my colleagues from my day job. In the picture there's my first ever felted work.
In the picture below is the actual project I was working for the weekend. It's a bag, of course, but still a bit unfinished. The needle felting motifs will fill the surface and I am going to add fabric lining and fabric strap to the bag.
There are more pictures about the farm in my finnish sock knitting blog Sukanvarsi. I really enjoyed the weekend!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Four Seasons, finished

The beginning is often difficult. It is hard to believe in something that is just about hundred stitches on a circular needle. I try to make sketches before I actually begin because it gives some hope that there will be a final product in the end. This time I had a lot to do. Lining, flaps and all. I know designing should be simplifying but this time I just had to put all the ideas in the one bag!

At my day job I do simplify, simplify, simplify. But this bag just needed all these details! And, because making these bags is not my day job, I can be as crazy as I want, eh?

I am so inspired by the queens of the 18th and 19th century. I pictured some noble women in their grand gardens carrying their treasures. They would be surrounded by the trees ... Trees! Why not make a bag showing all four seasons using the forms of a tree!

That's how this started.

I have been learning a new skill: spinning! My new spinning wheel is a beauty and truly wonderful. The yarn is not the prettiest possible but it's very dear to me! I am excited about the possibilities spinning can offer! Being close to fibers is just uplifting.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Four Seasons

A glimpse of my newest bag, still unfinished. It's about trees and seasons and quite big. I was supposed to make small bags for Christmas, but got this so tempting idea and after some sketching I just had to start it!

I also have a new blog called Peony and Parakeet. It is about papercrafting. I have been especially keen on collage work and such for the last three years.

And like there's not enough to do with all the hobbies and the rest of the life, I just got a message from France that the spinning wheel I've ordered is now on its way to Finland. How exciting!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Inspired by nature with Faberge

Here's a detail of one of my collages, it just suits the theme of this post so well! Yes, the theme is Faberge. This is all about the the company who originates from the House of Faberge, which made the famous decorative eggs. As many of you might know, the famous Carl Peter Faberge's family currently live in Finland and thus most Finns are very familiar with the beautiful pieces made in the House of Faberge in Russia in the 19th century.

I was not going to write so much about the history but the present time. I read about the morning newspaper that the company called Faberge has been bought buy a man who really believes in handcrafting luxury items and he has changed the concept of the company greatly from what it has been lately. The new products of Faberge are displayed on the internet only. If you are interested in any of these luxury items starting from 40 000 dollars, the items will be delivered to you personally. This goes a way further like having the sales person fly over to you but I do not explain any further, I am sure that those of you who consider purchasing will find out the necessary details ....

Talking about the products: they are beautiful, I love them! My ultimate day dream would be designing for Faberge! They are filled with little jewels, have strange forms, a lot of details and they all represent nature: flowers, birds ... I assume few people might think they are a bit overwhelming. I think they are just wonderful!

I also love the intro of their web site. It is an animation with hand drawn fairy tale like characters. You would never imagine that the company of luxury jewellery would use a naive story like that to market themselves. But it really works and is just a reminder that in design sometimes breaking the rules can lead to an amazing result. All in all, go and see the rabbits and brooches on

Monday, August 31, 2009

Folk Is Pink

These are my favorite colors: browns, pinks, purples and warm greens. I could not resist buying that corduroy fabric! Instantly I knew I had to make a bag. Eight sketches later I was in the middle of making one, by knitting.

I tried to simulate woven fabric with surface textures and some Rowan and some handdyed yarn. Did I mention that I have started to dye yarn? It is so much fun and the best thing is that I can now dye yarn specially designed for my bag projects.

This bag has a corduroy lining. I tried not to exaggerate the portion of the corduroy by making the patchwork strap from cotton fabrics. I included a couple of small pieces of my Kukkilintu fabrics there.

This is my start for fall and I call it Ruska, which is a Finnish word for fall colors.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Folk in the Air

I was asked to make a Bluebell folk bag and I made two. I have really started to like the design, it has weird melancholy built in it. I also finished a couple of folk bags in orange, brown and green. They have been started in the summer but they look like fall fashion to me now.

I am so happy that finally folk and stranded knitting are fashionable again. Even Rowan, one of my favorite yarn companies, is so folk this fall. Lochalsh, for example, is like a folk bag turned into a sweater! Love it!

I had a journey to Estonia recently and I used the opportunity to fill my stash with estonian wool. I have lots going on, including making new Blythe doll clothes, designing bags, hand dyeing yarn ...

I have also ordered a spinning wheel. It has been three years I have been thinking of getting one. Just could not do without anymore!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


My newest folk bag is called Joy. It has been such a joyful summer! The garden has grown beautifully. I have felt relaxed and happy. In crafts, I have a lot of ideas of what to make and how.

I have found an Etsy seller that has beautifully dyed yarn: Hedgehogfibers. Check out her blog too: Fly along. Some might find her tones a bit melancholic but I absolutely adore them!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Memory Bag

I have designed a new bag which is a bit different than my folk bags. This is more two dimensional, without the round bottom. It is fully lined with cotton fabric. I think it has a structure very similar to many old reticules and other old drawstring purses. I call this bag "memory bag" as I think it'll be perfect for storing little treasures that bring us happy memories.

This is my first item where I have used the ribbons bought from Mokuba, Barcelona. Those ribbons are on my mind constantly. There's so much what one can create with ribbons. They also reminded me of an old hobby: weaving ribbons. I used to do that as teenager, I have to try it again soon!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Ribbons and Styles in Barcelona

I just came back from Barcelona, Spain. I spent the holliday with my husband. Luckily, he is interested in art and design too. Celebrating my recent graduation, we chose a stylish design hotel, went to several art museums and admired the local architecture.

All that would have been enough and almost overwhelming itself but the best of all was this: a visit in a small ribbon shop near the hotel. Look at the ribbons I bought! The shop was called Mokuba (Europe, New York). I love the little details and the delicate look of these ribbons. They are so inspiring! I'm afraid my future designs will be around ribbons, ribbons, ribbons ...!

Liking complicated and ornamental, I had to visit some Gaudi buildings, of course. But maybe I have been taught too much of Finnish design as I preferred the famous Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona Pavilion. The fact that it was built in the 1920s makes it so amazing.

When buying a simple hand made clay dish from japanese Katsue Kusumi I thought that my approach to simple shapes and forms starts from rustic things. In a weird way all design styles are connected to each other. It just takes time to really go deep to each and everyone and at the same time find the style of one's own.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Treasure in the Garden

Finally I have finished my newest bag called "Treasure in the Garden". I have started it already in January and blogged about it then.

Thanks to my graduation, I was finally able to finish the bag. I started the bag by thinking about the Scandinavian porcelain in the 40s to 70s. It is somewhat challenging to try to create something like that from woolen yarn. But I think I made it, I love the colors and the simple motifs. Furthermore this bag really shows how Scandinavian Kukkilintu really is.

I have to confess here that I am so bored about the "form follows function" obsession among industrial designers in Finland.

Probably I should not express myself so strongly as many times there are no alternatives really, trying to keep the manufacturing and material costs low. And yes, I find many modern design fairly inspirational. But still, I cherish the colors, ornaments, everything that is full and organic. It's nature's patchwork, as lively as the tulips in my garden!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

When the pattern is needed

When there's too much going on, I love to open a pattern book, choose a knitting pattern to my liking and just start knitting. No sketching, no measuring, no nothing to worry about.

This spring, when writing my thesis, I got these two scarves finished. Both very simple, mindless knitting. The white one is Clarence Scarf from Victorian Lace Today and the red one is Raha Scarf from Estonian Lace Knitting.

I love the yarn on the white scarf. It is hand spun by Yarnspider and it's organic shetland lambswool. It is such a pleasure knitting hand spun yarn! I have dreamt about having a spinning wheel of my own, but I'm afraid I don't have enough time for another hobby.

The red scarf is made from Marks & Kattens Sarek wool yarn. It is a bit too thick for me to really fancy it but I got few balls as a gift and bought few more and the scarf was finished pretty quickly.

After finishing my thesis I had few days when I thought: why people knit? I had no desire to pick up the needles. It must have been exhaustion as after reading an entertaining book and sleeping well, I went to my stash and started knitting again! Hopefully there will be something little more creative in my next post.

Friday, June 5, 2009

I am on Twitter

You can find me now on Twitter, my username is Kukkilintu. I am micro-blogging mainly about ... guess what!


Sunday, May 31, 2009


I am sorry for being so lazy blogger and crafter this year. Finishing my industrial design studies has taken more of my spare time than I expected. But it's over now, I am now Bachelor of Culture and Arts and so ready to get back to my routines.

It has been great two years and I hope I will be able to make use of everything I have learned in the future. One of the best things have been that I have been able to combine both my previous degree in computing and this one by developing user-friendly online service concepts in my day job. But even more than that I wait for the new challenges in making textiles.

I feel very curious nowadays, there are so much to discover!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Spoonflower contest and Karelia fabric

My fabric design Karelia is chosen for Spoonflower's fabric of the week contest.

I have been extremely busy writing my bachelor's thesis. Therefore I have been forced to take a short break at blogging like most of the things I usually do on the regular basis. My apologies and happy easter holliday for everybody!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Old Times

I have become more and more fascinated by the old craft work. So I made a couple of pouches that combine tapestry crochet and fair isle knitting. And these had to have tassels like the old Finnish pouches did.

There have been wonderful winter days in Finland recently. Very sunny and there has been snow in the south too. I hope that all the tourists are now here enjoying the good weather and smiling Finns.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Me and Emily of New Moon

I have two older sisters. I had my 40th birthday a couple weeks ago and my sisters are on their way to 60. The big age difference has caused that we have not always been the best soul mates but recently we have got along pretty well. It probably means that I am getting old, a terrible idea to be honest!

I have to praise my oldest sister this time. She sent me a poem which she wrote herself, to gratulate me. And that's not all, she had bought me a wonderful book!

The book's title is freely translated: "The Year of Girl Poets". It is about Lucy Maud Montgomery's novels and written by two Finnish women. The book is like a collage: it has beautiful illustrations, stories and calendar pages - all about Montgomery's great novels and their influence.

L.M. Montgomery was very popular in Finland when I was a child. My childhood was spent reading about Anna, Emily of New Moon, little women etc. I feel very nostalgic about them and just love the book, made for women from the 60s and 70s.

I got so nostalgic that I named my next folk bag "Emily". If there's a color of my childhood, it is this deep blue. I used to have a velvet skirt, cotton jacket and cotton hat sewn by my mother - all blue and I loved wearing them.

Monday, February 16, 2009

New fabrics!

I received an exiting package on Friday! My newest fabrics!

My favorite from these is the one in the middle. I call the design Silverbell. It looks like a big warm knitted blanket even if it's cotton fabric! The other two are experiments in using paper collage in the first phase of planning a new design. I love designing fabric!

There's more fabric than those three. I ordered some new versions of the previously designed fabrics and also some previous versions that I like.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Oriental carpet

Here's the first project I have made using self designed fabrics. This is a special order, a bag for craft projects, where I have combined real crocheting and knitting to the fabric that has corcheting and knitting printed on it. I think the result is like an oriental carpet!

I have a lot of going on this spring. Last but not least is my bachelor's thesis for industrial design. It will take a lot of my spare time. To be honest it makes me a bit sad that my studies are over soon.

On the other hand studying has brought me so much good in my life, a new job with design challenges, the courage needed for opening my Etsy shop and many skills I have longed for all my life. I could not ask for more.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Red and pink

I wrote my art history essay about women's hand bags in the 18th century. Wow how inspiring that was! I got plenty of ideas for my bags and other creations.

Another uplifting thing: Finnish television is showing the newest version of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. Love it! If you are a fan of Jane Austen too, see Vic's wonderful blog Jane Austen's World.

I have some new fabrics coming soon, very exciting to see how they will turn out. I will post pictures when I'll receive them.

My newest folk bag is a little thing but I just love the combination of pink and red. It is very hard for me to not to keep it myself. I have received some really wonderful photos from my customers showing how they use their bags. Thank you all, I am really lucky to be surrounded by the similar minded people.

Last weekend I attended a doll making course held by a Finnish doll artist Sirpa Ala-Louko. Unfortunately I got flu and had to leave a bit early. She is an amazing artist, see "Galleria", in her web site My doll is not quite finished yet but she will be soon.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bag to fabrics!

I started quilting as teenager. First by hand, then by machine.

I have always admired knitted quilts and have made a few myself too. But we all know the problem is that they are fairly heavy, knitting gets stretched and is difficult to wash.

When I started designing fabrics I thought of materials. I find it very inspiring to think about different materials and their qualities! I started thinking about paper but then it hit me! My bags!

Do not get me wrong - there was not a short way to make these fabric designs. Okay, the half of the work was done: I had tens and tens of photos of my knitted designs. But mixing and matching, replacing one stitch here and the other stitch there (digitally of course) required a lot of accuracy, trials and errors. But here they are!

These were just what I hoped and even more. My favorite is the second one at the photo. It is called Karelia and it reminds me from the Karelian people and their characteristics. Always in good mood, filled with stories and traditions.

I cannot wait to find some spare time to start a new quilt!

One dream

When I was a child I was constantly playing with yarn and fabric. My mother was very strict. I had to learn to do everything The Right Way. There were so many things to learn and my mother thought I was very impatient and was treated like one.

For example: Before I was able to knit a sweater I had to prove myself. She required I first learned how to knit mittens in The Right Way. Then socks in The Right Way. Finally after making tens pairs of mittens and socks, often decorated with fair isle patterns, my mother graciously purchased green acrylic yarn for a sweater.

After that I made tens of sweaters. We seldom bought any as I made most myself. I wanted to learn how to machine knit and my mother bought a second hand machine for me. I made a lot of sweaters with it but nowadays I knit only by hand as I prefer to take the knitting with me.

My mother did support my hobby. She just did not like failures. Maybe she was afraid that if I go ahead too fast I would quit and never start again.

When she was worrying if I did everything using the one right method she had learned from her mother, I was worrying if I could never let go and be creative. Knit all those images in my head, so far from what I then produced.

Some things that have happened in the past have a bitter sweet taste. At the same time they are so appealing and still painful. This controversy is something I nowadays get my creativity from. And many times, like in the bag in the picture, I can recognize the melancholic tone. Maybe it is me, but I just love that melancholia combined with strong colors! It has somehow heroic after taste!

But did you look the picture carefully? Can you see the fabric behind the bag? My first three fabric designs have been printed! One dream has been filled! More in the next post!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I have had a long Christmas holiday from my day job and I have enjoyed my life tremendously with all kinds of creative activities.

First, I am so inspired by the old plates and bowls. Just went to see Arabia's 135-anniversary exhibition in Design Museum at Helsinki. Arabia is a Finnish porcelain factory and all Finnish have their kitchens filled with their cups and plates. I had to knit something after the exhibition, time will tell how it'll turn out eventually!

Second, I have designed my first fabric prints and sent them to Spoonflower. I am so excited to see how they'll turn out! If they'll look terrible, I have promised myself to try again, as I am so excited by the idea of designing fabric!

Third, I have bought a new camera, Canon EOS 450 with all the bits and pieces, and am just thrilled playing with it!

Fourth, I have millions of ideas for my knits, can't wait to get them all out. My newest bag is so romantic, you have to check it out!

I hope all of you most happiest new year ever!