Friday, July 23, 2010

This Blog Has Moved!

I have decided to combine this blog with my other english blog Peony and Parakeet. I have also made some other changes.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Swedish Wedding and Finnish Summer

Here in Scandinavia the biggest news in July has been Swedish Princess Viktoria's wedding. I watched them on television as most of the women in Finland certainly did. So romantic! I could not help making a few folk bags inspired by the celebration.
Here are Silvia (the queen mother), Viktoria (the bride) and Madeleine (the sister of the bride)!
After all the silk and chiffon I went back to Finnish culture and visited Visavuori, a finnish sculptor's Emil Wikström's summer cottage and studio. Very Arts and Crafts, my favorite style!
I have a summer holiday and a lot of going on with my craft projects. It is so tempting to be awake late when Finnish summer is so unique and wonderful. The sun hardly goes down, it's so much light and the weather has been warm, almost hot. I hope all those who have planned to visit Finland are here right now as it's now as good as it can get!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

How to keep up?

During this year I have received several requests to send an email after I have listed new items at my store. I gladly send these emails! Over the months it has become clear to me that people who like to follow what I do and when I list my next folk bags should be able to subscribe these emails more freely. So I have set up a new service: Kukkilintu Moments email newsletter. You can subscribe and unsubscribe it whenever you want. I will post a short email after I list folk bags to my store or release new products. I will also include some personal touch in every newsletter. I excited about this! Feel free to subscribe Kukkilintu Moments!
I have a few new folk bags under work, here's a sneak peek of one of them!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cards Are Here and About Sirkka Bag

I have my first set of cards printed out. The next ones are already being designed. These all are made to go with my folk bags and the colorful world I love and adore. I was a bit puzzled of how to sell the cards. I made mixed sets for Kukkilintu store but if you miss a certain combination, leave me a convo and I will list it for you.
I also made some Moo cards. I will include a Moo card for the next orders at Kukkilintu. Aren't they just so wonderfully rich and colorful!
In my last post I promised to write more about a very special bag I made during the spring. It was a custom order folk bag whose owner just loves Sirkka Könönen, a Finnish textile designer. Well, I am Sirkka's fans too so the project was not only challenging but very interesting! I started with the collage of Sirkka's work, then picked the colors and designed the motif. I started thinking about cranberries and cloudberries. My father used to pick these berries. One morning he left early to pick some cranberries and came back before dinner. My mother made a desert from the berries and said to me that “this desert could be served in the finest restaurants”. She appreciated the cranberries so much.
When constructing the bag I thought how memories and stories are so important in everything I make. My concept of living is a "Knit your story" thing. My inner critic has a strong, powerful voice, but it is silenced by the stories. There cannot be anything wrong in storytelling. It is so hard work to try to be a better designer and I am afraid I never will be good enough. But whatever happens, the power of stories always surprises me and makes me forget all the possibilities I might never get. Everything is possible in my imaginary world! I wish I can give a glimpse of it for you via this blog!
More photos of Sirkka at my Flickr site.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Welcome Summer, Welcome New Products and Gardening!

First, I want to thank you all for so many wonderful messages I have received in May. It means a lot to me that there are people in the world who share the colorful world of Kukkilintu. In the picture you can see few of my latest folk bags and also a couple of my mixed media art work. I will have few greeting cards printed from these in the summer and they will be available for purchase at Kukkilintu store.
I had some stomach aches in May and was examined carefully. Luckily they were just untypical symptoms of appendicitis and I was operated. Before I knew the relieving results (yes, going to a surgery can be relieving!), I only had one regret in life: not putting enough effort on gardening. So I had to make this cabbage themed folk bag for all the gardeners!
I also have finished the folk bag I told you in my last post. It was the one inspired by the finnish textile artist Sirkka Könönen. That was a very special project for me and I will tell more about it in my next blog post in the coming weeks.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Feelings About Fabric

Sometimes I think that the life is about fabric. It is like a the mother of all materials. Those who sew collect fabric. Those who prefer knitting to sewing make their own fabric. And you can even make fabric from fabric, by quilting that is.
The fat quarters of the fabric I have designed from my hand knits were sold out for a short while, but now I have added them again to my Etsy shop. I could not resist taking a photo of them, they looked so bright and so Scandinavian.
Some may remember the hedgehog bag I made quite a long time ago. I got a request of the hedgedog bag and had just enough fabric to replicate it. I do not buy huge quantities of fabric in time, so it is often difficult to fulfill requests where an old bag should be replicated.
My next project is to design a bag inspired by Sirkka Könönen, a Finnish textile artist. If you do not know her, I can tell you that she is a real artist in stranded knitting and colorwork. I would call her Finnish Kaffe Fasset! Have a look at one of her cardigans. It is going to be so much fun to get inspiration of her work!

Speaking of fabric, check out the recent post in my papercrafting blog Peony and Parakeet where I have used pen as a needle and paper as fabric. Happy sewing, everyone!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Back to Traditions

Here's my latest custom order, a cardigan for an american girl doll. I have been thinking of knitting in a new level lately, thinking about what kind of fascinating objects can be manufactured by knitting. And at the same time, I am feeling tired of always trying to find new perspectives and new solutions. This must have something to do with my day job where I design services and develop concepts behind them - full time problem solving that is.
Sometimes it is good to take a step back. In this cardigan my goal was to develop something very traditional and Scandinavian in a new way. It is called winter storm and I tried to create a scenery of a little village surrounded by a snow storm. Talking about problem solving, this cardigan really required constant calculation of stitches and patterns. I am pleased with the result, but now I really need to start one project that is totally mindless. It is like taking 20 steps back to have that relaxed feeling about knitting again!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Process of Making Folk Bags

I want to share with you how I make folk bags!
I start my bags usually by sketching the idea of form, patterning and structure. If I make the regular folk bag, I usually skip this phase and start by choosing a color to my liking and crocheting the bottom. This gives me time to think about the theme of the bag.
After I have finished the bottom part I usually have the idea of what the story behind the bag is. I use the story to guide the creative process. If I need some more inspiration at this point, I go to my huge stash of fabric. Sometimes I choose the fabric before starting the knitted part, sometimes I choose the fabric after I have finished knitting. Either way, it is very important that the proportions and colors of the patterns in fabric are in harmony with the knitted part.
I never draw charts for the stranded knitting. I only browse few chart books and then combine and form the motifs in my head. I never plan in which order I use the colors. When I start knitting it is like painting: you have the colors and the tools and the process guides you. I often find myself in a flow state when knitting, I think it's the best and the most creative part when making these bags. I absolutely love knitting little motifs and changing colors even more often than necessary. I mostly use Estonian wool as it has many shades in the same yarn. This way I can have very subtle changes in color and make the bag look lively.
I try to watch the proportions of each part of the bag. I often add decoration to the bottom by crocheting when the bag is almost finished. Sometimes I add a decorative ribbon or embroidery. I try to keep everything balanced but maintain necessary contrasts to appeal to the eye.

Here's my newest folk bag that has a very romantic name: Flower Fairy's Treasure. These colors remind me of fairy tales and everything whimsical!

Friday, March 5, 2010 meeting at Helsinki

See Etsy's blog for pictures from Etsy Europe's meeting at Helsinki!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Winter Days

We have had incredibly snowy and cold winter in southern Finland this year. So I have had my fair share of knitting in the living room while it's been snowing outside. The newest bag is called Spring as we are really quite desperate for spring in Finland!
My husband has spend a lot of time trying clear the routes from the snow. This photo shows how our little garden is filled with the snow. We even had to take some snow from the roof so that it does not get too heavy. Our youngest dog Cosmo enjoys watching him working!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Impressionists on My Mind

I had a custom order for a doll sweater. There was no special wishes for theme or colors. I quickly got the idea of impressionist painters and sunflowers after I finding some lovely handdyed yarns from my stash.
Yesterday I attended a meeting arranged by in Helsinki. There was about 40 Etsy sellers from Finland and Matt and Benedikta from Etsy's new Europe's office. We had show and tell and there were pretty amazing stuff that people had made for their little shops. In the world of super markets I sometimes wonder if making by hand will be totally forgotten. But yesterday I felt that there are so many of us who still appreciate handmade stuff.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Warm And Cold

My recent projects represent the contrasts. The first is a new folk bag in warm colors. The second is a custom order doll cardigan in cold colors.
In this bag I thought about sustainable living and growing vegetables from seeds. The bag is a combination of crochet, knitting and one of those fabrics I have designed myself.

The cardigan has a spring theme: snow, yellow-green and the first flowers of the season. I love those buttons, I was lucky to find them! I have hand dyed the colored yarns.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Chartwell Finished!

This is Chartwell from Rowan magazine issue 46. The shawl is huge, the yarn is very thin and the amount of self discipline is a little bit under too much. I am so proud that I finally managed to finish it!