bag the summer

I've been looking for a new straw bag to replace the old disintegrating one. Have not found one to please me yet. I'll keep looking, but I sew this to use while the quest continues.

The cloth is half cotton, half linen I bought from the summer sales. Two pockets outside, no lining as yet but I'll add it later on. In know I have a suitable beige/natural 100% cotton somewhere in my stash.

I took the measurements from an old bought cloth bag. I'm quite happy with this one and the blue/beige colour goes with most of my clothes.

I used the selvedges as accents. As you see, it's quite handy to lug yarn about.


FOs: socks and a wooden balcony floor

I like to knit mom a pair of socks for Mother's day. I don't always finish in time (read: rarely). I think this time I broke a personal record: Mother's Day was on May 8th and these were ready on June 28th. And mom has not gotten them yet, either. But she will, tonight!

Well, well, well.

Anyways, they're your basic top-down striped socks with reinforced heel flap and a french feel. I grafted the toes. The yarn is ONline supersocke 6-ply, bought from Vihreä Vyyhti. White and red makes for happy socks, I think. I'm calling these Marianne after the candy.

The other FO mentioned in the header is also visible on the above photo: my new balcony floor.

I've got a nice balcony as it faces south-west. I like to sit there, reading a book or knitting. Pikku-Hukka uses it to get a bit of fresh air and to stalk neighbours and birds. And for the occasional nap. BUT, the floor is concrete and the balcony is not in a good shape. All the balconies in our apartment house will be repaired within a few years and I'll just have to waite for that.

The floor is another matter. Concrete is cold and unfriendly and industrial. I want homey and warm and friendly. Ergo, wood.

The starting point was this (after I emptied the balcony from everything and washed it etc):

Clearly, something had to be done. I thought about it last summer, my first in this apartment, but did not do anything. This year I felt more energetic.

My goals were: it had to be wood, it should not cost too much and no treading on impregnated wood. The solution: I would make the floor myself. I have done a bit of woodworking before, so I thought I would manage. Plus, I have an Expert-On-Everything-Under-The-Sun for father so I sort of knew whom to turn to for advice and tools.

As it is not practical to saw wood in a two-room apartment I took careful measurements and headed chez father. I thought I'd buy the timber, make the pieces at his place using his superior-to-mine tools, bring the pieces back home in my tiny 1992 Toyota Corolla and assemble them in place. Plus, I wanted his confirmation that the way I planned to make the floor was the practical way to go about it.

Father agreed that what I planned was feasable plus he said he had all the timber I needed so would not have to buy anything. He even had the impregnated timber needed for the runners. In someways, like recycling and  re-using timber, my father is the original eco-warrior; in other ways, not so.

I did not want impregnated wood under my bare feet or under Pikku-Hukka's bare toes and furry bum but the floor has to withstand getting wet. I knew I had to use impregnated timber for the runners but I decided I could get away using untreated timber for the actual decking. I think even untreated timber will withstand getting wet occasinally without rotting as the runners raise the decking about 2.5 cm so it will dry fast, too. My balcony has ceiling so it's not too exposed.

Winter  & snow are another matters. The floor is made in two pieces so I can store it away for winter or at least lift it up an lean it against the railing and cover it. Plus that was only way to get the timber fit into the back of my car.

So, father and I went through his timber storages and found everything needed. Father planed the timber ( for some reason I'm not allowed to use his planer but can use the drill, saw etc), then I sawed them to measurements, marked places for screws on the decking and and drilled the holes (112). Then I packed everything into my little car. This took about half of a Saturday.

Back home I assembled everything in place, checked that it fit and I could still open the balcony door (yes!), screwed everything in place (I'm so, so, happy I bought the Black & Decker Drill/Driver from January sales) and started planting flowers.

I used pine (Pinus sylvestris, to be exact) and I hope/expect it will turn into a lovely shade of grey in time. I'm really happy with what I achieved and Pikku-Hukka approves, too. The cost: time & trouble, screws and a round trip to father's whom I visit often anyway. Oh, and the size of my balcony is about 140 cm x 240 cm.

(stalking a Great Tit, or perhaps a Blue Tit, or a Sparrow or a...)