Hello Saint Petersburg

One of my new rules regarding travelling is, if someone offers to guide you around their home town, find a way to make that trip happen no matter how tight your budget is. You experience a place in a completely different way when you're with a local. Saint Petersburg is a city I've always been curious about but because of the crazy world politics, I didn't think I'd visit the city for a very long time. So when my friend suggested a group trip to her home town, I jumped at the opportunity. She had told me so many stories of this city and this was my chance to see it with her. So on an early Wednesday morning we got on the train and headed to the historical city not really knowing what to expect. The dreaded interrogation by the border patrol and customs didn't happen (our passports were checked by officers with very serious looks on their faces and we were asked what we had in our bags, and that was it) and a few hours later we had arrived to a very sunny Saint Petersburg. What followed was three days of incredibly fun and intense sightseeing which…

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The internet brought me here

I've lived in Helsinki for almost 7 years now  and as much as I try to explore different parts of the city, there's still a lot of gardens, islands and museums I haven't visited. Every once in a while, I'll see a place in social media and I'll be like, why didn't I know about this? That's how images in my insta feed led me to Alppiruusupuisto in Haaga one sunny Sunday afternoon. I felt a bit silly for being such a social media slave but I can't turn down an opportunity to see a concentration of blooms in one place. Once there I learned that the flowers in question were rhododendrons and azaleas. Rhododendrons are having a bit of a moment if I may say so (or it's because I've just learned of their existence). I think I saw them in the botanical garden in Lund and they were discussed a bit during the midsummer celebrations. It didn't take long after I arrived in the park to realise that I was too late. Most of the flowers had faded and fallen off. I walked through the park anyway and found a couple of spots where some were still blooming and…

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The Floral Invasion

Remember that top with the wrap shoulder I made a few years ago? Or is it a blouse? Ok, I need to get my definitions in order! Anywho, I've been using it quit often but unfortunately the fabric isn't ageing that well. I got the fabric as a gift so I was never a 100% sure of the fiber content. I really like the wrap shoulder details so I made the same top from a light cotton floral fabric I bought last fall. I altered the the pattern a bit and made the sleeves a bit wider and the hem curved. I seem to have thing for curved hems lately. As you guys know, I'm a huge fan of floral patterns but I might need to pace myself. My summer wardrobe has experienced a serious floral invasion! So for my next sewing project I need to use some monochrome linen fabrics to balance things out.

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Copenhagen is always a good idea

I've been really fortunate in the past few years that I've gotten to visit Copenhagen several times. At this point I have a nice Copenhagen routine going. I'm usually there by myself and most of my visits tend to be brief but they're always fun and eventful. There are certain places I often return to but I also try to explore a new areas, shops and restaurants each time. This trip was a bit special as I got to act tourist guide to my mum on one of the days. We were on our way to Lund for my brother's graduation. So what did I do this time? I visited The Botanical Garden for the first time, tried vintage shopping but found nothing, ate some delicious food at places I've wanted to try for a while and visited a friend. I don't have images of all those things because sometimes I just forgot and sometimes I just chickened out. Like that time I was eating my yummy artisanal ice cream on Elmegade, watching cool Copehageners cycle by and couldn't bring myself to go full tourist mode with my camera. Well, there's next time, I'll make sure of it.

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A crochet project worth repeating

Remember those crochet cotton pads I made a few months ago? Well I decided to make a set from the thin cotton yarn I tested then. They might not absorb that much liquid but they have a nice exfoliating feature I like. I only do the laundry about once a week so I'm gonna need a few more sets than the two I've made so far. I was maybe thinking of sewing the next set from some really soft fabric for those days I really need to be gentle to my skin. I need to do some research and find the most suitable fabric and figure out how to finish the edges. I'll let you know how that turns out.

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The return to the cosy city

The city I'm talking about of course is Lund. The city I briefly visited almost two years ago because I wanted to see where my youngest brother lived. This time I returned with my mother to see him graduate and to see Lund in its full summer glory. This was a short visit as well, you can't pass through Copenhagen and not see Copenhagen (more on that later) but we also made a quick detour to Malmö since we were in the area. All in all we attended a graduation ceremony, got a tour of the big university campus and did some sightseeing. I was in my usual tourist mode, taking pictures of all the cosy houses and buildings. I kicked it up a notch when we visited The Botanical Garden. I probably took a hundred pictures and I only photographed some of the pretty flowers. We didn't plan to but we ended up visiting the garden twice and it was just as pretty on the sunny day as it was on the rainy day. Now that my brother has graduated, i don't think I'll be visiting Lund again anytime soon but I'm glad I got to see more of it and in summer time.

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My Stitch Library – Cool knits edition

After I finished knitting my seed stitch scarf, I vowed to stay away from big knitting projects for a while. I want to focus more on my sewing projects, so with knitting I'll mostly stick to learning some new challenging stitches. Here are the latest additions to the My Stitch Library. Bamboo stitch I would like to have a sweater in this stitch, though it might be a while before I have the patience to knit such a big garment. I also learned that when knitting more complex stitches, I need to knit quite loosely otherwise it becomes difficult. The stitch is not that complicated but if you knit too tight (like I tend to do) your work distorts diagonally. This swatch was ironed straight. Link to tutorial Raspberry/ Trinity stitch This stitch is not as difficult as I thought it would be. Once you understand how the "berries" are created it's pretty straight forward. Unlike the other stitches I tried the swatch doesn't roll and it's easy to keep the edges straight. I really love the texture of this stitch so I'm gonna have to find a project that I can use it in. Link to tutorial Rick rack rib Probably the coolest stitch…

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The year-round scarf

It only took me a year! Well, it's been finished for a month or so, I just hadn't gotten around to taking pictures of it. Why did it take so long? I'm in a way new to knitting so my pace is quit slow. Also, I was crocheting all kinds of projects in between so this scarf always ended up at the bottom of the priority list. The last (and first time) I knitted a scarf was in 7th grade. It was a navy blue garter stitch scarf that was very wavy because I was probably too impatient to care about knitting equally tight rows. I'm glad I took the time to knit this scarf properly. I wanted a thinner wool scarf that I could use all year round. When I took these pictures I thought I maybe won't be needing this scarf this summer but then I went to an outdoor party recently and was glad I hadn't packed it away with the rest of my winter clothes. Hopefully I won't need to use it too often this summer!

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Elevating the swatch – Crocheted dish cloths

As you know I like to learn new crochet stitches on a regular basis. I usually crochet small swatches that I later use as reference when choosing stitches for bigger projects. After I had finished my latest batch of swatches I realised that if I crocheted the swatches a little bigger I would have made myself some dish cloths! It's weird that I didin't think of it before. I used the suzette and lemon peel stitches that I had just tried out, I like their compact and textured surface. Dish cloths are fun to make because they don't take that long to make and you can immediately put them to use. One tip I would give is to take shrinkage into account when deciding on size. Otherwise, happy crocheting!

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Under the cherry tree

What do you do when you'd like to be in Japan during the cherry blossom season but can't afford to go? You get on a buss and head to Kirsikkapuisto in Roihuvuori to get a very much needed cherry blossom dose. Believe it or not but I only found out about this wonderful place last year. This time I wanted to visit the park during the very popular Hanami festivities. I could have sat under the cherry trees all afternoon but my brother had a train to catch and the amount of people in the park kind of made me a bit nervous. Even though it was only it was for a a little while, I'm gland I went. There's something magical about sitting under a blooming cherry tree on a warm summer day! The park was really packed! There were people of all ages having picnics or trying to get get close up images of the flowers like me. My poor brother was tasked with taking pictures of me. Even when the posing is voluntary I can't seem to relax in front of the camera. I honestly can't explain that frown! I was in a good mood and so was my spontaneous photographer. The second attempt resulted in…

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The oval upgrade – an embroidered cardigan

I'm one of those people who discovered the versatility of a classic cardigan pretty late. Up until design school my everyday style was overly practical, especially during winter. Most of the time I walked around with thick zip sweaters with as high collars as possible. "I refuse to freeze" was my motto, I hadn't learned the art of layering you see. I remember what I think was the first classic cardigan that owned. It was a very tight beige rib jersey number that I wore for special occasions, like my uncle's graduation. But after internships abroad my style changed a lot. I now wanted to look more "polished aspiring fashion professional" and less carpenter on lunch break. More classic cardigans now started finding their to my wardrobe. By the time I moved to Helsinki cardigans were such a staple, that they became the core of my work uniform. Over the years I've become so picky about materials and fit of my cardigans that I now feel I have a cardigan shortage. That's why I'm always on the look out for them in flea markets and second hand stores. This red number I bought in a flea market in Vaasa a few months ago. I…

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Wonderful Kamakura

When I booked my trip to Tokyo, I had no plans to go outside the city because I thought it wouldn't work with my tight budget. So when my friend Sophie suggested we take a trip to Kamakura and told me it was only a short train ride away, I was thrilled! I didn't look up the location before we went, I didn't want to build up any expectations. The main street leading to the shrine had all kinds of small shops, restaurants and food stands. I wish I had a picture of the range of matcha ice creams that came in different shades of green. Some were honestly as dark as the leaves of the trees. At the shrine we managed to crash one wedding and the surrounding garden had a very serene pond and probably the most beautiful bathroom I've ever seen. The best part of the trip was however when we visited the Hokokuji Temple and Bamboo garden. I had never seen growing bamboo before! It was definitely a place where I had a "I can't believe I'm here" moment. It was pure joy, serenity and tourist frenzy all at the same time. To call the place very zen…

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