Saturday, October 01, 2011

Suomen syksy (Finnish Autumn)

I'm not sure I've translated the title of this post correctly. I'm only still a beginner with the Finnish language, and I've learned in three months that even Google Translate has a very difficult time translating Finnish. That's an indication of just how difficult the language is.

This year is my first fall outside of Vermont in 26 years. Fall is my favorite time in Vermont, so I'm definitely sad to be missing it. But I'm keeping busy with so many new experiences here in Finland!

The ground cover is starting to change color
Our summer here was wonderful. Lots of sun, and the temperatures were warmer than average. But then in the middle of August things changed almost overnight. I started wearing jeans and sneakers, and went from exercising outside in shorts, to wearing long pants. 
There are beautiful trails like this throughout the city. What a great place to exercise, and collect your thoughts.
I kept my summer clothes handy, because I thought for sure it was just a cold snap. But after talking with a few new Finnish friends, I realized that every year when school starts in early to mid August, the cool weather returns. Things are starting to look a bit like fall here, but they're feeling a lot colder than any fall I'm used to!
Pumpkins! Not a common sight here. Do you know they don't have pumpkin puree? So no pumpkin bread for us.
This past Saturday it was in the upper 40's with a strong southwest wind. A southwest wind sounds warm, but we're so far north, that it's colder than a strong north wind is in Vermont. The girls and I walked downtown on Saturday and were thrilled we had our Jacoby mitts. I've actually been using them each morning when I walk, since I can't find some of my cool weather running gear.
Gorgeous red foliage creeps up the side of this old building by the girls' school.
Marc was away until that evening, so we had to wait for his help to get down the last winter box from high up in our storage unit. That box contains the ski clothing (too early for that) and all of the hats, scarves and other mittens that are really needed right now. As I unpacked it I realized that we could all do with a few more hand knits this year. So it's time to start planning...
Now those trees remind me of Vermont!
It's been neat to see what people are wearing here to keep warm. I haven't seen as many hats yet - I guess Finns are used to this weather, and clearly tougher than I am so they probably don't pull out the "real" hats for at least another couple of weeks. I'm ready for hats NOW.
A coffee shop encourages outside patrons with cozy blankets.
I've seen many scarves and cowls, some practical, and some quite stylish. Just this morning I saw a beautifully crocheted scarf on a woman - it was a ruffly openwork pattern, and was wrapped about 4-5 times around her neck. I could easily whip one up in a knitted version, but I was more impressed with hers because it was crocheted.

The girls and I take a bus a few times a week to a tennis center, and we pass through the University of Tampere on the way. This means we get to see a lot of students getting on and off the bus. They're definitely wearing a lot of cowls - and I guess the "in" way to wear them is looped twice around whatever hooded sweatshirt or jacket you are sporting, with the hood hanging up and over the back of the cowl. The scarves they're wearing are all big and triangular, with fringe, tassels and pom poms on the edges. There's nothing "plain" in sight!
Even things in the windows are wearing their hand knits. Isn't this a beautiful idea to jazz up plain baskets?
I was inspired by one cowl I saw, and after describing the stitch pattern I wanted and the general size to Barb, she test swatched it, and then asked Kim to knit one up for the shop.
This cowl uses 4 skeins of Berroco Ultra Alpaca which means it's going to be soft and warm and only cost $40 to make. This is a really generously sized cowl for just $40. Not bad! It's also nice and drapey because it's knit on a size 10 needle. The yarn choice was perfect (thanks Barb!) and I can't wait to see it in person! 

This pattern is free with the purchase of any yarn to make it. Just ask for it in the shop, and if you are ordering online, tell us in the comments section that you want the pattern.


Diane said...

Jill, you should think about writing a book on your experiences living in Finland, I am really enjoying your blog about life there.

Andra said...

these outdoor photos are terrific. I'm torn with wanting to live in the house with the pumpkins or the block with the ivy. Or better yet at that cafe with the guest woobies. thank you for these.