Friday, 14 February 2014

On the other side

It has been a while since my last blog. The reason is that I have been very tired this winter due to too many infections. I have been sleeping and dreaming more than usual. Strange and exiting dreams which I remember afterwards. It is like in the old Norwegian Medieval song of "Draumkvedet", meaning the song about the dream. It is a Norwegian equivalent to Dante's "Devin Comedy", only presumably a little older. They think it is from around year 900 - 1000, during the period when Norway was christened. It tells tales from the other side. The side where the spirits live and where the souls go after death. Tales of creation and doom.
Legg til bildetekst

These dreams have inspired me to make many different projects. My own personal Draumkvad, which I have documented through my work. I thought I would like to tell about these projects, as many of them turned out well.

The first project is a scarf, inspired by the idea of the other side. The scarf is equal on both sides, but inverted. What is light in the pattern on one side is dark on the other. The pattern, which is a standard patent stitch, is knitted in two colours. I have done this when knitting in a circle before, but it was a challenge doing it back and forth. But after an evening of trail and error I found a way to do it.

The scarf is knitted in Tynn Alpakka from Du store Alpakka, which is a lovely and soft Alpaca yarn. The scarf is knitted in Indigo and Magenta. One side light and one darker. When I took the pictures, it was raining, so I had to take them indoors. Thus the bleak colours. In real life, the colours are very bright. And both sides of the scarf are equally beautiful.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Indigo in green

I love Jason Mraz, and one of my favourite songs of his is "I never knew you". I always envisioned that it was about a man who loves his girlfriend to the moon and back. He wakes up one morning not remembering anything. When he meets her, he knows that he knows her, and that he loves her, but he can't seem to remember any their special moments together. He asks her all kind of questions trying to get back to where they once were.

There is especially one section of the song that got to me. He looks at her and see that she is wearing brown, and says "Maybe your favourite colour is brown". But a voice inside his head says what he knows to be true; "Indigo enlivened in green". He tries to resonate based on observations, but deep down  he knows the truth even if there is nothing there to support it. He knows just because he loves her.

When I was looking for some lace weight yarns for another shawl, my eyes fell on this lovely thick yarn from Rowan, called "Thick'n' Thin". There was this incredibly beautiful combination of indigo in green, called Basalt, that reminded me of this song. And of course; I had to buy it to make something.

When I sit in my living room during winter time, I always wear a thick jacket to keep warm. I could not help wanting to make such a jacket from this yarn. This winter, when knitting my shawls and scarfs, I'll be embracing myself in this thick warm jacket that reminds me of the magic of true and eternal love.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Valentines day scarf

Last year I made a shawl called the Valentines day shawl. The shawl is covered by harts; in the centre, along the sides and on the edges. I loved this pattern so much that I wanted to make a scarf based on the same pattern.

I needed a new border on the edges, since I wanted the scarf to have strait sides. I looked in all my books, but did not find any that resembled harts, so I had to make one myself. I made one that looked as much as a hart as possible, with nobs within to give them volume.

For this scarf I used a lovely Italian yarn called Filatura Di Crosa Superior, which is a lovely blend of cashmere, silk and merino wool. I bought this yarn at the Folk Museum in Oslo. I have used this yarn previously on the Day flower scarf. I absolutely love it, as it gives a light, warm, thick, fluffy and soft scarf for the cold winter days.

I hope to give this scarf to someone I love, so it may warm the hart as well as the neck this winter.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Starlight through night goggles

I really wanted to make a squared ring shawl using the "Starlight in a Bleak night"-pattern. I wanted a light simple bridal shawl, where you could see the stars through a canopy of foliage.

I chose a thin merino wool yarn called Fine Merino to knit this shawl. It is a very lightweight yarn, and it makes an almost invisible lace. I have used this yarn before when knitting the "Thistle"- and the "Dainty chevrons"-shawls, and on My first ring shawl.

I also thought that Mustard would be a nice colour. How wrong I was (as I found out relatively quickly). The colour made the shawl look like you were looking at the night skies through night goggles; all in a kind of yellow green colour. For that reason, I did not make the shawl as large as I initially planned.

Luckily for me, the colour on these pictures lies a little, so it looks better than it really is. No matter what, this patter reminds me that I will always find my way back home no matter how impossible everything seems at the moment (to understand why, read this blog).

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Day flower scarf

This summer, my family and I went to the Folk Museum in Oslo. It is a nice place to be when the sun is shining. They also have craft stores there, practising old handy crafts. In one of the stores, they sell yarn and instructions on how to apply old techniques, etc. In this store, I found this lovely Italian yarn called Filatura Di Crosa Superior, which is a lovely blend of cashmere, silk and merino wool. It is soo soft and light, and I just had to buy some skeins. I bought two different colours, one of which was this lovely indigo.

Wondering what to make from it, I remembered a shawl I made last spring, based on a beautiful pattern I found in Barbara G. Walker's book series "A Treasury of Knitting Patterns", called the Day flower shawl. I decided to make a scarf based on the same pattern.

It is a long and thick scarf, keeping you warm on cold winter days. I made this scarf for a friend, hoping to be able to give it in time for the winter cold.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Wild strawberries

There is nothing on this earth that tastes as good as wild strawberries. I'll never forget the first time I put one in my mouth. I was very sceptical (as children often are), and thought that something so small that grows roadside cannot taste very good. How wrong I was. I'll never forget my surprise at how incredibly wonderful and heavenly this small berry could taste.
It is possible that I find wild strawberries especially tasty because they are so hard to get hold of. First you have to find them. And when you have found a plant, you seldom find more than a handful of berries. But I do not think this is the main reason why I like them so much. Cloudberries are even more difficult to obtain, but I do not think they are as tasty.

I have tried to make the shawl look like a giant strawberry where someone has taken a bite out of the top. Perhaps not the most practical shape, but I could not help myself. At the centre, I used a pattern called "Strawberry", which I have modified somewhat for it to fit the shaping of the shawl. You can find this pattern in many books, including in Barbara G. Walker's book series "A Treasury of Knitting Patterns". I also found it free on the internet. At the bottom, I used a border from Nancy Bush's book "Knitted Laces of Estonia". I have made some modifications, that is, I have added and taken away some knops, to make it look like a row of strawberries along the edge of the shawl.

The shawl is knitted in a thin hairy alpaca yarn called Air from Du store Alpakka. The colour is a deep red, just like wild strawberries when they are at their best. The yarn was perhaps a little too hairy, so that the pattern was not as defined as I had hoped, but everything cannot be perfect all the time.

There are wild strawberries in my garden, both on the lawn and along the road to my house. Not much, just enough for me to have something to look forward to when I come home from work.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Talking to the Moon

In the beginning when I started blogging, I felt like I was talking to the moon. I wrote my blogs and comments, but did not really expect anyone to see me. Then, suddenly, people popped up from the other side of that moon. Among other things, I received a phone call from the weekly magazine Allers that wanted to tell the story about my MiniMes, and a comment from a lady who wanted me to make mittens for a BBC-production.

I loved the attention. But I have to admit that I got scared on a couple of occasions, like the time I got hacked. I had started something and then completely lost control over the situation. I felt like one of the moths on a hot summers night at my parent in law's cottage in the south of France. They circle anything that lights up the night sky, getting trapped in lamp posts or burned by one of the mosquito candles. The questions that kept repeating in my mind was; how do I know if I am on the right track or if I am circling a dead end? Is this a wise thing to do or just a silly obsession of mine? And are the people on the other side of that moon friendly and what do they really want from me?
Well, it is too much fun blogging anyway, so I think I'll continue. But I felt the need to get my frustration out into something creative. So I made this shawl called "Talking to the Moon".

In the centre, I have used a pattern called "Sun spots" that I found in Barbara G. Walker's book series "A Treasury of Knitting Patterns".  It looks like thousands of moons. I guess this is how the night sky must look like for a moth. Around the centre, I have knitted a circle of moths using a butterfly pattern I found in Siiri Reimanns book "The Haapsalu Shawl". At the ends, I have used a border I found in Nancy Bush's book "Knitted Laces of Estonia". It reminds me of the arches of a cathedral. I thought it was fitting, as many of the moths will end up getting hurt. The shawl is knitted in two parts and then sewn together in the back to give it symmetry.

I knitted this shawl in my absolute favourite of all lace yarns, called Alchemy of Haiku. It is a wonderful hand painted blend of silk and mohair, and gives a ultra light, airy and fuzzy lace. I chose to knit this shawl in charcoal, as a black south European night. If you wear it over a light dress, the moons will light up through the lace.

I like talking to the moon, but I would like to know who I am talking to. Who is on the other side?
So, if you read this and like what I do on this blog, please leave a comment. Just to say "Hi".

Sunday, 28 April 2013

My Ocean

One of the most beloved pattern in the Shetland tradition of knitted laces is the "Print of the waves" pattern. This is a beautiful pattern that exists in different versions, both for the centre and for the boarder. You can find several versions in Sharron Miller's book "Heireloom knitting".

My favourite use of this pattern is probably the lady who knitted her own garden fence with a "Print of the waves" edge boarder. Here is also a link to a free pattern of a very beautiful shawl using this pattern. This blog is unfortunately no longer active, but it has a lot of great inspiration for those who love to knit.

This is my small contribution to the use of this pattern. My ocean. A narrow and simple scarf with the simplest version of this pattern both in the centre and on the boarders.

I have knitted the scarf in a thin silk and stainless steel yarn from Habu in a colour called "Ocean blue" (you can buy this yarn here). The colour reminds me of the water inside the caldera of Santorini and of lazy summer holidays on the Aegean sea. Beaches and sunny days. Calm, clear and dark sea-green warm water. Hmmmmm .... I just love it.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

My spot in the sun

About a week ago, a journalist from the magazine Allers called and asked if she could make a reportage about me and my Mini-Me-s. A little worried about how pictures of me will turn out on glossy paper, I agreed. And today they came and took pictures of me, most of my dolls (those who were available) and some of my colleagues who I have made a doll of.

Since most of the Mini-Me-s were standing in different offices at work, the reportage was made at my workplace. I think it went well, although I was a bit nervous. I have to admit that I felt a little out of place being a model, and my smile became a little stiff after a while, but they were very good at making it a pleasant experience.

I really wonder how this will turn out. I do not know when the article will appear, but if it turns out well, you will hear more about it. If not, .... Well, we'll have to see.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Mio my Mio

A collegue of mine has just had her second child. A girl this time. She asked me if I could make her a baby quilt. I'm always happy for an excuse to make something, but I warned her. I was going to make it sweet and pink this time. As you might have guessed, pink and sweet is not her thing. So to tease her, I made a pink knitted lace, with a white quilted silk carpet below. Could it be sweeter?

 A little worried about what she was going to say, I chose as a motive for the knitted lace a tableau from one of my favourite books as a child, "Mio my Mio" by Astrid Lindgren. This book has many dimensions, but the story I wanted the little girl to carry with her trough life, is to have the courage to stand up to people who want to control you.

Mio is actually named Bosse, and lives in Stockholm. He has only one friend in life and is bullied regularly by the other children. One night, a genie comes to him while he sits on a park bench crying. The genie tells him that he is really a prince in the land Far away and takes him home to his father, the King, who calls him Mio.

Mio finally experiences what it means to be loved, and he gets many friends. But he also discovers that there comes responsibility with being a prince. In the land Beyond, the evil Knight Kato rules with an iron fist. He captures disobedient children and turns them into birds who are doomed to circle his castle for all eternity.

Mio, which is a scared and shy little boy, realizes that he is the only one who can save these children. He finds the courage to ride out with his best friend Jumjum, to challenge the evil Knight Kato. Because of his kindness to people he meets along the way, he gets the help he needs to defeat the knight and free the children. The motive for this blanket is when Mio challenges Kato and wins.

At the centre of this blanket, I have knitted a pattern called "The Ginger bread castle". I can not remember if this happens in the book, but I chose to put the knight's castle on fire. The flames are a pattern called "Bleeding harts", while the cliffs below the castle is a pattern called "Purl shell pattern". Around the castle birds are flying, which is a pattern called "Shower head". All these patterns you may find in Barbara G. Walker's book series "A Treasury of Knitting Patterns". The blanket is knitted in a beautiful silk and alpaca yarn from Du store alpaca, named Fin, in a deep pink colour (229).

Many of us meet people who are trying to get us to do things we really do not want to do. It takes great courage to stand up to such pressure, to be who you are.

To the little girl who has just been born, I wish you all the best in life and that you may find happiness. I also hope that you will find the courage to stand up to your Knight Kato. Be who you want to be. Think for yourself. Make your own choices. 

"Mio my Mio".