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".