Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The sun is in her nest

The old Finns call these three days before Christmas "nesting days", it was believed that the sun is in her nest for the three coming days. On the 24th she will come out for a little while. I wish I could do the same... What remains true is that tomorrow will be the shortest day (or the longest night - the sun is about two hours above the horizon) and from then on we are heading for light!!!

I'm so ready for it! For the past weeks my husband and I have been complaining how the lights in this house have turned so poor. Two months ago we upgraded the reading lights in our bedroom. When it is dark practically all day long you are doing your tasks and since three in the afternoon you have felt that it must be bedtime already and by checking your watch you finally can tell the time is right and you can crawl into your bed and then you turn on the reading lights... it's like the sun has come out all of a sudden and you should be up again. There is something very wrong here!

Either we'll upgrade the lights in the whole house or downgrade the reading lights...

Yesterday I was busy spinning the yarn for the shawl and I kept picking up the wheel and changing place every so often to find myself a nice well lit spot. In the end I thought about moving our bed to get the wheel under the bright lights in the bedroom. It beats me how they did it in the old times without electricity, spinning was one of the very important tasks women did during the dark winter months, apart from the Christmas weeks and all the spinning was to be done by the end of February, then there would be enough light to get the looms out and start weaving...
The wool for my new shawl is Shetland Wool Pin-Drafted Roving from BrambleWool Farm,
dark moorit from Pauline, light grey from Tilly, black from Bixby and moorit from Gillian. Natural white I bought from a different source while the other colors were a gift. Thank you Carol! So far I have spun Shetland and Blueface Leicester and Polwart and Polwart and Silk mixture quite successfully, tried to spin Merino which was not a success at all... due to lack of skill but the adventure will continue... This shawl is Blueface Leicester singles. The pattern is from The Knitters Spring 1998 Issue Faroese-style Lace by Myrna A.I. Stahman.

Before Faroese Lace I had done few The Flower Basket Shawls by Evelyn A. Clark in various colors in size small but with thicker yarns. The tile orange and the yellow shawl are knit with Satakieli while the white one was Handspun Shetland twoplied. The pattern is nice and delicate while my yarn choices here were too thick or at least I should have used a bigger size needle. But now I know it, not then...I did not knit a single row yesterday which makes my hands shake... I need to knit.

But before I will go out, fight this darkness and lit few candles... When it is pitch dark even one candle makes a big difference.


  1. Your spinning and your shawls are lovely. A bright light in the dark!

  2. Absolutely Beautiful homespun and shawls.
    I was really wondering how people of today and in the past coped when the sun went into hibernation for the winter.
    I will never again complain about the short days we have here at this time of year.
    One day I would like to get one of these lamps
    But you need this lamp in your spinning and knitting place more.

  3. I won't complain about our "short" days anymore. Two hours of daylight! That's amazing.

    Don't downgrade your reading lights; upgrade the other lights. :-)

    And your Flower Baskets are just the right colors to tide you over until the light returns. Orange and yellow, the colors of the sun: exactly what's needed at this time of year.

  4. Dear Lene, you are doing very beautiful things. Your spinning and knitting are very impressive. I admire your shawls! You know I am from France and I have to visit Talinn for business in January. I am a little affraid about it actually, as I even don't have ski clothes that could be adapted to -20°c. And there is no light! Well, waiting to see this, I knit warm mitains and hats... I wish you a merry Christmas!

  5. Yes, it is hard to imagine only two hours of daylight in 24. And in the summer, I imagine it is the reverse?
    Your shawls are beautiful.

  6. Lena - A friend named Marie in Ohio has turned me on to your blog. What beautiful shawls.
    I look forward to visiting often.