Friday, March 31, 2006

A Dive

Now I'm in SantaClaus Sporting Center and I'm trying to be invisible.

Last time I wrote in a place that nourishes the soul. This place is built to take care of the body. One of my girls is into climbing. I wonder where she gets this desire to go up since I get dizzy just by getting on a three-step to wash windows or to reach something from upper cupboards.

I said I try to be invisible. It is very embarrassing to sit here, while all the rest are building their musculars. Then why am I not doing what the rest are doing? Because I have a blog to write and I can think better when I'm not in a house that needs a thorough spring cleaning... (my husband, if was allowed to contribute, would state that I'm very good in finding excuses) and I love to observe people (it's the remote, forsaken place where I live that causes this peculiar feature in me).
There is my brave daughter - allow some mother's pride here!

Some time, quite some time, ago I read an article of a famous Finnish mountaineer Veikka Gustafsson. He has conquered most of the 14 Himalayan peaks that go over 8000 meters. In that article he said that climbing is done in steps, you reach certain level, rest there, sometimes you have to come down to another level, take your time, gather your strength, and go for it again. You should keep looking up every now and then to remind yourself of the goal. Never underestimate the conditions, like weather, never try anything foolish or you might ruin the whole attempt or worse, it could cost you life. He said that all this applies to many aspects of life.

While my challenge in conquering tops is the three-step in the kitchen there must be other areas in life where I can go after the peaks. My Himalaya is my knitting - of course.

I have been collecting gear for years, the yarn, the needles, the books, the paper etc thus preparing myself. First I learnt the knit stitch, then the purl stitch, then a yarn over, then knit two together etc thus going from one level to another. I have knit several pairs of socks and mittens, thus staying on one level for long periods. Just ask me how many times I have had to come down from upper level (rip, rip, rip) and have had to reassure myself that my mountain top is attainable (cast on again). I have been looking up and focusing on the goal. The furher up I have got, the thinner the air and it has been difficult to breathe (the wool dust) for sometime now and the steps have been getting shorter (all these skeins of yarn getting under my feet)...

My Annapurna is designing delicately patterned wedding shawl and knitting it with hand spun yarn. But I am aware of the fact that sometimes the mountaineers need to make the painful decision to stop and turn and come down and that they may never reach the peak.

I know, I know... this was a lame try to compare breath taking and adventurous climbing to knitting... what was I thinking?

Another one of my girls is taking a course in scuba diving this spring.

I think I just dived, deeper than my daughter ever will, with this pathetic allegoric post... Could you just pull me to the surface and I will resume to my socks.

Have a good and relaxing week end!

PS. Thank you all for your nice and encouraging comments!


  1. The climbing and the diving are interesting. Are the children so different from each other that they head opposite directions all the time? The accomplishment in climbing and the exploration in diving translate to knitting, your allegory did not fail.

  2. Hi Lene, I recently re-connected with a girl from my ballet school. We were friends in high school. She now lives in the Rocky Mountains and works with search and rescue dogs. Your climbing photo reminded me of this work.

  3. Laila17:17

    I have just lately found your blog and have enjoyed going back into the archives and reading everything. You are an excellent writter ( especially since english is not your first language ) knitter and artist. I am from Canada and am well aware of the type of landscape and weather you live in. You have the gift of making it appear to be a beautiful place that encourages the development of the soul, of creativity and of inner resources as shown by you and your daughters.
    Your allegory works very well. My husband is a climber and has climbed many mountains around the world.I am a new knitter...I will have him read your entry so he can understand my passion. You are more eloquent than me.

  4. "Wool dust"! That made me laugh!

  5. Anonymous19:39

    Hi Lene - what a wonderful sounding sport centre. My sport centre, where I swim, is not as fancy, but I can swim lengths to keep in shape. You are right, knitting can be liking climbing a mountain - sometimes you have to step back, recover, rethink and push on again. Love your blog.
    Peg in BC Canada where the tulips are almost ready to bloom and some daffodils are almost finished blooming!

  6. Lene I needed that allegory today as I have been ripping out projects all month and today I had to re-read a basic intarsia book which led me to a basic knitting stitch that I have just never understood correctly and seems to be the cause. I kept telling myself that I am in training for a mountainous project and your post made me feel so much better about having to go backwards to go forward again!

  7. Hi Lena, I met you last year in Estonia--I am Susanna Hansson's American friend. I have enjoyed your blog and the beautiful photos of Finland. I hope to travel there someday. What interesting daughters you must have! Happy Knitting!

  8. You will reach the top one day! Just remember, take your time and don't look down too often. Keep your eyes on the summit...

  9. I rather liked this post, even if that shot of the person on the rock face made me dizzy just sitting here in my chair. :)

  10. I really like your Birch Leaf Socks! Is that your own pattern, or is it possible to find it somewhere?