Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Have you seen the sun lately?

What is there to tell of an ordinary Tuesday? The children left to school very early in the morning. By 0710 all three of them were gone.
Quiet house.
Few loads of laundry.
Some cleaning.
Little bit of cooking.
Had my first cup of coffee early in the morning in total darkness. Before noon had my second cup in dim daylight. At three in the afternoon my third cup in the blue moments. At five in the afternoon the fourth cup again in total darkness. Just had my fifth one, again in total darkness.

It was raining the whole day turning every single surface into slippery ice so daily walk was limited going to the mailbox and back. I have one bruise on my knee but no broken bones.
I drove to town and had my eyes checked. For some time I have felt that I can't see very well. The news, my eye sight is not that bad. It is this long dark winter...

January is the month when the whole forest seems to be dead, or if you don’t want to sound too gloomy, let’s just say that it is sound asleep. It is the deepest winter and my thoughts don’t even reach as far as spring yet. It is January and a Tuesday.

Midwinter Tuesday.
This all feels a bit like I was knitting the second long stocking. Seems endless and the excitement of (seasons changing) a new project is gone and the toe decreases are not in the vicinity. Or is this like another sleeve? Or rather even just starting the first sleeve and knowing that I have to knit this all over again? What would be the best way to tackle the sleeves? What would be the best way to survive the long and dark January? One a rainy January Tuesday I would just like to make this sweater sleeveless and hibernate until spring, but I guess that it is not really an option here. The moment I would go and lie down would give the children/dogs/a cat in the house a signal, that mother has nothing to do and they would start thinking up ways to entertain me…

Should one be knitting summer things? Should one start one endless project and tackle it one stitch at a time, one minute, one hour and one day at a time? Should I cast on for a big cardigan, and divide the process into little steps? First the back, by the time the back is done, January should be gone too. Then fronts February. In March there would be lots of light, one day nice and warm but then the other like winter again, two sleeves like two different kind of spring days… In April the sewing and finishing and then finally when the spring, May, is here the days might be warm enough to wear it outside. Is that what I should do?

Long, endless dark winter knit into a cardigan.

There is this voice in the back of my mind saying that it takes awfully long time to knit a cardigan… and that this winter is long, long enough to knit half a dozen cardigans with 2 mm (US0) needles.

Could somebody please turn on the big lamp in the sky? I would be happy with 20 minutes. Or even with 10.

You want pictures? What pictures? Pull a paper bag over your head and close your eyes, and there you have a picture.


  1. If I could find that switch to light your world, for you to be bathed in full summer light I would.

  2. Anonymous20:34

    I too wish I could send you some of our summer sun.

    I feel the same way you feel about the dark except it's too much sun. Summer here is unrelenting...too much light, too much heat, too much humidity. When August rolls around I so wish for some dark, some cool, some time to huddle in the house in the light and time to knit. Summer here makes wool unbearable ... it takes the skin right off your fingers.

    I empathize my friend. Sometimes we need the very thing we cannot have.

  3. Sounds like January in Minnesota, but we have more sun. Maybe that's why we have so many Finnish imigrants who settled up north.

    As for the 2 sleeves, I suggest 2 cable needles. ::grin:: What a great analogy.

  4. Rosemary21:00

    Here in western Canada, we are tired of our winter as well. I think we are up to 12 or 13 storms in the last 2 months, 2 or less is the norm. Wind, rain, snow, broken trees, floods, no electricity. I too long for spring. It is another grey day and snow predicted for tomorrow. I say enough!! Bring on the sun. Comparing knitting to the months to come was an enjoyable read.

  5. Sending you a big big cyber hub and a big full day of sunlight.

  6. *
    I'm sending light bright and glistening thoughts your way !


  7. oh so glum!
    you should get the light fixture to help with lack of daylight.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. You sound so depressed today. Hope your yarn and your family add some colour and light to your life tonight.

  10. Ann in Montreal00:00

    Perhaps Tina will make some room for you to curl up in her little house. You could keep one another company while you await the suns return. Not much room to knit in there, certainly not a big cardigan.

  11. marjorie03:24

    Spring will come soon, and with it the sun. Think of knitting in sunny colours like lemon yellow. And perhaps get one of those full spectrum lights as hpny knits suggested. We are all thinking of you and hoping your doldrums will pass quickly!

  12. Oh, I do know what you mean about the dark. Even though we are not nearly as far north as you are, we are so cloudy most days as to be almost twilight - I feel the darkness in the very depths of my soul, sucking all the will and speed out of living. I go outside whenever possible to soak up the little fragments of light without a window in between.

  13. Malena06:47

    Your writing is such that you make the long dark days sound attractive. I wish I could join you there for coffee and wishing for light. The Texas winter is so not winter that it seems unfair. If only I could send you some of my winter and you could send me some of yours. Well, here's to hastening your spring along . . . Malena

  14. Lene, I found a blue gift bag that just fit over my head. It was rather entertaining for a few minutes. While inside the bag, I saw you knitting a bright yellow sweater with colorful embroidery cheerfully twining and dancing all over it. :-)

    You need one of the full-spectrum lights to stand near your knitting space. A friend of mine uses one at this time of the year and it does help her mood, as well as relieves the strain on her eyes when knitting.

  15. Anonymous07:43

    Hi Lene,
    Here's an e-hug (if I may be so bold).

    I'm sitting right next to me sunlight lamp (not on, though). It feels so good to sit under it as I work at my desk. And I live WAAAAAAAAAYYY south of you!

    Hang in there, Margie

  16. Karen11:34

    Light, colour, energy can't be too far away. Hope today is brighter all round.

  17. I have had winters like that and they are no fun. In Ontario, we've been enjoying sunny skies, but yesterday the snow started to fall and now it's looking like a regular winter. I expect to survive it better because it started so late.

    The last winter when I felt like you do now, I knit a shawl.

    Can you get a sun lamp? They have special bulbs that emit a light that is close to the sun's and it helps to make people feel better in the winter.

  18. ellen in conn14:33

    Dear Lene,
    I agree: Sun Lamp. It saves my daughter's sanity each winter. Here in New England, some of us are wishing it would be winter already! We've had the short days, but that's all. No snow, no freezing, no ice, no plows on the streets, no snow-people, no sledding, no days off from school. I have worn my winter coat maybe 2 times. Ususally it's just a sweater, sometimes only a shirt. I went out to close up the chicken coop in my bare feet on Three Kings' Day!

  19. Anonymous14:38

    Dark. I can sympathize. Even though it is light here from about 7 am to 5 pm, I drive to work in the dark, drive home in the dark, and at work I have an interior office with no window. I feel like I'm in training to live where you do.

    Ellen in Virginia

  20. Wish I could send you some light, too! Is it not unusual to have rain in Lapland this time of year? Is there some celebration coming up to help with the winter blahs? When is sock fest? So many questions, but I am trying to get your mind off the dark!

  21. Esther17:07

    Dear Lene, just another voice telling you about those famous lamps...My daughter-in-law is using one all through the winter otherwise it's the song "winter blues" in her mind...
    Yes, find something colorful to knit, didn't you tell that 2007 will be a year of color, in a precedent post ?
    You can also listen some dancing music, take a break of your work and dance in the living-room, it's good for the "figure" and the mind also...
    We've got snow(15cm at last!)on Monday in Québec city but Sunday it was rather like April, rather depressing for me !
    Wishing you a lot of sun as soon as possible, some interesting visit, some new and attracting project to get you out of this bad mood...

  22. The sun will shine again.

  23. Although I am not a huge fan of winter, I sometimes like indulging in all the hot drinks with only the incandescent light of the kitchen to see by. Today I got up in darkness and when I leave work, it may also be dark. Not as drastic as your season, but I try to relish this time of imposed hibernation just a bit.

  24. I'm glad it is the darkeness outside and not your eyes that are the problem. All the kids gone for they day--sounds like a good time to get a nap. Or time to spend with books or movies.

  25. Mary Anne21:36

    Dear Lene,
    I've been pleasantly taken with your blog since I stumbled upon it awhile ago. It's a joy to see your beautiful work posted for all to enjoy.
    "True Light" comes from within our hearts. This light shines through us in many ways. It truly shines through you in your creative work. Everything you do is so lovely.
    Don't despair...we live in an evolving universe...the sun will shine again soon.
    All the best,
    M.A. in New England

  26. Lene,
    there are so many beautiful suggestions here, and we all wish you well. The other suggestion I would share would be to put on some good music. It can be so helpful when facing a dark lonely day. Whether it is opera (La boheme always picks me up), folk music (fiddles!) or just something pop-y, bouncy and fun it is bound to help.

    I hope you have a beautiful day filled with joy, gratitude and love!

  27. Esther00:12

    Lene, what about Priscilla Gibson-Roberts' 'Swedish Heart-Warmer Shawl' from 'Handknit Holidays'?
    I love the designer and colours, but I'm not sure I would wear that style of shawl. Just a thought.
    I hope you feel better soon!

  28. Lene, I was just reading your blog while listening to some blues (Eric Bibb) on the radio. I realized that I was reading to the beat of the blues. You are poetic even while in a funk. Even though it is the time of year for a nice long project, my mood has been lifted by starting 4 small projects all at the same time. Maybe the monotony of a large project is too much for this time of year. I need something quick and fun.

  29. In the first days of the year and the calm after Christmas I find myself finishing up many projects that have reached the tedious point. No excitement, but no thought required either. Just a little work and a little accomplishment. I'll get more ambitious soon, but this is just right for now.

  30. Wish I could send you some sunshine and warmer weather.

  31. There was an article some time back in SpinOff about a woman living in the arctic circle. In winter, she used to take all her leftover handspun yarns, dye some of them in wild colors, and cut them up to card into other wool. The idea was to spin up a truly wild yarn to brighten up the winter. You might consider trying that for a project. I believe she used hers for socks.

  32. Whatever you do, don't knit anything black!

  33. At least we're past the solstice. That's what I keep telling myself.

    Full spectrum bulbs really work. I've used them for years.

  34. Niinpä niin, joskus tulevana kesänä sitten ihmetellään, mitä tuli talven pimeydessä tehtyä, kun nyt ei kunnolla näe eteensä :).

    Kysyisin sulta noista pitkistä polvisukista, jotka käsittääkseni olet neulonut Stepista. Langankulutusta ja silmukkamääriä, ainakin suunnilleen. Tai jos olet kertonut nämä tiedot jossakin, niin linkki niihin tietoihin ilahduttaisi.
    Olisi mukavampi lähteä neulomaan polvisukkia Stepistä, kun olisi jonkinlainen vertailukohta olemassa.
    Asialla ei ole kiire, sukat saattavat jäädä ensi talveenkin :).

    Sulla on kauniita töitä, niitä katselee ihan ilokseen ja sielunsa ravinnoksi. Melkoisen kunnioitettavia projekteja!

  35. Barbara03:43

    The sun will return. You sound so like my daughter when she lived in Alaska. The sun will return.
    Barbara C.

  36. Hyvää huomenta Lene!

    Mina haluta lähettää sinä hieman päivänpaiste.
    Luokse hurrata teidän päivä.
    Mitä on teidän osoite?
    Mina toivoa lämpö teidän tie myös.
    Anteeksi minun suomea on huono.

  37. Tell you what. You send some snow, I'll send some light. I do really only have 10 minutes to spare though. It's pretty dark here.

  38. Turn your cardigan into knitting sunshine and spring, something golden and heathery.

  39. Kun muutimme Suomeen takaisin aurinkoisesta Nykistä, mieheni halusi ehdottomasti auringonvalolampun. Panin hanttiin minkä jaksoin. "Hämärä on ihanaa, hämärä on rauhoittavaa, hämärä on lohdullista..."
    Viime kuukauden (lamppu on ollut vasta kk:n talossa) olen ollut paljon pirteämpi kuin aikoihin, ja paremmin vedossa. Usko huvikseks, ei täällä "etelässäkään" ole valoisaa! Musta talvi on kamala.
    Pahin blaah meni ohi värjäämällä kaunista saaristolaisvillaa hennon vaaleanpunaiseksi. Ktaselen sen herkkää väriä tässä tieskarin vieressä miettien samalla mitä haluan tehdä siitä.