Sunday, April 15, 2007

No news is good news

Thank you for all the comments. All is well.

The Casmere mittens (from the last post) inspiration is from a Japanese book called Nordic Knitting by Akiyo Murono and my copy is from Acorn Street from Seattle. Thank you Susanna! The mittens that are in the book are not the very same that I'm making but they are very lovely. Let's not talk about the pairs. I don't know how many mittens I have at the moment on the needles that are longing for a pair, and let's not forget the socks either... I have a severe case of second sock/mitten syndrome and it really seems beyond cure. I does not feel right.

The reasons for falling off the blog wagon...
First I took a little trip to Helsinki and spent some quality time there with Niina (blogless). We studied mittens in the National Museum and afterwards went for yarn (shawl yarn as if I need more... Madil Kid Seta and Grignasco MerinoSilk) and book (that took my knitting mind to a new level!) shopping. Perfect times. Thank you Niina!

Second - No matter how small a trip, I need some adjustment-time at home before I have established the routines. Days passed and no blogging, then some more days just reading blogs and listening to what you all were knitting and how weather was changing all over and it really felt good to be listening only. I’m more quiet than talkative – I think – and falling into silence seemed just perfect. The more days I let pass without blogging, the more difficult it was to come up with anything worth writing. So I have sat with my knitting in front of the computer when I have had spare time. Plain stockinette. Perfect for reading and listening, you hardly never need to look at the knitting and your eyes are free to look up at the screen.

This will be a sweater some day. It is being knit with Schachenmayr Catania with needle size 3,5 mm (US4). the colour is true on my monitor. So far I have used 4 skeins, 200 grams, I still have 300 grams left, so I have options for long sleeves and really long body. I'm not sure how much longer I can keep going, I still don't like knitting with pure cotton that much. But as I said this is perfect for reading and falling into silence.

With something this simple how do you keep track how far you have come during one knitting session?

It was not rewarding to count rows. When I had long passed the row number 99 and reached the number 144 and it still looked the same, the counting lost its appeal. I thought about counting by the number of skeins left, but it took too long to reach the end of the skein and I ended up spending more time weighing and squeezing the skein than knitting. I have knit it onto two needles quite often to try it on, but when I have tried it on and made a note to myself that i need to knit about 7 cm's before waist line and have knit for a time that seems like ten years and tried it on again and still there is 6 cm's before the waist line, I realized that it was not rewarding either. Really, the best way for me to deal with this sweater is for you all writing long posts in small font... But when this is done, I hope to have something wearable. When I look at the sidebar of my blog, I can not say that I'm proud of what I have done this year... And we are already heading fast for May.

Thank you Margreet for nominating me for the Thinker Blogger Award. I should now nominate five other blogs that I think would deserve to be nominated. There are so many good thinkers out there. Even though this is just a play and I could pick five good thinkers today, I will not because I would soon regret and have second thoughts and I don’t want to deal with that stress. (I know this sounds a bit silly, but I sort of don't want to arrange blogs in any kind of order... )

Today when I popped out of the door early in the morning, I heard and saw swans. It touched my heart. It feels good after long and hard winter to see these majestic birds return.

Signs of spring. The snow mobile tracks leading towards the lake are

wearing thin but the ice on the lake is quite thick still. Only two days ago we were driving on the ice. Although I must admit, it would please my heart to see these toys being put away for few months and to go look for gardening tools. But it would be too early yet... Are you surprised to see the amount of snow left?

PS. I watched an enchanting movie this afternoon: Girl with a Pearl Earring. The soft coloring and the light in the movie were just so very beautiful and perfect. It tells a story of one of the paintings by Johannes Vermeer.


  1. Scotlynn19:48

    Welcome Back, Lene. Being with a friend,enjoying silence and stockinette are all wonderfully restorative in their own ways. Add the arrival of Spring and soon your soul will again be ready to share your own small part of the world.

  2. Carol19:54

    Welcome back! It's good to know you were simply taking a much-needed break. I understand how you feel when you hear the swans that signal the coming of spring, I feel much the same when I hear the canadian geese heading north for the summer.

  3. I am definitely not surprised you still have snow. We still have a bit of snow on the ground, and more snow and sleet and slush on the way. I think we're skipping spring this year!

  4. I've also got a top-down, cotton stockinette stitch sweater on the needles, and it barely seems to grow at all. Part of the problem is, of course, that I'm working on three less monotonous projects at the same time. I've been using a locking stitch marker at the start of an evening, which does make me feel like I can see progress when there is some.

  5. Julie20:19

    Glad you're back, Lene! It's always nice to be quiet for a while...even I think so, and I'm not so good at shutting up. :)

    Isn't the Mason-Dixon book terrific? It's one of my favorites!

  6. I understand what you mean by 'falling into silence'. Somedays I just want to peek in on other bloggers, listen to books and knit!
    When will your knitted 'friends' come out to look at their 'gardens'? I miss them!
    When I have a long slow knit, I put a marker at the row I start at and then I can see how much I have knit at that sitting!
    Enjoy the silence - do not feel badly about progress or lack of it - just enjoy being!

  7. I'm glad all is well. Here in eastern Ontario, the snow has melted - but yesterday, driving a little bit into northern New York, I saw banks of snow that the sun hasn't been able to touch that are still hanging on. I miss the snow already.

    That sweater-to-be is quite lovely.

  8. Thank you as well for the pictures of the snow; we have had so little that you helped me enjoy the idea of winter without the shoveling or the excuse to wear really warm woolen sweaters.

    Agree completely about the second "of." Once I have done it once, there is little thrill to go back and do it again.

    But stockinette - mindless knitting - relaxes, flows and lets you do something else at the same time.

    Enjoy spring and first flowers.


  9. I hope you're feeling refreshed and revitalized. Maybe one of those single socks or mittens will get a mate! :-)

  10. The sweater looks beautiful. The blue has a nice depth to it.

    I've never posted before here before but I've been reading for a while.I saw your comment on Girl With a Pearl Earring. It is a beautiful movie. The book is even better. There is quite a bit of the story that the movie could not devote it's energy to.

  11. Silence is a too often neglected precious part of life. Our souls need silence.

    One night while working on the Red Sweater I became exasperated at not being able to see how much had been accomplished. I grabbed a small length of yarn and draped it between the stitch just knitted and the next. I'd move it at the beginning of each session. A bright bit of contrasting yarn is perfect.

  12. Anonymous23:55

    Glad you are back to Blogging. I've missed you.

    If you liked the movie, try the book. :-) It's a little bit different from the movie.

  13. It's nice to hear from you again. There's no need be upset with how much knitting you've accomplished, or how many socks and mittens are waiting for a match. As you say, it's been a long and hard winter for you. I haven't had much to show either, so I know how you feel that your blog readers are expecting something.

  14. Read the book - seen the movie - it's like a painting come to life, isn't it?
    Can't believe how much snow you still have - our bluebells are just opening and the ground is warm enough to be sowing like crazy.
    I too love stocking stitch - meditative, rhythmic, mindless knitting.

    I love visiting your blog - recent visitor though I am. Silence or talkativeness is OK by me.

  15. Lene, so glad to hear all is well, and I'm with you and Wanda about the silence...I indulge as often as I can, it's imperative to my soul's well being.
    Looking forward to seeing socks and mittens, even by their lonesomes.

  16. So good to "hear your voice" again.

    The snow? 'Tis only April. I can remember snow sticking around until the end of May in my old stomping grounds, and I'm sure you can as well!

    Enjoy the silence while it lasts. There's little enough peace in this world.

  17. Anonymous07:00

    Yes, glad you are back...I am in the middle of knitting a plain top down raglan too! Mine is of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool on 3.25 mm (3 US). The only thing keeping me from going mad over the stocking stitch is my plan to add a lace border on the bottom 4 inches or so, as well as on the bottoms of the sleeves.

  18. Mindie15:36

    Have been reading your blog for a little while and am so glad to see you are back. We all need some silence from time to time; I try to get as much as possible. I think more people enjoy being quiet than anything else if they are honest. The top down raglan is beautiful, it will be well worth all the effort. How did you decide on how many stitches to cast on for the neck? it is just perfect I think.

  19. Hello! The movie looks interesting to me. Thank you for the recommendation. I really enjoyed Mostly Martha when you recommended that one. Now that everyone in my family is taking German, perhaps I should rent it again.

    I'm sad to read you are not proud of what you have done so far this year. I know with your weaving you did a lot of learning and getting acquainted with your loom. It is not something you can show in your gallery, but it is knowledge stored in your mind. It will show in future photos!

  20. Welcome back. Congrats on the Mason Dixon book. It is addictive.

  21. Paula17:48

    I was missing you and wanted to come out of lurking to say hello. My husband has relatives in Finland, and his parents make a trip to visit them every 5 years or so. We have yet to get there, but are getting closer to doing so now that our chilren are getting older.

    Glad you're back and that things are good. I also agree that silence is a good thing and very important, especially in this connected world in which we live.

  22. marjorie01:19

    I love your sweater! At the moment I am enjoying knitting dishcloths--they are simple and satisfying and knit up quickly. You don't have to think too much about them. I am working on a cello piece right now, The Swan by Saint-Saens. I think it would be lovely to be working on the piece and actually see swans out the window. My DVD of Girl with a Pearl Earring, I lent to a friend and she never returned it. Yes, it is a very good movie.

  23. Anonymous06:36

    Hi Lene

    I've been "away " from your blog due to my own "life challenges" . Just be who you are and write about what you wish. My best to you and your family!
    Margie in Maryland

    PS I'm not all that surprised that YOU have snowin April. What shocked me was that WE had snow FOR EASTER (8 April)!!!!

    "I'm dreeeeeaming of a whiiite EASTER, just like the ones I've never seen.
    With spring bulbs sprouting and children shouting and trees with just a touch of green...."

    OK - I'll stick to my day job and let the Irving Berlins of this world write lyrics....

  24. Gorgoeus photos and yes the amount of snow you still have amazes me :) I too agree its interseting through blogging to see what the weather etc is like with fellow bloggers.
    I too loved the film'Girl with a Pearl Earing' as you say done with an artist's eye which of course befitted the story

  25. I love the Girl with a Pearl Earring movie. The book that it's based on is excellent as well. That author (Tracy Chevalier) has written a few excellent books about works of art.

  26. Brigid22:42

    I had the pleasure of trying on some of your mittens in Chicago last week! I went to Susanna Hansson's lecture on the Rovaniemi mittens. It was really interesting and I'm looking forward to reading more about them. By the way, I don't live in the USA - I just happened to be there for work and couldn't believe my luck that she was lecturing that day! Your mittens are really pretty (mind you, I quite liked the 'ugly' ones, too...)

  27. I've been away from blogland for most of the past 6 weeks and am just catching up now. I'm interested to see that you've been using Schachenmeyer Catonia because I just purchased some with a baby sweater in mind. It seems nice and stretchy, so even though it is 100% cotton, I am hoping that it will hold its shape. Have you enjoyed working with it?

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