Saturday, December 01, 2007

Lace time

It is the first day of December. We have snow and the temperature seems to stay under zero what is good for the snow and the scenery. It is white, crisp and beautiful – exactly the way it is supposed to be in December. November flew by quickly. I did not get much knitting done but I feel the desire to get the needles clicking again. I seem to be taking break from the knitting once in a while and at some point of the rest I’m always thinking whether it is time to move on to something else since the needles don’t call me… First I’m very disappointed at myself and try several different approaches, finger this yarn and that and at some point I just let go and do something else. And then after a while, the idle hands get itchy again… But you must know this, I’m sure I’m not the only one taking breaks and then after a while hearing the whisper of the lace yarn or the drumming of the sock yarn again.
I don’t think you remember this yarn. It appeared here in the blog when I was trying to knit something from the Victorian Lace book but what did not turn out the way I was hoping for and then I ripped the shawl. Shortly after I ripped the Victorian shawl I right away cast on for an Icelandic shawl that I have knit once before and this is the project I dug out of my ufo pile when the empty hands needed something to touch. I have knit few rows here and there to this shawl and now I think it is the time to knit the edging to it. It is a while since I knit lace and maybe it is lace time again. I have plenty of nice fingering and lace weight yarns in my stash and they are just too beautiful to be sitting there. While I still have few rows on the Icelandic shawl I have sort of made up my mind what the next shawl will be, but I will just need to think it over a bit … Or rather think over the yarn for it.

I know Christmas time gets to be a bit much for me (and to many of us as wives and mothers) and no matter how hard I try not to try to make it perfect and try to concentrate on making it good enough, I always, always end up having too many things to do and will feel a bit stressed and worn out at some point. And do not get me wrong, I like to do all these things that belong to our family’s Christmas tradition and do all these things as much to my loved ones as to myself as well. We prepare or buy gifts to each other and my DH is very good in this, he seems to be able to pick the right one for me every year and he is very good in keeping secrets. And my girls and mother and friends are too generous always too. But I decided to get myself a present this year too… in a form of yarn and knitting book. As a reward for myself after all the cleaning and baking and cooking, as a special reward for making this Christmas once again step by step…

(Doesn’t this sound as a perfect excuse once again to be buying more yarn? But don’t you think that if ever, now it is very appropriate? But what should I get? What would you recommend? I know you would need to know what I already have in my library and stash but ignore that and think about your must-haves or something that you would not like to do without and I would love to hear of them or it. Or if you have a blog, maybe you could blog about the most beloved book or pattern or yarn and leave me a link... )

Many blogs are very important to me, I wait eagerly for new posts and new knitting inspiration and value the effort that goes into making this knitting community interesting and entertaining and don't take that for granted. I know I too have readers who wait for my knitting news. The first year when I blogged I updated my blog every day for the first 24 days of December showing my old knits. I have been a bad blogger for the month of November, so I will try to post every day from today up till Dec 24th - sort of like an advent calendar. I try to concentrate on the knitting but there might be some cooking thrown in and I will post about few things in my knitting life that I think of treasured gifts, be it yarn, book or pattern.

(Don’t forget that I live in the country and stormy snowy days sometimes cause power failures so the post may be delayed a few times but if I’m fine and the computer and the electricity work, the post will be there.)

Happy December Dear Readers!


  1. Lene, do have a look at Clara Parkes' new book, The Knitter's Book of Yarn: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Using, and Enjoying Yarn. It is a wonderfully informative book about all thing yarny and has 40 patterns. Please do not overdo the blogging and save some of the Holiday enjoyment for yourself.

  2. Hi Love your blog - I wouldn't worry about posting all the time - it makes it exciting when new news is updated. Also if it becomes a pressure it takes the enjoyment out of it! Having just discovered your blog I'm having great fun reading all your old posts.
    Regards Emmie

  3. I enjoy cooking just as much as I enjoy knitting so I will look forward to seeing a cooking post or two.

    My favorite book thus far is Poetry in Stitches which I understand is no longer available. When I bought that one I also looked at Latvian Dreams and that is next on my wish list. I really loved the geometric aspect of the patterns which were created from weaving charts. I saw it at Nordic Fiber Arts:

  4. I love reading whatever you have to say, but don't tell you often enough! Thank you.

    Your first photograph gave me a sweet jolt of days gone by...thank you for that as well!

    I'm going to "think on" your question about dear or favorite books and patterns, and I'll try to post my choices soon. What a wonderful idea.

  5. It will be a pleasure to see what you have to share in December. December and Christmas are hard for me because of no traditions, no family, just snow and cold. Your will bring light into my Holiday Season. You deserve a special treat for going through all the work to make a special Christmas for your family.

  6. Renee15:52

    Lene: Yours is the first blog I look for each day. Whether you have posted or not, it is always a delight to find a new "note from a friend". As a fellow knitter, your knitting talks are always interesting, but the pictures of your lake, the learn-a-language pictures, the history of your English adventures, the smiles of your daughters, your DH and his ever faster snowmobiles, or simply the delights hidden behind a new Advent calendar window....all of these let us enjoy the wonder of such a wonderful person as you. What a blessing that God has put you on the earth at this time in history for all of us to enjoy. Enjoy your family this Christmas; don't worry about the daily blogging. We're happy whenever we hear from you. Favorite knitting? All the delightful yarns coming out right now due to the resurgence of interest among the people of the earth. "If you have but two pennies, spend one penny on food for the body; the other penny on food for the soul."

  7. Can't wait to see you every day! Thank you!

  8. I couldn't begin to suggest any yarn or book, because I have very limited experiences, and tastes. I have noticed that you always use solid colors. I'm finding that very refreshing.
    I love the idea of the advent calendar. I think maybe I'll make one for myself this year, with a new photo of something I love for every day.
    Post when you can. Remember - we love Tina and the lake, too.

  9. Dear Lene,
    I found you months ago, through Angeluna's kindness. I so enjoy reading about your life and the work of your hands. I think your pictorial advent calendar is a great idea! Merry Christmas from Texas.

  10. Laura16:40

    I enjoy reading your blog whenever you post. I enjoy your pictures and I like how you go through the design process on your sweaters. You always give me something to think about. Have a great holiday season.

  11. Anonymous17:01

    Dear Lene: I'm with several of the others...while I enjoy your knitting content, it is the luxury of having the glimpses of the life of someone living so far away that makes your blog the first I check each morning.

    Clara Parkes' book is great fun, and I also recommend it.

    Your friend in the mountains of New Mexico, Martie

  12. Oh, Lene, you've given us (or at least me) the best Christmas present!! A little bit of Dances With Wool every day -- what a treat!! Will we see Mrs. Badger again?

  13. Oh, Lene, you've given us (or at least me) the best Christmas present!! A little bit of Dances With Wool every day -- what a treat!! Will we see Mrs. Badger again?

  14. It will be nice to hear from you over December.
    My favourite new book at the moment is the Kim Hargreaves Heartfelt book. The designs are so feminine but have a classic thing about them. My favourite yarn is anything tweedy and 4 ply. I love the way it knits up with the little freckle of colours in it and 4 ply knitting feels right for me.

  15. Suerowal18:23

    I bought myself Handplagg til Bunader og Folkedrakter for Christmas, I think you already have it, it's wonderful!

  16. I used that same yarn for Print O' the Wave Stole. It took slightly more than one skein. My finished stole (being blocked) is here.
    It is a 'delicious' yarn and I'm very happy with the finished project.
    Your projects are always so lovely!

  17. I too will admit its more than the knitting that gets me to your blog. Its the whole you that fascinates, the knitting, the cooking, the decorating the family life, your location and just you as a person. What a gift more blogging posts will be. Thank You.


  18. It's a lovely idea, to blog all through December, but please remember, we won't mind if you have to miss.

    A book I couldn't do without is my Vogue knitting for techniques and what have you. I don't know that I love that book though. I just wouldn't want to give it up. The book I love is Small Sweaters. It's so lively!

    The yarns I love to knit are Noro and Fleece Artist.

  19. The yarn I decided to get for myself as an after-Christmas treat is Blue Moon Fiber Arts Laci to knit the Irtfa'a shawl from However, my favorite yarn from Blue Moon is Geisha. It has the right yardage for the Japanese Feather shawl from The two recently-release books that I have been happiest with are Kaffe Knits Again and Cat Bordhi's New Directions for Sock Knitters.

  20. Scotlynn21:22

    Dear Lene,
    I am always delighted when there is a new post from you...seeing your world (which is so different from mine)opens my mind to all sorts of different things. We all take breaks from the needles now and again. I think of it as the winter season of my knitting...a time to rest and prepare for the coming spring. Our creativity will then burst through the snowy mantle with bright, fresh ideas.
    I wish you happy, joyous holidays. Scotlynn from Ohio, USA.

  21. Maijamirjami21:32

    Itse olen kainosti toivonut joulupukilta Suomen blogimaailmaa kohahduttavaa Punokset puikoille -kirjaa, joka on ilmestymässä passelisti joulun alla. Ja mitäkö lankaa? Itse hinkuisin tällä hetkellä lisää Maisa Tikkasen ja Riihivillan lankoja.

  22. I keep coming back to Bartlett's Fisherman Yarn, with a bit of the grease still in, and making mittens out of a book called Favorite Mittens by Robin Hanson. These are folk mittens from the northeast US. Bartletts washes up beautifully.

  23. Happpy December to you, Lene!! It's always a treat when you post.

  24. Connie21:45

    I must add my voice to the many others saying that we love when you post, whether it's regular or not!

    Topping my wishlist are Best of Interweave Knits and anything by Nancy Bush--socks are my love! Besides that, Sarah Dallas is grand; she does a lot of easy Fair Isle stuff, and tweed yarns and such. Very classic. Also Veronik Avery, Knitting Classic Style is on my wishlist--it looks lovely, and I like her stuff when I see it in magazines.

    I spend waaay too much time surfing the internet for knitting books and things.

  25. My current favorite is "More Knitting in Vogue." I had to buy it used, but it is updates of classic Vogue patterns. I think I like everything in it! Although some of it made me giggle.

  26. grannypurple23:25

    I have found Cat Bordhi's new sock book a true inspiration (I forget if you have it already--it's very liberating!
    I, too, look forward to hearing from you more often in December--at least when all the Xmas rush is over, the days will start lengthening again.

  27. Wishing you many blessings during this Advent season. I have so enjoyed your photography and your beautiful knitting. Looking forward to whenever you post. I appreciate learning about Finland too. :)

  28. what a wonderful idea for us to share our favorite things with each other at Christmas time--I'll have to think about it for a while....Just off the top of my knitting head though, I couldn't do without Barbara Walker's Stitch dictionaries. Sometimes I just read them with no wool in hand.

    Are you going to knit your Tomten sweater? And is it possible you could give us your pattern for your Tomten "creature"? My Danish neighbor and I are gaa-gaa for that. We've decided we're going to knit ourselves a Tomten jacket this Christmas too. I had to get out the baby one I did so long ago--that baby is now 20!

    Your blog is one of my favorites. It always makes me feel calm and soothed. And then I want to sit down quietly with my needles and wool and come back to myself. Don't feel like you have to blog everyday, and I certainly don't mind when you talk about other things!

  29. I do knit, but not as well as you and your readers. I love coming here for all of the reasons that your readers have mentioned. You have such a lovely site and one that gives me pleasure no matter what you are writing about.
    Thank you!

  30. My current favorite book is also Clara Parkes's book that another poster mentioned. Beautiful variety of patterns and everything you need to know about fiber.

    Please don't pressure yourself with blogging everyday in December. Blogging is a hobby--not a job!

  31. Helenea20:13

    Lene, I love your comments and the wonderful photos of your dogs and art!
    Keep blogging, but don´t feel under pressure to do - there you´ll loose your creativiy!
    Warm greetingz from Austria, Helena

  32. I really enjoy your blog. And after visiting Finland I double enjoy it because I have memories. Thank you for your great posts. And happy December to you too.

    In terms of books...The one that is calling to me right now is Knitting Nature.

    And your dog has done exactly what mine did today. Burrowing into the snow. They always look so happy.


  33. Beth S.19:23

    I am so excited that you are going to try to write every day. I really enjoy the little glimpses you give us of life above the Arctic Circle. :-)

    Do you own Heirloom Knitting already? That book would make a wonderful "special" present because it is so big and comprehensive, and I know how much you love to knit lace. But if you would prefer to knit something colorful, there's the new Kaffe Fassett anthology. I have never tried one of his patterns, but I think they would be very cheerful to look at on a cold dark day.