Sunday, January 06, 2008

Leaving home

How are you? I hope you had a good week.

I’m fine, had a very good back to the routines week and finally the winter came. It is freezing cold – almost -20°C – and the sky and the air is clear and it seems as if already there is much more light. Every morning during the day light time, I haul huge amounts of firewood inside and keep the fires going for most of the day.

This is how it is supposed to be and this feels very right. Even though the lake froze earlier this fall, all the wet and warm days weakened it until the ice became very thin and it came loose by the shores. The lake appears to be all covered with the ice but I know it is not and I know because the ice keeps growling again. I wish you could hear it. The sound is a lot deeper than it was earlier in the fall or then I’m just imagining things. I know, this is I trying to find some drama in ordinary things. But you must admit that without drama life would be quite dull sometimes.

I’m off to the Big City tomorrow and will be gone for a few days. Going from these small quiet surroundings to the world will be a welcome episode to me even though packing I hate and I don’t want to be apart from the familiar and always need to have a good cause to be able to do it. I used to travel more and have been around a little bit but not so much lately. There are times when I need the change of scenery but that does not happen often. Once home from the occasional and obligatory trips I need to have solid weeks to settle down. Even a little trip to the nearest town can leave me jetlagged and am always told that I should go out a lot more. I’m a hermit by heart but I guess one has to be to survive here. I’ll take the notebook and my favourite pencil along (I could not travel without it) and write and sketch down everything that catches my eyes. I am going to need to be very focused on some days but there will be time for some special friends and one good book store.

I know that travelling broadens your horizons and forces you to see various people and their way of living from new viewpoint and you gain more understanding by doing so. But to be totally honest, my biggest challenges are right here in my part of the world, to really understand, have an open mind and to be tolerant and to be willing to forgive and ask for forgiveness is hard everyday work and occasional trips to the big world won’t change that so much. Tolerance and acceptance I have noticed is so much easier somewhere else.

The Winter Forest is proceeding nicely. I have separated the yoke into the main body and the sleeves. Before when I did this pattern I did raglan sleeves and then the construction was a lot easier. Now that I hid all the increases into the pattern I have had to make some decisions. The pattern repeat is quite wide, so I decided to divide the yoke in favour of the main body, so that the pattern flows from the yoke into the main body without any changes. I’m glad about this but at the same time a bit worried how the transition will go with the sleeves. I have not yet decided my action there; I will need to think it over and fiddle with the pattern, just don’t know how yet. But again, that part is under arms and it is not going to show so there should not be too big problems.

I have already gone through 200 grams of the wool and am passed the waist shaping. So it is looking quite good with the amount of yarn I have. I will knit away the third skein and then I will do the sleeves. And all the yarn I have left after the sleeves can be knit into the body. I have decided to postpone the possible yarn order further.

When I knitted this the first time I did this in pieces with seams. The little wider dress part in the hem with seams does not have any drape and does not hug the body what I think is quite bad-looking and what is in some ways the reason I need to re-knit the sweater. I used to knit in pieces then and always seamed my garments. I know my seaming skills could be a lot better and that is probably why I think that instead of adding structure my seams mostly just add unflattering bulk and spoil the drape of the garment (maybe there is a circumstance there somewhere for me to discover that seams do add support and then I might have eat my big words about seams...) I think that if the sweater or a cardigan needs to have support it should be worked into the pattern and should be controlled with good yarn and stitch choices. Very often in my own collection of by-me-knitted garments, the ones done in pieces and seams sag in the middle of the pieces in the front and the back and while the knitted fabric stretches the seams don’t and that does not look nice. If you pick up the stitches from the seams and then graft the stitches, then I suppose the seams would have more ¨give¨ but would it solve the whole problem, I am not sure of because the direction of the stitches would be different. There is a lot to learn yet, I know.

I have thought about the yarn choices a lot lately, some yarns are light and some heavy and should be used well aware of these facts but there is more to this and finding it out is my ongoing challenge; some of the information can be read from the books but some will be gathered as bits and pieces along the knitting way and the information will turn into this quiet knowledge that you know by heart. All the fibres are not good for all the tasks. I want to learn to be quiet and humble in front of the material and respect it and have the ears to listen what it wants to be, because I know it will talk.

The Winter Forest is getting big already and definitely too big to fit into my suitcase. She will have to stay home. I am not sure if I will take the lace yarn with me and start the lace parts or if I again will travel without any knitting. Having the hands busy is good but there is nothing wrong with idle hands either. And sometimes, just sometimes, the knitting might be a barrier between the world and me, and then the question is, do I dare to enter the world without my knitting.

Be well.




  1. I very much have a hermit's soul, your location just makes my heart sing on so many levels.

    Winter Forest... looking so very good so far and yes, those pesky decisions to be made :^)

    Have/make good times on your trip!

  2. Anonymous21:39

    Lene, Your post today was very comforting for me. Sometimes I wonder if I'm a bit "odd" enjoying being home so much. Then when I do go somewhere, I have an overwhelming feeling of fatigue when I do get home. As long as other people have the same feelings and emotions, I must be okay! I sent you a comment about the 3 of January. However, as I was happily typing away telling you about Christmas, etc.,and just as I was closing, I lost my text and couldn't get it back. I clicked on submit anyway. Maybe you received it! Hope may be floating out in cyperspace somewhere, but I hope it is tangled up in that little ray of sunshine manifesting itself over your lake!! Your sweater looks fantastic! And, your little excursion rejuvinating. Please take care. Sincerely, Jeanie
    p.s. I, too, have heard ice cracking...but maybe only one or two times in my life. I love to hear nature "talk". It is a humbling experience in the way that we, at that moment, realize just how powerful and big the earth is.

  3. Ellen in Conn23:22

    Hi, Lene. That wood-carrier in the shape of a goose is very exciting. What is it made of?

    Best wishes,

  4. I completely agree with you about seams. All the really good things I have knit have been made in the round.

  5. grannypurple00:21

    Coming home is always the best part of travelling. I have lost my taste for travel for its own sake--if children weren't so distant, we'd not budge as often as we do. Go--and come back--safely!

  6. A comment you made kind of struck a chord with me - that knitting might be a barrier to the world. I think that for me maybe it is, but I thought of it that way before.

  7. I meant to say, "I never thought of it that way before". (I was a little too quick clicking the button).

  8. Anonymous01:32

    Lene, I am also a hermit at heart, needing lots of recovery time after being out in the world too much. I live in the US and I find that my personality type is often seen as somehow defective in this culture. I wish the world was more geared to appreciate the value of those of us who are thoughtful and often "behind the scenes" rather than "on stage", so to speak.
    Your viewpoints are always so honest and interesting to me. Thanks for continuing to share your thoughts with us.

    Safe travels!

  9. Anonymous02:15

    Thank you for your open heart. I look forward to reading you and when there are days in between your posts it feels like a breath taken in, waiting.
    I have learned a lot from you over the past year since I discovered your blog, mostly about how to hear myself.
    I am so glad that you continue to write, at your own pace, in your own time, with your own words. You have been an opening to another world for the past year.
    Go well.

  10. Anonymous02:53

    I was thinking - tolerance and acceptance can be much easier of things you don't have to live with.


  11. Dear Lene,
    Is it just me or did you change yarn for Winter forest? It is beautiful and I am in awe at how fast you knit (I suspect you made two)..It would take me a year to get so far. Impressive! I too heat with wood...You gave me an idea with the wheel barrel..I bring mine in an armful at a time which makes for several trips. But then again I peek in on my sheep nearby so I guess it is just as well. Are you still spinning? Thank you for your 'letters'...what a lovely way to blog. Happy travels.
    Wool and light be with you.

  12. Have a successful trip, maybe you will come home with some wonderful ideas.

  13. Anonymous19:32

    I just got my Jan/Feb 08 issue of Piecework. Your article was wonderful and the mittens so cute!
    Thank you for your wonderful writings about life and your knitting. I love it all. Linda

  14. The photo of the tree is amazing...

  15. Hi Lene, your pictures of home are beautiful. We don't have a fireplace in this house and i miss the warmth and coziness of a real fire. Good luck with your travels. Jane x

  16. I just got my new Piecework magazine, and I'm wondering: is the fantastic article on Rovaniemi mittens yours? The artwork and the reference to three teenage daughters belie the difference in the author's name...

  17. Your knits are just so beautiful and your wording does not stand in the shade either.

    For so many months now I´ve been reading your blog and I find it truly astounding in all the different levels.

  18. I really enjoyed your article in Piecework. Just wonderful.

  19. I think I too have a hermit's soul...the best part of going away is always coming home.

    Your knitting is beautiful.

  20. Anonymous03:52

    thanks so much for the article and pattern on rovaniemi mittens!! karen

  21. I love reading your blog! I just wanted to tell you what a amazing and inspiring knitter you are. Your designs are always beautiful,well executed pieces of art work. Thank you very much for taking the time to share with the rest of us your work.

  22. Hi Lene, Please pop over to my blog as I have given you a "You make my day award" Jane x

  23. Voimahalaus Vicki Liltä Lenelle! Käy kurkkimassa

  24. Dear Lene,

    your pics and your posts are like meditations, they spread an adorable calmness.

  25. You have been nominated for the You Make My Day -award on my blog.

  26. Lene,

    I love the way you organically constructed the raglan by incorporating the design into the decreases. That is very classy!

  27. I LOVE the pictures of the trees as what looks like dusk? Just lovely. Keep up the nice work.