Sunday, June 03, 2012

Imaginary world

Thank you so much to each of you of your supporting comments and e-mails. Every time I have popped into my e-mail box, I have always found a friendly and loving message. It has truly been a reminder to me that even during  my darkest moments I have not been completely alone. The struggle continues and I don't have any good news yet.

While I have all that worry surrounding me and at times it has felt like it was suffocating me, I am trying to stay focused and calm.  There have been many, many occasions when I have had to gather all my skills to be able to do this and there is this one lead I seem to follow when I am on the edge. This might sound strange to you and each one of us has different way of coping, and this seems to be one of my most traveled paths at difficult times.

One summer, in a similar situation, I knitted puppets. I created a world to them and took quick flights there frequently. My daughters were small then and that world brought comfort to them as well. The world that these creatures live in, is a loving, caring world and never, ever can one hear one word of judgment or argument over there. I remember talking with the girls how these knitted creatures always find a kind word, no matter what and that they never fight over anything. I know that children need to let off steam sometimes and toys are a good way to do it, but that summer was so hard on all of us that we needed all the love and care we could have. We had to focus on the good and these knitted creatures were the means for me mostly but a little bit for them too.

Now that I look at them, I remember well those times, and while some of the magic is still there, I look at them now as "just" knitted creatures. I am not saying I don't like them or that I am not proud of them, because I still am at some level, but I am just saying that I don't seem to find their world any more.

I love animals and sometimes think that I am more one of them than humans. Once I was commissioned to design a wall hanging and remember being at loose ends and not knowing just where to go with it. My dear friend (this is you Anu!) gently pushed me on my way saying that I should think about the wall hanging through my animal kingdom, because she said, you are an animal person more than a human person... The wording was different but that was the message. After that, the designing went (quite) smoothly and thus my bird was born. That wall hanging has my earliest bird creations. 

For many years I have worked on a series of dolls. I have not shown it here because I feel that the process is still very private. I have returned to my dolls again, I say dolls when I should say animals, or cats. I am not sure just where I will go at the moment and if this pull is strong enough, but I am letting one of them to take me by the hand.

Wool with you,


  1. Lene, your blog is such a calm and quiet place for me. I always look forward to 'visiting' you here. I'm so sorry that things are difficult for you, and so very glad that you feel you can share your difficulties with us.
    I find that my knitting always helps me gather myself and find some peace when times are hard, and I see that your handworks do the same for you. I, too, keep the most painful things from my blog, but find that writing it often has a way of forcing me to see small comforts that I may be overlooking when I am feeling very challenged.
    Thank you for letting us share a bit of your world.

  2. I love the simple, whimsical beauty of your imaginary world.

  3. This is such an interesting post, because now that you mention it I often think of your illustrations, your flowers, your knitted creations, as a little world that I could get lost in. Whenever one of your posts shows up in my blog reader, I so look forward to reading about it and getting a little lost in the magic. Thank you for that. You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this difficult time.

  4. As much as I respect your right to share your work as you want, I have to admit that I'm intrigued by the dolls you mention. The hand you show is so perfect!

    I don't know how I got through hard times before I started doing creative things!

  5. Your knitted animals are simply wonderful! I love them, their accessories, and the world you created for them (and your family). Thank you for sharing your amazing creations!

  6. Anonymous20:48

    They seem like powerful totems or fetishes to me. They move me to want to create something equal to them. Thank you for sharing them. Helen

  7. Madeleine05:26

    Your puppets, especially the hedgehog with the apron of garden tools, are amazing! You are so talented and creative in all you do. I love the peace that emanates from all your handcrafts. I hope you will show us your cats. May your daughter be well soon.

  8. Thinking of you and i want you to know how much i find comfort and calmness in your blog. My thanks to you.

  9. Anonymous11:31

    I love visiting your blog, because it's so elegant. Perfect in every detail, a place where humans and nature have their fairy dances. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Anonymous19:52

    Lene, I have been reading your blog for several years now, but I have always just read and left, rather than leaving a comment. Now I need to take time to tell you how eagerly I wait for new posts; how much delight and enrichment I take from your words and images; how I admire your many talents, even as you downplay them. I am all the way in California, but I think of you often, holding you and your daughter and the rest of your family in my heart and prayers. Thank you for allowing us readers into your difficult time. You can't imagine how much it means.

  11. Charlene21:38

    I am always eager to read your posts. The feeling I get from your creations is always so calming as are the words that go with the pictures. I pray every day for you and your daughter and her recovery.

  12. Beth in Maryland21:59

    I think all of us who love your blog are believers in the enchanted world, and through your creations we glimpse it every now and then. On the windowsill over my kitchen sink, I keep a collection of small china animals that I've acquired over the years. I put the hippo with its big open mouth in front of the tiny fox and know that nothing will happen because on the windowsill, everything is always peaceful! This evening I will ask them to send their well-wishes your way, and I know they will because they're like that.

  13. Oh that badger! I've lost my heart to the badger... Mind you, the hedgehog is cute. But the badger is magic.

    I am always reminded of the Moomins when I visit your world. Not that the animals are similar in appearance, but there is the same feeling about them...sort of down-to-earth and real while at the same time magic...with a dash of poignancy. (I always think the Moomin books are fun with deep sadness just below the surface.)

    Keep creating...and I hope someday you will be willing to share your dolls with us, too.

    You have so much talent.

  14. Jennifer03:36

    I had to look many times at the doll's hand, it is so life-like. It reminds me of a series of books from the '90's about a family of dolls, The Mennyms, by Sylvia Waugh. I love these books, they are written for kids but are quite deep, as I guess the best ones are.
    All the best to your family. xoxo

  15. Anonymous07:29

    Lene, My thoughts are with you and your family, always. Just remember, women and, yes, their families all over the world continue to wish the best for you and your loved ones. Sincerely, Jeanie in Montana

  16. it's wonderful when a craft can bring you comfort...
    little did I know when I began knitting that my world was about to fall has carried me through the white caps of life

    hold on...calmer waters will come

  17. This was in the New York Times this morning, and I thought of you.

  18. Thoughts are with you. So enjoy your posts. Take care!

  19. Oh, I love your hedgehog with all her garden tools!
    If I didn't have my knitting, there would be some hard days to get through now and then...

  20. What a wonderful concept.

  21. Lene, I think of you often and wish that you and your daughter(s) did not have to go through so much pain and fear. I think you are such a good mother, and a wonderful artist.

  22. Hester Sturrock22:35

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your daughter. My hope is that she can get through this deep valley and come out the otherside in much better health.

  23. Betty20:23

    I hope your daughter gets better soon and I hope you find peace. I will think about you and your daughter and I will pray for you. Back when my daughter was small and very afflicted with various problems and ailments and I was very depressed and anxious, I remember it helped me tremendously to keep myself busy with the quilting and the knitting. I thinking it was the rhythm and motion and the creating of something beautiful and useful, because while I couldn't make my daughter well I could make something beautiful. It gave me hope. And just that feeling of hope got me through the bad times.

  24. Lene,
    I so enjoy your blog. It feels as though I'm entering another world. You live in a magical place after all with just the fact that it's the Arctic. I've never left a comment to let you know how my life feels special because you are in it. I am so thankful for your willingness to share with us your process. When I read the other comments I'm inspired by the creative, articulate sisters who follow you. Your "puppets" are what first drew me to you and I have always hoped you would share their world with us. My prayers are with you and your family daily. Thank you