Saturday, January 26, 2013

Deep winter

We up here are buried deep in all things winter: snow, lots of white, pure stuff all around, the scenery is absolutely breathtaking. Even though I have been living here for most of my life (excluding about 12 years in southern Finland) I am still amazed by Mother Nature's artistry. While the sun creeps further up the sky every single day, the snow glimmers in sun.

The big herd of reindeer that I kept seeing on my walks in autumn, is broken, I see occasional wanderers here and there. One was happy to live in our yard for a week or so. I got so used to her that I was sorry one morning when she was gone and I have not seen her since. I guess she decided to move somewhere else. Reindeer were here first; they have the ancient right to roam wherever they want. If we want to keep them from the yard, it is our duty to fence the area where we do not want them. 

See the bright orange spots in the background of the picture. That is the true color of snow where the sun hits it in the morning in January.

I have been making the small quilts, but the excitement has vanished. I am happy with the first one I made this year, the ones after that, leave a lot to hope for. I know I am learning from every single piece something valuable. I make a choice, act upon it, and then realize it was a wrong choice. I am trying to keep up with this project just to see where I am going. One very good thing is that while I am learning to build pictures, I am also finding the joys of knitting again. Every single detour is necessary on this craft scene.

My hands are reaching for small knitting needles again. I would love to say that hats are the new socks today, but I really should not say so, as I know that if I want to walk in this winter wonderland, I can never abandon sock knitting. Maybe this hat detour is just a long path towards socks. 

I took this hat off the hat block this morning; I keep glancing at it, wondering if I should add more embroidery on it. The amount it has is minimal, yet maybe there is enough??? While I am gathering determination to make the lining, (my least favorite thing to do but my head will thank me when the wind comes from the North Pole), at the same time I am thinking of knitting matching mittens. If or when I knit them, maybe I could embroider them heavily.

(This hat is stranded all the way to have good background for the embroidery. The inspiration for the pattern is from the old Finnish woolen coverings (later wall hangings) called raanu.)

Cold Saturday is stretching in front of me. I look out of the window wondering if the temperature will climb up today so that it will be more comfortable to be outside. Last week the wind was fierce, we had to settle for short walks and I am longing for a good, long walk. It always helps my thinking and I need to make a decision whether this hat is done or if it needs more embroidery.

Enjoy your weekend,
wool with you,


  1. Your work is breathtaking, and I am including your words as work. Thank you for sharing it.

  2. I love the hat and colors. Do you knit a lining for the hat or sew one? For the sewing project, I like the hand work of the chain stitch around the pieces but did you hand or machine apply the applique first? I have Japanese taupe fabric and I'd like to do some houses on blocks like Yoko Saito and add some hand embroidery.

  3. The reindeer are so fabulous, you are right they have the right to roam and be free to move where they want. I laugh because you have reindeer and we have alligators and armadillos. Such a contrast! Although most of the time the alligators stay in the water, and we stay out of it!

  4. I am being selfish when I say the hat needs more embroidery, as I love to see your many talents and the hat would be a beautiful background for anything. Of course, it is beautiful as it is and mittens would be warm and lovely. Whatever you decide I hope you share pictures. Happy stitching!

  5. Thank you for your post today! I am facing a cold Saturday with snow as well, but then a hot gymnasium with my childrens' swim meet. Quite a contrast!

    As for your hat and it's contrast, I must say the delicate single stitch embroidery is delightful. It is just enough to make you do a second look.

  6. I love your hat just the way it is. I love to see the variety of things you knit. It's fun to see how traditional Finnish knitting influences it. Amazing.

  7. Lovely to 'see' you again Lene and as always, fabulous knit!
    Deer are plentiful here on the island and it is up to us to fence or not to fence as you say! We will see many fawns from the looks of it this Spring!
    Allthe best,

  8. I make Elizabeth Zimmermans Very Warm Hat, the lining is knitted also - have made so many I have lost count.
    I like the hat as it is as the colors are so wonderful and I also love your quilts.
    Stay warm, Lene

  9. Your hat is lovely.
    Nothing else would make it nicer...but embroidered mitts would be a lovely addition. Im still loving your quilts.
    I check every few days for a post from you, waiting for another dose of inspiration. Its delights me when I see an update on your blog.
    Hot here in New Zealand. I love your snowy winter pic's.

  10. lizzi23:42

    I love the snow colours. And the deer. I love the hat as it is but would love you to embroider more just to see what you would do. Very selfish of me.

    Nice to have you back.

  11. I think the hat is perfect as it is - those tiny contrasting dots are wonderful - but a pair of embroidered mittens would go great with it.

    Thank you for sharing your art with us. It never seizes to inspire me.

  12. Lene, everything you touch transforms into something beautiful!- I l o v e the reindeer photo you took and your quilt and I l o v e the new hat. The colours are so...uplifting!- I would embroider in the orange-yellow section and expand it a bit to the other sections up and down.
    I am looking forward to seeing the result.
    Have a good, peaceful and creative week.

  13. I love reading and seeing photos of where you live, how nice to have reindeer in your yard. Very nice hat, it looks a very warm hat.

  14. Nice post as usual. I am beginning to learn the urgency of lining in mittens - my Noro mittens weren't nearly warm enough for my windy walk along Lake Michigan and some stranded mittens also disappointing. I'll check out what EZ says about the hat lining and see if she says more about mitten lining.

  15. Beth in Maryland20:54

    The hat is perfect as-is. IMHO.

  16. Mary03:51

    Love your blog and the various projects and stories. The photo of the orange snow and reindeer is awesome.

  17. I love your winter posts. I am one of the few people I know who really loves winter and will venture outdoors until the temps drop below 10 degrees below F. But I do realize that I don't know what it would be like to live with the short days and long winter.

    I love the quilt you posted, so fresh and unique. The hat is fabulous! I think the embroidery is just right.

  18. I think the hat is perfect just the way it is. (Except for the lining. You'll need that for sure.)

  19. Betty from Texas22:55

    That hat is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen! You are a true artist! It is so simple but so beautiful! You have such a way of combining colors! The colors are beautiful. Don't change a thing. Would you tell us what yarn you used? I would love to knit that for my daughter. It would go beautifully with her eyes.

  20. LKMemphis00:44

    As others have already posted, I adore your designs and your aesthetic sensibility! Do you think you'll be posting your hat pattern for sale on rav one day? You ought to. A lined hat with simple but lovely color changes and a touch of embroidery to do or not would be very popular, I think (I would buy one and I have a kazillion hat patterns already!)

    Thank you for your blog. I don't post often, but I follow you religiously. Well, not in a creepy way :-) !!