Sunday, October 06, 2013

Let's celebrate

Hand crafting community.

This must have been the longest break I have taken from blogging and I have been ready to write my final words and close this blog. Sometimes even good things come to an end. I am afraid that I sound like a broken record and have very little to bring to the table. I still knit. I seek for inspiration. I live far away from the civilization, well--- from any knitting metropolis anyway and this leaves me the internet to find my muse. You never know when you click away, where you find yourself mesmerized by the screen. I don't believe in taking only but also in giving back, and thus cannot bring myself to write the closing words.

Beauty - in handwork.

Over the knee socks by Cindy Taylor

I was lured away from knitting socks probably mainly by two reasons:

1. I began to believe that socks are a quick knit. This led to frustration as socks have so many stitches that even though the end product covers only a fraction of the cold skin, they take a long time to make. Because of feeling that socks needed to be quick, I ripped my socks from all the interesting and beautiful details. First mistake!

2. I once in a while accidentally and on purpose cast away all the thoughts on functionality and knit a pair with the yarn that was not a good choice for hard wearing. After a very short while, all my labor was in vain and the socks in rags. I do realize that items that are used, will break at some point, but really rather later than sooner. Second mistake!

I began to believe that there is no sense in knitting socks. I know, I know... very sad conclusion and very odd too, as socks really take use of the knitted fabric perfectly: it is possible to make a three dimensional object without any seams.

I have a daughter who loves hand knitted socks. During the past couple of years, she has reminded me over and over again how all her socks have huge holes and using them is getting very difficult, even though she said that layering one on top of the other, sometimes takes care of the holes... I told her to bring all her woolen socks with her when she comes home the next time and I would mend them when possible. (I do believe in repairing and mending.) Deep down in my heart I knew something was very wrong.

 If you look at the old handwork, you can see that beauty and functionality walk hand in hand. All kinds of tricks were thought out to make socks durable. Coarse wool, reinforced heels and sock bottoms - all these included in beautiful knitting. Handwork was not just handwork for the sake of it, in all cultures over the world, skillful craftsmen included beauty in their products and making beautiful items requires time. 

 As you can guess, I have returned to socks for the sake of my girl. She did manage to convince me that she does need wool socks. I would love her to make her own though. But in the meantime, this is what is on my needles now...

The labels are long gone, but I know these are sock yarns with some polyamid. The pattern is not all that slow but not that quick either. Socks are ribbed all the way which should help them to keep their shape over the coming months. One sock finished, the second one at the heel, my favorite part.

Let's celebrate fall and wool. 

The weather here has been fabulous for months. The summer was extremely long and warm, the fall has been very nice so far, it is getting cooler but not cold yet (we had a few rough days with hard northeasterly winds). Fall is the best time to knit, it just is, the wool season stretches in front of us with all the possibilities.

In October 2005 I wrote in my very first post "wear thy knitting" and socks on the needles takes me back to the beginning. Of all the knitting over the years, socks are the items that have been worn most. I am not sure just how many socks I have knitted over the years, but I believe there are plenty. The favorites always get the most use, but even the least favorite ones, eventually develop holes and disappear from the sock drawer. (All the stockings in these pictures are in very bad stage today. As you have recognized, these have been proudly shown here before.) Once again, I'm here, beginning a new year of blogging with the very same thought.

Cheers and Wool with you,


  1. The last socks with a combination of grey and vatigated yarn are just lovely.

  2. Lene, I am so happy to see a post from you! By the time I finally started a little blog, it seemed many of the people I have enjoyed following for years have drifted away to other things, and I miss reading about their projects and their lives, and savoring the photographs of other worlds. I have kept these unmet friends in my feed reader list, just in case...and your post today is the reason why. It's like receiving a special gift on an ordinary day :)

  3. So glad you aren't leaving!

  4. Anonymous19:34

    Very happy to see your new post with the beautiful knitted items - absolutely love the colors!
    Ingrid N

  5. I agree with Quinn! I have also been feeling repetitious with my blog, and have thought that I should end it to, but people seem to miss it when I don't post. I look every day to see a post from you. Love to read your thought, love the pictures. Please don't stop.

  6. Anonymous19:44


    I found your blog by accident, but I want to keep track of your blog on purpose!

    You are an inspiration as the work you do is truly beautiful and I so enjoy your description of the process. Even when the process isn't going well. I can especially relate when it isn't going well...

    Bless you and thank you for not giving up on yourself or us.

  7. Aivan ihania sukkia olet tehnyt!

  8. Dear Lene, Your posts are an inspiration to me, so pleased to see your writing and knitting today. I too have knit many socks and am now getting to mend them, the best is when you still have the same yarn many years later!

  9. I am so glad you are still posting. Yours is one of the blogs I've been following ever since I discovered there were blogs. I am happy to see your beautiful socks (and all your other projects, too).

    We don't always need something new. Sometimes another pair of socks is the most comfortable (and most inspiring!) thing to look at. :-)

  10. Fall and wool - perfect combination!

    Beautiful colours on your knitting!

  11. I agree with Terrie!

    I'm glad you have decided to keep on going, I would really miss your posts.

  12. It is so good to hear from you. Don't stop blogging. You are truly an inspiration and I aspire to knitting as you do. One day.

  13. Lene, your posts are never less than inspiring and enormously enjoyable, and I look forward to them and miss them when they are long in coming!
    I follow many blogs and admire the work of many talented people, but you are unique, and what you publish here is special. Long may it continue!

  14. M'ellen23:03

    Dear Lene,
    It is always so good to see a new post from you. I have glimpsed a whole new world through reading your blog. Your talents and voice are unique and you bring a quiet joy into others lives. You are such an inspiration.

  15. Oh my, all those socks! I have yet to try my hand at a single one...
    Love the different stitches and quite understand your daughter's request: wools socks are so comfy!
    P.S. Just so you know, my children have a way to squeeze a thing or two out of me as well...It usually begins with the phrase:'Mum, no one can do it like you!'...Hmm...
    All the best Dear! Glad the season was so nice for you as I am certain Winter is soon at the door...

  16. Anonymous00:41

    Hi, Lene! Whew, for a brief moment I thought you were leaving us--what a relief that you are not! There is ALWAYS inspiration from you. I, and many others, look forward to your words, your projects, your ideas, and your friendship of sharing with us!

    Beautiful socks, too.


  17. I'm so pleased you are not leaving!

    I really enjoy reading about your life and am so in awe of your skills and talent.

  18. I am so happy to see your beautiful post, you have been missed.

  19. Anonymous01:09

    I have to agree with Cornflower. Long may you continue your artistry and blogging.

  20. Dear One, thank you for returning. Your letters are a balm in the everyday that turns dreary so easily.
    Fall is indeed the best time to knit, and the time of new beginnings.

  21. Anonymous04:42

    I'm always happy to see a new posting, no matter how long since the last one! Please keep it up! I love your artwork and embroidery.

  22. Anonymous06:49

    Lene, I am so glad you are not closing the blog. Your projects and calm words are inspirational. I admire your choices of colors and stitches and your serene environment there. Your blog is an oasis for me. Thank you.


  23. Dear Lene,
    I agree with the others here; I would miss you very much if you were to stop. Perhaps blogging is like knitting; you start on a pattern you have done many times before and think it will be more of the same (same pattern, knitter, needles and yarn), but some magic happens and the result is very different!
    If you are like many of us and suffer from SSS (same sock syndrome). That is when you finish one sock and simply can't bear doing it again. I have several single socks in my basket. I taught myself how to do two socks at once using a long circular. There are many tutorials on the Net. Now, no more SSS.
    The socks you have made are beautiful. There are a great many sock yarns available; just keep using the fortified ones and mske sure people know how they are supposed to be washed!
    Welcome back, my dear.

  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

  25. (Sorry for deleting my first comment - I hit the wrong button before properly signing in.)

    Bless you, you posted! No matter your subject, I love reading your posts. Every single one of them. I know I wouldn't be alone in feeling bereft if you stopped blogging. Even if it's only once a month or so please continue sharing of your life and creativity!

  26. Oh mustn't stop blogging! I so enjoy all your posts and wonderful projects. I to live in a remote area far from yarn shops and any knitting camaraderie so I rely on talented people like you for inspiration. Your knitting is beautiful and you have a special way of writing about your life that is very enjoyable to read. I look forward to each and every post! :-)

  27. I am glad to see you are posting again. And each time I am. You should not end writing your blog - it is so inspiring. (And these new socks are fabulous, I so much love the combination of the rainbow and gray, it is so autumnal.)

  28. Anonymous15:16

    Dear Lene
    I am so happy to see you back! I love to read about your knitting and see the beautiful part of the world you live in. Please keep writing and inspiring us!

  29. Leslie19:43

    You were missed and would be missed even more if you stopped blogging entirely. I enjoy your words, your photos, your drawings, and your knitting. Please keep posting.

    Leslie in Beautiful Bucks County, PA

  30. So glad to see. You allow me to visit a very part of the world from my San Fancisco. My ancestral home is the island of Bornholm, Denmark. I may never get there but you give me a glance at the area even if it is occasional. Keep blogging. Love the socks. I, too, love wool socks and I am always sad when the holes come.

  31. Oh, Lene, I adore your posts. I hope you continue as long as possible. Your knitting, your art, your beautiful setting, it's all a delight to read and see. Thank you!

  32. Beth in Maryland20:35

    Lene, I am so glad to see you back. I always worry during these long absences! Please imagine, as you sit pondering your next post, how many of us are waiting all over the world to "see your thoughts" about the combination of art and craft that goes into your creations. There is no one like you, not that I'm aware of!!

  33. So happy that you will not be closing down the blog. I love to see your latest creations. You have a real artist's eye for colour and texture which is unique to anything else out there. I also like your drawings and paintings. You are so modest about your talents but I am in awe! Thanks.

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  35. Maureen22:48

    Bless you, Lene, for continuing your blog! You are truly a talented gift to the global knitting community, and we would be brokenhearted if you disappeared on us! You raise needle to an art form and inspire many of us who also have to rely on the internet to connect with other knitters.
    I also love reading about your beloved Iceland and hope to visit some day - it's truly beautiful!
    Happy knitting!

  36. Anonymous00:41

    Love your blog.
    Always inspiring and creative.
    I check nearly every day to see if you have written.
    Wool with you too

  37. So, so glad you have continued the blog. It's one of the few I check every few days. I love your thoughtful meditations, your creativity, and your little animals :-). I am so thankful you have kept on going. And I LOVE your socks!

  38. I am so glad you did not (at least not yet) close the blog! Even when you only write every few months, I am so happy to see Dances With Wool pop up. And I, too, love to knit socks -- but mine are not as lovely as yours. Perhaps you will inspire me to become more adventurous.

  39. Anonymous07:53

    Please don't leave. I love your blog and seeing your handwork.

  40. I personally want to thank you for sharing all that you have with so many people. You are the most eloquent writer, very philosophical, honest, and down to earth. We all can tell what a wonder person you are. I have so often wished that I lived close to you, so I could be lucky enough to get to know you well. Your descriptions of your constantly creative process, and what it means to you have been a boon for us who are less able to put such things into words. You describe the needs to strive for good function and beauty so well, and constantly show what a basic human need it is and what a satisfaction it is to go through the process! Finding this in ourselves lets us see and connect to the beauty that has gone on through human history. You have connected with a huge and grateful audience, who have been delighted to meet someone so deep, full of creativity, and with a great sense of humor and play. (Your drawings have always been a fun surprise to me). I thank you so much. Enjoy your wool.

  41. Carmen16:40

    So glad you have posted! I kept peeking all summer....and today, yes, a post on socks!!!

  42. Your work is so beautiful-I love all the knee socks!

  43. Saganishiki21:15

    I must add my "agree with all of above". Your writing is beautiful, your knitting and handwork extraordinary, and your vision of life so inspiring. Never quit (we just won't let you!).

  44. Lene, I read your blog fr years now, and your knitting is just such an awsome inspiration... so much I have pictures of some of them printed and stuck around my writing desk, just for inspirationa nd have someething really gorgeous to look at. I understand the urge to stop blogging, but I, for one, would dearly miss you. I sooo eagerly await every post, I will be happy if you can keep them coming.

  45. A lovely post, welcome back Lene and welcome back to the joy of socks:)

  46. The socks are so beautifully interesting. I love your blog & all of your designs. You always have something different. Love your comments about where you live. I hope you keep blogging.

  47. Anonymous04:23

    You would be greatly missed if you gave up your lovely blog (I only read four and yours is one). It appeals to me in so many ways: knitting, dogs and cat, lovely landscape and I have a niece who's Finnish, she takes her family there every year.

  48. Anonymous04:28

    I remember when I first found your blog, about three years ago, I had to go back and read every one of your entries. Your craft and style are so special and I know I would miss your blog terribly if you really were to close it. It's important to me to read others who don't live in my part of the world, and to be inspired by other views. Please stay!

  49. Anonymous17:47

    I love your work, your photos and your perspective - you are a breath of fresh air!!!! I hope you stay :-)

  50. I found your blog last winter and spent the next week or so reading and relishing every entry and read all the way back to the beginning. I love your knitting of course, your creativity but also your love of your country, the description of the land, the sun, the cold and the snow. I can close my eyes and see it too. You have touched many hearts around the world. I too am happy to see those wonderful socks.

  51. Anonymous16:11

    Oh, please don't go! Another MK

  52. You make the most beautiful socks. I am so glad to hear from you again. Welcome back. I also love seeing your beautiful photos of the lovely place you live. Thanks for sharing.

  53. Catherine Hastings00:08

    I have been aware of your absence, but wouldn't like to intrude and ask. I just hoped you would return, so that I could look at your beautiful, inspiring art. Weclome back, from an Irish admirer.

  54. I'm so happy to see you posting again. I find inspiration and beauty in everything you write about. I live at that lake vicariously through you, it's all wonderful. I also today found inspiration in your beautiful socks for your daughter. I have stayed away from lace-pattern socks because they usually come with a lace-pattern foot, and here in Canada I thought "cold feet!" I never thought of what you have done here; make a solid foot. I can't believe I never thought of this before, thanks for the beautiful suggestion!

  55. Hello from New York! Little visits to your world make me very happy, however long there is between them. All of the cycles of life may repeat - I think we take what we need in the moment. It is a joy always to see what my "unmet friends" (thank you, Quinn) are making and doing.

    Thank you for posting, anytime you do!

  56. Love your blog AND your patterns, Lene.
    I have made many of your little tomtens for Christmas trees in my family and look forward to seeing what you have up your sleeve for this Christmas.

  57. Lily,Arlene17:00

    I have waited and waited for an update here....and then I missed the day it came! Sorry! But am so glad to see another beautiful post from you