Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Pax Shawlette

Happy January!
Thank you for coming by. Lovely to be here sitting at the desk by the window, looking out to the blue snow (late afternoon, twilight time), sipping cafe latte (soya) and writing to you. Snow has been falling all day long and I should get out and clean the pathways and the steps. Later, later...

I did almost finish Ursula last year; all that was left was to sew the buttons. I have since sewn them on but even though I sort of like them, I am not quite sure. Part of me wants to let it go as it is and the other part is telling me to think it over. Therefore, the little beauty is resting on a dress form unsure about her future (buttons). I will leave her for now and hopefully by weekend have come to a conclusion and will take some pictures.
The moment she was off the needles and me at loose ends with nothing to do (the white and red fingerless mittens were also done) I immediately grabbed another project. I hate to be in between projects and there are times when finding something interesting is extremely difficult. I cast on for ten different ones in the evening and come the next morning, I rip them all. This always leaves such an amount of untidy yarn balls and unidentified needles all over the house. Yarn and needle mess and unsettled, frustrated mind.
This time I was lucky and Pax shawlette (Tunisian crochet) was just the right thing to do, even though I had to keep telling me that learning something new is always challenging and lace does not look like much when on the needles.
I was so close to ripping everything few times, but kept going. I could not believe my eyes when I blocked the shawl. Sure, there are plenty of mistakes,
look at my poorly executed short rows (they will get better) and there are few other mishaps but overall, I was amazed that it does resemble lace. The texture is soft, thick and very, very woolly. The
right side is smooth and
the backside has purl pumps and is actually better than the front side. I am going to crochet more lace later on. I am thinking of making this shawl again, just to improve my tension and to get the lace little better. There are other ones to try out too... Have you seen them?

If you would love to try out some Tunisian crochet, there are plenty of video clips in YouTube. There are also some good video lessons, couple at Craftsy
and a very good one by Lily Chin at Craft Daily.
There might be other ones too, but I have seen these.
You were wondering what kinds of books I am listening to. As you know, I am trying to find ways to improve my English and one way to tackle this, is to listen books in English. First, I tried easy ones, mostly detective stories; my favorites were Ma Ramotswe series by Alexander McCall Smith. I enjoyed Henning Mankell's Wallanders. Since Wallanders I have done other crime books. I love history and have spent some time in Hilary Mantell's Wolf Hall. Now I am thinking of starting J.R.R.Tolkien's trilogy but am wondering if it will be too difficult to understand. So most of my audio books I "read" in English. Please, make suggestions in the comments if you would love to share your favorites.
Ok, the snow will not disappear anytime soon (would hate to wait until April), I will need to get up and go. Hope you are well.
Wool with you,


  1. I love your shawl and couldn't see any mistakes, just wonderful yarn and a unique pattern! My reading tastes echo yours-I love Alexander McCall Smith :-) He writes with such hope and cheeriness. I just finished listening to the Hobbit on an audiobook. You might give that a try, it was excellent. Enjoy your snow!

  2. Anonymous17:44


    Love A. M. Smith, too, but have listened to many of M. C.Beaton's Hamish McBeth stories and loved Diana Galbadon's Outlander series and anything by Kathy Reichs. And for dog lovers, Spencer Quinn's Chet and Bernie detective stories can't be beat. Narrators make a huge difference, don't they? All of the audiobook versions of these that I listened to had wonderful narrators. I am so glad you are back on the blog, Lene. Reading your writings makes my day. And your needlework, regardless of genre, is impeccable. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Enjoy the quieting snow.

  3. Dear Lene,

    I do not think you will have any trouble with The Lord of the Rings. And I cannot recommend highly enough the audio recordings of the Harry Potter books. The reader, Jim Dale, is brilliant.

  4. I love the historical novels of Irving Stone; surely they have been made into audio books.

  5. Anonymous18:21

    Lene: Of all the blogs I read, or can fit into my life to read, I love yours the best. I'm so glad that you decided to write.....again....and in English. What a loss to us Anglophones, if we didn't have you to read. I love the peaceful setting of your space and lake on Earth. I love that you live at the same time I do with internet available. I don't think Tolkien will be too difficult. You might also enjoy the classics, like Little House on the Prairie, Heidi, the Jane Austen novels. Jane Austen is more "stilted", but the pace of life was similar to yours....the cadences of the language I think you'd find conducive to listening and, of course, knitting, crocheting, sewing, or handcrafts!!! Your Tunisian shawl is beautiful. I'm so glad you are back. We have a bit more sunlight now in the hinterlands of Wisconsin, but the snow and cold are very similar to yours....perfect for knitters to share. Joy and excitement to you as the New Year lays ahead......with all its yet untold moments of treasure! Renée

  6. Good to see a blogpost from you again, Lene.
    I listen very often to audiobooks and audioplays while knitting and embroidering. I can heartily recommend Stephen Fry's reading of Harry Potter, I much liked the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett and Edward Rutherfurd's novel about the history of Paris, Martin Cruz Smith has written many good novels available as audiobooks, Helge Ingstads books Pelsjegerliv and Nunamiut about life among Inuits and in Canada were very educating, Leslie Thomas's novels about Dangerous Davies are full of good natured humour. The list is practically endless :). I look forward to seeing your Ursula in her final version.

  7. I agree with Elizabeth D -- The Lord of the Rings (starting with The Hobbit, of course) and Harry Potter -- Jim Dale is the best reader!

    Your shawlette is beautiful! Makes me want to try Tunisian again . . . .

  8. MaureenTakoma19:47

    I enjoyed Henning Mankell's non-Wallender book The Man from Beijing and Karin Fossum's work. Of course, it's more Scandinavian writers in English but oh, what wonderful writers. You might also enjoy Kent Haruf's books set in small-town Colorado.

  9. I am at loose ends because I have listened to all 10 books of Louise Penny's Gamache series so I love that you posed this question! The narrator recently died, alas, so the next book will have a different feel but the stories have many different levels and you can listen more than once. Love the Tunisian lace.

    1. I second the recommendation of Louise Penny's series. Alexander McCall Smith's other series are fun, too.

  10. Anonymous20:58

    Hi Lene,
    What a lovely shawl! I am on a filet crochet journey right now…
    There are many great English detective audiobooks out there. I do not think Tolkein is too difficult. Just keep in mind he was heavily influenced by Norse myths. Most of the unusual words are from the elves and mythology he built.
    I would really recommend the "Amelia Peabody" mystery audiobooks of Elizabeth Peters as read by Barbara Rosenblat, and the Flavia de Luce series written by Alan Bradley. Good luck!

  11. Alexander McCall-Smith has other series - the Professor von Igelfeld ones are read by Hugh Laurie and very funny, but the Sunday Philosophy Club or 44 Scotland Street are all very entertaining and insightful. A detective series I enjoyed are by Shamani Flint's Inspector Singh and take place in S.E. Asia, also nice humour. Donna Leon's Inspector Brunetti in Venice are excellent, and for very long, epic stories, Ken Follett's century trilogy (beginning with Fall of Giants) is a very good European history of 100 years ago.
    If you enjoy Tollkien, you might enjoy some non-fiction such as Jonathan Clements' Brief History of the Vikings, which I have listened to several times, I found it so interesting.
    I had no idea Tunisian crochet could look so pretty!

  12. Laurie King's series of novels about Mary Russell working with an older Sherlock Holmes are quite fun. And well read by Jenny Sterlin. I have enjoyed them immensely.

  13. Anonymous07:17

    Oh! Now you've made me want to dig out a Tunisian hook!

    I often listen to books posted at a free source of public domain books read by a host of readers. That site is a treasure trove of books, plays and poetry, all for free! My favorite reader is Elizabeth Klett. Her reading style is clear and well paced and her voice lovely to listen to, plus she is skilled with dramatization, reading in voices. You can put her name into the Reader field in advanced search area. The ones that have the word solo in the listing are the books she reads alone. Many times books will have a number of readers. Elizabeth Klett is also an avid knitter. :)
    Since all the books are public domain, they are all older books.

  14. I agree with so many of the recommendations above. I have a long commute to work so I constantly listen to audiobooks. I am currently working my way through the last of the Outlander series. Despite this series being criticized as 'romance' it is a great study of human strengths and weaknesses, plus a lot of interesting history. Your lovely shawl inspires me to dig out my Tunisian crochet stuff and get working on something. Thank you for sharing your life and projects!

  15. As another fan of most of the authors previously mentioned, may I add a contemporary American writer to your play list. Craig Johnson's series, Longmire, has my attention recently. All novels and a collection of short stories are read by George Guidall, one of the best imo.

    Your shawl is inspiring me to investigate Tunisian crochet. Thank you for another beautiful post, Lene.

    Warmest regards to you!

  16. The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith is an amazing detective story set in London. I really loved the audiobook. The writing is superb. It is read by someone with a really nice voice and it is written under pseudonym by JK Rowling.

  17. I have not listened to any audio books. I will second the note above regarding the contemporary western stories by Craig Allen Johnson. I enjoyed reading them. I also found Kerry Greenwood's books "Miss Phryne Fisher Mysteries" to be a fun read. Sorry I don't know if there is an audio version.

    You have inspired me to try Tunisian crochet. Thank you,Deb

  18. If you like mysteries, I'd recommend the Canadian author Louise Penny. Her Three Pines series is wonderful.