Sunday, December 03, 2017

First Advent Sunday

“All grown-ups were once children... but only few of them remember it.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry The Little Prince

Out of the four advent candles, the first is lit today. “Little Christmases” are celebrated, small gifts can be exchanged, and advent star is hung to the window to bring Christmas cheer to the passers-by. Officially today is the start of the Christmas season. From today on, nobody can anymore say that Christmas has begun early this year. We are in the season!
This year - knitting-wise - has been a year of kittens. I am not sure when I made the first one, but ever since I have had these little creatures on my mind, I don’t seem to be able to settle into anything else. I have made few pairs of socks and crocheted some scarves, but I will always remember this year as the year of kittens. I have not made the pattern, lots of it is done, but there is so much to do yet, that I am beginning to wonder if it ever happens. And lately I have been pondering dogs. I have few ideas, but ideas are easy, making them into something is difficult. No matter how good the idea sounds in my head, hardly any of them work out in the end. If I had had more training, I would probably have more tools to make them work... or then the ideas were not that great in the first place.
There are many crafters around who say that they have lots of ideas and it sounds easy, but in my case, everything ends up being loads of trial and error and as I said, many are tossed out at some point. I am not a designer, I have not been trained as such and out of respect to those who have had schooling and have the right to call themselves so, I will call myself crafter or hand-worker. I have managed to design few things, but that does not give me the right to call myself a designer. Very much in the same way as I cannot call myself a cook, even though I have been cooking all my life. Of course, there are many routes to gain skills, but those routes take years. I know I am stubborn here, but this is how I feel. 
But back to the cats. The first one was born out of pure joy, I did not have any intention to make another, just needed to start small, do something to get out of the rut, it was like an exercise or something similar. But then I had to make another, do something else in between, but come back and make yet an another and thus I have kept going for the whole year.

I could have stayed in my closet and be a closet-cat-maker, because showing these out in public has been difficult. In an adult world, to be doing something like this, is peculiar in some way, it is, there is no denying.
I wonder what Antoine de Saint-Exupéry means with this sentence in the Little Prince. Many other great women and men have also stressed the ability to play and to stretch imagination. I don’t think it means that you have to play-play. Maybe more like being sincere, ability to see and touch and hear, like you would do them the first time. To throw oneself into the world with vulnerability and openness. To ask questions, to persevere to have answers. Not to second-guess always, but proceed without irony and self-doubt. Children are not stupid, or to be looked down, they have ability to hit the point when they speak, they seem to be connected to their instincts. They play with intense and suddenly, the play is over, and it is time to do something else. Time is limitless, there is no end in sight. They can be happy in a moment and in total despair in an another. They prosper in routines and in familiar safety. Napping, eating, playing… just about everything wholeheartedly. No compromises.
But when we are children, we think like children, and when adults, we think like adults. There is no going back, yet great thinkers and writers and scientists have stressed the ability to be more like a child. Does this apply only to these great men and women, what about us, ordinary people, who battle with ordinary things. And children are different, some are quiet, some wild, some seem happy all the time, some more serious, some thinkers, some doers.

What do you think? What can you do to bring some “child” into your days? Or do you even agree? Is there a part in your life that needs a “childlike” approach? It is Christmas season - if ever, this is the time to introduce some kid-spirit to one’s life - if willing. If only in the means of rules and routines to get you through all the making, baking and doing.
These were just random thoughts on a Sunday morning, while having the first cup of coffee. Not refined, nor polished and yes, I hold the right to change my mind when I discover something that makes more sense to me ;-)

WoolChristmas with you,

PS. The kitten has a new cardigan. That is why she is posing on a chair showing it from all directions, like all the knitters in the internet. It does fit her well, I must say. She really should go to Instagram to hang with all the other knitters there.


  1. Anonymous15:05

    I think being an artist (notice I didn't call you a designer!) takes courage. It is scary to make something "new," something that doesn't follow someone else's pattern, but is just out of your own head. It's scary, but also intoxicating. You make a kitten, you look at it standing there and think, "That's really quite good" and you have learned something about yourself, that you are someone who can make a kitten the way no one else makes kittens.

    I am so looking forward to your daily posts this month - it's like my own little digital Advent calendar!

  2. She is the prettiest cat of them all! I see a twinkle in her eye.

  3. It is a lovely cardigan. But I am in love with her hat!

  4. I think remembering childhood means to remember the joy in ordinary things. Mud squishing between toes really is wonderful (not just a mess that needs cleaning).

  5. Anonymous22:19

    Thank you, Lene. I needed to hear this. Thank you for reminding me that I can - am allowed to - be more childlike and play, craft, make things and enjoy myself. I keep forgetting this!!


  6. I've been enjoying your blog for a while, but never commented before. My husband and I vacationed in Finland a few years ago (we stayed in Helsinki and Kuusamo), and I love your pictures and descriptions of the local landscape as much as the craft discussions.

    I agree with Marjorie's description of childhood, and wanted to share a quote that has been my motto since I was a teenager: "Recognize joy when it arrives in the plain, brown wrappings of everyday life." It's from Judith Viorst, a children's book author, and something I try to live by.

    1. Your quote, and Lene’s post, are inspiring.

  7. You are a fantastic creator and you are not only bringing joy to yourself by doing all these fine little cats, you are also bring joy to us who have the pleasure to see them. Your little cats are world-travellers, they show up in so many places without leaving your home. They remind us of our own childhood, to me they bring cosyness, memories of childhood, a big thank you from Switzerland... Christa

  8. I love this little cat. I also enjoyed your thoughts about play. I would call you a fiber artist. I find such joy in your work.

  9. Oh your Christmastime posts always make me so happy! And I for one love your sweet little creatures, I wish I could be so creative.

    I think the quote refers to the way some adults think that life should be work and nothing else. Anything relaxing or fun is frowned upon. I think if you can do something in your life just because you like it and it makes you happy, you are keeping some of the child you were with you.

  10. Beautiful post! You may not be a designer (although I think I must disagree with you on that point!) or a cook, but you certainly are an artist: with wool and with words! Your kittens are wonderful, and your words are luminous!!

  11. I think you are way beyond "crafter" or "hand worker"! I love your work and enjoy seeing everything you post and most especially the design process that led you to the finished article. You are forever a "designer" in my book.