How are you? It is such a long time since we talked … I have missed you. I have written these letters for such a long time that it almost feels like all my makes are unfinished because they have not appeared here.
There are many reasons why I have been absent, but we are about even keel now and I am hoping for smooth sailing for a bit. I have been knitting and crocheting quite a lot; some of the projects I have posted on Instagram but not all. As much as I have learnt to like Instagram, it has never felt home. This is home.
Here we are, at the threshold of autumn and the season to celebrate wool is just around the corner.
(Well… up here it is always wool season, we just try to deny it during the summer months, we fold away the woolens and freeze. It is such a joy to stop pretending that it is warm and summer and finally be able to pull on wool socks in the morning…)
I do love the cycle of the year and all the seasons, but there is something gentle and loving and forgiving in fall. Spring comes crashing, revealing every little nook and cranny, where fall comes quietly… long shadows sweep the floors, falling leaves dance quietly through the air and cover the ground, there is something soothing to listen to the drumming of the rain… and I cannot wait to light the fireplace. It is still mostly green, but every day there is more yellow and red and burnt orange.
Here, my newest make! I know, a crochet sweater!!
I love knitting and the movement of needles is like a second nature to me, it does not require much strength and I find it very comfortable; where crochet is more like a struggle, there are so many movements and it requires more determination to dig the right loop and push through, but the fabric it produces has so many benefits that every now and then, I must try it.
I love how stable the crochet fabric can be, how much it can resemble woven fabric, it does not curl. I have never liked ribbing in a garment and in crochet there is usually no need for it as the edges stay even. The drape is a matter of hook size and stitch. The fabric can be sturdy and can take embellishments comfortably.
Some time ago, I listened to Aoibhe Ni on Youtube where she encourages one to be brave, to make mistakes and push the boundaries of crochet, as it is such a new craft compared to many others, that there must be a lot to discover there. Inspiring talk!
This is my second sweater with crochet this fall. My inspiration for the shape of both of my sweaters was the pictures of the vintage A-line (trapeze) coats and frocks from the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. The first one I made, I kept wet blocking the piece while I was crocheting it. I was unsure of the way the fabric would hang; every night I blocked the day’s work and checked it in the morning, and then either ripped or continued. When the piece was all done, I blocked it for the last time and tried it on, I was happily surprised: the drape and the fit were just right.
I think I now have a recipe for a near-perfect fit for me. I have been knitting for years and I don’t really know how many sweaters I have made and now, finally, I have a perfect fitting, comfortable sweater here. And it is done with crochet! I cannot believe it. Now, I would just love to be making one after another with the same basic simple shape with different colors and embellishments, or maybe just simple ones… I would love to have one in black, plain black.
One of the reasons, why I felt I needed to crochet, was to try embroidery and embellishments on the fabric. I knew that this kind of crochet fabric could take manipulation well and it does. I am not sure if I like that much of my embellishing, because in the end I prefer simple things, but the making is so interesting, trying to figure out, what would uplift the piece, something that would in the end feel like it belonged there, but it did prove to be difficult. My grandmother loved doilies and made hundreds of them and I never liked them one bit while growing up, but I suppose they made a permanent mark on my brain and they just keep coming back and keep appearing.
I used old stash yarn, very woolly wool, woolen spun, little rough wool. This wool would work so well in stranded colorwork that I felt almost little foolish to use it here, but I have so much of it, that I truly needed to make a dent in the stash. I am determined to make good use of my old yarns while I do keep getting new ones too, I try to find a balance. Over the years I have tried to restrict myself from buying new yarn, but every time I decide to do it, it somehow diminishes my desire to knit and crochet. I do get lots of my inspiration from beautiful yarn.
I am making a third one. If you would like to see the very first one of this fall, here is a link to my Ravelry page.
Wool with you, as always,
PS. Taking pictures can sometimes be hard, and it is difficult to take a picture of oneself... in this selfie era, I took a few in the bathroom, and here they are.
It is so delightful to hear from you! I have been thinking about you recently, wondering how you are, how are the dogs, how is the crafting going, and here you are! Your sweaters are lovely -- I'll be looking up linked double crochet for a project I'm considering. Thank you for writing!ReplyDelete
thank you Cam! happy to see you here too!Delete
Dear Lene, I so much enjoyed reading your blog entry!And you did a wonderful job with the crocheted sweater!Greetings from Germany, ClaudiaReplyDelete
thank you Claudia! thank you for reading!Delete
Yes! Everyday I have looked for you. Thank goodness for Instagram but it lacks your commentary. You inspire me with your blog so Thank You for returning and sharing your words of wisdom/creativity.ReplyDelete
thank you so much for coming for a visit!Delete
Gorgeous sweater! I especially love the embellishments! (And, Hello to you! I have missed you!)ReplyDelete
thank you! I have missed you all too so much!Delete
Welcome back. I have missed your letters.ReplyDelete
thank you! thank you for reading!Delete
Wonderful post. I have so missed your presence and am glad you are back. Thanks for sharing the "mistake link" with us. Great sweater. Keep us posted :) with the black one and fall's arrival in Finland. Thank you Lene for sharing.ReplyDelete
thank you for reading! and for your kind words!Delete
So glad to see you, Lene! And your marvelous winter-ready handiwork :)ReplyDelete
I love that shape for a jacket, coat or sweater. I bought a wool trapeze/swing jacket at a thrift shop many years ago, it was from the 40s, I think, and lined with that cool, thick satiny fabric that used to make the inside of all coats a pleasure to slide into. I wore that jacket for years until it was literally falling apart and I finally let it go, but wish I had kept it because I would now feel bold enough to cover the worn places and holes with mending and patches.
so nice to see you Quinn! i have tried mending (not counting socks) with old jeans but have not figured out yet just how to do it... but i do love all the mending that is happening these days...Delete
Thank you so much for answering our plea! It is SO VERY GOOD to hear your voice again and to have the narrative that goes with the beautiful sweater I saw on Instagram earlier today. Please keep posting as often as you can...You have such a wonderfully fresh way of seeing the world. I love your description of the difference between spring and fall, and I laughed out loud about the way those in your world pretend not to need wool in summer!ReplyDelete
hi suzanne and nice to see you! today it was cold enough for gloves and a hat... but i did not have a hat while walking the dogs today, could not believe how cold it was with the wind from the north... tomorrow a scarf and a hat and gloves!Delete
A new post! Good to see you blogging again. Lovely sweater...the 'snowflakes' add just the right touch.ReplyDelete
hi cathy, good to see you too! real snowflakes are soon here!Delete
It's so nice to hear from you again! I'm not one to comment much, but I do keep tabs on your blog, and it made me smile to see your post. Happy fall to you!ReplyDelete
hi Mary Beth and thank you for leaving a comment! after such a long hiatus i really wondered if there was anyone there on the other side... nice to see you!Delete
How exciting to check your blog & find a new post! Your sweater is lovely, as always. I am going to check out the other one on Ravelry now. Happy fall!ReplyDelete
hi Sandra, lovely to find your comment too! Happy fall!Delete
It is good to check in and see what you are upto. :) Thank you for writing.ReplyDelete
thank you for reading Helen!Delete
I love your sweater and the doilies on the back. it's nice to have you back :-)ReplyDelete
so nice to find you here Deborah!Delete
I was so glad to see your post, Lene, I've missed you. You have inspired me for a long time but a year ago, you introduced me to the Ziggurat and I've been knitting furiously ever since. Now I can finally thank you and tell you how much I look forward to hearing your creative news.ReplyDelete
ziggurat method is really interesting, i wonder if it would somehow work with crochet too... hmmm... thank you for coming back!Delete
Welcome Back! I've missed your posts. Your latest creations are simply beautiful Lene. Thank you for sharing. Hoping you are back to posting regularly.....ReplyDelete
hi Vera! i have missed writing too, i try to post more regularly now... i aim for once a week but would be lovely to do it more often...thank you for reading!Delete
Oh Lene, All I can say is joy! You are blogging again! I have missed you so. I love your sweaters. I love the length of your first one and all yourReplyDelete
embellishments. Look forward to more blog posts!! I am in London Ontario Canada and the beginning of autumn has certainly arrived. It gets dark before
eight o'clock and the leaves are just starting to change. It was warm today but the evenings and nights are starting to cool. And they say we will have a vicious winter!! All the best, Marion Shaw
hi Marion! it is so dark here too in the evenings; the sun is up from seven to seven...i think the day will shorten by more than half an hour every week from now on... i did estimate it... nice to see you and all the best to you!Delete
Hello Lene, how nice to see you here, and so glad you are on an "even keel." (I love the imagery of that phrase.) Of course I have been following, and loving, your Instagram posts and do not feel abandoned. However, I like the longer, more intimate feel of the blog and appreciate it so much whenever you can post here. We all like to see the things you are making and your world. You write about them so well.ReplyDelete
The crochet sweaters are beautiful! It has been a long time since I have crocheted a garment and you are inspiring me want to try again.
Smooth sailing to you indeed and happy making!
annie in California
hi Annie! i had mixed feelings about crochet for so many years, i thought that crochet fabric would be stiff and not drape at all... little did i know! there is more crochet for me in the future, it is a nice change and a challenge! smooth sailing to you too!Delete
I was very happy to discover that you've returned to Dances With Wool, Lene - I'm going to knit your pattern "Keltasirkku" in celebration! Your latest crocheted sweater is exquisite and the doilies are a particularly lovely touch. Looking forward to seeing more of your creations, and hearing about life in the North. -Lynn in Pittsburgh Pa USAReplyDelete
hi Lynn and thank you for knitting my sock pattern! hope all goes well with it, and lovely to see you!Delete
Welcome back. I too have missed your posts. Your description of autumn is wonderful. And the sweater is just gorgeous. It looks so warm and what a great classic fit. Thanks for coming back.ReplyDelete
hi Jane and welcome back too and thank you for your kind words!Delete
Beautiful work, Lene. And you are good with words, too.ReplyDelete
Glad you are back! I always enjoy your stories and photographs.
Warm greetings from the Netherlands, Liesbeth
hi Liesbeth, and nice to see you and thank you for reading and commentin! I would love to visit your country some day!Delete
Sooooo happy to see your post!ReplyDelete
It's so lovely to see you back. I've missed you and your wonderful posts. And I love your new sweater.ReplyDelete
hi Ros and lovely to see you too!Delete
It's so lovely to see you back here - I've missed you. And I love your new sweater.ReplyDelete
Beautiful sweater! I really love the juxtaposition of the sturdy look of the fabric and the delicate look of the lace pieces.ReplyDelete
thank you for your kind words! many have asked me when seeing the sweater in person, if it is felted, the fabric is somehow light and sturdy at the same time, as if it really was felted. the yarn blooms so well when blocked.Delete
What joy to read you once again!ReplyDelete
and such a joy to read your comment too!Delete
Lene, I am so glad to see a post from you!ReplyDelete
The sweater is really gorgeous, I love the shape. I am usually not a huge fan of crochet, but this is very elegant.
hi Carol! thank you for your comment... i know, i had mixed feelings of crochet for many years but it is such a nice change and there is the lure of learning more...Delete
Time has flown by so quick this year, it was lovely to see a post from you. your jumper is lovely.ReplyDelete
hi Ruby! time seems to speed up and weeks go past so quickly... thank you for coming back! lovely to see you!Delete
Dear Lene, I looked for you from time to time and understand the need for silence and a break. I enjoy your artist perspective and commentary on your climate and how it affects and inspires you. I'm so very glad you are able to share your thoughts with us again.ReplyDelete
Loved your picture of the woods in the fall! It looked like a fairy tale to me. Gorgeous soft light.ReplyDelete
I am a big fan of both knit and crochet, I love them both. Your sweater is gorgeous. So glad you are back!ReplyDelete