Certain days call for certain colors. One of Hanna’s favorite colors was orange. I know that because she asked me to knit her an orange shawl which I did and she really, really liked it, especially that it was asymmetrical and that it went to well with her denim jacket.
This passed week people have asked me if I knew Hanna well. We used to go out for tea and coffee a few times a year, we wrote messages on Twitter and she cautioned Julle when she caught him about to enter a bike without lights one evening. And, I knit for her. I brought that knitting with me on my trip to the States, I knit it at the airport and on the airplane and when Julle and I took photos of it later it was caught by the wind and didn’t want to stay in the same place. I think it got a taste for travelling. Yes, we knew each other and now she isn’t here anymore. I am so glad I made that shawl for her because that means that a little piece of me was with her even when I wasn’t. I imagine she has gone to a place where the truck is long and the road is clean and free from wreckless drivers, the sun is shining, the metal music is loud and she is wearing a denim jacket and an orange shawl and she is happy. For real.
Me. I’m wearing orange.
A year ago we first got the keys to our new apartment. It was a lovely one and it still is. We inaugurated it by sitting on the floor eating lunch and I made a few rows on my current knitting. Since then there has been plenty of knittings and laces and the walls that were nougat are now pink and the light green walls (or whatever color that was) are now yellow, the stash has a prominent place and we’ve had our first Christmas tree up. And, the blue knitting is finally done.
Apropriately the pictures have been taken on the floor, the same floor (just maybe a hinch dustier) as on January 21 last year.
I don’t know anything about the TV-show Doctor Who but apparently this is a Tardis, bigger on the inside, and most important to the whole plot.
Agnieszka found the pattern and we surfed the net together for the yarn in the perfect shade of blue (speaking of perfect, I’m still looking for the perfect shade of yellow).
The designer made this because she loved Doctor Who and had made a Doctor Who scarf (I have no idea what that is) but people told her she couldn’t wear that for work as it wasn’t elegant enough, so she made this shawl instead which she could wear at anytime. I hope Agnieszka too feels a certain amount of elegancy while wearing it, as well as earning her some credits at a Doctor Who convention or something.
For me this was the wrong color at the wrong time, blue in January, and I had to walk away from it for several months. Then in June, when Agnieszka was finally coming back home from the States, I hurried to finish it and could present it to her at the day of her arrival. Knitting a blue Tardis shawl in June worked much better than January (difficult month!).
Pattern: Bigger on the inside by Kate Atherley. Yarn: Heart You from Nerd Girl Yarns, color Tardis Blue. No modifications.
It took three days. Three days of knitting icy blue before I started longing for something else. And not just anything, I’m looking for the perfect warm yellow. Apparently I almost no yellow at all in the stash and absolutely no perfect yellow. I don’t know what to do with the perfect yellow, I just need to have it close to me, snuggle it. I once had perfect yellow and I knit a shawl out of it and gave it to Agnieszka. It will take some time to order more and I still won’t know if it will be the perfect yellow when it finally arrives. Maybe in the meantime I should ask to borrow Agnieszka’s shawl, just to get me through the time till I find another skein of perfect yellow. And maybe I should start stashing up on yellow too, you never know when you might need it.
It seems I have joined a bobbin lace guild. It sort of just happened without me really knowing how but I don’t mind, I think it will be great fun.
A big group of elder ladies, meeting up once a month, making lace, chatting and admiring each other’s work. Later in the sping we might go on a little trip to a textile mill. Just like something taken from British TV show or an Agatha Christie novel (let’s just hope the similarities with the novels end there).
The whole bobbin lace class was invited to the guild since there were tools and yarn for sale and a few of us attended. I got a little carried away but still think I only bought sensible things. My current lace simply eats yarn and I bought some more, just to be sure. Luckily I had my bobbin lace pillow and lace with me so I could compare the yarn I bought with the ones I use, I almost got the full bleached one instead of the half bleached one and I wasn’t going to make that mistake again.
Heléne had a made a small piece of the same lace as I’m making. It was beautiful and it really shows she has been doing bobbin lace for much, much longer that I have. Well, it would be weird if it didn’t. She started a new lace, called Sloe, and just look at the elegance of her bobbin lace pillow – the crispy white yarn against the black pins and pattern and the green pillow underneath. Very aesthetic. I think I need to get some pins in the one single color, it’s very appealing.
I know, I know, I shouldn’t knit blue things in January but this pattern simply called for blue yarn. And the pattern called for me. I will be careful though and alternate this project with other ones in brighter colors and as soon as I feel something being a little weird I should not hesitate and just leave this project for a better time. May perhaps.
I know it’s time to take down the Christmas tree and put all the other decorations in boxes but, it’s just so much nicer with the tree and all the lights up. Without it, it will be just, I don’t know, dark. Dark outside, dark inside. No sign of spring for months and and icy slippery streets. The slippery streets we have anyway, I fell today and my pantyhose now look like a nylon eating moth has have a go at them, but I think they would feel even more dark if we take down the tree. It will happen in due time but I don’t think there is a rush, after all, it’s really pretty to look at.
Yesterday I was at a seminar about the Swedish history of knitting, or rather upper class knitting, mainly based on four knitting books that came in the 1840′s. Three of them were translations from German and English and one was a Swedish original.
The lecturer, Hanna Bäckström, had test knitted some of the laces that were found in the books and I must say I recognized them both. The finer laces remind me a lot of my Great Lace as did the pictures in from the books. The pattern for the Great Lace is also inspired by older patterns and shawls.
Hanna Bäckström also told about the extensive use of stitches knitted through the back loop in the old pattern books. The test knit of one of those pattern looked like it could be found on any page in any of Hunter Hammersen’s books. Personally I think stitches knit through the back loop create a very tidy look.
It was a very interesting seminar and the thing that struck me the most was the technical development. At the same time as I was looking at a power point presentation with pictures of an old pattern book, very cute but a little meddlesome, that someone had gone through great trouble translating and someone else kept open on a table while following the instructions, I was aslo looking at my pattern as a pdf-file, that I’ve gotten through the Internet straight from the designer herself, in my phone. That’s quite a difference and I can’t even imagine what knitters from the 1840′s would have thought of us knitters from the 21st century. Personally, I think they would have thought us slackers and lazy but at the same time I think that we probably would have found them a little fuzzy and makers of quite useless things*, at least measured by today’s standard. Either way, it’s nice to see that the tradition of knitting is still going strong and that we can still recognize and follow patterns from that long ago. It’s a quite beautiful thing.
*There actually were pattern recommendations for an antimacassar so I felt at the same time connected to the knitters from 160 years ago since I too have made an antimacassar, and also so very far away from them since I made my antimacassar by mistake and find little use of it.
Sorry for the blurry picture, it’s dark and I on a moving train. Even though I’m mostly into bobbin lace rkghtw now, there is (at least) one advantage that knitting has over lace making. It’s much easier to bring your knitting on a train than your bobbin lace pilllow.
There’s been a lot of bobbin lace here lately but I am completely obsessed. What thrills me the most is the beads. Every pattern repeat I add a bead and every eighteenth repeat there is a beadless repeat. That’s how I know that the thrill lies mostly in the beads (there is obviously nothing wrong with that – any knitting can be the most interesting one with the addition of beads, for example), that beadless repeat would be utterly boring but for one thing, the repeat after brings a change in bead color. Right now the bead color is a sparkly light pink which delights me endlessly. Even just seeing them in the box makes me happy and then, when added to the lace, it’s like two lovely halves make a complete great one. Or two lovely ones make an amazing duo or something. It just fits, okay.
Winter leisure – that could be a name of a cross stitch kit (come to think of it, it probably already exists one called just that). I’m sitting at my desk, watching the snow falling outside the window, working on my lace and listening to audiobooks. The setting is perfect for a mystery at slow pace and that’s what I’m listenting to, Agatha Christie and Miss Marple. A bit like Arsenic and old lace, it feels apropriate somehow. The lace moves slowly forward, the snow falls slowly and the mystery slowly unravels. Quite lovely.