donderdag 28 februari 2013

Thursday Show and tell; Poetry in Stitches

I'm joining Meggie of the prairie with her show and tell, a lovely blog to read about her life in Texas.
Some days ago I read a post written by Willy of the blog Hej Tjorven about the Norwegian company Oleana. Their collection exists of blankets, cushions, cardigans, sweaters and related items. They have a magnificent use of colors and patterns. They exist since 1992.
Solveig Hisdal is their designer. She also has written a rather gorgeous book with knitting patters, called Poetry in Stitches, and I bought that book about 10 years ago.

This is one of my favorite knitting books. It's a delight to read and look at. In the book you read about the way she develops her designs. She visited lots of country museums looking for old patterns, techniques for textile production, rose- painted chests, cupboards, wallpaper, skirts, embroiderd panels of folk costumes.(bunad) This way she was looking for inspiration and ideas that she could carry on and communicate through her work. National costumes in particular have inspired her to make patterned knitwear from wool, silk and brocade. For example, from an embroidered panel of an old bunad bodice came the idea for a bride's dress. The decorative edging on traditional, short, black, tight-fitting woolen jackets inspired her to create a border for modern knitwear. She also applied the idea of a protective lining on the hem of a skirt and certain other pieces of knitwear. And the brocade of an old bodice inspired the use of contrasting shades of the same color in knitted articles. Several of these basic characteristics have become trademarks of her collections.
What makes the book very special to me are the photo's of the textile and landscapes that inspires her.
Well, have a look.

This is ofcourse a selection of all the beautiful garments you can find in this book, it is a delight to read and look at. Years ago I knitted the last pictured cardigan for my sister. The garments are mostly knitted around, so you have to make "steeks"  for the sleeves and in the middle.  I asked my mother's advice.  The details on the sweaters and cardigans are beautiful, velvet ribbons, collars (the black one), beads. This book is really a treasure to possess.

maandag 25 februari 2013

For Madelon

In november the daughter of G. did let me know, in her own subtle way, that she is fond of my crocheted blankets, and especially the one made from almost white wool and many colors. So I checked my rather huge stash of Riihivilla yarn, wool from Leena Riihela, a finnish woman. In the spring she collects fleeces from Finnsheep, an old landrace from Finland. Wool from finnsheep is soft, and it contains lots of lanolin which makes it warm. She takes the fleeces to the mill where they are spinned into yarns, and they are processed as little as possible. She used to have her own flock of sheep, but didn't have the time anymore.
She dies her yarn with natural sources, plants, mushrooms, barks, and even insects, like cochineal.  I remember the days, over 30 years ago, I died this way too. Many of her colors come from historically proven natural dyes, reds from madder and cochineal, and blues from indigo bearing plants. She also uses lots of mushrooms, which was new to me.
Leena has a weblog where she often describes the dying proces of the yarn. It's very interesting to read.
I think the colors she dies are amazing, and I do like the touch of the yarn.
Over 8 years ago I started to collect her yarns, I stopped about 2 years ago, because our income decreased a lot.

This is the blanket I crocheted for Madelon, I will give it to her on her birthday next month. (she doesn't read my blog) . I used so many colors. I had called Madelons mother if she knew how big Madelon would like to have her blanket, and it measures 2x2 mtr. The biggest one I made.

zondag 24 februari 2013

Unexpected snow

Last night when I was working in a city nearby  it started to snow. For me it was completely unexpected, though when I had payed more attention to the weather forecast I should have known. The hospital where I was working is located in a quiet place, and it is so magical seeing the snow fall, all white and not touched. In the morning one could see some tracks of bicycles, and some foot prints, that was all. I was glad it was a sunday morning, everybody staying at home and keeping the snow untouched.
I chose to ride home through the countryside, taking small roads. It was beautiful, peaceful and quiet. I was a liitle bit afraid of slippery roads, but everything went well.
When I got home I was longing for my bed, so tired, but first I went out to take some photo's of our house and nearby places.

I'm a lucky girl, my neighbourhood is beautiful!! Being so tired I made a 5 minutes walk.
I was regretting it not having my camera with me on the drive home.

The backside of our house. I should like to have a larger garden, but hey, never mind.