17 December 2011

Gingerbread castle

This year's gingerbread castle is ready, after baking and putting together all 42 fragile pieces. A nerve wrecking process, I'll tell you. But it all went well, even though it actually broke a little, and the portcullis was destroyed. According to my son, a canon hit the gate. Quite common and nothing to cry about, apparently.

The guards all have weapons, so there should be no chance of hostile intruders succeeding in entering the castle. And in a couple of weeks, we'll bring our hammers and smash it to pieces. Love this part of Christmas!

18 November 2011

L'homme fatal

It's been winter this week! There is no snow yet, but the freezing cold nights have put white glitter on the trees. It's pretty. And cold. And since my husband managed to loose his favorite scarf last year, he needed something new for keeping his neck warm. He's really not that into scarves, though, so I figured a cowl would be a good substitute. And since he loves colors, I chose a lovely violet color for his cowl.

The cowl is worked as a ribbed tube, without increases or decreases. The cable pattern is inspired by gentlemen's socks, a subtle, beautiful pattern which twists and bends the ribbing just a little bit before letting it once again become ordinary ribbing. And since the cowl itself is quite straightforward, and since I have fallen in love with beautiful edges, I have added tubular edges on both sides. It looks professional, and the result makes it all worthwhile.

L'homme fatal [@ravelry] specs:
Pattern: L'homme fatal (norsk) by Tora Frøseth
Size shown: One size
Needles: 3.0 mm

Yarn: Hifa Superwash, about 70 g.

17 October 2011

Byssanlull

When I was a child, my parents used to sing me lullabies when putting me to sleep. I particularly liked the one called Byssanlull. And I loved those evenings when my dad sang my all the verses. Now I am the one singing lullabies, and fortunately my children love this one too.

I named my new pattern Byssanlull because I like to think of it as comforting the baby a little like the song does. The vest is neither too cold nor too warm, and it's a perfect garment for layering. It is a fast project for the impatient knitter, and quite straightforward as well - as long as you can read written instructions.

I have used the yarn Alv in two different colors held together for the samples. Pale blue + pale blue-grey held together for the blue vest and dusty green + pale blue-grey for the green one. Other combinations are of course possible, see this page for some of the suggestions. It can also be made using only one strand of yarn, for example with the Superwash yarn. I myself love working with the two strands of Alv held together. It gives a soft and light weight fabric, just perfect for baby garments.

Byssanlull [@ravelry] specs:
Pattern: Byssanlull (norsk) by Tora Frøseth
Size shown: 3 and 6 months
Needles: 3.0 mm and 2.5 mm
Yarn: Hifa Alv, about 40 g of each color for each vest.

14 September 2011

The Architect

I once saw a house in a photograph, a wooden house which angles made my heart beat faster. I don't know where the house is located, nor can I find the site where I saw it. But if I come across it again, I'll know it's partly mine.

I didn't only see a house, though. I saw possibilities for new angles in a knitted sweater. The result was The Architect, made as a tribute to the unknown architect of a house somewhere out there. A baby cardigan and a hat, constructed somewhat similarly to the Angle cardigan, yet differently. I would guess that those of you who enjoyed knitting Angle, will enjoy this one just as much.

The cardigan is knit in one piece, with grafted shoulder seams. The grafting is written specifically for grafting garter stitch, and it is all described in detail, so there is no need to worry. I love those magic, invisible seams, and I suspect you will too, after trying them. The hat is worked from the bottom up, and the crown is seamed to maintain the lovely angles all the way to the top.

The pattern includes directions for sizes 3 (6, 12, 24) months and can be had both at Ravelry and in my store - and of course as a kit with all the yarn needed for those who'd like that. Enjoy!

The Architect [@ravelry] specs:
Pattern: The Architect (Arkitekten) by Tora Frøseth
Size shown: 3 months
Needles: 3.0 mm and 2.5 mm
Yarn: Hifa Superwash, 150 g of grey (965) and 25 g of olive (945)

12 September 2011

Autumn

I'm still here, even though it's been a while since my last post. I took holiday in all aspects of it this summer. And I meant to tell you about some of our holiday adventures, but then came 22/7, and it didn't feel right. Now we're almost back to normal, today is even Election Day. I will vote later this evening.

It's been autumn for a while already, but it feels like I haven't yet adjusted myself. Summer has been wet, but still quite good. We've been together a lot, and I like that. I have also been knitting, which you will see when it's all ready. I have a few patterns that are ready, though. The first will be published later this week. To the left is a sneak peak. I hope you'll like it.

26 July 2011

Silence

Our capital is full of flowers. And the people are back in the streets.

Yet it is so silent. Getting off the bus in downtown Oslo today was as if walking into a church. People are talking, but quietly. They are doing normal things, like walking, shopping, eating, but silently. And not only outside Oslo Cathedral. Oslo is taken back by its tourists and inhabitants, but we are all grieving, we are all still numb. It is a peaceful quietness. A friendly one.

The flowers are everywhere. In the streets, in trees, on traffic lights. In the fountains, on the statues. Even the roadblocks surrounding the damaged buildings look friendly, covered with flowers.

"We will punish the guilty. The punishment will be more generosity, more tolerance, more democracy" - Fabian Stang, Mayor of Oslo.


I hope this kindness will last, and that we will find ways of putting all those beautiful words into action.

And to those of you able to read Norwegian, this article by Anders Giæver is more than worth reading.

23 July 2011

A black day

A heart of stone he must have had, he who bombed, shot and killed almost a hundred people, mostly young ones, in and just outside Oslo yesterday. We are all in shock, and today is the strangest day. I think of those who've lost their loved ones. It's heartbreaking. Yet I'm lucky enough to have all mine safe and secure, and kids who know that life must go on, and who remind us all the time by telling joyful news from their world, by smiling to us. It feels unreal.

And I think of what this will do to us and our free and open Norwegian society. I hope the reaction will be one of warmth, one of standing together and caring.

I meant to show you some pictures from our holiday, but it'll have to wait. In the meantime, be kind to those you love and hold them tight. I will.

12 June 2011

34!

Birthday flowers
After several days of rain - a lot of it, just look at this! - the clouds went somewhere else tonight, and the sun decided to shine all day, on my 34th birthday. I guess I must have behaved real well this year. My sister brought me peonies, and my husband the red and pink ones (I have forgotten their name, but I love how they look with our lovely painting!).

It's been a wonderful day, we've all been doing nothing, which I love, and which means everyone have been doing whatever they want all day. I have been reading in the sun on the terrace with my husband, hugging the kids when they've stopped by, running in the woods, eating whenever hungry, and soon some friends are coming over for cake and wine. A lovely birthday!

05 June 2011

Ramme gård

Another visit to the extraordinary garden at Ramme gård. Yesterday was garden day. We didn't buy any plants, just enjoyed each other's company, the garden and a lovely lunch. Two years since last time, and I still find it such a wonderful place on earth. It has this combination of being both beautiful and vulgar at the same time. Immensely beautiful, yet provocative with it's kitchy decorations, like the King's portal or the forbidden garden. If you can appreciate the sculptures, the place is really one to visit. Full of people (people tend to come in crowds when it's open), yet quiet. Sit down on a bench, savor the garden with every cell. There are not many places - if any - like this in Norway. I guess it takes both a lot of money and a lot of courage to create something like this in the land of Jante.

02 June 2011

After 1Q84

I finished 1Q84 - book 1 & 2 on Monday. Afterwards, I went running in the woods. I ran faster than I have in a while, and my thoughts went back and forth through my head, thinking of everything, anything and nothing at all. It then came to me, I was stuck in that world, Murakami's world. I was scared. I ran through the woods in the middle of the day, and felt scared. Figured the people I met could be anything. Like in Murakami's universe. And I thought that if I'd met a bear, I wouldn't have been all that surprised.

It took me a while to get into this book, a couple of hundred pages, actually. I was a bit disappointed at first. The simple, straight forward language didn't quite appeal to me this time. I don't think it was any different from his other books, really. I've just read the wrong authors lately. Wrong in the sense of preceding Murakami (I've been spoiled, by my number 1 favorite these days, Tomas Espedal. I might tell you about him some day). And it took me a while to get to know the characters. At first sight, they weren't very Murakami like. They weren't quite the Watanabe character I always long for. But of course they were. I only discovered that after a while. The independent young man is there (as a woman, too this time!), but somehow that is not what the book is about.

The story is a strong one, the book a page turner, somewhat similar to Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (I loved that one!), only not quite so abstract. It is a heart breaking story, one of broken childhoods, loss, loneliness. It's about love, murder, hope, about strong individuals trying to live their lives their own way. It took me a while to get out of the book as well, to get it out of the system (I'm not sure I have yet). I fell in love with the characters, the universe. 1Q84 is the sad love story from Norwegian Wood and South of the Border, West of the Moon, and it is the abstract world from A Wild Sheep Chase and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. And yet, it is completely it's own.

As always, I regret finishing the last Murakami book, and envy all of you who haven't yet read it all. Next year, book 3 will be published in Norwegian, and although I do see book 1 & 2 as a complete and finished story, I look forward to it. Of course I do.

23 May 2011

The Long Wait

The Norwegian translation of Haruki Murakami's 1Q84 is here, finally! We've been waiting and longing and wanting for so long. The Norwegian (fabulous) translator Ika Kaminka has been working fast. Even so, it has taken quite some time for her to get through it. I love the fact that it is so huge (751 pages, book 1 & 2 combined, as intended by Murakami). I hope I will manage to read real slow. I have great expectations for this one. I'd love to be with it for a while.

I have the house for myself for another 30 minutes, the coffee is ready, I'll put the computer and phone away. No knitting today, I'm afraid. Aomame and Tengo, I'm ready!

25 April 2011

Easter holiday

Last day of the Easter holiday today. It's been so great! We've stayed at home, enjoying long, lazy, sunny days. Reading for hours in bikini on the terrace, watching the tulip leaves grow, eating pancakes in the woods, fresh baked bread for lunch, fish on the grill, working (is there a better word?) in the garden, running, the kids playing, great people visiting, white wine with boyfriend in the evenings, knitting. I can't think of a better way to spend a vacation. And it has actually been sunny every day. The warmest April ever. Love it!

10 April 2011

Spring!

Every year, spring takes me by surprise. We have had the most wonderful cold winter, with tons of snow, amounts that will take for ever to melt, we've been out skiing every week-end, hoping it will never end. And then suddenly, as if out of nowhere, it's spring, and it feels just fine. The light comes back, the snow disappears as if by magic, and we can sit outside without getting cold. It surprises me every year, how fast this happens.

Yesterday, my children brought me the first spring flowers, we ate out on the terrace, with nothing more on than we would inside, white wine in the glasses, and even a butterfly came visiting. Today, I will sit outside knitting on my husband's cowl for next winter, maybe read a bit, enjoy it for sure. I love this time of year.

08 April 2011

Light

The light is finally back for real, and I enjoy every bit of it. Photographing was almost impossible this winter, the lack of daylight and the bright white snow is a tricky combination. At least when it comes to taking photos of knitted items (which I find quite difficult even in the best light condition).

My husband lost his garf, and searched all over town before he told me, cute thing. I'm making him something new. And I don't mind, really. He likes my knitted gifts, so I like knitting for him. And working with men's wear is always a thrill. Seams like it'll be a cowl of some sort this time. Violet. I think it'll look good on him. At least better than the skiing cowl he's been wearing as a garf substitute the last few weeks.

The photo? Well, it's my dirt. Come spring, come dirty windows..

01 April 2011

Shamelessly happy


My Little sister's dress is in the Danish magazine Boligliv! It's in an article with inspirational sources for DIY projects, and Ravelry is listed as an important pattern source for knitters (we agree on that, don't we? What did we do before Ravelry, does anyone even remember?). Amongst the thousands of patterns out there, they chose my dress, how cool is that? It's so strange to see my little dress in a magazine, it's like "hey, I made that!".. Thank you, Line, for telling me about it.

30 March 2011

My colorful trivet

A reader asked about the colorful balls on my Women's Day table. Years back, I made a few felted wool balls like that, and even though the result was lovely, I found the process of rolling and rolling to make them all round and perfect quite tedious. But maybe it would've worked better with needle felting. I have never tried that.

This, though, is actually a trivet, made for me for Christmas by my sister. She bought ready made felted wool balls, and then she sewed them together to make the trivet. No need to say I love it!

08 March 2011

09 February 2011

Skiing


My absolute favorite activity for the time being! Today I had an aching back that needed some care. A couple of hours out in the woods seemed like a good plan for both my back and my mind. Lots of soft, white snow, never ending ski trails, and the warm February sun made this the perfect day. And it feels like my back liked it, too. The rest of the day, I have a date with my sofa. And some knitting (or rather re-knitting. I made hats for my kids this winter, and they turned out a little too short. And I only found out after I'd re-knit the crown several times to get the decrease pattern right. What happened is that I didn't pay enough attention to my own pattern, and started the decreases a bit too early).

06 January 2011

Whiteness

Soft snow dunes to dive into if one knew no better. Blue whiteness in the afternoon light. In my world, finally.

Had a lovely time skiing yesterday, and the woods are even prettier today. May it stay for a long time, this most welcome of winter guests.

I might even get inspired to knit something white. A rarity in my book. But who knows.

01 January 2011

Happy New Year!

The gingerbread castle has been smashed to pieces, Christmas decorations put away, and the house is once again its clean, tidy self. Tulips on the table, empty white walls and a spacious, three-free living room feels good. Yesterday evening was celebrated with good friends, and today is a day for relaxation. I'm knitting a woolen jacket for my daughter's new Barbie doll, and that's about what I've accomplished today.

I hope you too enjoyed yesterday evening, and wish you all a Happy New Year!