Friday, August 04, 2006

Jag sticka sokkor och halsduk

Where to begin...


It's almost everything my current location is not; free, quiet, rural, relaxing... you name it. Me and Boyfriend Dear love it so much we're actually considering buying a Stuga (log cabin) there and making it our 'home away from home'. We got so excited there was talk of opening a campsite or buying and renting out more Stugor (more than one Stuga). Yep, there was a lot of excitement I can tell ya! If it was all realistic, that's another thing... At this point we're trying to find someone that can teach us Swedish. Jag talar inte Svenska (I don't speak Swedish) is about all I can say at this point. . .

Oh and the header... I figured that out from my little 'Swedish for dummies' booklet because I expected someone to come over to me and ask me what I was doing any time... (I'm knitting socks and a scarf). No one did...

And now I know why;

Sweden is a crafters Walhalla! Everywhere you go, there's farms and houses that sell 'Hemslojd', home made products. From weaving (linen and wood) to embroidery, knitting, pottery, everything you can imagine. So to Swedes it's only natural that your knitting in public I'd imagine. They're probably thinking 'Girl, you're on a holiday, let it go, go do something else!'.

No... but wait... I'm selling myself short here. I do 'speak' Swedish. Because when I saw these fantastic wrist warmers with beads in a Hemslojd shop, I knew I had to make some. Problem...they only sold Swedish patterns. It was just one sheet of paper, 'how hard could it be?'. So I bought the pattern and a Swedish-English dictionary and got to it. It took me a whole night and an afternoon to translate from Swedish to English and eventually to Dutch. I called in the help of the girls at the campsite, but they (probably the exception to the rule) didn't know how to knit so they couldn't help me with the technical terms. So I just used my common sense and asked the woman at this crazy *ss crafts shop to help me with two small details I couldn't figure out. And... I did it , I translated a Swedish knitting pattern!! I'll post it as soon as I finish the wrist warmers.

These pictures below show you the craziness of that particular fantastic shop, Sätergläntan (shame the website isn't so thrilling). And while talking to the lady it became even more like a fairy tale. The have workshops there!! Workshops, and you can stay in the log cabins and get your breakfast and diner there too. Oh-my-golly, that just makes me want to not buy anything useless like clothing and groceries anymore and save up to go there as soon as I can. Weaving, wood carving, felting, spinning, knitting, embroidery. Catch me... I'm fainting! Boyfriend Dear (tries to) understand(s) my passion and was very patient with me while we were there, but I kind of wanted to do a happy dance, and that would've been to much for him so I kept it inside until now:



(imagine happy dance here!)

So, feast your eyes on this:

Spinning wheels and Alpaca, the Swedes get it, they get it big time!

The girl knits, that's fur shure! By the tent, in the car, before bed time and minutes after waking, it's an addiction. I decided not to wear makeup for two weeks, so forgive my not so glamorous look!

So, here's what I did:
- I carved a horse out of wood. I know, I have to be honest.... Not completely, I got it when it had the right shape, I'm just finishing it, giving it round shapes instead of square shapes. I named it Henk II (Hank II) after Henk, the first Dalarna horse (typical for Sweden, hand carved, hand painted) I bought when I was in Stockholm 3 yrs ago.
- I started Sizzle for my friend Seema's birthday.
- I started a simple straight forward pair of socks but figured out I had the wrong needles and the wrong pattern so I'm probably frogging that one soon.
- And I struggled and fought with boredom before I really got into Clapotis to finally discover I came short just about a few yards.... AAARGHGHG! I really wanted to finish it, my relationship with Clapotis grew from interest to apprehension to boredom to a warm and deep love of it and I really really wanted to wear it. Sob, blubber, sob... So now I've got to get one more skein and the sweet, sweet lady at the LYS is on a holiday now. Ok, deep, deep breath of air and moooooving on....
- I bought this thing I used to have when I was a kid, we call it 'punniken' in Dutch; to make an i-cord. I have no idea what the English term for this is so if anyone out there does, let me know. It's made of wood, it has 4 nails on the top, a hole in the middle and you, as I said, use it to make i-cords. It's great, memories from my crafty childhoodh flushed back. This time around I experimented with 100% untreated wool to make a felted bracelet. Later I added beads to the process. I see a lot of potential there. Great for fast, small gifts.
- Oh, on the way there, I made this seat belt cover, it was quick and fun to make but it annoyed the hell out of Boyfriend Dear, so he took it of the seatbelt. Sigh...

So now I'm back home, waiting for the LYS to open, finishing Sizzle and starting the wrist warmers soon. Meanwhile I have this whole month to myself before I start my new job.

I'VE GOT A NEW JOB!! Completely forgot about happened just before I went away.

I'll be setting up a new publicity, marketing and communication department at WaterFront, about the only venue here I havn't worked for yet... WaterFront is in a major reorganization at the moment, adding two pop-schools to the venue, the practicee spaces and the music studio. So I'll be trying to get all these parties on one page. It involves hard work and a whole lot of strictness and whipsnapping -which I'm good at- so it will be another challenge and I'm looking forward to it. I'll be working 3 days in stead of 4 so I'll start freelancing the two remaining days. That's exciting too. I have this great idea for a business and I'll be working on a businessplan as well. Will I ever learn to take it easy??

But for now, a month of knitting and paying attention to my health. I finally got most of the stress out of my body so now it's time for good and healthy food and a whole lot of exercising. Basically, I'm on a diet and I'm already having a really hard time with it. I quit smoking about 4 yrs back and it was a breeze compared to not eating sugar and fat... I'm a total addict.

'My name is Saskia and I'm a sugar addict, I've been of sugar for 3 days now...'

I'm telling everyone I know I'm doing this to get all the support I can get because it's about the hardest thing ever for me, but this time I'm determined, I'm going to do it, I'm getting healthy! If I'm ever moving to Sweden I can hardly be all fat and broken out and unfit, I'll have to match the country if I ever want to fit in. (or something like that...)


Drea Renee said...

I missed my daily doses of saskia!!! Great welcome back blog. And I can feel youon the sugar thing...I just had to cut out cookies from my diet...and I am trying to cut down to wine only once a week...ouch. we can do it together :)

astridpersons said...

hoe komt het toch dat er in Nederland zo weinig is en breien als "tuttig" wordt beschouwd. Ik verbaas me er steeds over dat er in andere landen (VS-Skandinavische landen) zo veel te verkrijgen is.
Kun jij niet zo'n leuke winkel beginnen met cursussen enzo?

Linster said...

You are very welcome to Sweden! I can teach you Swedish and show you my favourite yarn shops. Despite what you seem to think of the crafty Swedes, we don't have enough cool knitting chicks around here. :)

saskia said...

Drea: great to be back & hang in there on the wine thing!
Astrid: starting a cool yarn store... that would be so much fun. That might be my next carreer move! ;-)
Linster: Thank you girl! I'll remember that. I am actually really looking for a Swedish teacher here in Rotterdam, so maybe I'll be fluent next time we'll visit Sweden... (yeah right...)

knittingajour said...

Very herkenbaar all the knittingmoments on holiday!
And at the "vrije universiteit" on the Heemraadssingel, you can learn Swedish.
Do you know that Lialaine (Goudsesingel) is for sale....
Nice Clapotis, wich yarn do you use?

saskia said...

woops, something went wrong with my description of my new job... I made a full sentence this time! ;-)