Tuesday, November 12, 2013

a year in the making

1 november 2012 was an important day for me, I opened my very own store. A REAL one. Ja, Wol! But a little over a year later it mostly still feels like I'm just playing. It's like the cash register istn't real, the skeins of yarn are toys and the students are all my friends. 
The latter is not untrue. For Ja, Wol customers and students are (mostly... there's always that freak exception...) excellent people that are a pleasure to hang out with. A bunch of them have become dear friends and a couple of them have found their way into the Ja, Wol core and started helping me out with customers and students. 
Lots of women find in Ja, Wol a place to come out and play, to get away from their daily hassles and problems. At Ja, Wol there's chatting, coffee, warm wool and warm people. I hope that when they walk through the door time slows down a little and that the colorful yarns brighten their days. 
I was recently given a book that's about a woman in Seattle opening her wool shop. It reads like my own life. And if you think about it. My life, or parts of it, are like a book, a movie even, I'm Sandra Bullock or Michelle Pfeiffer or Meg Ryan (be it a voluptuous variation) working in my little store and meeting all kinds of interesting people. With one exception in the story line... I have already found my love. 
And, to be honest, without him I probably wouldn't have my little shop/ needle craft school. He supports me where he can. Sometimes I can get a little grumpy when it comes to flexibility with sick kids or other family matters that are making it hard to keep the shop open. He has his own company as well and it's a little (...) bigger than mine. But he buys the groceries on saturdays (and takes the kids with him!) and I'm lucky to be in a situation where the housework is done by both of us.

So... thank you all the students, customers and friends for this first year...

but my warmest and deepest love and thank you's are for you Lennard! I love you! 


Madeleine, SazZ, Femke and me. 
pictures by: Jelle Mollema

Monday, August 26, 2013

Flerfärgsvirkning, nålbindning, krokning och tvåändsstickning

... oh my.... It's been so long since I've posted. My hands are quite literally full with the shop, kids and something that resembles a household. 

The last time I was planning to post pictures was last summer. That's crazy. 

I was just thinking about my summer in Sweden last year where I took a course in old needle techniques. Namely 'Flerfärgsvirkning, nålbindning, krokning och tvåändsstickning' I had such a great time. Next year I'll definitely go there again. For now, here's some pictures from last year.... 

 trying to translate, lear techniques and learn swedish at the same time... 
 handmade tools at the shop 
 the main building in Falun red. I need a house like that. Someday.
 my very first attempt at Nalbindning (I now give workshops at the shop... I've practiced since then...)
 Krokning, Tunesian crochet in the round. 

Tvåändsstickning, twined knitting 

knitting on the porch 
 our class room (look at the fireplace)
 The colors of Sweden (blue for the sky, black and white for the birches, green for the trees and grass, brownish red for the Falun Red houses, purple for the lupines and brown for all the wood) for my multicolored traditional crochet. 
 smygmaskvirkning ...
 the multicolored crochet is used at the cuffs and bottom for durability. It's incredibly strong and non-stretchy. Amazing work by my teacher Berit Westman. A very kind, funny and skilled woman. It was like talking to Yoda. I turned quiet. And I hardly ever do...
 here we go...
 everything, everywhere at Sätergläntan is handmade, it's amazing! 
 at the library
 very old traditional knitting, carefully packed in rice paper. A sight for sore eyes! 

 this library is probably in my top 3 favorite places in the world 
 very old Nalbindnings mittens. Such beauty! 
little (handmade) jokes, in every corner. 
 flegvarvsvirkning... eh... I don't remember what it's called. It's getting somewhere. (but I have to be honest, it's still in this state in my atticstudio)
 All techniques in different stages
 Done, my wee weird practicing mitten. So proud. 
 And a new project on the needles.

 eating was a very natural, organic and lovely happening. Handmade baskets, bowls, spoons. Unbelievable. You'd never want to buy a factory item again in your life. Such an atmospheric difference! 
The pig says: 'Tack', meaning: 'Thank you!'
 And then the beautiful door closed and I went back home. Full of knowledge and inspiration and a promise to go back! 
 But first a night in Stockholm before I flew home. 
 Finishing my Tunesian crochet mittens on the hotel boat ...

... and on the plane. Last winter I wore them proudly. Warm and lovely. I taught a Nalbindnings workshop and my friend Maria whom I met at the course has visited me here. I show off my diploma at the shop, it looks so cool with the Swedish and the autographs of my teacher and headmaster. 

I'll be back! Absolutely! 

Maybe spinning
or weaving