Thursday, October 30, 2008

Progress report on knitting

I celebrated the first snow falling in Oslo by sitting inside, warm and cozy, knitting and watching "Jewel of the Crown" on DVD. Just watching the sun on TV makes it feel better:) I am not particularly fond of snow, which is ironic considering the fact that I live in a country that is well known for its snow, and ice, and everything cold.

However, I have gotten quite far on my sweater. Sorry that the picture is so dark....

I have now put all the pieces together on one needle, making each round very, very loooong, but the cable where the sleeves connect with the rest of the sweater makes it fun.

And it is decrasing quickly. My biggest fear is that I am running out of yarn, and I am not sure I can get the exact same coloration. Not an unfamiliar situation. But I am sure I can find a way around it:) And then, on to new knitting challenges! :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stripes of the zebra

My own biggest achievement in quilting also has a slight burden to it. It is a blatant copy of an art quilt. I wish I had the eye for composition that the artist has, but I don't. (Those with good eyes will recognise the stripes from the Blog label:))

I have never seen the original, only a picture in Great American Quilts, Issue Seven. A colour picture about 4" x 2" big. It haunted me for years. Until one day I decided - I had to make it. I think I spent another year gathering blue fabric. The background bothered me for a long time, until my good friend Kathi :) told me that she could paint the fabric for me. So we spent one of my vacation days in Colorado fall of 2003 painting the background. She even gave me her thumbprint on the fabric to make sure she was a part of it.

I zeroxed the picture in black and white and then kept zeroxing it up, size by size, until I got it to the size I wanted it. Then I cut out every single little pattern from a second copy, both numbering them so I would know where to put it. I then cut each part out on fusible paper before I ironed it onto fabric. Then I placed it all on the background fabric and spent days walking around it, looking at it from different angles and heights until I was satisfied. I ironed them all on, and then appliqued each piece on with buttonhole stitches in Lene's Silk thread.

The background is a fabric filled with zebras. I thought it fitting:) I finished it in May 2005.

It hangs in my living room over the sofa and I look at it every day. I am proud of it.

(The funny thing is, as I am now so acquinted with the different shapes of the different stripes, the next time I returned to Africa on safari, I recognised the stripes on the zebras in real life!)

On the label on the back it says: To prove I can.....

I hope the artist forgives me.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Wandering in history again

I spent some time in the open air museum yesterday. The weather was incredible. I don't think we have had a fall that has been so consistently sunny and beautiful.

The old Stavechurc is among our oldest wooden church types in Norway, this one is from 1200. First of all, the attention to details are amazing! But secondly, which keeps suprising me, is the decorations. They are not really religious at all. Inside the church they would have a painting from the Bible, but outside, they have all these typical viking decorations.

For me that has always seemed so contradictory. But it does make for an interesting building. The wood is tarred during the summer, giving it a very particular odour when the sun is baking on the sides.


The craftmanship is good, too. Look at the roofing slates:)

Another typical old farm building is the foodstorage houses, or larders.

They differ slightly in architecture from valley to valley, but they usually have one thing in common: the last step is alwasy very high.

The reasoning behind that is to keep mice from coming in to the larder. Make sense, doesn't it? But it always looks strange....

Friday, October 17, 2008

Booo finished!

I finished Booo! just in time for my (too) early Halloween party. I think the background is a little bit too light, the ghost doesn't pop out as much as I would like, but I like it anyway. The candy corns in the corners are so cute!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Falling in

Visiting old haunts this weekend, I went by the old church in my home county.

I actually spent a lot of my upbringing hanging around that old building. My dad was a church custodian, which in Norway means that he was responsible for the building, the grounds and yes - the cemetery. I spent summers running around the gravestones and trying to decipher some of the writing on the old tombstones. I also helped out my dad by watering the flowers on the graves and cutting the grass. I even remember having to rake all the leaves at one time. There were a LOT of trees around there!

Though a lot of the old trees are cut down now, due to age and bad weather, there are still a lot of huge old trees. And at this time of the year they are just magnificent.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

New opportunities?

The week so far:
  • The rain has started
  • First night frost came
  • I got fired
  • Leaves are falling
Yep, fall is here. And my job is gone. I am not the only one - one out of four had to leave, but it is strange being let go after seven years. Even if I was looking for another job. But - all is not lost (even with the current economy). I get paid for many, many months:)

And I have lots to do, in between job hunting.  

I am knitting this

which is suppose to look something like this

from this book, Inspired to knit.

I also got some beautiful fabric from Nancy Halvorsen, 12 days of Christmas, to make my own Christmas wall hanging.

'Twas the Night before Christmas' from Crabapplehill Studio.

Add to that my Dear Jane quilt, three or four different Christmas gifts, and a quilt for my nephew's 25th in February.... I should have enough crafts to tie me over for a while.

Here's to hoping this is a beginning of something new and exciting! :)