woensdag 20 mei 2009

As times go by...

On monday-evening I was so fed up knitting big items such as my Daniel (the weather is too nice to knit warm and wooly items) that I decided to go back to one of my favourite items to knit which are.... socks. Found my lovely Pale Bleu and Green bamboo/wool yarn from Easy Knits in my stash (bought it last year at the IKnit show in London)and with his pattern the Diamond Geezer off I went. They come out nice and I immediatly ordered the Rhubarb colour which hopefully arrives this week. I love to knit socks and my husband has now a big collection of my handknitted socks in the most amazing colours. My own collection is (so sad) partly eaten up by some moths (due to an old sheepskin somewhere laying behind: partytime overthere for all moths living in our house) and the rest I have to mend (Make do and Mend as mentioned in the wonderfull podcast from Brenday Dayne: Cast on). But those new ones will be worn proudly this spring and summer. Knitting socks is such a technical way of knitting and I guess that that is 1 of the reasons why a lot of men like to knit socks. There is a great variation in how to knit but my favourite is top down. I know, I know.... toe- up knitting is done a lot these days and I have done a few pairs that way but in a way I stick to the old-fashioned way. Knitting always calms me down. I remember having a rather emotional coaching day from my work and in the break I knitted to calm down and that brought everything more in the right perspective. To calm down.... My personal life situation is not always easy those days. Bram has had a major and dangerous operation last year and we expected that everything would become fine and that his mobility problem would be solved. But that unfortunatly didn't happen. Walking is still a problem and the long walks we used to make togheter are not possible at this moment. So anger, pain and sadness appeared for the both of us. How to cope with this? How to place everything in the right perspective? Yes, we have a big age difference and those things appear when you get older but on the other hand not everyone who gets older gets this walkingproblem. For a few months last autum I was out of balance and so was Bram. Not a single moment in all the 26 years we are now together have I thought about those things which can happen to all of us suddenly in life. One day you are fine and the other day everything has turned the other way round and you have to deal with it. I decided to take my life in my own control and I did start meditation last november and that is not the most easiest thing to do for my busy mind. Just to sit is not an easy thing to do for me. I remember that at the first evening of the Mindfullness-course we had to sit for 5 minutes and already after 1 minute my mind immediately came up telling me what a stupid idea this was and for what reason and.... pain in my back... I don't want to do this....I want to sit on the couch and watch the tele... etc. etc. etc. But...practising has learned me to have a look at those pop-ups and go back to my breathing... It is not always that it calms down but the 15 minutes I meditate almost every day is also attention to myself which I feel is doing good to me. The first time I noticed silence was so scary for me that I immeditaly left that stage but now I love to go into my own silence and find it comforting. My -and our- life has changed dramatically the last 2 years but we are determined to make the most of it. Famous? Me?? On Monday when I came to work I heared that I will appear in a Dutch tv program. Cant tell you more right now, sorry!! But this morning Evelien gave me -with a very big smile- this embroided button with the text : "Almost Famous Dutchy" But now: time to knit while the sun is shining...

zondag 17 mei 2009

It started with.....

My knitting-adventure started years ago in the late 70's when I was studying Social Studies.I was 19 at that time, living on my own in a very small room and very alternative in a way. It seems to me that almost everyone was knitting at that time and we even knitted during our lessons sociology and patterns were shared with everyone. I was a very crafty boy when I was young. No matter as it was drawing, painting, handicrafts with old boxes, ceramics,macrame (O, those plant hangers were everywhere and I was very into big walldecorations knotted with thick hemp yarn and handmade big beads from raw clay) I loved everything. So one day I asked my mum to teach me how to knit after I had learned to crochet from an aunt of me. She was a very good knitter; not really difficult items but she was very precise. We went to the departmentstore called HEMA and there we bought needles and dark brown 100 wool yarn. I still have those needles. They are made from yellow plastic, size 5. We also bought a patternbook and I chose a simple V-neck sweater in stockinette stich combined with knit stitches. It came out beautiful and my mother sewed everything beautiful together (as she usually did with all my knitted items) Later I embroided a big bird on it and gave it to a friend of that time and she really loved to wear it. After my first attempt nothing ever could stop me from knitting almost every spare moment. It was scarves, hats, cardigans, a sweater for my first boyfriend (plain natural with several structure stitches in it) and much, much more. I love, loved, loved it... And than.. it sort of stopped for many years. But I always kept my needles, some yarn and some patterns in the drawers from my workdesk for..... In 2001 we were on holiday on the Shetland Islands (long story why we went there, will be written another time) and we made friends over there. Pennie knew a lot about yarn and I even visited Jamieson and Smith and bought some yarn. But the knitting virus didn't hit me at that time but came back about 4 years ago and since than almost not a single day goes by without knitting. I know exact the moment when I picked up the needles for the first time and found out that how to knit was still at my hard disk and that the connection was there with my mum who taught me to knit so long ago (she passed away in 2001). And there was the Internet and the combination with knitting was so incredible. We did start our knitted landscape project which was so exiting.Evelien and I visited the first SnB show in Rotterdam and we were hooked by everything. All those handdyed yarns, bamboo needles, sockpatterns and all those people knitting beautiful items. So.. I started buying yarns again and.. more. more... more.. and it is almost everywhere. It sort of takes over the house.... Herunder a picture from a very little part of my stash and there is even more upstairs and downstairs in big boxes..... I have......... Rauma yarns, handyded sock yarns, merino yarns, 100 % bamboo, silk yarn, metal yarn, reflecting yarn, silk ribbon yarn, Noro Kureyon, Finnish natural wool, cotton in various colours,Wollmeise yarn and.... and............ And than there is the worldwide knitting community which also needs to be contacted every now and than and blogs to be read. One of my long time favourites is: The Panopticum and o boy.., this man can knit extremely well, write extremely good and draw the most amazing funny catoons, photographs 1000 knitters and (almost) naked menwho knit....and he lives together with a darling sheep called Dolores........ Last week I got a very special signature from Franklin to stick in his cartoonbook It itches so I guess I am the only one in Holand with a signed copy :-) (tried to get the photo right but... nope) But there was more post from the Men knitting Front as this button and photo from Kyle (thnks Kyle) I would love to attend such a meeting as the Men's Knitting Retreat but I think I have to wait till I get my pension. Having this button is also a sort of feeling being in the group. I am now off to do some knitting at my Daniel.....

maandag 4 mei 2009

Yes......I am on..

After many hours of thinking I decided to start a blog.Don't know yet if I publish regulary but.. let's give it a try and share some moments and thoughts with you all in cyberspace. The main theme is ofcourse: Knitting because for many years now that is my real adiction. I usually knit everyday which sometimes feels like meditating. But after following a course of Mindfullness I have started meditating which something New to me. Usually I meditate before going to bed and since the moment I have started I have the idea that I sleep better. But.. I think I have to start by telling something personal about myself. Name:Jan ter Heide, 50 years of age (can't believe I am that old ;-). Living in Deventer (NL). Married to Bram after being together for almost 25 years, proud grandfather from grandson Jim. Profession: teacher fashiondesign at a high and medium level Fashion college in Enschede. Artist together with artist in crime: Evelien Verkerk ( www.werkvanterheideverkerk.nl or www.knittedlandscape.com) Favourite holiday destinations: Ireland, England, Scandinavia, Italy. The coming summer we will stay 4 weeks on the Shetland Islands. Work often brings me also to various destination (Scotland, Poland,Finland, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovakia etc.) because I am in charge of International schoolprojects. My childhood was spend in Zutphen (about 20 km from Deventer) Father was a salesman for bicycles and mother was doing the household job. 2 brothers older than me an both working in Education. I have studied at 2 Higher Level Edcation Institutes (Social Cultural Studies and Art school) and the combination of teacher and artist works well for me. More about me will probably come the coming months when this blog will develop further. Last week and this week (till wednesday) is holiday. Last week I was for 4 days in Slovakia to work on a 2 days project about Lessons in Happiness on a gymnasium in Puchov which was great fun to do. Because it is holiday we usually go somewhere for a day and last saturday we went to Bram's Native -soil in Breezand (North in North Holland). A bit sentimental and touching, but a great day with a visit to the graveyard where his parents lie, the museum of Anna Paulowna, and Tulipfields all over. So on and on a lovely day with plenty of sunshine and a real holiday-feeling (took me a while to get the photos'on the right place but...) This afternoon we are going to see a little babygirl named Sascha so I have knitted this weekend a pair of Saartjes booties for her in red and pink cotton and together with a t-shirt with the text 100% Love I think it is a nice gift. The other 1 is for another baby girl just born.. Well, that's all for now....