maandag 30 juli 2012

Holiday @ Home...

The 3th week of the 7 weeks Summerholiday has now started. Over the last 30 years we used to go on holiday for 4 weeks. This holiday is different. Under normal circumstances we would go away in the first week and take a ferry up North or in direction West. Heading to Scandinavia or Scotland or Ireland.
Because of Bram's healthissues, we can't go away that far anymore. 
So, this holiday we had planned to stay at home. I was slightly worried that I wouldn't like that. But after thinking and talking I came to the conclusion that:
  •  Deventer is a Nice Town to stay in summer. There is the river, the parks..the nice centre....very relaxing...
  • There is the Poetry festival "Het Tuinfeest"  which is going to happen this Saturday in the Cloister-garden behind our house. Our friend - the City-Poet Lammert Voos-will perform there too, togehter with other famous Poets and more entre-acts.  
  • Sunday the big bookfair will be held all around town. We usually miss all of this, so it is an opportunity to go. 
  • No complaints about the weather sofar.. We have had rain and sunshine..but that is usually a Dutch Summer and we are used to this kind of weather staying in Ireland.
  • I have slept very well  till now...
  • Friends come over for a drink on our lovely terrace...and with this gingham cloth, it feels suddenly like a terrace somewhere in the south...

  • Wine is cheaper here...and no, this is not from 1 evening with the 2 of us..

  •  Plenty of time to sit on a terrace with good coffee and the papers..this one is in Almen at De Hoofdige Boer..

with this text from a poem by Staring..

  • We have the benefits of the summer-harvest from friends's allotments..(they don't know what to do with the huge amount of salat and courgettes probably... So we get...
all kind of salats...
Fresh peas and onions..
Fresh Herbs...
The first sweat peas..
Big bunches of summerflowers...
  • Plenty of time for my favourite past-time.... Knitting ofcourse...So I have started a new sweater....and I have joined the on Ravelry the: Ravellenic 2012 Team Icelandic Knitters...You have to knit a pattern from Hélène Magnússon aka the IcelandicKnitter during the Olympic games, and by entering your project you can win a Knitting Tour to Iceland... So I had a look at the first choice was a lace shawl..but after more thinking I got this idea to knit a doll...Why? Because I am grown up with 2 elder brothers and no doll was ever in our house when I was a child.. I'd loved to play with dolls at Kindergarten, but that was not very appropriate at that time.. And I must admit: I was jealous on my niece who got a Barbie at Sinterklaas...So Theodóra is now on the needles..or even better.. I knitted her sister Theolympia the week before the opening of the games.. she will get a knitted dress this week, I more Mono-Kini for her....

And today Theodóra will fly of the needles..Yes, I looks strange between her legs..and No..this is not torture..and they are not supposed to be piercings..or, you must find stitchmarkers an attractive idea for a piercing yourself..

She also will get knickers on and a little dress..probably knit in -a handspun and very soft-Shetland yarn..A matching lace coat will appear..and a little Iceland dog and I have the plan to knit a little boyfriend named Bjarni for her...he will get blond hair and dark eyes...
The dolls are knitted in one of my favourite yarns sofar:

And I have bought some skeins at the shop from Astrid in Zwolle..and I really like all colours of this yarn.. for the dolls and the dog I choose those..

At the shop, Bram bought me a Very Interesting Knittingbook for my birthday..(coming up the 7th of August, but because it is difficult for him to go and buy me something, I got it earlier...)

Packed with Amazing Knitting ideas..BRIGHT Coloured and Very, Very Scandinavian..I Love it...

and I can see a shawl coming up in this pattern..
3 Dimentional flowers...

or this Very different approach to lace....

  • So..Holiday @ Home is really nice sofar..I feel relaxed and calm...Days go by in a pleasant way...and it is a very nice experience I tell you.....but be honest..we go on holiday in 2 weeks time for 2 weeks.....Up North.....In Holland..No Complaining here...


donderdag 19 juli 2012


Yesterday-afternoon I finally went to see the Film: "Intouchables". 
I had heared a lot about this film. 
Based on a true story, it tells the story of a friendship between Philippe -a wealthy tetraplegic- and Driss, a young and poor man from the suburbs (the so called Banlieu) from Paris, who is hired as a live-in carer.
François Cluzet who playes Philippe is fenomenal and so is Omar Sy in his role as Driss.

This film made my laugh and cry, and probably because I regocnize a lot in it.
It is a story about life and dealing with loss and making the most of it. 
Crossing borders and possibilities. 
It is about dreams and reality and about friendship and love. 
And about living in the moment and taking care and responsibility.

All those topics are also in our life now.  
I remember in the beginning when Bram got healthproblems that it was so hard to deal with. 
What to do? 
How to handle? 
But I have grown into it.. as also Driss did in the film..
I just have to do it...make the most of it, and usually that goes well.. 

2 years ago when we got the wheelchair. For me pushing that wheelchair was a difficult point. I felt resistance. Had the feeling that everyone looked at us and talked about us when we passed by. Probably not true, but it felt that way for me.

But that has all changed for the better. 
Whenever we can we go in town for a coffee and some shopping. 
We make the best of it and enjoy it.

I push him and I feel comfortable with it.
We talk and laugh, and one of the benefits for me is that is is easy for me to give him a kiss on his head.
It feels very intimate and being together in another way.

This film brought me a lot to think about.
Might buy the DVD, or perhaps give it a try to go again in 2 weeks time with Bram..
If you haven't seen it, here is the trailer.

Best of all was that the familyname from the real Philippe is Pozzo del Borgo,
and that Bram's familyname is also Borgo..
But..for sure... Bram comes from the poor branch..

woensdag 18 juli 2012

Knitting..And..Frogging....and Knitting again...

Over the last few months my knitting came somewhere behind..
Compared to last year - with usually 1 lace-shawl a month- hardly anything came of the needles. 
A pair of socks for Bram (yes, I must make some photo's)...,
some squares for the weddingblanket for Jon and Roy..,
but that is all.

Not much for an Addicted Knitter as I know myself..
There is plenty of yarn around at home in boxes and bags.....
Plenty of ideas..
A few things on the needles...
But..nothing happened or was finished..

Is this a kind of Knitting Burn-out?
No, it is not..Definitely NOT..

On Mondaynight I picked up my needles. Not the Fair-Isle one (too complicated..maybe later in the holiday) but the one with the Blue Aran Jamieson & Smith yarn on it. 
Pattern by my favourite Knitting Hero Elizabeth Zimmerman.
From her book The Opinionated Knitter which I got as a birthdaygift from Bram while on the Shetland Isles 2 years ago..

I remember vividly the moment I bought this yarn at the Jamieson & Smith store in Lerwick. with this pattern in my head. 
There were 2 options, either purple or blue. I decided to go for blue, because the cables would  be more visible in this colour.

Blue, with hints of green..

But..on the way back we had a stop in Melrose,and in the bookshop I found -to my big surprise- the book: Knits Men want. 
Inside was a pattern for a simple cardigan ..and suddely I changed my mind. 
The blue yarn was the perfect yarn for it. 
No more cables..I would go for Simplicity, because that is what a Man like me really wants..
At home I cast on. Knitted the back and 1 front part..
Doubts came....
I didn't like the idea of sewing on the button band...and it looked a bit boring..
The EZ cardigan came back in sight
Why on Earth did I ever made this choice...??
Frogging came in sight..and I did..

Back to could I have been so stupid to let her go??

I made a swatch on needle 4,5. 
Calculated the amount of stiches. 
Cast on...and off I went..
First thought: that looks beautiful and steeking wouldn't be that difficult..would it?
Don't know why, but all of a sudden it left me..or did I leave?
It was waiting on the table with the idea: I will finnish it off this summer, so I can wear it the coming winter...
After starting on again, I got the feeling that the fabric was to dense..
Doubts came again...

Isn't there too much happening? All those squares and cables around??

And than..while on Ravelry I came across a pattern by Kate Davies..The Warriston.. and as she writes a sweater: "Inspired by the smock-like garments once worn by shepherds and fishmermen".
Designed for Women, but with some changes it could be very well and item for a Man.
Might do only the patternstitches under and leave the rest plain....

I asked Kate by mail if this was a good idea and got a real nice E-mail back in which she mentioned that it was a good idea to make one for myself..

I have something like a Smock in my wardrobe. 
My Smock based shirt from COS. 
One of my favourite items, and I love to wear it.

A Smock...No, nothing like a smocked dress..Wikipedia tells (as always) the story.
2 years ago at the BoatMuseum on Shetland I took this picture from an original one, worn by a fisherman.

Ofcourse I bought the pattern, which is part of a really good E-magazine (very well written by Kate herself) with the title: TextIsles. 
It contains: 2 feature essays exploring the history of the English smock; an interview with Claire Smith about working with historic smocks and smocking techniques and the pattern for the smock-frock inspired sweater Warriston.

I might buy the 2nd issue also because it is a beautiful and well written magazine and it tells the story of the famous Betty Mouad fom Shetland. All for sale on her website or through Ravelry ofcourse.
Secretly, I envy Kate a little...but just a little...writing an time for those things now, but who knows in the future..

After another look at my knitting I knew what to do...
Frogging was the answer...

So I frogged...

Was I really sure???

Yes..I was all too much for me...
I went on...

And on...

No Regrets..

Until the slip-knot appeared....still No Regrets...
(And as I always tell myself: The proces is more important than the result...)

At the end 6 balls of glorious Shetland yarn were on the table.. ready to be cast-on again..

A new start for a -hopefully well fitted- item I will wear with great pleasure...

Holiday memories of Shetland appear now and than. 
For those moments I have my special mug ready...
and than I am back in Shetland for a moment...

maandag 16 juli 2012

Brains and Heads...

Last Saturday the first edition from the "Kopfestival" organized by ScienceCafe Deventer took place in my town. A day full of information about our Brains and this in combination with Art and Music. It was the first day of my 7 weeks a nice start.

A few months ago -while in the train to work- I got in contact with Anne, one of the organizers of the festival. She invited me to join the "Knit a Neuron' Project. I didn't had a clue what a neuron is... but there is always Wikipedia to go to.
She told me about the "Knit a Neuron" project initiated by Helen Featherstone.

I printed out all the info and the patterns and did cast on the same evening. My first neurons appeared in Berocco Ultra Alpaca, LornaLace handdyed sockyarn, Jamieson & Smith Aran....because one must have something to choose..

We had a meeting to talk about the project. Geertje Dokter would make "something "to hang on the Neurons. And this rather strange person came at the table...

KnitNeuron evenings were organized in our Fabulous New yarnstore: Dol-Op-Wol. Unfortunately I couldn't attend them due to the situation here at home. But at the end more than 200 Neurons in different yarns and sizes were knitted. And I had the task to knit a cover for the Ipad in bright Red acrylic yarn.

And than it started round 13.00 hrs... with preparing the "brains" which would be filled with neurons.

After a neuron was hanged a photo was taken...
The endresult round 21.00 hrs. was this rather spectaculair sculpture..

By placing all photo's behind eachother a film was made which can be seen here.

Geertje appeared inside the Neurons..

And we saw some beautiful shadows appearing...

Could be a nice idea for a print..on a duvet cover...

But.. at the end...One Neuron left -rather unsuccessful- the building....

May he or she... rest in Peace...

But talking about Heads..

When entering the building from the Festival I saw those amazing heads made out of cardboard made by:              

 They walked in town..

and placed themselves on the balcony of the Historic Museum
(those 2 pictures courtesy of and taken from
their Facebook page...please Like them there!!)

I had never heared of them... 
and I think what they do is Fabulous..
So beautiful made..
The scale...the details...

They even made one head together with guests attending the fesival..

Might try to get them in my school for a workshop..there are some really inspiring ideas on their website...

In my youth I have always loved making things out of cardboard...

I remember Masks too..Not as big as those ones...
Guess I was a real Crafty Boy in my youth...and I think I am still one..
Who knows.... one day I might join the world of Cardboard..