My Strings

The Figurative and Literal Strings of My Life

Louise


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Surprise

I love to surprise people. Their faces. Love seeing their smiles.  All the various emotions you can see making its way over their faces. It is amazing.

The odd thing is that I don’t much like being surprised myself. I don’t know what it is – perhaps just my insane need to always be in control, on top of things, prepared for any event, any occasion… preferably in advance.

Latest surprised handed out was last Friday. Long day – first at work, then coffee and great topics with a yoga girlfriend ending in amazing yoga with Louise. This wonderful, beautiful, inspirational being – who keeps inspiring me to be better, to grow, to be and show and share love and warmth. 2+ hours of ‘Sweeping the dust’ cleansing the body readying it for spring.

Back to the surprise. It’s been a big year for Louise. She and her boyfriend got married (beautifully by the harbour front in Copenhagen performed by the Lord Mayor), they had their first child (a cute little boy) and they bought their first house (and took a big step moving from the city out into nature an hours drive south of the city). It’s been so wonderful to hear her joy when sharing her journey. But it is also so much more – every time she stands in front of a yoga class she shares her dreams, her beliefs – in short she shares herself – her hole being.

And it goes straight to my heart. Motivating me to give back. And what better way than by combining my other passion – craft and re-purpose. And my ever present lack of ability to sit still with nothing in my hands. Last year i gave my other yoga inspiration Tanja some socks before she went to Berlin to continue her yoga journey – and since I love knitting socks (don’t get me started) I thought I would knit some for Louise as well. I ended up doing one pair for her and a pair for her son.

Starting out

Starting out

And once again I faced that I am horrible at sizing for kids – hers fit perfectly – his was too small. So here we go – again. Good thing I love socking it.

My beautiful little niece Camilla


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And a niece was added

As I mentioned in another entry a new family member was added by my sister last August. A gorgeous little girl they named Camilla – after our paternal Grandmother, who died January 1st last year, just after my sister found out she was pregnant. Providence…that what we in return were given this little girl.

The cutie

The cutie at about 7 months

So true to tradition I embarked on my ‘baby basket making’-frivolities. I love making these – it’s fun and noth to mention cosy – and gives way to making a lot of little different things for baby…and mother. I get to try out new things and knitting patterns – so something in it for everybody.

Only difference this time is that I didn’t have time to finish it for the first baby visit which I usually do. However, then my sister called me and asked if I would be Godmother to Camilla (of course I couldn’t or wouldn’t say no) – and this meant I went even further and crazier than usual.

The simple blanket…(my nephew is still using his)

Propellor blanket

Propellor blanket

A cardigan. Usually I don’t go for the boy-girl colour chart. Don’t like to box it like that – but then…I found this cotton yarn in lilac and pink – and it was really cute…so what the h…

Baby multi colour knit

Baby multi colour knit – will become the mentioned cardi

First came a cardi…then booties…then a hat or rather and owl hat. It took a while but now it fits…

Owl hat...

Owl hat…worn in the vampy-teeth-stage

And socks…of course you can never have too many socks.

And…(somehow most of my project pic have vanished…well must be somewhere)

And then the other things…stuffed animals. (Almost) Can’t have enough of those…and then there was the Piggy…this vintage piggy bank – too cute to let go of. I found it at a flee market on my birthday with a special edition copy of the collected works of the Brontë Sisters. That was a good day.

More things…more socks…

I have so many yarn scraps the sock production will go on for some time…luckily my sister doesn’t mind. I get to repurpose, remake and ‘invent’ fun little projects which are usable – and they get to use it all. Everybody wins.


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Embarking on a new adventure – and finding ‘Gibson’

In the spirit of new beginnings I have signed up for The DreamstressHistorical Sew Forthnightly.

It seemed like the perfect place to be, since I’ve started to research the Edwardian Era, as I intent to make the 1901-02 reception dress found in Janet Arnolds Patterns of Fashions 2:

1901-02 Reception dress

1901-02 Reception dress

There is such a softness and lightness to it I just couldn’t look away – also I think I could pull it of. Usually I go for dresses and periods with much fuller skirts – but new times. And I think because the dress widens so dramatically at the bottom I can cheat a bit and use it to my advantage. With a little redrafting and play I might be able to make it sell me as little taller than I really am. If not I will still have had the pleasure of making a great dress.

An there in the middel of all my research and follying where ever google takes me, comes this: Edwardian Shoe Giveaway of the ‘Gibson’ shoe – with The American Duchess. How perfect is that!

There are a lot of things I can make, loads of things I am stubborn enough to learn how to make, not to mention sometimes stupid enough to try. But there are things where I give up before even trying. Making beautiful shoes like these is one such area.

Not that I wouldn’t love to learn how to make shoes – but still remembering I ONLY have 52 m2 to fit (or rather cram) myself and all my stuff and hobbies and crafts into – quite a feat I tell you. And even though that I in the deepest parts of my stomach is wishing very  intensely for a huge manor, a lovely place in the country or may more modest – just a sligthly bigger place – even just 10 m2 more would work wonders. But…no so far.

So I’m sticking to my plan – and manage my wants, wishes – stick to reality and my project. But I still am a girl – and a girly one at that – so there will in my home always be room for one more pair on shoes. My door is welcomingly open.

Also why try when there are people who makes sweet things like the *Gibson’. Now there is just the problem of choosing a colour…

Go here if you want to join also.


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When Life Sucks – Just Sock It

One day you wake up and everything gets turned upside down – and you find yourself alone. Maybe not completely – but that is what it feels like.

Things change – sometimes for the better – or rather hopefully for the better. But at times it can be hard to see the forest for all the trees – and for some time I’ve been in the thickest of woods – the kind you today only find in fairytales set in the deep, darkness of Eastern Europe.

Time to come out of...

Time to come out of…

To top it all of as if this wasn’t enough I had to stop running for a while – as I got an infection (annoying – there goes that marathon dream for April this year). And at the same time my knee started hurting – had the ‘runners knee’-scare big time – turns out having a job where you sit still alot, and school where you sit a lot, and several hobbies where I…guess…sit a LOT…(I really need my running) is a bad combination for me. It is actually unhealthy for me to sit still. HA, maybe that’ll shut those people up who says I do too much, work out too much. HA! I win.

Well, this state of darkness and brokenness have also been reflected in my crafts these past few months I’ve been away from my blog. I found no expressive creativeness though I kept to my path of getting in control of my addiction and huge amount of craft articles. But there have been  a slight shift – from fabric management to yarn play.

Ready or not...

Ready or not…

These homy, woollen, soft, fluffy little balls of comfort seemed like just the thing for me at this time. I’ve always considered knitting and crocheting as the crafters version of comfort food. Nothing like a soft and managable knitting project to give a lovely safe feeling – a little kick – a bit like chocolate…just without the sugar high.

And since part of my path is also the plan to handle my yarn collection. My state of mind combined with that fact that I do have a lot of yarn but not a whole lot of the same kind or colour – it panned out in a lot of socks.

Starting out with massive amounts of baby socks as my sister gave birth to her second child August last. An amacing little girl – Camilla. And true to tradition I just had to make her a baby basket as well. But I’ll come back to that in another post.

My beautiful little niece Camilla

My beautiful little niece Camilla

Here in the new year I’m still socking it. Big time. I think I’ve made 15 or 20 pairs the past 4 months. For my self, for my sister, for my nephew and niece, and lastly also for my wonderful, beautiful and loving yoga teacher – and my inspiration – in so much more that yoga – Tanja. Such a giving person – so seldom you have a person like her crossing your path. I am so thankful that for the time being our lives are running along side one anothers, that I get to share her light.

And I wanted so to give just a little back for all of what she gives me.

Norwegian ragsocks with a rose pattern

Norwegian ragsocks with a rose pattern

I found this free pattern for Norwegian rag socks – but a bit less plain than the usual/traditional rag socks. I just though they were too sweet not to try out. I chose to combine my sockproduction with another passion of mine – re-purpose. These socks were made with re-purposed Icelandic eco wool in light grey and a pale orangy red (dyed with madder). Both wools are single strand spun and quite thick – and actually too thick compared to what’s used in the pattern. So I had to ajust needle size and number of stitches but it didn’t give me that much trouble.

Also the orange yarn was slightly thicker than the grey, I could have chosen another colour making the thickness more even but I decided I liked that the rose popped.

Also Tanja has several times been wearing these cute little socklets which her grandmother made for her. That made for the next idea.

Not the best pic...

Not the best pic…

This pattern is from a Vogue book of sock patterns – both cuff-down and toe-up. The latter being new to me – not knowing that they exist – just never saw they point to them when I was fine making the cuff-down. But they are great if you are making scrap socks. Then you let the yarn determine the lenght of the leg and you don’t have to decide beforehand.

The pattern was pretty easy to follow but I still had to rip up several times as I felt the sock looked too boxy for my taste. It didn’t fit and hug as evenly and smooth as when I knit cuff-down. I finally came to a place where I felt I could be sort of satisfied with my work. In the picture they look very boxy this evens out a lot when you put them on.

But I do like them – they are cute. But also I will be making them again correcting the issues I still feel there are with the pattern as is. I definitely will be making more of them.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Light at the end of the tunnel

Opening up, coming back out again, feeling ready to meet the world on a more even playing field – and strong enough for…

Another aspect of my path to growing and opening up, to learn how to trust myself and to trust people around me and becoming a better version of myself – giving back by showing the people who affect my life that I appreciate their contributions and that I love having them in my life. Hopefully, some day in a near future I will be able to also tell them directly – with words.

And maybe someday I can believe this

And maybe someday I can believe this


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New Inspiration

Felt kind of lost for a while. Didn’t feel the inspiration. Felt like nothing went as I planned and wished for – so not productivity. On top of the too little running – way too little looking at my goal and time frame – all due to an annoying infection in the heel cap which meant I adjusted my running style which then meant it went to my knees – and Ouch. Ouch to the point where there would be a burning feeling in them when I was lying down – and my feet would burn when getting up from a period of inactivity – like just sitting down for just a little more then half an hour.

Extremely annoying. So I’ve been powering up on my yoga – not there is anything bad about that – at all. I LOVE it – oh so much. Working, sensing, feeling my way further into Jivamukti and my inner well being – uh, and in one month I’ll be of the a weekend retreat – can’t wait. No the annoying part is that because of the infection, sitting down for long stretches of time just was not possible. And sometimes the less I make means my inspiration fades.

So, I kind of tried to boost it by tuning in on sewing quest, planning company (which hopefully will be up and running within 6 months – don’t wat to haste or force it) – and an excessive over use of Pinterest pinning with a focus on sewing, corsets, crocheting – sprinkled with a little of this and that. Slowly working myself back to a more positive and productive frame of mind.

So when sewingpatterns.com had a sale I bought 9 new patterns – all vintage/retro reproductions…of course and I also found a few on Etsy. And I am slowly getting back. I’ve cut 6 dresses, well over 20 corsets – and more are in mind, found some new techniques to try out, made new corset patterns, sizing them, shaping them – there are so many various shapes to be found in just one patterns – it is amazing. I’m regaining my will to and my passion for also making things for other people as well – a feel that has been gone for a while – due to some bad experiences.

Well, one is cut and done. Cute pattern – New Look 6723 – sort of Mad Men inspired – not a vintage/retro, but still, it has the feel. One dress with several variations – 3/4 sleeves, short sleeves, no sleeves and two different necklines – so loads to work with.

Mad Men-esque dress pattern

And then sanity went out the door and I went for crazy and perhaps went a little overboard with my fabric choice. For one I will definitely have to go crazying down in the accessory department – a lot in fact – bordering on no more than a black cardi and it will have gone too far.

Back view – and full view of the crazy fabric

The dress is fairly simple. Fully lined bodice with no sleeves, high back though not all the way up to the neck. It has princess  seams, which I love as they make it so much easier to fit clothes to  my proportionately annoying – sorry, keeping it positive- my proportionately challenged body and to top the top of a cute sweetheart neckline. Which I’m often very careful with as with a small back and waist and a substantial bust size can be…hmmm…not always good. It can flatten the chest in a very ugly way – but somehow this one works – even with very little altering.

Front view of the sweetheart

The bottom is a 4-piece A-line skirt. For this dress due to the heavy fabric I chose to make 4 pleats along the side seams instead of an even overall gather which I would have chosen had the fabric been lighter and more flowy. Also if I add a 2-3″ wide belt to the waistline it will accentuate my waist and widen the hips just a bit.

Side view

Finish of with a back zipper and sewing the lining i place by hand.

All in all – very nice I think – though crazy.

Full on view of crazy – and yes still missing my dress form…

It will be interesting to try it on and out…into the real world…

And also…I’m running again…slowly…building up again – but wup wup I’m running!