Monday, January 31, 2011

pretty package


With some things, a pretty package is half the enjoyment.

This one was lovely. A little something we gave away. Receiver was enchanted with dotty bag and lovely colours - and the content.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

darning pia

Found an antique darning thread in Nora yesterday. Not something that would usually interest me as such, but this one, this one is special. This one is called Pia. This one is "extra prima", first class. The colour is 25 (someone's birthday) You know I had to have it, right? Right. For the whopping sum of... 5 sek (~50 cent) it was ready to came home with me. I'm thinking of framing this symbol. This is pure poetry. This is life.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

grythyttan outing


Had a brilliant little Saturday outing, to small locality Grythyttan (~ 1000 inhabitants) - about half an hour's drive from Nora and 2,5 hours drive north-west from Stockholm. And no I obviously don't drive, I'm crocheting, chatting, tweeting, snapping photos or sleeping. All while being grateful to be able to get away a bit, a welcome distraction to brooding and instead just enjoying the here and now... - where we had lunch.


We also made a quick stop in Nora, it was such a difference from summer and tourist season, quite deserted now and the shops really empty of customers.

I hadn't for some peculiar reason been to Grythyttan before, but found it charming and very picturesque. It must be fantastic to visit in the lushness of summer. The place is famous for


a) Grythyttan Gästgivaregård (est. 1640), a world-renowned inn, comprised of 22 buildings built between 1640-1960.
b) the school of Hospitality, Culinary Arts & Meal Science
c) Grythyttan steel furniture - of which I sold some old chairs a few years ago, they're hip again, we used to have them at our country house when I was a child, not really my type of "furniture thing".




Weather was fantastic, spring in the air and a generous amount of sun. Lunch was lovely, the food was nice, not spectacular, but yes nice


- vegetarian mushroom lasagna for me followed by apple crumble for dessert -,

the service was really great, friendly, unpretentious and knowledgeable, the ambiance so very, very sweet, cosy and quaint. I think these iPhone snaps give you an idea.


här vakar carl-jan

grythyttans gästgivaregård

grythyttans gästgivaregård

salongen grythyttan gästgivaregård

grythyttans gästgivaregård

Coffee and sweets served in the above lounge. There were visitors with dogs allowed. Great attention to details and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. I really loved it. We're so going there again given the opportunity. Highly recommended indeed (February 2011).

When we had finished lunch there was still light and sunny outside, us sun-starvers felt spoilt indeed. Such a grand day.

january afternoon

Friday, January 28, 2011

two vegan cakes


This past week I've baked two vegan cakes (and no I didn't eat them all by myself). One chocolate with grounded almond. It was nice, but not spectacular. The frosting was a disaster, the recipe was completely off -

as they most often seem to be when it's all about icing sugar turn liquid, I never ever get them right, and I do follow the recipes' measures. Which quite obviously need a whole lot of tweaking. What made me even more annoyed with this one was that the picture showed a frosting that looked like cream cheese, you can never get that with only squeezed orange and icing sugar...

in every way. Too much squeezed orange and peel, too *little* icing sugar, no texture at all, just a runny mess. It gave the cake a nice orange flavour, but it looked very... un-nice. Not likely to be a repeat-bake.


The other one was a spicy carrot cake. Based on one I used to bake years ago - seemingly to healthy and organic looking for people in general to really like back then. Myself I loved it - I substituted the eggs for bananas and hey, there's vegan cake.

It's quite dense and moist in texture (bananas AND grated carrots do that), it'll only keep for a few days on a plate, covered with its baking tin and it won't freeze well. Other than that, it is lovely. Will post recipe later - recipe in Swedish you'll find here


Thursday, January 27, 2011

the tulip project

january 22, 2011 - the tulip project

These days I'm not that keen on knitting patterns. Back in those days when I used to knit a lot, when I first got hooked, during the 80ies, I mostly did patterned sweaters - I wasn't a scarfoholic at all then - it was very satisfying to look at the end result of those intricate patterns when the projects were finished. I rarely liked to wear the sweaters though, they always became to big or too small or just to unflattering.

In the later 80ies, possibly early 90ies, I began knitting a tulip sweater in cotton boucle. I only finished the front piece never finished it. Some years later I found the yarn, continued knitting, but never got around to assembling. I did finish every part though, the back and the two sleeves with pattern. So when I came to think of that tulip sweater recently I though it would be an easy peasy thing to finally sew it together - for some reason I knew exactly where I had stored it - turned out I was so wrong.

The back piece is only half done. Only half a sleeve is knitted, and the pattern is reasonably intricate, for me it would be tad to annoying to try and figure out the pattern just by looking at that half sleeve to be able to make the other one. Because yes, the pattern itself wasn't hanging out with the yarn bag. I know I have seen it here and there over the years, but I have no real clue were exactly I should look for it today. The search for the missing pattern is ongoing.

It would indeed be lovely to be able to finally finish this sweater! Some 20 odd years later. I even know what to wear with it, I mean I'm really glad I can still wear it, since I was tad afraid that the model was some kind of super tight thing that would have fitted me in my teens, 20ies, but so would not now. If it had been I would just have finished it and made it into a wall-hanging, it is that kind of pretty. But now I am very pleased to have discovered it is really a sizing of the 80ies, over sized. Definitely no problem with the fit being to tight.

All blog readers fingers crossed for a lucky outcome of the search, I would love to be able sporting it come spring and tulips in garden galore. The story of the tulip project to be continued.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

mr chirpy carrot


From frog, to bunny, to fly agaric to carrot, I do confess, I have the amigurumi bug.

~ Oh yes, there will be lots of cake too, but they're somewhat more time consuming to make, but I'm pretty sure they will be the most delightful sight for sore eyes when they do appear. Glossy, glossy ~

Let me introduce you to Mr Chirpy Carrot. A mister which I think we all need in our lives. This one is mine though, all mine. He even got a little happy face, because he'll never get, peeled, sliced or grated. And sometimes such reassuring prospects in life can make one feel most, most happy indeed.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

my kind of hiatus


Someone a while ago resembled by blog to a classic Sunday supplement. A glossy corner where one can put one's feet up, relax, feel good. Philosophize on topicalities, rejoice over little grains of gold, enjoy delicious but still down to earth photos with no ambition to reshape the world.

Admittedly I was very pleased and matchingly happy to hear such kind words about my corner of the blogosphere - although I do want to reshape the world. A lot. I really do.

But as things are as they are right now - although 2011 IS going to be an awesome year, it is, really, really is, January is always a tough month to get through no matter what - having to concentrate on getting through the days, a day at a time, the 'deeper' or the longer kind of posts will have to wait. Because when I'm free (as free as one can be with thoughts of change constantly whirling inside my head) I have no inclination for longer, deeper blogging.

I can't even manage to read a book these days, words and concentration fail me like that. I wouldn't say I'm in a state of gloom and doom, but well, it could be better, it certainly could. For all the usual reasons.

I wish things could have a better flow, seems like my life (too long now) have had only shorter periods of that lovely "in the zone" flows, and when one feel the flow (as flow as things can be as things are) one (read I) can bet something very unflowish will turn its ugly head up and scream nasty stuff and demolish the lovely feeling of uninterrupted kind of flow.

What I was trying to get to via all this (detour, detour) is that I'm thinking it's quite likely I'll be having the same kind of blogging hiatus as I had in December 2009, not a real hiatus as such (because somehow I do like to express myself in some way every day, silly me), but it'll possibly only be a really short post each day. Or a short post most days. To try and get my writing mojo back, but still not completely loose the comfort and delight that is blogging and the blogosphere.

A bit like the 365days project, but with words too. Only fewer than I'd like.

A photo, a few words (a lot of yarn). The glossy corner feel good kind of words. The kind of thing that may not be world-turning but gets you in a, hopefully, good, relaxing mood. As Sunday supplements can do, when the regular newspaper just is too full of those horrific, heartbreaking things that the world seems to flow over with. Then on the glossy we rely, find comfort and a glimpse of simple little joy.

Monday, January 24, 2011

t(w)itterjunta 2011


A week ago it was time for 2011 first twitterjunta. There was lotsa giggling going on and it was promptly renamed titterjunta.

What we wore on feet that day, in the shoe per diem post.

More pictures, projects up-close and tad Swedish text can be found here.

I won't attend the next twitterjunta date, but I'm reasonably sure there'll more dates that'll work for me. Although, admittedly I have on the other hand also now been pretty convinced, once and for all, that I am a lonely knitter at heart. Even if now and the odd then variety, and company, is nice.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

december afternoon vs january afternoon

december afternoon

Sadly, not that much has happened. Spring, summer feels awfully far away. Although granted, the days do seem tad longer, tad lighter. Small blessings.

january afternoon

Saturday, January 22, 2011

fly agaric fly


Since Little Heart Bunny is an Alice-in-Wonderland-ish bunny he just can't be accessorized with anything as obvious and trite as a carrot. Instead he got a wee mushroom. The pretty but deadly kind. A fly agaric (in Swedish "flugsvamp"). Of the (addictive) amigurumi stuff I've made so far the one that was quickest to make.

In case you kind of think this world of mine at the moment is very much about needlework, yarn, hook, crocheting and knitting, you're probably right. It is very much a stress reliever, it's lovely to see how quickly one can accomplish something really nice and that's what I need in my life right now. I can't concentrate on reading (alas), but I'm able to concentrate on this when I'm not doing the must-things. So I create. In yarn. Mostly.

If you'd like to read about something else than yarn, that may have to wait some while yet. Or perhaps, I may feel an inspiring twitch sooner than later, to put something other than yarny to blog. Time will tell. For now, fly agaric.


Little Heart Bunny might also be accessorized with something for the sweet tooth, something Swedish, something the-must-thing for a tea party. To be continued.

Friday, January 21, 2011

the love clasp

january 21, 2011 - love is the only thing that matters

I'm yet not sure what I will make with this beautiful, quirky clasp and leaf toggle, other than it will be a necklace (most probably for self), that I want 2011 to be a year I make more (and better) jewellery again and that I just had to have it when I spotted it in Heather Wynn's Etsy shop.

Ms Wynn, the same person who made my favourite piece of jewellery 2006 (surprise ---> earrings) and last year's fortune favors the brave-pair.

Love is the only thing that matters, good words to remember. Always.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

the sprig of spring

january 19, 2011 - spring sign sweden

Out in the garden the other day - which is truly a rather sad and horrific place at the moment, the snow half melted, showing a bit of green, frosty grass beneath, the rest still covered in snow, crust snow, icy snow, dangerous snow plus remnants of one loaf dog's doings during winter. That so much can come from one small dog, it never seize to amaze and appall me. I'm predicting a whole lot of garden work and cleaning to come... - I spotted this. One sprig, one little pussywillow. It really is way too soon for it I think, it should go back to sleep for yet a couple of months or so, but it really seems to be waking up. I love pussywillows, their little soft, fluffy, dazed appearances make me happy. And so another cycle, another year begins.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

little heart bunny

january 18, 2011 - little <3 bunny

I know I said that I even if it was fun to make one fabulous frog named Evert I wouldn't be doing a lot of amigurumi since its tiny delicate work, the filling, the minuscule details you have to get right is quite hard on you hands.


But then I got an order, something Alice-in-Wonderlandish. I immediately thought of White Rabbit, but I liked the idea of a lavender one. So I began crocheting. As with most recipes I usually tweak patterns and this I did with Little Bunny too, a bit here and a bit there.


I love his little clubfeet. And see those tiny "thumbs", what a great wee thing to come up with (thumbs up to whomever did originally!) - yes, as always
xx is in the details.

bunny and pelle

A helping paw has never been far away.


Little Heart Bunny has an adorable fluffy white tail. He has a pure heart - which I just now realised was more than befitting since White Rabbit is a servant of the Queen of Hearts. I always love me a bit of serendipity! - and a little lace collar. I'm quite pleased with the way Little Heart Bunny turned out.


Admittedly I'm quite hooked on this amigurumi thing, bunny has a little accessory which I'll show later plus I confess to having become a cake-making-addict. Oh woe. (On the other hand quite nifty when it comes to my "finish some small project every day-thing"...)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

the bleeding heart of the summer that was


The current weather is, believe it or not, even more depressing now than it has been in general for these past few months. I can definitely take both the snow and the cold, what I really, really can't stand is the ice and the slippery, scary streets (which no-one seem to take responsibility for anymore these days. This winter's fractures and ice induced injuries are probably at an all-time high...). It's just awful.

The snow has melted this past few weeks, it has rained. Snow slush isn't much fun at all, but ice is so much worse. When slush turns into ice, that's were we are right now. For many reasons I would love to go into hibernation, ice galore being one. Sadly I can't.

Instead I dream about the summer that once was. All those days when one complained about the heat, the stickiness, the sleepless nights - what one wouldn't give for that right now. The grass is always greener (or in this case, yellow) on the other side of the season fence.

I dream about that bleeding heart I bought. A white and innocent one. I hope it has survived winter, that it will stand tall and lush again come summer. The summer that seems an awful long time away looking out the window.


Monday, January 17, 2011

365 days in the world according to pia

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I've decided to have my own little 365 days in 2011. In a very simple style on Tumblr. Like one needed another project... Well, apparently one did - 365 days from the world according to pia

As I usually do some camera work every day, why not make something of it? Some days SLR, some days iPhoneic. And those scarce days when one doesn't have the snap-bug one has to challenge oneself (which isn't challenging like riding a bicycle around the world, living in a cave for five years and such, but still a little everydayish challenge)

I wasn't a part of last year's 365days-project or any blog camp (the latter doesn't go well with my non-group thing), but by kind invite from Julie I'm a part of the Flickr-group Postcards to Blog Camp. And from there she also inspired me to do the Tumblr thing (yes there seems to be a lot of "things" going on). It's really very unpretentious. I like that. And I'm hoping it will be interesting to look back at when 2011 has turned into 2012.

Above snap was January 5, light and heart is what it's all about...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

three extralong magical socks


Finally all of them are completely finished and ready to be worn - three extra long magical socks. The first pair, with its little furry rim, I did finish over a year ago and have happily, warmly worn already.


Violet-purple-beige-white in lovely subdued hues but still quirky and personal.


The other two, pink and green (my favourite colour combination) I had plans for, then came spring and there was no need for extra long socks, magical or not. When winter surprisingly came early I hadn't finished them, then other things took priority and suddenly "hey 2011". When Evert was completed, these were next on the projects-to-finally-finish-agenda.


The pink pair got a chiffon rim and some thrifted buttons - from curiosity shop in Nora -


The apple green ones were adorned with buttons (from same place above) and also a little border with some of my grandmother's old lace. Which certainly makes them completely unique and guarantee there will never ever be a pair exactly the same. And with a piece of history that's mine alone. They've also socialized with generals and gnomes.


I'm happy with end result. Thinking one could spice up life with not wearing the same colour on both feet all the time. Variety really very much being the spice of life. And yarn. Pink and green and magic.


I'm also thinking I'll never ever make another pair of extra long socks, they took ages and were quite boring to make, the colours, the magic, the idea I had of end result were the things that got me persevering.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

the tulip day


January 15 is a day of mixed emotions, a day of extremities;

:: a day of sorrow over the senseless killing of wolves

:: the day of the tulip

:: 2011's first twitterjunta

Life's blessings and sorrows gathered on a bleak winter day.


Friday, January 14, 2011

the killing of wolves

Tomorrow, on Saturday, begins another senseless slaughter of wolves in Sweden, January 15-February. Like a year ago. The wolves are critically endangered in Sweden, yet our government in all its brainless non-wisdom calls it "protective hunt".

Last year 12000 bloodthirsty, trigger-happy murderers (those who some call hunters) signed up to kill 27 wolves. This year 20 wolves are supposed to be killed.

Nature conservation and animal welfare organisations have reported Sweden to the European Union. The environmental commissioner have been very critical. There have been talks about severe penalties. That sadly does not help the wolves being killed tomorrow.

Wolves are, and should be, an important part of our Swedish fauna. I am deeply ashamed and saddened to be living in a country with a government that both instigates and condones such blatant abuse of animal rights and nature conservation. While ignoring international opinion.

One of many things that are so very obviously perverted in this country one once upon a time had many reason to be proud about. Those days are long since gone. That breaks my heart.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

st knut's day


Almost two weeks into January and we've reached St Knut's Day, the official end of Christmas in Sweden. Which is fine by me. Although I totally refuse to take down my advent candlesticks. They light up my kitchen, my day, my evenings, my nights, my life still.

But I will enjoy this season's first tulips. That I will do. The climate smart and locally produced ones. Happy St Knut's Day!

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