Thursday, August 26, 2021

A bunch of words and a picture.

I started thinking about this post before the weekend, but didn't get very far. I found a picture of a finished project I hadn't shared, and then everything came to a holt. 

I saw that one of the blogs I've been following "forever" just posted a new post, and for once I responded by leaving a comment. Which is something I really should be doing more, but for some reason, I don't. Perhaps because it feels like a lot of the blogs I follow these days aren't really "personal" or of a kind of "leave a reply"-ish type of blogs? I dunno. But I remember how exciting it was to receive feedback "back in the day" - and I try to leave a comment, a question or a sign that I've read your post and that you've made an impression or a difference to my day. I'm not quite sure if I'm able to actually write out what I mean here, so if this makes sense to you - then I guess I managed after all.

There's not much going on here in Norway these days. We're not i lockdown, although the number of infected people are higher now that they've been since late winter-early spring. The vaccinations are going along smoothly (I got my second shot last week), so the government seems to be in a more "we can handle this"-mode than before. Most of the infected ones are either young adults or people already vaccinated, and they've been getting far less sick than previously. 

My work's been talking about how things will be when we return to the office. And as of September 1st working from home is no longer a demand, but and option - same as travelling to the office. We'll be able to decide more where we'd like to work - atleast for the time being. Which is good. I think that a sudden change from working from home and commuting to the office would really take it's toll on those who have a bit of travel to do - and who have kids and schedules to follow in the afternoon. You can't escape the fact that the levels of stress - both in the mornings and in the afternoons - have been significantly lower not having to communte and get stuck in traffic every single day.

My quilt group is finally meeting again tonight. It's been almost a year since the last meeting (I think I went to three last fall, and then everything had to be put on hold again). I have no idea which project to bring along.. not that there are no candidates. But it's been so long since I packed my bag and went outside the house to work on a project, that I'm note quite sure which project(-s) will be handy to bring along or not. I'm knitting alot, which is no news really, but I'm going to a quilting group and I want to bring some sewing along - and leave my knitting needles behing.

Happy Feet - sunny editon, by Marte Helgetun

This summer I finished a pair of cosy socks/slippers. They're my usual black-grey, but the softness is almost undescribable.. It was a funny way to knit these, starting at the toe, but they look great! Not really suitable for wearing in shoes or boots, but more for indoors and at home. Cosy socks!

I'm currently knitting on a sweater (my third or fourth of this year) and am slowly working my way down the first sleeve. I've completed all the required decreases, and now I need to try it on and measure how long the sleeve shound be. It's knitted in handdyed yarn, and for once it's not grey or black - but brown'ish, with hints of a whole rainbow of colours. 

August is almost over - and September is waiting by the door with Fall. It's hard to believe that the year has gone by so swiftly, once again, but here we are.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Weekend in Flåm

Last weekend hubby and I spent travelling to Flåm and enjoying a weekend in great nature - and without the kids (who didn't have a bad time or missing us at all). 

It was quite a drive, between 5 and 6 hours up and over the mountains - until we arrived at the red dot (not too far from Bergen). 

Flåm is a quiet town of around 400 inhabitants - visited by MANY tourists and cruise ships (normally, but a little more quiet now, thanks to COVID etc.). It is famous for the breath-taking nature, the fjord and the Flåmsbana. They also have a local brewery, which we tried to visit, but it was full. Oh well, next time. :-) One of the highest mountains surrounding Flåm, is Prest - reaching a total of 1478 meter above the sea. 

The water is so incredible clean and clear - and almost looks greenish. Reminds me of the water on Iceland, when we visited back in 2009.

It is a green and majestic sight to see, the valley and the small farms.

The valley was almost isolated before the railroad came in the early 1900s - the only ways in or out was by foot over the mountains or by boat around the fjord. 

Here you can see the railroad snaking it's way up the mountain on the left side of the picture - and the Rallarvegen with it's 21 twists and turns on the right. Rallarvegen was made during the construction of the railroad, and today it is a popular biking or hiking road. Both the railroad and the Rallarvegen starts (or ends, depending on wether you're going down or up) by Myrdal station, where passengers can board trains heading towards Bergen or Oslo. 

Finishing this post with the view from behind our hotel - the historical Fretheim Hotel - and towards the mountains surrounding Flåm.

Monday, August 09, 2021

Going back in time..


For this post I took at deepdive into the pictures posted on the blog to find something to use. There's a huge archive of pictures here on my blog, and it's fun and interesting to look back and see what's been posted here before.

This is a stitchery called Hocuspocusville by Crabapple Hill Studio. I made this block "the old way", using cotton batting basted to the fabric before I started stitching it. It's very fluffy indeed.  

So I made this one block, back in 2008 (yup, I checked..) and then it stayed there, alone.. waiting - or perhaps not? I'm not sure how the minds of wisps work.. Anywho, I'm thinking about restarting this project, give it another go. Not that I need another big project, or anything like that, but I've got the pattern and the thread, so why not?

Over the past couple of months I've been dabbing a bit in stitching and embroidery, and I've found it entertaining and fun again. It's almost meditative, all you need is thread and needle - and to follow the lines. 

So, perhaps this will become my autumn project for 2021? It's only been, what, 13 years since my last attempt. *cackle*

Friday, August 06, 2021

Back to work - week home alone

My first week back to work was to be spent home alone. Me working from home, while hubby and the kids went to the in-law's for the last week of hubby's vacation. The week was cut a bit short, as hubby started to feel unwell yesterday, and booked a COVID-test for today back home (e.g. here). So they're on their way home this afternoon, while I'm juggling work and my last hours home alone. 

I had so many plans for this week, many plans were cancelled or put on hold while others were completed. 

I finished a bag veskekurven (a norwegian pattern, from RyumQuilt) for our neighbour, together with two matching sweet pea pods (pattern from Lazy Girl Design) made in fabric I inherited from her. I'm going to fill the bag with yarn. She knits socks and hats and blankets for the local NICU (newborn intensive care unit) and I think I have a couple skeins she can have. 

I've also finished two baking cloths (to cover the dough while it's rising) that I stitched earlier this summer (the blue one went on vacation with me, and was finished the week we came home). The pattern is from Northern Quilts, and is one that I have made several times. I love using mine, both when baking and to keep the wheat tortillas warm when we have tacos for dinner. 

Besides these finished objects, I've worked on completing a stitchery I stitched waaaaay back (2012?), which is now almost ready for quilting, and I've been working on my Nebula BOM designed by Jaybird Quilts. I bought the pattern and fabric from a norwegian quiltshop called Lappemor. I managed to finish both of block 7 and 8, and the fabric for block 9 is ready to be cut up and sewed together. For someone who doesn't usually make blocks, but sticks to stitcheries and simple piecing (or EPP), this has been both challenging and eye-opening. I keep being surpriced by the fact that I'm able to do this, even with minor mistakes - like swapping the colours or turning the fabric the wrong way here and there.. I'll just call them individual design changes, or something like that - and there are plenty of points that are not matching up precicely, but hey, I'm happy with it! And I'm noting it all down as learning. 

In knitting related updates, I'm working on the first sleeve of my Flax Light Sweater, designed by TinCanKnits, in the colourway Moody Spring dyed by Lille rille design. I've also learned two new techniques in knitting, trying my best to knit the Honey Clutch from PetiteKnit.

I started an epp-project after seeing a picture on InstaGram before the summer vacation started - and now I'm not quite sure what to do with it... I hate to just leave it in the state that it is in, but I'm not sure where to go from here, or what I want the end result to become. I've also been working on my 100 hexies 100 days project (from InstaGram) and can now confirm that all 100 hexies have been sewn together. Now, I'm not entirely sure what that project is going to end up being either.. I'm contemplating wether to remove a couple of the blocks or leave them in there... It might be easier to get a symmetrical (and useful) finished objekt if I remove them, but then again the project would no longer consist of all 100 hexies - which was kind of the point when I started it.. Decisions, decisions..

Thursday, August 05, 2021

Summer 2021 - in pictures

2021  came with another "stay at home" advice for the summer vacation - meaning, well, I know you know what it means, but anyway.. meaning spend your vacation in your own country. Even though the rise in vaccinated people and somewhat open boarders ment that you could travel - but you might or might not have to go into quaranteen when you returned. So we stayed in Norway. 

I've just finished my three weeks summer vacation, and am back to working from home whilst hubby and the kids still have another week off (they're visiting the in-laws). It's a little strange how fast time flies by. I mean, three weeks are still three weeks, even when they feel like one.. 

My first week, the kids and I spent in Trysil, visiting my mom. Not many pictures from the visit, unfortunetly, but the days were spent, knitting, sewing, reading and jumping on a huge trampoline! (The kids did all the jumping, not me.)

Hubby came up the last weekend, and then we started our adventure for the summer : visiting Trondheim!

I feel like I more or less grew up in Trondheim, spending many vacations there visiting our grandparents (when they lived there) with my sister. So going back there felt good! Hubby had visited a couple of times before - but this was the kids' first visit. We had many plans, some were followed - others, well, there will be other times and other visits. :-)

First things first, there are a couple hours of driving from Trysil to Trondheim, or Malvik - which is where the house we borrowed was located (we swapped houses with another family, who wanted to visit Oslo - which is another story for another day). That's why we deciced to take a couple of stops on the way north. The longest stop was spent in Røros, where we visited the church, saw and climbed th mountains of debree from the old mines - and had a nice lunch in one of the bakeries downtown. 

The view from the mountains of debree is spectacular!

Our first day in Trondheim, we visited Nidarosdomen, a magnificent visit indeed! I love the stained glass windows. 

No sight of the monk some claim to have seen inside, but we did find this handsome chap on one of the pillars inside. 

Our second day was spent near Meråker, in an outdoor climbing park called Rypetoppen. Hubby and Peder went on a tour of the largest trails Peder was allowed to climb (red), while Aurora and I stayed on the green ones. (P, A and hubby took a blue trail too, which I documented with pictures and video.) I managed to slip on one of the first obstackles, and bruised my ankel pretty badly. It still hurts and looks bad even now, two weeks later. But we had a fun day! We stayed until the park closed, and on our way back to Malvik, we were stopped twice by heimevernet and the police, checking to see if we'd been across the border to Sweden. (Rypetoppen is pretty close to the swedish border, and with the COVID, you'd have to be tested when crossing the borders and possibly quaranteened.) Lucky for us, we hadn't crossed the borders, so we could drive back to Malvik and enjoy a very late but good dinner.

It doesn't show very good in the picture, but the kids and hubby are several meters up in the air.

We had to make a stop further north of Trondheim too, I mean, when there's a town called Hell... how can you NOT stop for pictures? Here's my soon-to-be-teenager (just kidding, two years left) channeling his inner dark metal spirit. 

A girl working at the local gas station told me that they had an american tourist came in one day, asking if they had a stamp (which they did) and asked them to put the stamp in his passport. I'm not sure if gas station stamps are allowed in passports, but it is still pretty cool.

We had lunch in the sky one day - high up in this tower (74 meters above the ground)! The windows at the top is where a two-story restaurant is located - with the top floor slowly rotating, so that you get to enjoy a 360 degree view of Trondheim during your meal. 

The church we visited earlier the same week, Nidarosdomen, is visible in the upper left half of the picture, identified by the pointy green tower. 

We visited Rockheim too, a music museum and hall of fame for musicians in Norway. A and I stumbled across a room dedicated to Knutsen og Ludviksen, where we sat down and enjoyed some fun music and videoes. 

Coming back home and the leaves are starting to fall, covering pathways and ground and grass. I'm not ready for this, I'm not ready for summer to be over and fall to come..

This is my block for week 31 of the #focuscuttingsewalong hosted by @naomialicec ☀️ HUMAN(s) sunbathing (and a dog too) 😎 Gorgeous fabric from @clothandcandy ⛱