Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"K" and Lolly - The Dishrag/Potholder Fun Continues!

"K" and Lolly

My wonderful friend "K" is also my crocheting buddy.
My wonderful blogging friend "Lolly" is also my crocheting buddy.

If you have previously read my posts you may recall "K", we made the Pink breast cancer blanket together. Also see Pink Follow-Up. (She formerly called herself "Nothing" - silly girl, so far from the truth.) "K" surprised and delighted me by reading my blog and making the dishrags/potholders from the Pattern For Lolly post and sent me this photo of the finished product. She follows instructions extremely well.

And then "K" made these adorable Easter bonnets for her granddaughters:

Hmmmm....I'm thinking that "K's" granddaughters sort of resemble balloons.
What do you think?

And then there's that Salty Lolly, she has taken the pattern to a whole new level and posted about it here.
Holy cow...what great talent and what an eye for color!

These two ladies have made my heart sing.
(And a singing heart is about as good as it gets.)

Thank you for making me feel so good!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Klokkestreng (Bell-pull)

A Spruced Up Klokkestreng (Bell-pull)

Since I am getting such a kick out of learning Norwegian again, I would like to write a little something about the words "klokkestreng" and "bell-pull":

Confused and Amused

A klokkestreng would be directly translated as a clock string (I think) and these bell-pulls (as they say in English) have no bells attached to them nor could they really be functional as a bell pulling device. Oh, and then there's the term "spruced up" which I used at the beginning of the blog. How would a Norwegian ever know what that meant? "Up in a tree" would be the best direct translation, yet their term for "spruced up" would probably be "pusse" but that means polish so that may not be accurate, either. I may need a little help here from my Scandinavian blogging friends. Anyone?  Again, I am confused and amused by both languages. :-)

My father's sister Lise lived in Norway her whole life. She married Hans and the two of them lived in a little apartment in Kristiansund N. their entire married lives. I always felt a certain closeness with Lise that is difficult to explain considering the limited time and visits that I had with her. She had such a simple life void of "things" and always seemed so happy. She struck me as someone that I would very much like to emulate. I was young and didn't pursue getting to know her better; I regret it.

Lise and Hans never had children, so when the two of them went to a better place, I was fortunate enough to receive a few items that Lise had made. Lise attended a school that taught the domestic arts. In Norway it's called "Hus Mors Skolen" and directly translated that would be "House Mother's School". From what I understand it is still around. It takes at least six months to complete the courses. Wouldn't that be fun? I wonder if I could get six months off work?

One of the items I received, that was Lise's, is this klokkestreng that she made while attending the "Hus Mors Skolen". I have had it hanging in our living room for several years now and I had always thought that if the purple color in it was blue it would match my decor perfectly! I have no purple in my home, although I love the color, I am obsessed about having colors match (or at least coordinate); hence the purple must go.

So, I got a wild hair and dug through my yarn stash this weekend and changed the purple to two shades of blue, alternating light and medium blue. I hesitated at first, as changing the original colors and yarn seemed somewhat wrong, but the more I thought about it the more I thought it was O.K., and I think Lise would have felt the same. And now the whole room seems to be in better harmony. :-)

Here is the refurbished klokkestrng hanging by the viking ship and my amateur touch of rosemaling. It feels right and I feel Lise's spirit here with me saying something like "Oh, Astri the purple was all wrong for your home, I am so glad you changed it, it warms my heart that you cherish this so much."

I miss you Tante Lise, I wish I would have taken the effort to know you better. A part of you will always be with me.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Strik med Mor, Randi, og Liv

First Invite (sort of) to Knit/Crochet with the Norwegian Ladies

My mother has the cutest Norwegian friends ever. They have been getting together to knit and 
occasionally crochet since I was a little girl. I have always wanted to join...I have never been invited in spite of all my hinting, manipulating and downright asking. It has never worked. Sometimes I was told I would be invited next time...they said they would call me...never happened. This went on for years.

Now I know why...

My mother is recovering from hip replacement surgery and it has not been going quite as well as expected, so her cute Norsk friends have been fighting over who gets to take care of her. It's so sweet. They take turns sleeping over at her little condo and they take care of mor and knit, knit, knit. I am so jealous; I am getting left out of the knitting shenanighans once again. Ouch... the painful lifetime memories. :-)  

Well as the story unfolds...last Friday mor called me and said she needed someone to come stay the afternoon to give her friends a break. Could that someone be me? Oh yes! I was excited. I made the necessary work arrangements gathered up my WIP and headed over.

Hmmmmm...upon my arrival Randi was sitting there knitting and I thought "Oh good, she can be relieved of her duties now." But no, she stayed and continued knitting. Then to my surprise Liv arrived with chocolate rum cake. Mor had said they needed a break but they had no intentions of "taking a break". Perhaps taking care of my mor is a break to them. They are all widows and mor, come to find out, is fun! They stayed, we laughed, they knitted, I crocheted, we ate rum cake. So, all in all, we all got what we wanted...they got to continue taking care of mor and I got to crochet as part of the group. :-) :-) :-)

I also came to realize why I had not been invited to be part of this group. Through the stories that were told and the reminising of  the old days, it came out that these "church" ladies have been carrying-on together in all kinds of "non-church" ways. Funny hilarious road trips, knitting adventures and secret activities. They are the same age, they go to the same church, they all emigrated from Norway in the early 1960's. I did not have those things in common with them and none of their other daughters wanted to join in on the fun. It all makes sense now. It makes me so happy that they had their time together and that they still do, and occasionally I may be lucky enough to join in on just a little of the fun.

Mor WIP; knitting yoga toes, no heel. Bless her heart, the walker shown in this picture is her constant companion. I hope she heals soon and can travel back to Norway to be with her husband that misses her so.
The Yoga Socks.
Another one of mor's WIP's.  It's called a Fana Kofte. I like the way that sounds "Fana Kofte." I could say it over and over again. I love these Norwegian words. They make me happy. (Thank you, Inga Helene.)
Once again, mor is using that lovely Dale Baby Ull yarn.

This is Randi, knitting washclothes. She was knitting so fast that most of the photos were blurred, but she must have taken a nano-second breather during this particular shot.

Liv was too busy feeding us the chocolate rum cake to knit. She is a crocheter too, more than the others are. I did teach her how to make the crocheted rose from my Pink post. After the lesson she asked if she could just come to my house with yarn and she would massage my feet while I make the roses for her. Ha, ha; I must not be a good teacher. Maybe the other ladies could come to my home, as well, and then I could count that as number two invite to the "Norsk Knitting Ladies Get Togethers." ;-)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Vinteren til Våren (Winter to Spring)

Dream Spot is Ready for Spring

In celebration of the Spring Equinox (Last Sunday) the traditional annual
"Elske Reir" bedding switch-out took place today.
(I'm a little late due to the guest situation last week.)

Våren (Spring).................................Vinteren (Winter)
(Winter appears to be brighter and sunnier due to the lighting in the pictures,
but in all reality the Spring set up is much brighter and lighter.)

Down blankets were hung outside today just like they do in Norway. I rarely see that here in the USA but I see it quite often in Norway. I love the feeling of beddings that have spent the day in the sun and fresh air. I can't wait to go to bed.


Bumping up Winter and Spring photos side by side made Spring look washed out; however, I think the addition of the WIP, upon completion, will bring some additional color and contrast to the room. It's about 25% done and it's going slow because I keep getting inspired by all these other blogs and get sidetracked on new projects.

What I learned today:

Taking before and after pictures is must stand in the same spot at the same time of day with similar weather in order to achieve an accurate comparison. I need a lot of practice. :-)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Dreams of Mastering Two Languages Continued...

Additional words in Norsk that throw me for a loop!

Gift: Married or Poison
Gikt: Arthritis
Gikk: Went
Gave: Gift

I love that "married" translated into Norwegian is "gift"...but "gift" also means poison in Norwegian????
"Gift" translated into Norwegian is "gave" and THAT one makes sense.
Then there's "gikk". Oh man, which one has the "t" and which one doesn't? And then of course one has a double consonant so it is said quicker. Perhaps, I can remember this one by thinking that "She "gikk" fast." Ha!

I am perplexed; thank goodness for posting to a blog because that helps me keep it all straight.
(Yeah, right!)

This is Mr. and Mrs. NVO; gift (married).
(Apparently checking out the halitosis situation.)

We are each other's "gave".
(This is the mushy stuff our children get grossed out we do it more, of course. )
Hoping one of the six will read this and get grossed out accordingly.

Now, I know "gift" and "gikt" don't sound much alike,
but for the life of me, I can not keep these two words straight.
I've been known to say:

Jeg er gikt med han. (I am arthritis with him.)
Jeg har gift i hoften min. (I have marriage or poison in my hip.)

I suppose the "gikt" will increase as we age,
 and hopefully we won't have to deal with any "gift" (the poison kind)
and we will remain each others "gave" (gift),
but for now I hope that someone.... someday can say :

"They lived long as a "gift" couple...
and they lived happily ever after as garden gnomes?"

...og de levde lykkelig alle sine dager!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Springtime Mitered Dishcloth

Here's a springtime version of my favorite potholder pattern:
Pattern including picot edge can be found in my Etsy shop here.


Most folks would consider this a potholder but I use these as dish rags.
 They may not be thick enough to withstand the heat as a potholder, 
but two could be joined together with the picot stitch and used as a potholder. 
After use, I rinse and wring them thoroughly and hang them
 from a hook by the sink or the faucet with that convenient handle. 
This drying technique keeps them smelling fresh and germ resistant:

These make a great gift!
 Hmmmmmm....Mother's Day.....Mother-in-Law Birthday....etc. etc....hmmmmmm....
the wheels are spinning.

Wishing you many happy hooky days filled with lots of potholders/dish rags!!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Daylight Savings Time-Sunday (Søndag)

This is the last post about time and some of the things it's about time to do.

What can be done in an hour?

It's about time to do something with those leftover crocheted leaves from a previous project.

 This little guy might be what our "husnisse" looks like. :-)

This is another crochet stitch from the "365 Crochet Stitches a Year" Perpetual Calendar by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss  - "Clusters on a Slant", March 20 (posted on March 20)

This one took longer than an hour because I could not figure out the stitch - It does not look like the calendar picture at all. I let it go and made peace with it because it was just a wash rag. ;-)
Perhaps I'll try it again one day.

(Six stitches down, 359 to go!)
That's it for seven days of one hour projects in celebration of "Daylight Savings Time"

Friday, March 18, 2011

Daylight Savings Time-Saturday (Lørdag)

This week's posts will be about time and some of the things it's about time to do.

What can be done in an hour?

It's about time I do something with this (I don't know if it is a pot holder or a dish rag?).

While visiting Norway I noticed many of my younger relatives were decorating with a lot of black accents, so I made a bunch of these black and white "things" and sent them to these relatives with a note of gratitude for their hospitality. Included in the package was a spice blend (Old Bay) that I could not find in Norway. I thought would compliment many of their fish dishes. (Mmmmmmmm...crab cakes, blackened salmon....mmmmmmmmm.) It was a little "thank you" token for the lovely visits.

(That weed like looking plant in the top photo is fresh basil and boy, does it ever smell good!)

Daylight Savings Time-Friday (Fredag)

This week's posts will be about time and some of the things it's about time to do.

What can be done in an hour?

It's about time I make something for my mom who is always making something for someone else.
She recently had everything re-painted a heavenly light-blue in her little condo here in the USA for her domestic visits. I chose colors from my stash that would coordinate to make her a one hour gift.

My mother gave me this plate; it is the very first wedding gift my parents received when they were married in 1954. I'm so fortunate to be the recipient of such a special heirlom.

You are always knitting (strikkt) these for someone else, mom...
so here's a crocheted (heklet) one for you.

This is another crochet stitch from the "365 Crochet Stitches a Year" Perpetual Calendar by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss  - "Kernals", March 15
I choose "March 15" because I crocheted this the evening of March 15, 2011.
What a lucky choice as I ended up loving the texture of the stitch.

(Five stitches down, 360 to go!)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Daylight Savings Time-Thursday (Torsdag)

This week's posts will be about time and some of the things it's about time to do.

What can be done in an hour?

It's about time to make something green for St. Patrick's Day. :)
Yay! Another dish rag!

This is another crochet stitch from the "365 Crochet Stitches a Year" Perpetual Calendar by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss  - "Waffle Stitch", April 13
Made from leftover yarn.
I think I'll keep this one myself and use it today, my guests will be so impressed with my festive holiday color coordination.

(Four stitches down, 361 to go!)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Daylight Savings Time-Wednesday (Onsdag)

This week's posts will be about time and some of the things it's about time to do.

What can be done in an hour?

It's about time I make a "one hour" treat for the NVO.

We take dance lessons twice a week (the lessons are one hour) and after we both work a long day (NOT one hour) it's difficult to get us out the door, once we are home.
The NVO was greeted with coffee and cookies last night on his arrival home from work and this was exactly what we needed to give us that "kick" out the door for our lesson.
(You thought it was going to be another crocheted dish rag, didn't you? hmmmmm...just wait until tomorrow)

I found this cookie recipe on my favorite food blog "For the Love of Cooking", click here for the link. I added some instant coffee granules for more of a mocha taste and since I did not have the chocolate chips I used my standard almond extract. These cookies were so buttery and delicious. I have yet to find a recipe on the "For the Love of Cooking", blog that I have not "loved to cook". Everything turns out so yummy!

I intended to take photos of the process of making these; however, since I was trying to make it under an hour, I promise, you do not want to see what the kitchen looked like during that process. ;-)

#6 surprised us with these daring tulip napkins when she came over for dinner on Sunday.
She's the only left to come around for Sunday dinner
 and possibly the only one left that thinks we are still cool. ;-)

Thank you Little Bug!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Daylight Savings Time-Tuesday (Tirsdag)

This week's posts will be about time and some of the things it's about time to do.

What can be done in an hour?

In order to stay on budget while simultaneously feeding my crochet addiction, it's about time to make gifts from leftover yarn. :-)

This pattern came from "K". She was formerly known as "Nothing" when she commented on my blog.  (We nipped that one in the bud, with the she's really "Something" comment. ;-) ) Hmmmm...wouldn't it be funny if I gave her this dish rag as a gift? That doesn't really fall under the re-gift category, does it?
What would you call a gift that was made with a pattern that the gift recipent gave you in the first place?

Here's to you "K", thank you for the pattern.
It was an hour well spent!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Daylight Savings Time-Monday (Mandag)

"It's About Time"
(Daylight Savings Time That Is)

In our neck of the woods, we lost an hour this weekend.
This week's posts will be about time and some of the things it's about time to do.

What can be done in an hour?

I was thinking, for some time now, that it's about time to post about another stitch from
the "Crochet Stitch Calendar".

This is another crochet stitch from the "365 Crochet Stitches a Year" Perpetual Calendar by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss  - "V-Stitch", January 1
January 1 seemed like an appropriate stitch for the first post of the week on "It's About Time".
Three stitches down, 362 to go!)

Chain multiple 33 + 2 with simple picot edging.
This washcloth took about about an hour to make - to blog about it took another hour. ;-)

If you were given an extra hour what would you do with it?

We never know how much time we have, and with that thought my heart goes out to all the people in Japan. If only an extra hour could have been given to them, just an hour warning, just one simple hour, so many lives could have been saved. An hour that could have meant a lifetime to thousands of people. 

Loving and healing thoughts from all over the world are being sent your way every waking minute of every day. Once again, a shocking reminder to us, that we never know how much time we have. I will personally strive to be grateful for every precious minute in every precious day. I will make every effort to love the ones I love and love the ones I struggle to love.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Gjester (Guests)

Guests are arriving this week to ski, ski, ski!!!

It is esssential that the guest room is prepared and ready for these loved ones and that is todays project.

Our city is a mecca for skiiers. We hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics. This winter wonderland that is our home, has been touted as the place with the "Best Snow on Earth" and it may very well be true. We live in a desert so the snow is dry, and we get a lot of it!  (No signs of global warming going on here.) After a storm there are plenty of people here that will forsake everything else in their lives in order to partake in a "powder day." We do enjoy a good day of alpine skiing but can leave the powder days for the powder hounds. At least one of our guests may be a powder hound. :-)

Alta, Utah
Of course, this run is much steeper than it appears in the photo.
 AND I am going much faster than it appears in the photo, as well. ;-)

We live approximately 20-30 minutes from five large ski resorts; hence most of our guests long to come during the winter time. Sometimes I think it's a shame because we are fortunate enough to enjoy four distinct seasons here, Spring being my personal favorite, and I feel it coming on and it makes me smile.

Somewhere between Solitude and Brighton, Utah.

The snowshoeing isn't so bad either.
(I do not know what the NVO is doing with his arms????)

Enough of the the winter sports and back to the task at hand, the Gjesten Rom...

The closet went from this to this.
That was no easy feat as I have taken over every closet in the house except one. To empty this closet for guests when all the other closets were full...well....all I can say is....poor NVO!
A dejunking and organizing closet posting opportunity lurks in the wings. ;-)

The room is now ready to welcome our guests:

Velkommen gjester, ønsker vi deg en koselig tid her!

Søte drømmer. :-)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Strikk, Stryk and Hekle

I Dream of Mastering Two Languages

 Can you teach an old dog new tricks?
If the dog once knew some of the tricks, when she was a puppy, would that help?

Either way, I've got a long road ahead of me. :-)

The NVO has taken it upon himself to learn Norwegian. It's incredibly endearing. We have purchased every language learning tool we could find in Norway, in the USA and online. He studies for hours each evening. He is getting so good. I did not think I had to study as it was my native language (does until the age of 2 1/2 count as ones native language?) Boy, was I ever wrong!

Some Norwegian words I get mixed up:
Strikk (Knit)...............................Stryk (Iron)
One was fun, one was not, until today.

It was brought to my attention via comments from my previous post:
God Bedring Erna that I used the wrong word.
(No worries, it's been corrected now.)

Stryking: Ironing
I meant to use
Strikking: Kniting
These two words sounded so much alike to me; however, with the help of my Artic Strawberries blogging friend and the NVO I have learned the difference in the spelling and pronunciation of the two words.

The "y" is pronounced as "ee" with a lower tone with the lips pursed forward and it is said slowly.
The "i" is pronounced as a long English "e"  but with a smile and is said quickly due to the double consonant.
(Of course one would smile when talking about knitting.)

Can YOU hear any difference?

I told the NVO while we were courting that Norwegian was an easy language to learn. Perhaps I thought it would entice him to marry me....hmmmm...the thought of learning such an exotic language from the country of his sweetie's birth.....what's more enticing than that? If I was not truthful, it was not intentional.

There are so many other "Norsk"words that entertain us and are similar like these. As I write this post the NVO writes a post about another funny Norwegian language story. Click here for his story; he's such an excellent writer. :-)

Well one thing led to another preparing for and taking photos for this post today and I found myself actually having fun with the stryking (ironing) whilst reminiscing about another collaboration between the strikker (my mother) and the hekler (me).

Here are some photos of how one inspiring thought led to another inspiring action today:

'En strøket pyjamas'
Fire Strøket Putevar
(I don't remember the last time I ironed pj's and pillowcases).
Maybe this blog is good for me. :-)

Then there are the clothes...I do remember the last time I ironed THOSE....every week, but today it was fun.
Repeat...maybe this blog is good for me.
(Did you read that NVO?)

A collaboration of the hekler and strikker from years ago:

Once again, the strikkt (knit) squares were mor's creation and the heklet (crocheted) squares were mine.

The collaboration rests on a chair in the corner of the "Elske Reir" along with a pillow with lace that my grandmother had crocheted many, many years ago.
(A tres generaticiones photo opportunity - Hey, there's a third langauge here. :-0 )

All this has worn me out and I am ready to hit the hay and wrinkle up those pj's and pillowcases and get some well needed rest.
Tusen takk (a thousand thanks) not to be confused with Tusen tak (a thousand ceilings) Artic Strawberries, for the inspiration.