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    Ormen Lange Bargello

    Pattern for the Ormen Lange bargello quilt

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    Downloadable pattern for Mosaic Circles

  • Bargello Flame

    Downloadable pattern for Bargello Flame

  • Bargello Dancing Flames

    Downloadable pattern for Bargello Dancing Flames

  • Somerset Pillow

    Downloadable pattern for Somerset Pillow

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    Downloadable pattern for Nine Patch Kameleon Quilt

  • Downloadable pattern for Autumn Bargello

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Heart Shaped Bag

Youngest grandson wanted to make a bag as a birthday present for his mom. He was very determined that it should be shaped like a heart, and it had to be red. Before he came to visit, I made sure I had some red  fabric available, plus iron on vliseline, and some sturdy woven ribbons for the handles.

We discussed various heart shapes, and decided that a shape with a rounded “bottom” would work better for a bag than one with a pointed “bottom”.

Drawing a heart pattern is easy. Just fold a paper in half, and draw half of the heart shape the size you want, then cut out.

The next thing we did was to cut two heart shapes out of vliseline.

We ironed the two vliseline shapes on to the wrong side of the red fabric and cut out.

I insisted that the bag should be lined. He was a bit sceptical as he had never made a lined bag before, but I explained that it would be easier to sew a lining than to fold and hem the rounded edges, so he went along. We chose a lining with a pattern of book ends. He thought it would fit very well as his mom loves books and works in a library.

Then he had quite a job zig-zagging the edges, all the way around each shape.

Then we pinned the outer shapes, and tried the placement of the handles for best balance. We wanted the heart shape to show also when carrying the bag, and found that if placed too far out, the bag would “collapse” the middle part, and if placed too far towards the centre, the sides would sag.

We also decided on the size of the opening at the top. The opening can be as large as you like, depending on where the side seams start.

We marked where we wanted to start the seams. Then the handles were placed and pinned in position for sewing on the right side of the fabric.

Next the lining was placed on top, right sides together, then pinned along the curved edges and sewn between the marks. Clip the seam allowance, especially in the “valley”. Turn right sides out and stitch the edge from the right side.

Both halves of the bag had to be sewn like this before we could go on.

Next, we had to fold away the lining fabric, place the red fabric parts right sides together, pin and sew the side seams, right up to the marks, or as far as we could manage.

Then we did the same with the lining fabric, – both sides pinned together….

….. except for a short distance of approximately 15 cm near the bottom, as there has to be a small opening so the bag can be turned right sides out after sewing. This was the fun part, – he was very thrilled to see the bag emerge through this small opening. Then we sewed the edges across the side seams, and sewed shut the opening in the lining.

Voila…. bag finished!

Both the maker and the recipient were very happy with the bag. It is a perfect carrier for mom’s knitting projects.

🙂

Eldrid

 

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Old Socks

sokkar

Recently I had the chance to see some of the old socks that Annemor Sundbø rescued from the ragpile at her factory Torridal Tweed. The socks and other old and worn knitted garments were going to be recycled and turned into shoddy.

sokkar2

However, when Annemor took over the factory and went through the pile of rags, she noticed the beautiful patterns on the knitted garments, and they became more unusual as she neared the oldest layers at the bottom of the pile.

sokkar3

She decided to save many of these old rags in order to document older knitting patterns and traditions. Her work resulted in several books and a collection of garments for exhibitions. What I got to see, is the sock collection.

sokkar4

All the socks have different patterns, and it was also interesting to see how they had been worn and mended. If one part of the sock became totally useless, usually the foot part, it had sometimes been cut away, and a new heel, foot and toe had been knitted onto the old rib and leg.

sokkar5

Sometimes it also looked like and old sweater arm had been used for the rib and leg part with a new foot knitted onto it.

These rags are a legacy of harder times, when people had to turn every shilling, turn bed sheets sides-to-middle, and turn one garment into a new one to make do. It is not all that long ago.

 

You can read more about the salvaged rags at Annemor Sundbø’s website.

 

🙂

Eldrid

 

Edited: In my next post, you can see what shoddy looks like.

A Tribute to our Foremothers

Before we went to Rome, I got the chance to see this exhibition at a local gallery.

The artist, Reidun Øvrebotten, was inspired by an album of old portraits and the memories of her own greatgrandmother, and wanted to tell the story of what it was like being a woman living in our coastal area a hundred years ago.

She has done so by highlighting the stories of ten individual women, all of whom lived in this municipality, and are still remembered by the local people.  Each woman has a special and unique story, yet their fates were not at all uncommon in this area at the time.

After researching and writing down their stories, the artist made ten costumes which were linked to each of the ten women. The costumes were made in the style of that time, which is so well documented by the photographs where people are dressed up in their very best clothes to go to the photographer in town, – but she added some unique details which connect the costumes to each of the individual women.

One of the ten women is Ane Henrikke. She fell in love with the boy on the neighbouring farm, married at 26, and by the time she was 44 had borne 9 children, but only 4 of them got to grow up. Of the other 5, two died as infants, two from scarlet fever, and one in an accident.

The artist made a special wide collar for Ane Henrikke’s dress. Photo transfers of children’s faces have been placed between sheets of water soluble plastic and oversewn. Then symbols of love and death have been cut out from the collage, before it has been sewn onto a black fabric.

Although her faith was put to the test so many times, Ane Henrikke strongly believed that God has a plan with everything that happens. She lived on the farm till she was 90, seeing her surviving children grow up and get established in good marriages.

The costume above was dedicated to Brite. She was so lucky as to get a little bit of education before she married a farmer at 22. By the time she was 40, she had had 13 children, of whom 11 grew up. In addition to being a mother of 11 and a farmer’s wife, – which was a hard job at the time, – she was also a midwife. She delivered her last baby, a boy, at the ripe old age of 82, when other help did not arrive in time. She lived till she was 93.

The details on Brite’s dress symbolize birth, life, and growth.

An old authentic bridal dress was made into a costume dedicated to Kristine Marie. She married Mons at 20, and at 26 she gave birth to her fourth child. That year the fisheries failed, and Mons went to America to get work so they could pay off the debts on the fishing boat he had recently bought. Kristine and the children stayed back home with her parents. Mons was lucky, and for three years letters and money arrived regularly back home, but then they suddenly stopped.  All attempts to find out what had happened fail, including a search conducted by people of the Salvation Army.  Kristine Marie had a nervous breakdown, and was ill for a year. As time passed, she realized she had to get work to support herself and the children, and after some time she got a job as a cook. She could not have her children with her when working, so had to leave them with different relatives, and only got to see them in her holidays; – two weeks every summer. She lived like this for 8 years, all the time hoping to hear from Mons.

Later she married a farmer, who died after a few years. She lived on this farm for the rest of her life, always wondering what became of her beloved Mons who disappeared over in America. She was forever his bride.

Amalie Jørgina was never a bride. In her youth, she got a skin disorder which caused her hair to fall off, so she was bald for the rest of her life, and she always wore a scarf both when inside the house and out. She was the oldest of 8 siblings, and stayed on her parents’, – and later her brother’s,  farm all her life. She eventually had a small house of her own, and she took in sewing and generally helped around the farm.

Amalie Jørgina’s dress is adorned with trims that would typically have adorned the items in a young girl’s hope chest at the time.  Bed sheets and pillow cases would have crocheted lace, or maybe even Hedebo lace, like the one on the shoulder piece of the dress. Hardanger was also popular for a while, and also what was known as English embroidery, as seen on the pillow cases in the picture below. Amalie Jørgina never got to use these in her bridal chamber, so they adorn her dress instead.

Amalie Jørgina was my husband’s great aunt, and all the children in the family were very fond of her. They all loved running errands if it involved a trip to Fasta’s house (Faster means father’s sister). She was a very kind person, and all their memories of her are good ones.

Walking around the room at the gallery and reading all those stories, was a very special experience, and a useful reminder of what life was like only a couple of generations back.  When the stories say that they lived on farms, one must remember what a farm was like in this area. The coastline is mountainous, and there is often only a narrow strip of  land between the shore and the mountains, so farms were usually small, with only a cow or three, some sheep or goats, hens,  maybe a horse, and sometimes a pig. This was most often not enough to make a living, so the men also had to go out fishing in order to make ends meet. Thus, most of the daily farm work, like milking,  feeding, and watering the animals, would be carried out by the women.  Water would have to be carried in buckets, as most barns, or houses for that matter, did not have  water pipes.

In summer the animals grazed in the mountains so the fields could be harvested for winter fodder. Then the women walked an hour or two every morning and evening to milk the cows and carry the milk home to the farm.

They carried the milk on their backs in contraptions like the one above, called “hylkje”. Thus their hands were free so they could knit while walking to and from.

By utilizing every minute of the day, and never let their hands rest, they were able to create both the useful things they needed …….

…. as well as the beautiful clothing some of them are wearing in the photos….

…. and beautiful bedding….

…. with intricate monograms…

… and even monogrammed shirts.

Sunday was the day for resting. Then they would put on their best black shawl with long silky fringes, put the glasses and hymn book in the handbag and go to church. Some of them would have to sail or row across the fjord to get to the church, – then they would not put on their best clothes till they reached the shore close to the church.

In bad weather going to church, or going anywhere, could be quite a hazard, as is told in some of the stories.

This is the dress dedicated to the artist’s greatgrandmother, Maria Alette. Her speciality was working with wool, hence the woolen plait on her dress.

The exhibition is also named after her and is called: “In Memory of Maria”.

It is now closed, but the artist is working on the possibilities of  making this a permanent exhibition. I hope she will succeed.

🙂   Eldrid

Lagre

More knitting

Knitting socks with self striping yarn is quick and easy, and can be done without problems in front of the TV.  My latest knitting project however, is not recommended for TV-knitting as you have to concentrate on the pattern.  I tried that on the second pair when I thought I “knew” the pattern, but had to unstitch several times.  Still, it is such a fun pattern that I have already started on my third pair of socks.

Here are a couple of photos of the second pair, – I forgot to take photos of the first pair before I gave them away, – they were knitted with yarns in offwhite and black.

catsocks

catsocks2

The pattern is from Jorids Strikkemønster. The text is in Norwegian only, but the diagrams are very good. The pattern at the top of the page there is a free download.

Eldrid

“Life Savers”

When I went in for my first hip replacement more than five years ago, I was very worried that weeks and weeks of weightbearing on crutches would harm my hands and wrists, as they are already weakened by RA.  Like for most quilters, or crafters in general, I think, the thought of losing the use of my hands is one of my biggest fears. 

I voiced this fear to the hospital staff, and imagine my delight when I was brought crutches like this one:

krykkje

When using these, all the weight bearing is done by the underarms, – the hands and wrists are at rest, – or only slightly occupied in lifting and steering the crutches.

krykkjer

I got the same kind of crutches this time too, and am happily trotting along 🙂

They are a bit unusual, though, and not everyone know of their existence.  At the first hospital where I stayed this time, I had to ask especially and explain what they were supposed to look like before they finally dug out a pair, – and every time I showed up in the corridor using the cruthces, their existence and function were eagerly pointed out by the staff tutoring the nurse students who had just arrived that week.

I call them my “life savers”.  I shudder at the thought of what might have happened have not these crutches existed, – or just as bad: the staff at the hospital would not know about them.

For what it is worth, I am passing this knowledge along to everyone who might need it.

Take care of your hands.

Eldrid

Variation

When planning and packing for my rehab stay, I aimed for a variation of “toys”.  Even though sewing is a great hobby, you can get pretty fed up if you have nothing else to do.

I have enjoyed doing the English paper piecing so far, but also enjoy knitting.  Even though the patchwork pieces are small and handy, nothing beats a simple, straightforward knitting project as a pick-me-up-during-a-three-minute-break project.  It sits ready in its bag, needles, thread and project in one bundle, just grab it and do some stitches, then put it back into the bag.  No extra glasses to put on to thread the needle, no extra equipment to bring out and organize, like scissors, spool of thread, thimble, paper and fabric….  I feel I need a bigger time slot to sit down with the pathcwork than with the knitting.

And then there is the benefit of variation, of course.

strikk

The most straighforward, no-brainer knitting projects in my opinion are socks made from just one bundle of yarn.  When made with painted yarn such as in the photo above, you can just knit and knit, and the stripey pattern emerges all by itself. 

Whose feet are going to be kept warm?  The grandkids’ of course.  Knitting socks is a granny thing.