Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

Knitting Progress March 1, 2017


img_2471  Brown sweater – adding the sleeves



Time to think about finishing this off.  I thought I would have much more room for more patterning and colors as in the sweater pictured below.




Coat of Arms January 15, 2017

preston-coat-of-arms  Here is the Preston Coat of Arms.  An interesting art form.

The Prestons appear in my genealogy back in the 14th century.

thornburgh-cofa   Coat of Arms of the Thornburgh family – they appear in my genealogy in the 15th century

tuck-coa    Tuck Coat of Arms      The Tuck name has Scandinavian origins – at last I’ve found a Viking connection in my family tree!

meverell-coa Meverell Coat of Arms


combe-coa   Combe Coat of Arms

montgomery-shield     Montgomery shield

leech-crest   Leech Crest


guy-coa  Guy Coat of Arms

kingsley-coa  Kingsley Coat of Arms

carew-coa  Carew Coat of Arms



Norwegian Fjord Horses December 24, 2015

Filed under: Horses,Nordic countries,Norway,Winter — Janet @ 6:28 pm

norwegian fjord horseswith thanks to Tor Dahl for posting this


Viking Days at the Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle July 19, 2011

The Viking Days took place last weekend.  I had intended to participate and have a stand for selling and demonstrating spinning and knitting……..but I was away, first on the East Coast, and then at the Port Townsend Early Music Workshop.  Too much going on.

Well, I did manage to go as a visitor on the Sunday and I had a good wander around to visit all the stands and demonstrations and chat with various friends and visitors.  It was good, but I felt that I had seen it all before – many many times.  I didn’t even take any pictures, it was all so familiar.  I do love these events!  But the weather was poor and some of the vendors did seem rather miserable as the next rain shower repeated several that had gone before.  i.e. it was a typical inclement day, rain one minute, then sunshine, etc.  And it was rather cold.  Not a day to put people in the mood for buying.  And I felt that if I had been there with a stand, I probably wouldn’t have even covered my costs.  Rather typical for me at events like this.  And what’s more what I would have been selling….if it had  been a nice day…..would have been woolly hats and other handknit woollies…..not great sellers in July.  I’m going to aim for having a stand at Julefest – that is in November at the Nordic Heritage Centre and maybe my woollies will have a better chance.   There’s always hope with Christmas approaching.

My purchases were meager – 3 postcards to add to my collection.


  this is my favourite, I don’t know when this was printed, it’s glossy and somewhat old.  The street is the Kungstornen in Stockholm.  I was there in 1959 – I don’t remember it.  All I remember about Stockholm is the ship we stayed on.  That was the Youth Hostel at that point in time.


17 Swedish Designers June 4, 2011

   17 Swedish Designers, all women, touring in the U.S.   This is an exhibition of current industrial design ideas as pursued by 17 Swedish women.  Ceramics, furniture, and textiles, design for everyday use.  In black and white with a lot of bright accents.  This morning I went to a the Nordic Heritage Museum to see the exhibition and hear a talk given by one of the designers, Lotta Kuhlhorn.  Lotta is a graphic designer.  She has quite a range of work, all of which I liked – book covers, designs for kitchenware, designs for textiles.  She has her own firm,  Koloni Stockholm, along with being a designer for IKEA.  Her work, and that of others in the show, made me think of William Morris, Marimekko, and Cath Kidston.  She really likes the styles from the 1960’s – and that made many in the audience feel right at home!  I liked the colourful dress she was wearing – when asked if she had designed it, she replied “no, I found it in a flea market in Stockholm only last week”.  That is just so neat – to be a distinguished visitor giving a talk about a major exhibition and wearing a dress she found in a flea market.  My type of person!!

Here’s another website I found showing some of her work.  I think it’s fabulous. 

The exhibition was spread out over 3 rooms in the museum.  Items very neatly displayed on temporary flooring/platforms.  I was a bit disappointed not to see more in the way of textiles but then that’s my particular interest.  The exhibition as a whole was wonderful.   And here are a few of my photos from this morning.

  these knitted textiles were the work of Ulrika Martensson.

  very strong but in a way muted statements in rugs and cushions

  this photo doesn’t do justice to Lotta Kuhlhorn’s work but I want to include it anyhow

  an IKEA chair and cushion – I am a great fan of IKEA and in fact the chair I am sitting on as I type this is an IKEA chair which I bought for the sheer love of the design.

  some of the people there this morning – you can’t quite see Lotta live but she is in the mural – 2nd from the right

  Lotta live, in the patterned dress with a beige sweater – in the discussion earlier one of the questions was about a favourite colour – Lotta wasn’t sure but did say that one technique she used for getting to like a colour was to wear it for a while.  So here she is wearing beige which she doesn’t like very much but has plans to use it.  I really like her approach!

Another humourous thing that happened this morning was early on in the slide show when Lotta was starting to talk about her work.  She showed a couple of slides of her allotment in Stockholm.  Allotment was a strange word to this Seattle audience.  It was finally sorted out that allotments here in Seattle are called “pea patches”.  I like allotment better.

It was a coincidence this morning that I had a couple of emails about a big exhibition that is opening tomorrow in Kilkenny in Ireland.  An exhibition of work by leading tapestry weavers – all old friends.  Wish I could be there.


Vintage Knitting Pattern Book February 1, 2011

Filed under: Knitting,Nordic countries,Norway,Yarn shops — Janet @ 2:42 am

A recent purchase was made of this vintage knitting pattern book.  This was my find last Saturday when I went to the local yarn store – The Tea Cozy Yarn Store.  A wonderful book of vintage Norwegian knitting patterns.  I don’t know if I will ever have the patience to knit one of these sweaters but I am feeling rather tempted.  Even if I never knit one, I just love looking at the patterns.  And some of the book is in Norwegian so I can practice my language skills – people ask why are you taking a Norwegian language course Janet – well, now I have an answer for them – to knit Norwegian sweaters following the instructions in the language in which they were written.  Could I put that on a label?  I know, I know, some of you are going to say, just follow the chart or read the instructions in English, but I like the idea of learning the language and finding a practical application.


To celebrate the 60th anniversary of Peer Gynt yarn.

The closest I have come, and it isn’t very close, to knitting a Norwegian type sweater was this pattern, many years ago.

  at least the colours are Norwegian.  I think I knit this when James (in the blue sweater) was a toddler and Andrew (in a red sweater I knit) was still an infant.  The pattern was Paton’s – not Norwegian at all.  And I remember being so focused on trying to do the pattern and not drop any stitches – James came along wanting some attention and as I did not want to be interrupted at that crucial moment I’m ashamed to say I gave him a thump.   A spontaneous reaction, not deliberate.  Oh dear.  Knitting and violence, or worse, child abuse?


What I Should Have Worn November 25, 2010

Do you ever go to a function or an event and only think afterward of all the outfits you might have worn, instead of what you happened to throw on that morning?  Well, that happened to me this past weekend.  This was Yulefest at the Nordic Heritage Museum.  A wonderful event – Nordic handicrafts, food and music spread over 2 days.  And a dazzling array of colourful sweaters was to be seen.  Plus many people in traditional dress as they demonstrated folk dancing and music from different parts of Scandinavia.  And it was a cold weekend so what a great chance to wear one’s heavy sweaters.   Yes, bitterly cold.  I thought I was back in New England as the storm swept in.

But before we even were able to enter the Museum, people were streaming out of the building because the fire alarm had just gone off.  And then it happened again later, as it had happened even earlier – 3 times in all.  No actual fire which is just as well but maybe a fault in the system??  Those warm sweaters were very welcome protection against the cold.

   the Seattle Fire Department on the scene

  waiting outside for the firemen to investigate

  this is an image from Annemor  Sundbo’s book Everyday Knitting.  The sweaters being worn by most people there at Yulefest were not the traditional handknits like theses but rather the Dale of Norway  machine knit ones – very colourful but I still don’t really like the feel or the weight of them.  I did find some Icelandic sweaters that were handknit and I thought long and hard about buying an unusual one done in black and red and yellow.  In the end I didn’t buy it, remembering that I already have an Icelandic sweater and I haven’t worn it all that much.  Still, the one for sale was very unusual and striking – who knows, maybe I’ll see it again and I will succumb, rather than getting around to knitting another one myself.

On Saturday it slowly dawned on me that yes, I too had a few colourful Scandinavian items but the cold snap had come so suddenly that I hadn’t made the transfer clothingwise.

  this is my Icelandic knit, which I designed myself and knit with Lopi Lite

  another one of my handknits which I designed myself.  I knit it from the top down.  And I used an old Norwegian book  published in 1965, Norwegian Knitting Designs.  Now out of print.  It had straight forward and simple instructions for how to go about knitting a sweater that way.

  I did wear this scarf and received many compliments.  It is a Shetland knit which I purchased in a shop on the Royal Mile leading down from Edinburgh Castle.  At the time I just wanted a sample of Shetland lace knitting.  That was before my trip to Mull in 2004 when I met Liz Lovick and actually tried a bit of lace knitting myself.  I think that shop on the Royal Mile is long gone now, sadly.  They were in the process of closing when I was there.  Alas, no more Shetland yarn to be purchased there. 

Incidentally, speaking of Mull and things Icelandic, a friend and I found several books of Lopi Icelandic designs when we rummaged on the lower shelves of the general store in Fionnphort where you get the ferry to Iona.  Fionnphort is also where I found a few of the Jane Duncan My Friends paperbacks which I have mentioned elsewhere.  A man supporting the R.N.L.I. had used paperbacks for sale in his garage and all proceeds went to that worthy cause.

  waiting outside the Museum for the all-clear

  these dancers from the Skandia group were wonderful

  my Norwegian classroom was transformed into the Bodega.  Good spiced wine available there!  Just right for the next day when I came in after riding my bike in the cold (this was before the snow which came the next day).

  another very Norwegian looking item in my wardrobe.  Ian bought this for me in the Joyce Forsythe shop in the Cornmarket in Edinburgh

  I couldn’t resist purchasing these items at the Yulefest – beautiful handknit mittens.  Fingerless mittens.  And a crochet lady – isn’t she a gem!  I never thought the day would come when I would find such an item attractive.

  the tin whistle and the accordion in the Kaffestuger


One More Postcard June 27, 2010

Filed under: Nordic countries,Norway,Postcards — Janet @ 12:26 pm

Following the other 2 early 1900 postcards from Norway that I have shown in my previous blogs, here’s another one from my collection.  This one from Bergen, Norway.  Bergen is not far from the Hardanger shown in the other 2 cards.

If I recall correctly, the date is 1904 or 1905.  (This postcard is in my collection in Seattle – I’ll check the date when I am reunited with my belongings.)


Solstice Notes June 21, 2010

Filed under: Nordic countries,Scandinavia,Scenery,Seasons — Janet @ 8:29 am

Continuing my fascination with the Solstice, I found the following information this morning.  This website is the source

Rising and setting times for the Sun

      Length of day Solar noon
Date Sunrise Sunset This day Difference Time Altitude Distance
(106 km)
21 Jun 2010 04:56 21:57 17h 01m 26s + 03s 13:27 60.0° 152.020
22 Jun 2010 04:56 21:58 17h 01m 22s − 03s 13:27 60.0° 152.029
23 Jun 2010 04:57 21:58 17h 01m 12s − 09s 13:27 60.0° 152.037
24 Jun 2010 04:57 21:58 17h 00m 55s − 17s 13:27 60.0° 152.044
25 Jun 2010 04:57 21:58 17h 00m 31s − 23s 13:28 60.0° 152.051
26 Jun 2010 04:58 21:58 17h 00m 00s − 30s 13:28 59.9° 152.058
27 Jun 2010 04:58 21:58 16h 59m 23s − 37s 13:28 59.9° 152.064

All times are in local time for Dublin
June Solstice (Summer Solstice) is on Monday, 21 June 2010, 12:29 in Dublin. In most locations north of Equator, the longest day of the year is around this date

And looking at the times for the whole month of June, I see that the length of the days and nights have been and will be quite similar.  Around the Solstice we seem to reach a sort of plateau and then the days get gradually shorter.

Rising and setting times for the Sun

      Length of day Solar noon
Date Sunrise Sunset This day Difference Time Altitude Distance
(106 km)
1 Jun 2010 05:03 21:43 16h 39m 51s + 2m 07s 13:23 58.7° 151.690
2 Jun 2010 05:02 21:44 16h 41m 53s + 2m 02s 13:23 58.8° 151.714
3 Jun 2010 05:02 21:45 16h 43m 50s + 1m 56s 13:23 58.9° 151.737
4 Jun 2010 05:01 21:46 16h 45m 41s + 1m 51s 13:23 59.0° 151.759
5 Jun 2010 05:00 21:47 16h 47m 26s + 1m 45s 13:23 59.1° 151.781
6 Jun 2010 04:59 21:48 16h 49m 06s + 1m 39s 13:24 59.2° 151.802
7 Jun 2010 04:59 21:49 16h 50m 40s + 1m 33s 13:24 59.3° 151.822
8 Jun 2010 04:58 21:50 16h 52m 08s + 1m 28s 13:24 59.4° 151.842
9 Jun 2010 04:58 21:51 16h 53m 30s + 1m 21s 13:24 59.5° 151.860
10 Jun 2010 04:57 21:52 16h 54m 45s + 1m 15s 13:24 59.6° 151.878
11 Jun 2010 04:57 21:53 16h 55m 54s + 1m 09s 13:25 59.7° 151.895
12 Jun 2010 04:57 21:53 16h 56m 57s + 1m 02s 13:25 59.7° 151.912
13 Jun 2010 04:56 21:54 16h 57m 53s + 55s 13:25 59.8° 151.927
14 Jun 2010 04:56 21:55 16h 58m 43s + 49s 13:25 59.8° 151.941
15 Jun 2010 04:56 21:55 16h 59m 27s + 43s 13:25 59.9° 151.955
16 Jun 2010 04:56 21:56 17h 00m 03s + 36s 13:26 59.9° 151.968
17 Jun 2010 04:56 21:56 17h 00m 33s + 30s 13:26 60.0° 151.980
18 Jun 2010 04:56 21:57 17h 00m 57s + 23s 13:26 60.0° 151.991
19 Jun 2010 04:56 21:57 17h 01m 13s + 16s 13:26 60.0° 152.001
20 Jun 2010 04:56 21:57 17h 01m 23s + 09s 13:27 60.0° 152.011
21 Jun 2010 04:56 21:57 17h 01m 26s + 03s 13:27 60.0° 152.020
22 Jun 2010 04:56 21:58 17h 01m 22s − 03s 13:27 60.0° 152.029
23 Jun 2010 04:57 21:58 17h 01m 12s − 09s 13:27 60.0° 152.037
24 Jun 2010 04:57 21:58 17h 00m 55s − 17s 13:27 60.0° 152.044
25 Jun 2010 04:57 21:58 17h 00m 31s − 23s 13:28 60.0° 152.051
26 Jun 2010 04:58 21:58 17h 00m 00s − 30s 13:28 59.9° 152.058
27 Jun 2010 04:58 21:58 16h 59m 23s − 37s 13:28 59.9° 152.064
28 Jun 2010 04:59 21:57 16h 58m 39s − 44s 13:28 59.8° 152.069
29 Jun 2010 04:59 21:57 16h 57m 49s − 50s 13:28 59.8° 152.074
30 Jun 2010 05:00 21:57 16h 56m 52s − 56s 13:29 59.7° 152.078

All times are in local time for Dublin

I think the furthest North I have ever been at this time of year is Bergen Norway.  I was there in early July in the summer of 1959 and I was so struck by it being light until well after midnight.  It never did seem to get completely dark and some of us had difficulty in sleeping.  Our group was staying in the youth hostel high above the city and our view was splendid.  Were we lucky in it being clear?  Bergen is well known for its rain but as I recall we only had a few showers and that was during the day. 

Reykjavik is even further North but still not North of the Arctic Circle, where the summer sun doesn’t set.  In Reykjavik the longest day is almost 22 hours.

Following are a few photos from the wikipedia entry for Reykjavik

  colourful rooftops

 Reykjavik in the 1860’s

  main street


Photos of postcards April 9, 2008

Filed under: Nordic countries,Postcards — Janet @ 12:11 pm

Still trying to add photos in the new WordPress format.  Now I have managed to add the above photo of the Bergen Norway 1904 postcard.  This is one of the cards I found at the Coin & Stamp Fair last Sunday.