Happy 2023!

Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! May 2023 be filled with happiness for you and your loved ones. I hope you’ve had a great time over the Holidays and a good start to the New Year.

As for me, I spent part of the last day of the old year baking a big batch of knieperties (recipe here).

Keeping a few back for ourselves, I filled several bags with knieperties, closed them with cheerful ribbons, put them in a basket and distributed them among our neighbours. We don’t see much of each other at this time of the year, and it was nice to catch up on their news.

In exchange for the knieperties, some of them gave us home-made oliebollen and appelflappen. Yum!

When the clock struck 12 and the fireworks started, it was 15 ˚C (32 ˚F) – a nice temperature for a sunny day in May, not the middle of a night in December! Reading about the terrible snow storms and torrential rain some of you have had, I wish things could have been distributed a bit more evenly across the globe. I hope all is more or less back to normal now where you live.

Our Holiday break was uneventful, and I’ve been knitting quite a bit, finishing the Advent calendar mittens.

They were getting neater and neater as I went along – practice makes perfect (or at least improves skills). Taken together the backs make a lovely sampler of Norwegian colourwork that could be used for all kinds of other projects (description of how to download the pattern at the end of this post).

I’ve put them away now, moth-free in plastic, and made notes in my planner here and there to remind me of finding small gifts, poems and quotes to put inside. And especially to remind me of gifting them before December 1, 2023.

The life-size mittens I’ve also been knitting were less of a success, turning out a wee bit too small, and will have to be re-knit. More about those if/when I’ve found the courage to start anew.

Beside a few walks and a great family get-together, we also enjoyed a concert of a group of midwinter horn blowers. They called it An Ode to Peace through Connection.

It was great fun, seeing and hearing these strange traditional wooden horns, made by the players themselves.

The concert lasted all of 15 minutes, with each of the players doing a solo first, and finally all of them ‘making a lot of noise together’, as they themselves put it. The group has members aged from 7 to 70+ and each player has their own technique, resting the end of the horn on the ground or holding it high up in the air.

They’re an elusive bunch, these people, playing their horns from late November through the first week of January in a dozen or so villages around the area. Excepting this afternoon concert, you never know where they will pop up. Their announcements say: You’re most likely to hear us somewhere around 6 pm.

Did you notice the 2023 from buttons at the top? Well, I’ve also been rummaging through my button box. If I can get my act together, I’ll tell you more about that next week. Hope to see you then!

PS. If you’d like to hear the weird and wonderful sound of midwinter horns, there is a video on YouTube here. This isn’t ‘our’ group, but the sound is similar.

10 thoughts on “Happy 2023!”

  1. Oh, how i love this post, Marijke! The Advent mittens, the visits to neighbors, the lovely wafers that you made for neighbors, the “concert” photos … all of it.
    I just finished viewing the You Tube segment, and enjoyed the fact that both the young and older musicians continue this tradition.
    I bake a similar confection as yours. It’s called pizzelle, and I make these in an iron, or press which makes the lovely design. Do you make yours in a similar way?
    I would love to make these advent mittens. Could you lead me to the pattern? Your are lovely!
    May your New Year be a happy and healthy one, Marijke.

    • It’s good to hear that you enjoyed my writings. Yes, I also use a kind of press for my knieperties. It’s a modern electrical one, but it works similar to the traditional cast-iron ones imprinting the design on them.

  2. Happy New Year! The Advent mitts are indeed wonderful. I, too try to complete knitted gifts for family. In this new year, I am going to start now. Hopefully, I will be prepared in December. Christmas is so wonderful with the baking, taking treats to friends and neighbors, the music.

    Your posts take us on interesting walks and beautiful places across the world. Thank you.

    • If you’re starting now, you should have a well-filled gift basket by December! Thank you for stopping by.

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