Slowing Down and Tidying Up


The title of today’s blog post – ‘Slowing Down and Tidying Up’ – may sound terribly Zen and Organised, but that’s not how I’m feeling at all.

The slowing-down part is my left foot speaking. I’ve injured it during a recent walk. Nothing serious, and I hope it will heal soon, but for the time being I need to listen to my foot and walk slowly and mindfully. Because whenever I ignore it, it sends a stab of pain to my brain.

I think my left foot is a rather sadistic Zen master, and I can’t say that I’m grateful to it. But I am grateful that it isn’t my left hand that’s injured. At least I can still knit, and that’s what I’m doing a lot.

There is some gift knitting going on that I can’t show you, but I’m also knitting something for myself that I can show – a cashmere cap and matching cowl in charcoal and red. Pure comfort knitting.

More about that when I’ve finished it. The novel next to my knitting is from the series of Jane Austen mysteries by Stephanie Barron that I’m re-reading. Highly recommended!

While the slowing-down bit from this blogpost’s title is dictated by my left foot, the tidying-up bit is dictated by the state of some parts of our house. You probably know what it’s like if you have many interests: notes, patterns, newspaper clippings, recipes and other papers pile up until there comes a moment when they take up so much space that tidying-up becomes unavoidable.

And for a knitter, there are all the things left after a knitting project is finished: pattern print-outs, notes, swatches, scraps of yarn. After finishing my Monogrammed Guest Towels I am left with all this:

A folder full of notes and charts, left-over yarn, yarn labels, the towels and face cloths themselves, and swatches. Lots of swatches of the monograms – many knit-in versions, one in duplicate stitch, and even one in cross stitch on a knit swatch (not a success).

And there’s also a small bouquet of loops:

Shall I keep them for future reference? I have difficulty tidying up, because I keep thinking that things may come in handy later. But no, they’ll have to go or we’ll get snowed under in stuff. If I’m ever going to make something with loops or monograms again, I’ll knit new swatches. That’s part of the fun anyway.

Speaking of new swatches, I paid a visit to Wolverhalen to get some materials and needles for them. Maybe you remember the shop? I wrote about it before here.

My tactic at a time we need to avoid crowds is to shop as little as possible, and when I really need something, to go at a quiet moment. So last Wednesday I arrived at Wolverhalen when Catharina was just about to open up. While she was placing a last little Christmas tree in the shop window, I looked at the things on display and put on my face mask.

I had taken a good look at her website beforehand and made a shopping list. One of the things on my list was two balls of this squishy yarn.

Something to play/knit swatches/cuddle with during the Christmas holiday.

Also on my list was some of Catharina’s own handpainted yarn for another Thús 2. On my way to Wolverhalen, I dropped the original version off at a friend’s house, and now I’d like to make another one. I chose a deep teal merino singles yarn (2nd from left in photo below).

While I was choosing my yarns, another customer came into the shop. She was wearing a very special sweater, and when I asked her about it, she told me she’d bought it during a month-long stay in the Faroe Islands. Oh my, an entire month in that beautiful place!

I asked her if I might take a picture of her lovely sweater for my blog and she said that was fine, so here it is – Thank you, unknown knitter!

Chance meetings like these are what make visits to a brick-and-mortar yarn shop extra special. I don’t know if I’d recognize her in the street or she me, large parts of our faces being covered in masks, but from her story about the Faroe Islands, the pattern she was choosing yarn for and her remark that’s she’s a bird watcher, I did recognize a kindred spirit.

Well, let’s browse around a little more before leaving for home. Apart from her own gorgeous hand dyed yarns…

… Catharina also stocks a selection of yarns from other companies, like Danish CaMaRose.

And then there are plants in lovely pots everywhere…

… books…

… and magazines.

Ah, it’s been so good to not be at home for a while. And to meet other knitters and yarn lovers, even if it was only briefly, in small numbers, at a safe distance, and partly hidden by masks.

Well, that’s all for today. I’m hurrying back (slowly) to my tidying up. Wherever you are in the world, and whether you are slowing down (of your own free will or not) or are extra busy at work or at home, I hope that you are okay. Thank you for reading and see you again soon!

8 thoughts on “Slowing Down and Tidying Up”

  1. Marijke – I took a stab at spelling your name – sure hope that I got it right, but I can’t always rely on this brain of mine. Sorry that your left foot is bothering you, but am glad that you are getting more time to knit and craft while keeping it elevated. I loved seeing the pictures of Wool Stories – I went to your blog post of May 2020 to read about it – sounds like a wonderful shop – and the picture of that lacey sock that you posted at the beginning of that blog post – so beautiful, but I would be afraid to wear such a beautiful sock – I would surely catch that lace in something and rip it. Fabulous picture of the ladies sweater that she purchased in the Faroe Islands. I was also curious about the magazines that you posted – am guessing that the first one is about hat patterns, the 2nd about cooking and the 3rd is for children? That’s my guess since I don’t know the language. Great blog post.

    • No, I wouldn’t wear that lacey sock either, but it’s a lovely thing to look at! About the three books in a row, they are (from left to right): Milarrochy Heids, a book of hat patterns by Kate Davies, Christmas Feasts and Treats, a recipe book by Donna Hay, and De Zeven Kersttruitjes, a children’s book with the English title Little Robin Red Vest.

  2. Hello Marijke,

    such a treat- again – to read your blog post. I admire your ability to transfer the reader into your world, it’s like a glimpse into another existance (sounds phony, but this is not my native language).

    Don’t we all need this during these times?

    I admire your cap and cowl and think about copying the colours , if you don’t mind,maybe with another yarn…

    Hoping your foot gets better soon and that you’ll be able to spend a lot of time with your loved ones around Christmas!

    • Hi Andrea, Thank you so much for your kind words and well wishes – they do me a world of good. Copying my yarn colours is absolutely fine. It’s a dark grey (not quite as dark as charcoal) and a cheerful warm red, just like the berries in the photo at the top of the post. xxx

  3. Hi Marijke, I’m so happy that I’ve found you on Ravelry! And now to be reading your blog posts is an added treat. Yes, I agree that when you enjoy doing many things, the price you pay is “steep”… steep piles of yarn, newspapers, books. recipes clipped and saved into labeled folders…many folders, not just one or two!!! The newspaper pile can go back to as many as 10 months, but I cannot let them go until I check out the columnists that I enjoy reading. Oh, well, I keep telling myself that there could be worse habits than these, but I find it difficult to convince my husband of this!!!!! I hope that you continue to take comfort in your knitting and reading, while elevating your foot. Be kind to yourself. xx

    • Thank you Lorraine! It’s good to hear that you are just as bad as I am when it comes to newspaper clippings etc.

  4. So sad to hear about the foot injury. Time will heal.
    Thank you Marijke, for taking me away on another lovely day trip into your life.
    I love the striped socks you are wearing. Am hoping to knit a first pair of socks as soon as gifting projects are complete.

    Oh, to have a LYS close by. The two in our area closed for retirement a couple years ago now so all I have is online, as the closest one is now 45+ minutes by freeway. Catharina’s holiday window is delightful. So inviting. I can almost feel the softness of the yarns.

    Sometimes we become overwhelmed by our own hobbies and tidying up is a necessity. I tend to stash project bags with leftover odds and ends in my yarn closet (was the guest bedroom closet before, but no guests stay anymore). Then I reach that point when I look in and decide it is time to tidy up. Recently I had to remove all the floor crates for the Christmas decorations, so tidying up will now wait till after the holidays.

    Sorry to meander down my own path for I bit. Time for that first cup of coffee along with knitting some mini hat decorations to tie on gift bags. Just wish I could make a decent Pom Pom by hand.

    Please take care and relax while the foot heals. Knitting is sometimes the best home remedy.
    Thank you again for starting my Friday morning off with a smile.

    • Your comment is almost a blogpost in itself :)! A first pair of socks? You’ve never knit any before? Well, a new journey of discovery to look foward to. Mine are a self-striping yarn, very simple with a great effect. Thanks for stopping by!

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