Knitting and reading are 2 of my favorite past times, and I see I’m not alone. Ginny hosts the weekly Yarn Along at her blog Small Things. Feel free to stop by there and be inspired by others.
You have no idea how relieving it was to get the Annie Dress pattern done. (You can find in on Ravelry here.) So while I just have the Jane Dress still on my needles, and I’m working on sketches for the next pattern after that, I don’t have anything new to show you. Well except new squishy yarn. (Yes, yarn truly is candy for the eyes and the fingers!) I stopped by the yarn store near Knut’s big ski race last weekend and picked up some Birkie sales. Apparently we’re not the only household where both skiing and knitting are so obsessed over. Have a race with over 10,000 participants, and you’re going to get some other wives of skiers who tag along with their knitting needles.
I was really good and only bought yarn for things that will be knitted up for the boutique, so it’s much more easily justified to buy when I use boutique money! I’m thinking I’ll make a Jane Dress (When the pattern is done) and matching longies to go with them, and then I got some other baby merino super soft yarn to maybe make some fair isle longies. They have always done well in the past. I picked a color for a girlish pair and one for a boyish pair.
As I mentioned before, we got a children’s book on the Birkebeiner race last time we went, and even got it signed by the author. I was hoping that author would be there again, because Knut and I wanted to get a signed copy for our friend Annalise who just named her baby Haakon, who of course is the main character in this story. (She’ll have to settle for unsigned because that author wasn’t there this year.) However, we did pick up a new book, hot off the presses, with that author there to sign it for us.
It’s called Birkebeiner: A Story of Motherhood and War. How’s that for a title? I’m giving myself a bit of a knitting break (as in, an afternoon) after the pattern release to actually read part of this book. I can’t remember the last time I picked up a novel. I think it’s bold of the author to begin the book with the birth of Haakon (or as he spells it, Hakon). A man writing about what a woman goes through during birth is bold enough. A birth in 13th century Norway is bolder still. For my first few chapters of the book, my first impression is that the author has amazing talent in writing descriptively. However, the conversations giving all of the background/historical information of the war feels forced, and makes Inga, the mother, sound ignorant, which I somehow doubt she was.
Still, it’s amazing to read about the things that people were thinking about in those days. Christianity was still new to the Norwegians at the time, and only a generation or two back they were still worshiping the pagan gods. How does Christianity fit into this pagan culture, and are there parts of the culture that were offensive to Jesus? These were questions that Inga asked. I find that interesting. (That’s also the inconsistency in her character that I feel. Someone who had that many intelligent questions, and was married to the king would not be so ignorant about what the war was about that she had to ask her midwife about it over lunch.) Although I love the descriptions of 2 year old little Hakon toddling around the house. Really, this author forgets none of the senses when trying to immerse the reader into the 13th century.
I am grateful for the year of Norwegian that I studied! There are little Norwegian phrases slipped in here or there, and I can dissect most of the meanings of them.