May 14, 2016
Last week I had the opportunity to visit the Open Air Museum in Vorau, in eastern Styria. The museum presents old buildings and objects related to traditional rural life in the area – and as it turned out, quite a few of these objects had to do with textiles.
In the “old days”, the growing of flax and the production of linen played a significant role in the life and economy of the rural communities in this part of the country. Consequently, the museum’s collection is full of tools like looms and spinning wheels…
…and this amazing early-20th-century winding machine which looks suspiciously like some ancient instrument of torture:
So, if you happen to be in the area, don’t miss it!
January 5, 2014
I have just returned to London after my annual Christmas hibernation in the Tyrolean Alps, which this year, was even better than usual: On Christmas Day morning, we woke up to one metre of freshly fallen snow which over night, had covered the mountains, trees, houses and stables in its silent white wintry sheets. The view from my mum’s kitchen window presented itself like this:
The snowploughs were so busy clearing up all the streets and paths leading to the many widespread villages and farms in our valley, that we were literally snowed in for two days. Thankfully, electricity did not fail like in other parts of the region, so we could snuggle up behind the stove and enjoy Christmas like I think it should be: peaceful and quiet.
2013 has been a very challenging year for me. The PhD project has kept me busy far more than was healthy, and I failed at making enough time for other things that are as important to me as work [as much as I love doing research and writing]. Keeping in touch with friends, enjoying nature and walking, as well as indulging in the more creative sides of live certainly fell by the wayside. This snowy Christmas thus was a more than necessary break from the everyday rhythms that determine my London life, and a welcome opportunity to step back, re-think and re-boot. And what better way of doing this than with a pair of needles in your hands?
A wonderful stockinette pattern knit in the round, which allowed for plenty of thinking and daydreaming whilst the needles clacked along happily. The yarn is simply divine, very soft and smooth. Unfortunately, the photographs taken in poor Northern January light, do not do justice to the wonderfully subtly colour hues.
I am not very good at sticking to New Year’s resolutions, so haven’t made any. However, I hope that with this pullover, I have taken a good portion of calm and peace from the mountains to the city, and that it will be a good reminder for balance in 2014!
Happy New Year to you and your families, too! May it be a good one!