It took more than one year for us to finally remove all the stuff from my grandmother’s house. We kept searching through her drawers, the shelves, the wardrobe; made different piles on her bed with her jewelery, handcrafted shawls and pouches, her glasses, her photos; we collected all the love letters between her and my grandfather that she kept besides her bed – “I’m counting the days until you’re back with me: when you receive this letter it will only be ten days left!” -, looked through all her handwritten receipts and struggled with which ones to keep, the food of my childhood, the best chocolate cookies anyone has ever eaten and everybody failed at copying them until this very day, they follow the rules and use the right ingredients, but it doesn’t taste as good as hers, not so smooth, not so sweet, not so melty, just a lame knock-off of something wonderful.
How do you decide which parts of a life to keep and which ones to give away? We went from “let’s just get the cleaner guys to remove everything in here, we don’t need anything, I just want it to be done” to “I can’t call them yet, I’m not finished, there might be something somewhere in here still that I haven’t seen” and back and forth again. After one year we had removed every bit and every piece from its place, the house was a mess, we had seen everything several times, we still struggled over which things to keep and which ones to give away. It is so hard to let go of someone and all their little belongings, all the stories and memories. I grew up with her and I knew every little thing she kept in her rooms as if it was mine; I “helped” her with the baking and cooking (you know – “help” like in eat all the cookie dough) and she taught me to play the piano. We gave books and teapots to friends and family, kept the letters and photos and I kept all her yarns, the baskets full of yarns.
In the end it only took three hours for the guys to remove everything left in her flat. All the furniture, all her books, all the pots and cookie cutters. We stood there by the window and my mom said: They are throwing my life into this container, piece by piece.
[Canon AE-1 Program | 50 mm | Kodak Gold 200]
All that was left in the end was her piano. It is the one I learned to play on when I was five, we played four-handend for christmas, she held little private concerts for her friends once in a while, with sweet hand drawn invitation cards; and one of her friends always brought a bouquet of flowers for after the show, when she would shyly take a bow and be all excited and laugh and look rosy-cheekced.
I now managed to get the piano here to my place. It sits in my living room, with pictures of her on it, waiting for me to find the courage to play again.
Long time no see – I’ve been really busy over the last half a year, but this year I’m up to some changes and I’m making room for more blogging, more photography, and more of just about everything that I love. The next few weeks will be updates of all the stuff in my pipeline that I did over the last half a year that did not get published yet. I kept knitting and crocheting and started sewing, I was traveling and of course I kept photographing.
I start this year with some pictures taken last march with the Kodak Retina IIc, which I found at my mother’s basement. It was produced in the 1970s and belonged to my grandfather. I love this old thing. You have to use an external lightmeter which is not really working, but the pictures came out nice anyway.
[Kodak Retina IIC | dmparadiesfilm 200]
Late again, but summer and reasons. Nevertheless I have been busy knitting in may as well and I accomplished my first bigger project. I keep using the left overs from my grandma and forbid myself to buy any new yarn until I really run out of stuff in my stash – but this means that it’s quite difficult to start bigger projects that acquire more than one skein of the same yarn or ask for a specific yarn. I might have to keep knitting smaller things until I can go and buy some yarn to start a pullover or shirt. Here come the small things:
The Fox Scarf – started some months ago but the neverending cables got me so bored, so I worked on it only once in a while. It would have been a much quicker knit if I wasn’t me. But I so love this guy! You can wrap it around your neck and even pull the tail through some loops on the inside of his head to secure it. I’m turning 30 next month – can’t believe it… Right hand you see some baby gnomes, a fast knit once you figure it all out. These two were my first ones, the left one is knit flat exactly after the pattern with a lot of sewing (I hate sewing), the right one I highly modified to knit in the round and use Judy’s Magic Cast-On (I wanted to learn this method for some time now and thought this fiddly little guy would be perferct to try it out… eh). The third one I gave away and didn’t take a picture, but I assure you I improved ;) Those two are just prototypes to try things out, now I figured it all out, using the Magic Cast-On for legs and arms and knit them two at once (the second technique I learned with these guys) and knit them in the round. Aww yeah. I keep knitting them, so I guess you will meet them again at the June Project update :)
These curtain ties are so practical! I needed some for my curtains but did not want to buy some and the showstrings I used were unbelievably ugly. Knit exactly after the pattern, various colours, two of every one for two curtains. Great idea and very easy pattern.
The not big, but fiddly project: The Inga hat. Took some time but I never got bored because of all the fair isle motifs. Knit two colours at once (combining Continental and English Method) and double stitched the blue afterwards just out of a mood. I love the colours. I love the hat. I so wish I could wear it now! Should not start knitting hats in summer, really. Now it lays there and waits for autumn, poor guy and poor me. Some evenings I carried it with me just to put it on my head for an hour or so. Most beautiful hat I ever had, and I made it myself! Booyah.
The big project: Dream Stripes Shawl. Used leftovers of course and kept running out of yarn. Tried to match weight and colours, not too easy with my messy skeins and no information about any of my yarn. After blocking it’s almost 2 m wide and about 70 cm high at the highest point. Used the whole skein of yellow, whole skein of blue, almost two skeins of white and some purple and some other yellow for the edge since I ran out of everything. Now this is a stash buster, really. I think it looks a bit more like a baby blanket because of the colours ;) But I like it nevertheless (the lace edge turns out beautiful and it makes a nice summer shawl) and I plan on making another one and modify the pattern a bit. Just have to wait until I have the nerves for all these stockinette rows again…
…The Shawl in all its glory :) It’s not so easy to get all of this big thing into one picture, really. Had to climb some chairs. Well.
BONUS for being late again: My balcony-garden-thing is blooming and flowering and now I have a table I can sit on and drink coffee and feel like a fairy in a magic garden :)
It’s really a tiny balcony and now there is no room to walk or have another chair anymore. All is occupied by flowers. And tomatoes – I grew tons of them, wasn’t thinking I guess… I gave away a lot of them, but I still have so many. But I’m addicted to tomatoes, so well, if they want to have tons of fruits I’m more than happy! I’m still waiting for a lot of herbs to grow, might be too late for them already. Maybe I have a lot of herbs in winter. Well. And I will get me some strawberry plant soon :)
Have a great rest of the week!
I went to Bremen and Cuxhaven some weeks ago and of course we had to stop for a few hours at the sea. It was chilly and windy, but we were lucky: there was no rain for that day! My camera though had some light issues, because reasons. And I tried to capture a butterfly that sat still in the sand for minutes, as if it was posing for me, but I only had my wide lens with me and could not capture that little guy properly… that’s what I call equipment frustration. Ah well, I might need a sherpa in the future to carry all of the things I might need. Which is a lot. You never know…!
I’m a bit late with pictures for my project 12, but here they are. What I did last month:
knitted 2 wrist warmers/ mitts (one is “endpaper“, the grey ones with the butterfly I made up myself);
crocheted a little bird and some “Mollie” flowers (don’t know what to do with them yet, but I keep making more since they are so sweet and quick and you could do anything with them – a bracelet, a ring, pillows or blankets…);
knitted 3 snakes ’til now (well – I sure don’t know what to do with them, but they are such a fun and easy, quick knit, I just keep making them when I watch tv – and you can wear them as bracelets, or hang them anywhere, so yeah, snakes!);
But to make up for that, and since it is something I “create” besides photography and therefore it might as well fit into this project: Our little urban garden!
I’ve sown some veggies and I’m sure the radishes will be fine, but I’m not sure yet about the salads and tomatoes and all the herbs. It’s an experiment with balcony gardening and little place and sun and no green thumb at all, so we will see!
Have a nice week and enjoy spring :)
A bit older, from an early morning walk last autumn – but fits my mood these days. Just a little step aside the road I should be on. When I look back it seems like a big wide gap. My hands lost yours and I miss you so, so terribly.
[Olympus 40 Program | 50 mm | AgfaAPX100]