Ah, back in Finland. I’ve got a hot tea, Norah Jones and sweats – perfect time to just relax and get back to the blog.
For those that want to hear about how I passed the holidays etc. here’s a quick recap before getting into the “knitting” subject (if you don’t care to hear about the personal stuff, then just skip these bullets;)
- Lyon, France was AMAZING!- partied in all my favourite places, drank my favourite “Desperados” (tequila beer), I spoke French better than I did two years ago (no idea how but even dreamed in French!) and saw all of my fabulous French friends. It was a trip I’ll never forget. Thanks to all you Frenchies and hope to see you again soon!
- Savonlinna, Finland for Christmas was like being with family (no offense family members… missed you all of course). Wonderful food – about 7 different types of salmon.. mmmmm… and very traditional, saunas almost everyday (even whipped with the vasta) and just so relaxing.
- In Helsinki now and hanging out with some friends for the New Year.
Ok, so about knitting… (I got home-made wool socks for Christmas, extremely impressed!)
There were a couple odd things that I wanted to do while in Finland for these two years:
- learn how to knit
- pick mushrooms
A little strange I know, but there was something simplistic and endearing about these activities which seemed to have been left in a bygone era. Before I came here I learned all about the Finnish culture from my best friend. Here was one of our first conversations in France….
- Don’t you make your own juice? (as in pick your own berries and make concentrate for the rest of the year)
- Don’t you go into the forest to pick mushrooms?
- Don’t you know how to knit? Even guys your age knit their own winter hats!
I soon learned upon my arrival that it was true. Almost all Finns do these activities. All Finnish children learn about these important “how to’s” in school. Biology class – pick mushrooms. Elementary – learn how to knit, sew, use tools, cook etc. I know that Canada (at least Ontario) used to have some classes like this (“home ec & shop” was it?) but they left with the budget cuts of the 90’s.
So, I was determined this holiday season to pick up the needles. I was a little embarrassed however that it took me about an hour to learn two stitches and make a 5cm square red block. (My grandma would be ashamed – or perhaps happy that at least I tried).
My profile picture on Facebook right now is the one below and I’ve actually gotten a lot of comments about the whole knitting thing. Turns out, there’s a Microtrend (new book I bought today) about how teens (ahem, young adults lets say) are turning to knitting (one of the main reasons I bought the book😉
Here are some interesting points from the book:
- 20 million people in America are knitting their own sweaters
- fastest growing group are teens and twenty somethings
- Many sites, books dedicated to this new niche market:
So, there we have it. At a time when people are connected 24/7, living jet-set lives in this heavily globalized world – we also see the return to simplicity and, dare I say, subsistence.
Seriously, I think the Finns and our grandparents had something right. Grow your own veggies (or just buy local), make your own juice and make some of your own clothes. Not only is this good for the environment and society (brings us that little bit closer to nature), it’s relaxing in a world full of stress. And sometimes that feeling of “I did it myself” is all the satisfaction we need – even if it comes in a 5cm red knit square.
On another note, let me know what you think of the new interface. Wanted something with easier font.