Friday, March 31

Not much knitting these days...

I've been a good girl, taking an early afternoon Thursday and the entire Friday off - treating myself with that long wanted one and a half hour long aroma massage - *sigh*. Not much knitting this week, though - mostly feminist theory and Study Feminism ; ) I'm planning on taking the knitting calmly up again this weekend. - surfing the web for yarn from Strikk Innom or Purl Soho...Yearning, yearning...

Speaking of long wanted: Just me :) is at this very moment walking the streets of Paris... Check out her report and start longing, too - here ;)

Right here - right now, looking out the window is promising: sunny, blue sky, no snow, - but outdoor it's still quite cold in today's wind.

Anyone else longing for spring or summer?
Hild Rief is online with her new collection!

Wednesday, March 29

Study Circle Night

We're now gathered at the University of Stavanger to focus on Seyla Benhabib. We're also doing an introduction to blogging!

Sunday, March 26

Urge for knitting...!

Manos del Uruguay

*Sigh* - I need to knit! I've been working way too many late hours lately, and there's little or no time to find room for being swept away from stress by neither wooden nor colourful needles... What can I do? I find myself yearning for yarn - for crawling into my sofa with the knitting instead of my laptop - for concentrating on stitches instead of work delays... *ouf!*

I might just have to take a day off just to myself -. A long quiet breakfast overlooking the fjord, listening to Kulturbeitet - some newspapers - a page or two in Catherine Clement's Theo's Odyssey - a few rows on a shawl -. Treat myself with a calming aroma therapy session around tenish, a little nap afterwards? Wake up for a long lunch - knit a little - read a little - knit a little more - and perhaps pop by the hair dresser's for a haircut in the afternoon? *sigh...* Now, wouldn't that just be the day...?

Wednesday, March 22

Chocolate Fish Bowl and Biscuit Loving Cat

I have a hang to chocolate. - White chocolate, dark chocolate, dark, dark, dark chocolate, chocolate covered almonds - bitter chocolate - - - not too sweet chocolate? Chocolates fit perfectly into my fish bowl. That's actually more than I could dream of, since I have a hang to ceramics too.

My mother in law kindly offered me this good humoured ceramical cat with her fish bowl for Christmas. Since the cat simply loves biscuits I enjoy her company regularily. The company of a cat and her fish bowl can be quite sweet, actually. You might have guessed that I love sweet biscuits too?

Monday, March 20

Study Feminism Goes Live!

*Taaa-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-taaaaaa - ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-taaaaaaaaaaa!*

Organizers of the Study Circle of Feminist Theory of the Network of Feminist Theory and Gender Studies, University of Stavanger hereby proudly present the new virtual centre of online feminist discussions at

Study Feminism!

You are all invited to participate - run to your computers!

Sunday, March 19

If you have some spare time...

... (and master Norwegian) you can right now read
Martine Aurdal's reflections about remaining The Other in her comment on Frida Kahlo and Simone de Beauvoir's lives in the shadows of the men they to and fro shared lives with in Ny Tid from this fall. Or you might want to check out Cathrine Holst's article Good Girl from last week in the same magazine on the real reasons why 4 out of 5 of the Norwegian professors are still men. Alternatively you might want to dive into how Boys Will Be Boys - at least due to the way social workers think about gender - in the article on Solveig Sagatun's doctoral thesis on child care and welfare. - and by the way, Cathrine; We'll be with you all the way! We'll be braver, less afraid of conflicts and accurate in the way we respond instantly to all those gendered statements and comments that unfortunately occur a lot more often than anyone should think within the enlightened walls of academia...

Bambi 2 - a Gender Perspective

Speaking of gendered issues... Saturday I brought my two youngest children to see Bambi 2 at the movie theatre. My expectations were low - the world of sequels doesn't actually promise too much - but all the same. Having seen Bambi - the original movie from 1942 - quite recently (my daughter got it for her birthday last year and had a fierce emotional reaction when Bambi's mother was shot, - we had to see it with her three times in a row...), I had no trouble remembering the original's s-t-e-r-e-o-t-y-p-e gender approach. Obviously - being a mother - I had no problems relating to the devastating feeling when Bambi's mother was killed -. It's only too obvious how Bambi's father's only appearances are in the mode of Thorbjørn Egner, when he describes the presence of the king of the woods in his song "I'm the Lion":

Jeg er løven -
løven det er jeg!
Gå til side apekatt
for nå kommer jeg.
Jeg er konge
kongen det er jeg
Kongen kommer,
kongen er -
og kongen går sin vei.

Jeg er farlig,
farlig det er jeg!
Alle skogens folk og dyr
er veldig redd for meg.
Jeg er løven -
løven det er jeg!
Løven kommer,
løven er -
og løven går sin vei.

The story of Bambi 2 deals with part of the missing period of Bambi's life from Bambi 1. We get to know what happens with Bambi and his friends from when his mother is shot until he learns to deal with this loss. (We all know from Bambi 1 that he must have been dealing with it, somehow - Bambi 1 generously ends with the comforting view of how Bambi has grown up to reproduce with his childhood sweetheart and become father of a son himself...)

Bambi 2 is a study worth of traditional ideas on parenthood and how these are challenged. The movie starts with Bambi being with his father, while the wise owl is sent out to search for a new home for Bambi - a new mother has to be found. The social structures of Bambi's world does not allow the father to take on the responsibility of his child. They do, however, allow him accept keeping his son next to him (though at an emotional distance - it's important not to talk too much about what has been) over the winter - that is sleeping next to him until spring comes and a new Mother can be found to reestablish the order of things. So said, so done. When spring comes Father reveals himself to never have had any kind of responsibilty for childen before, as he inquires about the weird sounds from Bambi's tummy - "Why don't you just eat if you're hungry?" He thereupon realizes that he himself must literally be the bread earner - for his son to live...

In many ways Bambi 1 and 2 together make a bildungsroman in miniature. At the bildungsroman is described like this:

"Dannelsesromanen næres af et dialogisk rum mellem en indre lovmæssighed (sjæleliv/natur) og en ydre lovmæssighed (natur/samfund). Samspillet (skæbnen) imellem yder- og inderverden har således en helt afgørende betydning i dannelsesromanens univers, hvor livets meningsfuldhed på forhånd er givet. Denne meningsfuldhed kan mistes, men også genvindes.
For dannelsesromanens hovedperson er der et ideal tilstede, en vejledende og styrende instans, der har baggrund i familiearv, opdragelse, samfund, moralske og kulturelle værdinormer i en kaotisk verden fuld af fælder og faldgruber."

The interesting thing is that not only the main character Bambi goes through a development on his way to life as an adult, but his father does so, parallelly. Bambi has to fight for his father's love, respect and acceptance, not because his father does not see his son with his heart (this is quite obvious in the movie) - but because there are social restrictions linked to his role as a leader for the group, and moreover the male leader, - a role that Bambi is supposed to take over when he grows up - .

Had Bambi 2 been made in the forties the story most definitely would have been a different one. This story shows the audience how Bambi's father slowly is tricked into playing with his son (as long as noone sees it and gets a reason to question his seriousity over it), how they get closer to one another, and how it really causes pain to Father when Owl surprisingly turns up with the new "mother". The pain caused is explicit - "But he needs a mother..." - a lot more than a father.

Have we heard it before? The appraisal of Mother as the one, holy being of incarnated goodness stops Bambi's father from following his heart and taking on custody of his son - even when the Mother is dead. - Bambi's mother actually speaks to him through a dream that is thoroughly flowered, light and bright, too, to console her son that she will always be there - even though dead. This is an issue Linda Romøren of our study circle will certainly be able to widen our perspectives on. She is a social anthropologist working on a thesis on the dominance of Mother and Women both in our homes and in the child care and welfare system - and a parallell to Solveig Sagatun's doctoral thesis.

This is when Disney surprises - or do they? In the peak of the movie Bambi nearly dies and his father realizes how things must be - gendered structures or not. They get back together again. OK - it's after a movie that reproduces tons of the stereotypes from 1942. Let's accept it - this IS American... but still? Disney actually takes a stand - on behalf of the father's rights. Way to go!

- as for the low expectations of a sequel? Bambi 2 is actually one of the best cartoon sequels I've seen (and I've seen a few) - so bring in the kids: Bambi's coming to a theatre near you!

Graceful Goddess I am

We had a lovely Saturday - calm and quiet - long, late breakfast - cinema with the kids (Bambi 2 - see next post) - knitting and blogging. I'm working on a team blog for our Study Circle of Feminist Theory. Link will follow as soon as we're going live :)

My new Hild Rief sweater - Graceful Goddess - made me feel nice and comfortable - a real weekend treat!

I just had to share these pictures with you - isn't it beautiful? This is *so* Hild's design - she drew like this when she was fifteen... - I'm so proud of her when I wear her clothes!! Her summer collection will soon be on her site. - I'll keep you posted...

Friday, March 17

Perfect Start of the Weekend

This afternoon we had our first boat trip this year - the perfect start to my weekend. I obviously brought my knitting - as I tend to do everywhere these days - although I ended up not knitting at all. I concentrated on the hot Ibarra Mexican chocolate that I just got from Hervik and enjoying the lovely, sunny view of the mountains (where small quantities of snow still lie) -not to mention the clear March fjord. I'm getting back the early June summer feeling of Tromsø - 3 degrees Celsius and melting snow.

Now I'm heading for the couch - newspapers - amongst them Grimstad Adressetidende - a local from Sørlandet -, tea, wine, Ny Tid, Morgenbladet and all my bridal shawl projects. Mmmmm! Friday!

Wednesday, March 15

Project Bridal Shawl

You might have seen that I started a Silk Tweed Ecru shawl last week with the goal of trying out different possible variations for my friend to be wed to have a certain amount of options to choose from as for the bridal shawl that I'm knitting for her.

Since then I bought a few other skeins of different yarn - amongst these Drops' Symphony consisting of 65 % of merino wool and very soft. Those of you who have read my blog since I started will know that this has been one of my favourite yarns last autumn. I went to Oslo (again) today and I treated myself with these *nice* purple 10 mm needles from Drops and Garnstudio to start a project with that yarn. Don't you just have to get in a good mood from looking at them?? I have formerly only knit the Symphony yarn on 15 mm golden needles... Juhu!

Finally I went for ecru Plumet - thin, thin, thin super kid mohair yarn to try out a wonderful rectangular spider web pattern that I saw on a model at my local yarn store. I couldn't help getting these comfortable 7 mm bamboo needles for *that* project - the plastic ones I had were awful with this fine yarn. Now - I really love the way this project turns out. - and my friend seemed to like this option best this far. - I'll be knitting simultaneously on all three projects patiently awaiting my friend to find the dress she'll be wearing before choosing which shawl to go for.

Sister Dessert Shawl finished

My green Rowan Felted Tweed Dessert Shawl - rebel sister of the blue/green sibling - is now officially finished. I can't wait to wear it - I'm sure it will match my jeans perfectly ; ) It has been a perfect companion for relaxation for quite a few weeks now, and my enthousiasm for the bamboo needles is maintained.

Sleeve progress

My daughter's Button Men sweater is progressing on 3 mm bamboo needles. This is the first time I actually knit a project as intended by a pattern - as far as I recall. I find it a lot easier to knit the way someone explains to me than decoding a pattern myself. I'm sure this must be what it feels like approaching integral equations for people who haven't broken the code of maths...

I am - however - moving nicely in a direction towards something that seems to be right. The sleeve grows. It actually looks like a normal sleeve!! :)

Sunday, March 12

The Orheim Company

Thursday evening I bought Tore Renberg's last novel The Orheim Company (Kompani Orheim, 2005). Oktober informs you of what he has done here. For those of you who read Norwegian, check out NRK's author's web for a quick update on Renberg's works.

Anyway...: I read Renberg's The Man who loved Yngve (Mannen som elsket Yngve, 2003) a couple of years ago. At that point I was swept right back to my high school years, as Renberg's book takes place in Stavanger, his hero Jarle Klepp (like Renberg himself) being born the same year as I am, and truly with the complete set of same references as I have from those years. - The geographical whereabouts of the novel definitely amused me by strangely moving along very similar lines as I myself have moved through different stages of life. Renberg's incredible memory when it comes to details from back then is amazing. He hands over a key opening a box of precious pearls, and like Skrue McDuck you just have to dive in. You're an early (Norwegian) 70 model? I hazard a guess you'll love this no matter where in the country you grew up... It would be interesting to hear some foreigner's opinion on the book. It has been translated into several foreign languages. Me - I felt really sad when the book ended - I wasn't so not ready to part with Jalla and his friends.

Well - back to The Orheim Company. Lucky me! It seems Tore Renberg hadn't quite finished telling Jarle's story. I've been looking forward to reading this book for quite some time now, and Thursday it was there - just when I needed it. Around 500 pages, I expected to be able to float around Renberg's universe for at least a little week or so... But no. I've been reading it between knitting and children - on the train, flying over the mountains to Oslo and back, in bed at night... - in bed before getting up - This morning I finished it in bed before making breakfast. It is a page turner. Yes, Renberg continues dropping precious stones in my lap - this is where I grew up - this is when I grew up. The buttons Renberg pushes are not all comfortable, though - Luckily this is not how I grew up - Then again I have friends who were unfortunate enough to make all the experiences of an alcoholic parent long before any of the rest of us understood that alcohol could make anyone dizzy...

With The Orheim Company Tore Renberg leaves no room for assumptions that I might be connected to his characters and stories just because he happens to be of my generation and origin of my childhood region. You'll recognize the teenage pics whether teenager fifty years ago or now, you'll buy the display of family dynamics whether from Holmenkollen or Gosen. Renberg makes me feel sick - he makes me laugh - he makes me cry - he makes me want to puke - he makes me feel melancholic. He demonstrates an entire set of universal experiences that your average teenager (and parent) has gone through. - and he does it in a way that makes you feel right back there, worrying whether Jarle will get through this and land on his feet - worrying whether he will survive his father's violence and drinking, and wanting to shake his mother for leaving him with the opportunity of staying with his father when she MUST know that he cannot save him!

The Orheim Company shows how the child of an alcoholic in spite of all the drinking and beating is left with the grief and mourning of a child that has lost it's parent when the father dies. - a grief that might seem irrational to those who know, but that is nonetheless there. Renberg's novel is - next to being an accurate generation shot - both of the 80s and of a everlasting teenage slice of the population - a study worth as a family chronicle - and Renberg is capable of seeing it all from the child's angle, the parents' and the friends'. Renberg tells the stories of so many others than (the feminist) Jarle, and he wraps them all up perfectly when the reader approaches the end.

- Now, this is when I don't write anything more - I wouldn't want to ruin your reading... - Not that I could, if I tried. No matter giving away the main lines of this novel, the reader would be left with a ton of candy when it comes to the little descriptions, the sentences and above all the sentiments that Renberg drops on you... occasionally little by little, only to be followed by the emptying of a bucket of the mid-80s right on top of your head.

Monday, March 6

Raspberries and Straws Baby Blanket

I have gotten a giant step further on my long planned baby stroller blanket, intended for a little princess due in April. I'm left with the edges undone, which might be the absolutely worst part of it, - but then again; how would I know? I never did this before... It does look like it might turn out quite nice in the end, though. That is; if the store can come up with some more fabric... (#¤%&/"@£ - I didn't get enough the first time, and now I'm stuck. ) More pics when (if...?) finished.

Garnstudio's Ecru Silk Tweed

Last week I popped by Nancy's Strikkestove to check out different yarns for a wedding shawl that I'm knitting for one of my oldest friends who's getting married this summer. I haven't yet decided on anything, and I'm actually leaving the choice up to her, but I wanted to do some research in different possible yarns. I ended up with ecru Silk Tweed from Garnstudio, which might or might not turn out to be what I'm looking for. It's 48 % silk and 52% lamb's wool. I like the texture of it, but it might be too rough for the dress my friend is wearing (though I don't think so). I'm bringing it to Oslo this or next week for her to see, along with different other options like merino - soft!! - and alpakka/merino (Rowan Felted Tweed) - which might be too rough by the look of it, too...

This weekend offered new opportunities for outdoor knitting in the sun, - but this time with more clothes than last time. Stavanger got real snow for a change!! We made hot chocolate with real cream on the Primus outdoor cookware :) - and my eldest son made us fresh squeezed orange juice - It almost felt like Easter!

Some girl got lucky...

This weekend I decided to give my sewing machine a go, to get further on one of my baby blanket projects - a semiknitting/semisewing project (see later post). In between that and mending a few pants where the seams had undone themselves, I found time and material to make my daughter new bed linens for her newest doll Petra. Here she is - sleeping tight on a flowery bed!

Thursday, March 2

My Precious Golden One

I hereby proudly present the award - next to wearing the hottest most comfy skirt to work in the snowy winter weather today - for 16 days of maniac knitting parallell to the 2006 Torino Games. *Ta-ta-ta-taaaaaaaa* Check in on Stephanie's Yarn Harlot for further info on the medal ceremonies.

And here we go...


is a Giant Squid that looks like a Man in a Rubber Suit, has a Long Neck and Enormous Tusks, and can Change Colour.

Strength: 8 Agility: 2 Intelligence: 9

To see if your Giant Battle Monster can
defeat Henriette, enter your name and choose an attack:

fights Henriette using

Wednesday, March 1

Back to on-going project I

Those of you who have followed my blog since before January 24th might recall that I presented several on-going projects. One of these has been resting for a while - partly due to lack of fitting needles, partly due to very uncomfortable knitting injuries after intense knitting on this project over Christmas. I just thought I'd let you know I'm back on it. I've subconsciously been pushing this before me for quite some time now, since my last attempt to start the sleeves ended in &%#*@£§ and 8%%&¤#£. Since then I bought myself a five needle bamboo set - 3mm - especiyally intended for these very sleeves - and although the first round was still quite &%¤#"¤£@#, it's impressingly good for my knitting morale - actually next to fun. The yarn is SISU from Sandnes Ullvare. So: Button men, here we go!