Knitting or Stitch ‘n Bitch

“Those of you who feel knitting has changed your life, welcome to the club. I can think of no better occupation to reveal your own creativity.”

Kaffe Fassett

Wikipedia defines knitting as “a method by which thread or yarn may be turned into cloth. Knitting consists of loops called stitches pulled through each other. The active stitches are held on a needle until another loop can be passed through them.”

We had to learn knitting at schools in Finland from very early ages it being compulsory; I do have to admit that my ’products’ at that time were the most sorry sights ever! Really. What I managed to produce after much sweat ’n toil was one mitten, one sock instead of pairs of the same as required, a whirly-twirly scarf that looked like waves, and so on; you get the picture, for I absolutely disliked handicrafts then. That we had a sour teacher on the subject who did not like me, did not help either, it must be said.

Then years later I moved to Sweden where the girls were very partial to knitting and sewing — surprise, surprise!! as the reputation of the Swedish females would bring to one’s mind something totally different interests, eh?! — I learned to love the knitting, sewing et al. And from then on I have been doing my own patterns and whatnot, I absolutely love knitting nowadays.

Ireland, had I in my mind’s eye painted as, THE land of great yarns with the numbers of sheep the land has grazing in the fields, but when I reached the shores of the Emerald Isle, the selection was minuscule and pitiful to the ultimate as far as a variety of yarn was concerned. Sure, the meat of the mutton et al was and is ab fab over there, but as I said…The Irish, of course, are spectacularly gifted at spinning the verbal yarn, that is well-known world over.

It is funny as in ha-ha! to see that when the males want to ‘beat’ the women in females’ own games aka in cooking, etc., and even knitting — even though, Ezer Weizman said this: ‘Honey, have you ever seen a man knitting socks? ’ — they quickly become super celebrities as is Kaffe Fassett. What a brilliant name for kaffe in Swedish means coffee, by the way, and the beverage of choice in knitting sessions many a time. Here is what I found about KF on the net:

”Kaffe Fassett is known as the U.K’s King of Colour and Design – for interior and garden decoration, needlepoint, knitting and mosaic designs; also for his award-winning 1998 Chelsea Flower Show garden. Now he is designing sets and costumes for the Royal Shakespeare Company. His books include magnificent examples of tapestry, knitwear, painting, patchwork, fabrics and the latest mosaics, but the emphasis has to be on his original and daring use of colour.
Born in San Francisco, Kaffe Fassett’s earliest influences were the beauty and colour of his mother’s garden. In 1964 he moved to England and gardens are still what he loves most.” (Radio National Australia)

Great chefs carry their sets of knives, able artists carry their brush sets, and serious knitters have their knitting needle cases!

Stitch ‘n Bitch is a brilliant book of 258 pages on all things as per title; seriously, it seems like a handy guide to everybody who wants to have a fun and comprehensive reference on this grand pastime.

This is an absolutely hysterically funny video about knitting made by sharp-witted Finns:

”No longer shall I paint interiors with men reading and women knitting. I will paint living people who breathe and feel and suffer and love.”
Edvard Munch

Tis for now, Rii — who finds that knitting eases the frazzled nerves very much indeed!!

Fabulously in-vogue pages of knitting et al on Vogue online:

Victoria and Albert Museum great links:

Other handy links:

Incidents & Such Like: EEJIT!

This is an Incident that happened many years ago in Ireland.

I have divided The Incidents into The Comical, The Dangerous and The Thinking About Them Ones. This one belongs to the first mentioned ones The Comical. The story is like this:

We have this Irish/American family as very good friends and we were used to spending a lot time with them while they lived in Ireland as well. She – the Lady of the Family – is and was one of the greatest RT-therapists of all-time and we did have such time-consuming sessions of the same female pursuit. My daughters were no problem to have tagging along as they are so into the RT- retail therapy themselves; the trickier ones were her three sons that failed to see, neither to understand the finer points of the said pastime. They had to be bribed to not to complain nor to sigh deeply every five minutes, never mind not to have fits and so on. That was always the hardest part of every shopping trip.

We were going to head one morning to a session and to make the experience smooth for all, we got the older boys to agree to be at their best behaviour but the last and also the toughest one to convince was always, Daniel, the youngest son of just a bit older than one year but who had such an amazing command of words for his age.

Daniel in his diapers, cherubic as always, was there leaning on the counter looking like a casual cowboy while drinking his morn bottle when we were going to put clothes on him, telling him at the same time that how great he was and what a brilliant time we were all going to have and did the marketing-the-idea-bit to him to the T; as we thought anyway.


“If you are a really, really good boy in the shops, you will get to go for a ride in the Postman Pat Wagon in the shopping centre!”

Daniel thinks and ponders for a moment, takes off the bottle of his lips, still leaning casually and says:

“Postman Pat is a Flippin’ Eejit anyway!!!”

Am afraid we lost the plot at that stage for we started to laugh in hysterics and he won that round.

Anytime after that when we see the toy or the programme on TV, what Daniel said pops to our minds and makes us roar laughing once again.

Tis for now. Riihele xx.

* Eejit is Irish expression for Idiot.

My Style of Shopping!


This time the story is this: it was my birthday, so that means the Second of August, and my elder sister came along with me to do some shopping in the town called, the area (Tavastia in English) in question – is that is it is the most straight-laced place in all of Finland, as the Irish would say of a place that is rather uptight and serious. They are not known to be jolly-hearted, joke-cracking people in Finland, if you know what I mean.That reputation of the town did not stop me of ‘chancing me arm’ in trying out to get discounts and the like.

This is what happened:

I was collecting a few rolls of film which had been developed in a particular store which was our first port of call in the town and as we were stepping in, I said to my sister:

‘Do not say anything at all until we are outside the shop, please!’

To the shop assistant I said, who I had seen in our school but did not know as such, that:

‘Do you know that it is my birthday today and I really would like a present from you?’

‘Oh,’ he said laughing, ‘really?’

Then he knocked off a few quid off the cost of the films. I thanked him for the lovely present, of course.

We trotted on to the optician’s where a pair of new specs that had been ordered for me only needing to be collected, so again – the same thing about me birthday and the present

– again a present received in this shop as well.

Then third time lucky, my last store to go to was a shop that sold handbags and I was in need of a new one – stickler for style, may I say

– here again the same spiel with the same result, discount given and gratefully received by yours truly!

All this time my sister had kept silent but as we went out of the very last shop she said:

‘So this is the way to do the shopping?!

Tis for now. Riihele xx.

If one does not ask, one does not get, right?!!! I recommend the method, though I do not insist if the person says ‘no’ – but normally, I do get a very good discount!

Memories: Outdoor Games


‘Memory… is the diary that we all carry about with us.’ (Oscar Wilde)

I want to write down some of my memories of the lasting sort and of the past things on the memory lane about my life and things in general in Lapland, in the Southern Finland, in Ireland and in the other places I have lived in.

I remember that the summers in Lapland were so cool that it did not get over 20 C degrees hardly ever at that time, yet we did so much swimming in there year after year and all other outdoor things. It must have been in order to keep from being chilly! My childhood memories of the summers are full of fun, activities and playing games of all kinds. The kids in the large village, where we lived, loved coming over to us to play so there were always crowds taking part in these games. Also, our cousins and relatives used to gather in the homestead, so we were never short of full teams for various team sports.

One of the games that we called the ‘Tin’ that was especially tricky if one was the one to having to name each player and this was the game that we all played much. The game was where the ‘sitter’ ie., the namer, had to be a very fast runner in order to get to the ‘tin’ after spotting the players in their hiding places and having named them one by one he/she had to run like a lighting to the tin. The sitter and the named player(s) both/all run to get to the tin, that is the marking post, to mark their point; sitter to get the named player out of the game and the player to kick the tin into the high heavens and free the crowd!

Oh, that I used to hate that particular game! For whatever reason I was the one – seemed to be like – always, the sitter with me fast legs and sprinting ability. After a good while into the game – like hours, I’m telling you – I would yell: ‘I am quits with this thing! I hate it and I don’t even know the names of the half the people here! I am not playing.’ And off I trotted. The funny thing is that nobody but nobody would want to be the sitter after I left and the whole game came to a stand still.

The rounders and the Finnish Baseball, a variant of the US version, were and still are my absolute favourites in team sports with the football. They were the games that I could have played ad infinitum without complaints or boredom ever coming from me lips!
What kind of outdoor games did you guys play when you were small? Do you know this game, that I absolutely hated?

Tis for now. Riihele xx


Female Pastime: Shopping

Glamour Puss

The female of the species in every culture, in every corner of the globe has one hobby, one pastime that is normally very high on the agenda – the shopping. It is not so much of the actual getting of the goods, but to just to be able to look at everything available, to walk about with your friends and have a quality cup of coffee in a cafe with the right ambience. To be at your leisure is the most important factor in the whole equation. Huh? Sounds complicated, this feminine maths and the female logic to the uninitiated, does it? Aahh, tis plain as mud.

I have two daughters who are all grown-up these days, yet still when we get together, we like to go browsing in the stores in whichever country we will meet. It does not necessarily mean that we will buy that much as it is more to get a feel of the locale. It is a culture test of a kind as what is in the stores speaks volumes to the one, that is so inclined.

One year when the girls and I were returning back from an extended visit to Finland, we had started our return flight Numero Uno in a town at 5am, we took the flight Numero Two in Helsinki at 7 am, so that by the time it was about 10am – that is actually 9 o’clock local time in Copenhagen, Denmark – we were so shattered with all this flying that we just wanted to get back home to Ireland ASAP.

What happened was that as the plane for our flight Number Three had been overbooked, I was asked if we would remain behind with ‘payment’. We three would be taking a much later flight that the SASthe Scandinavian Airlines – would arrange for us. I gave a look at my exhausted girls and said:

“Girls, if we stay on now in Copenhagen,
we will
each get US$ 200 in cash.

Also, we will get the same amount in the Danish Krones as a cheque.
The lunch et cetera would be all part of this deal.

What do you think?

We can do
some shopping
here in Copenhagen!!”

Once the word – shopping – was mentioned, the girls got instantly and visibly bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on the spot! Oh, yes, they very much agreed and so twas settled that we would go on later.

The ground hostess took us and a few other passengers to the bar, where the bar attendant asked me as to what kind of beverage I would like to have on the house, but as I just was so tired, I could not think, and only downed a mineral water! Had I been thinking I would have surely had some very classy Champers. Anyway, by the time we had had the complementary drinks and were heading to the huge mall to do some shopping; what do know, but the ground hostess comes to us hurriedly and informs us, that we have got places on a plane leaving in a few minutes to Birmingham, England!! And then we were to take a fourth plane there on to Dublin.

It was a very promising shopping experience lost.

Tis for now. Riihele xx.