29th of December…in Italy, we say “meglio tardi che mai” which translate… “better late than never”…..
Firstly, I am so sorry for the lack of posts…and thank you for your patience and I hope you are all enjoying your festivities.
What have I been doing?
This month has been a bit of a blur … I had things to finish that, unfortunately, I can’t share until next year…I also had work, family and all the rest to manage as December seems to be the busiest time of the year!!! Yesterday was also my birthday.
If you are following me on facebook you might have seen some post about Frau Holle as she is the theme for my December blanket. So let’s start introducing this special lady which has been part of my Christmas since I can remember…
I should start by saying I have been brought up with books… and yes, as you might have guessed, I am old enough to remember apple just as fruit- yes, a time before iPads, mobile phones, internet and computers.
It was the time when entertainment meant books and I was so lucky to have a grandmother with the most extraordinary knowledge of folk tales and stories and the will to share them.
I was the little girl that always said ‘another one, please’…
I know now, after 50 years, that my grandmother loved mixing and matching.
she picked what she wanted from the stories, she also made some up on the spot.
One night was an episode from the Odyssey or Eneid, the other was some mythological beast. Another night was some exotic location, the other a tiger out of a Salgari’s book ( if you are Italian you might know him). One night would be some little girl lost in Nordic landscapes, a god with one eye, a grey horse with eight legs , a magical tree with lots different worlds and my favourite …GHOST STORIES!
and I mean proper ones…none of this wishy-washy Twilights saga….
The common denominator of all these stories were that none of them were PC ( politically correct) , no annoying pig which jumps in puddles (she who must not be named).
My nonna’s stories were full of monsters, gore, dramas, swords, heroes, felons, dragons and skeletons on horseback, a LOT of pre- Disney’s faeries, and amazing goblins lost little creatures which were always rather nasty … (I am still quite wary what is lurking under a bridge over a creek…)
so tales of all sort, I loved them so much and I still love them now.
One of my favourite stories is from the Dolomites, a range of mountains in northern Italy on the border with Austria.
I love those mountains so much, they are home to me and to Frau Holle.
You might be familiar with one of the versions of this folk tale’s figure. The story is as old as the 1st century BC when Germany was populated by tribes.
The legend tells the story of an Earth Goddess that we know as Frau Holle or Hulda.
She was known in Northen Hesse and quite popular on my mountains too until she became famous in the 19th century thanks to the work of the Brothers Grimm. So if you don’t know it you should read Wilhelm’s version- it is a lovely story.
For us, on the Dolomites, Frau Holle is not just the depiction of a nice lady who shakes her pillow and the feathers which fall become snow on Earth… she is also the sky queen who, besides mastery of clouds and winds, she had the power of granting sunshine and prosperity to the fields. She is the motherly protector of women’s lives, she controlled feminine work, namely favouring spinning, and, as Frau Holda or Holle, she kept the souls of the unborn children.
In some countries, it was said that her home was on a mountain, a magnificent cave, and still in some others, it was in the waters of some fountains or ponds it all depends on where you are.
So I made a little one to hang over my table to remind me that, sometimes, we all need a bit of magic too!
anyway back to the blanket…
A new baby girl has just joined the family, she is the daughter of my husband’s cousin Siobhan. Her name is Annabelle and she has a beautiful big sister called Rose who is truly adorable.
Annabelle was born about 6 weeks ago and she is well overdue a blanket!
I made a blanket for her older sister so I making one for her now. I used, as inspiration, one of several beautiful images of Frau Holle from the Grimm’s tales…
I loved the colours and the details of these illustrations as much as I love the story.
So here it is my last blanket on the go..hopefully it will be ready in a few days but here you can see the first square…on some very “on theme” fresh snow!
and the usual production line on the go…
and some very appropriate, fresh snow, shot of the garden this morning…
The colour choices are mine but the pattern is not- I bought it online, I will give you all the details once I have finished the blanket.
To you all, I wish you a peaceful New Year and the best for 2018!!
I will write a final post with a summary of this amazing year VERY SOON
lots of love