Winterse taferelen

Every now and then winter does seem to show up this month. This means time for a big ass photo post with all the icy pictures I’ve managed to shoot.

img_0349 So yeah! Abstract ice art. So beautiful!

  Bright blue skies over half frozen flood fields… Gorgeous area, this.

  Even the factories in the distance are cool in this light.

  In the shadow of the dike.

And on top of the dike! The willows are doing just fine in there.

See?

More abstract ice art. I just love how the ice looks after the water retreated.

 These still have their hair.

The geese are enjoying themselves…

My mother and I came across this cutie on another dike. it was so curious and sweet!

Today I hopped on over to Doorwerth, which is also very beautiful all frozen over.

I was just too late to really catch that hazy wintery morning air on photo. However, the above picture gives you some idea, at least.

The brightening skies are beautiful too, though.

Beautiful castle is beautiful.

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Draadjes

This weekend I found back a lot of granny squares I crocheted when I just started out, about five years ago now. There’s quite a few of them, but I’d gotten somewhat bored with the simple design and mishmash of colours when I was working on them, so I never finished them. And, okay, basically forgot about them.

Now though I thought it was a bit wasteful of me to never finish them, even if I didn’t like the design that much anymore. And well, I do love colours, so….

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…time to start fastening off!

Yes, I really did crochet all those squares without fastening any of them off. Curse you, five years ago me! Yesterday I lived in the illusion that I could actually fasten all of them off and crochet them together into a blanket in one day. Hah! Did they ever prove me wrong. I spent half the day fastening off and I’m still only halfway through the pile of squares.

Oh well, keeps you off the street, as we say in the Netherlands. I am looking forward to crocheting them together, though. Will probably do that with a dark red yarn. Curious to see how it’ll turn out.
 Oh and I’m knitting something like a cowl out of a few left over yarns, including the lovely teesdale I used on the mitts. Trying to work up the courage to knit a jumper out of this great organic shetland wool I have. Though really it’s not the knitting I’m worried about, but the sewing together afterwards. My one attempt at a jumper for the husband didn’t turn out exactly how I meant to fit-wise….

Floods

The weather is weird. It probably always is, but living so close to these big rivers makes it more obvious.

Last week, the river floodfields looked lovely as ever in the winter sun.

 Wet but green, the way they should be. Can you see the geese in the distance? So many geese chilling out in the Netherlands on their way up or down the earth…

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This week however the rain has caught up with us. And, I suppose, with Germany. The floodfields are living up to their name, with the river now nearly reaching the dike.

That is some depressing weather… I do love the vast amounts of water, though. It’s probably only 20 or 30 cm deep, but it looks like a proper lake.

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It suddenly struck me how many molehills and, for lack of a better word, mole tunnels there were along the dike. No wonder; their usual hangouts have ofcourse been flooded. I never thought about what the regular floods would mean for moles, mice and the like. Would they always know the water was coming, and manage to get away to higher grounds? Or would some of them drown in their tunnels? Better not think about that too hard…

This was at the Waal, but at the Rhine it’s the same.

This photo is more spectacular when you realize that normally you cannot see the river over the summer dike there in the back. It’s really quite disconcerting, as if the horizon has suddenly moved.

 The beach is entirely gone! You can see how close the water is to breaching the summer dike. Kim obviously doesn’t care that much, these waves are still proper to run along.

This is the place the water actually managed to get over the summer dike.

The beavers seem to have no problems with the high water levels…

The rain drove me inside, where I’ve been practicing my knitting skills on these fingerless mitts. I got quite annoyed with the process, actually, because every time I fastened off, they got too tight!

Luckily though there are some very helpful people over at Ravelry who taught me there are much more elastic ways of binding off. And so, la, I finished my first pair of fingerless mitts!

The teesdale wool is very nice and warm. Made them especially to wear while driving my frozen car in the winter mornings. But hey, they’re also nice and warm in our house when the husband decides it’s time to decrease our heating bills again *grin*

As always, couldn’t have done it without Kim’s help…

…now what to do with the rest of the wool? I made the mitts because I didn’t have enough wool for a scarf or a proper piece of clothing. But figures, I could make at least six mitts out of the skein I have…

Dark, Dutch winters…

I’ve been complaining about it enough, but it’s often so dark during winter. However, Kim and I managed to catch some sunshine on a cycle ride in between the rain showers.   Okay, so I must admit I’ve fallen in love with the muted winter colours a bit. At least when the sun is shining. That low, golden light on the reed, the subtle blue and grey shades of the endless skies…


Freshly plowed clay. Yes, the Netherlands are actually this flat *grin* At least in our river lands it is. In the back left you can see the first ripples of the Utrechtse Heuvelrug. Be warned, though, non-Dutchies: our definition of “hill” probably differs a lot from yours: they’re not higher than about 50 meters here.

  Bulrush. What an ugly name… We call this plant “lisdodde”, and those lovely brown things “rietsigaar” (reed sigar).

It seems like an endless winter… but the temperatures have been off, which shows in the plants and trees.

  Dude, stop it. Not spring yet. It’ll probably start freezing again at some point before april and you’ll lose all your buds.

    Seriously dude, stop it.

What to do in dark weather? That’s right, crochet!

I’d made a cowl with the lovely teesdale handspun, but I wasn’t too pleased with it. I’ve been thinking about what to do with just one skein of yarn. Quite difficult actually, since I never have that little.

Eventually I decided to knit fingerless mitts out of them. Tried to follow a pattern, got annoyed and am now just making it up as I go along.

Another thing to do during the dark days: help topping off the willows in our lovely river forelands.

We also helped prune the hawthorns, which is a difficult and painful task. I ended up with three thorns stuck in my leg. Not so funny – they were about three centimetres long. The wounds have healed better than I expected though, so I was lucky.

Evil hawthorn. I do like that it is also called may-tree in English. In Dutch it’s a “meidoorn” – a maythorn, if you will. I actually really like the shrubs, but those thorns are wicked bad.

Oh well, it got it’s revenge for having its limbs chopped off…