My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


St. Lucia Day

Today is St. Lucia Day, and I’m all set.

L-B always sends me a box of goodies for St. Lucia Day, and this year was no exception. She sent me:

Tray 121307

Tray 121307

A tray that depicts my very favorite Carl Larsson painting. If you look at the enlarged picture closely, you should be able to figure out why it’s my favorite.

Napkins 121307

Napkins 121307

Some paper napkins depicting the jultomten with his goat, a painting by another Swedish artist, Jenny Nyström.

Cookie Tin 121307

Cookie Tin 121307
A tin of pepparkakor with another picture by the same artist whose work graces the paper napkins — same subject, but a different color goat!

Selvedge 121307

Selvedge 121307

And a copy of the latest issue of Selvedge magazine, because its theme is Scandinavian. Thanks L-B!!

So tonight I’ll be eating pepparkakor while reading my magazine. However, I don’t think I’ll be knitting any of these dresses shown in the magazine.

What Not to Knit 121307

What Not to Knit 121307

I’ll be knitting lace, though.

Kittything asked:

Do you lightly steam block as you go along? for the pictures? Your lace doesn’t look wonky like my vision of most lace while in progress.

Busted! Heh! Yes, I did steam-block the start of my shawl, because I wanted to see how it looked. It blocked out so nicely with just a light steaming that I don’t think I’ll wet-block it when I finish — just a light steaming will make me happy.

You can see the difference between the blocked portion and the unblocked portion here.

Pacific 121307

Pacific 121307


Blocked 121307

Blocked 121307


Unblocked 121307

Unblocked 121307

Lucy is no doubt dreaming of pepparkakor.

Lucy 121307

Lucy 121307


  1. Dreaming of pepparkakor AND baby chicks! 🙂 I love the goat – probably because I am a Capricorn! Luv.m.

  2. Alice in Richmond says:

    Nope, she dreams of that fish that your dad likes.

    That L-B is intrepid to find such gifties.

  3. I *love* that Carl Larsson painting, Wendy. I first saw it when Mom cut the picture out of a magazine for me when I was a kid. When I was in college I found a poster of it, which (now framed) still hangs on my wall. I look at it every day, and after all these years it still brings a feeling of peace and joy to my heart. 🙂

    Great presents!

  4. I’d love to know where those Swedish items and others like them can be found…any chance you can ask L-B to let me know?

  5. Happy St. Lucia Day!

    What a great bunch of presents, L-B really is a great friend to you! That is an especially appealing Larsson image, though there are not many of his that I *don’t* like.

    Enjoy all of your goodies.

  6. Dunno why, but it always makes me smile to see Lucy sacked out on her Cozy Cushion.

  7. Carl Larsson! I just adore Carl Larsson. I even spent a year turning MY favorite painting of his into embroidery, just because. It’s even got the same window. His paintings have such a strong sense of “home,” I love them.

    The picture I recreated? The girl at a writing desk, seen here.

    Happy St. Lucia day!

  8. i’m so jealous of your lucia gifts. today i was missing the lucia celebration, and i lost track of the days otherwise i’d have made some lussebullar (saffron rolls). and pepperkakor! *sigh* now i’m homesick for sweden.

  9. I have that same Larsson picture – on a framed card hung in my bathroom – where I happen to have other of his pictures, small and large, all framed (even in small walmart photo frames, just to protect them). My favorite of his is of his studio, wherein there is a long red bench, and if one isn’t looking one misses the little girl hiding on the bench). There’s also a fireplace in his studio. Ya just gotta love Larsson. And your favorite is easy to see why.

    I think I bought my smaller cards on a trip to Sweden a few decades ago, but his large framed prints I bought at Ikea (love that store).

  10. Great loot Wendy! Enjoy the cookies, they’re very more-ish!

  11. And in the Selvedge magazine there is even an article about Karin Larsson, an artist with merit of her own…

  12. Are pepperkakor the same as pfefferneusse? Black pepper as an ingredient in little round powdered sugar-coated cookies? Yum!

  13. On the theme Swedish-have you read any of Henning Mankell’s novels-he has a great crime series involving Det. Kurt Wallander- they are really good-he has also written a great book- Kennedys Brain- about Africa and AIDS.

  14. L-B really knows how to throw together a good care package. Happy Lucia Day! If you have time, check out my adventures in Swedishness at We don’t have an ounce of Sweden at our house but my American Girl doll makes me do it.

  15. That link didn’t work because it had a period after it instead of a slash, sorry. I guess you could have just clicked on my name. Anyway it’s

  16. anne marie in philly says:

    I can’t see lucy eating gingersnap cookies…turkey perhaps…

    man, those girls in the magazine have legs that go on forever, like tina turner. but the dresses would not become you. or me.

    lerve the larsson tray! happy st. lucia day!

  17. Alison Jacobson says:

    Girls, if I EVER decide that knitting one of those dresses is a good idea, then someone stab me with a DPN and take me out of my fashion misery. They’re simply heinous!

  18. What great gifts! The pepparkakor sounds good. Maybe I’ll give that recipe a try.

  19. I know, I love that CL picture too. And I’ve been in that room too – Sundborn is such a magical place 🙂

    About pepparkakor – did you see mine? I’m sure you’d love them, come over for a cup of glögg and have a taste:

    Happy Lucia 🙂

  20. Thanks for the reminder! Must go to The Wooden Spoon (local Scandinavian shop) for Carl Larsson tin of pepperkakor. I like the idea that if one breaks, that the number of kisses to ask for! (I THINK that was the tradition!!)
    And I’ll post a photograph of a huge WK St. Lucia procession… complete with Star Boy. Do you think there were ever girls who burned their hair off?

  21. What? That bulky little red cabled number doesn’t grab you?! 😛

  22. I’m always glad when I find swedish culture appreciated in the world.
    About Sankta Lucia-processions, I have participated in a lot of them during the years. Nowadays I only watch them. With great pleasure and sometimes with nosalgic tears in my eyes.
    From my own experiences I can tell that some amount of hair has been burnt at different occasions. Not very much though but enough to leave a awfull smell and make the hair curle in a funny way. Fore safety reasons the Lucia often have a moisted piece of white fabric covering her head beneath the crown. And somewhere in the backround there are a few persons with water buckets.
    When younger children are involved they use fake candles, battery driven, instead.

  23. What fun goodies! I see why you love that picture, it is wonderful — very calm! Enjoy the day!

  24. I have the Carl Larsson picture framed. I got it at IKEA many years ago. I have put it up again every time I moved in different locations. Until your post, I didn’t know who painted it or that it is Swedish. Now that I know, I have ordered some of his illustrated book from the library. I am sure that I love the picture for the same reason you do.

  25. i love that picture on the tray! i love it because it has the WIP in it! so cool! i really like how your shawl is coming! keep up the good work and i’ll try to keep up my WIP ( a six stitch scarf to be sewn with other six stitch scarves)!

  26. Does Lucy get any special treats on St. Lucia Day? Aside from sweet dreams that stem from naps in comfy places, of course.

  27. Love all the Carl Larsson work!……..and yep: know why! Happy St. Lucia!

  28. Are you enjoying the Selvedge magazine? I happened upon it a couple of years ago and have been subscribing ever since.

    Carl Larsson always makes me a little nostalgic – sufficiently so that I was up at 5 a.m. yesterday making Lussekatter for my office mates!

    BTW, I made a donation to Heifer International via your registry. I think your readers would all be happy to donate without having to receive gifts in return. Wouldn’t we? Take a year off from doing prizes (I can only imagine what a huge job that must be for you) but let’s keep the donations coming in!

  29. I just looked at the pictures before reading, and I thought that was a painting done of you! The only thing missing was Lucy! Wow, that’s great. I can totally see why you like his work.

  30. In Sweden it’s quite common (since ten years or so) to enjoy the ginger bread cookies with a piece of gorgonzola, cambozola or other green or blue cheese. It’s a great combination!

  31. Lucy is wondering how that tray can be your favourite when there is no cat on it. It almost looks like a toe-up sock is being knit though.

  32. Lucy is no doubt dreaming of pepparkakor-flavored baby chicks!

  33. I have a 20-year-old goddaughter who would look stunning in one of those dresses. She’s definitely got the long, long legs for it.

    Of course, when I was her age, I wore a size 5 (back in the ’60s, before they redid the sizes). I wouldn’t have knitted the dress then and I don’t think I would now.

  34. A belated happy St. Lucia day to you! (No relation.) The shawl is gorgeous. Love them blues.