This Week…About Books and Knitting

Summer has arrived with a full blast of hot weather here in Cincinnati. Charley and I have an early morning walk, quickly pull of some weeds afterwards in the garden and than the rest of the day is spend in the indoor air conditioned haven at home. Indeed…this is not my favorite weather. So I turn to books and knitting for comfort.


I thoroughly enjoy this book about the history of knitting. I love domestic history. I find it intriguing and inspiring to see how people coped and the beautiful things they made with limited tools (compared to modern times) and why it was made. I thought, I already knew quite a lot about the history of knitting but I was delighted to find more details and folk tales I never heard of.

I finished these gorgeous socks. Loved the pattern which I found in this beautiful book.
Definitely will knit more of these!


I made two dolls too: the yellow one was requested by the Oldest Young Mr. Walker to give to a colleague who expects her first baby (ahw) and the pink one goes to a sweet little girl in Texas.


These funky boot liners are for a funky teenager in Texas.


And when my hands get too sweaty for knitting, I go back to reading. The House of Seven Cables is a wonderful example of Victorian Gothic writing. And I have a little crush on Henri David Thoreau at the moment..well who wouldn’t after reading his poetic writings about nature: ” The earth I tread on is not a dead, inert mass. It is a body, has a spirit, is organic, and fluid to the influence of its spirit, and to whatever particle of that spirit is in me.” ( from: ‘Wood-Notes Wild) Sigh…


So back to knitting. And crochet. I started a little cardigan in crochet with this beautiful soft merino and silk blend. Now I am very tall so I have to adjust most patterns. When I was almost finished, I discovered I made a big mistake, I needed to do it all over again and I needed more yarn. Alas not available anymore. You can imagine my sour faced grumbling. However…cliche, cliche…every cloud has its silver lining. I found this wonderful pattern on one of my favorite knitting blogs and the yarn is perfect for it. What a joy this knitting is!!!


I have my Ninja Needles in full swing, because I dream of wearing this beautiful shawl when traveling with our friends by the end of the summer….can you guess where? These friends are from The Netherlands and I just send this magazine…


And indeed knitting is everywhere!! Mr. Walker and I went to Circe de Soleil in Columbus, Ohio last Saturday. In the gift shop I saw this intriguing artful knitwear. How beautiful and skillful!
And I have not enough words to describe the show: Magical, Breathtaking, Oh the Costumes, Scary Beyond Believe, Endearing…I better leave you with a little clip.

Volop zomer in Cincinnati met erg heet weer! Dus lekker in huis met airco, boeken en breien.
Meneer Walker en ik zijn ook naar Circe de Soleil geweest, zelfs daar wordt gebreid. Bijzonder fraai en kunstzinnig. Ik raad je aan naar t clipje te kijken want ik heb niet genoeg woorden om t beschrijven hoe FANTASTISCH  het was!
Have a Great Weekend!

Love and Liefs, Johanna

75 thoughts on “This Week…About Books and Knitting

  1. You are so multi talented! I admire your needlework. Those socks are really cute! How fun it is to have a visit to look forward to for the end of the summer. It’s been very hot here too… No air conditioning, lol

    • NO airconditioning…how do you survive? I can stand cold and rain and snow. This is our third summer here, I adapted to heat I noticed, but humidity…no.
      That visit is indeed something I look forward too. We will meet our friends in Yellow Stone and travel together for a couple of weeks!!!
      And thnak you for your kind words, Cynthia! xo Johanna

    • Hi Maria, thanks for stopping by and leaving a kind comment! Knitting and crocheting is indeed time consuming but if you think (like me) that that is pure yoga than you won’t mind;0) But more skills makes it indeed more fun! cheers, Johanna

  2. Ah the lazy days of summer….I’m in the same boat. I live in the hot desert so I also do lots of indoor activities.
    Love you post Johanna, I’m getting inspired to knit some socks, it’s been awhile.

    • I am such a fall and winter person…I am not sure I could survive in the dessert;0) After three summers in Cinccinnati I have adapted to the heat but not to the humidity. I hope the inventor of AC got a Nobel prize;0) xo Johanna
      ps I hope you will show your socks on your blog!

      • I prefer fall and winter too. I get up early and get all of my exercise, chores and errands done before noon.
        And yes, I’m so grateful AC.. I just looked online, Willis Carrier invented the modern electrical air conditioning unit in 1902. Lol, we have so much to be grateful for.

  3. Good morning, Johanna,
    I ca only repeat what Cynthia wrote, “You’re so multi-talented.” I like the socks a lot. Well and your works of art, of course.
    Have a great weekend,

  4. Beautiful!! I used to know how to knit, as a child, and now it’s all gone. I remember it was a lot of fun, and calming A very nice way to spend summer days. It’s so nice to see you being so inspired and also talented, to make something so beautiful ❤ Have a lovely weekend! ❤

    • Thanks Lucy! knitting is indeed calming and a lot of fun ( my kind of yoga) If you have learned it as a child, you will find it is not hard at all to pick it up again. Too bad you are not closer, I often teach knitting;0) xo Johanna

      • Oh, I’d love that a lot, Johanna! Maybe if you come visit NL, we can meet for a quick lesson 🙂 I remember I used to enjoy it a lot, so I’m sure I’d love to do it, even now.
        Have a lovely week! xo ❤

  5. Amazing work, J. Mom’s favorites are the socks and boot socks. Although in the full blown heat and humidity around here. It’s difficult to think of knitted things without sweating. I did take a quick street nap in spite of it, though.

    Love and licks,

    • I am always fascinated by your street naps Cupcake! And if you want to wear warm socks in winter it is easier to have them knit in summer ;0) I hope you have an AC to enjoy too, xo Johanna

  6. Very impressive knitting! (I can manage basic garter stitch….) Have a lovely weekend, Johanna!

  7. Goodness, Johanna. You have so many lovely talents. Yes, I like those socks, and the dolls. And your crocheting. Were you always this creative, or did you ever have to force yourself to do this stuff?

    My favorite seasons are spring and fall. Give me the coolish weather any day, and keep the extremes, I say.

    • I grew up in The Netherlands and at that time girls were still thought ‘the usefull handcrafts’ from age 7 onwards. By the age of 12 you were supposed to able to knit, cochet, embroider etc and have patterns for socks, underwear (!) doilies and whatnot and you use that in your future as a good housewife ;0)
      I do love the abundance in the wildlife in summer but I am always very happy when Fall is there again. I love the winter and spring too but humidity is very hard for me. So I hope the inventor of the AC got his/her Nobelprize ;0) xo Johanna

      • Yes, but you took to these skills with great talent, I see. The one thing I truly was good at: embroidery. I don’t know why, but I enjoyed it. Knitting? I could never make the turn — so I’d knit endless lengths of stuff. My sister was very good at crocheting.

    • Those costumes are such works of Art and I have been told they are all handmade. Well they must fit perfectly especially for the acrobats, I imagine. It definitely enhances the experience. Next year the Circe comes to Cincinnati…cannot wait! Thanks for visiting, Johanna

      • I bet they are meticulous to the last stitch. It is so scary when they start those shows, and I can imagine having to worry about your costumes would certainly be low on the list of concerns. But I marvel at the love and attention lavished on the costuming.

  8. Goodness Johanna, what a beautiful and full post this is! And the lovely Charlie! xoxo I visited your favourite knitter and ended up following her too! Your beautiful shawl is so similar to the scarves and shawls I am currently making, only the leaves are bigger I think – I really like the look of it and am going to check it out for my remaining shawl-still-to-be-made. The little video is quite breath-taking – I do admire the athleticism involved though I wonder what the cost is to their bodies, still it would be quite the spectacle to see …….. Your dolls are so lovely and take me back to my child rearing days when we made them……. So many things in here to make me reminisce and smile and also to inspire. Like you I am knitting and reading but also knitting and watching movies as the icy blast of winter wraps itself around us.

    • Thank you Pauline, it makes me very happy to have made you smile! The pattern of the shawl is indeed a twist of the well known leaf patterns. Once you have knitted a repeat , the pattern is actually quite easy. But then again, Kate Davies is very good in writing patterns. I am glad you enjoyed her blog too. I am very fond of Scotland (had my honey moon there too;0)) and Kate is a gifted writer.
      Having NOT a nimble body myself, I indeed marvel at what these acrobats can do. I noticed that they had a similar built in body, sturdy and short. I wonder if that is a good indication for ana crobatic body??
      I thought the image of you knitting whilst snow is flying is very soothing, I hope you equally enjoyed a taste of summer from the other side of the globe ;0) xo Johanna

  9. Goodness! So glad Pauline weighed in because your beautiful shawl reminded me of some she had done as well. Charley looks at though she wants some rubbing with those socked feet! The dolls are beautiful and make me think of some clowns made of socks that my brother and I had as children. Because they were so hard to make, my mother always held a grudge against them and gave them away as soon as we stopped playing with them! Enjoy your ‘in-time.’ This is my outside all the time time!

    • Oh No lisa, your mom gave away your clown? Were you sad?
      I know you enjoy the summer, that is good! So there always someone very happy in any season come winter, I will be yodeling again ;0) xo Johanna

      • Yes! Luckily I was old enough not to be too upset. Perhaps we can learn from each other on the seasons, but I think you’re born with a preference!

  10. Your knitting and crochet is so impressive Johanna! I wish I had your talents. I’m endlessly impressed with everything you feature in your beautiful blog!

    • Oh Cathe, if you learn to knit and pearl than you can knit anything you like. Believe me, I have taught ( and still teach) many women. ( never a man, I would love that..) But I am happy you enjoyed my post, xo Johanna

  11. Hi Johanna! I was admiring your little vase with the Iris. Is this a creation of yours? The winter scenes are charming and I liked that there’s a dog in field. Did you bring the Iris in from your own spring garden? I have purple Iris in our new yard too, but they are of some miniature variety. Rather cute I think.

    I’m laughing at Charley’s squenched up face in the photo featuring your newly completed socks. I know she wouldn’t turn her nose up at the colour (so very lovely). I can only guess it must’ve been the sun in her (make me melt) eyes made her sneeze? I’m blowing heartfelt kisses her way ❤ ❤

    You really make the most of your days Johanna. It might take me months to knit anything, even longer to read 3 novels. How do you manage it all while also doing your sketches, hosting young Mr Walker, attending the circus, walking Charley…..I'm sure there's a bundle of unseen but equally artful things going on too. How lovely it is to visit today…and always xo Hugs K

    • I am glad you noticed the vase, I forgot to point out it has a winter scene and that I enjoy it even more in summer ;0) I bought it actually for next to nothing at a Thrift store. (double bonus I’d say)
      The irisses I love too and there are many in our garden. But we had a rainstorm that left most flowers sad and washed out…these ones I saved and enjoyed for a couple of days.
      Charley sends big hugs back! She was actually yawning there. She has a knack of yawning at the ‘right time’ eg when talked too or reprimanded ;0)
      Well and you were wondering were I got time from..time I have in abundance since I do not work and kids left home. So drawing, reading, knitting, walking…thats what I ‘do’ ;0)
      I am happy you enjoyed it and thank you so much for visiting, a joy as always, xo Johanna

  12. That shawl is gorgeous!! The perfect accessory for your adventure with friends. Irises are one of my favourite flowers – I’m a sucker for that deep, striking colour. What a full week you’ve had. Love to you from way down here 🙂 xxx

    • Isn’t it marvelous to be send an article about Cincinnati all the way from New Zealand?? I passed it to my (knitting) friends here and we will do something with this next year!
      I was traveling all day Saturday …that is Mr. Walker drives and I sit next to him knitting. So at least I was knitting in public;0)
      But things like these are such fun…my knitting circle also knits baby caps and blankets for the children hospital and once a year we are treated to a craft afternoon with treats of all kind in the hospital. xo Johanna

  13. Too cold here in the UK for June, but not envying your heat either. You look like you’re packing a lot in, despite the heat 🙂

    • I ma a little envious of your cold June! The house stay cool thanks to the marvelous invention of the airco…could not survive with out! So by the time it gets cold here too…my socks are ready ;0)

      • Funny you should say that, our cold June has started to get warm – finally. Obviously it was waiting for me to finish the jumper, so I didn’t need it 😉 Glad you’re keeping cool getting socks ready for winter.

  14. What a super post Johanna ! I have to admit … I’m rather *envious of your knitting prowess and projects here , another thing I never mastered – not for the want of trying Lol .
    Lovely photos … Happy weekend !

    • If you learn to knit and pearl than you can knit anything you like. Believe me, I have taught ( and still teach) many women. ( never a man, I would love that..) I am happy you enjoyed my post, xo Johanna

  15. Wonderful post Johanna!! I loved everything about it! Well done for being so productive on such hot days. I’m still having big trouble with my internet so I haven’t seen all the photos on your links but I’ll try again later. Clare xx

      • My husband thought the same when he worked in the US. He can’t stand humidity and high temperatures. He gets unhappy here when it gets warmer than 20 degrees C or 70 degrees F! xo

  16. Wow, you are so very talented. All of those are beautiful but I really love those socks. I wish I could knit although now I would not have the time. I did crochet some years ago. Thank you, sweet friend for visiting and commenting on my blog. Warmed my heart. Hugs, Mags

    • Dear Mags, I can totally see why you do not have time to knit with the care for all around you! I never keep the socks I knit but always give them away. Please be so kind as to send me your address at and I am happy to send to you!!! xo Johanna
      ps what is your size, if these do not fit I will knit a pair in your size…knitting is my yoga, you are only doing me a favor ;0)

  17. You certainly have been busy Johanna! Love what you have been knitting and the beautiful colours. The dolls are adorable! Have a creative week. Cheers, Maria. 😊

  18. You pack a lot into your posts, Johanna–I don’t know where to start (well, I ALWAYS start with Charley but after that . . . )! I love to read about domestic history, too–such a way to reach across the ages and feel a connection with those who came before us yet enjoyed the same things we do! And you honor the tradition by making so many creative things–I especially love those green socks but it’s all wonderful. It’s funny you’re having such hot weather–ours has been pretty darn chilly for June but I like it that way!

    • I know, we are kindred spirits when it comes to domestic history ( and in more ways ;0)) Please send some of that cooler weather!
      Thank for your lovely visit, as always and with a warm hug from Charley too, xo Johanna

    • Thank you Anne! I know you are not a fan of the winter…but I survive summer by knitting socks, especially with the high humidity right now! Well, happy people in every season, right?

  19. You have been extremely busy! Lovely knitting projects. I wonder what the knitting needles were made with way back when.

    • everything that was at hand, wood, ivory, steel. Knitting was also done a lot in frames. If I see the fine knitting in silk I am amazed. No wonder that Queen Elizabeth I valued her 14 pair of silk stockings so much, it was part of her estate list!

  20. Beautiful knitting you do! I also LOVE knitting, the best time consumer apart from painting, does the knitting book “knitting around the world” have lots of patterns like the garments shown on the cover? Looks tempting 🙂

    • The book has no knitting patterns alas…but there a plenty of books out there that have patterns as well as history. My favorite is ‘Folk Socks’ by Nancy Bush. I am happy to have found another kindred spirit in knitting and art! Thank you for stopping by, Johanna

      • Thankyou for your reply, and funnily enough I am knitting some socks from Nancy Bush’s Folk Socks book!! It is my knitting bible and its such a great and useful book 🙂

  21. That Thoreau quote is just wonderful. Thank you for reminding me of his gifts to us.
    Frankly, I’d not heard the term “domestic history”, but of course it’s perfect.
    Have you ever read “Laura Ingalls Wilder, Farm Journalist: Writings from the Ozarks”? This volume collects essays that she wrote between 1911 and 1924. It’s been years since I read it but I remember loving her descriptions of farm life. You might like it!

  22. Laura Wilder kindled my love for North America and domestic history!! Her precise and lovely way of describing everyday life made me admire the housekeepers and arts craft in history and sparkled my interest to study more. We are kindred spirits Laurie!!

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