Thursday, March 13, 2014

March Hygge

Hygge continues to be front and centre in my thinking. Even on the days whose only redeeming feature is getting to crawl into bed at night and cross them off the calendar, hygge has been on my mind. Of course, then it's more a case of thinking how unhygge the day has been, but still, it has me focused on the word. Here's a quote about hygge I had in my original post back in January.

A love of or need for hygge is an important part of the Danish psyche. Hygge is usually inadequately translated as cosiness. This is too simplistic: cosiness relates to physical surroundings – a jersey can be cosy, or a warm bed - whereas hygge has more to do with people’s behaviour towards each other. It is the art of creating intimacy: a sense of comradeship, conviviality, and contentment rolled into one.

I like how it describes hygge as having to do with people's behaviour towards each other. One of the ways this manifests is in the giving and receiving of gifts. March has been a month of gifts, all of which were surprises. First of all, there was the giving of a gift. Remember the Tea Jenny hat I knit for my cousin Kath? Well, Kath came to visit me while I was down at my mom's so I was able to give her the hat in person instead of mailing it.

Have you ever given someone something that you knew they absolutely loved, something that you made for them hoping that would be the case? I think it is one of the nicest feelings in the world, like the goodness of tea and chocolate and sunshine and a good book all rolled into one moment. Of course, this is where the Danes show their brilliance. Instead of a string of words like I just used trying to describe that moment, they have one word, hygge, that says it all.

The other surprise gifts were ones I received rather than gave. I'm not sure if this makes me an incredibly selfish person, but I must confess I love getting gifts. The first surprise gift was actually last month. When I checked my email I had a notice from Amazon saying my friend Cindy had sent me the new Alexander McCall Smith book, The Forever Girl, as a birthday gift. I am about one third of the way through it and am really enjoying it.

When I was in Vegas Rebekah pulled a small bundle out of her backpack and handed to me. She had knit these sheep coasters for my birthday. I love these, and now have them spread around the cottage in all my tea drinking spots.



Then I got a parcel in the mail from Elginknitter (Ruth in Ontario), a long time reader of my blog. She happened to have two Aga stoves for her dollhouse, so she sent me the extra one. It's my first piece for my dollhouse, and since I have been dreaming of someday owning an Aga, it was the perfect "dollhouse warming" present.


This past week I went to visit my friend Ellen. Before I even had a chance to sit down she scurried off to her bedroom to get something. I knew she had been working on something for my birthday, because she had dropped a few hints here and there. I was totally unprepared for what she came back holding in hers arms though. She had made me a gorgeous lap quilt. I was speechless (this doesn't usually happen unless I'm in front of a crowd).

It looks so lovely in its spot on the window seat in my bedroom.


The backing is adorable!


It is actually much bigger than a lap quilt!


I'm pretty sure I had the same goofy grin on my face when Ellen gave me this quilt as Kath did when I gave her the hat. I think that's hygge, come full circle. 

22 comments:

  1. I really enjoy your hygge posts, they give me a lot to think about. I'm not sure I ever have made something that anyone appreciated that much. I probably need to work harder at making things or stop giving them to ungrateful people? Hmm. The quilt is so beautiful, what a wonderful surprise. Your friend is so talented. And how nice to be given the extra Aga. You are clearly well-loved.

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  2. I sighed when I saw the stove. It's simply the perfect start to your dollhouse. And of course, all the other gifts are fab. You are one lucky (deserving) girl.

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  3. Wow, that is a two-faced quilt, and what a beauty! I have one block with one of those cute doggies, part of a friendship quilt. You have had some nice hygge this month: beautiful little aga for the dollhouse, what could be more perfect? As for the knitted sheep, they are adorable - as is the view outside your window. Now I have context, can imagine you in that beautiful environment!

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  4. Love the quilt, love the aga.......there are so many hobbies aren't there..... I always wonder about people with no hobbies.....what do they do with themselves all day?

    I don't think you or I will ever have that problem!

    Great Hygge post!

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  5. I love all the gifts you received! Each one was perfect. It really does make a difference to know a gift you've given, especially hand-made ones, are truly appreciated. Your post about the gifts will be like icing on the cake for your gift-givers!

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  6. …and the month is only half-past! More March Hygge to come…

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  7. Thanks for the photo of the Aga - it looks wonderful in its new setting. (Not so sure about the rest of the kitchen decor, ha!) I absolutely love those sheep coasters. Is the pattern on Ravelry? If not, would Rebekah consider sharing it? And your view out the window is so GREEN (paint me GREEN with envy). We had our biggest snowstorm of the winter on Wednesday...just saying. -- Ruth

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    1. ETA - I found the coaster pattern on Ravelry. Thanks to Rebekah for the inspiration! -- R.

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  8. An Aga! That is so neat. The handmade gifts are really special...all gifts are, but the combination of thoughtfulness and effort kicks it up a notch.

    I thought our furnace was a goner last night, but it was just a dusty sensor. It's working fine now.

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  9. The quilt is beautiful and those sheep coasters are adorable. You have some very talented and thoughtful friends....when I saw the AGA I thought it was a full size one! My BFF has a British racing green AGA and it is a wonderful cooker.

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  10. "Hygge, come full circle" - exactly. Hygge is as hygge does, I think!
    -- stashdragon

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  11. I love the concept of Hygge. I think that I might make it a goal to contribute to the Hygge of those around me. Also, I really am smitten with the sheep coasters.

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  12. Wonderful gifts Kristie and like you I dream of having an AGA one day. Just fabulous. I'm in catch up mode at the moment and it seems I may have missed your birthday, many apologies and hope you had a good one. Many Happy Returns
    Patricia x

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  13. I feel a bit like crying, this is such a beautiful Hygge post. Cx

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  14. What wonderful gifts to have received, that is great hygge from your friends!! The quilt is so pretty, especially the backing!! I would have trouble deciding which way round to have it. Love your little AGA as well, that is just too cute!! I hope that you have a hygge weekend. xx

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  15. Hugh Fearnley-Whitingstall has just finished a series on Scandinavia to find out why they are the happiest countries in the world. He visited Denmark in one programme and tried to find out the meaning of hygge. I thought of you as I was watching it. Sarah x

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  16. what beautiful gifts! I love those sheepy coasters, I think I might need to make some!

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  17. Oh my aren't you just the lucky one! Everything is perfect, every single gift. But my favorite are those sheep coasters, I LOVE them.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  18. The coasters are certainly cute but all of your gifts are wonderful.
    I made my friend a gluten free christmas cake a few years back, she was thrilled and I was so pleased to make something special for her.

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  19. I am always amazed at quilters because you just know when you look at a quilt, there has been so much time and love put into it. Lovely gifts all around!

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  20. What a lovely group of friends you have. May I ask where one finds the pattern for the sheep coasters?

    Maria

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    1. I emailed you back about the coasters Maria. They can be found on Ravelry. Here's the link:

      http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/a-sheeps-mug-mat

      Have fun making them!

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