This year’s crop of lanterns. The really scary-looking one is Ingrid’s; she went all in. Adrian did his own carving for the first time ever – I was almost expecting blood and cut fingers but nothing of the kind happened. I wasn’t in the mood for crafts at all and did the bare minimum to keep the kids company.

Those gloves for Adrian are more effort than I expected. This was my third attempt at knitting the fingers, and for the third time I ended up ripping them up. Too narrow, still too narrow, then too wide… knitting for small fingers with a thickish yarn, there is no margin of error. On the plus side, re-doing the fingers isn’t much work, because they are so small.

Adrian has been asking for fingerless gloves for a long time – since last winter I believe. I haven’t seen any in shops. Maybe I could find something online, but he also has very specific wishes regarding the gloves, so I decided to knit a pair for him.

Plus, I want to knit something anyway. I have the cardigan project that I spent so much time on and then had to rip up because it didn’t fit… and while I do want that cardigan, I feel a resistance. What if it won’t fit this time either? Maybe I should pick a different pattern? It’s easier to work up my courage with a small and simple project first.

Adrian picked the yarn. A variegated one, with blue, red and dark yellow. It’s woolly and warm and soft, but it doesn’t look that way when I see it up close like in this photo. It looks all scratchy.

I found a scrap of cheap cotton yarn at the bottom of a drawer and crocheted a cover for the lamp in my window. It’s basically a round tube of netting, somewhat wider in the middle, that I just pulled on over the top of the lamp shade.

A lamp sock. Or a lamp vest maybe? No, definitely a sock: a net sock is much cuter than a net vest. The latter makes me think of overweight middle-aged hairy-stomached men.

I like the shape and colour of the lamp shade, but the green glass is too transparent. Even though I have the weakest lightbulb in there, the light is too strong. The cover should diffuse the light just enough to make it feel less sharp.

I picked up my knitting project after a few weeks’ break. I was doing this without a pattern, and thought I remembered exactly what I was supposed to be doing. But simply trusting my memory was clearly a mistake. Now I have to unpick all that cable twisting the wrong way.

That secret project that Ingrid was working on was indeed a birthday present for me. It was a kitchen tray.

During summer we like to eat outside on the deck, which means we’re often carrying things back and forth between the deck and the kitchen. The trays we have for this job are the usual slippery plastic things. Definitely better than nothing, but not ideal.

This new one is a dream to use. It’s solid and robust, with square feet and tough rope handles and an edge all around. The surface is just rough enough so the plates don’t slide around, and the edge adds extra security. The handles are thick and stiff enough that I can really load the tray full with heavy bowls of food and stacks of plates, and still have full control when carrying it all. I like the feel of it so much that I use it even when I only have a few things to carry, just because I can. It’s perfect.

I sewed Poke balls for Adrian, so he can throw them at imaginary Pokemons to catch them all.

Meanwhile, Ingrid is looking for a new phone. The old one is sort of broken (she has to put it in loudspeaker mode to hear anything) but almost more importantly it’s too old for playing Pokemon Go.

Adrian loves building things, and has been asking me for a long time to build something in wood together with him. He’s also been asking for a bed for one of his toys. Today we had a woodworking day when we got both projects done.

I built a minimalist four-poster doll bed. The four-poster bit was essential and actually what got this project started – Adrian had a bunch of small bead projects that he wanted to hang over the doll, so it can look at them while it’s waiting for sleep.

Adrian built a boat. He did the design, we measured together, I cut and drilled, and finally Adrian screwed all the pieces together. Then he ran off with it before I got a chance to photograph the final result.

I like the way Adrian’s imagination works. He takes a piece of thick plank for the bottom, adds a section of square rod as a mast, and there’s his boat! He did add more detail to this one (two more pieces of rod for railings, a little post with a wooden button for a wheel, a block as a cabin) but in his mind it was already a boat without those. If I was asked to build a boat, I would probably aim for something more clearly boat-shaped, which would be a lot more work.

We painted pretty eggs. They were so pretty that even Adrian, who doesn’t normally eat eggs, ate one.

If it was just about the painting, we could have done many more, but I feel we should paint only as many as we can eat. Which is not a lot. Boiled eggs are a good breakfast food, but not hard-boiled ones. That is not the most delicious way of preparing eggs. Hard-boiled eggs are OK when still newly cooked and warm, but after a day or two… not so much.

A rest day and optional day trips from Glitterheim, where we’re staying for two nights. Ascent of Styggehøe, 10 km, and skiing Øvre and Nedre Steinbuvatnet, 9 km.

The initial plan for today was to ascend Glittertind, Norway’s second tallest mountain. But considering yesterday’s quite tiring skiing, and the continuing high winds, and the long day we have ahead of us tomorrow, we decided against it. 1100m of ascent and descent, with high wind and on a mostly icy surface, would have us all quite exhausted.

Some of us stayed in the hut and read; others went out for short walks. I joined a group that skied up Styggehøe, a somewhat less exciting mountain that happened to be nearby. We actually had clear skies today, but it was still windy enough that we only stopped quite briefly for coffee and photos at the top. The skiing was nothing special and neither were the views, frankly.

Back at the hut some of us felt that the morning’s 10 km outing was not enough to count as a proper day of skiing and talked about going out again in some other direction. Having learned on Wednesday that not enough skiing leads to not enough sleepiness, I joined in, even though I knew I’d slow the group down – the other goers were among the strongest skiers in the group. But the gentlemen said they didn’t mind.

We climbed a short slope right behind the hut and then skied back and forth along/across two lakes, Øvre and Nedre Steinbuvatnet, beneath Glittertind. On the way out, we had the wind in our faces and the going was hard, so we made stayed on the snow on the side of the lake. The wind kept spinning up into whirlwinds, which were pretty to look at (and I’m quite miffed that my camera decided to stop working at this time) but hit quite hard when they hit me. On the plus side, the snowy whirlwinds were easy to spot in advance so I could brace myself.

On the way back there was no more slogging through snow. Instead we raced back across the icy lakes with the wind at our backs. Point the skis in the right direction and pole away, with the skis humming along the ice. According to the GPS unit of one of the guys, he had skied the lake at an average speed of 18 km/h. I was not quite as fast but nevertheless I felt like I was almost flying. This was the most fun I’d had all week! The speed and power and focus made for an almost ecstatic experience.

Back at the hut, we still had time to kill before dinner. The couple in charge of this hut were celebrating their 10-year anniversary as caretakers, so they had a knitted friendship banner/scarf project going, that visitors could add to. I felt I had done enough reading already so I was definitely up for some knitting.

Plain knitting is a decent way to make time pass, but there was time for something more fun, so I embellished my knitting with an embroidered Warthog logo for the company organizing this trip – Warthog Off Grid Adventures (web site, Facebook page). Orange, of course.