Trolls. Today, they are strange creatures that lurk the internet, causing anger and chaos wherever they go. This has not always been the case. There are different sides to the troll, that has been somewhat forgotten in American culture.
The trolls first appeared in Scandinavian culture centuries ago, and they still play a huge part in Scandinavian tradition today. Long ago, trolls were basically diminutive versions of the mountain giants of Nordic myth. The legends surrounding them grew and diversified with time. According to legend, they turn to stone in the presence of sunlight, just like in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Many rock formations in Norway and Sweden are named after trolls and were believed to be trolls that were exposed to sunlight.
The fiber arts world has been abuzz all this year with the word Hygge (HUUE-ga), a movement started in the Scandinavian countries embracing a feeling of warmth and calm. The hygge movement encourages people to get back to basics, get away from the electronic stimulation and busy pace of life and just be. No agendas. No lists, just cozy calm living.
The Hygge life encourages people to take time out to enjoy warm drinks, time with friends, and old fashioned pursuits like reading and crafting. In the fiber arts world, this has resulted in an abundance of items made in chunky or bulky yarns and Nordic style colorwork patterns. Bulky and chunky work up quickly, making a boon for Christmas sales. Hygge also emphasizes grey, black, white, browns, tans, and pastels more than other shades making a more neutral palette.
I appreciate the ideas of quietness and calm that hygge projects to the world. I’ve always been attracted to the idea of a quiet orderly house to live in, though, the emphasis on white puts me off a little… anytime I wear white, I manage to get something on it! Through my exploration of hygge, and the intervention of a friend, I discovered the wonderful world of Moomin, the Finnish children’s book character who simply IS hygge. I’m working on a review of the cartoon available on YouTube and will be getting out books from the library for review, as part of the exploration of this concept. Thanks T.k. Wilson!
Lyn here! Hygge is really nothing new. It’s been a concept in home decor, fashion, and even cooking for years. While I’d date myself in a big way (may call for radiocarbon dating) I remember seeing my Aunts crocheting or knitting up beautiful blankets, pillows, scarves, hats, socks, mittens, decorative wall hangings and the like. The thing I liked most about it at the time was that it was not limited to the fiber arts. The current look of Hygge is broad it covers so many art forms from painting to wood crafts. Since Hygge reappeared on the landscape collaboration between the arts has been maximized.
I’m really enjoying this renaissance of this traditionally Nordic look. In fact I looked back in some of my magazines to find a copy of Selvedge Magazine from December 2007 Issue 20. https://www.selvedge.org/products/issue-20-scandinavia?_pos=1&_sid=1a664c1ba&_ss=r The emphasis of this issue of the magazine was Scandinavia. The writers of Selvedge Magazine painted a gentle portrait of a culture rooted in the past but living very much in the present. Everything from clothing to rocking chairs have some simple decorations. Creating that cozy look we all crave in the busy world in which we exist. Living in the Adirondacks there has always been a bit of the Scandinavian feel to life here but with our own flavor.
The warm and endearing nature of Hygge encompasses everything including, and maybe especially children. Family centric homes with bright, colorful touches, dot warm, placid rooms. In this link from Hygge Design there are hints of happy colors all through the sample home decor photos. https://hyggedesign.blog/2019/04/29/7-hygge-rugs-perfect-for-bedrooms/ (this page the emphasis is on rugs)
Hygge need not be expensive. If you like the look or simply want a home with a more welcoming air, there are simple ways that craftspersons can help with your design needs. Texture, color, homey touches, everything from carved wooden pieces to pillow covers. These photos are some of the pieces I’ve been working on lately. (I expect that some will be included in a sale we have coming up in December) Deep texture, calm colors with added, interest from brighter pops of yellow or blue. Just remember it only has to look rich, you do not have to be rich to achieve this look of warmth.
Click the button to see my portfolio!
**Opinions expressed on blogs about which I write are the opinion of the blog authors and DO NOT necessarily reflect my own opinion.