I don't know if Bruegel paintings demonstrate weird fungus in the water supply or not but they tell me something pretty bizarre was going on. Thoughts come from some place.
In any case an entire village, I have read, would be plunged into a surreal alternate reality where evil goblins, bizarre happenings and grotesque visions had to be seriously dealt with. The big preferences being to permanently banish them.
Seems to me we're still dealing with a lot of the same problems; evil goblins, bizarre happenings and grotesque visions bombard me and I don't even watch TV these days. Just read the headlines and cruise.
When I was knitting Norwegians on Acid, and was almost finished, my companion Fred and I were talking about water and corruption, drugs and South America, ancestors and Berserks and Mr. Bruegel. You know how those conversations go.
In the end we came up with the name for the sweater as something appropriate and a little bit cheeky.
By naming this sweater Norwegians on Acid, I am in no way advocating the use of alternate reality drugs to either cope with one's day-to-day or escape from it. Bad things are out there! Everybody is responsible to watch out! The name just fit given our conversation, given that the sweater was built from so many ideas and pieces, given that it was built when we were very poor and given that I was knitting it to take my mind off trying things.
Mr. Bruegel's life must have been very trying.
My Mom taught me to knit. It wasn't until years later I understood she taught me the "wrong way". My oldest daughter Hope mocks me, teasing me about the way my hand swings the wool around the needle instead of using my finger in that economical and graceful hooking motion that the people who do it the "right way" use(1).
Before Norwegians on Acid, I'd knit any number of patterned sweaters for myself, my children and special others. I once knit a fourteen-foot scarf that I kept on my walls as cheap Art during yet another one of my poor periods. I've knit buffalo wool mitts for dead bosses, sweaters for now grown up babies, custom curtains for boats and very odd socks but ~ Norwegians on Acid was the first sweater I'd ever completed where the design was as much mine as anything else I'd been taught or seen. I had a bunch of odd ball wool and time on my hands and I needed to work. Some of the designs in Norwegians on Acid (and sweaters I've knit since) use graphs or pieces of graphs from library books and off the net. If you recognize your work, you've got my e-address, let me know. Mostly it's mine.
None of my sweaters would ever be mistaken as machine made. I have loved ones who would not be comfortable in one of my sweaters.
These days the bizarre Norwegians on Acid is my comfort sweater. I'm safe when I'm wearing it. Home free! Knitting this sweater helped me through some things and I take comfort from its known strength and familiarity.
Note: even the bizarre can become comfortably familiar. Norwegians on Acid is harmless unless you're a paid-up member of the Fashion Police, but that water thing we're still working on. How we deal. The concept's quite clear:
Must keep water clean
Must share water or kill other living things
Doesn't seem all that hard to understand but we're still working on it.
(1) Water Lilies