XRF 12days Twelve drummers drumming, Eleven pipers piping, Ten lords a-leaping, Nine ladies dancing, Eight maids a-milking, Seven swans a-swimming, Six geese a-laying, Five gold rings, Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, And a partridge in a pear tree.

The Twelfth Night are here. No one exactly knows when they begin and when they end. In some regions they begin on 21./22. December (St. Thomas Day and winter solstice) in other regions they begin on 24./25. December (Christmas Eve). They end either on 31.December/1.Januar (New Years Eve) or on 5./6. January (Epiphany).

In German Language they are called Rauhnächte. The source of this word is controversial. Some say the origin of this word comes from rûch meaning hairy. Others believe the origin is because of burning incense in the stables during this days.

It is also said, that this custom has its origin in the change of the calendar from lunar to solar. A year of 12 lunar month only has 354 days. So you have to add 11 days or 12 nights to get the 365 days of a solar year.

This 12 nights, which are beyond time the laws of nature are in abeyance and the borders to the other worlds are dropping down. In many cultures this is a magical and mystical time.

Peter Nicolai Arbo (Norway 1831 -1892) Asgardreien

Peter Nicolai Arbo (Norway 1831 -1892) Asgardreien

And they are dangerous and wild. It is said that the wild hunt starts out on New years Eve and during this time the door to the spirit world is open and the souls of the departed are free. Demons are allowed to track to the country.

In some regions of the Alps the Perchten and the Glöckler having their processions making noise to cast out the winter demons.

Schönpercht and Vogelprecht - Salzburg ethnological museum

Schönpercht and Vogelprecht – Salzburg ethnological museum

It is said  the New Years Eve’s fireworks has its origin in this custom making noise to cast out the demons.

The nights are therefore cold and dangerous. Thank God I have knitted myself a sweater to protect me from the cold of these nights. So I stay warm and cosy.

Youlgrave by Marie Wallin Youlgrave by Marie Wallin

It is published in Rowan Autumn Knits which contains a collection of knits for men and women all designed by Marie Wallin.

It is knitted using Rowan Lima and fair isle technique. Body and sleeves are knitted flat, the ribbed collar is knitted in the round.

Purl stitches in the fair isle pattern adding interest as the stripes in moss and garter stitch.

Youlgrave Youlgrave

Stay warm and cosy during the Twelfth Night!

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! it had a dying fall:
O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more:
‘Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou,
That, notwithstanding thy capacity
Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
Of what validity and pitch soe’er,
But falls into abatement and low price,
Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy
That it alone is high fantastical.