Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Yarn Along






These indoor days seem full right now. Feeding, feeding, feeding... and laundry. Isn't it funny how different seasons of your life are dominated by different things.

I remember the working season of my life where these winter days were marked by long walks across the city where I would walk in my high heeled boots through the slush and snow, dragging my court reporting machine in my suitcase behind me from deposition to deposition. The things that dominated my life then were my boots, the doorman at the Canterbury hotel to whom I always gave a cheerful nod and smile and received one in return, my faux fur coat which kept me warm and blissfully cozy on those wind swept streets, and my morning Starbucks at the same Starbucks, surrounded by the same people day after day.

Then I remember the knitshop season of my life when I worked in my Local Yarn Shop. Those winter days were marked  by opening the shop in the gray morning light. Making freshly baked scones in the back kitchen, putting the coffee on to brew and opening up new shipments of beautiful yarns from around the world. Yarn and people dominated my days then. People who needed help with their knitting or finding the perfect new project.

This season of my life is dominated by little people growing and learning and changing. It is dominated by smiles and tears. It swings in grand pendulums of happiness and frustration. One day ready to tear my hair out because I've gotten no sleep and my four year old is being defiant. The next day receiving glowing reports from his preschool teacher at our parent/teacher conference on how well he is doing, how far ahead of other children he is etc. I sit and smile and think of the day before and realize it all works out somehow. The days don't have to run smoothly they just have to be filled with love and acceptance.

And so... recognizing this season of my life is one of "little" I'm fully enjoying knitting for the littlest. At least right now he can't tell me he doesn't like it or he's too hot to wear it. So Arthur has a new little vest.
The pattern is Owlet by Kate Davies. The yarn is angora from a thrifted sweater that I ripped out, plied on my spinning wheel and then dyed - yes, that was all done before I had children. I would not have the time to do that now. It is not the season.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Midwinter


A new quilt for Arthur from his Auntie Em


My January hutch


A gifted "snowdrift" from a friend - crochet snowflakes


The blanketed evergreens on the back path


dear, sweet, Arthur - 4 months now


morning tea with another mama and our babies


this is my Midwinter - and I'm enjoying it. I'm hanging up snowflakes inside, enjoying all my blue willow, making pots of tea, and knitting away (when I can). I'm hunting down my handknit socks and casting on more. I'm digging out my heaviest sweaters and dreaming of casting on more. I'm pulling out my fiber from the cupboard and spinning up a bit. I'm embracing midwinter because, well, it's what is here. The moment I have. Spring will come - but that's tomorrow. Right now it is the magic of midwinter.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Yarn Along





Hello Friends! 
It's Wednesday and time to see/hear what you all have been reading and knitting! I just finished off a warm hat for myself. I found a simple color pattern that I liked, made a gauge, measured my head and then multiplied my gauge by my head measurement, fudged the numbers to fit the color pattern I liked, and voila! I had a hat.

I used KnitPicks Palette yarn. Love the stuff. It's good work horse yarn that won't let you down. It's hard to find a yarn shop that stocks a bunch of fingering weight yarn that is good for colorwork, so KnitPicks has become my go-to place for colorwork yarn.

I snuck in a bit of red inside the brim to give it a bit of fun on the underside. Don't you just love doing things like that? A bit of color where you least expect it. I haven't blocked it. But I have a feeling I will be wearing it before it makes it to the blocking board. It's just that cold outside and it's just too exciting to have a new hat to wear.

I just finished up Adventures in Yarn Farming.... oooo, I love it! It's one of those books I'm going to have to buy now. It's that worthy! Although it has cured me a bit of wanting my own sheep. Sounds like tough, but rewarding work.

I've started into Bread and Wine and have already benefited from it immensely! But I'll have to go into that in another post.

So what have you been working on?

Stay warm!

Joining with Ginny




Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Enjoying


Right now I am enjoying -
:: winter - yes, the delight of rest and watching nature at rest.


:: A little one grow and learn and develop


:: a cup of tea and chocolates in the afternoon


:: a little boy who loves the snow


:: My next door neighbor who doesn't mind spur of the moment invitations to tea


:: A little bit of stranded knitting. I love seeing the pattern come alive underneath my fingers.

What are you enjoying right now?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Winter Vacation - Creating

There is one more thing from our winter vacation that I want to share and that is the little project that my mom and I took along with us.

Can you believe the absolute crazy mess on the table? I know! Do you spot the cups of tea and dish of cookies? It's almost like a "Where is Waldo" drawing.

One of the things we love to do is make art notebooks to keep our daily musings or things we have to do in. It helps keep us organized in a beautiful way. We made ones for December and decided to make our January/February books while we were on vacation. All you need is a stack of magazines in the month you are wanting to make the book for, glue sticks or rubber cement, sissors, a dollar store exercise book and cups of tea.


Next you flip through the magazines and cut out anything and everything that makes your heart sing. Literally it can be anything in the magazine. Words, sayings, bouquets of flowers, sweaters, recipes, etc.


My mom started the tradition of covering the front of the book and I followed suite - it makes it all the more decorative and eye catching.


Then you paste the pictures you cut out into the book - usually one or two to a page with enough space to write in.


I write ....

...or draw out my ideas on the pages and slowly the book because full - memories of things that passed through my mind as ideas. Some of them blossoming into a creation. Some of them staying on the pages.

Anyways, I thought you all might enjoying making your own. They are so easy to make and sooooo much fun to create. Mom and I spent several afternoons on ours and still they are not full. I intend to cut out more things and paste them in as the month progresses.

happy creating!
Christina

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Yarn Along and Catch Up










Ahhh.... January. I'm beginning to look for the things I enjoy about winter rather than look for every sign of spring I can find. In the car on the way to Preschool this morning John and I went over the things we really loved about winter. I said, "Winter walks and the quiet peace of the woods. Being able to see the beauty of the naked trees. Nature at rest. Being able to sit in front of the fire and knit. Wearing wool sweaters. Curling up under a down duvet." Then he broke in, "But here's something that I love that you forgot. Going out and walking in the snow and then coming in for hot chocolate!" Ooooo, I love that boy! He's just the greatest! Yes! Isn't that a wonderful part about winter.

I really enjoyed this post about enjoying winter too!

I looked out my door yesterday morning and saw such pretty colors - browns, whites, blues, and greens. And then a few hours later I noticed the same palette in yarn on the KnitPicks website. Ooooo what I would give to be able to buy that sampler and make the whole thing into a shawl! Wouldn't that be fun!

Having a little baby in the house means that handknits are being made and being grown out of rather quickly. I know - I should just use some of the ones I knit for John. But for some reason I want Arthur to have his own stash of knits. I just finished this dark blue sweater out of Berroco Vintage. No, there isn't a pattern - it's one of my own unpublished designs, designed specifically for Arthur. I wanted something that buttoned on the side but had a deep v-neck because... well, he has no neck. His delightful little fat rolls don't allow him a neck. Oooo, isn't it lovely having a chubby baby! No worries about his growth and health!

And of course, since it is midwinter and his mama likes to take a lot of winter walks the poor babe needed some mittens. Again, no pattern to share! Sorry!

I've complied a video of other things I have been working on. It seemed faster and I've really enjoyed Susan B Anderson's little catch up videos. I feel really stupid doing them - that's the one down side! Hope you enjoy, though! FYI: The title of the book appeared backwards to me when I made the video - but of course when the video is played it looks normal. A silly technical glitch that caught me off guard.




Under 100 Knit Collection Book
Right now the book is 40% off and only $14.99! What a steal!

Pixie Purses Pattern

Magic Cake Shawl Pattern
My own notes about the magic cake shawl

Joining with Ginny and her lovely Yarn Along


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Winter Vacation - hiking











One of the things I love about winter is hiking - yes! I'm crazy! But I love winter hikes. We actually took a brief walk on the coldest day - the -11 day. But that I do not recommend! It was dangerously cold.

The longer hike we took was on a day it was 33F - not to bad for winter. I do recognize that most places get much colder than this for winter and so winter hiking is not feasible. But I do love that it is feasible here.

We packed up a lunch, hot cocoa and trail mix and hit the trail. I really enjoyed the difference in foliage even though it wasn't that far south of Indy. I saw holly bushes growing wild, ferns, and moss and far more evergreens and pine trees. Things you don't see so much in the woods surrounding Indianapolis. Another thing I love about winter hikes is the stillness, the silence of the woods. Everything is in a peaceful slumber and that peace tends to soak into my soul as I walk.


And of course we had the delight of a hot dinner and a warm fire and some knitting when we returned back to the condo. 




Monday, January 13, 2014

Hello!

Hello Friends! So sorry about my disappearance in this little space. As we headed into the first week of January I had to get ready for a little holiday we were going on and there just wasn't a spare moment to have a little sit down. Things were made even harder by the fact that my computer broke! oooo... I didn't realize what a luxury it was to have my very own computer. I dug into my very own small savings account and purchased a Chromebook. We'll see how I like it. At this point it works just perfectly for my little online life. But, the verdict is still out.

So... as I prepared the family to take a holiday (i.e. menu lists, food shopping, clothes packing, activity prep) Indy prepared for the biggest snow storm of the season. I went food shopping for our trip on Thursday - 2.5 days before the snow storm was due and EVERYONE was out shopping. What normally would take me 2 hours to do took me 5 hours. Most of that was traffic (there never is traffic on my shopping route) and standing in lines. I was shocked.

Saturday morning we drove the 2.5 hour route down to French Lick, IN - a historic place in Indiana known for it's hot spring baths. I had never been and it was quite a feast for the eyes.



After our arrival and the great unpack we settled in to watch the storm come in!



It didn't come! Well, a little rain and freezing rain and then a little bit of snow. We totally missed the 13 inches being dumped upon Indianapolis. I didn't know whether I should be happy or sad! Ha! (Sorry, I think I'm beginning a love affair with winter... there is something so magical about it.)


What did come was the cold. Below freezing temperatures that froze the inside of your nose if you were out for more than a few moments. So we hunkered down, stoked up the fireplace and settled in for two days of playing and creating indoors.

How did you all spend the storm?