Counting Blessings.

The kids and I decorated for Christmas yesterday. I know, I know, it’s early! I don’t really have any Thanksgiving decor though so putting up Christmas felt like the festive thing to do. As soon as I started bringing up boxes, the kids went bananas for it, so it was a total win.

Having done most of the cleaning yesterday, I took an hour or so this morning to dust and give a little shine to my spinning wheels and spindles. My holiday company will start arriving today so this was my last opportunity to do so before things got busy. The sun slowly came up. Big, fat snow globe flakes of snow started to fall. In that quiet moment, I took a deep breath and counted my blessings. I am thankful. For family. For friends. For my home. For the cold November blue skies. For the sun shining. For the big, fat snow globe flakes of snow. For my beautiful spinning wheels. For the friends I’ve made through craft and all I’ve been able to learn from it. For all the experiences of the past year. I’m just so very thankful.

This Thanksgiving I hope that you each get a quiet moment to take a deep breath and count your blessings, too. Some days they are harder to see, some days they are as blinding as the morning sun, but they are there. And they are many.

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Fe-blah-ary

I love winter, but if I had to pick a time of year that I struggle most with, it would be February. A long time ago a friend of mine referred to my feelings as the “February Blahs” — a kind of late winter ennui. I love the silence of winter and I love the cold and I love all the secrets kept by the natural world during this stark time of year, held closely and revealed only to those brave enough to venture out in the elements. Something happens to me in February, though. I get restless. The bundling up, the relentless chill, the perceived sameness of the palette  — it can all wear on me. And while I love winter and I hate the idea of saying good-bye to it, I start to think about spring… a lot. The warm sun on my face, running out on errands without having to pile on 3 layers of clothes, being barefoot — even in the house! But I digress. After years of experiencing this, I’ve learned to stay busy, take on challenges that excite me, and just keep on, keepin’ on.

And that, my friends, is where I spent my past quiet week. Tucked away in a multitude of tasks, staying busy, and doing the little things necessary to keep my spirits up during this bought of the Fe-blah-ary-s. Baking. Field trips with the family. Cooking. Spinning. Knitting. Movies. Music. Reading. And today I thought I’d pop in to share some of the crafty things I’ve been up to…

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Have I shared these singles here yet? I finished them a while back and am aiming to wind them off and get them washed and set and drying later today. Sure, I’ve said that a few times already over the past weeks and these singles sat on the bobbin, but I really am going to try to get that done today.

I’ve been working steadily on my handspun Brillig

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I’m loving this knit. The fabric has a wonderful, drapey feel and I can’t wait to wear it.

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And this photo shows the colors a little better than the first. I’m alternating Three Waters Farm Iron Blue & African Sunset, both handspun and chain-plied to a light fingering weight and thus I went down to a size 4 needle. It appears that I did not spin the African Sunset’s colors quite the way I thought I did, so I’m a little intrigued to see what’s to come here in the remainder of the yarn. I also have a feeling that I will have to spin more Iron Blue before all is said and done because I believe I will be running short. I did buy extra after measuring the skeins, so I have it on hand — it would just delay finishing a bit.

And in my spinning…img_9919

The singles of my Three Waters Farm Top of the Month club are complete as of last night! I intend to chain by this bobbin as well. I couldn’t bear the idea of breaking up these yellows and blues. I have no idea what I’ll do with the yarn once it’s plied, but I sure did enjoying spinning it!

And last, but certainly not least, I spent those in-between moments in the kitchen with one of my Jenkins‘ Larks…

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I really do love the spin on these spindles. Of course because I do love the kitchen for my spindles, I had to include the home-made granola and fresh bread in the photo as well. Yum.

And with that, I’m heading back to it! It’s snowing again and I’ve got to spin some color into this freshly pristine white landscape!

Recovering from the Happy Merry

I hope you’ve all had a happy holiday season thus far! Perhaps, like me, the hustle and bustle is mostly over for you and you’re able to settle back into a more normal schedule. I came down with a mighty cold right before the holiday — so much so that my darling husband took one look at me and declared, “You look awful!” one morning. He meant well, somehow, I think, and really I did marry him for his honesty, so I’m not sure what else I should have expected. The important thing is that he seemed to take my horrific appearance to mean I really was not feeling well and so make an effort to help me to plan a easier work load for over the holiday. I am super thankful for that!

In any case, I recovered (for the cold and the trauma of looking so hideous) enough to put it out of my mind and enjoy the family time — gifts and hosting and all that good stuff. My body is still working things out with the germ invaders though and we’re all discombobulated from the weird holiday hours, so we are taking everything light this week — school, housework, the works.

It’s been mighty cold out — we haven’t seen temps crawl out of the singles digits in a while. In fact, today’s 6ºF feels downright warm by comparison to the last few subzero days. But that hasn’t stopped us from taking short hikes. It really does feel good to breath that super cold air when you aren’t feeling great. And that quiet, crisp, low winter light is just…

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Restorative. On so many levels.

Plus, when it’s below zero, you tend to have the trail all to yourselves…

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We never go super far in the below zero temps because that kind of cold gets into your bones awfully quickly, but it’s definitely worth every minute.

At home, I’ve been working on plying…

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This plying is not exactly going according to plan, but I kind of can’t stop myself from just letting it take its course. It’s too pretty to fuss with it. The plan is to weave with it, so I’m getting excited to be nearing the point of actually, you know, weaving. Every day I get closer!

And having finished the holiday socks ahead of schedule, I had planned a Christmas Eve (or Christmas Eve Eve as it ended up being because I finished on the 23rd) cast-on, but instead I found myself compelled to pick up an old WIP…

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My Find Your Fade! According to my Ravelry project page, I started this March 14, 2017 so it’s definitely about time I pick it up again. I had knocked a bunch of stitches off in the middle of the lace section, so instead of trying to sort that out, I ripped back a substantial portion of the color I was in, found my place, and started back in. I’m kind of luke warm about the current color, but I have faith that the next color and the final color will bind the whole project together so I am being patient.

At the moment I’m tantalizingly close to adding that next color which will be the second from the last. I feel like I totally have the momentum to wrap this project up now which feels like a tremendous weight lifted and a huge accomplishment all rolled into one. If I can finish my Find Your Fade, I’m one sock and 2/3 of a shawl (remember Brillig?) away from having finished all my current WIPs for 2017. It won’t all happen in the next 3 days, so 2018 won’t begin with a clean slate, but I don’t feel buried by WIPs either. So I am continuing to plot and plan my craft projects for the coming year… I’ll have to share some of those with you soon, right?!

I hope you are all enjoying a little down time to recover from the happy merry season and that your 2018 plotting and planning is coming along very nicely, too!