Friday, 29 November 2013

in everything give thanks


Thanksgiving is one of my favourite holidays.  It's easy to get caught up in Christmas and sort of skip over it... or get caught up in complaining about people who skip straight to Christmas... but I love it.  Maybe partly just for the food.  Let's face it, the food is spectacular.  But it's also a good time to stop and reflect and think of all the ways God has blessed you... and I think that's a great lead-in to the reflective time of Advent, just around the corner.

This is the first Thanksgiving in six years that I've been at home and it was lovely!  I got to make the pies, and help with all the other cooking, and it was so nice to have our traditional family recipes again.  I spent all the Thanksgivings during college and grad school at friends' houses, with lots of fabulous cooking and good fellowship, but there is just nothing like the familiar dishes you grew up with.  And we had a light snowfall in the morning, adding to the holiday feel of the day.

Today was spent in knitting and tea-drinking and sniffing the delectable smells of the turkey carcass cooking down into broth for tomorrow's soup.  I was glad to spend it at home with the family, grateful for what we already have, instead of rushing around madly trying to save money at sales!  (And really if you want to save money on Black Friday, the easiest way to do it is to stay home and not spend any at all... amiright?)

Yesterday I was too busy anticipating the meal and savoring the food to remember to take photos of the table before we dug in.  A pity, because it was really pretty!  I captured the pies, though, so I have some proof of our feast for the internet ;-)

I hope you all had a joyful and peaceful Thanksgiving.  I'm so glad I was able to spend it with my family, cooking and eating and doing the things I love :)

(The Christmas knitting is going remarkably well so far.  I probably shouldn't have told you that, because now it will probably develop some deeply time-consuming problem...)

Monday, 25 November 2013

I may be delusional

Today I finally solidified my Christmas knitting plans.  Yes, there are five people in the family who need gifts.  Yes, it's exactly (only) a month until Christmas.  Yes, I still have at least three commissions to finish off as well.  And yet somehow I'm convinced this is a good strong plan and everything will definitely be finished and wrapped and under the tree in time for the day itself.

I may be delusional.  But at least I have a plan!

(In the mean time, I finished some socks.  Yarn: 2 skeins of KnitPicks Felici in "mixed berries".  Pattern: my own basic ribbed sock.  In the shop now!)

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Some things finished

I spent last Saturday being wretchedly ill and the beginning of this week regaining energy (and unsuccessfully auditioning for a play.  Oh well - more knitting time?)  So I haven't been as productive as I needed to be.  But I did get some projects finished last week, and managed to get photos of them before I shipped them off, so I thought I'd show them to you.  I was going to do individual posts on most of them but at this point I'm feeling too lazy, so you get a batch post instead ;)

Sweater and booties for the new son of a friend - he came early and with serious health problems so I figured he could use some handknit loving :)

Elephant for an Alabama fan.  (I have no interest in football at all, so don't get upset with me if your favourite team hates Alabama, guys!)

Dobby socks - based on the ones given to Harry Potter by Dobby the House Elf for Christmas in his fourth year.  A rush order for an Etsy customer and my favourite pair of these to date!

An Amy Pond scarf, off to Australia.

Well, that's all for now, but I have a couple pair of socks, a scarf, and a whole menagerie of stuffed animals in the works, so I'm sure there will be more to look at soon!

Monday, 11 November 2013

Vibrant Stillness

I brought the bright leaves in on Saturday and photographed them on a still, peaceful Sunday.  There is nothing prettier than these vibrant branches!

Monday, 4 November 2013

Autumn Orchard cardigan

A few weeks ago I finished this cadigan for myself, and got my sister to take photos while she was home on break.  I thought the local orchard would be a good setting, and we needed eating apples anyway, so there we went.

The pattern is Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark's "Girl Friday" (free on!) which I've had on my to-make list for over a year now.  Finally I seized the chance when I had a lull in commission knitting and made it up.  It was a quick knit and fairly easy.  As usual I added considerable length to both the body and the sleeves, but changed nothing else.

See? Non-optimal button placement.
The collar did take some finagling to make it work. I knit it up according to the directions and wore the cardigan once, but I felt that the front bands pulled oddly and didn't have enough stitches in them.  So I ripped it back, picked up a lot more stitches this time, and tried again.  What you see here is Take Two, which I think sits better, but now I'm pretty sure I've spaced the buttonholes weirdly - the top one is a couple inches higher than it ought to be - so I'll probably go back eventually, rip back to the buttonholes, and place them differently.

It's very cosy and practical - this day was chilly, with a biting wind and the occasional spatter of sleet, but I stayed quite warm.

It's the first cardigan I've ever knitted for myself, but I hope it won't be the last!