possibilities…

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“All the possibilities of your human destiny are asleep in your soul. You are here to realize and honour these possibilities. 

imageWhen love comes into your life, unrecognized dimensions of your destiny awaken and blossom and grow.

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Possibility is the secret heart of time.

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Regardless of sadness or beauty, each day empties and vanishes. In its deeper heart, time is transfiguration.

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That which seems to pass away on the surface of time is in fact transfigured and housed in the tabernacle of memory.*

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Possibility is the secret heart of creativity.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetThis quiet and secret world of the eternal is the soul. Love is the nature of the soul. When we love and allow ourselves to be loved, we begin more and more to inhabit the kingdom of the eternal. Fear changes into courage, emptiness becomes plenitude, and distance becomes intimacy.”

-John O’Donohue (excerpts taken from a paragraph found in his book, Anam Cara)

Rather than attempt to explain my absence here (I’m sure you could take a guess as to why and, more likely than not, you’d be right as the reasons are both plentiful and varied), I thought instead I’d share some words from O’Donohue’s Anam Cara. If you haven’t read it already, please do, it’s a treasure of language and insight to glean and cherish, for sure. Appropriately enough, I received my own copy as a gift from a very dear friend and I wanted to share with you a passage from its pages that has resonated with me lately, in my own attempt to conjure a bit of intimacy despite the distance I’ve had with this space in the last several months.

I will be back here as both time and possibility allows, until then, wishing you all happy and well (and quietly dreaming of all that is possible in your own secret world of the eternal).

*In case you’re interested, I’ve also recently read another breathtaking book called Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, which also has some thought provoking and potentially life changing perspectives on the role of memory in our lives.

p.s. I know most of you follow me here primarily for my knitted perspective and, so, for those of you who might find today’s post not your preferred cup of tea, I’d like to warmly invite you over to catch up with my life in wool here (if you don’t already) where I do post with much more frequency and much less heaviness of thought as has been the case here this year. 

on the fence – knitters as advertisers (with a promo thrown in for good measure)

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Last week I mentioned how I’ve been grappling with the raison d’être of this blog, questioning, in particular, wether the world needed another knitting blog, particularly the kind of “show and tell” category my blog tends to fall into. My answer (if you can call it that) came to me as I was reading a couple of comments in response to the topic of knitting podcasts in which one reader* voiced her concerns/frustrations with her inability to find material that goes beyond the “look what I made” and the hyper-positive, frequently ad-like yarn talks (that’s what I took from that comment and apologies are given if I missed the point).

This comment most definitely hit a nerve as I found myself in the unique position of nodding along with that reader while, at the same time, I was also looking for a closet to hide in. I, too, have a threshold** of seeing yarn brands bombing my favourite feeds (be it on blogs, IG or podcasts) and yet I had also recently accepted yarn and promo offers myself (and quite happily, too). Obviously, this comment gave me much to mull over.

On one hand, I’m super excited to be given an opportunity to sample new-to-me yarns (at no cost to myself) and share my experience with it, but, on the other hand, certainly the last thing I want to do is make my readers feel like their attention is being taken advantage of for someone else’s gain. To be honest, I’m still a little stumped by this debate but I do promise to be upfront and fair about all the yarn and other knitting products I mention here in this space. I would also like to encourage your feedback on this topic. What are your thoughts? Am I overthinking it or not thinking it through enough?  Which side of the fence are you on?

What IS clear to me (and what reading those comments only edified) is that I absolutely LOVE the show and tell vibe of the social media knitting community. A long time ago, I mentioned that I once belonged to a knitting group and, since I’ve moved (over 3 years ago), I’ve continued to miss that experience of bonding over a shared passion for knitting. The online knitting community fills, to some extent, that void of positivity in my knitting life. It’s inspiring to see all the amazing talent out there from all over the world, it feels good to leave positive, encouraging comments on their posts just as it feels good to receive them on my posts as well. I suppose the questioning of my blog’s reason for being came from a place that is happy to share my projects, but that is also wanting this space to be something other as well. What that other is remains to be seen.

So, for now, with all worrying about what I’m doing here as context, let me get around to sharing what I’ve been meaning to share with you all along: my most recent knitting adventures with Wool and the Gang.

imageWhen offered to sample their yarns, I asked wether I could try their Sheepaca or Woolly Bully. Wool and the Gang generously sent me a ball of both as well as a ball of their Crazy Sexy Wool. I’m really glad they included the Crazy Sexy Wool as it turned out to be my surprise favourite of the lot. This kind of oversized, roving style yarn is pretty outside my fingering to worsted weight comfort zone and while I confess it did take my hands a little time adjusting to the size 10mm/US 15 needles (and I could have/should have used larger ones), I was surprised how fun it was to knit with. I decided to make a simple 1×1 ribbed cowl to take advantage of its structural (dare I say sculptural?) properties.

The result was a super cozy, quick-to-knit tube o’ squish. I used the whole ball of Crazy Sexy Wool in shown here in Ivory White.image

One thing remains to be seen in regards to my overall personal measure of excellence (which is to say, I’m no Clara Parkes): my cowl has started to pill and only time will tell wether this proves to be the kind of awful-shaggy-mess-I-daren’t-be-seen-wearing-in-public pilling or the kind of charming, this-once-belonged-to-my-university-sweetheart-ages-ago-patina type of pilling that I happen to have a weakness for. I’ll keep you posted on which it turns out to be but, so far, I’m still wearing it happily and with confidence.

While the Woolly Bully has yet to be used, I did make another project (I’ve been dying to knit since its release) with the ball of Sheepaca. Again, I used the entire ball with just enough leftover to make a substantial pompom. Here is Fidra, knit with 1 ball of Sheepaca (yarn held double) in Cinnamon Dust.image

I think you can see that this Sheepaca has great stitch definition held double like this.  As it turned out, I thought this looked very much like a 100% wool yarn pre-blocking (as seen in the photo above), but post-blocking, it looked decidedly like an alpaca/alpaca-blend in so much that it lost almost all of its initial sheen and loft (and wether that’s a positive or a negative quality is completely down to personal taste, in my opinion). As I final thought about this yarn, I would be remiss in not reporting how very soft it is, wearing this hat feels a bit like having a great big (orange) hug stuck on top of your head. I happen to like that.

So, in the end, I had two finished, wearable projects made out of two reasonably priced balls of yarn which I’d say is pretty good value (if you asked me).

Despite all my uncertainty about knitters as yarn promoters and quasi advertisers, I can say that I am grateful to have been given this yarn (thank you Wool and the Gang!) and I am happy to offer you a 20% discount off your purchase if you decide that you’d like to give it a go yourself. Simply enter 20LEIGHSIDE in the promo code box during checkout, it’s valid to the end of March, 2016.

Happy knitting! XO

p.s I know my discussions here have been a little (angst) heavy lately, I swear the next one will be pure fluff (or fuzz, more appropriately). Thanks for bearing with me.

*I say comments because I also appreciated what another reader had to say in response. A good and honest discussion on the topic, I think.

**My threshold very much echoes what the above mentioned “other reader” had to say – I don’t really mind seeing brands appear in people’s posts, I think a sincere discussion about what makes the yarn so loveable is enjoyable and oftentimes enlightening, whereas the “look what status yarn I’ve just added to my collection” or all out viral guerrilla marketing posting kind of turns me off (wait, isn’t this what I’ve just participated in?!). I love how the online knitting community exposes me to great new yarns and products, unfortunately, I don’t like how these amazing products (through no intention by their distributers necessarily) can be presented in such a way that they are inclined to be perceived as status enhancers or that encourage feelings  of “needing” to buy that yarn/product for no greater reason than wanting to “own the pretty” (which I confess to having done my fair share of). Thoughts?

how to avoid hosting a self-loathing party – a formula for creatives

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Last night I did something really (really) dumb. Thankfully, the consequences are ridiculously minor in the grand scheme of things but the sting of my stupidity is threatening to swell into a full blown self-loathing party for one.

What I did was this: I shrunk (fulled) what was promising to be the sweater that all knitters dream of knitting, one that checks off all the items that make up a personal list of success. I was so close to this level of personal achievement when, in the very last step towards victory, I fumbled. I don’t have the heart to share all the gory (and super fuzzy) details now, but I’m pretty confident you’ll see the results in time, you know, when I’m feeling less spiteful about it. Besides, I will admit that the damages, though irreparable, haven’t rendered my sweater unwearable, just imperfect which leads me to believe that my anger stems from the loss of its potential for perfection (in my mind at least) due to a poor decision by me.

In the meantime, channeling my inner Brené Brown, I thought I’d share my formula for maintaining some level of self-love and confidence in the midst of a super-storm of all the creative self-doubting “how could I?”s, “I should have…”s, “I can’t believe I did that!”s, and the worst of all “Of course you did! Who did you think you were fooling anyway by trying to succeed?!”s.

  1. Accept what’s done is done. The best thing you can do now is to move forward.
  2. Get out of your head. Take some time away from the situation/thing that you associate with your failure. Remove it from your sight, sound or touch. Get outside, go for a walk/run/hike/bike, in other words, find an activity that you know will take your thoughts from how ****** you feel you are to feeling and believeing how awesome it is to be alive.
  3. Get back on the horse (with a new project in the same field) OR take a quick break to catch your breath with the resolve to return to the horse very soon. Only you know which of these two options are best for you, remembering that goofing up does not mean you are no longer able to trust your gut.
  4. Recognize that everyone makes mistakes. When you are ready, take a little time to evaluate the chain of the events that led to your mistake so you can learn from it and resolve to avoid the same kind of decision-making that lead you to this place to begin with.
  5. Acknowledge your feelings and allow yourself to feel them. Scream your anger to the heavens (or into a pillow), cry your tears of frustration and disappointment, allow your emotions to flow and then let them go. Holding on to your loathing only takes up valuable inner space that could otherwise be used for future creative processing (ask me how I know).
  6. Forgive yourself. Choose to love yourself because of your imperfections, they are what makes you interesting and are likely the same qualities others find endearing about you (albeit sometimes frustratingly so).
  7. Lastly, go lightly, go laughing. In the end, it’s only one sweater, one story, one dance – let’s define these “mistake” moments in our lives as the comedic hiccups they want to be.

All that to say, given what happened last night, I have every intention of following steps 1-7 today and returning tomorrow with the post I promised last week.

Thanks for indulging me in reading this bit of writing therapy (and if you want to indulge me further, I’d love it if you added to my formula – how do you avoid hosting a self-loathing party?). See you tomorrow!

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musings on writing this blog + an offering of small flowers (it’s a pattern!)


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Well, let me state the obvious today and say that most days I have no idea what I’m doing in this space. When I first started blogging (over two years ago – eep!), I had it in the back of my mind that I eventually wanted to produce knitting patterns and/or start my own, very small, knitted goods business. I had been knitting and making up my own, personal patterns for years so it seemed kind of logical (back then) to start sending these things out into the world. Blogging about my process seemed like a great place to launch from.

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However, what I discovered during that first year blogging was what I wanted, and perhaps needed, was to find community through sharing about the little things, about the small moments that shed a greater truth on the greater whole, or sum, of the many moments I call my life, with a little knitting thrown in here and there for fun. No one was more surprised by this unexpected shift in focus than me* but truly the people I have come to know via this blog have become so much more than a small blessing in my life.

Blogging in year two, I decided to return my focus to all things (or most things) knitting. And then, well, then a bunch of things happened that made talk about knitting seem less of a priority in my life and surely, I thought, the world didn’t need another blog about knitting anyway.**

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Now, in my third year, and my life looking quite differently than it was two years ago, I find myself still wrestling with balancing my personal life with my life on social media *** while also still having my thoughts drift towards making patterns and/or having a little booth set up somewhere at a craft fair. For now, however, I’ve accepted (on most days) that while these plans and dreams remain, they are not likely (though not impossibly) to be realized anytime soon – along with my part-time job and volunteer work, my role as the family expansion joint, as the one who draws in or lets go to meet the needs of my growing-up family, is still in high gear and the demands of being a full-time maker and/or designer (whose tasks and responsibilities go beyond knitting something up from one’s imagination) are simply more than I can manage at this stage in my life.

Having shared all that (and not over-shared, I hope) about the putting aside one’s plans for the time being, you can imagine the pleasure and excitement I felt when a designer whose work I admire sent me a line that said: this project needs to have a pattern, can I make one for you? I think gleeful sums up that feeling well and now I am so pleased to be able to tell you that this pattern, called Small flowers mitts, the product of the lovely and inspiring Anne Myhre (aka pinneguri on Ravelry and IG) and myself is now available for FREE on Ravelry. We hope you will enjoy this pattern offering as a token of our appreciation for the amazing, kind, thoughtful, supportive and incredibly talented knitting community we are so happy to be part of through various outlets of social media.

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A HUGE thank you is extended to Ann, who without her knowledge, time and willingness to translate my project into words (and make it more knitter-friendly in the process), this Small flower mitts pattern would not exist. If you have a moment, and aren’t already familiar with Ann’s work please take a moment and peruse her Ravelry page. Be prepared to be inspired, she is a wonder.

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Should you make a pair of Small flowers mitts (hurray!) and are on IG, we encourage you to share your project using the hashtag #smallflowersmitts though, admittedly, this is mostly because I’m selfish and few things would make me happier than to see our pattern in, or on, your hands.

Wishing you a lovely week ahead, full of small things that give great pleasure. XO

*hindsight being what it is, this should have come as no surprise at all given that I was just surfacing from a few challenging events which included moving (and leaving my established community behind), still grieving over the loss of a cherished friend and reeling from one of my sons having a near-death experience. Of course I needed to find a like-minded community!!! I’m so grateful to have found it.

**I have some thoughts and concerns about this topic, which a comment found in this post helped me come to grips with. I’ll share these thoughts (and other new adventures on my yarny voyage of discovery) next week. Stay tuned!

***I’m afraid I owe many of my friends (both near and far) a visit of some sort. I am also woefully behind on my comments here, for this I hope you will accept my apologies. Balance is tenuous, at best, though always sought.

inspired by: a wintery palette and northern skies

imageI recently went on a little getaway ski-trip with my family and since I’m somewhat slope-challenged, I was quite happy getting out and exploring on foot or snowshoe while my guys zipped up and down the mountain. Despite the biting wind (truly it was ferocious), I was rewarded by the most enchanting winter scenes, the colours of which have certainly made a deep impression on my imagination as I find those colours presently working their way from my mind onto my needles and my person.imageimage

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I think I was most enchanted by how the sun, when lower in the sky, would light up the world with the most delicate pink glow. No doubt, that bit of natural magic explains my choice of colours in this project (details coming soon):image

and how my love for all the visions of blue sky and snowy woods like these here (and at home, too):

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are reflected in my penchant for wearing or working with blues and browns like those seen here:

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I’m curious, how does your environment, natural or otherwise, influence your craft? Perhaps that influence manifests itself in colour (like me), or perhaps by certain shapes or silhouettes, patterns or motifs, or by choice of specific materials? Do these influences shift over time or do you see a re-occuring pattern throughout your work? I’d love to know!

Finally, there’s one more personal influence I’d like to share with you today, a long-time favourite that captures well, I think, the mood I associate with all of this here. So, I’m posting this with the hope that its sweet vibe will works its magical influence on you, too, and set you on your way towards a gentle, happy week ahead.

Song: Northern Sky by Nick Drake from his album Bryter Layter (1970)

knitting goals 2016: some thoughts about creating a practical storybook wardrobe

imageI’ve long since stopped justifying my picture book acquisitions as for the benefit of the kids. It’s become all too clear, as some members of my family have justly pointed out, that these books are purchased for my own enjoyment rather than for the enjoyment of my children. (For the record, I say if the boys like to read them along with me, so much the better as then there’s enjoyment for all).

So, despite pushing forty, my love for children’s books remains strong and, given the opportunity, I will happily spend hours pouring over their words and images – savouring the seemingly simple cadences of their tales and the imaginative renderings of the scenes in which those tales unfold. Being a strong visual learner, my love for illustrated stories goes back as long as I can remember, but it’s only been more recently that I’ve come to understand the influence they’ve had in my life, more specifically, my life in wool.

I suppose this kind of understanding began when I chanced to hear a little bit of Thomas King’s Massey Lectures series, called “The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative”, broadcasted over CBC Radio. In that little part of the lecture I heard and later read in full, Thomas King presented a central idea that has forever altered the way I think about the power of words and images to create stories about truth, history and how these concepts, and our perception of them, influence our past, present and future lives.

I think this phrase, taken from the lectures, sums up the idea I’m referring to rather succinctly:

“The truth about stories is that that’s all we are.”
― Thomas King, The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative

Of course, how Mr. King applied this idea in his lectures is particular to indigenous communities here in North America, but, truly, I believe this statement applies to all of us. The stories we hear, see and read become, in many different and powerful ways, intertwined with our deepest sense of identity, with how we express that identity to the world around us as well as how our identities are perceived, however rightly or wrongly, by that same world (that has its own set of stories). Now, I don’t want to I suggest that Thomas King was the first to examine this idea about stories, it just so happens that I connect his words here to my own, more personal, “aha!” moment and thought, hope, perhaps, his words might have a similar effect on you. (That said, if you have any interest in better understanding some of the issues surrounding indigenous communities, particularly those in North America, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of Thomas King’s lectures, or listen to them here, or even go so far as to investigate his other works on the matter.)

By now, I imagine, you are wondering how any of this relates to knitting, so let me get to the point. Like many of you who are captivated by the discussion about responsible and ethical crafting, slow fashion and how to create a more conscious wardrobe, I have been inspired to apply many of the principals and suggested tasks outlined in these discussions towards my own knitting projects and their contribution they make towards achieving that goal. I have evaluated my present wardrobe, tossed (if no longer useful in any way) or recycled items that don’t work and created Pinterest boards to help me identify my personal clothing style and colour preferences (a practice, I admit, that works surprisingly well) all with the intention of creating and maintaining a smaller, hard-working wardrobe and eliminating any additions that don’t play well with the whole.

All things considered, it wasn’t until I began applying these very deliberate and conscious filters to my knitting project planning that I became truly aware of an another, unconscious filter at play. This discovery happened when I started recognizing that certain styles in my Pin boards were strikingly similar to those found in many of my most treasured storybooks. All the stories and pictures that I’ve been pouring over, loving and identifying my own person with since I was a child, have been very much informing my vision of an ideal wardrobe (knitted and otherwise). I will even go so far to say, I can now see how these stories and illustrations influence my vision of family, home, values, ethics and goals. For me, this discovery was startling but it serves as a kind of minor testament to the incredible power of stories that is so far reaching and at times, devasting, that Thomas King also says:

“you have to be careful with the stories you tell. And you have to watch out for the stories that you are told.”
― Thomas King, The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative

imageIn an effort to stay true to the knitting aspect of this blog, I will keep that quote directed to all things knit-ish today and highlight how I am cheered to think that a subliminal force in my knitting life is driven by my love for children’s book. However, I would do well to be aware that even the seemingly innocent influence of a storybook on the garments I wish to knit bears consideration given that I am, in reality, far from being a child myself. Garments depicted in fanciful storybooks are themselves fantasy. Such garments may very well work beautifully in the context of the story but how would they look decked out on me, on my less than childish or fantastical mid-life body in my everyday life doing everyday un-fanciful activities? So, as I approach an increasingly mindful practice of making my own clothes this coming year, I take with me Mr. King’s cautionary words and embrace the challenge of creating more knits inspired by the stories I love, ensuring that they fall in line with the vision I have for my wardrobe as one that works, in every sense of the word.

The first such project cast on this year with all that in mind, is a pair of traditionally inspired leg warmers that bring to my mind scenes from Elsa Beskow’s charming winter tale, Ollie’s Ski Trip, but can also be seen styled here (with pattern details) as part of an outfit that fits in as much today as it might have a hundred years ago.

imageSo far, these Aspen leg warmers have been a fun knit that have already made me happy on many occasions given that both pattern and yarn have been heavenly to work with. As for achieving my practical storybook wardrobe goals, I’d say I’m off to a good start.

What about you? Have you had any major revelations in your own pursuit of a more thoughtful knitting practice? What is challenging and inspiring you to knit this coming year? Dare I ask, what stories influence you?

Thanks so much for stopping by, as always, your kind comments and insights are always welcome and appreciated. Wishing you a lovely week!

food for thought friday

image“Love is not consolation. It is light.”

― Simone Weil 

Taking a moment here so extend a very big THANK YOU for all the love and encouragement that’s been shared with me lately. Truly, I am overwhelmed by the great spirit of kindness, support and generosity that characterizes this amazing online community. I feel so blessed to be part of it all.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend ahead, full of light and love. XO

favourite knits of 2015

imageDespite being absent from this space for much of last year, I was still very active on Instagram (lovely people, lots of fun!) where I shared much of my knitting that otherwise went unattended to here.  So, guessing some of you may have missed me on IG,  I thought it might be fun (for me, at least) to share some knitted highlights of the year that was.

imageMuch of the first half of 2015 was devoted to shawl knitting. Shown here (top to bottom) are Celes, Stonecrop and Terra. What I learned from these projects is that despite being slightly tedious to work, I find myself wearing the stoles I knit (Celes and Stonecrop) much more often (i.e., ALL the time!) than their triangular counterparts, like Terra (as much as I adore it).

I’m curious, which do you prefer wearing – something long and rectangular or something round, square or triangular?

imageI did make a few sweaters, patterns all by Carrie Bostick Hoge (a fact that just dawned on me now), my favourite sweater of the lot (of all-time, perhaps?) is my  Barn Sweater (shown above in cream, on top of my Lila, also a favourite). Making this cardigan was one of those magical times in a knitter’s career when all the elements involved in the project come together to make a garment that embodies everything that is loved best (about knitting, anyway). As far as I’m concerned, the yarn, Ystrad Organic Best Welshx, is pure rustic elegance – hard-wearing, warm and yet possesses a hard to describe kind of leanness, off-set by a wispy halo. Organic Best Welshx captured my heart (and will continue to do so for a very long time, I do believe).

Yarn aside, I also love the simple silhouette of the pattern, too, I mean, who can resist that classic collar?! I get comments on that collar every time I wear it out (which, admittedly, may be not that often, homebody that I am). On top of that, there are the buttons (purchased from Fringe Supply Co.) which I chose to reflect a certain 1960’s town & country vibe I was trying to achieve (I see it, do you?). So, all in all, I mark my Barn Sweater with complete personal satisfaction, which, in the end, is what really matters most, don’t you think?

imageOnce I got summer sweater knitting out of my system (wait, who makes fuzzy woollen sweaters in the heat of summer?!!! apparently I’m a homebody and a nutter – connection between the two? perhaps), I ushered in Fall 2015 with a slew of accessory knits (and used up a good deal of stash yarn in doing so too – woohoo! at least I’m a frugal nutter). Making both these hats, Baa-ble Hat (top) and Hillier Hearts Cap (bottom) was an act of unfettered joy. LOVE them!

imageimageAnd then of course, my knitting year wouldn’t be complete without some mittens thrown in for good measure (because, you know, mittens are my favourite). From left to right (on the image directly above) are: On the Other Hand, Starri, followed by two of my own personal patterns: Simple Stripes and Migration Mittens (motif from Robin Hansen’s marvellous book Favourite Mittens).

imageIt seemed fitting then, given my love for mitten knitting, that my final finished project of 2015 was a pair of these Fledging Mittens from one of my favourite pattern books of 2015 (if you haven’t checked it out yet, you must, it’s a treasure!).

Whew! Well, that about wraps up this post on my favourite knits of 2015. Looking back, I’d say I’m pretty happy with my progression towards an all knit wardrobe (just kidding, I’m not that nuts). Of course, now I want to know what your own favourite knits of 2015 are. Would you care to share? I’d love to know.

Wishing you a lovely week, full of your own favourite things (woolly or otherwise)! I’ll be back next week with my wish-to-knit list for 2016…

new year, new snow, new hope

 

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Happy New Year, everyone!

This past Christmas Day, my boys celebrated, in part, by skateboarding on the street wearing nothing more than jeans and t-shirts. This was an activity for the books to be sure, given how typically at this time of year we would expect to hear grumbles of protest against the cold amidst the sound of shovels scraping the pavement instead of exclamations of “did you see that?!” amidst the sounds of skateboards scraping said pavement. However, I suppose this unusual holiday scene really shouldn’t have come as a shock for us as this whole early winter/late fall here was not at all what we’ve been accustomed to, this year’s season having characterized itself not by crisp air and snowfall but rather by unseasonably warm temperatures, grey skies and rain (oh, so much rain!).

imageNaturally inclined to project my inner world on my outer-world, I saw this strange weather as an apt expression of my own out-of-kilter-ness. As my post back in September reflected, Fall of 2015 brought many new changes to my life, changes which threw off my balance and more or less made me feel like I was learning how to walk for the first time. Now, by no means were these changes bad, it’s only that I’ve never been very good at adapting to change, at least not in any manner one would describe as quick or swift and my response to this series of changes did nothing to re-define my process (i.e., slow). All in all, just as the weather these past few months felt sluggish and foggy, so have I also felt – which I guess is my way of offering an excuse for my prolonged absence here. It’s hard to write anything you believe worth sharing when you feel a little lost, when words themselves, have become elusive, shifty characters whose meanings seem to take on new definition with each passing moment.

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And yet, here I am, writing a new post for a new year. I can only guess it has something to do with the extraordinary power the birth of a new year has that brings with it new hope and new resolve and, co-incidentally, new (and wildly celebrated) snow (in my neck of the woods, at least). I can’t help feeling that the arrival of proper snow here is just as responsible for this sense of renewal as is the passing into a new year. Just as the opening of a new calendar (free from scribbles and save-the-dates) gives many of us a feeling of renewed excitement for all that has yet to be, there’s something about the clean, graceful beauty of new snow that makes many of us feel as though the world itself has been born anew, that it’s inviting (tempting) new paths to be tread upon it (or angels be made in it). And this state of things, my dear friends, makes me feel a little giddy (in my own quiet kind of way), gently hopeful and deeply grateful. It’s my hope that you feel that way too.

So, my friends, let’s raise our tea cups to starting the new year fresh, to seeing change as an instrument for new beginnings, to forging new, undiscovered paths and, most of all, to sharing these new experiences with those we love best.

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Thanks for joining me here as I believe this space reflects a unique journey I share with you, my readers. I wish all of you, much joy, peace and love throughout 2016 and of, course, a year filled with many happy hours spent knitting (which I promise, proof of my own is soon to come).

vermont is for…

Vermont is for fall…

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…for friends (God love them)…image

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…for apple picking…

After Apple-Picking*
BY ROBERT FROST
My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it’s like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.

…for poets and poetry… (though I, myself, have not had too much of apple-picking)…(nor of apple-eating)…

image

…and the sweet taste of yarn**  : )

I had the loveliest weekend, how about you? XO

*found here

** purchased in the loveliest shop here