I’ve just finished my lunch. Eaten outside. No jacket on. Patches of snow scattered around the yard like little islands. February in New York. Pretty much unheard of. The last I checked the temp was 72 degrees fahrenheit. The sun is shining and I’ve just hung the freshly washed winter jackets on line.
I’m sure this string of warm days won’t last so I’m soaking it all up. This type of weather gives me lots of creative energy and desire to start new projects. It also has me dreaming of plants, road trips and all the good things that go along with warmer weather.
I finished up my Rosemont Cardiagn recently. I’ve only been able to wear the sweater a few times because it is very warm. I love it though. It feels like a big hug when I put it on.
A few days ago I started my Find Your Fade Shawl. It’s such a joy to work on. I’ve even dyed one of the yarns myself which I can’t wait to use. It’s going to fade from the green to a light yellow to pinks and end with a very pale pink.
And because I’m feeling called I thought I would share a little joy and gratitude list.
1. The warm weather.
2. Getting a haircut and highlight.
3. Starting a new book.
4. Seeing my daughter with a beautiful smile after having her braces taken off.
5. Dreaming of the warmer months ahead.
6. My orchid blooming.
7. Hamburgers on the grill.
8. Walks outside.
Please share something you’re enjoying.
Winter has decided to show up here in NY a little bit later than usual bringing along the wind, snow and cold. Knowing that spring is just around the corner and with the sun shining today makes it all bearable. I really enjoy the seasons but I always get antsy for spring around this time of the year. Eager for the green grass, longer amounts of light (already starting), starting seeds indoors, brighter colors and the flowers of course.
Maybe I shouldn’t be in too much of a rush for the warmer weather. I have my first sweater to finish and wear. This picture was taken a week or so ago and now I have only 16 more rows to go! I’m using Lett Lopi yarn and the pattern is Rosemont by Hannah Fetting. It’s a gorgeous open front cardigan and I can’t wait to wear it. I had to adjust the sleeves some by adjusting the increase’s around the armhole and then adjusting the rate of decreases down to the wrists. I also had to work on my picking up of stitches and working short rows. It isn’t perfect but I have learned so much during this process. I’m already looking around for my next sweater pattern. This time I will try one that is knit in pieces and seamed. Just for the sake of learning the differences in sweater construction. The top down seamless construction is easier to try on for the correct fit but apparently knitting in pieces gives the sweater more structure.
Once the sweater is done I will get back to my socks. I still have the second sock to make from my Christmas Eve cast on and a New Year cast on. I also started a granny square scrap blanket but I’m not sure if I will continue with that one or start a different one.
Here’s my yarn so far for a Find Your Fade shawl. I think I will cast it on after the sweater. The colors to me feel so much like spring and I think I will dye a pink one to put in too. It’s a huge shawl so I may make it a bit smaller but what I love the most about it is the way the colors melt into each other. It really shows off pretty yarn.
I did want to share some good things going with you. Who doesn’t need more good things right? There’s an awesome pattern collection released today, Heart on My Sleeve. Sweaters from the top designers. I really love this one by Joji Locatelli. It has sweet embroidery and that heart is just the best. All proceeds minus the admin fees are going to charity.
Anne from My Giant Strawberry is doing her Handmade Joy Exchange again this year. Check it out here. I hope you sign up. I did.
I know there are many good things going on amidst all the negativity so please share those here.
It’s now towards the end really. The holiday season that is. I hope yours was a good one. I’ve started to slowly pack up the decorations, the stockings have come down, the tree is still lit for a little bit longer. We’re still trying out new games, relaxing, and after a snow fall yesterday we will go sledding today.
It’s a quiet (when the kids aren’t bickering), slow time and I love it. I have begun to slowly look ahead to the new year that’s coming in just a couple of days. I don’t have resolutions and I don’t pick a word for the year. I do hope to continue where I feel drawn to go. To listen really well to the whispers. To be present. To take those big deep breaths. To be open to what may come. To be aware of being divinely guided at all times (because we are).
The making will continue of course. I’ve been bitten again by the sock bug. I have a sweater on the needles and lots of yarn calling to me. Spinning on a spindle is still hard and something I want to “get”. I have new water colors and I’m thinking of starting a regular time to work in a sketchbook again. A tiny one is coming. I was torn on wether to just work on loose sheets or in a book. I’m thinking I will as before glue down things I do on separate sheets in the book.
For right now I will go back into the in between time for just a bit longer. Happy New Year.
I can’t remember if I heard Elizabeth Gilbert talk about it on a podcast or I read it in her book. She mentioned that she does (did) write down One Good Thing from her day on a piece of paper and put it in a box or bowl. No matter how crappy the day was there was at least ONE good thing about the day. I LOVED that idea so much. I started doing it with my family at the dinner table. They were used to me doing things like this. Before writing it down I would ask them to tell my something good from the day at bedtime. This way was more fun. I would hand out paper and we would take turns telling if we felt like it. Other times if we didn’t want to share it we just folded it up and I put them in an old crock. We would use scrap paper and date and sign it. We sadly fell out of the practice but I really want to start it up again. It’s a great way to think about your day and find at least ONE good thing from it. Of course there are days when there are many good things but then there are others that don’t feel so good but I believe we can look back on the day and find at least one. My kids saw me working on this graphic for you (and me) to use and I don’t know if they will be up for doing it anymore but I will do it and I will do it at dinnertime and share and just maybe they will too. I hope you will consider doing this also. It will be fun to do with your family and look back on it years down the road or just do it for yourself. If you right click on the image below you can save it to your computer and print from there.
Wishing you and yours a beautiful holiday season. I’m off to enjoy mine.
There are days where I screw things up. The meal didn’t taste right, I forgot to get a much needed something, I should of been quiet and instead I said the wrong thing (that’s the worst).
It happens with making too. The inner soundtrack of “this is awful” (sometimes it just is), the feeling of I will never get it right or be good enough. It always boils down to that doesn’t it? If you’re someone that doesn’t ever feel these things please share your secret. In spite of all that I (we) keep going for it, working on it, doing, making.
I’ve been thinking about why we make. What is it that drives us? I heard a hand dyer recently say that she “has” to dye yarn every day. Artist Alisa Burke shared in an Instagram post that art making is the only way she knows to quiet her mind. A knitter stated that her day isn’t complete without some knitting.
I feel exactly the same way and if you’re a maker (of any kind) I’m sure you do too. Things (life) won’t always turn out the way we planned, we (me) will try and fail, things will suck, things will get better. You’ll say the wrong thing, spill water all over your painting, screw up your knitting, burn the dinner. In spite of all that what making means to me is the knowing that creating (in whatever form) is necessary everyday. Yes, we (I) want it to turn out “right” but isn’t that just the icing on the already delicious cake? The making is really where it’s at. It’s a part of who we (me) are. It’s the quieting of the mind, the balm on an otherwise busy and stressful world, the joy of getting it right, the trying, the connection, the discovery and wonder of it all. It allows me to show up more fully for life, for those I love, for myself. This is a reminder for us (me) when we feel like why bother? We won’t ever be as good as so and so. No one will care. Well, I do care. Keep making, keep trying. We need you. It’s necessary. It’s a part of who you are.
This is some of what is bringing me holiday cheer now.
*Harney and Sons Vanilla Comoro decaf black tea in my Santa mug. This is great in the afternoon or evening. If I want the caffeine I love their Hot Cinnamon Spice or Chocolate Mint tea.
*Some light holiday reading with Richard Paul Evans.
*Lindt Lindor Peppermint Extra Dark Chocolate Truffles.
*My new sheepy Madder Root project bag (LOVE)that’s carrying my Project Peace cowl. I think I have only about 4 days left and should be done.
*Watching the paper whites do their thing and wondering about my second and third amaryllis bulbs. They don’t look they will do their thing this year but I’m remaining hopeful.
What’s bringing you holiday cheer this year?
This year more than ever I wish I were able to press pause right now. My little ones aren’t so little anymore. My oldest is 11 and the magic is really fading if not completely gone. My youngest is 9 and she’s starting to deal with the classmates that are naysayers and don’t believe anymore. She’s brought in her official letter from Santa to prove them wrong but I know it won’t be long now before the magic comes to a halt. It has felt that there has been a transition happening for a while now. I’m no longer a mother to little ones that need me as much as they used to. Now one is a tween and just about surpassing me in height, trying to act like he doesn’t need hugs from me (he does) and the other is one her way there. No not yet. Wasn’t I just rocking you to sleep?
Sometimes motherhood can feel like one really long and slow heartbreak. It’s all necessary I know but
still hard just the same. So I will be here pausing time as best as I can this holiday season. Holding tight
what magic is still left.