Simpler

It all started with this post, but the idea of simplified holidays has been floating around in my mind for a while. Like that post, my family is in a kind of enforced “spending strike” this year (a single income in downtown Toronto only going so far these days) and, while we’re not homesteaders, we’re doing a pretty decent job at urban frugality. But the holiday season just has so many expectations upon it — whether self-placed or external — and are wrapped into ideas of “more”.

So I’m just letting go.

I’ve let go of the idea of Christmas knitting. Sure, some people might get something handmade for Christmas. But not everyone.

I’ve let go if trying to get “the perfect gift”. My family will appreciate what we find for them, but the quest for that one, super-special something is just too elusive this year.

I’ve let go of entertaining. I miss our large parties, but with two kids under three some quieter evenings with smaller groups just make more sense. No hors d’oeuvres necessary.

I’ve let go of having a tree (this one was a big one for me). Once again this year, we won’t be in our own home for the big days, so instead of spending too much on a tree we won’t even be sitting around, we’re just putting up some decorations around the house and are hoping that the tree at grandma’s has room for a few extra ornaments on the bottom branches to let the littles place something on the tree they’ll be seeing Christmas morning.

I’m letting go of expectations in favour of finding what really counts.. Soule Mama just posted about this same process, of finding the special within the simple. I like this. Sensible, but special. Simpler.

Here’s hoping it makes the holidays pass a bit more sanely…

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This Moment: 9/12/2011

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
via SouleMama

20111209-211624.jpg

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Knitalong – spreading the word

Larissa of Stitch Marker is holding a new knitalong!

I’ve been following her blog ever since I saw Jodi‘s “Meathead” hat with envy (the product of another knitalong). So I saw the invitational post and thought I’d like to play along too. And if I’m going to do that , I might as well spread the word, eh?

Come on: it’s just a potholder. Any ol’ potholder pattern will do, and it gets to become community art. I’m betting potholders knit up quicker than hats!

Check it out here: http://stitchmarker.net/2011/11/would-you-want-to-make-a-potholder.html

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This Moment

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
via SouleMama

girls in the leaves

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Triumphant Return

My friends, there has been KNITTING.

Most of the summer and fall (and spring too? I don’t even remember) has been spent on tiny bites of knitting here and there — a few rows in the car, or during before-bed-tv, or any time the baby-turning-toddler (!) and toddler-no-wait-preschooler (!!) would allow. And, because knitting is magical like that, even these tiny bits add up and eventually there is this complete object. Kind of like life.

Nikolai shawl, knit in IndigoDragonfly Merino/Cashmere “Neither Bloody Nor Bowed”
Nikolai shawl

I really love having a smallish scarf-shawl with me, something to wear under my coat but also around an over-cooled office. This scarf-shawl fits the bill perfectly, and the cashmere content makes it warmer than you’d expect (and luxurious too!).

And what goes better with a fall shawl than some quick fingerless mitts?

These Short and Sweet Fingerless Mitts were exactly what they claimed to be — short and sweet. I knit these up in just a few days, and the pattern was perfect for making a lovely little pair that “goes with” but does not “match” the scarf-shawl, sharing a leaf motif. I should have remembered I always knit loose and gone down a needle size, and maybe I should block them someday, but whatever, I have a pretty and toasty-warm (thank you cashmere) pair of mitts to wear until it’s full on mitten weather.

Which will be really soon, I’m guessing… Glenna’s just reworked her Podster Mitts pattern, maybe I’ll try to make some of those for the next phase in the fall-to-winter transition. Until then, these actually finished objects are serving me quite well!

What about you? Anyone else experiencing a triumphant return into the world of knitting?

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Filed under FOs, knitting, lace, mitts, shawls, Uncategorized

No Apologies

It sure has been a while since I last posted

I’ve been reading this general sentiment a lot lately (I think Got Medieval put it most succinctly by opening with “Let’s skip the whole “excuses for not posting more often” section…”) and get the feeling that with all this other Social Media Stuff* floating about the ether and general daily life, a lot of non-pro bloggers are finding it difficult to blog regularly. In the face of diligent, post-every-day-on-schedule blogs, any post I make seems like it must absolutely be prefaced with an apology.

Even I am getting tired of these apologies and meta-blogging. I can only image what few readers I have left must be getting sick of it.

So, let’s just stop that, shall we? No more apologies for sporadic blogging. I’m busy. You’re busy. Lives take work. Creativity takes effort. Sometimes things get done, other times they get balled up in a heap and forgotten about until you remember company’s coming over in 10 minutes and people actually can sit on that chair in the corner…

From now on, I’ll try just writing about what’s been going on, whether in my head or with my creative output. You can kindly read, choose to comment, or whatever you like. We’ll see where this takes us.

Onward.
* * * * *

I have been doing absolutely no knitting whatsoever for the last 3 months. This lack has been killing me so much I’ve turned to crochet for near-instant gratification of yarn-play resulting in an FO. I’ve crocheted three sunhats, all but one of which have gone to that hidden part of the park where kids bury their sunhats because no kid ever wants to wear a sunhat, especially if it is a sunhat crocheted specially for you by your crazy mom. I miss knitting. Someday, perhaps, I’ll be able to finish a sock, or scarf…

My non-knitting does not mean I have not been buried in wool however. On these, some of the hottest days of the year, I have been almost literally swathed in wool, as I sew tunics, coats, and kirtles like the madwoman I must be. On the other hand, a friend and I discovered a magical, insane fabric warehouse that sold beautiful woolens for the ridiculous price of $4.99/yd, so hopefully we will finish all this crazy sewing in time and not just be wrapping ourselves toga-like** in all this wool. No matter what, when we’re camping this year, we will not be cold.

*Social Media Stuff can include blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. etc.
**Historical fact of the day: Roman senator’s togas were made of wool.

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Filed under crafting, meta-blogging, rambling, SCA, sewing

New Knitty & some brilliance

New Knitty.com issue is up! Go check it out is you aren’t already one of the ravening knit-hoards that crash their servers each launch day (which was, um, yesterday…)

I have less time to knit these days than I even have for sleeping (and with my 7month “sleep regression” baby, that’s saying something), but if I did then I’d be totally re-looking at all the projects I’ve tossed aside over the years because I’m too lazy to work intarsia, because this pattern Verdant is a stroke of brilliance. “Blended intarsia” — aka “don’t bother dropping the main colour as you go along”. Too clever! of course, you’ll still have ends to weave, but there will be much, much less of them! Love it.

So, which pattern in the new Knitty would you cast on first? For me, it would probably be the Stitches in Time “summer neckerchief”, which contains another version of a cheater’s intarsia…. maybe there’s a theme here?

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