Wednesday, December 18, 2013

In a Knitting Rut - December Knitting Projects

The past few weeks I've found myself in an odd position.

I couldn't, 
I just really couldn't,
bring myself to knit anything.
I was in a knitting rut.

I kept trying out my slipper pattern with my own handspun yarn.  But I didn't like how it was turning out.

I organized all of my knitting supplies and yarn into a lovely cabinet - inspired by this post.

But I still didn't want to pick up my needles.

Usually this is a stressful and busy time of year for me.
But knitting is a part of my stress-relief.  It relaxes and soothes my spirit.
It slows down the hustle and bustle for me.  Stitch by little stitch.

It took awhile before I figured out what was wrong, and my oldest daughter provided the answer.

While I was sitting there frustrated, she said, "Mom, what happened to all the yarn you bought to make those slippers last year?"

I had forgotten.  I had a stash of yarn in the basement for my slippers already sitting there. 
But I had latched-on to this crazy idea that I should be spinning all the yarn for slippers for all five of my kids!!

What was I thinking!
I love spinning, I love knitting, and I love knitting with handspun.

Sometimes you can't and shouldn't do it all.

I came across this inspirational quote the other day.
Something that a friend of mine put on pinterest.

I can do ANYTHING, but I can't do EVERYTHING.

So, I left the spinning and the handspun yarn aside, and pulled out my cheap, acrylic yarn that I bought last year.

And I cast on.
And suddenly a pair of slippers appeared before me.  One down.
Four more to go? 
I'm so excited about how they turned out I think I'll try a tip from another friend.

And I'll try them on my little girl while she is asleep at night, to see if they fit :)

Next slipper is already cast on.
In someone's favorite shade of green.

Will I finish 5 pairs in time for Christmas?

Who knows?

But in the middle of a hectic and busy holiday season,

My fingers have found their solace yet again.
And I feel much more peaceful as I click click click away.

Thank goodness for knitting.
So glad to finally be sharing again with Ginny on her YarnAlong.
And Frontier Dreams Keep Calm Craft On.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sweater Winner! and Savoring Moments

It's been such a crazy month!!!

First, we do have a winner - Congratulations to Cassie Jones.  I will be contacting you shortly to send you the owl sweater.  I hope you love it! 

Not much blogging, not much knitting, not much of anything extra going on, just an endless succession of appointments and assignments and running around.

Which makes me grateful now for a special day this past month.

Sometimes my greatest joys are spontaneous.  They are choices made, in the moment, to savor an opportunity that arises.

So often I'm that too busy mom.  The one that is wrapped up in my own self and the things that I think are most important.

It was on one of those busy days when I thought, "Wouldn't my boys love to jump in the leaves?  I wish we could do that." I was realizing that at our previous home, not too long ago, there had been no trees, and no leaves to rake. 

I was so tired.

And I didn't have time to go out and rake with my boys for an hour, I really didn't. 

But I found myself outside with the rakes. 

And when they were finished playing in the pile they said, 'Mom, that was the most amazing fun EVER!'

I was so grateful that I had taken that time.

In hindsight of course, it seemed that the other things maybe weren't as important as I had thought them after all.

Isn't that how it always is?


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! 

 I hope your holiday finds you overwhelmed with the blessings in your life.  It certainly is that way for me.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Dining Room Reveal and Knitted Pumpkins

Living out here in the country is changing me for the better.   Interior decorating has been my lifelong passion.   How to arrange a mantle?  What colors are soothing in a home?  How to make something look more pleasing to the eye?  Where to arrange the furniture? Making an art of it all. 

But somewhere along my journey, I forgot,
that sometimes the most beautiful things
are the most
These days, a walk outside reveals more natural beauty now than any purchased accessory from a store.  I find myself looking out the window more than I look at the walls.  I am every day in awe of the powerful simple beauty of trees.  Or the creek nearby.
It's not that I didn't love nature before, I was always one of those kids that played outside alone all day every day.  I found solace in the trees and the dirt and the frogs.
But life happens, and usually we live where we have to instead of where we want to.   When we lived in town, my views were concrete streets and telephone poles.
So I focused on arranging my furniture and painting my walls and finding that perfect accessory. I had forgotten to remember some of the simple things.
When we found this place, I was disappointed by the brown and the brass and the 1970's chic.
But now,
Instead of having to go and seek out the natural,
It's just a part of my daily rhythm.
The wind rustling the ferns outside the window,
The sound of the frogs croaking at night,
The sun coming up over the horizon from the deck,
The cedars waving their lacy branches.
And I've found myself changing.  Being grateful.  Going more slowly sometimes. Knitting and Spinning more. Taking longer to get inside projects done.  Bringing the outdoors in as home décor: branches in the dining room, leaves on the mantle, pinecones in jars.
These things are becoming my home decorating accessories, more often than not.  And though I still stop dead in my tracks at the sight of a good French chair, I'm finding that the balance is sometimes swinging more in favor of the natural and the rustic. 
And the blend between the two styles.  Well, I like it, a lot. :)  I'm still calling it Trees and Toile. 
So, even though my Dining Room isn't 'perfect' or totally 'finished'. (Planning to paint the woodwork white pretty soon) I'm going to show it to you now, along with my favorite accessories, my hand-knitted pumpkins!
This is how my Dining Room looked before. Not too bad, but not very exciting.

Here it is now.  New paint, new chandelier, new half-wall (to avoid a drop down the stairs) and new curtains and rods.

Here's where our finished chalkboard ended up.  And of course, this would be the one time of year that I willingly embrace the brown.

It's my uptown white furniture, my French black and white toile curtains, and my chandelier....
Meeting up with brown and orange and rustic textures. 

This is our craigslist secretary.   I was going to paint it, but I actually like the natural color here.  The family laptop resides inside, but it's easily hidden for entertaining or family dinners.
The knitted pumpkins of course, are my favorite part.  Here's my Ravelry link to the pumpkins. They are a great beginner project, if you are a new knitter.  Knitting these helped me pass a lot of time during soccer practices, pick-up lines, and waiting rooms.  It makes the décor in my home even more personal to me.

And it gave me a way to use up some of my odd skeins of handspun yarn.

They look great on the hutch that we painted.
I hope you like our Dining Room as much as I do!
Sharing with:
Ginny's Small Things
Frontier Dreams Keep Calm Craft On
Natural Suburbia's Creative Friday
French Country Cottage's Feathered Nest Friday
Jennifer Rizzo's Fabulously Creative Friday

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fall Loveliness

I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. - Anne Shirley, LM Montgomery.