Wednesday, January 10, 2018

On Life's Classic Things

I finished knitting the Tin Can Knits Grayling Mittens a few days ago, which as I said in my last post I purchased as a kit and made for myself. If you are interested in the pattern only, however, you can buy it for just $5.00 by clicking on the link I've provided. If you love to knit mittens and enjoy cable work, as I do, you will find this pattern pure bliss. Remember they do require smaller needles. Mine are knit up on size US 2 /2.75mm DPNs. Although I find myself oftentimes working on larger needles in order to accommodate the wishes and needs of my customers, my personal preference is always smaller needles and finer knits. I love, love, love lacework and am always drawn immediately to any pattern that has cabling involved; the more intricate, the better. To me these are the classic things in the world of knitting, along with faire isle, which I dearly love as well and have set as a goal for 2018 to do more of. 
Though it is a bit Christmassy for being into January,
I couldn't resist showing you this photo.
Actually, this was my New Year's Day knitting project at my kitchen table with the glorious Winter sunshine pouring in, which was greatly appreciated as it was just barely above zero degrees that day. Every year or so I knit a few more of these magical little fairy trees that sit atop wine corks. They are another project for my preferred size 2 DPNs and, as you can see, are done in beautiful little cables. I use worsted weight yarn in scraps of wool or alpaca usually and sprinkle them around my house and gift them to family and friends. They make me happy. They always put a smile of delight on the faces of others too. I think even Mercedes has a fondness for them.
Well, once I was done playing with tiny trees and had finished my one allotted knit for myself, it was time to return to work. This pair of fingerless mitts {yes, it has a lovely big cable running up the center} is my first completed custom order for the new year. They are actually both off the needles now and ready for pick up at week's end. They are made of a nice soft, warm, squishy blend of merino wool, alpaca and Donegal tweed and have been a top selling item in countless color combinations for the last few years. Apparently I'm not alone in my love of cables. Like I said, they are classic and timeless.

Speaking of classics, another of my true loves in this area are books. What you can't see in the picture with Miss Kitty is that she politely perched herself on top of my iPad on which I was at the time listening to the audiobook version of Jane Eyre... {again}. I confess that this is one of my all time favorite books and I have read and listened to it a few times over the years.
It seemed appropriate to start the new year out by revisiting it since I ended 2017 by listening to the audiobooks The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte, which I loved very much and Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. As fond as I am of all of the Bronte sisters, and even enjoy reading books about them, Charlotte is the reigning queen of my heart.  Plus just before I listened to Jane Eyre again, I read the hardcopy of a book I thoroughly enjoyed called
Mr. Rochester by Sarah Shoemaker.
So why do I enjoy trudging through these old classics?
Good question. I have always loved literature and poetry and words...
As for the older writings, maybe I am drawn to them in the same way and for the same reasons I am drawn to the traditional, classic styles of knitting. They call to my old, romantic soul. I love the formal antiquated language that sometimes causes me to look a word up and expand my vocabulary, which I find to always be a good thing. Also the fact that so many classics are so very character rich really works for me. They are chock full of a whole cast of people with deep emotions. People who still knew and used the fine art of writing letters. They are usually deeply descriptive about lush countryside views that take me places my heart longs for and ramble through my mind long after the books end. So often they are stories that go on and on, which is a bonus for me. I love being totally immersed into that other world full of it's delicious sights, sounds and smells; surrounded by those other people with their thoughts, ideals and yearnings that make me think...
I listen to audiobooks as I knit. They keep me company around a quiet house during the Winter months when I can't go outside and on warm days they are my companions on the porch swing until those with flesh come along. This way I am never without a friend and I can keep on working... knitting... stitching... learning... dreaming...

Two of my favorite quotes from Jane Eyre are:

"Crying does not indicate that your are weak,
Since birth it has always been a sign that you are alive."


"I would always rather be happy than dignified."

Yes, I can wholeheartedly agree with both of these.
As for me, I most definitely want to be alive. Actually fully alive.
I also have a tendency towards choosing happiness,
having discovered over the course of my life it suits me best.
So why not strive for it?
Remaining in the same frame of mind, these are my current reads.
On audio I have just begun the long story of  Middlemarch by George Eliot,
who was really Mary Ann Evans.
It is read by one of my favorite narrators, Nadia May.
I have wanted to read it for ages and decided it would be the perfect book to listen to during these still, cozy days of being tucked inside the house.
The book I am  reading in hardcopy is not technically a classic but is written about Jane Austen and in her style. I am finding it to be very good so far. Even though it may seem odd to read a Christmas book in January,
it's a yearly ritual of mine.
We can't be on the subject of all things "classic" without bringing up friendship.
I received a package in the mail early in the week with these two wonderful gifts from my dear friend and Soul Sister, Genie, who lives in California. We enjoy sending fun things to each other throughout the year and keeping in touch by phone, especially when there is a need for special prayer.
In between working on custom orders I have started on a little baby sweater for a special friend who has a beautiful new baby girl in need of a hand knit piece of warmth and love. 
{And some beautiful classic knit lacework...}
Also, what could be more classic than a hand knit cardigan? 
It just says, "I love you" like nothing else.
Don't you love that delicate buttercream yellow? That's Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK in color shade 0359, which some websites refer to as Butter Yellow and others as Primrose.
The pattern is Lacy Cardigan by Vibe Ulrik Sondergaard
and is in the book
These are the things I fill my time with during these days and weeks of
Winter hibernation.
With such gentle, cozy comforts at hand
I don't mind the cold weather so much.
As a boss I had in banking years ago once said to me,
on a day when the weather was riddled with somewhat violent storms,
"Oh I don't mind the weather, no matter what. It's just weather... I like it all."
Now there is the attitude to take.
I tucked that in my memory bank and in my heart that day and have found
that as each Winter has approached I dread it less instead of more.
"Live in each season as it passes;
breathe the air,
drink the drink,
taste the fruit."
Henry David Thoreau


  1. It is wonderful to hear from you Danette. Happy 2018. Your year sounds wonderful so far. I am a lover of the classics, Jane Austin being my favorite. I am so happy to see you received that knitting ornament, a friend bought me one also. I have it up in my office, it is much too nice to stuff in a box until next year. Hugs.

    1. Jane Austen has always been my first favorite and I am once again wandering around in Longbourne and Netherfield...
      I love it that we have the same knitting ornament 😁

  2. Oh, such a wonderful package and that ornament, I adore it! I have to check out that Jane and the twelve days of Christmas book, that looks like a great read, and I haven't heard of it before. Stay cozy, my friend!

    1. I love goodies in the mail from special friends, don’t you?!
      Yes, I enjoyed that book. It’s part of a series and I need to go back and start with the first one. I’m notorious for jumping in on the wrong book 😳

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