Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Winter Bliss

Now that another holiday season has been celebrated
 and the gift of a new year has been given,
holding its promise of secret surprises and wonders that lie before us,
 we still have the winter to settle into and savor. 
For many of us this is the time of year we find restful, 
reflective and sometimes quite productive inside our homes. 
Among the many other things I try to do, such as organize cabinets,
 tidy drawers and make note of projects that need doing in this beloved old house,
 I enjoy the hours spent inside this place I call home,
 with family bustling in and out, friends coming and going,
 and always another work in progress on my needles.
For Christmas I made a lot of chunky knitted items,
 which I really enjoyed.
As knitters, we all know they knit up quickly,
 bringing that instant sense of gratification we have to have sometimes, 
especially when time is of the essence.
However, my true love is for smaller stitches.
 Typically, I prefer patterns that require needles
 in the range of US size 1 to 5,
 with 7 or 8 being "Big" for me. 
Therefore, everything about these tiny Magical Fairy Mushrooms
 was completely enchanting.
 I loved watching as they came to life on my size 1{2.25 mm} needles,
 along with a very small cable needle.
Although I know how to knit cables without using a cable needle,
 having acquired a nice collection of them over the years,
 I actually enjoy using one.
However, for those of you who would like to try this technique
 but don't know how to,
 the best video I've found on YouTube for
 cabling without a cable needle is provided by Marly Bird.
I recommend you practice it on larger knitting needles until you get the hang of it.
The little pink tool in the picture with a hook on one end and a point 
on the other end is one of my favorite tools!
I use it to pick up dropped stitches or for picking up stitches 
when making socks or the thumbs of a mitten.
 This is the smallest of three different sizes.
You can find them at Hobby Lobby made by Susan Bates.
As for the whimsical mushrooms, 
if you are a knitter who wants to make some, 
use the link I've provided for the free pattern.
I would like to say how much I truly appreciate it when
a designer gives permission for the finished product of 
their pattern to be sold. It's an added bonus when the pattern is free.
If you would like to purchase some ready made you can find them
 for sale in sets of three on my shop...

I really do love tiny knits. I enjoy the process from start to finish. 
Here are my top three reasons:

1) They are slow and mindful, forcing me to take more time,
which causes me to feel more restful and peaceful. 
Therefore they have a more meditative or reflective quality about them.

2) The stitches are tiny and compact,
 making them aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Stockinette stitches line up nice and tight.
Garter stitch rows pop in perfect ridges.
Cables are firm and stand out boldly.

3) There's a dreamy aspect of long ago childhood days
that washes over me when I hold
 anything miniature in the palm of my hand.
Sundrenched, cartwheeling, bicycle riding days
 followed by fire fly chasing evenings.
 Or winter afternoons spent 
lying on a snow covered lawn 
making angels with my best friend.

January seems to be a good time for my tiny needle knitting.
I usually find myself taking personal stock once again,
as so many of us do, at the beginning of each new year.
I believe anything that causes us to slow down 
while we're snugged up inside so that we can have
moments of introspection is a really good thing.
While the earth is having her time of rest, 
we can enter into our time of reflective thinking.
A time of contemplating our life; our experiences; 
our relationships with God, people and all of humanity
and how we can draw on all of these things
 to improve ourselves in the year ahead.

Another one of my Winter Bliss pleasures is
 the reading of and listening to many books.
My current read is this wonderful book 
that my daughter Hilary gave me for Christmas.
I start every new year, as odd as it may sound,
 reading a Christmas book.
It's been a long-standing tradition for Hilary
 to gift me a new Christmas book every year.
She goes on a hunt with great relish and I wait
 in even greater anticipation to open it.
If you are on Goodreads and would like to connect
 with me you can find me here.
I would love to see what you're reading.

As always, a blissful part of my daily life
 is to keep critters outside and inside fed and happy.
I love feeding my squirrels and am rewarded by some who eat from my hand.
And I'm thick in the throws of the antics of full blown "puppyhood" …
While I was in the kitchen, believing Percy to be napping in the living room, 
he was actually having a toilet paper party in said room.
 Just having turned six months old on December 26th,
 we have now entered into the toddler phase of life, it appears.
Whatever it is that brings happiness to the moments of your life
in these long winter months that are a fresh new beginning,
I pray you find them to be restful, restorative,
 peaceful and productive on an inward level,
and most of all deeply blissful.

"Life isn't about finding yourself.
Life is about creating yourself."
George Bernard Shaw


  1. I love those little fairy mushrooms, they are so wonderful! what a clever reason to keep corks, too. And oh that naughty Percy! I bet that was a lot of fun for him, though. ;)

    1. Thanks Julie! The colorful, tiny knits make me think of your beautiful little advent stockings you've knitted for Lila and James that I love so much!
      As for Percy... Naughty is his current middle name... but oh how we love him!!!


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