Saturday, January 11, 2020

The Beauty of Being Lost

 These last few weeks have found me getting wondrously lost in my favorite wintery hygge pursuits. While being on break from my classes and work, I have enjoyed more time with family and friends. There was a week of vacation spent with my husband at Christmastime, as well as cozy evenings since then of long talks by candlelight. I've had lunch with my daughter, shopped with my mother and sister, and celebrated the birthday of a special friend in a favorite coffee shop. Too often I have treated myself to pastries and goodies I typically do not eat, but that's hygge after all, and I decided to relax into it, for awhile. 
 The house has been filled with the joyous sound of grandchildren laughing, running and living in the magical world of make believe. During the times the house has been quiet, with my only company being the dogs and an aged-calico cat curled up nearby, I have done what I always do on a cold-January day. I put the kettle on, turned on an audiobook and sat down to knit.
In preparation for these glorious days that I knew would come, I ordered a few different yarns from Knit Picks that I have never tried before. What better time to try a spattering of wools I've never used than during these snug, snowy days? January is always the time I think of variety when it comes to knitting. I think small in my knitting. As in small projects like mittens or fingerless mitts that are done fairly quickly. That way I can order several individual hanks of different wools. It's like opening a box of chocolates. Each one is a divine treat! 
The first one I have fallen madly and irrevocably in love with is Provincial Tweed. Because wool with delicious little blips of Donegal tweed will always have my heart, I ordered two hanks. The first must-have color shown here is grey with a faint lavender-blue undertone. The little tweed blips (or neps, as they call them) are plum and turmeric. The entire color combination is extremely pleasing. The fiber is soft, soft, soft. As you can see it gives perfect stitch definition to cabling, which is another major love of mine in the world of all things knit.
 I also browsed through Knit Picks selection of patterns for fingerless mitts. That's another annual tradition of mine. I look for new patterns for mitts and mittens I've never made before. If they have cables, lacework or colorwork, I'm all in. Winter is the ideal time, when evening darkness is stretched out, and the weather gets up to all manner of things, to settle in with something new on my needles. The pair of fingerless mitts pictured is the gorgeous Knit Picks pattern Trilsean. You'll notice that in the mitt on the right I have light orange waste yarn stitched in where the thumb will go. This may seem a bit wonky for those of us who love a beautifully knit thumb gusset. However, follow the directions exactly, which are not difficult, and you will find it quick and easy, both while knitting and when picking stitches back up to create the thumb. 
 Also, remember the cable is not meant to ramble down the center of the hand. It travels next to the thumb, below the index finger. This is what captured my attention while browsing through patterns. One fat cable; simple, yet different. I like it. As a matter of fact, I like it (them) so much that I used the second hank of Provincial Tweed, which I purchased in the color Cream, to make a second pair.
This colorway has a lovely creamy earthiness to it, while still being liberally sprinkled with that plum and turmeric blip-type stuff I love so much. And the really awesome thing about this yarn? The yardage. With 250 yards in each 100 gram hank, I can make two pairs of fingerless mitts per hank! What can I say Knit Picks? You will always be my first love for all things yarn-y. 
Another really cool thing about this pattern, you can turn the mitts inside out and put them on the opposite hands they were made for. Voila'! You're doing a new thing, Girl! I love it! So much!
As for the other wools and patterns I have up my sleeve, I'll get there soon. Not in this post because that would be spoiling all of my delightful Knit Picks knitting surprises I have in store for you. Until then, I hope you are all enjoying some snuggly winter delights of your own making. Remember, it's okay to be lost for awhile. Just relax into it and let it be.

"I am not lost, for I know where I am. 
But however, where I am may be lost."

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Next Year's Words

With each passing year I love the season of winter more and more. After giving this much thought, I've realized that I find comfort in the gaping bareness of the trees, as they twist and stretch themselves in bleak, cold skies. Rather than causing me to feel lonely or depressed, a briskly cold winter day, filled with misty grayness, clears my mind in a way that nothing else can do. Therefore, I have come to appreciate, and anticipate, this resting dormancy the earth goes through with a quiet gratitude. 
The wide-open spaces of the world around me work synergistically with the gradual decline of days, and I breathe deeply in preparation for the coming year. I enjoy reflecting on the many changes a single twelve-month span has brought into my life. Really it can be quite amazing from one year to the next just how many things, big and small, can change. One of my favorite treasures is always the people God brings into my life. Each individual is a shiny new gift. They add another layer of richness, along with those I have cherished and held in my heart for so long. The mingling of the old with the new is an exquisite thing; in it we are shown there is always more to come.
That's what I love so much about the first day of a new year, it holds out its hand, inviting us to step into 365 days of an unknown future. Some of those days will be challenging, some may be sad, and others could be complicated in ways we won't understand. However, so much of life is what we make it and the bulk of those days can be happy, joyous and extremely fulfilling. The decision lies within us. We must open ourselves to every opportunity of making the air around us alive with love, kindness and compassion for all who come in contact with us. Not only will there be a tangible difference in the atmosphere and the lives we encounter, but our own hearts will benefit greatly. 
If we want to shake off the old year and start afresh, we need to love with a love that knows no bounds. Selfless love always lifts up, supports and believes the best of and for the recipient. Over the last few weeks I've begun to dream occasionally that I am flying. Each dream is somewhat different, as I'm not always in the same place when I suddenly feel myself begin to rise up and float, gently at first. Then, as I begin to fly somewhat faster, the joy I feel is indescribable; it's like nothing I've ever known. A few nights ago Scott appeared in the dream for the first time. I was overjoyed that he finally caught me flying! I looked down and called out to him, "Scott! Look! I'm flying!!!" My dream self was expecting a huge reaction, possibly one of incredulity or fear. Instead my husband looked up at me and said, in his casual way, "I always knew you could fly."
 I hope that 2020 will be the year that finds you loving more deeply, reaching higher for your dreams and resting in personal contentment. I pray you know the love of God in your life and are able to see your fellowman through His eyes. I trust that you'll gain strength to endure the hardships, as you focus on the abundance of blessings in a single day. May it be the year that finds you flying because somebody, even if that somebody is yourself, always knew you could.
From my heart to yours...
I wish you a very
 Happy New Year.
"For last years words belong to last years language
and next year's words await another voice."
T.S. Elliot