Christmas Work Has Begun

After promising myself I would get started in July, I’ll have to settle for starting in October.

The first gift gives me practice at switching colors while knitting, which will be good preparation for another scarf of many colors and great length.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Other gifts this season will include pottery, quilts, sewing and baking as we continue in developing our tradition of handmade gifts and quality time together.ย  I hope for you much the same in the upcoming season.

IMG_1808_1For this project, though, I give thanks for Charmed Knits.ย  So far, though I’ve been working on it openly, none of the kids know for whom the scarf is being made.ย  (They have figured out it is a scarf.)

I highly recommend the double-layer scarf done on the circular needles.ย  There’s something highly comforting about knitting every row; it’s downright meditative.

If I don’t think it will give the gifts away, I’ll share photos of other gifts as they’re in progress.

Enjoy!

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On My Nightstand

The books I’m reading have changed somewhat in the past couple of months, and I thought I might share what those are in case any of you are looking for a new read.  A word of caution, though, is due because my reading these days isn’t particularly light and may result in spiritual growth.  Brace yourself.

I finished Parker Palmer’s Let Your Life Speak.

I’m dreadfully behind in Joyce Rockwood Hudson’s Natural Spirituality for the book study I’m in, but I just read a most fascinating description of myself.  I’m compelled to finish reading it, even at my own pace.  This book, I may have already mentioned, is largely about Jungian psychology entwined with Christianity.  It encourages our listening to our dreams, being aware of synchronicities, and being conscious of how the unconscious is being revealed to us.

My friend and I are using Julia Cameron’s Finding Water as we continue our journey together of self-discovery.  This is the third and last of the Artist’s Way series (the first two being The Artist’s Way and The Vein of Gold).  I highly recommend these books for artists and non-artists alike to help in finding what your inner critic looks and sounds like to help you overcome those inner blocks.

I’ve just recently picked up (having been recommended highly by someone I trust) L. William Countryman’s Living on the Border of the Holy and am already compelled by what he shares.  He’s basically voicing that we all have a fundamental priesthood, a responsibility to help reveal to others the secrets of the Holy to which we individually experience and know, and I’m just in the first chapter.

In my knitting bag is Beverly Galeskas Felted Knits.  It was time to start another knit project because it’s good for me to keep my hands busy.  (I don’t yet have the yarn needed for my husband’s Dr. Who scarf!)  One of these days I may be able to knit and pray, but following a pattern means I’m having to focus on counting.  Mindfulness is a good thing, too.

It’s shaping out to be a perfectly rainy weekend, so hopefully I’ll have time to delve deeply into a book or two and/or knit a while.  May your weekend be so blessed.

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Time for Scarves

A scarf might have a negative connotation as a gift (perhaps people got burned out on them), but I’m glad they’re making a come-back . . . at least in my book!

Several evenings, this was what awaited me.

knitting.jpgNow, my current projects aren’t of the knitting variety, but they have me at the ironing and cutting board and at the sewing machine.  Instructables has a cargo scarf that I hope will bring a smile to a couple of faces this season.  Pardon the poor photo quality.  I could stand to learn a thing or two in that department.  ๐Ÿ™‚ 

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Felt Booties, Part Three

Finally, all finished.

Fabric paint on the soles of the slippers keep little ones from ice-skating around and hopefully prevent some of the falls that inevitably come at their age.

A crochet hook pulls the ribbon through to tie a bow.  I went ahead and secured the bow with some needle and thread, hopefully warding off the endless re-tying.

Now, they’re ready to gift.  Later this winter, I foresee myself making some in the larger sizes.  ๐Ÿ™‚

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Felt Booties, Part Two

The booties are quick and easy to knit, to be sure.  Even though I knit the second pair to test my technique, I still couldn’t decide when to stop on the right side.  Fortunately, when felted, they did pretty much look the same.  ๐Ÿ™‚

Delightfully for me, and thankfully for my dry, sensitive hands, my washer does work for felting.  Though it is a front-loader, it will pause and allow me to open the door.  Additionally, the heavy cotton cycle is perfect timing for felting . . . at least for this project!

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I prefer the bulky yarn for these booties, but the lighter-weight yarn makes for a nice, lighter, more flexible bootie.  Both have an almost elvish quality to them.

There’s one more installment on the booties, because even though they are felted and dry, they’re still neither finished nor fit to be worn by little tootsies.

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Felt Booties, Part One

knit_slippers.jpgThis is my first felting experiment.  Truth be told, it is also the first time I’m actually knitting from a pattern.  It has been a good experience thus far.

The funny thing is, I still don’t know what I’m doing!  I hope that the felting will disguise the fact that one slipper has a “wrong side” out.  It was the first one I did.  I don’t recall doing the second one any different, but isn’t that the way with crafts?  Sometimes they take on a life of their own.

These purple gems will go to our youngest as a Christmas gift, the first to be checked off the ever growing list!
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If you’re interested in where I got the pattern from, the book is called Knit It! Felt It!, published by House of White Birches (which invokes a lovely image, I must say).  It’s the Child’s Footies pattern on p.64.

I’m not sure I’ll have them felted by Thursday, but the good news is that the dishes are done so that the sink is available!

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My First Hat!

I’ve looked at a couple of hat patterns, and I already had some circular needles.  I just hadn’t used either!  I took the needles, some leftover and some new yarn and went to knittin’ while hubby drove to Austin for the Maker Faire.  (I will be oh-so-glad when I can knit without having to look at my hands!  Carsickness be damned!)  I just finished it recently, finally using an upholstery needle to tie off the top; my daughter’s plastic knitting/tapestry needle couldn’t be found.

I learned I still don’t really know what I’m doing when I’m knitting.  Some instruction and more reading would probably greatly increase my skill level.  For now, though, it’s a hat I would and do wear.

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The benefit of making your own wares is that you can say, “I meant to do that.” ๐Ÿ™‚  I don’t have to tell everyone where/how I “messed” up.  It’s a hat a mother can love.

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