Merry Christmas From The Flock

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We had some holiday fun today.  Not everyone enjoyed it as much as we did, but I think you’ll all like the results!

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Have a wonderful holiday, everyone!

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Shale

Just in time for Christmas (though a bit late for baby’s arrival) I finished the baby blanket I was working on! I had intended to finish it before my cousin Libby’s baby was born, but alas, I missed that mark by about a month or so.  I packaged it up and sent it off as soon as it was blocked and dried, so now that her sweet daughter is warmly wrapped in it, I can show you.

The pattern is Jared Flood’s Shale.  It was a fun, easy, knit; and for people who aren’t constantly distracted like me, quick.

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I used Juniper Moon Farm Sabine in a natural colorway.  The cotton content in the yarn makes it a bit more forgiving of washings, which, with an infant is usually necessary.

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I am thrilled with how it came out, and as much fun as it was to knit, I can see myself returning to this as a go-to for baby gifts.

Now I am back to working on my Shepherd Sweater, which has been sadly languishing for far too long.  Perhaps I will make progress during our quiet holidays this year?

 

Welcome Winter!

Many people tend to forget that while we are welcoming the first day of winter (which many people aren’t fond of), we are also welcoming the return of the light.  The days will start getting longer again now, so for all of you winter haters, silver lining!

You all know of course that I adore winter.  I function better in the colder weather than in the warm, and I still love the magic of snow.  Since we live in an area that is iffy with its weather, we have begun the yearly wondering whether we will get any snow this year or have any real cold temperatures.  Last year saw the Polar Vortex, and for the first time in the eighteen years we have lived in Virginia, even I thought the cold was excessive!

Sadly, it seems we will not have a white Christmas yet again this year.  The last I checked our forecast it even looked like we may get thunderstorms on Christmas Eve.

Thunderstorms! If it isn’t going to snow, it may as well be sunny!

Nevertheless, I won’t give up hoping.

For tonight, we will enjoy homemade cookies and light all of our candles in the windows to celebrate the season.  We’ll also keep watch on  Gavlebocken, who, on December 21 is STILL STANDING!!! (And incidentally, those of us lower lattitude types who have complained about daylight savings would do well to remember that the Swedes are only averaging about four hours of daylight right now!)

Have a warm, wonderful, and light-filled Solstice, all!

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Almost-Winter Sunset

I can’t believe I’ve let yet another week go by without posting.  My only excuse is that we’ve all been sick on and off for the last few weeks, and there’s not been a lot of motivation.

Today I’m promising you a real post soon while I leave you with these pictures of the beautiful sunset that greeted me at evening feeding this past week.  And FYI, these do not do it justice in the least.

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Hygge

I came across an article about the Danish concept of Hygge not long ago; about how people with Seasonal Affective Disorder (or those who just hate the colder, darker months) might benefit from adding a bit of it to their lives.

Hygge, as it turns out, is all about the “cozy” in life.  Or, something like that. It’s a feeling that encompasses all of those things that make say, Christmas, so magical. It’s love. It’s an inviting fire with a cup of delicious tea when it’s snowy outside. It’s snuggling with your loved ones – furry or otherwise.  For most of us knitters, it’s an afternoon free and a bag full of fresh-spun wool.  It’s well-being. It’s sanctuary.

When I read about it, I knew it deep it my bones already.  It was in there all along, just waiting for a good word to put to it. Paul has always called it all of my “little things”.  Those things that make you feel at home, that make you happy. It turns out I’ve been practicing hygge my whole life.

December is, indeed, the sort of “holy month” for hygge, for lack of a better term. Think about it: the tree, the lights, the comfort foods, the festivities.  It’s a month where we all know the cold and dark of winter is breathing down our backs but we push it aside to  celebrate joy and warmth and love.

I have it all around me.

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A darling paperwhite bulb in the kitchen window.

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My favorite happy little sparkly reindeer ornament.

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My very favorite tea, which I will enjoy this evening, snuggled on the couch with my girls after a dinner of spicy vegetable soup.

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The soft glow of the Christmas tree, which still smells divine! We sat cuddled up next to it today and watched the classic Baryshnikov version of The Nutcracker.

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These fantastic little heat packs.  Great for cold feet, headaches, backaches, and cozying up your blankets at night.

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A big, furry, polar bear of a dog and a tiny sweet kitten.

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My purry little companion, curled up in a wool blanket.  A wool blanket woven from the wool of the very sheep I can see from my comfy chair as I type.  If that’s not hygge, I don’t know what is!

Go forth, fill your world with hygge!  And even more, allow yourself to revel in it a bit!

‘Tis the Season To Be Snuffly and Sneezy

The past week and a half or so has been rather trying.  Each one of us has gone through a few variations of the same nasty virus and it doesn’t seem ready to go on its merry way any time soon.

I did manage to get the tree up and all of the decorating completed before things went south for me, but I’ve been more or less down with it ever since.

Fortunately, I’ve had some resources to get through it.  I was well stocked with spicy gingerale and garlic chicken soup (not to mention Alka Seltzer Cold & Flu and box after box of tissues).

Being stuck on the couch next to a glowing and happy Christmas tree isn’t too terrible. It’s topped with our mini Gavlebocken:

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The Gavlebocken is a giant straw Christmas Goat in the town of Gavle, Sweden.  They put him out every year, and every year it’s anyone’s bet if he will survive until Christmas; mainly he is at risk from arsonists. There is a webcam on him and we spend hours upon hours watching.  You can find the cam HERE.

Susan has bought me a mini bocken from Ikea the last few years and we are starting to have quite the wonderful collection of them.

The other thing keeping my mind off my misery is the new podcast from This American Life: Serial.  It’s an absolutely riveting true crime story told over the course of many, many weeks (we are currently up to 10).  There were 9 out when I started listening and I binge-listened to catch up.  If you enjoy mystery or crime, or even just a good story, I urge you to check it out.

With any luck I’ll soon be back to normal and in a baking frenzy!