What a winter this has been. I got everyone back to school after New Year’s with all kinds of good intentions and plans. I even got a few days of wonderful snowshoeing in on the four days we actually had snow this winter. Then one of my daughters developed a strange rash on her neck. It turned out to be shingles and the virus knocked her off her feet and into bed for two weeks. Shingles is not contagious, but the chicken pox virus which causes it is contagious to people who have never had chicken pox. People like her younger sister. Both girls were sicker than they have ever been. When the rashes cleared up and they seemed to feel a little better they both made it back to school for a couple of days and then were back in bed with the flu and strep throat. Between them they have been off school for all but two days of the last six weeks. One of them is finally well again but my little one (do I still get to call her that because she is my youngest even though she is taller than me?) is home sick again today. Thank goodness they have next week off to rest and hopefully recuperate!
So what do you do with two sick girls for six weeks? You make a lot of peppermint tea and toast. You borrow old musicals from their music teacher and spend a few days watching movies like Singin’ In the Rain, Grease and Amadeus. You do a lot of laundry and give a lot of backrubs. You work hard to find a space with no chicken pox on it big enough to kiss on your daughter’s face and kiss it a zillion times in a row to make her giggle and start to feel better. You try not to think about all of the work you are not getting done because really, this is the most important work of all, even if it doesn’t pay one single bill. And then, when you have done all you can think of and they are still home sick and nowhere near ready to go back to school, you find the DVD’s of Little House on the Prairie and before you know it, you have watched every single episode. Who knew that there were ten seasons of Little House? Who else has watched them all in just one month? And while I can’t say I loved every minute of it, it was fun to laugh and to talk with my wonderful girls about the stories, the characters, the issues and to have so much time with them.
I didn’t get as much knitting done as I thought I would with so much time on my hands. I have started sewing again and even figured out how to use my serger. I learned to crochet and that has been fun, at least some of the time. More on the fibre fun stuff soon. The camera still eludes me…….
Even though I have enough yarn to keep me busy for a very long time, I have decided that 2012 is the year I will learn to spin again. I did some spinning as a child and I loved it. I am having a couple of technical difficulties getting started but I expect to have them sorted out by the weekend. Any wonky yarn I make in the first little while will make a perfect weft for some weaving project. Everyone who spins says that the funky yarns you spin at the beginning are hard to make once you become a proficient spinner so I plan to make the most of it!
I am not sure why this post I wrote one month ago just appeared now, three weeks after Christmas, but here it is. Maybe it is a sign that I should pull out some Noro and make another pair of mittens!
I finally found the camera. One of my children is making videos for everyone for Christmas on the camera and until she is done she is hiding the camera so no one peeks. I love her creativity but not the camera hoarding! I promise not to peek at her work, I just want to catch up on photographing some of what I have been up to to post it here.
As you might gather from my blog title, cookies and mittens are two of my favourite things, especially in winter time. After I get some work done today I am going to bake our family’s favourite Christmas cookies and I’ll share pictures and the recipe here. The newest mittens are ready to share now.
I love these. Every time I knit with Noro I say that I have had my fill and I am done with it – until the next time I see a ball of it somewhere and I just can’t take my eyes off of it. Christmas knitting with Noro seems like the perfect combination. At Christmas we usually spend more time than usual with family members – people whose quirks annoy us and make us glad everyone has their own house (or at least room) to go to at the end of the day but when it comes down to it, we love them dearly and want to see them again and again. Noro is like that in the wool world. It has bits of hay and grass still in it from when it was part of a sheep, it runs thick and thin all over the place and is unpredictable. There is always one splash of colour in there that makes me wonder if the dye artist was looking out the window and not paying attention for a minute while choosing colours. It is rough and scratchy until you give it a nice long bath to make it relax and feel bearably soft. I keep thinking I have had enough of working with it but those colours pull me back at least once every year and I am always so happy to knit with it again – and yes, glad to get back to my well behaved and wonderfully soft every day yarns once I am done.
These mitts will go perfectly with the Noro Striped Scarf I made a few years ago. I have dozens of scarves, hats and mittens and this is the first time anything has matched! I knit the mitts at a pretty tight gauge to keep out the wind. They are lined with an alpaca and wool blend so they are incredibly warm as well as soft on the inside.
More pictures, recipes and thoughts to come. Right now I need to bake some cookies to go with the mittens!
I am going to buy a new camera. I don’t enjoy reading food or knitting blogs with no photos so I haven’t been posting and I just realized how long it has been! My daughter has been using the camera a lot for school projects which means that it is either not available or the battery is uncharged with the charger missing.
This past month has been the busiest of the year for knitting, cooking and baking with a little weaving thrown in for last minute Christmas gifts. Hats, mittens, sweaters, scarves, slippers and even candle holders all flew off my needles and looms. Countless cookies and loaves of bread, soups and two full turkey dinners have passed through my kitchen and have helped transform my children into the tall teens that they are all of a sudden.
Now that everyone else is back to work and school it is time for me to plan for the coming year.
- I want to start booking Enjo demos for the rest of the winter and build my amazing team some more.
- I have nearly finished all of the various knitting projects I have stashed around my house and have decided to frog any I am not willing to complete in the next month.
- I knew how to spin as a child and as I have recently acquired a spinning wheel, I intend to learn again. I don’t know if spinning is like riding a bike and it will all come right back to me or if I will be learning all over again. Either way, I can’t wait to get started!
- my daughters have been using my Cricket to weave scarves and I think my youngest is ready to start using the Flip to make whatever strikes her fancy.
- double knitting is next on my list of knitting techniques to learn. I have ordered Lucy Neatby’s double knitting DVD and intend to start learning the day it arrives!
- seeing as how music is my great non-fibre love I am going to work on my technique for playing flute and piccolo. I love to play and will only progress if I challenge myself. I bought “The Art of Playing the Flute” from Jenn Cluff’s website and I am excited to try the advanced exercises and techniques it offers. This should make attending music camp with my kids even more enjoyable this summer!
I will be back once I get the new camera!
Apparently I lost the post that was to accompany the picture of my new mittens! Will try again later.
My task tonight is to come up with a label design for this lovely mountain of yarn I have been dyeing over the past couple of weeks. I also want to make a light box so I can begin taking better photographs. My ipod is great for taking spontaneous photos but it really doesn’t capture colours all that well. Nevertheless, here is one picture just to give you a taste of what I have been up to.
I have learned so much doing this. Now it is time to deliver some of this wooly loveliness to the Old Mill in Paisley for sale and to set up a new shop on Etsy to offer some online. I would love, love, love to do this full time but we’ll see. There are so many independent dyers out there already. If I get a good response to this batch I will take it to the next level. If not, I have lots of pictures to remember what a great time I had this fall!