Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Wonderful Life

I know I'm not alone in being passionate about It's a Wonderful life.  Well, tis the season to watch one of my favorite movies of all time!  Coincidentally, yesterday's meditation in the Magnificat was this slice of Frank Capra's autobiography.  Just like the movie, it's poignant and profound:

This life is not playtime.  It's sometimes painful, lonely, and confusing.  But there is a purpose to each of our lives.  This dignity and value of each human life is affirmed in It's a Wonderful Life.  And that's why I love it!

I finally finished Theresa's Christmas mittens last week.  Here they are, on my beautiful daughter's hands:

Rogaland Mittens in Rowan Felted Tweed

Monday, December 3, 2012

First Sunday of Advent

The first candle of the Advent wreath has been lit!  Advent has officially begun.  My theme for this Advent (inspired by Father's words at mass yesterday) is "Out of Darkness, into His Marvelous Light!" 

It feels like there's been a lot of darkness this year, both in my life and the lives of my friends.  It sounds cliche to say, but I've seen my friends being pretty heroic in the midst of suffering and strife.  And I've seen first hand that "God makes all things work for the good for those who love Him!"  So, I will continue to have hope and look forward to Christ's coming!

As previously mentioned, tis the season to knit Advent Calendar Scarves (even if our other Christmas knitting isn't finished).  I'm working on Day 3, but here's Day 2:

And then I decided that Day 2 was too beautiful to be so short.  So I worked out the chart for the next 8 rows (believe it or not, it was a tad tricky and I felt pretty clever!) and here it is with all 24 rows of Day 2:

Day 2 of my 2012 Advent Calendar Scarf in Madelinetosh Prairie, Tart

Saturday, November 24, 2012

First Snow of the Year

Thanksgiving weekend and we've finally gotten our first snow of the season!  Just a dusting, but it is blustery and cold!  It's mitten weather!

I've been uncharacteristically firm this year and have not given the kids their Christmas presents as soon as they were off the knitting needles.  Since they're all receiving mittens, that means they will have cold hands for a few more weeks!  Poor dears!

I'm working on Theresa's mittens right now, but I thought I'd show you Rebekah's.  They are alpaca and amazingly soft and snugly!

Mittens in Ultra Alpaca Light

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Virtual Retreat

This week I am on virtual retreat.  What does that mean?  Well, it means that I'm doing what I normally do when life gets rough.  I'm knitting and spending time on Ravelry.  Actually, this week I'm retreating with the Stash Knit Down group.  The Black Sheep Virtual Retreat is for all of us who wish to avoid holiday shopping madness this week by relaxing at home with our knitting.  Black Friday/Black Sheep.  Cute, eh?

Looks comfy and snugly  right?  Um... knitting in bed is fine for about a half an hour, then the part of me that does the sitting gets very uncomfortable and I have to get up!

I'm knitting a Christmas stocking for Spencer this week.  He's the last of the kids to get one.  This is partially due to the fact that last year when I was making most of them, he requested a stocking knit with Barcelona colors.  I decided to wait till that phase was over!

After three days, it still doesn't look like much, but it's getting there!  I dyed the green and the gold yarns and they came out just right.  Hooray!  The capital S looks weird because I hadn't finished the top and bottom.  I used duplicate stitch on those bits later so I wouldn't have to strand the white all the way around the stocking on those rows.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Delicate Beauty

Well, it's nearly that time of year again!  Shopping? Decorating? Baking?  No, silly!  Knitting the Advent Calendar Scarf!  It's more fun, and the calm and quiet is better suited to the spiritually reflective aspect of Advent!

The designer's name is Kristin Benecken and this is the third year that she has designed a scarf and organized a knit-along group.  The group has people from all over the world and the excitement and anticipation are tremendous!  I hear you non-knitters laughing, but it's true!  

Motivated by the coming knit-along, I finally finished my 2010 Advent scarf.  I started it last November while waiting for the 2011 knit-along to begin.  Well, here she is and she takes my breath away!

Delicate Beauty: The 2010 Advent Calendar Scarf knit in Alpaca With a Twist Fino

This week I'll be knitting Christmas presents like mad to be ready to start the 2012 scarf. I have my yarn and beads all ready!
Madelinetosh Prairie yarn in colorway Tart.  The beads are Miyuki 8/0 Opaque Black Delicas.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

No Fear

It's a beautiful autumn Saturday here, which means everyone is outside and it's quiet indoors!  sigh of relief

As I said on Tuesday, I've been reading the "Direction For Our Times" booklets a lot lately.  This has been a very challenging year for me, and these little messages have been encouraging and hopeful.  They are free at directionforourtimes.org and I encourage everyone to take advantage of them!

Today I've been rereading the booklet on depression.  Here's a quote: " Do not be afraid...If you look at your situation and view it as heaven views it, you will understand that there is nothing on the earth that should make you fearful."  This goes hand-in-hand with my theme for the year: Hope and Be Not Afraid!  Several times in this particular booklet St. Dymphna speaks of the importance of exchanging earthly eyes for heavenly eyes.  This is my prayer, that I will allow the Holy Spirit to give me His perspective!

Here are a couple of pictures of the gloves that I'm making for Christopher this month.  One down, one to go!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Finished Tim's MIttens

Hello, all!  Life is busy here with fall activities and craziness!  I managed to finish Tim's mittens, though!  I've also been reading and reflecting on several of the "Direction For Our Times" booklets.  If I can squeeze in a few blogging minutes tomorrow, I'll try to share some inspiring and hopefully coherent thoughts!

Tim's Mittens in Cascade 220 Fingering Weight

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

August Knitting

Oh my gosh, has it been a month already?  August just flew by!  I had planned on making my next post  a really cool reflection on all of my favorite Magnificat meditations from the year so far.  All I can say is, I've been recovering from the shock of having a house-full of kids again after a very quiet summer!

My oldest daughter is home again and she's an avid knitter, so we've had some enjoyable knitting time together, both of us making Norwegian-style mittens.  Here's the first of a pair that I'm knitting for a Christmas present:
4. Herrevott from Selbustrikk in Cascade 220 Fingering

If there are any mitten-knitters reading this, we have a September knitting challenge with a prize in the Ravelry group "I Make Mittens."  Join us!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


As promised, I will talk about something besides knitting today!  I've been eating mostly raw this summer. By "mostly" I mean over 50% but not close enough to 90% for me to be feeling as good as I'd like.  I've recently been inspired by Cherie Calbom's book The Juice Lady's Turbo Diet.  So, as John Pinette says, "I'm Juicing!" 

This morning I made the Have a Great Day Cocktail on page 162.  It was great; it's similar to the basic Green Lemonade in Raw Food Detox Diet, a nice basic green juice.  I always feel so energized and alive after a glass of fresh green juice!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Another Favorite Mitten

I know that I've been shockingly neglectful of the Raw and Catholic parts of my blog, but it's so much easier to jot a few quick words and photos about knitting than to collect my thoughts on faith and food.  Well, the food shouldn't be that complicated, assuming I'm being a good little raw-vegan.  I promise to reflect and write about something more important than mittens!

Speaking of mittens, here's another favorite from this year.  I was so pleased with how Spencer's birthday mittens came out that I knit another pair, but used a heart design chart from the same Rauma book.  There are so many little ends to weave-in and fiddly bits to sew up, but they're worth it, I think!

Kjærestevotter (Sweetheart Mittens) in 3 ply Strikkegarn

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Helianthus Mittenus

I've had a lot of fun knitting mittens this year and the "Helianthus Mittenus" pattern tops my list of favorites.  This was my first time using Rauma Finullgarn and I was not disappointed.  Norwegian yarns are like no other!  I'm hooked on Rauma!  For more information and lots of friendly help, Debbie at Nordic Fiber Arts in New Hampshire is the best!
This pattern fits my hands perfectly and thanks to the thumb gusset, the mittens look great, no stretching of the stitches around the thumbs.
Helianthus Mittenus in Rauma Finullgarn

Saturday, August 4, 2012

More Mittens

As the New Year continued, I knit more mittens for the 12 Pairs of Mittens in 2012 Challenge.  A pattern that I had been admiring for a while was the Peerie Flooers.  Well, I started a Knit-Along in February in order to have companions in knitting the pattern, but there wasn't a whole lot of interest.  I kept knitting and posting my progress photos on Ravelry, but I re-worked the whole chart for the mittens.  Now, many months later, I'm still trying to motivate myself to weave-in all of those pesky ends and knit the thumbs!!!

Peerie Flooers in Rowan Yorkshire Tweed

Friday, August 3, 2012

Hippocampus in Chroma

Since I've been away from blogging for more than half the year, I have plenty of knitted things to share.  I'm participating in a challenge to knit 12 pairs of mittens in 2012.  I started off the year with great enthusiasm.  My first pair of mittens was the Hippocampus Mittens.  Unfortunately, I started them a few days before the New Year, so they don't count toward the challenge.  Or only one of them counts?  Also, they came out too small for me, so I gave them to Sarah.  The first time she wore them in the snow, they got really fuzzy and worn-looking.  So, if anyone is looking at the Knit Picks Chroma  in fingering weight, be warned!  It's not very hard-wearing.
Hippocampus Mittens in Knit Picks Chroma

Thursday, August 2, 2012

August and I'm Back!

It's apparent to me why the Spirit inspired me to choose "Hope and Be Not Afraid" for my theme for the year.  It's been one of the most challenging and painful years of my life, hence the abandonment of my blog.  I am alive, though!  And I've been continually working on remaining hopeful and not afraid.  One thing about suffering, it brings me to my knees like nothing else!
On the lighter side, I was able to continue knitting through the chaos and the pain.  For a while, all I could knit was dishcloths:

Mindless Dishcloths

I was, previous to life blowing-up in my face, a bit of a knitting snob.  I thought that knitting dishcloths was dumb and I was sure I would never do it.  Never say, "Never!"  I now see the value of knitting little colorful squares over and over again.  It was therapeutic.  I even started teaching a little group of women at my church  how to knit them.

One of my favorite projects from the year, so far:

Fingerless gloves with Finger Cover
These were a heck of a lot of fun to knit.  For anyone interested, the pattern is from Rauma LVS-3, Oppskrifter på Luer, Votter og Strømper

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Year of Hope and Joy

Happy New Year!
Instead of making resolutions, I have chosen a theme for the year:
Hope!  Be Not Afraid!
I do resolve to be more faithful to my daily prayer time.
Well, the holidays were crazy, but good.  Lots of time with the people I love.  I did finish my first Advent Scarf and I did finish knitting the Christmas stockings.  Let's see if I can find a decent picture.  Santa brought me lots of goodies, but no camera.  So we're using an old hand-me-down camera.  Seriously fuzzy photos!
This is Christopher's Stocking when it was about half done. 

First Advent Scarf on the blocking board.  You really can't see anything of the patterns and the color is completely off, but you can tell that I knit a long lacy scarf! ♥
Many New Year Blessings to you all!