Gemütlichkeit for Friday | 1.17.20

Gemütlichkeit for Friday | 1.17.20

Winter has returned with a vengeance here in Pittsburgh! Most of the week our temperatures have been in the 50’s and this morning we have a dusting of snow covering that is covering a rather nasty bit of ice and it appears my YakTrax will get their inaugural use today!

If you are heading outside today, I hope you have lots of warm woolens to wear!

And, speaking of woolens – I got the loveliest package from Lerwick yesterday. I was amazed by the heady sheepy aroma of these yarns and this is the first time Sherman has ever been remotely interested in yarn! While that odor might put some off, I love the minimal processing of this yarn. I can feel the lanolin, and this will be a lovely wintery treat to knit with! I am not good at all at putting together colors for colorwork, so I defaulted to the colors that Amy Christoffers used for her Pheasant Pullover. Wow, I am so glad I did! This brown has the most incredible depth! As you can see, swatching has begun and I plan to cast on this weekend!

Do you ever feel “multi-project guilt”? You are not alone and I read the most interesting work around for multi-project rotation this morning – The Gideon Method!

I fell in love with Kristin Drysdale’s Solveig Cardigan both the gorgeous knitting and embroidery and the story behind it… knitting and Edvard Grieg, who knew?! End note… here is one of the loveliest renditions of Solveig’s Song, in case you are interested! This sweater has great potential to be my “summer knitting project”!

And, in case you do not feel the lure of colorwork, and sweater are not your thing… did you see Melanie Berg’s Kleine Schwester – “Little Sister” of Rheinlust?

That is all I have for today – I hope you stay warm and have some knitting to fill your lap! Have a good weekend and I will see you back here next week!

Gemütlichkeit for Friday | 1.17.20

Gemütlichkeit for Friday | 1.10.20

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan… — Christina Rossetti

My return to walking this week truly revealed the wintry bleakness with an added dash of with crazy winds and cold temperatures! I am now a solo walker as my neighborhood walkers have departed for warmer climates – so I am missing Ally the Golden Retriever and Lady Clementine the Bull Mastiff. But that lone walking is good for noticing things! One of those things I noted this week was that some of the trees are heavy laden with the promise of spring! So, as I walked with the winds whipping around me, watching the trees sway wildly – I noticed the branches are full of buds! It was a good reminder that the bleakness will not last forever!

My week was also full of intentional thinking that brought many why questions. The major why of this week was why Instagram? It is a huge time suck. My screen time average shows that I spend almost 2 hours a day scrolling through images there. Yikes. That is a lot of time! So, this week I shut off all notifications for posts and I have stopped posting there for the time being. And, honestly – it has been so hard to not “click into” the app to see what is new there.

I started easing into a podcast this week – NPR’s Up First has been a very easy entry into podcast listening. I have some other things queued up but have yet to listen to any of them.

I also spent some time this week doing something I should have done prior to cutting out my flannel Esme Tunic. I really struggled matching plaids as I shared on Wednesday – but I have since found a YouTube video that showed me the error of my ways. Today I am tracing pattern pieces and I will try matching plaids again next week!

I found a bit of inspiration this week that reminded me that I own patterns I have yet to use…I am very good at buying patterns on sale but not very good at actually using them! However, there will be a quilted Tamarack Jacket in 2020!

I love Steam Valley Lady and Steam Valley Little and if my daughter would wear a sweater, I would knit her and Vivi a matched set!

And, that is all that I have for this week – I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I will see you all back here next week!

Gemütlichkeit for Friday | 1.17.20

Gemütlichkeit for Friday | 1.3.20

Over the past two weeks has had a gang of weekends! Seven of the last 13 days have had a decidedly weekendish feel. One would think that all this weekending would be something to celebrate, but another weekend is upon us and I am feeling a bit “weekended out!” My creature of habit is feeling a bit out of sorts and is longing for the return to the “normal routine” of life.

I am sorely missing Tuesday night knitting, which has been on “holiday hiatus” and I am eager for the return of our regular meeting time next Tuesday!

I also have a pile of sewing I want to get started on next week! And speaking of sewing! One thing I recently discovered was the In The Folds “Learn” page – it is full of extremely detailed help for all sorts of sewing issues that might arise as you are making a garment. I discovered In the Folds through their free patterns, but their helpful tips really break down the sewing process! They send out a weekly newsletter (scroll to the bottom to sign up) and it always includes something very useful!

There was also a bit of temptation on Ravelry this week with Hinterland by Jennifer Steingass! I especially love this version!

And, these mittens look so cozy! (And, they are still on sale today!)

The other thing I have been thinking about is getting back to healthier eating! (i.e. less happy hours and more balanced meal planning!) I found some soup ideas on Pinterest recently and they will be making their way into dinner rotation beginning next week!

That’s all I have for this week – have a great weekend and I will see you all back here on Monday!

Gemütlichkeit for Friday | 1.17.20

Gemütlichkeit for Friday | 12.20.19

Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection. — Winston Churchill

As I write this post, I am watching the gentle fall of snowflakes out my “office” window. Occasionally, the wind swirls them as if my neighborhood is a huge snow globe and as the wind subsides, the flakes swirl lazily until they return to gently float from the grey sky. I am wearing a warm, woolly sweater and I have hand knit socks on my feet while I sip a steaming hot cup of coffee. Life is indeed so very good – I have way more than I need. We do not have money struggles and our big debate is how we should “cut the cable cord” next year – we are fortunate beyond belief.

I have my Christmas gifts wrapped and under the tree. I have done all the baking I intend on doing this year. And, I am really looking forward to Steve being home a couple of extra days for the next two weeks – thanks to the holidays!

AND!! I have selected my word for next year – or rather, I think it selected me!

I am fortunate to return to my “regular knitting because I finished my holiday making with time to spare! Yes, I have settled back into my Evening Dew Cardigan! Each row brings me closer to needing my second ball of mohair silk, which I carefully wound yesterday. There is something quite reflective about hand winding a skein of yarn – you can’t rush it, there is no pause to go do something else – it requires your presence as you wind the yarn into a ball.

Perhaps one of these patterns will inspire you to to wind up some yarn and do some “selfish” knitting for yourself over the coming days! Added bonus, these things are **free** – at least for the next few days!

Isabell Kraemer’s Leni dropped this week and it is a gift from her to us through December 31! From Isabell: “Let me shout out a big THANK YOU for your love, your ongoing support, your trust, your understanding, your patience…for being by my side on this journey…hope you enjoy this little hat pattern!

Kelbourne Woolens December Hat – a free pattern knit up with their Germantown yarn which includes some intricate cabling!

Elizabeth Elliott’s Improvised Stripey Hat a pattern she has worked out for any gauge – designed to use up yarn scraps!

That is all I have for this week – I hope that your weekend is full of wonderful reflection! Happy Hanukkah to my friends who will begin celebrating on Sunday!

Gemütlichkeit for Friday | 1.17.20

Gemütlichkeit for Friday | 12.13.19

Winter is not a season, it’s a celebration. – Anamika Mishra

That is most certainly true…at least at my house in December! I do so love December – even the greyest of days are soothed by the lights on our tree. And that theory was put to the test this week as we had several days of grey, wet skies. The December’s of my childhood were full of grey, snowy days courtesy of the Lake Effect Snow Machine that is Lake Michigan! It’s a true fact that grey, snowy days are brighter than grey, rainy days – also snowy days often brought snow days with a day off from school! I remember celebrating snow days and sledding and making angels in the snow. Simple pleasures that are no longer part of my life, but perhaps they should be! This week the best I could do would be to make “mud angels” in our very soggy back yard thanks to all the rain we have had. Somehow mud angels do not carry the same joyful celebration that snow angels do, and I am so hoping for a white Christmas (which is a rare thing in Pittsburgh!)

Yet, even with this lack of wintry weather, there are things to celebrate. My almost daily walks in the neighborhood are marked by the warmth of the neighbors I meet on those walks! There are lots of dog walkers in my neighborhood, but two are stand outs! Allie – a very friendly Golden Retriever, always runs to greet me with such great joy! Then there is Lady Clementine, a Bull Mastiff, named for Winston Churchill’s wife…I am not kidding you (and honestly, I really wish I was their next-door neighbor!) Anyways, Lady Clementine reminds me of an incredibly oversized Pug and her greetings include some wonderfully wet, sloppy kisses! These neighbors and their dogs make walking – even in the coldest weather – a thing to celebrate!

Is it just me, or does the dry skin arrive earlier and earlier every year? A couple of weeks ago, I treated myself to a little nail repair kit from OPI, which included a bottle of OPI nail and cuticle oil. I have one question… why has no one told me about this product before now?!? I am pretty sure this might be a wonder product! In addition to moisturizing cuticles it also *prolongs* the life of a simple manicure! I am on day 8 of a regular polish (regular as in I do my nails at home) with nary a chip or any peeling! This makes my nails extra celebratory! Ha!

Reading is a constant thing of joy in my life. I do not know what life would be without books (and I never, ever want to know!) But, December is the month of Book Celebration with all the book lists that are everywhere you look! Maureen Corrigan shares her 2019 Favorites that she deems are ‘unputdownable reads!’ There are quite a few new-to-me titles that made it to my read soon list!

Now, how about some celebratory knitting?

Did you all see Jennifer Steingass’s latest design: Brightfeather? Anything with mohair silk is a celebration to knit as well as to wear! The pattern currently has an automatic 30% discount….so what are you waiting for! (FYI, I have one completed mohair silk sweater and it is simply divine to wear!)

If color work does not make you celebrate, this little sweater with lacework is really lovely!

Amy Christoffers piqued my interest earlier this week with this announcement and I have spent a good bit of time checking Ravelry to see if the pattern was available yet! And it finally dropped late yesterday afternoon. The Pheasant Pullover is gorgeous! I love the deep color work! **AND** it is on sale through Monday!

I have been consuming lots of tea in the past two months, enough that I am contemplating a tea pot. A pot of tea is a quiet celebration – one that wafts its steamy aroma about you – one that reminds you to sit down and savor – one that encourages you to linger in that savoring just a bit longer! But, how to keep that pot of tea warm? Why a Tea Cozy, of course! This was trending on Ravelry yesterday. And this also caught my eye! There will absolutely be some tea cozy in my future knitting plans!

Finally, celebration eats!

Carole, this is for you! I found some “slicing brie” at TJ’s and knew I had seen a recipe on Pinterest that included slicing brie and puff pastry, which I almost always have in my freezer! The original recipe included cranberries and pancetta, but bacon and raspberries were great substitutions! I used frozen raspberries from my garden – and less sugar (I used half what the recipe called for) since raspberries are sweeter than cranberries. I also added the juice from a half a lemon. Raspberries need a little help in the pectin department and that little bit of lemon juice helped thicken the “jam” nicely. This was so yummy as were the leftovers which I reheated for about 20 seconds in the microwave.

That is all I have for this week! I hope your weekend has some celebratory moments!

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