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!”
Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home. — Edith Sitwell
Sometimes English is, well, so lacking. Other languages have words that are just so more descriptive of conveying something deeper. Gemütlichkeit is one of those words – it is sort of the German equivalent of Hygge. The word reminds me of the feeling that would wash over me when I went to my Nana’s house: cozy and inviting, there was always something good to eat, it was full of love and listening ears – a safe, warm, welcoming place! And with those thoughts in mind, gemütlichkeit seems the perfect word for where I want to go on Friday’s… at least for the winter season!
It feels like we are racing into winter with these dark, cold days. It is so easy to wish the season away, longing for sunnier, warmer weather. But perhaps in the wishing the season away, I am missing the quiet, dark beauty that is unfolding around me.
So welcome to Gemütlichkeit for Friday’s! Grab a cuppa and let’s get started!
First, perhaps you are wondering how to pronounce gemütlichkeit… wonder no longer:
Yes, it’s a mouthful, but say it a few times and it really rolls off your tongue!
How about some knitting? I might be heading off to Ravelry shortly to see what *other* slippers I might find. I am on the “edge” of admitting defeat with these babies. I have knit one slipper unsuccessfully twice! I am giving it one more try this morning using German short-rows instead of the prescribed W&T method with the hopes that in doing that the gemütlichkeit will radiate from these slippers and the stitches will be knit with love rather than the frustration and bad language that filled previous two attempts!
I am a year around wool-knitter, but this time of year it is especially nice to fill your lap with some cozy knitting. And, in case you are looking for some cozy knitting to fill your lap with I found some things on Ravelry that scream cozy! First up, an “oldie” but so much goodness: Anne Hanson’s Cluaranach! I have knit Cluraranach and it is my go-to winter wrap. Bonus points for filling your lap quickly as this really is an easy and fast knit!
Next up are a few things that have been on my radar for a while! Love Note, Savage Heart Cardigan, and Felix (or Felix Cardigan). A lap full of a cardigan is the coziest thing ever – and these are some quick, cozy knits! The gemütlichkeit practically oozes from these beauties, amirite?
A couple of years ago, I put up fairy lights in January to help those dark winter nights. But last year I left them up – little bits of light certainly help ease the dark winter nights and they are also nice on warm summer nights! I have a strand of them on the mantle, but my favorite way I am using them is in this pitcher! It is the nicest “light” and gives off the coziest glow. For the holidays I have added a few Christmas baubles.
It can become challenging to keep Friday Night Snacks from feeling rote so when I saw this recipe in a Smitten Kitchen email I thought it would be the perfect wintry addition! I love the idea of serving them warm as well – the perfect cozy addition to our Friday table!
Finally, for all of us who *don’t* wash our hair every day – the morning bed head blues can be challenging – no? I have tried dozens of tips and tricks but this little twitter thread yesterday was a new one! I gave it a trial run last night and this morning my bed head blues were somehow transformed into an ode to joy! I am going to give this a few more tries to validate the results – but holy cow peeps! It was exactly as the tweeter described – “a shield against the next 8 hours…It’s like pressing pause on your hair…”
I wish you all a weekend full of Gemütlichkeit and I will you back here on Monday!
The last Friday before Thanksgiving looms large in my house. While I did pretty good at checking off most of my list, I did not quite get everything crossed off…Refrigerator, I am looking at you! But a rainy Friday and an engaging audio book will help me get it cleaned out this morning! (Proof on Monday, I promise!)
(sort of) Tiny Gnomes –
My Gnome knitting is completed and delivered! The hat was absolutely the fussiest part of the entire thing. But he is so cute, and Steve’s mom loved this new addition to her collection!
Yes, I am making progress in my other knitting project(s)! I have finally reached the point of joining the fronts and back of Evening Dew!! AND, I have the heel flap *almost* done on sock one of those Gift Socks!
IN love –
I had been thinking that this “half-hat” would be perfect, but then I saw this in the first Making Winter! I have yarn that will work, and my subscription has been renewed (just this morning!) Entrelac vs Colorwork… it seemed an easy choice! PLUS!! Making Winter is full of more lovely little things that could keep me busy the entire winter season and beyond!
Fiona and the Women –
I have been watching the impeachment hearings faithfully, and while I have been so impressed and comforted at the steady, hard-working, doing the right thing career government employees, Dr. Fiona Hill really was something to behold. I have a bit of a fan-girl crush on her – she is incredibly well-spoken, smarter than everyone in the hearing room, and with incredible recall. She has attained Superhero status in my book!
And adding to all my joy over Dr. Hill – did you catch the debate on Wednesday night? There were more women than men on the stage! Of the 14 on stage, there were 8 women including the 4 moderators. IMO, it was the best debate thus far. And, I am thinking this morning how much better everything would be if smart women were in charge.
And, that is all I have for this week! I hope you all have a great weekend and I will see you all back here on Monday!
You can’t promote principled anti-corruption action without pissing off corrupt people. – George P. Kent, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs
In my opinion, this was the best quote of the week. Bravo to Mr. Kent for saying it and it is certainly true!
Now, how about a quick TGIF and then… let the weekend begin!
Tenacious Knitting –
I thought I was fairly focused in my knitting this week…so focused that I feel like I should have both shoulders done! BUT!! I had a brief set back in which I had to rip out the left shoulder of my Evening Dew cardigan because I should have been knitting the right shoulder!! One would think that at my age I would know right from left, but apparently not… Anyways, the right shoulder is now finished (with the right chart!!) and the left shoulder was begun last night – with the left chart!
I had hoped to maintain a gratitude list on IG which lasted for all of one day. It has been a tough week here and I am thankful for blogging friends, especially Carole, who brought gratitude reminders back into focus for me. I also realized that posting an image does not mean there was nothing to be grateful about. And, in a tough week I revisited Michelle’s prompt for seeking gratitude when sidetracked and specifically this Gilbert K. Chesterton quote: When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude. I am working hard on taking them with gratitude, but it is a work in progress – truly.
Ignoring the Impulse –
I have had some yarns sitting in a cart all week as I think about those sweaters from last week! I have been very good at ignoring the impulse to purchase said yarn. Part of my success is that while I would love a red sweater for Christmas – the voice of reason tells me that will not happen this year. And purchasing yarn for a sweater for next Christmas does not have the same feelings of urgency.
Festive Prep Plans –
I have been listening to bursts of holiday music (except when Steve has been home, because he is the Penultimate Grinch about all things Christmas – especially music!) I also heard Mother Nature loud and clear this week with her Winter Weather Warning! This weekend my plans are to get out those holiday lights and have them festively adorning our bushes, ready and waiting for the time when Steve deems it okay to turn them on!
And that is all I have for the week! I hope your weekend is full of all good things and that Monday takes her sweet time in getting here!
I am really trying to ignore how rapidly the days are racing past. However, doing that with any success has been an abject failure. I did, however, finish Rachel’s Velvet-y Cowl last night. I have more than enough yarn left to make a “Mini-Velvet-y Cowl” for Vivi, so this obsession with velvet yarn is not over yet…
Tempted By –
Is it just me, or has Ravelry been an instrument of incredible temptation recently?
Temptation Number Two: A Rav ad for Delicious Toast also caught my eye… the details are so lovely!
Temptation Number Three: (which I am about to give in to!) Oh, Gnome, You Didn’t Steve’s mom loves gnomes and has quite a collection of them and this little fellow would be a cute addition! Plus, she watched Sherman for us on Tuesday, so I will be casting this on shortly as a tiny little thank you to her!
Temptation Number Four:Cellophane Flowers makes me want to drop everything, buy some speckled yarn, and CAST ON!!
Temptation Number Five:ADVENTuresome Wrap – yes, this pattern from Ambah O’Brien has been rattling around my brain – I have a good amount of Koigu that I think will work, I’d just need to get a skein of something to use for the main color!
Grateful Gratitude –
I have spent the week immersed in gratitude thanks to Michelle. I have thought about opening my eyes to notice gratitude. I have reveled in the wonder of gratitude. I have taken note of the things I take for granted. I have celebrated those slivers of joy that are a steady thread though my days. And finally, today I will think about gratitude that exists inside those difficult times. This week was very much needed in my life, and I plan to continue to seek out gratitude as the month continues. It is amazing how seeking out gratitude alters your entire outlook for everything!
It’s Old Fashioned Week –
Yes, indeed! And, this is the perfect day to celebrate that! I will be mixing up a special simple syrup to make an autumn-inspired Old Fashioned for tonight’s happy hour!
Finally, let the weekend begin –
Tomorrow is the fall Pittsburgh Vintage Mixer! It is on the North Shore versus in Lawrenceville and I have my fingers crossed that we will be heading off to wander and look at all the treasures! PLUS, a North Shore visit on a weekend that there is no Pitt game means that I might even be able to convince Steve that lunch at Southern Tier Brewing is in order!
That is all I have for this week, what are your TGIF thoughts for today?