Gemütlichkeit for Friday | 12.6.19

Gemütlichkeit for Friday | 12.6.19

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?

Finally, can anything be cozier than hand knit socks? I saw Sivia Harding’s Walking into Winter socks and got a strong case of the “I need to knit these” bad! Of course, all these yarns are just so yummy!

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!

Photo by Lum3n.com from Pexels socks

 

Sometimes Monday | 3.4.19

Sometimes Monday | 3.4.19

Looks like the return of winter!

The bitter cold and inches of snow are messing with my springtime yearning. Although this wintry blast might be the perfect backdrop to my latest listen – South by Sir Ernest Shackleton – it is a riveting listen!

And despite all this winter raging, I know spring is coming so I will be starting some seeds for the garden today.

Roar on winter, you won’t last forever!

Weekending | 1.20.19

Weekending | 1.20.19

Greetings from a sunny but very cold wintry wonderland!

The weekend forecast was the stuff of a weatherperson’s dreams – all the weather in one day so, we braved the crazed “Armageddon” crowds at the grocery store to get a couple of things. Really not the most brilliant thing we’ve ever done, but we did manage to survive.

We thought that trip was a fool’s errand when all the predictions for Saturday just sort of fizzled out. No snow but yes, we got lots of rain and the temperatures stayed well above freezing all day. The rains finally turned to ice and then to snow as our temperatures plummeted to single digits overnight. The arctic blast is indeed upon us!

And, so what do you do with all the weather drama? Well, you make comfort foods (i.e. stuffed acorn squash), drink whiskey, and finish projects!

I did some sewing with really lovely results. I mentioned Fancy Tiger Crafts One-Hour Top a couple of weeks ago and I found some knit fabric on sale at JoAnn’s and in less than an hour I sewed up a muslin from the sale fabric to see how it would fit and what adjustments I might need to make. Yes, less than an hour – including cutting out the pattern in that time! There are just 4 seams and then stitch the neck, sleeves and hem with a double needle, which gives a really lovely and surprisingly easy finish! And, the fit is really wonderful so I have been looking online for more knit fabric to make a couple more shirts!

Steve’s mom loved her Christmas Cowl so much she asked if I could make one for Steve’s dad, which I was happy to do. I finished it on Saturday and delivered it early Sunday morning and just in time for the single digit weather we are going to be having this week!

I blocked Rachel’s Birthday Shawl and got the few ends woven in, and it is all ready to be shipped off to California!

I also finished a pair of handspun socks that were two years in the making! That’s right I bound them off on Sunday morning – I still have ends to weave in but at least they are off the needles!

Inspired by Mary, I cleaned up my Ravelry queue and frogged a few items that just are not going to ever be finished for a variety of reasons. It feels infinitely better looking at my queue now and I even feel energized to get these lingering projects finished! All this work deserved a reward so I cast on a new shawl with a skein of handspun yarn that I found in last weekends organization that I had earmarked for this project!

In the “late to the party” category (and thanks to pneumonia!) I have recently discovered how entirely enjoyable Doctor Who is! I am just starting Season 4 thanks to Sunday’s snow storms and wintry blast! I will just say this; The Doctor is a very good knitting companion!

Steve works tomorrow, no day off for him! But if you do have tomorrow off – I hope you spend a little time thinking about MLK!

What did your weekend hold?

Monday Footwear

Monday Footwear

It was a bitterly cold weekend here in the ‘Burgh and my new slippers came in very handy during the weekend of couch residency with knitting in hand.

I started swatching and I am not certain if I got gauge yet (swatch drying is in process) but I really love the yarn. It is very nice and I think it will be an excellent choice for a sweater – and it is not overly processed and there is a faint sheepy aroma and a slight feel of lanolin which is not at all unpleasant in the knitting process. I am expecting the yarn to bloom considerably in washing so it will be interesting to see how much gauge changes pre-wash and post-washing.

I also got back to sleeves on Rock Island – I got a good bit of it done watching a few episodes of season two of The Man in the High Castle. I was having a bit of a panic about not having enough yarn to finish the sweater, but those fears are subsiding a bit for the moment. I have about 4 inches to go on sleeve one and I think I will easily get sleeve two done with leftovers!

I am finding it a challenge to get back on track with my diet – it seems that a couple of weeks of sugar intake has woken my sweet tooth. I am going to try to ignore the sweet cravings this morning, which should make Monday even more amazing than it usually is!

That is all I have for today – if you are blanketed in snow and bitterly cold weather – stay warm and I hope your Monday is gentle! Mine should be – at least I am appropriately attired for it!

How was your weekend?

Seeking Light

Seeking Light

It’s Day 19 of Sprite Write’s Virtual Advent Tour and today I am thinking about light! Especially as we are drawing near to Winter Solstice which will usher in the gradual return of light!

There is no shortage of light at my house – the tree has a myriad of lights, the little houses on the mantle cast a warm glow as well.

Candles flicker all over and there are even lights outside that add our bit of cheer to the neighborhood!

However, some days even all that does not seem enough. They cobbled our furnace together with the promise of a return date of Saturday to finish the work (apparently installing a new furnace is not an easy thing to do…) when the weather vetoed that idea.

Ice Storm + power outage = no heat and no furnace crew. However, the ice did provide a lovely, if albeit dangerous view. Everything seemed to be encased in light!

I am thankful for a battery-operated light and a very good book to while away the 6 plus hours of no power.

Yesterday, they were here most of the day working and of course they are not done and won’t be until tomorrow – but at least we have heat in the interim!

Today the Electoral College votes and I wish I could say this would be an enlightening process. But, I did manage to find some enlightenment in history today:

Today in 1776 Thomas Paine published his 1st “American Crisis” essay, which included these much-needed words: “These are the times that try men’s souls” – yes, indeed they are!

In 1932 the British Broadcasting Corp began transmitting overseas. I am sure this was as significant then as it is today. I appreciate the BBC and their unflagging determination to report the news without bias every single day.

And, in 1958 the 1st radio broadcast from outer space transmitted to Earth via a short-wave frequency President Eisenhower said, This is the President of the United States speaking. Through the marvels of scientific advance, my voice is coming to you from a satellite circling in outer space. Through this unique means I convey to you and to all mankind, America’s wish for Peace on Earth and Good Will to Men Everywhere.” While the satellite was short-lived, the message certainly is not. Those words give me hope as Christmas draws near and I will be doing my part today as I knit my Peace Cowl and I send you all good will from my little corner of the world where the lights shine brightly and the door is open!

Happy Monday everyone!

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