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Well Christmas is now passed and with it the long anticipated good will, cheerful lights, caroling, and presents.
We had a bit of a roller coaster for the holidays. Two cars breaking down, unexpected expenditures, and hectic work schedules made things difficult for a few days there. My Guy and I have already decided on a few activities that we want to be traditions in our home each Christmas; however the sad truth is that we were unable to do 75% of them this year.
Last year during this time, My Guy were so excited to be together for our first Christmas as boyfriend and girlfriend and we put aside a lot of time to spend together. We walked down Peacock Lane giggling and kissing beneath the festive Christmas lights of the houses, we went to the zoo lights twice and huddled close together in the frigid cold, we drove around and looked at neighborhood lights and sang carols with each other, we cut down our own Christmas tree, watched Christmas movies until we were sick of them, and on Christmas Eve we went antiquing and bought the first building for our Christmas village.
This year we were blessed to have an amazing Christmas tree cutting day and I must say it was even better then last year.
Then life got in the way and the next thing we knew it was the week of Christmas and we hadn’t watched any Christmas movies, gone on any drives, or attended the zoo lights. We found time to squeeze in “White Christmas” and “National Lampoon Christmas Vacation,” and finally attended zoo lights w days before the holiday. Christmas was…rushed.
Then the cars broke down and packages went missing through the postal service. Tensions ran high between us and we struggled on Christmas Eve a bit when we realized we just couldn’t go antiquing that day due to prearranged family time.
But the spirit of love, understanding, acceptance, and honestly Christmas Cheer won out in the end. We laughed and loved with our family and though, in the back of our minds, we worried about how the car was going to get paid for, we were able to be present with our loved ones and enjoy our first Christmas as a married couple.
Christmas Day was honestly magical. As Christmas was on a Sunday this year, we got up and attended church. We were a tad different then others attending though. My husband is not a member of a church and he is striving to support my journey, as well as take steps in his own, and so he attended with me. However we did not realize that his Sunday clothes were dirty until to late and so he had nothing to wear. So we donned the pj’s we gave each other the night before and giggled like school children as we sat in the back of the chapel, wondering what the reaction would be. There was none. my husband later told me that he was surprised that we did not get reprimanded by other members as traditionally my church stresses proper Sunday attire as a means of reverencing Heavenly Father.
I was not surprised however. I knew that those Christians around me, though I did not know their names, were happy to see us there that day. We could have appeared in rags and we still would have been welcomed with open arms.
That event set the tone for the rest of the day. We returned home and took turns eating the simple lunch I had premade, opening our stockings and gifts, and cuddling together with the pup on the couch.
I’ll admit I like my Christmas presents, and My Guy is a very good giver ;). I cried when I opened my Fitbit Charge 2, and the necklace he designed with the jewelry store where we got our wedding rings. Each item was so thought out it left me breathless.
Chris laughed over the practical gifts I gave him of travel klenox and socks, until he opened his big present, then he was shouting he was so excited. I got him an Inversion Table. He has wanted one for years as he has significant problems with his back, and I was able to find one that supported his weight and needs.
We spent the afternoon putting our gifts together (he put them together while I winded yarn for a Christmas Day cast on), and while I made dinner Chris took his inversion table for a test ride. Man that thing is trippy!
So why did I write all this? I think it’s because I needed to write the sequence of events down to finally get it out of my system. I also think its reminding me that, as they say in the song “All you need is Love.” My Guy may give me all the gifts in the world, but as I watched him hanging upside down on that inversion table that evening, my heart swelled with love as I knew that the greatest gift he ever gave me was….himself.
- I have all 24 days of my 24 days of sock ornaments done! I used a free pattern off of Raevelry : Mini Christmas Stocking Ornaments by Julie Williams Go to my project page for a listing of all the yarns I am using on this one 🙂 I will admit that I doubt I will ever have the stamina to do this type of project again, but I am grateful that I did it.
- I finished my Ho, Ho, Ho, socks on Christmas afternoon. I was frustrated earlier in the week as I knew I was not going to be able to finish them in time, however it was so peaceful kitchnering the toe as I watch My Guy putting together his present. This pair is a no pattern socks knit cuff down, 60sts on size 1 US needles using Gale’s Art sock blank in the “Christmas Tree” colorway. I don’t think I’ll be using a sock blank again anytime soon, the yarn was to fiddly for ease of knitting like I need when knitting in the dark, or watching a movie.
- I also sewed two blankets up this Christmas. Each year I have a goal of making at least one thing for my guy that is handmade. Last year I knit us matching Stockings. This year I guess you could say the advent calendar was for him as he asked me to do it but I already had plans to sew him a blanket instead.
- I secretly sewed a fleece blanket for my guy over the last month. I got the fleece on Black Friday from JoAnns and have been working on it here and there until I finally finished it the week before Christmas. Now the edges are wavy, it is not square, and I had to compromise right and left as I did not have enough fabric to do what I had planned to do. But he loves it and has used it every night since then.
- I also sewed up Watson a doggy blanket from fleece I bought on that same Black Friday excursion. I wanted this blanket to be something for the car for him to wrap up in and keep warm on our long country road drives. Instead we have used it every night at bedtime. He appears to love cuddling up underneath it at the foot of the bed. I have other blankets I have made in the car and this is working out so well I think I will let things be for now.
- On Christmas Day I cast on for a hat for myself. I’ve never knit myself a hat, feeling like I never looked good in them. However lately I have been noticing that I like the way I look in the one knitted hat I own, which was knit by one of my very dearest friends, so why not try knitting one for myself? So I cast on the Jella Hat which I have had in my library for awhile now and have longed to cast on. The yarns I am using are: Dancing Dog Dyworks in the Sugar Plum Fairy Colorway and the Twist Sock Plus base and Tumbleweed yarn in the Acapulco Lite colorway on the Aubrey-fingering weight base. Though I struggled the first day: casting on two different times, and twisting my work both times, when I came back to it the day after Christmas I recast it on in the quiet of the morning and the yarn and needles just sang together. I am obsessed with this knit! I love the way the colors interact with each other, the different yarn bases play gleefully together, and I regret each time I have to set this down to attend to everyday life. I am surprised I am not done with it yet lol! I’ve been thinking that if I have enough yarn I might try casting on a cowl using the leftovers and the stitch used in the band portion!
- I don’t think I’ve touched my husbands “by the bed socks” since I last recorded, however as a reminder: I am using 54 stitches and a 1.25 mm needle. Yarn is Online Supersocke in the Vorias colorway. Now Ravelry is a tad confusing when it comes to this company and the notes there state that this line is discontinued. I am not sure if that is true but it is a wonderful base and so I may snag a few more balls before they are gone. I have decided to rip back the heel flap I knit and to knit the Fish Lips Kiss Heal. I have an idea for the top of the sock that should fix the high arch issue and will report back on that as I go. Also I learned that my husband really needs me to knit toe up socks for him and the cast on for the top down is to tight to go over his ankle comfortably. I plan on doing that on the second sock.
- I have not touched my Pure Joy Shawl by Joji Locatelli either. I am not sure it is bringing me joy. However I intend to work on it some this weekend and if I still feel the way I do now I will RIP it our and use that yarn for another project. I am using one of my favorite yarns Ella Rea Lace Marino Fingering in colorways LM-56 and LM-67 which are these gorgeous peachy pink and navy blue colors.
In the ToolBox
Well I got quite the yarn haul for Christmas this year! A few days before Christmas my pre order from Dancing Dog Dyeworks arrived in the mail, and then my husband took me yarn shopping as he wanted to get me some but was to nervous to buy anything without me…lol silly man 🙂 So what are the details you ask????
- I got my first ever skein of Dancing Dog Dyeworks in the Sugar Plum Fairy colorway (I mentioned this in the above section as I am using it already lol).
- Madelintosh in the stargazing colorway and he Twist light base
- Madelintosh in the Outlander colorway and he Twist light base
- 4 different colorways of the knitted Wit on her smarties base (minis)
- Study Hau (highlighter yellow)
- Turks & Caicos (turquoise blue)
- Purple (purple lol)
- Key Lime Pie (Lime Green)
- I also picked up a pair of Knitters pride DPN on size US 1 for socks!
- In addition to all this my best friend sent me a series of patterns for my Christmas present via Ravelry and I am giddy with excitement!
- Nutmeg from Ágnes Kutas Knitwear Design. I LOVE this shawl!!!!
- Curling Tendril from Stick Chick Knits Designs. Thus the reason for the DPN purchase – the pattern highly recommends them due to the winding stitch pattern. and
- Portage from Melissa Schaschwary Designs. Yet another sweater that I am breathless to cast on (plus I know just the yarn I want to use from stash but more on that later when I actually cast it on).
We haven’t had this in a very long while have we? This may continue to pop up randomly this next year.
As 2016 winds to a close I have been contemplating what I want to focus my energies on in 2017. As I have thought I realized that the last 5 months have been stressful and out of the ordinary. As a result my mind has been everywhere and nowhere at the same time. I have struggled to place my energy on one thing, instead flitting form task to task like a butterfly, but never actually accomplishing anything, or even able to remember exactly what I was doing at the last “flower” I was at.
With this in mind I began contemplating the idea od mindfulness. I would love to live a mindful life, however I feel that I need to take many, many baby steps before I reach that pinnacle and I am not in a place where I can demand that level of commitment from myself.
To that end I have dedicated 2017 to living intentionally. I have written a blog post outlining some of my preliminary thoughts around what that means so I won’t belabor the point here. I’ll just state that I am excited to focus my efforts, and to re orient myself and my energies this coming year.
I will be taking a topic each month and contemplating what that looks like in my life, experimenting with activities, organizing, and studying each topic and what it means for me to be intentional in my actions and thoughts.
I hope you will join me on this ride.