Wovember Day 27: Transform

Today’s prompt is transform.

I am slowly transforming this Coopworth fleece into yarn with my drop spindle. I do this when I need to be active in my office while at work. Moving around helps my brain work more better.

Right now I’m sitting in the car, waiting for it to warm up so I can head to our local store for work.

Welcome Old Man Winter! Glad I have my wool to keep me warm.

wovember 2018, Day 26

I’ve noticed Daughter of a Shepherd sharing #wovember2018 posts on Instagram. I didn’t realize it was something anyone could do.

Today I joined in with pics of the oldest wool thing I own: my Mother’s boiled wool coat:

I also have a mohair shawl, cashmere sweater, and tartan scarf and tam of hers:

I believe these are all from around the same period, early 1960’s?

I have worn all of these things from time to time. The boiled wool coat is gorgeous and comes in handy on below zero days, but we don’t get too many of those.

I wore the sweater in the 1980’s when the 1950’s were back in for a bit. We used to have 1950’s dress up days, and I would wear this sweater with a pencil skirt and a black beret, and go as a Beatnik.

Both the coat and sweater are too small for me now. I can wear the coat, but the shoulders are tight.

I think I wore the shawl once when I lived in San Diego in the 1990’s, but the mohair is so itchy, I never liked it. But it is beautiful to look at. You can see how fine and sheer the fiber is woven.

I wore the scarf a lot in high school, and there is red spray paint on it from when we painted the streets my senior year. (Yes, that’s something they used to let you do.)

I can’t find the tam for a photo, but I never wore it as it is very sit atop the head with a big pom on top type of tam. I have often joked that if I learned to play golf, I would wear that tam.

All of these treasures are beginning to look a little shabby, truth be told. I should probably wrap them up carefully in tissue and put them in my cedar-lined drawers.

Are you participating in wovember2018? Do you have any favorite wool heirlooms?

Gluten-Free Gingerbread

This year I adjusted our gingerbread recipe so I’m going to post it here.

Cream:

3/4 cup coconut oil

with

2/3 cup blackstrap molasses

1/3 cup sorghum

(You can use all molasses.)

Add:

1/2 cup whole cane sugar

1 egg

Mix well.

Sift together:

4 cups gluten-free flour mix

(I added brown rice, tapioca, and sorghum flours to my regular mix.)

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons ground ginger

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 tablespoon ground cloves

(We like our gingerbread cookies really spicy. Also, look for fair trade spices, coconut oil, sugar and molasses.)

Add dry mixture to wet and mix well. While mixing, add hot water one tablespoon at a time until dough is no longer crumbly. (I added three tablespoons.)

Refrigerate until stiff, 2-3 hours.

Roll out to 1/4″ thick and cut into shapes.

Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.

Makes a lot of cookies.

I mixed butter, powdered sugar, milk, and meringue powder for the frosting and decorated with candies. Look at these holiday candies I found at World Market this year!

They don’t break your teeth either. They have the consistency of, and taste like, a fun dip stick, according to Hans.

Carbeth

I finally cast on Kate Davies’ Carbeth in the red Targhee wool from Yarndaze. I decided I want to finish it before Christmas because it’s a gorgeous holiday red. I hear it’s a quick knit.

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. We had a full house here, with lots of food, family, and friends. I had such a good time I forgot to take photos. We played a fun but morbid game called Gloom.

I’ve been working the last two days, but I am looking forward to a fall hike today, and baking and decorating gingerbread cookies with my youngest. It’s one of our traditions.

Thanksgiving Eve Cast On

I cast on the Goats of Inversnaid hat today in Milarrochy Tweed. I’m making it for my youngest son, Hans, hopefully for Christmas. I chose Bruce (black), Hirst (oatmeal), and Ardlui (blue) for the contrasting rib. I think these are colors he likes to wear. Like me (and my other boys) he likes his wardrobe to be subdued. But that subtle pop of blue on the ribbing will match his eyes.

Do you like my little bag? I made it some years ago with a remnant from my Grandmother’s stash. I love the mod apples. 1960’s or 70’s, do you think?

Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Bob is busy cooking. I did my part. I made the cranberry sauce from scratch.

I also have some festive new nails.

Shiny!

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, if you are celebrating. I am thankful we will have a full house tomorrow, to Bob for cooking, and to you for reading my blog. 😊

These Long Dark Nights

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My Christmas Cactus is blooming, and I didn’t starve it of light this year. I moved it from the kitchen to my office, and fed it. I so much prefer this to punishing it in the coal chute. (We live in an old house with a basement that has a root cellar, which used to be a coal chute back when people used coal to heat their homes.)

Sometimes I think we do things that aren’t necessary because it was done once and we got the result we wanted, so our proven scientific method becomes the norm and the expert opinion. When, really, we could take a different path and get the same result.

We’ve had our first snowfall today, just a sprinkle. I’m trying to decide if I should go for a walk in it. I would, but I went on a six mile hike on Sunday, and my body is still recovering. I may do some yoga instead.

Look at this gorgeous pattern on Ravelry:

norrland

(Photo copyright Crissy Jarvis. I hope it’s okay for me to post as long as I give credit.)

I’m in love with this pattern. I can’t decide if I want to knit it, though. I love the finished product, but will I enjoy the process? I didn’t used to ask myself these questions, but as a more seasoned knitter, now I know what I am willing to suffer for the final result.  I will think about it.

The days are getting shorter and I get to enjoy more of my favorite time of the day, which is twilight. I love early morning twilight best, because I’m a morning person. I still love the evening twilight, but that’s when I start to get sleepy. I find twilight beautiful and quiet, and I think I blogged about this last year when I started that bobbledy tam in the in-between twilighty color of St. Claire. I decided to rip out the yarn and save it for a cowl that I hope may be inspired by our meandering walk on a mountain biking trail on Sunday.

I wish I were a better Raveler. I love to look at the patterns and like how it helps me stay more organized on projects. It’s also a great place to share. But I’d like to spend more time on the forums. It seems like a great place to go for knitting camaraderie when you don’t feel like leaving home.

Are you on Ravelry? Do you use the forums regularly? What’s your favorite thing about Ravelry?

Taking Myself Seriously

After the bobbledisaster tam, I am reminded I should never follow a pattern blindly. As I was decreasing for the crown, I thought, “It seems too early to be decreasing.” But I carried on, thinking the pattern knew what it was doing.

This happens to me in art, in life, and at work, that moment when I stop and think, “This doesn’t seem right.” There’s a reason for that feeling, and the reason is because I know better.

So from now on, I do solemnly swear to take myself seriously (but not too seriously) and to listen to my inner voice when it graciously sends a red flag my way, and to heed it with caution, calm, and clarity, and to reassess, and reimagine if necessary, the way forward, amen.

On that note, I am taking a studio space starting in January for my fiber arts. I need the literal space and the headspace in order to design and create. This is me taking myself seriously.

That bobbledybabbity tam is going in the bin. Bobbledybin tam.

Edited to add: I’ve decided to rip it out and make a cowl.

What is it?

Is it a cake? Is it a tea cosy? It’s…

My bobbled tam blocking on a bowl! I am no longer calling it “Not Raspberry Beret.” I now dub it “Bobbledy-Book Tam” like gobbledy-gook. Here’s why:

1. It was a pain to knit. All those bobbles. All those purling multiple stitches together.

2. The top decreasing was a hot mess. I fudged my way through.

3. Why would anyone knit a hat flat and seam it? Unless, of course, you only have straight, inflexible knitting needles, then it is understandable of course. Maybe that was the point.

4. It is a horrible fit. Before blocking it fit like a yamaka. After blocking it flops on my head like a sack. Could be my choice of yarn, though.

Just keeping it real here.

I am glad it blocked so large. It gives me hope that I might pull out the ribbing and reknit it, decreasing so it will fit my head more snugly.

Other good news: I have enough yarn left over to knit a plain beanie. I really do love this yarn.

And, I’m glad to knock out a project.

Did you finish anything knitting related this week?

Are you excited about the new yarn emoji? I am. I tried to use it on my last blog post, but it doesn’t show up on WordPress. Oh well.

Sunday Off

Tonight I knit the neck ribbing on Harald’s sweater. I think I may have picked up a few too many stitches in the front, what do you think? Maybe it will block out? Maybe it’s because I chose mock cable rib for the chest panel? Maybe it’s close enough and I should move on?

Look at those lines from the kettle dying below the chest. I saw them when I was knitting them but decided it didn’t matter. I am still okay with it because it’s hand dyed yarn and a hand knitted garment. I hope he will be too. I might be in denial about myself being okay with it.

A friend of mine introduced me to Color Street nail polish strips. I never paint my nails because ugh! What a pain. But these are cute and really easy to use. Check out my “Fleece Navidad” Christmas sweater nails.

So fun. And you don’t have to wait for them to dry to start knitting again! Because they are already dry! I think of them as being like window clings when I am putting them on. It was my first time and I did pretty well.

It might be a little early for Christmas nails, but I rationalize it by calling them Fair Isle nails.

Today was my only day off this weekend. I tried to relax and do fun things. Middle Child and I watched Season 5 of Vikings since the new season comes out later this month. I am loving this cold weather and looking forward to a big Thanksgiving.

I see many bloggers knitting Christmas gifts. I am not ambitious enough to do that. What about you? Are you knitting any gifts this year?