Seven Sweet Seasonal Songs

I’ve been listening to holiday music since a few days before Thanksgiving. What can I say? The best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing loud for all to hear. I was going to blog my top five, but I found I couldn’t limit it to that number. These are my top seven seasonal favorites in no particular order.

Silver Bells – This is a nostalgic song for me. My sister and I used to sing this together and harmonize. Now I sing it alone and harmonize with no one. It makes me happy and sad at the same time.

Kitka A’v JerusalimeWhen I first heard Kitka’s Wintersongs album, I fell in love. This is my favorite song on the album. Hearing their strong and unified joyful voices makes me cry. I wish I could sing like this. Here’s a video of them singing it live!

Sufjan Stevens – It’s Christmas! Let’s Be Glad! I love the quirkiness of this song. We sing along to it in the car. This is one I will be listening to when all the kids are grown and gone, and I’ll probably cry.

Sting Gabriel’s Message – The yuletide is supposed to be a happy time, but it is also a mystical time. This song captures the essence of that for me.

Vince Guaraldi Greensleeves – My favorite version of my all time favorite, forever and ever, amen.

Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions Isn’t It True – This one isn’t really a Christmas song, but the sleigh bells make me think of winter. And Bob bought this CD for me one Christmas, which makes it special.

Andy Williams Happy Holiday / The Holiday Season – Let’s end on a high note! This is the song I love to belt out in true lounge singer style. I know all the words. I’ll bet you do too. Sing along! And feel free to share your top 5 seasonal songs below or on your blog!

A Holiday Gift Quiz

I seem to be all about the quizzes these days. Karen posted another one!

For these questions money, storage space and time is no object. My answers below.

List 3 things you would like to receive as a gift. Go all out for at least one of them.

I would love a new bird feeder pole that allows me to hang multiple feeders. My set up right now is not ideal, although I love seeing the birdies outside my office window.

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2. I’m in love with this jacket from Studio Donegal.

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It is crazy expensive, but totally worth it as it is hand woven from Ireland. I think this is going to be one of those things I’ll just dream about the rest of my life. If someone gave it to me, I would probably feel too guilty to wear it. I mean, that’s a lot of fed mouths for a jacket I don’t need. Maybe someday the Universe will conspire to put a used one in my path? This ranks up there with the Manitobah Mukluks I would love to have, but really don’t need and can’t afford.

3. I would like a new sewing machine. Mine is fine and basic, but I would like an upgrade so I can sew jeans, jackets, and bags. I would also like a serger.

List 3 gifts you’d like to give. You don’t have to mention who it’s for.

I would love to give Bob a real MacLean wool tartan kilt, either purchased or handmade. I doubt he would wear it, though. He would probably think it is itchy as it has to be wool to be authentic.

I would like to give JoJo a Corgi puppy as a sibling. I’m not sure she would appreciate it, though.

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I would like to give cars to all our kids. Some of them have cars, but they don’t run very well. I think my oldest is the only one with a reliable vehicle, but he wants to travel, so I think he needs something a little bigger.

List 3 food gifts you’d like to give or receive.

Since I can no longer eat pecans, I would love a divinity roll but with pumpkin and sunflower seeds on the outside.

I would love to try a real Christmas pudding, just once. With the holly stuck in it and everything!

I would like to donate some food this year. We volunteer at a local center, and I would like to put together a collection of nice foods for the holidays to donate. Totally doable.

Feel free to answer in the comments or leave a link if you’ll be answering on your blog.

Holiday Traditions

Spritewrites.net has a Virtual Advent Tour where different bloggers sign up to share their holiday traditions during the season. I signed up for Christmas Eve!

Last night all the boys and I watched Rare Exports. I have blogged before that this is my favorite holiday movie. This year I made gingerbread and we played a “drinking game” where we took a bite of gingerbread every time a character did. I only ate three cookies, but could have easily eaten four. I was reserved.

I weighed myself today. I haven’t gained any weight even though I haven’t exercised in two weeks and I’ve been eating whatever I want. It’s a Thanksgiving Miracle! Back to the gym today.

Oh so grateful for my boys. It was good to hang out with them last night.

What’s your favorite holiday movie? Leave a comment!

Grateful Sunday

It’s been a long time since I went to a coffee shop by myself, ordered a soy peppermint mocha, and enjoyed a leisurely moment in public. Most of my moments seem filled with purpose. It’s nice to sit here and not feel like I have to perform or impress, or even relate. I’m grateful to have this moment to myself.

After my moment, I did a little Christmas shopping and then went to my studio to get my knitting organized. I caught a full rainbow!

The new issue of Seamwork came out. I have fallen hard for the Billie jumpsuit. Mood is having a sale so I ordered some wool knit velour to make it. I will not wash this fabric before sewing! Must avoid the Ace catastrophe (when I lost my mind and shrunk new wool knit fabric in the washing machine).

Since I’m a Seamwork member the pattern is free. There are so many patterns I want to make. I’m trying to limit myself to sewing one garment per season. It’s all I can handle.

Expand and Contract

This is my new Cascade 220 Sport for The Oa.

A friend and I were talking and she mentioned expansion scares her. Change is challenging for her. Not me, I love change, but lately I’ve been feeling a similar way. I expanded a lot in 2018. But now I’m feeling anxious and like it’s time to shrink back into myself. No more clubs, goals, or new things! Just knit on what you got, girl!

I signed up for FibreShare and it’s really fun, but it’s hard (for me) to know when to stop. I’m new at this, and when I hear what others are doing I think I’m not doing enough! Anyway, I have to ship international priority, and there’s a limit to what I can squeeze into that Tyvec mailer!

Are you a Valentine’s Day celebrator? Here’s a quiz for you, either way. I’ll go first.

1. Did you celebrate Valentine’s Day at home with your parents when you were a kid? If so, how did you celebrate?

My mom usually had some kind of Valentine’s Day treat for us when we were kids: candy, cookies, or cupcakes. One year she bought me a little doll I wanted with a pink dress. It was when I was almost too old for dolls, but not quite.

2. Did you give and receive Valentines at your school when you were a kid? If so, what is your happiest memory of it?

We decorated our own mailboxes at my school, and I remember one year I papered mine with aluminum foil. I thought it was really nifty. I also think I gave KISS Valentines one year, and of course I thought that was super cool.

3. What was your favorite Valentine’s Day treat when you were a kid? What about now?

When I was a kid I remember liking those cherry flavored, heart shaped suckers. Now I love chocolate cherry cupcakes and red wine.

4. Do you craft for Valentine’s Day? If so, what do you make?

No. Not anymore. Although I thought about knitting a red scarf this year with that lovely yarn from Karen.

5. Do you have a bad Valentine’s Day memory you would like to share?

I have two but I don’t wish to share them.

6. Do you have any special plans this Valentine’s Day?

No, I will be traveling for work. But I will get some candy for the kids.

I look forward to reading your answers! Please leave them in the comments or a link to your blog if you respond there. ❤️

New Year New Club New Studio Same Me

I’m very excited for the new Kate Davies club. I received this beautiful journal and a bag full of Milarrochy Tweed yarn! I admit I feel intimidated by this gorgeous blank journal. I look forward to starting the club. Until then, I’m afraid to make a mark in it.

I am starting to look around for washi tape and stencils, even though I feel silly since I’ve never used a bullet journal before and have no idea what I’m doing.

I am mostly moved into my new studio, where the above photo was taken, on my new standing desk. As I was moving and sorting I found some old artwork. If it aged well I went ahead and set it out. Why not?

I’m currently knitting away on my holiday red Carbeth. I’ve just started the sleeves.

And here is a photo inspired by skeinherder.

JoJo insists on curling up in my lap while I’m knitting, so I should be allowed to have a little fun, right?

Also, do you remember how Charlie Brown had a kite eating tree? I have a knitting needle eating couch.

Christmas Knits

I finished all my Christmas knitting by the end of the day. That counts, right?

Harald’s sweater is massive, but he loves it and wore it all day. I suppose we could felt it a bit and shrink it a tad, but I think he really likes it as is. The stripes ended up looking okay as the entire back is like that.

I had to modify the Goats of Inversnaid hat pattern in order to use the Milarrochy Tweed yarn. I ended up knitting two more repeats of goats before starting the crown. (Look at me learning from my mistakes and listening to myself.) I really like how long and narrow the beanie is. It looks a little more trendy this way. And I’m pleased with how the crown came out.

We had a great day of Ethiopian food for dinner, presents, and Christmas movies. I’m surprised by how many we watched this year: Elf, Rare Exports, Krampus, A Christmas Horror Story, Christmas with the Kranks, A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, Black Adder’s Christmas Carol, SCTV Christmas Special, and Scrooged.

Merry Christmas! I hope your day was jolly!

Knitting Friends

Nothingbutknit graciously offered to participate in a holiday swap with me. It all started when I wanted to send her some shea butter lotion chips made by local women. The challenge was to send a skein of local yarn.

Here is a photo of the beautiful things she sent me. (Except for the candle which I made with a pottery cup gifted to me and handmade by my stepson.)

Isn’t this red yarn festive and lovely? It’s also soft enough to wear around my neck, so I think I want to knit a “hap” with it. (Props to Kate Davies for reintroducing the word to our vocabulary.) I didn’t know a small shawl or wrap had a name, but sure enough, if you look it up, the third definition is “clothe, cover.”

Here is my favorite “hap”, which was the start of a lace shawl that I cut short because I’d had enough of knitting it many years ago.

I wrap this around my neck once or twice, and it’s the perfect scarf. This is knit from Jagger Spun Zephyr Wool Silk, which has really withstood the test of time.

But back to the red! Aren’t the gold flecks lovely on this Campfire Knits yarn? The hand dyeing really stands out too. This is “Winter Cranberry.” I’ve already cast on a simple eyelet increase triangle scarf, but I’m not sure how I feel about the garter stitch.

And I love these stitch markers which were included in my package, made by her husband. So festive! They make me crave peppermint.

My issue with lace is I prefer for my knitting to be intuitive. I like to memorize the pattern so I’m not constantly referring to the chart or instructions. And because I’m old have short term memory challenges, I need the repeat to be about four rows. So I am looking for a simple, all over lace pattern. I’ll keep looking! Maybe my fabulous red hap will be done in time for Valentine’s Day!

Thank you, nothingbutknit! I’m grateful for your friendship. It is always encouraging knowing someone is reading and paying attention. Thank you for the beautiful things and for being willing to participate in a gift exchange with me. ❤️