Befriending Winter

I live in a very old house.  At this moment I don’t recall the exact year it was built, but I believe it is not far from the century mark in age.  It’s quirky and unique and I love how well it fits the quirky and unique personality of our family.

With this personality, there are some inconveniences.  Slowly we are making improvements and repairs, but there is a very relevant issue that remains.  My studio.  In the summer it feels every degree of the heat and in winter, every degree of the cold.  Upstairs, in the living room, there is a large, infrequently used table that I set up as a work area when my studio becomes unbearable.

However, it seems that the transitional seasons of Spring and Autumn seem to be shrinking to ridiculously brief periods of time. Which means my studio is unusable much of the year. This is unacceptable.  I’ve spent time, money and energy getting it set up as a workspace and I want to use it.  What I’ll do when Summer rolls around again remains to be seen, but for now, I’ve decided it’s time to try to make friends with the colder months of the year.

After all, I am a knitter.  So here are some of my thoughts in no particular order:

  • I’m going to desensitize to the cold by layering up and getting outside and in the cold. I’ve noticed that usually once I get acclimated, I feel it less. I need to go for more cold weather hikes.  This might take some mental psyching up on my part.
  • If my feet are good and warm, I feel the cold less in general.  So I’m breaking out the hand knit socks and picked up some fuzzy slippers at the thrift store for official studio gear.
  • I finally bought a space heater to sit by my work table.  We have radiator heat and there is one in the studio, but it doesn’t cover the space effectively.
  • I’m going to sew some long heavy curtains to hang in the two open doorways that open into the studio to hold in the warmth.
  • Since my studio is just off the kitchen, I see more baking in my future to serve the dual purpose of some good food and warming up this space.

That’s a good start.

I have been changing out my seasonal wardrobe.  Packing away the summer wear and getting out the sweaters, scarves, and jackets.

I have a good supply of handknit scarves, cowls, and a very nice shawl, but I need to get started on a new pair of mittens.  My current inventory is a single fingerless glove (its partner’s whereabouts are unknown).  In my bullet journal, according to the list of knitting projects I had planned to do this year, I did complete a pair of mittens for myself.  Honestly, I don’t even remember what they were.  I will do a more thorough search, but having just completed a very long and drawn out project (more on that in a future post) I’m ready to cast on something new.

So, after reading through Faerie Knitting: A Review I have decided to start with the Three Wishes Mittens from that book.  I have several other patterns from that book on my mental to-do list, but this seems like an appropriate first project.  I’ve been going through my yarn stash trying to decide what color to go with.  Bright teal?   Heathered Mustard yellow?  Forest Green?  Light Gray?  Still debating.  I’d love to hear some votes on this to help me decide.

Learning New Skills

I’ve noticed a continuing issue with my sock knitting.  I have made some real advances in my sock construction.  I have a favorite cast on.  I know how to adjust the stitch count to accommodate my own foot.  I have learned to add specific touches that I really like. My socks fit my feet very well now.

The problem is my cast off.  I prefer making my socks toe up, but even though I have tried different approaches when I cast off at the cuff, it just doesn’t have the stretch I need it to have.  Last night, I cast off a pair of socks that look awesome and fit my foot very well, but again, the cuff is a bit too tight.  Sigh.

So I went on Youtube and found this video:

I’m slightly concerned about this, only because I’m afraid of the unraveling getting away from me, but this is how we learn.  So, in the next day or two, under good light and with nerves of steel, I”m going to unpick the stitches and try again for a better, stretchier bind off.  I’ll keep you posted.

As I was working on the long project I just mentioned I have been doing some binge watching of the Vlogtober Episodes of one of my favorite knitting podcasts Inside Number 23 and in episode 27 of Vlogtober Katie showed how to create a Magic Yarn Ball that she is using for a granny stripe blanket.  Winding down on my two most recent projects and still thinking about the projects next in my queue I was inspired to follow her example.  So last night I went on a search of small remnants of yarn of comparable weights to join together to create a Magic Yarn ball (or in my case cake of my own.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

MagicCake

And here are Katie’s instructions for this process:

I’m probably going to join her in an unofficial Crochet-Along and create a granny stripe blanket.  If anyone else makes a magic ball I’d love to see pics of your projects whatever you make.  I’m actually still wrapping up another larger Granny Stripe blanket which (fingers crossed) will be done by Christmas and given as a gift so it may be a minute before I start on this one.  But I’m eager to get started on this one so hopefully, it will provide additional motivation to finish the other project.


I haven’t talked about my chickens in a while.  It is Autumn in my part of the world, as you know, and I put out some bales of straw and pumpkins on the back porch for a touch of rustic, seasonal decor.  Apparently, the chickens were disappointed with my decision to simply used uncarved pumpkins, so they decided to step in.

 

What they lack in artistic style they make up with creative energy.

Please leave your thoughts below, I really do enjoy your comments.

Peace,

Jamye

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4 thoughts on “Befriending Winter

  1. A hat is a wonderful thing to wear in a chilly house. Keeps the body heat in. Been there. Try Elizabeth Zimmermans sewn bind off. super easy and super stretchy.
    stay warm!

    Liked by 1 person

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