The sun has set and it’s not yet 4:30! The days have been grey, but every evening the horizon hosts a brilliant pink and gold sunset, fading in the west to a gentle dream-like purple. It only skims the skyline below the grey cloud, but it is beautiful! My window faces the west.
We are having very happy days, my Mom is visiting and we have been spending time knitting by the fire sipping peppermint tea, re-potting plants, going for long winter walks with the dogs, watching silly Holiday movies and gushing over Collette O’Neill of Bealtaine Cottage. She brought rose plants for me, hand-sewn bags for our etsy shop and little pieces of porcelain. Every evening we have been having delicious home cooked meals (last night was a fish chowder – one of my favourite meals of all time… not stereotypical at all for a Maritimer) and I’ve just felt so warm and happy. Tomorrow, I am working in one of the libraries (and consequently, going to the Spinners & Weavers Guild to do some spinning and dyeing!) so we will say goodbye just for a short while.
We both love to use our hands – create! Since she has been here she has made a sweater for a wee one and has already started a pair of baby soakers (She has two grandchildren on the way and I am soon to be an aunt to 3!!!). I have attached the arms of the grey lopi sweater and put it aside to work on a pair of lopi mittens for the Etsy shop. I also finally used some calendula and rose infused oil, combined with beeswax and spruce sap that I collected last winter to create a salve.
We also went to a plant shop in Charlottetown this week to bring home a little bit of pure happiness. Plants are so expensive so I just continually get clippings from other plants, root or start from seeds but occasionally, I buy a new plant >.< I bought a little cactus and a succulent. I also received a very sacred package from Incredible Seed Company in Nova Scotia. I ordered a some seeds that need warm and then cold stratification in order for them to germinate. I will be busy this weekend 🙂 I have already started dreaming about planting for next year so there is nothing better than getting started early 😀
And now, I am sitting by the fire listening to the ambient works of Aphex Twin. My Mom and Jamie are making dinner together and I am going to join them. I do hope you enjoy this and are finding happiness and solace in the darker part of the year (and happiness to all those in the light half!).
I am well, wrapped in blankets with a hot cup of tea, candles lit and one of my favourite Irish bands playing, the Bothy Band. It’s Sunday and rain is gently falling. We have been having fires every day, even if it’s just to keep the damp out on a mild, wet morning.
We have been so busy as well! I started a new job in the library system, working as a call in. I had best get use to driving at night and in all weather since the job requires me to go quite far to some rural branches. I am excited to be back in the library, I already have a long queue of books on hold (just finished The Moomins Vol 1) and will share with you later more of what I’ll be reading this winter (I’m going to work through my long list of “To-Read” on Goodreads). Apart from work… there is STILL wood to stack, wood to bring in, vegetables to take care of (I’m down to the last of the tomatoes) and cats that are beginning to explore the outside world. There is an etsy shop, art work and a very, very active dog. Jamie is also giving me guitar lessons again so I’m hoping to pick it up again and encourage him to make more music as well!
Before I launch into knitting… our little 1.25 acre is also constantly on my mind. I have been transplanting saplings that have come up on the outskirts of the farmer’s field, buried many chestnuts, planted lupin seeds that I collected in July from the wayside and transplanted some of our rose plants and lavender. My ultimate goal is to have every inch of land planted with trees, bushes, flowers… anything! And then buy more land :D. Anywho…. this is all a side because I came here to share with you my latest cardigan handnit.
H A N D K N I T C A R D I G A N
I cast this sweater on in the blazing sun of glorious July! Yes… it has taken me quite a while. It was the first cardigan, knit in the round that I have ever made which is why it took me so long. I believe I actually finished the bulk of the work in August or early September but waited until a visit with my Mom before I actually steeked the body (Steeking is the word applied to the actually cutting up the middle of the body to open up your cardigan sweater). Thank goodness my Mom has absolutely no qualms about trying anything in the fibre art world. When we finally were together in the latter part of October, she actually did the crochet stitch up my purled stitches and then I (palms sweating and heart beating! Clearly a life or death situation) cut the sweater! It was so satisfying 😀
The inspiration for the design comes from the fall here in the Canadian East Coast, where miles of forest stretch along the ocean shore, spotted with wooden white houses. I have started to really simplify my designs, favouring simple blocks of colour. I really love the rust Léttlopi! I find it both striking and subtle (if that makes any sense…).
I started the sweater with the full intention of finishing in October. It’s nearly a month after when I thought I would be writing this post. At the end of October, my sister, Mom and I travelled to Ontario to see our family and friends, thus putting a halt to all of my work (It was a very nice visit and I hope to be back again soon!). And just other life things have continued to pop up, derailing my physical artistic world.
So below I have shared a couple pictures of the fall here, my sketch book and the sweater! I have not taken anywhere near as many pictures this fall but alas, here are a couple!
It’s raining much harder now. It is also my sister Meaghan’s birthday today! We are separated by the strait, but I am wishing her all the best in Nova Scotia today! Send her loving vibes this day ❤
I hope you enjoyed this post! I am settling in to actually put up the listing of this sweater on Etsy and respond finally to my comments and messages on both wordpress and instagram. I have generally been steering away from Social Media and have finally developed a pretty solid system to keep me from being distracted. Perhaps I’ll share this with you in another post!
**A note on this sweater, it is made from I C E L A N D I C W O O L! The specific name of the wool is called Léttlopi which essentially means light Icelandic Wool (Létt = Light / lopi = Icelandic Wool). This wool is made using the sheared fleece of Icelandic Sheep. Icelandic Sheep are very different than other sheep around the world, they are descendants of Norse Sheep from 1000 years ago! Their unique fleece is composed of 2 layers, one which is water repellent and the other is an insulating coat. This unique fleece keeps our friends dry and warm in the rather unpredictable Northern Atlantic Icelandic climate. If you have any allergy or discomfort with wool, this wool is most likely not for you. It is a hardy and durable wool which can withstand weather. I live on an Island in Atlantic Canada and find this type of wool ideal for working outdoors in the fall/winter and “spring” (our springs sometimes feel non-existent). **