Leap Year

 

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A new slipper sock – knit with local wool and my favourite lichen green/gold

Good afternoon Earthly creatures!

I hope we are all well on this elusive February 29th!

It’s overcast on the island, the thick blanket of snow is coated in ice, making walking a treacherous endeavour.    The days are growing so much longer and I am over joyed with the thought of moss beginning to peak out of the snow!!  Another month or so and we will be ankle deep in mud with that wonderful scent of  damp earth.  To inhale hope and new beginnings is the trade off for the seemingly eternal cleaning up of muddy footprints 🙂

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Behind our house

But for now, it is still winter.   Ice, wind and snow accompanied not by the collective hibernation but a sense of giddy anticipation.    Each moon phase brings a change to our winds, our skies.  I’m happy to observe them 🙂  Every year we tend to have an icy time that simply puts a halt on much outdoor activity.  Henry has been so hesitant outdoors, treading as gently as possible before she inevitably loses her footing and sinks below into a foot of snow.

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Work space with a sweet companion (as well as many silent green ones<3)
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Latest Cable Knit headband – One more will go in the shop when I have the chance 🙂

Last weekend, I finished a Bella Dress by Tessuti Fabrics!  I intended to share the finished work with you all but did not touch instagram this week.  So, a week later, I thought I would share with you a couple of finished works.

We have had a few new items go up recently.  I knit a cable knit headband with local wool.  I actually have enough to make another one and I really loved the photo Jamie took of the headband so will make one more of these if anyone is interested.  A few asked me for the pattern so if I have the time, I’ll write it up and post it.  I must admit, I really, really, really love just knitting from my head and then moving on to a new project.  Writing down patterns kind of takes the spontaneous joy out of my making.  I know it’s not any where near as profitable to just knit things and sell them but it’s what makes me happy and that’s really what matters to me.  I have started judging whether or not I’ll try to get a pattern out for something based on how many requests I get.  So, Meaghan and I are working on getting around 4 of our sweater designs out because that has been a long time coming and many many requests (thank you guys… so much, I never thought this would be the case).

The sweater that went up this week was a design that I had drawn out for the book deal that  I had to sadly decline.  I designed a yoke and Meaghan test knit it (and perfected it).  I originally named it the Belfast Sweater because I wanted to use Belfast Mini mills Wool but Meaghan used trusty old Lett-Lopi and it turned out really beautiful.   She and I decided on the unusual colour combo while sitting on the floor in her room with her mountain of lett-lopi stash spread out before us.  I spend so much time just looking at colour combinations.  If I ever feel down or stressed, I can sit with fabric or wool or paints and just imagine the feeling that 2 colours can create once joined together.  This one in particular is Charcoal, Heaven Blue and Gold Heather.

All of the woodland Mittens also were mailed out this week.  I so enjoyed making these!  Another huge joy that I derive from knitting and making is actually using my stash.  I think I write about this a lot – how much pleasure I get from using what I already have.  I have this in all things from plants in our garden to food in our freezer and the wool that occupies much of my shelf space (what I think is slowly but I swear, I blinked and turned around twice and I somehow have years worth a supply of wool).  The bags that I made for the mittens also have little embroidery on them, I really hope the receiver likes the bags (and of course the knits as well!).

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The woods behind out house on the Island – the path is made from snow shoes 🙂

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Ways of Wood Folk packaging 🙂  Many years to develop what is now one of my favourite parts of having a small shop!
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Stamping Joy 🙂 I carve all of our stamps and hope that the sight of them brings you joy when you receive a package 🙂
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All the bag material is re-purposed – I regularly stalk the fabric section at the local thrift store.  Once I find a good piece, it’s washed at our house and turned into little bags.

The Bella Dress!  Or my witch tunic (i.e. regular every day dress).  So, you may have guessed that I’m a relatively frugal person.  Most of my clothes are hand me downs, handmade or thrifted.  This method of accumulating clothes often means that you end up with a lot of clothes that you don’t actually wear.  Thrifting makes me buy with less reserve (But not in 2020 – 2020 is the year I practice discipline in shopping and use what I have – wear what I have and make it if I don’t) and hand me downs means I have both of my sisters clothes that they don’t want anymore (both of whom LOVE clothes).  Many of my favourite clothes are definitely hand me downs but it does mean that I don’t put a ton of my own thought into my manner of dress.  On top of this, I do a lot of messy work in general.  Painting, baking, gardening all leave you really regretting ever owning a single light garment and especially anything that is a nice fabric.  But that all being said, I finally harnessed the almighty power of the sewing machine and made a dress that is exactly how I feel and see myself.  I love this dress – it’s extremely subtle and a nice linen blend fabric.  It has pockets and can be easily dressed up with a belt or can be worn loosely so to be freee as a bird.  Perhaps it looks rather plain, but thank you this is just what I like 😀  I felt a little bit like a modern pilgrim or my unsuspecting witch self.

The fabric is a black linen blend from a local fabric outlet here on the island.  It was 20 dollars a meter and the pattern calls for 2 meters (140 cm width).  So the total cost of this dress was around 45 dollars.  Judging that handmade linen dresses go for around 200 on Etsy and at a regular shop, can be quite pricey I feel pretty happy with the price!  I spent a weekend making this dress and quite an enjoyable one, watching Medieval Lives and sewing away 🙂

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New dress with a small elf pine sock that I’m currently working on

 

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A cat bed made with a basket and blanket – they seem to love this spot now and how sweet is Pangur?  Note the absolute chaos of this book shelf – As a trained librarian, my bookshelves have little to no system 😛  Have you read any of these books? 😀
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Current Reads – Tales from Shakespear is almost finished and Sigrid Undset …. you’re amazing and I love you.
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A couple of current lone socks ❤ the other will follow shortly (the blue and lichen will be in the shop with a number of different colour combinations in the future!  Love knitting rustic socks :))
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Homespun Drawing – a limited number are available in the shop!

And I must leave you now ❤  Thanks for reading along with my rambling thoughts.   Usually I leave you with a song or 2, but today I want to leave you with a verse from one of my favourite works, the Tao Te Ching:

Verse 44:

One’s own reputation – why the fuss?

One’s own wealth – why the concern?

I say, what you gain,

is more trouble than what you lose.

Love is the fruit of sacrifice.

Wealth is the fruit of generosity.

Be content,

rest in your own fullness –

you will not suffer from loss.

You’ll avoid the snare of this world.

You’ll have long life and endless blessings.

 

 

12 thoughts on “Leap Year

  1. Always lovely, Julia. Thank you for sharing. No pressure, but I am eager for those sweater patterns as I have the lopi wool ready and waiting to make one! I wear the braided headband that I bought from you before quite often – even in the house! too would like to know how you braid your hair like that.

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      1. Very good choice 🙂 I was excited about this copy of Watership Down – found of course 2nd hand. I’m trying to figure out my goodreads account name so I can share it on here >.<!

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    1. Thank you Bonnie!

      You most certainly can learn to braid this way! It’s a reverse french braid (I think also referred to as a dutch braid – might be wrong about that). In french braiding, you cross the hair over eachother, well in this form you cross them under! This gives it that appearance of “standing up”.

      I’m still working away on your drawing but currently am making a title page for our first sweater. I’m having a lot of fun with it as i can combine my love for book arts and drawing – I do love writing patterns for seeing how the drawings and photographs all come together in a document :D!

      Sending you your print this week, many many thanks ❤

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  2. I really like that headband. Would love to knit one for myself! It would be really nice if you wrote down the pattern, eventually 🙂 I certainly would get a copy.

    take care

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      1. Oh! You just made my heart really happy! 🙂 I will wait patiently for it, and until then, read your beautiful words on here.
        Take care 🙂

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