2021 Creations & updates thus far

Hello Hello!

It’s February, so quickly time passes.

I wanted to share some of what I have made thus far. I so often forget the things I’ve made if I don’t record it – so here is some of my knitting and artwork from 2021. It has been filled with relatively mild winter weather. The river is still flowing. I often take my touque off during walks because it’s that mild (when I say mild in winter on PEI I mean, it’s around 0 C) and after having a close fitting hat on, it feels so freeing to have your ears free in the crisp air :).

The fingerless mittens that I knit have all been very unique since they are using up all the little scraps of wool. I make up the design as I go based on how much of the colour I think can last for the 2 mitts. It was a lot of fun to figure out πŸ™‚ The patterns are basically the same as my 2 fingerless mitten patterns in the shop but I made the motifs based on my tiny lopi stash.

I want to thank you all too for supporting the shop this year – I was really taken back for the support of my art work – thank you so very much! I really hope you will like the fox print. If anyone is interested in the above spinner as a print please let me know. I did make a scan of her but the original will be shipped off to Pennsylvania this week πŸ™‚

The of course there is my current knitting projects. I was waiting on a wool order to finish Pangur Ban but guess what happened! After 3 weeks – it finally arrived.. I was so excited… opened it… and it was a loom hook and some wax!!! lol! I was SO confused. Anyway, they somehow put my shipping address on the wrong order so I’m guessing someone somewhere opened up some lopi wool who was expecting a loom hook! So again.. it will be awhile and in the meantime I’m working on this bulky Lopi Cardigan (I’ll make a blog post about it when I’m done). I wonder if anyone else experiences this – when I knit with bulky wool, my wrist and fingers ache a little bit? I think it’s because there is ultimately more physical effort in working with bigger needles and wool so it strains more on my tendons but yeah, I wonder if anyone else has experienced this?

O T H E R T H I N G S….

One of my goals for the new year was to read books again. To get so immersed in a book, that I can think of doing nothing else but devour them whole. This was once one of my greatest joys in life. I went to university for Celtic Studies, reading all the way through and then on to a Masters in Library Science because I loved books. I even received an award for the top student in Medieval Manuscript course! I love everything about books. I love the flow state when lost in a story. I love the pages and the binding. I love typography and illustration. If I were to tell my 20 year old self that I would eventually have a hard time getting through a single book and that I wasn’t finishing at least 1 a week (in many cases, not even 1 a month) – I would be in total disbelief. The backs of my journals since the age of 9 have lists of the books I read with the beginning and start date. I was a complete bibliophile from an early age.

The true culprit that temporarily dismantled my favourite hobby was time and attention and to be frank, knitting. I became of the mindset that if I had a free moment of any kind – I need to knit and then to watch a show or go on the internet mindlessly scrolling. I couldn’t really understand why. When I was in university, knitting was a very side hobby for me (we actually started our shop when I was still in university) and reading, learning, working, being in nature were my major focuses (I didn’t even have a phone in university so that probably helped!). Once we moved to PEI, I began to focus mainly on knitting and then my books and reading and lists took a major hit. In the beginning of January, I chose to sit down and finish the book that had been sitting on my bedside table for a month “In the Wilderness” by Sigrid Undset.

Once finished, I picked up “Razor’s Edge” by Somerset Maugham. I love Somerset Maugham – he is such a good writer and so perfectly encapsulates the early 20th century. I enjoyed reading this book and for the first time since the summer – devoured it! It was invigorating to read again with the same passion and immersion. I finished Razor’s Edge pretty quickly and experienced a sense of loss when I finished and apprehension when picking up a new book (what if I didn’t like it as much and went back into my reading slump?). But…. it was “East of Eden” by John Steinbeck – a LONG over due book. I had read “Grapes of Wrath” and many of his short stories in high school so I knew I liked his writing style. I finished it in maybe a week – it was one of those gripping stories that you just keep reading, chapter after chapter. I don’t know what I was expecting when I read it – but it definitely wasn’t what I was expecting.

The other night I started reading “Independent People” by Icelandic author Halldor Laxness. I bought this book, years ago and left it to gather dust. It’s a strange book but again, I am so enthralled by the story that I can’t put it down. So, I am so happy to reclaim that reading witch in me that has patiently sat dormant for awhile. I’ll be sure to write what future books I’m reading (I have an always growing list).

And what else! The other day all of our snow melted and the sun has been out. We had a new door installed in our sun room and have been able to actually open up the room in the winter. I LOVE puzzles so started a new 1000 piece puzzle in there. Puzzles are so incredibly therapeutic. I find them the perfect way to meditate. Having cats around can be a little frustrating at times – I’m not sure how or why, but I’m quite certain one of our cats has eaten pieces >.<! Anyway, so yes friends – reading books and puzzles πŸ˜€ Perhaps not the most exciting things but these are parts of my life that I cherish and find enriching πŸ™‚

Oh Merlin – it has been over a week since you left us. I love you dearly and will always think of you on or walks in the fields of Nova Scotia. You lived such a free and beautiful life <3

Oh life….

well, I will leave you here. Thank you for reading and I hope you will have a wonderful day, a wonderful evening, a wonderful week.

Julia xo

12 thoughts on “2021 Creations & updates thus far

  1. Post Imbolc Greetings to you, Julia! I would love a print of the spinner in a circle that you show above! And I too have noticed my hands and arms hurt when I work with the bulky Lopi no matter what size needle I use. I did just purchase the Fox, the standing spinner, and the spinning note cards. I love to spin and have friends who also spin. So these may end up as gifts. So glad you have a sunny corner to enjoy your puzzles and whatnot in. Blessings dear, as we slowly move toward spring.

  2. Your art work is really beautiful and your mittens are absolutely amazing, so cute and adorable! You have a real gift and the way you write is beautiful and inspiring. The cable knit jumper/sweater worn in the photographs is just incredible, is there a pattern for that please?
    I’m so sorry about your dog. Bw pink

  3. Hi! Haven’t worked with Lopi much, but I SO love your mitts! All of them!
    I am so sorry for your loss of Merlin. It’s so hard ~

  4. When working with bulky yarns and bigger needles my fingers and wrists become fatigued. I usually have two projects going – one on small needles another on larger needles. I switch back and forth when my hands get tired.

    My Dad was a voracious reader. In his later years he made sure he was reading at least two hours a day. He said reading was a way to exercise his brain.😊 Exercise on my Canadian Friend.

    From the mountains of South Carolina.

  5. Reading slumps can be so hard to get out of, and the worst thing is that the only thing standing in your way is yourself! I’ve found that I will often re-read favourite books to get out of slumps. One time I read the book which was giving me a slump three times over… Safe to say it was a book I rather enjoyed and wasn’t ready to move on from yet.
    My boyfriend recently read Independent People, and he absolutely adored it. He would often turn to me and tell me of the most recent thing Bjartur did to be “independent” πŸ˜…

    I’ve also tried getting into audiobooks as a way of being able to “read” while doing things where I can’t hold a book. Knitting, sewing, gardening, walking, and driving. The trick is to find a good story and a good narrator, which unfortunately isn’t so easy either!

    In regards to your hands aching when you knit with bulky, I’ve found that my knuckles can ache when I knit with really fine wool… So the complete oppositeπŸ˜‚ I’m guessing it’s to do with the way I hold the needles. I can see why your hands would ache when knitting a heavy project though, as it takes a bit more effort to work on than say a little sock.

  6. I always look forward to your posts. Your pattern for the mitts was so well written, thank you! I wear them most days. I’m wondering what the pattern of the beautiful brown cable knit sweater is called?
    Thank you

  7. If I’m just knitting something in stockinette, I can read at the same time. But in general, I’ve mostly been listening to audio books. I can check them out free from our library through their app and download them onto my phone. So it’s basically like having a huge library at my fingertips 24/7. I like listening while I’m sewing/knitting or out for a walk with my dog, even cleaning or doing yard work. It took me a couple books to get use to hearing the story instead of reading it for myself but now I love it, it’s like being in my own world with someone reading the story just for me.

  8. Hi Julia, Love your new drawings! The medieval spinners are so beautiful and inspiring. I agree with you about reading and knitting. I need to have a balance of both to feel fulfilled, but it’s hard to find that balance, with so many other time demands and distractions. So sorry to hear about Merlin. What a sweet and special friend. Thinking of you lots. Valerie xo

  9. I love where you have your jigsaw puzzle set up! What a perfect spot. I, too, keep track of the books I read each year. Not since I was 9 years old but for the past 10 years anyway lol. I love using our library. When I was young and would go into the children’s section (of a different library) and I wanted to read every single book starting A until I got to Z. I don’t remember how far I got lol. I look forward to your next posting. Thank you.
    Susan from Tsawwassen, BC

  10. I also found that I didn’t read as much because of knitting. But now I have trained myself to knit (simple stockinette) while reading. I use my ereader and a pillow on my knees. The ereader is on the pillow and I can use just one finger for the next page. That way I don’t even have to let go of the needlesnor yarn. At firsr I missed the smell of books and the feeling of pages. But I let that go, it is about the story, not the stuff after all. I love that I get to read again. And if I have a more difficult pattern there is always Netflix.

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