Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Cheer


(9th century Irish)

This I Heard:

Belled the stag, the winter snows
Summer fled,
Winds high and cold

The sun is low, short its course,
high the seas,
Deep red the bracken, leaves lost;

The wild goose utters mournful cry,
cold its wings;
season of ice,
This I heard.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Frost's Secret Ministry


Today is a quiet day, the day before Christmas...

The Frost performs its secret ministry,
Unhelped by any wind.
The owlet’s cry
Came loud—and hark, again! loud as before.

The inmates of my cottage, all at rest,
Have left me to that solitude, which suits
Abstruser musings: save that at my side
My cradled infant slumbers peacefully.
‘Tis calm indeed!

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Frost at Midnight (1798)

My day is planned: more braided bread, the Christmas eve pie, wrapping presents... and finishing presents that now must be late...

a little hint:

(The recipient of this doesn't read my blog, I'm sure, so it's safe to give a little view.)

I've always loved the day before Christmas, with it's air of expectation and excitement, it's purposeful preparation, and cosiness. We have had frost, and snow. It melted away overnight so it will be a green Christmas, but cold. A perfect day today for cooking and baking...and for slipping my wrapped presents under the tree.


Some presents from friends have already been opened, like this wonderful vintage Beehive knitting gauge from Marky in Australia! I love it and have been searching for one for a long, long time! Marky can find anything. He's a vintage-finder-wizard! I love the soft blue colour:


The day is moving forward and -being in the middle of unfinished projects - I have little to show for it, so I'll wish you a peaceful, productive day and get on with my work. god Jule! Joyeux Noël! bonum jule! Happy Christmas!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

miles to go....


"Now trees their leafy hats do bare,
To reverence Winter's silver hair;
A handsome hostess, merry host,
A pot of ale now and a toast,
Tobacco and a good coal fire,
Are things this season doth require."
-- From "Poor Robin's Almanack," 1684.

I have miles of knitting to go before I sleep. That's right, I haven't finished my Christmas knitting and the time is drawing near when my knitting will be officially late. Christmas boxes have been mailed - sans knitting - and a kind of sub-aware knitting panic has set in. I rise early to knit, and then spend 2 or 3 hours on the webz looking at everyone else's wonderful gift knitting while my little project bag rests quietly beside me...

I drink tea...


from my wonderful new Winter Robins mug...


I plan future, post-holiday projects...


and peruse websites for knitting gifts I'd like myself....

I make ornaments for our tiny little tree...


and I bake the Christmas bread...


But what I don't do is finish the Christmas knitting, as lovely as it is. I am very close to finishing. An hour here, two hours there, an embellishment, blocking - all of these things would create the finished projects I desire. But my will-power is exhausted and my mind just craves a period of marshmallow-y old holiday movies. How to call my knitting energy back again? I know! I'll have a cup of tea!

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

~ Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
~ by Robert frost

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Silence in the Snowy Fields....


Well, we don't have snow yet - we got rain instead - but we do have silence!

I have been stymied as what to post because I am knitting on nothing but Christmas presents. And those are, you know, secret.

And I'm not doing very well with them either. How could my knitting mojo pack up and fly south with the talkative V-shaped Geese migrations? Honk! Honk! Honk! they shout overhead, and I look up and see my inspirations flying away like ribbons behind the birds.

I do truly want to knit for everyone I know. Socks, Hats, Fingerless Gloves, Shawls, Scarves, Balaclavas, Cowls... alas, nada. nul. nothing. I think I'm doing only 3 gift projects this year. Unless I get in my butt in gear.

One project I can show you because the recipient doesn't read here. Here is the Bloomsbury Saroyan scarf in Madeline Tosh Pashmina, colour: Bloomsbury:


I've made this pattern several times. Knit side to side, it is easily modified to suit your purpose - scarf, shawl, shawlette - and is fast simple and easy! Its a free pattern on Ravelry and one I go back to again and again.


I plan to put little soft pompoms on the ends, maybe today!

But for now, I am cooking cinnamon buns instead: