Saturday, December 2, 2023

The tree is up

Last year I was overwhelmed in the run-up to Christmas and it felt like one more chore to do. This year: BRING IT. I am so ready for the break, and I am all about the nostalgia.

This is a mini mitt I made in a class on twined knitting. I think I made a full-sized pair to give away, but that might be dreaming on my part because we all know what a selfish knitter I am, making things mostly for my own use because I can't bear to part with whatever it is. 

The thing about twined knitting is that you have to twist two strands of yarn around each other with every stitch. The natural and comfortable direction in which do this, for me, is the same direction in which yarn is plied, which results in impossibly twisted-up balls of feeder yarn you have to constantly stop and address. The solution to this problem is to spin your own yarn, then ply it in the opposite direction such that twining is simple and straightforward. 

So, yeah. If I take up twined knitting again, it means taking up spinning again, and that honestly is not a bad outcome for me if I can just clear enough of my calendar. I loved both those things a lot. 

Another thing I loved back in the day: Magic Cookie Bars. And I made some last night, for the first time since I was a teen, probably.

In my shift away from processed foods I forgot how completely decadent and delicious these things are. Just the aroma coming off the pot where I melted butter and then stirred graham cracker crumbs into it was Wow. And once you have that pressed neatly into a pan, you pour sweetened condensed milk over, then top that with chocolate chips and coconut? I mean... how can you not eat the whole thing? Thankfully you can freeze the squares and they keep for three months, so there is some reprieve from overdoing the sugar load.

One of my big jobs for 2023, apart from organizing a tiny home (which was not on the agenda in January when I developed this year's life goals) was decluttering our house. Technically I started that job in November but there are so many cupboards and cubbyholes to address I clearly needed the extra time. I'm STILL not done! But this week, going through a junk drawer, I found two more of the precious felted wool Christmas pins I made years ago. 

I loved these too and now that the tree is up and I have Official Festive Lighting, I am going to reexamine some decluttered craft nooks and see if I can't find the gear for these projects. I know I have more tiny bells and felt pieces and embroidery thread somewhere. 

If you'd like to give them a go with your own scraps and backing pins, my mini tutorial is here

One thing that isn't nostalgic here is this year's wreath, a departure from our usual plain green boxwood over the living room fireplace mantel:

The florist didn't have our usual size in anything but this version with glossy red faux berries, so we agreed to be spontaneous and break tradition. Normally the wreath lives on the wall all year, fading to sage for Easter and gold for Canadian Thanksgiving (October) before being renewed in December. Not sure how the red berries will play for all that, but they're only wired on, so if I get to it fast enough in January before the boxwood is too dry and brittle, I might be able to remove them.

I should just be sure not to indulge in too many sweets first because I will need a steady hand, heh.

I hope your holiday plans are coming along nicely and feel more like an indulgence than a responsibility. Pretty sure we could all use whatever break we can manage. Thanks again for spending this time with me, and I'll see you here next Saturday!

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