Yuletide by the sea

Although, we didn’t even visit the sea.  At the highest point of our walk up the hill, you can see the Bay.  Along the drive, you follow the strait East.  At my family’s home, you are so close to the Atlantic Ocean, the sea birds fly overhead and you can smell the salt in the air.

We drove down on Christmas Eve from the Island, a 5 hour drive now that the ferry is closed for the season. We spend our Christmas at my family’s home in Nova Scotia with my family and animals. It goes by so quickly, but leaves me feeling so happy and full of love, even after the 5 hour drive home.  I find it such a beautiful drive that it doesn’t really seem like long.

Christmas at our house is full of treats, homemade meals, walks in nature and just sitting around, talking.  I didn’t even knit the whole time I was there, although others were knitting.  We ventured into the woods on Christmas afternoon to make some tea and have a fire.  My mom and I walked the dogs on boxing day to the fairy tree.  A massive maple tree that is alive but essentially hollow.  It has a door and you can stand in it.  I feel like it’s a gateway. I don’t really know how we discovered it, but have been paying it a visit at this time of year for 8 years now.

I could have included so many photographs.  Jamie gifted me with a new camera and I took MANY pictures.  However, it takes so long to upload them into WordPress so I chose ones that really spoke to me in some way.  I hope you enjoy them.

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Christmas in Nova Scotia
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Henry checking going to check out the barn
My Favourite lamb from the Creche
We asked the birch for just a little bit of bark – the rest we foraged from the snow clad earth
My Dad saved our fire from going out, isn’t it beautiful?
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Company has made the trek up to the woods
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Woodland Tea Preparations
A very lopi Christmas
Usnea everywhere, one of my favourite types of moss
My great Grandmother’s kettle put to good use in the outdoors
Before the storm, the walk back gnome from the woods
The handmade greenhouse looks nice in all kinds of weather ❤
Still green in the glass house
The deceiving Lapin
Beautiful illustrated book by Elsa Beskow from 1960
Christmas Carols…


Visit the fairy tree
gift from my mom
Henry of Wyeth
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Spot the beaming light
The Strait
My Favourite house in the East.  They have small bales of hay around the foundation of their home.  I wish I knew when it was built ❤
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Driving Home

Riddari Knitting Kit Give Away!

A Special Knitting Kit from Alafoss in Iceland, just for you ❤

Today on PEI, we are snowed into our homes.  The province essentially shut down.  We do however have power (amazing!) so I think it is the best time to discuss the Riddari Knitting Kit GiveAway!

We are very excited to have partnered up with Alafoss to offer you a chance to win a Riddari knitting kit!  The Riddari pattern, designed by Védís Jónsdóttir for Ístex, is a classic take on the traditional Lopapeysa.  It’s a fun, unisex pattern that is perfect for a beginner who is ready to tackle something a little more challenging as well as advanced knitters.

The kit includes:

14 x Léttlopi (50 grams) – 100% Icelandic Wool Yarn (Check out the Alafoss website – linked above – to see the colours included in the kit)

  • 9 x Color 1420 (Murky) Pictured first on the left
  • 3 x Color 0059 (Black)
  • 1 x Color 1418 (Straw) Next to black
  • 1 x Color 1419 (Barley)
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    The colours in the kit (These are from my own kit:) You will get your own, untouched and free from the animals of my house!

The yarn included in this kit is enough to make the XXL sweater (the biggest size in this pattern) – if you are knitting a smaller size, you will have left overs to make fun mittens and/or socks!

Needles not included but you need:

4½ mm circular needles 40 and 80 cm

3½ mm circular needles 40 and 80 cm

3½ mm and 4½ mm double pointed needles

These are readily available at any craft/wool store for reasonable prices.  They are also necessities for any knitter and will be used time and time again!  I often snatch up any knitting needles I find at thrift stores.  You can often fine a bag with dozens for a couple of dollars.

Working on my own Riddari Kit on a snow day
pretty simple knitting in the round ❤
Snow drifts on the window in the bedroom and a sleepy pup
The pattern 🙂  This picture of the man with the rope is the one available
So much wool in the kit!  14 balls of beautiful, Icelandic wool

This was the first Lopapeysa that I ever knit.  After my partner Jamie and I drove around magical Iceland in April 2013, we stopped in at a shop and I bought enough Léttlopi to make him the sweater (the rough sea one in the pictures).  I loved it so much and that really set off my love for knitting Icelandic sweaters in the round.  Featured below: Jamie’s “Rough Seas” Riddari on the left and my Oatmeal Riddari on the right.  I wear Jamie’s even though it is much too big for me >.<

And there you have it!

The Giveaway is open today on Saturday, December 17th 2016 and will close next Friday, December 23rd.  Anyone and everyone can enter.  The winner will be chosen at complete random.  I suggest entering even if you don’t knit,  Perhaps there is someone you know that would really appreciate a beautiful knitting gift?

Details for entering can be found on my Instagram page @woodfolkk  Simply comment on the picture featuring riddari and tag 2 people you think would be interested in the contest.  That is how simple it is 🙂

This is all thanks to the wonderful people at ALAFOSS Please do yourself a favour and find them on instagram at @alafoss and check out their online shop (http://alafoss.is) for a myriad of Icelandic woolen goods (among other things <3).  They have been in business since the late 19th Century, how cool is that?


Homespun and Winter Walks

So much snow fell on us yesterday.  Our windows were covered by 3 pm, our world grey and dark.  We have been having unseasonably cold temperatures, it feels more like we’ve been plunged in the depths of January and early February.  I talk a lot about the weather… my journal since I was a teenage is half discussing the temperature, the rain or snow, the wind or how the trees bowed and danced.  I love Mother Nature and simply observing her moods.  When I write I think I focus on the weather first as though to clear my mind for what exactly it is I want to say, so please bear with me 😉

This morning, I went out to see the chickens (who refused to leave the coop when they spotted the snow), lit a fire and finally sat down to draw.  My studio/work room had been overrun with my Christmas cards and packaging things up for orders.  This morning, I shipped the last of my orders so my mind has cleared for new projects.  I always have some kind of “Ode to…” brewing in my mind and this morning I worked out an Ode to working with the earth and with my hands. An ode to tradition bound up with the animals, insects and herbs that make a comfortable home. A home that goes so far beyond our front doors.

Preliminary sketch and my magic fox stamp
Letting the life come through a little more detailed
Beginning of the end – I used an old drawing I did based on a Grimms Fiary Tale
Indian Ink, a beautiful pitch black


Developing my altar art work

The sheep is at the center, providing us with wool that keeps our hands busy, our minds active and our bodies so warm (as well as countless other things – I’m currently contemplating insulating my chicken coop with wool and birch).  The spindle – representative of transformation – spins the rough wool to the versatile material that we love.  The quilt block is a marker of the home, of ancestors and narratives (to me personally, it is a symbol of love and comfort). The plants are dandelion, sage, lavender and Calendula – all magical, useful and healthful entities.  I included oak leaves for wisdom, the boundary between worlds and for the love of the steadfast tree. Everything ties together to allude to traditional folk lives – working with animals and plants.

I developed it a little further by adding a home, emerging from the quilt.

A home
Finished calendula and twisting wool
A Giver of life and the phases of the moon
One more thing…
Homespun – Finished

And there she is!  Homespun – an ode to a working kinship with the earth.  I’m hoping to make some prints on rag paper.  If anyone is interested, please let me know!

To leave you – some pictures from our walk through farmers’ fields today – in a foot of snow.

Walking along the fields
To see the remaining Canadian Geese
The sky changes so quickly
Interested in the Geese, she is 😉
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To sit and knit with fire and fairy lights during the long evening