Simple Knits & Slower Days

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Hi out there Earthlings and Fae Folk!

** It’s now a windy Saturday morning – I wrote this yesterday afternoon with the weather so different than this morning.  It’s strange posting a journal like blog post when you feel so incredibly different than the day before – however I’m going to leave it as it is.  Today, I feel motivated and happy 🙂 **

I am SO incredibly happy to announce.. that is is 12 degrees Celsius.  I can hardly believe it, although it is SO windy.  But look where I am writing this to you! The non-insulated sun room!  We have all been longing to spend time in here since we closed it up in November.  Soon, the windows will be open and plants will illuminate the drafty corners.

Sunroom
Window Seat (I did displace Petey)

So, here I am.  Sat before our whole world with a salty ocean air candle and the music of Eternal Tapestry – pondering how to delve into the topic of the 2 simple knits I recently completed and the beautiful act of “slow” living.  The wind is demanding attention today, my thoughts are with it since it’s essentially yelling at me while I sit in this room.

This winter/spring has been very slow for me in the creative realm.  I have simply been directing my attention to … I can’t even say.  Everything gets a little hazy at that point and all I know is that I was way more productive last year.  I am taking full advantage of the trendy ‘slow living’ tag I see constantly floating around (although, I find it hypocritical because there is nothing slow about our habitual use of technology and our means for occupying a great deal of our time ~*instagram*~ and showing off our dreamy art of *slow living* but obviously I get where the sentiment comes from – it takes time to knit your own garments, to bake your own bread, to grow your own seeds).  In my world right now, I’m not sure if it’s actually a vitamin deficiency or chopping wood or lack of sunshine, but I have been SO tired and fatigued.  I feel unbearably guilty about this and need to listen to my intuition which is telling me to listen to my body and take things slow.

And so… it took me weeks, months even to finish the two knits I am sharing with you – a pair of Alpaca double knit lace mittens and a lace stole, using the same lace design.  A simple design because I had never attempted lace before but it is easy peasy and if you can do a knit or purl stitch – trust me, you can do lace knitting.

Amherst NS
Walks this month in Nova Scotia

A L P A C A  DK  M I T T E N S

This wool is the Alpaca “baby wool” from We Are Knitters (I think I wrote that they were angora… angora is just the A fibre word always in my brain since we had an angora rabbit named Bunny growing up).  Last year, I received a sweater kit from the company.  They give you large 5.5 mm wooden needles and about 12 balls of the wool and a pattern for an item.

 I made the whole back of a sweater, the entire time really disliking the needles and feeling like the wool wasn’t right for them.  Wondering why I was committing myself to something that was bringing me so little joy from one of my favourite things to do. Anyway, it took a long time to make and I could tell that it was going to be just an awkward, oversized strange sweater that I realistically would never wear because of the colour and weight of the wool.  That being said, I have seen others’ version of the sweater and it looks absolutely beautiful – mine just didn’t come close to the other finished gesture sweaters that I have seen on blogs or instagram.  ANYWAY – I decided to take the whole back out and salvage the wool instead.

The wool double knit is so incredibly lovely.  It’s thick and heavy and oh so soft. The size of these mittens run very very small, so I’m going to make a larger pair of fingerless mitts using two strands of wool as well.

I used 3.25 mm dpn needles and just experimented around.  I will have these up too on our Etsy Shop, but keep in mind they run pretty small!

DK knitting
Starting to experiment on a Saturday evening at home
Another Saturday morning
Another Saturday morning when there was still lots of snow
knitting
Knitting something special
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Just the ends to weave in
candles and knits
little flame for company
thumbs
Plain and Simple
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Drawing to accompany a simple pair of mittens – Poppies!
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to paint or not to paint?
Fin
Fin
woodfolkk
Happy Saturday Morning! Knits, tea and an early morning drawing

R O W A N  A R A N  T W E E D  S T O L E

Last but not least, this Rowan Aran Tweed Stole.  The colour I chose is called “Scree” and one of my all time favourite colours. I have about a month left I think to wear this comfortably but soon all my knits will be shed in turn for my thrifted dresses and some handmade shifts (as well as my very dirty gardening clothes… realistically more so than the dresses :P)

Nova Scotia January
What the weather was like when I started this stole
Stole
Rowan Aran Tweed Stole
Life
One fine March afternoon – books, tarot and knitting – life complete
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time to block – the edges still curl though
At a lighthouse
It’s freezing and we are at a lighthouse to share some old fashioned handknit goodness
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For next winter – my new lace stole
Knit
On my mom during one of our late March walks

And there you have it!  2 very simple knits, that took me what feels like a year and a day to make.  I wanted to just slowly enjoy the feeling of some really beautiful and soft wool and feel like I definitely achieved that goal.

Now with the change of season, I feel like I really need to speed up my activity and growth.  Shed my winter skin and become just a little more active.

F  I N & A F T E R T H O U G H T S

All in all, I am really happy with the two knits that I shared with you today.  I am also not feeling as down on myself for my very slow progress these past few months.  My body and mind have been calling for a slow approach to everything in life and I finally obeyed them.

I’d love to hear how you deal with slow, unproductive weeks on end!  Or if that even happens to you >.<  I am really hoping to blog more and will probably be revisiting Instagram for at least one weekday to see how everyone is doing and share a latest blog or knit or what have you!

** Today, we plan to take Henry to the ocean for a walk (if the dirt roads aren’t too muddy), knitting and watching movies

Sláinte mhaith!

Julia

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Fiddling with water colours – it won’t be long yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,yeah,yeah
Henry
Henry got a new bed!  Much how I feel lately Henry
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Walks on the beach with Henry
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Jamie and Henry to the beach
Fairisle on the beach in PEI
The latest Fairisle – handknit by Liz Reddy – available in Ways of Wood Folk Etsy Shop
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23 thoughts on “Simple Knits & Slower Days

  1. Yes. Many tired days in winter. I’m fortunate I don’t have to go “out” to work. I rest when my body says and when I have energy I do more. It’s a passing thing. I know when it’s sunnier & warmer I will change. We are like bears, maybe ?! Knit & spin for slow days 🖤➰🕷🕸

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    1. Hi Tina!

      You are very lucky, indeed 🙂 I am in the same boat but sometimes this is why I find it so difficult to be motivated when I have to set boundaries and schedules for myself throughout the day.

      You’re right, it definitely is a passing thing. We are most certainly kin to bears 😀

      Glad to know I’m not alone 🙂

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  2. Today where I live, south Indiana, it is 77 degrees, breezy. In the garden asparagus, strawberries growing good. We can not plant anything usually until May 1st in case of frost. The weather here is a roller coaster ride, warm one, cold the next and rain or storm season is April. But today was bueatiful, we washed our cars and got the winter grime off. Daffodils are on their last leg of the season, forsythia are in bloom and so are lilac bushes. I also have an Azeris bush trying to bloom. Knitting on a pair of socks currently. Hope you day is good where you are!

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    1. Oh my goodness Margaret, that definitely sounds like it would make for a good day (I did have to do a google search to see what 77 degrees was in C, and I am amazed!!).

      Today, we had about 5 C (41 F – did the google conversion 😉 ) and had our first pretty serious gardening/yard clean up. We live on an 1.25 Acre property which is partly wooded so there is just constant work. I only noticed tulips bursting through the soil, but that is exciting!

      Wishing you a lovely week!

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      1. I meant say azalea bush (spell check took over😀). Mine is light purple. At full bloom I might take a picture for you!

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      2. you really should! I’m on a social media break for the week so if you send via insta, I will get it next weekend!

        I started mulching our roses yesterday and making a home for my garden gnome 😀

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  3. Your mittens, drawing and stole are beautiful!

    Like you, my winter was not really productive. It was lazy and I wanted to sleep a lot. I got myself out of those funks by exercising. I lose all interest in my creative self in those weeks. The exercise gave me energy to at least go to work and make dinner in the evenings.

    The sun is out in Ottawa and it’s a balmy 23 degrees! My energy is up today and I have renewed motivation for knitting and creating. I am planning a nice walk with my dog this evening and a King Cole tea and some knitting after that. I power walked during my lunch time here in the city and visited with my daughter who has an apartment not far from my work.

    I will send you energetic vibes. Have you had your thyroid tested? I am on medication from a low thyroid and one of the symptoms is brain fog and extreme fatigue. I’m also fighting low iron and B12 which also make you feel lethargic and tired. But unfortunately, depression can also be a culprit. If you can, get outside and put your face to the sun for an hour. Natural vitamin C can also help rejuvenate your body.

    I am currently finishing up a baby cardigan by Tin Can Knits. The pattern name is Antler. I love their patterns and plan to knit many of them.

    Here is to a wonderful spring week. Happy Easter Julia. I hope you get to see your family over the holiday. I will be hopefully doing some Spring cleaning in my house and a bit of yard work if the ground dries up this week.

    Kim

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    1. Thank you so much for your insight and friendly words, Kim!

      I should really go get my thyroid checked since we actually have thyroid problems in our family and I’m pretty sure it’s genetic. However, I do think you are right about the culprit being depression, even if it’s just caused by lack of Vitaim D! Like you, I exercise and feel a world better but the problem when I’m in those states is that I lack the motivation and energy 😦

      But, I am happy to tell you that I feel a 180 change. The sun is out, the wind is warm and I’m wearing my sneakers instead of boots. I’ve been working outside everyday and feel so incredibly happy! Today, my thermometer reads 20 C and I’m just in for a lunch/tea break with my girl (dog girl lol). We have so much work to do!

      Happy Easter to you and your family as well! You’re lucky your daughter is so close that you can visit her after work! Ottawa is such a nice city in the spring/summer

      Blessed Pink Moon tonight!

      Julia

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  4. I missed the pink moon? It was raining in Ottawa last night and still is this morning. The ground is so wet here.

    Yes, I get my thyroid issue from my Mom who in turn got it from her Mom. I have two aunts and two cousins who also suffer from hypothyroidism. It is definitely genetic.

    When I am in a depressive state, half the battle is getting going… Once I am going though, I feel good.

    It’s time to get to work at the office. Have a great day!

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  5. You are a gentle soul sweet Julia. Love your angora mittens. Please will you share the name of your Tarot card pack ? I feel as though I can smell the goodness of the damp earth in your photos. Your homestead is indeed lovely. J. x

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    1. Hi Jane,

      Thank you so much!

      The Tarot deck is called the Aquarian Tarot by David Palladini. It’s originally from the 1970s but was republished recently. The art work really speaks to me and I am strangely nostalgic for the 60s/70s despite not having lived then! I’m glad you like them!

      Julia xo

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  6. Hi!

    I read you post a while ago, and I had to think about it for a while before commenting. Both your knits are beautiful. I really like the combination of pattern and color on the mittens. Look beautiful. And I really appreciate that you write about your working progress 🙂

    Feeling like you do (or did?) at the end of a long winter sounds very familiar. I do so most winters, and I have sort of accepted that it is the rhythm of life. (Or sort of). But of course there can be other reasons 🙂

    I’ve been thinking about you comment on the whole “slow living” tagging and how we keep posting our “slow” living on instagram all the time. I do so myself, and several times I have started blogging or started instagram accounts because I want to connect with people living like I want to live, and seeking inspiration, but also (I must admit) because those times when I have made something nice or managed something I want to show off a bit. I think a lot of us do, and to some degree that’s ok. Using the “slow living” tag is natural to try to connect with other people with the same interests, isn’t it?

    What I started thinking about after your comment is that in doing this, wanting connection, wanting inspiration, wanting to show people with similar interests what I do, I also disturb myself in living slow to such a lagre degree that I’m unable to live slow. For some reason, and I think it is difficult to point my finger at the trigger point here, but for some reason after a few weeks or months my attention shifts from all of those wishes to a feeling of need to perform, to keep posting, to have something new. And I loose my slow, peaceful mindset. Probably there is something about the brain and dopamin involved, and maybe things such as Instagram isn’t really compatible with a slow life? 🙂

    Anyway, thanks for pointing that out. It was one of those “I knew this, I just needed someone to write it”-moments. Feeling enlightened 🙂

    Camilla

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    1. Oh Camilla,

      Thank you so much for your comment! I really appreciate hearing back on the idea of our slow paces – your comments have made me think deeper about this topic 🙂

      Perhaps I should have explained myself a little further – I am really referring to the compulsive, obsessive nature of getting likes/increasing followers which is inherent in using social media platforms like instagram. I honestly don’t think it’s hypocritical most of the time and I understand completely, how else are we going to connect with others? I’m in the same boat – longing for a slow life which is hard to find in a *real life* companion – so where do we turn? The internet of course! I just think it’s helpful to be critical of our actions and thought patterns when it comes to our use of social media. I am incredibly guilty of ALL of what I now find wrong with obsessive use of instagram which is why I’ve really come to face these issues (I hope I’m making sense!) and am trying very hard to limit my use (I just posted a picture – so followed by just shutting my phone off – because that’s the only way I stop myself from losing the next couple hours to obsessive checking – eug!). I think instagram could be part of a *slow* life if you attempt to control and limit your use and became aware that it is designed to get us hooked (much like a drug, really). I just need to work on that *sigh*.

      We live in such a complex time that I think we mentally are not sure how to cope with the change in pace. That is why reclaiming slow is so vital to our well being (just my 2 cents!)

      I’m really grateful for all the connections I’ve made with people like you and thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! I really appreciate it and am looking forward to more moments that we can expand the way we think about our lives, our world and everything in it ❤

      Happy Easter to you and your family, I hope you do find those slow moments with spring and the change of weather

      Julia

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    2. I just had one more thought 🙂

      It’s interesting the idea – I have come to think of blogging as a ‘slow’ form of communicating (seems a little counter intuitive, haha), but when you consider the time it goes into writing and planning, and then on the reader’s part to actually read a blog, to write thoughtful commentary on their words – it’s such a slower pace and (let me know if you agree) much more rewarding than *likes*

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      1. Hi again Julia!

        I hope you didn’t feel that my comment was ment as criticism, because it wasn’t at all. I understand what you are saying and I agree with you. I think it is very interesting how we, even though we are fully aware of the addiction it creates, still get hooked and find it hard to resist using platforms like Instagram. Knowing all that we know about what the use of social medias and how it affects our daily lives, and having a wish to live slow, we (the eager users of the “slow life” hashtag :D) still keep on going with all of our almost compulsive picture posting. heh 🙂

        I have a serious debate with myself whether or not I am going to have a year break from social medias such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to see if my ability to live more mindful and present improves.

        Funny you added the comment on blogging being a slow communication. I just thought of that yesterday 🙂 (Though it seems like fewer people are patient enough or interested in reading blogs than before.

        Happy easter, Julia! Hope you enjoy the holidays! 🙂

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      2. Camilla,

        I’m so sorry if I came off aggressively in any way! Sometimes, I just need to flesh out my ideas and I think I am almost come out a little defensive in my writing.

        Something interesting about apps like instagram, they are actually developed by psychologists who study how to get people literally addicted to a tool. Getting a little conspiracy here – but it’s well documented. Apparently there is actually a course at Stanford University on the mechanics behind creating essentially addictive apps and the 2 creators of insta were in this course, makes you think!

        I think that it’s a really useful experiment to stop using any form of social media if you notice that it’s affecting you in a negative way or disrupting your life in some way. If not – I don’t see the problem with using it at all. Think long and hard about it before if you actually think of deleting something! I actually deleted my facebook about 4 years ago and it honestly was a beautiful thing for me, lol. Instagram is now a totally different beast since we use it for our shop and I live a relatively insular life so it helps me feel connected in a sense.

        Oh my goodness, I could just keep on writing, but seriously don’t want to over burden you with writing! Let me know if you experiment with leaving SM at all and how it makes me feel – it’s something I’m genuinely really interested in.

        Happy week 🙂

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