Entering the Dark time with Company

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Peppermint, ginger and green tea for our late November walk.  We stopped along the streams to sit and drink a hot cup.  Health to you!

The sun has set and it’s not yet 4:30!  The days have been grey, but every evening the horizon hosts a brilliant pink and gold sunset, fading in the west to a gentle dream-like purple.  It only skims the skyline below the grey cloud, but it is beautiful! My window faces the west.

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View from my work window – to the West – that fading dreamlike winter sky.  And overnight, the snow melted! (The only time of day we glimpse a blue sky – The window is obstructing the view of the river, it reflects the sky and is lovely).

 

We are having very happy days, my Mom is visiting and we have been spending time knitting by the fire sipping peppermint tea, re-potting plants, going for long winter walks with the dogs, watching silly Holiday movies and gushing over Collette O’Neill of Bealtaine Cottage.  She brought rose plants for me, hand-sewn bags for our etsy shop and little pieces of porcelain.  Every evening we have been having delicious home cooked meals (last night was a fish chowder – one of my favourite meals of all time… not stereotypical at all for a Maritimer) and I’ve just felt so warm and happy.  Tomorrow, I am working in one of the libraries (and consequently, going to the Spinners & Weavers Guild to do some spinning and dyeing!) so we will say goodbye just for a short while.

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A late afternoon walk on November 28th
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A walk in the woods before the snow
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before the first snowfall of the season
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Beauty of freshly fallen snow! A stream between the trees.
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Red Squirrel Galore, Two best friends very excited

We both love to use our hands – create!  Since she has been here she has made a sweater for a wee one and has already started a pair of baby soakers (She has two grandchildren on the way and I am soon to be an aunt to 3!!!).  I have attached the arms of the grey lopi sweater and put it aside to work on a pair of lopi mittens for the Etsy shop.  I also finally used some calendula and rose infused oil, combined with beeswax and spruce sap that I collected last winter to create a salve.

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Calendula & Rose that have been steeped in oil since August!  I finally drained the herb infused oil for making salve today
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I finally used the spruce resin that I collected last winter during winter walks in Nova Scotia, and with the calendula oil – made a salve.  Perfect for wounds or cracked skin this winter.
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Among the spruce, I did make a grand mistake using my regular pot to make this salve – sap is very tricky to clean :\ I think it’s worth it though!

We also went to a plant shop in Charlottetown this week to bring home a little bit of pure happiness.  Plants are so expensive so I just continually get clippings from other plants, root or start from seeds but occasionally, I buy a new plant >.<  I bought a little cactus and a succulent.  I also received a very sacred package from Incredible Seed Company in Nova Scotia.  I ordered a some seeds that need warm and then cold stratification in order for them to germinate.  I will be busy this weekend 🙂  I have already started dreaming about planting for next year so there is nothing better than getting started early 😀

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Two new plants!  I am so excited about these two!!  I now have 3 cacti plants and a new succulent that is very beautiful.  
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Repotting a couple of plants – the bird terracotta pots are new, as are the plants inside of them!  The rain came and washed away the snow (the rock is a piece of Obsidian that I found at a garage sale many moons ago!)
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A Begonia, Hoya and Moses-in-the-cradle rooting in an old pepsi bottle that I dug up while digging gardens.   Now have a home in my very last plant pot (eep!)
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A couple of plants that require extra love and care for germination (except for the lamb’s ear – I just added those on a whim in the case I forget when I place a larger order in the new year).  We have Witch Hazel, Mulberry, Apple, Cherry, Dogwood and Korean Pine!  SO much you can do on 1.25 acres.
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Two Seabuckthorns I grew from seeds (also I think some poppy seeds fell into these pots!).  hopeful for these two 

And now, I am sitting by the fire listening to the ambient works of Aphex Twin.  My Mom and Jamie are making dinner together and I am going to join them.  I do hope you enjoy this and are finding happiness and solace in the darker part of the year (and happiness to all those in the light half!).

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An absolutely wonderful gift from a reader!  Thank you SO much Holly, I am so excited to read about this fascinating woman.  This book is right up my alley, I love it!! 
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Until next time ❤

 

 

Autumnal Handknit Sweater

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Rust, Ivory, Black and Air Blue Hand Knit Icelandic Style Cardigan!  Inspired by the East Coast in the fall – where blazing eastern forest meets sky and water ❤

Hello and how are you!

I am well, wrapped in blankets with a hot cup of tea, candles lit and one of my favourite Irish bands playing, the Bothy Band.  It’s Sunday and rain is gently falling.  We have been having fires every day, even if it’s just to keep the damp out on a mild, wet morning.

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indoor world

 

We have been so busy as well!  I started a new job in the library system, working as a call in.  I had best get use to driving at night and in all weather since the job requires me to go quite far to some rural branches.  I am excited to be back in the library, I already have a long queue of books on hold (just finished The Moomins Vol 1) and will share with you later more of what I’ll be reading this winter (I’m going to work through my long list of “To-Read” on Goodreads).  Apart from work… there is STILL wood to stack, wood to bring in, vegetables to take care of (I’m down to the last of the tomatoes) and cats that are beginning to explore the outside world.  There is an etsy shop, art work and a very, very active dog.  Jamie is also giving me guitar lessons again so I’m hoping to pick it up again and encourage him to make more music as well!

Before I launch into knitting… our little 1.25 acre is also constantly on my mind.  I have been transplanting saplings that have come up on the outskirts of the farmer’s field, buried many chestnuts, planted lupin seeds that I collected in July from the wayside and transplanted some of our rose plants and lavender.  My ultimate goal is to have every inch of land planted with trees, bushes, flowers… anything!  And then buy more land :D.  Anywho…. this is all a side because I came here to share with you my latest cardigan handnit.

H A N D K N I T  C A R D I G A N

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Just the buttons left! 

I cast this sweater on in the blazing sun of glorious July!  Yes… it has taken me quite a while.  It was the first cardigan, knit in the round that I have ever made which is why it took me so long.  I believe I actually finished the bulk of the work in August or early September but waited until a visit with my Mom before I actually steeked the body (Steeking is the word applied to the actually cutting up the middle of the body to open up your cardigan sweater).  Thank goodness my Mom has absolutely no qualms about trying anything in the fibre art world.  When we finally were together in the latter part of October, she actually did the crochet stitch up my purled stitches and then I (palms sweating and heart beating!  Clearly a life or death situation) cut the sweater! It was so satisfying 😀

The inspiration for the design comes from the fall here in the Canadian East Coast, where miles of forest stretch along the ocean shore, spotted with wooden white houses.  I have started to really simplify my designs, favouring simple blocks of colour.   I really love the rust Léttlopi!  I find it both striking and subtle (if that makes any sense…).

I started the sweater with the full intention of finishing in October.  It’s nearly a month after when I thought I would be writing this post.  At the end of October, my sister, Mom and I travelled to Ontario to see our family and friends, thus putting a halt to all of my work (It was a very nice visit and I hope to be back again soon!).  And just other life things have continued to pop up, derailing my physical artistic world.

So below I have shared a couple pictures of the fall here, my sketch book and the sweater!  I have not taken anywhere near as many pictures this fall but alas, here are a couple!

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Home in October, the leaves are all gone now but these hundred year old sugar maples are beauties!
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Little messy paintings for inspiration
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Cape breton house by the sea – Colour source for the sweater – Red mountains filled with sugar maples, birch and spruce, the blue/grey water and sky and a cute white house. 
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The colours of our backyard, briefly in October ❤
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Finished!  
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Right after I finished sewing on the buttons, one quick picture!  Buttons successfully fit in the button holes, phew! 
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The rain let up so we went to the back behind our property to get a couple of photos!  I love the contrast against the grey sky and golden grasses.
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Out after the rain – a  little close up
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wooden buttons and abandoned farm land 

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And it’s raining again

 

It’s raining much harder now.    It is also my sister Meaghan’s birthday today! We are separated by the strait, but I am wishing her all the best in Nova Scotia today!  Send her loving vibes this day ❤

I hope you enjoyed this post!  I am settling in to actually put up the listing of this sweater on Etsy and respond finally to my comments and messages on both wordpress and instagram.  I have generally been steering away from Social Media and have finally developed a pretty solid system to keep me from being distracted.  Perhaps I’ll share this with you in another post!

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My Knitting Projects!  A Grey Icelandic Cardigan!  I’m hooked on making the cardigans despite being a bit more work!  Oh and those one ply mittens… maybe next year i can share them with you 😉

**A note on this sweater, it is made from I C E L A N D I C W O O L!  The specific name of the wool is called Léttlopi  which essentially means light Icelandic Wool (Létt = Light / lopi = Icelandic Wool).  This  wool is made using the sheared fleece of Icelandic Sheep.  Icelandic Sheep are very different than other sheep around the world, they are descendants of Norse Sheep from 1000 years ago!  Their unique fleece is composed of 2 layers, one which is water repellent and the other is an insulating coat.  This unique fleece keeps our friends dry and warm in the rather unpredictable Northern Atlantic Icelandic climate.  If you have any allergy or discomfort with wool, this wool is most likely not for you.  It is a hardy and durable wool which can withstand weather.  I live on an Island in Atlantic Canada and find this type of wool ideal for working outdoors in the fall/winter and “spring”  (our springs sometimes feel non-existent). **

Be well!!!!!!  Slán a’charaid!