Hazel Heather Pangur Bán Handknit Sweater

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Hello 🙂

I wanted to share a few pictures of the latest Pangur Bán sweater.  I have it all ready to be shipped off to California but wanted to document it as much as possible!  It’s a funny thing, dedicating countless hours to knitting a garment and then shipping them off to their new homes – you so often forget about things that you have knitted!  Instagram has been good in a lot of ways to go back and remember different things that I’ve made in the past, however I find blogging about it just a wee bit more personal.  And I don’t feel like there are these silly rules about how many pictures I can post 😀

You can see the wool (Léttlopi) I used on the Alafoss Website.  The main colour is hazel heather and the contrasting colours are beige, black heather, oatmeal heather.  I guess I didn’t take too many pictures of the process, so I hope you enjoy the few that I did 🙂

And so, without further ado, here are some photos of my latest handknit sweater (you can read more about the design of this sweater in one of my first posts!).

Sleeves
Still winter and so much snow when I started this knit!
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Finished sleeves – I had the mug pictured here for such a short period of time 😦 it was chipped and cracked after it fell off the coffee table and now is home to an English Ivy
Knitting
Sunroom Knitting
Working on the yoke
Yoke Knitting
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My knitting basket and Pangur ❤
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It was windy – I started with my hair up and it slowly falls out 😛  But in this photo, you can see Shipwreck Point Lighthouse and below are red rocks and the ocean
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Feeling the wind by the Ocean (i.e. just posing for a camera :P).
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Colour Contrast
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The blocked yoke
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Laid flat on the old
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packaged up with a card and a little bit of extra wool in the emergency situation
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The workroom has been completely taken over by plants!
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Lastly, stamped handmade bag !

Off she goes today!  I am being swamped at home right now with chores upon chores to do before we catch our flight in Halifax this Friday.  I can hardly believe that in a week’s time, we will be driving on the left side of the road and in the country of my ancestors.  I have a lot to share with you all before we go and will likely afterwards as well!  We have had a lot of rain which has made the PEI country side so lush and wonderful. It’s hard not to be happy in the midst of all the green and warmth!  Especially when hiking in the mountains on the other side of the Atlantic is just before us!

PEI
Our side of the Ocean ❤

I am on the fence currently about bringing any knitting on the trip.  For some reason, I am hesitant to bring knitting needles on the plane – I have read that it should be fine, but I remember once I had my knitting in my bag when a friend and myself went on a tour of the Parliament Buildings (just for fun one random afternoon when I lived in Ottawa) and they took my knitting from me and sealed it in a bag!  I may go scout out some wooden circular needles tonight (cross fingers that such thing exists in PEI!).  I do hope to, we have a 5 hour lay over in St. John’s and a long plane ride which I will be incapable of getting any rest >.<

Anyhow, my family is coming tomorrow to house sit for us and I have SO much to do before!  Getting very excited!  I may be very stereotypical and post a packing for Ireland blog, if I have time!!!

Slán!!

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
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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

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.

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

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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.

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

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