This creative time of year

November 27, 2006 at 3:20 pm | Posted in country living, faith, family, free knitting patterns, knitting, love, recipes, relationships, Thanksgiving, yarn | 16 Comments

willowmorningWe had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend. We went from a hard and heavy frost Wednesday morning to Indian summer weekend days. Saturday was so warm and pretty it led to yard work by my husband and a vigorous porch sweeping by me. We have a good sized, partially enclosed porch and it was nice to clear the leaves off that had been gathering over the fall months. My husband mowed the lawn and mulched the many leaves from the lawn.  In the photo of the willow here, the lawn looks pale green.  I shot that photo on Wednesday when frost was still on the ground.  Today, however, our lawn is a deep, dark green because of all the rain we have had. Lovely and strange for late November.

Saturday, late in the afternoon, we went for a drive looking for photo ops. The trees, even in the apple orchards, are pretty much completely bare. Now you can see the tangle of the tree trunks and limbs in the wooded areas and more streams and rivers are visible all along the road. So swiftly the glow of golden willows has faded to a quiet yellow gray. Just last Wednesday our willow stood out brilliantly against a bright blue sky but now it too has assumed a more sublte appearance.

Each day the visual array out of doors changes dramatically, revealing a new style and new voice of beauty. My husband has warned me that, come real winter, there will be a period of no change. I suppose I will burn more candles then, to warm my heart and soul. We’ll see.

We spent time this weekend “candling up” as my husband put it. I loved that expression. He was referring to his tradition of placing candles in each of the windows of our home (we have more than forty windows). My tradition in California was always to put Christmas lights on the outside of the house, his has always been the candles in the windows. I wasn’t sure what that would look like, and felt I wanted more of a festive look to the house. We resolved our differences peacefully with this compromise: his candles in the windows, my Christmas lights outlining the prettyfront porch.

He wanted to put a lit Christmas tree in my art studio, because it is on the front of the house and is enclosed by windows on all sides. He thought it would be a pretty showcase. He also had an idea of placing a string of “rope” lights around the front door, on the inside between the regular door and the storm door, to create a light box effect.

All in all, the effect of the entire package is very pretty. We both like it because it is simple, quietly festive and not over-done. I enjoyed the experience of working out our apparent differences by discovering what we agreed on and moving into a co-create together. We make a good team that way; I think the world could use more of this approach to life.

luckyglovesThis weekend I finished a pair of fingerless gloves for my ex-mother-in-law, who I am still very close with. In fact, over the years she and I have become good friends and truly love one another. This pair of gloves is my own design and pattern; the yarn is so soft it feels like mink: I just want to keep stroking them because the feel is so soothing. They feature vintage buttons at the wrists, to indicate “left” and “right”. I will share the yarn info and pattern later this week.

I also finished a set of Critter Carolers to place on the stone window sill by our fireplace. I found some beautiful bark from an old elm tree in our yard, and had the idea of making a set of carolers to stand on the bark. Notice the tiny little handknit scarves I made them … one is made from a leftover scrap of the ultra alpaca I knit my Lavender Scarf and Hat from.

crittercarolers3I made the first of some grapevine wreaths for our home last night; wild grapevines grow everywhere in this area. My husband had to trim some of the vines off of our barn recently, and he set them aside for my wreaths. Saturday we went through the pieces and selected those I would use. These vines have plenty of little squiggly feelers or whatever you call them sticking out everywhere. They make beautiful wreaths. After giving them a good soaking in the tub, last night I wove three wreaths and am very happy with the results. I’ll share photos Wednesday.

I love this highly creative time of year. We are busy preparing for my parents and my son who will be here at Christmas for a visit. My daughter is already here, so we will all have a wonderful time of it. This is quite a change for my husband, to go from being alone in this farm house last Christmas to having in-laws and two step children … as well as a loving wife … this year. Such changes, so quickly, so big.

By the way, the server my photos are usually hosted on is having some issues and many of my photos from previous posts are not showing up today. We are working on getting it resolved, so please be patient. I apologize for any inconvenience.

Have a beautiful day!



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  1. I’m sure you are haveing a lot of fun! Well done!

    Love, Mom

  2. Is that a cornfield across from the willow?

  3. Those criters are the cutest!!! You could sooo sell them LOL.

    Cheers Eva

  4. Oh I love your Critter Carolers so much! They are sooo adorable! And what beautiful fingerless mitts! It’s nice to continue special relationships in life, so many seem incapable & that’s just a shame. I thought my web browser was acting up again when I couldn’e see your photos. My browser is sometimes Typepad account challenged. Hope you’re having great fun prepping for the holidays!

  5. To answer theknittinggirl’s question … yes, that is a corn field back behind the willow. The water you see in the photo is the “pond” that comes and goes in our back yard according to how much rain we get and how often.

    The willow and the corn field are north of the barn and the farm house.


  6. Love the critters. Glad you had a great Thanksgiving. The gloves are beautiful. When I grew up in Ireland we always put candles in the windows for Christmas. I believe it is an old Irish tradition, so that tired travellers are guided by the candle light to a welcoming, warm house at Christmas.

  7. So many beautiful and cute creations going on around there. I look forward to seeing your Grapevine wreaths.

    As for there being a period of no change during winter, your husband is partially right. he has forgotten about the morning where you wake up and snow crystals are falling, making the very air look as though it is glittering. The Hoar frost that shows up outlining all the tree branches with a fuzzy white coating. The way the snow can go from cold glittering blue-white to warm and melting, then freezing again overnight. Sometimes the sun shining through the icicles is like having nature-made prisms in front of your windows. There are many changes in winter, it’s just that they are more subtle and you have to look for them.

  8. I just came across your web site last week and have really enjoyed it. I will be looking forward to all your future posts.


  9. I’m glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I was able to do a lot of knitting and eating! I can’t wait to see the pattern for the fingerless mitts, I’m always looking for new patterns. Thanks for writing I have so enjoyed reading your story!

  10. Looks like you had a fabulous holiday weekend. We took care of our new pup and relaxed as much as we could, what with having a new pup and all. I started a biscuit blanket and love the pattern, fun and fast. Thursday I spoke to my kid sis in Illinois, who was heading up to Wisconsin for the day. She said, “All the leaves are gone, and the world is in black and white now”.

  11. Glad your Thanksgiving was wonderful.

    I have also been enjoying the last few days. Friday was spent in the garage with hubby trying to make me a swift. Saturday was spent at the inlaws making the swift with proper tools. 🙂 Toddling played outside. This weather is crazy! It’s supposed to be 60 today-Wednesday, 50 Thursday and snow on Friday? What the heck?

    Your critters are too cute! i love their little hand knitted scraves, what a personal touch.

  12. I absolutely LOVE your blog. Your writing is as beautiful as your pictures and craftwork. Thank you for this gift that I look forward to reading. Enjoy the holiday season. It’s great that your family can come and spend it with you. It will give your husband a deeper appreciation of you as he learns more about you through your family.

    Thank you again. I love everything… so creative!

  13. Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend and holiday. Your descriptions are so beautiful, you really should write a book. I love the fact that you and your hubby did the work together and compromised to make a home decorated by both of you. That seems to be so rare these days. The last few years, I have pretty much decorated our apartment for the holidays by myself, as my hubby is usually gone for the month. This year is no different, and I think I will spend my energy decorating the house instead of putting up holiday ornaments. Its very exciting.

    I love your Carolers too, how creative and cute!! Its amazing what you can do with things found in nature isn’t it?

    Look forward to the next installment of pictures! Have fun and stay warm. 🙂

  14. I like your little carol singers and the winsome guy with a flower in hand. They would make nice illustrations of scenes for a children’s book. What a sweet book you could write and illustrate about the carolers in the country.

  15. Love the gloves!

  16. I can just picture how your house looks with the candles in the windows and the lights adorning the front porch. Very nice compromise. What a nice Christmast to be had in your new home too! Oh, and I love those mitts..the color is wonderful!

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