Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Words and Wool

Well, I did get in a little Christmas knitting before the big day!! Once the Christmas Market was over I mentally relaxed by casting on a very simple hat for Laura and then making one to match for her dolly. It was so much fun and good therapy too! I stuck a red flower on and the simple hat took on some fanciness! 

The hats were completed quite quickly and there was still time before Christmas so I decided to try for matching Plain Vests. I started with dolly's and just halved the smallest size of the plain vest for her. I worked hard on Laura's and was sewing on the buttons and weaving in the ends as Michael read Luke 2 before present-opening on Christmas! Just in the  St. Nick of time I would say..... Laura was pretty excited!

I've been enjoying my other December knitting project - the Christmas tea cozy. It's knit out of some merino in my stash -- it was also a delight to have that yarn flowing through my fingers.

The best project of all is the present I received from Christina for Christmas -- a magic cake shawl!!!! Actually, she gave them to all of us ladies, including Rachel! All the details are here on Christina's blog. Wow. This is the best post-Christmas therapy ever! Christina took all her leftover yarn, tied the ends together and wound them up into "cakes" which we are using to knit the simplest of shawls. I've been so attached to this project that I have only 3 colors left! I think Christina should make these every year for the post-Christmas recovery!

Here's a picture of my mom with hers. Maybe next week mine will be almost finished!

And then for the reading......

Surprised by Oxford: A Memoir by Carolyn Weber utterly captured my full attention and swung me far, far away from my Christmas reads for an entire week. And then I was surprised that it only took me a week to read this 440-page book, especially in the midst of December when I hadn't been finding much time to read.

This book tells the story of Carolyn's journey from being a contented agnostic to becoming a Christian. The surprising thing is that Carolyn's conversion happened during her first year studying abroad at Oxford University. I kept turning the pages of this book as if it were a novel. The myriad ways and means that God reached into her life and called her to Himself was just beautiful. It was also very helpful to see her work through every one of her questions and arguments against the existence of God, the truth of the Bible, the reality of sin, etc. I am very much looking forward to reading her newest book.

Until the Robin Walks on Snow  by Bernice L. Rocque was chosen for two reasons: the emigrant family this book is about came from Lithuania and settled in the USA in the 1920's (I have Lithuanian friends), and the plot of the story involves the birth of a premature infant weighing only 1 1/2 pounds (similar to Call the Midwife story). The author is writing historical fiction about her own family and actually published the book herself. So, the writing and story line are not as gripping as something you would read in a regularly published book. However, for the two reasons mentioned above, I wanted to read this.

  Sleigh Bells for Windy Foot by Frances Frost has made me so happy this Christmas season. I managed to locate this book through interlibrary loan and the children and I are reading it together either at tea time or in the evenings before they watch their school vacation treat of All Creatures Great and Small.

The book is geared at upper grade school age and is an endearing story of an upstate New York family in the 1920's and their Christmas celebration which includes the oldest child's horse, Windy Foot. I am particularly fond of the Windy Foot series because my mother's uncle did the black and white illustrations inside the book and because I read these books as a child and my mom read them when she was a child! So, they are a family tradition!

A Spoonful of Sugar: A Nanny's Story by Brenda Ashford is a brand new book written by England's oldest living nanny who cared for more than 100 children in her long career. This lady is such a good writer!! (And she's in her 90's and planning a second book!!!) I've already begun underlining because as Brenda tells her life story she weaves into it helpful advice on nurturing children. In fact, each chapter ends with a little "advice from nanny" that gives more practical suggestions. This is the book that has me hooked at the moment.....

For more ideas on knitting and reading, visit Ginny's Yarn A Long.

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Sarah McKelvy said...

What a great idea for using up stash yarn!! I definitely have to keep this in mind as a future project.

Pom Pom said...

Hi Heather! The hat you made = beautiful!

A Little Blue Dragonfly said...

The hats are adorable! And the roses are just the perfect touch!

Meadow said...

She looks so sweet in her new vest and hat, with her matching doll. I'm all too familiar with the down to the last minute gifts!

Madelief said...

Dear Heather,

Thank you for your kind words and the beautiful quote you left on my blog!

Wishing you and your family a Happy, Healthy and Sparkling New Year!

Love the hat, tea cosy and vests you made. They look lovely!

Madelief x

Stephanie said...

First, I want to say that you look great in your new profile pic. Second, I love the matching knits for Laura and Dolly. My little Emma is only 18m, but I would be okay if she asked for these types of handknits. :-) The tea cozy is so fun and festive too. Glad you had a lovely Christmas and happy 2014!

Cathie J said...

Beautiful hats for your daughter and her doll. Same for the vest. I love the Christmas tea cozy!

Anonymous said...

So that is a real "yarn cake"! There's a yarn shop here in Glasgow called the Yarn Cake, which also sells delicious cake... great idea.

I'm always so interested to learn about your reading, too.

Creative Design said...

SO cute and I love the tea cozy. Visiting from Yarn Along.