Downton Abbey KAL

Monday, January 28, 2013

I think this project deserves its own, separate post. 

I, like many others have been utterly addicted to the show  "Downton Abbey" It has been a long time since I have been so absorbed by a show, and I have so  feverishly looked forward to each new episode. I can give you a million reasons why you should watch, the writing, the acting, the setting, the characters, the fashions, really, the list is endless, but honestly you simply have to try for yourself to understand. 

In honor of this show, and perhaps to provide us, Downton- obsessed knitters, a creative opportunity, Shannon of Luvinthemommyhood started the Downton Abbey KAL. All participants have picked a Downton- inspired pattern, and are working tirelessly to finish it prior to the deadline of February 6th. 

I took forever to choose a project, and finally settled on the Imogen Cowl, knitted in Quince & Co Tern yarn. The color is such a beautiful green, it reminded me of the vibrant green gardens that surround Downton. And the intricacy of the lace pattern (my first attempt at lace....ahem!) makes for a very sophisticated and classy cowl. These are the pictures that inspired me to make this choice. 

My yarn arrived late, so I am way behind on knitting the cowl, I will certainly not make the deadline, but that does not matter, the main thing is that I was a part of the discussions happening on the Ravelry thread, that I get to exchange ideas and connect with such talented knitters. Their projects, and oftentimes stories, are inspiring!I cannot emphesize it enough, how happy I am to be a part of such a wonderful community.

So here is how far I got for now. I am hoping that the conversation about the show will continue even after the KAL is closed. My dream is to be able to photograph this FO in its proper setting. A visit to Highclere Castle.

Celebrating with friends

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Is there anything more revitalizing then spending some quality time with your girlfriends? I think not!  Sometimes it's just what the doctor ordered. 

I had been toying with the idea of organizing a cookie exchange party for a while now, to be honest, probably for 2 years.So about a month ago, I decided that there is no better way to beat that January blah then organizing a fun afternoon, where friends can meet, chat, have a few glasses of bubbly, and sample an assortment of lovingly home-made cookies.

To my relief everyone was on board. Or maybe they just indulged me because it was my birthday. Nevertheless, I hosted everyone yesterday. 
It was a lot of fun preparing for this event. I had a Pinterest Board set up to gather all of my ideas and poured over recipes and pictures. I decided to make a light lunch of Quinoa salad, Spanish chorizo, with avocado-chickpea mash on baguette, and an onion tart. I figured that would leave room for dessert. 

To accompany the cookies, I  had coffee, cappuccinos and home-made hot chocolate. It was delicious if I do say so myself, you have to try and make this hot chocolate!  We started off healthy with Oatmeal Raisin cookies (with walnuts and chocolate chips thrown in for good measure), then delighted in biscotti (great with coffee or hot chocolate), magic squares (a first for me, and oh so yummy), a Romanian cookie similar to rum balls that I adored as a child (still do), chocolate chip cheesecake cookies (my son's absolute favorite) and last but not least deliciously nutty cookies called Nutcrackers. 

It was a great afternoon! I feel lucky to have such sweet (pun intended) friends! 

More of the same please

Thursday, January 17, 2013

You may have noticed that I decided to skip the customary retrospective this year. 


Because 2012 was in all honesty a great year, and I want 2013 to be more of the same. A lot of things have fallen into place and I do not want this phase to be over. There was a rather lengthy period of, well, let's say trials, and 2012 finally brought an end to all that, so of course it is hard to let go. Sometimes, new beginnings are not what one wishes for, but just simply more of the same. Do you ever feel like that? That you have finally arrived at a place where things are good, plans have worked out and looking into the future fills you with hope and positivity? I don't want to let that go, that is perfectly understandable, no?

One thing I do wish for, is that I have a bit more time for my blogging and crafty side. I was not able to update the blog as regularly, but I am certainly hoping to get back into my old rhythm of posting at least once a week. I am also hoping to be able to explore new aspects of my creativity.

What about resolutions? None of those for me thank you. I will stick with goals. I want to perfect my sewing, learn how to do something new (I am dying to dye my own yarn), and improve my photography skills. Of course the list is endless, but I will start with these.
I am finally getting around to posting pictures of a couple of the Christmas gifts I knitted.  I had promised my mother-in-law a hat for a long time now, and I decided on the QL Slouch, which I knitted in some leftover Classic Elite yarn from my Effortless. I am really pleased with how it turned out, and she was really happy to see it. It suits her really well, and it was a surprise which makes it an even better gift!

My sister has been admiring my Herringbone Cowl for a year now, so I managed to whip up another one using Bulky Valley Yarns. It's one of my favorite colors, and it looks great on her. 

I love warm, cozy winter knits!

Snow day

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Happy 2013! I may be a little late to the New Year bandwagon, but my family and I really tried to take advantage of every free minute we had during this break, and really disconnect.

As of tomorrow morning, we are back to our regular routine, daddy traveling, Aidan is back with his little daycare group, and I am off to my 9 to 5 job, and starting on a new KAL. I have once again joined in one of Shannon's KAL's. This one, being inspired by Downton Abbey. Anyone else a fan? I absolutely love it. My yarn has not yet arrived, and even though we are set to start tonight, I am hoping I will be able to catch up quickly. I have chosen to knit Imogen Cowl, by the talented Carrie Bostick Hoge using Quince & Co Tern yarn in seagrass. I cannot wait to get started.

In the meantime I have some pictures taken during our snowstorm last week. We were stuck in the house for a day and a half, and had to be creative to pass the time. Here's what we did.

Once the snow finally stopped, we bundled up, took the sled and camera, and headed out for some real fun. Here's what our neighborhood looks like now.

I have not forgotten about posting pictures of my Christmas gifts, I will get around too that soon. Until then, a Happy Healthy New year to everyone!