12 Days of Solstice: Days 9 - 11

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12 Days of Solstice: Days 4 - 8

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12 Days of Solstice: Day 3

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12 Days of Solstice: Day 2

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12 Days of Solstice: Day 1

And so begins the first day of our winter celebration, on this, the darkest day of the year.  Each day for the next twelve days we'll honor this changing of the season, going slowly with each other and with the earth as we celebrate our journey out of the darkness and back into the light.

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More Thrumms and Merry Making

Most evenings, over the last couple weeks, we've been making.  In all corners of the house are piles of glitter, cardboard, duct tape, and yarn.  The secrets and mystery of it all is pure magic.

For this pair of thrummed mittens, twisting all of the thrumms first has made for much more efficient knitting.  It helps that these are about half the other mittens, too!

What are working on this week?

p.s.  Joining in with Ginny.

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Thrummed Mittens and Big Snow

(Sorry for not posting this yesterday.  We're all in various stages of a nasty, never ending bug.  Sometimes sleep wins out over blogging.)

Last week, the younger boys and I took a trip to the local art gallery, in hopes of catching the glass blowers in action.  (My guys could watch them for hours!)  They were out for the afternoon, so we walked around the gift gallery hoping to find some locally, handmade gifts.  I had to laugh, as the boys were immediately drawn to a basket overflowing with brightly colored, hand knit mittens.  And not just any mittens but thrummed mittens.  Oh, how have I lived in Wisconsin and never owned a pair? 

Thrummed mittens are regular mittens with little bits of wool roving knit into the stitches.  It creates a whole extra snug layer of wool, keeping out the cold and snow.  

My only complaint is that thrumms are a little finicky to knit.  Next time around I will make all my thrumms first, to keep the knitting moving along more smoothly.  Ravelry notes here.

The first pair are for a larger sized guy in our family who shall not be named.  Next, I'm starting a green  pair for a younger someone in the house.

After the holidays, I'm knitting for me.  

Want to make a pair?  I used these tutorials here and here.  

What are you working on this week?

p.s. Joining in with Ginny.

p.p.s.  We have a lot of snow.  Thrummed mittens are a necessity.  
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Giveaway Winner

... and the winner is, Lindsay!  Congratulations!  {If you could contact me with your ornament choice and info, I can get your package in the mail this week.}

Thanks again to all who participated, your support means so much to our family.

We also have some other exciting news to share!  Our Tree Branch Ornaments have been featured in Country Living Magazine's Woodland Gift Ideas.  A big thanks to Marian for putting the gift guide together and also for featuring us on her blog, Miss Mustard Seeds.  Be sure to check out Marian's blog, she works magic with upcycled furniture!

p.s.  I finished one pair of thrummed mittens.  Just so you know, thrummed mittens are the bomb.  I'll share some photos tomorrow.

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Tree Branch Ornament Giveaway

We are so incredibly grateful for all the love and support of our newest line in the shop: Tree Branch Ornaments.

We had our first wedding order only a few weeks after launching the tree design, as well as many custom design requests!  It's such a pleasure to work with our hands to share beautiful, sustainable goods.

Here are a few of the designs we've been working on:

Have you ever declared your love for someone by carving your initials into a tree? We did too, on our honeymoon, 10 years ago!  We've had so many custom requests for the sweet little tree carved initials ornament, that we've created it's own listing.  Two initials on the front and the year on the back (or a special date).  They make a perfect winter wedding favor, gift, or as a way to commemorate a couple's first year together!

Not into hearts?  We have an option for that, too.

Another custom request from first time parents; Baby's First Christmas Ornament.  It also includes the year (or date) on the back.  I made this one for Luke, when I realized our third son didn't have a first year ornament for the tree.  I'm including this one in the shop, as well.  

The Spalted Star just may be my most favorite yet!  The simple, timeless shape is cut from beautifully spalted birchwood.  Spalting happens at a critical point in decomposition, just before the trunk becomes rotten and punky.  It retains it's strength, while leaving behind a magical pattern in the wood.

Millstones, for a client who lives in an old gristmill circa 1777.

For a new baby called, Willow.

To say thank you, we're offering a giveaway!  One ornament of your choosing from the shop!  

Here's how it works:

You can enter to win by leaving a comment below.  Gain additional entries in the following ways, but remember to leave an additional comment for each entry...

* Pin one of the Tree Branch Ornament photos to your Pinterest account

* Follow us on Pinterest
* Like us on Facebook
* Share the giveaway on Facebook
* Tweet the giveaway
* Mention the giveaway on your blog

Comments will be closed Sunday night at 10pm and the winner will be announced Monday.  Please stop back to claim your prize.  Good luck!

Comments closed.  Thanks to everyone for participating!
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Kids Pom Pom Hat

I finished up the cabled hat I started last week.  I knit it in Peace Fleece Oatmeal so it would be unisex and go with everything.  I also know that, in this house, if I knit a hat, it will end up in the hat basket and everyone but me will get to wear it.

I adore the cables, twisted knit stitches, and especially the pom pom.  I really love a pom pom.

I tried it on Luke (because he's my go to knitting model who loves everything I make) to make sure it fit (which it did) and do you know what he had the nerve to say to me?  "Another hat?  How many hats do I need?"  Yep, completely deflated by a 7 year old.  I decided no one in my house gets to wear this hat.  If you'd like to have this fun, cozy hat in your hat basket,  I've added it to the shop.

I'm moving on to thrummed mittens.  No one can complain about not having enough mittens.

p.s.  I'm joining in with Ginny's Yarn Along.

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Knitting and Making

More of the same today.  Knitting, making, and reading.

* The French Creek Cowl was knit from superwash merino that I hand dyed in a rich, warm chestnut.  It's next to the skin soft and sits nicely on the neck, without being stiff.

* Mittens for Luke.  I had just enough of the Peacock Blue left from my Toast arm warmers to make a much needed pair for my smallest boy.  It's a basic pair of mittens using worsted weight merino wool.  I

* On my needles: a cozy cabled hat I'm making up on the fly, using Peace Fleece worsted wool yarn.  I love it's natural, rustic texture and color!  It's a bit too scratchy for me, but my guys will be able to wear it with no problem.

* Reading: I'm told it's something involving whales.

What are you making these days?

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Homesteading and Knitting

Hello, friends.  How has your week been?  We've been busy making for the shop and making for each other.  I can't seem to get a handle on finishing up the email newsletter, but I have been able to make some coherent sense of my knitting pattern notes and am trying to get them in order.  Here's the first of many patterns I'm getting ready to publish.

A highly textured cowl named for the winding, rippling waters of the French Creek. An ancient, natural area my husband I hiked during our 10th Anniversary trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota.
This pattern is a fantastic way for beginners to learn cabling, as you only work the cable pattern every sixth round (perfect for knitting with a babe in tow). It’s knit in the round (no purling), so it works up really fast and can easily be finished in a weekend.  

I knit another one over the weekend, for a handmade holiday gift using a rich chestnut brown.  If I can catch a bit of the sunshine tomorrow, I'll be sure to share a photo of it.  

French Creek Cowl

On the homesteading front, I've been reading more about the pros and cons of raising a small jersey cow vs a goat for milk and Mike is already plotting out the gardens and orchards he hopes to get started in the spring.  I was hassling him about thinking too far in advance, but he's so good at seeing the bigger picture.  I'm sure I'll be grateful when planting season begins and we're ready to go!  As soon as he has the plans all drawn up, I'll be sure to share that with you too.  

p.s. I'm joining in with (late) with Ginny over at Small Things.  

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