New Year Fuzz 2011
Mohair is a silky textile produced from the hair of the angora goat. It is most often spun into a thread that can be woven, knitted, or crocheted depending upon the application. Mohair is durable, warm, insulating, and light. It also has moisture wicking properties that carry moisture away from the skin of the wearer. The hair of the angora goat has been used to produce textiles for centuries, and the term mohair entered English usage from the Arabic mukhayyar, referring to a type of woven head cloth.
This is what I made in January 2011. I hadn't made anything fuzzy in a long time. But that winter I bought two balls of pink and one ball of blue kid mohair and decided to make something warm, soft and luxurious at the same time. Two weeks of knitting and .... voila! - I got a velvety warm, heavenly soft and fashionably fuzzy skirt.
This is a perfect outfit for a winter night out. Cable knitting and double skirt layer make it warm and comfy. These fluffy flowers can embellish any outfit. I also wear them as a brooch.
Winter Wine 2012
The next few paragraphs are not about wine per se - I just loved the alliteration. The text below is about winter. I dared to include a little of my latest read - Winter by Adam Gopnik, bestselling author, cultural observer, and staff writer at The New Yorker. The reason I loved his book is that this season there have been so many associations for me with what he writes about - "a mind of winter, a mind for winter"; "light versus dark, sweet against bitter, warmth against cold, spring against fall," "scary winter and sweet winter," winter in Russia, Germany, Canada, the Japanese version of winter; skiing, skating rink; old winter holidays, winter symbolism, "Where are the snows we knew?", etc. And finally, not only had I a Blue Christmas this year:-( with my husband being overseas - without any kind of wine!), but the coming New Year is not looking white either. Click on the book title for the book link.
"Ice wine, as every drinker knows, is sweetness made from stress. That's not news, or not exactly. All good wine takes its essential sugar from the stress of its circumstances: pinot noir, the grape of the cold country of Champagne, gets flabby and soupy as the climate warms. But ice wine is extreme sweetness made from extraordinary stress. Every winter the grapes on the Niagara Peninsula are left not merely to chill but to actually freeze - the worst thing that normally can happen to fruit - and then the brutal cold forces all the natural sugar into the core of the grape, where it waits to be pressed out." p.178
"And in that simple paradox – the hardest weather makes the nicest wine – lies a secret that gives shape to the winter season, and to our feelings about it. Without the stress of cold in a temperate climate, without the cycle of the seasons experienced not as a gentle swell up and down but as an extreme lurch, bang! From one quadrant of the year to the next, a compensatory pleasure would vanish from the world. There is a lovely term in botany – vernalization – referring to seeds that can only thrive in spring if they have been through the severity of winter. Well, many aspects of our life have become, in the past several hundred years, “vernalized.” If we didn’t remember winter in spring, it wouldn’t be as lovely; if we didn’t think of spring in winter, or search winter to find some new emotion of its own to make up for the absent ones, half of the keyboard of life would be missing. We would be playing life with no flats or sharps, on a piano with no black keys." p.178-179
"Winter stress makes summer sweetness – and the stress of warm times makes us long for the strange sweetness of cold ones." p.179
It's a Marshmallow World in the Winter 2013
It's a marshmallow world in the winter,
When the snow comes to cover the ground,
It's the time for play, it's a whipped cream day,
I wait for it all year round.
Those are marshmallow clouds being friendly,
In the arms of the evergreen trees,
And the sun is red like a pumpkin head,
It's shining so your nose won't freeze.
The world is your snowball, see how it grows,
That's how it goes, whenever it snows,
The world is your snowball just for a song,
Get out and roll it along.
It's a yum-yummy world made for sweethearts,
Take a walk with your favourite girl,
It's a sugar date, what if spring is late,
In winter, it's a marshmallow world.
This beautiful skirt was made by my sister in 2013
Take a Walk 2014
Live in each season as it passes ...
The book I reread again and again every year in the last five years is called French Women for All Seasons by Mireille Guiliano. The quotes here are from her book.
Click on image for the book link.
"Most of us really don’t have the choice to sit winter out. The fact is that not every bird gets to fly south. And I confess I wouldn’t want to: I love my morning walks in the winter, breathing the cool, crisp air, and I can’t imagine living in places without much seasonal variation. When the passing of the year doesn’t impress itself upon my senses, I am, in some profound sense, lost." p.192
One of my favourite knits (made in the 90s) used to be called the Silver Age of Russian Poetry Sweater. Then it became the Silver Snow Sweater... Now I am thinking of renaming it to the Take a Walk Sweater :-)
This collage is my craft on Tatiana's Day.
"Long ago, a person’s age would be expressed by how many winters she had on her back. Now technology spares us the worst effects of the elements; the rest is up to us. The trick is to make it as full and energetic a period as it can be." p.194
"...As we walk down the center of big avenues and little side streets, passing fellow travelers, the streetscape feels as it must have centuries ago. Everything is still and clean, and the community becomes a picturesque village of children on sleds (an odd thing to find in Manhattan, but you do)…" p.195
Joyful January Journey 2015
...... starts here ... at Harbourfront.
This year, there's not much snow.
The weather is great for a long nice walk by the lake.
January Joy 2016
Jan 24th 2016 Amy turned 1 year ... young!!
Anastasia threw a party for her. She put so much effort into it. And so many things were done by hand.
I would say it was quite an artisanal approach!
January Red Rooster Jacket 2017
I started knitting this jacket in November 2016. The yarn I used for it had been bought two years before when I was travelling in the Canadian Maritimes. I bought it in a wonderful yarn store called Yarn Shoppe in Kensington (P.E.I.) The yarn company is from Nova Scotia - Fleece Artist.
Blue Face Leicester DK
MO(one if the thickest types of mohair):
78% Kid Mohair,
Born in the year of Rooster
One of my models for all these newsletters and my website is my daughter Anna ... who was born in the year of rooster! Let this year be lucky in your life, Anna, against all odds !!
Red ... Fire ... Rooster ...
Probably too much of the red colour ... but it's the year of the
elements of fire ... They recommend to use auspicious (suggesting a positive and successful future) colours in our daily life to improve everything we want. But they also say we should not use red colours in the year of the rooster... (too late, it's done!). Instead, they say, we should use colours that complement the red and fire element - earth colours like brown and yellow. Can you see these colours in this melange palette? Yeh! I added brown and some shades of yellow. The amount of yarn I bought was meant for a couple of mittens - the kit was called Favourite Soft Mitts. It was not enough for a jacket, so I added all the leftovers I had of similar colours
Play with Yarn I experimented with different patterns, both knitting and crochet:
Knitting - stockinette stitch, ribbing stitch, moss stitch, bobble stitch
Crochet - single crochet stitch and double crochet stitch
Combination of knitting and crochet...
Soft and luxurious yarn ...
Wonderful colours ...
Various patterns ...
Nice design ...
What else do we need to enjoy the process?
Dreaming of a White Christmas 2018
Knitting on the Road
My new project - a small neck scarf - was done during a get-away-to-a-warm- place trip. Literally... We headed to Florida two days before Christmas by car. I started knitting the scarf somewhere near Cincinnati and finished half of it when we were near Atlanta. The next day, I continued, and it was done when we got to Palm Beach.
Florida, as usual, was orange and yellow, pink and purple, green and blue...beautiful like a rainbow ... at Christmas!?
I really wanted something white - it's winter!!
The yarn my neck scarf was made of is one of my favourite: made in Japan SHIBUI Knits Silk Cloud
60% Kid Mohair
25g - 300m
This is how they describe this yarn:
Floating in the sky a moon - together, we give the sun a sister.
I was happy I made something white for Christmas and the New Year. I didn't wear it for Christmas though - it was too warm. On the New Year day, the temperature started going down...
Dream came true ...
At least Russian Christmas was white!