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The Art of Slow Knitting

Photo by Caroline Feelgood on Pexels.com

Ahh…. winter is on its slow way out and I’m still working on several knitting projects for winter-time wearing…. The Art of Slow Knitting is really a thing for me. I am admittedly a slow knitter… because I enjoy the process of knitting. Especially when its a pattern I’ve done before and can knit without even watching what I’m doing. Which means I can watch a knitting podcast or get deep into a good audio book.

I see no negative to knitting slowly… I enjoy the feel of fiber in my fingers, I enjoy watching the item imerge from nothing. There are so many positives to breathing through the process of knitting an item. I brings my mind back to writing/painting icons at church. Each brush stroke inhabits a prayer…. that’s what we were taught during iconography class. So when I’m knitting, every stitch has deep thought and prayer built in. I like to think about who will be wearing this item, in what circumstance will it be worn? Will it be a gift for a new baby? A pair a socks for a loved one?

During the winter I had my finished items for sale at a local artisan market space. I feel like you get a better sense of a knitted item when you can touch it, and then the spark of imaging what it would be like to wear it…. than buying it online. But with covid, online is our go-to right now.

I miss the days of sitting down with coffee and my girlfriends knitting and chatting the afternoon away. I really hope that we can get back to that soon.. until then, there virtual gatherings which will have to do, though its very much not the same.

What will be the first thing you do when you are welcomed to venture farther than your front door? For me… its coffee & knitting with friends.

Stay safe and sane my friends!

Till then love….

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How to Clear your Head Space

How full is your head space? How do you unwind? To answer these questions, I spent three days with nature…come join me!

My husband and our family tribe took a 3-hour drive to Pennsylvania to the Allegheny National Forest, near my hometown (who knew this was essentially in my back yard!) We camped for 4 days and 3 nights spending most of our time on the Allegheny Reservoir kayaking.

The thought of getting to our camp site, setting up, and relaxing in nature was such a mood booster! We got to camp, and it was very humid and sticky….but that meant the smells of the forest were right there in your face, crisp and clean! The smell of the forest and pine trees are glorious!

Clear your Head Space tip #1…… Go to the park and take a deep inhale!

The smells really do quiet the mind and help me to relax and I know they will you too! It’s refreshing and clears the mind!

You can literally smell the forest in this pic! Photo Credit: Candee Brown

I can’t believe how refreshing the forest can smell… the earth, the dampness…. that alone helps ease away any stress that your holding up in your head!

Clear your Head Space tip #2…… Become one with the water!

We decided to get up before dawn, to head out to the water and watch the sunrise from our kayaks…. Boy, it didn’t disappoint!! The actual act of getting up early on vacation did kinda suck… but the payoff was HUGE! Since I was the first one in the water at 6:58 am… it was complete solitude. The water was as warm as a bath and the fog was spectacular! I had for a brief moment, the entire river to myself, alone, no other sounds, just my kayak breaking the water…. I put my hands in the water and became one with my surroundings. I took a deep breath and smelled the foggy mist…. AMAZING! It was so spectacular that I really wanted to cry because of all the beauty of nature.

As the rest of my tribe joined me on the water, we sent the remaining morning & afternoon kayaking the reservoir. In total I kayaked about 7 miles that day. It was just the perfect day watching the sunrise and the fog lift…. I highly recommend you find a way to get yourself on the water and enjoy it… it really does make you forget about work, bills, cleaning… all the crap I stress about.

My tribe joining in the early fun!

There’s no time to be bored in a world as beautiful as this…

-Anonymous

So after being on the water all day, we headed back to the campsite for much needed lunch and rest. I got some knitting in while we all relaxed. I’m working on socks for myself. The pattern is My Favourite Sock Recipe from Mandarine’s YouTube Channel… it’s knit top down. I’m using super-wash merino wool that is machine washable. These could become my next hiking & camping socks. I also worked on a camping hat during the drive down… I’ll have photos of that available soon on my Instagram page and details for my patrons on my Patreon page. Please consider becoming a patron today!

Clear your Head Space tip #3…… Relax around a campfire!

Sock Knitting time!

On Saturday morning we decided to head back out just before sunrise and do some more kayaking… this is when we saw a bald eagle trying to steal a fish in mid-air from an osprey! The fish got dropped and almost landed directly on my husband’s kayak!! What a thing to see!

Clear your Head Space tip #4…… Watch animals in their natural habitat!

We saw a group of little ducks on the water, they swam around each of our kayaks! We hoped some would hop on Candee’s SUP, but no…. We had a loon follow us a bit around the reservoir and we saw tons of fish jumping around! Back at our campsite were squirrels and chipmunks….little cuties! Animals are so lively and entertaining….definitely not thinking about work now!

We adventured back out on the reservoir later in the morning and spent the rest of the afternoon, kayaking in total for me about 9.35 miles. A thunderstorm was rolling in and we had to really book-it to get back to the dock.. all in all a fabulous, de-stressing weekend! I highly recommend you all get out there and commune with nature! It really does detoxify your head space!

Candee & I enjoying the sunrise from the water!
Morning Fog awaiting the sunrise

I hope you enjoy my photos and tales from the weekend, but I really hope you get out there and enjoy some nature for yourself! Remember to keep our wilderness clean and leave no trace!

Till then Love…

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April Showers…

April brings several things…sometimes snow, sometimes showers…but mostly a rebirth if you will… April is such a special month… my birthday, my husbands birthday, Christ beats death, and the earth renews… The rains come…it washes away the winter blues, the road salt and grime, the trees start budding, flowers start springing up…the grass greens up, and the underbrush brightens and screams spring! The air smells fresh (don’t breathe in too deeply, the pollen with get ya!),the birds are singing, and its my favorite time… its all fresh and clean, rejuvenating, invigorating, and I smile…

April also brings time to start thinking about new flowers, weeds (boo), spring cleaning (yuck), and knitting outdoors again… but when it rains… it still means a cup of coffee or tea and my knitting in my favorite chair….

For my birthday this month, I took a day, just for me… It started with an amazing yoga class at Flex Yoga Studio in Wooster. Their yoga teachers, staff, and fellow yogis were all very friendly and welcoming… I highly recommend you try out a class and soon! Then to the coffee shop just below the yoga studio, Surehouse Coffee, for a latte and some one-on-one knitting time. They roast their beans in house – I loved the bold dark roast… get yourself some! Also the handmade pottery they use from Rhinopottery, I bought myself a cup to use at home! Check out her Etsy shop or get one when you’re at the coffee shop! Sitting there, sipping my coffee and knitting with time to reflect, time to thank the Lord for my life and all the blessings, and I smile…

This time of the year also means planning knitting adventures with my Knitalatte girls… Its the time of year for celebrating Local Yarn Shop (LYS) days.

Our travels to LYS included two favorites and one new shop. We started our day in Vermilion, Ohio at Cast On Yarn Studio… It’s personally one of my favorites! Heidi & Lana yarns were there and had some fabulous kits available (I bought one!)… The layout and ascetic of this shop are right up my alley….

Then we took a drive to Marblehead, Ohio to visit Christy’s Just for Ewe shop… This is a new shop for us, so much yarn packed into such a small space! I don’t know how she keeps track of it all!

A stop for lunch at a blast from the past memory – Big Boy Restaurant – I used to waitress at a Bob’s Big Boy in Meadville, PA back in the day…

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Then heading back towards home to our truly local yarn shop, Black Locust Farms Fine Yarns yarn shop. She carries all our favorite yarns and much more….

April is just a wonderful month… how did you spend yours?

I’m still cross-fitting, getting the urge to run outdoors again, and always knitting… I even knit at the gym between class times…

Till then love…

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Travel & Yarn

I missed you guys!

I’m sorry that time has gotten away from me…again! Life…it seems…is too busy for me. Last year I spent time knitting and traveling…

A Few of my adventures…

As Director for the Clan MacRae Society of North America, our annual meeting was held in Denver Colorado last year…and my husband and I have never been to Colorado and thought this would be an excellent road trip…or air trip, then road trip….

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Items on the Itinerary… attend the Long’s Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Festival, general meeting at the Stanley Hotel, find elk & moose, hiking in the Rockies, and find a local yarn shop (LYS)!!

During the highland games, we were one of the honored clans of the weekend…go Clan MacRae! Which meant we got to march/walk…in the parade! That was the first time I’ve ever been in a parade! Such fun!

The Rocky Mountains & Animals

Imagine….before sunrise, quietly walking through the park….waiting for the elk to appear…and you see one lone female…wading through the lake heading to meet the heard….hearing the calls of the elk and seeing them up close… all just before sunrise! It was the most amazing thing….and scary too – cause they are REALLY flippin big!

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We spent a few early mornings trying to catch a glimpse of the moose in the area, but wherever they were…we weren’t….so bummed.  We did see a herd of sheep!!!  SHEEP!!

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The hubs and I did some awesome trail hikes, took our packs, ate lunch along the trail and earned some hiking patches. At one point we were nearly caught in a thunderstorm while up in the mountains….this cross-fitter kicked up her pace and sprinted down the mountain side to get to low ground! I thoroughly enjoyed the glory of God’s great handy-work and am counting the days until we can come back again!

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So…did you find yarn??

I am happy to report – that I did find yarn! The LYS had such a great selection of local fibers. At The Stitchin Den I chose three yarns based on a cowl pattern I found there…and I chose earthy colors to remind me of the mountains….

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I chose the Vermont yarns by Tahki Stacy Charles Inc.  in colors bark, granite, and mica.  The pattern is the Quaking Aspen Cowl designed by Petra Marcelle.  You can find this pattern on Ravelry.

We met the most wonderful people and had the greatest adventure!

The mountains are AMAZING! and someday, we would like to call Colorado home!

Till then love,

Darcilla