Resolution, Goal, Intent

In less than twelve hours we’ll walk across to the old farmhouse to ring the bell ten times.  This morning as I walked through the lower pasture, the barnyard, and up to the north pasture my thoughts crossed as many paths as tracks I saw in the melting snow.

Although I’ve been coming to this farm since I met Christopher over eight years ago, first on weekends, then when I left my office job we began trading time with his father sharing the farmhouse, and for the past nine months I’ve had the pure joy of living here full time.  I have become deeply connected to this parcel of land.  It is my home – something I feel bone deep.  When I was crossing through the barnyard just past the corral, I spotted an odd shaped rock slightly protruding from the ground. Always curious, I bent down for a closer look.  It wasn’t a rock but a splinter of bone. Nothing unusual for a farm, the bone was probably from a cow or deer.

As I began my ascent along the path of the north pasture I could hear the bells of the monastery adjacent to the farm. Ten minutes until the 10am mass.  As the bells peeled so did the tires of two vans along the dirt road as members of the flock raced to worship.  I stopped and enjoyed the ringing that was accompanied by crow caws and bird calls, then continued on my walk.  Both Martha and Stormy had joined me in their own fashion – sniffing and following smells.  Deer tracks, bird scratches, and dog prints marked what was left of the snow along the path.  I walked slowly enjoying and acknowledging the sounds, smells, and wind against my face, a different kind of worship than my neighbors.  Solitude and Nature have become my chapel.
We cannot know what the coming year will hold.  Yet people across the globe will make resolutions, goals, or intentions.  “Should I?” I wondered.  There are things I want to focus on –  to knit ten shawls, to be less judgmental, to be truer to myself, to journal regularly, to learn the names of more birds and wildflowers, to work on my posture…
But what is the difference between resolve, goal, and intent? I went to the dictionary for a proper definition.

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Resolve – to reach a firm decision.
Goal – the end to which effort is directed.
Intent – an object or end to be attained.
Which definition fits those I’d like to focus on? And is one more sincere than the others?
I honestly don’t know.  What I do know is that I am like that bone in the barnyard.  I am embedded, a little bit exposed to the elements but sunk deep into a place I love.  Can I, should I, strive more than that?  Isn’t that enough?  



Fresh from the Dyepot – January Warm and Spicy

Inspiration comes from many places.  The January addition to the yarn line are warm and spicy colors because on these cold winter nights it’s the kitchen that draws me.  In a fine lace alpaca yarn with a slight halo we have three spices to tempt you.  Each is 950+ yards/90grams  $28 plus $5 Priority Shipping in the US.  



Saffron Threads

What a Wonderful World

As I begin uploading the photos below into Flickr the Louis Armstrong and Jimmy Durante classic, What a Wonderful World, was playing.  I truly feel that I live in a wonderful world.  Other people pass along those Fwd: emails that tell you about why we’re supposed to be happy and thankful for your family.  They are either supposed to be funny or thought provoking but come off as canned.  They are you know – seldom is the person sending it the author.  You won’t get one of those from me.  The world we live in isn’t perfect, and there are times in our lives that can be described as horrible or trying.  But there are wonderful moments – hours – days  – as well.

I don’t know exactly where I’m going with all of this other than to say – every family is different, not all have the stereotypical husband and wife married forever with 2.5 kids.  Sometimes there are two mothers, only a father, or five kids, or no kids, or everyone has a different last name.  What makes a family is caring, acceptance, and love – not what is on paper or legal.
Now on with the photos….
Hillarey and her partner Lance as we walk along the creek.  I don’t know why but I kept catching Hill with her eyes shut.

The icicles along The Devil’s Backbone (backstory on that name is for another time) were beautiful.

Martha is never one to be left behind.

Check out the hats, two knit, one crochet.

By the time we were heading back to the house all three dogs had joined us.

Stormy is the dog that I most identify with.  She’s an older woman and quite content with her life.   And her hair never looks brushed.
Here is my favorite family photo.
Lance, Hillarey, and Christopher.

What a Wonderful World.
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Pardon this brief interruption…

Scroll down for the 10Shawls2010 yarn giveaway contest.
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I hope everyone has had a safe and happy December thus far!

Here on Clear Creek the week has been beautiful! Sleet followed by five-six inches of powdery snow arrived on Christmas Eve.  Early in the day Chris and I busied about preparing for what often happens when storms hit our neck of the woods – power outage.  Chris filled huge buckets of water for flushing, I filled industrial size thermoses with water for drinking and cooking.  Extra firewood was moved from the wood piles to the porch.  Bird feeders were topped off.  Laundry was caught up.  Every candle in the house was strategically placed, matches beside them.  Flashlights got new batteries.  Knitting was organized. 

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Then we went about our evening.  Homemade eggnog was consumed.  Gifts were exchanged.  Another episode of The Wire was watched (Netflix is a grand thing when you don’t have TV reception.) Knitting, reading…

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All with lights on.

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Nope.  We didn’t lose power at all.  Hmmm So much for my impending catastrophe preparation.  Christmas on Clear Creek

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The farm was/is covered in a lovely white snow that still has me stopping to admire the breathtaking view that surrounds us.  We are so very lucky to live in such a wondrous place.  Christmas on Clear Creek

Other than a bit of hiking I’ve gotten a fair bit of knitting accomplished.  Behold – two sleeves!  Fair isle knitting – not in the roundKnit flat in mind-warping-eye-crossing madness.  But two complete sleeves.  Next is the yoke of the Equinox Yoke Pullover – which thank the knitting goddess is knit in the round! Equinox Yoke Pullover

Yesterday I even finished up my dyeing efforts for the coming month.  Something spicy for show and tell coming soon.

“The kids” will be out to the farm tomorrow.  More hiking and a nice “mom” meal to send Hillarey and Lance back to the city with full bellies after a day in the woods.

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10Shawls2010 Tempt Me Giveaway

Edited to Add: The contest is over!  Happy New Year Everyone!  A winner will be announced soon.  
Thanks to everyone for all the inspiration.

On Ravelry there is a new group formed with the goal of knitting 10 lace shawls in 2010.

Ten Shawls in twelve months.  Yeah – it’s crazy.

To qualify as a 10shawls2010 the shawls cannot be cast on before January 1st.  Now the rules are set to allow small shawls and scarf of 250 yds up.  Many lace knitters are queueing up all sorts of fun shawls and scarfs, some are going to chose patterns as they come by way of inspiration.

Since all of my holiday knitting is complete I’ve been trying to divert myself from starting a new lace project.  It’s hard my friends.  You have no idea how deep my addiction to lace goes.  For example, I woke around 1:30am today and pulled my Icarus Shawl out of hibernation and knit a nice long row.  It felt so good I’m sure I was purring by 3:00am.

While I have umpteen shawls in my 10shawls2010 queue I’m certain I’ll be switching the order as new projects catch my attention.  So I thought I’d see if the knitting readers wanted to play along in the mania by entering a contest.

What’s at stake you ask?  Yarn!  More on that in a moment.

First things first though.  How to enter: Comment below with a pattern suggestion.  Anything between 300-1000 yards, the pattern must be in the Ravelry database or website download, and intriguing.  Yep – pull out all the stops – Nupps.  Beads.  Estonian.  German.  Russian.

Then post on your blog,  facebook, twitter, or Ravelry about this contest (include a link) – and include a link to your post in your comment below.

Here is a list of shawls already in queue that cannot be included in the contest.

Trachentuch A by Erich Engeln
Baltic Blossoms by Evelyn Clark
Swallowtail by Evelyn Clark
Night Blooms by ThatLoganChick
Percy Shawl by Sanne Kalkman
Elm Row by Anne Hanson
Hecate Stole by BadCatDesigns
Norwegian Woods by Sivia Harding
Gail (aka Nightsongs) by MaweLucky
South for the Winter by Anna Dalvi
Artichaut by Anne Hanson
North Roe by Dodile
Lilac Leaf by Nancy Bush
Traveling Woman by Liz Abinante
Bitterroot by Rosemary Hill
Pivot by Michelle Miller

Nor can any of the shawls I’ve already knit be considered fair game for entry.  They’re listed in the right side panel.

Now back to the prize.  Silk my friends.  A 500yd skein of Lost City Knits Silver Bells yarn.

Silver Bells in Silk

Now come on knitters – let’s get crazy!

Contest ends Midnight December 31 – Lost City Time.

Happy Holidays Everyone!  

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Comfort Knitting

You’ve heard of comfort food right?  This morning I told Chris I didn’t feel well and I needed comfort knitting.  It’s that knitting that isn’t frivolous and isn’t fancy.  It just makes you feel good.  And usually it’s fast.  I think this is part of why people knit dish clothes (although I’ve never done it myself) and garter stitch scarves.

Several years ago for our bike trip I’d knit a hat for myself from handspun yarn I’d bought from That’ll Do Betty at the Walnut Valley Guitar Festival.  Betty always has a great selection of handspun.  For the hat I’d used most of the three little skiens I’d bought so this year I added another to my collection in a deeper green (top center – but destined for cuffs) because I had mittens on the mind.

I’m using the Fitten’ Mitten technique from Jean Shrouder whom I took a class from at the 2009 SWAK Knit Out.  Jean is an amazing knitter and a great teacher.  You walk out of a workshop with her and know you have just received lessons that can be applied to your knitting through your life.  I’ve already knit one pair of Fitten’ Mittens for Chris (he’s wearing them now or I’d get a photo!) and know I’ll be knitting many more using Jean’s pattern.

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