November Check-In: It's Winter

Wow, this month really got away from me. Last month I mean. See my point? There has been a normal amount of crafting, though it isn’t going to look like it. At least I can say I started most of those things I told you about last post.

Weaving

I got really rolling on my Christmas weaving. I don’t want to give too much away, but here are some sneakyish previews:

I’m not even halfway done, so I’d better get a move on. I was distracted by:

Knitting

I finished the little sweaters. And they took a lot of finishing! It took some fussing to get the button bands just right, then I added a knitted merino/silk facing to the neckline so I didn’t have to listen to complaints of itchyness. This summer I bought them coordinating dresses, and we did Christmas card pictures a week ago. I will share about the sweaters more fully when I’m sure the cards have had a good chance to get to their recipients, but here are some outtakes from our photo sesh.

This photo sums up M so well.

Oh, they are so darling, and so proud of their matching outfits. These ages are so much work that I’m running in circles, but they are such wonderfully enjoyable children.

I tried hard to focus on weaving when I finally finished these, but it turns out I really can’t live without something on the needles to park in front of the TV. Yesterday I broke down and cast on something new.

This is attempt #3 with this yarn. Needles crossed.

Spinning

Another month has gone by without my spinning a yard. I’m starting to feel bad about it. A little. Not really. I’m enjoying what I’m doing. I’ll get to it when I get to it. It’s hard to miss one good thing too much when there are so many other good things!

Sewing

I’ll end on a high note. My mending pile still looms, although I did manage to mend one pair of jeans this month. But the really cool sewing was thanks to Stringbean.

I found this cool book, Growing Up Sew Liberated, at a yard sale a few weeks ago. All the patterns were intact in the back. I love all this trendy niche sewing stuff, so I jumped at the chance to share it with my kids. Their love for handmade things always motivates me.

(An aside: N and I together decided her official blogname is Stringbean. She loves string games, and youtube videos about string games and math, and the rest explains itself. I haven’t yet come up with cool blognames for M and D, but kid #1 has definitely earned her place on this blog; she’s such a little maker. End of aside.)

Stringbean loved looking through the book, and of course picked one of the hardest projects in the book: placemats that combine hand- and machine-embroidery. And me being me, I said let’s make 6!

I learned a lot in making these: how to make an applique, what fabric stabilizer is, and how to make my machine do zigzag after owning it for 10 years. N helped with a good deal of the cutting, and started the hand-embroidery, though unfortunately we don’t have the right kind of needle on hand. I’m sure I could buy them though; this town that is too small for a movie theatre is very well stocked for sewing!

Now she’s itching to learn to use the sewing machine. She even put one on her list for Santa (alongside a spinning wheel, a best friend, and 100 L.O.L. dolls). I promised her I’d let her try when we put on the borders, but we’ve stalled out there. I’ll feel up to it when Christmas gifts are done and dealt with.

Homemaking

We’re at the stage where we just need to put things on the walls, and we have (by which I mean “Jared has”) managed to get a couple things up every week. This week it was a drying rack; last week it was a wall-mounted shelf in the sealift room; the week before that we brought all the boxes of books inside. The major task of dealing with the office is still before us, but I don’t know how we’re going to attack that. It’ll happen when it happens, I guess.

But oh, it has been a busy month! Since I haven’t even had time to Facebook many things, I’ll share a few snatches of our days.

Stringbean was the winner for her grade of the fire department’s coloring class, so she got picked up for school one day by the fire truck, and got to be a “fire chief for the day.”

There are days when it’s hard to go to school all day, like for any kid. But she has an attentive teacher, and has had some really cool opportunities through school.

We got to take a qamutiik ride out to a new friend’s cabin last weekend to spend the day. It was beautiful, and so great to get out.

And, finally, on Thursday we held our annual observance of American Thanksgiving. I cooked up a fish one of our parishioners gave us, an Arctic Char about as long as D is tall:

I was going to cook it whole, but I had to take the head off to fit it on the oven.

I used my ayannguaq’s stuffed fish recipe, and made a big spread of food, then invited some of our neighbors. It was chaotic and a lot of work and fun. It was something I needed to do, because I miss our family this time of year, and now I also miss our Iqaluit friends.

November can be a tough month. I didn’t miss the light until it hit me all at once how dark it is. Sometimes I just have to choose to count, out loud, some of the many things I am thankful for, and choose to submit to God’s awesome will for my life. I know where my kids get their stubborn streak, and if I want them to submit to authority with a good attitude, I had better do it myself.

And now we get to look forward to Christmas!


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