Hello and Happy Friday!
A few days ago, I asked my husband if he'd take me for a drive. Out of town and down through the valley we went, until the hills in the horizon met us with open invitation. Soon after, we entered the park. Quite possibly my favorite park, up at the top of those hills, (how I love the view), where Bison roam and graze, ignoring those who come to share their land. But oh how they had my attention. Those eyes!
The American Bison, (the name used interchangeably with Buffalo), is now (2016) America's national mammal, and is our nation's largest land animal. These beautiful beasts were almost driven to extinction during the 1800's. Luckily however, in more recent years, a few special ranchers have united and with the help from Indian tribes, they are restoring the herds.
I find them so amazing, and even more fascinating, is that their warm, fuzzy undercoat makes beautiful yarn! I love the idea of buying Bison yarn not only for its beauty, but also knowing that knitting with their fur helps preserve their presence here on earth. May they always be:)
After spending the day with these beauties and some beautiful elk as well, I came home and ordered a few skeins of Happiness from The Buffalo Wool Company. The company is committed to working hard to preserve the Bison. (Thank you!)
I then took a skein of Destination yarn, in color way Birch Bark, and chose the shawl pattern, Amalgamation, by Kirsten Kapur. I love a good feminine pattern most days, but for the beauty and natural look of the bison yarn, I wanted something a little more rugged. I think it’s quite fitting. Happiness indeed!
Kind friends, I’m wishing you a cozy first weekend of December, full of love, knitting, and joy! Love, Jeannine
P.S. Thank you to you friends who have sent me a recent comment. I’m a little behind with responses, but will catch up soon. xo
Amalgamation: The action, process, result, of combining or uniting.
How was your Thanksgiving? I hope it was filled with family, friends, love and joy! To all of those who celebrated without someone you love this year, and as a nation, I know there were many, with my heart, thoughts, and prayers I was thinking of you.
Oh I ate too much! We were waiting until later to eat when my son got home from work, and snacking on appetizers all day and then sitting down to a big feast later in the evening left me stuffed, and now has me watching what I eat this week and asking my husband to go on evening walks with me.
I thought I would wait until after the holidays to knit for my grandbaby arriving in the spring, thinking after the holidays I’d have more time to enjoy it, but my daughter mentioned a shower her work friends are giving her in early January, so I got started, casting on some baby socks in a baby alpaca yarn from the Yarn Barn of Kansas. My daughter and her husband don’t want to know the gender, so I plan to knit some items in greys and tans. The pattern for the baby socks is here. Have you visited Drops Designs before? They have tons of free patterns. The double pointed needle holder was given to me by a friend and I love it. Made of a sweet linen fabric with snaps, it holds sock stitches on the needles very nicely, making it so easy to carry in a bag or purse.
Well dear friends, I’m off to tidy up and decorate a bit for Christmas today. Monday I had some training to attend at work, and yesterday a migraine affected most of my day, (yay it’s gone), so I have some catching up to do around the house. Wishing you a beautiful day today!
Hello There! Happy Thanksgiving from my cottage to yours! In preparation for a few busy days of cooking, I decided organizing the pantry would be a good thing to do. Oh boy! What a difference this has made. I have a busy day ahead but wanted to stop in for a quick little chat with you.
With the pantry clean now, it's off we go to start our holiday! We usually have hot cider during the holidays which started when we took a trip to Wisconsin for a wedding quite a few years ago. It was -5 degrees, so we drank hot cider the entire trip. Our boys were toddlers then! This year, I decided to make it from scratch with apples. They have been strained now and the juice is simmering in the pot with cinnamon and orange peel . (I got the recipe from Pinterest.)
Next, I made the cranberry sauce. I think of my father each year as I make it. He loved anything made from scratch, especially this.
Each morning and evening, I've been knitting and cross stitching a bit. It has been so peaceful to start and finish my day by slowing down. I have just a few more rows on the border of this shawl (Thunder Moon) and then I'll start the short rows for the body.
I decided to do a little color play on the Love and Joy cross stitch pattern by Alicia Paulson. I decided to make the bird a blue bird because I love them so, and I love the message, (Love and Joy Come to you.) so I made it red and bright.
The boys didn't find time to carve pumpkins this year, so late last night, one of those pumpkins became pies and muffins. I washed and placed the pumpkin pulp side down on a tray with parchment paper, and roasted it in the oven on 350 until tender. I then scraped the pulp and placed it in a strainer to let it drain. Next, it was ready for recipes which turned out to be very good and the roasting pumpkin smelled so nice:) There is still some cooking to do, so I should go, but first this...
To all of you who have ever visited here, or left a comment on this quiet little blog, and to some of you who I have gotten to know, and have had the opportunity to become real life friends with, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving if you celebrate, and to all of you everywhere, I hope you have much to be thankful for this sweet day, and I wish you happy, peaceful, and well. I am so thankful for the way you have all touched my life:)
Much love to you!
Hello! How is your week going? I’ve heard people all around, commenting about Facebook posts they see, of friends who are already putting up Christmas trees. Could that be you?
Well whether or not, I can understand. Although my tree is not up yet, I am already excited for the holidays, and what I have come to realize, is that this year I’d like to make preparing for the holidays a big part of my celebration. Starting with stitching the Christmas cross stitch patterns I’ve been working on, which seems the perfect activity for several weeks ahead of the holidays. Not too soon, (because if one doesn’t start early, it may not get done, Right?) but I find that stitching some little holiday themed projects, does put me in the holiday spirit each time I pick one up!
Next on my list, I’m thinking of cookies that freeze well. I’d like to make several types now and freeze them for later. Do you have a freezer friendly cookie recipe you’d like to share? I’d love to hear.
When I’m not cross stitching, I’ve been working on my Thunder Moon shawl. The chevon pattern is fun, a nice alternative to feathers and fans, and I like the alternating knit and purl chevrons in the pattern for added texture. If you are interested in this pattern, it knits up very quickly, and could be a nice gift for someone on your list;)
Early this morning, between the houses and across the way, I could see the sun just starting to rise. I grabbed my jacket and headed toward the glow. "Hello sweet deer!”, I whispered. I was back before anyone knew I had left, and before the bit of typical morning rush began. Wishing you an easy and peaceful rest of the week dear friends. Jeannine xo
The special feeling of holidays and celebrations should not be confined to just the actual day. The preparations—the secretive making of gifts, surprises, decoration, and delicacies—give those pre-celebration days an excitement of their own.
Tasha Tudor and Linda Allen
We have had our first frost this morning. I think it is a little gift from nature, to show the seasons have indeed changed, and that there will be more to come. As the sun rises across the field, the frost melts, dripping from the trees and playing harmony for the gentle rustle of falling leaves. The sounds catch my attention, and I turn more than once, thinking there must be an animal there, but no, only trees, the woods, me.
A short walk from where I grew up, was the Tappmeyer House. In those days, the house looked stately, sitting up on top of a grand hill, with its charming, spindled back porch and nothing but slow roaming cows surrounding the grounds. I remember visiting the Tappmeyer's farm one day when I was small, back when just popping in was perfectly acceptable. I can visualize her there, working around me, quiet and kind.
The house has since been moved to a park nearby for preservation. It looks quite small now that I'm grown, but still just as charming as I remember.
I finished the Snowdrop bonnet for sweet little Evalina. Don't you just love that name?
Wishing you a beautiful day today friends. Perhaps nature has a gift for you as well. Jeannine:)
I've been to the market this morning and soon I'll be heading to the kitchen to cook pasta sauce that will be simmering most of the day, but first I thought I'd stop in for just a moment to say hello and to thank you for stopping by.
When my family returns from their busy day of work, college, and high school this evening, my hope is that home feels extra special this ordinary Tuesday. As they fill bowls with pasta and spread butter on warm bread, I'll listen to them joke with each other, like brothers do, and I'll hear bits about their day. I'm simply thankful today for the peace I know they will find here.
Last night, I started working on the Love and Joy cross stitch from Posie Gets Cozy. I have a little grey cabinet in the family room, which sits in front of a white panelled wall, and I'd like for this and Alicia's new pattern to be hung there for the holiday season. In addition, I would like to make a beaded cross stitch Christmas tree I saw in this book. I'll see if time allows. I love the little house, trimmed in snow.
I'll be back in a day or two with some knitting. Meanwhile, I hope when you reach home this evening, peace meets you there. Jeannine xo
Good morning! I love the promise found in each new morning. Ahh! do you feel it too? What shall we do today?
I finished the pink shawl I was working on forever. I ended up adding a border, because I was becoming a bit bored with the straight garter stitch.
I asked my husband to take pictures outside, but at the top of the hill where we live, it was freezing, brrr, with an icy mist, and very windy. I told him to hurry and he tried to catch a picture between gusts. My hair looks horrible, it was blowing too. I then left him for a sprint to the door.
Back inside, I thought it would be a good time for a real life hello from me. Hello there! I'm happy you are here!
Today and tomorrow I will be finishing up a quilt. I promised my daughter her quilt would be ready for her birthday this weekend. It's an important birthday. She is turning 30, starting a family this year, and she is just so lovely and beautiful:) I smiled when she excitedly told her husband "we're getting our quilt this weekend," and I laughed, when she continued to say, "it's been four years in the making." Hmmm, I don't think it's been four years, could it be?...maybe..um..yes..yes it has! I love quilting, but I do struggle with the size of finished quilts and working with something as big as they are in my hands. Their quilt is a king size. I'm not really a quilter either. I'm more of a learn as you go, want to be quilter. I use very thick cotton batting and double sew all the seams. The quilts are heavy. The finished product is worth the work though; a sturdy, washable quilt that will last a lifetime. I hope to be done by Saturday and I'll share photos before I give it to her.
Well friends, I hope you have a perfectly sweet day. xo Jeannine
How was your weekend? Increased knitting time is making this Fall season a little extra special for me this year, and I am loving it so.
We are decorating for our first Halloween at this home. There are candies to pack in little bags and pumpkins to be carved...and as in recent years past, one may become a pie instead of a jack o lantern, and I think no one will mind.
Outside remains cloudy and chilly, perfect weather for relaxing with tea, under a quilt, with yarn in hand. This morning I did just that, and started a new shawl, Thunder Moon. Don't you just love that name? Such mystery! It seemed the right choice for the yarn I had planned to use. (Stash yarn - purchased in Florida last summer.) I'll work on this as I finish up a few works in progress, and later this week, I'll be finishing up a quilt to give my daughter for her birthday next weekend.
Hope you have a good week and Happy Halloween! Jeannine
I finished the bonnet for my friend and a pink shawl I worked on over the summer. I'll be blocking them today and will take pictures next week.
I finally bought a yarn winder. I bought this one. The reviews were good, describing it as being heavy duty and I agree. It's has a steel base. No more balls of yarn rolling all over when I knit!
I'm going to start a new project today. When I'm finished writing here, I'll pick out a pattern. Something textured would be good after just finishing a garter stitch shawl.
It is suppose to turn cold this weekend here and the chill is already in the breezy air. I choose warm drinks all day when it's chilly. Yesterday we made hot cocoa and this morning Chai Lattes!
The pond is in my neighborhood. I visited the other day and found the water clear and the trees showing off their glory in the sun.
Across the street from our front door, there is a field of many acres and one thing we love is the big open sky above it. We sit on the porch in the evenings, and stare to see what it has to show us. One night we saw a lightning cloud there. Just one big fluffy cloud in the entire sky, that continuously had lightning inside for about an hour. It was truly fascinating!
I tried a recipe that looked dreamy in a magazine, Pumpkin Cupcakes with Brown Buttered Frosting. The frosting is made by cooking the butter on low until it browns, about 10 minutes, then strain over a small strainer and refrigerate until solidified. Next, mix it with powdered sugar and a few tablespoons of milk. It gives the frosting a nutty and extra buttery flavor. I ate too many and have regretted it since! None the less, I will be looking for a reason to make them again.
I hope you have a beautiful weekend! Jeannine
Hello! Welcome to At Stone Cottage. I've been gone a while, needing to rest and focus on home after moving last year. There is time again now though, for knitting, sewing, and baking. Life is very good here. Two boys are doing well in high school and one is in college. And, I'm going to be a grandma in the Spring. My daughter and her husband are expecting. We are all very excited.
The October chill in the air has me making chili, apple crisps, warm tea, and wanting to knit often. I'm making a second baby bonnet for a friend. She wrote me to say she would like another, in deep purple for the holidays. I didn't have the right color in my stash so I ordered a skein. The morning sun makes it look brighter than it is, I think I will surprise her with simple mittens as well. A small pair of circular needles makes this so easy after using straight needles for the body of the bonnet last time, which I wouldn't recommend.
Hope you are all enjoying Fall! It feels good to visit here again. Jeannine
Yarn: Superwash/Cashmere blend, Blacksheep Dyeworks, Blackberry Tonal