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Movers & Shakers

Farewell Washington, DC, hello Alexandria, Virginia!

The annoying thing about moving is that regardless of the mileage and whether you’re moving across the country, or executing a small move like us (8.4 miles across the Potomac), moving is still a daunting task. You still need to go through every article under your roof, put it in a giveaway box or a moving box, label it, stack it in a corner and hope for the best.

The good thing about going through e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g is that you find tiny treasures, get a chance to put similar things together (all my yarn in one place? Shocking!, come across things you know a friend would love and pass them on, see small reminders about how far you’ve come in the past few years and dream about the future as you bubble wrap, tissue paper and tape gun your way into a new home.

I keep getting distracted as I write this post from my new state because… wait for it… I have an office. An actual tiny room with a door that closes, a window that overlooks a small backyard where my husband hung Christmas lights this morning, birds are singing, bookshelves that mean all my knitting and crafting books are together and organized, a ceiling fan that helps with blocking, a printer that is not in cahoots with the devil and it’s all mine. I’ve never had a small space of my own like this and I’m relishing it. I know I’ll get good work done in here and be able to close the door and walk away rather than always seeing the mess on my desk, reminding me that a deadline is looming and I better hop to it. Yes, the deadlines are still there, but being able to separate family time from work time will be a most welcome change.

I made a small pile of books on my nightstand and am determined to read more. I think we’ll live better in this new house. The backyard means both my son and pug will have plenty of running around room. Yes, we still have one foot in the city and now one foot testing the waters of suburbia, but this in-between place we now call home makes us feel more like a unit. No more upstairs neighbors that have elephants as pets, no more drunk frat boys in the hall (there is no hall anymore!), no crossing of fingers that the elevator will come soon so I can do last call with the dog in my pajamas, no more concierge holding my mail hostage and no more 10 trips to bring the groceries in. More of our friends live here and instead of standing out because we have a kid and a dog, we fit right in because we have a kid and a dog.

DC will always have a special place in my heart. It felt more like home than NYC ever did. Callum was born there. Capitol Knits came to be because we lived there. I explored my roots and joined the DAR and Mayflower Society. I roamed museums, became inspired, learned more about myself and pushed my creativity to new heights. So even though we only moved 8.4 miles and crossed a state line, I feel like we crossed an invisible boundary into a place where we belong.

Welcome home, friends.

 

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Cornucopia

What’s not to love about the autumn season? Leaves crunching under your feet while you walk, scarf wrapped snugly around your neck, the smell of crispness in the air or perhaps a wood-burning stove, pumpkins on front stoops past their prime, gourds adoring the table, spicy tea brewing… If it isn’t obvious by now, I love fall.

I love that my daily walks with my son and the pug aren’t hindered yet by snow or that the sun isn’t beating down oppressively on us. Fall is the perfect season, sandwiched between miserably hot weather and bone-chilling cold. You can get away with a scarf and some wristers, maybe a hat, but boots, long underwear and thick gloves are still far off on the horizon.

Autumn reminds me of my mother. An exceptionally talented pastel and oil painter, my mom always makes this time of year special. As a kid, it was simply understood that no matter where we were headed to, pulling over to the side of the road so she could take pictures for a future painting idea or stopping on our walks to collect leaves or interesting stones was just how things were.  Years of doing so taught me to always be on the lookout for treasures gone unnoticed by other passersby. A stone shaped like a heart, a vibrant red leaf, a bird’s feather or interesting acorn all had a secret to share if you looked closely enough. My mom appreciates what nature has to offer us and has instilled that in me.

Another thing my mom always did was make a spectacular fall wreathe for the front door. Most moms go buy one at the store, but not my mom! Intricately woven branches and small pumpkins, a checked bow or maybe some leaves somehow worked together magically to make our front door the best on the block, hands down. Much can be attributed to her artistic talent, but I think her love of nature and fall made her wreathes extra special.

She projected the need to bring autumn inside by making our Thanksgiving table one that rivaled the ones seen in home dec magazines. With an impressive turkey collection coming in the form of candlesticks, salt and pepper shakers, napkins, candy dishes and other various knick knacks, I always take a moment to admire, but look beyond the trappings and see what matters most – my family gathered around the table.

This year it’ll be my mom as head chef, my dad’s humor, my son trying new flavors and chugging down milk, my husband with his head down, appreciative of my mom’s famous turkey and me, her sous chef who is happy to be there and be part of the table. A cornucopia of flavors, stories, enjoying each other’s company, leaf walks, the occasional snow flake and familiar smells that mean for the time being, we’re under my parent’s roof, are what make me give thanks.

In honor of fall and all that it encompasses, I wanted to share with you my Cornucopia Wristers pattern. Knit in Cascade’s Jewel Hand Dyed, a 100% Peruvian hand dyed wool; this color way screamed “FALL!!!!!” to me. I love when I can get a pair of wristers out of one ball and this yarn didn’t let me down.  A subtle thick and thinness to the yarn ensured a slight texture while the beauty of the hand dye kept things interesting. As always, I was impressed by the wide range of colors offered in this yarn (over 35!) and it knit up nicely on US 8s.

Make a pair for your Thanksgiving host or hostess or if you’re hosting this year, cast on while you make everyone else do the dishes. Knit flat in a simple lace repeat, the wristers are seamed up the side with an opening left for the thumb. A unisex design, this will bring you and yours through the chilly months ahead.

Let’s welcome in the fall by giving thanks and knitting some warm wristers. Pattern available for free here.