Out with the old

Tonight, from gorgeous Knoxville, I’m saying goodbye to 2015. It was certainly a hectic year, with a lot of change and plenty of wonderful things. Wes and I moved out to the east coast and transitioned to living in Charleston, started new jobs, met some lovely people, and have taken on new adventures. So many big things happened- and so many more will happen in 2016.

The last two weeks have been a bit quiet around the blog, due to illness and traveling and holidays. To catch you up on some of the goings-on, below is a bit of a photo-dump to clear out the things I hadn’t quite gotten to posting before the new year.

My aunts are particularly enthused about my recent obsession with breadmaking. I’ve brought bread most of the times we’ve visited them, for holidays or just getting together, and for Christmas dinner they requested semolina bread. I’ve never worked with semolina, but it went quite well!

IMG_7635 The dough rose beautifully and smelled amazing.

IMG_7637 Prepping the dough before braiding the strands into loaves.

IMG_7638 Braided loaves, risen and ready for the oven.

Message_1451004202779 The recipe I tried baked up beautifully, smelling fantastic and tasting even better (despite the crookedness of the loaf on the lefthand side, there… Just ignore that.). Semolina flour isn’t easy to find, but I’m certainly planning to make this bread again. It’s incredible fresh out of the oven and slathered with a bit of butter. Toasted is pretty good too.

IMG_20151221_140533 In addition to the cooking, flu-recovery, and baking madness, you’d better believe there was knitting. Above are the socks I made for my aunt Cara, half-finished at that point, but ready in time on Christmas day. Below are the socks I made for my cousin Gillian, finished just, just, in time to be mailed so they’d arrive to my grandparents’ house on Christmas eve. I realize how similar they look to Cara’s socks due to the lighting at the time of photographing, but their coloring in real life and their finished length really make them different overall.20151220_090313

My aunts got a puppy! Her name is Cree and she is a total doll! Wes and I both fell in love with her, but our plans to dognap her and bring her back to Charleston didn’t quite work out. Kumquat is probably pretty pleased about that. IMG_7644

On our way home from Christmas visiting, we stopped at Congaree National Park for some hiking, or at least as close to hiking as the mid- and lowcountry have to offer. It was certainly a beautiful place, and we saw some cool things, but it wasn’t quite as much as we were hoping for. IMG_7648 I’m pretty sure the sign just hadn’t been updated in a while, since the dial was pushed back down to a “2” when we came back through the visitor center on our way out of the park, the fact that this kind of rhetoric exists is pretty telling about what South Carolina is like in the summer, fall, and spring.

IMG_7650 This guy was chillin’. We hoped to see some turtles, but no luck.

IMG_7652 Some of the trail was flooded, so we didn’t go that way.

IMG_7656 Another flooded trail, but this time, a pretty cool sight.

IMG_7666 We arrived home from our short trip to find another package from my sweet friend Raven- she spoils me with gorgeous and interesting fiber. I love the color variations in this roving, and I can’t wait to spin it up into something fabulous! Spinning with sparkles is new to me, so I’ll surely post how it goes when I get there.

And, last but not least, I’m very excited to post an update on my Cowichan-ish-inspired cardigan experiment. The photos below are of the “finished” first section of the body. From here, I plan to pick up stitches along the inner band for a zipper/button band (I still haven’t decided which, but I know whatever I do that band needs another several inches before I bind it off), and from there, make the collar (I still haven’t quite decided what kind of collar I want, though I’m leaning back toward a shawl collar. Or… maybe a hood. That could present some fun patterning/colorwork opportunities.). Once those are done, I’ll assess how much yarn I have left and figure out whether I’ll be able to make full sleeves or whether finishing off the “sleeves” where they are for a vest would be more appropriate. At this point, I think I can make it work with full length sleeves, though probably not if I go for the hood. IMG_7668

Isn’t the elephant amazing? I am so excited about how it turned out. In planning for the front panels and the possible sleeves, I’m not sure yet whether I want the various cuffs and backgrounds to be more gray or orange- with the bottom cuff in orange, that seems to be the dominant color, but… I like the gray better. I might consider frogging the bottom cuff and making it gray. IMG_7669

So with the bulk of the project done, I can at least see my way forward to the next decision I need to make, even if I haven’t figured out what I’ll want to do at that point.

We’re heading out for dinner and the possibilities that Knoxville has to offer, and I’ll be back to a regular posting schedule starting tomorrow with my goals and thoughts for the new year. Here’s wishing everyone a safe and beautiful night, and may the new year bring you closer to the life you dream of!

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