women of a certain age are like sunflowers; they know how to turn their faces to the sun.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas in the Country

At Christmas time I believe the things that children do.

I believe with English children that holly placed in windows will protect our homes from evil.

I believe with Swiss children that the touch of edelweiss will charm a person with love.

I believe with Italian children that La Befana is not an ugly doll but a good fairy who will gladden the heart of all.

I believe with Greek children that coins concealed in freshly baked loaves of bread will bring good luck to anyone who finds them.

I believe with German children that the sight of a Christmas tree will lessen hostility among adults.

I believe with French children that lentils soaked and planted in a bowl will rekindle life in people who have lost hope.

I believe with Dutch children that the horse Sleipner will fly through the sky and fill the earth with joy.

I believe with Swedish children that Jultomte will come and deliver gifts to the poor as well as to the rich.

I believe with Finnish children that parties held on St.Stephen's Day will erase sorrow.

I believe with Danish children that the music of a band playing from a church tower will strengthen humankind.

I believe with Bulgarian children that sparks from a Christmas log will create warmth in human souls.

I believe with American children that the sending of Christmas cards will build friendships.

I believe with all children that there will be peace on earth.

Daniel Roselle

I was on line this morning when I came across this wonderful Credo. It has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas in the country, but I just loved it so much, it made its way onto the top of this post anyway!

Thank you for your many generous offers to help me spread the scarf/cowl pattern I shared yesterday. I'll be writing up the pattern asap and will email it out to all of you who have agreed to test knit.

*****************

Every year on the 27th we pack up our winter coats and our galoshes, our presents & our packages, some warm socks and a good book to snuggle up by the fire with...

And turn both our car and our hearts northward, towards Leland, Michigan.

Those of you who have been reading for a while, know that my grandparents built a home on the lake there during the war. You know my father & step-mother, my sister and her family make their homes in this quiet pastoral corner of the state. You know DH & I are eagerly awaiting January 8th when we close the deal on our own little corner of paradise - 9 wooded acres on a ridge overlooking the lake. You know how much I love it there.

And now, those who are new to this blog know it also.

I was raised a city girl, but was lucky enough each summer to spend glorious weeks at a time, enjoying what the country has to offer. The peace and quiet, the simple evenings spent playing cards, the quiet afternoons reading or knitting on the porch, the Sunday night community sings.

I am blessed beyond belief to have this place in my family, in my heart. And every summer I make my way to the little cemetery on the point where my grandparents are buried and say a simple "thank you."

This last summer, I took Conner for the first time. He is 5th generation and I hope he will come to love it as much as I do. As much as his father does.

So when I needed a name for my latest free cowl design, my heart reached out to the windy snowy reaches of the land where we will eventually came to ground and make our home. I pictured putting on this warm and comfy neckwarmer under my jeans jacket and heading out for a winter hike through the snow.

What else could I name it but Christmas in the Country?

CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY COWL

size: 6 in. tall by 22 in. around
materials:
dk weight yarn MC: 85 yds. CC1: 75 yds. CC2: 33 yds. model done in Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light: MC: steel cut oats CC1: redwood mix CC2: fern Size 5 (US) 24 in. circular needles
gauge: 5 ½ st. = 1 in.



Here is a shot of the back of the cowl, showing the stranding.

You will have a little jog at the beginning of each round, but just put it to the back of the cowl and no one will be the wiser.

DIRECTIONS

Notes: This cowl is knit in Fair isle style by stranding the three different colors across the back of your work. For an excellent tutorial in this method, go here.

With CC1, cast on 154 stitches. Join, taking care not to twist stitches. Place marker at beginning and work in round.

Rounds 1-4: With MC, K1, P1; rep to end of round. You may carry CC1 loosely up back of cowl or may choose to cut cast on yarn and begin anew on round 5.

Round 5: Begin Chart, working in stockinette stitch.. Work right to left in 14 stitch repeats, carrying unused colors loosely across back.

When you have completed all 36 rows of chart, repeat rounds 1 through 4. Join in CC1 and bind off loosely in rib. Weave ends in.

Pattern is also available as a free Ravelry download.

It is my heartfelt hope this holiday season that you will enjoy Christmas in the Country as much as I do...

From my house to yours, blessings & happy knitting always!

Just to spread the joy around, I will be giving away a free pattern (of your choice - Spruce excluded) to one commenter a day through Christmas, randomly chosen by Mrs. Claus (just me - don't get too excited).

I'll announce the previous day's winner in each post this month, If you are the winner, email me your preference at susanpandorf@comcast.net and I'll email your pattern right out to you.

Doesn't that sound like a lot of fun?

Yesterday's winner is: A 30-something femme createrix Email me, girl...

Now aren't you glad you left a comment?

44 comments:

RachelAnderson said...

Your latest cowl is beautiful! It makes me want to get colorwork right.

bluebunny said...

Thanks for sharing that lovely poem and the beautiful cowl!

Rebecca in Tennessee said...

Another new skill that I have to learn....you make me stretch girl...and I so love it. Thank you and enjoy your time on the lake...sure wish I had a special place like that to go.

Karen M said...

Love the cowl, I've already downloaded it from ravelry. I hope you're getting all of your holiday preparations done.

RagdollDesigns said...

Christmas in the Country is the perfect name for it. Very nice, thank you for sharing your talent with us.

A 30-something femme createrix said...

Thank you for shoosing me! I love your new cowl pattern...how gracious to give it away for free :) I also love yours tory about spending christmas in the country with your family :) I am a city girl (well, suburbs, actually), but I love going to the country or to the woods when I can to commune with nature. It sounds like you have a very lovely spot you're headed to. Enjoy your time away!

Lise said...

what a beautiful poem, and yet another wonderful pattern. Thank you so much! Enjoy your trip to the country!

shortoldlady said...

It would be nice to believe.

Ulla Stigaard said...

That was a beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing it with us. And thank you for sharing your beautiful cowl pattern. It came out really well. I am yet to learn to do colourwork but sometime I guess I will try it out :-)
Good for you that you're finally getting your home on the lake, that must be the most fantastic feeling. I actually thought you would have already moved by now, but apparently I was misinformed. Take care

Suz B said...

Absolutely lovely!!! We also close on a piece of land in Jan too....in my own corner of paradise...it's exciting isn't it!

Suz

PenCraft said...

Love the cowl and thank you so much for the pattern!

knitandputt said...

Congratulations on your place in the country. I live in S.E. Michigan and have a cottage in Lewiston, Mi on a lake. Of course you know that you are just going to love it!!! I wish I could spend more time "up north" than the 2 or 3 weeks that we do.

Susan said...

That is really lovely. Colorwork is on my list of knitting things I want to learn in the coming year. I don't think I am ready for three-color work yet though.

I am also from the Midwest, Wisconsin in my case. I know just how you feel about that part of the world. How lucky you are.

HL said...

That's a beautiful piece. And the cowl is lovely too! Thanks for the inside out pic :)
Abigail

Cindi D said...

Very nice cowl. Your color and design choice are premium. Thanks for sharing.

Dr. Jackie said...

And just think...it would look just as great in other colors too...for the winter that hangs on after the holidays!

Rabbitknitz said...

Thanks so much for sharing this pattern with us, Susan!! Merry Christmas!

knitterbeader said...

Loved the poem, and am downloading the cowl pattern - thank you. I've not done Fair Isle, but am going to give this one a try. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Lois poohknits said...

Do you know that you can make it jogless? When you start a new color and you come to the end of the row, in the 1st of the next row, take the stitcj below and bring it up onto the left needle and knit the 2 together.
Lois

Suzanne said...

Very pretty!

squiggi said...

love the cowl. I'm putting it on my list for next year. I'm already too far behind and running out of time.

silverfox said...

Wow another beautiful creation !!

Lolly said...

I love that! I'm getting psyched up to do some stranded work. So, thank you!

Kristen said...

I've never done stranded knitting. Would this be considered "beginner" or "intermediate"?

Leslie said...

Loverly! Makes me almost like red and green...

Erin said...

Your corner of Michigan sounds like heaven. I can see why you named your new cowl pattern after it! I'm already thinking of the yarn I want to use to make this--thank you for posting it, it's lovely.

meezermeowmy said...

Thank you so much for this beautiful pattern. It really does evoke Christmas in the country!

dawnmarieg said...

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas Susan, may it bring all you wish for and all the best in the New Year 'Lang mae yer lum reek'!!

Lucie said...

Gorgeous cowl! Can't wait to make it... selfishly for myself! I like to knit for others but this one is all mine. I love cowls and this one is my new favourite (no typo - in Canada there is a u in favo_u_rite). Thank you thank you thank you. LG

Nancy in VT said...

phew- made it through another Christmas rite- the Holiday Show at the elementary school! And boy, DS1 makes an awfully cute muskrat!

bev said...

Love the poem, love the cowl. Truly love your story about the Lake area. I can understand the call of serenity, having lived for the better part of my adult life on a farm in Wyoming. It makes your heart swell to bursting at times. Happy Holidays to you and yours.

Monika said...

Lovely cowl!

Susie B said...

It's a beautiful cowl. Something that I'll be looking at yarn for. Christmas in the Country is the perfect name. The country just seems to run so much slower than in the city.

debi's place said...

Thanks for sharing your talents with us.

migdalit said...

What a wonderful poem. Mind if I take it along to my blog?

I wonder where you always find those wonderful poems and quotes ...

with greets from Austria where children believe in the Christkind who brings gifts on a sleight.

Ash said...

You might be the most consistently generous person I know. I mean, I don't actually know you, but you're really generous and I follow your blog. :)

ikkinlala said...

Pretty cowl!

kaykatrn said...

Such a generous gift! I think I just might use this one to learn colorwork. It could be done in so many different colors. Thanks.

RachelAnderson said...

I came by a couple of times today, and was so dissapointed that there wasn't a new post ... I hope you're not off for the holidays already, I'll miss them!

browneyegurl35 said...

I am new to y0ur blog, and enjoyed your story on growing and visiting the country. Thanks for sharing your story and the pattern.
New to the knitting world and hopefully i will learn to knit as good as you do

madonnaearth said...

This cowl is awesome! You're making more wonderful items than I can possibly keep up with, but I love them all! I have added all 3 cowls to my list; I think I just spun the perfect yarn for one of them!

Angela said...

oh, christmas colours in your new cowl pattern. really nice.
Greetings Angela

Heidi said...

Lovely pattern. Maybe I will try it on an earwarmer.

Marny said...

And for the children who celebrate an older holiday called Chanukah??

I would make the pattern in blue and white.

Shalom and thank you!