Peace On Earth

I woke up extra early this morning, set the table, lit the candles, then took these pictures just as the sun started to appear. The light was faint and gorgeous. Today, December 23rd, is my prep day. I'm heading off for my last trip to the grocery store, then I'll be in the kitchen doing as much ahead as I can--washing, chopping, grating, mixing--my menus were planned with as much do-ahead as I could possibly squeeze in. The family comes tomorrow afternoon and I want to spend time with that baby!

Christmas Eve Menu
Arugula Salad
Coffee Gelato with Salted Caramel Sauce
Christmas Cookies

Christmas Morning Menu
Muffins with Jam

Christmas Day Snacks
Potato Chips and Veggies with Onion Dip
Christmas Cookies

Christmas Dinner
Peppercorn Filet Mignon with Burgundy Mushroom Sauce
Green Beans with Almonds
Herb Popovers

I sing in my church choir and for the last two year's Christmas Concerts we have sung Longfellow's, "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day".  This is the beautiful version we sang. I hope you have time to have a listen. I was so afraid I would sob through it (I did not!), and it has been caroling in the background of my brain for the last week. Here's the heart-wrenching story behind the beautiful words and how Longfellow, even though living in great pain, found a place in his heart to feel peace on earth and wish good will toward men. Amen. I wish you all the best during this holiday season and through the new year. Thank you for coming by, I appreciate your readership and your comments so much. xo Kristen

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Woodland CAL

I decided to join Lucy over at Attic24 for her Woodland Afghan CAL (crochet along). It looks like a nice and relaxing way to start 2018 and a way to gobble up some stash. I didn't dare purchase her yarn pack and populate my already overpopulated stash, but instead rummaged around to see what I already had. I printed out her colors and was able to do a pretty good job replicating them with my oddballs. It's all DK, mostly wool, mostly Rowan, and look how much stash it's going to consume! Yay for afghans!

Attic24's Woodland Blanket CAL

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family of Merry Christmas hats

Last weekend I took pictures of the kids for their first family Christmas card. (Be still my heart!) To get the baby to look up, my husband was behind me madly waving a little toy and making crazy faces. (I'm sorry we didn't think to play peek-a-boo because he thinks that game is totally funny.) And all this had to happen at top speed of course. After an exhausting 5 minutes we managed to get a slew of adorable pictures to commemorate Carter's first Christmas.

The kids love their little family of hats and the pattern is FREE!
Mrs. Claus Boxy Hat by Stephanie Lotven.
I would say it runs a little large, and as you'd suspect, it's a very fast knit.

I used the soft and lovely (and widely available) Rowan Handknit Cotton.
I make perfect pom poms with this pom pom maker.
Here's my Ravelry project page

I'm wondering how you're all doing with your Christmas knitting? Besides these hats I've finished three other gifts and still have two to go. They're both started and I feel pretty good about the deadline being 1 1/2 weeks away but still wish I had started earlier.  I always wish that!

Thank you for stopping by. It's so nice you're here!
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Tov Baby Vest

Woolfolk Tov DK. I have fallen in love with its amazing stitch definition, easy handle and cuddly softness. But those words don't quite give it the accolades it deserves. It's new this season, is 100% wool, and has a color selection of gorgeous grays, saturated blues, goldy browns, a white, and a plum that is yummy. Don't you love this lovely raisin color? It suits my grandson really well. There is the slightest hint of color movement within each stitch, very subtle, but just enough to add a touch of rustic homeyness to a very uptown fabric. Tov sailed across my wood Caspian Knit Picks (always my number one needle choice) but I cannot imagine this yarn being needle fussy in the least. I did not block the vest because it didn't need it; the well-mannered stitches lined up like little soldiers from the get-go. Also, it's well-priced for what I consider a luxury yarn, so Tov jumped to the top of my list of best DK yarns. I'm looking forward to using it again, a sweater for me, in a cobalt blue I'm swooning over. 

This handsome baby vest pattern is free and so practical. A vest keeps a young one warm without restricting their active little bodies in any way. I knit it in a size two so my almost 5 month old grandson will wear this vest next year. I've already styled it in my mind: jeans and a white crewneck tee. I can imagine him running around on two chubby legs next year, but right now he is content enough to sit on our laps and listen to me sing or watch his grandpa make funny faces. Chubby cheeks, baldy head, and charcoal blue eyes wrapped around a gummy smile. We melt. Just melt.

I know you love wool just as much as I do.
I found this Woolfolk article to be so interesting.
I love knowing that Woolfolk supports
animal welfare and safe land management AND
produces magnificent yarn.

I found Woolfolk Tov DK at

The vest pattern is free from Stitch Studio Design Team

View the Woolfolk pattern collection featuring Tov DK

My Ravelry project page for Tov Baby Vest

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Christmas room to room

Over Thanksgiving weekend, after the dishes are washed and put away, and after perhaps one day of rest, Christmas appears all over my house! While the turkey stock is simmering on the stove, I play carols, light the fire and begin decorating. This is totally my thing and hands down is my favorite time of the year. Let me take you room to room.

 I decorated the mantles first and I'm so happy with both.
The living room mantle has masses of tiny pine trees and lots of tiny, starry lights.

The family room mantle has more starry lights and two Santas from my mother's collection.

This year the kitchen got the rest of the Santa collection;
 a few from my childhood home and a few from my husband's family.

The dining room has something new: four garlands of zinc leaves from Terrain
 wound with more starry lights. The metal garland is gorgeous and was just what I needed
to refresh my Christmas decorations.

The nativity is on a side board. I'm so happy my mom gave this to me as it holds special memories.
I played with this for hours as a child. 

I think I have banished my large artificial tree forever. It's still up in the attic waiting for the kids to take it one day. Last year I wanted a smaller tree and bought a 78" faux Ikea tree. I loved it and am using it again this year as it's so much more manageable for me to set up and decorate. It does not look real in the least, but it is very pretty with a nice open shape and pretty gray-green color, plus it's sturdy enough to hold my heavy ornaments. Another new addition this year was an update to my tired old Christmas tree lights. We replaced them with pretty incandescent lights from Target and I'm so happy with their white glow. (I used exactly half of what the box recommended for my size tree and it's plenty!) I have a large collection of glass ornaments and pulling them out is like saying hi to old friends. Years ago we invested in a rotating tree stand. It's simple to put up and the lights plug into the base. My husband set it up so I can flick a switch as I walk into the room and the tree lights up and rotates. It slowly revolves and is totally enchanting. I put my collection of painted wooden Wendt and Kuhn angel orchestra and villagers underneath.

There's another faux tree in my knitting room, decorated entirely with handmade ornaments made by me (and the kids) over the last 45 years. I remember making each one. Sigh. Love Christmas memories.

The hallway that leads to our bedroom is a room in itself. There are two sets of window seats and at the end is a bank of drawers where I keep my shawls, ponchos and purses. I usually keep cookbooks and family pictures on the shelves, but at Christmas it gets a good thorough cleaning and is decorated with Christmas glitter. It's a private spot as only we use this hallway and it puts a smile on my face when I walk by.

Also retrieved from the attic is my son's old-school high-chair. Our new little guy is almost ready to sit in it. We put him in it on Thanksgiving but he almost fell out with no safety features built in! We'll have to wait until he's a little older. In the meantime it looks pretty in the kitchen housing an old German village.

Here's our little bear.

Isn't he the most darling thing?
We're so looking forward to making Christmas memories with him!
I'd love to hear from you!
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