New Designs in Snapdragon Shop

Hello precious friends!  I hope your Thanksgiving was beautiful!  Such a wonderful holiday but I am now wondering if its better to just scarf down all that pie really fast so it is out of sight and no longer taunting me with it’s cinnamon goodness or to meter it out and eat sensible portions… I never have been good at pie rationing.

I’ve got some new designs going up over at Snapdragon Snippets: great paper-crafting SVG shop with Wintry Christmassy yumminess!

SweetLittleWood.yarnandneedles-1.1 SweetLittleWood.vintagebaubles-1.1 SweetLittleWood.snowglobe-1.1

These designs will also be available through my Etsy store soon!

xx Joanna

May The Stitch Count Be Ever In Your Favor- Yarn Along

 I’m linking up with Ginny over at Small Things for a Yarn Along.

I took K. and three friends to see the (annoyingly) next to last installment of The Hunger Games.  K. saw the last one with a few of her friends and on the way home from that showing they had the grand plan of going all together to the next one.  As I seem to be the only parent of the bunch who takes her children to the movies I am the default driver to these events.  I didn’t like the third book AT ALL.  So seeing it over two excruciatingly long movies was not for me.  So I dropped 4 excited, chattering teen girls at the all you can eat Chinese buffet followed by the cinema and took myself off for a few hours.

knit along Amanda

I happily discovered that M. had come to town to meet me so we had dinner and then settled into the Coffee Shop Which Must Not Be Named But Has Taken Over The World , had all I could drink caffeine, great company (I’m an introvert so good company = one person who I am totally and utterly comfortable with), Amanda and my clicking needles.  It would have been perfect if it hadn’t been for the fact that I realized after finishing the back fronts and one sleeve up to the yoke that I wasn’t going to have enough wool to finish it.  No kidding- after my last knitted debacle I was uber careful with gauge… well it didn’t work.  I am about 6 balls of wool short! SIX!  How did that happen?  I double checked everything wondering how it all went so wrong and I had it right and should have had more than enough I still cant figure it out!  So Amanda is frogged. And I’ve gone off knitting…

 I have been browsing through a book I stumbled upon at my local independent bookstore: Modern Pioneering by Georgia Pellegrini.  Its not revolutionary and is not full of new information but I like her style (lovely photography) and I love the ethos.  Really it is for absolute beginners at living more off the land.  I heard someone fault of this book for not being time practical… which is the truth of going frugal or green.  It requires work.  More work.  Of course it would be easier to roll up to Safeway and buy a tub of peanut butter.  Of course it would be less work to buy bread.  Of course mending clothes is going to be more time consuming than just buying more.  Its a choice you make pretty much every day: Am I going to get out there and break up the soil and plant or am I going to thank my grocer for shipping in all that stuff for me.

So having sat for the whole two and half hours waiting for the endless movie to end I thought about how much more fun it would be to have a knitting competition instead that doesn’t involve a load of adolescents killing each other!  So I’ve designed a logo:

Stitch Count Ever In Your Favor  @

 I think it’ll be great.

xx Jo

Pattern Building for Bikers Yarn Along

Harley Davidson’s and knitting aren’t something often mentioned in the same post but… here you find it!

M. has a Harley gifted to him by my sweet sister when we went to Tennessee this summer.  Its so very funny: he gets endlessly ribbed at work for riding a purple motorbike!  this time of year on mornings which are warm enough not to frost he wants to ride his bike but is a little put off by the cold which is pretty pervasive on a bike- the freezing air rushes up under the chin piece of his helmet and cut through almost any clothes worn.  Most biker scarves make you look like bank robber or Isis extremist- covered in black with just the eyes showing. I can’t show you a current photo because I managed to wear out both of my camera’s batteries without recharging… duh.

Knitting & A Day at Small Creek, Northern California @ Sweet Little Wood

Knitting at the beach.

So I’ve been working on knitting M. a multiple temperature scarf which rides low across the shoulders and sits nicely flat under the edge of his snug leather jacket fits snug around the neck then rides high up his chin and lower face.  The knitted part is easy but he doesn’t like scratchy stuff against his neck so I have had to design it out of cotton.  And then as I’ve mentioned before he is a hot/cold/hot sort of guy and he bike to work in the cold and comes home when its about 30 degrees warmer so the scarf needs to meet those needs too.

Its going to be a gift for his birthday but annoyingly he already knows all about it because I couldn’t keep my mouth shut!  So he will read this and know more… again… Sigh.  I’m on prototype 3 but it is almost there.  It will have multiple linings which can be swapped out depending on the temperature.  I will share the pattern when it becomes finalized if anyone is interested… it could be I have a dorky biker husband who would rather wear a knitted cowl than a scary Isis style skull scarf and no one else would ever bother but maybe if there is one other knitter out there who is a total nerd addicted to his or her other half’s comfort…

I’ve been reading Days of Splendor Days of Sorrow by Juliet Grey (another library digital copy… do you see a theme emerging?) I am quite frankly sickened by it.  The decadence and ignorance written in first person narrative.  Not really a fan but: I. Just. Keep. Reading. It.  Why is that?  I have thousands of books I want to read that would educate me and make me happy but I seem to be compulsively reading a book I don’t enjoy.

Can anyone recommend a good fictional book with a bit of historical accuracy that wont make me feel like guillotining the characters?

Getting late in today but I’m linking up with Ginny at Small Things.

xx Joanna

A Day at The Sea

I spent 15  years in the UK  trying and failing to make people understand how diverse California is.  Northern California- and especially in the mountains- is a totally different sort of climate to Southern CA which most non natives associate with all of CA.  M.’s brother lives in Southern CA and they have had some “cold” weather into the 65 F range which made M. and I laugh as we built a fire this morning and scraped thick ice off our cars!  No kidding…  we could see our breath in the bathroom this morning.

A Day at Small Creek, Northern California @ Sweet Little WoodThe beaches in So Cal and Nor Cal couldn’t be more different from each-other.  For the most part our Northern California beaches aren’t that swim-able as we have some seriously deadly rip tides and rogue waves regularly take folks. More often than not its very misty on the coast.  But all the locals know that in spring and fall the mists lift and the Mendocino coast becomes a wonderful place of light, sun, sand and blue seas.  So sometimes we like to get sand in our shoes and enjoy the smell of salt air.  It makes M. a little homesick as swimming at the beach whenever possible is probably his family’s only real tradition.

Seaweed & A Day at Small Creek, Northern California @ Sweet Little Wood

seaweed & stones

A Day at Small Creek, Northern California @ Sweet Little Wood

Do you see the heart in the cliff face between K. and E.?

Driftwood. A Day at Small Creek, Northern California @ Sweet Little Wood

Driftwood log that is a remarkably good bench.

A Day at Small Creek, Northern California @ Sweet Little Wood

Such a typical picture. M. and J. heads together playing some game with E. in her own world but nearby.

A Day at Small Creek, Northern California @ Sweet Little Wood

M.’s stone named Mr. Bob. See… he has a little smile! Mr Bob won the “sea trials” where sadly Pink Punk and New Pink Punk were lost to the waves…

Sand in Toes. A Day at Small Creek, Northern California @ Sweet Little Wood

Black sandy toes.

Knitting & A Day at Small Creek, Northern California @ Sweet Little Wood

My day at the beach…

A Day at Small Creek, Northern California @ Sweet Little Wood

Sausages cooked on our old secondhand camp cooker.

A Day at Small Creek, Northern California @ Sweet Little Wood

A misty but bright day

Seaweed & A Day at Small Creek, Northern California @ Sweet Little Wood

more seaweed & stones

May your mists burn away and leave all your day with light and sun!

xx Jo

Giants in Autumn

Hibernation started early in the Sweet Little Wood!  We saw our chance for a long weekend and grasped it with two hands.  It was so glorious we are still floating in the bliss of a relaxing family and fun filled time.

We got out into nature which is pretty spectacular this time of year, so because not a scrap of crafting was done I will leave you with this view of our adventures: Hendy Woods in autumn: our local redwood grove.

Hendy Woods in Autumn

The Redwoods in Autumn are just coming to life.

Hendy Woods in Autumn

And evidence of summer’s abundance remains

Hendy Woods in Autumn

The heat of summer has gone and moist cool air encourages the little green flourishes to arise.

Hendy Woods in Autumn

But the evidence of past lives remain.

Hendy Woods in Autumn

And the wood cycle flourishes

Hendy Woods in Autumn

There are bridges to magical kingdoms.

Hendy Woods in Autumn

And places where the fey stalk the living.

Hendy Woods in Autumn

But take care when crossing bridges

Hendy Woods in Autumn

for the trolls are looking for lunch.

Hendy Woods in Autumn

Wonder at how the tiniest cones produce the biggest trees.

Hendy Woods in Autumn

And imagine the baby bird that found its way out of an egg the size of a small acorn.

Hendy Woods in Autumn

Its a place to sit and wonder,

Hendy Woods in Autumn

at the magnificence of creation.

Hendy Woods in Autumn

Where trees can look like lions…

Hendy Woods in Autumn

… ahem… and other things.

Hendy Woods in Autumn

Its worth remembering that bees live in old tree stumps…  for when you put your foot in a bee’s nest.

Hendy Woods in Autumn

Savor it all and enjoy the ride.

xx Jo