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finally a sontag

Sontag knitted shawl

I had high hopes for yesterday and Monday.   I had planned a clean out of my sewing room.  Culling some fabrics to make room for all the fabric waiting in another closet, some which I have had for much much too long.  Hanging a shelf to house all of my yarn stash, starting on Livie’s birthday wool coat and a few cowls from that organic cotton sherpa I have been hoping to use but the days keep flashing by and none of that is getting done.  Just when I might have time the clock says its time to make dinner and then all of a sudden its bedtime and oh where does the time go.

Knitting however can go where ever and can be done while watching movies or sitting together.  Knitting is so good because I don’t have to choose between working on my projects or spending time with my kids.  What could be more important? Young adults who want to spend time with me.. yes of course I will, every single time.

Yesterday I realized I was pretty close to finishing knitting Olivia’s Sontag.  This pattern has been on my wishlist since 4 years before she was ever even born.  Nick and I went to a thrift store in Brooksville (which isn’t even there anymore) and I found a pile of old knitting books.  I wasn’t very good at knitting so I kept the crochet patterns but inside of one of those books was this wrap around shawl which looked like it belonged on a beautiful woman living somewhere in Eastern Europe.  I bought that book and then when I learned to knit, I went looking for it.  I never found it.  I did remember the name of the shawl and one day found this one on Ravelry.  Very very similar to that old pattern I had purchased.  Even the picture of the woman in the pattern looked so very much like the one in the book.

This is such an easy knitting project and it turns out to be such a cozy warm and comforting shawl to wear.  It’s like a hug.  Olivia has not taken it off long enough for me to even work the ends in.  As soon as it was wrapped around her I decided I needed one and from the looks on the girls faces, I think they also want one for their own.  I’m usually mentally ready for a new project but I am excited to make another Sontag for me and then two more for Ronnie and Erica.  January, you are so good to me… and perhaps tomorrow I will get my sewing room cleaned out.

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a knitted sontag and gingerale

Hello friends,  I hope your year is off to a great start.  We celebrated Epiphany on Sunday and the kids got their last gift.  On that day we also said “see ya later” to our oldest sons best friend who is an honorary Gaitan and has left to join the Navy.  It was hard to know he is leaving and won’t be sleeping over anymore or just hanging around our house but we are praying for him and we can’t wait to go to his graduation.

As I type this I am mixing up some homemade gingerale (recipe below) for one of the boys whose stomach doesn’t feel the best.  We have been oiling everyone up, staying on our wellness routine and hoping for the best during this time where everyone seems to have the flu.

It has been quite cold, even frigid here.   Movies, blankets and hot tea are the norm of our days lately.  So cold yet no snow and the little ones are growing restless for a day of sledding.  I do love this time of the year though, I love this season of bundling up, fires going in the woodstove and time to knit or read.  I am almost done with Olivia’s Sontag shawl and if I can just get it off of her body then I can get all the ends woven in and move onto making myself one.  So exciting.

For me a new year means me trying to keep new and good habits.  I am finding that I am getting better at keeping habits going as time goes by, does this mean I’m getting old?    This year I am working on blogging more, sleeping more by getting to bed at a decent hour,  making more time to do the things that make me feel happy and fulfilled and keeping a list of what those things are so I’m not trying to remember what I wanted to do,  working on completing projects (more lists) and writing in my daily journal.  Really its just a few quick lines in this little book I bought two years ago and finally dusted off.  I got it at Anthropology and each page holds notes for that particular day for 5 years.  Its going to be fun to look back and see what happened the year before.  One thing I never miss is my bedtime prayers so I put my journal on my bedside table with a pen and I just do it right before my prayers.  I also intend on getting better organized but I think I will start that in February once I am used to all my other goals.

I’m off to go and give this glass of gingerale to its owner and as promised, here is my very easy way to make gingerale with actual ginger in it (you do know that most store bought gingerale is just sugary soda yes?).  This version isn’t healthy but its easier than making a fermented gingerale and when you need it right now, you can get this done in less than 30 minutes and it will settle tummies.

Easy DIY Gingerale

a big nub of ginger, peeled or not

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 c water

Sparkling water or club soda

lime optional

First we are going to make a ginger syrup.   In a saucepan, add the sugar and water and cook until the sugar is dissolved.   Slice or chop the ginger into small pieces and add it to the water and sugar.  Let it boil gently until thickened.  Strain out the ginger pieces, we save them and eat them since we peel the ginger first, so yummy) and keep the ginger syrup in a jar.  Whenever you need gingerale, just add 2 or 3 tbsp of your syrup to about 12 oz cup of club soda or sparkling water.   Serve on ice or chilled.  So yummy and you won’t believe you were drinking that stuff from the soda aisle.  If you like you can squeeze some lime juice into your ale and see how you like it.

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