This time of year, I always seem to feel like I'm not doing enough homeschooling and I start feeling guilty until I see a post in a homeschooling group where other parents are worrying about burnout and I realize, oh yeah, this is why we wondered if we could start our homeschool year in January. The end of daylight savings is just a natural break for us that continues through the holidays. Francis and I have worked at home since Lil was born, and my favorite thing about it is that no one has to go anywhere in the winter, especially now that he's retired from the Army. Turns out most of my winter dread was more about old school bosses who act like you're shirking if you don't want to risk your life driving in the snow and ice. Amazing how COVID showed us how many people can do their jobs at home just as productively! But I digress. Working at home and homeschooling means that we are all about comfort and coziness in our house and we really tend to burrow in November. We joke that Lil is the human version of hygge (the Danish concept of coziness that makes a person feel content) because our couch is constantly piled high with books, blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals. A blanket fort is a kid's hygge life. While she is the most intensely focused on living her cozy lifestyle, we all enjoy pajama pants, good socks, books, blankets, and candles/wax warmers. It's safe to say we would all move into Bilbo Baggins's Bag End if we could. We've been working on some crafts that contribute to our cozy lifestyle lately and I thought I'd share a few this week, since I know the Joann Black Friday flyer is in the mail today!
The basement is not the warmest spot in the house, but I have still been working on the dollhouse siding, while listening to Dune on audiobook. If you missed the last post about this project, my grandpa built this dollhouse for me, and I'm working on some renovations. Adding basswood siding spruces things up and hides imperfections. One side left to go before we paint the exterior!
I saw this Mock Cable afghan on Instagram and had to try it. Pattern here. Beginner skills, no need to learn anything complicated to create a cable look. All moss stitch single crochet! It was easy AND cozy to make. I'm hooked on the look and feel of moss stitch with the Bernat Blanket Yarn and had to make a quick car blanket for Lil from my stash.
Another cute & cozy winter project: propagating plants! I found the most adorable curly spider plant at Lowes and I've been snipping the babies to root in water. My first one was ready to plant today and I made it a sweater! Ideally by next year I'll have my little plant nursery up and running for spider plant and pothos 2023 Christmas gifts. I've enjoyed propagating houseplants since I first learned how as a kid, and I've always wanted to have the space available to really get that going.
Lil's winter project, potholders! We have one plastic loom from Joann and one metal loom (far superior) from Amazon. The metal loom is way better for the cotton loops, which can actually be used for hot things, and the plastic loom is fine for the nylon loops, which are easy but can only be used for decoration. And finally, the project I'm planning ahead for is a 2023 temperature afghan. I've learned from my past failures: 1. Do a swatch. You really cannot do a temperature afghan without doing some math or you will end up with a narrow and ridiculously long blanket. Plan ahead for proportions that won't make you twitchy. You're working on this project all year, after all! 2. If you live in the Midwest or anywhere else where temperatures can vary widely in a single month, make sure that every color you select looks good next to ALL of the other colors you select, not just the one next to it in your "rainbow". And you don't have to do a traditional rainbow! You can use any color palette you want, just make sure you know in advance that any warm temperature colors jive with the cool temperature colors. St Louis can be 20 degrees one day and 70 degrees another day, in January, and this is where I always end up unsatisfied with how the project is going. So those are our winter projects! What cozy plans do you have for winter?