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first days of winter

It's the first days of winter, finally. My favorite season, my favorite time of the year and Christmas my absolute most favorite holiday. We have lots of family plans coming up so at the moment I feel like its the calm before the christmas storm, but a good storm. I am completely avoiding my housework at the moment. Lots to clean but it can wait at least a little bit more. 
The mornings have been cold and & frosty and the moon the last few nights has been amazing. Clear skies and sooo bright. Fills up my whole living room when I get up in the middle of the night to let Miss Maggie out. It never fails around 1 am or so she needs to wake me up for her business.
I've been baking and baking and baking and I absolutely can't wait to bake these. Hers look amazing.
My usuals are snowballs or otherwise know as mexican wedding cakes. Chocolate crinkles and of course sugar cookies. I found an ugly christmas sweater cookie decorating kit at Trader Joes recently, score! so much fun. 
As I reflect on my knitting this past year, I realized I actually didn't get as much done as I thought. I did a lot of sewing and thats because I reopend my etsy shop and I plan on continuing that next year but really does take up a big chunk of my spare time. A lot of knits socks and a few shawls. My mom and sister in law were recently visiting and they always raid my shawl cupboard so I am down a few. I really love being able to share my handknits apart from my absolute favorites. I need to replenish the stock so I do have shawl plans next year. What are you knitting plans/goals?
I am going to stick to doing a pair of socks per month probably keeping them simple though so I can keep up. No design plans or goals as of yet. 
Definitely more quilty and sewing goals. I really want to sew an irish chain quilt next year, a bit one for my king size bed so that will be a feat!
For now though, I am going to quietly enjoy the last days of the year. Just be with family, bake some more and eat a lot. Maybe I'll fit in a little knitting but my nieces and nephews will come first since time with them will be precious. There is a little bit of sadness in the air between my hubby and I since this will be the first christmas without Sammy. She left such a giant fluffy hole in our hearts and to lose her this close to the holiday season seems a bit more sad... She is in doggy heaven reunited with our Sydney who we lost awhile back, on a permament adventure together. 

Diary in Stitches Book Blog Hop

I was so happy when the lovely Minki contacted me about her pretty new book and to participate in making a project using her beautiful book for a blog hop/book tour.
 I absolutely said yes, because I love her stuff and her beautiful crafts! 
She just released her new book Diary in Stitches and I jumped right in. The book is so well done, even if you are new to sewing, don't be intimidated and the drawings she does are just so cute! Let you imagination run wild! 
Naturally I gravitated towards her cute drawing of stockings. As a sock knitter, this just had me all over it. I pulled out some liberty fabrics, of course and a project bag for my sock projects was born.
Honestly, Minki has so many darling ideas in this book, it will blow you away. Her talents know no ends, but even if you don't have a sewing machine, these can easily be done with hand embroidery. 
I did a mixture of both machine and hand. I chose her method of tracing the pattern onto my fabric using my window since I don't have a lightbox. With some simple back stitching and black 50wt thread I did the quote by hand. I absolutely loved all the quotes but this is the one that stuck out for me. I absolutely love to create with my hands and there is a lot of love that goes into what I do, perfect!
Then for the socks on the line, I used my machine. Following her instructions was easy peasy!
For the bag, I have my own template that I follow. I had to use liberty fabric on the back of the bag as well. All the stitching is done one essex linen which in my opinion is great to work with and the lining is white with black swiss dot. I love this combo so much, so pretty!

You can find the book in bookshops and online retailers like Amazon and make sure you check out all the beautiful projects that Minki shares on her blog as well. Check out my instagram for giveaway info! So you can win a copy of the ebook for yourself. You will love it!

Make sure you visit everyone else on the tour too!
Aug  30   C&T, C&T Publishing Blog    @ctpublishing
Sep 6,    Elise Bae, Elise and Emelie  @eliseandemelie  
Sep 13,  Sharon Burgess,Lilabelle Lane Creations   @lilabellane
Sep 20,  Lauren Wright, Molly and Mama  @mollyandmama
Sep 27,  Sedef Imer, Down Grapevine Lane  @downgrapevinelane
Oct 1, Love Patchwork & Quilting, Love PAtchwork & Quilting @lovequiltingmag
Oct 4,  Kristyne Czepuryk, Pretty by Hand  @prettybyhand
Oct 11, Bev McCullogh, FlamingoToes  @flamingotoes
Oct 25, Erin Simpson, Aurifil@aurifilthread
Nov 1,  Ayda Algin,  Cafenohut  @cafenohut
Nov 8, Bernina USA, WeAllSew  @berninausa
Nov 15, Minki Kim, MinkiKim@zeriano