yarn along

Hello!

It’s October and my soul is so happy to welcome this most favorite and beautiful month. I haven’t been posting here because I’ve had computer troubles. Our very old desktop which I use to post this blog and to store my photos is finally dying. It will no longer open WordPress, and I’ve been having issues downloading photos from my camera. Boy do I have some catching up to do! But I’m not sure when or if it will ever happen. My phone is also having issues and wouldn’t let me email this photo to myself so that I could post it via Brandon’s laptop. All that to say, I’m bummed to have been so absent in this space and I miss blogging, but I’m not really sure what the future holds in that regard.

However, I finally figured out a way to get at least this post up! I have been knitting away on a new cast on that I’ve been contemplating for some time. I purchased this beautiful Wensleydale yarn from Woolly Mammoth Fibre Co a few years ago and have had trouble knowing what to knit with it because I only have two skeins. Of course it would have made a beautiful shawl, but I wanted a garment. So, I’m attempting to knit the brightfeather sweater but I’m playing some serious yarn chicken, so my tentative plan is to make it short-sleeved. We’ll see how it goes! One of the loveliest things about knitting is that if a project doesn’t work, one can always rip it out and reuse the yarn for something else.

I’ve been reading the third book in the Mitford series, These High Green Hills, and enjoying it. Also, I’ve been intermittently reading Humble Roots by Hannah Anderson, and have enjoyed it also. I was drawn to it because of the connections she makes between plants and the spiritual concept of humility. It’s a library book that is overdue so I need to finish it pronto!

So if you’re still here and reading along despite my spotty blogging as of late, I’d love to hear what you are making and reading lately?

Hope you are well, friends.

xo
Martha

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yarn along

Hello, friends. Early September and our school year is well off to a start, our reading time together picking back up with more regularity. I’m on the last few pages of A Light in the Window, but thought I’d share today a read-aloud that the kids and I are enjoying lately, The Children of Noisy Village. During our morning meeting + snack time, we have all laughed through the sweet short chapters. Children, for all their occasional frustrating behaviors or wearying requests, are really some of the very best to spend time with.

I recently cast on these Elinor socks in some beautiful yarn I purchased off another knitter’s destash. It is so soft and lovely to work with and the dimension of the color is enjoyable. I tend to avoid lacey or really textured socks because they typically require more attention and are not as portable or easy of a project for me to take on errands. These, however, have been excellent! The lace repeat is 6 rows, very easy to memorize and very fun and addictive to knit! I have been loving working on them.

What have you been reading, knitting, or making lately?

Hope your September is off to a good start!
xo

Martha

a new sweater for wren

Give a girl a bouquet of flowers and she’ll know just what to do. This little sweater for Wren was a knit I have planned for her last winter but time got away from me. It is the old growth sweater, slightly modified to omit the leaf/tree lace motif. I knit it in Ozetta’s beautiful soft and sheepy 100% Columbian wool. It will be very warm I think, though she will need a little something for her neck since the neckline of the garment is a bit open. I sewed buttons on this morning, albeit a bit crookedly. She couldn’t wait to wear it. The mornings have grown chilly and cool here, but it is still not quite sweater weather. We pulled a few zinnias from the garden, drying as they wane at summer’s end, still so beautiful. She walked barefoot out to the big maple where the sunlight fell softly through the shade and she let me snap these pictures. I will treasure them forever not because of the sweater but because I sure do adore this beautiful, feisty, sweet little girl.

yarn along

Today is the very last of August and rains from hurricane Ida should reach us soon. We are ready for a couple of cozy days hunkering down and entering our second week of school. Though it has continued to be very hot and humid here, I am knitting away and starting to plan for fall items for the children as well as birthday sweaters. Actually, some small items such as hats and socks have been in my plans since last winter but it’s taken me this long to get to them. One such long-awaited project is the Old Growth cardigan I’m knitting currently for Wren. This one is flying off my needles and I forgot again how quickly baby/child knits can go when you devote time to them. I should have this finished in the next few days I suppose, and though she doesn’t need it yet, it will be ready for the first cool days of fall. Maybe we can usher them in sooner! I’m knitting with Ozetta’s 100% Columbia wool and it is super cozy, warm, thick and soft. Wren is very excited and loves to see her momma knitting for her.

Meanwhile I’m continuing to read A Light in the Window and am getting close to finishing it.

What are you working on these last Indian days of summer? What are you reading, knitting, or making?

xo

Martha

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summer fun

All the little moments, their childish messes and the general disarray of our home with busy little people constantly at play. These are things I don’t want to forget. Seasons will come and go and the phases they are currently in fade quietly into the next. I was putting wren to bed today and remembered how when she was first learning to talk she would wake up in the mornings and say first thing, “Goo’ morning mom!” in the voice she uses when she’s trying to sound big. I loved it so much that when I put her to bed at night I would always say, “And don’t forget to say ‘good morning mom’ when you wake up.” Before I could even finish saying it she would say “I not forget!” so fast and then I would tickle her. Then she began to tease me and say “I forget,” knowing she would be tickled. I still remind her when I put her to bed and she still says it every morning when she wakes up but now her little voice is different and she doesn’t say “I not forget” anymore and I so wish I had recorded it sometime on camera so that I can not forget. Now she will just say as fast as she can “Forget” and “sbasket” (which is how she says “basket”) just to get tickled as I’m putting her to bed. I love the little years. Hard as they have been at times they have brought so much joy and I don’t want them to end!

Phoebe did drama camp this summer. We were grateful it was offered! She had a great week and played the part of an evil knight in the play. She did a great job! I always admire the ease with which she is on stage performing in front of others. Noah and Philippa did a week of basketball camp (Crossfire Ministries). They were a little overwhelmed at the beginning and balked at going after the first day, but they learned a ton and had a really special week together. It sparked in both of a them a new love for the sport and they have been practicing their drills at home.

In other summer news, my sister and her children visited for about 2 1/2 weeks from British Columbia, Canada. It was a really fun time together reconnecting after three years of not seeing one another and a lot of changes and challenges in our families during that time. It was really precious to be with my niece and nephews, have a lot of pool time and play at my parents house together. We had a picnic one weekend and met my brother and his family there to meet their brand new adopted daughter, Eliana Joy. She was born two months premature and is so tiny in these photos. We loved getting to see her and hold her finally! And we look forward to doing so again soon. (I can’t share photos of her face yet until all things are final.) More summer fun to share in the next couple of posts, I’m trying to catch up after so much busyness and very little time to blog about it all.

I hope you are well and enjoying the final bits of summer!

yarn along

Knitting the Kiruna shawl has taken a bit longer than I expected. As it has grown, the weight and feel of the yarn on my lap has been a balm. It is quite warm so on the hottest of days it is best to work on it in the cool of the evening. I made some mistakes in the lace section a couple of times and had to rip back and repair, so I took some breaks in knitting it but I am nearly to the end now. Initially I was knitting this as part of a knit-along, but that has since ended and I still knit on. I don’t mind, projects take the time needed to come to completion and I knit what I enjoy, so no matter what I’m working on or how long it takes, it’s all good. I will need to break into the third skein tonight for the last few rows and then it should be done. Even though it’s hard to imagine cold days ahead with today’s heat nearing the 90s, I know this shawl will be a warm and woolly companion come winter.

I finished At Home in Mitford and immediately began A Light in the Window. I finally see why these books have the readership that they do! Very enjoyable and calming.

What are the hot August days like for you? What are you inspired to make and to read?
Sending much love from these gentle North Carolina mountains!

xo
Martha

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fires and fireflies

Early July and humid summer nights when darkness comes slowly,
bringing the flicker of the firefly.
All across our yard we see them dance,
little girls in white gowns dancing after them.
Four little children each with their own jar,
squealing delight as they capture this gentle fire in their own glass lanterns.
The first fire of the summer in our new fire ring,
the first evening chasing fireflies.
All this light brightening up the dark, cheering hearts
and bringing quiet peace and joy.
And these precious, simple summer evenings
at home together while they are ten, eight, six, and three,
moments that blaze bright and then flicker away.

yarn along

We are nearing the end of July and a very hot week is predicted for us next week. I’ve been knitting away all the same, knowing soon my knitting time will be overtaken with sweaters for the kids fall/winter birthdays. I had some birthday money and was able to purchase some yarn for a couple sweaters for myself. After finishing the Misurina tee recently as well as the Ginny cardigan (still working on the belt for it), it was time to cast on a new garment! The snowy forest sweater was one I’ve wanted to knit since the design was published. You know how a garment just makes your heart stop a bit when you see it, something about the design calling to you? Well, that’s how this was. It’s my first time knitting a sweater with mohair held together with the yarn and it really is quite extravagant and luxurious. I was a little intimidate by the cable yoke because I haven’t done a ton of work with cables. It is working up so quickly and is really so very easy! I cannot wait to have this one to wear, at the same time I’m enjoying the process so much I don’t want it to end.

Meanwhile I’ve got a lot of other little projects on my needles that I’m working on here and there. I finished the first brambleberry sock and still haven’t cast on the second, need to soon. I knit some premie sized socks for my brand new niece who I hope to share more about soon, when all the adoption details are finalized. I cast on a summer tank for myself to use some cotton yarn I won in a giveaway last year. Will it be finished in time to wear during this summer? I hope so!

I’ve still been reading At Home in Mitford (affiliate link), very much so enjoying it. It’s just a delight to finally get into this series and to escape to Mitford at day’s end.

We’ve been busy lately with family in town, but I do hope to share a regular old blog post soon. What have you been up to in July? Are you in a bit of a heat wave like us? Are you inspired to be creative or to knit, or does the heat put a damper on that for you? What good books are you reading? Share if you’d like!

Blessings!
Martha

yarn along

July has started off cooler than I remember in years past, which has been welcome. Yesterday was a typical hot July day, today the clouds hang low and threaten rain. The rainy days are always a treat both because the watering of the garden is done and because the rain invites more rest. Our sunroom has a metal roof and it is the coziest spot to be in a thunderstorm.

It is so nice in the summer season to have a bit more time for relaxing, reading, and knitting, though I admit I have a hard time giving myself permission to do so. There is so much to catch up on in the summer months and I know how busy and tiring the school year is and how little energy I have for extra projects once school is underway. Anyway, I am enjoying the extra knitting time and trying to crank out projects that have been waiting in my brain for months. I have two sweater projects on the needles that are very nearly done, just sleeves to finish up. And two pairs of socks that are also about to be done. I cast on these brambleberries socks, lacey shortie socks perfect for summer. I wanted to cast these on about a year about but I guess that’s how long it takes me to get to projects on my wish list these days! I don’t mind a bit though, knitting is a slow craft. These socks are already proving to be an enjoyable knit. I forgot how quickly shortie socks go as you finish the cuff and go directly into the knitting the heel flap. I expect these will be off my needles quickly!

I finished reading Stillmeadow Seasons, a sweet and seasonal journal of sorts from the author’s farm over the course of a year. It was a lovely bedtime read, just what I’ve been needing lately. I found At Home in Mitford at a thrift store recently and have never read the series (I know, I’m very late to the party). It seemed like the right time to start it! I’m just a couple of chapters in but I already look forward to picking it up in the evenings.

I hope your July has started off well, with summertime projects and books at the ready.

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summer is for

Summer is for breathing, for catchup up, for catching all the spinning plates that seem to have fallen in the busy crush of the year.

Summer is for stepping back, of evaluating, re-examining, re-connecting. Summer is for celebrating, for sucking the marrow out of the bones.

Summer is for abundant strawberries made into an old favorite dessert, Strawberry Oat bars. Summer is the time for my birthday and we celebrated by spending a day in the woods and river in nearby Montreat, NC, staying for a picnic afterwards. Brandon built me a beautiful cedar box for my birthday to store my hand knit socks. I love it! Summer is for washing and tucking away everyone’s hand knits and cleaning closets + pantries.

Summer is for taking stock of the past school year, ruminating on what worked and didn’t work well, adjusting and beginning to dream about the new school year ahead. It is important for me to step back and refresh my soul in the space.

Meanwhile, as the pressure of school and extracurricular activities lifts, tasks, projects, and plans surface that have been lying dormant. There is mental room and energy to tackle that closet that has been bursting at the seams with scattered shoes and coats.

I knit slippers for my dad that needed to be fixed (the original pattern turned out way too large and floppy) years ago. Here I am finally picking them up and mending them in hopes of having them ready for Father’s Day (success!).

I scribble down jobs around the house on paper for chore charts I printed off and laminated last fall. Now maybe I can implement this simple chore system and have the kids practicing a new routine well before school picks up in the fall and our busy days begin again. Hopefully by then what is now new will be routine.

Sometimes, oftentimes, perfection is the enemy of good, or good enough at least. I want it all to be running smoothly and organized. But projects nearly always take longer than I anticipate, and if I can just slow down and let be what is, not giving up entirely because it isn’t all achievable, and instead welcome slow and steady progress, then slow and steady progress can be made.

I paint the corner of wall in our kitchen that has been a light icky shade of green since we moved in. It takes a full day in between other demands to get this section painted, the trim and the door still need to be painted. Another day I work on painting the new peg rail and pegs, and finally it’s ready for Brandon to hang. Every little step takes time, and every little step brings more pleasure than I expected.

Brandon works on clearing a space for a fire pit so we can dismantle the junky cinderblock fire pit that has been in the middle of our yard since we moved in. We still need to work on the fire pit in the center but it is already such a huge improvement!

Slowly this little old house is coming to be what we imagined and what feels like more of an expression of who we are.

And in the process of all the life happening in the midst–all the “interruptions” to our plans–we are learning to slow down. To see this moment. It’ll never come again. Tomorrow I will be older than I am today. So will my children. A year passes in days. Today is the end of June, the sweet and gentle beginning of summer.