yarn along

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Still working away steadily on my fall featherweight cardigan.  It is easy and soothing to work on, and I tried it on yesterday for the first time to check length and “oohed” over how wonderful it felt on.  I hope I can knit it quickly enough to be able to wear it soon!

I’m reading The Graces We Remember, after reading the other two books in the series (one for spring and one for winter, this one is for fall).  I really enjoy the simple stories from their family life on the farm and the way she finds humor and holy realities in the midst of it.

Joining Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.
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the first autumnal day

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On the first truly autumnal day of the year (last Saturday) when the rain fell off and on all day and the temps dropped low, we went out for a little drive in our town to find a pumpkin patch.  Our area is apple country and there are lots of orchards here, but almost none are organic (there’s only one that I know of and they aren’t u-pick) and they tend to be crazy busy this time of year.  We passed quite a few with lines of people curving around buildings waiting for cider doughnuts.  Hoping to find a quieter, lesser-known spot with a true pumpkin patch, we stumbled upon the perfect spot.  There were only a handful of other people there, the kids could wander through the pumpkin patch freely and the view was beautiful.  Phoebe couldn’t believe Noah was about the same height as her.  Noah found the “biggest pumpkin in the patch” so we will have a nice carving pumpkin for halloween.  Wren tried to figure out what all the excitement was about and Philippa trotted happily along with everyone else.  This spot was technically a nursery, so after picking out some pumpkins we wandered through the greenhouses. The children also had to pick out small pumpkins to paint, as they’ve done for the last number of years.  It was a sweet and simple way to spend a Saturday morning together.  We do so love this time of year!  (And if you’re local and need a good quiet spot to wander through growing things, we recommend visiting Linda’s Plants and Shrubs.)

yarn along

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Rain has been drizzling off and on here all day, now it pours in buckets from the gray October sky.  A torrent rushes out from the gutter on the garage roof.  The light is gloomy so it was hard to capture the color of this beautiful yarn accurately.  It is a dark mustard-y chartreuse, more golden yellow than is showing here.  I’ve worked on a few small baby items this week but mostly have been working on my featherweight cardigan.  It isn’t necessarily knitting up quickly, but I am enjoying every minute of it.  This lovely yarn from John Arbon is wonderful to have in hand.  It feels a bit different than anything I’ve knit with before, but I do really like it.

I’m still reading Beauty for Truth’s Sake, last night reveling in the theology of geometry.  I’m not a mathematician and this book is a mind-bender in the sleepy late evening hours, but it is still accessible to me.  Oh, to study any realm of the world and find in it Christ, the cross, the great Architect writing His design into all things.  It’s breathtaking.

Also, I pre-ordered a copy of Christina Deanne’s book Modern Heritage Knits.  She is a local-to-me designer (though I believe she just moved) and I’ve knit one of her patterns before, the Minaret crop, which I love.  There are so many patterns in this book that I want to knit so I felt it was worth purchasing!  It has been lovely to slowly flip through and savor it.  I don’t purchase many knitting books or magazines (though I wish I could!) and its nice to have something I can enjoy leisurely and knit from when I can.

Do comment below and share with me what you’re making or reading this week!

Joining with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On
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in the company of trees

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“Popular attention has been caught by a concept from Japan and China called Shinrin-yoku, or ‘forest bathing’.  It is a common practice that began in the early 1980s, involving spending time in a wood or forest to ‘bathe’ in the atmosphere for the benefit of mind and body….In recent years follow-up research aimed at understanding the Shinrin-yoku phenomenon has shown that walking in a green space has a direct positive effect on several systems in our bodies.  Blood pressures decrease, levels of the stress hormone cortisol drop, anxiety is alleviated and pulse rates diminish in subjects who have spent time in nature and particularly among trees.”

A Wild Remedy: How Nature Mends Us

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

– Joyce Kilmer

Since college I’ve wanted to visit Joyce Kilmer memorial forest and when we realized Lake Santeetlah was right next to it we knew we had to go for a hike there.  We weren’t disappointed.  It truly is difficult to capture the largeness of these mighty giants and it was amazing to walk amongst them and be dwarfed beneath their canopy.  I can only imagine how beautiful it would be to go visit again when the leaves are changing.  Truly, there is something restorative about walking in a forest, bending low to notice the smallest of creatures, the tiny microcosms juxtaposed by the mighty trees beside them.

yarn along

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October is finally here, even though it still feels like indian summer outside.  I saw this beautiful  book, The Wild Remedy, a few months ago but have waited to start reading it on the month that it begins in which is October as a way to celebrate the start of my favorite time of year.  It is a journal of sorts of the author’s monthly reflections and observations of nature in her part of the world as she discovered the benefits of doing so in battling her depression.  It is filled with her drawings, photography, descriptions, reflections, and even a bit about the research being done on the effects of spending time in nature on our mental health.  My plan was to read each month’s chapter during that month of the year but I don’t know, maybe I’ll just read it through more quickly.

I finished my nordiska (just need to weave in ends!) and so I cast on for another sweater, this time a featherweight cardigan.  I’ve knit one before in a light purple color and I love wearing it, but I needed a more fall-ish version.  I’ve wanted to try knitting with John Arbor yarn and this seemed like a good fit.  Even though knitting a cardigan means a lot of purling on the wrong-side rows, I still remember this knit going fairly quickly and being soothing/mindless.  So far I am really enjoying it.

Happy fall, everyone!

Joining with Ginny’s Yarn Along and Nicole’s Crafting On.
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away together at the lake

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Last weekend, the very last days of summer, we drove a couple hours away from home to Lake Santeetlah.  A very kind client of my Brandon’s had gifted us a weekend at this lake house and we truly had the best time.  My favorite childhood memories are from summers spent on the Muskoka lakes in Ontario, Canada with family.  There will always be a fondness in my heart for lakes!  We realized we hadn’t been away together alone as a family (without other family or friends) for years.  It was so good, just so good. We hadn’t told the kids ahead of time what was happening so they were totally surprised.  They enjoyed an upstairs bedroom with bunkbeds (!!!) and they loved having their “own” little porch balcony overlooking the lake.  Our stay was just so short, but so very good.  Lots of swimming, exploring, fishing, paddling, and enjoying was had by all in a beautiful area that was new to us and not so far from home.  I hope one day we can return, the children are already planning our next trip!

autumnal equinox

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Usually I rush off from the last hot days of summer and try to hurry fall’s arrival.  I’m learning though that any time we rush ahead, we lose.  We lose time.  We rush through the good as well as the bad, and we miss the beauty of this moment with all its nuance,  both the dark and the light.  So this summer’s end I’ve been forcing myself to slow and to savor these last summer days of 2019.  These days when Phoebe is 8 years old, straddling the fence of childhood and “big girl-ness,” when Noah is 6 and loves to fly through the yard on his bike, Philippa is 4 and trots along behind big brother into whatever he’s doing, and Wren is a feisty 18 months, toddling to keep up with everyone and fiery mad when she can’t.  I know next summer will have its own flavor and I don’t want to miss these days that will never come just exactly like this again.

It has been a good summer, one in which we traveled near and far, enjoyed our own mountains and the west coast mountains of California.  It was a summer of learning how to swim and intentionally trying to make progress in that area for each of the children.  It was a summer of garden triumphs and failures.  The ground is giving us the last bits of harvest, the zinnias are firing off their final blooms, the mighty sunflowers bow their heads to the gentle fade of daylight.  Wren wears her fairy dust cardigan for the first time on the chilliest morning.  Philippa stirs soup in her little outdoor kitchen.  Goldenrod and pokeberry blaze, the first leaves carpet the lawn.  Noah pretends to chop firewood, lays in the hammock and reads books to his sister.  Daddy cleans the canoe to take out for summer’s last hurrah.  I trim more little bundles of lavender to dry for the winter, and then I trim little girls’ hair and marvel at how sweet they look now with their little matching bobs.  It was a sweet one, this summer, even with its pockets of pain and heartache along the fringes.  We are missing the thunderstorms, the heaps of cucumbers and tomatoes, but we are ready to lay it to rest and welcome the crisp cozy air of fall, the beautiful new light of October, the lighting of the first hearth fire.  Alls well that ends well, as they say.