It has felt good to finish up a few projects lately and I’ve been feeling the urge to cast on a lot of projects that have been waiting in my mind for a while. I have this special skein of Even Tinier Annapurna from A Verb for Keeping Warm that my mom sweetly gifted me a couple of Christmases ago. I thought to use it in a shawl but changed my mind and decided I’d rather have it as a garment. It is the loveliest rusty pinkish red, I find myself drawn to this color so often. I have been curious to knit a Ranunculus for a couple of years at least, but also a bit intimidated by the flexibility of the pattern in regards to size, gauge and yarn. Here’s to hoping that I can knit this flow-y summery piece in one generous skein of fingering weight yarn.
The kids and I savored Robert McFarlane’s book The Lost Words a while ago and we’ve been thoroughly enjoying more of the beautiful poetry and artwork displayed in this small little book of poetry, The Lost Spells. We try to read poetry from a few different sources daily and this little book is such an inspiration highlighting the beauty and wonder of nature.
What have you been reading or making lately? I hope this post finds you well today, friends.
Last night the wind howled around and shook our home for most of the night, even bringing limbs cracking and crashing to the ground in the dark. March certainly didn’t go out like a lamb. The temperatures are frigid this morning. So goes spring in the mountains, the tug and pull of winter and warmth.
When spring comes the parkway opens back up and I have been craving to visit our favorite places. Spring green creeps up slowly from the valleys to the mountaintops, so it is still more brown and wintry there than where we live. On Palm Sunday, though the weather was dreary, we still attempted to go for a hike since often we can get above the clouds and rain. Not so this time. It was absolutely wild up on the ridges, wind nearly knocking our children off their feet. Though we didn’t last long, it was still refreshing to be there and get out of the house for a bit. We packed a lunch and a thermos of hot chocolate and enjoyed hanging out nonetheless, despite some grumbling and complaints.
Also, I took the opportunity to get a few photos of my recently finished Stoker Shawl. I’ve been wearing it daily since finishing it and I really, really love it. It’s incredibly huge and warm. I think it’s a fairly simple design but I appreciate the details of texture like the bobbles down the spine, the tassels, and lace edging.
I’ve finished up a few projects lately, and cast on a couple, too. I’ve had the yarn to knit a Ginny sweater for awhile and since I am almost done with my morchella cardigan, it seemed good to cast on another garment. Everything is done on my morchella except sewing on the button band, which I’ve been putting off. I do intend to get done in the next couple of days. It has been really lovely to work with the nightshades yarn, I love the blue-black color and it is very soft and squishy.
Are we tired of seeing this sweater project yet? Well, this is the last bit of knitting for my morchella cardigan, the button band. Both sleeves and pockets are done, so once I finish knitting the button band, I will seam up the sleeves, attach the button band and pockets, sew on buttons, and the sweater is done! All the seaming/attaching work is something I like to do in one sitting if possible with good day light and no distractions, so it often takes me a little while to find a good time to do so. Maybe by this weekend I can have it all finished? I can’t wait to have this piece in my wardrobe, even if its not terribly seasonally appropriate anymore. While knitting on this last bit of the sweater, I’m starting to plan and dream about what to cast on next. Of course, I have a few other projects on my needles that need finishing, but another garment for myself will have to be cast on soon!
I am still reading Delighting in the Law of the Lord slowly and very much so enjoying it. I finished Lila a little bit ago and since I’ve read all the books in the series, figured I need to read Jack as well. I enjoyed Lila so much, I’m not deep enough into this one to know yet what I think. I have to say I don’t enjoy the character Jack’s internal dialogue.
Since last week, I have finally cast on Wren’s birthday bunny sweater. The yoke has a sweet bunny motif and I think she will love it. Now any time she sees me knitting on something she asks if it’s for her. She was thrilled when she heard this project finally was for her (though she hasn’t quite figured out the design on it yet and I do hope to keep it a surprise). I have about a week to finish it and hope I can make it. The yoke is knitting slowly because it’s fingering weight yarn, and the pattern isn’t intuitive for me and needs constant checking. Once I’m past the yoke I hope it flies and I’m able to finish it in time. It is really nice to work on though, giving me lots of spring feels. All other projects are on hold until this one is done.
I’m nearly done with Lila and am reading it in the evenings. In my morning reading time I’ve been reading Delighting in the Law of the Lord, which has been so very rich and good thus far. I bought it a few years ago and never have gotten around to reading it, and now the time is right. I appreciate Barrs as an author and it has been good to read something theological again. Though I’m coming to this book with my own personal wrestlings, it is remarkable how much it is speaking to our times and the philosophy/worldview of our age and is bringing clarity for me on a lot of what is going on in the world and culture around us. I highly recommend it! It is theological without being heady, and is engaging and readable.
I have been working on a few gift knits lately, and have gifted them so now I can share about them. 🙂 I knit a lopi sweater for my mom called Stonewood. I think it looks great on her, sometime I’ll have to get a picture of her wearing it. I also finished knitting some 3×1 rib socks for my sister-in-law for her recent birthday. Sock projects are always on my needles now because it is good knitting for days that we are at homeschool co-op or whenever we’re out on the go really. Also there’s just something so enjoyable to me about knitting socks. I’m working on a pair for Noah, just another simple 3×1 rib pair (my favorite to knit lately) knit out of Patons Kroy. I’ve been itching to knit some crunkle socks and cast those on a few days ago for myself in yarn from Little Lionhead Knits. Her dye job is always fantastic and this colorway makes me think of spring. The pattern is really fun to knit! More engaging than a plain vanilla sock but easy enough to need a very low level of concentration. The repeat of the pattern keeps me moving onto the next row, so they’re knitting up quickly. Wren’s birthday is coming quickly and I haven’t even cast on her sweater yet, so I’m making a mental note to get on that in the next couple of days.
I finished reading My Connemara and enjoyed getting to know the Sandburg family more. I’ve since been reading Lila and am enjoying it more than Home and Gilead, even though I have liked each book in the series.
Do feel free to share with me what you may be reading or making lately.
I have a couple gift items on my needles so my Morchella cardigan has been on hold for a little bit, though I have finished knitting/shaping the two fronts and am now knitting the back panel. The combo of the rustic feel of the yarn, it’s deep rusty red color, and the mindlessness of the knit make it such a satisfying knit to work on when I need something easy and soothing. Knitting is truly such a gift, such a comfort to me in the quiet pockets of my day and I’m very grateful for it. I guess at this rate I will finish this cardigan on the cusp of spring when I no longer have need of it, but as usual, I seem to do a lot of my winter knitting during the spring and summer months when I’m not busy with birthday and Christmas knitting. Speaking of, Wren’s birthday is coming up fast and I need to get started on her birthday sweater stat! I’m planning a sweater with a color work yoke that has a bunny motif. I think she will love it!
The kids and I have been readingThe Bronze Bow as our evening read aloud. During morning reading time we’ve been reading Hattie Big Sky, and recently finished Calico Captive, so it was time for something geared a little more toward our male audience. Phoebe was complaining about starting The Bronze Bow and said she didn’t think it would be of any interest, but after the first chapter everyone was hooked. Most evenings after dinner and baths are done, I (or sometimes Brandon) read aloud while they color or do something quiet with their hands (play cars, knit, etc.). Even though by that point of the day I am beyond weary of using my voice, it is worthwhile because it is such a sweet time that I think we all look forward.
I picked up My Connemara to read since we often visit the Carl Sandburg home near where we live for hiking the trails or visiting with the goats in the warmer months. It has been a charming and quick read, written by his granddaughter sharing about what it was like growing up on the farm. I’ve really enjoyed it for my own quiet reading escape before bed. I had to return The Song of the Lark to the library and was very nearly done with it, I may need to recheck it out to finish. I wasn’t terribly enjoying it but I think I need to know how it ends. Have any of you read it? Thoughts?
What are you reading or making lately? I love to hear from you guys, feel free to share if you want!
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Christmas season came and went in such a hurry it seems. I still have photos to share about our holiday season, but am finding it hard to make time to get on here and do so. I received a sweater’s quantity of peace fleece DK in the color way “sheplova mushroom” to knit a morchella cardigan. I watched for it on Christmas day and cast on sometime around then. I want this cardigan in my wardrobe so badly, and thought it would be more of a product knit versus a process knit, anticipating it would knit slowly and be a bit tedious. However I have been so, so enjoying the process of knitting this sweater. I can’t quite explain it. It’s just the only thing I want to work on and there’s something deeply comforting in returning to it at the beginnings of endings of my days. It’s familiar, easy, and such a long bit of knitting, yet the excitement to have the finished piece moves me continually forward. These are strange times we find ourselves in, and I must say I have been battling a lot of discouragement. Life for me lately is pared back down to the basics and my words feel few and also terribly small and unimportant, especially in the wider world of the internet. Maybe it’s a bit of an existential crisis. From what I gather, I think many of us are struggling a bit right now. I am finding grounding in the scriptures, in quiet spaces, in observing nature around me and spending time in it, in my knitting, in the company of trusted friends and loved ones.
I’m slowly making my way through Willa Cather’s The Song of the Lark. I am mostly enjoying it, and am curious to see where the story goes, but I feel like I’m reading it very slowly. Have you read it? If so, what did you think? Some fiction has definitely been a welcome reprieve in the evening before bed.
How are you? Are you reading good books, making things with your hands?
Sending love to you today, friends, and trusting that the Light can overcome the darkness any one of us may be facing.
Both Phoebe’s and Noah’s birthday sweaters were miraculously finished in time, even with what has felt like very minimal knitting time. Noah loved his sweater which is always a joy! Phoebe’s sweater finished blocking yesterday and I wrapped it up last night for her birthday tomorrow. There’s always a great sense of relief when the gift knitting is done. I had hoped to have Phoebe’s socks and horse mittens done, as well as a hat for each of the kiddos for Christmas but none of that will be happening. I’ll continue to work on those projects and gift them as they’re finished. I did cast on one ribbed hat a few days ago for some easy mindless knitting. My plan is to knit a few of these 2×2 ribbed hats for our basket of hats and mittens by the door for anyone to grab because they all love wearing my ribbed hat so much.
Last night I picked my stoker shawl back up and it was nice to re-familiarize myself with it. These last days of the year always feel very overwhelming for me trying to get all the things done, birthdays planned and executed, etc. It was good to just have a project to pick up that was well under way and not to need the mental energy to cast on a new object.
I’m nearing the end of Cry of the Soul and this morning began reading Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortland. I listened to the free 14-day devotional from this book on Spotify and knew then that I needed to read the book in its entirety.
Thanks for reading along as I share my current makes + reads, and feel free to share with me what you are working on creating and reading. xo
A week into December and it still feels all a bit surreal. But we have decorated and we have spent time daily in Advent readings all the while with Christmas music playing, our rhythms and actions helping our minds and hearts catch up to the season we are in. We are enjoying our fifth? year of reading Unwrapping the Greatest Gift together, coloring the little accompanying free ornaments each evening and hanging them on our Jesse Tree. This is such a sweet tradition that the kids really love forward to, as we trace Jesus’ family line and marvel afresh at the story God has written. May He prepare our hearts for a fresh coming this Christmas season! I’ve added a few Christmas books to our collection, which I pack away with Christmas decorations and pull out only during the month of December. One of those books is Ollie’s Ski Tripand another which we are reading during our morning time is All Creation Waits. A favorite from among the ones we already own is Christmas Farm. I’m still reading Cry of the Soulslowly.
As for knitting, I’m nearing the last few inches of the second sleeve on my Sweater Hug. I’m still working on Phoebe’s sweater sleeves too. Sleeves, sleeves, sleeves. 🙂
May your Christmas + Advent season be merry and bright.