yarn along

Just slipping in here today for a quick yarn along post. I keep trying to find time to post about other life happenings but it just hasn’t happened! So here I am to wave hello. Knitting and reading are still happening in the cracks and crevices of the day, in the quiet moments before bed or upon waking. I finished reading Still Life and really enjoyed it. It was a very sweet novel. I am just beginning The Cry of the Soul and just a few pages in, but already gripped. I think it will be a slow read requiring a lot of chewing on the truths expounded therein.

I am deep in the flurry of birthday-sweater-knitting. I’m still trying to figure out what exactly Noah wants for his sweater, but as soon as I finished Philippa’s, I cast Phoebe’s on. My “trick” to make three kid’s sweaters before Christmas is to pick simple sweaters knit with a worsted-weight yarn if possible. Phoebe’s favorite knitted item was the Leksak tunic I knit for her a few years ago and she had hard time letting it go when she outgrew it and had to pass it down to Philippa. She requested another one this year in a “burgundy color with flecks.” I think this yarn from Beaverslide Dry Goods in the chokecherry color way is just perfect for what she was imagining. I don’t love all of the purling involved in this sweater which makes it knit up a bit slower, but it will hopefully be just what she’s wanting, and that’s good enough for me. Noah is easy to knit for and he loves anything I make unless it’s too scratchy. I need to get cracking on his sweater soon.

Of course, I’m still knitting on my Sweater Hug with a goal to finish that before the end of the year. I finished the first Hyak sock which I shared last week (they knit up so quickly!) but I have borrowed the needles from them to work on another project. I like having a few projects on the go to bounce between depending on my mood.

I hope you are well as we ease from fall into winter. Most of the leaves are gone, the temps here are swinging from freezing at night to warm and sunny during the day. Still so pleasant for November. Philippa’s birthday is this weekend, then we will be into holiday season. Stay well, friends and loved ones.

xo

yarn along

After finishing up Philippa’s birthday sweater (apart from blocking and weaving in ends), I’m back to knitting on my sweater hug. I also cast on a new pair of cozy worsted weight socks called the Hyak socks. I have had the yarn for these socks and plans to knit them for maybe two or three years now and I am happy to finally be making them! The yarn is very special, purchased from a local sheep farm to me, very woolly, warm, and filling my hands with lanolin as I knit with it. I’m eager to have these cozy socks on my feet!

I’m still reading Boundaries (highly recommend) and Still Life (also highly recommend), but pictured above is one of my favorite books that we’ve purchased for the children. Literally it often brings tears to my eyes as I read it, and not because it’s a particularly touching story, but because it depicts a life I love and long for. Its called Sleep Tight Farm, and I love it because the illustrations are beautiful, depicting the shift of seasons, my favorite time of year, the shift from hot, muggy, buzzing and busy summer into fall and winter, specifically with tucking in a farm for the winter. So many beautiful woolens included in the illustrations too. I just want to step inside and live in the book, ya know?

Do you find yourself craving to make more with your hands lately? That desire seems to ramp up even more so for me in the fall and winter months. What have you been making and what books have been enriching your life lately? I pray you are well today, friends.

xo

yarn along

These busy days of motherhood have long seemed to change the way time feels for me now, always racing by. But time this year has felt especially strange. We have all jointly carried the burden and toll of the pandemic, and yet many of us have also carried other heavy burdens and losses. How can it already be November? In some ways I still feel like life paused back in March and all these many months have been surreal. Yet time marches on. Yes, the election weighs heavy on all of our hearts, but there is more to November than this. Welcome, November.

Welcome, November, welcome gentle friend, with your rust + ochre crisp leaves nearly all off the trees, with your frosty mornings and warm afternoons, your candlelight, your days marked by gratitude as we move toward Thanksgiving. Welcome, with your slower gait and deeper breaths after the hustle of October. Welcome.

I’m making progress on this extremely simple and soothing sweater, the Gotland in my hands feeling warm and sheepy, the stockinette easy to pick up when my hands need something to keep busy. Why is stockinette so calming and helpful when the heart and mind are overwhelmed? I’m grateful for it. I went ahead and knit the collar on the sweater instead of saving it for last because it was the element that drew me to this design, and also because I wanted to make sure the yarn wasn’t too scratchy right up against my neck. I love it!

I’m still reading Boundaries, but for some easier fiction reading I started Still Life. It is enjoyable and intriguing so far!

Joining Ginny for her monthly Yarn Along.

yarn along

Here I am with another yarn along post which means another week has gone by. There isn’t a “crafting” link-up for me to connect to this time around, but it’s still habit of mine to snap a weekly photo of what I’m knitting and reading. I enjoy looking back through this little record of the making and the words that filled these days. Lately, I’ve been on the very cusp of finishing a couple of sweaters for myself, while also knitting Philippa’s birthday sweater. I just joined in the round to knit the body of my sweater hug this morning, and that’s exciting. The fabric this gotland is making as it knits up is surprisingly soft and so very warm. I feel like I always have a variety of projects on the go, some that are mindless, some that require more concentration, and I’m often moving those projects to the stage where I can just knit, knit, knit. I enjoy it all, filling my mind and hands with lots of different projects and fibers. I have so many things I want to knit going into this winter season, things my family and I both need for our wardrobes. It is wonderful to be full of creative inspiration.

I am continuing to read Boundaries, it is good and necessary reading for me right now. Meanwhile, I recently purchased The Story of the Orchestra: Four Seasons in One Day for Wren, not expecting it to be as lovely as it is. The linen cover is beautifully illustrated, nice to hold and the book is quite large. Wren loves pushing the buttons. I love snuggling with her on the couch and reading it while she tries to push the buttons with all her might. The illustrations are vibrant and full of woodland animals and brightly dressed people, and Wren loves hunting for things I tell her to find on the page. I recommend it, although I’m hoping the paper pages don’t get ripped too terribly soon.

Do share with me what you’re reading and knitting/making this week!

yarn along

Last week we went away to a lake house for a few days and it was so restful and nice. I cast on a dogstar sweater for Philippa while there, since her birthday is about a month away and I like to get a head start on birthday sweaters. I knitted both sleeves while there and got started on the body. It’s a bottom-up sweater, which isn’t my favorite construction, but it is nice to know the sleeves are done already. The yarn is a merino cashmere blend, very soft for my prickle-sensitive girl, and it has been quite nice to have in hand. Knitting the body is just mindless and easy, very soothing. I made simple modifications to the sweater, adding part of the colorwork motif to the bottom of both sleeves and also the bottom of the body, as Philippa requested. I hope she loves it, she is notoriously disdainful of the sweaters I knit for her, but also always requests one. ūüôā Handknit socks, however, are definitely her jam.

I planned to do a lot of reading during our time away but vacations with small children are never quite as restful as one imagines. ūüôā I have been reading Boundaries, and while it’s not really super “fun” reading, it has been interesting and helpful. It has sparked a lot of good conversation between Brandon and I. Be that as it may, I’m needing some kind of fiction read on the go soon.

I’d love to hear what you are making or reading lately, if you care to share!

yarn along

After finishing up my fleuriste cardigan this week (I still need to seam it together and sew on buttons), I cast on a stoker shawl with some simple woolly brown wool. It is going to be such a warm and basic wardrobe staple and I already can’t wait to wear it. I’m also working on the body of my pink velvet sweater and hope to have that one done soon. Warm weather doesn’t deter me from knitting, but the onset of chilly fall weather sure does make me want to cast on all the things! I have several projects that I’m itching to start and probably will cast on soon. A birthday sweater for Philippa needs to get started soon, and also I want to cast another sweater on for myself. However I am also wanting to clear my needles of projects that have been ongoing for some time (mainly these socks and these which are both so close to finishing).

I finished reading Giver of the Stars and really enjoyed it, now I’m figuring out what to pick up next. I’m reading Boundaries right now, which I began a long time ago and put down part way through. It’s helping me work through some things, but I already miss having a novel on the go. The children and I are still reading through Calico Captive, though we’ve been so busy lately we haven’t made much progress.

Joining with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On and Ginny’s monthly Yarn Along.

yarn along

Today is the first day of fall and it truly feels like it. The days grow darker sooner, the humidity has let up and the days are hemmed in with a chill. Soon birthday knitting for the children will be upon me, and I’m already starting to think about and plan their sweaters. I love knitting for them but I have a few sweaters for myself that I am planning to make and hoping to be able to wear and enjoy this season, so I’m knitting away furiously.

My fleuriste cardigan is nearly done. I finished the body of the sweater a little while ago and have been working on the first sleeve. It’s slower going because the lace panel trails up the sleeve, but I have so enjoyed working with this yarn and don’t terribly mind. I believe it’s my first time working with shetland wool but definitely not my last. I have a sweater’s quantity of this same yarn brand but in a deep green for a cabled sweater for myself (one of the aforementioned sweaters that I’m hoping to knit this winter season.) I am eager to finish up this sweater though and hoping the second sleeve goes a lot faster. Maybe it’s just boring gray to others but I love gray and I think this sweater will be a wardrobe staple.

When I need just plain stockinette knitting and don’t have the mental capacity for lace, I’ve been knitting on my pink velvet sweater. Having just separated for sleeves, it’s now plain stockinette for awhile which is so nice to have when I just need my hands to be busy and mind quiet.

I finished reading Home and did enjoy it, though there were some parts that seemed rather slow. It wasn’t a “I can’t put it down” kind of book, but a gentle read before bed that kept my interest. I will read Lila soon. Have you read it before? Is it better than Home or Gilead? (In linking the books on amazon, I saw that she’s publishing a fourth novel in the series titled Jack in just a week or so!) In the meantime, my sister-in-law recommended The Giver of Stars and it came in at the library after I put it on hold ages ago. It’s much more of the “can’t put it down” genre, I remember reading Me Before You a few years ago by the same author and it being a quick read. I’m starting to enjoy it I think, but I’ll keep you posted. ūüôā The children and I just finished A Lion to Guard Us and are still part way through Calico Captive, both very good!

Joining Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.

golden hour

DSC_0075

DSC_0078

DSC_0081

DSC_0106

DSC_0107

DSC_0083

DSC_0109

DSC_0087

DSC_0096

DSC_0110

DSC_0104

DSC_0114

DSC_0117

DSC_0122

DSC_0125

DSC_0129

DSC_0132

DSC_0133

DSC_0134

DSC_0136

DSC_0138

DSC_0139

DSC_0142

DSC_0143

DSC_0145

DSC_0147

DSC_0158

DSC_0160

DSC_0163

DSC_0166

DSC_0167

DSC_0168

DSC_0172

DSC_0178

DSC_0193

DSC_0194

DSC_0215

DSC_0216

DSC_0227

DSC_0218

DSC_0241

DSC_0251

Rain is gently pattering on the metal roof on the sunroom adjacent to where I type and isn’t supposed to let up all day. ¬†One can hardly complain with the state of the west coast and how needed rain is there. ¬†Children are quietly (and not so quietly) working on the day’s schoolwork. ¬†Now they are off playing a game of hide and seek and screaming throughout the house. ¬†We are into our fifth week of school, hard to believe how quickly these first weeks have flown by. ¬†Overall it has gone very well so far, better than I expected. ¬†I began a more structured school day schedule for us last year and I’ve adapted it and solidified it more this year, and I think that’s really been essential for us. ¬†It’s good to be back in the flow. ¬†Be that as it may, there’s always a level of chaos amidst all the flurry of activity in the school room as I bounce between different children offering help. ¬†It does feel busier though with more on our plates, and even getting on the computer to share a blog post feels harder to do.

In the midst of all this constant rain, I’m looking back on the photos for this post. ¬†Labor day weekend we went for a picnic to Mt. Mitchell, which is relatively close to us and is the highest peak East of the Mississippi. ¬† I do so crave getting up high and seeing a beautiful view. ¬†We hiked the Deep Gap trailhead at Mt. Mitchell over to the first peak, Mount Craig, and enjoyed the stunning views from there. ¬†Wren would have hiked the whole way if we let her, such a little one but so strong and determined to keep up with everyone else. ¬†I think the last time I hiked to that peak was when Brandon and I went backpacking for a few days for our tenth anniversary. ¬†Then it was May: stormy, icy and with freezing wind. ¬†This time it was open, sunny, warm, and green. ¬†We were with my parents and brother’s family. ¬†After the brief hike we had our picnic dinner and watched the sunset. ¬†As you can see, the sunset and views and colors were just spectacular. ¬†Simple beauty, these old blue rolling mountains.

Then back home, back to the regular work of the week and of the season. ¬†The weather has cooled here ever so slightly, but I’m not sure the hot days are entirely behind us. ¬†I’m enjoying every bit of the cool weather that I can, however. ¬†Recently, I finished knitting a hansel hap with a kit of yarn Brandon and the kids gifted me for Mother’s Day last year. ¬†The yarn was Little Meadows yarn from Ginny Sheller + extra special and squishy. ¬†It was a relatively quick knit and so, so enjoyable. ¬†I modified the pattern just a bit, adding an extra repeat or so to make it bigger. ¬†I thought it may cause me to run out of yarn but I had plenty, and I’m so glad I did it as the size is perfect. ¬†I’ve already been reaching often for it on these early cool nearly-fall days.

Most days are just ordinary, mundane and full of the work that must be done. ¬†Then there are days where you escape to the mountain tops, picnic and spend time gathered with family. ¬†There are days when you harvest armfuls of zinnias and marvel that you grew these and then you trim them down to brighten up your September table. ¬†There are days you finish knitting a beautiful shawl with a bit of yarn you hoarded for as long as you could stand it. ¬†One foggy September morning you can finally wrap up in that cheerful woolly shawl. ¬†All so unexpected sometimes, the glory and the hardship, the peaks and the valleys, though they shouldn’t be. ¬†I’m grateful for the way the beautiful moments carry us through and feed our souls in a way, bright spots for bleaker days.

A Shawl for Adoption

DSC_0001

DSC_0018

DSC_0016

DSC_0019

DSC_0049

DSC_0075

DSC_0051

UPDATE:  Congratulations to Ginny Foreman for winning the raffle!

Well over a year ago now, my brother Peter and his wife AllieMarie announced that they would be adopting a child to grow their family. ¬†We have been so excited to support them in the journey however we can! ¬†Immediately the idea came to mind to knit an item to donate. ¬†Knitting for someone is one way I pour love out on that person. ¬†It was really special to knit on this shawl and be mindful + prayerful the whole time of this baby that is being prepared for my brother’s family and for us all to love on. ¬†It was also special to knit on it and wonder who will be wrapped in the warmth of this gift. ¬†I hope many of you are excited for the opportunity to donate toward Peter + AllieMarie’s adoption and also possibly win a beautiful shawl!

Most people know it is a challenging and lengthy process to adopt, and cost is so prohibitive for many. ¬†However, Peter and AllieMarie’s plans have been interrupted by various hardships including the pandemic which has also caused a strain on their employment. ¬†The setbacks are discouraging and frustrating, and I would love to encourage them in this season with a reminder that there is a community of folks standing alongside them and behind them, cheering them on. ¬†You can read more about their heart for adoption on their GoFundMe page.

Now, let’s talk about the prize! ¬†This shawl is knit in one of my favorite yarns to work with. ¬†It is a special blend of merino wool, llama, silk and linen. ¬†The shawl is very soft and lightweight, and all the eyelets of the shawl make it breathable and light also, as well as lend an elegance to the piece. ¬†I have knitted this shawl once before for myself and it is a good layer for the in-between seasons of spring and shawl when a light accessory is needed. ¬†I like to wear mine draped over my shoulders in the mornings and evenings often to warm against the chill of the day, or wear it wrapped around my neck as a scarf when going out. ¬† The color of this yarn is called “lady slipper” and I think the soft mauve brown is one of my favorite colors lately. ¬†It is very wearable in my opinion and pairs well with many things!

DSC_0063

As for cost, I spent about $30 on the yarn alone and many hours knitting the shawl.  It is quite difficult to price a hand knitted item because the cost of good materials plus all the time involved knitting is hard to place a value on.  All of that to say, your donation will be well worth the cost of the item!

So here’s how you can enter for a chance to win the shawl:

  1. ¬†Donate at least $10 to Peter + AllieMarie’s GoFundMe. ¬†Make your donation HERE. ¬†Every $10 donated will be worth one entry toward winning the shawl. ¬†Once you donate you will be emailed with a receipt. ¬†Hang onto that email, ¬†because if you win I will need you to email that receipt to me as verification of your donation.
  2. Come back to the this page to¬†use the Rafflecopter link below,¬†enter the amount you donated to enter the raffle for the shawl. ¬†First you login with either your email address or your Facebook profile.¬† The options within the widget after you login are Donate $10 for one chance, Donate $20 for two chances, Donate $30 for three chances, Donate $40 for four chances, and Donate $50 for five chances.¬† You can select a combination of entry options if you need to.¬† So for instance if you were to donate $60, you would choose the ‚ÄúDonate $10‚ÄĚ option along with the ‚ÄúDonate $50‚ÄĚ option.¬† Each option can only be selected once per day, so if you donate more than the total options available ($150 per day), you will need to come back the following day(s) and select the options necessary to add up to your total donation. ¬†If you have any issues or questions please email me at marthahkimball(at)gmail(dot)com.

**Because of the current pandemic and subsequent strain on the postal service, the raffle is open to US + Canada only.

ACCESS THE RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY PAGE HERE.

DSC_0053

Please feel free to share this post to spread the word so we can raise as much as we can for the adoption. ¬†Also, feel free to visit Peter and AllieMarie’s adoption instagram account as well as their¬†GoFundMe.

0

0-1

Good luck and thank you so much! ¬†I’m so excited to send this shawl off to one of you lovely folks soon!

xo
Martha

yarn along

DSC_0052DSC_0058

Just popping in here briefly to share the progress on my hansel hap shawl! ¬†I flew through the colorful portion and am now working on the edging. ¬†It is much slower going but I have so, so loved working on this project! ¬†I don’t want to rush it but I also can already imagine wrapping up in it often as the weather cools. ¬†Oh, to think of that–the weather cooling. ¬†We’ve reached that time of year and heat when I can hardly imagine the need for bundling up and waking up to a chilly house and the need to light the fire.

I should mention the yarn was a kit for this shawl which Brandon gifted me for Mother’s Day 2019, purchased from Ginny’s etsy shop. ¬†Ginny’s yarn is something special! ¬†I was worried I would run out but even though I modified the pattern to extend the size, I still have had enough yarn so far.

Still reading Home, enjoying it a bit more as I get deeper into it.

Joining Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.