yarn along

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Hello friends!

We were away last week to sunny California and I’ll share more about it soon, but for now, our regularly scheduled program of yarny things.

I barely did more than a few hours of knitting in the past week which is understandable because we were busy enjoying family and exploring in CA but also unfortunate because I’m working on a test knit that I do hope to have finished by the deadline in July.  I’m cruising along on it now and it feels good to see some progress.  So, I’m working on a test knit for Norah of FoxandFolk on instagram.  It is an absolutely darling button up cardigan with a peplum waist for Phoebe.  I tried it on her for fit yesterday and it is just going to be so, so sweet on her.  I really love knitting with Berrocco Ultra Alpaca, a yarn blend that is 50% wool + 50% alpaca.  It is so buttery soft, and having knit a few children’s sweaters and hats with it before, I have realized it is their favorite wool to wear because of its softness.  Noah’s last birthday sweater was knit with it and he wears it almost daily when he’s cold.  Anyway, gray may be a boring color but it will be so wearable for Phoebe!  And I’m realizing I need a gray cardigan for my wardrobe soon, too! 🙂

I also didn’t do much reading on the trip, but I am still slowly working through (affiliate link) The Artist’s Way, and hoping to make more progress in it soon.

What are you making or reading lately?

Joining Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.

yarn along

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This week I’ve made a bit of progress on my antarktis shawl, but have also been working on finishing up some sweaters that are really close to being done.  I’m wanting to clear the plate so to speak, and it feels so good to finish up some projects!

I started (affiliate link) The Artist’s Way, something I’ve wanted to read for years.  It is really resonating so far, and I think I will need to purchase a copy so I can mark it up and take my time through it.  If any of you have read it, let me know your thoughts!  Happy June, everyone.

Joining Ginny’s Yarn Along + Nicole’s Crafting On.

yarn along

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We are having such hot, dry days here in western NC.  It feels like August or September heat and without the usual daily downpour and thunderstorm we are used to at this time of year.  It’s not my favorite kind of weather.  We’ve all felt more cooped up in the house because of it.  It just sort of takes it out of me, and I haven’t felt my usual creative juices flowing.  So I’m sorry for being a bit more absent from this space last week.  I don’t want to complain, we are thankful for lots of sunshine for sure.  But I wouldn’t mind a good thunderstorm and cooler weather!

I cast on today for another Antarktis shawl in Fibre Co Meadow.  This will be my fourth time knitting this pattern (and always right around the month of June!) and already I’m remembering the quiet rhythm of it.  I was just wearing my Antarktis this morning that I knit from Ginny’s special speckly yarn last year.  I have a couple other projects on the go, three sweaters/tops that are just on the cusp of being bound off, which will feel so good!  Hopefully I’ll be able to do that soon.  However, I couldn’t resist casting on this shawl.  The Fibre Co Meadow has to be one of my absolute favorite yarns.  And this color way, called Ladyslipper, is truly the most breathtaking aubergine.

I haven’t been reading much, admittedly, just for lack of time and focus, really.  I have, however, been reading the second Vanderbeeker book to Phoebe, The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden.  We are so close to finishing our school year, just days away, and I feel so wiped from this year (and probably the heat, to boot).  It is nice to read something together, which we both so enjoy.

Anyway, how has your spring been?  And what are you making or reading lately?

Joining Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.

spring energy

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These photos were taken a couple of weeks ago already.  My, how the days are flying by.  We have so enjoyed these spring days with cool weather and have all been outside as much as possible.  We’ve had a few short trips in the last month which is a bit uncharacteristic for us — a visit to Brandon’s parents in Myrtle Beach, SC, and an anniversary getaway to cabin in Banner Elk, NC.  In the midst of that hustle and bustle, we’ve felt that burst of spring energy (and exhaustion!) that everything seems to have this time of year.  You can nearly hear it if you listen close enough, the eagerness of shoots burrowing up from soil, the rustle of leaves sprouting out from limb.  It seems almost audible, the hurry of everything in nature to grow and produce.  I feel it, too, every spring, that sense that we are behind, that we need to hurry up and grow things.

We aim to improve and work on our small little garden spot every year.  This year, it was to put in soaker tubes for watering and to set up a rain catchment system to feed the soaker tubes.   We used an old barrel that was on our property when we moved in and it has worked really well thus far.  Also, we made more established walking paths between rows by laying landscape paper down and we are waiting on a drop off of (free) wood chips which we will cover the walking paths with in an effort to cut down on weeding.

We didn’t expand the garden area at all this year, but I did plant lavender and rosemary and a whole host of flower seed around the property.  Here’s to hoping it all comes up and does well!  Sunflowers, cosmos, bachelor buttons.  I have zinnia seeds as well but no more ground space, so I think I will plant a full raised bed of zinnias (maybe arugula too if its not too late to start it) because truly the zinnias brought me so much joy all last summer.  There are things to love about every season, to be sure, but summer is just not my favorite.  Keeping a garden and anticipating the growing of things helps me survive the summer heat, I’ve realized.

Brandon tackled a project for me updating/redoing our front door area (replacing the door and trim, painting, installing a new light fixture and house numbers) and we have quite a few other projects we hope to have time to work on this spring/summer.  Slowly, ever so slowly, plugging away on this little old home.

Also, I had Brandon take some photos of my finished Tales from the Isle of Purbeck shawl.  I finished it a little while ago but wanted to share it here with you.  I knit it with some local yarn from a nearby sheep farm I visited in the fall, so it just feels extra special.  Knitting is such a joy and comfort in these days where projects pile up and no end is in sight.  It is good for my sanity to work on small things and see them to completion.

Speaking of finishing, we are nearing the end of our third year homeschooling.  I feel so weary and I know the children do, too.  But I was reflecting this morning that I often think of summer break as just stopping and then in the fall picking up where we left off the previous year.  However I had to remind myself that no, in fact, I have successfully moved Phoebe through second grade and when we finish, she will be ready for 3rd grade.  And Noah will have completed Kindergarten.  I felt humbled and grateful to remember that — this isn’t just an endless work, though it is continuous and maybe the lines between grades are a bit fuzzier than in traditional schooling.  The years blur into one another and it all can feel a bit endless, but in fact, we are slowly plugging along and completing our work, bit by bit.

I hope you’re enjoying some of that spring energy today.  Maybe even some clover + chive tea made by chubby hands and offered to you in love.

yarn along

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Brandon and I went away this weekend (with Wren tagging along, too) to a cabin in Banner Elk, NC to celebrate our 13th anniversary.  (If you follow me on instagram you saw plenty of photos from our time).  I finished the sock project I had on my needles so those could be gifted, and I am nearing the finish on the Minaret top I’ve been working on.  I had pulled together yarn mostly from my stash to knit a soldotna and have been forcing myself to wait to cast on until these projects were off my needles, but it felt like the right time to cast on for something new and fun this weekend.  So, I cast on the soldotna and it is as fun and addicting as everyone says, I can hardly put it down.  I will say that after spending a lot of time working with cotton the past few weeks, it feels so good to have wool back in hand.

I’m still reading (affiliate link) Marilla of Green Gables, enjoying it and just wishing for more reading time!

Joining Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.

 

yarn along

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There’s something about spring and fall that makes me crave rewatching the Anne of Green Gables series (the old version with Megan Follows).  I saw Marilla of Green Gables at the library yesterday and picked it up.  I’ve been needing some fiction lately, and I began it last night.  Here’s to hoping its a happy diversion.  I do plan to slowly re-watch the Anne movies, too.  It’s funny how my perspective has changed since becoming a mother/getting older as I watch these movies, how as a young girl I identified more with Anne and now I think more of what it must have been like to be Marilla.

I’m still making slow progress on the Minaret top but I needed some plain stockinette (the twisted rib using cotton has definitely taken a toll on my wrists) the past few days so I picked up my Felix pullover and started the first sleeve.  Clearly I won’t get much wear out of this sweater until the fall but it will be nice to finish it and tuck it away all ready for the cooler weather.

Joining Nicole’s Crafting On.

yarn along

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The past week or so I’ve been working as much as possible on this test knit.  It’s a summery top called the Minaret Crop which I plan to wear over dresses and such as a light and colorful layer.  Admittedly, it’s been a bit difficult at times working with the yarn, beautiful though it is.  It’s mostly cotton (75% cotton, 25% wool) and it does make me realize what an amazing fiber wool is with it’s squishy stretchiness.  Cotton is much harder on my hands.  Also, this yarn is lace weight while the pattern called for fingering weight, so my knitting progress has been a bit slower than I expected.  I hope to finish it up soon and be able to wear it before it gets too crazy hot here in North Carolina.

I’m still reading along in Mystics and Misfits, and the children and I are reading Moominland Midwinter (well, we started it a bit ago but I’m not sure if they’re into it now that we are out of the snowy cold weather) as well as The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  Last week we still had some really cold days, but this last weekend we spent at the beach with Brandon’s parents and the last couple of days here have been quite hot.  This warm weather makes me think about hot afternoons lounging around on the couch together reading and reading.  I’m looking forward to wrapping up another school year (by God’s grace!) and having a summer break filled with gardening, hiking, camping, outdoor adventures, and lots of read-alouds.  I’m already making a mental list of books I hope to get to.  Do share any you recommend!

Joining this week with Nicole’s Crafting On and Ginny’s Yarn Along.
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