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It’s a chilly grey February day here.  We just wrapped up our school morning and soon I’ll get lunch on the table.  I meant to get this post up yesterday, but lately my days are so full I always feel a bit behind on everything.  Not that it matters much at all to be a bit late posting here. 🙂  I wonder how you are and how your February is going wherever you might be in the world as you read this.  I’ve been knitting away on my projects when I find time, usually in the evenings when all the work is done for the day.  Last night I bound off the body of my koivua sweater and am reading to start working on the sleeves.  A few days ago I cast on a simple ribbed hat for myself with this beautiful yarn by Colleen of Little Lionhead Knits in a color way called The Great Smoky Mountains.  I thought it would be tedious to do this much ribbing (because I want a folded brim hat), and the fiddly beginnings were tedious but I am actually really enjoying working on it here and there when I need something totally mindless.  The color is hard to capture.

I’m still reading Fierce Convictions. 🙂

Joining with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.

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After finishing Brandon’s birthday sweater this week (yes, I made it in time!!) I picked back up my Koivua.  I so enjoy knitting for others, but I do ache to get a few projects done for myself that I actually need in my wardrobe! 🙂  It’s early February but it feels like people are rushing into spring already.  I don’t feel like we’ve had a proper winter yet.  So I’m hoping I can finish this sweater soon and have opportunity to wear it before spring! 🙂  At the same time, I’m trying to knit mindfully and make it last because it is lovely to work on.  The yarn is so squishy.  I think rambouillet is one of my favorite fibers to work with!

Also, I’m still reading Fierce Convictions, a biography on the life of Hannah More who was a poet, reformer and abolitionist.  I am quite captivated thus far by this extraordinary woman and just getting into the part of the book where she makes acquaintance with John Newton and begins to become more aware of the atrocities of the slave trade.

Joining with Nicole’s Crafting on and Ginny’s Yarn Along.
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I’ve nearly finished knitting the plain stockinette body portion of Brandon’s riddari sweater, tonight I will probably be joining sleeves and starting the color work yoke.  I have been working on this around Brandon in the evenings, though discreetly.  He hasn’t asked about it but he may suspect it’s for him.  I only have a few more days to finish it before his birthday and I’m not thinking it’s likely, but its definitely possible!  It is amazing how much more we seem to accomplish when we work exclusively on a project, however I much prefer the freedom of having multiple projects on the go and picking up what I feel inspired to work on in the moment.

I checked out Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More  (affiliate link) from the library and have been enjoying it so far.  I can’t remember what inspired me to check it out.  I do remember wanting to read it when it was first published some years ago but never getting around to it.  Glad to do so now.

I hope you all are having a good week so far and do share with me what you’re making and reading lately, if you’d like!

Joining Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.

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I’m chuckling at my last post title because for the last few days after writing it, the weather has been gloriously wintry and bitter cold!  We even saw our first snow flurries of the season, though they only lasted a few minutes and were so tiny.  It looked like glitter in sun.

I have been knitting away on Brandon’s birthday sweater and am relieved to have both sleeves done.  It feels good to just have the body left, and since it is bottom up, the anticipation of the funnest part (the color work yoke) will be what fuels me to the end.  Can’t wait.  I cast on for the body this morning.  So far, I am really enjoying this project and definitely think I will knit it again.  There’s just something I love about working with lopi.

This week I also finished up a couple of socks and need to knit their match. I’m knitting these for Brandon and these for another loved one.  I did cast on these for myself on Christmas day but I think I’m going to use a different pattern.  This one is very “hole-y” and I want something a bit warmer I think.  I’m thinking the fir socks by Melody Hoffman.  I don’t know what it is but I just love sock knitting so much lately.  I always have a couple of pairs on the go for when I’m out and about.

As for reading, I’m still plugging away on Little Women (I feel terribly slow) and I’m enjoying it.  I feel that you would be bored seeing it’s cover once again 🙂 so I’m sharing a book the children and I are reading, The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine.

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january mild

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What a mild winter it has been so far.  I feel a bit complain-y but I do miss a good cold/snowy cozy winter.  I hope we still have some of those days ahead.  Yesterday the warm sun felt so good and who could resist sitting out in it and basking in it in the middle of January?  Certainly not me.  I am a firm believer in taking the gifts of each day’s weather.  Still it feels unnatural to move from fall into spring.  I’m missing my old friend winter, the way she makes us crazy toward her end and ready for thawing soil, spring rain, vibrant color, and the smallest glimpses of new life.  It strikes me that maybe we just can’t fully enjoy the glories of spring without the quietude and bleakness of a long winter.

We’ve been back to our usual routines and though there’s always a rub to the mundane parts of life, there is a simplicity to it that feels healing.  Our mornings are full of books, writing, arithmetic, our afternoons full of time spent outdoors, music lessons, tutoring, or running household errands.  We had a fair bit of rain the last few days, and in the glorious sunshine that follows, I find myself wandering about the garden, starting to think about what we will grow this year.  I knit up a pair of baby bloomers for Wren.  They are knit top-down in yarn from local-to-me Bovidae Farm, with a sweet little lateral braid separating the rib and the squishy fisherman’s rib on the body.  They are simple and darling.  Wren seems to love anything I make for her, she loves dressing up and trying things on, so she is always game for new hand knits.  I snapped a few pictures of her this morning in the blustery morning air.  She was very busy tidying up her little house outside, bringing me all sorts of items the older children had left out there and throwing whatever else she didn’t want down the slide.  She is full of big feelings, this little one, one minute ecstatic and the next minute screaming her frustration.  In a little more than a month she will be two and I can hardly believe it.

ps. Wren is wearing the wiksten animal bonnet which I knit in naturally-dyed yarn, and in the earlier pictures she’s wearing her flax light sweater from her first birthday.  Yes, I’m already contemplating what her birthday sweater should be for this year. 🙂  I’m thinking about another Camilla Babe sweater in my own hand-dyed worsted eco yarn dyed with marigold.

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Happy Tuesday, friends!  I’m glad to have a few moments to pop in here and share what I’ve been working on the last few days.  I certainly didn’t need to cast on another sweater, but I did.  This one is for Brandon and it will be the first sweater I’ve knit for him.  I’m hoping to have it done by the first week of February for his birthday, but I realize that might be a challenge.  I’ve never knit a man-sized garment before!  I’m knitting a riddari sweater for him, a classic icelandic lopapeysa and started with the sleeves.  I’m enjoying the colors I’ve chosen so far and I think they will be really wearable for Brandon.

Still reading Little Women. 🙂

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Happy New Year, friends.  I hope the first week of January has been gentle and kind to you.  It has been for us, and I am grateful.  I’m still reflecting and processing in this month because honestly there isn’t much brain space for that in December anymore for me.  I’m grateful to ease back into ordinary time and the world feels a bit quieter.  Yet there is so much to think through, process, plan, and it all overwhelms a bit.

I’ve been so happy to knit away on whatever suits my mood at the moment.  I want to say gift knitting is done, but not totally.  I have yarn coming to knit a birthday sweater for Brandon.  I’ve never knit him a sweater because he’s always overheated and doesn’t really want many woolly items, but I really want to make him a sweater he can wear as a good warm layer at work since he works outside often in the winter months.

I’m not knitting a ton on my koviua because I’ve started a couple small items for Wren (both test knits, though one I am late on).  But when I can work on it, it is a true pleasure.  I am loving the way the yarn is working up, hoping it will fit well, too.

I’m still reading Little Women, and the children and I have been reading a couple poems daily from this collection, Winter Poems, and really enjoying it.  It has been so mild here and warm, which I can’t really complain about because it is so lovely.  But I really do want some winter days and some snow.  I miss living in the Rocky Mountains where snow was on the ground for months at a time.  Maybe reading a lot of wintery snowy-themed children’s books will help? 🙂  I find myself gathering armloads of them from the library when we go.

What are you knitting and reading lately?
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I’m working away on Phoebe’s sweater, knitting both sleeves now.  In the meantime, I am hoping to give each of the children a small knitted something for Christmas.  I finished some socks for Philippa, and I’ve cast on this beautiful slipped stitch tam for Phoebe.  She has asked for a hat like this for some time so I think she will love it, and it’s a quick mindless knit to work on when I don’t have the energy for colorwork sleeves.

I made it about half way through Ellie and Harp Maker and had to put it down.  It’s a nice enough book and an easy read, but it glorifies an extramarital affair and to me, there’s nothing glorious about that.  My heart has been broken more than once by infidelity and sexual sin in the lives of loved ones and the reality is that infidelity isn’t romantic, it destroys hearts and families.  I have no interest in reading about it, or people’s various attempts to justify it.

The children and I have been making our way through Hallelujah in the mornings and the older two really enjoy listening to Handel’s Messiah in little chunks each day as we go.  Are you enjoying an advent read this season?

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I split for sleeves on Phoebe’s birthday sweater last night (finally!) and I’m a little nervous that at this rate it’s probably unlikely I will finish this in time for her birthday later this month.  It’s just slow going, all-over color work with fingering weight yarn.  However, it will be so pretty in the end.  Can you see the horses on the yoke?  I’m hoping now that that part of the pattern is done, the body section will go a little faster (the chart is a bit simpler).

I grabbed Elli and the Harp Maker while at the library yesterday.  When we are there I rarely have time to look for books for myself but I saw this one as I was walking to the children’s section and it caught my eye.  I started it last night, and realized it’s been a long time since I’ve ready some fiction.  It was so nice to fall into a story.  I don’t know much about it and not sure if I will love it, but it was good light reading so far.  Do you have any fiction recommendations for me?  I’m in need of some, I realize.

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These November days have flown by and it sounds cliche but its hard to believe we are in the last few days until December.  I am just finishing the neckline of Noah’s birthday sweater so his should be done well in time for his birthday.  All my knitting time is going toward Phoebe’s birthday sweater now, which is so so fun to work on.  I’m really loving the yarn.  I’m finally knitting the horses part of the yoke and it’s fun to see them taking shape.

Not much reading this past week, we have a lot of sickness in the house and I’ve been up most nights either coughing myself or checking on feverish coughing children.  Too tired for much reading come bed time.  However, there’s always time for reading books with the children especially as we are cooped up with colds.  I love the wintry illustrations of Sing a Season Song.  All of our Christmas and Advent books are packed away with Christmas decorations in the attic and I can’t wait to pull that box out soon and enjoy those special books again.

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