yarn along

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I can’t believe I didn’t get any other posts up last week but it was our first week resuming our usual school schedule and getting back into the swing of things.  Phoebe also had some strange cough that really mostly reared its head at night and had coughing fits that would lead to her throwing up for multiple nights in a row.  No fever or congestion at all, so it was really odd, and she said she felt fine.  Anyway, that along with Wren having a rough week sleeping, my own bad case of vertigo, and I felt like I was just surviving the week a bit.  It also rained most of the week so we are endlessly happy to see the sun today and it’s almost 60 degrees!  I’m hurrying to get this up and then we’re getting outside to a local nature area for a walk and play.

I finished the body of my Tecumseh sweater and am onto the first sleeve.  I’m really excited to have this done and ready to wear maybe within the week?!  We’ll see.  Meanwhile I still have like 10 other projects on my brain that I can’t wait to either cast on or keep working on, but I’m trying to stay focused.

My sister-in-law drew my name for Christmas (my family drew names to exchange gifts this year) and part of her gift to me was this book, The Quotidian Mysteries, which is one that’s been on my wishlist for a while!  I’m enjoying it so far.  It is mercifully short, also, which helps me feel like I’m not such a failure when it comes to reading progress lately.

Sorry for my absence last week and I’ll be back in a day or so hopefully with a regular post.

Joining up with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.
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yarn along

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Hello!  Since finishing up birthday sweaters for all the children which basically consumed my knitting time in November and December (plus a few other gift items), I am turning my attention back to my Tecumseh, which feels so good.  I just split for sleeves and am a few inches past that point now into the last repeat of the charts on the body section.  I like to have multiple projects on my needles so that I can switch back and forth to projects I feel like working on in the moment, or so that I have smaller projects that are easier to travel with, etc., but it is really amazing to see how quickly something can work up if I commit to working on it monogamously.  I may try to force myself to work more faithfully on one project at a time so that I can finish things a bit sooner.  We’ll see.  I have yarn for quite a few projects that I can’t wait to cast on but it’ll be rewarding to wait until I’ve got some projects off of my needles.

Also, I received this book, Homebody, for Christmas from Brandon.  He had seen me admiring it a little while ago and remembered!  So sweet of him.  He really spoiled me for Christmas.  The best part was that he forgot about this gift and being we had such a huge wide tree it was hidden behind the tree and the curtain of our window, so that as we were pulling the tree out and packing Christmas things away this past weekend, I saw the present tucked behind the curtain.  And it was for me!  It made it even more fun and special and I told him now I hope he does that every year, a surprise gift leftover some days after Christmas. 🙂  I’ve been slowly reading through it and savoring it.

My parents gifted us a box set of the Chronicles of Narnia series and we started The Magician’s Nephew this week and are already well into it and loving it.  I’ve never read the whole series so I’m excited to read it through together.

I hope you had a Merry Christmas and have been enjoying some making and reading in your holiday time!

Linking up with Ginny’s monthly Yarn Along today.
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yarn along

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For some reason I keep forgetting to pass the slipped stitch over on some of the stitches on the front panel and as a result I’ve made a bit of a mess of the front of this sweater after I split for sleeves.  The dilemma: rip back to where I split for sleeves and redo (but I’m not great at ripping back without dropping stitches/making mistakes) which will likely cause me not to have this sweater done in time for phoebes birthday, OR live with the mistakes on the front and keep going.  I don’t know what to do yet.  A couple of mistakes wouldn’t bother me, but I’ve done it several times and it makes the eyelet rows look off kilter.  Can you tell at all in this photo?  😦  Anyway, what I want to do is just avoid it altogether, but I have been trying to work on this monogamously so that my sweet girl has a birthday sweater on her day.  I am, however, really loving knitting with this yarn I dyed naturally myself with marigolds (and there are skeins of it available in my new little etsy shop which I shared all about in my last post if you’re interested)!  The variegation is really pretty I think and there is a sense of pride in knitting with it, knowing the work that went into achieving the bright cheery color!  It reminds me of citrus in the winter, just what is needed to dispel the gloom.

Still reading What the Land Already Knows and enjoying it so much.  Seriously so wonderful to read just before bed.  It’s wintery, Christmasy, and rich with insight.  I definitely recommend it and plan to get the other books in the series of stories from the Farm in Lucy.

Oh, also our recent blizzard here in the mountains of NC broke quite a few large limbs off of our big magnolia tree.  If I had more energy or time I would make a wreath or garland with them (I would have enough for several, actually!) but I’m afraid I won’t get around to it.  Any other suggestions?  I hate to just waste all the beautiful limbs and leaves.

Joining with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.

 

yarn along

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Is it already the 5th of December?  I can’t believe we are already almost a week into this month.  We are busy slowly decorating the house, getting back into the swing of Advent readings and activities together, as well as finishing up our last week of school before we take a long break for Christmas.  I am looking forward to the freedom of slower mornings playing games together or doing crafts, reading more together, and enjoying this special season.

I sewed the armpits of Noah’s sweater last night (yes, it’s done!) and wove in the ends and will block it today, so it is a relief to have that done well in time for his birthday.  I’ve been knitting on some socks for him as well, but with less pressure on myself to get them done in time for his birthday.  I cast on for Phoebe’s birthday sweater, she cannot wait to have a sunday sweater to match her sisters.  I’m knitting this with the yarn (100% eco wool) I dyed a few months ago with marigolds from our garden and I love the subtle variegation and the chartreuse color of this wool.  It’s very bright and happy for the winter months and in all this cold, it’s a reminder of the happy warm summer days.  Also, I dyed extra skeins of this yarn and also the avocado pink yarn I used for Philippa’s sweater to share with any of you knitters/weavers/crocheters out there who might be interested!  I will share more details soon, but those skeins will be listed in my first ever Etsy shop update hopefully this weekend, if all goes smoothly.  I’ve had hurdles and interruptions galore to my plans (which were originally to open this little shop in October!) and I’ve second-guessed and doubted myself a ton, and would probably have bailed on this idea except that I have invested too much to just drop it now.  So, it feels a little silly in a world where there are makers far more talented than I, but my heart is to offer some things made from our hands and home to you.  Hopefully I will have a post up on Friday with specifics of what we’re selling and lots of photos, so tune in if you’re interested in taking a peek.

For now, you can see a bit how this yarn knits up in today’s picture.  It is rustic and dry, yet still soft and very squishy.  I am not bored at all knitting this pattern again because the yarn is so bright and cheerful, and the pattern really is lovely.

I’ve been reading this book by Phyllis Tickle, What the Land Already Knows .  It is so sweet, quite a rich little book with short chapters that are great for reading just before sleep.  Brandon and I are also reading Lessons from a Christmas Tree Farm in the evenings together.  We are using Hallelujah and Unwrapping the Greatest Gift as family advent readings.  We just stocked up at the library with tons of festive Christmasy books and we’re preparing for a big snow forecasted for this weekend (fingers crossed!).  We have lots to read and lots of wool for knitting, so basically we’re all set.

Linking up with Ginny’s Yarn Along and Nicole’s Crafting On.
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I’ve was working fairly monogamously on Noah’s birthday sweater but I am just about out of yarn, so I’m waiting for another skein to arrive.  I didn’t check my gauge on this project but I liked the gauge I was getting with the recommended needle size and I also didn’t mind if the sweater turned out just a bit bigger than expected because it’s sized for a 4-6 yr old and my son is turning 6 and is quite tall for his age.  So, I figured 200 yards of yarn wouldn’t be enough, but all is well.  Since I had to set it down until the new yarn arrives, I’ve been working on Phoebe’s socks (which I’ll probably finish today).  I put them on hold for a bit because Wren got into my knitting bag and pulled the needles off the sock and generally pulled it all into a big mess, so I set it aside until I felt like fixing it.  Also, I pick up and knit a few rows on my Tecumseh sweater when I have a minute, which is just pure indulgence to work on.  I’m trying not to allow myself to work on it until birthday sweaters are done.  Although Phoebe has graciously given me permission to be late with her birthday sweater if need be. 🙂

I have still been reading (affiliate link) The Liturgy of the Ordinary.  I’ll share with you this excerpt which I thought was timely with our recent Thanksgiving celebrations:

“The word Eucharist literally means ‘thanksgiving.’  The Eucharist is the thanksgiving feast of the church, and it is out of that communal practice of thanksgiving that my lunchtime prayer of thanks flows.  The Eucharist–our gathered meal of thanksgiving for the life, death, and resurrection of Christ–transforms each humble meal into a moment to recall that we receive all of life, from soup to salvation, by grace.  As such, these small, daily moments are sacramental–not that they are sacraments themselves, but that God meets us in and through the earthly, material world in which we dwell.

The Eucharist is a profoundly communal meal that reorients us from people who are merely individualistic consumers into people who are, together, capable of imaging Christ in the world.  Of course, eating itself reminds us that none of us can stay alive on our own.  If you are breathing, it’s because someone fed you.  We are born hungry and completely dependent on others to meet our needs.  In this way the act of eating reorients us from an atomistic, independent existence toward one that is interdependent.  But the Eucharist goes even further.  In it, we feast on Christ, and are thereby mysteriously formed together into one body, the body of Christ.

Nourishment is always far more than biological nutrition.  We are nourished by our communities.  We are nourished by gratitude.  We are nourished by justice.  We are nourished when we know and love our neighbors.”

Amen, right?!

I hope you all have a lovely week and that you find a little time for making something, whether it’s your daily bread or a bundle of green clipped from your yard for a vase, or a garment for a loved one.  I hope you find a little time to make with intention, with joy, knowing you are imaging your Father as you create beauty.  And I hope you find some time to read, too.  If you feel like sharing what you’re working on or reading, I always love to hear from you!

Joining with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On today.

yarn along

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I really have far too many projects on the needles right now, and have no business casting on anything new.  I have quite a bit of gift/birthday/christmas knitting to get done.  However, this last weekend I was able to get away for a couple of days for some retreat/solo (with wren) time and its really the best time to begin a bigger project that requires learning a new skill.  I’ve had the yarn for the Tecumseh sweater since my birthday in June but wanted to finish a few items before casting on and I knew it would take some extra brain energy to get this project off the ground, being it is my first attempt at color work.  So I decided to take it along and at least get it started even though I will probably have to set it down for a bit until I finish some more gift knitting.  Still it felt really good and exciting to get it on my needles!  So far it has been really fun and easier to knit than I anticipated.

I’m still reading (affiliate link) Liturgy of the Ordinary, enjoying every bit of it though I’m making slow progress.  Lots of sickness in our house the last couple of weeks and I’ve been making more of an effort to get to bed earlier because I am up so much in the night with multiple children but especially Wren lately.  So my reading time has been less, but hopefully we’ll all be feeling 100% soon.

Joining with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.

yarn along

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Amid all of the baby and birthday/gift knitting I’ve been doing lately, there are some longer-term “selfish” projects on my needles, and my marley shawl is one of these.  I’m new to brioche, in fact this is my first brioche project and I really enjoy it.  I do have to work on it when I can do the eight-row repeat without interruption so that I don’t lose my spot.  Well, truthfully at this point I feel like I’ve got it under my belt and it’s easier to figure out where I’ve left off, but it’s still not a project I like to pick up and work on unless I have a longer bit of time to focus on it.  So I’m sure it’ll languish on the needles a bit and I hope to have it done sometime this winter season because I can’t wait to wear it/use it (as in, now!).  I counted rows last night and realized I’m about half way through, so that was exciting and surprising!  The yarn is so enjoyable and brioche is beautiful and squishy.    One of my knitting goals for the year was to learn brioche and it’s surprisingly much easier than I expected.  My other knitting goal was to try color work, and I have a project planned for that which I hope to start SOON!  I’m about to finish a few projects which feels good.

I’ve been realizing lately that in all our busyness, reading time is getting cropped out of the day (as in, chapter book read-aloud time).  Brandon began reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle (affiliate link) to the kids in the evenings, and I began reading this book to the kids during our school morning which I was given as a child, Treasure in the Big Woods.  I must have won it in Sunday School as a child for a bible drill or something (it isn’t listed on amazon).  Both have been enjoyable for all of us!  I’m still reading Liturgy of the Ordinary  (affiliate link) as well.

What are you reading or making lately?

Joining with Ginny’s yarn along and Nicole’s Crafting On.