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.

 

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I gave Phoebe this ball of sock yarn last Christmas for her to knit with since she loves all things purple and fuchsia.  However, the yarn has been used for a million other purposes and left neglected and tangled in her room so I picked it up to knit her some socks with it.  One can’t let yarn go to waste!  I was thinking to get ahead on her birthday/Christmas knitting but she’s spotted them and is so excited for a new pair of socks so I’ll probably just let her have them whenever they’re done.  I have a few other projects on the go so I didn’t need to cast something new on, but there’s just something about sock knitting.

Still reading Liturgy of the Ordinary (affiliate link) and loving it, though I haven’t made much progress since last week.

Joining with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.

Courage, Dear Heart

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Hey friends.  I finished this book, Courage, Dear Heart: Letters to a Weary World, not too long ago and wanted to share about it with you here!  Written as letters to the brokenhearted and storm-battered, in each chapter Reynolds strives to offer three things: words for our pain, the presence of a friend/companion in the journey, and hope so that we can run the race.

You cannot be human for very long and not feel some heart ache, some brokenness.  As you live and walk farther, you only gather more hardships along the way–no one gets through life unscathed.  Of course, life is not only about the hardships and there are rivers of joy.  However there are seasons where the grief and pain seem to swallow up all of the light and we aren’t sure that we’ll ever recover.

In my own life there have been a handful of excruciating seasons, most I can’t really share in this space.  One such season for me was in the first couple of years immediately following Phoebe’s diagnosis with Celiac disease.  Of course the shock of the diagnosis and its implications for lifestyle changes was one overwhelming aspect.  There was so much change so quickly, so much to learn about, such a huge leap in our grocery budget, medical bills from multiple procedures, etc.

Even now as I sit to write this, I am overwhelmed trying to explain the depths of what this journey has been like for us.  I’ve tried writing this post out a few times and keep coming up short.  There is so much, so many layers.  Emotional pain, physical pain, spiritual ramifications, financial strain–the way all of that hits a marriage, the way my husband and I process it all differently and then have to work through it somehow together.  The way it makes a mother nearly go crazy to watch her child suffer and to feel helpless.  Then there is the PTSD of sorts of having gone through something like this, and the temptation to live now in the shadow of the next shoe dropping.  It has been one of the hardest seasons to date, one I’m not sure I’m totally through yet and certainly not one I can fully unpack or process yet.  I was sharing about it with a close friend + confidant recently, how going through this has somehow fundamentally changed the landscape of my soul.

All of that to say, Reynolds book strikes a chord with the storm-battered and weary.  So many words have sounded empty and hollow and lifeless in this season.  Few seem to speak the language of the suffering.  Maybe only those who have walked through these kinds of dark valleys can speak the tongue of it, sending forth words to pull another groping traveler along.  Her words are honest, simple yet profound, hopeful.  It’s rare that a book will make me cry, but there have been time that her words have reached that inaccessible closed off part of my heart and helped to crack it open a bit so the pain can be released.  That is a gift, friends.

She offers permission to suffer, to be human–which we so desperately need when in the company of fellow Christians who often unknowingly communicate that we must be strong in our trial.  She offers a realistic view of what it looks like to be human and yet carry the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.  (What a mystery!)

I highly recommend it for those of you who might be in a trying time for one reason or another, needing letters from a fellow sojourner who can offer real hope and care and help you grope for God through the dark.  I leave you with this little excerpt from the introduction:

“In C. S. Lewis’s The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, young Lucy finds herself trapped inside a thick, enchanted darkness in which all nightmares come true.  Overwhelmed by fear, she cries out to the great lion, ‘Aslan, Aslan, if ever you loved us at all, send us help now.’

At this moment of desperation, Lucy notices a light.  She looks along its beam and sees something inside:

‘At first it looked like a cross, then it looked like an airplane, then it looked like a kite, and at last with a whirring of wings it was right overhead and was an albatross.  It circled three times round the mast and then perched for an instant on the crest of the gilded dragon at the prow.  It called out in a strong sweet voice what seemed to be words though no one understood them.  After that it spread its wings, rose, and began to fly slowly ahead, bearing a little to starboard. . . .No one except Lucy knew that as it circled the mast it had whispered to her, “Courage, dear heart,” and the voice, she felt sure, was Aslan’s, and with the voice a delicious smell breathed in her face.’

So courage, dear heart.  I know you are tired.  I know the darkness is thick, and the way is longer and harder than you ever expected it to be.  But God sees you, he hurts with you, and he welcomes your honesty.  Even to the ends of the earth, he will lead you on.”

A special thank you to Tyndale Publishers for their complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions my own. 

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I finished the body and am onto the first sleeve of Philippa’s birthday sweater, which I’m knitting with yarn I dyed myself.  I’m really happy with it!  It’s probably time to hunt for buttons.  The weather has turned colder here and I always feel a bit caught by surprise when I start digging through bins of children’s winter clothes and layers and discover what we are short on.  It seems wren needs a few more warm layers, and I’m wanting to cast on all the things.

I didn’t finish Home Education Vol. 1 (affiliate link) but it was due back at the library.  I made it about half way and I would recommend it and probably should buy it for myself.  The Liturgy of the Ordinary (affiliate link) is a book Brandon gave me for my birthday back in June and I’ve been forcing myself to wait to read it.  If you’ve been around my blog for any time at all, you know that this theme of the sacred found in the ordinary is the theme I seem to orbit around the most and find the most fascinating.  I’m planning on going on a little solo retreat early November and was hoping to read it then but I couldn’t wait, so I started it the other evening.  I love it already.

What are you reading and making lately?

Joining Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.  Feel free to join in, too!

yarn along

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What a week it was last week!  This week is busy as well, and knitting truly helps keep my sane in the midst of it all.  I’m almost done with the first sleeve of my Tegna and can hardly believe I might be able to block it and have it ready to wear this week!  Woohoo!!! In the meantime, I cast on for Philippas birthday sweater, another Sunday sweater (pattern by Ginny) with my hand dyed yarn (dyed with avocados).  I will share more about this yarn soon, if and when I get a chance to shoot out another post.  In the meantime, it is the squidgiest wool and I had no idea how much satisfaction and joy it would bring me to knit with yarn I’ve dyed myself!  It makes me even more excited to see the finished product.  I plan to knit all of the girls a “sunday sweater,” having already finished wren’s (except for buttons! gah!).  Philippa and Phoebe will both get one as their birthday sweater with the yarn I’ve dyed myself.  I’ve also ordered yarn for Noah’s birthday sweater and now I have more knitting ahead than I can probably finish in time, but I will try.  Kid sweaters sometimes go really quickly for me and I’m hoping I’ve started early enough to accomplish them.

ALSO… sorry for the different format of the photo.  Tragically, I dropped my DSLR camera last week while on a hike and I believe it is toast.  I am hoping to drop it off at a repair shop soon to find out details because I won’t be able to do much of my usual blogging, family pictures, and also the (very) part time work I do taking photos for my husband/dad’s work website. 😦 😦 😦  Very sad.

I’m still reading Home Education (affiliate link).  Enjoying it but needing a fiction book soon methinks.

Joining Nicole’s weekly crafting on.

 

yarn along

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I’m working on the front shoulders of my tegna sweater and I’m really excited to have this piece done to wear this fall.  The weather here hasn’t really cooled yet so it should be done just in time.

I’m also almost half way through (affiliate link) Home Education and am really enjoying it.

What are you reading and making?

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

 

 

 

 

yarn along

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When the yarn arrived for my tegna sweater I couldn’t help casting on as soon as possible.  I labored a bit over sizing because this top is supposed to be oversized and boxy, and I really want it to fit just as the designer models it.  I did a swatch but didn’t want to take the time to block it, so I’m hoping that mine turns out as I want it to!  I’d like to have this top to wear this fall, possibly to the big fiber festival that happens in our area the last weekend of October, so other projects are being neglected a bit as I work on this. Also, I am loving ever single second working on it.  My first time with mohair, it is lovely!

I’m still reading the last couple of books I’ve shared over the last few weeks but also picked (affiliate link) The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook up from the library.  I feel like I’m falling more deeply into this craft and loving it so, and am fascinated by understanding different fibers and how they behave.  It has been fun to peruse this book and it’s one I would like to eventually add to our library.

What are you reading and making lately?
Joining with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.