yarn along

Hello, friends. Early September and our school year is well off to a start, our reading time together picking back up with more regularity. I’m on the last few pages of A Light in the Window, but thought I’d share today a read-aloud that the kids and I are enjoying lately, The Children of Noisy Village. During our morning meeting + snack time, we have all laughed through the sweet short chapters. Children, for all their occasional frustrating behaviors or wearying requests, are really some of the very best to spend time with.

I recently cast on these Elinor socks in some beautiful yarn I purchased off another knitter’s destash. It is so soft and lovely to work with and the dimension of the color is enjoyable. I tend to avoid lacey or really textured socks because they typically require more attention and are not as portable or easy of a project for me to take on errands. These, however, have been excellent! The lace repeat is 6 rows, very easy to memorize and very fun and addictive to knit! I have been loving working on them.

What have you been reading, knitting, or making lately?

Hope your September is off to a good start!
xo

Martha

yarn along

Knitting the Kiruna shawl has taken a bit longer than I expected. As it has grown, the weight and feel of the yarn on my lap has been a balm. It is quite warm so on the hottest of days it is best to work on it in the cool of the evening. I made some mistakes in the lace section a couple of times and had to rip back and repair, so I took some breaks in knitting it but I am nearly to the end now. Initially I was knitting this as part of a knit-along, but that has since ended and I still knit on. I don’t mind, projects take the time needed to come to completion and I knit what I enjoy, so no matter what I’m working on or how long it takes, it’s all good. I will need to break into the third skein tonight for the last few rows and then it should be done. Even though it’s hard to imagine cold days ahead with today’s heat nearing the 90s, I know this shawl will be a warm and woolly companion come winter.

I finished At Home in Mitford and immediately began A Light in the Window. I finally see why these books have the readership that they do! Very enjoyable and calming.

What are the hot August days like for you? What are you inspired to make and to read?
Sending much love from these gentle North Carolina mountains!

xo
Martha

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yarn along

We are nearing the end of July and a very hot week is predicted for us next week. I’ve been knitting away all the same, knowing soon my knitting time will be overtaken with sweaters for the kids fall/winter birthdays. I had some birthday money and was able to purchase some yarn for a couple sweaters for myself. After finishing the Misurina tee recently as well as the Ginny cardigan (still working on the belt for it), it was time to cast on a new garment! The snowy forest sweater was one I’ve wanted to knit since the design was published. You know how a garment just makes your heart stop a bit when you see it, something about the design calling to you? Well, that’s how this was. It’s my first time knitting a sweater with mohair held together with the yarn and it really is quite extravagant and luxurious. I was a little intimidate by the cable yoke because I haven’t done a ton of work with cables. It is working up so quickly and is really so very easy! I cannot wait to have this one to wear, at the same time I’m enjoying the process so much I don’t want it to end.

Meanwhile I’ve got a lot of other little projects on my needles that I’m working on here and there. I finished the first brambleberry sock and still haven’t cast on the second, need to soon. I knit some premie sized socks for my brand new niece who I hope to share more about soon, when all the adoption details are finalized. I cast on a summer tank for myself to use some cotton yarn I won in a giveaway last year. Will it be finished in time to wear during this summer? I hope so!

I’ve still been reading At Home in Mitford (affiliate link), very much so enjoying it. It’s just a delight to finally get into this series and to escape to Mitford at day’s end.

We’ve been busy lately with family in town, but I do hope to share a regular old blog post soon. What have you been up to in July? Are you in a bit of a heat wave like us? Are you inspired to be creative or to knit, or does the heat put a damper on that for you? What good books are you reading? Share if you’d like!

Blessings!
Martha

yarn along

Christmas season came and went in such a hurry it seems. I still have photos to share about our holiday season, but am finding it hard to make time to get on here and do so. I received a sweater’s quantity of peace fleece DK in the color way “sheplova mushroom” to knit a morchella cardigan. I watched for it on Christmas day and cast on sometime around then. I want this cardigan in my wardrobe so badly, and thought it would be more of a product knit versus a process knit, anticipating it would knit slowly and be a bit tedious. However I have been so, so enjoying the process of knitting this sweater. I can’t quite explain it. It’s just the only thing I want to work on and there’s something deeply comforting in returning to it at the beginnings of endings of my days. It’s familiar, easy, and such a long bit of knitting, yet the excitement to have the finished piece moves me continually forward. These are strange times we find ourselves in, and I must say I have been battling a lot of discouragement. Life for me lately is pared back down to the basics and my words feel few and also terribly small and unimportant, especially in the wider world of the internet. Maybe it’s a bit of an existential crisis. From what I gather, I think many of us are struggling a bit right now. I am finding grounding in the scriptures, in quiet spaces, in observing nature around me and spending time in it, in my knitting, in the company of trusted friends and loved ones.

I’m slowly making my way through Willa Cather’s The Song of the Lark. I am mostly enjoying it, and am curious to see where the story goes, but I feel like I’m reading it very slowly. Have you read it? If so, what did you think? Some fiction has definitely been a welcome reprieve in the evening before bed.

How are you? Are you reading good books, making things with your hands?

Sending love to you today, friends, and trusting that the Light can overcome the darkness any one of us may be facing.

xo
Martha

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

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.

A Shawl for Adoption

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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!

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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 “Donate $10” option along with the “Donate $50” 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.

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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.

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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

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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.