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.

making progress

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I mentioned a couple of posts back that we’ve been doing some work on our little “school room” which is a room right off of our kitchen, where my laundry room and also our little sunroom adjoin.  Since moving into our home over a year ago it was my plan to make some changes in this area of the home and make it more suited to study.  I think creating an environment that is beautiful, simple, clean and inspiring is important to foster learning.  Last year we mostly did schoolwork in the living room, but it became a difficulty for phoebe to focus, and for me always lugging all of our supplies and books from the school room over to the living room.  Thus far, keeping our schoolwork in the school and sun room area has really made a difference in helping us all to focus and I love having all of our supplies within reach.  It was essential to me to make a “bigger kid” space for Phoebe that was clean, minimal and well-lighted.  Brandon does such a great job taking my ideas and making them happen.  He built for me a simple floating desk in a little nook that was in the school room, and I think it’s been fun for Phoebe to have a more grown-up feeling area to work.  He also finished the chalkboard I dreamed up and I love everything about it.  I was just telling him last night what a huge difference it makes in our school room and in our teaching/learning to be able to write things out and keep work up on it that we aren’t finished with yet.  There is still, of course, a lot I would like to do in this space, but as with most projects we take on in this season of life we have to take small steps at a time because of both time and cost.  Instead of feeling like I want it all to be perfectly “done” all at once, I’m happy to make it a goal to improve, add to, and tweak it every new school year.  It grows as our little home school grows.  Anyway, I promised to share finished photos with you, so here they are, messy desk area and all.  I think a nice big rug would make this space a bit more cozy, a really great overhead light to replace that old fan (because this room is the least well-lit room in our home, unfortunately), and I will probably work on replacing chairs in this room as well.  We may add some book shelves in somewhere (the wall where the map is now?) because our school book collection is growing steadily.  Brandon would love to vault the ceilings in this room and create a nook up in the attic area above it, but those are lofty dreams.

I feel like I have a lot of creative projects on the go and in my mind.  I would really like to (and sort of need to) update and overhaul this blog space.  I mentioned that I have a few homemade items that we would like to sell in a little family etsy shop space.  I need to get that up and running, hopefully in October!  I have a litany of knitting projects and of course, Christmas and birthdays are approaching and I have a few birthday sweater ideas for the kids.  So there is a lot to work on and really so little time in the nooks and crannies that are leftover in a day.

I spent most of a recent Saturday working in the garden, pulling out the zucchini and squash and peas that were dead (everything got powdery mildew a few weeks ago) and tying up the tomatoes, tilling the soil to prep for planting a fall garden.  It felt so very good to get in there and clean everything up after some weeks of neglect.  Our tomatoes, green peppers, herbs, asparagus, swiss chard, sweet potatoes, and zinnias are still going strong, although with hurricane florence expected to arrive here Thursday evening, I wonder if we will have much that survives.  Maybe it’s good I haven’t planted any fall things yet?  I’ve never done a fall garden and don’t really know if I’m too late anyway, so if you have any tips on that, do comment below and share your wisdom!  I was hoping to do a lot of greens like spinach, arugula, kale, and try again at beets (the groundhog destroyed what I had planted earlier in the summer).  Is it too late to plant some butternut squash?

Our marigolds are abundant, and although I’ve sworn up and down to Brandon that I’d never have an interest in dyeing yarn, something has suddenly switched and I’m curious to use some of the plants we have in abundance on our little property to try a little natural dyeing.  (Because I really need to add another project to my plate!)  I’m really only planning to try dying a few skeins for sweaters for my girls, but we’ll see.  Both girls wandered into the garden with me to harvest the marigold blooms and all of the children want to help me dye.  I think it could be a fun little science-y experiment for us all.  You see your whole yard and surroundings differently when you know how many plants give such vibrant color!

Also, about the hurricane.  We are in the western part of NC in the mountains, but are still slated to see quite a bit of wind and rain.  Typically with any big storm our neighborhood looses power and has some flooding (our unfinished basement almost always floods), so that’s probably the worst that we will see.  Maybe some downed trees.  We do have some family on the coast who stand to suffer quite a bit more, so our thoughts and prayers are with them and with everyone bracing for a fairly big hurricane.  If things are quiet here on the blog it may be because we are out of power.  I went through the garden yesterday gathering as much as I could, and then made the most simple and amazing roasted tomato soup with all of our big heirloom tomatoes.  Hoping everyone stays safe, warm, and cozy this week/weekend.

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This space has been quiet since last week, sorry for that!  We are still figuring out our new rhythms with school, our co-op, and a fun homeschool PE class the kids are taking weekly.  I have so many things to tackle in the next month and a half, some days it all seems feasible, other days I feel completely inundated.  Right now, we are all a bit distracted with the hurricane about to hit our coastline this week.  We are pretty far inland but still have family right on the coast of SC, and we are bracing and preparing mentally for a lot of days of rain, flooding, and possible power outages.

As for knitting, I have a few projects on the needles but mainly keep picking up my plume shawl.  I’ve knit a few more repeats of the pattern since last week, in between working on other projects.  The lace is easy to memorize and even work on with children around and lots of interruptions (which I usually cannot do).  It’s going to be so gorgeous when finished after the lace is blocked, I can’t wait to see it!  It’ll be hard to part with, but at the same time I think the recipient will really love it, so that makes it worthwhile.

I’m just finishing up Courage, Dear Heart and then Home Education came in at the library.  I have meant to read it for awhile, and now am digging into it to see if it’s one I should just buy (probably, right?).

Joining with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.
Affiliate links included.

yarn along

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I can’t remember why I signed up for her class other than hearing older students recommend it as life-changing.  My first memory of her, my favorite college professor, was her having us draw the word “God” on our paper, then draw a box around it.  She explained to us that in this class we would have to let God out of the box we have drawn around Him, that we would have to “stand under” the Word in order to “understand.”  She was a young old-soul, petite, spoke with quiet confidence and always with a grin on her face.  She exuded that peculiar joy I’ve come to know around people who walk with God.  She opened my eyes and my mind in the most beautiful ways.  I wouldn’t ever be the same after her class, simply titled Christian Doctrine.  She spoke into my life many times over the course of my college years and even still we write back and forth here and there, all these years later.  We now both homeschool our children, and she has been a help in so many parts of my journey, theological questions, homeschooling questions, etc.  That’s a part of her dissertation-in-progress under my pretty cake of yarn which she generously shared with me, asking for my feedback.  Life is a wonder, isn’t it?  So I’m hoping to squeeze in time here and there to read it for her and remember those sweet college days with my head stuck deep in theological books.

I’m knitting the Plume shawl by Melody Hoffman, my first time knitting one of her patterns and I do so love it.  Simple, dainty, the lace is addicting and not terribly complicated.  It’s a gift for a loved one, my second time knitting with The Fibre Co. Meadow yarn (both gifts for others) which may be my all-time favorite yarn ever.  I must knit myself something with it one day!

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

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I’m onto the last chart of my campside shawl and it shouldn’t be too long before it’s done, if I can keep myself from getting distracted with another project.  So many things I want to cast on.  I’m almost done with my pink socks, too!

Courage, Dear Heart: Letters to a weary world (affiliate link) is a book I selected to review.  Fernando Ortega endorsed it, and he is a favorite musician of mine whose lyrics often strike a deep chord with me so I figured I may like this book.  I got it in the mail yesterday, picked it up last night and had a hard time putting it down.  I think it’ll be one I hold close.

Joining with Nicole’s Crafting On.