books, yarn, and babies

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Lots of reading, snuggling, dandelion picking, school, imaginative play, and yarn taking up most of our days lately. ¬†Nursing + rock-a-bye babying too. ¬†Quiet days at home mostly, without any sort of hustle out of the house. ¬†Driving each other up the walls sometimes because of all that proximity, finding each other to be our best friends the rest of the time. ¬†With the weather warming up, we are finding ourselves outside more of the day, making garden plans, smelling the earthy scent of soil and honeysuckle on the breeze. ¬†Spring is a shoulder season, a tug-of-war between winter and summer, and lately we see both winter days and summer days, and we don’t mind either one bit.

My mind feels all over the place, too–feeling behind on garden plans and preparations while trying to stay focused on finishing our school year well. ¬†As I’m coming out of the initial recovery period after having Wren (she’s 6 weeks old tomorrow!) I feel my strength and energy returning, and we’ve been out almost daily for walks and fresh air. ¬†I find myself reminded to keep my camera in hand, snapping pictures of our ordinary moments. ¬†I find myself remembering and reorienting to who I am and what I love. ¬†Sometimes I feel like I should rename this blog “books, yarn, and babies,” because it seems I have little head space for much else. ¬†I promise more “soul” content will come soon, at least I believe it will. ¬†But even as I say that, I hear the dichotomy. ¬†I’m learning to remember that, as Gerald Manley Hopkins said,

“Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.”
(As Kingfishers Catch Fire)
He shines in all that’s fair. ¬†I find Him in the simple beauty of my current work, which is laboring over these children and this home, aiming to see Kingdom come, here and now, even if I lose sight of the connection sometimes.

I started this baby blanket for Wren at the end of January, and it feels just right for spring with all the lace and dusty pink. ¬†I gave it a bath last night and blocked it and can’t wait for it to dry so I can snuggle her in it! ¬†I used Quince + Co Osprey yarn which is incredibly squishy, springy, warm and soft. ¬†With it being finished, I’m eager to begin a new project. Finishing things breathes fresh air into me, feels like a clean slate.

I hope wherever you are, you are finding bits and pieces of new life, freshness, spring, and the hope it seems to bring.

yarn along

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Well, it definitely was too ambitious to think I could knit this little cardigan before Easter and also with only one skein of yarn. ¬†It has been really enjoyable to knit, and I’m waiting for another skein to arrive in the mail so i can finish it. ¬†Sweet Wren wore her camilla babe sweater for Easter instead, which was really beautiful on her. ¬†I can’t express how much fun it is and how satisfying to be able to make clothes for my children. ¬†I am really wanting to learn how to sew, so I can sew them some dresses, too.

I picked up book two in the Canada West series by Janette Oke, When Comes the Spring (affiliate link). ¬†It seems appropriate for this time of year, hey? ¬†I remember my older sister reading the series when we were growing up but I don’t think I ever read it. ¬†I read the first book sometime last year and have been watching the latest episodes of “When Calls the Heart,” which really seems to be nothing like the books. ¬†Both are enjoyable, but I’m hoping the books are better, seeing how the characters and plot is really entirely different thus far from the tv show. ¬†I’m finding little time to read, but am squeezing in a few pages when I nurse in the evenings. ¬†It’s good to have a happy simple novel to read.

Joining with Ginny’s monthly Yarn Along, and Nicole’s weekly Crafting On today.

yarn along

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I cast on for a Maile cardigan for Wren in quince + co tern, color way driftwood. ¬†Would love to have this done before Easter but I’m sure that’s too ambitious. ¬†May also be too ambitious to try to make this out of one skein of yarn.

Still re-reading Christie Purifoy’s memoir Roots + Sky¬†(affiliate link). ¬†If you don’t follow her on instagram, you should. ¬†She is a beautiful writer and her account is full of beauty. ¬†(And read her book!)

Also, I’m behind on a review of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck¬†(affiliate link) by Bethany Turner. ¬†I had a hard time finishing this one a bit. ¬†It wasn’t a bad book, per say, just a bit predictable and romancy and maybe a tad bit shallow? ¬†Not sure, I just didn’t love it. ¬†I did finish it, and it did get better toward the end.

Joining with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.

Thank you to Revell/Baker Publishing Group for a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

yarn along

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I’ve almost finished the baby blanket for Wren, but needed one more skein of yarn to finish the last couple lace repeats in the pattern. ¬†I’m adding length and width to the blanket to make it a more substantial baby blanket. ¬†I’m eager to finish it, block it, and wrap baby girl up in it! ¬†It’s been slower to knit on because I can only work on it when I have almost no distraction around, which is hard in these busy days.

I finished reading A Circle of Quiet (loved it) and was part way through At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider but just couldn’t really get into it for some reason. ¬†I am not feeling ready to be out and about yet so I haven’t made any trips to the library for more books. ¬†Last night I was scouring my shelves for something to read in the bath, and came back to Christie Purifoy’s Roots & Sky. ¬†I forgot how much I loved this book, but a few pages in and I am hooked again. ¬†It’s odd reading it again, almost two years exactly after my first reading, and seeing my notes and thoughts in the margins. ¬†I feel like I’ve changed tremendously in the last two years, and not necessarily for the better. ¬†I read this book before we had bought our home but were in the process of looking and dreaming, and it felt quite significant to read this book about journeying to find “home,” in the midst of that. ¬†Now I come to the book having lived in our first home almost exactly one year. ¬†The reflections I have now are so different as I read Christie’s words about her experience of longing for, looking for, and making home. ¬†I think I believed some of that ache for home would end once we had a place of our own, but I realize now that there will always be a sense of displacement and longing for something indefinable, for what I know to be that far country, that final Home. ¬†Anyway,¬†she is a phenomenal writer, and I definitely recommend this book.

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

yarn along

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Spring must be here.  There are buds and blooms forming on the trees!

I’ve cast on a flax sweater for our baby girl (my due date is today!!) in the newborn size, though it doesn’t look very newborn-ish to me, and I can’t say for sure if she will need a wooly sweater with all this warm weather here lately. ¬†I’m about to bind of the bottom ribbing and start on sleeves. ¬†We’re all hoping she comes soon! ¬†For now, I’m trying to carry on with life as usual. ¬†Thankfully, three children keep my mind very preoccupied.

Phoebe and I started reading The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street last night for our next read-aloud.  Too soon to say if we like it or not, but she seems intrigued.

yarn along

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This cozy little scene by my bed currently bringing me joy. ¬†So I’ve been knitting on a few different projects this week. ¬†It’s funny how a project can sit neglected for awhile and then suddenly you have the desire to pick it back up and finish it. ¬†That’s how it has been with my featherweight cardigan. ¬†I mentioned a few weeks ago that I thought I would run out of yarn for this project and I went ahead and ordered another skein but, of course, the dye lots are drastically different. ¬†As you can see above, the skeins I did have were already pretty different. ¬†I started alternating skeins just toward the bottom of the cardigan where it looks pretty stripey in the photo. ¬†I don’t really mind how it’s looking, but I don’t think I’ll keep alternating skeins on the sleeves so hopefully it turns out ok and not too odd looking. ¬†I’m almost done with the ribbing on the bottom, and then will move on to sleeves. ¬†I’m sort of hoping now to not need to use the extra skein I ordered and just make 3/4 sleeves with the two balls of yarn I have currently going, because the new skein is a much brighter purple. ¬†Maybe I’ll knit a little baby cardigan with the new skein of yarn? ¬†I’m sure I’ll find a use for it. ¬†ūüėČ

I finished Francine River’s new book and have been back to reading A Circle of Quiet in the evenings before bed. ¬†I’m really enjoying it. ¬†I so appreciate her thoughts on writing and creative work.

Linking up with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.
Affiliate links included in this post.

 

yarn along

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Its a cozy rainy day here in NC. ¬†Rose is sitting on the windowsill watching the rain drip from the eaves, Phoebe and I are having tea while she practices her cursive. ¬†Noah and Philippa are off playing cars in his room and we’ll probably be spending all day cozied up in here with books, warm mugs, maybe even a movie later on. ¬†I think nesting is in full swing for me, so I’m busy cleaning nooks and crannies that have been neglected for some time, and making unreasonable goals for what I want done before baby arrives.

I cast on a pair of newborn baby socks this past week, hoping that some hand knit socks will stay on better than the store bought newborn ones that always seem to slide right off. ¬†I’m knitting them with the same yarn I used recently to knit my own pair of socks. ¬†They are tiny and cute and the kiddos can’t believe we will have a baby with feet so small. ¬†I still have a few other projects on the go, and I’m starting to feel really ancy about finishing that baby blanket but have so little time to work on it! ¬†If it’s late, I know the baby won’t mind but I imagine snuggling her right up in wooly goodness when she’s at the hospital.

I’ve been reading Francine River’s latest book, The Masterpiece, (which just released yesterday!) and have been staying up way too late in the evenings reading it. ¬†It is everything I love and enjoy about River’s writing, and so fun to have a new book of hers in my hands again. ¬†I’m already almost finished with it. ¬†As with most of her books, this one tells the story of brokenness and redemption, romance and the turning of hard hearts to God. ¬†It’s definitely worth reading!

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

Affiliate links included in this post.
Thanks to Tyndale Publishers for a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review.