yarn along

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I have been saving and treasuring this naturally-dyed yarn I bought from Ginny Sheller a couple of years ago (after knitting the antiquity mittens with it). ¬†As soon as I knew we were having a girl, I wanted to knit her a newborn camilla sweater in this yarn, hoping I have enough leftover. ¬†I did make some mods to the pattern, as it calls for worsted weight yarn and this yarn is sport. ¬†But I wanted to sweater to be smaller and fit more true to newborn size, so this worked out well. ¬†I didn’t think I would have enough for long sleeves, so I followed another knitters mods for short sleeves with the fan pattern repeated on the sleeves. ¬†Anyway, I bound it off last night and am so happy with it! ¬†I still have a small ball of yarn leftover. ¬†I haven’t blocked it yet, but I couldn’t wait to snap a couple photos of it. ¬†I love the subtle tonal nature of the yarn and it is so soft. ¬†Can’t wait to see a baby snuggled up in hand knits!

Also, I’m pretending I’m reading The Wild Truth. ¬†ūüôā ¬†I read Into the Wild years ago when it first came out, and just recently heard that McCandless’ sister had written this book telling more of the story of their family life which drove her brother to such extremes. ¬†I was curious to read it, of course, but the only chance I really have to read is in bed at night. ¬†I’ve had a hard time picking it up because I guess I’m worried it will be distressing with tales of fatherly abuse, and I’m not sure I can emotionally handle those sorts of things before falling asleep at night. ¬†I used to be able to read things without it really phasing me–somethings changed! ¬†Is it motherhood? ¬†Or adulthood? ¬†Is it just knowing more about the darkness of the world and the frailty of life? ¬†I don’t know but I’m definitely more sensitive to things that could be potentially depressing or fear-inducing. ¬†Anyway, I do hope to read it but technically haven’t started yet. ūüôā

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yarn along

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Making progress on my timber cardigan in brooklyn tweed shelter, color way fossil. ¬†It’s good to be knitting again, albeit slowly. ¬†This is a super enjoyable knit with the loveliest of yarns. ¬†I’m trying to convince myself not to attempt birthday/Christmas sweaters for each of the children, but I find myself accidentally settling on yarns and patterns. ¬†We’ll see.

I’ve been reading this biography of Francis Schaeffer for some time, I put it down when I was really sick with this pregnancy, but have just picked it back up in the last few days. ¬†I have been so impacted by Schaeffer’s writing and work, as well as his wife and children’s writing on homemaking and home educating (Edith Schaeffer’s The Hidden Art of Homemaking, Susan Schaeffer Macaulay’s For the Children’s Sake). ¬†It is fascinating to me to learn about this man and his family and the way they followed Christ and their impact on the Kingdom of God.

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yarn along

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So this is my first real attempt back at knitting. ¬†I’m having a hard time returning to the projects I have on the go already, and felt like I needed to restart with a clean slate. ¬†Some days I feel a bit of an urge to knit, some days its still not there at all, so I know I’m not fully back to my knitting self–I’m hoping it does return? ¬†The fall-ish weather helps a bit. I so loved knitting Noah’s sweater last year with Shelter yarn and have really been wanting to knit a sweater for both Brandon and I in it. ¬†I’d love to make him one for Christmas, but honestly don’t know if I would be able to finish a large man sweater in time. ¬†Plus its such pricey yarn. ¬†I was able to buy this sweater’s quantity with my birthday money, and a friend lent me the pattern book for the Timber cardigan. ¬†I’m hoping it’s not too boring to knit in white, but I know I will wear it a ton. ¬†I’ve already made my first mistake and need to rip back two rows. ūüė¶ ¬†Trying to find the energy to do that. ¬†I’m beginning to dream of baby knits–lots of baby knits, as this will be my first baby since I’ve learned to knit. ¬†Everything I look at is pretty gender specific though, so I think I may wait to find out what we’re having, if we do find out.

Phoebe and I are still reading The Secret Garden and I have picked up and nearly finished I Capture the Castle again.

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yarn along

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Hello everyone! ¬†I hope some of my readers are still around and have hung in there with me while I’ve been absent. ¬†I hope to slowly get back into my usual blogging swing. ¬†I have missed it!

I haven’t felt at all like doing anything creative since mid-June, so all my knitting projects have been put away for a time. ¬†I’m just beginning to be able to look at patterns and yarn again and feel the tiniest nudge toward the creative bug, so I’m hoping my “making” juices start flowing again soon. ¬†I have missed feeling like myself! ¬†Apparently the children have missed it, too. ¬†Noah told me the other day he misses when I used to knit, and all three children piled their birthday knitting requests on me. ¬†(Sweaters! ¬†Mittens! ¬†Socks!)

The weather has shifted ever so slightly in our area, cooler mornings and evenings and days. ¬†The song of fall is whispering on the wind and I can hear it better this year than ever before because all through my sick and depressed days of pregnancy, I knew fall would be the time when I would get back on my feet again. ¬†Fall is my favorite season because it is so beautiful and glorious in every way in the mountains of NC, but the best part is anticipating winter! ¬†I’m a winter girl through and through. ¬†I love bundling up, I love fires and steaming mugs, cozy slippers, red cheeks and noses, snow and even the barren landscapes. ¬†I’m looking forward to it more than ever this year!

After a long hiatus in my project bag, I’ve picked up my Winterwoods ABC Cross-stitch sampler¬†in anticipation of the coming fall season. ¬†Sometimes I only have the energy to stitch a few little x’s before I set it down, but I’m reinvigorated to finish and frame it. ¬†We were hustled moving into our home, and had a few house projects to do after we moved in before we could begin settling things in their places, and then this surprise pregnancy stopped me right in my home-organizing tracks. ¬†I’m beginning to feel up to the task of settling into this home and making it ours, and this little sampler brings me such joy every time I see it. ¬†Truly cannot wait to find a spot for it! ¬†I originally stitched it intending it for Philippa’s room, but we’ll see. ¬†It’s the second ABC sampler I’ve done from Alicia Paulson and everything she designs is so lovely.

I have been reading just a little on my own, but not as much as usual. ¬†Phoebe and I have been reading this beautifully illustrated version of The Secret Garden¬†from our library. ¬†We’re both really enjoying it, but for some reason I am aching to read E. B. White’s The Trumpet of the Swan¬†to her in the fall season. ¬†I haven’t read it since I was a child but it has been calling to me, so I’m eager to get through the Secret Garden this month for sure.

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yarn along

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I finished Mere Motherhood a few days ago and just so so enjoyed it. ¬†I highly recommend it for any mom who is at least a year or so into homeschooling. ¬†I think if I had read it before homeschooling I might not have quite commiserated with the author or found it so humorous. ¬†Maybe it would have freaked me out. ¬†I rarely laugh out loud at a book, but I was stifling fits of laughter in bed when reading this one on multiple occasions. ¬†The author has 9 children, 8 boys and 1 girl, and she chronicles her homeschooling journey from the very beginning up to present. ¬†I resonated with so much of what she shared, her struggle to find her philosophy of education, her parenting and housekeeping woes in the midst of schooling and pregnancy and new babies and life’s constant change. ¬†It was truly a joy to read, a help in so many ways encouraging me toward the things that truly matter as a mother and homeschooler. ¬†Reading the final chapters where she shares about the teen years reminded to me to really enjoy and engage in this present seasons with little ones! ¬†I found her book to be gritty, honest, humorous, helpful, and I couldn’t put it down. ¬†Will definitely be reading it again and passing it on to some friends!

I found A Charlotte Mason Companion at a recent local homeschooler’s curriculum sale and was so ecstatic. ¬†It was on my summer reading list and finding it for $6 was a steal! ¬†I’m even more eager to read it after reading Mere Motherhood and find myself continually drawn to and resonating with Charlotte Mason’s philosophy.

I’m on the last four rows of the Antarktis shawl for my mom. ¬†Actually I technically finished the pattern a few days ago but I continued to add repeats of the garter and lace sections because I have so much yarn leftover! ¬†I’m sure it will grow quite a bit once I block it and be a good size, which I hope is what my mom is looking for. ¬†I can’t believe how quickly this knit up and I’m excited to gift it! ¬†The yarn has been so very lovely to work with and I want to knit with all of Fibre Co.’s yarn!

What are you reading and making this week?

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yarn along

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I cast on the Antarktis shawl for my mom in Fibre Co. yarn meadow, color way Bergamot. Ive wanted to knit with this yarn since seeing Ginny Sheller’s shawl last year, and my mom happened to pick the same pattern, so that is fun! ¬†It’s my second time knitting this pattern and its fun to see how much I’ve grown in my knitting since the last year. ¬†I’m really enjoying this knit and the yarn is just perfection. ¬†Super soft and airy, yet rustic.

I finished From Good to Grace last week and loved it to the very end. ¬†Its one of those that feels like it was written just for me. ¬†This one, Mere Motherhood, is deeply engrossing. ¬†I have a hard time putting it down when I do find a few minutes to read before bed. ¬†She’s a bit rougher around the edges than I expected, and I’m curious to see where the book goes. ¬†I love memoirs. ¬†The kids and I have done something similar to her “morning time” in the past and I’m curious to implement something a bit more in-depth this next school year.

What are you reading or making lately?

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this cup

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Well, we are starting to feel like summer is here. ¬†Last Friday we celebrated our last day of school for Phoebe’s kindergarten year. ¬†I still want to continue reading and writing work with her over the summer to keep things fresh, but really, our homeschool co-op starts up again in August so we only have a few weeks (!!!) before we’re back in the swing of things again. ¬†I think both of us need to feel like we finished before we start up again. ¬†I need time to plan for the next year, order books and resources, make a calendar of sorts and have a plan in motion. ¬†There’s a big homeschool book sale here this weekend so I’ll be pulling together my list in the next couple of days in preparation for that but I know I will need some time to plan out the next year as well. ¬†Beginning “first grade” feels a bit more serious than kindergarten! ¬†There are so many directions we could go in, and I feel that pull as a homeschooler to try to do everything and go in a hundred directions, but I know I need some time to seek the Lord and His plan for us for the next year. ¬†There is a lot of freedom in homeschooling and so many worthy approaches that its almost overwhelming for me, someone who likes to be told the rules so that I can follow them! ¬†Its a good challenge for me to stay small, simple, focused, and dependent on God’s leading.

Phoebe has been listening to audio books constantly on the little music player in the sunroom, coloring and having tea and flying through the Little House series. ¬†She’s relistening to the Penderwicks book because I haven’t checked out the next one from the library yet. ¬†Her last day of school she cried a bit, saying reading is just so hard for her. ¬†She failed her eye exam at her recent physical and she goes to see an eye doctor next week to see if she needs glasses, which may explain why she gets super tired/frustrated when we work on reading. ¬†She loves books and being read to, and she is starting to read everything she can around her, but she says it is her least favorite subject. ¬†Who knows, I’m not too worried about it because she has been a book lover since she was 6 months old. ¬†I do want to cultivate her continued love of it though and not frustrate her.

We celebrated our end-of-year with a yummy skillet chocolate chip cookie and a batch of coconut ice cream, and we all cheered as a family for the way each of us worked hard this year to make school happen. ¬†Noah and Philippa were huge helpers to me, doing their best to stay out of the way while we did work, and a really close friendship developed between them as a result. ¬†I plan to have more activities ready next year for them to engage in so that they can be included if they want to be. ¬†Brandon supports me hugely, encourages me when I feel like I’m not doing enough, and helps out sometimes in the evenings with Phoebe’s work. ¬†He and I both get excited thinking about him taking on some schooling in the future, too–teaching skills, doing field trips with the kids, or helping by reading or listening to Phoebe read books. ¬†Homeschooling really is a family venture!

Summery things are blooming in the yard, butterfly bush and the last of the poppies, and our little garden is starting to produce. ¬†A robin family built their nest in the tree by our porch so we’ve had fun peeking at the little blue eggs. ¬†We have a huge rosemary bush by our mailbox so I’ve begun drying clippings from it to store up for the winter, which makes Phoebe extra happy since “it is just what Ma would do,” she says. ¬†So we enjoy these little things, the markers of time passing, the liturgy of the ordinary, small shifts and small moments. ¬†Life.

I’m knitting away as usual, and trying to squeeze in reading always. ¬†I’m working on a hat for a loved one. ¬†I have some “homeschool mom enrichment” books to read this summer, as I’m calling them. ¬†A few things I want to refresh on as I look ahead and plan. ¬†I have been wanting to read this book, Mere Motherhood, for a long time, and I’m excited to dig into it. ¬†I plan to review The Well-Trained Mind again, as well as Teaching From Rest. ¬†I hope to also read A Charlotte Mason Companion. ¬†There are so many other good ones out there, but a few is probably all I will realistically accomplish.

It’s my birthday today and it’s been mostly a usual sort of Wednesday. ¬†When you’re a momma with little ones underfoot, there isn’t much of a break from the daily tasks. ¬†Spills and messes still happen, children squabble and need parenting, dishes and laundry pile, meals must still be made. ¬†I really don’t mind, though. ¬†I’m happy right here. ¬†I mean, I’ll take a stack of books, a long bath, some knitting time, and a good long run on a mountain ridge any day, don’t get me wrong! ¬†I’m learning to lean into the fray a bit more instead of just trying to survive it until the break comes. ¬†I realized last night and this morning that I kept humming Sara Groves song This Cup.

How many hours have I spent
Watching this shining tv
Living adventure in proxy
In another person’s dream
How many miles have I traveled
Looking at far away lights
Listening for trains in the distance
In some brilliant other life?

This cup, this cup
I wanna drink it up
To be right here in the middle of it
Right here, right here
This challenging reality
Is better than fear or fantasy

So take up what we’ve been given
Welcome the edge of our days
Hemmed in by sunrise and sunset
By our youth and by our age
Thank God for our dependence
Here’s to our chasm of need
And how it binds us together
In faith and vulnerability

This cup, this cup
I wanna drink it up
To be right here in the middle of it
Right here, right here
This challenging reality
Is better than fear or fantasy

What if my whole world falls apart?
What if my life could be different?
What if I sat right here and took you in
Without the fear and loved you whole
Without the flight and didn’t try to pass

This cup, this cup
I wanna drink it up
To be right here in the middle of it
Right here, right here
This beautiful reality
Is better than fear or fantasy
Is better than fear or fantasy
Is better than fear or fantasy

We’re all hemmed in by sunrise and sunset, our days all have edges, our life is limited by bounds. ¬†Another year passes, another year comes. ¬†We can fight our limitations, grumble about our reality or surrender to what God has given us and say, this cup I will drink. ¬†To be present, right here in the middle of this moment–that’s what I want.