january mild

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What a mild winter it has been so far.  I feel a bit complain-y but I do miss a good cold/snowy cozy winter.  I hope we still have some of those days ahead.  Yesterday the warm sun felt so good and who could resist sitting out in it and basking in it in the middle of January?  Certainly not me.  I am a firm believer in taking the gifts of each day’s weather.  Still it feels unnatural to move from fall into spring.  I’m missing my old friend winter, the way she makes us crazy toward her end and ready for thawing soil, spring rain, vibrant color, and the smallest glimpses of new life.  It strikes me that maybe we just can’t fully enjoy the glories of spring without the quietude and bleakness of a long winter.

We’ve been back to our usual routines and though there’s always a rub to the mundane parts of life, there is a simplicity to it that feels healing.  Our mornings are full of books, writing, arithmetic, our afternoons full of time spent outdoors, music lessons, tutoring, or running household errands.  We had a fair bit of rain the last few days, and in the glorious sunshine that follows, I find myself wandering about the garden, starting to think about what we will grow this year.  I knit up a pair of baby bloomers for Wren.  They are knit top-down in yarn from local-to-me Bovidae Farm, with a sweet little lateral braid separating the rib and the squishy fisherman’s rib on the body.  They are simple and darling.  Wren seems to love anything I make for her, she loves dressing up and trying things on, so she is always game for new hand knits.  I snapped a few pictures of her this morning in the blustery morning air.  She was very busy tidying up her little house outside, bringing me all sorts of items the older children had left out there and throwing whatever else she didn’t want down the slide.  She is full of big feelings, this little one, one minute ecstatic and the next minute screaming her frustration.  In a little more than a month she will be two and I can hardly believe it.

ps. Wren is wearing the wiksten animal bonnet which I knit in naturally-dyed yarn, and in the earlier pictures she’s wearing her flax light sweater from her first birthday.  Yes, I’m already contemplating what her birthday sweater should be for this year. 🙂  I’m thinking about another Camilla Babe sweater in my own hand-dyed worsted eco yarn dyed with marigold.

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Happy New Year, friends.  I hope the first week of January has been gentle and kind to you.  It has been for us, and I am grateful.  I’m still reflecting and processing in this month because honestly there isn’t much brain space for that in December anymore for me.  I’m grateful to ease back into ordinary time and the world feels a bit quieter.  Yet there is so much to think through, process, plan, and it all overwhelms a bit.

I’ve been so happy to knit away on whatever suits my mood at the moment.  I want to say gift knitting is done, but not totally.  I have yarn coming to knit a birthday sweater for Brandon.  I’ve never knit him a sweater because he’s always overheated and doesn’t really want many woolly items, but I really want to make him a sweater he can wear as a good warm layer at work since he works outside often in the winter months.

I’m not knitting a ton on my koviua because I’ve started a couple small items for Wren (both test knits, though one I am late on).  But when I can work on it, it is a true pleasure.  I am loving the way the yarn is working up, hoping it will fit well, too.

I’m still reading Little Women, and the children and I have been reading a couple poems daily from this collection, Winter Poems, and really enjoying it.  It has been so mild here and warm, which I can’t really complain about because it is so lovely.  But I really do want some winter days and some snow.  I miss living in the Rocky Mountains where snow was on the ground for months at a time.  Maybe reading a lot of wintery snowy-themed children’s books will help? 🙂  I find myself gathering armloads of them from the library when we go.

What are you knitting and reading lately?
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I’m working away on Phoebe’s sweater, knitting both sleeves now.  In the meantime, I am hoping to give each of the children a small knitted something for Christmas.  I finished some socks for Philippa, and I’ve cast on this beautiful slipped stitch tam for Phoebe.  She has asked for a hat like this for some time so I think she will love it, and it’s a quick mindless knit to work on when I don’t have the energy for colorwork sleeves.

I made it about half way through Ellie and Harp Maker and had to put it down.  It’s a nice enough book and an easy read, but it glorifies an extramarital affair and to me, there’s nothing glorious about that.  My heart has been broken more than once by infidelity and sexual sin in the lives of loved ones and the reality is that infidelity isn’t romantic, it destroys hearts and families.  I have no interest in reading about it, or people’s various attempts to justify it.

The children and I have been making our way through Hallelujah in the mornings and the older two really enjoy listening to Handel’s Messiah in little chunks each day as we go.  Are you enjoying an advent read this season?

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I split for sleeves on Phoebe’s birthday sweater last night (finally!) and I’m a little nervous that at this rate it’s probably unlikely I will finish this in time for her birthday later this month.  It’s just slow going, all-over color work with fingering weight yarn.  However, it will be so pretty in the end.  Can you see the horses on the yoke?  I’m hoping now that that part of the pattern is done, the body section will go a little faster (the chart is a bit simpler).

I grabbed Elli and the Harp Maker while at the library yesterday.  When we are there I rarely have time to look for books for myself but I saw this one as I was walking to the children’s section and it caught my eye.  I started it last night, and realized it’s been a long time since I’ve ready some fiction.  It was so nice to fall into a story.  I don’t know much about it and not sure if I will love it, but it was good light reading so far.  Do you have any fiction recommendations for me?  I’m in need of some, I realize.

Joining Nicole’s weekly Crafting On, and Ginny’s monthly Yarn Along.
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These November days have flown by and it sounds cliche but its hard to believe we are in the last few days until December.  I am just finishing the neckline of Noah’s birthday sweater so his should be done well in time for his birthday.  All my knitting time is going toward Phoebe’s birthday sweater now, which is so so fun to work on.  I’m really loving the yarn.  I’m finally knitting the horses part of the yoke and it’s fun to see them taking shape.

Not much reading this past week, we have a lot of sickness in the house and I’ve been up most nights either coughing myself or checking on feverish coughing children.  Too tired for much reading come bed time.  However, there’s always time for reading books with the children especially as we are cooped up with colds.  I love the wintry illustrations of Sing a Season Song.  All of our Christmas and Advent books are packed away with Christmas decorations in the attic and I can’t wait to pull that box out soon and enjoy those special books again.

Joining Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.
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I’ve been knitting mostly on Noah’s birthday sweater, finishing both sleeves and attaching them to the body, and then realized I was running out of the blue yarn for the last bit of blue stripe.  Woe is me. 😦 I tried to figure out ways to get around ordering another skein of yarn, but in the end I know I won’t like the look of it with one stripe being the wrong size and then I will likely run out of yarn in the other colors if I try to stretch them to take up the yardage of the blue stripe.  Needless to say, I admitted defeat and ordered another skein.  So that sweater is on hold for a few days.  It should be fairly quick to finish once the yarn arrives.

Meanwhile, I cast on Phoebe’s birthday sweater.  This sweater is a bit of a gamble as I’m trying to adjust an adult-sized sweater down to Phoebe’s size by using smaller yarn and needles and a tight gauge.  I think it is ambitious to hope to have it done within a month, it’s possible but I doubt it.  I couldn’t resist this sweater though because of the horses on the yoke.  Phoebe is going to love it, even if I finish it after her birthday.

Still reading On the Road with Saint Augustine.

Joining with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.
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Apart from seaming the underarms and blocking, Philippa’s birthday sweater is done!  I need to cast on Phoebe’s this week, but I haven’t had the time to wind up yarn and swatch, so I’ve picked up my featherweight in the meantime.  Ever so grateful for a few mindless projects on the go that I can pick up as needed and add a row or two.  Somehow the body of my featherweight is already nearly done, I’m knitting the last few rows of ribbing on the hem.  Then onto sleeves.  I’m going to try knitting with small circumference circulars on the sleeves and see if it helps me avoid laddering.  I ordered 9-inch but now I’m wondering if I shouldn’t have tried 12-inch?  Any recommendations, knitters?

I’m still reading On the Road with Saint Augustine.  I can’t move too quickly through this one, lots to mull over and reflect on.  Although let’s be honest, I’m not reading much these days, only the last few minutes before sleep.

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