halloween fun

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The sweetest halloween.  We aren’t huge halloween people, but children do love to dress up and to go door-to-door asking for candy, so we allow it.  I never want to spend much  (or anything) on costumes but I did buy noah’s costume (second hand), which he really loved, though I had tried hard to convince him to be a lumber jack so we could have a woodland theme (with Phoebe being a wood fairy).  I knitted a little mushroom cap and neck piece for Wren and a fox bonnet for Philippa from scrap yarn.  Phoebe put her own costume together and when she was looking at pictures with me she said, “Oh I really did look beautiful.”  I thought that was so precious, and I hope she always thinks that when she sees pictures of herself.

Wren was an absolute hoot to trick-or-treat with.  Every other time I’ve put the hat on her she has pulled it off but she this time she must have gathered that it was dress-up and she totally loved it.  She wanted to run up to the houses just like the big kids and she would eagerly yell out some form of “trick-or-treat,” and happily wave “bye” and say “dee-doo” (thank you) for candy.  She loved having her own “basket” to carry and didn’t want any help.  Though heavy rains and thunderstorms were forecasted we had clear weather and it got pretty cold by the end of the evening.  We don’t keep any of the candy we gather, Brandon ends up taking it to work, and I trade it out for the kids with candy and chocolate from the health food store that is certified GF and such.  They don’t mind a bit and are good sports about it.

Now, we are into November, and what a beautiful start to the month it has been.  I hope you all had a safe, fun and happy Halloween.

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Good morning, friends.  It’s another rainy Tuesday here in which it’s hard to find good light for photos.  That’s okay, though, I love the moody light on rainy days.  This week I’ve cast on for a birthday sweater for my Philippa who will be turning five exactly a month from today.  Sob.  This should knit up quickly as it’s a chunky weight sweater.  Last year Philippa didn’t really care for her birthday sweater so I thought I wouldn’t bother making another, and she has gone back and forth about whether she wants one, but I think if I knit for all the other kids and not her she will be bummed.  So, I’m trying to using some yarn that’s fun and colorful (which she picked out) and make an easy pullover and hope for the best.  She has requested socks and I hope to get a pair of those done, too.  Socks are really her favorite. 🙂

Also, I’ve begun On the Road with Saint Augustine.  This one looked really interesting to me and I’ve had a hard time putting it down thus far.  I think I will really enjoy it, but it’s a bit early to say.  There are some things already that I’m not sure I agree with.  However, it is a very timely read for me personally.  I have loved The Confessions by Saint Augustine since college and I’m eager to spend more time with him on these pages.

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Rain has been drizzling off and on here all day, now it pours in buckets from the gray October sky.  A torrent rushes out from the gutter on the garage roof.  The light is gloomy so it was hard to capture the color of this beautiful yarn accurately.  It is a dark mustard-y chartreuse, more golden yellow than is showing here.  I’ve worked on a few small baby items this week but mostly have been working on my featherweight cardigan.  It isn’t necessarily knitting up quickly, but I am enjoying every minute of it.  This lovely yarn from John Arbon is wonderful to have in hand.  It feels a bit different than anything I’ve knit with before, but I do really like it.

I’m still reading Beauty for Truth’s Sake, last night reveling in the theology of geometry.  I’m not a mathematician and this book is a mind-bender in the sleepy late evening hours, but it is still accessible to me.  Oh, to study any realm of the world and find in it Christ, the cross, the great Architect writing His design into all things.  It’s breathtaking.

Also, I pre-ordered a copy of Christina Deanne’s book Modern Heritage Knits.  She is a local-to-me designer (though I believe she just moved) and I’ve knit one of her patterns before, the Minaret crop, which I love.  There are so many patterns in this book that I want to knit so I felt it was worth purchasing!  It has been lovely to slowly flip through and savor it.  I don’t purchase many knitting books or magazines (though I wish I could!) and its nice to have something I can enjoy leisurely and knit from when I can.

Do comment below and share with me what you’re making or reading this week!

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September days are upon us, earliest foliage beginning to change.  The garden is tired, the days are shortening ever so slightly, the mornings are beginning to cool.  I separated for sleeves on my nordiska sweater and just need to try it on for length soon before starting the color work portion that goes along the bottom.  I’m still torn about the colors I’ve chosen for the color work so we’ll see.

I finished The Brave Learner and am now reading Beauty for Truth’s Sake.  This is one I am curious about and interested in for sure but also am disciplining myself to read to continue my own learning.  I think in particular the author’s emphasis on the beauty and order in mathematics will be necessary for me as I try to ignite my own sense of wonder and curiosity so that I can hopefully do the same for my little learners.

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


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Nothing too new to share around here since last week.  I’m still working on the betula shawl, nearing the end of the short rows on one side of it.  It is so much squishy garter knitting which makes it soothing and mindless.

I’m about half way through The Brave Learner and still enjoying it and learning a lot.  I think it is helpful for any parent involved in their child’s education who desires to have a creative and inspiring home, not just homeschoolers.

What are you making and/or reading this week?

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In a week this shawl has grown quite a bit!  I’ve been knitting on it fairly monogamously, with a bit of sock knitting on the side.  I’ve tried ripping back on my nordiska but the cable detail on the raglan increases is making it a challenge!  I just can’t bear ripping it all out and starting all over as it was probably at least 15 hrs of work.  Anyway, in the meantime it is truly so satisfying to work with the beiroa yarn.  I love the slubby bits of brown wool when I come to it, and I love the weight and warmth of this shawl as it begins to take shape.  I’m almost done with the first big triangular section and am excited to start the short row sections on the sides of the triangle.  I know this is going to be something I wear constantly in the fall and winter.

We will start school lightly this week and I have been reading The Brave Learner after seeing Ginny recommend it on her blog.  I am really, really enjoying it and so encouraged by it.  In fact, I don’t think it could have come into my hands at a more perfect time.   She refers to feeling battered by the various philosophies and ideologies surrounding homeschooling–unschooling?  classical?  charlotte mason?  common core?  Not to mention all the various curriculum!  Don’t we all sometimes feel battered by all these ways in which we try to figure out the key to making our home school work?  Listen to this:

“The solution doesn’t lie in materials or ideology.  Rather, to experience joy, peace, and progress in home education requires a paradigm shift–a change in the criteria for how we see and stage our homeschools… The key to a kinder and gentler homeschool is attending to the details we overlook–the coziness of our homes, the principles of natural learning, and the tenderness of our intimate relationships.  It takes courage to move away from traditional methods of measurement: grade level, scope and sequence, the Common Core.  Our kids naturally lead the way, diving into whatever subject matter draws them, fearless in their belief that they can learn anything they want to learn.”

Bogart also talks about the common question we often hear thrown around these days: how do we get our children to love learning?  I love her thoughts on this, her questioning our motives in “getting” our children to love learning, and so forth.  I have been wrestling with some of these things in particular as Phoebe has been having some challenges with math which is making her “hate school,” and my main focus this school year has been about redeeming that love of learning.  I’m eager to learn and read further from Bogarts wisdom!  Already I’m very inspired and challenged.  I would recommend her book, though admittedly am only 50 pages in.

So what might you be reading or making these days?
Joining with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.

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I was happily knitting away on my nordiska sweater and was ready to join in the round (you knit flat for awhile at the beginning) and my stitch count was waaayyy off.  I counted increases diligently and I have no idea what I did, but I’ve been avoiding ripping back and figuring out how to do so (and maybe just having to start all over?).  So instead of dealing with it, I cast on a new project, as you do.  Don’t worry, I will get to it soon, I just find that when I hit a snag on a project, often if I set it aside for a bit I come back to it with more clarity later.  Meanwhile, I have been wanting to knit the Betula shawl since it came out a year or more ago.  I am knitting it in the called for yarn and the same color way as the original design, which I rarely do but I realized this is why I love this design so much.  Betula means “birch” in Portuguese, and knitting it with yarn from Portugal is so special.  It is such a soft and yet rustic wooly yarn, and it really isn’t appropriate to work on in all this August heat, but it does make me dream of fall days and I really want to have some warm woolens ready for those brisk days that will be upon us before we know it!

The kids and I have been reading Gone Away Lake, and I’m nearing the end of Knitlandia for my personal reading.

What are you making or reading lately?
Joining with Nicole’s Crafting On and Ginny’s Yarn Along.