yarn along

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I’m chuckling at my last post title because for the last few days after writing it, the weather has been gloriously wintry and bitter cold!  We even saw our first snow flurries of the season, though they only lasted a few minutes and were so tiny.  It looked like glitter in sun.

I have been knitting away on Brandon’s birthday sweater and am relieved to have both sleeves done.  It feels good to just have the body left, and since it is bottom up, the anticipation of the funnest part (the color work yoke) will be what fuels me to the end.  Can’t wait.  I cast on for the body this morning.  So far, I am really enjoying this project and definitely think I will knit it again.  There’s just something I love about working with lopi.

This week I also finished up a couple of socks and need to knit their match. I’m knitting these for Brandon and these for another loved one.  I did cast on these for myself on Christmas day but I think I’m going to use a different pattern.  This one is very “hole-y” and I want something a bit warmer I think.  I’m thinking the fir socks by Melody Hoffman.  I don’t know what it is but I just love sock knitting so much lately.  I always have a couple of pairs on the go for when I’m out and about.

As for reading, I’m still plugging away on Little Women (I feel terribly slow) and I’m enjoying it.  I feel that you would be bored seeing it’s cover once again 🙂 so I’m sharing a book the children and I are reading, The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine.

Joining with Nicole’s Crafting On.
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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.

yarn along

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Happy Tuesday, friends!  I’m glad to have a few moments to pop in here and share what I’ve been working on the last few days.  I certainly didn’t need to cast on another sweater, but I did.  This one is for Brandon and it will be the first sweater I’ve knit for him.  I’m hoping to have it done by the first week of February for his birthday, but I realize that might be a challenge.  I’ve never knit a man-sized garment before!  I’m knitting a riddari sweater for him, a classic icelandic lopapeysa and started with the sleeves.  I’m enjoying the colors I’ve chosen so far and I think they will be really wearable for Brandon.

Still reading Little Women. 🙂

yarn along

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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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a sweet Christmas

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Sweet Christmas.  With all our effort to minimize activity and slow the month down and savor each day, it still flew by in a flash.  It has come and gone, today being New Years Eve, and the next year crests just over the horizon.  How sweet the Christmas season is.  When the children woke up Christmas morning, they opened their stockings.  We filled them with dried fruit, a little bit of sweet treats, rainbow pencils, fun wooden animal pens from world market, a new pack of markers, a christmas ornament, naturally-dyed head scarves for the girls, bunny hair clips for wren, mood rings for Phoebe and Philippa, a new watch for Noah.  Wren got her own beeswax crayons and notebook, which she is so proud of.

Then we had breakfast and our last Advent reading from the book Unwrapping the Greatest Gift.  (I was proud and excited to have found pumpkin and carrot muffins (cupcakes?) that were all natural and from a dedicated gluten-free facility for Christmas morning at a local health food store.)  After that we opened gifts.  As much as we try to slow the morning down so we can see everything and enjoy each present being opened, the children just can’t help rushing into it all.  They had some gifts from loved ones besides the ones we had chosen for them, so that made it feel quite abundant and full.  Truly, they have no idea how blessed they are, but then the same could be said of each of us, I am sure.

Noah and Philippa got some new lego, Phoebe got a table top easeland new art supplies. The older three all got nice large sketch books with a mini set of higher quality watercolor paints (for natural journaling, I hope).  Noah received the The Ology book, Philippa got Poppy and Vivaldi, and Phoebe got some new Horse Diaries books.  Wren got 1 is One by Tasha Tudor.  I gave Brandon New Morning Mercies and maybe secretly hope I can share it with him. 🙂  Wren received a Melissa and Doug barn (she has loved Philippa’s smaller horse barn) and also a wooden tricycle which can adapt to be a balance bike.  Not that we need another bike, really, but it is nice for her to have something just her own and something she can ride right away.  Noah received from us a sweet of K-Nex and a cd player for his room, as well as a lullaby cd for he and Wren.  Phoebe and Philippa also received a new lullaby cd for their room.  All the kiddos have been loving listening to peaceful music at night to help with bad dreams or for Phoebe when she isn’t feeling well (headaches and nausea have been happening more often lately).  We gave all of the kids Bird Bingo and a new puzzle as a family gift.  We have already played Bird Bingo so much and I can’t wait to add Bug Bingo and Ocean Bingo to our games one day.

I had hoped to knit a small item for each family member.  I managed to finish socks for Philippa, a slipped stitch tam for Phoebe, and a doe cap for Wren.  Noah’s socks are half done, and I have nothing in the works for Brandon just yet, but he never really wants anything.  I do hope to knit him some socks soon.  Maybe he will be swayed to prefer hand-knit socks if he just tries a pair. 🙂

Brandon and I had agreed not to buy presents for each other this year, maybe just a couple small things for stockings.  We needed to replace our living room rug and I was wanting to do a few other small things to spruce up our living room/entry area, so that was our gift to each other.

Anyway, although it felt like it whizzed past us, Christmas day was really fun and special.  Later that day we went over to my parent’s house nearby and gathered with all the siblings who were here.  I was even able to squeeze in a solo trail run on my favorite running trail in the woods and didn’t see another soul the whole time.  It completed my Christmas to get out in the woods and quiet.  My parents always make the most amazing feasts, and it was just cozy and special to be together with family.

The next morning we all went horseback riding as a family (well, except for Brandon who needed to work.)  I had hoped to take more pictures but I was riding while holding Wren on my lap a bit precariously so I only snapped a few.  It was adventurous and fun, and Noah, Phoebe, and Wren seemed to really love it.  Philippa rode on my mom’s lap and talked the whole way and then said she hated it when were done (with a big smile on her face).

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I hope you all had a merry Christmas and may it be a blessed and happy New Year + decade!

See you in 2020!

so this is nine

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Oh, all the big feelings over this girl.  Each of my children’s birthdays are special and emotional in their own ways, but this girl is and always will be the one to do things “first.”  God is so wise in placing her as the firstborn in our family, she has paved the way beautifully for the other children in her kindness, joy, helpfulness, love, and exuberance.  To know Phoebe is to love her, there’s just no argument there.  People tell me all the time that she makes others feel special, and I think that’s just exactly right.  It isn’t hard to celebrate this girl, but for this momma who just wants to slow this whole thing down a wee bit and hang on just a little longer to these sweet days, it comes with a tinge of sadness. Phoebe has grown up so much over the past year and there’s just no stopping this girl.  She can’t wait to be all grown up.

She’s traded in her love for dress-up with a deep abiding love for horses.  It’s her dream to own one, but she’s happy  just to see them.  To touch one or ride one is pretty epic.  She has slowly been collecting Breyer’s horses and plays so sweetly with them.  She has read the entire history of horses curriculum many times over, has memorized her horse handbook, and lately has been enjoying the Horse Diaries series immensely.  We purchased a few of them for her for Christmas, but also got her A Horse for Kate for her birthday, as well as a horse calendar.  She is becoming quite addicted to reading and devours her books in a day or two.  Every week I scour the library for more books on horses for her to read.

Her birthday sweater is called the Ghost Horse sweater and she really loves it, which makes it all worthwhile (it was quite a lot of feverish knitting).  She also got a pair of roller blades and she is so into them.  Anything we can do to keep motivating our children to be outside and moving!

I made creme brûlée for her, and she requested spaghetti for dinner (though she only eats the noodles plain).  Phoebe loves a good party, so we joined with all her local aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents for a celebration.  It was really sweet to celebrate her together with them.  They gave her sweet and meaningful presents too, and she really treasures it all.  She hopes to use some of the gift money she received to take some horseback riding lessons.

Phoebe girl, I adore you with all my heart.  Happy 9th birthday!  Last year to be in the single digits.  Let’s savor it.

 

Merry Christmas

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Merry Christmas, friends, family, and readers.  I so appreciate your following along with me here, your comments and support, encouragement and friendship.  I love sharing bits and pieces of our daily ordinary lives here with you through out the year.  Today, we are worn out after a fun, sweet and chaotic Christmas morning.  My heart is tender, thinking on the indescribable gift of God, Jesus, who made a way for us to come to Him in whatever place we may find ourselves.  We need a Savior, and He gave us our greatest need.  How will He not also along with Him freely give us all things?  What rest there is in that truth.

Wishing you all a beautiful Christmas time, that He would reveal Himself specifically to you and me both today, and bless us with His presence.

XO
Martha