yarn along


I’ve finished up the body of phoebe’s sweater, working on the front edging now.  Once that is done, it will be onto sleeves.  I’m surprised with how quickly it has gone!  I haven’t been able to keep it a secret, trying it on her multiple times (it fits so nicely!), and it will be hard to wait till her birthday to give it to her when these chilly and often dreary November days are upon us.

I’m still reading We Took to the Woods, it seems to take me much longer to make it through books these days.  Still, I carry on.  This one, The Secret life of Sarah Hollenbeck, came in the mail last week for me to review.  I’ve read the first few chapters, and it’s okay so far, but the jury is still out on whether or not I will love it.  It’s the story of a woman with a broken marriage who begins writing steamy romance novels, which become wildly popular, and then she comes to know the Lord.  The story then unfolds of how she deals with her past and the binding book contract she has even as she walks into a new future.

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we took to the woods


The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

-Wendell Berry

yarn along

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It’s quite a dreary dark rainy day here, so I had a hard time finding a spot with enough natural light to snap a photo.  Philippa’s sweet little sweater is blocking and I cast on for a leksak tunic for Phoebe a few days ago.  I’m a few inches below the underarm now, so I’m hopeful this will be a fairly quick knit, although a sweater for a seven year old will inevitably take longer.  I’m knitting it with yarn leftover from my Lila sweater, Shepherd’s Wool in color way seabreeze.  I’m knitting her the size 6 because her chest fits those measurements better and I remember this yarn blooming a little bit once blocked.  I seem to always knit their sweaters too big, despite getting gauge when I swatch, so I’m hoping this will actually fit her just right.

I’m still reading We Took to the Woods and enjoying it.  It’s a very peaceful and engaging read for before bed, which seems to be the only time I have lately.

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yarn along


I suppose I’ve decided to make each of the children birthday sweaters again.  I wasn’t sure if I’d have time to squeeze in 3 sweaters before Christmas, but I’m going to give it a shot.  I’m also very tempted to knit baby knits that I have planned, but really I can work on those in January and February before baby comes so I’m trying to hold off.  I’m thankful that each of the sweaters I knit for the children last year still fit and they have been wearing them again in this chilly weather we’ve been having.  Honestly, it brings me joy every time I see them wearing them!  I decided on this little cropped sweater for Philippa with a lace/cable detail on the front.  I’m adding length so that it’s not quite as cropped and I’m knitting long sleeves, after seeing Brienne Moody’s version on instagram.  I’ve made a few mistakes on the lace/cable panel, but I don’t think it’s terribly noticeable and I’m learning that I’m not a perfectionist when knitting.  Good enough is good enough.  🙂  I’m knitting it with Shepherd’s Wool yarn, which is such a nice yarn to work with and fairly inexpensive.

Also, I’ve been reading We Took To the Woods.  It’s a memoir written by Louise Rich who with her husband made a life in the Maine backcountry.  I’m enjoying it so far, her writing is often humorous and full of tales of the adventures that are inevitable in a mainly subsistence lifestyle.

ps.  Happy Halloween!!

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yarn along

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I knit the sweetest baby bonnet (free pattern!) the other night and just need to attach i-cord ties to it.  For some reason I’m having a mental block about best way to attach?  Any recommendations, knitters?  I have a 3 stitch i-cord.  I feel silly that I can’t figure it out.  I knit this bonnet with madelinetosh dk twist in color way snake.  Love the color so much.

Also, I received this beautiful book, Hinds’ Feet on High Placesto review.  I first read this book back in college and it was very special to me.  Recently my sister-in-law sent Phoebe a child’s version of it, which she has treasured.  I am really grateful to have a new pretty copy of this book myself to reread.  This story is a classic, an allegory about journeying from the lowlands of fear to the heights of trust, similar in some ways to Pilgrims Progress.  The cover of this book is stunning and the watercolor paintings sprinkled throughout are truly breathtaking.  A few special features are some coloring pages of key scriptures in the back of the book, as well as some words from the author, Hannah Hurnard, about how the book came to be, and a brief autobiography.  I would highly recommend it to anyone as a great gift book, especially for someone going through a trying or scary season.

Linking up with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.

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Thanks to Tyndale Publishing for a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review.


a background of beauty

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It’s hard to believe it is the last week of October.  This month is slipping by so quickly, this shoulder month when days flicker between feeling summery and wintry.  We play outside so much during this month and want to soak up every minute of it.  The way the light seems somehow richer, golden, playful.  The sound of the dry leaves clattering to the ground, the crisp air, pumpkins sprinkled everywhere.  I’m slowly trying to make headway on home projects, mainly getting more organized inside our home.  I’ve struggled to feel at home here, and I’m eager to hang pictures and find homes for every little thing, making sense of the space we have.  Something in me longs to make a beautiful, simple, and inviting home for my family and also anyone else who comes into our home.  It often feels overrun by the chaos of books and papers, toys and random articles of clothing that have been dispensed of.  Such is life with small children, but still we can’t give up entirely.  Children inherently love cozy–waking with tousled hair and pulling a chair up by the fire in the early morning dark.  Happily digging through the bin of winter hats and gloves and finding their old favorites once again.  Setting up little homes outside and in, building forts in with fallen limbs and creating elaborate block fortresses.  I think of these words from Edith Schaeffer:

In spite of wilting leaves after a period of time, the memory of that table is as vivid as if it had painted on canvas.  Indeed, the memory of even short-lived beauty makes it worthwhile to take time and energy to provide a background of beauty for the human relationships developing in your home.  Children growing up in an atmosphere where beauty is considered an important part of daily life cannot help being inspired to develop their own original ideas in these areas, nor can they help being prepared to live aesthetically themselves.

-The Hidden Art of Homemaking

The reality is life isn’t always beautiful, even in our own homes where we long to create a haven and a rest from the cruel and dark world.  So this work is hard, plodding, slow, marked by repentance and effort and dependence on God.

This year we’ve done some of our usual fall traditions: picking apples, visiting a farm, painting pumpkins, leaf rubbings.  What are some of your favorite fall traditions?  I’m slowly getting back into my knitting rhythms, so very happily.  I’ve cast on for Philippa’s birthday sweater (her birthday is one month from today!) with that lovely shepherd’s wool, and I have so many ideas for each of the kid’s birthdays and christmas this year.  Brandon (with the help of my dad) brought home a free play gym that they disassembled from a neighbor’s yard, and we have plans to reassemble and fix it up soon as part of the children’s christmas present.  Many projects on the go, many still to come, while we spend our days doing school, reading books, collecting and making pretty things.  The very best time of year is still to come, and I’m wanting to clear our home and hearts, preparing and making room for the happiest season of celebrating birthdays and Christmas.

yarn along



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.  🙂  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. 🙂

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