spring energy

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These photos were taken a couple of weeks ago already.  My, how the days are flying by.  We have so enjoyed these spring days with cool weather and have all been outside as much as possible.  We’ve had a few short trips in the last month which is a bit uncharacteristic for us — a visit to Brandon’s parents in Myrtle Beach, SC, and an anniversary getaway to cabin in Banner Elk, NC.  In the midst of that hustle and bustle, we’ve felt that burst of spring energy (and exhaustion!) that everything seems to have this time of year.  You can nearly hear it if you listen close enough, the eagerness of shoots burrowing up from soil, the rustle of leaves sprouting out from limb.  It seems almost audible, the hurry of everything in nature to grow and produce.  I feel it, too, every spring, that sense that we are behind, that we need to hurry up and grow things.

We aim to improve and work on our small little garden spot every year.  This year, it was to put in soaker tubes for watering and to set up a rain catchment system to feed the soaker tubes.   We used an old barrel that was on our property when we moved in and it has worked really well thus far.  Also, we made more established walking paths between rows by laying landscape paper down and we are waiting on a drop off of (free) wood chips which we will cover the walking paths with in an effort to cut down on weeding.

We didn’t expand the garden area at all this year, but I did plant lavender and rosemary and a whole host of flower seed around the property.  Here’s to hoping it all comes up and does well!  Sunflowers, cosmos, bachelor buttons.  I have zinnia seeds as well but no more ground space, so I think I will plant a full raised bed of zinnias (maybe arugula too if its not too late to start it) because truly the zinnias brought me so much joy all last summer.  There are things to love about every season, to be sure, but summer is just not my favorite.  Keeping a garden and anticipating the growing of things helps me survive the summer heat, I’ve realized.

Brandon tackled a project for me updating/redoing our front door area (replacing the door and trim, painting, installing a new light fixture and house numbers) and we have quite a few other projects we hope to have time to work on this spring/summer.  Slowly, ever so slowly, plugging away on this little old home.

Also, I had Brandon take some photos of my finished Tales from the Isle of Purbeck shawl.  I finished it a little while ago but wanted to share it here with you.  I knit it with some local yarn from a nearby sheep farm I visited in the fall, so it just feels extra special.  Knitting is such a joy and comfort in these days where projects pile up and no end is in sight.  It is good for my sanity to work on small things and see them to completion.

Speaking of finishing, we are nearing the end of our third year homeschooling.  I feel so weary and I know the children do, too.  But I was reflecting this morning that I often think of summer break as just stopping and then in the fall picking up where we left off the previous year.  However I had to remind myself that no, in fact, I have successfully moved Phoebe through second grade and when we finish, she will be ready for 3rd grade.  And Noah will have completed Kindergarten.  I felt humbled and grateful to remember that — this isn’t just an endless work, though it is continuous and maybe the lines between grades are a bit fuzzier than in traditional schooling.  The years blur into one another and it all can feel a bit endless, but in fact, we are slowly plugging along and completing our work, bit by bit.

I hope you’re enjoying some of that spring energy today.  Maybe even some clover + chive tea made by chubby hands and offered to you in love.

a birthday shawl

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I bought this yarn with birthday money, catching one of Ginny’s summer yarn updates.  I always swoon over what she makes, she has such great taste!

The yarn is gorgeous, naturally dyed but with the most beautiful speckles.  Truly, I don’t know how she does it!  It is such a bright and happy color, and the yarn is really lightweight making the shawl feel airy and summery.  The yarn is 100% american wool, single ply fingering weight, very soft yet with a rustic feel to it.

I knit the antarktis shawl pattern, which I’ve knitted twice before for gifts, and it is sheer enjoyment to knit.  I modified the pattern a bit by adding some repeats, wanting to use as much yarn as possible.  I cast off before adding much of a lace border, thinking to save a bit of yarn to maybe add a couple of tassels on the corners of the shawl.  Should I?  I can’t tell.  I think I like it how it is.

I finished the shawl a week ago or so, and slipped outside after a shower to take a few pictures in the last light of the day, thus my wet hair and glasses.  I have been grabbing this shawl often in the early mornings or late evenings for a luxurious simple summery wrap and I love it so, so much.

snow and sweaters

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We saw (maybe?) our last snow of the season on Sunday morning and felt again the child-like wonder and awe that always comes over us all with new snow.  My sweater had been finished for about a week but I hadn’t worn it because I’d been recovering from the flu and just wanted to save wearing it for the first time for when I actually felt normal.  It’s the first sweater I’ve knit for myself so I was a bit nervous I would mess up the sizing.  I slipped it on Sunday morning and Brandon snapped a few photos of me (sorry for the crazy lighting) and then we went out with the kids for a walk in the snow.  The arms are a tad bit long, as I added about 2 inches of length to both the body and the sleeves, but I’d rather them be long then short.  It truly is so cozy and warm without being too heavy.  I loved every minute of knitting it.  Totally easy, relaxing, and simple.  Shepherd’s wool is so squishy and soft and just 100% wool.  The colorway, “sea breeze,” makes me think of the ocean.  I could definitely see myself knitting it again.