yarn along

DSC_0051

We are into the part of summer where I feel a bit suffocated by the heat and cooped up in the house more than at any other time of year.  However, I’m still knitting when I can!  It’s a good time for me to get some things prepped for the coming cold weather, and I’m particularly working on a little knitted wardrobe for Wren.  I cast on a fairy dust cardigan for her in some leftover yarn from my soldotna.  I’m using a heavier weight yarn than what the pattern calls for so I’m hoping it’s not too big on her.  A little big would be just fine.  I plan to knit a few bloomers for her and at least one more romper, as well as a couple of bonnets.  Baby knits are so fun and fast, and a good way to use up small amounts of yarn.  Meanwhile I’m still making headway on other projects I have going, two gift shawls and a pair of socks for me.

Still reading Mother Culture, slow reader over here lately!

Joining with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.

 

yarn along

DSC_0052

My summer is proving to be busier than expected, how about you?  I am still working away on both of these from last week and enjoying them so, so much.  I’m knitting an Ara shawl with the called-for yarn, Even Tinier Annapurna in color way Red Pear.  It is so very soft and dainty, beautiful to work with.  I’m also highly enjoying reading Mother Culture.  The chapters are short and topical so you can pick up and read wherever you want in the book, though I am reading it chronologically.  It is full of beauty, inspiration, and encouragement!

What are you reading or making lately?

Joining with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.

yarn along

DSC_0108DSC_0101

I began reading Mother Culture a few days ago and have so been enjoying reading a chapter or so before bed.  It is a grounding, inspiring, peaceful read and I resonate with the concept of “mother culture,” which is essentially that we as mothers need to continue to practice what we preach to our children.  We need to care for ourselves and “fill the well,” so to speak, in order to both model a life that values creativity, continued learning and curiosity, and also to pursue those values for our own sanity and wholeheartedness.  It is part of how we teach our children to value self-care.  It is always so important to me to refresh my perspective on homeschooling especially as we close up a year, because I often feel burned out and weary, and a little lost sometimes.  This book is helping so much to do that, and I’m grateful.

You know, it’s a funny thing.  On our recent trip to California we had two flights home, a longer 5 hr flight and then a short hour or so flight from Washington, D.C. area into the Asheville, NC airport.  I was marveling to Brandon about observing people on flights, how many people get into a conversation with someone seated nearby them and by the end of the flight you can tell they have made a connection, you hear them exchanging phone numbers and contact information.  It really is a crazy thing, how much we do all have in common with one another.  If we spend just a few minutes talking, we can often find a point of connection.  Yet for me on our flights I was more concerned with keeping the children entertained and quiet and I wasn’t really interested in chatting with anyone (introvert).  But on our last flight, the short little hour one, I was seated next to another momma with a baby just about Wren’s age.  I asked her if this was her first child and she said, “No, actually, she’s my eighth.”  Thus began a super fun conversation in which a stranger became a friend. 🙂  Come to find out, she’s a homeschooling momma as well, a Charlotte Mason/Amblesider, a knitter who also loves Ginny’s blog, among other things.  (I don’t think I’ve ever met a person in real life who reads Ginny’s blog!)  Anyway, we don’t live too terribly far apart, we exchanged phone numbers and have chatted back and forth since being home, and I do hope we are able to meet up sometime.  Isn’t it a small world?  (We actually talked a bit about Mother Culture, so that’s what made me think of this little story.)

While in California I was able to squeeze in a trip to A Verb for Keeping Warm.  It was so wonderful to be there, it is maybe the most beautiful yarn store I’ve ever been in.  Absolutely full of creative inspiration.  I could have spent a few hours in there soaking it all in, however Brandon and the children were waiting in the car outside the door so I had to rein myself in.  I did purchase a skein of their Even Tinier Annapurna in the color way Red Pear to make an Ara Shawl, which I’ve had the pattern for since it came out.  Isn’t it the prettiest rusty red color?  The yarn feels differently than anything I’ve knit with before, and I’m really enjoying it.  This will be a gift for a loved one, but I’m sure I will knit this pattern again for myself at some point.  I have another shawl (or two) on the needles that I need to finish but I couldn’t resist casting this on yesterday.  It is bringing back happy memories of our time away!

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

 

yarn along

DSC_0382

Hello friends!

We were away last week to sunny California and I’ll share more about it soon, but for now, our regularly scheduled program of yarny things.

I barely did more than a few hours of knitting in the past week which is understandable because we were busy enjoying family and exploring in CA but also unfortunate because I’m working on a test knit that I do hope to have finished by the deadline in July.  I’m cruising along on it now and it feels good to see some progress.  So, I’m working on a test knit for Norah of FoxandFolk on instagram.  It is an absolutely darling button up cardigan with a peplum waist for Phoebe.  I tried it on her for fit yesterday and it is just going to be so, so sweet on her.  I really love knitting with Berrocco Ultra Alpaca, a yarn blend that is 50% wool + 50% alpaca.  It is so buttery soft, and having knit a few children’s sweaters and hats with it before, I have realized it is their favorite wool to wear because of its softness.  Noah’s last birthday sweater was knit with it and he wears it almost daily when he’s cold.  Anyway, gray may be a boring color but it will be so wearable for Phoebe!  And I’m realizing I need a gray cardigan for my wardrobe soon, too! 🙂

I also didn’t do much reading on the trip, but I am still slowly working through (affiliate link) The Artist’s Way, and hoping to make more progress in it soon.

What are you making or reading lately?

Joining Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.

yarn along

DSC_0016

This week I’ve made a bit of progress on my antarktis shawl, but have also been working on finishing up some sweaters that are really close to being done.  I’m wanting to clear the plate so to speak, and it feels so good to finish up some projects!

I started (affiliate link) The Artist’s Way, something I’ve wanted to read for years.  It is really resonating so far, and I think I will need to purchase a copy so I can mark it up and take my time through it.  If any of you have read it, let me know your thoughts!  Happy June, everyone.

Joining Ginny’s Yarn Along + Nicole’s Crafting On.

yarn along

DSC_0012

We are having such hot, dry days here in western NC.  It feels like August or September heat and without the usual daily downpour and thunderstorm we are used to at this time of year.  It’s not my favorite kind of weather.  We’ve all felt more cooped up in the house because of it.  It just sort of takes it out of me, and I haven’t felt my usual creative juices flowing.  So I’m sorry for being a bit more absent from this space last week.  I don’t want to complain, we are thankful for lots of sunshine for sure.  But I wouldn’t mind a good thunderstorm and cooler weather!

I cast on today for another Antarktis shawl in Fibre Co Meadow.  This will be my fourth time knitting this pattern (and always right around the month of June!) and already I’m remembering the quiet rhythm of it.  I was just wearing my Antarktis this morning that I knit from Ginny’s special speckly yarn last year.  I have a couple other projects on the go, three sweaters/tops that are just on the cusp of being bound off, which will feel so good!  Hopefully I’ll be able to do that soon.  However, I couldn’t resist casting on this shawl.  The Fibre Co Meadow has to be one of my absolute favorite yarns.  And this color way, called Ladyslipper, is truly the most breathtaking aubergine.

I haven’t been reading much, admittedly, just for lack of time and focus, really.  I have, however, been reading the second Vanderbeeker book to Phoebe, The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden.  We are so close to finishing our school year, just days away, and I feel so wiped from this year (and probably the heat, to boot).  It is nice to read something together, which we both so enjoy.

Anyway, how has your spring been?  And what are you making or reading lately?

Joining Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.

spring energy

DSC_0007DSC_0021DSC_0023DSC_0027DSC_0030DSC_0003DSC_0020DSC_0006DSC_0005DSC_0004 (1)DSC_0007 (1)DSC_0008DSC_0010DSC_0011DSC_0016DSC_0018DSC_0019DSC_0022DSC_0025DSC_0027 (1)DSC_0030 (1)DSC_0032DSC_0035DSC_0037DSC_0041DSC_0042DSC_0046DSC_0047DSC_0048DSC_0049DSC_0051DSC_0052DSC_0055DSC_0058DSC_0060DSC_0063DSC_0065DSC_0066DSC_0071DSC_0073DSC_0075DSC_0083DSC_0086DSC_0089DSC_0117DSC_0127

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.