yarn along


I’ve mainly been focusing on my nordiska sweater this week.  I added a bit of length to the body to make it not quite so cropped and then the color work section flew by.  It’s just so fun. I tried it on last night because now I’m trying to decide if I add length to the sleeves also so that the color work on the sleeves hits at the right spot in proportion to the body.  But now I’m wondering if I have enough yarn because I can’t remember if I factored in added length when I purchased the main color yarn.  Oh well, I’m adding just a little extra length to the sleeves and then I’ll start the color work there as well.  Hoping it moves just as quickly and I’ll have a finished sweater soon!

My attention and thoughts are starting to shift toward birthday sweaters for the kids.  I wasn’t planning to knit one for Philippa this year because of all of my children, she seems to like wearing hand knit sweaters the least.  Last year she refused to try on her birthday sweater and never really wanted to wear it unless I asked her to.  I honestly don’t buy them many warm upper layers because their hand knit sweaters are supposed to serve that purpose.  But she is making requests for one and assuring me that she really wants to wear my sweaters now.  So, we’ll see.  She mostly just loves when I knit her socks.  Anyway, I know I need to get started on sweaters soon if I plan to knit one for each child since they’re getting bigger and their sweaters are taking longer.  I’m thinking of doing a color work one for Phoebe for sure but then maybe all of them would love a little color work this time around.

I’m slowly reading along in Beauty For Truth’s Sake.  So rich but also heady for my little tired mom brain at bed time.  It is really blowing my mind to learn and also remember that math is at the core of so many things, music, art, how interconnected it all is.  I am reading Mathematicians are People, Too to the kids during morning time, just a chapter here and there.  It’s part of my covert plan to change the dynamics and atmosphere around math here in our house.  I think it may be working because Phoebe hated the book initially just because it had something to do with math, but she loves stories and as we are reading the interesting life stories of real and famous mathematicians, she now begs me to keep reading it.

Here’s a little excerpt from Beauty for Truth’s Sake:

“The purpose of an education is not merely to communicate information, let alone current scientific opinion, nor to train future workers and managers.  It is to teach the ability to think, discriminate, speak, and write, and, along with this, the ability to perceive the inner, connecting principles, the intrinsic reasons, the logoi, of creation, which the ancient Christian Pythagorean tradition (right through the medieval period) understood in terms of number and cosmic harmony…”

And another:

“Mathematics is the language of science, but it is also the hidden structure behind art (the philosopher Leibnitz famously described music as the pleasure the human mind experiences from counting without being aware that it is counting), and its basis is the invisible Logos of God.  We do not have to follow the ancient symbolic reading of mathematics slavishly, but only be open to the presence of meaning where the modern mind sees none.  Then it may be that we will open up a lost dimension in which the disciplines themselves will discover their relationship to one another.”

Joining with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.
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yarn along


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.


yarn along


This past weekend I finally bit the bullet and took my nordiska sweater to a favorite local yarn store to get some help with ripping back a few rows.  I had tried to do it on my own but got stuck around the cable raglan detail and then I held off because I had a feeling I would make a mess of it.  I’m so glad I did because it was good to have someone else’s help with it.  Also, it was a really fun day trip with just Phoebe to Black Mountain.  We spent the morning at the yarn store, had lunch, then made a stop at a couple of antique/thrift stores on the way home.  So it was a fun day together that resulted in a fixed project I could pick back up and knit on again.  It is so enjoyable to have it back in my hands.  The yarn is purl soho’s linen quill (a wool/alpaca/linen blend) in the twig brown color (though it looks more grey here) and it is really, really soft and delicate to work with.

I’m also nearing the end of The Brave Learner.  I’m trying to be more monogamous in my book reading and forcing myself to finish it before cracking another book.  Though I’ve mostly enjoyed this book and learned a lot/been inspired to make some helpful changes in our homeschool, there are also parts of it I don’t agree with or subscribe to.  Mostly, I’m thankful for the encouragement to see our children as the individuals they are and to pay attention to what is working/not working well in our homeschool and to be flexible in making changes.  It’s been helpful in examining my goals and intentions in this endeavor.  I always enjoy hearing what you’re reading or making lately (even if it’s not yarn/knitting related!) so do share if you’d like!

Joining Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.

yarn along


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?

Joining Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.

summer wool gathering

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A couple of weeks ago we made another field trip to a local sheep farm, Bovidea Farm, with some good friends tagging along.  The last time we visited it was December and the ground was dusted with snow so it was delight to see the farm in the summer foliage.  The sheep had just recently been shorn and their fleeces have been sent off to the mill.  Farmers Jim + Rose were in good health and cheerful, welcoming our big gaggle of children and abounding in knowledge to share.  I had hoped to purchase a good bit of yarn to dye naturally and be able to share with you all in my little etsy shop.  This time around I decided to purchas a small quantity to see how I like dyeing with it, and what your interest in it might be.  I knitted Phoebe a flax sweater in the worsted weight yarn, and I knit my Tales from the Isle of Purbeck shawl in the sport weight, as well as the shiftalong hat.  I really love their wool, it is very sheepy, rustic and springy.  I am hoping to knit a nurtured sweater for myself in it soon!  The only place to purchase their yarn is by visiting Jim and Rose’s farm yarn store, but Jim was graciously willing to allow me to play around with dyeing and selling it so that others of you can access it also!

Phoebe, Noah and Philippa all wanted to use some of their own spending money to buy themselves each a skein of yarn.  Phoebe set right to work knitting hers up and bound off her first finished object by the next day.  She made a cape for her doll, Kaya.  Noah is working on making a green scarf for one of his animals, and I believe Philippa is also.  It is quite dear to this mama’s heart to see them catching my love for wooly things, however long it lasts.

After leaving Bovidae we went to visit Echoview Fiber Mill since it was just 10 minutes down the road.  We picnicked in the grass there and then did a short mill tour.  It was neat to see the process of milling the fleeces, and I was happy to purchase a couple skeins of their lapidary base to try.  Their yarn shop had so many treats and lovely things in it, and one can’t help but admire their passion for caring for the earth, sustainability, and natural dyeing.  There were a couple of women processing dried indigo on the patio by the front door, many beautiful samples of sweaters, hats, and shawls to try on, and all manner of beautiful, useful objects.  The children were quite wiggly at that point and it would probably be more enjoyable to go back next time without them.

Now I’m doubting myself for attempting to dye and sell such a small quantity of yarn, and with all the heat here lately I haven’t been inspired to dye.  But I’m hoping the inspiration will strike and that some of you may be interested in trying out this special wool.

yarn along


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.

yarn along



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.