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.

yarn along

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Brandon and I went away this weekend (with Wren tagging along, too) to a cabin in Banner Elk, NC to celebrate our 13th anniversary.  (If you follow me on instagram you saw plenty of photos from our time).  I finished the sock project I had on my needles so those could be gifted, and I am nearing the finish on the Minaret top I’ve been working on.  I had pulled together yarn mostly from my stash to knit a soldotna and have been forcing myself to wait to cast on until these projects were off my needles, but it felt like the right time to cast on for something new and fun this weekend.  So, I cast on the soldotna and it is as fun and addicting as everyone says, I can hardly put it down.  I will say that after spending a lot of time working with cotton the past few weeks, it feels so good to have wool back in hand.

I’m still reading (affiliate link) Marilla of Green Gables, enjoying it and just wishing for more reading time!

Joining Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.

 

yarn along

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There’s something about spring and fall that makes me crave rewatching the Anne of Green Gables series (the old version with Megan Follows).  I saw Marilla of Green Gables at the library yesterday and picked it up.  I’ve been needing some fiction lately, and I began it last night.  Here’s to hoping its a happy diversion.  I do plan to slowly re-watch the Anne movies, too.  It’s funny how my perspective has changed since becoming a mother/getting older as I watch these movies, how as a young girl I identified more with Anne and now I think more of what it must have been like to be Marilla.

I’m still making slow progress on the Minaret top but I needed some plain stockinette (the twisted rib using cotton has definitely taken a toll on my wrists) the past few days so I picked up my Felix pullover and started the first sleeve.  Clearly I won’t get much wear out of this sweater until the fall but it will be nice to finish it and tuck it away all ready for the cooler weather.

Joining Nicole’s Crafting On.

yarn along

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The past week or so I’ve been working as much as possible on this test knit.  It’s a summery top called the Minaret Crop which I plan to wear over dresses and such as a light and colorful layer.  Admittedly, it’s been a bit difficult at times working with the yarn, beautiful though it is.  It’s mostly cotton (75% cotton, 25% wool) and it does make me realize what an amazing fiber wool is with it’s squishy stretchiness.  Cotton is much harder on my hands.  Also, this yarn is lace weight while the pattern called for fingering weight, so my knitting progress has been a bit slower than I expected.  I hope to finish it up soon and be able to wear it before it gets too crazy hot here in North Carolina.

I’m still reading along in Mystics and Misfits, and the children and I are reading Moominland Midwinter (well, we started it a bit ago but I’m not sure if they’re into it now that we are out of the snowy cold weather) as well as The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  Last week we still had some really cold days, but this last weekend we spent at the beach with Brandon’s parents and the last couple of days here have been quite hot.  This warm weather makes me think about hot afternoons lounging around on the couch together reading and reading.  I’m looking forward to wrapping up another school year (by God’s grace!) and having a summer break filled with gardening, hiking, camping, outdoor adventures, and lots of read-alouds.  I’m already making a mental list of books I hope to get to.  Do share any you recommend!

Joining this week with Nicole’s Crafting On and Ginny’s Yarn Along.
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yarn along

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Despite taking a bit of a break from blogging, I have been knitting away as usual.  I have finished a couple of shawls and socks since I last posted.  This week I cast on a pair of socks for a loved one and I have had a hard time putting them down.  The colorway is so spring-y and sock knitting is just so meditative and peaceful.  This is my first time knitting the blueberry waffle sock pattern, a free ravelry pattern that every knitter has probably knit, and I feel like it works so well with the yarn.  I’m really loving it and probably will be making a pair for myself soon!

I’ve also been reading (affiliate link) Mystics and Misfits: Meeting God Through St. Francis and Other Unlikely Saints by Christiana Peterson.  This was gifted to me by my sister-in-law over Christmas.  It’s a memoir about the author’s journey with her family moving to an intentional Christian farm community, finding help and focus through the perspective of the saints.  She shares how her perspective on simplicity, hospitality, contemplation, church, and death were challenged and re-formed.  I’m about 10 chapters in and enjoying it so far.

Joining with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.

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I’m working on a quick little birthday crown for Wren, her flax light sweater is blocked and finished, and her little linen birthday dress came in time, also.  It is very bittersweet to think we are already at her first birthday.  More than any of the other children, her first year has flown by in all the hustle and busyness of life with four kids.

I’m savoring Placemaker: Cultivating Places of Comfort, Beauty, and Peace.  I’ll share some words with you:

“This magnetic pull toward beauty is an inclination most of us carry but too few of us acknowledge.  Even if we are aware of it, we seldom honor it as something planted in us for a purpose.  The rushing world has convinced us that beauty is something extra, not the thing itself.  I would never have guessed…that the hand that compels us to stop and stare at something as insignificant as a beautiful tree in flower might be the hand of God.  Rarely do we know what is at stake when beauty surprises us into stillness and we pause to listen, even for a moment, to creation’s song.”

I hope you find a few moments today to pay attention to that invitation to pause and enjoy the beautiful.

Joining with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.
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This beautiful book arrived in my mailbox yesterday and I began the first chapter last night.  Christie Purifoy’s first book, Roots + Sky, was such a gift and came to me at just the right season in my life when we were in the early stages of looking to buy our first home, dreaming of a place to put down roots.  Since then I’ve followed her on instagram (and more recently her podcast called Out of the Ordinary), enjoying the beauty she shares with the world.  In Placemaker, Christie discusses what it means to co-create with God in the work specifically of cultivating beauty. I am always drawn to the theme of beauty–and I’m not talking about skin-deep beauty, but the breathtaking beauty of an arctic landscape, or the neat tidy stacks of laundry, or even the unlikely beauty of a somewhat disheveled home full to the brim with life and laughter.  I’m also drawn to the theme of ‘home’ and the way our hearts long for it, hunger and search after it, and why that is.  So I am eager to see what Christie has to share with us about these things.  I am thrilled to be able to read her words again and to share this book with you!  Yes, I will have a copy to giveaway to one of you readers very soon. 🙂

I’ve been working this week to wrap up a few smaller knitted projects, and in between I’ve been knitting on my cosmic remix shawl which feels like it’s knitting itself.  It’s just quietly and unobtrusively coming together and I can’t wait to wrap up in it once it’s done.  The yarn is so airy and soft.  What are you reading and/or making lately?

Joining with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.
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