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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?

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A couple of years ago when the Syrian refugee crisis was the prevailing news story, I had talked with some friends about wanting to knit items to send over to those displaced.  I am so happy to hear about an organization collecting such donations and a group of knitters participating in the “Keep Syria Warm” knit-a-long, so I jumped on board immediately.  We are knitting this classic kerchief pattern by Fox and Folk, which she offered for free to those participating in the KAL.  It’s a sweet pattern that I had been interested in knitting anyway.  I am hoping to make a few of these to send off by the end of February, and it is a quiet delight to be able to do something with my hands, small though it may be, to send over to keep someone in Syria warm during the coldest months of winter.  I pray it is a blessing and a tangible reminder to whomever receives it that they are seen and cared for.

Still reading Sylvia’s Farm.

Wishing you a happy Tuesday!  It’s a dreary, rainy one here but we are attempting to make the best of it.

Joining with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.

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I started over on my cosmic shawl using some beautifully soft superfine merino + alpaca blend yarn that my dad bought for me a few months ago.  I just wasn’t happy with the way the wensleydale was looking in the garter stitch and it’s too special of a yarn to not love the end product.  I will set it (the yarn) aside until I find the right project for it.  In the meantime I’m loving the way this gray yarn is knitting up and I think I prefer this shawl as a neutral anyway.  I have quite a few small projects on the go (a sweater for phoebe, a sweater + hat for wren, socks for me, etc.) and I keep rotating between them all.  I need to just hunker down on each one until it’s done so that I don’t feel quite so scattered.

I’m reading Sylvia’s Farm: The Journey of an Improbable Shepherd (affiliate link) which I originally heard about through Ginny’s beautiful blog some years ago.  I’m thankful for a lot of reading inspiration via her blog.  The chapters are short, winsome, and engaging.  Its been so enjoyable to read in the evenings before falling asleep.

We are supposed to get some ice and snow potentially today.  I hope if you’re getting some wintry weather where you are that you are staying safe and warm and enjoying the coziness!

Linking up today with Nicole’s Crafting On.

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Hello!  Since finishing up birthday sweaters for all the children which basically consumed my knitting time in November and December (plus a few other gift items), I am turning my attention back to my Tecumseh, which feels so good.  I just split for sleeves and am a few inches past that point now into the last repeat of the charts on the body section.  I like to have multiple projects on my needles so that I can switch back and forth to projects I feel like working on in the moment, or so that I have smaller projects that are easier to travel with, etc., but it is really amazing to see how quickly something can work up if I commit to working on it monogamously.  I may try to force myself to work more faithfully on one project at a time so that I can finish things a bit sooner.  We’ll see.  I have yarn for quite a few projects that I can’t wait to cast on but it’ll be rewarding to wait until I’ve got some projects off of my needles.

Also, I received this book, Homebody, for Christmas from Brandon.  He had seen me admiring it a little while ago and remembered!  So sweet of him.  He really spoiled me for Christmas.  The best part was that he forgot about this gift and being we had such a huge wide tree it was hidden behind the tree and the curtain of our window, so that as we were pulling the tree out and packing Christmas things away this past weekend, I saw the present tucked behind the curtain.  And it was for me!  It made it even more fun and special and I told him now I hope he does that every year, a surprise gift leftover some days after Christmas. 🙂  I’ve been slowly reading through it and savoring it.

My parents gifted us a box set of the Chronicles of Narnia series and we started The Magician’s Nephew this week and are already well into it and loving it.  I’ve never read the whole series so I’m excited to read it through together.

I hope you had a Merry Christmas and have been enjoying some making and reading in your holiday time!

Linking up with Ginny’s monthly Yarn Along today.
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Is it already the 5th of December?  I can’t believe we are already almost a week into this month.  We are busy slowly decorating the house, getting back into the swing of Advent readings and activities together, as well as finishing up our last week of school before we take a long break for Christmas.  I am looking forward to the freedom of slower mornings playing games together or doing crafts, reading more together, and enjoying this special season.

I sewed the armpits of Noah’s sweater last night (yes, it’s done!) and wove in the ends and will block it today, so it is a relief to have that done well in time for his birthday.  I’ve been knitting on some socks for him as well, but with less pressure on myself to get them done in time for his birthday.  I cast on for Phoebe’s birthday sweater, she cannot wait to have a sunday sweater to match her sisters.  I’m knitting this with the yarn (100% eco wool) I dyed a few months ago with marigolds from our garden and I love the subtle variegation and the chartreuse color of this wool.  It’s very bright and happy for the winter months and in all this cold, it’s a reminder of the happy warm summer days.  Also, I dyed extra skeins of this yarn and also the avocado pink yarn I used for Philippa’s sweater to share with any of you knitters/weavers/crocheters out there who might be interested!  I will share more details soon, but those skeins will be listed in my first ever Etsy shop update hopefully this weekend, if all goes smoothly.  I’ve had hurdles and interruptions galore to my plans (which were originally to open this little shop in October!) and I’ve second-guessed and doubted myself a ton, and would probably have bailed on this idea except that I have invested too much to just drop it now.  So, it feels a little silly in a world where there are makers far more talented than I, but my heart is to offer some things made from our hands and home to you.  Hopefully I will have a post up on Friday with specifics of what we’re selling and lots of photos, so tune in if you’re interested in taking a peek.

For now, you can see a bit how this yarn knits up in today’s picture.  It is rustic and dry, yet still soft and very squishy.  I am not bored at all knitting this pattern again because the yarn is so bright and cheerful, and the pattern really is lovely.

I’ve been reading this book by Phyllis Tickle, What the Land Already Knows .  It is so sweet, quite a rich little book with short chapters that are great for reading just before sleep.  Brandon and I are also reading Lessons from a Christmas Tree Farm in the evenings together.  We are using Hallelujah and Unwrapping the Greatest Gift as family advent readings.  We just stocked up at the library with tons of festive Christmasy books and we’re preparing for a big snow forecasted for this weekend (fingers crossed!).  We have lots to read and lots of wool for knitting, so basically we’re all set.

Linking up with Ginny’s Yarn Along and Nicole’s Crafting On.
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A few days ago I cast on for Noah’s birthday sweater, realizing I have two birthday sweaters to knit in the next four weeks.  I’m making the Asnes sweater for Noah in a really nice wool alpaca blend.  I think it will be soft enough and a really nice color on Noah.  I think the pattern is fairly gender neutral too, so it’ll be a sweater his younger sisters can wear one day as well.  Anyway, it’s been so nice to knit–soothing, simple stockinette.  I’m also loving anything in this color right now.  I finished the body and have started sleeve number one, though I just now realized I’ve been working on the sleeve in the wrong needle size and need to rip back the stockinette.  (Thankfully I realized that now!)

Not much reading this week, if any. 😦

Joining Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.