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Another week gone by.  The crepe myrtle are in full bloom, the heat and humidity also.  How about where you are in the world?  I bound off the antarktis shawl that I’ve had on the needles for over a year!  It feels really good to finish it.  I’m also very nearly done with this tegna, a top I’m knitting as a commissioned project for my friend Jessica.  On Sunday I finished shaping the shoulders, seamed them together, picked up and knit the neckline, then cast on the first sleeve.  That was a lot for one day!  I am eager to work on my fleuriste cardigan but I’ve realized I’ve been knitting the wrong chart for the last 11 rows or so and I’ve got to figure out how to rip back and fix it.  I think I know what I’m going to do but it will require a good chunk of uninterrupted time to concentrate on it, and I just don’t have very much of that these days.  I’m eager to cast on another summery top i think for myself soon, and that may override my desire to fix my mistake on the fleuriste!  We shall see.

I’m still reading Home, though ever so slowly.  The children and I have been reading Tuck Everlasting after Ginny recommended it a little bit ago.  We are all really enjoying it.  The chapters are mercifully short which is good for the evenings when I don’t have much energy left for a read-aloud.  They always beg me to keep reading.

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One constant in these strange days has been knitting.  Of course there have been some days that I haven’t felt up to it, or that it’s required more brain energy than I have.  More often it is a comfort and a happy distraction at day’s end.  I always have a few projects in the works that I’m actively working on.  After a very long hiatus (nearly a year?) I’ve picked back up this Antarktis shawl to knit on and finish up.  It is nearly done, only needing the last lace section or so before binding off.  I made it larger than the pattern called for so I’m just improvising pattern repeats at this point and I like how it’s turning out.  This yarn is one of my very favorites to work with and this color is truly enchanting and lovely.  I can’t wait to see it when it’s done, it will be beautiful.  My plans and hopes for this shawl were to knit it to sell/raffle off to help raise money for my brother and sister-in-law’s adoption, and I still hope to do so!  I’ll share more about that soon.

I’ve been reading Home after finishing Gilead recently.  I’m just a few pages in, enjoying it as before bed reading.

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The last few days I’ve been working again on this old cross stitch sampler that I started (4 or 5?) years ago when Philippa was a baby.  It’s for above her bed, much like the Alphabet sampler I cross stitched for Phoebe.  Philippa cannot wait to have it done and has been so thrilled to see me working on it again.  I’m stitching the little cottage right now and it feels appropriate as we are all stuck at home.  I have a couple more of Alicia Paulson’s cross stitch kits that I’m eager to get to, and I’m committed to working on a letter and a motif each day on this one until its done.  Once I sat back down and started on it again, I just loved it so.  I do love knitting more than cross stitch and that’s why I seem to devote any free crafting time I have to knitting.  However with the current stay-at-home orders and crafting being more important than ever as a pleasant distraction, I have especially wanted to finish off projects that have sat unfinished for a long time.  I have portraits to paint of Philippa and Wren for my bedroom, a silhouette of Wren to add to my living room wall, and I’ve even thought of finally getting to those baby books that desperately need work.  Maybe its the quarantine, maybe it’s the onset of spring and the desire to organize and tidy.

Meanwhile, I am still knitting, jumping between these Fir socks and a couple other projects (a Nurtured sweater for myself and an Ara shawl for a friend).  I really want to cast on something new (spring-y) but I’m trying to discipline myself to get a little farther on these projects before I do so.  I am knitting these socks on a 56-stitch count and I can BARELY get them on my foot.  Maybe that’s why I’m tempted to put them aside.  Once I do get them on my foot they fit ok.  I think this yarn has some cashmere content and it isn’t as stretchy or springy (not really my favorite, though I love the color). My plan is to finish this one since it’s so close to the toe, block it and see how it fits then.  If it’s still super hard to get on my foot, I may have to rip it out.  That just feels really defeating right now when it seems like I don’t much energy for much of anything.

I had to return Gilead to the library and have placed a hold and am waiting to pick it back up.  Our library is closed, but they will still do curbside “orders.”  I haven’t tried it yet.  Meanwhile, I finished off Little Women finally and I must say I’ve never read the book before and it really met and encouraged me each time I picked it up with things I’m facing in my own life.  Last night I began reading Adorning the Dark which I’ve been sort of hoarding.  It was a gift from my sister-in-law and I’ve been eager to get to it once other books were finished.

I am so grateful for books, yarn and thread to keep my company in these overwhelming and sometimes dismal days.  Also, that cute succulent in the hedgehog pot was a gift dropped on my doorstep by a dear friend and it brings a smile every time I see it.  I hope you are finding some small pleasant distractions in these uncertain days.  We are all living so much smaller and slower, aren’t we?  It really could be remarkable what we discover.

Praying and hoping you are well, discovering some good and remarkable things, finding time for pleasant distractions to anchor your days and keep hands busy.  I sure do appreciate your reading along here, your comments and contributions!  What have you been making or working on?  Are you finding energy to do so?  I know we are all doing our very best to keep spirits up and minds busy with something other than anxious thoughts.

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I’ve been knitting mostly on Noah’s birthday sweater, finishing both sleeves and attaching them to the body, and then realized I was running out of the blue yarn for the last bit of blue stripe.  Woe is me. 😦 I tried to figure out ways to get around ordering another skein of yarn, but in the end I know I won’t like the look of it with one stripe being the wrong size and then I will likely run out of yarn in the other colors if I try to stretch them to take up the yardage of the blue stripe.  Needless to say, I admitted defeat and ordered another skein.  So that sweater is on hold for a few days.  It should be fairly quick to finish once the yarn arrives.

Meanwhile, I cast on Phoebe’s birthday sweater.  This sweater is a bit of a gamble as I’m trying to adjust an adult-sized sweater down to Phoebe’s size by using smaller yarn and needles and a tight gauge.  I think it is ambitious to hope to have it done within a month, it’s possible but I doubt it.  I couldn’t resist this sweater though because of the horses on the yoke.  Phoebe is going to love it, even if I finish it after her birthday.

Still reading On the Road with Saint Augustine.

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Rain has been drizzling off and on here all day, now it pours in buckets from the gray October sky.  A torrent rushes out from the gutter on the garage roof.  The light is gloomy so it was hard to capture the color of this beautiful yarn accurately.  It is a dark mustard-y chartreuse, more golden yellow than is showing here.  I’ve worked on a few small baby items this week but mostly have been working on my featherweight cardigan.  It isn’t necessarily knitting up quickly, but I am enjoying every minute of it.  This lovely yarn from John Arbon is wonderful to have in hand.  It feels a bit different than anything I’ve knit with before, but I do really like it.

I’m still reading Beauty for Truth’s Sake, last night reveling in the theology of geometry.  I’m not a mathematician and this book is a mind-bender in the sleepy late evening hours, but it is still accessible to me.  Oh, to study any realm of the world and find in it Christ, the cross, the great Architect writing His design into all things.  It’s breathtaking.

Also, I pre-ordered a copy of Christina Deanne’s book Modern Heritage Knits.  She is a local-to-me designer (though I believe she just moved) and I’ve knit one of her patterns before, the Minaret crop, which I love.  There are so many patterns in this book that I want to knit so I felt it was worth purchasing!  It has been lovely to slowly flip through and savor it.  I don’t purchase many knitting books or magazines (though I wish I could!) and its nice to have something I can enjoy leisurely and knit from when I can.

Do comment below and share with me what you’re making or reading this week!

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This past weekend we went to a lake house a couple of hours away.  I thought I would get more knitting done than I did (as all knitters think when they go out of town).  I did make a bit more progress on my nordiska and it’ll be ready to wear as soon as the weather starts to require it.  After months and months of hibernating, my marley shawl project did get some attention.  Suddenly I’m re-inspired to work on it.  It is really quite far along and with a few weeks of devotion I know I would have it off my needles.  It’s one I love knitting but also really can’t wait to wear.  Brioche is both relaxing and easy but also requires some light focus and attention.

The kiddos and I were reading from Parables from Nature this morning and I so enjoy this book, as do they.  Not only do we learn more about some facet of nature (this morning, honeybees) but also the stories are so rich and full of meaning while being highly engaging.  We are always left with so much to think on and discuss.  I’m still reading Beauty for Truth’s Sake and will be for some time as it is a really slow/chewing sort of read for me.

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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.

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I finished up a couple of projects last week so of course I needed to cast on something new.  I’ve had the yarn for a while for a nordiska sweater and I finally cast it on this weekend.  I’m enjoying the simple stockinette knitting with the cable detail on the raglan increases for interest.

I finished Mother Culture and was so encouraged by it as I rest from teaching during the summer and look to the year ahead.  I highly recommend it!  I have a few more books I had hoped to read over the summer to refresh myself in homeschooling, and I still plan to get to them even though summer break for us is nearly over.  I have been reading Knitlandia and enjoying its lightheartedness in the evenings before bed.

What might you be reading or making lately?

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I finished the body of the fairy dust cardigan for Wren and am onto the first sleeve.  It should be done within a couple of days, and has been a sweet and quick knit.

I am still reading Mother Culture, truly savoring every chapter and so met and encouraged in each one in one way or another.  I highly recommend it for anyone who has been curious/interested in it.  I began Knitlandia the other day and am enjoying this knitty diversion in my reading.  I took the younger three children to a different library than our usual last week for a special music + puppet summer program. Part way through Wren desperately wanted one of the puppets, a sloth, and fell to pieces when I wouldn’t let her go get it (and interrupt the program!) so we had to step out.  As a result I was free to peruse the stacks and found a very lovely knitting section.  Thus, Knitlandia came home with me.

What are you making or reading lately?

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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?

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