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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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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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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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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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