It has felt good to finish up a few projects lately and I’ve been feeling the urge to cast on a lot of projects that have been waiting in my mind for a while. I have this special skein of Even Tinier Annapurna from A Verb for Keeping Warm that my mom sweetly gifted me a couple of Christmases ago. I thought to use it in a shawl but changed my mind and decided I’d rather have it as a garment. It is the loveliest rusty pinkish red, I find myself drawn to this color so often. I have been curious to knit a Ranunculus for a couple of years at least, but also a bit intimidated by the flexibility of the pattern in regards to size, gauge and yarn. Here’s to hoping that I can knit this flow-y summery piece in one generous skein of fingering weight yarn.
The kids and I savored Robert McFarlane’s book The Lost Words a while ago and we’ve been thoroughly enjoying more of the beautiful poetry and artwork displayed in this small little book of poetry, The Lost Spells. We try to read poetry from a few different sources daily and this little book is such an inspiration highlighting the beauty and wonder of nature.
What have you been reading or making lately? I hope this post finds you well today, friends.
I have been working on a few gift knits lately, and have gifted them so now I can share about them. 🙂 I knit a lopi sweater for my mom called Stonewood. I think it looks great on her, sometime I’ll have to get a picture of her wearing it. I also finished knitting some 3×1 rib socks for my sister-in-law for her recent birthday. Sock projects are always on my needles now because it is good knitting for days that we are at homeschool co-op or whenever we’re out on the go really. Also there’s just something so enjoyable to me about knitting socks. I’m working on a pair for Noah, just another simple 3×1 rib pair (my favorite to knit lately) knit out of Patons Kroy. I’ve been itching to knit some crunkle socks and cast those on a few days ago for myself in yarn from Little Lionhead Knits. Her dye job is always fantastic and this colorway makes me think of spring. The pattern is really fun to knit! More engaging than a plain vanilla sock but easy enough to need a very low level of concentration. The repeat of the pattern keeps me moving onto the next row, so they’re knitting up quickly. Wren’s birthday is coming quickly and I haven’t even cast on her sweater yet, so I’m making a mental note to get on that in the next couple of days.
I finished reading My Connemara and enjoyed getting to know the Sandburg family more. I’ve since been reading Lila and am enjoying it more than Home and Gilead, even though I have liked each book in the series.
Do feel free to share with me what you may be reading or making lately.
Here I am with another yarn along post which means another week has gone by. There isn’t a “crafting” link-up for me to connect to this time around, but it’s still habit of mine to snap a weekly photo of what I’m knitting and reading. I enjoy looking back through this little record of the making and the words that filled these days. Lately, I’ve been on the very cusp of finishing a couple of sweaters for myself, while also knitting Philippa’s birthday sweater. I just joined in the round to knit the body of my sweater hug this morning, and that’s exciting. The fabric this gotland is making as it knits up is surprisingly soft and so very warm. I feel like I always have a variety of projects on the go, some that are mindless, some that require more concentration, and I’m often moving those projects to the stage where I can just knit, knit, knit. I enjoy it all, filling my mind and hands with lots of different projects and fibers. I have so many things I want to knit going into this winter season, things my family and I both need for our wardrobes. It is wonderful to be full of creative inspiration.
I am continuing to read Boundaries, it is good and necessary reading for me right now. Meanwhile, I recently purchased The Story of the Orchestra: Four Seasons in One Day for Wren, not expecting it to be as lovely as it is. The linen cover is beautifully illustrated, nice to hold and the book is quite large. Wren loves pushing the buttons. I love snuggling with her on the couch and reading it while she tries to push the buttons with all her might. The illustrations are vibrant and full of woodland animals and brightly dressed people, and Wren loves hunting for things I tell her to find on the page. I recommend it, although I’m hoping the paper pages don’t get ripped too terribly soon.
Do share with me what you’re reading and knitting/making this week!
Just popping in here briefly to share the progress on my hansel hap shawl! I flew through the colorful portion and am now working on the edging. It is much slower going but I have so, so loved working on this project! I don’t want to rush it but I also can already imagine wrapping up in it often as the weather cools. Oh, to think of that–the weather cooling. We’ve reached that time of year and heat when I can hardly imagine the need for bundling up and waking up to a chilly house and the need to light the fire.
I should mention the yarn was a kit for this shawl which Brandon gifted me for Mother’s Day 2019, purchased from Ginny’s etsy shop. Ginny’s yarn is something special! I was worried I would run out but even though I modified the pattern to extend the size, I still have had enough yarn so far.
Still reading Home, enjoying it a bit more as I get deeper into it.
Slowly, slowly through the book Home. I can barely read a few pages after crawling into bed at night before my eyes are too heavy. Maybe I’ve been having a little trouble getting into it but I’m not far enough in yet and I bet that’s why. I’ve begun the practice of beginning my morning quiet time with the lighting of a candle as I read and pray. It has become a tangible reminder to me that I’m meeting with God of very God and it has been so sweet.
I finally cast on a Hansel hap (half version) with a shawl kit I purchased from Ginny over a year ago. I’ve been sort of saving the yarn and also trying to work through projects I needed to finish first. Now is the time to knit it! I am enjoying the yarn so very much already, rambouillet is one of my very favorite fibers to work with. It is so bouncy and soft! I am following another knitter’s notes for making the shawl a bit bigger and I’ve calculated and I should have *just* enough yarn to do so, but it will be cutting it really close.
Oh friends, these simple joys (knitting, reading) seem so small and insignificant in the face of so much pain, suffering, uncertainty, and need in the world at large and in our own homes today. Yet I hold firmly to the reality that the places where we can find and make beauty are places where light breaks in the dark, where we remember that all is well, all shall be well. We create in the image of our Creator God who also loves to make, who continues to make all things new. We read good stories and the ultimate Story to find our place in the world, to remember both our humanity and the fact that Jesus Christ came in human form, and continues to choose to work in cooperation with and through human kind. These simple good things can ground us, inspire us, encourage us, and bring a little joy along the way. I hope you make time for some creativity and for reading good, nourishing books. Share with me what you’re up to, if you want!
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.
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.
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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