Just slipping in here today for a quick yarn along post. I keep trying to find time to post about other life happenings but it just hasn’t happened! So here I am to wave hello. Knitting and reading are still happening in the cracks and crevices of the day, in the quiet moments before bed or upon waking. I finished reading Still Life and really enjoyed it. It was a very sweet novel. I am just beginning The Cry of the Soul and just a few pages in, but already gripped. I think it will be a slow read requiring a lot of chewing on the truths expounded therein.
I am deep in the flurry of birthday-sweater-knitting. I’m still trying to figure out what exactly Noah wants for his sweater, but as soon as I finished Philippa’s, I cast Phoebe’s on. My “trick” to make three kid’s sweaters before Christmas is to pick simple sweaters knit with a worsted-weight yarn if possible. Phoebe’s favorite knitted item was the Leksak tunic I knit for her a few years ago and she had hard time letting it go when she outgrew it and had to pass it down to Philippa. She requested another one this year in a “burgundy color with flecks.” I think this yarn from Beaverslide Dry Goods in the chokecherry color way is just perfect for what she was imagining. I don’t love all of the purling involved in this sweater which makes it knit up a bit slower, but it will hopefully be just what she’s wanting, and that’s good enough for me. Noah is easy to knit for and he loves anything I make unless it’s too scratchy. I need to get cracking on his sweater soon.
Of course, I’m still knitting on my Sweater Hug with a goal to finish that before the end of the year. I finished the first Hyak sock which I shared last week (they knit up so quickly!) but I have borrowed the needles from them to work on another project. I like having a few projects on the go to bounce between depending on my mood.
I hope you are well as we ease from fall into winter. Most of the leaves are gone, the temps here are swinging from freezing at night to warm and sunny during the day. Still so pleasant for November. Philippa’s birthday is this weekend, then we will be into holiday season. Stay well, friends and loved ones.
After finishing up Philippa’s birthday sweater (apart from blocking and weaving in ends), I’m back to knitting on my sweater hug. I also cast on a new pair of cozy worsted weight socks called the Hyak socks. I have had the yarn for these socks and plans to knit them for maybe two or three years now and I am happy to finally be making them! The yarn is very special, purchased from a local sheep farm to me, very woolly, warm, and filling my hands with lanolin as I knit with it. I’m eager to have these cozy socks on my feet!
I’m still reading Boundaries (highly recommend) and Still Life (also highly recommend), but pictured above is one of my favorite books that we’ve purchased for the children. Literally it often brings tears to my eyes as I read it, and not because it’s a particularly touching story, but because it depicts a life I love and long for. Its called Sleep Tight Farm, and I love it because the illustrations are beautiful, depicting the shift of seasons, my favorite time of year, the shift from hot, muggy, buzzing and busy summer into fall and winter, specifically with tucking in a farm for the winter. So many beautiful woolens included in the illustrations too. I just want to step inside and live in the book, ya know?
Do you find yourself craving to make more with your hands lately? That desire seems to ramp up even more so for me in the fall and winter months. What have you been making and what books have been enriching your life lately? I pray you are well today, friends.
These busy days of motherhood have long seemed to change the way time feels for me now, always racing by. But time this year has felt especially strange. We have all jointly carried the burden and toll of the pandemic, and yet many of us have also carried other heavy burdens and losses. How can it already be November? In some ways I still feel like life paused back in March and all these many months have been surreal. Yet time marches on. Yes, the election weighs heavy on all of our hearts, but there is more to November than this. Welcome, November.
Welcome, November, welcome gentle friend, with your rust + ochre crisp leaves nearly all off the trees, with your frosty mornings and warm afternoons, your candlelight, your days marked by gratitude as we move toward Thanksgiving. Welcome, with your slower gait and deeper breaths after the hustle of October. Welcome.
I’m making progress on this extremely simple and soothing sweater, the Gotland in my hands feeling warm and sheepy, the stockinette easy to pick up when my hands need something to keep busy. Why is stockinette so calming and helpful when the heart and mind are overwhelmed? I’m grateful for it. I went ahead and knit the collar on the sweater instead of saving it for last because it was the element that drew me to this design, and also because I wanted to make sure the yarn wasn’t too scratchy right up against my neck. I love it!
I’m still reading Boundaries, but for some easier fiction reading I started Still Life. It is enjoyable and intriguing so far!
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!
Last week we went away to a lake house for a few days and it was so restful and nice. I cast on a dogstar sweater for Philippa while there, since her birthday is about a month away and I like to get a head start on birthday sweaters. I knitted both sleeves while there and got started on the body. It’s a bottom-up sweater, which isn’t my favorite construction, but it is nice to know the sleeves are done already. The yarn is a merino cashmere blend, very soft for my prickle-sensitive girl, and it has been quite nice to have in hand. Knitting the body is just mindless and easy, very soothing. I made simple modifications to the sweater, adding part of the colorwork motif to the bottom of both sleeves and also the bottom of the body, as Philippa requested. I hope she loves it, she is notoriously disdainful of the sweaters I knit for her, but also always requests one. 🙂 Handknit socks, however, are definitely her jam.
I planned to do a lot of reading during our time away but vacations with small children are never quite as restful as one imagines. 🙂 I have been reading Boundaries, and while it’s not really super “fun” reading, it has been interesting and helpful. It has sparked a lot of good conversation between Brandon and I. Be that as it may, I’m needing some kind of fiction read on the go soon.
I’d love to hear what you are making or reading lately, if you care to share!
After finishing up my fleuriste cardigan this week (I still need to seam it together and sew on buttons), I cast on a stoker shawl with some simple woolly brown wool. It is going to be such a warm and basic wardrobe staple and I already can’t wait to wear it. I’m also working on the body of my pink velvet sweater and hope to have that one done soon. Warm weather doesn’t deter me from knitting, but the onset of chilly fall weather sure does make me want to cast on all the things! I have several projects that I’m itching to start and probably will cast on soon. A birthday sweater for Philippa needs to get started soon, and also I want to cast another sweater on for myself. However I am also wanting to clear my needles of projects that have been ongoing for some time (mainly these socks and these which are both so close to finishing).
I finished reading Giver of the Stars and really enjoyed it, now I’m figuring out what to pick up next. I’m reading Boundaries right now, which I began a long time ago and put down part way through. It’s helping me work through some things, but I already miss having a novel on the go. The children and I are still reading through CalicoCaptive, though we’ve been so busy lately we haven’t made much progress.
Today is the first day of fall and it truly feels like it. The days grow darker sooner, the humidity has let up and the days are hemmed in with a chill. Soon birthday knitting for the children will be upon me, and I’m already starting to think about and plan their sweaters. I love knitting for them but I have a few sweaters for myself that I am planning to make and hoping to be able to wear and enjoy this season, so I’m knitting away furiously.
My fleuriste cardigan is nearly done. I finished the body of the sweater a little while ago and have been working on the first sleeve. It’s slower going because the lace panel trails up the sleeve, but I have so enjoyed working with this yarn and don’t terribly mind. I believe it’s my first time working with shetland wool but definitely not my last. I have a sweater’s quantity of this same yarn brand but in a deep green for a cabled sweater for myself (one of the aforementioned sweaters that I’m hoping to knit this winter season.) I am eager to finish up this sweater though and hoping the second sleeve goes a lot faster. Maybe it’s just boring gray to others but I love gray and I think this sweater will be a wardrobe staple.
When I need just plain stockinette knitting and don’t have the mental capacity for lace, I’ve been knitting on my pink velvet sweater. Having just separated for sleeves, it’s now plain stockinette for awhile which is so nice to have when I just need my hands to be busy and mind quiet.
I finished reading Home and did enjoy it, though there were some parts that seemed rather slow. It wasn’t a “I can’t put it down” kind of book, but a gentle read before bed that kept my interest. I will read Lila soon. Have you read it before? Is it better than Home or Gilead? (In linking the books on amazon, I saw that she’s publishing a fourth novel in the series titled Jack in just a week or so!) In the meantime, my sister-in-law recommended The Giver of Stars and it came in at the library after I put it on hold ages ago. It’s much more of the “can’t put it down” genre, I remember reading Me Before You a few years ago by the same author and it being a quick read. I’m starting to enjoy it I think, but I’ll keep you posted. 🙂 The children and I just finished A Lion to Guard Us and are still part way throughCalico Captive, both very good!
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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