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.
joining Nicole’s weekly Crafting On. Amazon links are affiliate links.
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.
I’m joining with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.
Amazon links are affiliate links.
I cast on this little Sunday Sweater for wren because her birthday sweater that I knitted for her in March was way too big and will need to be tucked away for another year. She has outgrown most of her other hand knit sweaters, and though we don’t have many chilly days ahead, I still wanted her to have an option for when we do. She loves when I make her anything because she happily tries it on anytime I ask her to and says “ooo, pwetty.” She loves dress up and clothes, which I’m grateful for because Phoebe did also, but then Philippa has really never been into anything too girly. I’ve missed having a dressing-up kind of little girl around. Anyway, it has been so nice to work with Wisconsin Woolen Spun and makes me want to work on a larger project with it.
The kids and I watched the documentary on Tasha Tudor last week (thank you Ginny for the recommendation!) and they were absolutely enamored and transfixed. Phoebe said that is exactly how she wants to live when she is grown up. Noah asked if he could send her a letter telling her that he loves her and her drawings are so good. This week Phoebe has read and re-read all of her chapter books and though I’ve had books on hold from the library, things are moving so slowly. So, I ordered a few new books to delight these little bored scallywags and I thought they’d love to have a couple more Tasha Tudor books. Pumpkin Moonshine I bought for Wren, and Around the Year I bought for Philippa. Wren sat down to read hers with me right away, she is becoming quite the book lover already. Philippa however declared that she didn’t like her book, in fact she “hates it” (though she hasn’t even cracked it open yet) and she wonders why didn’t I buy her something about dragons or a sticker book? 🙂 I love that she feels free to be honest and her “hate” for certain things is still cute at this point. I suspect she’s just a bit grumpy and will come around, but next time I’ll bear in mind her suggestions.
I finished Adorning the Dark last night and really enjoyed it. It was a bit of a lighter read than I expected, and focused more on songwriting than creative work in general, but I still recommend it and found it helpful and thought provoking. I am missing the library so much right now… any one else?! I’m not sure what I will read next.
Joining Nicole’s weekly Crafting On. Amazon links are affiliate links.
This week we are taking a (spring!) break from usual school work except for a few commitments (tutoring, homeschool co-op, etc via zoom). It is nice, but at the same time I feel like the week is flying by and it still feels quite busy and not terribly leisurely yet. Oh well. I’m trying to do one thing a day for the children that feels special. Yesterday it was painting. Today it was playing in the sprinkler. I hope to work on sorting children’s clothes, tidying the school room, planting the garden, and otherwise just taking a mental break.
I’m making some progress on this beautiful Ara shawl for my friend. I am so frustrated that I cannot capture the yarn color, it is more green teal than is shown above and it is simply stunning. Every time I see the yarn when I walk into the room it is like a little pop of joy. Maybe when it’s all done I’ll be able to get a more accurate picture of the color. You’ll just have to take my word for it, it’s beautiful. 🙂
Also, I have made it about half way through Adorning the Dark and can say I’m really enjoying it. It is encouraging me to think about writing again, which is a part of my heart that I’ve sort of closed up and put away somewhere. I don’t know if I want the book to encourage me in that way, I guess I was approaching it just from a creative work standpoint in general. Dreams are painful and hard to hold onto as you get older and face more and more disappointment, and also grow wiser and a better student of yourself. I don’t mean to sound negative about it because it is a sweet and beautiful book, only that it is stirring things in my soul that I didn’t anticipate and am not sure what to do with quite yet.
Linking up with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On. Amazon links are affiliate links.