yarn along

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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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yarn along

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When the yarn arrived for my tegna sweater I couldn’t help casting on as soon as possible.  I labored a bit over sizing because this top is supposed to be oversized and boxy, and I really want it to fit just as the designer models it.  I did a swatch but didn’t want to take the time to block it, so I’m hoping that mine turns out as I want it to!  I’d like to have this top to wear this fall, possibly to the big fiber festival that happens in our area the last weekend of October, so other projects are being neglected a bit as I work on this. Also, I am loving ever single second working on it.  My first time with mohair, it is lovely!

I’m still reading the last couple of books I’ve shared over the last few weeks but also picked (affiliate link) The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook up from the library.  I feel like I’m falling more deeply into this craft and loving it so, and am fascinated by understanding different fibers and how they behave.  It has been fun to peruse this book and it’s one I would like to eventually add to our library.

What are you reading and making lately?
Joining with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.

yarn along

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I finished up the bonnet I was knitting last week but haven’t had time to block it or snap photos.  I cast on a Sunday Sweater for Wren for the fall.  It’s a bit early, I know, but I think it’ll be nice to have some things ready for the cooler weather in advance, especially since so many knitting requests come in during the fall/winter.  Not to mention all the winter birthdays we have plus Christmas.  The pattern is very clear and well-written and I’m loving it so far.  I’m knitting for the first time with the Lykke needles Brandon bought me for Mother’s Day and really enjoying them, although I feel like wooden needles pair so well with rustic yarns.  Also, the yarn is dying my needles blue which I’m hoping will come off?  If not, it’s not a big deal.  I love blue. 🙂

I’m still working through Wearing God (affiliate link) by Lauren Winner.  I feel like I get so little reading done lately.  So many things I want to read, so little time!  I think I may need to make mandatory reading hour for everyone in the house, myself included, so that I don’t feel guilty sitting down to read for a bit.  It’s hard to read in our bed at night like I normally do.  With Wren in our room I feel like turning on the light wakes her.  Anyway, I hope you make a little time this week for creative and life-giving things for yourself!

Linking up with Nicole of Frontier Dreams and Ginny of Small Things today. 

yarn along

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My timber cardigan is currently blocking and I truly can’t wait for it to be dry and wearable (even though we are officially out of our cold weather months).  Since finishing it I have been working steadily on my pure shawl, hoping to finish it soon also.  It is now so bunched up on the needles I have no idea how large it is getting, since I added repeats to each section to make it a cozier bigger shawl.  It’ll be fun to bind off and let it spread its wings!  Hoping I didn’t go too crazy and end up making it into a blanket.  It’s a very simple, intuitive mindless knit which is wonderful at the end of these busy days when my brain feels fried.

I’m still reading Love in a Time of Homeschooling, and Phoebe and I are reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which I don’t believe I have ever read.  I wasn’t a huge fan of the movie growing up, but Phoebe was doing some copy work from the book in her writing curriculum and she was enchanted with the story so we’ll read it together.

Joining up with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.  
Amazon links are affiliate links.

yarn along

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My husband and I were away this past weekend on a small trip to a cabin nearby to celebrate our anniversary (I hope to share more about it in a post later this week).  I took along a few projects, but worked only on my timber cardigan.  Sadly, I really didn’t knit as much as I planned to, with a baby in arms often and just spending time talking with Brandon and resting, too.  I did basically knit one sleeve of the cardigan and hope to finish the second one up this week maybe.  Then it’s just knitting the pockets and it’s done!  I know its nearly summer and we have already had a good bit of hot, humid days.  We often go up on the blue ridge parkway in the warmer months for hikes and picnics and usually its a lot chillier up there, so I plan to wear it as soon as I need a warm layer!  It fits a little snug considering I began it before I was pregnant and so it will fit better after I get back to my normal size, but it still fits.  I put my arm in the finished sleeve last night and it’s the first time I’ve been wrapped up in Brooklyn Tweed yarn.  I’m sold for life.  It is so incredibly cozy.  How can it be so rustic and so comfortable at the same time?  I love it.

I’ve been reading Love in a Time of Homeschooling by Laura Brodie (affiliate link) and enjoying it so far.  Her writing style is engaging, and after hitting some real walls with Phoebe in school this year I feel like I need some helps and was drawn to this book being its about a mother and daughter relationship.  Being that God has seen fit to entrust me with three girls, I find I’m drawn often to things about the mother/daughter relationship, really hoping to do this well and feeling often like I’m not.  Goodness, parenting is hard.  Homeschooling is hard!  Thank goodness for knitting and the bright spot it is–a productive distraction.  Here’s a better picture of the cardigan so far.

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Linking up with Nicole of Frontier Dreams.  

yarn along

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My pure shawl has been growing steadily as I knit it in between a couple of smaller projects.  It has been lovely to work with alpaca for the first time (this yarn, O-Wool local, is 50% wool 50% alpaca) although is it possible for alpaca to hurt your hands?  I feel like my right wrist and elbow have been bothering me lately while I’m knitting (minor tendonitis maybe?) which could be due to holding a baby often with that arm while going about my regular duties through the day.  I’m not sure, but either way knitting on the shawl is a treat.  It’s a gift for someone that the Lord put on my heart and I can’t wait to finish it and send it off.  I’m making it larger than the pattern calls for so that it’ll be a  really warm and cozy wrap, and I sort of wish I could keep it for myself, which is usually a sign of a good gift.

I’m still reading When Comes the Spring (affiliate link) and I have been dabbling in a few other books, but mainly reading this one while nursing the baby.  I’m close to finishing it and will probably slowly work my way through the series as I read other books as well.  It’s interesting and relaxing, and the northern territories is a nice place to retreat to at the end of the day when I’m needing something simple, happy and easy.

Linking up with Ginny of Small Things.  

 

books, yarn, and babies

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Lots of reading, snuggling, dandelion picking, school, imaginative play, and yarn taking up most of our days lately.  Nursing + rock-a-bye babying too.  Quiet days at home mostly, without any sort of hustle out of the house.  Driving each other up the walls sometimes because of all that proximity, finding each other to be our best friends the rest of the time.  With the weather warming up, we are finding ourselves outside more of the day, making garden plans, smelling the earthy scent of soil and honeysuckle on the breeze.  Spring is a shoulder season, a tug-of-war between winter and summer, and lately we see both winter days and summer days, and we don’t mind either one bit.

My mind feels all over the place, too–feeling behind on garden plans and preparations while trying to stay focused on finishing our school year well.  As I’m coming out of the initial recovery period after having Wren (she’s 6 weeks old tomorrow!) I feel my strength and energy returning, and we’ve been out almost daily for walks and fresh air.  I find myself reminded to keep my camera in hand, snapping pictures of our ordinary moments.  I find myself remembering and reorienting to who I am and what I love.  Sometimes I feel like I should rename this blog “books, yarn, and babies,” because it seems I have little head space for much else.  I promise more “soul” content will come soon, at least I believe it will.  But even as I say that, I hear the dichotomy.  I’m learning to remember that, as Gerald Manley Hopkins said,

“Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.”
(As Kingfishers Catch Fire)
He shines in all that’s fair.  I find Him in the simple beauty of my current work, which is laboring over these children and this home, aiming to see Kingdom come, here and now, even if I lose sight of the connection sometimes.

I started this baby blanket for Wren at the end of January, and it feels just right for spring with all the lace and dusty pink.  I gave it a bath last night and blocked it and can’t wait for it to dry so I can snuggle her in it!  I used Quince + Co Osprey yarn which is incredibly squishy, springy, warm and soft.  With it being finished, I’m eager to begin a new project. Finishing things breathes fresh air into me, feels like a clean slate.

I hope wherever you are, you are finding bits and pieces of new life, freshness, spring, and the hope it seems to bring.