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Since last week, I have finally cast on Wren’s birthday bunny sweater.  The yoke has a sweet bunny motif and I think she will love it.  Now any time she sees me knitting on something she asks if it’s for her.  She was thrilled when she heard this project finally was for her (though she hasn’t quite figured out the design on it yet and I do hope to keep it a surprise).  I have about a week to finish it and hope I can make it.  The yoke is knitting slowly because it’s fingering weight yarn, and the pattern isn’t intuitive for me and needs constant checking.  Once I’m past the yoke I hope it flies and I’m able to finish it in time.  It is really nice to work on though, giving me lots of spring feels.  All other projects are on hold until this one is done.

I’m nearly done with Lila and am reading it in the evenings.  In my morning reading time I’ve been reading Delighting in the Law of the Lord, which has been so very rich and good thus far.  I bought it a few years ago and never have gotten around to reading it, and now the time is right. I appreciate Barrs as an author and it has been good to read something theological again.  Though I’m coming to this book with my own personal wrestlings, it is remarkable how much it is speaking to our times and the philosophy/worldview of our age and is bringing clarity for me on a lot of what is going on in the world and culture around us.  I highly recommend it!  It is theological without being heady, and is engaging and readable.

What might you be reading and making this week?

xo

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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.

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I have a couple gift items on my needles so my Morchella cardigan has been on hold for a little bit, though I have finished knitting/shaping the two fronts and am now knitting the back panel. The combo of the rustic feel of the yarn, it’s deep rusty red color, and the mindlessness of the knit make it such a satisfying knit to work on when I need something easy and soothing. Knitting is truly such a gift, such a comfort to me in the quiet pockets of my day and I’m very grateful for it. I guess at this rate I will finish this cardigan on the cusp of spring when I no longer have need of it, but as usual, I seem to do a lot of my winter knitting during the spring and summer months when I’m not busy with birthday and Christmas knitting. Speaking of, Wren’s birthday is coming up fast and I need to get started on her birthday sweater stat! I’m planning a sweater with a color work yoke that has a bunny motif. I think she will love it!

The kids and I have been reading The Bronze Bow as our evening read aloud. During morning reading time we’ve been reading Hattie Big Sky, and recently finished Calico Captive, so it was time for something geared a little more toward our male audience. Phoebe was complaining about starting The Bronze Bow and said she didn’t think it would be of any interest, but after the first chapter everyone was hooked. Most evenings after dinner and baths are done, I (or sometimes Brandon) read aloud while they color or do something quiet with their hands (play cars, knit, etc.). Even though by that point of the day I am beyond weary of using my voice, it is worthwhile because it is such a sweet time that I think we all look forward.

I picked up My Connemara to read since we often visit the Carl Sandburg home near where we live for hiking the trails or visiting with the goats in the warmer months. It has been a charming and quick read, written by his granddaughter sharing about what it was like growing up on the farm. I’ve really enjoyed it for my own quiet reading escape before bed. I had to return The Song of the Lark to the library and was very nearly done with it, I may need to recheck it out to finish. I wasn’t terribly enjoying it but I think I need to know how it ends. Have any of you read it? Thoughts?

What are you reading or making lately? I love to hear from you guys, feel free to share if you want!

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December is upon us, hard as it is to believe. I’ve still got two birthday sweaters to finish this month so I’m trying to devote all of my knitting time to those projects. I finished the body of Phoebe’s leksak tunic and have started on the sleeve. I plan to modify the sleeves a little and add in decreases for a slimmer fit. The yarn for Noah’s sweater hasn’t arrived yet but I hope to get it on the needles soon! I have other little small items I wanted to knit the children before Christmas but I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew.

Still reading Cry of the Soul and very helped by it so far. I definitely recommend.

Wishing you a happy start to your December and Advent season!

xo
Martha

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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!

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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 Calico Captive, though we’ve been so busy lately we haven’t made much progress.

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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.

Linking up with Ginny’s Yarn Along and Nicole’s weekly Crafting On
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I took a wee break from knitting on my koivua (so close to finishing! wahh!) when I realized I needed to get on knitting a birthday sweater for Wren pronto. I thought I’d be able to whip out a sweater for a 2 year-old in no time, but it’s taking longer than expected.  I decided to knit her another camilla babe sweater.  I knit this sweater for Wren when she was a newborn and loved it so much on her, found it to be a very wearable knit.  However, I forgot how much purling is involved in this sweater which just makes it go a little slower for me.  Then I realized I didn’t have the proper size DPNs and needed to purchase them so I could work on the sleeves.  Also, I’ve just not had a lot of knitting time lately, but I do think I’ll be able to have this done in time.  I really, really love this very squishy worsted weight wool that I dyed myself last year with marigolds from our garden.  I’ve been hoarding it, planning to make a pair of overalls for wren but felt it would make such a cheery birthday sweater for a March girl.  Also I’m happy to report that Phoebe and Philippa’s sweaters knit with my hand-dyed yarn have held up so beautifully and not faded at all.

Am I really reading another book?  Well, sort of.  This is what happens when I put multiple books on hold at the library and suddenly they all come in at once.  Gilead came in, so I started in on it.  I’ve heard so many recommendations for this series by Marilynne Robinson, but I do have a few other books on the go so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get through this one before I have to return it.  We shall see!  Can you believe we are in the last few days of February and with next month comes spring?  I cannot!  This winter felt so short, probably because of all the mild weather.  Or the fact that my head is always spinning juggling all that is on my plate.

Sending love and sunny weather wishes to you all!

Joining with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On, where we link up to share what we are making and reading.
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After finishing Brandon’s birthday sweater this week (yes, I made it in time!!) I picked back up my Koivua.  I so enjoy knitting for others, but I do ache to get a few projects done for myself that I actually need in my wardrobe! 🙂  It’s early February but it feels like people are rushing into spring already.  I don’t feel like we’ve had a proper winter yet.  So I’m hoping I can finish this sweater soon and have opportunity to wear it before spring! 🙂  At the same time, I’m trying to knit mindfully and make it last because it is lovely to work on.  The yarn is so squishy.  I think rambouillet is one of my favorite fibers to work with!

Also, I’m still reading Fierce Convictions, a biography on the life of Hannah More who was a poet, reformer and abolitionist.  I am quite captivated thus far by this extraordinary woman and just getting into the part of the book where she makes acquaintance with John Newton and begins to become more aware of the atrocities of the slave trade.

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I’m chuckling at my last post title because for the last few days after writing it, the weather has been gloriously wintry and bitter cold!  We even saw our first snow flurries of the season, though they only lasted a few minutes and were so tiny.  It looked like glitter in sun.

I have been knitting away on Brandon’s birthday sweater and am relieved to have both sleeves done.  It feels good to just have the body left, and since it is bottom up, the anticipation of the funnest part (the color work yoke) will be what fuels me to the end.  Can’t wait.  I cast on for the body this morning.  So far, I am really enjoying this project and definitely think I will knit it again.  There’s just something I love about working with lopi.

This week I also finished up a couple of socks and need to knit their match. I’m knitting these for Brandon and these for another loved one.  I did cast on these for myself on Christmas day but I think I’m going to use a different pattern.  This one is very “hole-y” and I want something a bit warmer I think.  I’m thinking the fir socks by Melody Hoffman.  I don’t know what it is but I just love sock knitting so much lately.  I always have a couple of pairs on the go for when I’m out and about.

As for reading, I’m still plugging away on Little Women (I feel terribly slow) and I’m enjoying it.  I feel that you would be bored seeing it’s cover once again 🙂 so I’m sharing a book the children and I are reading, The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine.

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