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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.

Joining with Nicole’s Crafting on and Ginny’s Yarn Along.
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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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Happy New Year, friends.  I hope the first week of January has been gentle and kind to you.  It has been for us, and I am grateful.  I’m still reflecting and processing in this month because honestly there isn’t much brain space for that in December anymore for me.  I’m grateful to ease back into ordinary time and the world feels a bit quieter.  Yet there is so much to think through, process, plan, and it all overwhelms a bit.

I’ve been so happy to knit away on whatever suits my mood at the moment.  I want to say gift knitting is done, but not totally.  I have yarn coming to knit a birthday sweater for Brandon.  I’ve never knit him a sweater because he’s always overheated and doesn’t really want many woolly items, but I really want to make him a sweater he can wear as a good warm layer at work since he works outside often in the winter months.

I’m not knitting a ton on my koviua because I’ve started a couple small items for Wren (both test knits, though one I am late on).  But when I can work on it, it is a true pleasure.  I am loving the way the yarn is working up, hoping it will fit well, too.

I’m still reading Little Women, and the children and I have been reading a couple poems daily from this collection, Winter Poems, and really enjoying it.  It has been so mild here and warm, which I can’t really complain about because it is so lovely.  But I really do want some winter days and some snow.  I miss living in the Rocky Mountains where snow was on the ground for months at a time.  Maybe reading a lot of wintery snowy-themed children’s books will help? 🙂  I find myself gathering armloads of them from the library when we go.

What are you knitting and reading lately?
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I split for sleeves on Phoebe’s birthday sweater last night (finally!) and I’m a little nervous that at this rate it’s probably unlikely I will finish this in time for her birthday later this month.  It’s just slow going, all-over color work with fingering weight yarn.  However, it will be so pretty in the end.  Can you see the horses on the yoke?  I’m hoping now that that part of the pattern is done, the body section will go a little faster (the chart is a bit simpler).

I grabbed Elli and the Harp Maker while at the library yesterday.  When we are there I rarely have time to look for books for myself but I saw this one as I was walking to the children’s section and it caught my eye.  I started it last night, and realized it’s been a long time since I’ve ready some fiction.  It was so nice to fall into a story.  I don’t know much about it and not sure if I will love it, but it was good light reading so far.  Do you have any fiction recommendations for me?  I’m in need of some, I realize.

Joining Nicole’s weekly Crafting On, and Ginny’s monthly Yarn Along.
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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.

Still reading On the Road with Saint Augustine.

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Apart from seaming the underarms and blocking, Philippa’s birthday sweater is done!  I need to cast on Phoebe’s this week, but I haven’t had the time to wind up yarn and swatch, so I’ve picked up my featherweight in the meantime.  Ever so grateful for a few mindless projects on the go that I can pick up as needed and add a row or two.  Somehow the body of my featherweight is already nearly done, I’m knitting the last few rows of ribbing on the hem.  Then onto sleeves.  I’m going to try knitting with small circumference circulars on the sleeves and see if it helps me avoid laddering.  I ordered 9-inch but now I’m wondering if I shouldn’t have tried 12-inch?  Any recommendations, knitters?

I’m still reading On the Road with Saint Augustine.  I can’t move too quickly through this one, lots to mull over and reflect on.  Although let’s be honest, I’m not reading much these days, only the last few minutes before sleep.

Joining with Ginny’s November Yarn Along, and Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.
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Today’s post probably looks just like last week’s (except for the leftover birthday jelly beans on the table), but I have made some progress.  I’m nearing the end of the garter triangle section of my cosmic remix shawl.  It has been so relaxing to knit on this project which has just been rows of garter thus far, and also with this yarn which is unbelievably soft.  I am close to beginning the lace border which I’m sure will be more involved and thus will go a bit slower.

I’m maybe about half way through Sylvia’s Farm (affiliate link) and just so enjoying the short farm stories and reflections as well as her writing style.

Joining with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On and Ginny’s 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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