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Blue crescents, creamy roses, swallows and amazons.

Has it really only been two weeks since I last wrote?  It feels much longer.  The whole world has changed since then.  My whole world has changed since then.  It’s difficult not to wonder if things will ever feel “normal” again.  It has been a tumultuous time for us all, that is for certain, and at times like this, maybe we question if there is any value in the smallest of things like yarn, knitting, books, flowers, blogging.  Maybe now more than ever it is important that we still make art, read good books, find beauty in the harsh landscape, tell stories.  These are among the things that remind us that we are human.  These are among the things that have helped me keep calm and feel normal from day to day.

A dear friend asked me to knit a shawl for her, and she chose this beautiful teal colored yarn for an Ara Shawl.  It is going to be beautiful.  I’m grateful for a simple and meditative pattern to work on.

Also, I’m reading Swallows and Amazons aloud to the kids in the evenings.  Only a couple of chapters in but we are already hooked.  We’ve neglected our family read-aloud time for a little bit and it feels good and important that we read good stories to our children in these days.

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yarn along

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I finished my koivua sweater a few days ago and it truly turned out JUST how I hoped.  How often does that happen?  Especially when you don’t carefully gauge swatch (guilty!).  I love it so much and we even had snow flurries the day that I finished it so I got to wear it in the chilly weather and enjoy it’s warmth.  I’ll try to take some photos of it soon.

I have so many projects that I can’t wait to cast on, but I’ve been forcing myself to go back and work on some languishing projects.  I am nearly done with the second sleeve on my featherweight cardigan.  The yarn is just so lovely to work with, and I adore the color.  After the sleeve, I just have to knit the collar and it will be done.  It’s so close to finishing, really.  In fact most of my other works-in-progress are close to finishing, so I’m hoping to clear at least a few of them off the decks before casting on something else.  I have two commissioned projects for a dear friend — a top and a shawl — both larger projects knit in fingering weight yarn, so before I start those I just feel the need to clear some head space.

I’m still reading Gilead, and I’m enjoying it but also not sure entirely that I love it.  I’m about half way through — does it get better, those of you who have read it before?

I hope you’ve been enjoying these early March days, staying healthy, and finding some time for making + reading.

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Our Bradford Pear tree is blossoming, bright chartreuse spots are appearing in the Forsythia against the neighbors old green shed.  It must be March, and spring is on the horizon.  I’m working on the last bit of color work at the end of both sleeves on my koivua.  I will finally have this sweater done when all the cold weather is behind us, won’t I?  Oh well, that’s how things go.

Still reading Gilead, though I haven’t made much progress.  Busy days.  What are you making or reading?

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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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yarn along

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I am nearly done with the first sleeve on my koivua sweater and decided to put it on hold and go ahead and start the second sleeve so that I can try to manage the changing colors on the spincycle yarn to sort of match the first sleeve.  Meanwhile I realized yesterday that Wren’s birthday is in two weeks and I need to get her birthday sweater started!

I became a bit fascinated with the story behind barn quilts last spring when my husband and I were away celebrating our anniversary.  For a few years now we’ve gone to a little cabin in the mountains a couple of hours away and I took notice of all the beautiful old barns in that area.  I couldn’t help noticing the sweet barn quilts on almost all of them and have been wanting to read about it ever since.  I found this book at the library, Following the Barn Quilt Trail, the story of a woman and her husband following the trail of the barn quilts from state to state and sharing the history and stories behind them.  I just began it but I think it will be a good and relaxing read!

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Also, here are some photos I took of barn quilts last spring when I began to notice them in my area.

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It’s a chilly grey February day here.  We just wrapped up our school morning and soon I’ll get lunch on the table.  I meant to get this post up yesterday, but lately my days are so full I always feel a bit behind on everything.  Not that it matters much at all to be a bit late posting here. 🙂  I wonder how you are and how your February is going wherever you might be in the world as you read this.  I’ve been knitting away on my projects when I find time, usually in the evenings when all the work is done for the day.  Last night I bound off the body of my koivua sweater and am reading to start working on the sleeves.  A few days ago I cast on a simple ribbed hat for myself with this beautiful yarn by Colleen of Little Lionhead Knits in a color way called The Great Smoky Mountains.  I thought it would be tedious to do this much ribbing (because I want a folded brim hat), and the fiddly beginnings were tedious but I am actually really enjoying working on it here and there when I need something totally mindless.  The color is hard to capture.

I’m still reading Fierce Convictions. 🙂

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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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