yarn along

Christmas season came and went in such a hurry it seems. I still have photos to share about our holiday season, but am finding it hard to make time to get on here and do so. I received a sweater’s quantity of peace fleece DK in the color way “sheplova mushroom” to knit a morchella cardigan. I watched for it on Christmas day and cast on sometime around then. I want this cardigan in my wardrobe so badly, and thought it would be more of a product knit versus a process knit, anticipating it would knit slowly and be a bit tedious. However I have been so, so enjoying the process of knitting this sweater. I can’t quite explain it. It’s just the only thing I want to work on and there’s something deeply comforting in returning to it at the beginnings of endings of my days. It’s familiar, easy, and such a long bit of knitting, yet the excitement to have the finished piece moves me continually forward. These are strange times we find ourselves in, and I must say I have been battling a lot of discouragement. Life for me lately is pared back down to the basics and my words feel few and also terribly small and unimportant, especially in the wider world of the internet. Maybe it’s a bit of an existential crisis. From what I gather, I think many of us are struggling a bit right now. I am finding grounding in the scriptures, in quiet spaces, in observing nature around me and spending time in it, in my knitting, in the company of trusted friends and loved ones.

I’m slowly making my way through Willa Cather’s The Song of the Lark. I am mostly enjoying it, and am curious to see where the story goes, but I feel like I’m reading it very slowly. Have you read it? If so, what did you think? Some fiction has definitely been a welcome reprieve in the evening before bed.

How are you? Are you reading good books, making things with your hands?

Sending love to you today, friends, and trusting that the Light can overcome the darkness any one of us may be facing.

xo
Martha

yarn along

Both Phoebe’s and Noah’s birthday sweaters were miraculously finished in time, even with what has felt like very minimal knitting time. Noah loved his sweater which is always a joy! Phoebe’s sweater finished blocking yesterday and I wrapped it up last night for her birthday tomorrow. There’s always a great sense of relief when the gift knitting is done. I had hoped to have Phoebe’s socks and horse mittens done, as well as a hat for each of the kiddos for Christmas but none of that will be happening. I’ll continue to work on those projects and gift them as they’re finished. I did cast on one ribbed hat a few days ago for some easy mindless knitting. My plan is to knit a few of these 2×2 ribbed hats for our basket of hats and mittens by the door for anyone to grab because they all love wearing my ribbed hat so much.

Last night I picked my stoker shawl back up and it was nice to re-familiarize myself with it. These last days of the year always feel very overwhelming for me trying to get all the things done, birthdays planned and executed, etc. It was good to just have a project to pick up that was well under way and not to need the mental energy to cast on a new object.

I’m nearing the end of Cry of the Soul and this morning began reading Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortland. I listened to the free 14-day devotional from this book on Spotify and knew then that I needed to read the book in its entirety.

Thanks for reading along as I share my current makes + reads, and feel free to share with me what you are working on creating and reading.
xo

yarn along

A week into December and it still feels all a bit surreal. But we have decorated and we have spent time daily in Advent readings all the while with Christmas music playing, our rhythms and actions helping our minds and hearts catch up to the season we are in. We are enjoying our fifth? year of reading Unwrapping the Greatest Gift together, coloring the little accompanying free ornaments each evening and hanging them on our Jesse Tree. This is such a sweet tradition that the kids really love forward to, as we trace Jesus’ family line and marvel afresh at the story God has written. May He prepare our hearts for a fresh coming this Christmas season! I’ve added a few Christmas books to our collection, which I pack away with Christmas decorations and pull out only during the month of December. One of those books is Ollie’s Ski Trip and another which we are reading during our morning time is All Creation Waits. A favorite from among the ones we already own is Christmas Farm. I’m still reading Cry of the Soul slowly.

As for knitting, I’m nearing the last few inches of the second sleeve on my Sweater Hug. I’m still working on Phoebe’s sweater sleeves too. Sleeves, sleeves, sleeves. 🙂

May your Christmas + Advent season be merry and bright.

xo
Martha

Amazon links are affiliate links.

yarn along

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

Joining with Ginny’s monthly Yarn Along.
All Amazon links are affiliate links.

yarn along

Just slipping in here today for a quick yarn along post. I keep trying to find time to post about other life happenings but it just hasn’t happened! So here I am to wave hello. Knitting and reading are still happening in the cracks and crevices of the day, in the quiet moments before bed or upon waking. I finished reading Still Life and really enjoyed it. It was a very sweet novel. I am just beginning The Cry of the Soul and just a few pages in, but already gripped. I think it will be a slow read requiring a lot of chewing on the truths expounded therein.

I am deep in the flurry of birthday-sweater-knitting. I’m still trying to figure out what exactly Noah wants for his sweater, but as soon as I finished Philippa’s, I cast Phoebe’s on. My “trick” to make three kid’s sweaters before Christmas is to pick simple sweaters knit with a worsted-weight yarn if possible. Phoebe’s favorite knitted item was the Leksak tunic I knit for her a few years ago and she had hard time letting it go when she outgrew it and had to pass it down to Philippa. She requested another one this year in a “burgundy color with flecks.” I think this yarn from Beaverslide Dry Goods in the chokecherry color way is just perfect for what she was imagining. I don’t love all of the purling involved in this sweater which makes it knit up a bit slower, but it will hopefully be just what she’s wanting, and that’s good enough for me. Noah is easy to knit for and he loves anything I make unless it’s too scratchy. I need to get cracking on his sweater soon.

Of course, I’m still knitting on my Sweater Hug with a goal to finish that before the end of the year. I finished the first Hyak sock which I shared last week (they knit up so quickly!) but I have borrowed the needles from them to work on another project. I like having a few projects on the go to bounce between depending on my mood.

I hope you are well as we ease from fall into winter. Most of the leaves are gone, the temps here are swinging from freezing at night to warm and sunny during the day. Still so pleasant for November. Philippa’s birthday is this weekend, then we will be into holiday season. Stay well, friends and loved ones.

xo

yarn along

After finishing up Philippa’s birthday sweater (apart from blocking and weaving in ends), I’m back to knitting on my sweater hug. I also cast on a new pair of cozy worsted weight socks called the Hyak socks. I have had the yarn for these socks and plans to knit them for maybe two or three years now and I am happy to finally be making them! The yarn is very special, purchased from a local sheep farm to me, very woolly, warm, and filling my hands with lanolin as I knit with it. I’m eager to have these cozy socks on my feet!

I’m still reading Boundaries (highly recommend) and Still Life (also highly recommend), but pictured above is one of my favorite books that we’ve purchased for the children. Literally it often brings tears to my eyes as I read it, and not because it’s a particularly touching story, but because it depicts a life I love and long for. Its called Sleep Tight Farm, and I love it because the illustrations are beautiful, depicting the shift of seasons, my favorite time of year, the shift from hot, muggy, buzzing and busy summer into fall and winter, specifically with tucking in a farm for the winter. So many beautiful woolens included in the illustrations too. I just want to step inside and live in the book, ya know?

Do you find yourself craving to make more with your hands lately? That desire seems to ramp up even more so for me in the fall and winter months. What have you been making and what books have been enriching your life lately? I pray you are well today, friends.

xo

yarn along

These busy days of motherhood have long seemed to change the way time feels for me now, always racing by. But time this year has felt especially strange. We have all jointly carried the burden and toll of the pandemic, and yet many of us have also carried other heavy burdens and losses. How can it already be November? In some ways I still feel like life paused back in March and all these many months have been surreal. Yet time marches on. Yes, the election weighs heavy on all of our hearts, but there is more to November than this. Welcome, November.

Welcome, November, welcome gentle friend, with your rust + ochre crisp leaves nearly all off the trees, with your frosty mornings and warm afternoons, your candlelight, your days marked by gratitude as we move toward Thanksgiving. Welcome, with your slower gait and deeper breaths after the hustle of October. Welcome.

I’m making progress on this extremely simple and soothing sweater, the Gotland in my hands feeling warm and sheepy, the stockinette easy to pick up when my hands need something to keep busy. Why is stockinette so calming and helpful when the heart and mind are overwhelmed? I’m grateful for it. I went ahead and knit the collar on the sweater instead of saving it for last because it was the element that drew me to this design, and also because I wanted to make sure the yarn wasn’t too scratchy right up against my neck. I love it!

I’m still reading Boundaries, but for some easier fiction reading I started Still Life. It is enjoyable and intriguing so far!

Joining Ginny for her monthly Yarn Along.

yarn along

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!

yarn along

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!

yarn along

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.

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