Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Mi Avril- and more

Dreamy, soft.  Weightless.  Fragile, airborne.

Pink pullover is done except the finishing work.  It is delicate and cozy.  I can't wait to see how the lace pattern smooths out after blocking. 

I dove immediately into Mi Avril in smoky lilac, hoping to finish in time for an April birthday.  This is a long shot, but if it is at least recognizable as a cardigan and close to completion, I will be happy.  

I must admit that I wrestled with this pattern for the first few days after casting on.  I almost quit and picked a different pattern but I have drooled over this pattern for a couple years now so I was loathe to throw in the towel after just five rows. The gathered portion in the back!  The subtle seed stitch on the bodice!  The construction of the shoulders!  The open front!  In a word:  sweet.   I think of Sara Crewe from The Little Princess;  feminine, darling, imaginative.  In a merino/bamboo blend it seems ideal for cool summer evenings and will continue getting wear in the fall.   The pattern was written in French and translated to English and there are places that are unclear in the pattern.  I messaged a dear lady on Ravelry who had recently posted her completed sweater and her advice was to not be overly picky.  Taking her advice, I decided to forge ahead and so far, I am making good progress and there are no glaring problems yet at this point.  Oh that it will stay that way!  

I am still reading The Magicians by Lev Grossman and The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall and enjoying both in the small amounts of time I can grab.  We are getting away to a cabin with no internet and hopefully(!) no cell phone service - and this is sounding heavenly to me.  I am hoping for lots of reading and knitting time with children playing paper dolls and color books nearby- when we're not hiking that is.  Although it will more likely be children running amok and fussing for food and crying because it's raining and we're stuck in our little cabin and me running around trying to keep Rosie from removing all the games from the shelf.  But we'll see.  The end hasn't been written yet but I'm just trying to keep it real here, folks. 

Joining with Ginny for Yarn Along as always!  Can't wait to see what others are reading and knitting this week too!

Saturday, March 28, 2015


(This picture is not related to the others, but I keep feeling so struck by how much Lyddie looks like me as a child in this particular photograph that I really wanted to include it.  I think it's her eyes and her forehead, maybe, but whatever it is, I love this photo of her. return to our regularly scheduled program)

I really love this time of year when beautiful greens things are shooting up out of the ground left and right, and yet the weeds have not completely surpassed my ability to manage them.  We have two asparagus plants that grow close together in our yard.  They are a mystery and I have no idea about their origin.  Did the previous owners decide to have a small asparagus patch at one time, the only edible plant they would have put in?  Was our property once a field in which asparagus grew?  Did an asparagus root somehow drift from a field at one time into the middle of our property and take root - twice?  

I have no answers.  But I do have delight every year when the spears press through the soil and reach for the sunshine.  It seems to happen overnight.  This year, the first spear I noticed was already a foot long, so we cut it yesterday and examined it.  We have discovered, as you may already know, that raw asparagus has very little scent.  There are two or three new shoots poking up and as one of our garden books showed in a line drawing, there are probably several other shoots underground making their way upward at the same time - a thought which thrilled Lyddie. 

Maybe we should stick a few more asparagus plants in the ground to make a patch large enough that we actually get asparagus enough to eat.  I guess the soil and water and sunshine must be just right, since these healthy asparagus have managed themselves for several years on their own.  I know very little about growing asparagus except that they take several years to be established, like rhubarb, and that they are green because of clorophyll and you can grow white asparagus by depriving it of sunlight, I suppose. Maybe I should study up a little more before making any hasty plans.  

Friday, March 27, 2015

Each Moment

Moments of peace found, as mothering is done mostly alone this week.   

When he works 12, 14 hours a day some weeks in these busy seasons, I dig my feet into the trenches.

I am tempted toward exhaustion and irritation and complaining.  I am tempted to become momzilla.  I am tempted to downplay the level of work I am doing.  You know, I also work double time these weeks, maybe not in terms of hours (because every mom works from sunup to sundown whether her husband is home or not, right?) but in terms of workload shouldered, and it's messy.  I seek to eliminate unnecessary work from my load but that means clutter builds up, laundry mountains up, toys pile up and make us all a little crazy.  I find I must be firm about a routine of the day when possible; it is more necessary to enforce morning quiet times to give us all a break from each other and a break from bickering and change of pace, so that we reunite with joy and gladness after an hour apart and can make it through to lunch and then again to afternoon rest time before the long stretch before bedtime.   

I pull out my knitting more during the day, knitting a half a row here and there, it feels like luxury, and also helps me tune out the whining toddler for a few minutes.  She misses Daddy, I can tell, since the fussing always amps up on weeks when we have teams here. We all miss Daddy; what a blessing to have such a wonderful Daddy to miss!  

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


What, you don't put on your princess dress and fairy wings before you settled into the couch and knit?  I love watching Lyddie knit her little bean bag.  She is at the point where she only needs some verbal guidance to start up her stitches, now having more confidence in her knowledge of the pattern and the rhyme:  "In through the front door, run around the back, peeking in the window, and off comes Jack!"  I can still hear her murmuring it to herself sometimes, but more often it's - "Mommy, did I take Jack off yet?" or "Mom!  Did I go in through the front door already?"  It sounds like a secret code.  I can knit beside her but only I'm knitting something simple because I am interrupted too often to be in the middle of a lace pattern or decrease row.  I think Millie will get her turn to learn in the next couple weeks, since she is dying for a turn.

I am nearing the finish line with the little Sibella Babe and will definitely have it done by the end of March which has been my goal all along.  I am working up the lacy yoke and love seeing the pattern emerge under my fingers. 

I got a visit to my local-est yarn shop (45 minutes away) and was excited to find that she still carried Frog Tree Pediboo  and bought a couple skeins to make Millie a little Mi Avril, so that's up next. I have used this yarn before on Rosie's  Rio dress that she still wears (now as a top) and that has held up so beautifully through  many handwashes.  It still shines and the drape is really perfect. I am hoping to start the cardi soon but will finish Rosie's gift first. 

This week I am mainly reading The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall, the third installment of the Penderwicks, and such a sweet, gentle story about children I now love. A quiet read for a busy week.  

What are you reading or working on this week? I'll be linking up with Ginny for Yarn Along as I love to do every Wednesday!

(Oh and isn't that paper doll precious?  My grandmother sent us a stack of paperdoll pages torn from her Mary Englebreit magazines and I am slowly making my way through cutting them out.  Each one is beautiful and oh the eyes that lit up at this treasure trove - mine included!)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Other Selves


He, who has children
Has other selves;
Tiny fragile selves
Built of his bones,
His flesh,
His pride,
His dreams; 
Linking him to the beginnings;
Fettering him to the silence
Beyond the end. 
             --Ethel  Romig Fuller

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Yarn Along

I am making steady progress on my little Sibella Babe and do think I'll have it done by the end of March, which is my goal.  I am about to the point where I will join the sleeves to the body. Nothing much more to discuss about knitting this week!

I am feeling a little scattered in my reading right now so I just picked one book from the pile that was handy for the photo.  I am reading Charlotte Mason's Home Education, and grabbed the pictured nature notebook guide from the shelf to peruse since I am hoping to make sketching nature a habit both for me and for my girls even if I have very little natural talent for it. I feel it will develop observation skills for myself that I don't currently have when it comes to noticing my surroundings. 

Arriving from the library this week was the second of the Magicians trilogy, The Magician Kingand I jumped right into that, setting aside The Monster in the Hollows for the time being.  Lyddie and I are reading Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace for the second time.  Oh I love Betsy and Tacy. 

Happily joining with Ginny for Yarn Along again this week!  Can't wait to see what you all are working on!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Beautiful Things

All this pain
I wonder if I'll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You  make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You  make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new

One of my favorite songs by Gungor