Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Portland Sweater

Just doing a quick today because holiday hasn't allowed for any blog updates. Making: Portland sweater (pattern by Carrie Bostick Hoge) and reading a whole stack of books including: "For the Children's Sake," "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell," and "The Shepherd's Life." 
Happy August, my friends! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

camp knitting

I cast on the Portland Sweater by Carrie Bostick Hoge with my bright repurposed yarn on our way to the mountains to camp. The yoke kept me company through the afternoons by the riverside watching the girls splashing in the water. I really think sweaters are my favorite thing to knit so I get excited about seeing it unfold. I am using the beige color for the main body and the contrast color will be that bright pink. 

I finished Circus Mirandus by Carrie Beasley this morning snuggled in my sleeping bag waiting for the fire to be roaring outside, thanks to my mountain man. I really loved the book. Lyddie is dying to read it but I think she will be more able to understand and appreciate it around age 9-10 so I'll put it on the future-reads list for her. It's not that there's anything inappropriate but there is some death and grief and she is a bit sensitive about those topics.
I'm still listening to The Shepherd's Life by James Rebanks. It makes me want to roam a hillside with lambs and dogs. 

Joining with Ginny for Yarn Along at

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

qiviut and recycling yarn

Yarn:  I cast on a cowl with the beautiful qiviut (muskox!) yarn brought back by a friend from Alaska last year.  It's been sitting in my yarn basket waiting for me to hunt for the right pattern.  I am hoping it doesn't come down to yarn chicken - I have 180 yards and the pattern is listed as requiring 180-220 yards so it might.  The halo to this yarn is gorgeous and it's so very soft.  

I've also been searching for a project to use with some yarn I unravelled from a thrifted sweater that I want to repurpose.  The biggest problem is being unsure of the yardage I have.  The colors are a soft beige and a bright neon pink.  I think I've settled on trying the Portland Cardigan by Carrie Bostick Hoge.  The yarn was originally knit into a large pullover so I imagine I have enough for a somewhat open cardigan and I like the idea of the body being beige and the ribbing in bright pink.  I think the division of yarn quantities in that pattern look like they might be just about right for what I have.  It's quite different than my usual color scheme since I usually choose jewel tones if I buy colorful yarn but I think it will be really cute if I can pull it off; and can you really beat yarn for a sweater for $5 + a bit of work to ball it up?  

Books:   my reading is a-little-here and a-little-there.  I finished HP #1 last week so I pulled #2 off the shelf but haven't started it yet.  I had checked out Circus Mirandus from the library and then later stumbled on several recommendations of the same book so I decided to try to commit to it.  My most committed read right now is actually an audiobook - A Shepherd's Life by James Rebanks.  I am really enjoying it.  It is the second non-fiction  biographical style book I've read the past few months - a genre I'm usually not that interested in - and I am realizing how much I've been missing by ignoring that genre of books!  It is so interesting to learn about the ways of life in other places of the world, in history, and in life experiences.

However, committing to anything right now is a bit difficult because we just put our house on the market last week.  A lot of my energy is going toward extra projects to try to make our home more attractive and show-ready.  The place we want to buy is nearby and we've had our eye on for months as it was in foreclosure.  It is now bank-owned and just went on the market last week.  We are praying the Lord might send us a buyer for our house quickly so we can put an offer on it.  The bank won't accept an offer contingent on the sale of our home because they just want to offload it, so we are praying we can be the ones to take it off their hands.  Say a little prayer for us if you are willing - my brain knows it is all in the Lord's hands but there is still a stressful, somewhat hurried feeling in my heart sometimes because someone else may come along and snatch it up before we can make an offer.  I know His timing and plan is perfect, so I'm trying to let go of control and trust Jesus and His promises to sustain us through anything in the days to come.  It's an hourly battle.

Linking up to Ginny's Yarn Along.

Sunday, August 07, 2016


A day at Rimrock Lake not too long ago was a wonderful chance to rest together as a family in the middle of the busy summer schedule.  I love our trips there because in the middle of the week it is pretty quiet there and our girls can wander along the shoreline gathering sticks and rocks and splashing in the water and getting as dirty as they want.  I alternate between laying on the blanket knitting and reading, traipsing along with them, and jumping in the lake to cool off.   Many of these pictures were taken by Lyddie and Millie - they begged to have a chance to use my camera and I was a little surprised at how many of their pictures were really lovely.  
The sequence of pictures with Rosie and I made me laugh; her expressions are so funny.  She's my challenge right now (I think age three is much harder than two in spite of the term "terrible twos"):  asserting her independence but not able to do all the things she wants to, trying out new fun thing like lying to avoid getting in trouble, and frequently whining and fussing to get what she wants.  I remember this stage with the other girls and having been through it now twice before I can confidently say "this is normal - unpleasant but normal" and with consistent interactions and discipline, it will pass and I'll get back my sunshine girl again, I expect.  Whew, I'm tired by the end of the day.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016


For Yarn Along this morning I'm featuring a new pattern that is being released today by Lisa at Happy in Dole Valley.  I test knit this beautiful shawl over the past week in Duplicity Fingering from AmandaMakesYarn.  Viridescent was a delight to knit and the yarn was lovely to work with - so, so soft and such a lovely colorway.  (I should mention that Amanda included a darling DPN holder in my order which she is selling in her shop as well - go check it out!) Because of the elongated stitch rows, this shawl knit up so fast with such a delicate, open look, and I think the gentle ruffle gives it a feminine air without being too fiddly.  Follow the link to Lisa where you can find out about the pattern and a giveaway! 

I haven't cast on anything else since finishing; I had a few other projects that needed ends woven in and blocking, but those are finished so I'm a little aimless.  I'd like to knit a few smaller things for my girls to have ready for Christmas gifts and that use yarns I already have in my stash. (Actually I wish I had the money to buy Maggie Rabbit supplies because if I don't, I have a feeling it would be a small regret someday that I would always wish I'd done.)  Rabbits aside, ideally I'd like to find a good children's Fair Isle mitten pattern, or maybe a really good kids slipper pattern, which I've never really found.  Any recommendations? 

I'm mainly re-reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I picked it up before realizing a new Harry Potter book was being released... at all.  I'm so out of the loop. I also keep picking up For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macauley and Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson while also listening to The Count of Monte Cristo on CraftLit and a whole host of Burgess books with my girls on Librivox in the car.  Did you know Librivox has an app now?  Our audiobook world expanded so much when I discovered that!

We just started watching the new Netflix show everyone is raving about - "Stranger Things."  Have you seen it?  It's so intense, and so incredibly well made.  Reminiscent of the movie "Signs" in the way it feels (not in the story line really), it also makes me think of a less meandering "Twin Peaks" with which it shares several plot elements.  It's very good, and almost too scary for me, but not quite; not yet anyway.  There are not many things I'd like to binge-watch anymore (is that a sign that I'm getting old?) but "Stranger Things" would make the list. 

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

the finish line approaches


Hello from August; can you believe it?  I can't.  August feels like a kind of a finish line.  It is the only time of the year that we can schedule extended down time (besides Christmas but for parents does Christmas ever count?) and that's approaching soon. Visiting family in Spokane, camping, and a cabin stay on the Olympic Peninsula are all coming our way this month.

We are still spending time at the pool for swimming lessons.  I paused all structured "school" activities for the summer with two main goals in mind for the summer months:  One, that my older two girls end the summer knowing how to swim confidently, and two, to allow them access to as many ministry opportunities/activities with Sacred Road as they wanted (and as made sense).  There are only a few of us with young children on staff with our ministry so I feel my way around what we want regarding how much our kids' lives are dictated by ministry and community and how much "normal" American life to provide them.  Both are good and have positive outcomes so it's a matter of balance and priority; I'm not sure I always get it right but it is often on my mind.  Swimming lessons have been a great way to pursue a skill I wanted them to have as well as one of those "normal kid life" things I want them to have memories of one day.  It is our last week of lessons and Lyddie and Millie are each swimming independently.  Millie is my little fish and wants to spend as much time in the water as possible, and Lyddie looks so beautifully graceful in her strokes - except the just-introduced backstroke, when she flails her arms all direction as fast as possible.  That has been making me laugh, but today she made a breakthrough and was able to alternate her arms going the correct direction.  She looked lovely.  Rosie is so tentative in the water that I don't think she's really progressed at all this summer, but maturity and exposure will probably just be the key for her eventually. I will be relieved when lessons are over because it is a lot of work getting everyone ready and drive all the way into town every morning but it has been really worth it and I really am enjoying every second of it. 

What I didn't enjoy was the five-man round of stomach flu we had last week.  The rotation lasted exactly one week and by the eighth day, everyone was recovered.  Thankfully.

Our cat of almost five years died a few weeks ago- trauma!- but our friend had kittens and we brought one home this week.  The girls were so happy to see that he has little "boots" so they can call him Mittens like they hoped to do.

I used the sick time to knit up a storm and will be sharing a few finished objects tomorrow! Happy August, my friends!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


When I decided to pick up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone the other day, I didn't realize it would be like visiting family.  This will be my third time to read this incredible series; the second time I felt like I was revisiting it for the story's sake.  This time I feel like I am revisiting the characters, although I didn't realize that when I pulled it off that bottom shelf of our bookcase.  I had finished The Chestnut King by N.D. Wilson as well as The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge, both of which were excellent.  It's hard to finish really good books, especially a series that I love and take a risk on a book that might be mediocre, especially when I had finished both my books within a day of each other.  Every fall I get an itch to reread Harry Potter, because each book starts at that time of year and captures that "new beginnings" feeling I always feel in August and September. This fall I decided to pay attention to that itch.  

I had requested Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson through our library after listening to a few of Sally's recent podcasts in which she is going through the same topics as the book covers; the podcasts are good, but I don't tend to favor many "women's Christian living" books. However, there are exceptions and this seems to be one of them.  I immediately felt like the Lord has something to say to me through Sally's wisdom in the pages.  The title was somewhat off-putting at first for reasons I am having difficulty putting into words as I write this, but after I read the intro I realized "owning" refers to taking responsibility for your choices and owning up to who you are and what you choose.  I can't really pinpoint how that is different from my first assumption, but suffice it to say, a few chapters in I'm enjoying it and feeling encouraged and challenged to think intentionally about where I've been and where I'm going. 

I am as quickly as possible knitting a test knit shawl for a friend, Viridescent, designed by Lisa at Happy in Dole Valley which should be released shortly.  She teamed up with Amanda who is dyeing the most lovely yarn in order to produce this gorgeous shawl and it has been a gentle, lovely pattern to knit this week.  Mine is her duplicity yarn in the colorway "Trinket."  Keep your eyes peeled for this pattern release in the coming days!

Other books I am reading:  For The Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macauley - so good!  Highly recommend!
and The Count of Monte Cristo over on CraftLit

Linking up with Ginny for Yarn Along today