Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Yarn Along, July 23

This week I finished knitting Lyddie's Bulle and I am still convinced it's going to be really adorable on her little string bean frame.  She's so willowy in spite of being really petite.  Can you be petite and willowy at the same time?  I found this button shop on Etsy and I'm enamored by many of her fabric covered buttons (aren't these ones adorable??)  They seem really reasonably priced, as well, so I think I will order some for my recent FO's that are still awaiting buttons, since we live in a cute-button-black-hole.

I started making a sweet Clementine Hoodie for a friend's baby, and I have a diaper cover that ended up being much too large for Rosie once almost I finished it and I plan on ripping it out and starting over in a smaller size soon enough.  I like wool soakers and although it seems counterintuitive (the zigzag red lines say that isn't a real word... but isn't it?) to put wool on a baby in the summer, the natural fibers of wool just don't trap heat in the way our PUL covers do, so it seems to be true what they say about wool being somewhat miraculous and her little bum really does stay cooler in it even with a prefold diaper inside.  I'm a believer, anyway. 

I am still reading A Sane Woman's Guide to Raising a Large Family this week and taking it slow to digest and think.  It's not that it's a particularly deep book to read but full of really practical advice and ideas that I end up mulling over awhile before moving onto the next section.  I really appreciated her thoughts on how to manage activities with kids outside the home, something I've started thinking about more.  Many people have already had their kids in several extracurricular (can you call it that if there is no curricular activity yet?) by the time they are Lyddie's age of four and a half, but we just keep going slow and knowing there will be a lot of time for that and keep emphasizing play and pretend and relationship with each other and Jesus and learning to participate in household chores, and I felt like that mindset is consistent with the thoughts I read this week, in which she said they have ended up feeling like starting kids in most activities before 1st grade isn't really that beneficial and the cost is high enough on the family that they don't really do it anymore.  So many sources loudly yell that you should start tapping a child's potential really early so they can succeed and grow and blossom and be ahead of the curve- but she said that whenever they have started even just music lessons earlier than 1st grade they don't make progress as well or as fast as they are when they are older (which is consistent with my experience as a piano teacher too, actually!).  That was nice to read and it is freeing to let go of the "make it happen and now" mentality that I start to feel.

I am also reading By the Shores of Silver Lake by, of course, Laura Ingalls Wilder.  You know, the last time I read these books must have been junior high and I have such different appreciation and insight about them now than I did then and frankly, I can hardly remember the story so it's like reading them for the first time.  This book takes place when Laura is 13, jumping about 3 years ahead, I think, from the previous book.  The storytelling is so different, and through the whole series she so consistently captures events in ways that are true to the age she would have been when they were happening.  The writing style for Big Woods is very different from Silver Lake and I assume now that the differences will keep getting stronger through all the books as she gets older into her young adult years.  She was an incredible writer.  I keep wrestling with the way "westward expansion" has always been presented as such an admirable thing in my own past reading and education about the pioneers, since I now know what great cost was paid by the not-so-distant ancestors of some of my dear friends and for the way the "expansion" was accomplished.  There is a song sung in this book about Uncle Sam giving people homesteads and of course, my mind immediately now questioned why Uncle Sam thought he had the right to give that land away.  I know why "he" did, but I guess I just don't think he did have the right.  My opinions are strong, but I don't appreciate these books any less for it because the issues are so complex and history is history and can't be changed-- although our responses to it certainly can and should.  

That's the glimpse into my hands and heart today.  What are you knitting and reading?  Join up with Ginny at Small Things too if you can!


  1. beautiful knitting as always. We did not sign up for extracurricular activities when they were four or five. When they were 8 yo they started piano lessons one time a week, that was it. I didn't want to run around after dinner each night and they were okay with that. I think you have to do what is best for the family rhythm.

  2. I have always loved the Little House in the Prairie Series and my favorite book was By the Shores of Silver Lake. :) Happy knitting.

  3. Willowy and've just described my own daughter Emma. I totally understand! And she looks adorable in her Bulle, too! :) I so appreciate your sentiments on westward expansion. We studied together about this a lot last year after having moved to Northwestern Colorado last summer. It is very different to read about those events in history books than to live where some of those events actually took place. My kids' hearts were so touched by those events. I pray for you as you share Christ's love!

  4. Such sweet projects on your needles! Love that pink! And good for you to be thinking about your stance on extra's already.....when my 4 girls were little we did do some dance and gymnastics but as our family grew our view changed and we pulled everyone out and we were lucky enough to have a fine art co-op once a week where they get music lessons and art. My 8 kids have never once told me they missed out on anything because they did not do sports or dance.....this allowed us to have lots more family time and you can still find even my oldest ones now 21 and 19 still hanging out at home and hanging with their siblings! The more time you can spend as a family at home is sooo important! Enjoy! And thank for the sweet comment on my blog!

  5. Those buttons are cute and what a lovely hoodie and such a pretty name for it also. Sounds like your enjoying your reading this week. I don't believe in overloading of extracurricular activities and not at all before a certain age and that thinking is very much not the norm where I live which of course brings it's own challenges.

  6. The colour of your yarn is so pretty, I just looked at the pattern, it's gorgeous. I can't wait to see this finished, I may have to knit this for my niece. Deb x