Yarn Along



My knitting project is a pretty scarf for myself this winter.  I have the most horrible time finding a winter coat.  I’ve learned long ago that people in the Frozen Tundra collect coats.  When I first moved here, I bought a really nice coat, but they just had a size medium.  I’m an XS, so it looks pretty huge on me.  It has served me very well, though, when I am largely pregnant or if I want to baby wear under the coat.

A few years ago, I was hoping to get something that actually fit.  I found a really cute coat, that wasn’t as heavy as I wanted, but it was surprisingly cheap.  That coat is falling apart in multiple places now.  I purchased a heavy wool coat from Land’s End this year, and special ordered it in XS, petite.  It’s still a bit big, but not crazy big.  More like I can wear my biggest sweater underneath and still be comfortable.  Since I’m headed towards a winter way below zero, I’m going to consider that a perk.

I’m also in a big stash busting mode.  I’m trying hard not to purchase any more yarn until the stash is tamed.  I made the Berit Hat, which I still need to photograph.  There’s still a bit of embroidery left to do on that one.  I am using all the rest of my pretty off white stash of Quince chickadee to make this Elena Cowl.  My older kids have taken over so many of my old scarves and hats that I’m determined to make some that I won’t share right now.  Silje is taking so many of my clothes and jackets now that we really just need a bit more.

For reading, I’m thoroughly enjoying Anything by Jennie Allen.  I’ve never read anything by her before, but I know she’s involved in some big things.  I got this book as a part of an online book club I joined.  The first 400 people to sign up for the book club got the book free.  I was one of the first 400, so that was pretty cool.

It feels weird reading this book because so much of what I am reading is so similar to what I’m currently writing in my journal and blog post ideas.  At first I was like, “Is she inside my head?”  Then I realized again that God is doing something big, and he’s pretty consistent.  Sometimes the Holy Spirit tells a people something, and we all nod in agreement and say: yes, this is good.

So far I’m loving this book.  I love how she talks about her desperate need for God, and how sometimes we are so sick of needing God.  We want to just once pick our own selves up.  Her prayer is one I’ve been struggling with for awhile.  Do we really trust God with our lives?  Are we willing to lay it all down for whatever his plan might be?  There’s some great, good thoughts in here.

The Missing Sock

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I’ve been working on a pair of “Francie” socks for myself.  It’s a very fun pattern.  I had Knut take a picture of this on a Saturday night, after we got home from his cousin’s wedding and we were just unwinding, and I had just finished up icing my neck.  The ribs really hug your foot.  I have narrow feet, so I went down to size 0 needles, and I didn’t have to add any length to the pattern.  It was pretty right on.  It does hug the foot like I hoped, but the heel is a bit loose, and that may bug me.  If I make another pair, I may modify that heel a bit if I can.

I actually had a panicky situation with the socks on Sunday.  I had my little project bag with the finished sock, and the new sock cast on and a few rows starting it out.  The project bag had everything I needed.  It’s a little bag, so I just shoved it in my purse when we went to church.  I don’t usually knit at church, but we were making several stops to several places that day, so I wanted to have a bit of knitting in the car for if I had some time to kill in-between stops.

I left my purse at the church.  I should have been concerned about not having my wallet or things like that, but when we got home, and Knut and I were going to watch a movie after the kids went to bed, and I didn’t have my knitting…I was in bad shape.  I kind of freaked out.  “You mean I have to JUST watch a movie?”  Knut said I could work on my cross stitch or another project, but THIS is my project on the brain right now.  The yarn is so perfect, and I have some great momentum.  I didn’t want to watch a movie without the socks.  I think Knut looked at me light I was some kind of addict without her fix…

…which would be pretty right on in fact.

Knitting calms me down.  It allows my brain to unwind at the end of the day.  It tames all those thoughts flying around my brain and allows me to focus.  Scientific studies show this as well.  It enables a lot of people to focus.

At any rate, I got it back the next day, and all is well.  I’m almost done with the leg portion of the second sock.  I’m hoping by next week I can show you the finished pair.

Yarn Along


I’ve been in a stash-busting mood.  I’ve also been in a non-thinking-knitting mood.  That means I’m knitting lots of patterns written by other people that I’ve been longing to knit for years.  This week I cast on Francie by Rebekkah Kerner.  This is such a beautiful, well thought out pattern.  It’s interesting but not all-attention-consuming.  The ribs in the sock are winding and gnarling like a tree, and the designer had the book A Tree Grows in Brooklyn  in mind when she was designing it.  (One of my all-time favorite books.)  I love patterns based on literary characters.  It’s like my 2 favorite hobbies hanging out.  Last time I was in the twin cities I stopped by a little yarn shop and was introduced to “Dream in Color” yarn.  I could not leave there without a skein, and picked this lovely, smoky blue.  I intended it for some kind of shawl.  But when I was looking up on Ravelry some great projects using this yarn, this pattern kept coming up.  I hadn’t connected before that this was the yarn used in the original design.

My reading has been limited to books for the kids lately.  In our morning hour, one of our subjects is Shakespeare and we are using How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare, which is just so great.  We’ve finished all of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and are now moving to “Twelfth Night” now.  My kids are absolutely loving this unit, possibly more than any unit we’ve done in years.

For our morning tea time, I read aloud a chapter book directed towards the younger kids, but one the older kids would still enjoy.  This year it’s The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.  We read this author last year too and loved her then.  This book does not disappoint at all.  We are all in love with Edward Tulane, and are watching him slowly learn to love as well.

After the little girls go to bed at night, I read a book directed more at the older kids.  Little Britches has been on our reading list for awhile.  This story is told so well of a little boy moving to a ranch and learning to be a rancher, horse man, cowboy…he calls it by various names.  The kids have been begging me at the end of each chapter to read more.  My voice hasn’t been able to hold up to that, as the chapters are a bit longer than the books for the little kids.  But I have to admit, I wish we could too.

Yarn Along


Until I have caught up on my pattern writing, I have forbidden myself from knitting my own designs at the moment.  There’s just too much bouncing around in that brain of mine, and I can’t handle it.  I need to spend my brain energy finishing patterns now, not figuring out how to make them.  So while I catch up, I still have to knit (because not knitting makes me very crazy) and I’m taking this opportunity to do some stash busting, and knit some patterns other people have designed that I’ve been dying to make myself.

So when our local yarn store went out of business awhile back, I stocked up on a ton of yarn at 30-40% off.  One of the yarns I found was this gorgeous blue-grey merino in worsted.  I normally like to buy a sweater’s worth of yarn, and this was about 1-2 skeins short of that.  So I’ve been debating what to do with this particular bunch.  I actually bought a pattern, and after spending one evening knitting it, I discarded it and knew I wouldn’t like the end result.  Maybe a different yarn for a different time.

So I went back to my Ravelry search and discovered that I have enough to make the Ashby shawl, which I’ve been wanting to knit for a few years now.  I just love the texture and thickness of this shawl.  I really haven’t been much of a shawl wearer in the past, but this is so wonderful I’m sure I will be.  I want to be.  This shawl wants me to be a shawl wearer.  While I have worn them from time to time to fancy events, this one is begging to be worn around town, worn by the fire with a good book, pretty much with me at all times this winter.

And in my favorite steely-blue color?  Perfection.

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