Hello friends! It has been so long since I have been here that I almost forgot my login password. Lots has happened in the summer of my absence. If you haven’t been following me on Instagram, here is a summary of what has been going on here since I last posted.
We moved. It went as well as a move could have. We had a great moving team. Really, I don’t think I could have asked for better packers and movers.
Needless to say, we were quite busy for awhile unpacking, organizing, and getting used to a new area. We also tackled quite a bit of work that needed to be done on the house. The boys helped tear down and scrape off wallpaper in three rooms.
We also ripped up the carpet in the kitchen Yes, you read that right. There was carpet in the kitchen. It was unspeakably gross.
It wasn’t all work and no play for the last three months, though. We took a couple of day trips to Cape Cod and Rockport, MA
and Portland, Maine. In Maine, we celebrated my younger son’s 10th birthday.
All in all, we ate a lot of lobster.
And fried clams.
And donuts, which were fantastic for cake donuts. I was really surprised how much I liked them.
I was even able to get some knitting done. First, a shawl.
It turned out great, even though I ran out of beans and yarn and had to fudge the bind off row.
Next, I am working on fingerless mitts for the boys.
We even squeezed in a trip to New Hampshire to pick apples, and I have been experimenting with apple cake recipes. The first one tasted good, but did not all make it out of the pan.
The second one came out beautifully, but did not taste as good.
That’s it in a nutshell, but I won’t lie. Moving has been a tough thing to do. In the last couple of weeks, I have really missed my friends and all the structures we had in place for the boys. I haven’t had a full week yet without having some sort of meltdown. But, today, I found myself with a free hour and I thought I would come and give you an update of some sort. Thanks for stopping by and sticking around!
I just looked back to see when I had last posted and was surprised to see that it was a month ago! Where does the time go? May was a flurry of things for us. There was lots of anxiety about selling the house, lots of cleaning the house to show to people who did not want to buy the house, and lots of talking about our next steps. Intermingled with that was Mother’s Day, our Twentieth (!!) wedding anniversary, a piano recital, field day, last days of school, and finally a week long trip to our new state to look for housing. That was really a lot to pack into one month of life! It would take too long to recap every event, so I will just show you some highlights.
Firstly, I am ever so proud of my boys who did a fabulous job at their piano recital. Their teacher is the best; so kind and loving without sacrificing high expectations. We will miss her! If you are so inclined, you can listen and watch here. If you click on the photo here, it will take you to my flickr page where you can watch the video.
Spring has been very pretty here, especially our Peonies. We missed the blooms of the purple ones while we were away, but really enjoyed the blushing pink ones.
While we were in MA, we did make some time to go into Boston and poke around a little. The Common was a nice place to wander around and we did attempt to walk the Freedom Trail, but had to cut it short because it was unbelievably windy.
Our next trip into the city a week several days later, we spent mostly inside in the Museum of Fine Arts, where we saw this amazing Chihuly sculpture. The photo does not capture the amazing color or the way it seemed to glow, even in low light.
I was so taken with this color green, that as soon as I could when I got home, I dug out some yarn of a similar hue. Then, I decided I needed a bright pink to go with it and the dark blue is there just to soak up some of the luminosity of the other two.
This trio is going to be used in Gudron Johnston’s Shetland Trader Mystery Knitalong. Yes, yes, I am starting another mystery shawl. Clearly, there are not enough uncertain things in my life right now, lol! I did manage to finish my Romi mystery shawl. It is still drying, but here is a blocking picture. I’ll try to get more pictures when it is dry.
In other knitting, I have been working on my blue Triticum. This photo is from the beginning of last week. I am actually past the underarm now. The yarn is delightfully soft and easy to work with. The pattern is very well written and easy to follow so far. I think I will wear this one a lot once it is done.
I also managed to finish one sock from March. Now, if I could just finish the second one! That’s always the trouble with me and socks. Knitting the first sock is fun, but the second one is often a chore.
We are not sure what the next few weeks will bring, as we are still trying to buy and sell a house, so I may be in and out. If you are on Instagram, you may be able to find me posting there instead of here in the interim. My Instagram name is Crafteamama. I am still getting the hang of instagramming, so don’t expect too much, but I would love to see you there!
Last weekend was a gorgeous weekend here, which made going to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival even more fabulous than usual. Strangely, I did not take many photos. I was really trying hard to soak it all in and enjoy myself. The festival seemed a bit less crowded than usual to me this year, perhaps because of some issues going on in a nearby town. Their loss was our gain, however. I rather enjoyed walking around and not feeling claustrophobic.
The sheep, as always, were fun to see, especially the lambs!
This Montadale is easily the biggest sheep I have ever seen.
I bought a few things, but really not as much as I expected to.
The highlight of my trip this year was hanging out with the ladies I came with and met up with. We had a smaller group than last year, but we still had a blast catching up.
I worked like a crazy person last week to finish up this shawl so that I could give it to my friend in person. It is intended to be a wedding shawl and I can’t wait to see it paired with her wedding dress! The pattern is Pea Trellis by Anne Hanson and was made using Posh Audrey Sock yarn, which was absolutely luscious to knit with.
All in all, it was a great day.
While I was busy getting the house ready to put on the market, I looked forward to being done so I could just sit back and enjoy my well-organized and sparkling clean house. I envisioned myself sitting on the sofa while knitting with a cup of tea nearby, just enjoying myself and relaxing. It has not quite turned out the be the idyllic dream I wished for, though, because, as it happens, I am no good at waiting around. I find myself constantly wondering why the phone isn’t ringing. Why aren’t people coming to look at my house? And then I look around and wonder if there is something wrong with my house. So, I take a little wander around. I go from room to room, tidying or dusting or just looking at it. Then, when we do have someone who is interested in looking, there is a little whirlwind as we go around putting everything away that indicates anyone actually lives here. We go away for a little while, feeling weird that someone is in our house looking at it when we are not there, and then we come home and wait some more. It is torture by waiting. I haven’t done this much waiting around since I was waiting for my boys to be born. And until it ends, I am sure it will feel like it will never end.
Thankfully, I do have some things to distract me. I was able to go back to a test knit that I was working on for Anne Hanson of Knitspot. Here is what it looked like a few weeks ago when I had to put it on hold.
I was able to finish it over the weekend and got it blocked yesterday. Today, I sewed on the buttons. Aren’t they cool? They are made from antlers.
When the husband came home, I made him do a little photo shoot.
Doesn’t he look excited? Actually, he does quite like it and I am sure he will get lots of chances to wear it when we move. It’s generally much colder in Boston than it is here.
I love the collar on this. And there are cables along the side, too. See?
I love how there are cables along the raglan sleeves. This is one of those classy sweaters that would look great on anyone. For this sweater, I used the same yarn that I used on my Ommegang, Bare Naked Wools Kent Dk. This is the mussel shell colorway. When I asked the husband what color he wanted, he told me to get the darkest one they have, and this is it. This yarn is fabulous. It has a silky feel and is light and warm, but also very breathable.
The pattern is called Gearhead, and I believe it is being released soon. Now, I have to find something else to distract me while I wait by the phone. No worries, there, though, I have plenty to choose from! I’ll tell you more next time.
We have lived in this area for over twenty years and in this current house for twelve. My older son was one when we moved into this house. Neither one of my kids has really known any other home, so this whole moving thing is a huge unknown to them. It is safe to say that our feelings are mixed. Some days we are excited about this new adventure. Other days we are sad about the things and people we love that we will be leaving behind. In between, we are overwhelmed by the big task of actually selling our house, buying a new one, and moving our entire worldly goods to a place we barely know.
Right now, we are just trying to enjoy our time left here and take things one step at a time. Of course, we have to keep our house immaculately clean while we are doing it, which is SO not my nature. In between cleaning, going about our usual school days, and taking every opportunity to see our dear friends, I am keeping myself from freaking out by baking through my pantry and eating through the freezer.
This is easier said than done. I’m the type to like a well stocked pantry because you never know when you’ll want to make a huge batch of chocolate chip walnut cranberry oatmeal cookies or date bars or a fancy layer cake. I have probably five or six types of nuts, the same number of dried fruits, not to mention all kinds of various flours and other ingredients. Then, there’s the stockpile of liquor that has to be used up since the movers will not take those. But, I am determined, and we are making some progress. In the past couple of weeks, I made three loaves of banana bread, three loaves of raisin bread, and three loaves of rum cake. Today, I was able to use up almost two pounds of dried figs by making filling for homemade fig newtons.
For these, I used the recipe for X cookies in the Baking with Julia cookbook and shaped them like fig newtons instead. These cookies keep fantastically well and we all love them.
Yesterday, I baked all the Pepperkakor cookie dough that was left in the freezer. These are also really good keepers. We should have enough cookies to keep up well fed during snack times for at least a few days!
With all this baking, it feels a little bit like Christmas around here, only cookies are shaped like bunnies and sheep, and there are flowers blooming outside. Believe it or not, I have even been able to do a little recipe testing and development, which I hope to be able to share with you soon. Now, if only I could just figure out how to use up the 5 jars of molasses that I have in the cupboard…