Blog Archives

Inside Looking Out

As much as we look forward to spring every year, we also dread it.  We love the warmer weather and the longer days, but get driven inside by the rain and pollen that inevitably follow.  For several weeks every spring, we are actually more or less house bound as the storms of pollen rage outside.  We watch from the windows, all the while blowing our noses and wiping our eyes, as trees turn green and flowers bloom.   This year, however, we having something else to watch from our window that makes the long days go by much more quickly.  It started with these a couple of weeks ago.

This lovely little nest is in a bush right outside our family room window.  We have been watching the Mama and Papa robins take care of the eggs in turn.   Twelve days ago, they began hatching.

After that, they have pretty much been growing like crazy.  They want to eat all the time.

The parents are very busy feeding them and caring for them when it rains.

Now, there is hardly any space left in the nest and they have been stretching their wings a lot to get ready for the day when they will leave it.

All this time indoors has also helped me finish some projects that have been lingering.  My second, scarf/wrap/tablerunner/ Idon’tknowwhattodowithit weaving project is finished and awaiting its unknown fate.

I was particularly happy with this project because I warped it with a lot of little balls of leftover sock yarn.  It’s about 80 inches long and 18 inches wide.  Next on the loom is something I hope will turn out to be hand towels.

The weave is turning out a little looser than I expected, though, so I hope that it works out.  I guess I won’t know until I take it off, which means I’ll have to finish it first.  Weaving is a little different from knitting in that way.  Knitting can always be unraveled and reknit.  That wouldn’t work so well with weaving.

Speaking of knitting, I’m happy to have finished my Stripey Noro sweater.

This was a really fun knit that really kept my spirits up during some of those dark days of winter when everything was dreary except this sweater.

Now, it’s perfect for cool spring days.

And yes, it’s also great for wearing to a fancy dinner out with the husband on your 23rd wedding anniversary.   After all those years, he knows me really well and got me a most stupendous present.

It’s 5 skeins of Purl Soho good wool, which they list as a dk weight yarn, but at 383 yards per 100g, it seems like it might be closer to a sport weight.  In any case, I’m on the hunt for a good pattern for this bundle of squishiness.  Perhaps a fair isle sweater of some sort?  In the meantime, I will enjoy squishing it while I watch the robins grow.

 

Random and Mysterious

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.

Mothers Day 2015 Bach Prelude in C Ethan 540

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Spring Cleaning

My goodness! I never intended to be away from this space for so long! But, I have a good excuse; we are relocating. The husband has got a great new job in a different state that he has to start in June, which meant that we had to get our house on the market to sell. For the last three weeks, we have cleaned, organized, and fixed a bunch of little things around the house. I even spent one afternoon taking all my knitting notions, which looked like this:

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and made it look like this:

The boys got in some male bonding time with a nailer.

Now that we are done and just waiting for someone to buy the house, it seems strange not to be super busy every moment of the day. But, don’t worry, we are finding ways to spend our free time, like visiting all our favorite places before we have to move.

Spring has arrived here and it is very nice!

It seems like it arrived overnight, but I think it just seems that way to us because we were busy.

As you can imagine, with all that has been going on, I have not been able to knit much, especially because I injured my left hand again last week. Before that, though, I did manage to block my Rolling Rock.

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The back has a nice lacey panel.

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The yarn is Traveler Sport by the Plucky Knitter and it is fabulous. It makes a super soft and silky garment that has great drape and is really comfortable to wear. I want another twelve sweaters in this yarn! And the pattern was great, too. I made the sweater without making any modifications except bringing up the neckline by an inch or so.

There are lots of other things I have to show you, but I will wait until next time. Now that our house is super duper clean, I should have a bit more time for other things. Be back soon!

Spring Color

Color is everywhere right now.

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We missed most of the tulips at the garden, but there were still one or two beds that hadn’t been beaten down by the rain. The azaleas were at their peak this weekend as well.

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There was quite a bit of tree climbing involved at the garden. For boys, this turns out to be more fun than looking at flowers.

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Me, I prefer staying on the ground and admiring the view from here.

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At home, I find myself surrounded by color as well with this yarn from the Neighborhood Fiber Co.

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Last Friday, I got to go visit the gals at the studio and it was great fun to see them in action. I love their vibrant colors and it was difficult to choose from such a huge collection!

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The boys had a great time learning about the yarn dyeing process. It was a mini field trip for them and Karida and Kristen made us feel very welcome. Of course, I had to bring some more yarn home. I am looking forward to playing with this gradient group.

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But first, I am really enjoying this vivid green color.

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I have really come to love the slight variations in color that knitting with a hand dyed semi-solid color will give you. They add some color texture and a lot of interest without making your project look too busy. This is the studio sport yarn from NFC in the colorway Rock Creek Park. It’s the little sister to the yarn I used for my Brandied Cherry sweater a couple of months ago. So far, I am enjoying this yarn just as much. More details to come on this secret project later. Happy Monday!

Unfocused

Spring is here. I am sure I don’t have to tell you how long and cold this winter has been. You won’t hear me complaining, though, because I have loved everything about this winter (except the month that I was really sick, but that was last year and let’s not dwell on that). I know it’s been hard to tell here on my blog, but we have had a really productive and fruitful winter. Since January alone, I have completed four sweaters, two shawls, and a few other little projects, including a few quilt blocks for my quilt group.

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On the school front, we used the cold weather to our advantage and focused hard on some of our tougher subjects and have been able to get ahead a little. In fact, we are so far ahead, that I am planning a two week spring break for my older son, just a one week break for the younger, and we’ll still be done by the end of May. Ahh…all our hard work for the past three months will be so satisfying when we knock off at the end of May while most other kids still have weeks of school left.

Of course, this intense focus cannot be kept up and is just beginning to fade now that finer weather has arrived. All winter, with my knitting, I have been very goal oriented, working on one project at a time until completion. This is actually pretty uncharacteristic of me. I am easily bored, but this winter for some reason, I was really able to focus and get a lot done.

Until last week.

Last week, I started five new projects, but I really have been working on more over the past week. The result of this is a lot of mess without much in the way of progress. It’s as if spring fever has hit my knitting. Want a peek?

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These are all the projects that I have worked on int he past week or so. Is it any wonder that I am feeling a little unfocused and unproductive? Here’s a closer view?

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Looking at them now, I can see some progress that has been made. Like this sweater here. There’s definitely a few more inches on the body there than there was over a week ago.

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Still, even though I know I could finish some of these fairly quickly if I just focused on them a bit more, I cannot resist casting on something new.

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Spring. It’s here at last.