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Cassis Shawlette

The Cassis Shawlette is off the needles and blocked.  I made a few alterations to the pattern and am extremely pleased with the results. The yarn is Malabrigo laceweight I purchased on clearance ages ago and can’t remember the colorway.  It knits up very nicely, and I love the fuzzy halo and loft in the finished piece.  The yarn is extremely soft and great to work with.  I used about 3/4 of one skein for the shawlette and may make some baby booties with the remnants. Joining Ginny for her Yarn Along today, where we share what we’re knitting and

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January Sunshine

Joining Ginny’s Yarn Along today with some sunny yellow sock knitting.  In the short, grey days of January, I often find myself picking bright, cheery yarn with which to knit.  It adds a little sunshine to the day. The yarn is my old standby – Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted mill end seconds – an 85% wool, 15% mohair yarn which is very durable and felts nicely while you wear it – making it ideal for socks and mittens and soakers.   The colorway is Prairie Goldenrod, and I bought several skeins a while back because I knew it would be good for

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Winter White Knitting

As is the Wednesday ritual: linking up with Ginny’s Yarn Along and the KCCO. The past few days, I’ve been re-reading The Ultimate Guide to Homesteading, and pouring over the plans in Build Your Own Barrel Oven. A barrel oven seems like a very, very cool project for an outdoor oven, but after reading the construction details and seeing how one operates, I think we will stick with our original plan to build a simple cob wood-fired bread oven next summer. I finished a little wool soaker for a friend having a baby.  It made for a nice break from the Christmas

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Little Tomte, Wooly Squirrel

Astrid Lindgren’s The Tomten and The Tomten and the Fox are two of our most-cherished winter-time books.  I adored them as a child, and am very glad my kids love them, too. A few years ago, Ruth made a needle-felted fox and little Tomten, and the boys still look forward to playing with them while I read the stories.   The Tomten cares for the creatures of the forest and keeps watch over the animals of the farm.  He is a gentle, quiet little gnome and these simple stories of his unseen interactions on the farm resonate with young children. My children have

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Christmastide Yarn Along

I’ve been enjoying this book in the quiet of the early morning.  The prayers and passages are perfect for that time of day, while I knit a few rounds of a simple pattern and contemplate the season in which we are immersed.   The simple knitting that has kept my hands occupied while my mind is engaged with the reflections of Christmastide has been a pair of uncomplicated red mitts.  The mitts above are a pattern I have enjoyed making many times before.  These are for a gift exchange, and will get gussied up with a bit of needle-felting before they are

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Grey Stripes and Good Books

Slowly, slowly, we are beginning to decorate for Christmas.  Advent candles and readings at dinner…working with Grandpa on a new homemade Advent Spiral (because we currently use a little birthday ring from my preschool years in Germany)…Christmas toys appearing in corners of the house where the boys are sure to find and play with them. …and Christmas knitting continues in earnest.  George is growing like a weed and needs new hats.  While watching a documentary or two late at night, I knit up a little stocking cap for him (no pattern, just wingin’ it).  It is a study in grey, using leftover Kilcarra

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Yarn Along: Annis

Joining Ginny’s Yarn Along this week. Knitting: I’m finishing up the Annis Shawl in Brown Sheep Nature Spun fingering weight yarn.  The yarn was purchased several years ago on clearance, but I had never found the  right pattern for it until I recently came across “Annis” on Ravelry. Reading: Just finished re-reading How To Make A Forest Garden by Patrick Whitefield.  Every time I thumb through it, I glean something new to apply to our landscape. On a whim I snagged On Such a Full Sea, by Chang-Rae Lee from the library “Best Picks” shelf.  It is a Dystopian post-apocalyptic novel, and while I

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Permie Book + New Socks

  Taking a break from a busy day to quickly join the Yarn Along.   I have a penchant for permaculture books, and something about reading up on landscape design and permaculture theory just pairs well with knitting.  This morning I finished The Resilient Farm and Homestead while casting on a pair of socks. The book is well-written and not-t00-technical.  It is geared toward those folks with property, and/or those new to the ideas of resilience and permaculture homesteading.    While I may not have enough land for sheep and goats and a duck pond, the book still had a lot to offer, and

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Yarn Along – Just Barely

Life is so frantic lately, I almost didn’t make Nicole’s KCCO or  Ginny’s Yarn Along this week.  I am having trouble keeping my head above water some days.  It seems to be a constant problem – four kids, busy schedules, deadlines, nowhere to cut back and simplify.  When life gets like this, I’m going to drop a ball somewhere, I just don’t know where yet… This week, I’m re-reading some of of my favorite permaculture books.  I am working on a research project, and while I thought most of my reading would take place late at night (thanks to chronic

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Alpaca and Social Permaculture

I’m tackling spinning for the Yarn Along this week.   Little by little, I am working my way through a 4 oz bag of first-shearing unwashed alpaca fiber (isn’t the coppery color lovely?).  This buttery soft fiber was a gift from my sister some years ago.  She picked it up from Foothills Fiber in Hood River, OR. Originally, I was going to put this on the wheel, but both sets of bobbins are already full of other fibers, so I’ve been working on a drop spindle.  (I have 6 or so spindles going at any one time, so progress on any

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Yarn Along for a New Year

Glad to be joining Ginny this morning, as she restarts her Yarn Along for 2013. Today is our first day back to homeschooling after winter break. This year, in an attempt to better meet our children’s educational and emotional needs, we’ve made some changes to the way we “do homeschool”.  From the outside, I think most observers would still label us “unschoolers”, and sometimes I would agree, but sometimes we need some more structure.  That is the beauty of educating at home – styles, focus, areas of interest, can all ebb and flow in order to best facilitate joyful and

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Yarn Along with Tasha

The past few mornings, I have been reading through one of my favorite books over coffee.  Like so many, I have been fascinated with Tasha Tudor since childhood.   Something about her homespun quality – her eccentricity – is comforting and always familiar. Continuing the theme from last week, this morning the shawlette is being blocked.  It was finished on Saturday, but I have been under the weather, and just now am pinning it out on the guest bed. This pattern is exactly what I needed – simple, quick, well-designed and a relaxing knit (it would also make a good first

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Yarn Along – The Dolls’ Christmas

Taking a break from three days of sewing projects this morning.  The three younger kids were up early, so I’ve been reading to them from The Dolls’ Christmas, by Tasha Tudor, while I work on some knitting. For the first time all year, I am not knitting from my stash.  On Saturday, a surprise package showed up on my doorstep.  A friend had sent me yarn!  What a wonderful and unexpected gift! It’s Peace Fleece, the yarn I learned to knit on way back in college.  I immediately cast on this shawlette (the extended version). I’m almost ready to start

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The Tomten and the Fox

Needle felting is one of those crafts we feel drawn toward more in the winter months.  Both of the girls really enjoy making Christmas ornaments and decorations.  Harold is learning to use the needle tool safely, and often prefers playing with the tufts of roving and his older sisters’ finished projects. Astrid Lindgren’s Tomten books are among my favorite winter stories from childhood.  Harold requests we read them (along with Jan Brett’s Hedgie’s Surprise) at least once every day since I added them to the book basket. So, in honor of the the children’s fascination with the little red-hatted caretakers

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Yarn Along – Rhythm of the Home

I have a piece in the new issue of Rhythm of the Home .  It just came out today!   Hope you get a chance to read and try out the recipe – it is a family favorite. The entire issue is packed with beautiful, thoughtful and instructive articles from such talented women.  From felted sweater garlands to meditations on homeschooling in the winter months to Waldorf doll shoe instructions..Rhythm of the Home always puts out a great edition! Obviously, for the reading portion of Ginny’s Yarn Along, this morning I’m reading through the new issue of Rhythm of the Home. 

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Wool Along

Joining with Nicole for KCCO and Ginny for the Yarn Along.  We’re finishing up some Thanksgiving and autumn-themed books this week before diving in to Advent books next week.  I think we’ve read and re-read Wild Child at least a dozen times in the past few days.  It’s always been a favorite in our home. The children really enjoyed The Life and Times of the Apple. Harold is intensely interested in gardening (go figure) and he was fascinated with the section on fruit grafting. Today there is no knitting or spinning to share, but I have been working on some

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Yarn Along

 Anyone else starting to feel the Christmas-knitting pressure? Finished a simple scarf (white mohair stash yarn I bought in college), and about to cast on some socks.  The yarn is a heathered grey 100% undyed Jacob sheep yarn handspun by a friend, from her own sheep.  I have knitted many projects with this yarn – it is  beautifully spun and well-balanced, and garments made from it have a fantastic drape. The socks will get some red patterning (100% wool thrifted sock yarn), as of yet to be determined, on the cuff. We are re-reading The Hobbit aloud as a family

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November Yarn Along

Taking a break from knitting this week to finish up some spindle spinning.  It’s a soft grey undyed wool, breed unknown, since it was purchased several years ago at an estate sale with many other bags of fiber. My reading selection this week is a bit boring – mostly books on fruit-tree cultivation and pruning.  All of our young fruit trees are ready to have their central leaders lopped and I need to get serious about how they will be pruned and shaped, so it’s time to brush up on the subject. The singles that resulted from spinning on this

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Yarn Along

Joining with Ginny and Nicole this morning.   Working through a stack of magazines and finishing up another Georgie vest with leftover Lamb’s pride and some merino spindle-spun.  I’m thinking of making an I-cord tie instead of buttons if I have enough handspun. Today is a very busy day.  Beatrix, our vivacious second child, turns eight today.  After carving pumpkins and finishing costumes, we have a day of celebration ahead of us! Happy Halloween and Happy Reformation Day!

On the Oregon Coast

We are home from a weekend yurt getaway to celebrate my husband and our second daughter’s birthdays.  There was a driving rain most of the time, so we skipped the frigid beach in favor of a hike through the woods. Definitely wool skirt, wool socks, heavy shoes kind of hiking weather. As we started out, we came across an open space full of toadstools, most toppled over by the wind (or grouchy gnomes perhaps?). Tucked in under the thick patches of ancient evergreen huckleberries and salal, and sometimes even wandering across the path, were many Rough-skinned newts, with their vibrant

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Yarn Along

Many thanks to Ginny for hosting the Yarn Along every week.   Each week I find new patterns to add to my queue and new books to order from the library thanks to all the men and women who participate. I’m just about done test-knitting the first three sizes of a baby/toddler vest pattern I am working up.  If you might be interested in test-knitting a 2T or 3T for me, please let me know and I’ll e-mail you the pattern.   I hope to have the three smaller sizes of the pattern up on Ravelry in a week, since all the

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Yarn Along – Baktus

The Baktus scarf is nearing completion. It was originally going to be a gift for my mother, but I am thinking the geometric quality of the scarf and it’s very simple, clean lines, would make it a better gift for a dear friend from college.  My mom will be getting a pattern more suited to her taste (as soon as I can finish it!). It has been a very easy knit, but I kept putting it down to pick up more interesting WIPs, or I would have had it finished ages ago.  Quite pleased with it, though, and am thinking

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Autumn Yarn Along

Joining with Ginny again this week for the Yarn Along.  I’m finally getting around to finishing a book Kortney loaned me ages ago.  It has many lessons I need to learn, and am glad to have picked it up again (and she’ll be glad to have it back soon – didn’t mean to have it so very long!). Finishing up the Pickles Vest this morning.  Only the buttons left to sew on.  It’s made from leftover bits of Lamb’s Pride.  The pattern had been on my Ravelry queue for a very long time, and last week there were several folks

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Noro Yarn Along

Last week’s Yarn Along project is finished, so it’s on to something new for this week’s reading and knitting link-up with Ginny. Most of my knitting gets done in the early morning, or after lunch while the kids are doing their read-aloud.  I’m between novels, and have enjoyed thumbing through craft books first thing in the morning, before the coffee has kicked in. During read-aloud this week, Ruth has been reading to us from one of our favorites, Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady.  The kids have a renewed interest in Arthurian Legend, and we’re going to be starting The

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Yarn Along

Up before the big kids, trying to get our lessons organized for the rest of the week.  Obligatory coffee and knitting with a side of peanut butter toast help get me through the early morning planning. I’m currently working on yet another quick, easy piece.  It’s Amanda’s larger version of this vest for George.  George has a long torso, and the scaled-up pattern is quite long, so no need to add extra rows.  If I knit another for a gift, I would probably take out 4 rows in the stockinette section. I have a self-imposed ban on buying new yarn

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