a new direction

Joining Ginny and Nicole.

A few weeks ago we put an offer in for two acres of undeveloped land just outside of Austin. The owners accepted it and we expect to close sometime in the next week or so. Everything is so different from what I’m used to, topographically speaking. The trees are shorter and bushier, and the grass is higher. The ground is dry and packed tightly with crushed limestone that glitters in the sun. It’s so different from the soft, damp grass-covered earth in Washington. The plot is in a small subdivision that consists of small acreage plots. While I can see my neighbors in front of us, (not something I am used to) the homes behind us are hidden by trees and the plot next to us is undeveloped. Austin is only twenty or thirty minutes away depending on traffic. It’s a nice compromise between homesteading and city living. We also have a bit of a view of Lake Travis, although as you can see, it’s only visible between two houses that are located in front of our property. I’m hoping we can obtain a more unobstructed view once we build a house with a second story.

It’s exciting to have an answer to at least one of the many questions we’ve been facing over the past few months, specifically “Where are we going to live?” We secured a rental ten minutes away from the property so we’ll be able to monitor the building process, whenever that begins. I have to confess I am a little apprehensive about our temporary living arrangements. The house is lovely and spacious (it has closets!) but we will be living in a subdivision with homes that are what I would call one step away from being sardine-packed against one another. We anticipate the build taking anywhere from 12-18 months so it won’t be forever, but it feels odd moving into a neighborhood where I can see my neighbors, hear my neighbors and well, not be able to escape my neighbors. It makes me sound so unsocial and ungrateful just thinking that way. I generally enjoy people and have been called a social butterfly a time or two, but I have always appreciated the escape route living in an isolated area has provided. It’s nice knowing that you don’t have to see people if you’re not in the mood. Gabe did point out that living in close proximity to other people will also make it much easer to actually meet them, which might come in handy after moving to a city where we don’t know anyone, so I think I am going to focus on that aspect of our temporary neighborhood.

Eddie asked me for a new hat a few weeks ago, so I chose some leftover Misti Alpaca Chunky yarn and knit her up a beanie with a hole for her top bun. I made up the pattern as I went along and I think it turned out pretty well. She was very eager to pose for her photos, as you can see. Someone loves her accessories as much as her mama. Sam decided to make an appearance at the end of the photo shoot and it always gets me that he hates posing for photos when I ask him to but once I start photographing someone or something else, he’s suddenly unable to stay away from the camera.

Happy Wednesday, friends.

socks and valentines

Joining Ginny and Nicole.

Tuesday marked Sam’s very first Valentine’s Day party, which also meant it was his first time making valentines. I was delighted to receive a note the previous week from his pre-school teacher stating that “store bought cards are perfectly fine and handmade cards are not necessary.” I tend to put pressure on myself to be The Pinterest Mom when it comes to these types of things and so having someone give me a way out was a relief. On Monday my mom and I took the kids out to run errands and we stopped off at Michael’s to pick up some pre-made cards. Much to my dismay, they were almost completely sold out of their card sets, save a few Disney Princess themed boxes, which Sam was not particularly fond of, as you would imagine. We ended up purchasing foam hearts and about $20 worth of stickers, heart-printed washi tape, and new markers for Sam to make his own valentines. I put my foot down when he requested glitter pens. I drove home thinking that the afternoon was going to be terrible because I was sure Sam would tire after making three or four cards and I would be begging him to finish all fifteen of them. Surprisingly, not only did he manage to finish the cards in less than an hour, but he completed them all without stopping or any nagging from me. He carefully selected each sticker and mulled over the placement of every singe piece of tape. He was so intensely focused during the entire process that he barely spoke.

It. Was. So. Cute.

On Tuesday he woke up early and dressed himself, he was so excited. When the classroom attendant walked him to his room, he was practically skipping, swinging his bag of handmade cards by his side. Later that night he told me that he had “the best day ever.” Must have been quite the rager.

I finished my Petty Harbour socks! The texture is so squishy and I love how the color works so well with the pattern. This was my first time trying an afterthought heel. I really liked the entire concept, even though I made a few mistakes along the way. I hate picking up stitches for the gusset after knitting the heel. I always have holes that I have to go back and fix, and the afterthought heel completely eliminates that problem. Plus, it’s nice to not have to stop and knit a heel just when you’re getting the hang of some complicated pattern and you finally feel yourself knitting “on a roll,” so to speak.

The afterthought heel was my January skill, so now I need to learn a second skill for the month of February, per my New Year’s Resolution. I have a pattern that calls for a provincial cast on, which I have never done before. I also discovered My Cup of Tea Socks have giant holes in the heels! Perhaps I should learn to darn? Do any of you have any experience in darning or recommend a tutorial online? I hate to throw the socks away!

Happy Wednesday, friends.

wednesday yarn along and other things

Joining Ginny and Nicole.

I haven’t been able to decide on my next big project since finishing my Hollows shawl a few weeks ago. I decided to knit a pair of socks for myself while I pondered the next “big knit.” The pattern is here and the yarn is Dream in Color in Pinot. Check out that yummy texture. It has that squishy feeling that I love in socks.

Ha. I just now noticed the toy Princess Sophia doll in the photo. Eddie has developed quite the obsession since we’ve lived with my parents, and my mother has been more than happy to indulge and buy her every Princess Sophia toy she can find. The kids are going to be so spoiled by the time we leave.

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions (why commit to failure?) but I decided that since we are technically homeless at this point and I don’t have a house to care for, surely I could find the time to fulfill a resolution or two. So, my resolutions are to read one non-fiction book and learn a new knitting skill every month. Today is the first of the month and and I’m only halfway through my January book, so perhaps I should change my goal to a non-fiction every two months? It’s so hard finding time to read during the day and at night, I just want to sit and knit. The book is called The Collapse of Parenting. I heard a few interviews with the author on the radio over the past six months or so and I was intrigued, so I decided to purchase the book. So far, I am really enjoying it.

I already know how to knit socks (obviously) but I decided to attempt the much raved about afterthought heel.  Everything was going just fine until I realized how long my sock was looking. Apparently when you knit an afterthought heel, you stop knitting the foot length four inches before the desired length as opposed to the two inches before the desired length like you do when you knit a regular sock pattern. I had to rip out about four inches of sock last night, but I’m back on track now and I should be knitting the heel by this afternoon.

We took a trip to Austin last week in search of a new home. I will share some pictures of our trip soon and hopefully I will have some good news to share as well.

Happy Wednesday, friends.

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