Belated Yarn Along (and other things)

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I missed the Yarn Along with Ginny and Keep Calm and Craft On with Nicole yesterday. As usual, our house came down with the plague last week. I thought I was going to be spared but sure enough I was the last one to catch it and I was a miserable coughing and sneezing mess on the couch for four days straight. Luckily my parents were able to drive Sam to his gymnastics class and Gabe did his part by bringing take-out food home every night after work. I just despise being sick. I couldn’t even knit because my eyes kept watering and my head was pounding. Yes, it was that bad.

But…I’m better now and back to my old self. Which means knitting. Lots of knitting. I am working on my test knit (Wellington Worksock Shawl) by Sam Lamb and I hope to have it blocked by this weekend. I am having second thoughts about my color choices. I thought the cream body of the shawl would contrast nicely (but not too starkly) with the mustard colored border and the blue accent stripe, but now I think perhaps I should have chosen the blue as the border color and the mustard as the accent stripe. We shall see. It’s only ten or fifteen rows that I would have to rip out if I don’t like it but I would like to avoid ripping anything out as much as possible.

It’s been raining non-stop here for the past three days and I am looking forward to the sunny days that have appeared in our ten day forecast. Green shoots from my strawberry plants are starting to poke out from amongst the brown dead leaves of last year’s plants and I want to take some time this weekend to clear out the dead parts so the new growth can thrive and (hopefully) produce lots of strawberries this summer! My garlic shoots have sprouted and a few of my herbs, like my mint and chives are slowly starting to grow as the days become longer and a few degrees warmer.

I can’t believe how quickly this winter season has flown by. Gabe and I were talking about how surreal it is that we’re already planning our new orchard and determining the location of our new raised beds. I swear I just put my garden to bed last week! Pretty soon I’ll be in full gardening mode…right around the time our new baby arrives. I have a feeling that our garden won’t receive as much attention as it did last year. That’s okay. I’m going to take it one day at a time and do what I can. It might not be the garden I want but it will be better than nothing.

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*Joining Ginny and Nicole.

I know. Only one photo and its already been posted on Instagram. Please forgive me. This week has been non-stop, or at least it feels that way. This was my week to host our preschool co-op and we decided that we were going to start meeting every Friday as opposed to every other week. We are going to alternate lesson plans every week, focusing on letters and numbers for one lesson and stories and crafts for the other lesson. I volunteered to research a few curriculums for the parents to review and hopefully choose one to follow as a group. So far, I like Easy Peasy Homeschooling but I can’t figure out how to combine one week’s worth of lessons into one day, especially without creating homework for the parents and kids. They are only preschoolers after all.  Any recommendations? Ideally the program would be online and free. Other than that, I am pretty open to suggestions.

I’m plugging away on my Wellington Shawl, the test knit I’ve been working on for Sam Lamb. I have to confess, I’m a little behind, and I’ve had to drop my cup of tea socks completely to ensure that I finish the shawl by the deadline. I don’t mind, though. The shawl is a fun knit and I think I’m going to love wearing it once it’s finished.

Gabe and I hired an arborist to help us plan and plant our new orchard this spring. We fenced off about an acre a few years ago, leaving plenty of room for raised beds, berry bushes and fruit trees. So far, all we’ve managed to accomplish are the raised beds. But now that Gabe is retired from the Army, we finally have the time (and the finances) to start our orchard. Walking through the new orchard site with the arborist, we discussed which trees and berry bushes we wanted to plant and then chose varieties that thrive here in the Pacific Northwest climate. I won’t be getting my much coveted avocado tree (too cold) but lo and behold there is a persimmon tree that can grow this far north. Isn’t that exciting? (Gabe does not think it’s exciting. He and the children don’t like persimmons, and I’m basically planting a tree that will bear fruit that only I will eat. Whatever, it’s worth it.)

Besides that, it’s just the usual happenings around here: our days are filled with children’s activities, grocery shopping, laundry, folding clothes, wiping tears, handing out snacks, cleaning up toys, pulling Smartwool socks out of the potty (thanks, Eddie), playing trucks, story time, changing diapers, giving kisses and drawing pictures. In other words, life is good. Full. And good.

Oh! I must include a baby update: I’m 23 weeks along, so only 17 more to go! He or she is moving around a lot more and seems to really respond to music. Whenever I am listening to the radio or people begin singing in synagogue during services, the movement always increases.  I don’t know why, but that makes me happy.

I hope everyone is enjoying their week. Happy knitting, my friends.

wednesday yarn along (and other things)

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*Joining Ginny and Nicole.

The photos of the cowl are a long time coming. As usual, it took me longer to get around to taking and posting photos of the finished object than it did to actually knit the item. This is the belated (okay, very belated) Christmas gift for a friend. Don’t ask me if I’ve bothered to even send it to her yet. I’m too embarrassed to answer.

Isn’t it lovely though? It’s Rowen Felted Tweed in the DK weight, and the pattern is the Welted Cowl by Churchmouse Yarn and Teas, my local yarn shop. I am very happy with how it turned out and I hope my friend likes it. The pattern is written for both a long and short version; I am tempted to make the long version for myself. You know, during all my spare time.

I’m working on a pair of socks right now. The above photo was taken while I was working on the ribbing but I’ve nearly finished turning the heel. If you follow me on social media you have probably seen a more updated photo of that project.

Speaking of projects, I’m working on another test knit! The pattern is another design by Sam Lamb, and it’s a beautiful shawl knitted in a worsted weight. I picked up some yarn yesterday and while I had planned to knit the swatch last night, my exhaustion got the better of me and I went to bed early instead. Hopefully I’ll be able to at least finish the swatch tonight.

It’s been raining here a lot lately. My poor babies have been chomping at the bit to play outdoors and this morning I bundled them up and let them play outside in the play house. It was damp, muddy and cold. But it wasn’t raining and we were able to get some much needed fresh air. Gabe bought them some cheap plastic food to use outside; they seem to think the playhouse resembles a drive-thru and they like to “serve” each other food all the time. It’s hilarious to watch.

I took a few minutes to walk around the field a bit and snap some photos. It was a soggy trip to say the least. The field is half flooded and confirmed what Gabe has been telling me for months: sooner or later we are going to have to come up with a drainage solution. So many projects, so little time.

Oh, I almost forgot! Gabe added numbers to the steps on our stairway! Aren’t they cute? Perhaps it will help Sam with his counting…