a slow return

School is done for the summer. Max is nearly five months. I’m getting (almost) a full night’s sleep. The house is staked out and the permits have been submitted to the county for approval. I have designated this summer “Operation Sarah Knits.” I feel as though this is the summer where I slowly begin easing into my new/old life, if that makes sense. More knitting. More garden/orchard planning. Chickens. Bees. Perhaps even a goat or two…All the things I have desperately missed since leaving Washington. Our house is scheduled to be finished by next spring. I’m hoping that we can slowly establish our urban homestead while the building process is going on, as opposed to after we move in. Once the concrete is poured and the brush is cleared, Gabe is considering setting up a few bee hives on the far end of the property. We are hoping he will be able to care for the bees without getting in the way of the builders and vice versa.

Now that I’m not waking up three times a night to feed the baby or doing lesson plans every week, I find myself with more knitting time in the evenings. I’m currently working on the Opteka sweater by Isabel Kraemer, and I am SO in love with this pattern. The body is done, and the only thing left to tackle are the sleeves. It’s supposed to have a looser fit, but the cables on the bottom half pull the sweater in quite a bit. However, I think this will be easily remedied with wet blocking. I’ve always enjoyed Isabel’s designs and I love it when a pattern calls for a technique that I’ve never tried before. I learned how to do German short rows while shaping the neckline and I have to say German short rows are THE way to go when it comes to short row shaping. I’m using this gorgeous silk-alpaca blend that I dyed with madder. If you follow me on Instagram, you already know the story behind the yarn. I was going for a deep red but ended up with this peachy pink instead. Oh well. It’s knitting up beautifully.

Side note: Does anyone else not realize how filthy their mirrors are until they try taking a selfie? Dear God, can you see all those tiny fingerprints? Ugh.

This month I am taking a Knitting Two Socks At Once class at my LYS. It covers magic loop, two socks at once, and fish lips kiss heels. I’m really enjoying the process so far and if this doesn’t cure my Second Sock Syndrome then I don’t know what will. I currently have four different socks on the needles, which is probably a little ridiculous. I can’t say this process is any faster than knitting one sock at a time, at least for me, but if I can get a pair of socks out of this process as opposed to knitting one sock and then waiting six months to knit the other, than I think it will be worth it.

The short socks are called the Rose City Rollers. My mother has made a few pairs and I thought they were cute. The toe is knit up in a 2-ply fingering merino super wash that I dyed with madder, and the blue spacey looking yarn is a hand painted yarn that I bought at a little shop in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. Gabe and I stayed there for a few days for our one year anniversary, SEVEN years ago. I fondly refer to them as my “Anniversary Socks.”

Pattern and Yarn info below:

Sock Pattern: Rose City Rollers by Mara Catherine Bryner 

Yarn: My own 2 ply fingering superwash merino dyed with madder and Whimsical Colors Hand Painted Yarns 2-ply sock yarn in Lavender Ocean

Sweater Pattern: Opteka by Isabell Kraemer

Yarn: My own sport weight alpaca-silk blend dyed with madder

little things

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Last Monday I posted about the importance of finding happiness and joy in the little things in life, no matter how insignificant they may seem. I shared a few things that brought me joy over the weekend and received such positive responses from you readers that I decided to make it a regular occurrence. Every Monday I will share something(s) that made me happy over the weekend, no matter how small or insignificant. A freshly wound skein of yarn, a particularly fragrant flower in my garden or a pudgy toddler hand with dirt under the nails clasped within my own. These are the “little things” that make life beautiful.

Her: Three months ago, she was my baby. Always on my hip, a cuddly barnacle in my daily life. Now she is a walking, talking individual entity and I just can’t deal. Her vocabulary increases by the minute and her sense of humor and enthusiasm for life and all things Sam related make this house a happier place. Yesterday she insisted on dressing herself and this is what she chose. I have to say, while it certainly wasn’t what I would have chosen for her (pink top with purple spandex shorts? Please.) I was quite flattered that she chose to wear the socks I knit her a few weeks ago, and insisted that they made her feel “like a pin-sess.” (She meant princess.)

Oh. And that hair. I heart it.

Food for the soul: We don’t eat pork in our house (on account of the whole being Jewish thing) which often stumps guests when they are tasked with bringing over an appetizer for dinner. Most people don’t realize how many appetizers have pork in them until they have to omit it. Bacon-wrapped something or other? Nope. Cocktail weinies? Sorry. Potato skins? I don’t think so. On Saturday we had friends come over and they had the ingenious idea to make jalapeño poppers (which typically have bacon in them) and instead used smoked salmon. They. Were. Amazing.

In the garden: Despite my lack of attention, our garden seems to be thriving, and we have had artichokes and tiny pole bean blossoms pop up in the last week. We have had steamed artichokes every night for the past few nights and hopefully in the next two weeks we will have fresh green beans for dinner.

If anyone else wants to share their weekend with us, please do so. It doesn’t have to be anything major. Maybe a particularly delicious dinner or a new yarn purchase. Whatever it may be, if it brought you joy, it’s worth sharing.  Provide a link to your blog or just a quick blurb in the comments below. Whatever you prefer.

Have a good Monday, friends.

 

“doing school”

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Last week was our first week of “doing school.” Sam is four and I thought it was time to incorporate a (very) loose preschool program into our schedule. We are still members of our Friday co-op, and while our membership has doubled in size these past six months, many of the children Sam’s age will be attending private preschool this fall, and the younger children (ages 2-3 years) will begin participating in our co-op as opposed to just playing on the floor during “lessons” like last year. Because the majority of the children are younger, the lessons will be tailored to their level, which means that it won’t be nearly challenging enough for Sam, thus the reason for our own program “on the side,” so to speak.
Our lesson is twenty minutes, three days a week. Twenty minutes is about all the undivided attention Sam can give me, and that’s on a good day. I use the Starfall website, which is $35 a year and worth every penny. We play an interactive game based on the letter or number of the day, and then do a few worksheets from our Brain Quest Pre-K workbooks that I purchased from Costco. So far, he is doing well. He likes the interactive games and while he certainly doesn’t know all his numbers and letters (not that I expected him to), I was surprised to discover that he knows all his colors, most shapes and is able to quickly figure out other basic pre-k skills like matching, sorting, and phonics.

I have read that having expectations for a four year old, especially when it’s the first year of homeschooling for both the mother and the child is unreasonable; that it leads to nothing but disappointment and frustration.  I am trying with all my might to keep this advice in the forefront of my mind, but I find myself starting to worry:

What if this doesn’t work? What if I’m a terrible teacher? What if he won’t listen to me, and then he never learns his letters, and then he never learns to read, and then he can’t find a job because he’s illiterate and he ends up spending the majority of his adult life in my basement smoking weed and playing video games all day because he’s a worthless member of society and it’s ALL MY FAULT?!

You get the idea.

It’s only been two weeks, and he’s doing well. Great, actually. I know there will be hard days, days that will affirm these fears. But I’ll try to keep telling myself to worry about those days when they come, and not before. When I decided to homeschool, I knew it wasn’t going to be the easiest path for our family but I did believe and still do, that this is the best path for our family.

Enjoy the weekend everyone!

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