Almost Done, Pressing On


My Pomme de Pin cardigan is so close to being done.  I’m nervous, because this is the part of the project that takes me ages to finish because it’s all the little tedious things.  For knitting, I just need to finish the sleeve cap on the second sleeve, and then I have to assemble it, knit the button band (I haven’t read that far to see the order of finishing), block out the lace so it’s not this little puckering texture as it is now, but the lovely open lace it’s supposed to be.  I haven’t even started looking for buttons for this beauty yet.  I’m hoping to work from my button stash…probably something very simple.

I should be thinking about moving onto my baby-knits.  I’m surprised how much less I’m interested in doing baby knits with this child, because he’s coming in the summer.  It’s a totally different nesting experience having a summer baby as opposed to the fall and winter babies I’ve had the last few times.  I know it will kick in soon.  It might just be after he’s born.  I hope he’s a good baby and lets me knit while he’s eating like Solveig did.  Ingrid wouldn’t share me with yarn so easily.

I finished the best fiction book I’ve read in a long time about a week ago.  It wasn’t a read aloud, it wasn’t a non-fiction book I needed to develop something in my life.  It was just a carefree light fiction that blessed my soul so much.  I haven’t gotten that lost in a book in a few years, where I would hide away every Sunday and try to get as much in as I could.  It was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  If I could find another book just like it, I’d be reading it right now.

But I’m back to my non-fiction stack, and I’m even going to share with you our new read aloud during our morning tea times as well:


I’m reading a pretty deep book from an online bookclub of classical homeschoolers.  Leisure, the Basis of Culture is a mind blowing book on the importance of leisure in our lives.  I was listening to a quote that my pastor read last Sunday from the Barna group, that used the words “leisure” and “amusement” interchangeably.  I think that we have lost the distinction of these words.  In this book Pieper says that the root word of “leisure” is actually the same root as “school.”  It means to ponder, wonder, think deeply about issues.  It’s that down time of processing, studying, learning.  Amusement, in contrast, comes from the root word “muse” which means to think, but with the a- prefix, which means “no.”  So to amuse basically means to “not think.”  It’s being entertained, having someone else think for you.

So this book is about adding “leisure” to our lives, not “amusement,” and like I said, our current culture doesn’t distinguish between the two.  It’s one of those books that was written ages ago, but you feel like he’s addressing current times.  I’m having to go through this book very slowly, and with a pen.

A Circle of Quiet is something I read at night when I need something slightly lighter.  I’ve picked this up and put it down several times in the last few months, and it’s currently picked up again.  I’ve been inching my way through.  Madeline L’Engle is certainly worthy of underlining all over the place as well, and has deep thoughts to share, but really it’s about her writing  life (something so dear to my heart).  It’s full of humor and delights along with the deep thoughts.  How I wish I could sit over tea with her!

Our new read aloud as we finish up the school year is The Father Brown Reader which I recently heard about.  The kids fell in love with this adaptation of Chesterton’s mystery writings about 2 sentences into the first paragraph.  (I normally don’t like adaptations for kids, but this might be the exception.  It’s so well done.)  It’s completely engaging, from my oldest down to my youngest child, and we’ve been reading on average 3 chapters a sitting because they don’t want me to stop reading.  There’s more in this series too, so I think those are going on my school wish list for next year.  Plus, if I can get my kids in love with Chesterton at an early age, I will feel a special accomplishment there.

So tell me friends, what are you knitting and reading these days?

Yarn Along



My knitting project is a pretty scarf for myself this winter.  I have the most horrible time finding a winter coat.  I’ve learned long ago that people in the Frozen Tundra collect coats.  When I first moved here, I bought a really nice coat, but they just had a size medium.  I’m an XS, so it looks pretty huge on me.  It has served me very well, though, when I am largely pregnant or if I want to baby wear under the coat.

A few years ago, I was hoping to get something that actually fit.  I found a really cute coat, that wasn’t as heavy as I wanted, but it was surprisingly cheap.  That coat is falling apart in multiple places now.  I purchased a heavy wool coat from Land’s End this year, and special ordered it in XS, petite.  It’s still a bit big, but not crazy big.  More like I can wear my biggest sweater underneath and still be comfortable.  Since I’m headed towards a winter way below zero, I’m going to consider that a perk.

I’m also in a big stash busting mode.  I’m trying hard not to purchase any more yarn until the stash is tamed.  I made the Berit Hat, which I still need to photograph.  There’s still a bit of embroidery left to do on that one.  I am using all the rest of my pretty off white stash of Quince chickadee to make this Elena Cowl.  My older kids have taken over so many of my old scarves and hats that I’m determined to make some that I won’t share right now.  Silje is taking so many of my clothes and jackets now that we really just need a bit more.

For reading, I’m thoroughly enjoying Anything by Jennie Allen.  I’ve never read anything by her before, but I know she’s involved in some big things.  I got this book as a part of an online book club I joined.  The first 400 people to sign up for the book club got the book free.  I was one of the first 400, so that was pretty cool.

It feels weird reading this book because so much of what I am reading is so similar to what I’m currently writing in my journal and blog post ideas.  At first I was like, “Is she inside my head?”  Then I realized again that God is doing something big, and he’s pretty consistent.  Sometimes the Holy Spirit tells a people something, and we all nod in agreement and say: yes, this is good.

So far I’m loving this book.  I love how she talks about her desperate need for God, and how sometimes we are so sick of needing God.  We want to just once pick our own selves up.  Her prayer is one I’ve been struggling with for awhile.  Do we really trust God with our lives?  Are we willing to lay it all down for whatever his plan might be?  There’s some great, good thoughts in here.

The Missing Sock

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I’ve been working on a pair of “Francie” socks for myself.  It’s a very fun pattern.  I had Knut take a picture of this on a Saturday night, after we got home from his cousin’s wedding and we were just unwinding, and I had just finished up icing my neck.  The ribs really hug your foot.  I have narrow feet, so I went down to size 0 needles, and I didn’t have to add any length to the pattern.  It was pretty right on.  It does hug the foot like I hoped, but the heel is a bit loose, and that may bug me.  If I make another pair, I may modify that heel a bit if I can.

I actually had a panicky situation with the socks on Sunday.  I had my little project bag with the finished sock, and the new sock cast on and a few rows starting it out.  The project bag had everything I needed.  It’s a little bag, so I just shoved it in my purse when we went to church.  I don’t usually knit at church, but we were making several stops to several places that day, so I wanted to have a bit of knitting in the car for if I had some time to kill in-between stops.

I left my purse at the church.  I should have been concerned about not having my wallet or things like that, but when we got home, and Knut and I were going to watch a movie after the kids went to bed, and I didn’t have my knitting…I was in bad shape.  I kind of freaked out.  “You mean I have to JUST watch a movie?”  Knut said I could work on my cross stitch or another project, but THIS is my project on the brain right now.  The yarn is so perfect, and I have some great momentum.  I didn’t want to watch a movie without the socks.  I think Knut looked at me light I was some kind of addict without her fix…

…which would be pretty right on in fact.

Knitting calms me down.  It allows my brain to unwind at the end of the day.  It tames all those thoughts flying around my brain and allows me to focus.  Scientific studies show this as well.  It enables a lot of people to focus.

At any rate, I got it back the next day, and all is well.  I’m almost done with the leg portion of the second sock.  I’m hoping by next week I can show you the finished pair.

Yarn Along


I’ve been in a stash-busting mood.  I’ve also been in a non-thinking-knitting mood.  That means I’m knitting lots of patterns written by other people that I’ve been longing to knit for years.  This week I cast on Francie by Rebekkah Kerner.  This is such a beautiful, well thought out pattern.  It’s interesting but not all-attention-consuming.  The ribs in the sock are winding and gnarling like a tree, and the designer had the book A Tree Grows in Brooklyn  in mind when she was designing it.  (One of my all-time favorite books.)  I love patterns based on literary characters.  It’s like my 2 favorite hobbies hanging out.  Last time I was in the twin cities I stopped by a little yarn shop and was introduced to “Dream in Color” yarn.  I could not leave there without a skein, and picked this lovely, smoky blue.  I intended it for some kind of shawl.  But when I was looking up on Ravelry some great projects using this yarn, this pattern kept coming up.  I hadn’t connected before that this was the yarn used in the original design.

My reading has been limited to books for the kids lately.  In our morning hour, one of our subjects is Shakespeare and we are using How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare, which is just so great.  We’ve finished all of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and are now moving to “Twelfth Night” now.  My kids are absolutely loving this unit, possibly more than any unit we’ve done in years.

For our morning tea time, I read aloud a chapter book directed towards the younger kids, but one the older kids would still enjoy.  This year it’s The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.  We read this author last year too and loved her then.  This book does not disappoint at all.  We are all in love with Edward Tulane, and are watching him slowly learn to love as well.

After the little girls go to bed at night, I read a book directed more at the older kids.  Little Britches has been on our reading list for awhile.  This story is told so well of a little boy moving to a ranch and learning to be a rancher, horse man, cowboy…he calls it by various names.  The kids have been begging me at the end of each chapter to read more.  My voice hasn’t been able to hold up to that, as the chapters are a bit longer than the books for the little kids.  But I have to admit, I wish we could too.