I only learned to knit out of necessity. We were taking our daughter on her first camping trip. She was two, it was to be cold in the mountains, but it was July. I couldn't find a hat anywhere. My sister happened to be in town and gave me a few lessons (she tricked me several times during the lessons to make sure I learned correctly and remembered it all - she is a good teacher). A hat and a hobby were born.
This year I have a whole lists of projects lined up specifically for our summer holiday. First up, wool socks. I don't mind the cold, but my feet do.
A basic sock (a mesh of two or three patterns because I am incapable of following any pattern as written). Yarn from Sunshine Yarns, a shop I love and my husband fears. I love the color combination here - and seriously I think everyone needs a pair of funky colored socks.
I intended these for my own use, but my daughter claimed them before I even had them off the needles.
And with that my hands are done for a bit. I've been knitting far too much lately and my left hand is acting up again. It's not as bad as it was, but a rest is very much required.
I promised myself I was done being outspoken on current events, but this story had me clapping my hands together gleefully - and sticking my tongue out, saying "Ha, ha!" at all the late night comedians and liberal talk show hosts.
Today's post is written by a more opinionated Jennifer. I do my best to ignore her, but some days she refuses to be silenced.
I heard aboutEarth Hour on the radio and my first thought was "Oh how fun!" We'll sit around the fire (because yes it's cold again) and read stories, have a candlelight dinner and cut down on the electric bill by a teeny tiny amount.
And then I flipped on the computer this afternoon and saw these conservative rebels talking about how they were going to do their best to turn every light on instead.
Why? What does that do for you - or anyone else? I'm not commenting on global warming or politics. You don't have to agree with or believe in anything behind this effort. I don't see the harm in teaching your children about using our resources responsibly. Why does it have to be turned into something divisive?
I am a fairly conservative Catholic but I will be turning my lights off tonight, not because I agree with them but because I think it's a kind of a neat thing to do.
I always intended this to be a gardening blog and in the spring, it becomes just that. The rest of the year it seems I am just opinionated and chatty enough to cover any number of topics. But for now...
First blackberry flower
It was warm when I went out but a strong cold front is blowing through right now and we are expecting temperatures close to freezing. I'm hoping to spend a refreshing evening looking over all my education books and jotting down curriculum ideas, ballet schedules, art exhibitions, science projects. Speaking of science projects, lest you think I am surrounded by the beauty above... My kitchen counter is overrun with seedlings in proper seed trays, seedlings in egg cartons, cuttings in plastic bags, orchids in ugly plastic pots. And dirty dishes. Maybe I'll tackle that before scheduling our new year.
I just saw this on Martha. How clever! We don't grow a lot of salad greens ourselves because they don't tolerate the heat well. They are good options for the early spring and I think I will put something like this together and have it ready to go for next year.
One of the few things my husband and I argue about is our garden (the other most common argument: who is going to be where at any given time, like I know these things). He prefers formal gardens, landscapes, masses of blooms and colors and plants placed on purpose. I'm more lazy relaxed about such things because I appreciate a single flower as much as a mass planting and love nothing more than discovering bulbs planted in very odd places not by me, but by a naughty little squirrel. He will glare at me tonight for snipping this freesia from its proper place in the garden. But it really, really wanted to spend the day right next to me. He also sort of hates it when I encourage mint to grow through the lawn. Maybe the passive aggressive gardening goes both ways.
Mom bonus point this week: I brought out the water paints and pricey paper. It bugs me how fast they go through $7.00 worth of paper. (Look at his little belly!)
And wrapping things up: Lucy finished Gamma so our year is sort of officially over except that we didn't finish grammar and I'm not really sure where to go from here. I'll be mulling all this over next week during our break. I'll also be coming to terms with my baby turning five this summer. To celebrate the school year ending we are having a sleep over at a friend's house. She is threatening to make me sit through the Twilight movie. I'm thinking Coldplay karaoke instead. Should be fun! Oh and the children will be there too, LOL!
Alyssum. My husband and I both refer to this as "Easter Basket Mix" but it had some other label attached. I don't much care. I prefer Easter Basket Mix. He does too. At least there's that.
I hope you are all out enjoying your first spring weekend!
He Leadeth Me (me) - This book is an easy read meaning it doesn't require more concentration than I have to spare at the end of the day. It's a difficult read it terms of content. As predicted the last time I picked it up it ended with me sobbing on the couch to my husband (who was just trying to watch the basketball game), "Honey, what if I die one day?" What is he supposed to say to that: "No, no, sweetie, that will never happen."? So our new rule - this book is not to be read at bedtime. I'm still not done, but am finding the book quite relevant and was particularly struck by the chapter on the body - you'll nod it you have also read it or shrug if you have not.
The Long Winter - This is brilliant writing. I've mentioned that it took me a long time to warm to the Little House books. This one is my absolute favorite. The juxtaposition of the hot summer day Pa and Laura spent cutting hay against the long brutal winter to come; the foreshadowing with the muskrat home; the cattle freezing to the ground - it's just incredibly suspenseful and quietly horrifying. Reading it this time, we are discussing all of these elements in terms of story structure.
The Bunny Who Found Easter (with my son, his current favorite) - On the surface this is a very secular book and that was a bit off putting at first. Though one could quite easily argue that the word 'Easter' has nothing to do with the Resurrection (as Meredith Gould explains in her book, The Catholic Home) and therefore the use of that word in the context of this book is perfectly acceptable. OR you could see the whole thing as a metaphor. To which I say, go for it. We just read it. He's only four. It's beautifully illustrated.
I was sitting in my backyard last week and noticed the rich green grass emerging from dormancy. My first thought was that I needed to make a quit bright enough to coordinate with all the pretty spring colors. The next day we were the unhappy victims of a very cold front but alas, it left me plenty of time to sew. I didn't want anything fussy because I have sewn three fussy quilts since August and I had no desire to match seams and corners and all of that nonsense. I was inspired by the Summer Breeze quilt in Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts and the stack of Park Slope I ordered last month. 24 hours later...
Really! Only 24 hours! And that included an episode of highly cranky cookie making with the children (surely my 8 year old won't drop a bowl of eggs on the floor. Wrong.) and sleep and everything.
The prints aren't exactly my style but I like the way they work together. And they are all so cheerful we are finding it impossible not to smile when we lie on it or under it. As far as the "design" - I just cut pieces 9.5 inches by whatever and pieced them in columns. Sew each column together whilst laughing joyfully that nothing has to match up. Free motion quilted in my signature style which would be "Jenn is in need of a stitch regulator". I pieced the binding as well because I had nothing on hand that would coordinate. The only short cut I took was machine stitching the binding, which bugs me and all but I wanted a functional quilt more than a polished quilt so it just wasn't worth the wear on my hands. I'm very pleased with the whole look. And because this was so easy I will feel even more comfortable letting the children trample on it with their muddy shoes.
I am definitely going to make this again.
We brought it out for tea time this afternoon - a day that fits the description 'as cozy as spring' if any ever did. Our hollies are blooming and so very sweet smelling. They are absolutely covered in honey bees which I hope will translate into plenty of berries for the robins next winter. I alternated between knitting and reading back issues of Martha that a friend gave me.
And now I must go and fix dinner - the children seem to request it every single night. And the kitchen floor has so much dirt tracked in that I think I could sprinkle seeds in it and have a garden right by the backdoor. Happy St. Patrick's Day friends!
Nowhere. After my last post it turned very cold and very rainy and I just wasn't in the mood to write about anything. We had a few Little House on the Prairie nights around here, huddled in front of the fire knitting and reading, crunching apples and animal crackers (my DVR is broken, LOL!). The sun returned yesterday and it was greeted with happy cheers from my children, "I can see shadows again Mama!!!"
What have I been doing?
Cleaned the house for a good 8 hours yesterday - ahhh!
Knitting a new veil for Mass
Finished the brightest happiest quilt in only 24 hours
Read and read and read to my children
Putting together some Easter baskety things. Easter is my favorite holiday - in a religious sense and also in a secular sense (sorry!). For the past two years I have seriously dropped the ball on Easter baskets, as in not doing them at all - something that would have horrified my younger self.
I hope your Monday is bright and sunny and warm. It's still far too wet here but I have tomatoes and milkweed to plant so I'm getting out there regardless.
And it's my Daddy's birthday today! Here is one of my favorite pictures of him working in his shop. He was my very first commenter when I started blogging. Love you Dad.
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