Two Chloes and the end of a Quest

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What luck! My phone upgrade garnered me the wonderful boon of a camera that actually went into FOCUS MODE, so ideally you won’t have to suffer through too many fuzzy pictures for a good long while….

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I thought to stage the knits alongside the daffodils, but it’s still Lent so the purple grape hyacinths it is.  The climate is totally unfair here in Deep South Land.  We get all the Easter glory very early and the bushes, trees, and flowerbeds are already celebrating.

Not to mention that it’s hard keeping the Easter dresses from the girls when it’s over 70 degrees on a Sunday (not LAST Sunday, though!) and their winter Hanna Anderssons aren’t quite comfortable anymore!

But I digress.

The lower sweater was my modified version of the Chloe pattern.  I didn’t do stripes or a ruffle, mainly because I knew Sunshine would wear it with pretty much anything and I thought keeping it plain would suit.  Also, I had three skeins of KnitPicks Billow in “Comfrey” that I’d gotten her for her birthday, ostensibly to be mittens, and I wanted to use it. I used two and a tiny bit over. 🙂  Now, I also say “modified version” because I added the increase stitches a little differently.  I would love to say I was being creative and artistic but the reality is I messed up even with the instructions in front of me, and to my extreme good fortune, it worked out all right.

The sweater on the needles is Princess’ “Chloe,” also in KnitPicks Billow but in “Clarity” Will I finish it by Easter?  Wait and see…. I’m infamous for my last minute holiday projects.

NOW….

 

 

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In January on one of these Yarn-Along posts, I mentioned I was going to find out where all the quotes came from on the clever and capital little mug I received from my parents last Christmas.  I said I’d read through as many Jane Austen novels as necessary to find them out.  I’ve already posted about some of them, and I was down to three.

“One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.”  That’s in Emma.

“One cannot have too large a party.”  Also in Emma, as I thought, but the speaker was that ever social Mr. Weston.

Now the final quote had me stymied.  “It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.”  I joked at the time that it sounded like something from Batman Begins, mainly to tease my brother-in-law, who likes JA about as much as I like Batman.  Let me tell you, dear reader, that after rereading the five main novels in the past three months, I could not find this direct quote anywhere.

I did not feel like reading Lady Susan or the Juvenalia.  I did not feel like rereading JA’s letters.  Having read Emma, Mansfield Park, and Persuasion back to back, I needed to take a break.

((So I reread The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer for the hundredth time, so I could sit back and laugh and not think too hard))

But it bothered me that I should have reached what ought to have been journey’s end and not have found so simple a quote as that.  So begrudgingly I turned to Google.  It lead me to Goodreads, which told me that quote came from Sense and Sensibility!

WHAT?!  That was the very first novel I read this winter! How had I missed it?!  With eyes primed to find those quotes, surely I hadn’t missed it…

I searched further down the Google rabbit trail, and discovered that once upon a time, not so long ago, someone else had done a similar search on another mug, and found out that the quote had come….

FROM A FILM ADAPTATION.

I call foul!  If you’re going to quote JA on a mug of novel quotations, quote her! Don’t quote someone’s modified version of her.

But now my quest is over, and I can go back to some serious reading.  And I do have some serious reading to occupy me during these days of the Triduum.  More next week.

 

 

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Yarn Along — It’s Really Done! Plus a lot about books….

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Other Knits Here!

A few days ago I published a teaser about the Armas sweater, and while I don’t yet have a picture of my beloved wearing said “beloved” sweater (“Armas” is Finnish for “beloved,” if you haven’t actually read the Ravelry description), he did try it on and do I ever wish it were a COLD WINTER down here so I could see him wear it more often (cue starry eyed expression)!

However, the winter sun was kind enough to shine this afternoon and I snapped this picture.  I confess I am still preparing myself to block the sweater… I had a nightmare one night after working on the second sleeve that I accidentally felted it … I’m sort of afraid now to let water touch it… I mean, eighteen months in the knitting, heh heh heh….

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I’m in the post-project breathing phase.  I gauge-swatched for the Evelyn sweater, and should be posting about that in the next Yarn Along post I manage to write.

In the meantime, I have much to report about BOOKS.  For Christmas my mother gave our girls some of the “Shoe Books.”  Anyone who has seen “You’ve Got Mail” remembers the “Shoe Books” (in below video, skip to 2:24 or so).  I confess before the Christmas season was really over I read all three that we have (“Ballet Shoes“, “Skating Shoes“, and “Dancing Shoes“).  “Ballet Shoes” is my favorite, too.  Although, I never knew these books existed before the movie.  Same with the Betsy-Tacy series!  I was reading a book I’d bought for my girls’ home library when I found myself quoting out loud: “…whose name, I’m sorry to tell you, is Thelma.”  I love this movie.

Then there is my winter project to name that Austen quote’s source.  I have read “Pride & Prejudice,” “Northanger Abbey,” and I was reading “Sense and Sensibility” the week my sister called to say: “Did you hear that Col. Brandon died?! And by the way, happy birthday.”  I finished the book with the nostalgic memories of many a weekend spent with my sister watching and rewatching and rewatching again the classic “S & S” movie with Alan Rickman as THE HERO (sorry, Edward, but it isn’t you. You got out of a jam with considerable good luck.  We all like you immensely, but that’s true). Even ten years later or so, when the newer movie came out and gave Col. Brandon his due with a much larger role in the film, it wasn’t the same without Alan Rickman’s voice.

But I’m sharing this clip which doesn’t have him talking, because this song was in my head all day on my birthday after that phone call.

Rest in peace, Col. Brandon.

Now, on to those quotes.

“The very first moment I beheld him, my heart was irrevocably gone” Definitely Isabella Thorpe in Northanger Abbey…. And she has no heart to give, incidentally.

“A woman, especially if she has the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.”  Definitely Northanger Abbey.

“One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.” I was wrong about this one. It’s from Emma. I’m nearly halfway through this novel at present but I actually have two reads on my bedside table at the moment.  It depends on what I feel like.

“I wish, as well as everybody else, to be perfectly happy; but, like everybody else, it must be in my own way.”  Ok, the almighty Internet tells me that it belongs to Sense & Sensibility and it did indeed.  I thought it would be Marianne or Willoughby but it was, in fact, Edward.  Ironically, he says this as he visits the Dashwoods in Devonshire after having visited his secret fiancee.  And at the time he was saying this, he was pretty miserable.

Will you bear with me a moment more, dear reader?  I finally decided to do the Modern Mrs. Darcy 2016 Reading Challenge.  I haven’t decided on all the titles I want to read, or the order I wish to read them, but I’ve got one done already.

January: A book published this year.  “Spark Joy” by Marie Kondo.  My pantry never looked better after reading this one. 😉  Just don’t ask me about the corner cabinet. We’re getting there…

February (other current read): A book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller. I chose for this one “The Life-Giving Home” by Sally Clarkson.  It actually just arrived today and I’m working on the first chapter.  To be honest, I don’t go to our local library since I’m not “in city.” To get a library card at one time cost $50 for us non-citiers. So I decided to spend $50 on books I can keep and use our buy/sell/trade bookstore as an easy “library.”  If I pick out something we don’t want to keep, back it goes for credit.  Now, the general type of workers at the bookstore would probably suggest “Game of Thrones” for my reading pleasure, and that type of book just….isn’t. So I went with Elizabeth Foss’ recommendation via Facebook because let’s be honest, I get many book ideas from other moms on the internet.  You ladies are wonderful. 🙂  I had already pre-ordered the book, so I’m glad it was highly praised.

Now for a cup of tea.  Good night!

Yarn Along: Armless Armas

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IMG_4679Well, not exactly entirely armless Armas… I’m 3/4th done with the first sleeve, if you can see past that shaft of winter sunlight that wasn’t quite as blinding in person.  Illuminates that yoke detail, though!  The other sleeve is still absent, and the sweater looks rather lopsided without it.  I’ve customized the sleeve decreases for him, and I need to make sure I properly note that before beginning the next.

No real reading this week, unless you count the Tintin anthologies the kids received for Christmas. Even Posey Pie sits and looks at the pictures for quite a time.  We have almost all seven sets of books, with #3 still en route from somewhere.

Meanwhile, my parents gave me this wonderful mug for Christmas, covered in many quotes from Jane Austen’s books!

 

There’s just one problem… I feel like I should know where all quotes are from.  I’ve been reading Austen since high school; my senior thesis for my BA was on Emma, Persuasion, and Pride & Prejudice… my devoted husband one year gave me every novel she wrote–in hardback, even the hilarious Juvenilia.  Why don’t I know all the quotes?! So, while many other literature minded friends and ladies on FB and blogs are writing out lists of new books to read in 2016, I’m going to go through Austen and figure out the quotes I’m unsure about.

It’s just for my vanity, but also curiosity.

So, the quotes I know–and please correct me if I’m wrong:

“If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.” George Knightley, Emma.

“In vain I have struggled.” Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice.

“A man does not recover from such a devotion of the heart to such a woman. He ought not. He does not.” Frederick Wentworth, Persuasion (he writes a better letter than Mr. Darcy, by the way).

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”  Pride and Prejudice, opening lines.

“Till this moment I never knew myself.” Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice.  Also, “The more I see of the world, the more I am dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my disbelief of the inconsistency of all human characters.”

“Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery”  Mansfield Park

“Friendship is the certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.” Northanger Abbey

Now, the quotes I’m unsure about:

“The very first moment I beheld him, my heart was irrevocably gone” That sounds like Isabella Thorpe in Northanger Abbey….

“One cannot have too large a party.”  Mr. Elton? in Emma?

“A woman, especially if she has the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.”  Again, I’m almost sure that’s Northanger Abbey.

“One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.” That sounds like about three or four of the novels… but I want to say Persuasion

“It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.”  Ok, I look at that and think Batman Begins… which I only saw once.  So where is it in Austen (mainly so I can tease my brother-in-law that the writers of the movie must have read Austen! ;))?!

One more quote that’s not on my mug but which I have recently seen: “I wish, as well as everybody else, to be perfectly happy; but, like everybody else, it must be in my own way.”  The almighty Internet tells me that it belongs to Sense & Sensibility but I want to know for myself who says it, because to be honest, there’s a lot of characters in that book who don’t always have the nicest ways of getting their own happiness.

Yarn Along: Completed WIP!

 

I called this my frivolous project because it’s not something I plan on wearing all the time. In fact, I mainly thought of fall and winter. At home. With my morning coffee or nightly tea.

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But back when I received the 2011 issue of Jane Austen Knits, I saw the picture of the “short stays” and thought of one of my favorites–a vintage linen nightgown with crochet yoke, decades old but wearable still, and I wanted to pair these together.

And today, I finally did!

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The lighting makes the yarn look dark, but it’s really a lovely wine color. I can hardly believe I began the project a year ago and, picking it up again for the first time since October or November, I couldn’t believe how quickly I was able to finish it.

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Sunday on the way to and from Mass; in the speech therapy office waiting for Trooper and Sunshine; at the pool with Rascal, Dino, and Princess; and a little last night after they were all in bed and again this morning and voila! All I have left to do is block it, which I will begin after signing off.

back view--and yes, it's supposed to be off-center.
back view–and yes, it’s supposed to be off-center.

That was all! I wish I had finished it last year. I do not like having WIPs hanging around and am glad to check another one off the list. 🙂

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Plus, I finally completed a project out of one of the Jane Austen Knits magazines and, as I’ve collected them all, I no longer feel guilty if they publish another to ask for it since yes, I do intend to use it! 😉

Yarn Along & P,H,F,R for the third week of March

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Happy St. Joseph’s Day (a day late) and Happy First Day of Spring!

I was going to stay up a bit last night and make these two separate posts, but I’m glad I didn’t because we had a preschool night owl. We’re talking wide awake from 3:30-5:30. Two hours doesn’t sound so bad I guess, but it is when she’s constantly crawling in and out of your bed. It’s one of those things you know happens for a reason but I’m not sure what that reason is right now. 😉

I did get more work done on the special vest this week. A few more rows and the back will be done and then I’ll be working on the front.

photo 4Admittedly not the best picture but I took it yesterday hoping to post it then, and the lighting was way off. See the little cable owls there in the front of the vest? I’ve been wanting to do something with cable owls ever since I started knitting again.

Next to the vest is my pile of Lenten reading. Small Steps I’ve been reading since last October. It’s the best I’ve ever done with a daily devotional book, which says a lot. I am almost through with Fulton Sheen’s Life is Worth Living which has been excellent. Guardini’s Learning the Virtues is not a quick chapter book. You definitely need to take it a chapter and a time and ponder it as you go. That book is better than I expected, and I’m only three chapters in. Lent with St. Therese is something I’ve incorporated into our morning prayertime before school so the kids have something to do with me during Lent.

And now….

Pretty

Let’s talk Easter a moment, shall we?

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Easter dresses, specifically! The fabric is from Sarah Jane’s Wee Wander collection. The blue is for Sunshine and the pink for Princess. Miss M is going to wear Princess’ dress from last year because that girl has a surfeit of fancy dresses for Church, let me tell you. She’s finding it very good to be on the receiving end here. Posey will wear the dress and pinafore my mother-in-law smocked for Princess four years ago. I find girls’ church dresses much easier to pass on than their play clothes. It’s all the pastel colors–they attract every stain. Particularly when you’re a toddler fond of frozen blueberry snacks. But I digress. The pattern for this year’s Easter dresses is hot of the presses at Oliver & S. And no, I’m not making these myself. My mother-in-law once again graciously volunteered. 🙂

Meanwhile I’m starting to gather ideas for Easter baskets. Haus Meister and I usually give each other a little something just because and this year our gifts to each other arrived long before I’ve finalized the plans for the kids’ basket.

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A yarn sampler and a homebrew kit. We’re going to be quite happy with our projects in April. 🙂 The yarn is the Billow line from Knitpicks and came packaged as a “Garden Fresh” sampler. I want to make a baby blanket out of it for the Littlest but am not sure yet how to arrange the colors into stripes. I’m trying to finish my other projects first. 🙂

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Ah, Posey Pie’s birthday. It was quite fun. I still don’t have all the pictures but I’ll share some that I do.

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Not very impressed with the crown that Grandma is trying to keep on her head long enough for a picture. In fact, Princess commandeered that crown and is now wearing it like a fascinator, which is pretty amusing.

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The Blueberry Pi Pie! This was Haus Meister’s favorite. I also made an apple pie and a coconut cream pie. Oh so good. Oh so not Lent.

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The loot, comprised of gifts from parents, aunts & uncles and grandparents. Can you tell she’s an English Literature major’s daughter? We needed more board books in our home library and these are all charming. The Cozy Classics Austen ones are hilarious–felt dolls acting out scenes from the books and one word descriptions of the scene introduce the youngest reader to Jane Austen. The S&S opposites primer was quite amusing as well. Those are holy cards on a keyring for Mass as well as the faith related board books. At Christmas I gave the little girls a “first Bible board book” but learned quickly that we couldn’t bring it to Church as they would look at the animal pages and loudly inform me what sounds each animal made.

And incidentally, that’s the third copy of 1 is One that we’ve owned. You know it’s good when you go through so many copies.

Funny

Dino was here.

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I walked into the boys’ room to put their laundry on their dressers (ostensibly so they would actually put it away) and nearly tripped over his collection.

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Last night I sent the kids downstairs to clean the family room/playroom and instead they seemed to have artistically rearranged the toys. On top of the rug that is in sore need of a good clean. The person at the foot of the table is getting a good deal of protein in their diet. 😉

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The pies I did well. The cake for St. Joseph Day? Not so well.

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I noticed as the layers were baking that while I had separated the five egg yolks and added them to the mixing bowl, I had neglected to add the five egg whites. And to please a family member who doesn’t like cream cheese, I used  Greek yogurt in the icing but something tells me that wasn’t the best substitution. I was going to joke that “this is cake baking with pregnancy brain” but seeing the list angle of our layer cake I realized that no, about 50% of my cakes turn out that way. This one particularly channels the cake I made long ago for my parents’ 19th Wedding Anniversary. Both that cake and this reminded me of the cake in Sleeping Beauty that the fairy tries to prop up with a broom, and both also had very drippy powdered sugary icing. The kids, however, loved this cake. Miss M is about to steal a finger of icing there, and I caught her with Sunshine later scooping up the icing that spilled off the cake with an ice cream scoop. This is probably why Sunshine had such an awake night. You’d have thought it would have given her a sugar coma. Ah well…

Yarn Along–for once I post on a Wednesday!


I was very excited when I put up my knitting last night. I was two (2) rows from the end of Clue 1-B in the Follow-Your-Arrow Knit-a-long.  I know I’m already three clues behind but I’m getting there. Today an early Valentine arrived in the form of Jane Austen themed stitch markers–and I love decorative stitch markers, despite my use of rubberbands in the past. I love how they dress up a project.

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Yes, today they arrived, and I was set to use them tonight when I squeaked in my free knitting time. After all, the final row of 1-B calls for two stitch markers. Huzzah and hoo-ray! But then a setback happened in the form of my relentlessly energetic Sunshine, who saw that Mommy had (stupidly) left her project out on top of the yarn cupboard but in plain sight, so she got a chair over, pulled it down, and proceeded to re-enact a scene of a cartoon she’d just seen on Netflix (Kipper) where one character’s sweater unravels (that would be Pig’s), and they use the trail of yarn to find their way out of the woods. 

Fortunately, she only unravelled a few rows. Unfortunately, this is where the lace work was starting to come in, all the yarn overs, knit-two-togethers, slip-slip-knit, oh boy. No, “oh boy” is not a stitch that I know of, it was just me summing up my feelings on the subject. 😉 So tonight’s work will be to make amends for my mistake in leaving such a project in plain sight, and perhaps tomorrow I’ll get a chance to use my fancy new markers. 😉

Current project, current read
Current project, current read

On the reading front, to prove I do occasionally branch out of British Lit, I pre-ordered a new book yesterday!

Now if Posey will sleep, I’ll try to get back to the knitting….

Yarn Along & (p, h, f, r)

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Pretty

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From the phone camera archives–a tableau from this past New Year’s Eve. Those are bayberry candles burning down in the old tradition: “This bayberry candle comes from a friend /so on Christmas eve burn it down to the end. / For a bayberry candle burned to the socket, / will bring joy to the heart and gold to the pocket.” Now our candles came from a store and not from a friend, and I burned ours on New Years instead of Christmas Eve, so it’s probably a good thing I was just doing it for the sake of an old colonial tradition and also because it smelled great! 😉

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I am still working on my mom’s Shalom cardigan. She knows it is for her now so I can openly boast that I’ve finally knitted something for her. Unfortunately I ran out of yarn, having under-budgeted for the sweater when I bought the yarn a year ago. Since I had to send off for more skeins via mail, I took the time to start on Ysolda’s Mystery Shawl Knit-a-long, only a week behind everyone else–even though I bought the pattern and joined the Ravelry group on January 5! Other knitters might possibly recognize this poor picture as part of Clue 1-B. I know I’m going to go on to Clue 2-A, hopefully before the third clue is released on Monday!

Happy

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The picture I meant to post last week for Yarn Along but never managed to write. See my lovely new Georgette Heyer collection? Perfect for the winter doldrums! Also a new paperback edition of Mansfield Park from Ignatius Critical editions so I don’t have to worry about crazy weird introductions or essays included. Ahhhh… Oh, and the gardening book might just be the answer to our backyard gardening woes. Maybe, just maybe….

The big reddish thing there is the Shalom cardigan in progress. The two skeins of Classic Elite Firefly there propping up the gardening book are for the mystery shawl.

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A blurry look at my cute Miss M in front of my yarn cupboard. Miss M makes me happy. Yarn also helps keep the morale going. The fact that Miss M can’t get to that yarn keeps the peace.

Funny

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I found that I had a “little” extra help taking down the Christmas decorations.

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The news of Baby Girl #5 meant that there needed to be a change-up in the bedroom arrangements. When we bought the house, the boys got the larger of the two kids’ bedrooms because they had more stuff (read:LEGO) than the girls and also the girls’ room had a closet organizer that I thought they should appreciate (there were also just 2 girls in the room and Miss M on the way). The girls did appreciate the closet organizer but only as a ladder, so the organizer was ditched pretty quickly. Now the thought of trying to fit five girls into their pink room was getting pretty claustrophobic so we determined to switch out the kids’ rooms.

Enter a friend who owns a professional custom tile company, who had a client who wanted to get rid of a wooden bedroom suite. Knowing our family as he did, our friend arranged for us to get it and came over on Sunday to help Haus Meister unload it. I meanwhile quickly painted over the pink and in a few hours the transformation between rooms was mostly complete (still doing the odds and ends). 

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(I’m standing next to Trooper’s bed, which is the same one that Haus Meister made for him when we lived in the Old Haus).

There is one more thing that the girls need to make their room completely theirs again, though.

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 A new coat of paint!

Yarn Along–New Year, New Knits

It’s January, and between Christmas and my birthday (happening within three weeks of each other), time for my yarn stash update and to plot a course through my overly ambitious Ravelry queue for the new year! Does anyone else do that? Does anyone else have this problem:

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The end of 2o13 and the beginning of 2014 found me finishing up Sunshine’s Aston hat. It turned out adorable, even though I messed up the barley stitch on the decrease. The self-stripey yarn also probably wasn’t the best to be used with this pattern–the colors go everywhere–but all the same it fits our Sunshine’s personality.

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On January 1 as we were leaving the holy day Mass, Princess wanted to take a picture of my parents’ car as they left before us. I didn’t notice until I uploaded these pictures that she caught me knitting on our way home from church.

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The lighting is a little orangey, sorry. The yarn cabinet is back in my “sitting room” (also known as the sewing room, reading room, or knitting room depending on the activity going on. It is my nook and I am very well pleased with it). Readers of my blog will have seen the picture on the shelf of the young lady before–it’s my great-grandmother at age 15 (circa 1926). She’s the one who started me knitting in the first place.

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Here’s my bonny lass Sunshine wearing her hat. She was so engrossed in whatever it was on Netflix at this moment that I was able to pop the hat on her and snap the picture before she was well aware, which is all for the best because she’s officially receiving the hat this weekend for her birthday. I just couldn’t resist seeing if it fit!

Now I’m on to my first project of 2014: The Shalom Cardigan. I’ve had this pattern queued for quite a while–maybe since I discovered Ravelry, I’m not sure–and I actually printed it out to do last January. However, other projects intervened and now I’m doing it this January. It’s a good lesson not to despair about a project list: it eventually will get done!

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Hmm…not as focused as I thought, but that’s my fault for using the phone camera instead of taking the time to unearth our lovely “real” camera. The magazine in the background was a Christmas gift from my younger sisters-in-law, the latest in my collection. Yes, two projects from it are already in my Ravelry queue and the “drygoods” section has hints of Austen knitting goodies that I’m eager to add to my “favorites.”

Anyway, the yarn I’m using for the cardigan comes from the bottom of my stash, where it’s been patiently waiting for just this very sweater. It’s Lions’ Brand Thick & Chunky or something like that in a delightful cranberry color (lots prettier in natural light). Probably will fuzz a bit although it says it’s machine wash-and-dryable. I bought it for that reason because I’ve already accidentally felted two wool projects from last year–The Roaring Meg and the Gandalf gloves. Ai-yi-yi! They were in the wrong laundry basket at the wrong time. Sigh. In any case, even though I’m only on row 22 of 115 or so, the sweater already looks lovely and is so chunky and cosy I can just tell it’s going to be a favorite. We sure could have used it this past week, let me tell you!!

Reading wise I’m back to Persuasion thanks to Jane Austen Knits putting me in a Jane mood. Also, the two Heyer books I got for an early Christmas present (Frederica and The Reluctant Widow) are over at my sister-in-law’s  for her leisure reading time. She adored FredericaThe Reluctant Widow helped me pleasantly pass the quiet hours when all our sick kiddos were napping and Christmas plans were all askew. I reread it three times before letting it out of my hands (and I’d better get them back!!).

 In other reading news, our church passed out a free book to every family in the parish again this Christmas, and this year it was Finding True Happiness by Fulton J. Sheen. Actually, the book is comprised of short teasers from Sheen’s other works, each of them very thought provoking. I am determined to read more Sheen this coming Lent. Our family library is woefully lacking in his department–this shall be amended as I’ve always loved his writings and what I’ve seen of his old programs. The day I finished Finding True Happiness I set the book down for a second to attend to something and then realized just where I put it:

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Right next to the box of premium chocolates! Huzzah! How’s that for irony?

Yarn Along–onto the next hat!

Once again the drive north for Thanksgiving proved to be a boon for my knitting. I finished the Graham hat for Rascal before we headed back to the warmer South. Unfortunately I ran out of yarn, and had no way of getting to a store that might even have had a replacement (and didn’t know if the yarn had been discontinued in the interim). So I truncated the pattern and it does just fit him, but I will have to repeat with a larger skein from my stash before next winter. That’s okay; my goal is to have a surplus of hats because there are times when cousins or friends are visiting and it actually snows or gets cold around here and we end up needing every last one of them.

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So here we have the Graham hat. HA! I just noticed my hand on his shoulder. Typical Mom action–hold still so I can get this picture for posterity!!!

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The next day I cast on a hat for Sunshine. Princess got a furry pink hat from a cousin’s no longer needed stash and she’s the one who usually wears the hood of her coat anyway, so the hat I had in mind for her wasn’t immediately necessary. Miss M and Posey both have hats already thanks to Target on Black Friday (going north is my cue to add to the emergency hat and gloves stash since around here gloves disappear like odd socks). But my dear Sunshine couldn’t fit into the hat I bought her–too small–so she gets the next from my needles. I chose the Aston pattern from my Ravelry queue. The yarn has been sitting in my stash ever since my nesting-induced yarn raid on Hobby Lobby in August 2011, days before Miss M arrived. I’m pleased to be finally using it!!

Oh, that’s our official Advent wreath. Toddler proof.  And a teaser for our family Christmas picture!

Here’s the yarn up close and personal.

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As for reading, I finally took the recommendation of my sister, a best friend, and a cousin and picked up a Georgette Heyer novel. It helped that my sister had Frederica sitting on her side table and as we were staying with my sister, I had a bit of time in the evenings to indulge. I had finished Lady Susan by Jane Austen just before we left so the name “Frederica” was fresh in my mind. Originally I picked it up wondering, as Heyer is supposed to be the next best thing to Austen, if she had chosen Frederica as a sequel to Lady Susan but fortunately it wasn’t. I don’t really like some of the Austen sequels I’ve come across. However, I thoroughly enjoyed my first foray into the world of Heyer. It was a perfect bit of light reading.

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And now I’m craving more. Any Heyer fans out there with suggestions?