Yarn Along for July

It may be hard to tell from the last post that I did in May, but I’ve gotten several inches further down on the body of the Armas sweater.  I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m pleased to note that I’m nearly done with the current skein of yarn, and am ready get another off the massive pile still on my dresser.
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The books and small booklet shown have been my main reading for the summer so far.  Perelandra is one of my husband’s favorites and I confess I had heretofore only read snatches of it.  I promised him I’d read it entirely, and I am glad it did.  I appreciate Lewis’ writing and insights more and more with every book I read (even if I did skim the Great Dance portion a bit).

The Soul Gardening Journal was a blessed arrival in my mailbox.

Wodehouse is also back! Not pictured is If I Were You because it was in my husband’s suitcase at the time the picture was taken two weeks ago (I didn’t make the link-up last Wednesday, but neither project or reading list altered as I was just starting Something Fresh). Wodehouse is a great travel companion.  Most of our collection grew when Haus Meister travelled a lot more; I used to get him a book for every long journey.  Then I’d get to read it, too–or sometimes I’d speed through it before he left. 😉 Win-win.

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Yarn Along , the Easter edition

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The “Dogwood Winter” passed and the weather has been beautiful ever since. This has its drawbacks as we make the valiant push to finish as much of the school year before Littlest makes her appearance. The “we” is questionable. I would love to be done right nowThey would just like to be outside. 😉

Pretty

No chance of getting the family together for a group picture, but I did get my girlies before they changed into their play clothes.

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As usual my mother-in-law was a wizard with her sewing machine. Here’s Princess in her new Easter dress (as mentioned in an earlier post, the Oliver & S Garden Party dress, made with Sarah Jane Wee Wander fabric). Using an Oliver & S sewing book, Grandma also made a doll dress, and then a purse for Princess. The purse is adorably constructed from a panel of the Wee Wander line, which I will have to get a picture of later because it is just that cute.  Grandma actually made four of these dresses, two for my girls and two for my nieces on that side of the family, and then three matching doll dresses for my three “bigger” girlies.

Miss M wore the dress Grandma made for Princess last year, and there was enough of that fabric left in stash for a matching dress for Dolly, that Dolly did wear until the way home from church, obviously. 😉

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Sunshine’s dress was a favorite.

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Posey Pie wore the smocked pinafore and green dress that Grandma made for Princess when she was 1, and lent it much distinction. The boys, as you see, were already less formal by the time we got home. I tried to get Dino to wear a tie but it was enough for him to wear the white dress shirt with black slacks. “If I wear a tie,” he informs me, “I’ll be a prince! But I’m not! I’m a hobbit!” Working on this, working on this. Rascal served Mass so he didn’t wear the tie either. Trooper might have but I need to get one in a better size for my tall boy. Ah well, like I said, working on this.

Happy

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The dry sink in the foyer, Holy Saturday night (hence poor lighting).

On a side note, I have absolutely fallen in love with these icons. I never would have thought it of me, but it’s true.

Funny

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The kitchen table, Holy Saturday night. Rascal and Dino set this up before going to bed. Earlier in the day the three “middles”– Rascal, Dino, and Princess, spent some time coloring this craft from Lacy’s page at CatholicIcing.com. What amused me was their enthusiasm for filling the tableau with frightened Roman soldiers. It’s in keeping with our family rosary, when we announce the first Glorious Mystery, and Dino pipes up: “It’s the Resurrection, when Jesus rises from the dead and scares the Romans.”

Happy/Funny/Real

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Lamb Cake Success!!! I used the recipes mentioned in this post–the last time I had a success–and tweaked the icing a bit. I used powdered sugar instead of granulated, warmed it slightly in a double boiler, then transferred it all to my trusty kitchenaid and let it do the whisking. Result shown above. Everyone enjoyed it, and also enjoyed Sunshine’s comment when she saw it: “Oh, I see the puppy!”

My Easter sheep-dog cake?

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And here’s where I finally get to the YarnAlong…

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The longest row–row 13 of Clue 4B of the Follow-Your-Arrow shawl. Now that row is not hard, or longer than any other. It has just taken me two weeks to finish it! Now I’m on the purl row (14) before the next lace row (15). I am determined to finish this project before taking up another because I am afraid I won’t finish it otherwise. My next project is in potential right there on the right. I chose these three from my Easter yarn to be the blanket for Littlest. Cushy bulky cotton yarn–I can hardly wait to use it. You may think they’re funny colors for a baby girl, but I have an idea from a book on how they’ll fit in to the girliness around here. Stay tuned.

As for reading, P.G. Wodehouse’s Tales from St. Austin’s and then this excellent book pictured above that I was so glad to receive at the end of Holy Week! Huzzah!

Coming back to Yarn Along

I’m back!

For the nonce I have shelved my frivolous project, deciding upon our first cold snap of the season to devote my knitting time to more utilitarian pursuits–like hats. Especially since Rascal specifically requested a bright red hat. I don’t know how many times in his life he will actually request me to make him something, unlike his sisters who always have demands ;), so I’m going to oblige him!

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One last photo before it spends a few months in storage….

Now it took a lot to get me to shelve the short stays. I dislike having works in progress lying in wait for me. However, I’ve also had the Graham pattern printed since January knowing I would do it sometime this year for Rascal and/or Dino, and now that it’s the eleventh hour (and month), it was high time!

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I took this picture the day after I began Rascal’s hat, so by now I have completed the 3″ brim and am now four rows into the broken rib pattern.  When I can squeeze in some time to knit it does go fast and I am as usual thoroughly enjoying the pattern. I may make one of these for Dino after all.

As for reading, I have unabashedly pre-read the Wodehouse novels I bought for Haus Meister’s Christmas stocking. I won’t mention them by name so he’ll be surprised that way (he would be surprised if I missed a holiday to gift him with another Wodehouse, so the fact that I have them and have read them wouldn’t faze him in the slightest. We’re horrible at keeping things secret from each other, a fault that has its good points). However, I’ll use this space to put a shout out for two or three of our favorite fall children’s books!

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Great nonsense poem about the trials of getting ready for winter (particularly if you’re Mary, who gets even on the last page in a scene that never fails to make Sunshine giggle).

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Haus Meister and I joke every year that this book shows our house on Thanksgiving 20-30 years from now. Bring it on! I am already looking forward to it! The pages showing the family rearranging the furniture to make room for a gargantuan makeshift banquet table, plus the lines “At Grandma’s house, the chairs don’t match, but we don’t care, there’s always room at the table” strikes home to me even now because our chairs have never matched–EVER. 🙂

I love books about Thanksgiving even as the stores are already getting us ready for Christmas–and more people near us already have Christmas decorations out than I remember seeing before the holiday.  And being me, if I’m checking Amazon reviews and see people huffing that the book has the gall to mention G-O-D, then I’m all the more likely to buy it. To whom are you giving thanks, anyway?

This is a favorite with the littlest two.

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On a side note, Tomie dePaola in his picture of the family dinner painted both ways I prepare cranberries for the family feasts–whole berries and cylindrical just-out-of-the-can cranberries. 😉

There you have it! With luck I’ll have a better picture of Graham hat #1 next week. 🙂

Yarn along…. a curious development….

You may remember in my last post how I had to use some interesting stitch markers as I worked my way around the new project. Namely, that they were my daughters’ hairbands.

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So you may imagine my shock Sunday morning, when I pulled my project of the bag to work on during the drive to Mass, to find that the stitch markers were gone.

The project was perfectly still upon the needles, no stitch dropped, no unravelling.

But the hairband markers were gone.

???!

Then I remembered something I’d seen earlier this week, after I had dropped the bag next to my bed and left it there a while.

In their puppy days. They're bigger now.
In their puppy days. They’re bigger now.

THAT ONE–THE ONE ON THE LEFT WITH THE SHIFTY, FURTIVE EYE! PIPPIN–I CALL YOU OUT ON THIS ONE. IT HAD TO BE YOU!

Why? Because I remember seeing him laying down next to my knitting bag with a guilty look. And if these dogs like chewing anything besides stray LEGOs, it’s the hairbands the girls drop.

But how did he do it without completely disturbing my project? I guess I’ll never know.

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Meanwhile, we’ve gone from yellow hotel room light to dark…natural light? Oh well. It looked much brighter on my camera phone.

As for reading, I have been skipping around the home library. I picked up some L. M. Montgomery, half-heartedly began Wives and Daughters, reread a Wodehouse again. I’m sort of in reading limbo right now. On the plus side, there are two fresh Wodehouse books coming soon that I pre-ordered in March! Huzzah!

Yarn Along–All but the edging and the blocking.

The past week was a washout, literally. 😉 Okay, it wasn’t that bad, but we were in the midst of the Deluge that has left some parts of our surrounding area under water and cancelled nearly every 4th of July plan we made. I finished the body of the Raindrop Cardigan on a whirlwind trip to Indiana to pick up the table upon which it is pictured. Unfortunately I forgot to bring the crochet hook to do the edging, but I did bring the needles and yarn for a project that calls for yards of easy tubular cord, so I packed away the sweater and started it instead.
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So sometime soon I need to pull out the crochet hook and finish this!

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To show I do occasionally pop open a serious book, here’s this week’s read. I like the recipes in this book, but I would find it hard to completely eliminate sugar from the diet. I mean, how do you can strawberry jam with no sugar? Does anyone have a recipe?

And as for giving up THIS:

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EEK! How would I survive? Not happening.

However, I’m reading the book because some of the kiddos may have wheat sensitivity and it was recommended by a very dear friend who is also my special needs counselor of sorts. When I was browsing her copy of the book, Haus Meister happened to look over my shoulder as I turned the page to “Creole Crawfish Casserole” and told me to order the book at once. 😉 Seriously, the recipes look delicious, and they’re all wholesome.

In other reading news, I reread Wodehouse’s Something Fresh again last week. It is still my #1 favorite after all.

Yarn Along–The End is in Sight

The end of this yarn ball is in sight! The end of The Raindrop Cardigan? Maybe not. I like my sweaters to hit “at hip” so I need to make it at least 24″ long. I have a block of knitting time carved out very soon, so maybe next week I can show something more than this incredibly misleading picture.

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It’s misleading in that I most certainly was not sitting outside knitting today. 😉 The humidity has set in.

Wodehouse of the Week: Full Moon. This one might top Something Fresh as my favorite Wodehouse. Might.

Yarn Along–Raindrop Cardigan goes on and on…

I’m three more rows in with the body of the cardigan, ergo it doesn’t look much different from last week. However, here’s something I’ve been wanting to share:

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Rascal drew this picture of me for Mother’s Day. “It’s you, Mother, with your yarn!” The gray penciled ball on the far left is a work-in-progress, apparently, while the odd shape to the right is “George the Dolphin” that we created a few weeks ago (out of fabric, not yarn).

This picture is one I’m going to treasure.

Wodehouse of the Week: The Girl in Blue

Yarn Along–Still trying to finish….

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Believe it or not, I have actually managed about six rows since I last posted. Probably no more than six. My, I’d like to see that change! I wanted to be wearing this thing by now!

Haus Meister pointed out that he needs to take me on a long drive so I have time to knit. I see the justice of that statement, for I do my longest consecutive knitting in the car while he’s driving. The kiddos are occupied and there’s nothing pressing for me to do sitting in the passenger seat, so knit it is! The downside, though, is that I do my best knitting on the weekend, usually to and from church, and that isn’t a very long drive.

We have an event coming up this week so to celebrate Haus Meister and I added to our Wodehouse collection again. I’ve already read both of them–I’m faster at reading than knitting, and it’s easier to read while rocking the baby, at least sometimes.

Yarn Along–Raindrop Cardigan Week 1

I had started a new washcloth set for the Etsy store, but shelved it for the nonce since I really really need summer tops. The more I look around, the more I’m convinced I’m just going to have to knit my own. Or wait for places to go on clearance. The frugal side of me balks at paying $50 for a shirt, you know? Ah, my poor Etsy store, one day I will fill you.

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But in the meantime, I cast on the Raindrop Cardigan by Jennifer Wood. I really like her patterns; I think I have eight in my Ravelry queue. I chose to use some recycled cotton yarn from my stash. Curious… it says it’s worsted, and I got gauge at the right needles, but it seems so loose. Not that a loose knit cardigan will feel horrid in August down here, when we’re roasting in the humidity…. so we’ll see how it ends up.

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My reading this week may be seen above. Pearls, Girls, and Monty Bodkin arrived fresh off the presses. I think I borrowed it from the library a few years ago as I remembered the plot. However, still fun. The arrival of this volume means I officially need to create another Wodehouse shelf in our home library! This is #53 in the collection if I’m correct. As Wodehouse wrote something on the order of 98 novels, I’m over halfway there!

The other read? Joy in the Ordinary…just an ordinary wholesome story written by no one in particular. Ahem. 😉 Seriously, this is less about navel gazing and more about getting back into the characters before I recommence summer writing on the sequel. I’ve missed writing. It’s time to start a little again.

 

 

Yarn Along–knitting for Easter

This week I made the valiant attempt to complete the Easter egg project!

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Basically I used Purl Bee’s sparrow nest directions to make the eggs, and I haven’t stuffed the eggs yet because we’re going to dye them on Holy Saturday! After that I want to hang them on our front door wreath. I left the cast on thread dangling so I can use it to sew up the stuffing hole at the bottom, and as you can see I also left some yarn at the top to make hanging loops on some of them. I wish I had been smart at the time to leave enough yarn for loops on all  of them! 😉 I hope to make one more egg by Saturday so each child has one. Don’t let my slowness reflect upon the pattern; it is a quick knit. I am just trying to juggle the new normal right now. Cute baby + laundry + school, etc. 😉

She finds laundry to be a tedious task, it would seem.
She finds laundry to be a tedious task, it would seem.

Reading this week: P. G. Wodehouse’s The Man with Two Left Feet, a collection of short early stories.  Lest you think I went all of Lent without some spiritual reading, I caught up on some days I missed in Magnificat’s Year of Faith Companion and also read Abby Sasscer’s Simplifying Your Domestic Church.