• creative capers

    Yarn Along

    photo (4)

    I made some progress over the last week on the sweater’s neckline. Alas, I think I’m going to have to frog it back because I’ve gotten too many stitches on the needles. I do think I have conquered the new skills for the increases though, so these rows will go much faster once I start again. I knew starting something like this would definitely test my limited skill set, but the only way to learn is to practice and try new things!

    I’ve been reading back through Laying Down the Rails, which I’ve had forever and have read once before. Sonya basically collated all of Charlotte Mason’s writings about discipline and forming character into one volume. It has very little commentary from Sonya herself, but many helpful notes and explanations in the margins that further clarify what Charlotte is discussing. After reading A Mother’s Rule of Life I realized that we had fallen off the tracks, so to speak, in character training and development, and this resource is helping me think and pray through where I’d like to go from here.

    The children and I are reading through The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. I made the mistake of promising the kids that I would not read ahead, and now I am absolutely dying of curiosity. It is such a torture! I want so desperately to read at my own pace and discover what happens, but I promised. We are all really enjoying the book. From all I have been told the whole series is good, so we look forward to joining in on the adventure.

    Sharing with Ginny.

  • Books,  creative capers

    Knit Along

    photo (1)

    It’s been a while since I’ve had needles in my hand. I finished up the scarves and cowl and then the holiday season took over. I cast on Katherine’s Martinmas sweater in Size 2-4, using the beautiful Madelinetosh yarn she sent me. I’ve never tried anything more complex than scarves and washcloths, so this is truly a new adventure for me. I’ve done well with the first two rows but I keep having to re-do the third. I’m afraid I am missing an idea. I’m pretty sure I’m not doing the M1R or M1L right, which would mean I’d get too many stitches. I need to find a video that explains it- the pictures on knitpicks aren’t making sense to me. If you have a link, please share!

    I won the lovely A Mother’s Rule of Life: How to Bring Order to Your Home and Peace to Your Soulfrom Ginny’s giveaway last month, and it arrived just as we left on our travels. I cannot say enough good about this book. I truly have walked away from my time with this book in the last two weeks with such a deep and profound sense of peace. I am sure that must surprise one, seeing as how the word ‘rule’ is in the title, but really and truly. Lovely. I’m not even sure where to start with my thoughts regarding it. I remember being a young mother, with first one little baby and then two, in my little snug house on a hill, and how much I rejoiced in the simple tasks of motherhood and homemaking. Perhaps it was because it was all new, and such a tremendous change from my life previously, but I remember that time very, very fondly. When I think of that time, I think of peace. But as is true, another chilld comes a long, or two, or three, or four, and life gets super intense and welljust explodes! Crisis happens: a cancer scare. A lost job. The death of a child. Serious illness. Two plus years of unemployment and then under-employment. More serious illness. And we forget why we’re here and why we’re doing it.

    Holly Pierlot tells about just such a time in her own life and what led her into the practices she now keeps and shares with us in the book. And it is just so good. I think if I am ever in a position of mentoring a new, young mom, it will be this book I give and discuss with them. I appreciate her gentle, firm, loving tone (the tone I wish for as a mother myself) and how she comes and sits beside you, so to speak, and reminds you, above all, to put on love. Of course she has many practical tips regarding planning, organizing, homeschooling, finances, and the like, but the under-pinning heart beat of the book is rather our Faith, our love for God, and how that informs everything else. Our mother’s rule. I have been a mother twelve years now, with six children, and I remembered and learned so much and have since been putting it into practice myself. A keeper for sure. And I never would have read it had I not won it in the giveaway!

    What are you reading lately?

    Sharing with Ginny.

  • creative capers

    Celebrating autumn…

    IMG_4567IMG_4575IMG_4572

    Everybody might be head-long into the holidays to come, but I am still swooning over this beautiful, leaf-filled autumn. I wanted to have something to remember it by- this George Elliot quote is a favorite.

  • Books,  creative capers

    Yarn Along: Third Time’s a Charm

    photo 1 photo 2

    The cowl is finished, and just in time for the weather to turn cold. This is the first piece of knitting that I made expressly for myself, and I dearly love it. When it was finished the other day, I laughed to see various family members stopping by the knitting basket to ‘pet’ the super-soft, warm cowl. I’m not sure what I’d like to start on next. I was gifted some glorious Madeline Tosh yarn and I’d like to make Katherine’s Martinmas sweater, but I swear, I’m almost afraid to mess up the yarn trying! I seem to make so many (easy, rookie) mistakes (like yarn overs) and I just…it’s so pretty and nummy and what if I mess it up? Decisions, decisions.

    I finished Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games). It seems my predictions about Gale were true. I was so unbelievably sad when Finnick died- after all he had been through and experienced and sacrificed, to die in the sewers seemed especially unjust. At least he had some time with Annie. And Peeta. Man oh man oh man. Wow. And Prim! And President Snow! And, and, and, and….wow. It is definitely a roller coaster ride to the end. And Katniss. I have to say, she’s the first heroine in literature lately that is represented honestly. I deeply appreciate that as a woman. She doesn’t win on beauty. She doesn’t win on wit. She doesn’t even on win on skill. She doesn’t win, period. She loses so much. In the end, she lives, and that is enough, and that is the brave thing. To bring forth life into so much death and brokenness-that was her true act of bravery. To let love win. If there’s anything I carry away from this series, it is that. So so good.

    Sharing with Ginny.

  • creative capers

    Yarn Along

    photo 1

    Oh this poor cowl. I’ve been a really distracted knitter these last two weeks. I’m not sure what happened exactly, but on Monday I went to pick up my knitting, only to discover it had a hole very similar to the one in the yellow afghan. The more I tried to fix it (going back to a row that was undamaged) the worse it seemed to get, and I eventually ended up pulling the whole thing off. I almost didn’t post today, but then I thought with all the expertise floating around Yarn Along, perhaps someone would know of a Youtube video or a visual help for how to fix it next time? I know that the two afghans aren’t knitted, they are crocheted, but perhaps there is a fix for them? I hate to lose them. The yellow one my Grandma made for Ellianna. The other one is much older- it’s been in my family forever and a day. I’m pretty sure my Oma made it. Thoughts?

    photo 2 photo 3

    I finished Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good this week. It was so so good. I’ve always loved the Mitford novels, but this one has got to be one of my favorites now. As much as I’ve loved all of them, the last three that she has written-focusing on Fr. Timothy after retirement- have been the books that have spoken to me the most. I also finished the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy, Catching Fire. I am definitely Team Katniss. There is something about Gale that makes me feel really uncomfortable, but I can’t put my finger on it yet. And Peeta, bless his heart. I know it’s all going to be resolved in the last book, but I confess I’m almost afraid to read it! I know it won’t end well. If you’ve read it, no spoilers! I tell you, there was a huge dichotomy between the two books I read this week. What happens with a good, deep, abiding love, and what happens when love is a twisted, movable thing…so fascinating.

    Sharing with Ginny.