I was quite thrilled when Ginny announced she would be resurrecting her yarn along. I seem to have derailed from keeping track of my projects for the last long while and thought this would be a great opportunity to hop back into things. Joni Mitchell was so true when she wrote that “you don’t know what you got til it’s gone”. She may have been referring to paving paradise but for me it is all about yarn paradise. I think a monthly yarn along post is just right for my pace of knitting.
Right after the holidays, I dusted off my Kromski Minstrel wheel and began spinning up some Icelandic fleece. My neighbour has a small flock and we traded freshly shorn fleece (for me) in return for a knitted hat (for him). I scoured the wool for a good long while, then combed out the locks on my trusty Viking combs. It spun up quite well, though I was a little out of practice. I knitted up an old stand-by, a ribby hat. Icelandic wool is a bit scratchy for me, and I think it is more suitable for a sweater or vests than for a next-to-the-skin hat or cowl. Bernie said he loved the hat, and I hope it keeps him warm as he checks on his newly arrived lambs (which we are visiting later this week!). (Ravelry notes here.)
Also above is a pullover sweater for my oldest boy, Forrest. He picked out the colour (dark greens with grey overtones) last summer and I dyed up some of our mill-spun, farm fresh sheep’s wool. It is a ruggedly durable sweater that he has worn every day since November which pleases me to no end. (Ravelry notes here.)
Finally, this sweater for my daughter, Sunshine, is knit from my own Wool Maiden yarn. It is Merino fingering weight that I dyed in Spring Water, a beautiful blue that Sunshine loves. She had a very specific idea of what she wanted for this year’s sweater, a combination of her 2015 modified Puddleduck, my stand-by Diane Soucy children’s pullover, and the pattern from Sweet William. (All patterns can be found on Ravelry). She wanted the sweater a little long, sitting on her hips, with some cabling and some bunnies. I finished the sweater in July which is hardly a time for wearing wool, but I snapped a few photos of her back then anyhow. Today, we took some more photos of her with one of her Angora bunnies that needed a good grooming session. (Ravelry notes here.)
Ginny’s yarn along wouldn’t be complete without a nod to the various book we are reading. I am happy to say that I started a Book Club with some lovely friends who I don’t seem to see enough. So now we are getting together for knitting and discussing every 6 weeks. The book we are currently reading is The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I can’t recommend it yet as I haven’t even opened the book but I can say that it didn’t take very long for my friends to read through it. While I wait to get my hands on it, I am re-reading The Shepherd’s Life by James Rebanks. If you are a shepherd, you most likely know who this Englishman is…and you can follow him on Instagram, too. Lastly for me, as seed starting has begun in earnest in our home, I also pulled out my Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden for ideas and inspiration…such a feast for the eyes!
My 12 year old is busy with three books right now : He and his papa are reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. If Josh is away in the mountains, Forrest reads to himself, but we still have the parent read alouds going strong here with no sign of stopping anytime soon. Forrest picked The Assassins of Rome for his homeschool reading. He is in the midst of a block on Ancient Rome and this mystery series is an easy read and is really getting him in the mode of 450 AD, Rome. In little doses, I am reading to him Julius Caesar by Shakespeare. This is his first taste of the Bard and I thought it would be a perfect complement and introduction to both legends.
Sunshine is 9 and went from hesitating over sounds to reading chapter books, like Ivy and Bean, in a matter of a few months. She loves to read and write and sharing good classics with her (and her brothers) is a real joy. We are finishing up The Secret Garden and she loves it so much. There are so many good books I want to read with my children, and it is so hard to choose from such a big selection. For school, to enhance her year of farming and shelter, we are reading (again) Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I never tire of her books, and apparently my kids don’t either.
My youngest son is 7 and not yet reading but loves to be cuddled up and read to. He really enjoyed Raggedy Ann and Andy and the Camel with the Wrinkled Knees by Johnny Gruelle that is my own copy from when I was 8 years old. They never grow old those stories…good thing I have about 6 of these chapter books. If you haven’t heard of them before, they are fabulous. My kids have all been very sensitive to any sort of danger or negativity in books, and have been known to weep over any sadness or drama that is so often characteristic of young children’s books. But the Raggedy Ann series is a perfect way to bridge storybooks and young chapter books. I think any Tiptoes Lightly books or Burgess books would also fit in here.
Having mentioned my kid’s past sensitivities, we are reading the Narnia series (again) as a family and are on book 2, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. It is the first time round for Huckley and Sunshine and they squeal with delight through the pages, anxious to keep reading. Sunshine has determined it to be the best book ever created. I’m sure she isn’t alone there.
Enjoy your month of March and all the knitting and reading that you may find. I hope you find a good page-turner for yourself! And thank you, Ginny, for your yarn along.