Saturday, March 23, 2013

Hats and More

I've got a special friend who's going through some rough patches in her life.  This friend of mine lives far away, and I can't really do anything like bring her a cooked meal or watch her child or clean her house.

But I can knit!
Molly was a fun little hat that I knit up quickly.  It has a little cabling to it to keep it interesting, and the slouchy effect is lovely.  I knit it up in a soft, washable acrylic yarn, said a little prayer over it, and shipped it off on its merry way.  I hope that every time my friend wears the hat, she remembers all the love and warm thoughts sent her way, and they help to heal her.

Not only have I been knitting hats, but I'm also knitting my way through Carson.  This baby is for me.  It's been quite a long time since I've knit for myself, and I feel a little guilty pleasure in the act, but I just couldn't ignore the styling of this shawl.  It reminds me of all those ball band dishclothes I used to knit years ago.  Each one I made made me smile.  As does Carson.  I'm knitting it in the same yarn and color as was done in the sample, and I'm loving how the colors play off of each other.  I still haven't taken any photos of it, as it's still OTN, but I will try to get one uploaded to put on the blog soon.

Creativity hasn't been limited to knitting, however; I'm also starting to design again, and it's good to be back at the desk working out charts.  It reminds me of the writing process in a way.  It's like speaking a language or an emotion, only with symbols, and sometimes my translation work takes a while to be realized.  Part of the reason, I'm sure, is that for me designing is only a part-time pleasure.  I don't have the luxury of carving out time every day to work on designing.  My time is extremely limited, and much of it is dedicated to my family and homeschooling.  It's a true joy, though, and I know that some day, my hours will open up, and I'll be able to revel in knitting, spinning, and designing to my heart's content.  For now, I'm going to focus on the family, and enjoy each minute with my family while the kids are with me.

Speaking of fun with the kids, yesterday at co-op, we had a blast working on some Easter crafts.  My sweet daughter worked up two designs (thank you Pinterest!).  The first was a coin cross, which as yet I haven't photographed, but the second project she worked on was a beaded nail cross.
Oh, now that I'm looking, you can just barely make out the coin cross on the table!  I'm hoping that sometime before the week closes out, that I'll have the opportunity to make one as well.  I think she did a lovely job!

Friday, March 8, 2013


For those of us in that profoundly special club, bound by shared grief in the loss of a deeply-loved one, memories of that special someone especially are poignant and meaningful.  All memories are savored and processed in the senses.  For me, taste and smell are especially profound.  A whiff of perfume, a taste of a favorite seasoning, they take me back to my loved one.

My mother passed away this past September.  I don't pretend to have fully processed what this separation means to me.  Dad says it's a day by day thing, and I totally agree.  There are days where I move quickly through my day, and consciously do my best to not linger on that sore spot of grief just out of my reach of understanding.  But usually I find the ache, the sense of loss to be cathartic as an experience.  It's good to remember, and I find myself smiling when I catch myself in the mirror, and for a moment recognize my mother looking back at me.  Or I look down to see a treasured ring of hers on my finger.

Today, though, I saturated my senses in a different way.  I cooked.

Mother always loved to cook.  She loved providing hospitality.  And she was darn good at it!  One of her greatest joys in life was opening up her home to friends and family and filling them up with the wonderful tastes of her kitchen.  Sweet and savory scents alike wafted from the kitchen and set us all to drooling in anticipation.

Now I'm a pretty good cook (thanks Mom!), but let's just say that I'm a little lacking in the hospitality department.  Those genes went to my sister, who is also a very good cook.  Today, however, I felt a desire to conjure up some happy scents and tastes of Mama for my own family, so I made a batch of no bake cookies.

Sure enough, as the mixture bubbled cheerily on the stove, I drew in those sweet memories of Mom mixing up a batch before a family movie night and I smiled.  Thanks, Mom, for taking all those moments to fix something special for our family.  Thank you for sharing your love of fine food with me.  And thank you for your loving legacy of cooking.  It is one I will treasure and share with my own children.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Run at the Lighthouse

This past weekend, while the boys were away competing in their Bible competition, hubby, daughter and I participating in the St. Augustine Lighthouse 5K run.  It was a cool day by Florida standards, and the run was in the evening, so when the time came, we gamely dressed in winter gear and suited up for some fun!
*Note the cute handknit hat on the hubs!

After we completed the run, we intrepid souls climbed to the top of the lighthouse and took in the gorgeous views of the ocean and historic St. Augustine.

In short, we had a great time.  We all ran a respectable time and slept well that night.  I'm already looking forward to next year's run!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Hester's Hope

It's almost out!  It's been a long gestation, but What (Else) Would Madame DeFarge Knit? is almost ready for release!  The pattern thumbnails are out on Ravelry, and I can't wait for everything to be available!  There are so many patterns I'm excited to knit, and the essays are fabulous!  There is a very talented collection of people who have collaboratively worked on the book, and I feel so honored to be a part of the project.  I hope you'll all check it out, regardless of whether you knit!  And for you crocheters out there, there are some excellent choices as well!

Here's a small taste of my pattern, Hester's Hope...

Just an FYI, there is a sign-up sheet that you can get on.  They are beginning to send out all sorts of goodies, including free patterns!  If you haven't done so yet, please sign up! Just click on my link, and it will take you to the spot to do that!