Sunday, January 31, 2016

Aware

This weekend was a special time for our family.
The Suwannee River... beautiful!
Two months ago, I made reservations for our family to stay this past weekend at a cabin in the Suwannnee River State Park. Situated along the Suwannee River in north Florida, it was the perfect spot for our family to enjoy spending time together hiking, canoeing, and reflecting. It's my oldest child's senior year in high school, and I recognize all of our lives are going to change as we all adjust to him going to college. This was an opportunity to slow time down a bit and linger over a cup of tea, play a game of Uno, and spend time with my sweet family. It was an opportunity to be fully aware.

He's a talented guitarist!
To a God Unknown - Steinbeck's Nobel Prizewinner
The Internet banished, we spent time together and separately. Knitting, reading, sketching, writing, cooking, and guitar playing  were some of the activities we enjoyed.


Meat!

Knitting, my happy place!
Restorative and restful as these activities were, the outdoors were still the main stage. The views of the limestone rock formations, the placid river, and the verdant woods called our names. 


A view along the Lime Sink Run hike.
S'mores!




Happy hikers!


The trip was a short one, just two brief nights and then it was time to head back home and to responsibility:  classes, work, teaching. We returned home rested and refreshed, (almost) ready for the week! I hope it won't be long before we are able to return to the wilderness.
A sweet reminder in our cabin.

Paddling off into his future!

Sweet hiker girl!

Mama in her happy place!

And the sun starts to set on the water...

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Meringue

At Thanksgiving I discovered a sweet little pattern that I just knew would be perfect for some yarn that I'd purchased the year before. This was before I learned I will be undergoing surgery in December. It also turned out to be the perfect project for my convalescence. Called Meringue, it's a cowl that settles nicely around your shoulders in layers.
Meringue, finished but unblocked.
The yarn is Trendsetter's Mimi. When I found it I was so excited, as it was listed as 100% mink. I happily plunked down $26.00 per skein (bought four!) thinking I would do something special with it. It was when I was about 80% finished with the knitting that I learned that the yarn was recalled, as it contains NO mink at all. Instead, it's a blend of wool, angora, and rayon. It's too late for me to do anything about it, now, but talk about disappointed! It didn't change that the yarn is super soft and warm, but it did kill some of the joy in the working up of it.

I used my Sirka counter to make the pattern flow quickly. Once I set up the counter, I didn't have to refer to the pattern again until the very end. That made my work, although boring with its super long stretches of plain or reverse stockinette, efficient and smooth.
Work in progress with my custom Sirka.
I had hoped to finished the project in 2015, but I was shy by about six rows. No worries, it turned into my first completed object of 2016! I finished just in time; the weather has (FINALLY!) turned cooler in Florida, and I know I'll get a lot of enjoyment and wear out of it.

Next up is the mystery knit along that begins tomorrow for the final season of Downton Abbey. It will be a shawl of some kind, and I'm excited to get back to some lace knitting! I'll enjoy working on the new project while wearing my Meringue!