Thursday, February 28, 2013

Little Blessings

Sunday Lunch at my mom's:

My very own space:

An adorable little imp for company:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Words and Wool

Another week with many and varied wool projects going on! Here is a picture from Sunday afternoon, which was spent at my mom's. The kids were into a game of Clue and I was playing along while getting started on another baby hat.

 Late last week I sewed up this Bunny, modified from the Purlbee's newest free bunny pattern. Then I knitted this adorable Little Kina sweater for the bunny and added a crochet heart pin. After that she was off to a new home on Saturday.

I also crocheted a million more heart pins for the shower I hosted on Saturday. They are so fun, and so fast!!!

Last Thursday our Homeschool Knit Club learned to make crochet flowers. We used a pattern similar to this one. 

Knit Club is always such a fun time! I love seeing everything the girls have made and inspiring them to new ideas.

And here is a picture from school this morning. You can see that the hat has made some progress since Sunday!

Did you see my sister's new crochet cushion for her couch? It inspired me to work on a cushion of mine own, albeit quite different. I took a few extra Japanese flower circles I had and turned them into granny squares. Hopefully in the next week this will become a pillow on my couch!

This cushion made me think that being creative doesn't happen in a vacuum. We all feed off of one another! I wouldn't be one quarter of the knitter I am without the constant inspiration and encouragement (and help!!) of my sister. Nor would I be able to create so many fun things if it wasn't for the inspiration I get from the rest of my family, my friends, the blogs I read, and of course Pinterest! Each of us inspiring others makes for the creation of better and more beautiful things.

And now for know I always have 5 or 10 or 20 going at once. Here are a few from the current stack:

Mary, Queen of Scots, and the Murder of Lord Darnley by one of my favorite authors: Alison Weir. Non-fiction and 696 pages, yes, I am in for it! However, Weir is such a good writer and I am interested in the subject matter so it is my current go-to for relaxation.

In the Midst of Life by Jennifer Worth is Worth's book dealing with the matter of death. Incidentally, Worth died unexpectedly, shortly after finishing this book. It is a must-read if you are on the bandwagon of the PBS show Call the Midwives.

  The Life and Times of Call the Midwife: The Official Companion to Season One 
and Two by Heidi Thomas is a book I can't wait to get from the library! My sister says this book is wonderful, full of good pictures, explanations behind the filming of Call the Midwives, and certainly a book it would be nice to own!

How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western  Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World & Everything in It by Arthur Herman is turning out to be in lines with my reading goals even more than I thought. Herman starts out with the history of the Covenanters in Scotland (a particular interest of mine) and is going to show how much this movement influenced the modern world. This book is also a whopping 452 pages so I think I have my work cut out for me.

The Founding Foodies: How Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin Revolutionized American Cuisine by Dave DeWitt is subject matter I am interested in! I've just begun it and so am learning about the food the Pilgrims would have had access to when they first arrived in 1620.

The Tea Enthusiast's Handbook: A Guide to Enjoying the World's Best Teas by Mary Lou and Robert Heiss is a helpful little guide to enjoying the world's best teas. It makes me realize how little I know about tea and how much I have yet to discover!

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer and translated by Burton Raffel is something I've been wanting to read for a long time and now that we are studying Medieval History in school I felt it was time to begin! I am enjoying it so far.

And now I must get back to my chores!!!

Hop over to Ginny's for today's Yarn Along.

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Tea Trolley

It's been a busy week for the tea trolley! We started off on Monday with a gathering of friends and the celebration of a birthday for one of our friends.

Do you see that cake? I learned a trick from my brother-in-law. A tub of Philadelphia cream cheese (strawberry flavored) whipped up with 1 1/4 cups of heavy whipping cream and 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar makes a most delightful topping to a cake. It is light, nicely flavored, and not too sweet! It also makes a wonderful topping to put on top of scones!!!

The tea trolley gives me a chance to pull out various linens and tea towels I've had hiding in the cupboard. Oh and the tea cozies do look so festive! I must make more!!!

 One night a friend was here for dinner and tea afterward. We sipped Alpine Berry Herbal Tea and picked out a nibble or two from the dessert tray. Of course we accompanied this by knitting and talk of tea and books.

On Saturdays I try to take an hour or an hour and a half to sit down with a pot of tea and some books or magazines for some good old rest! This time in my life is very busy and thanks to the blessing of good health I am able to be very active. But, that leaves little down time and in order to get any I have to put it on my calendar and on my to-do list!!!

See those beautiful pieces of biscotti? Imagine my delight to find them mailed to me from a friend in Scotland who had just been to Venice for a birthday trip and picked them up! Being biscotti, they survived the trip in fine style and made such a delightful addition to my tea tray.

And these are the books and magazines I gathered to sit down with as I enjoyed the tea and biscotti.

Today was yet another day to enjoy tea with friends as we had a shower here to welcome the newest addition to our congregation. I've taken pictures and am saving all the details to post about next week.

I hope you are able to enjoy a cup of something warm and lovely this weekend!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Words and Wool

There has been a lot more crochet around here than knitting this past week. Check out these beautiful afghans that my friend brought over to show me this week. Aren't they amazing!

They all looked wonderful on my couch. :) 

And just served to remind me that I have an afghan in-process which will look amazing on my couch as soon as I finish it!!

 I also got the idea to take several of my extra granny squares and turn them into a couch cushion. Perhaps I will have the finished product ready to show next week. By the way, the pattern for these afghans comes from Attic24's Summer Garden Granny Square.

 Here is a picture of the Knitting Club at Homeschool Group. We are having a wonderful spring session! The girls are lovely and I have some great helpers too! We had a little valentine party last week!

I finished a crochet hat for Laura in time for valentine's day. It is the Gracie Hat.

 I also finished two Easter baskets for my Etsy shop this week:

As for reading:

The Forgotten Garden: A Novel by Kate Morton was just as good as I expected. I find it annoying, but very effective, that Morton flips between the 1900's, 1970's and present to tell her intergenerational story of family intrigue and mystery set in Australia and England. As with any good novel, when you get to the end you feel on a bit of a downer for a time and aren't sure what to read next.

  Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible by Dietrich Bonhoeffer is a short little treatise on using the book of Psalms in private prayer. It is well-written and motivated me to place my psalter with my devotional materials so that I can make use of it more.

The Book of  Psalms for Worship published by Crown and Covenant contains all 150 psalms put to singable music (similar to hymn music). This is what our denomination uses for worship, and it is an excellent tool for private devotions. These "mini psalters" are so handy for keeping with your Bible. They are the entire psalter, but in mini-size, so all you are missing is the bulk of a heavy book!

The Friendships of Women by Dee Brestin is a book I am reading this week. Brestin describes why women need friendships and looks at several relationships in the Bible to bring out important ideas about friends, finding and maintaining friendships.

For more ideas on knitting and reading, hop over to Ginny's Yarn Along.

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