Monday, March 30, 2009


I finished my high neck vest. I started this in the beginning of February and ran out of yarn. The yarn that I ran short on finally came in this past weekend. (only a month's wait!) Lesson learned: buy one extra skein just in case! After all the excitement of finally finishing it, I have mixed feelings about this hand knit. I'm not so sure I like it. Perhaps it's the fact that I was making it in the dead of winter and now that I've finished, it's spring. I will wait and see how I feel about it next fall when the seasons change and I'm thinking chunky knits instead of skinny cottons. In addition to waiting, I might need to secure the button hole at my waist though, it is pulling and gaping. I might also need to add another snap to anchor the front bands. I'm happy with my knitting, the yarn and the color. I'm just not so sure I like the finished garment. My vest turned out a bit longer than the one pictured in the magazine. I got gauge horizontally, just not sure I got gauge vertically. (Actually I'm pretty sure I didn't or else something else happened to make my vest so much longer :)) Oh well, it's done and time will tell how I feel about it.

Pattern: High Neck Vest, from Knit Simple Magazine Winter 2009
Needles: circulars Size 10 ½ & 11
Classic Chunky in color 60619, 6 skeins plus a tiny bit of a 7th skein.
Mods: none

Thursday, March 26, 2009

grace notes

Mckenzie is working on a piano piece for the upcoming spring concert. This is a trickier piece than she normally plays and it has grace notes incorporated into it. When her piano teacher started instructing her on grace notes, my ears perked up. A grace note is an additional note added to the music as an ornament. They are written smaller than the 'regular' notes. (I'm not a musician...hang in there with my layman's terms) Grace notes are to be played separately from the 'regular' notes so that the ear can hear them. I've been thinking about those grace notes ever since we left piano lessons last night. I think we all have grace notes sprinkled through out our day. Ultimately, grace is God's gift to's more than we could ever deserve. Grace notes are the ornaments in our day that pop up unexpectedly;they are the special notes placed in our lives by God. They might not always be easily seen. When Mckenzie plays her piece I really have to listen for the grace notes, they are seamlessly worked into her piece and they could easily be missed by the untrained ear. But when I listen for them, they are delightful. I believe that if I train my ear to listen for the grace notes in life, I'll be blessed and delighted. But I have to be listening for them. That's just what I plan to do today. I hope your day will echo with Grace notes as well.
"Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion." Isaiah 30:18

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I finished my Wisp. It's a free pattern from Knitty 2007. I first saw this on Larissa's blog. She sent me the yarn and the buttons as a special gift. (Thanks again Larissa!) It was a fun knit. The pattern is easily memorized. It makes a great travel project. When you're done you have a versatile scarf, shawl accessory. The nice thing about Wisp is the amazing number of ways you can make use of it.

You can wear it as a stole:As a scarf:

As a cowl:or even a shawl:

The pattern even shows it being worn as a hood (you can weave a ribbon along the side) but it looked rather hilarious. I'm sure my wisp will get lots of wear. Here's the knitty gritty:

Pattern: Wisp
Needles: circulars Size 7
Yarn: Kathm
andu DK color 400 (used 2 balls)
Mods: I used a totally different yarn than the pattern called for. I also used a smaller size needle.
Finished length: 50 inches by 10 inches.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


It's been gloomy weather here, so yesterday I took a walk around the yard with my camera. I thought it would be good to get some fresh air (and give the neighbors something to talk about). I went looking for signs of spring. My neighbor, Mary, who is a gardener of the highest quality, was also out looking for evidence of new growth...she calls it "poking about". I found some hyacinths emerging. Our forsythia is jam packed with buds, ready to burst with the first warm day. And our old Japanese pieris is laden with gorgeous pink blooms.
My sedum reminded me of little cabbages with droplets of water in them...maybe they're fairy cups? The crocus just shout, "Spring is coming!", don't they?
After I came in, my mind was cleared. I decided that since spring is definitely coming, I needed to get our bedroom looking less like winter and more light and "springy". A few days ago, I had found an embroidered piece that I had completed a few years ago and done nothing with, so I figured now was as good a time as any to finish it off into a pillow. The pillow is the perfect turning point in our bedroom. I changed out the pillowcases from brown to tan and our bed is looking a bit more like spring.
The embroidery is a pattern from Crabapple Hill Studio. I didn't finish the pillow like the pattern showed...I just added a border and backed it. (I used an old sheet!) I was really inspired to finish this project from my friend Kristyn. She posted a few days ago, a challenge of sorts to create from what you already have. "Use up what you've got or do without..." is how she so simply put it. I've been mulling the whole idea over since her post and decided to accept the challenge. I have plenty of things here to finish up and just as many waiting in the wings to start. So, over the next couple of weeks...I'll be joining Kristyn in creating from what I already have. (I love me a good challenge and I love using things up! what a great combo) Let me know if you want to join us!

In the meantime, enjoy the changes that spring brings and take time to "poke about"! It's really quite refreshing.

Monday, March 16, 2009

home sweet home

We're back from our trip....THANK YOU ALL for all the wonderful wishes. The girls did extremely well. They didn't pull out a championship upset like they all dreamed of, but they played their hardest and represented themselves with dignity. We slept little, laughed much and cheered our hearts out. It was a great experience for all of the girls. They're already making plans for next year's trip! But, it is good to be home. I'm unloading bags of clothes that need to be washed and making grocery lists. I'm also tending to my middle one who brought home a fever. But, I wanted to pop in and say thanks for all the love you sent our way, it really was so much appreciated. If you want to read more from the trip and see additional pictures, you can find them here.

Monday, March 9, 2009

oh baby! we're outta here!

I've been working on some baby gifts. We have some friends that are expecting and I love any excuse to make sweet baby stuff. I've been wanting to try my hand at crocheting some trim on a receiving blanket, so my friend Mary, crocheter extraordinaire, came over and between my sewing skills and her crocheting skills we each got started. Each blanket is just a yard of flannel, pre-washed and then hemmed. I love these tiny Swiss dots. After you put the hem in, you simply go around the edge of the blanket poking and crocheting. This trim is just a simple single crochet done three times in each poke. (I'm sure there is a more official term...but I'm just a beginner crocheter). Mary called it a shell stitch...I think. I used cotton crochet thread (the label read size 10) and a size 8 steel crochet hook. I've finished the pink blanket and I'm working on the green. The flannel is so soft and the trim adds just enough extra to make the blanket special. I'll be doing more of these. I'll take the green one with me today to finish in the van.

So, baby - We're outta here! We're heading south for a basketball trip. We'll be going to Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. The varsity basketball team that Maggie plays on and that John helps to coach, the Warriors, is playing in the HSPN tournament. 12 girls...4 nights....lots of memories I'm sure. I've got my knitting packed. I'll be back sometime next week. Have a great one!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

on the knitting front

I've been working on a hodge podge of knitting projects lately. I'm sooo close to being done my red high neck vest...but I ran out of yarn and I'm waiting for my LYS to call and tell me they got my order in, so I can get this thing off the needles. My mom keeps telling me to enjoy the process....I keep telling her I want to enjoy wearing it. In the meantime I finished the Be My dishcloth that I started in February. It's a free pattern and well written, but it's also big! The finished measurements are 10" by 10". I even knit it on size 3 needles. It might have been a towel if I'd used my usual size 7s. Kris has a bunch of cute dishcloth patterns if you're looking for something quick and easy....sometimes that's nice when you've been working on a detailed project. Susan calls this palette cleansing.

I've been wearing some dear friend Kristyn knit me the Chunkie Beanie and a Winter warmer for my birthday and they've both been getting a lot of wear. Love them!!! Perfect timing with all the snow we got. Thanks Little One!
I also cast on and started my Wisp. (If you just went and looked at the pattern link, I want to say -"trust me, it's not going to look like that on me...for multiple reasons".) This too is a free pattern from It's a kind of "scarf, wrap, cowl, shawl, however you want to wear it thingy". It's also a fun and satisfying knit.The yarn I'm using is a great avocado/pistachio green from Larissa. The pattern is easy and mindless. It'll be great for car/courtside knitting which I'll be doing a lot of next week as we head to Lynchburg, Va for a big basketball tournament. Speaking of basketball...did you happen to see the front page of the Washington Times? That's my girl right there in the center (#12). The Times did a feature article on the Warriors (a home school basketball team). It was a solid four pages long...they also covered some other area teams in Virginia as well. They really did a nice job of tackling the issues that home school sports teams deal with. We're pushing some boundaries here in the athletic world...Such excitement going on. Also, check out Indigo's First Daffodils photo blog. She's got some beautiful shots that are sure to keep you encouraged that spring is coming. (one of mine is in there....about third down from the top) Have a great over the hump day!

Monday, March 2, 2009


We've been waiting for snow all winter long. Sometime in November, I pulled all the winter gear out of storage. I really wasn't sure what we had and what would still fit...I cringed to think what it would cost to buy snow pants and boots and coats for all three kids. As we went through the bag of snow pants and boots and tried on items we were all pleasantly surprised that we were covered for the winter. Everyone had at least one pair of snow pants, a coat and boots to wear for the snow season. Yeah!! As we were celebrating the score of being outfitted for winter, I made a comment about how it was good that we had gear in case we got some snow. John Samuel looked me right in the eye and said with confidence, "Mom, God wouldn't have given us all this stuff if He wasn't going to send us snow to play in." Man - such simple faith. Such childlike trust. Blow me over....(why don't I always have that kind of confidence in what God is able to do?) So we've been watching and waiting for a snow worth suiting up for. But...we've never gotten the snow. We have had lots of ice though. Just this past week, I was ready to give up the hope of snow (actually I pretty much had). I was ready to pack up the snow gear and put away the sleds...and then we heard on Saturday that a big snowstorm was potentially headed our way.

This morning, we woke up to 3 inches and it's still snowing. Did you hear the squeals of delight? (That was me..the kids are still asleep) Three inches is critical, because in order to get a snowday (of which there's usually just one given by me since we're at home schoolers) we have to have 3 inches or more. (Course, I'd have given it to them anyway.) So YEAH!!!! Thank you God for coming through...once again. Now, I just need my boy to wake up this morning without the fever he's had for three days! Guess I'll practice some of that faith...

"I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living." Psalm 27: 13