Yarn Along & Lenten Reading

The rosary is from VonClef creations on Etsy, where Kristin has a wide assortment of lovely handmade Rosaries. I chose this one because the centerpiece looked like the medal I wore on my First Communion. Also, St. Therese seems to be directing my Lent a bit (see sixth book down).

Lent Game On! I began my Lenten planning by deciding to fast from Facebook and I’m feeling the effects already as last night I had thought of two blog posts and I’ve been knitting a little today. You really don’t know how much time you waste/spend on an app until you delete it.

Of the books above, only ‘Relics of the Crucifixion” is one I carried over from last year. I’m going to read it with my boys as it reads like a mystery in a way. Most of the others are personal.

Knitting! I am so happy to participate in Yarn Along as not much happened successfully last year. I finished the first Maize mitten and began the cuff of the second. I spent the summer working on a tunic that I later frogged. In November I finished two quick simple hats for the girls who are so happy to live somewhere that snow falls, seemingly more than once a winter. Currently there are two other projects on the needles.

Top: A Temperature Scarf! I have seen many ideas on Ravelry but went with my own colors (all bought from KnitPicks). Basically I’m knitting two rows in stockinette with a color based on the high temperature of the day. It’s going to look very bright in the middle and very green on the ends! As pictured, I’m already a little behind because the yarn on the needles are for February 1! This is hopefully the loudest project I’ll ever make. I imagine it will be reserved for un-self-conscious preschoolers or snowmen in future years. Little Bit insists it is for her. Let’s see what she thinks come next January…

The second is a Swoop Beanie/hat done in Spud & Chloe Outer. I have had three skeins of that yarn around since I began to knit in earnest. In fact, I packed up so much yarn in the move that I acquired very little in 2018. The Swoop hat is for Princess and she is doubting my ability to finish it before the warmer weather.

To be honest, I am as well. Let’s see what I can accomplish before the next Yarn Along!

Yarn Along & Recap so far….

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The afternoon sun is out for a moment in between showers of rain.  It’s not very wintry here.  My aunt just posted a picture of snow in Indiana on Instagram, and here I am in the South posting pictures of daffodils.

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Don’t get me wrong; I do wish we had one more good snow before Spring begins in earnest. I wish we hadn’t already had mosquito bites in January.  Overall, though, I’m not complaining because I don’t have to try to drive in the snow. 🙂  If we get more than an inch, none of us go anywhere and we just enjoy the stuff and pray the power stays on. 🙂  Otherwise Haus Meister has to pull the Charles Ingalls routine and chop wood for our wood stove.  I do remember the night he was out at 2am restocking the woodpile because the power had gone down.  How homestead-erish it made me feel!  Ironically, true homesteaders would have had all their wood chopped and near at hand already.  But I digress.

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I finished Haus Meister’s socks/slippers before Candlemas so at least it was technically still in Christmastide. 🙂  I need to work on stitching soles onto slippers but he tells me they are quite comfortable.  I have some yarn I’m going to use for socks for me using the same pattern but without the leather soles.  I enjoyed the pattern a lot.

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My first official project of 2017 ended up being the Antler Toque.  I’m stash busting some Istex Alafosslopi in blue tweed.  Since the dusting of snow around Epiphany reminded me that we are woefully undersupplied in the hats and mittens department, I thought to keep happy doing small quick projects that help me use the yarn on hand.

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This picture was taken last week before I began the cables on the hat.  These are my reads for February.  The Brothers Karamazov is what my sister and I chose to fill the “book of over 600 pages” for our Modern Mrs. Darcy 2017 reading challenge.  Some chapters were hard to slog through without Russian v0dka, I’m sure (I didn’t try), but about halfway through I just couldn’t put it down.  Haus Meister kept teasing me about binge-reading, but I was.  I just was.  And then it ended.

Dostoyevsky, if we meet in the hereafter, you must tell me how you were going to wrap up the loose threads at the end of your story. Yes, I do insist there are loose threads at the end of a 718 page novel! The only explanation I can find is that the author was a few months from his own death, but he left one character on the verge of death, and I’d kind of like to know what happened to him.  And two of the others as well! Whom does Alexey marry eventually? What becomes of him?  And Dmitri? Does his plan succeed?  It was the nearest I have come to throwing a book against a wall in a long time–I merely banged the book against my knees. How could it be over at that point?!?!?!  I did actually throw Tess of the D’Ubervilles because it was (in my humble opinion) just awful.  This time, I had come to the end of 718 pages and I wanted a quick epilogue, at least. Note: since writing the above I have learned some editions do have an epilogue; I just happened through frugality to have purchased the one that didn’t. Heh.

Suffice to say, it was a good book.  I’m going over it again, a little more slowly, to see if I missed any clues now that I know how it ends.  Besides, February isn’t over yet.

Different is also a nice book, and definitely not in the same genre as Brothers K, so it’s rather amusing to see them pictured together.  It’s non-fiction and encouraging, like a warm cup of tea from a friend who has been there raising a high needs child.  I have been taking this book slow, reading a chapter every few days, so I’m not finished yet.

In other news….

Happy girls.

Happy boys.  At the end of January, the lads went to Dallas as the support team for Trooper who was due for a trip to his CP specialist.  They had a fabulous time visiting cousins, climbing trees, watching trucks (that’d be Trooper), and seeing the Frontiers of Flight Museum.  Trooper is standing in front of the Apollo 7 capsule.

Trooper is going to be getting new ankle braces soon.  He has totally outgrown his last pair. This guy is growing like a weed!

I’m having fun with a new teapot and new candles, except that one on the right didn’t look as nice once the label was off. It looked like a soft-boiled egg with a wick in the middle. So why did I take a picture of it?  Because I wanted to prove to anyone who heard me vent about it (my mom and sister, mainly), that it looked like a soft-boiled egg.

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This handsome fellow (picture taken by Sunshine), has been busy with more painting.  He did the kitchen, upper half of the basement, and is going to do the classroom in Lowe’s Historic Collection Antique Filoli Lace (which I mention in case I forget and need to look for it again).  The hallway, foyer, and upper living room is rapidly becoming Woodlawn Colonial Gray (from the same collection).

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Better picture forthcoming; this was all I had on my phone.

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As the laundry room was never entirely finished last year, I made up for lost time while the guys were in Dallas and painted the whole in “Craft White.”  It looks so fresh and warm in there now.  These doldrum months between Christmas and Spring is the perfect time to renew the home.  In our case, that usually involves painting, but there it is.

Well, all for now.  Have a great week!

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Remember the days when the messages were embossed on the hearts, and you didn’t have to use Google to know what they said?

 

Yarn Along, Goal met, Books, and links

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Bedside table, Ordinary Time edition.  The curtain was drawn because Rosebud was napping.  There usually is a matching teacup on the saucer, but I used it this morning for my coffee. 🙂

As you may or may not be able to see, I am working through the gusset of Haus Meister’s last slipper sock.  The end is in sight!  After this, I am cancelling my Facebook proclaimed first 2017 Knitting Project of a sweater jacket.  The weather is absurdly warm here, and not at all conducive to wool jacket knitting. 😦  I may go on to another pair of socks. I may knit up a bunch of hats and mittens because the recent snow scare over Epiphany (it was less than 1″) proved to me that we are woefully underprepared for actual winter weather here.  Too many mild winters.  Also, I guess I’m just still in stash-bust-short-project mode, and friends, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Reading-wise, no huge novels this week.  I haven’t even gone back through Wuthering Heights lately! I have been reading a lot of other things, though.  Dino received a copy of The Green Ember for his 10th birthday last week.  I read it all to myself in about three hours and then began reading the first four chapters out loud to the oldest kids.  It’s a good book!  Everyone is listening to me read aloud from Little House in the Big Woods during our lunch hour every day.  In the van, on drives this month, we’re enjoying Paddington Helps Out on Audible.  For my own enjoyment, I’ve been reading old Jan/Feb issues of Victoria and my current issues both of Victoria and The English Home.  January is always a good month to go back and rehash my goals for the home, especially as we put Christmas away, albeit very piecemeal. So out again comes Sally & Sarah Clarkson’s The Life Giving Home.

Another huge book and home related goal was met this week.  I indulged myself in a personal birthday present of an ebook of a year’s worth of meal plans and menus based on the Trim Healthy Mama plan.  I’ve been following that plan more or less since last July, although I haven’t made Haus Meister and the kids live without sugar. However, 95% of our family dinners are made with THM compliant recipes, and none of us have suffered. As Haus Meister said, “a diet that allows bacon is one I can live with!”  I found as the months progressed toward the end of 2016 that while I used the THM cookbook so much that it fell to pieces and I had to order a second, I also had an inordinant amount of printed-off recipes and way too many saved on my phone.  At last I completed a goal I have wanted to accomplish for years. I printed out that ebook and used it to organize my recipe binder.

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The only loose paper there is the pudding bowl full of Christmas cards, as we continue a tradition of Haus Meister’s family by picking a card from the bowl and praying for the sender every evening at dinner.  The “Recipe Traditions” binder does have some old family recipes in it and favorite old cards from recipe books past. But no loose papers, no random prints.  Everything goes in it straight away, and while I still check recipes on my phone, if it is voted a keeper, I will take the time to write it out, or if I have to print it, it will go straight to the binder.  After about eleven years of recipe paper clutter, it is nice to declare independence!

Yarn Along & First Book of 2017

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On my bedside table this 11th Day of Christmas…

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Like my knitting nutcracker-style figure? My mom found her for me.  And there’s my current project!  I am making better progress with this second sock than the first, but last night I didn’t knit a thing being utterly absorbed in my first read of 2017.

Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte.

I cannot recommend this edition highly enough.  The introduction was refreshing and the annotations/footnotes actually do a great deal toward explaining ambiguous areas of the text (for instance, it translates Bronte’s example of the character Joseph’s broad Yorkshire into something Americans can understand).

Now here’s a revelation: I hadn’t touched WH in about twenty years, and I hated it the last time I read it.

The first time I read WH was in middle school.  I distinctly remember reading Catherine’s impassioned speech to Nelly while on the  bus ride home from the junior high school, and re-underlining in bright turquoise pen the sentences that a previous reader–possibly an aunt–had underlined in pencil another twenty years before me.  The thing is, I didn’t quite get then why this was supposed to be one of the greatest love story of all time, as the cover proclaimed, and yet here was Catherine saying in one breath that she and Heathcliff were one soul, yet she couldn’t degrade herself to marry beneath her station.  Whyever not?  Oh, and then he runs off and after waiting three years she marries the eligible neighbor. Heathcliff then comes back, and not long after Catherine dies and everything goes bad and bad and very bad until Heathcliff dies too.  Greatest… love story?

I finished the book, still confused.

I picked up the book again in high school and read it cover to cover in a day. My doubts were still there. By then I had read Jane Eyre by Emily’s sister Charlotte, and decided that as a love story it at least was slightly more satisfying.  I mean, Mr. Rochester kept an insane wife locked up (very bad).  But then the wife perished in a house fire (and he did attempt to save her), so then Jane could marry him (um…good?).  And at least then they could live happily ever after and he did begin to recover sight in one eye after being horribly mangled in said fire. So despite all that, the book did end happily for our heroine and, um, hero(?)!

But Heathcliff and Catherine and their great… love?

I admit when my sister suggested we read this book and discuss together, I thought back to my earlier read of the book and did a little “do we hafta” kind of whine.  But I went along with her because I wanted to have bargaining power in case she wanted to veto my suggestion of Chesterton’s Fr. Brown Mysteries later this year. Also, I knew she’d make me laugh with her own take on passages of it.  So I dug into my book change and sent off for this edition of WH you see pictured.  I have the Mansfield Park edition of that series and also enjoyed the respect the editors give to both text and author.

As soon as I read a few pages of the introduction, I realized my error.

This book was not written to be the greatest love story of all time!

It is, rather, a great example of the evils of selfishness.  In fact, the presumed hero and heroine are both so abysmally selfish, so totally unconcerned with anything beyond their own gratification, that unless you think LOVE is “getting my way all the time and the rest of you just deal with it,” you will be disappointed if you expect a happy ending (unless you count the two at the end.  That Hareton got what he deserved in the best sense was always a satisfaction).

So some mental notes I made to bring up with my sister over the next phone call went something like: “Heathcliff = Pride Goeth Before a Fall, and you might just create a living Hell for everyone in your wake.” or “The greatest sadistic revenge plot aside from The Count of Monte Cristo.”

and

“Catherine = You can’t have your cake and eat it too, but you’re going to self-destruct in the attempt and blame it on everyone but yourself.”

and

“Isabella = you’re going to elope with the dark Byronic gentleman next door, and when he comes to pick you up he decides to hang your dog.  How do you think this is going to work out for you?”

Charlotte Bronte once (in)famously said that she would hardly like to live with Jane Austen’s characters.   I took serious umbrage to that in high school, when I first read all of Austen’s novels with interest.  I thought of the unpleasant home Heathcliff made for himself and everyone else, and at the time I fired back to my volume of Jane Eyre that there wasn’t a chance I’d choose to spend time with any Bronte character.

I see now that isn’t entirely true.  I’d love to sit at a cosy fire with Mr. Lockwood and Nelly Dean and listen to her gossip while she sews.

Yarn-Along: A Trio of WIPs

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I once wrote of my horror of too many WIPs (work-in-progress).  It seems I’m bound to have to occasionally eat my own words.  I have three projects on the needles at present! Three!  I’m sure this is still a reaction to having two projects back to back that stretch out over a year (0r two), because suddenly I want to do All The Things!!!

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From Left to Right: The Evelyn Sweater, the Quick & Thick Mountain Man Boot Socks, and Mini Stocking Ornament.

The Evelyn is on hold probably until after Christmas.  I love the sweater.  I love the pattern. After Christmas, during that week between holidays, I will gladly return to it as I drink my tea and enjoy our Christmas break.  Besides, I chose to knit it in Icelandic wool, and it’s still in the 60s and 70s here.

The Quick & Thick Mountain Man Boot Socks began as a quick response to Haus Meister’s request to socks for Christmas.  That’s now been changed to slippers since we found these soles, but the pattern is nice and I want to go back to it again sometime.  I finished three inches there while waiting in line to vote.  I know I got a few quizzical looks, but I also made a few ladies smile and one told me she wished she’d thought of bringing her own knitting.  The yarn I am using was discontinued, causing no little shock here because that yarn had been a Christmas gift from him to me not so very long ago (I thought). So another reason I’m doing All The Things is also because I want to start going through my stash. (Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Tonal in Thunderhead)

The Stocking Ornament is something I thought of after getting this year’s Comfort and Joy Advent bundle.   I have been reading Elizabeth Foss’ blog for about eight years now and have enjoyed the love and attention she puts into her family celebrations.  Advent and Christmas was such a fun part of our own childhoods so Haus Meister and I have enjoyed these years of blending and creating traditions. This year we are going to have the children hang their stockings on St. Nicholas Eve, and during the recent visit with my sister and mother, we discussed the idea Elizabeth puts in her book, about giving each child an ornament at Christmas that can go with them to their future home.

I love that.  I do have several ornaments that have come with me from my parents’ house (including the Ugly Nutcracker that my sister also wanted, so one year I graciously gave it back). The only problem I could foresee with gifting ornaments is that we tend to buy plastic ornaments by the bulk in those wannabe elegant sets from Wal-Mart or Lowes in the hope that said ornaments might survive the season.  Did I want to spend an extra $4 per child ($36!) on 9 individual fragile ornaments that might last if I put them up VERY high and nothing occurs to knock down the tree.  Resin ornaments are as worthless as glass when they hit the family room floor, by the way. So in the stash busting spirit, I decided to knit some ornaments and give them with my love. I think that will do just fine.

Reading?  I’ve been returning to Sally and Sarah Clarkson’s The Life Giving Home often throughout this year, and especially this Fall.  It has been a great aid in helping me think of ways to make a haven here during a year that has drained us all in more ways than one.  Also, of course, the aforementioned Advent planner, particularly the journal.  It may be early, but we’re hosting Thanksgiving and Advent comes directly after.  It’s a soothing thing to plan for at the end of a year that has drained us all in one way or another.  Plus it is the season of hope. And that’s a lovely thing.

 

 

 

Yarn Along: Hats

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“Hello, world.  My mama has been busy the last eighteen days making hats for me.  Here’s a newsflash, though…. I’m not sure I like hats!  Or napping in my crib, either.”

Isn’t she a precious little Rosebud?  We think so.  She’s been home since the afternoon of the 4th and to be honest we can’t get enough of her.

And if she doesn’t like hats, no matter.  She’s got that hair.

The first hat I cast on (18 days ago), was the Coriolis Hat.  I had finished the newborn booties and wanted another project to quickly finish, whiling away the time.  I cast on the hat on Saturday evening, June 18. In the wee hours of Sunday morning I found it to be a soothing distraction while timing contractions. Sunday afternoon, my husband snapped an amusing picture of me knitting in the L & D room post-epidural.

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I finished it a few hours after our sweet daughter arrived!

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Knowing we were going to have to wait to bring her home, I began another hat while in the hospital.  My in-laws had given me a book purchased at the Dutch Oven Yarn Shoppe in Alanson, MI, a special place to the family  (well, the Dutch Oven Bakery, if not the Yarn Shoppe), so I cast on another hat from that book.

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The cookie was a consolation from Haus Meister, who got to go get artisan breakfast sandwiches from the coffee place in the lobby while I had hospital food. 😉

This past weekend, I finished the hat.  Here is how it will look when I’ve sewn on the flower and button.

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Hat: Knit Picks Shine Sport in “Sailor”

Flower: using up the skein of Knit Picks Shine Sport in “Blush”

It was nice in a way that I hadn’t sewn on the flower before she was discharged because it ended up matching the red & navy blue outfit she wore home from the hospital on July 4th.

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And here’s one of Rosebud today wearing Coriolis to her first pediatrician appointment (our pediatrician also enjoys knitting/crochet and always asks what I’m working on when I bring someone in).

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We haven’t slowed up our reading much, so here’s the latest reads in the family.

Haus Meister: The Hunt for Red October

Haus Frau: Force Ten from Navarone (ok, I liked both Navarone books by Alastair McLean. That author may make a spy novel reader out of me yet)

Trooper: was listening to “The Cottage at Bantry Bay” on Audible.

Rascal: Henry and the Paper Route

Dino: Nobody likes a Goblin (his new favorite Hatke book)

Princess: Simple Pictures are Best

Sunshine & Miss M: How to make an Apple Pie and see the World

 

 

 

Yarn Along: Summer Reading

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Knitting! I’ve been knitting!  Last night I finished the Newborn Hat with a Touch of Lace, although I hope it shrinks because it seems I totally made it too large.  Serves me right; I didn’t exactly gauge it because, well, impatient.

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This morning I cast on the Perfect Fit Newborn Socks, both in Knit Picks Shine Sport Blush. I took it along to my OB appointment because I like to be the gal knitting in the ob/gyn office like you see in the 1950s-60s movies (“Pillow Talk” comes to mind).  I had the chance to see Munchkin 2 today and asked my doctor if it’s definitely “go” to still knit pink.

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He said, “Yep. Absolutely.”

I had had my doubts about that early sonogram.  This just hadn’t felt like a “girl” pregnancy.  However, clearly my intuition was wrong, and since it has rarely been right, who’s surprised?  😉

We simply just can’t wait to meet the newest Princess of the Haus, who already has our hearts in her tiny hands.

And now for books.

I’ve been keeping up with the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge.

January: A book published this year. “Spark Joy” by Marie Kondo.

February: A book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller. “The Life-Giving Home” by Sally Clarkson.

March: A book recommended by your BFF, sibling, etc: “Pistols for Two” by Georgette Heyer.

April: A book you’ve been meaning to read: “The Trim Healthy Mama Plan.”  I credit my pregnancy health–and passing the glucose screen–to this book.

May: A book that’s been banned: The Call of the Wild by Jack London.

Also May: A book that intimidates you: Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset.

Why in the world did that book intimidate? Because in the past several years every time I heard it highly recommended, it came with the caveat that I wouldn’t be able to put it down.  When do I have the time to read an non-put-downable Norse saga?!  So I avoided it. Until this year.  I was going to save it for the hospital since I anticipated at least a bit of down-time to read (and not aimlessly surf the internets on my phone), but then I opened it, and couldn’t put it down.  And for the record, I didn’t mind the Archer translation.

Other reads going on in the Haus:

Haus Meister: “A Man on the Moon” by Andrew Chaikin

Haus Frau: “The Snake Pit,” by Sigrid Undset.  Waiting for Book 3 to come in the mail, thank you Thrift Books!

Trooper: just finished “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis on Audible.  Unabridged with Michael York narrating.

Rascal: working on “St. Pius X, the Farm boy who became Pope” for his 4th Quarter Book Report.  He’s champing at the bit to read more Hardy Boys mysteries, though. 😉

Dino: writing a book summary of “Ox-Cart Man” for his 4th Quarter Reading to finish it off.

Princess: just finished “Betsy-Tacy” by Maud Hart Lovelace.

Sunshine: listened to “I’m a T-Rex

Miss M: listened to “Going to Town.”

Today some of us are going to our favorite buy-sell-trade bookstore to find more gems for summer reading!  We’ve been looking forward to this all month, especially as we are meeting friends there to share the joy.

 

Two Chloes and the end of a Quest

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What luck! My phone upgrade garnered me the wonderful boon of a camera that actually went into FOCUS MODE, so ideally you won’t have to suffer through too many fuzzy pictures for a good long while….

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I thought to stage the knits alongside the daffodils, but it’s still Lent so the purple grape hyacinths it is.  The climate is totally unfair here in Deep South Land.  We get all the Easter glory very early and the bushes, trees, and flowerbeds are already celebrating.

Not to mention that it’s hard keeping the Easter dresses from the girls when it’s over 70 degrees on a Sunday (not LAST Sunday, though!) and their winter Hanna Anderssons aren’t quite comfortable anymore!

But I digress.

The lower sweater was my modified version of the Chloe pattern.  I didn’t do stripes or a ruffle, mainly because I knew Sunshine would wear it with pretty much anything and I thought keeping it plain would suit.  Also, I had three skeins of KnitPicks Billow in “Comfrey” that I’d gotten her for her birthday, ostensibly to be mittens, and I wanted to use it. I used two and a tiny bit over. 🙂  Now, I also say “modified version” because I added the increase stitches a little differently.  I would love to say I was being creative and artistic but the reality is I messed up even with the instructions in front of me, and to my extreme good fortune, it worked out all right.

The sweater on the needles is Princess’ “Chloe,” also in KnitPicks Billow but in “Clarity” Will I finish it by Easter?  Wait and see…. I’m infamous for my last minute holiday projects.

NOW….

 

 

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In January on one of these Yarn-Along posts, I mentioned I was going to find out where all the quotes came from on the clever and capital little mug I received from my parents last Christmas.  I said I’d read through as many Jane Austen novels as necessary to find them out.  I’ve already posted about some of them, and I was down to three.

“One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.”  That’s in Emma.

“One cannot have too large a party.”  Also in Emma, as I thought, but the speaker was that ever social Mr. Weston.

Now the final quote had me stymied.  “It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.”  I joked at the time that it sounded like something from Batman Begins, mainly to tease my brother-in-law, who likes JA about as much as I like Batman.  Let me tell you, dear reader, that after rereading the five main novels in the past three months, I could not find this direct quote anywhere.

I did not feel like reading Lady Susan or the Juvenalia.  I did not feel like rereading JA’s letters.  Having read Emma, Mansfield Park, and Persuasion back to back, I needed to take a break.

((So I reread The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer for the hundredth time, so I could sit back and laugh and not think too hard))

But it bothered me that I should have reached what ought to have been journey’s end and not have found so simple a quote as that.  So begrudgingly I turned to Google.  It lead me to Goodreads, which told me that quote came from Sense and Sensibility!

WHAT?!  That was the very first novel I read this winter! How had I missed it?!  With eyes primed to find those quotes, surely I hadn’t missed it…

I searched further down the Google rabbit trail, and discovered that once upon a time, not so long ago, someone else had done a similar search on another mug, and found out that the quote had come….

FROM A FILM ADAPTATION.

I call foul!  If you’re going to quote JA on a mug of novel quotations, quote her! Don’t quote someone’s modified version of her.

But now my quest is over, and I can go back to some serious reading.  And I do have some serious reading to occupy me during these days of the Triduum.  More next week.

 

 

Yarn Along: A Tale of Three Sweaters

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Firstly, I promise I’ll be back here soon with an update on the whirlwind that is Our Life. However, I also said I’d post a picture of Haus Meister in the sweater, so here we go, and as a bonus, I’m in it too, for once:us

Unfortunately, that looks like it was the only day he’s going to be able to wear it down here until November. 😉  Downside to living in the South; wool knitting is kind of overrated.  But so comfy when it gets that cold!

So onto the current knits.  After Armas was finished, I did indeed cast on the Evelyn sweater.  Because our weather was warming, I didn’t quite know if I felt like more wool (it’s Alafosslopi again, just a different dye lot), but the braided cable caught me and I was enjoying it.  It’s on the right in the picture below:

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But then! Easter is coming, and the charming dresses I found this weekend for my oldest daughters could use an adorable little shrug, no?  Enter the Chloe stage left, now on the needles for Sunshine in Knitpicks Billow.  I’m planning a lighter blue color for Princess, mainly because that’s what I have in my stash. 😉  So Evelyn will have to wait on Chloe.

Reading-wise, I finished “The Life Giving Home” and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I’m rereading parts of it.  There’s a lot to think on, but it’s good.

Yarn Along — It’s Really Done! Plus a lot about books….

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Other Knits Here!

A few days ago I published a teaser about the Armas sweater, and while I don’t yet have a picture of my beloved wearing said “beloved” sweater (“Armas” is Finnish for “beloved,” if you haven’t actually read the Ravelry description), he did try it on and do I ever wish it were a COLD WINTER down here so I could see him wear it more often (cue starry eyed expression)!

However, the winter sun was kind enough to shine this afternoon and I snapped this picture.  I confess I am still preparing myself to block the sweater… I had a nightmare one night after working on the second sleeve that I accidentally felted it … I’m sort of afraid now to let water touch it… I mean, eighteen months in the knitting, heh heh heh….

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I’m in the post-project breathing phase.  I gauge-swatched for the Evelyn sweater, and should be posting about that in the next Yarn Along post I manage to write.

In the meantime, I have much to report about BOOKS.  For Christmas my mother gave our girls some of the “Shoe Books.”  Anyone who has seen “You’ve Got Mail” remembers the “Shoe Books” (in below video, skip to 2:24 or so).  I confess before the Christmas season was really over I read all three that we have (“Ballet Shoes“, “Skating Shoes“, and “Dancing Shoes“).  “Ballet Shoes” is my favorite, too.  Although, I never knew these books existed before the movie.  Same with the Betsy-Tacy series!  I was reading a book I’d bought for my girls’ home library when I found myself quoting out loud: “…whose name, I’m sorry to tell you, is Thelma.”  I love this movie.

Then there is my winter project to name that Austen quote’s source.  I have read “Pride & Prejudice,” “Northanger Abbey,” and I was reading “Sense and Sensibility” the week my sister called to say: “Did you hear that Col. Brandon died?! And by the way, happy birthday.”  I finished the book with the nostalgic memories of many a weekend spent with my sister watching and rewatching and rewatching again the classic “S & S” movie with Alan Rickman as THE HERO (sorry, Edward, but it isn’t you. You got out of a jam with considerable good luck.  We all like you immensely, but that’s true). Even ten years later or so, when the newer movie came out and gave Col. Brandon his due with a much larger role in the film, it wasn’t the same without Alan Rickman’s voice.

But I’m sharing this clip which doesn’t have him talking, because this song was in my head all day on my birthday after that phone call.

Rest in peace, Col. Brandon.

Now, on to those quotes.

“The very first moment I beheld him, my heart was irrevocably gone” Definitely Isabella Thorpe in Northanger Abbey…. And she has no heart to give, incidentally.

“A woman, especially if she has the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.”  Definitely Northanger Abbey.

“One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.” I was wrong about this one. It’s from Emma. I’m nearly halfway through this novel at present but I actually have two reads on my bedside table at the moment.  It depends on what I feel like.

“I wish, as well as everybody else, to be perfectly happy; but, like everybody else, it must be in my own way.”  Ok, the almighty Internet tells me that it belongs to Sense & Sensibility and it did indeed.  I thought it would be Marianne or Willoughby but it was, in fact, Edward.  Ironically, he says this as he visits the Dashwoods in Devonshire after having visited his secret fiancee.  And at the time he was saying this, he was pretty miserable.

Will you bear with me a moment more, dear reader?  I finally decided to do the Modern Mrs. Darcy 2016 Reading Challenge.  I haven’t decided on all the titles I want to read, or the order I wish to read them, but I’ve got one done already.

January: A book published this year.  “Spark Joy” by Marie Kondo.  My pantry never looked better after reading this one. 😉  Just don’t ask me about the corner cabinet. We’re getting there…

February (other current read): A book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller. I chose for this one “The Life-Giving Home” by Sally Clarkson.  It actually just arrived today and I’m working on the first chapter.  To be honest, I don’t go to our local library since I’m not “in city.” To get a library card at one time cost $50 for us non-citiers. So I decided to spend $50 on books I can keep and use our buy/sell/trade bookstore as an easy “library.”  If I pick out something we don’t want to keep, back it goes for credit.  Now, the general type of workers at the bookstore would probably suggest “Game of Thrones” for my reading pleasure, and that type of book just….isn’t. So I went with Elizabeth Foss’ recommendation via Facebook because let’s be honest, I get many book ideas from other moms on the internet.  You ladies are wonderful. 🙂  I had already pre-ordered the book, so I’m glad it was highly praised.

Now for a cup of tea.  Good night!