Tuesday, May 24, 2016

outside play

It has been so gray, dreary, cold, and rainy here for way too long. When I woke up yesterday morning, the sun was actually out and the sky was blue and I was so, so happy. I'm telling you all, I do not tolerate gray days very well. Which is completely ironic since I live in Western Pennsylvania, which happens to be one of the least sunny places  in the United States. Really now. Go figure. 

Anyway, the sun was out yesterday when I woke up, and I immediately felt so much more energized and ready to go about my day. I had herbs, veggies, and flowers that I wanted to plant, and I had a big pile of my handspun yarn that needed heat-treated and hung out to dry. 

I managed to get all of the yarn simmered and pulled out of the pot and hung outside to dry. I'm not kidding when I say that a mere ten minutes after I hung out the skeins, Lily yelled into the house that it was thundering. I thought she was mistaken, but then the wind started to blow and the rain started to pour from the sky. Thankfully, Lily's warning gave me time to grab the skeins and put them on the back porch. 

It was a short-lived rain. It probably only lasted less than an hour, and then the sun did come out again and remained out the rest of the day. I can live with that. And while it rained, we ran to our neighbor's nursery and picked up a few hanging baskets and flowers. We also stopped and picked up a couple of fleeces that a neighbor was giving to me since she was literally just going to throw them away. (Gasp.) I have no idea what type of sheep she has; she didn't know either. Her son had bought them for her at an auction. However, I'll clean the wool and play around with it and see what it's like.

It ended up being a pretty productive day. The yarn dried. I got all of the plants into the raised beds. I prettied up our landscaping with some flowers. And I enjoyed doing all of these things while replenishing my vitamin D levels.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Fiber Play

Lily taught herself how to spin yesterday using my drop spindle and some YouTube videos. I have to admit that I do feel impressed at her eagerness and determination. I do NOT spin using the drop spindle. I had purchased that spindle at a local yarn and fiber festival two years ago and had not used it since trying it at the festival. Shame on me. 

However, Lily picked it up and got a rhythm going surprisingly fast, and she is enjoying it much more than spinning at the wheel. She's already planning my spindle spinning lessons. 

I have also been spinning. I spun up a dreamy gray merino last week, and it made the most squishy, soft, scrumptious yarn. OH MY. I had bought a whole pound of this roving, so there is still a lot left to spin. I am just so happy with how it turned out. 

I just spun up four ounces of hand-dyed Cheviot roving. I bought it off a hand-dyer, so I didn't do the actual dying. I love the colors, but it's a bit courser than what I prefer to wear next to my skin. However, I do believe that it would be perfectly fine knitted up as a hat. From what I have read, Cheviot is supposed to be a nicer, softer fiber so I'm thinking that maybe the micron count of this fiber I ordered is a bit higher and courser than some Cheviot. Regardless, it is absolutely beautiful, and I have another four ounce roving in this same fiber but different colorway to spin. 

I finished the prayer socks for Liz, and those will go in the mail as soon as they have their mail set up at their new home. I've since started the Swedish Lines shawl using Cloudborn baby alpaca fingering weight yarn. I am loving this yarn! It's so soft! And I'm really excited about this shawl. It's going to be perfect for cooler nights this spring and summer.  The navy and taupe color are also really exciting me because I think that it will make such a classic garment. 

Have a good one!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

a beautiful week

The past five days have been such a gift from God. Such a blessing. Also very bittersweet. 

It's hard to believe that the six weeks that were remaining when we found out our best friends (and pastor) were moving to South Carolina have come to an end. Geoff, Liz, and their girls pull out early Friday morning. I feel like we've been trying to squeeze as much together-time in as we can over these few days we have left as neighbors.

We just love them so much, and we are truly going to miss them. Last night we celebrated Brad's 36th birthday and Liz's birthday (hers is two weeks after they move) with Taco Tuesday (our traditional meal that we always seemed to eat when we got together) and apple pies (Brad and Liz's favorite pies.) My heart felt so blessed by the time we had together last night, their family and ours. 

Lily was baptized this past Sunday afternoon. Geoff and Brad baptized her together. That was definitely special and very sweet. Geoff has now baptized all three of our kids which is pretty cool. Cool in the aspect, that they have been involved in that spiritual part of our children's lives. 

After the baptism, my parents had dinner at their home, followed by a long hay ride. The weather was really perfect. Sunny and just a bit chilly. I just really love the photos that I snapped during the ride. Everyone was so alive and happy and laughing. Don't you love laughing? I love it so.

It's just been such a sweet week to my heart. We've been busy preparing the kids' projects for the project fair this Friday. We're almost finished. We've also been very busy with outside tasks. I spent five solid hours shoveling manure on Monday, and that's not even done yet. Definitely, my least favorite part of having animals. 

I've also been spending some time knitting and spinning. Of course I have. I'm not sure what it would feel like to go a day without doing one of those things for at least a few minutes. I'm almost finished with a pair of prayer/friendship socks that I'm making for Liz. They're not going to be finished by Friday, so I'll have fun putting together a little package to send her in the mail. Oh, and I finished my Harvest Cardigan (except for weaving in a few ends which you can see sneaking out in the photo above.)

Lily's newest craze is making mini skeins of yarn. They're just so darn cute too. I just really love them. So tiny. I gave her some of my leftovers to wind up into mini skeins. She's having a blast, and they will look so much nicer than just having loose balls of yarn getting all tangled up. That girl is so much like me. It amazes me.

Well, ladies, I pray that you have a wonderful evening. We are, again, spending the evening at our dear friends' home along with some other friends from church. Just soaking these last moments in. Because, you know, I am a sap. Sniff. Sniff.