29 November 2013

turkey day

I'm very thankful this holiday weekend for family, hearth and home (for some reason those two words just sound so good together) and - handknits. We walked in the door at my parent's house on Thanksgiving and there was my little niece sitting in her daddy's arms on the kitchen island, clapping her hands and sporting one of my handknit sweaters. (She is now my new favorite.)

It's a rare occurrence that I get to see a baby in one of the sweaters I make for them. (Here is the link to the pattern.) I usually send then off and sometimes receive a picture of the precious little one in some soft warm wool. It's not that the sweater is the important thing. Yesterday was about all the "ideas" I knit into the little sweaters I make: sweet babies with pink cheeks and smiles, family gathered together on the farm, savory food roasting in spices making the house smell fantastic. That's why I (we) knit these things, right? There is something precious about a handmade life - or there's something very special about being able to put the things that are precious to us into something we made by hand.

And if they stay in it for more than thirty seconds, I call that a success. Little Brooke wore this sweater for most of the morning and I got to admire again the color transitions that fascinated me while I was knitting it and the clever decreases that make the sleeves and shape the shoulders - perfect diagonal slants.

I am inspired to knit another baby sweater!

24 November 2013

november's socks

It's nice to bind off some stitches and tie off some loose ends here at tendril & twine. My November socks are actually done before the end of November. My feet are very happy and warm. I pulled these socks on as soon as I finished them this morning and I've been wearing them ever since. I love how bright and flashy they are.

Each sock is not exactly alike - but the more socks I knit the more bored I get with trying to make them identical. Why can't one have more ribbing than the other? And if one sock is a few inches taller than the other, well the cuffs of my pants will cover that up. These socks have a bit of a Pippi Longstocking attitude.

I'm a long time fan of Pippi's - so - there you have it. Fun times around here today.

11 November 2013

carrots & thyme

Knitting and working and working and knitting. The weekend flew by - and we're on on the right side of Monday, so I can't complain. We harvested the last of the carrots from the garden on Sunday as well as dug up the canna lily bulbs and the dahlias and stored them in the basement under the stairs.

Roast carrot soup and more of that kale salad I've been craving lately. I roasted the carrots with some potatoes and a few sprigs of thyme from the garden. Lots of fun to use the stuff we've grown. The socks that I'm currently working on have been addicting to knit. I like the contrasting green stripes. The yarn I'm using is from the "Killer Tomatoes" top that my sister dyed last summer and I spun last fall. The perfect colors for November - reminds me of a crackling fire . . . and a pack of killer tomatoes.

 . . . both images make me smile. Have a lovely second week of November everyone.

09 November 2013

the weekend : putting the pieces together

Hello weekend - I'm so glad you've finally arrived. I've been trying to catch up all week with things around the house, unfinished projects and all of the many pieces of information that need to come together about Garrett and my life together in order to compete our adoption home study that it feels like I've been tripping over the many pieces of unfinished business for days and days. My type A personality does not like loose threads, unwoven stitches or missing puzzle pieces - I like things to come together smoothly as planned - according to the pattern's instructions or like the picture on the puzzle box.

I think what I can say about our life right now is we're waiting to see what the picture looks like on the puzzle box of our life. We've got so many of the pieces and we're struggling to put them together - just like we've been taught - but there are so many random, brightly colored pieces strewn about that I have no idea where they should go.

All I can say is that day by day and week by week this puzzle is slowly starting to come together and a picture is starting to emerge.

I guess I'm lucky that I've had all of my creative/crafty training - I know what to do when something doesn't come out just right. There are several options:

1. Unravel and start over the best you can.
2. Reread the instructions/recipe/pattern and find out where you made your first mistake and fix it.
3. Keep trucking and live with the mistakes you've made up to this point - the piece is coming together nicely - despite of all the things you didn't know when you started out.

I think I'll go with number three. Perfection for all it's ease of construction lacks the character and curiosity of all things hard won and dreamed of - and if we're very lucky we all get our definition of perfect in the end - if we have the eyes to see it.

So, in summary, I'm trucking through the weekend. Taking creative breaks between all of the blank forms for some knitting and sewing. My sewing machine broke down last weekend, but my cousin's husband was ever so clever and fixed it with the help of my grandma, Lois. I love that picture: I'm calling it "Tough Guy with a Beard Fixes Sewing Machine with Help of Grandma." I'm sure he's super thrilled with the picture too.

I'm ever so grateful.

The puzzle above was a gift. It's a scene from Pride and Prejudice with all the best quotes from the book. I intend to put it together (while watching the movie) total Jane Austen overload!

03 November 2013

up home with family

Up home last weekend for a long walk, good food and family. The day was gorgeous. Most of the leaves are off the trees in northern Minnesota, but now that their flashiness is gone other beautiful things have come to the forefront. The ditches lining the gravel roads around my parents' farm were filled with red berries.

I finished a baby cap to match the mittens I was working on last month and was able to snap a quick shot of one baby wearing it. Speaking of little ones, the same little one who posed for a second in my hand-knit cap is getting ready to crawl. Soon we won't be able to count on the fact that she stays were we put her on the quilt in the middle of the floor. (Hopefully her mommy, daddy and sissy will be able to keep up!)

After a spring and summer of doctors appointments and disappointed hopes, Garrett and I have decided to turn to adoption as a way to start our family. I can't describe how emotionally painful and disappointing this struggle has been for me (for us) but on the flipside, I can barely contain the hope we feel at this point, as well.

This hope is greater than the disappointments we've been through, and it's been a blessing to experience it. 

We're currently chin deep in paperwork for our home study and we've already hired a facilitator to coordinate our adoption. This time next year - or sooner - I could be snapping pictures of our own son or daughter trying to yank off a hand-knit cap that I made.

Yah, we're looking forward to that. 
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