29 January 2016

jaunuary rainbows

We went up to the farm in the middle of this week to spend the evening with grandma and grandpa and to eat good food and dig around in the fiber bins.

We found a lot of things to make us happy!

Grandma and the girls have been dying fiber all year and stashing it away for me to find. (Ha ha - that's what it felt like to me, because when I opened the plastic storage tub holding all of the dyed yarn my brain exploded with color and inspiration. This happens every January when the landscape is so devoid of color and warmth that you're constantly seeking creative stimulation with your eyes and hands.)

I found it at the farm. Tubs overflowing with colorful fiber!

And it's my birthday this week, so my mom said "Take what you want."

"Okay!" So I did.

Isn't the quilt gorgeous at the top and bottom of this post? It's my sister's work. You can find more of her creations here on her blog. She has a very unique approach to color and piecing her quilt blocks together. She told me that she's been wanting to do a star quilt for years, but I guess they are difficult to piece together and she had to do a lot of tearing out and resewing to get this far. Now she's trying to decide what color to put in the background. I voted for a dark fabric.

Another person responsible for this vibrant yarn is my cousin, Ashley. She's got a knack for combining colors in the dye pot. I'm so excited that she's started blogging again here.

The mostly orange sock is my mom's work, knit from some of our hand-dyed yarn called "desert rose". I like the waves of color that are taking shape - this color way is a keeper. That's the fun part of knitting with handmade yarn. The color combinations and patterns are always a surprise.

Knitting is an adventure. 

Well, now we have to make something with all of this fiber. I'm still finishing up my striped pair of socks and the tweed baby blanket, but as soon as I have some empty needles I'm going to be casting on some of this lovely wool. You can find more of our fiber in our shop. Shearing time is also just around the corner, so we'll keep you all posted.

Happy Friday everyone!

xo Jill

20 January 2016

yarn along (01)

This is my first ever post joining Ginny's Yarn Along. I'm excited to be a part of this group, not only do I love seeing all of your projects, but I also need all the book suggestions that I can get. I'm currently out on maternity leave from my job, so I have been reading more than I ever have been in the last five years.

I'm currently reading a few books in tandem: "The Luckiest Girl Alive" by Jessica Knoll and a remake of "Sense and Sensibility" by Joanna Trollope. I must say I'm reading Jessica Knoll's book much faster than Joanna Trollope's. There's an element of mystery that I want to discover and plus the narrator is absolutely entertaining. Sometimes I can't believe what she says and thinks - it's definitely on the darker more risky side of things. I read "Gone Girl" a few years ago and I have to agree with other reviews that I've read about this book that this story is similar to that book. Readability wise they are both page turners. The subject content is different though. (See a few previous posts for my thoughts on Trollope's "Sense and Sensibility."

Still knitting away on my tweed baby blanket and I cast on the toe for my second striped sock. Magenta is my favorite color. My sister made the quilt featured in this post as a shower gift for my son. You can check out her blog here.

Keep reading and knitting everyone!

xo Jill

19 January 2016

handspun baby

We've hit that January cold stretch that seems to come every year. Temperatures way below zero. I haven't set foot outside for a few days, not since the weekend grocery run. Baby and I have been snuggled in under wool and warm flannel, chattering to each other and watching the light change through the branches of the trees out the windows.

I just remembered this little vest the other day. It's almost too small - he's growing so fast. This is knit from some handspun that I've had for years. If I can remember correctly it's 100% merino wool. I double-plied it to get worsted weight yarn. There was enough of it for this project. Perfect colors for a little boy.

The blood oranges have been great this season. After our bout with the sniffles I made sure we stocked up on citrus. Pretty in pictures!

I'm going to cast on for another - bigger - one of these soon!

xo Jill

17 January 2016

books + inspiration

I'm currently reading a modern day re-imagining of Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope. So far I think it's okay - not great. The original is my favorite book of all time, so those are some big shoes to fill. I've enjoyed Joanna Trollope's other books, but this one is lacking in her usual witty dialogue and humor - maybe she got psyched out by the subject? I know I would. I'm going to keep giving this book a chance, though, because I love the Dashwoods and Joanna Trollope.

As you can see, I'm working on the ribbing of my first sock. I can't wait to cast on the second one, I have a stretch of magenta yarn to start with so the stripes are really going to pop.

I've been online trolling for inspiration this weekend. I found some very pretty images of fiber and projects by others.

  1. Beautiful yarn dyed by Amanda and featured on her wonderful blog.
  2. Another project from Amanda. I love the stripes and the quilted project bag. Now I'm in the mood to make a shawl. This project - Germinate Shawl - looks challenging and beautiful. 
  3. This is benzngems version of the Great Divide shawl on ravelry. Simple and clean, but the color work is stunning. 

I've got to finish all of the projects I have started so that I can start some new ones!

Happy Weekend!

xo Jill

15 January 2016

ginger, jalepeno + bay leaf

It started as a sniffle and cascaded into a flurry of sneezes: I have a head cold. I caught it from the baby. He's been happily sneezing in my face all week. (But his sniffles are so cute!) Now I know how the little guy has been feeling.

I've got a pot of chicken noodle soup simmering on the stove. I put a small mountain of fresh ginger and some jalapenos into the broth. I find that's the perfect combination for healing whenever I start to feel sick. Hope it does the trick this time.

Lots of knits in process right now. I'm sewing in all of the loose ends on my mittens. They don't match, but I'm okay with that. I have another skein of this yarn that I'm eyeing up for another project. I knit the baby sweater this past summer. It's been hard to find an occasion for him to wear it. We keep the house so warm that I end up peeling him out of all the layers I've got him dressed in just moments after I have him dressed up. Oh well!

I used some black fingering weight sock yarn for the body of the sweater and some of our own hand-painted sock yarn for the accents. My husband had his doubts if it would work for a little boy, but I think he looks great. (He can't complain at this age anyway.)

I've been knitting on the little baby blanket for about a month. The yarn is Lion Brand Heartland Tweed. It's the first time I've knit with this, but this is going to be a gift for my friend's first child so I want it to be machine washable. I hope it washes up nice. We shall have to see.

Happy weekend everyone! Hope you are avoiding the sniffles!


11 January 2016

winter mittens

Brrrr . . . it's cold here and I discovered my favorite winter mittens had a hole that could not be repaired - a good dilemma for a knitter - but the replacement pair has to be knit fast!

The pattern I'm using is called the "Warmest Mittens" and it can be found here.  The yarn is Lion Brand Amazing colorway Strawberry Fields. Very pretty, soft and fuzzy! 

02 January 2016

a new year

The new year is here and I'm slowly catching up to being a first-time mom. My husband goes back to work this week, so it's up to me and baby to fall into a daily rhythm for the rest of my maternity leave. My son is mainly calling the shots right now, but as he grows I hope to regain some of my crafting and dreaming time. Right now a majority of my daytime hours are spent trying to recapture the rest I lost tending to him during the night.

I am getting better at knitting while I nurse and I've also been catching up on a lot of reading with the new ereader that my husband got me for Christmas.

I've only got a few more inches on this sock before I cast on for the second. Drawing the yarn from both the outside and the inside of the skein is somewhat awkward on top of the fact that my arms are full while I'm working on it, but I'm making steady progress.

Happy New Year!


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