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Saturday, September 13, 2014

good things lately


This week has not been the week I expected it to be. I've needed good things in my life to balance the bad. If I'm feeling brave, I'll tell you about the bad sometime. But right now I'm still healing, greedily drinking in all the good I can.



coconut fish

My mom and I got to watch them being made at an old-fashioned candy shop across the river. And we got to eat them while they were still warm!


mail

It brought inspiration for my mind and hands. Taproot has me itching to plant some bulbs next month so I can have a garden full of flowers come spring. I've got plans to make my boy a coat from that navy yarn, and I better hurry because I want to finish it before we head up north.





my boy

He is the sweetest. He still loves being outside, whether it's hanging out in the herb garden or walking down by the river. He's learned some new signs lately: shampoo, bath, pasta (his favorite), and poop(!). He learned how to play hide and seek today, but he was easy to find because his squeals of excitement could be heard throughout the house.

* * * 

good things all around

Dottie Angel's frock pattern. Yes, yes! I want to make one for each day of the week. I'd fill the pockets with yarn and chocolates.

Just for fun, I filled a up a virtual cart at the Fringe Supply Co. shop. My favorites were this tote, these simple stitch markers, some bonsai-style scissors, and, most indulgent (and best!) of all, rosewood needles.

Melody's Pinecone & Mulberry hat makes me swoon so much that I cast it on almost as soon as she released the pattern. Oh, such beautiful, cozy texture.

And these college guys make me smile so hard every time I watch their rendition of Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" (and the events of this week have necessitated many viewings). Seeing that dorm hall makes me nostalgic because it's where I met my sweet husband a dozen or so years ago! I love that the guys there now are every bit as goofy as my husband and his fraternity brothers were.

* * *

I would love to hear about something good in your life. Or something funny. Or something you've come across online that has made you smile. Please, share some good things!



Monday, September 8, 2014

anders









This September morning, a Monday, Kentucky seems to be heralding the start of fall. It's all cool breezes, crispy leaves on the ground, the buzz of cicadas noticeably quieter than a week ago. And suddenly time seems to be going too fast. Already I've got so many of my fall days planned, and I need more time. How can we squeeze in more walks across the river, apple-picking, and fall festivals? A trip to Michigan, a visit to the pumpkin patch, and pie-baking?

Today Jude and I wore sweaters for the first time this season. I've got some new ones ready for him to wear once it really turns cold, but, barring a growth spurt, I think this Anders sweater will have to wait until next year. I made the biggest size, but my boy is still a little bit. He likes to point out the trees and snow on this sweater, though, so I think (and hope) that bodes well. Maybe he'll actually let me try it on him someday.

I used Malabrigo Arroyo for this sweater; it's squishy soft and wonderful to knit with, even during a humid Kentucky summer. I entered the sweater in the state fair just so I could get cheap tickets, and I was happily surprised that it received a ribbon.

* * *

What's going on in your neck of the woods? After listless summer days, I'm feeling overwhelmed by all I need to accomplish before winter comes. I'm off now to make a to-do list, so at least the crushing onslaught of things to be done will be organized. Ha.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

gramps




I've spent my free moments this summer working on a couple sweaters for my boy. This one--Gramps--makes me especially happy. That shawl collar will keep his little neck warm at fall festivals, and some soon-to-be-added pockets will be the perfect place to stash small treasures (acorns and rocks are particular favorites).

Shortly after I took this picture I discovered I'd picked up the short row wraps wrong, so that they showed on the right side. I struggled for nearly an entire nap time to figure out how to fix it (grr...that is precious time!) before throwing it aside in a huff. This is supposed to be my easy, relaxing project. After a few hours to cool down I did a quick search online and remedied the problem in a matter of minutes with the help of this Purl Bee tutorial on short rows. Now I just have to finish the button band and make those pockets.

* * * 
As for reading, I just finished J.K. Rowling's newest Cormoran Strike detective novel, The Silkworm. It was a fast, compelling read that made me want to figure out the mystery and drink copious amounts of tea. It's set in London and so many scenes include tea. 

A couple nights ago I cracked open Haruki Murakami's latest novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. I'm not far into it yet, but I already want to book a ticket to Tokyo. Oh, I miss Japan!

 * * * 
I'm joining in with Ginny's Yarn Along today. Are you? I'd love to hear what you've been making and reading.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

little loomhouse











I visited the Little Loomhouse a couple weeks ago and have been dreaming of it ever since. It's three cabins tucked away in a wooded neighborhood in Louisville's South End where weavers, spinners, and dyers create some of the most beautiful things from yarn and fiber. According to the Little Loomhouse website, Frank Lloyd Wright visited and described the cabins as "three board and batten cabins set in the dignity of nature under the mighty oaks of Kenwood Hill." The cabins have dream catchers in the windows and looms lining the tables, ready to go. Oh, there's so much possibility there!

Have you ever been somewhere and just thought, "I have to find a way to be here more"? Well, that's the way I feel about the Little Loomhouse. It was started as a weaving workshop in 1939 sponsored by Eleanor Roosevelt and continues its goal of textile education today. I felt inspired by the surroundings, both nature and textiles, and I'm excited to learn from the people I met there.

I'm already planning my next visit.

* * *

If you're local, be sure to check out the Little Loomhouse's workshop list. I want to try weaving and dyeing with indigo!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

summering













the last string of days has felt like a summer daydream realized.
little hands in the garden: watering, digging, picking.
"be gentle" is our garden mantra
so we don't end up with too many beheaded marigolds.

longtime friends visited from overseas.
i love them and who i am when i'm with them.
they're the people i can be weird with
and they're just as weird, in the most delightful way.

i have been knitting from evening right up till bedtime.
my linen sweater, a gramps cardigan, and some colorwork to be cast on tonight.
pots of fresh mint tea, chocolate, and marzipan round out my evenings.

also, yoga.
i know, this is a summer daydream, right?
i don't know where this came from
but these last few weeks i've found ways to fit yoga into my days
just a bit, but it's enough.

oh oh oh,
that's my own private mantra
"this is enough."
i've been using it lately to remind myself
that really, it is.

and my little guy--
these days we play an endless game of charades.
he has a handful of words that mostly all sound the same,
but he knows so much and has started to show us:

i need a new diaper.
i am hungry.
i am hungry for chocolate, but i'll take watermelon.
will you put the coconut oil on my feet?
there are goldfish in the vent!


* * *

i'm off to wind that pretty blue yarn and make my evening tea. i hope your days are dreamy, too.

allison


Monday, June 23, 2014

first monday of summer in kentucky




jude's day started with yogurt, mine with coffee,
and we split a bagel smeared with avocado.

then it was on to water a garden full of herbs and weeds
with a toddler who, when beckoned, points out basil, calendula, and mint.
today he learned "bird poop" and we searched the driveway for white splatters.

nap time
for him, but laundry time for me,
two loads today,
and a few rounds of knitting on my blue socks.

but then he's up again and we read peter rabbit
while he bounces on the bed
he just learned that today
so it's still charming.

* * *

tonight on my desk sits a yellow teacup
warm milky tea with brown sugar to sweeten the evening's work.

i break to stretch my legs and find my husband at the window.

a hawk perched on the ridge of the house across the street,
unperturbed by the summer rain and the robins diving at him.
he shakes his head just once,
flinging the gathered rain from his feathers.

* * *


thank you to everyone who commented on my last post. i appreciate your thoughts and will have more to say about them in the future. i know i'll be referring back to them when i hit a rough patch in blogging.

the winner of the yarn giveaway is liesl.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

five year celebration: a yarn giveaway!





I started this blog five years ago. Five years. Oh my! That's a long time. I've met a lot of friends through blogging who have changed my life in both subtle and substantial ways. It's amazing how much inspiration and influence can come from people I've never met in person, yet whom I've spent countless hours with online.

I've changed in these five years. I married my college sweetheart, earned a graduate degree, found a career, discovered a love of knitting, bought a house, planted gardens, baked countless cakes, and became a mother to the most wonderful little boy.

As much as I've changed, it's funny to look back and see how I've remained the same. I started this blog with a quote from "Apples and Oranges," a short story by Alice Munro: "The list of things that Barbara doesn't want to do is as long as your arm. Apparently she wants to do what she does--read, and go for walks, eat and drink with pleasure, tolerate some company." I planned to write this blog as long as it was something I wanted to do.

I've been wrestling with what to do here on field wonderful. I love writing and crafting, sharing my life with you, and reading about yours. But I've been feeling uninspired lately. It's hard to find time to write here while taking care of a toddler all day and working at night.

A couple weeks ago I wrote a post to quit my blog. It was a fond farewell, but it also felt like I was breaking up with someone I still loved. I hit the save button and wanted to cry.

I lived with the idea of seriously ending my blog for a few days before deciding that field wonderful is still a place I want to be, still a place I want to come together and share with you all, but that I want it to change to fit me. I want to give myself the time and space to sit down and be creative here.

The blogs I love are the ones where writers share their personal narratives. I want to get to know people through their words in addition to their photos, which is why I shy away from other social media platforms. I know, I know, I feel like a Luddite saying all this. Deep down I'm an old lady stuck in her ways. Maybe I just need to collect addresses and send each of you a nice handwritten letter. To hell with all these screens.  

In the end, I decided to take a little time away and return refreshed and ready to write.

But before I go, let's have a giveaway. Shall we? Oh yes. To celebrate the time I've spent writing this blog and the time you've spent reading it, I have a small giveaway for you. It's a skein of Shetland wool yarn from Ballyhoo Farm that's made from the fleeces of a mother and daughter sheep: Thistle and Shamrock. It's 250 yards of worsted weight and smells wonderfully sheepy, if you like that sort of thing (I do!).

To win, simply leave a comment on this post telling me your thoughts on blogging. Why do you read blogs? Why do you write a blog (if you do)? Make sure I have a way of contacting you if you win.

The contest is open to anyone. I'll ship to the far reaches of the world if that's where the winner lives. I'll close the contest on June 14, 2014.

Be well, my friends, and thank you so much for reading!



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