Monday, September 26, 2011

honeycomb cardigan

I'm so excited to show you my latest finished project, which I've named the Honeycomb Cardigan. Remember when it was still growing? Well, now it's a full-fledged sweater, and I feel like a bona fide knitter. It's my absolute favorite sweater, and I'm still marveling that my hands made it. Bona fide, oh my.

What do I love about this sweater? Um, just about everything--the color, feel, lacework, i-cord edging, and twisted rib. It's dressy enough for the office, but cozy enough to wear when I'm just kicking around town. It brightened up my rainy Saturday last weekend and even made my trip to pay the bills feel kind of fun.


Yarn: Quince & Co. Chickadee in Carrie's Yellow (I wholeheartedly recommend!)

Notions: Cream-colored buttons

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P.S. As I was sorting through these photos I realized that I had unintentionally knitted myself a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Maybe I make my own luck?

P.P.S. Bona fide! (1:20)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

favorite of favorites

Saturday mornings move slowly around here. Hours feel like whole days, and Monday's return to the routine seems far away. This morning has been particularly pleasant. I dove into our CSA vegetables and made breakfast burritos. The open windows let in cool, rain-soaked air, but two pots of coffee have kept me warm. A ball of red wool found its way onto my needles. But by far the best part of this morning has been the music. 

Tonight we've got tickets to a Nanci Griffith concert, so I dug out all of my Nanci records and CDs. I've been playing them the whole morning. Nanci's voice is tied with many memories for me. My dad and uncle listened to her music when I was a kid. Certain lyrics transport me across the world and time. 

Bicycles squeezed down alley ways into view
And towels warmed on oven doors
To not freeze
Was the only thing to do

I hummed this song all over Amsterdam for months as I rode my bike through cobblestone streets. Her words reminded me of home and made me feel less alone among strangers.

One winter night in Japan I walked home from work late at night listening to Nanci's album of torch songs. Snow was piled high around me as I trudged through an empty park. The only sounds were the crunch of snow and Nanci's voice singing "Bluer than blue." The whole world seemed cast in blue--the  pale ice, glowing streetlights, and dark sky.  In those moments I felt both melancholy and the happiest I'd ever been.

One of the Nanci Griffith records I found at a shop in Ann Arbor has notes taken during a concert she played on December 7, 1985. The album is also signed by Nanci and includes her book recommendations: Carson McCullers's Reflections in a Golden Eye and Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward, Angel. I think these two need to make it onto my reading list.

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Do you have any special memories tied to music? Who is your favorite musician? What do you love about their music? I'm such a word lover that lyrics are the most important part of music for me, and Nanci's songs always tell stories. She's definitely my favorite of favorites. I can't wait till tonight!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


People told me that when I found the right house, I'd just know, but I didn't believe them one bit. I thought they were glassy-eyed optimists who'd just as soon try to convince me that if I really look hard enough I'll find a leprechaun and pot of gold at the end of every rainbow. For real, people? I was firmly convinced that the house I found would be something I settled for--good enough, but not "the one." It's not as if there's a house soulmate out there for everyone. Of course I had my hopes, although I didn't have a lot of conviction that those dreams would materialize.  

But then I walked into the house above and fell in love so hard. Fireplace? A big kitchen? Plenty of room in the dining room for that long table we want? I skittered from room to room with a giddy feeling in my stomach, knowing that I would feel incredibly lucky to live there.

And I am so damn lucky sometimes I can't believe it. Because if everything goes as planned, K and I will be moving into our new house next month. We're so excited to make the space our own, to settle in, build fires, cook meals, and live lots of new adventures. I can't wait to share it all with you!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

yipes! stripes!

I'm obsessed with stripes lately. The obsession started with these colorful stripes and continued with the yellow-striped hat I made for my husband. Now I've got this red and dark gray hat (a gift) on the needles, and I can't help thinking of how fun it would be to have my own striped hat to wear this winter.

I need stripes right now. They make me feel like I'm really making progress on something, which helps me as I anxiously await some news on a possible new house. Yes, we found a house that we LOVE, but we've been in  negotiations the past few days and the waiting is driving me a little batty. So, I knit stripes. All that anxious energy has to go somewhere!

Speaking of anxious energy...This morning I was knitting so feverishly on the bus that I almost missed my stop. Luckily, I looked up just in time and scrambled out to the street. In my hurry I shoved my yarn and needles into my purse. Well, when I arrived at work I unpacked my bag and found a peanut butter and jelly sandwich impaled on a knitting needle. The needle went all the way through the sandwich and out the other side!

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It was great hearing from so many of you last week about how you deal with a boring book. I took your advice and picked up something more exciting (to me): If on a winter's night a traveler. This novel is completely unlike anything I've ever read, and I have no idea where it is going to take me. It continuously calls attention to the act of reading and the reader's interaction with the text.  Each chapter is part of a different novel, and each builds suspense and then breaks off before anything is resolved. I really like books that ask me to put the pieces together and give me plenty of moments to wonder what in the world is going on. This book is full of those moments!
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I'm yarning along today with Ginny. Be sure to check out all the other great yarns this week.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Yarn Giveaway Winners

Hilde of Hildes lille krok, Maria of Aussie Maria, and Marfa of Scrumptious are all winners!

I'll be contacting the winners shortly, and once I have your contact information I'll send some lovely yarn your way.

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Thank you everyone who took time to enter the giveaway. I had a blast reading the comments. You guys came up with some interesting facts! I thought I'd share my five favorite here (the ones that competed for the Noro):

Kitten With a Whiplash said...
Random Fact: Collectively my little toes have been run over by three cars and a piano. Plus countless times that Mom's run over them with her Rascal.

[Too funny...and painful!]

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Mindy said...
What a great giveaway! Thanks for the chance to win!
Random fact about me. I've been searching for months and months to figure out a crochet stitch that my husband's great-grandmother had used for MANY afghans she created. I have finally figured it out, and I am almost finished making a baby blanket for my sister-in-law and niece-to-be using that stitch. It will be a tribute to her from her great-great-grandmother's incredible crocheting legacy. I hope they like it!

[That's amazing, Mindy! How wonderful that you're carrying on a family tradition and making connections between generations.]

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moreofhim said...
What gorgeous yarn! Any of them would be such a special treat!
Something about me: My Grandmother taught me to crochet when I was 4 years old with thread. It's something I've done my entire life and I think of her every time I pick up my hook.
Thank you for entering me in the giveaway. :)

[Wow, either your grandmother was very patient or you were a very talented child. Maybe both. :) I'm amazed that you learned with thread at such a young age!]

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Jennifer said...
Something about myself...when I was about 9-10 I wrote and orchestrated a play in which my 7-8 yr old cousin walked out into the livingroom at my g'parents stating, "Oh, I'm just a streetwalker. Just a streetwalker." Of course, the parents in the room and my grandparents threw a fit...and I never admitted to them that I was the one who told her to say that.

[I love funny kid stories. I actually know Jennifer and cannot imagine her ever saying streetwalker.]

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Marfa said...
I am posting my 368th blog post today! So, I'm near 400, too. I'm sure the weather there is similar to this odd weather we've had here...extremely hot days, then very cool days...right now, I'm wearing the orange alpaca socks (my first ever socks I knit) to keep warm!

[Orange alpaca socks sound super cozy! Hurray for first socks!]

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

yarn along: yellow stripe

Yarning along with Ginny today

It has been so long since I've gotten to participate in yarn along day. My knitting and my book never got together this week for a photo op, but rest assured they're both in my life.

This yellow-striped hat I'm making for K has kept my hands busy during my bus rides this past week. With school starting back, my morning bus is now packed with students. I squeeze in beside high school students, med students, and plenty of other working people. I previously reserved my knitting for times when the bus was sparsely populated, but lately I've been using it to carve out space for myself. People tend to leave extra room when there are needles flying about.

I went a little overboard on the stockinette section of this hat and ended up with an extra inch. No problem, I thought. K has kind of a big head, so I figured it would fit fine. I kept on knitting. But then last night I actually finished the hat and had K try it on. It was definitely too big! So I ripped back and am trying again. At least it's quick knitting!

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Lately I've been reading Water for Elephants, but I'm having a hard time feeling involved in the story. Reading about old-timey circuses is interesting (the trains! the sequins! the animals!), but I just don't care about the characters. At all. I'm 200 pages in, so I'll probably stick with it till the end. I'm already looking forward to a new read, though. The Hunger Games is definitely tempting me.

What yarns are in your life this week? I'd love to hear if you're reading something compelling. What do you do if a book loses its appeal halfway through--plow through or kick it off the night stand?

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There's still time to enter my yarn giveaway!

Monday, September 5, 2011

400 posts yarn giveaway!

Hello, hello! I recently realized that my last post was number 400. That's certainly something to celebrate! It's been a long time since I held a giveaway, so when I was at the yarn store today I picked up a few skeins to give to some lucky readers. 

I'm giving away 2 skeins of Ella Rae wool in yellow and cream, 3 skeins of Mission Falls cotton from my favorite yarn shop (now closed), and 1 skein of Noro Kureyon in blue and green hues. I want to share the yarn, so I'll be choosing three winners--one for the Ella Rae, one for Mission Falls, and one for Noro.

The nitty gritty of how to win:

1. Leave a comment on this post telling me something about yourself. Anything will do--I'm a fan of random facts. I'd love to know more about my readers. Make sure I have a way to contact you!

2. For a bonus entry, become a follower of Field Wonderful. Leave a comment letting me know you're a follower.

3. For another bonus entry, post about this giveaway on your blog and leave another comment here with the link to your blog post.

Entries from all over the world are welcome. I'm willing to ship this yarn anywhere mail will go. 

This giveaway will close on Monday, September 12, 2011 at 8 PM EST. I'll put the names in a lovely vintage tin and draw for the Ella Rae and Mission Falls. The Noro is my favorite, so I'll choose my five favorite comments and hold a special drawing for it. 

The giveaway is closed. I'll announce the winners in a new post soon.

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Good luck to you and thank you so much for reading Field Wonderful!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

dream home

I've been thinking a lot about my dream home lately--the place where I want to spend my life and build a family. Yes, I've got a laundry list of wants and needs and wouldn't-it be-cool-if-we-hads. But when I really try to picture my dream home, here is what I see.

It's spring, and we've just planted vegetables in the yard. The flowers are starting to come up. They are old-fashioned varieties of roses, peonies, and lilacs that have been growing here for many years. We've planted herbs near the patio, just out the back door, for quick snipping around dinnertime. It's still quite cool in the evenings, so we spend time curled on the couch with piles of books and yarn. During thunderstorms we watch the rain out the wide front windows until the weather gets too scary, and then we hide out in the basement till it calms down.

Summer comes with its hot and heavy days. The kitchen is busy with canning and jamming vegetables from our garden and fruit from our trees. We've got summertime craft projects spread out across the long dining room table. Suppers are quick salads and grilled vegetables eaten outside on the deck. Evenings are spent on the porch swing with iced tea. When the mosquitoes drive us inside, we break out a board game and stay up too late playing.

Autumn is my favorite season of all. We pull quilts from the cedar chest and pile them on the beds. Windows stay open all evening long so that my porch-swing-knitting is accompanied by the sounds of Dinah Washington records. We carve pumpkins and line them up on the porch steps. We build the first fire of the season and feel so cozy in our living room. We cuddle under crocheted afghans for movie nights with a big bowl of kettle corn and hot apple cider.

During winter we put our stack of firewood to steady use, and our home is filled with the rich smell of wood smoke. We linger under the covers longer every morning, scurrying out in woolen slippers to put the kettle on. The Christmas records play regularly after dinner as we make wish lists and homemade presents. We bake more cookies than we could ever possibly eat and pack lots up to give away to neighbors and friends. The kitchen is the place to be this season. When it snows we clamber outside to make snow angels in the front yard and build an igloo in the back.

I am looking forward to many seasons in my dream home. I know that everything on my laundry list of wants is not going to be checked off, but I'm looking for a house that captures that feeling of home that I want. And a big kitchen would be nice, too! We're still on the hunt...

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What's your dream home like? Is it a cabin in the woods? A cottage at the beach? Do you live there now? I'd love to here about the place where you dream of spending your days. 

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P.S. I've been listening to this song over and over. It's perfect for dreaming! (found via Cast On)


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