Monday, August 29, 2011

Works In Progress

My Favorite WIP is of course my farmhouse.

A rare Saturday without company  (boo!) and heavy clouds that shrouded the mountains,,, a hurricane happening on the other side,,,

...gave us a day of work catching up on some indoor projects and lots of knitting time.
Estonian Lace Fall Shawl is blocking.

Champagne Socks are underway. Should I wait until they are done to pop the cork or celebrate row by row?

Allegheny is paused...

... pending a cross country trip for a try on by my daughter....really...thats the only reason I am going....playing with the grandsons is just a bonus...really...
 (only one more wake up to go)!


Always fun to go around the globe to see more WIPs

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Knit Wits and Sew-n-Sews

I happened across this article recently. Prompted me to get out the camera and take a picture of

my Aunt Mildred's sewing box. I use it's the one I keep in the condo for the quick fixes, but more significantly, I felt it should be in the city for after all, my Beloved Aunt Mildred had lived in New York City all of her life. To take the basket to the county would have been an insult. She could mend when needed to, but I don't think we would have found her sewing an entire garment. That's what Fifth Avenue was for.
I treasure the box and everything in it. Each time I use it to sew on a button, or whatever, I think of her doing the same. I can see her hands and feel her love some 40 years after she passed.

In the country, I have my grandmother's thimble. She gave it to me one summer while I was on  a break from college while we were sitting in her back yard in New Jersey. My Grandfather had died 3 years earlier and she was telling me how much she missed him. We sat there for hours, I learning to darn a sock with her  wooden darning ball that she told me had been her mother's and she breaking out into a combination cry and laugh from time to time. Both of us loving the moment.

I have always used this thimble.  Next to Aunt Mildred's Pearls, it's one of the treasures I would miss so bad if anything ever happened to it. I am sure it cost no more than a nickle at Woolworth's back in the day, and she would think it silly of me to put so much emphasis on such an ordinary item. In addition to routine everyday sewing, I have hand quilted several bed covers with it, including this one which has been a 5 year work-in -progress project.

I have my Aunt Jean's knitting needles and enormous stash of needlepoint projects-in-waiting to help ease the days when I miss her so much as well. They take center stage in my new craft room.

I would never be able to tally the jumpers, rompers, prom dresses, scarves, sweaters, socks  that I have made over the years. I made a sisters wedding dress, hand sewing the beading onto the lace, long before we could buy sequenced lace right off the bolt.

Two lines in the Marie Murray's Article speak directly to my heart:

  "knitting has retained the imprint of devotion, nurturing and pure love."


"Sewing and knitting are mentally restorative, they “redeem odd corners of disposable time”, they empower those who undertake them, they reward the maker and the recipients of the end product. Knitting and sewing are relaxing, portable and creative and link people together anew."

Empowerment and pure love. That's what it's all about.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


One year ago today I began a blog. My intentions were partly to vent my feelings and fears about becoming a has-been mother, and partly to begin to write down family lore so that my children would have the concrete word to pass on to their families. The stories here, as well as my life this past year passed on so much differently than I had imagined...for the good. Trips, 2 new homes, fulfilling dreams.... so many changes to my life this past year. Aside from the farm, perhaps the most significant, unexpected occurrence is the friendships that have cemented or renewed or been born. Finding deeper friendships with my children and husband has been the best. That's a really good thing about having adult children. It's a lot easier in some ways to have meaningful give-and-take conversations, instead of having to curb my thoughts in order to maintain the responsible parent persona or worst, do the mom lecture thing. I like it.
I married a man 31 years ago that I felt a great respect and friendship with, but nothing can compare to where we are in the relationship now. More fun than ever.
Thanks a great deal to The Farm as a gathering place, I have renewed or strengthened friendships with siblings and my mother. That I am truly happy about.
And then there are the women in my life I call friends. Thank you ladies, you have made this year so happy for me!  
 As I was pondering what I would write in this space after I left to mark the occasion with some significance ...finding the words that would adequately express the profoundness I was feeling...the ground began to shake...and shake...and shake.


So glad Mother Earth came up with a way to mark my Blogiversary!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Thanks to a wise decision to participate in Work-in-Progress Wednesday, I not only found my mojo, but am inspired...Really Inspired... to live knit up to all the lovely coments I recieved on last weeks report.
Thank You. THANK YOU Very Much!

Lollipops are off the needles...

and Estonian Garden Lace rolls along.

I have completed one side and am ready to pick up stitches on the other side and move toward completion.
Only 78 rows ans 168 beads to be threaded left to go...

Allegheny is born

 and just like a new mother, I am adjusting to a newness of a yarn that is not behaving the way I expect it to. 5 swatches later trying to get the right gage and we have found something that works. Shelter, the called for yarn for this dress, is all the rage at one of my Local Yarn Shops, but I'm rather thinking I should gone with my gut and chosen something different.  As I stood in line with my arms craddling a bundle of the Faded Quilt colorway Shelter not at all liking the texture or elastisity of it, serveral other patrons of the LYS comented to me how WONDERFUL Shelter Yarn is... one even..reached out and touched it with almost a drool. I feel somewhat  like that new mother that reads too many parenting books and forgets she has natural instincts to call upon when figuring out what works for her. Or perhaps, I am more like the teenager that sucumbs to peer pressure...

Either way, too much invested to turn back...and I do so love the colorway.
Find the good in everything you do and all things have a way of working out just fine...
...often even for the better.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Front Porches were Made for Sitting

A country home just has to have a welcoming front porch that invites one to "Come, sit a spell!"

Mine got a big jump start to it's final version a few weeks ago, when my daughter painted the sceenery gazing chairs red (including the spiderweb)

and found a pair of sconces at a resale store for a few dollars a piece. Her visions inspired me to take it another step and a few Habitat for Humanity ReStore finds of my own,

a bit of help with the taping,

 some black spray paint, glass jars and candles and we ended up with these

Side one is the perfect place to knit,  partake in good conversation and enjoy a bottle of wine while gazing at the so serene pastoral views that surround the porch,

while side two is the perfect place to knit,  partake in good conversation and enjoy a bottle of wine while gazing at the so serene pastoral views that surround the porch. You get the idea!

Just in case one need a reminder of the veiws from this wonderfully relaxing outdoor room...

So it you ever find yourself in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, USA...please stop by.

I'd love to sit with you a spell.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Happiness is found in the simplest moments

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Finding My Mojo

Somewhere between 2 moves, renovating a farm house, a new grandson, lots of company and seeing my Luvs off to CA, I lost my knitting mojo. For the past 7-8 months it seems like every project was was a disaster, riddled with mistakes, ill fitting or just abandoned out of frustration.  One night at knitting group, me, a knitter for over 40 years couldn't get a long tail cast on right. In front of 20 women. Sad.
I even tried knitting a pair of socks from a pattern called "Mojo" in hopes that my knitting grove would magically return. Let's just say they will never be worn in public.
I don't know how or when it happened, but I think its back. Perhaps joining Work-in Progress-Wednesdays  is what did it. All the lovely comments from last week has inspired me. I have been a knitting fool over the past week.
 My Lollipop socks are whizzing on the needles.

Estonian Garden Lace Shawl by Evelyn Clark is turning out so beautiful.

 Using beads instead of nupps is adding such a wonderful elegance to the project. The yarn, Fiddlesticks Lace, is super fine, but a joy to work with.

Next up it a very exciting project for my daughter, who despite having just given birth to her second child has the figure to wear Allegheny.

So Good to be back!

Sunday, August 7, 2011


About the only thing that is thriving in my garden...or really surviving the heat, drought, my absence, and  the ground hog and/or rabbits...are the tomatoes! 

I've been canning tomatoes,

and making tomaoto salads

and baking tomato pie

and eating tomoto sandwiches on beer bread
and giving lots away...still they line my countertops

so as a last resort, I'm 
decorating with tomotoes!

(Nevermind that this took place after several glasses of wine with my sister-in-law)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fitting Back In

Seven weeks of bliss spending lots of good time with Kate and her sons have left contentment in my heart. Now that she is settled into her new life on the west coast, my attentions turn back to all the things that have been pushed to the back burner. Like my husband. And Sons. And friends. And work. And yarn. And ironing. And sleep!
The first few days back left me a bit wistful, finding leftover toys of Cullen's in both the condo and farmhouse where he had last played with them. Then came Baby B's soft comfy first blanket left over a railing. I was holding it together fairly well until I went to the garden and spotted Frankie the dog's ball lying in the midst of the bush beans. Oh the things that bring us to the brink!

Onward I go.
 I good visit with the lovely ladies at my knit group and a most invigorating Yoga class has me full of energy.
A shawl that has been a WIP for way too long has seen new life

and a pair of socks hit the needles.

 I always like to have a couple of projects going at once. One mindless like the socks and one a bit more challenging like like the beaded lace work. It feels good to work the hands agian and relax and enjoy the process.
Still up are trips to see my son's new homes and a much needed visit to Stoney Lonesome Farm.

Now if I could ony make headway with the piles on my work desk...