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camnesia

I went down to the New Hampshire sheep and wool festival last weekend – but I had a serious case of camnesia. I didn’t just forget to take pictures, I even forgot to bring my camera.

But that doesn’t change the fact that it was a wonderful day. The weather was gorgeous, the food was delicious, the fiber squishy and the yarn was gorgeous.

honeybuns spunky fiber

Windsor was an amazing little traveler. She handled the car ride like a champ and she smiled at all the people. She even napped in her wrap for a little while.

Oh and she got a llama

llama girl

What kind of llama did you think I meant?

I’m gonna be knitting these things forever

I may be knitting diaper covers forever, but at least I can make them look cute!

embroidered cover

The adorable wearer helps

embroidered cover 2

Stitch by stitch

Knitting is, and always has been, done stitch by stitch. This teaches us patience and helps us see how many little actions can grow into a much greater good.

But that virtue may be lost on those of us who get speedy. I got a little cocky knitting 12 sweaters in 2012 (plus other projects.) I moved on from that to knitting an entire book, right?

Then life changes, my knitting time decreased, and again I find myself learning the benefits of even just a few stolen stitches in the cracks between time.

herringbone stretch

A few stitches here, an extra round there, and eventually I finished a pair of socks!

herringbone heel

It helps that I picked up halfway through the second sock… I knit the first 1.5 in two days during a conference. I knit the last half over the course of two months, mostly during pumping breaks at work.

herringbone toes

Now that they’re done I have them squirreled away. These will be Neil’s first father’s day present. (luckily he doesn’t read this)

a little sunshine

It’s been an awfully gray spring so far. But I have knit a little something sunshine-y:

sunshine

For my little ray of sunshine (d’awww… Ok, I’ll stop)

This adorably cute sweater is Entrechat by Lisa Chemery. It’s a very quick knit with clever, seamless construction. I knit this in two weeks, and I have almost no knitting time anymore! The shoulders are knit first, then stitches are picked up for the front which makes the whole sleeves/button placket thing work beautifully. It’s a good sweater for that one pretty button, too:

sunshine trim

The whole thing took less than one skein of Knitpicks Swish, which is good because I was using up a partial skein leftover from something else. That was the inspiration for the contrasting bind off (I thought I was going to run out of yarn) and then I added little picot tips to the bind off because picots make everything cuter! Note that I still have leftover yarn and could totally have worked the whole thing in one color if I wanted to…

sunshine back

early spring

Spring is here, the early version of it anyway. The last of the snow lies in dirty piles, hiding in the shadows.

last snow

The chickens are so happy to be outside again! My breakfast eggs have turned from sunny winter yellow to vibrantly orange. Which is a delicious sign of spring.

spring chickens

And finally, the morning sunrise has almost caught up with my alarm clock (again). It had just barely caught up when daylight savings time pushed it back. So I’m relieved to have it back again. What signs of spring are popping up where you live?

expectations

I’m functioning at a “low expectations” level right now. I don’t expect to finish much knitting. I don’t expect to get much personal time. I don’t expect to write many blog posts (surprise!) I don’t expect to take photos during daylight hours… Pretty much all my energy for expectations goes into getting dinner made daily, getting to work and back, getting the laundry done. All my free time is spent playing with Windsor. She’s freaking adorable these days and I’m really very happy with the way my life is right now. It’s just very different from before.

But here’s the thing. It’s mid April, and I realized I haven’t even thought about my veggie garden. Usually I would have it all mapped out about a month ago.

garden seeds

And gardening? It’s entirely about expectations. Hopes, dreams, and expectations. What will grow? What will the weather do? What will fail? These seedlings, they hold the promise of expectations, both of success and failure.

seedlings

We’ll see how it goes.

Verbena

Did you see the newest issue of Twist Collective? More importantly, did you see Verbena?!?

photos © Linus Ouellet

This was supposed to be my first big design after I finished up the book. That was my plan when I sent in the submission. But then, I fell behind (you knew that already) Luckily I have a very good friend who helped out with the knitting (thanks Dana!)

Here’s Verbena again on Ravelry, please favorite, queue, you know the drill! You can buy it there or from Twist Collective’s website.

Verbena

This asymmetric top also has an unusual construction. The skirt is knit first, starting from the point and working a mitered triangle with increases at the center line. Then the front and back are worked flat and joined together.

Verbena

The bodice is worked in the round after picking up stitches, so beside the three needle bind off this is pretty much seamless. It’s a soft summer top with drape and style – and I kinda wish I had one in my own size…

Meet Chief

Our old rooster, Thomas, went to the big barnyard in the sky about a week ago. The old guy was, well, old. He was only about 3, but in meat-bird years that’s got to be at least 9…

Luckily our friend has a few extra roosters, and was happy to find a new flock for the one that was getting picked on.

Chief

Under-roosters tend to be good guys. They’re generally happy to have found a new flock of their own, and they know what their other options were like.

Chief integrated into our flock like he’d always lived here. I put him down in the coop and he started to woo the ladies with his dancing and skill in finding food. I went to check on them all an hour later and he was standing, surrounded by hens, like he owned the place. Which, as the only rooter he pretty much does!

more mittens

These are the mittens that took forever (Pinales, pattern available!). I started them back in January. I think the first pair were knit in a weekend, but this pair took 2.5 months.

forest pinales

Honestly since March started I kept waiting for spring be around the corner. I figured I didn’t really need to finish them before fall, right?

forest pinales 3

Well, it was -6F Monday morning, -4F Tuesday morning, it snowed on Wednesday. Oh and this morning? It was a toasty 2F ABOVE zero.

So in honor of the winter that Just. Won’t. End. Here’s my third pair of Pinales mittens. These are knit up in Peace Fleece instead of Bartlett. Otherwise I just stuck to the pattern. It’s a sign of how sleep deprived I am that I changed. Nothing.

Maybe now that I’ve finally finished these mittens spring will come? Please?

forest pinales 2

Mmm, maple

maple sugar house

Vermont’s maple open house weekend happened last weekend. It’s been so SO cold the sap has only run a few days so far. A lot of the local sugar houses weren’t open because they simply don’t have anything to boil yet, and they may or may not have anything left from last year to sell. It’s just been a weird winter…

But Boyden’s was open, and as usual, the place is shockingly photogenic…

maple doormaple chandelier

And of COURSE we couldn’t go eating all that sugar on snow without sharing any. Windsor has had a little yogurt on a spoon so she sort of knew what to do when we offered her some sweetened snow:

maple first

That’s her “new flavor” face. Trust me, she loved it. She started reaching out to the bowl of snow with both hands! Then after just two stops she got tired and it was nap time. But all in all, a successful outing!

maple sign