Yarn-Along 050411: new home, new projects, new books!

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a single photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~Ginny at small things

Today marks the first yarn-along in our “new” internet home: this website which was built by a dear friend (but if you don’t like something, it was probably me messing something up!) and officially kicked off on May 1st! If you’ve been following my posts on my blog, please put the new url in your favorites/google reader/etc. This website is a labor of love … something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time: merge all my vocations into one spot: my family, my knitting designs, my writing and my living the faith … a spot where we can record just how we love and live and learn in the heart of a rural county in Virginia. Please let me know what you think … if you have any suggestions, comments or criticisms. I do appreciate them all!

Now, on to the yarn-along:

Yarn-along 050411

On the reading table: I’ve just started reading the charming, informative and uplifting book Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. It’s a wonderful back-and-forth discussion between two friends, one an Old Order Amish and the other an “Englischer”, their friendship, their lives and wisdom. Look for a review of this by next week. It’s one you might want to read.

For our family read-aloud, we’re revisiting the Penderwicks! We read the first one, The Penderwicks, back in 2006 as we were getting ready to move to Colorado and the school year was winding down. It is a wonderful read that is reminiscent of summers spent climbing trees, running in and out of neighbors’ houses, and generally getting good, clean,wholesome trouble. The sequel, The Penderwicks on Gardam Street, we read in 2008, just as we were getting ready to move to Virginia and the school year was winding down. {Does anyone see a pattern here????!} The sequel brought the four sisters and their widowed dad back home for more mayhem and mischief! We’re re-reading these so we can finish off our school-year reading with the third book in the series, The Penderwicks at Point Mouette, set for release on May 10th.

On the knitting needles: As you can see, I’m in the midst of working on a cable-sampler sweater/jacket. I’ve got the fronts/back done (I always knit in one piece to avoid the dreaded “s” word: seaming!) and am currently working on the shawl collar (which is why the sweater looks bumpity … my circs are holding those pesky collar stitches … some 200 of ’em!). I’ll knit the sleeves top down (with the join between the body and sleeves being just a touch of dark blue) and then, I’m done! The yarn is KP’s Cadena, a blend of wool and alpaca in a bulky weight in “leaf” (a dusty forest green) and “admiral” (a dark navy blue) … it’s a dream to knit but the sweater is getting a bit heavy (not a bad thing as I need to build up my upper body strength for camping this summer …). Here’s a close-up of the cables and seed-stitch. Often, I’m asked how I come up with ideas for my designs …. this one is a funny story: a woman in my parish has a gorgeous cabled jacket she got a few years ago on a trip to Ireland. I love that jacket! I love the way the hem is a wide welt growing into a simple cabled body with a cabling-sampler on the sleeves. Since the woman sits in front of me, I’ve been able to clearly see the nine-stitch plaited cables running up the back; and the other details that make her sweater a true Irish jacket. I decided to change some elements here and there but knew that I wanted to make mine in this gorgeous green … with just a touch of blue to snazz it up a bit. I predict that this will be my go-to sweater/jacket next fall, and for many falls to come.

So what’s on your knitting needles and reading table? Won’t you share in the comment box … and also make sure you visit Ginny’s post!

9 Responses to “Yarn-Along 050411: new home, new projects, new books!”
  1. Jarka says:

    I’ve read the first Penderwicks book and loved it! I need to read the second and the last one when it’s published! ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for reminding me ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Tracey says:

    I love your new site…very bright and pretty.
    Your knitting is exquisite. I have not attempted
    cables yet…to be honest I’m a little afraid of them.

  3. Mary G says:

    Oh, don’t be afraid of cables! Cables are just slipping x number of sts to a holder, knitting the next sts and then knitting the ones on hold. It’s fun and gives such wonderful texture! Always remember that knitting is basically two sts โ€“ knitting and purling (which is just knitting backwards!), so if you can do that, you can knit cables or lace or color-work or anything! Try with something small … maybe mittens with a cable down the back of the hand … with bulky yarn and big needles (11s or so) that you can then felt them if you’d like. The important thing to remember with cables is that theyโ€™ll pull in the knitting, needing more yarn/sts than for a plain garment, so make sure you swatch the cable before knitting a garment … also, if the cable is too tight or too loose, change the needle size till it lays, as Goldilocks would say, “just right”!

    Thanks for your nice comments … I’m glad you like the site!

  4. Thank you for sharing about the Amish book – I admire their way of life and this sounds like a book I would enjoy.
    Your sweater looks great.
    Warm wishes, Tonya

  5. Nadja says:

    Your knitting is wonderful! And I am so excited to hear about a new Penderwicks book! My kids have all loved the first two!

  6. Heidi Adams says:

    Mary, I love that green! It reminds me of the Irwyn Green Alpaca that I used to make a Celtic Cable scarf for my SIL for Christmas.

    Things really change when I don’t keep up online! Congratulations your new page, and I will make sure to update my reader. It is a very nice layout.

    P.S. I did get a hold of your book and have enjoyed finally getting the chance to start reading it. I’m getting re-energized for creating with my kids!

  7. Mary G says:

    Tonya … it’s great because usually the Amish are shy about sharing their lives. In this book, the Old World Amish woman explains so many of their customs, lifestyles, morals and family life. It’s an interesting juxtaposition with the co-author who is a Christian Chick Lit author and very much in our world. If you do read it … please let me know what your take is!

    Mary G.

  8. Mary G says:

    Nadja … we started the first Penderwicks again today and I had forgotten just how wonderful is the writing! It just seems so believable and realistic …

    Mary G.

  9. Mary G says:

    So glad you’re enjoying the book! There were so many out there … but nothing from a Catholic perspective. Let me know if you have any criticisms or questions about the content!

    Mary G.

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