Yarn-along: of summer shawls … and swaps … and school

~ 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 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

Yarn-along - July 24, 2013

Yarn-along – July 24, 2013

Good morning … where did July go?

We’re almost at the end which means these yarn-along posts are going to trend toward school and fall/winter knitting projects and generally leave our hot, sticky, muggy days behind.

But for now … let’s talk about summer.

I have tried FOUR times to make something with the natural-colored Plymouth Cleo … you can see one of the attempts here. Nothing seemed to feel right. The stitch definition of the Cleo is fabulous … and the yarn feels wonderful … but somehow, it just didn’t gel. I even put aside the natural and picked up the red to make a shop model of my Knittin’ Love shawl, a shawl that is getting rave reviews from folks who come in and see it at Dog House Yarns. You can see a closeup of that shawl in last week’s yarn-along

But there was something about what I was trying with the natural that was just not working … the yarn didn’t look right. I just knew the right design would come off the needles but my “college tries” just weren’t there … the yarn was telling me something.

But what? I couldn’t hear …

… until this past weekend when I decided to try a lacy poncho … this worked and it’s currently blocking.

Just call me the Yarn Whisperer!

The Yarn Whisperer's Poncho

The Yarn Whisperer’s Poncho

I’ll post more about The Yarn Whisperer’s Poncho once I get some better pictures and proof the final design.

What’s on my needles now that the Cleo-calamity is solved? I’m currently doing a swap on Ravelry where we have to create an “inspiration box” based on a word (or words) from our partner. My partner is a school counselor … the word she chose was “relax” … so one of the things I’m putting her box is a brand-new hot-water bottle with a knitted cover. I’m not sure if I’ll add another stripe of colorwork or just finish off with the solid, pale lavender … what do you think? I’m loving all the “relaxing” things I’m finding to put in this box and can’t wait to send it off! I love swaps ….

On the reading front: well, summer is winding down and school is just around the corner. Of course, I’ve been planning the school year all summer, but now I’m getting down to specific books we’ll use. You can see a few of them in the picture above:

  • The Sketchbook Challenge by Sue Bleiweiss — I want to add more creativity to our homeschool on a regular, scheduled basis. This book has specific challenges, twelve in all, which will focus our journaling a bit. Yep, I’m going to participate WITH the kids … we’ll probably start with making our books and decorating the covers … and then jump into a weekly challenge.
  • Help Your Kids with Language Arts from DK is a wonderful book I’ve found to review grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. We’ll use this as an addition to our writing program as the two I’ll have homeschooled this year have learned all the “rules” — now we need to practice them and improve their overall writing/communication skills.. We’ll be trying out the brand-new (not even shipping till first week of August!) Cover Story curriculum — the kids will learn to do short-story, non-fiction, poetry and other writing types while creating a magazine. I’m excited about this one.
  • Will Cleveland’s books Yo, Sacramento (and all those other state capitals you don’t know) and Yo Millard Fillmore (and all those other presidents you don’t know), are wonderful for helping the kids remember all the state capitals and presidents … just good general knowledge in a fun presentation.

What’s on your needles and reading table? Wanna come play …

13 Responses to “Yarn-along: of summer shawls … and swaps … and school”
  1. Lisa says:

    Gorgeous lace work!!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    what a beautiful poncho!!! those books sound really great too; art is such a gift to us!

  3. Carrie says:

    I am just peeking in on everyones progress this Wednesday. I should be working on my Grocery bag rug…yes frugal me is knitting with plastic bags.
    Keep on Knitting.

    With All That I Am
    Carrie – The Handmade Homemaker

  4. Katie says:

    I love the poncho, it is beautiful!

  5. Mary G says:

    Thanks, Lisa … I’m really loving lace work since it looks so blech when you first take it off the needles and than all of a sudden, you block it and WOW!

    Enjoy …

    Mary G.

  6. Mary G says:

    Thanks for the compliment.

    This is the most fun part of homeschooling — finding cool books to delve into throughout the year!

    Mary G.

  7. Mary G says:

    Thanks, Katie!

  8. Michele F. says:

    As usual, I am in awe of your knitting skills! What a gorgeous poncho! Wow.

    God bless you,
    Michele F.

  9. Mary G says:

    Thanks, Michele … I’ve been doing it a long, long, long time (40+ years) so it’s about time I got good at it.

    Hugs and blessings, dear

    Mary G.

  10. Michele F. says:

    I know, but one can dream, right? In 40 years, I’ll be 87, and hopefully either in Heaven or still knitting. Or both. 😉

    Do you have any knitting videos up on Youtube? I’d love to see you in action. 🙂

    God bless,
    Michele F.

  11. paula says:

    I once had a drawing teacher that encouraged us to draw or sketch every day. Even for five minutes. It’s amazing what that little bit of creativity will do for the rest of the day ~ opens the floodgates of inspiration! Drawing, sketching, writing, one to the next. Good luck! 🙂

  12. Mary G says:


    No, I haven’t filmed any you-tube videos … for which my kids are eternally grateful! You’ll just have to come to the Old Dominion and take a class …

    Hugs and enjoy the knitting journey … and remember, it’s supposed to be FUN!

    Mary G.

  13. Mary G says:

    Exactly! That’s what I want to incorporate into the homeschool … it’s so easy to say “well, math is more important” or “gotta get the reading done” … but if we don’t imitate the Divine Creator by creating every day, we’re not doing our part to make the world more good, true and beautiful.

    I’ll keep you posted on the creativity end ….

    Mary G.