Friday, September 22, 2017

Possibly the most meaningful thing (to me) I have ever knit.

A few years ago when I was knitting stockings for my family I chose something 'fancy'. Something that was a bit of a challenge and really love the results. I opted not to make one for myself. I continue to hang the same stocking that has been hung on a mantle for the past 30-something years. It was made by my Nana, as was everyone's in my family (and extended family, and pets). It's simple, made with inexpensive yarn and felt. It isn't 'fancy' and it is christmas. 


I was and is important to me to make sure the tradition of handmade things continues for my family. I think that would have made my grandparents proud. The moment I found out that had a little niece or nephew on the way, I wanted to make sure I would be able to continue this tradition for them and their parents (whether they use the stocking or not isn't the point). I know what receiving this gift for my children would have meant for me. I hope it means the same for them. 
I remember my Nana always having her double-pointed needles on the go with some tinsel-laced yarn working on a stocking whilst chatting. I don't have my Nana to ask how exactly she made each stocking but I do have her tools, some of her needles are still in their original sleeves with their original price tag of a whopping .45¢

simple stocking


Attempting to reverse engineer my stocking wasn't necessarily difficult but it was daunting. I put a lot of pressure on myself to make it perfect, like Nana's. I counted and measured and swatched over and over until I was as close as I could get. I literally counted the stitches in a round and counted rows. And swatched some more, and finally committed to the needles and cast on. I have never checked and rechecked my work as often. 

I had this stocking finished months before I knew the baby's name. I had never attempted to embroider before! I don't have the best penmanship to begin with but I am really happy with how this turned out. 




knit stocking



I think I did my Nana's work justice and she'd be really happy to see her legacy continue. Each stitch was knit the same way, on the same needles as the originals. I'm really proud of this simple stocking for my much-loved niece. 


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Eggs!

Backyard chickens


The girls are finally laying after a rough winter for them. The majority of them had a hard molt in the fall, a freezing winter without a lot of outdoors time and being miserable leads to a lack of egg production.  Spring is officially here in the Pacific North West! The tulips and daffodils are up, weeds are growing everywhere and the trees have tiny little buds. The girls are enjoying foraging for bugs most of the day, taking dust baths and getting into their usual trouble. 

During March most of the chickens started laying again. We had 168 eggs! So far each day of April they've laid 9 eggs a day. I think I have 4 dozen in my fridge. Hopefully those will be gone this week, sold or otherwise. 

I've started my spring cleaning and chores. The garden is about a quarter of the way ready to be plowed. The berries are in their new homes and I've planted some trees and hedges. Don't worry I'll do a proper update on everything. I still have some forsythias to be planted in their new home. I really like planting trees. 

Anywhoo back to the chickens. They're coop needs a good deep cleaning, that's going to be a big project. I'd like to replace their roosts, sand their nesting boxes and replace the poop-deck. I haven't put it back in since the coop blew over last year.

So many things to do!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Snow!


I can actually say we have snow on the ground! And a lot of it! I always hated winter and snow but now, perhaps it is just the novelty of it, but I am loving it! The kids have never had real, stick to the ground snow.


There has been inch or so a few times before. Last year, and this year in November and December... once. We made the most of those little glimpses of winter. Bundling up (like snow ninjas), making soggy snowmen, coming in soaking wet and sipping hot chocolate by the fire. Walking to school was an adventure! Mr. Lovebug was a snow plow on the bridge and we caught huge snow flakes on our tongues.







This past week we had SNOW! Real, stick to the ground, play- in snow. We built a megafort, threw snowballs, ate icicles and came inside caked in snow with glowing pink cheeks.


Now it is above freezing and raining and soon our magical play thing will be gone. Gone for how long, we don't know. I'm so grateful that we had this snow week. School has been canceled for the whole week. The roads are a mess, they have no idea how to cope with snow in Washington! I can hear the ice on the roof cracking as I reminisce on our small peek at real winter.

There was a coyote in our yard (not the field). It took off when I went out there, I'm guessing it was just hungry and looking for some mice snacks....or chickens. Not on my watch, friendo!



Nature baby climbed on the hill I made after the first snow. We really weren't expecting it to continue. And then, behold mega fort! Which became a drift taller than me. The kids climbed, slid and jumped for hours.








Honey wasn't having any of it and it was hilarious. 

Today, it is raining. Everything is covered in ice from freezing rain. The trees are heavy, all you can hear whilst the wind is blowing is the ice cracking as the trees bend and break. It's loud and beautiful.
The snow will soon be gone and we'll be back to rain. Rain. Rain. More rain. The snow will be missed as I pack away our winter gear in the upcoming week. 

The maple syrup still runs thick through my veins.