First seeds in!

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We finally got in the garden this last weekend!! We were so anxious to be planting and I’d go from feeling on top of things, to feeling like I was weeks behind. It felt soooo good to finally be digging in!!
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One of the biggest projects we did this weekend, was creating two new garden beds. They are both about 4 feet x 50 feet. One is a somewhat raised bed since the ground below it is very rocky/gravelly. The bed next to it is more of a mounded bed. So exciting to have more garden space! I hope come August I am not completely overwhelmed by it!! (A benefit to sharing the garden with the in-laws though is that we all pitch in to make big work not so big. I love multi-family gardening!)
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The boys were great little garden helpers and my hope is that this year will be easier than last year in having them help out. Elias is 4 now and Espen will turn 3 in July. And well the coming baby…they just sleep contentedly all the time, right??!
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Speaking of babies… this belly is 35 weeks now and did pretty good with a full day of gardening. I think it helped that the bed I planted was slightly raised and already tilled, so I had it easy. We also are trying a method of planting where you sow your seeds thickly and then plan to thin once the plants come up. Hopefully this method will keep some of the weeds at bay since your plants will fill in most of the bed. Time will tell if it works…
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And a final pick of the boys. Garden entertainment! Elias thought of creating a see-saw all by himself with a couple big boards. I hope we have a full summer of garden adventures!
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And just to throw some knitting at you… Here is a sweet crown I made for the boys from a free pattern on Ravelry called Circlet. It is adorable! And I cannot imagine it on a little girl…YES I will be making more!!
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Makings Update

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Another video blog this week! Videos are just so much more personal and up-close. :) Enjoy!

Granola Recipe. (I forgot to mention that the recipe also has brown sugar and cinnamon in it!)

Crockpot Yogurt.

Daily Bread. (Uses whey from yogurt.)

Video!

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Lately I’ve felt like doing a video post. I LOVE watching and listening to podcasts, so thought you might enjoy this method of posting too. Grab some handwork and join me…or get some dishes done while you watch…whatever! Mostly just sharing what is going on in life right now and what I have been working on lately. Take care!

Heart Day

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I have been looking forward to Valentine’s Day for weeks now! With the long chilly days of winter, it helps break up the month of February. Plus it is an excuse to do/make fun things!

The boys were rather rowdy the other day so we made a trip to the mailbox to send off our love cards. I made them run the entire way and I think we all felt better after. Including Garbe, the cat, who made the trip with us.
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The deer got an earring just for the occasion. {One of my favorite knits!}
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I threw some hearts on the burlap bunting I made last year. I think it is perfect to help spruce up the house for the holiday.
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I don’t have a ton of decorations for Valentine’s Day, so this adds some good punch. I will be sad to take it down…better think of something good for Spring/Easter to go up next.
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This morning we made monster boxes out of an old kleenex box and an egg carton. This is such an easy project and a fun way for the boys to store their v-day wishes. They even added wings and legs to them this year.
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And my dear husband showed up at lunch with a bouquet of pine greens he collected on his walk home from work. Totally his style of a Valentine gift! One I may not have appreciated as a newly-wed, but one I cherish now. He is sweet and this says and smells of home.
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Loving thoughts to you all on this day!!

Snow Day

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Today started with a crazy temp of something like -17. ??!!!? Even a true Midwestern girl can only take so much of this. Thus I decided to call it a snow day–full of makings!
First up is Egg to Penguin by Susan B. Anderson. Elias picked this toy out of one of her books yesterday and was still stuck on it this morning. I gave in and started knitting it. I was rather surprised at how fast it went.

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Second up is a project I’ve had on my want-to-make list forever. This is a Wee Wonderfuls pattern called Bunny. I love a wool hand project. The simplicity and beauty of wool… He turned out perfectly sweet. I might have to make more of these to celebrate spring/Easter.

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What next? Maybe I should think about the house or supper… Or maybe the kids and I should make toilet roll butterflies…

Knitting

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At times I make lists of all the projects I am working on and try to finish as many as possible. Quilts, hand work, knitting, etc. As of a couple minutes ago I only had 3 knits on the list. Not bad for me! Here’s what I’ve been working on lately.

Baby Shrug by Debbie Bliss. So adorable and something I think will work for a girl or boy. I think…
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One sock done of vanilla socks in a color way inspired by the St. Croix river valley. My home.

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One sock done of another pair of vanilla socks. A new yarn to me that the shop ladies raved about. (I hope this working on two pairs of socks at once doesn’t backfire on me! The plan is that it will give me variety to keep me going… Or I might just end up with matchless socks!)

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And I just cast on (so now 4 things on the knit list) a baby hat. I’m going to adapt this pattern by Susan B Anderson a bit. Thinking large ribbed section, followed by strips with the blue and gray, and then a giant blue Pom Pom on top.

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Knitting makes chilly days inside so much more enjoyable!

Quiet time for mama

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Lots of things I should be doing at the moment… Choosing to play hooky and knit a bit.

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My yarn is now so accessible in this great vintage laundry basket. I switched out quilts for yarn. Love having yarn so handy and for eye candy every time I pass. Hence, the knitting instead of the to-do list…

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Kittens+Knitting. {Let’s hope they never meet.}

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Tony was on a fishing trip for part of last week and that was all the excuse I needed to cast on a few projects. It was my reward after putting kids in bed for the night. Not that I needed any rewards but…I told myself I did so I didn’t feel bad about knitting. :)
The first is a gorgeous shawl {don’t judge me. it’s cooler than it sounds.} called Aestlight Shawl. The purple yarn is Malabrigo sock yarn in Eggplant. And the mustardy/gold is…well I don’t know. I can’t find the dang label. I bought it from Color Crossing in Roberts WI.  I think this shawl will be gorgeous when it is done! I would be tempted to give it to my mom for her birthday, but she is allergic to wool. So I’ll probably just have to keep it.
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Second cast on, is a new pair of socks in Sweet Georgia’s sock yarn called River. One of my favorite knitting shops, Darn Knit Anyway in Stillwater MN, sent a picture of the St. Croix River to Sweet Georgia and this is the yarn she dyed up. I mean, how cool is that?! I couldn’t walk away from something like that. I’m nostalgic when it comes to home and the St. Croix River Valley is where we live.  The pattern is The Knitmore Girls “Vanilla Socks.” I use two sixteen inch circulars, size 1.
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The boys and I also picked up this little fellow when Tony was away. :) What will I bring home next?? Tony better not leave again or he might come home to a pig. No joking. Actually, I was a good girl and did get his permission first. I claimed mice in the garage roof as the “need” for him. Which is true. The boys and I went to visit some local farm friends where we had to make a tough choice. I didn’t plan on getting a boy, but he was orange. Orange. How can you say no to an orange kitten? Obviously you can’t. Elias and Espen are in glory to have a new friend. We named him Garbe after the farm where we got him. He’s sweet. I don’t even mind getting up at 5 in the morning to snuggle with him.
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Rainy Day Projects.

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The weather is rather less than ideal around here…rain/snow/ice pellets! No sun. Dreary. For days. So this is what is bringing me sunshine right now. A knit along with Ella Mae Knits. Yarn is Noro Silk Garden. Pattern is Jared Flood’s Noro Scarf. Free here.
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Part of what is so great from a knit along {other than the fact you get to meet and “hang” out with knitter friends} is that you try yarn and patterns you would never normally buy. Both true for me, but I am really enjoying this knit! I think I might make mine into an infinity scarf by knitting the ends together to make one big circle. Wrap it around my neck a few times and I will be good to go.

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Another Baptism Banner is also filling my gray days. I LOVE how these turn out! And there is such special meaning behind them. A blessing to little ones and parents for sure! Check them out at my Etsy shop.
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Sweet Pea=finished.

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Done in record time. Oh how I love vacation!

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Vacation Knitting

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Started a new project to the sounds of the ocean waves today! I’m a lucky girl to be soaking up the warmth of Florida this week.

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I believe the hat is called Sweet Pea from Purl Bee.

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I’m using yarn from my stash. I think it will be pretty. It’s going fast–hope to have it done by the end of vacation. A hat for my return to chilly WI! (I won’t think about that yet.)

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Aviatrix

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I have made two of the sweetest baby hats in the last month.  It is called Aviatrix Baby Hat and is FREE on Ravelry.  It is a fun fast knit and has the perfect amount of vintage baby feel to it.

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The yarn I used is Amy Butler’s Belle Organic Aran in the colorway slate.   I LOVE Amy Butler yarns.  They are a bit spendy but the feel and stitch definition is fantastic!

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Aviatrix has a lot of short rows in the knitting, which is not hard at all, but I did learn that I needed to pick up and knit my turns after the first hat.  You can see a video tutorial on that here.  It’s really not hard, and makes a huge difference on the finished hat.

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I added the flower for some girly cuteness.  It’s from my friend Sarah’s  Floral Headwrap Pattern.    (Which is another awesome vintage feeling crochet pattern for adults!)

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Time to pop this pretty in the mail!

Since I’m a February Girl

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I just finished knitting my second adult sweater!  And yes it’s for me.  Oh boy, that makes me feel a bit selfish, but really Christmas is coming and then the season of knitting like mad for others will start.  This sweater is called February Lady Sweater from knitting legend Elizabeth Zimmerman’s book Knitting Almanac.  It is free on Ravelry.  Once the project is off the needles, then the process of blocking it begins.

First step is washing.  I use a special product called “soak” that you can get at your local knitting shop.  Here she sits for 15 minutes.

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Then without wringing, you get as much water out as possible.  I do the roll in the towel method which always makes me think about washing my mom’s nylons and tights when I was a young lass.  Must have been an easy chore since I got the privilege of doing it.  (Yes, a few of my own tights were always in there as well.  I begged my mom to treat me like Cinderella when I was little, but she was never very good at it.  Geez mom.)

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Then you lay it out, shaping and pinning it exactly as you want the final product to be.  I pulled on the length a bit since I wanted it a little longer, but didn’t pull much on the sleeves since they were a good length already.  Blocking makes a world of difference for your knitting!

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Sideways picture, but this gives you an idea of what the color really is and the lovely wooden buttons I got for it at Darn Knit Anyway in Stillwater MN.  I bought some other more organic feeling buttons, but with all the lace action in the majority of the sweater, the simpler buttons won out.

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I’m still waiting for it to finish drying.  My hope is in the morning I can try it on…it better fit!

Pinterest

Found some really fun ideas over at Pinterest this morning.  Too much to make, too little time!  I love all the inspiration!

On my Sewing Board:

Sweet little clutches.

Homemade clutches. (free instructions and pattern) cute!

The ever darling owls.

horribly cute!  love it.

On my Craft Ideas Board:

Photos in old pie tins.

Old pie pans as photo frames.

On my Quilts Board:

Cool quilting/love the colors.

By Sew Kind of Wonderful

This makes me smile–reminds me of sunshine.

Flea Market Fancy quilt, free pattern from Denyse Schmidt.

On my Crochet and Knitty Goodness Board:

I need a girl!

Adorable!

I love a chunky rug.

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If I wasn’t excited before to find our new house, I totally am now!!  So many things I want to make for my future nest.  I’ll be busy once we find our special place.  The search continues!

The Knitting Addiction

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It’s bad.  Ever since I had to pack my sewing machine and fabric up for the move, the knitting needles have gotten a good workout.  I keep finding more things that I want to knit.  The list grows, and grows, and g..r…o…w…s…   Oh my!  Life is short and I have so much to do!!  I asked a local friend where she likes to purchase yarn and she gave me two options.  I hit them both up on Friday.  One of them I had been to before and it was already one of my favorites.  Darn.Knit.{Anyway} in Stillwater MN.  Yes, worth the stop!  And of course downtown Stillwater has so many awesome shops, not to mention the riverfront.  Something for everyone, if you have non-knitters with you.

I purchased some yarn to make a certain shawl, but then changed my mind once I got home.  Funny how that happens.  It is called Oaklet Shawl and is free on Ravelry.

The yarn for this one is wonderfully soft.  It is amazing how the yarn can look so different in the skein and then once you start knitting with it, it seems to change.  I thought this yarn was going to be more solid mustardy yellow with just little flecks of color, but really there is a lot of color.  Still like it, but it is different than expected.

I also cast on another pair of socks.  yay for new projects!  This is another free pattern on Ravelry called Simple Skyp Socks.

Totally couldn’t resist sparkly sock yarn.  I’m all about softness when it comes to knitting items, and this one might not be the best but I’ll suffer for sparkles.

The other projects I have on the needles are a Susan B. Anderson reversible toy, Espen’s Christmas stocking, and the Ripple Blanket.

***Disclaimer:  When I first started seriously knitting, I told Tony that I would never knit a shawl.  It seemed so old school.  These are not Little House on the Prairie shawls…think more hipster wrap around your neck scarf like.  See the difference?  So I’m allowed to knit shawls.