Tuesday, May 26, 2015

new, new, new...
{tending my yarn garden}

I wouldn't want to bore you, so I'm sharing all that's new to me this week...

The beautiful yarn bowl was a gift from my youngest two for Mother's Day! I love the size and colors (goes perfectly in my family room).

That gorgeous silk is destined to become a Citron. Funny story... While at the Oregon coast two weekends ago, we visited Coastal Yarns in Cannon Beach where I saw the most beautiful Citron on display. Turns out it was knit in this same yarn (same colorway, too), and since I'd been longing to knit one, I brought home a skein to make my Citron dreams come true. Now, here's where it gets funny. I'd forgotten to ask if they'd used more than one skein for the sample before I left the yarn shop, so when I got home I did a Ravelry search to see what the yardage was. Wouldn't you know I found a Citron project listed using the same yarn. I left a comment and it turns out that the knitter actually works at Coastal Yarns and had knit the sample I'd fallen in love with. Small world, huh?

I'm still working on my Brennan and haven't made too much progress due to the busy weekend. The bottom pic is a pair of fingerless mitts for AnnaLynn I'm working up with leftover Cotlin.

Reading is still Somewhere in France which I'm about halfway through. I keep going from loving this story to almost losing interest. But almost losing interest isn't the same as losing interest. :)  It's still on my nightstand which means I haven't given up on it yet.

Other reading has included a reread of Fresh Eggs Daily which is an excellent primer for raising laying hens (yes, we are raising a new flock of layers, but that's a topic for another post...).

Before you go, it's not too late to enter my pattern giveaway -- thanks to all of you who've already entered. :)

Joining Ginny!


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Saturday, May 23, 2015

catching up...

It's Saturday and since I woke up early I figured that with just one week left in the month, I'd best do a catching up post before the month slips away entirely. It's been busy which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Trying to end the school year with the kids on a strong, high note while co-organizing our church's annual women's brunch at the beginning of the month, helping with appetizers for a friend's daughter's wedding the following weekend (the same one where AnnaLynn played violin), and sneaking away to the Oregon coast with dear, dear friends the weekend after that has had me on my toes (thanks, Timothy, for the delicious omelettes!).

Keeping up with the garden has slipped to the bottom of my priority list -- a place it shouldn't be throughout the month of May -- means we are growing a mighty crop of weeds. Lots of good stuff, too, but the weeds have nearly taken over and need several good days of hoeing before being covered with mulch for the season. The herb garden, on the other hand, is looking terrific, as is the bed we built the rock wall for early this spring.

The weather has swung from hot for here (low 80s in May?) to lows in the mid-30s over night. This week has been mild with late afternoon thunder showers which I have enjoyed; perfect weather for a pot of soup. We need the rain...the rivers are so low for this time of year.

We picked up both layer and meat bird chicks on the 13th; Daniel is their keeper, and he does a good job. :)  We hadn't planned to raise new birds this year, but our layers are slacking and our freezer is running low...

You all know I've had knitting flying off the needles, but most of that has been accomplished while the kids have been in their math and science classes as well as during piano and violin lessons (all of which totals ten hours every single week). Once the school year closes (as it will in just three weeks!), we'll have much more time for outdoor responsibilities. The classes my kids have taken this year were good for them, of course, but the amount of time we've had to be away from home has been a detriment in many ways to home life and the easy flow I prefer -- we've been on the go far too much. Planning for next year is already in full swing with just one day each week dedicated to outside educational commitments which will make keeping up with the house and property much, much easier to do. But I digress.

Summer plans are in the works... camping trips, day trips, hikes, the zoo, a Mariners game in Seattle, lazy days at the river, sleeping in, repainting / redecorating bedrooms, and projects around the homestead are all on our list. We are all looking forward to reading a few good books, grilling, and spending time with family and friends. Daniel will be working more with Dan, and he wants to take a summer driver's ed class with a friend, but we'll see. I'm envisioning a summer that isn't scheduled, the kind where you forget which day of the week it is. Sounds dreamy.

Lots more to share but I'm out of time for today...

Have a good and safe Memorial Day weekend -- don't forget to remember.
“We do not know one promise these men made, one pledge they gave, one word they spoke; but we do know they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.”
James A. Garfield, May 30, 1868, Arlington National Cemetery
Before you go, did you enter my pattern giveaway yet?


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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Silverstar Scarf & Wrap -- finally!!
(and a giveaway)


With gratitude to my daughters AnnaLynn and Jessica for modeling (not my Anna's favorite thing to do...) and photographing (not the least of my Jessica's superpowers), I am happy, pleased, ecstatic to announce that my Silverstar Scarf & Wrap pattern is now available!
The Silverstar Scarf & Wrap can be knit as a long & narrow scarf or as a wider, less-lengthy shoulder wrap giving you two options for creating the perfect accessory for dressing up summer outfits or warming bare shoulders on cool evenings.

Both are knit lengthwise with alternating blocks of garter and lace stitching providing interest for the knitter while creating eye-pleasing texture. After binding off, stitches are picked up at the ends to create gentle ruffles. The pattern includes clearly written instructions and tips to assist the knitter along the way.

Techniques used include knit, purl, yo, k2tog, k1f&b, and picking up stitches. The stitch pattern is easily memorized for on-the-go or social knitting.

Scarf: approx. 68" x 6.5"
Wrap: approx. 60" x 17"
Samples were knit with KnitPicks Hawthorne Fingering in "The Pearl" and "Rose City" (both iconic Portland names). Photographs taken in Brush Prairie, Washington, with Silver Star Mountain and the ridge of the Cascade Foothills hazily visible in the background. All photos copyright Jessica Purvis Photography -- thank you, my beloved daughters!

Available at KnitPicks & Ravelry!

And to celebrate, I'm giving a pattern away...just leave a comment. I'll randomly pick a winner in one week (on May 28).



Thanks for visiting Happy in Dole Valley! To join us on our journey, look to the upper right to follow or subscribe. :)

She seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands...
~Proverbs 31:13

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

tending my yarn garden...

Oh my, has it really been two weeks?

When I last posted (here), I was feverishly working on a shrug for AnnaLynn and am happy to report that I did, in fact, finish in time as evidenced by the above photos. :)  I plan to (someday) make her another; this one turned out perfectly except for being a tad wide across the back.

The green project is a Brennan Cardi that I'm making as a Christmas gift for someone special. :)  I don't know if it's just me, but I had a hard time keeping track of the different instructions for which rows to do the button holes (every 16), on which to do short rows (every 6), and when to do decreases and then increases (every 8). I wound up writing out all the rows and what to do on each all the way through stopping to knit the sleeves (the pattern is knit from the bottom up). I think I've got it figured out now and am looking forward to pulling this project out from time to time. Christmas is a long way off, so I'm not in a hurry. The yarn is KPs Gloss (70% merino, 30% silk) which is simply wonderful to work with.

Reading has been slow due to busy days. The latest Mother Earth News arrived recently, but I haven't had a chance to peek inside yet.

Looking forward to catching up with all my Yarn Along friends!

Joining Ginny :)


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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

tending my yarn garden...

Reading: In addition to my Bible, The Help, and Mitford #6, I've begun Somewhere in France. I know I wasn't going to start a new book before finishing my other reading, but I couldn't help myself. Of course, Bible reading is never done, so it doesn't count. :)

Knitting: The white up above is a another shrug, only this time it's for my AnnaLynn to go with a fancy dress she'll be wearing when she plays violin in a small strings trio for a wedding this weekend! It's her first paid "gig" as well as a special occasion, so, of course she needs a special knit, right? I searched Ravelry for shrug patterns using worsted weight and found this one which I'm modifying for the sake of getting it done (doesn't need to be quite so long). I have until Saturday...

Other projects that are all finished up and gifted (or are soon to be) include:

Tucker's Cardigan...

Locksley's Shrug (unblocked, but oh well)...

Matching shrugs for my sweet grandbabies...

(the color is more true in the above photo than in the one below)

Linnea's bonnet (which turned out a little on the big size)

And another scarfette!

Ravelry notes are here. :)  Lots of wee knits make it easy to keep them flying off the needles; I'm actually a slow knitter and am ok with that since I enjoy the process so much!

What's on your needles?

Joining Ginny :)


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