Archives for February 2, 2011

Yarn Along

~ 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! ~

Well, I am not sure this sweater will be finished in time for Keats’ birthday, as I only have a little over a week left.  Beatrix is sick (again!) so sleep isn’t happening, nor are my late night knitting sessions.  We’ll see though.  I have left the body where it’s at in this picture and am starting on the sleeves now.  I think it’s easier to knit the sleeves before finishing the body as there is less bulk to shift around.  I really love how the owl cable is looking so far.  (pattern and yarn details in this post.)
I am still reading Persuasion ,  and this week I started A Nest for Celeste: A Story About Art, Inspiration, and the Meaning of Home with my boys.  Of course Seth picked it up and finished it the first evening, but Keats and Gabe don’t do that yet, so they are still listening, and really enjoying this sweet little story about a mouse.
Below is a linky list if you’d like to add a link to your own Yarn Along photo.

(1) Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your blog post or your specific Flickr photo and not your main blog URL or Flickr Photostream. Please be sure and link to your current Yarn Along post, and not a Yarn Along post from a previous week.
(2) Include a link back here in your blog post or flickr photo page.
(3) Thanks for playing along!
(4) Oh, and if you have any trouble linking up, just email me and I will help you!

You can also join the Flickr Yarn Along Group to share your knitting and reading photos anytime!

My Simplicity

I’ve had simplicity on my mind this past week, trying to decide what this word, this concept, means to me.  I do know that there is this idea out there that we should all be aiming for it.  It seems kind of silly almost, to aspire for something that means:   “freedom from complexity, intricacy, or division into parts.”  I have chosen an awfully complicated path in this life so it might be that I best run in the opposite direction of anything that suggests that I aim for simplicity.  My life is most certainly quite intricate, and I am divided into many parts, many roles. My heart walks around in the bodies of six other people every day, not to mention a seventh, growing inside of me.  There is no freedom from division when it comes to my heart or my time. 
But of course these are all just thoughts on the spur of the moment, and I know that this term, this simplicity can be viewed in many different ways.  We can aim for a simplified calendar, a simplified menu, a simplified home, free of clutter.  But along the way things are typically going to get complicated.  The irony for me is that on days when I have the opportunity to spend a good bit of time cleaning, decluttering, “simplifying,”  I usually go to bed with my mind racing rather than being soothed by all that simplification.
I think that if I am to say that I want to aim for simplicity, what I really mean, is that I am aiming for peace of mind:  The ability, to have a peaceful mind and soul amidst all the plans, the lists, and the noise.  My goal then is to simplify my mind, not my life.
So how do I do that?  Well, I knit as often as I can.  It is a challenge to fit even a few stitches in during the day, but I try.  I look forward to spending time with my needles each evening after my children are in bed, or more recently, cuddled by the woodstove in the late evenings with my boys, as two of them are knitting as well.   I read in the bathtub nearly every night-one chapter.  
This is time when my mind truly rests.  These things create a stillness, and it is within that stillness that I reconnect with God, and it is in that stillness that I find a peace that lasts through the complexity of my days (most of the time), and maybe even allows for a bit of personal growth.
But above these pastimes of mine:  knitting and reading, my one sure ticket to peace of mind, to a simplicity in my soul, is time spent outdoors far away from the laundry and the dirt on the floor.  I think this is most certainly why I struggle through winter.  I hate the cold (and my littlest one is wheezy) and outdoor outings become scarce.  But when we do make it out, and I can have a few hours walking in the forest (my most beloved of places) my mind is simple and free.  I find that I can’t think of anything but what is right in front of me, and that is truly my simplicity.  As the weather warms, you will find that my family will resume weekly hikes and adventures, because they are so vital to me, and to us.
I just hope this old pregnant body will keep up.  It took me two days to recover from this little 3.5 mile walk we took last week: through the woods, to the water, and back again.

For more thoughts on simplicity, visit Elizabeth.