A few things

January 26

January 26

ruffled scarf

January 26

January 26

January 26

This week the weather has been mild, so I have been starting each day with a walk.  Sometimes I escape alone, but more frequently, I am chased by a pack of children.  Either way, I love this morning walk through the woods.  Today, crawling out of bed and seeing that the sky was dark with imminent rain, I raced to get dressed.  Before I was able to get out the door, I heard the water slamming into our metal roof.  Refusing to give up, I grabbed an umbrella.  Larkspur and Keats came racing wildly over the back hill as they saw my umbrella bobbing away.  A morning walk in the rain is quite wonderful.

If I could find the perfect pattern for a hat that would cover my entire face with only holes for my eyes, and maybe a hole to breathe through, I might be able to brave cold mornings as well.

Yesterday I took Seth and Gabe to our local coin shop on the way to piano lessons.  Seth could spend hours there, but he only got fifteen minutes.  The older men who run the place teased Seth a bit, in a nice way.  One of them suggested to Seth that if he were ever to find a bag of coins on one of his metal detecting trips, that he should bring it into the shop and they’d give him a hundred bucks.  Seth gave him an “are you out of your mind” look and explained that after removing xy and z from the bag, then he might be willing to make a deal.  Then the men started quizzing Seth on the percentages of silver in certain coins.  They quickly realized that Seth knows his coins.  I tried to keep a straight and humble face.

Seth and I have plans together as soon as the ground dries.  He’s pretty excited.  He may be taking over the blog for a day next week.

I finished and gifted the ruffled scarf.  I do recommend this project.  The last few rows feel a bit endless, but because you know you are indeed on the last few rows, it’s easy to motivate yourself to power through all that purling.

Silas received a beautiful little spoon engraved with his name from a friend of mine this week.  My first babies received engraved gifts, but not these last few, so I am pretty thrilled with this spoon.  It may become my go-to baby gift.  (It was purchased from The Vintage Pearl.)

I shouldn’t post photos of Jonny wearing Silas on his back while he washes dishes, or else you might all hate me.  Just so we’re clear, he doesn’t clean toilets.

On the organizing front:  some of you have asked how I store and organize my knitting needles and supplies.  The short answer is that I don’t.  Patterns are stored in a notebook, but everything else is in a drawer of my desk.  There are lots of great organizers out there for needles (I came across this shop last night.)  I go looking for organizers from time to time but knowing I could make one myself, I never buy one.  But of course I don’t ever make one either, so my needles remain in a mess.  I do have a master list of all the needles that I own.  So, before going searching for a particular needle in the messy drawer, I check my list to be sure I actually do indeed own it. (If you have a favorite knitting needle organizer, leave a link in the comments!)

And, the first tip that I took to heart from Organized Simplicity:  I made a master grocery shopping list.  I created categories and laid them out on an Excel spreadsheet based on the floor plan of the grocery store that I usually shop at.  Everything I ever buy is on that list.  So each week I can print it out, and then cross out the things that I don’t need (based on our meal plan-I plan one week at a time), rather than writing down the things that I do.  I shopped with the list (clipped to a clipboard) on Monday and it worked well.  I included the other stops that I make: the little grocery where I buy eggs, and the butcher where I buy meat.  I made a note on the list of how much I spent at each stop.

While I do have favorite cookbooks, I frequently go searching for recipes online, write them down on a scrap of paper, and then lose them.  Last week, after writing down the recipe for pumpkin baked oatmeal (I 1 1/2 times the recipe, cut the sugar in half and substitute maple syrup, use one entire can of pumpkin and five eggs) for probably the fifth time or so, I made a small purchase to help me to organize recipes.  I do have a recipe box, but for some reason have never been able to embrace the cards.  I like the idea of everything being in a bound book, so when I saw this one in the latest Martha Stewart magazine, I ordered it.  I love it.  The categories aren’t all relevant to me, but it was easy enough to change the “cocktail” section to a breakfast section with one of the included labels.

Last night I stayed up late cleaning out the drawers in my sewing and craft desk.  Larkspur’s birthday is in a little over a month.  I’ve got some sewing to do.

Happy Friday!



  1. I just love silas’ spoon- what a fantastic gift. My kids have all gotten little silver cups with their initials on it fromt heir great uncle and it is one of my fav gifts.

    Your scarf turned out beautifully! I store all my needles in a large tupperware. I have a needle roll that someone made for me and my circulars came in a case but everything else is just tossed in the bucket!

  2. My children chase me as well though up until recently, I could out distance them. 🙂
    My husband has also worn babies as well. My heart always fills up when seeing it.

    I use Big Oven for all my recipes. I print off the ones that we use and place them in a page protector than binder. When finding new recipes online, I can just type them in and copy/paste the instructions. When figuring out our grocery list, I drop the recipe into the appropriate calendar and add it to the ‘shopping list’. Print the shopping list and cross off what we have on hand. Now, if they only had an app where I can import it into my Ipod…..

  3. precious baby spoon! great photos! love the scarf!

    The knitting needle thing….I have 3 pitchers full of straights that I don’t use very much, but they sure look pretty. The circulars (which don’t look pretty–in my opinion) are in a worm binder-type case that has snap in plastic “pages”; I separate #0-9 in different compartments and jumble all the bigger sizes together, since I rarely use them. This zips closed, is about 10 x 10″ in size and holds close to 50 needles. (I’ve knit for a long time–I have accumulated a LOT of needles!!! and the little worm case works for me.)

  4. Hi!
    I’m so delighted to have found your blog. I’m Rebecca, a Waldorf mama form the UK who runs a site called Natural Mothers Network. I read this great post and loved the feel and pace of it so put it into my brand new linky list on my blog post. I know my readers will be delighted to discover your blog and I hope you’ll come by and meet me on mine. If you want to post your recent posts on it, Seasonal Celebration Sunday opens every Sunday afternoon and remains open for 4 days. http://naturalmothersnetwork.com/seasonal-celebration-sunday/seasonal-celebration/ Rebecca x

  5. I use a colored pencil roll that a friend made me in a craft swap for all my double pointed needles. My straights and circulars reside in a pot on the wash stand in my room. I actually love the look. Morning time is my quiet time. I need to get moving, but lately I have caught up on email and planning for my days. Love the little spoon, so precious. I recently bought a recipe box, because I couldn’t find a book like the one you linked. I am liking it.

  6. I decided a few days ago I needed to move that moleskine from my wish list to my cart. I’m excited to start filling it with recipes. Currently I have a fridge pad with scribbled recipes – a step up from the paper scraps I had, but still not categorized.
    It makes my heart happy to see a hubby who can handle a baby AND the dishes. I’m blessed with a super dishwashing man, too.

  7. I thought of your morning walk while I took my evening one. It was SO windy tonight as I locked up the chickens, fed the sheep, and stood in my favorite spot looking over a huge field where the sun sets so the clouds are always tinged pink and the trees are black silhouettes. It’s pretty chilly this evening, so I had my hood pulled up, but took it off and let the wind blow through my hair. I forgot what that felt like! Nature is so powerful!

  8. I love that little engraved spoon, beautiful pictures. Amazingly, just yesterday I put up a post on how to make a knitting needle case!

  9. Your banner looks like the cover of a children’s book 🙂

  10. things that work for me….
    old vases and glass mugs for the knitting needles. although i did get a beautiful sewn one for christmas which is perfect the for the dpns. each size has it’s own slot so i’m not forever checking all the sizes or having to store them in their annoying plastic wrappers.
    for recipes, my husband set me up on one note and i created categories there. i don’t have to print or hand copy anything, i just cut and paste. and often i get a handy url that shows up in the process so if i need to double check anything as i prepare the dish, i have a direct link back to the original source. i miss the feel of a card or a book, but boy oh boy is it convenient.

  11. Meg from sewliberated keeps her knitting needles in glass jars. It looks so pretty but you need a place to put them. I’m considering putting a shelf up just for that purpose but for now mine are in a drawer too or in a basket of yarn or in my knitting bag…. You get the idea I’m sure. Here’s the link to Meg’s post: http://sewliberated.typepad.com/sew_liberated/2011/05/knitting-organization.html

    Take a look at the corners of her home posts too (if you haven’t already). So inspiring. Wish I lived there, sigh…..

  12. I had to laugh at your husband doing the dishes while having a baby in the Ergo on his back. I posted a picture of my husband doing the EXACT same thing a little over a week ago:

    Now I feel like I have something even more in common with you.

    P.S. my husband doesn’t do toilets either.

  13. Ginny…I love Friday catch-ups…I do them, too! Mostly for my own family to look back and reflect, as it seems to be spinning on by all too quickly. There is so much goodness here…morning walks (ah, bed is so comfy though), your son knowing as much as the elderly men, husbands who do dishes (I wish! though my dh does so many other wonderful things), organizing and ideas on how to organize 🙂 and that scarf. Love that scarf. Ginny, your little corner here is delightful ~ you are generous to share your photos and your wit with all of us.
    xo Jules

  14. p.s. love silas + spoon and photo of you. so pretty.

  15. it’s so nice to hear about all the wonderful husbands, that makes me really happy.

    love your scarf ginny, i’m sure it will be treasured. i made a post on organization,
    after knitting for many years, i’ve finally found a way that works for me.


  16. I organize my needles in small ziploc bags labeled with each needle #. Not very pretty but free and easy! Love the scarf–it’s a great go-to pattern. Have a fantastic weekend!

  17. Your morning walks sound so nice. And you look lovely in that scarf, maybe you should make yourself one.
    I have some sewing to do too! Still have to make the girls winter dresses! I guess I better get started since winter is almost half way over.
    Oh, I never replied to your last email… I am curious about the cross-stitch!
    Hope you all have a happy weekend!
    Love, Renee

  18. oh my goodness…a Moleskine Recipe Journal?! Yep, I just bought it immediately. How did I not know this!? My husband does the dinner dishes and puts all the kids to bed at night…what gift this is…such a gift. I always love coming here and peeking into your lovely and authentic life.

  19. I started a master list about 10 years ago and a year into it dawned on me that I could just laminate it and use a grease pencil. I included some lines for add ins and it makes it easy to send Poppa to the store and easy (easier) for him to stay to the list. Love the spoon!

  20. I love the image of you being chased “by a pack of children” on your walks 🙂 I’ve been trying to get outside at least once a day regardless of weather, and am finding it so rejuvenating–I think it might even be making me more productive. I don’t seem to miss the time I’ve “lost”.

    I started using a master grocery list for our once-a-month “big” grocery outing about three years ago and I don’t know what I’d do without it. Because we usually visit two or three stores, I highlight the items I plan to get at each store in a different color.

    I love the finished scarf!

  21. Lovely words and pictures, cheers Marie

  22. Oh I love ALL the photo’s of the Silas-wearing-daddy at your house – please don’t stop showing them! And why doesn’t he clean the toilets too……!

  23. I love daddy’s wearing babies! Nothing is cuter. I do the exact same thing with needle cases. I know I can make one, so I’m too cheap to buy one . . . . but after knitting for a year and a half, I have yet to make one. I really should put that on my to-make-for-me list. (Not that I actually have said list!)

  24. i Love the spoon! And of course the chubby fisted hand clutching it. You have some great ideas. I showed my daughter how to make a needle case that I would like and she gave it to be for my BD. She made it with a placemat. (my harmony tips all in a neat row, then my double points. LOVE it!) Such a beautiful family……

  25. I love this little bits of this and that post. So, I’ll comment accordingly:
    The walk sounds lovely even in the rain. I MUST get out and enjoy and get exercise…slothfulness has set in. Hat that covers everything but eyes and mouth? I think it’s called a ski mask! 🙂 But then you might look awfully weird wearing that while walking…don’t scare anything or anyone off. You’ve piqued my interest about your son helping you with the blog next week – can’t wait to see what your creative minds are conjuring up. Dishes? My husband is better at cleaning the kitchen than I am – I cook; he cleans. Pretty good. (Oh and he irons too!) My knitting needles are a total mess and I DON’T have a master list of all I own (maybe that’s why I keep forgetting and buying the same size needle?) Meal organization is a big stumbling block for me. I’ve been actually wanting to go back to an index card list of the meals we eat most often so that I don’t have to go rummaging through cookbooks or blog sites to find that recipe. Enjoy your weekend!

  26. I give you an awesome ski mask pattern! I made it for my husband the year we got married. He works outdoors in all weather and thought he’d get a lot of use out of this in the winter. But I didn’t take into account that he wears GLASSES! LOL


  27. I would come visit you just for your pictures! Wishing you a happy weekend. +JMJ+

  28. I have that same recipe book and now must go dig it out and put it to use! And a walk in the rain in the woods sounds delightful.

  29. What a beautiful post! Hubby’s helping…mine does also, all the time when the children were small since I just couldn’t seem to keep up with life back then. What a blessing he was and is to me.

    I made a pouch for my interchangable needles similar to ones I’ve seen online. They were for sale for $80 and up which was NOT in the budget. I just took some scraps from a quilt I had made and made a beautiful custom roll up pouch with lots of pockets for all sizes of needles. I can get all my double points and interchangables in it with room to spare.

    Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your babies. All of them!



  30. Organizing needles – I use a zippered three ring binder with the zippered pouch pages – 1 page per size. But I have to admit – sometimes it takes a little bit before I get them put back where they belong.

  31. Love your scarf, it is so beautiful. The spoon is divine and I can see how it could quickly become so beloved. My husband washes the toilet, not the dishes.

  32. Love seeing a daddy with his baby on his back. =] We have a picture on our wall of my husband wearing our daughter while woodworking (not the loud kind) when she was about 18 months.

  33. I use the page protector method to store my circular needles and my dpns. I have saved so much time since organizing them this way. I made a traditional needle roll for my straight needles.

    When I got my first apartment, I contacted all my friends and relatives and asked them to write out their/my favorite recipes longhand and then I glued them all into a large black sketchbook and I have used that as my recipe “organization” for many years. Unfortunately now the book is a coverless mess and so many other recipes are tucked between the pages that it’s really hard to find anything at all. I have been considering scanning the recipes that they wrote out and having them printed along with newer favorites in a blurb book or something (because I can’t bear to give up the ones that are written in my grandmothers’ handwriting), but I haven’t found a good solution yet–recipes are so hard to keep organized! I love your Moleskine book anyway– tempting.

  34. my recipes are all shoved into a binder which is now over flowing! LOL i like that blank cookbook idea alot.
    i should get a picture of my dear husband doing chores and baby duty also. i don’t think you are alone in having a husband who helps out. <3

  35. My husband does dishes too (every night, actually) but he’d never wear anyone while he was doing it. 🙂 “chased by a pack of children” sounds very familiar… Love the grocery shopping list idea. I’ll give that one a whirl!

  36. moleskin + recipe book = love. added it to my wishlist. thanks 🙂

  37. I learned a great tip for needles from Lorixfive….
    write on a plastic notebook protector the size of your needles, stick them inside and store in a notebook. Organizing my needles this way has saved me oodles of time looking for and then sizing needles.

  38. I love handmade cookbooks! I have had a go – to cookbook for years as does my mom. My best friend now also has one. Such a wonderful way to have all your favorite recipes right at your fingertips! I even posted about mine awhile ago…http://mommymadeinminnesota.blogspot.com/2011/01/my-collection-of-favorite-recipes.html.
    It is fun to sit down with friends to and exchange recipes this way too.


  39. LOVE that recipe book. I think I know what I am asking for for Valentines Day (which we don’t usually celebrate, but being married to a chef who I think will love the idea but just needs a reason/occasion to buy one…). Don’t worry about being hated for Jonny washing dishes while wearing Silas; Jeff is not only a chef but he washes dishes and cleans toilets. And with that statement I become the most hated wife in America.

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