Life Goes On

While the who’s who of the knitting & spinning world met at Rhinebeck over the weekend, the timing just happened to work out and my little family stole away for a quick couple of days up at my parents’ house to have an early birthday celebration for my daughter. She joyfully got to make her own cake (which was pink, of course) with my mom and then we let her decorate it.

img_4861This what we get for setting a nearly 9-year-old up with an entire tube of pink frosting and letting her go at it. The most ironic part: she does not really care for frosting. It’s on her own personal “warning list” of things that are too sweet and should either be avoided or eaten in extreme moderation. The rest of us, not wanting to disappoint her, ate it. The sugar coma that followed was almost fatal.

Thankfully, we could escape afterward to recover with a walk along the big water.

img_4829As you well know, it’s a favorite past time of mine. And thankfully, unlike last time there was enough beach to walk along.

img_4838And the fall colors along the shore were a beautiful backdrop, too.

img_4832And as the beach was loaded with tons of beautifully flat rocks, I may have left a few little rock piles behind. They are so good for the soul.

When we got back, the kiddos opted for some biking and running off their sugar high. And then my dad broke out his leaf blower and I pitched in with the old-fashioned rake and we created the most incredible leaf pile in the history of leaf piles.

img_4860It was… enjoyed.

(That is the understatement of the century.)

My girl got to open a couple gifts from my parents…

img_4876Including this placemat sized Stash Blaster Loom from Purl & Loop. She has such a phenomenal love for her Wee Weaver, we thought graduating to a bigger loom would be a hit. I’d contemplated a small rigid heddle, but I thought the warping might be frustrating as she wouldn’t be able to do it herself right out of the gate. If I hadn’t mentioned it, she’s a tiny bit independent. As you can see from the smile on her face, I think we chose wisely.

In between all the fun, I managed to knit away on my handspun Featherweight Cardigan…

img_4874I think I’m around 5″ past the armholes now. If the yarn holds out, I’d like to aim for about 10 or 11″ before I start the ribbing. I may have to cut that short though… we shall see. I suppose I can always go with shorter sleeves… or order more fiber…

When we got home, I plied up those mini art batts I’d spun for my daughter to weave with. They are currently in the bath or I’d share a photo of them as well. Instead, how about a picture of my next wheel spin?

img_4879Three Waters Farm’s “Black Pansies” on a merino/silk base. It’s not currently available on the merino/silk base, but you can find it in the shop on a polwarth/silk base. I grabbed it at random a couple weeks ago and started pulling it apart as an example to explain to a friend how I prep my fiber, so when it came time to pick a new spin I figured I might as well go with this since I’d already broke into it. And now I’m thoroughly excited to dig into this spin — can you blame me?!

All in all, it was just a fantastic weekend doing all the things I love to do with the people I love.

img_4839And life goes on in the most spectacular way.

A Little Escape

Earlier this week, we found ourselves very undecided as to what to do with my husband’s day off. I could tell he really wanted a visit to a big water beach and I pretty much always want to be on a big water beach, but we’ve had mixed luck with the two we usually go to on Lake Michigan the last couple times. To arrive and find high water levels and almost no beach or that a school of small fish have washed ashore covering the beach as far as the eye can see is just not something we were really wanting to roll the dice on this time, especially after the hour plus drive time to get to either location. Mr Knitting Sarah has been working extra hard lately and we kind of just needed his precious day off to be fun and easy. So he suggested seeing if we could pop up my parents’ house and spend the night.

We know my parents’ house is always a big hit for the kids — they live in country so there is ample room to run around, there are still bottle rockets from the Fourth of July that my son loves to set off, there’s plenty of room for my daughter to ride her bike, my son usually gets to go fishing with my dad, my daughter manages to talk my mom into having a tea party, and there is almost always ice cream. Moose gets to run and run and run and since there are tons of trees on the property there are always plenty of sticks on which to chew. For my husband and I, it’s just nice to relax and visit with my parents and see the kids so happy.

It wasn’t lost on me, of course, that their house is conveniently located about 5miles from a nice little county park on Lake Michigan. We could have a nice relaxing time and get to a big water beach. It was a win-win! After dinner, my hubby, son, Moose, and I headed out for a little lake adventure while my daughter hung out with Grandma & Grandpa. It was especially beautiful…

IMG_0251I’m not sure who was happier to be in this spot — Mr Knitting Sarah or Moose.

IMG_0253 I think this snapshot is hilarious because they both struck the same pose at the same moment. Like man, like dog.

The late evening sun over the dunes was just stunning…

IMG_0256And this photo just puts a huge lump in my throat as my boy looks so grown up. As kids do, this summer it’s as if he’s being stretched — he’s grown a an inch or so and thinned out considerably. I am bracing myself for the day he’s taller than me, a day I’m pretty sure will arrive in the next year or two.

But I digress.

He found and caught a frog…

IMG_0260This is the first moment he got it situated so he could really look at it — I just love his smile. He & I both love finding frogs and snakes on hikes and consider these precious finds very lucky.

Moose got to swim his great big chocolate lab heart out.

IMG_0254I think normal dogs like to fetch sticks. Moose prefers to fetch logs. Seriously, the bigger the better. Even at home he likes to grab firewood off the pile to chew on. He’s a weirdo.

IMG_0307But he’s a weirdo who understands how to take time smell the fresh air and appreciate these special moments in life.

I looked through the milkweed stands for monarch caterpillars…

IMG_0303But only saw these lovely flowers and…

IMG_0306What I believe are some Canada Goose tracks.

We spent the next morning fishing on the boat with my dad and I didn’t bring my phone or camera. Sometimes I think it’s good to leave those things behind and just be. It was beautiful — sunny with a nice breeze and we caught a number of small fish that we threw back. My hubby almost landed a slightly bigger one, but lost him just as he was getting him into the boat — that’s just how it goes sometimes. We did get to watch Little Green Herons and Kingfishers and Eastern Kingbirds under the buzz of Cedar Waxwings high in the trees at the shore though. I really love watching Kingbirds near the water — they dart out, hover, circle around, hover, grab a bug, and zoom back to a perch over and over and over again. It’s just so fun to watch.

While at the house, for once I didn’t over-pack knitting or spinning. I just brought one project: my Turkish Bed Socks in July’s SilverSpun Sock Nectarine Dream.

IMG_0309I finished the first while watching a Brewer’s game with my dad and started the other the next morning over coffee. I’ve since finished and will have an FO post for you shortly. It’s a good thing as I just got a notice that August’s skein is in the mail — I can’t wait!

All in all, it was a great visit complete with fishing, a big water fix, some quality knitting time, and, of course, some cake and ice cream. What a wonderful, relaxing little summer escape for our family!

Mother’s Day at the Beach

I hope all you mothers out there had a great holiday yesterday. My little band of adventurers & I made the 2hour drive to spend ours visiting my mum & dad. They’ve lived in the same house since before they had children, so it was also a return to my own childhood home. It is a beautiful property which they’ve spent a lifetime building.  Growing up I always took a little for granted that the great Lake Michigan churns away only 5miles from their doorstep. Most of my years living there were spent in the lakeshore communities near their house and the lake was never more than a couple miles away. Because of it, nothing quite feels the same to me as being on a beach. Ocean or big lake, the beach is just home.

Knowing this, after a huge lunch my husband proposed we hop in the car and make the short drive to the nearby beach. While my girl & Moose stayed behind to keep my dad company, my mum, husband, son, and I piled into the car for a walk along the beach.  Of course, I snapped some photos to share with you.

20130513-085340.jpgOnly a few yards into our walk I found this lovely sea glass….

20130513-085350.jpgWhile my animal loving son discovered some bleached remains. To my eye, very lovely — a Great Lakes spin on Georgia O’Keefe.

20130513-085406.jpgHow do you not love this type of lakeshore?

20130513-085430.jpgI love to build cairns. The balancing act brings me such peace.

20130513-085444.jpgThe beach can bring so may different elements together and make them look so natural in each other’s arms.

20130513-090335.jpgWe even found a little pocket of quicksand — endless fun for the boys, terrifying for Grandma.

20130513-090327.jpgThe only thing missing was the briney smell of saltwater. I love the lake, but the salty aroma of the ocean has a hold of my heart always.

20130513-090343.jpgAfter our walk, we took some time to play. Grandma enjoyed the swings while my husband taught my son to climb a tree…

20130513-090408.jpg… As well as how to jump out ‘safely’…

20130513-090352.jpg

… and I snapped a picture of this willow — it looks more like a sketch than reality to me…

20130513-090400.jpg… And the proper scenic vista vantage point.

Really, this was such a nice little walk.

I didn’t knit much over the weekend since we were visiting, but I did gain a little real estate on my Kit Camisole — an appropriate knit for a weekend involving the beach, no?

20130513-100258.jpgI have been coming in a bit tight on gauge, but there is a lot of stretch in the fabric so I kept going over the weekend. This morning the suspense was killing me regarding how it would fit, so I tried it on (hence the visible slipped stitches on the needles). I am happy to report that the fit is looking just fine and especially considering it should relax with washing I am pretty confident it will be ok. This is not to say I won’t at some point still decide to rip back and start over. Stranger things have happened…. We shall see!

I really can’t say enough good things about this linen — Quince & Co’s Sparrow. It is so incredibly lovely and just a joy to work with — I kind of never thought I would say that about a linen! Sure, I have used very nice linens to knits up into beautiful sweaters and things, but they have often been taxing on my hands. Worth the effort to be sure, but there was some effort involved. This one… it is effortless and I just love every stitch. I am also very, very excited to see Hannah Fettig’s new collection, Knitbot Linen, which solely uses Sparrow in its designs. Ms Fettig’s talented designs combined this wonderful yarn is sure to be hit. I can’t wait!