Monday, October 26, 2015

The Importance of a Good Shawl

Our Salmon have not come down the stream this year.  It may be that their time has not come yet, or that the weather was too dry this summer.  We are missing them this fall, but still hoping they will make it.

It has been an extraordinarily busy time for me.  The leaves are turning and falling around me, making me crave a slower pace of life and the comforts of the season.  I adore the fall!  But I've never been busier in my life.  I find myself saying to people, "It's always busy, but it's just not normally THIS busy."  Then I realize I've said that before.  I've been saying that a lot.

Baking bread has been the one thing that seems to ground me in the middle of the crazy.  Sourdough in particular seems to be really forgiving, since it's slower pace actually fits with all of our comings and goings nicely.  Having my hands in dough, even just for a moment or two is really comforting.  

Knitting on the other hand, is happening even more slowly.  In all truthfulness, I have realized that my smartphone is filling those small slots of time that my knitting needles used to, and that is sad.  In the doctor's office today (my kiddo stepped on a glass chard) I had brought my knitting bag and forgot about it while I was on the smartphone in the waiting room.  A sad waste of my precious time that I must learn from.  

Until that perfect day comes along when I can sit in front of the fire for uninterrupted time on a knitting project, I will have to make due with waiting rooms and little snippets.  

I finally finished my shawl from this summer.  This is my second Tasha Tudor Shawl.  The first went to my oldest daughter.  

It has been well-loved and more than a few holes have been patched over the years.

This second shawl has been a long time in coming, but is finished due to our very long summer road trip. Both were knit in alpaca.  Fiber for the white shawl was from a farm in Colorado.  The brown from a farm near my house.  Two different phases of my life.  The edge was done in Blue Sky Alpacas.  I wanted it to be very large, so that I could wrap it around me in a variety of different ways.

I have been thinking of it as my animal rounds shawl.  The one I can quickly grab and tie on as I run out the door to take care of animals.

What is it about a shawl?  For me, they are very practical in the same way that an apron is.  It can become a hood, an apron, a scarf, a baby blanket, or a shrug.  I always think of a line in one of my favorite Jane Austen movies, Mansfield Park, where the master of the house is noticing there is no fire and his ward replies, "But I have a very warm shawl."  Seems that having a warm shawl is supposed to make up for a lot of other things.  I am hoping, that during this busiest-ever-fall, that it will bring me the comfort I so desperately need while I run around trying to keep things from 'fall'-ing apart.

It's been so long since I have shared with Ginny's Small Things Yarn Along!  I am looking foward to being inspired there this week, as I usually am by all of your projects.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Fall Touches from the Treehouse

Orange Handspun that is destined to become a knitted pumpkin

The air is crisp and leaves are falling.

There was fog out this morning when I walked my little one off to the bus stop.  My new kindergartener!

She decided to wear her 'Mama-sweater' as we call it this morning.  I set aside my fears that she would lose it at school, and instead stifled a little tear that she still loves it, this big girl of mine.

My kitchen is a mess of bread-baking and soup-making.  The best kind of mess, of course.

Our puppy just took apart the fall decorations on the front porch- so I guess you could say the leaves are really falling at my place. Not, the best kind of mess.

It's a steady stream of busy-ness.  Lunch bags and backpacks, paper piles, and laundry piles, projects and books.

It's fall.

And to go with it, there are kids coughing on my couch.

There are way too many eggs sitting on my kitchen counter, all needing to be washed.

Apples in bins all over the entry-way, from a kind neighbor's tree.

There are tomatoes on the deck, with their jars and canning accessories, all waiting to be finished.

The Cedars are dropping their orange lacy fronds all over the house.  Lovely now, but messy for sure. They are being blown around by the fall winds.

There's so many things I want to do, but only so much that I get to do.  Prioritizing here sometimes happens by the worst crisis first, not the top of the ToDo list.  That sick kid on the couch gets priority over that nap I wanted to take, and that laundry pile that got out of control last week, has to be dealt with before we have to recycle our underwear.

But it's all ok.  Because balance means something different for me than it used to.  It used to mean that I would take time for myself every day, to do something that I loved all the time.  I don't get that kind of time anymore. But it's ok, because now I steal MOMENTS.  Moments that come in the middle of all the busy-ness only because I am actively seeking and needing them.

As I walked my little one to the bus this morning, the air smelled like fall leaves and was heavenly.
Yesterday as I was making bread and soup for sick kiddos, I noticed how pretty the dough was, and took comfort in the feel of it in my hands.
My garden is yielding so many pretty flowers.  I took a quick second to pick some.  I put a Dahlia right in the middle of my messy kitchen, and it distracts me, just a little from the dirty dishes.  I marvel over the form of that incredible flower.

I decided to clean up just one room of the house, my living room, and arrange some simple things for fall.  Gold seems to be the color I am craving this fall, and I am finding ways to add it into my decor without overwhelming my usually neutral pallete.  I used to put out more decorations than this each year, but the last year or so I have really scaled-back.  I am craving more that is simple, and more that is family and dog and toddler-friendly.  The pinecones, the flowers from the garden, and the hand-spun, hand-knitted pumpkins are among the few things I have put out.

The moments are all I have in the balance department now.  I savor them in part because they are all I get sometimes, but in truth, when I had more time, I didn't always stop to notice things the way that I do now.

I apologize if all the pretty pictures can make my life seem like a dreamworld.  Though in moments it feels like that, in reality it is not.  But those pictures represent some balance in my life that is a struggle sometimes to find.  They are my joy in the middle of this wild ride.

Sharing this week with: