Thursday, September 27, 2012

Canning to Dyeing

After finishing up some more tomato canning last night I just couldn't waste a
 nice tub of hot water.

So I took out a new color I had recently ordered from Dharma Trading - Sage Leaf - and a skein of dk weight natural wool from Peace Fleece, added a few glugs of vinegar and....

I think I have a new favorite color.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Knitting and Reading

Still working on the simple Colin Vest for a custom order - the sizing looks as though it is coming out right this time.

I have started knitting a bonnet (like the one Emmy is wearing in the last post) for a little baby girl that is due to be born soon.  Our church is helping to support a single young lady that has decided to not end a life but to give life.    The yarn is some beautiful hand dyed soft wool from The Sitting Tree.  The pattern is from Vintage Knits for Modern Babies - my favorite knitting book for little ones.

I have been really enjoying the new issue of Taproot - it is truly a beautiful magazine and the stories are ones that I can relate to and enjoy.

Finally, my initial impression of If you Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name, has held true even through the end - a really delightful read about small town living.  

Looking forward to sharing with Ginny and everyone else today for the Yarn Along.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Simply Being - a One Year Old's Perspective

Enjoying each moment on our walk down the driveway even though we only made it half way down - there is just so much to see and touch!

and just playing in the garden.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Home Again

a few more snapshots from a nice weekend away

But it is really nice to come home and appreciate all over again our simple little home.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Welcoming Autumn on a Little Trip

We are blessed to be on a little get-away this weekend. 
After a super busy summer business-wise, our family decided to 
go off for a little re-energizing and time together.

We ventured just a couple hours south, to a cottage at a state park and have had beautiful fall weather.

This is the Calvin Coolidge Homestead in Plymouth, Vermont.

This man was doing sheep shearing and

demonstrated how to thresh buckwheat.  

and then this separates the grain out.  
He also explained how the large combines of today do all of this with one machine, but that the grains do not have a chance to dry out and because of this lose some of their nutrients.

Next we headed to our favorite town, Woodstock.

There was a Revolutionary War encampment going on in town as well. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

And Now She is One

Gifts wrapped in silks and paper.

Apple Crisp with one rainbow candle.

Emily Susan turned one on Thursday. 

She has brought even more love to our home and we only wish she would slow down a little. 
It is amazing how much changes in the first year of life.  I have made an effort to take in and really enjoy as many of the moments that have made up this first year as I possibly could - to just stop and watch, observe, and try somehow to imprint her new accomplishments and her sweet ways into my memory.   

I am glad to have this space to share and record - to look back at and remember.

Warm wishes,

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Knitting and Reading

Joining in with Ginny and everyone else for this week's knit along.

I finished the little simple knit doll for Emmy's birthday.  It was a very easy pattern from Living Crafts magazine, the winter 2012 issue.

Also off the needles came the colin vest I was making for a custom order.  I had cast on 54 stitches on size 10 needles.  I will instead cast on size 8 needles and hope for a better fit.  It was supposed to be a size 4 but turned out to be a size 8!  However, it has a new owner - Sarah really likes it and it fits her pretty well. 

I am reading a book that Renee recommended, If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name by Heather Lende.   It is so nice to finally have a book to look forward to reading at bed each evening - I think I am probably too picky but if I don't find a book interesting, I stop reading it.  I figure there are so many good ones to read, why spend time reading something I am not enjoying.

Another book I am really enjoying is my nightly read aloud to Sarah, King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry.  Sarah is our horse lover and this book flows nicely and we have been looking forward to reading a chapter each night.

I am looking forward to reading about your knitting projects and good book finds.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New Underwear

I love it that our children get excited about the little things.

Monday, September 17, 2012

One Small Project Completed

Using 6 x 6 pressure treated lumber that was given to us, Mike made a base.
The framing was made of hemlock from our property.
The roofing boards came free from a neighbor and the metal roofing another free find.

This little shelter is to hold birch logs that we use for our products.

Mike has very little building experience, but through trial and error is learning bits here and there and building up more confidence.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Trip to Town

(taken from inside the car - sorry for the dirty windshield)

We took a trip to town yesterday (all 8 of us).
We hadn't been to our closest shopping town (a mere population of 5500) for several weeks.
Our small town has a population of just 600.

When did gas go up to nearly $4.00 a gallon again?  (I really don't mind this, though.  I actually think high gas prices are a good thing in the long run.)

Emily had her one year check-up (she turns one on Thursday!)

Along with a visit to our doctor, we went food shopping, thrift store browsing, and ice cream eating on what was a beautiful summer like day in September.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Making Time for Picking

As I walk down to check on the blackberries at our nearby ice cream stand, 
I realize how
silly I am to think that there may still be some.
It is nearly mid September.
Where do the days go?

Next summer, I must make time to pick blackberries.

I remind myself that it is apple picking season now.

Our apples are few this year on our own trees.

On a walk down our gravel road, a neighbor comes out and lets us know we can 
pick all the apples on their tree - their tree heavy with sweet red goodness.

A blessing.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

More Natural Dyeing

So I have dyed with asters, ferns, and goldenrod and have a lot of yellow tones...
I would love to learn what I can use from nature here in northern Vermont to make some new colors.  Any ideas?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Knitting and Reading

I really enjoy joining in with Ginny and all the others in this weekly Knit Along - seeing all the beautiful hand knits and learning about some good new reads.

This week I am working on a custom order from our shop for a little boy's 4th birthday - a Colin Vest in Peace Fleece, Lena's Meadow that I am sizing up by using size 10 needles and worsted weight yarn.

Another project is a hat for Mike for his birthday next month.  This yarn is a wool tweed that came in a box full of yarn that I bartered for some of our handmade toys.  I cast on 88 stitches on size 7 needles and started with a knit 2, purl 2 rib and then will continue with the stockinette stitch.

As far as reading goes, we have started Little House in the Big Woods again.  The last time it was read out loud was about 5 years ago.  The new young ones are enjoying it.  It was really neat to hear Abraham (4 years old) shout out for me to keep reading when I paused for a few seconds.
I also picked up some books when we visited Thomas at college. (I just love browsing through libraries!)  One of them is The Back to Basics Handbook.  I continue to be drawn towards a more simpler, handmade way of life and want to keep adding new skills to apply to our little homestead.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

An Autumn Feel to the Air

Yesterday it most certainly felt like autumn.  I don't think the temperature went above 60 degrees.

It is truly rewarding harvesting from the garden with children.  Their excitement when they spot another orange pumpkin or Canada Crookneck squash....

The goats are doing well - just  not sure about breeding them yet.  We don't have a buck and we  haven't found a buck to borrow either.  But even if they don't get bred this year, we have two wonderful girls that are providing us with some terrific fertilizer.

It was cool enough yesterday to put a hand knit bonnet on Emmy - this one of baby alpaca.

Warm wishes,

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Knitting and a Book Giveaway

I decided to play around some more with the top down sweater pattern.  Using the Poppy Cardigan Doll Sweater pattern once again, I cast on 66 stitches using Peace Fleece yarn instead of the 44 stated in the pattern and made short sleeves instead of long.  I just have to add the buttons.  It came out to be about a size 24 months.

I am still working on the scarf, disciplining myself to do one pattern set at least each day.

It has been very hard to squeeze in any reading time lately but wanted to pass on a book that I probably won't use much - Canning for a New Generation.  The recipes sound wonderful but are just a bit too exotic for my simple ways.  Please just leave a comment if you would like to win this copy.  I will choose a winner randomly tomorrow morning.

The winner of the canning book is "Amy C.T."  Please email me at with your address.
Thanks so much!

Joining in with Ginny today at Small Things for today's Yarn Along.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Thrifty Find

A wooden table and two chairs at a yard sale for just $3.00 -  a wonderful find.

We rarely buy anything new and instead pray and wait.  It is amazing how our needs are met and sometimes even our wants are fulfilled.  

Monday, September 3, 2012


Emily making us all laugh

Goldenrod and Zinnias over the kitchen sink

The evening dance of the dragonflies

That God has answered my prayer to share our home with others more often

Cool, crisp nights

Fellowship with friends

Abraham's first needlepoint and Abby's handwork

Continued thanks for our new handmade table