Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Camping

It was kind of a dream of a weekend. We arrived on Friday to discover a quiet campground blanketed in crunchy Fall leaves and glowing with sunshine and warmth. It was 80 degrees! We set up our tent, explored, and headed out for a short hike. 








We have hiked up this hill many times...before having kids, as a family of four, and today as a family of five. Near the top is a very distinct and unusual tree growing out of a rocky outcrop. It's a special spot with a beautiful view. Mark and I sat here many years ago with our dog Dulcie when we first discovered this place we love so much. Near the bottom, we always find a group of cows the kids have named over the years. And, two beautiful trees near the entrance of the campground. 


 




When we woke up Saturday morning, it was a little chilly, drizzling, and the forest was blanketed in fog. It's amazing how stunning Fall can be even on the moodiest of days. The colors were so brilliant. It felt like we had our own private enchanted forest.  








It is so hard in this day and age to truly disconnect. I've found it's even harder for our children with all of the demands and distractions they face. As it turns out, it was probably one of the best things we've done for them in a long while...taking them somewhere without screens or agendas for their days, giving them space and time to explore. There was hiking and reading and roasting and painting and resting and talking. And smiling...so much smiling.   





Little Lyla did pretty darn good. After waking up just a tad too early on Sunday morning **yawn**, Mark announced that it was time to go home and she responded by screaming out..."No, go home...go hiking!". 



I have to say, this weekend did me a lot of good too. It's a beautiful, amazing world out there. I truly love this place and I love that it is so special to us. Until next time, Rocky Knob.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Favorites: Springtime Bandit

I've been knitting quite a lot this year. It's become kind of therapeutic for me. It's my main creative outlet right now, while I feel like my life is just not as conducive to spend time sewing. I started this shawl last Spring, and finished it up in June just before we moved. Thinking back, I have no idea how on earth I found time to knit while we were preparing to move, but I suppose it helped keep me sane. 


This shawl is one of my favorite things ever. This lovely yarn had been sitting in my very small basket of stash yarn for quite a while. I picked it up before a road trip, went on Ravelry to search for a possible pattern, and voila, the Springtime Bandit, a free pattern by Kelbourne Woolens, popped up in my search. One of the harder parts of knitting for me is pairing my own yarn and pattern, as opposed to getting help at a local yarn store or using the yarn a pattern suggests. I got lucky on this one!  


Although I've been knitting for almost 9 years, I feel like I've just started to really make sense of it, to see and understand patterns more clearly. This pattern was my first experience reading a knitting chart and successfully knitting a lace pattern. I wanted my shawl to be a little bigger, so I added a repeat (or 2, maybe?). Unfortunately, as I was doing the final edge pattern, I started to worry I would run out of yarn before finishing, so I bound off the shawl a few rows short. But, I don't think it's noticeable or affects the appearance of the shawl too much.


What I love most about this shawl is how unbelievably cozy it is. The alpaca/wool blend yarn is so perfectly drapey and soft. I also adore the color. I have a slight obsessions with this chartreusse-y, bright yellow. It seems to play well in all seasons.


I'm looking forward to lots more knitting this year!

Ravelry link here.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Snapshots

It felt so good to welcome October today. Even better to drop all three kids off at school for the first time in months and enjoy a quiet morning to myself. This morning I sat in my kitchen knitting, baking muffins, listening to music and watching the drizzle outside. Thinking about the new routine that comes when the kids track back into school, the seasons change, the days get shorter, and the air gets cooler. Dreaming of all the things I want to do this Fall - more baking, more soup making (this one is definitely going on my menu for next week), more walks in the woods, and campfires with the fam. Wishing all days could be this good...