22.3.17

Knitting Project Bags







It happens every spring... I get the sewing bug.  This year it hit me when I was perusing the knitting needles at the craft store {Which they have none!  Do they really only sell bulky sized metal straight needles?  I can't be the only sock knitter in Wisconsin.  But I digress...} when I happened to walk past a display of fat quarters.  I don't normally get excited about fabric or even pay attention to it for that matter, but the tiny rectangles were all tied up with a sweet little ribbon and were just the pop of color I needed in my life right now. It was like a present waiting there for me, and it was fifty percent off.  I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but I had to have them.

Fast forward a few days and I'm casting on a sock with the yarn I found at the thrift store last month. 
I went to find my basket I usually use for small projects, but it was full of eggs {Yay, the free loaders, ahem, I mean hens, are laying again}.  Then I noticed the little package of fabric sitting on the shelf and that it just happened to match my yarn, so I decided to make a project bag. {I used this pattern here, with a few modifications}.  I paired the fat quarters with some upcycled fabric from a skirt I found at the thrift store, too.  It has the feeling of a cotton canvas and worked perfect for adding stability to the bag.  

I have never had a good quality knitting bag and now I know why everyone likes them so much! The square corners make it sit flat and with the lining, I can fold the top down to use it as a knitting basket. Two fifty gram balls of sock yarn, along with my pattern, needles and notions fit inside.  I also like that it's squishy enough to fit inside my backpack and take it with me everywhere. 

I liked mine so much that I decided to make three more for the shop too.  These are seriously addicting and I'm already cutting fabric for more.  I hope you like them, too!



25.2.17

Thrift Store Finds









At least once a week, we head to town to the thrift store.  They set out expired baked goods and slightly over ripe produce that we pick up for our chickens.  It really helps on the winter feed budget and they love to have fresh greens and treats in the winter months.  

Of course, we always manage to wander around the store for an hour looking for any new to us treasures.  My favorite area, besides books, is the craft corner.  Most weeks, the yarn bin is full of acrylics and fun furs, but this week... well, I'm pretty sure I gasped out loud since the lady next to me looked at me funny.   Two laundry baskets full of sock yarn, and cakes of mohair, cones of undyed yarn,  Lamb's Pride chunky and sport weight, a partially completed argyle sock kit {which I won't be finishing, but it was so cute}, and a few bits of others that I thought were pretty. All for around fifty cents each. I showed some restraint with the mohair cakes and cones, {aka, I didn't buy the entire basket} because I'm not completely sure they're 100% wool and will take dye.  Experiments to ensue.

How about you?  Any great thrift store finds recently?



8.2.17

Taproot Inspiration






It's February.  The mornings have been bitter cold.  The afternoons filled with rain and ice.  I dare not admit how long it's been since I've been on a walk, except to the chicken coop to give the girls a few treats.  We're all grumpy, a little rough around the edges {That's a nice way of putting it, my family tells me.} and feeling very uninspired.

But recently I made a discovery that has me so excited.  Our library system subscribes to Taproot Magazine!  I have the first two years in my personal collection, but decided not to renew once we moved to the homestead.  Instead, we've been putting any extra money aside for big purchases like a new vehicle and solar panels.  I know it will be worth it in the end to not have any debt, but I have tremendously missed the seasonal stories, recipes, art, and crafts of so many like minded people.  I ordered all that our system had and have been savoring each issue, one by one.

I'm starting with Issue 16: Shelter.  The Home Sweet Home paper houses were a huge hit with Luke, and had us all make one for his town.  You can download the houses here for free.

I think this will be just the boost we need to get back on the creative track.... and I'm vowing to get outside more this week.  We have another warm up coming and it will be above freezing for a whole week!  I can't wait to see how much the woods have changed since we last visited.

How about you?  Are you in a creative slump right now or have any inspiring ideas to share?



26.1.17

January Thaw






The boys and I started reading Aldo Leopold's, A Sand County Almanac this week for our morning read aloud. January Thaw, couldn't have come at a more opportune time, as the temps have been well above normal and as our world changes dramatically in a new direction.  I'm loving this season to sit quietly and reflect about what is in store for the next year.  

      "There is time not only to see who has done what, but to speculate why."  ~Aldo Leopold

This week took us to the woods to watch the snow melt from the trees, observe signs of deer nibbling on branches, and witness life stirring awake again.  

21.11.16

Home



It's been almost two weeks since we've been home now.  Still savoring the bliss of living and working at the lake for five months.  All the while, finishing long anticipated projects, falling into a daily rhythm and preparing for winter.  It doesn't feel like it yet, running around in t'shirts and bare feet, but it's coming, that much I know.  The old timers are saying it's going to be a tough one.  We'll see.  We're all feeling the pre-snow romanticism that makes us dream of hunkering down in the house, cozied up around the fire, a mug of tea, knitting, projects with the boys and a daily pot of soup on the stove.

I've been doing this for thirty eight years now and I'm no dummy.

All of these romanticized notions of winter will be out the door a week after the first staying snow, so I'm preparing... cleaning, clearing, sorting, and collecting what will help us all enjoy the long, dark days ahead.

* * * * *

I wrote this last week, but with all of the preparations, I completely forgot to post it.  Last night it snowed.  The wind blew fierce across the homestead and for the first time, in a long while, we had to get up at night to stoke the fire.  As predicted, we're reveling in the first signs of winter.

Today, I'm snuggled up on the couch with my boys knitting a batch of emergency hats.  When I heard snow was coming, we brought the box of woolens out, only to find that the barn cats managed to wiggle their way in and use it as a litter box.  I guess this will be a good way to clear out some of those left over bits of yarn I've been stashing away all year and get some new woolens to boot!

It's so good to be home.

p.s.  Thank you to everyone who sent us messages over the summer with curiosity and concern.  Unintentionally, we dropped off the face of the internet world {no signal at the campground, except for one spot on the bridge if the wind was blowing just right and you hopped on one leg!} and just spent the summer decompressing and enjoying each other's company.  I didn't even unpack my camera, only taking a few photos with my cell phone.  If you'd like to see how we spent the summer, I posted over on Instagram as @thesittingtreefarm.


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